Friday, 20 November 2020

Gamebook Friday: 'TWAS

When I crowdfunded 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas last year, I had limited funds to pay for artwork. Despite pushing the budget as far as I could, to ensure the fifth ACE Gamebook contained as much of Tony Hough's incredible artwork as I could afford, there were still certain things that I would have liked to have had illustrated that had to be left out nonetheless.

However, when I crowdfunded 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas earlier this year, I commissioned more artwork from Tony, which meant that I could have those abandoned scenes illustrated at last. The RPG also contains various vignettes, and some of these were inspired by the gamebook too, including the following...

Robot Bombs

Gingerbread Men



'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas is available now, and you can buy a signed copy here, while 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas will be available to buy through DriveThruRPG soon.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Happy Birthday, Ded Moroz!

18th November marks the birthday of Ded Moroz.

"Ded who?" I hear you ask.

Ded Moroz, as he is known in Mother Russia, or Grandfather Frost, as he is also known further afield.

Grandfather Frost, by Tony Hough.

Morozko was once a powerful and cruel god of frost and ice, married to the equally unforgiving Winter. He could freeze people and landscapes at will, including entire invading armies, and while he could be capricious and unpredictable, he was also known for being wise and impartial.

With the coming of Christianity Ded Moroz was recast as a snow demon but, over time, turned into a kind of Slavic wizard of winter. Under the influence of Orthodox traditions, the character was transformed again and, during the Soviet era, become the main symbol of the New Year's holiday – Novey God – that replaced Christmas.

Today Grandfather Frost is depicted as bringing presents to well-mannered children, frequently delivering them in person on New Year’s Eve.

According to a newly created legend, Ded Moroz was born on 18th November in Veliky Ustyug, a small town in the Vologda region of Russia.

Veliky Ustyug, Russia.

The date of the magician's birthday was chosen by weather chart makers as their long-term observations register that on that very day the ground of Veliky Ustyug is usually covered with a heavy snow blanket. However, no one knows his exact age. Although experts insist his career began more than 150 years ago, the first mentions of his appearance in noble Russian families on Christmas and New Year's Eve date back to the beginning of the 19th century.

The celebration takes place at Ded Moroz' Votchina, a few miles outside Veliky Ustyug. Festive performances, fireworks, sport events and concerts are part of the program. As usual, on this special occasion Ded Moroz welcomes his friends - holiday-season miracle-makers, wonderland creatures and helpers from Russian regions and former CIS-states. On the exact day of his birthday party, Ded Moroz lights the first fir-tree lamps and sets out from his fiefdom, congratulating the people of Russia on New Year's Eve.

Ded Moroz and friends.

Grandfather Frost makes an appearance in 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, which is coming to DriveThruRPG soon!

'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland LIVE - Part 6!

This evening, from 7:00pm GMT on Facebook, Ken Boyter of The Bottled Imp Fellowship will be continuing his live readthrough of the original ACE GamebookAlice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

If you have yet to pick up a copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, you can do so here.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Bardsung: Legend of the Ancient Forge

I am delighted to be able to announce that I am one of the guest writers on the new board game Bardsung: Legend of the Ancient Forge, from Steamforged Games, that is currently funding on Kickstarter.

Here's the newsflash that appeared on an update this week:

I will be writing a standalone adventure for the game, which includes gamebook mechanics, as well as those of a board game and tabletop wargame.

Anyone who is already aware of my work will know that I have an abiding love of steampunk, golems, things with too many tentacles, and Scandinavian/British folklore. I also enjoy a good mystery, so I plan on my adventure containing elements of all of these.

There are daily updates and unlocks on the Kickstarter campaign page, and I have been particularly excited by those revealing new monsters that will be appearing in the core box, as well as the Lost Levels expansion.

I hope to use elements of these in the story I want to tell, and already have a number of ideas jotted down in my planner. 

So, if you've not checked out the Kickstarter campaign page already, why not do so today, and pledge your support?

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker!

8th November is Bram Stoker's birthday, which means that he would have been 173 years old today, were he still alive.

This time last year I started writing my ACE Gamebook adaptation of Stoker's most famous novel, Dracula, and twelve months on I am still working on it. There are various reasons why it remains unfinished, not least of which is the global pandemic we are still in the grip of. But last weekend I learned the very sad news that Martin McKenna, who was supposed to be illustrating Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, died at the beginning of September.

I still intend to finish the adventure, having already written almost 800 sections, but I am taking some time to mull over what to do about the book's illustrations. However, late pledges to the project are still open and you can pledge your support here.

Friday, 6 November 2020

Gamebook Friday: What is a typical JG adventure?

I may be picking up my skald's harp and singing a new story into being next year, so this Gamebook Friday I have one simple question to ask you.

What would you expect from a typical Jonathan Green gamebook adventure?

Answers on a postcard or in the comments below, please.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland LIVE - Part 5!

This evening, from 7:00pm GMT on Facebook, Ken Boyter of The Bottled Imp Fellowship will be continuing his live readthrough of the original ACE Gamebook, Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland.

If you have yet to pick up a copy of Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland, you can do so here.