In addition to my other work in tabletop RPGs, I have written a few books and articles that were either one-offs for a particular system, or systemless discussions of various ideas. For the sake of completeness, here’s a list:
Supernatural Adventures, Margaret Weis Productions (2009)
Atlas of the Walking Dead, Eden Studios (2003) Buy it here
“Mummies: A New Approach,” Fenix (Kickstarter special edition), January 2016
“Pyrates” (setting), Hillfolk, Pelgrane Press 2012 Buy it here
“The Beast of Kozamura,” White Dwarf #96, Jan 1988
“Wolves of the Sea,” White Dwarf #84, Jan 1987
“Crime Inc,” White Dwarf #80, Sep 1986
“A Cast of Thousands,” White Dwarf #77, Jun 1986
“As God is My Witness,” Imagine #20, Nov 1984
“Beyond the Final Frontier,” White Dwarf #58, Nov 1984
“Games Without Frontiers,” Imagine #18-19, Sep-Oct 1984
“The Myths of Ancient Egypt,” Imagine #16, Jul 1984
Other Bibliography Posts
My Complete and Utter Warhammer Bibliography (Warhammer, WFRP, HeroQuest, AHQ)
My Complete and Utter Warhammer 40,000 Bibliography (WH40K, Adeptus Titanicus/Epic Scale)
My interest in Celtic history and lore started in my teens. I had been reading Penguin translations of Greek and Latin literature for a while when I discovered the Irish sagas such as The Tain and the early stories of Cu Chulainn. A wave of Irish rock was hitting the UK: Thin Lizzy and Rory Gallagher were having their first hits around then, and a band called Horslips released two epic concept albums based on Irish mythology: The Tain (1973) and The Book of Invasions (1976). In 1978, Jim Fitzpatrick published his lavishly-illustrated Book of Conquests, and I started playing Dungeons & Dragons. In 1979, I went to Durham University to study archaeology, intending to specialize in the British Iron Age: the Celtic-dominated era that was brought to an end by the Roman invasion. (I refuse to call it a conquest – they never got us out of the hills, by Touatis!)
My Celtic obsession followed me into the games industry, and now I could back it up with some actual learning. I wrote articles for two Celtic-themed issues of TSR UK’s now-legendary British AD&D magazine Imagine: my adventure “The Taking of Siandabhair” was reprinted in a “Best Of” issue and you can download it from my Freebies page. In 1986 I created the Fimir for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, basing them on a mix of creatures from Irish and Scottish legends including the evil Fomorians. Despite some very controversial aspects of the background I created for them, they still have fans today. When I left Games Workshop in 1990, one of my first freelance projects was the HR3 Celts Campaign Sourcebook for AD&D 2nd edition. I also wrote an adventure for Mongoose Publishing’s Slaine RPG, based on the 2000AD comic property: back at Games Workshop, I pushed hard for a Slaine RPG to go alongside their Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper games, but to no avail. And a few years ago, I snuck some Welsh, Irish, and Scottish lore into the single-player campaign I wrote for Kabam’s hit mobile strategy game Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North.
The latest fruit of my Celtic obsession is a sourcebook for Andrea Sfiligoi’s excellent tabletop skirmish game Of Gods and Mortals. If you like mythology and miniatures, you should definitely check this game out. The rulebook, published by Osprey Publishing and widely available, is slim and affordable; the rules themselves are simple enough to pick up quickly and powerful enough to make for some interesting challenges. I liked it so much that I contacted Andrea out of the blue and asked if we could collaborate.
Celts was released today as an e-book via Andrea’s Ganesha Games web site (where you can also find several freebies for OGAM), and over the next few weeks it will become available in dead-tree form and via all the usual e-tailers. I am very pleased with it. I’m always happy to have another Celtic-themed project under my belt, and Andrea’s art for the project is fantastic. He (yes, it’s a male name in Italian) is ludicrously talented: a first-rate game designer (working in his second language, no less) and a talented artist to boot. Anything he does is worth your attention.
To tempt you further, here is the back cover blurb:
The first warp-spasm seized Cu Chulainn, and turned him into something monstrous, horrible and shapeless…
This supplement for Of Gods and Mortals delves deeper into the myths of the Celts. Within its pages you will find:
- More options for existing units, along with brief descriptions of their roles in Celtic history and mythology;
- Statistics and rules for six new Gods, 18 new Legends, and 10 new Mortal troop types, based on myths and folklore from across the Celtic world;
- Ten new traits, including a range of warrior-feats from the Irish sagas;
- Detailed rules for Celtic war-chariots;
- Optional warband lists to help you build a mythologically consistent warband;
- Allied forces for more force customization options;
- New scenarios, based on the greatest battles from the Celtic myths and sagas;
- A detailed bibliography for more information about the Celts and their gods.
Let the red rage descend, and feed the Morrigan’s crows with the bodies of your foes!
If you haven’t heard of Fantasy Flight Games’ Cthulhu Mythos boardgame Arkham Horror, check it out. While Call of Cthulhu remains the flagship gaming adaptation of the Cthulhu Mythos, Arkham Horror is running a strong second.
In addition to the boardgame and its expansions, Fantasy Flight Games offers a line of tie-in fiction and a recently-announced book, The Investigators of Arkham Horror, which presents characters from the game and its expansions through breathtaking art and atmospheric fiction. Helmed by FFG editor Katrina Ostrander, the book features the work of nine authors, including me.
I had a lot of fun researching the five characters I was assigned, turning them into living, breathing people, and telling the stories of their brushes with the dread and unnameable horrors of Arkham. I can’t wait to see what the other writers came up with.
Apologies for the long silence. I have a lot of work on at the moment (hooray!), which means I haven’t had time to work on new blog posts (boo!).
Right now, I’m working on an exciting fiction project, and I’ll tell you all about it just as soon as I can.
In the meantime, here’s what I’m planning for the near future:
The Outsider Hero: It has often been said that villains are more interesting than heroes. Mythology and folklore beg to differ – and offer great opportunities to develop the kind of internal conflicts that how-to-write books tell us are vital.
Of Gods and Mortals – Thor: It’s been too long since I wrote about OGAM. Following on from my earlier post on the Theseus myth (and my Osprey book Thor: Viking God of Thunder), I’ll be delving into the mythology of Thor for more OGAM fun.
Warhammer Memories – The WFRP Rulebook: My memories of Games Workshop seem consistently popular, so I’m kicking off a new series going through my work on first edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay book by book. I have no idea what will come back to me as I open the books again, so we’ll find out together.
My Complete and Utter Monsterography: The bibliography project takes a detour as I look at my lifelong love of monsters from myth and folklore, and how it has shaped my career in fantasy games.