Friday 31 December 2021

Gamebook Friday: Review of the Year - 2021

As well as being the Year of Covid19 (Part 2), for me 2021 has definitely been the Year of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire.

My sixth ACE Gamebook was originally supposed to have been published in March, but after a change of illustrator was required, it didn't actually come out until October. But at least it was out in time for Halloween. All it needs now is some more reviews on Amazon to help increase its exposure.

I'm pleased to say that Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, has already been signed up by a number of ACE Gamebooks' foreign publishers, including my German publishers Mantikore-Verlag, who have decided to go with this cover for the book.

Talking of foreign editions of ACE Gamebooks, there are now Polish translation of Alice and Oz available, as well as a German version of Oz and a Hungarian translation of 'TWAS. I have also signed contracts with another foreign language publisher, so expect to see more news on that in the New Year.

Of course, 2021 hasn't only been about Dracula - Curse of the Vampire. I have also been busy writing the seventh ACE Gamebook, RONIN 47, and there's still time to place a Late Pledge, but only just.

I'm very close to finishing the manuscript and, once I've had a chance to proofread it myself, I will be sending it out to the play-testers around mid-January.

The pin-up art for the hardback version of RONIN 47 has also started to come in, and here's the first look at Chris Weston's piece for the special collector's edition of the book.

As well as publishing another title in the ACE Gamebooks series, I have also released new content for 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas

If you have yet to grab the latest supplements, you might want to make the most of the ACE Gamebooks Roleplay New Year Sale, but it's only here for a short time, so don't miss out!

In December I attended Dragonmeet 2021, my first convention in two years, the last one having been Dragonmeet 2020.

Next year I am hoping to attend the UK Games Expo again, now that it's back to its usual early summer slot. But 2022 is going to be a busy year for another reason, which might have something to do with a popular gamebook series that started back in the early 1980s...

Watch this space for more news soon.

In the meantime, here's wishing you and yours a very...

Happy New Year!

Friday 24 December 2021

Gamebook Friday: 'TWAS the Krampus Night Before Christmas

It's the last day of the 12 Days 'Til Christmas Sale over on the ACE Gamebooks Roleplay page on DriveThruRPG, so don't delay and grab yourself a bargain today!

Recently, I have been enjoying listening to and watching other people playing through my games, and if you're wondering if 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas is for you, why not enjoy a preview taster by doing the same?

First up there is K. R. Boyter, from the Mythical Tales of Edra, with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of his playthrough.

Then there's Brian Hazzard, over on the Instadeath Survivors Support Group, with his Xmas Special podcast.

And finally, Vicki from Girls That Game, played through the book on her Twitch channel last year.

DMs After Dark recently undertook a festive one-shot using 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, but what was really nice about this session was that the Gamesmaster used the rules and background to create their own adventure. You can see how the party got on below...

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday 21 December 2021

A Winter Solstice Selection

Having been a published author since 1993, over the years I have written numerous short stories, books and games that have a strong connection to Christmas. Just check out these if you're interested...

A sequel to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

A festive ACE Gamebook inspired by the legends and folklore of Yuletide.

A rules-lite festive RPG that's fun for all the family.

A Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia short story set at Christmas time.
(Published as part of Pax Britannia: Human Nature)

Everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas but were afraid to ask.

The US edition of What is Myrrh Anyway? which was the precursor to Christmas Explained.

A Warhammer 40,000K short story in which three wise men follow a star.

Happy Yule!

'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas LIVE - Part 3!

Today is the Winter Solstice, and so it seems particularly appropriate that this evening, from 7:00pm GMT on Facebook, Ken Boyter of The Bottled Imp Fellowship will be undertaking his live readthrough of my festive ACE Gamebook'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas.

Will he make it to the end? You'll just have to tune in tonight to find out.

If you haven't managed to pick up a copy of 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas yet - you can do so here.

In other Krampus-related news, the fourth part of Talking About Games' review of 'TWAS the RPG is now live on YouTube.

Friday 17 December 2021

Gamebook Friday: 'TWAS the RPG on DMs After Dark

For their last game of 2021, as a special holiday one-shot, the DMs After Dark will be running 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas.

You can join them tonight, live on Twitch from 6:30pm EST/11:30pm GMT.

There's still time to pick up a PDF copy of 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas, if you want to run your own session over the festive period.

What's even better is that everything on the ACE Gamebooks Roleplay DriveThruRPG page is currently for sale at 33% off!

Friday 10 December 2021

RIP Chris Achilleos

I was sad to learn yesterday that the legendary fantasy artist Chris Achilleos passed away suddenly, after a short illness, on Monday afternoon. My thoughts are with his wife Tasha, as well as the rest of his family and his friends at this difficult time.

I first became aware of Chris's work in the 1980s, through his contributions to the Fighting Fantasy series and artbooks such as Sirens.

Many years later, I met Chris when he attended Fighting Fantasy Fest 1 in 2014. I had spoken to him prior to the event and he kindly offered to paint a cover for YOU ARE THE HERO, but I had already commissioned Martin McKenna to do just that. However, when YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 was scheduled, I took him up on his offer.

This involved two trips to his loft-space studio at his home - which was an experience in itself, seeing where the master worked - and I was made to feel very welcome by Chris and Tasha. On the first trip, we discussed the commission but also ended up talking about his previous work, with Chris getting out pieces of original art from his map chests, including some stuff he had painted for Games Workshop. On my second visit I collected the finished painting, which I have since had framed.

Although Chris couldn't make Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, I am pleased that he was able to attend FFF3, and on that occasion he was interviewed by Martin Noutch about his work.

Chris will be greatly missed, for he was a true master of his art, but the body of work he has left behind is a legacy that will live on for years to come.

Chris Achilleos and his wife Tasha at Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, in 2019.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas LIVE - Part 2!

This evening, from 7:00pm GMT on Facebook, Ken Boyter of The Bottled Imp Fellowship will be continuing his live readthrough of my festive ACE Gamebook'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas.

If you haven't managed to pick up a copy of 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas yet - you can do so here.

Friday 3 December 2021

Gamebook Friday: Dragonmeet 2021

This Saturday, 4th December 2021, I will be attending Dragonmeet at the Novotel in Hammersmith. You will find ACE Gamebooks and ACE Gamebooks Roleplay at Stand 31 on the Upper Trade Hall.

Ian Livingstone will also be there, so make sure you bring your favourite Fighting Fantasy gamebooks along to have them signed. You may even be able to pick up something special for your collection.

I will have a few signed copies of 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas for sale, as well as my most recent ACE Gamebooks, including Dracula - Curse of the Vampire.

So if you are going to Dragonmeet at, do stop by Stand 31 and say hello.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Warhammer Wednesday: Inferno! Warhammer 40,000 Collection

The tech-adepts at Black Library have released a new eBundle of Warhammer 40,000 short stories, that first appeared in the pages of Inferno! 

Included in the collection is my not-at-all-festive-honest Journey of the Magi.

Three sorcerers converge on an ancient necron structure in the hopes of retrieving something of great value to all three of them. But they will find that though dormant, the necrons do not give up their treasures easily…

On an artificial world far from the light of any son, three sorcerers of the Thousand Sons emerge from a portal, Together, this trio will face ancient horrors – but the prize that awaits them is worth any danger, Long have these three sought the Godstar, piecing together its location from scattered scraps of knowledge. The immortal guardians of the place sleep, but it is not undefended, and the children of Prospero will pay a heavy price for that which they seek as they delve deep into the ancient mysteries of the necrons.

If you haven't read it already, why not download Inferno! A Warhammer 40,000 Collection today?

Friday 26 November 2021

Gamebook Friday: Set the Tape

When I published Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, I contacted various review websites asking if they would be interested in having a read and playthrough. One of those sites that responded was Set the Tape.

Since sending them a copy of the sixth ACE Gamebook, Paul Regan, one of their reviewers, has reviewed not only Dracula - Curse of the Vampire but also 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas.

You can read the reviews for yourself here.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are reading this and you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a great day with your family and friends.

Interestingly, for a UK author, my blog receives far more visits from North America than is it does from the British Isles. Of course, many of my books are available in the US but there is only one that has been directly commissioned by an American publisher.

The title in question is Scottish Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Scotland the Brave, which is being re-released by Skyhorse Publishing with a new cover next January, a week before Burns' Night.

Skyhorse Publishing also released a new edition of Christmas Miscellany a few years ago, so if you're looking for a convenient, informative and fun Christmas stocking filler or Secret Santa, you can pick up a copy here.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas LIVE - Part 1!

This evening, from 7:00pm GMT on Facebook, Ken Boyter of The Bottled Imp Fellowship will be kicking off another live readthrough of one of my ACE Gamebooks, this time, the seasonally appropriate, 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas.

Don't worry if you haven't managed to pick up a copy of 'TWAS - The Krampus Night Before Christmas yet - you can do so here.

Friday 19 November 2021

Gamebook Friday: 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas

I am pleased to say that 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas has achieved bestseller status on DriveThruRPG.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...

That is until Krampus the Christmas Devil turns up and abducts Santa Claus, even as he is delivering presents to the sleeping household. But as the old goat is trussing him up in a sack, Saint Nick draws upon the magic of Christmas to bring a group of Toys to life.

Charged with rescuing the jolly old elf, the party sets out to save Santa before Christmas Day dawns and the cruel, birch-wielding demon usurps his position – taking his place forever!

What follows is an epic quest, as the Toys battle their way through first the house, and then a wintry wilderness, before finally facing off against Krampus and his minions at the heart of Father Christmas’s weaponised polar workshop.

He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake...

*             *             *

’TWAS – The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas is a rules-lite RPG for 2-7 Players, inspired by the legends and literature of Christmas.

Designed to be picked up and played with minimal preparation, it nonetheless includes a well-developed character creation system, as well as rules for combat and magic. It is ideal for a festive gaming session with an established group, or as an alternative to the games usually played on Christmas Day.

Do you have what it takes to save Santa and avert a Christmas catastrophe?

The first ACE Gamebooks Roleplay game was released last December and already has a number of supplements to be used with it. You will find the whole range available at DriveThruRPG.

Monday 8 November 2021

Happy Birthday, Mr Stoker!

Today, Monday 8th November 2021, would have been Bram Stoker's 174th birthday, if he had still been alive - or undead!

You may not realise that Dracula - Curse of the Vampire actually uses elements from three of Stoker's works: his seminal horror novel Dracula; the short story Dracula's Guest, which was published posthumously; and the last novel to be published before his death, The Lair of the White Worm.

If you want to find out more about the source material for the sixth ACE Gamebook, and learn how Bram Stoker set about writing Dracula in the first place, then you want to pick up a hardback copy of Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, which includes a bonus chapter that discusses all of the above.

Many people have been enjoying Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, and here are just some of the reviews that have come in so far.

If you have also read and enjoyed Dracula - Curse of the Vampire, I would ask that you post a review on Amazon, and Goodreads, and anywhere else you can. Quite simply, the more reviews, the greater the exposure. The greater the exposure, the more sales. And considering I spent the best part of two years writing the book, I could really do with some good sales right now.

Friday 5 November 2021

Gamebook Friday: ACE Gamebooks at Dragonmeet 2021

Thanks to the COVID pandemic, there was no Dragonmeet last year, but London's most vibrant tabletop gaming convention is back with a vengeance for 2021.

Dragonmeet 2021 is taking place at the Novotel Hammersmith on Saturday 4th December 2021. The Gaming Hall will be open from 9:00am - 11:30pm, while the Trade Hall will be open from 10:00am - 6:00pm.

ACE Gamebooks will be there, in the Trade Hall, with copies of 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game and
Dracula - Curse of the Vampire
. So, if you're going to be there, make sure you stop by and say hello.