Sunday, 4 February 2018

Two new blogs

I have two new blogs.

FUNCTION TO MY MADNESS is a place for me blog about software development. It is mostly things that I have been working on in my current job. It should be interesting to other software developers.

Ruins of the New World is a short-format blog (microblog?) recording the adventures of the Honourable Guild of Explorers and Reclaimers in our latest OSR sandbox D&D game. I may also explain various design choices I've made while GMing, but if anything gets to needing a longer form post it will appear here instead.

I hope you enjoy them!

Friday, 29 December 2017

Fire swamp of the whale

Adapted from here
Breakers: World of Dungeons is a RPG by John Harper that pits modern-day wisecracking characters, armed with C4 and Hazmat suits and plenty of attitude, against classic fantasy dungeons. A dimensional rift opens, someone picks up the batphone, and the heroes for hire descend into a mash up of the local amusement arcade and the Dungeons of Morgoth. Or the Sydney Opera house fused with a dragon's lair. Or anything else! That's part of the joy of Breakers: The GM can just pick a real-world location well-known to their playgroup, grab a one page dungeon and away you go.

Despite this, for our second session, I decided to write my own adventure from scratch, and we enjoyed it enough that I've written it up here for you to use as well. May I present to you Fire Swamp of the Whale:

Friday, 6 October 2017

Calling all Dawns

Album cover, copyright Christopher Tin
Calling all Dawns in an album by video game composer Christopher Tin. I first discovered it through the Grammy award winning track "Baba Yetu", which is the title music for Civilization IV.

Each track on the album features lyrics from a different text in a different language, and the album melds diverse musical styles into the overall classical framework.

Looking around I could not find anywhere that collected all the different lyrics and their sources and meanings in one place. I started adding that information to the Wikipedia article, but it turns out that Wikipedia doesn't want to become a repository for song lyrics. So instead, I present them to you here. I hope you find them interesting.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My favourite books

These are not ordered within groups, but I like the books in the first group more than the ones in the second.

I have only allowed myself one entry per author. Some entries are a single book; others (marked with a †) are a trilogy or series that I'm treating as a single story.

Best of the best

  • Earthsea, by Ursula LeGuin
  • The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
  • Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Lankhmar, by Fritz Leiber
  • Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Really good

  • Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher
  • Dark Sun Rising, by Celia Friedman
  • The Algebraist, by Iain M Banks
  • Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir
  • Lyonesse, by Jack Vance
  • The Queen's Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Thud!, by Terry Pratchett
  • The Atrocity Archives, by Charles Stross

What are your favourite books? Can you recommend me a book based on what you now know of my tastes?

Friday, 4 December 2015

How you can play Prowl

I'm working on an independent game, currently titled Prowl. You can read more about the game here. This blog post is about how you can play Prowl right now, and help me out by giving feedback on the game.

Thursday, 3 December 2015


I've been working on my own video game for the last 10 months. For now, it's called Prowl, and it's a game about taking on the role of a giant alien spider, and hunting your friends down and eating them. Whilst laughing mercilessly. It's also a game about running around in circles in dark places, desperately gabbling to each other about the things rushing past you in the darkness, and working together as a team to defeat a terrifying opponent.

Monday, 9 November 2015

British Rail Gothic

This may give you some context for what follows: Regional Gothic meme.
  • Your train terminates unexpectedly at Crewe. You get another train, which promises to get to your destination, but after an hour travelling through the dark you arrive back in Crewe again. The next train does the same, and the one after. There are no exits from the station, just more platforms, more trains glistening wetly in the rain.
  • The train stops in the tunnel and the lights go off. This happens every day, and every day, as you sit in the darkness, you can hear… scraping sounds on the roof of the train. Chitterings. Once, something banged into the window right behind you, and you heard a feral cry. You pretended not to notice. You all pretend not to notice.