Episode 8 The Traveller Adventure

“Don’t mess with me, I’ve been corrupted by Space Monkeys”

Download Episode

RSS Feed

Wednesdays 21:00 – 23:00 Fortnightly, between Sept 15 and July 16 was Traveller Time. During this period we played Traveller online using Roll 20.

INTRO: I put out an advert for players on the site to play the classic 1983 adventure from GDW.

OPEN BOX: 4:27 We discuss some of the benefits and pitfalls of playing online

POTTED HISTORY: 31:57 A run down of the history of the supplement and the characters and players.

GAMESMASTERS SCREEN: 38:22 Blythy and Dirk discuss some of the highlights and lowlights of the adventure

ED’S SHED 01:26 Not bargain hunting this time, instead he offers his views on the adventure.

POST BAG 01:30 Other players offer their views and thanks to new Patreon backers.

GROGMEET Update, October

GrogMeet 2016 (corrected)

If you are signed up for GROGMEET and are not a Patreon*, you’ll be able to sign up to the available RPG sessions, next Monday 10/10 at 21:30. You’ll be sent an email with the links embedded.

Doors open at 10.15 for board games hosted by our friends at bonhomiegames.uk

RPG sessions are running from 12.00 – 4.30 and you can pick one from the final list below:


Operation Twitcher: 1938, American Explorer Richard Byrd is quizzed by the Nazis about the South Pole, he informs the British and American governments of the Nazis interest but no action is taken at this time.

1942, reports are received of strange phenomena in the far South Atlantic. Richard Byrd now an Admiral in the US Navy is called in by the admiralty to brief a select team of marines and scientists on dealing with with the Antarctic conditions.

GM: Katherine Simmons-Smith

BOOT HILL 3rd edition 

Matthew 12:43: Wild West Role-Playing Game, one of TSR Inc’s forgotten gems. Boot Hill is a game of grand adventure in the American Frontier; a world of cowpokes, gamblers, sheriffs and gunslingers. I’m going to run an original adventure based in the official setting Promise City.Matthew 12:43

GM: Ian ‘Doc’ Griffith


Assault on Lunar Outpost XIII: A team of Humakti Ducks have formed a death squad to claim a strategic stockade in the hills of Dragon Pass. With Orlanthi companions, they seek to negotiate the eviction of the current denizens, a band of trolls lead by the feared Uzko, Ugrham who has been raiding tribes in the region. Force maybe necessary.

Can the outpost be secured before the Lunar army returns to reclaim it as its own?

Using the ‘classic’ RuneQuest second edition rules.

GM: Chris ‘Dirk the Dice’ Hart

D&D 5e

Trouble Shooters: Rumour has turned to action in the city streets now, as your guild finds itself under attack. There can only be one Thieves Guild in the city, so the time has come to put an end to this insult. As the Grandmasters ‘troubleshooters’ you have been tasked by him personally, with finding these upstarts and putting them down, permenantly. Lets hope your combined talents are up to it.

GM: Tim Brittain


The Lexington Hotel: 1933 G-Men celebrate the nabbing of notorious Public Enemy Number One  Al Capone for tax evasion. Meanwhile in Lakefront City frustrated Federal Agents strike upon using cons to rob Al Tolino’s crooked books from under the City Kingpin’s nose while he hosts his daughters wedding at the swanky mob-owned Lexington Hotel.

GM: Kehaar of @dissectingwrlds


‘So you want to join the Alliance eh? A Rebel’s life is not an easy one.  Ill-equipped, outnumbered, hunted, and with no refuge.  Rebels must constantly battle the forces of the Empire.  But the Rebels hold little chance for victory.  The Empire’s reach is nearly boundless, its power overwhelming.

Even so, all across the galaxy, courageous people like you enlist in the Rebellion, determined to halt the spread of Imperial tyranny.  You must join the Rebel Alliance.  But how?  Where?  When?”

This is a modified version of the ‘Rebel Breakout’ adventure from the 1987 edition of the Star Wars RPG core rulebook, but using the 1996 ‘revised and expanded’ 2nd edition rules .  The adventure is designed for 4-6 players and I’ll provide PC templates to get us quickly into the action.  So draw your blaster, ignite your lightsaber, and jump into the cockpit of your battered X-Wing.  There’s Imps to be battled.

GM: @Asako_Soh


Stolen Moments: Duke Avan Astran of Old Hrolmar needs adventurers to help him uncover an ancient Melnibonian tomb. An adventure set in Vilmir with a noble man whose obsessive interest in the Bright Empire may get him more than he bargained for? Your chance to adventure in Michael Moorcock’s young kingdoms. Be a nomad from the weeping wastes, an agent of chaos and invoke Arioch himself to intervene in your adventure, or even a crippled begged from Nadsokor. Demons, mad sorcerers and even madder gods await you.

GM: Judge Blythy


* Patreons have the chance to sign up a week earlier, as their support has helped to cover the costs of the event and the production of the ‘zine that every attendee will get to take away.

‘Zine 2016 – last call for a hard one…


This is quick reminder that we’ll be taking the numbers for the ‘zine we’re launching at GROGMEET (12th November). If you want a hard copy then you’ll need to register at the Patreon site with a $3.50 plus level backing before the end of September.

PDFs will be available to all backers, but I think you’ll really enjoy having the real thing.

Here is a hint of what you can expect:

  • This week I have received a FANTASTIC cover, exclusively designed by a very, very special artist from back in the day. There’s further artwork on the way from great professional artists who have contributed to the ‘zine.
  • The GROGMEET Games Masters have made special contributions about the games that they are running at the event.
  • There’s an excerpt from the memoir we wrote before we did the podcast, that covers the very first game we played and our struggles to find other players.
  • @dailydwarf explores the delights of the White Dwarf small ads page
  • SAFE WORD – a FATE accelerated scenario set in the world of Jerry Cornelius, with a personal mix-tape for every single copy of the ‘zine, which one will you get?
  • A special short story from a best-selling author
  • A special ‘Collected @dailydwarf’ supplement featuring the collected works from the podcast so far.
  • much, much, more!

We will be printing a copy for every Patreon above $3.50 from the 1st October, every attendee of GROGMEET, +20 copies for friends, supporters, contributors and personal use.





One-D-Six: The Sea Caves

On Saturday evening, I hosted the first Patreon, Online Grog-Club in the den under-the-stairs. Supporters at the $5+ level, who were interested in playing, were drawn from the beret to participate in a Runequest one-shot.


When Rick Meint’s compiled the OSR Bundle for the Classic Runequest Kickstarter campaign last year, he included a never before published adventure, written by Greg Stafford.

The Sea Cave is an unfinished, brutal, zoo-type cave crawl. There’s some innovations built into the design of the complex: the way into the caves is affected by the Gloranthan tides, the players can choose to sail into the flooded caves or walk in during the low tide; also, the denizens of the cave have distinctive relationships with each other.

Despite its limitations, I liked some of the unusual encounters described in the supplement and thought that it would be a perfect, one-shot introduction to the mixed group of players invited to the session. Some of the players were old hands, who knew Runequest and Glorantha very well, others were returning after a long hiatus, while for some it was their first exposure to the delights of the system and place.

It was cracking fun, with tense, spectacular moments, plenty of atmosphere and laughs, lots of laughs.

Here are some of the highlights:

1) Ducks! 

Now, regular listeners to the podcast will know my opinion of ducks, but I was struck by the idea of creating a Humakt duck death squad just for the fun of it. Maybe I’ve been reading too much T&T.

Meet the team:

Brandi Coot – a wily bird who tried to be one step ahead of the opposition with great tactical acuity, using his giant turtleshell shield as to protect the team and using it as a makeshift life raft.

Purple-Eye – the broody one that skulks in the shadows with his two swords trying to convince Mal Hard to break his geas and use ambush tactics.

Moor-Hin – He’s adept with his griffin bone javelin and very tenacious. Very tenacious.

Mal Hard – the burly, healer who is tough enough to wield a bastard sword one-handed. He proved a crack-shot with the self bow too.

Rudi Blue-bill – The shortest and most eager to please, with the sharpest eye and skills with a throwing knife. His knife ‘BAK’ will return to the hand of the thrower on a whistle. Ducks can’t whistle.

2) Clackneed 

The only human in the team was a survivor of our Borderlands campaign. He had been wandering around the grantlands and Horngate with Daine’s sword. He is on the cusp of being a Rune Lord, so is heading to the Sea Caves to help him realise his ambitions.

He has raised the army to help Bryn Cor, the head of the fishermen, to rid the coast of a mysterious creature terrorising the fleet during the twilight catch.

He’s named Clackneed because he needs clacks. He became a mercenary to raise himself from poverty as an outcast.

By the end of the adventure he was Clack ‘kneed’ as every blow seemed to strike his legs. He was grateful of the support of his duck army!

3) The Sea Serpent The opening scene always carries the risk of being a damp-squib or a TPK. This one was almost both. It was extremely damp as it began on board a boat.

A couple of the ducks chose to push the boat along through the water, to get them to Corflu before nightfall.

The ship was attacked by a sea serpent, knocking some of the crew off their feet. Clackneed lost a limb (not for the last time). They all resisted the demoralising rattle to its tail.

The excitement came when Moor-Hin impaled the creature with his javelin. As the stricken creature plunged into the depths of the ocean, the plucky bird went in pursuit of his precious griffin-bone javelin. Deeper and deeper. He gripped on to his weapon and eventually managed to pull it out, before returning, coughing and spluttering to the surface.

4) The players are the thing …

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 00.46.39.png
Eddy consulting the rulebook – still disputing the fumble rules after 30 years of playing together.

It’s always great to meet new players and this group bounded in duckdum very quickly as they rallied around the hapless wannabe Rune Lord.

Ruddi  – “Clackneed?”

Clackneed – “What? I’m busy.”

Ruddi – “WHISTLE!”

5) “There’s a Wyrm? How are you spelling it?”

It was ambitious to run this as a 3 hour one-shot and it proved too much.

They faced a dramatic encounter with a mermaid water spirit who was initially threatening the characters with her Wyrm, before revealing that the Wyrm is her enemy and she wants it destroyed.

There’s going to be an extra session to deal with the Wyrm.

Brandi Coot declared, “A worm? Who’s afraid of a puny earthworm?”

Cue my Harryhausan sound effects echoing through the cave and the collective headsets.

to be continued …

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 10.35.54

6) We’ve joined a select group.

There must only be a handful of people in the world who have been in these caves. The brave pioneers are proudly listed at the front.

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 22.32.03.png


The next Patreon, Online Grog-Club is due in February 2017. See the Patreon page, where details will be posted nearer the time.

Episode 7 (Part 2) Tunnels and Trolls RPG




Download Episode
RSS Feed

We return to ‘blast away the fiends of boredom’ with another T&T episode. This time we are joined by Big Jack Brass, Jon Hancock.

0.15 Introduction. We had feedback from non-other than Ken St Andre himself…

4.05 Open Box. Jon talks about his early life in role playing and why he was drawn to T&T.

24.04 Actual Play. Jon is the GM for Monsters! Monsters!, where the ill-kin are the heroes.

You’ll find more from the Whartson Hall gaming group at UK Roleplayers forums.

34.01 Gamesmasters Screen. Why is T&T so good? Jon counts the ways.

1.17 Actual Play. Blythy joins Dirk for a solo game and a reluctant example of actual play.

1.31 Postbag. Feedback and thank you to new Patreons.

A GROGNARD’s Guide to Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls


It looks like our Tunnels & Trolls episode maybe our most popular podcast of the year.

I don’t want to appear like I obsess about these things, but it has already reached more hits than the previous couple of episodes about That Other Game (TM) put together* It demonstrates that there is a great deal of latent affection for Tunnels and Trolls from the UK GROGNARD community.

There have been many supporting comments via social media to0, from people who have shared our retrospective appreciation for the influence that T&T had on their formative years of role-playing. If you listen very closely, you can hear the sound of middle-aged men’s aching bones creaking as they reach for the loft ladder to reclaim their battered gold box from the attic.

For those who do not have an edition sealed in aspic, they’ve wanted to know how they can get their hands on a copy of the game to discover its under appreciated charms. The latest edition of the rules is available via drive thru , the Delux Edition, which was produced following a successful kickstarter by the oldest surviving RPG publisher Flying Buffalo. Unfortunately, hard copies are hard to come by in the UK, although I understand there maybe copies about to be distributed to FLGS.


It’s a striking production for those of us who are familiar with the 5th edition gold box, for this is a thick, perfect bound, book with mock-marbalised pages and fully illustrated with familiar images plus new artwork, notably Steve Crompton’s maps. The same team that put the game together over forty years ago are still working on the game: Ken St Andre, Liz Danforth, Jim ‘Bear’ Peters and the publisher Rick Loomis. There is a sense of continuity as they are still actively playing the game. There’s also extensive input from fans from the T&T community too.

As I fluffed about in the potted history section, the real joy from this version of the rules, comes from the sidebars, or call out boxes, featuring sage wisdom about the game and a running commentary about how this version compares to other editions.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 19.53.51.png
An example of the wonderful, sage advice in the side-bars

They acknowledge that the combat system is simple, perhaps simplistic, so there are some elaborations included here that I like, such as SPITE damage that makes it possible to score a point of damage if a 6 is rolled. The rules for berserker combat are good too, allowing a character to give up their ‘adds’ in exchange for exploding dice re-rolls. There are times back in the day when I’d like to have thrown myself at a crowd of orcs wailing and screaming.

There’s sort of bestiary included in this edition too, with descriptions of ‘ill kin’ such as Hrogrs (ogre), and the racial characteristics of some of the main monster races. There’s an entertaining debate about the moral relativism prevalent in the 21st Century and the difficulties creating opposition in the world of equal opportunities for monsters.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 19.52.38.png


The book also provides elaborations and embellishments that have been developed by players and lovers of the game, including some notable characters and the Trollworld setting, which is described with examples of how the people and places have evolved during the gameplay. There’s an infectious enthusiasm built into the way that its written that really encourages players to discover and invent for the game themselves:

Any scenario, any piece of fiction or nonfiction can be mined for inspiration, from Sherlock Holmes to Kipling’s Mowgli, from classical Greece to the African veldt. Anything can be adapted with a little work and imagination on your part. Don’t stop at the tunnels! There are countless worlds beyond the dungeon.


In the next part of the GROG POD episode I interview Big Jack Brass (Jon Hancock) about his experiences of playing T&T, where he makes the point that the editions co-exsist with each other. Part of the charm of this edition and earlier versions is that it happily lets you decide whether are not to apply a new innovation or not. There’s a WIZ attribute as an alternative to spending STR when casting spells, but if you don’t want to use it, that’s ok, carry on as you were. Character Sheets are provided, but if you’re happy to keep using index cards that’s ok too.

Also in the next part we’ll be looking at solos for T&T and there’s one provided here. Abyss provides an opportunity to put a dead character through the wringer to see if it can live on and return to play. It might persuade Blythy that resurrection in some circumstances can work, however he’s going to be less impressed that the spell names remain daft.

If anything, DING-A-LING looks even more daft in a fancy cursive font.

Don’t let them put you off, otherwise you’ll be missing loads of RPG fun. –Dirk


Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls is nominated for a DRAGON AWARD – help your fellow delvers by voting for it – find the details here: http://deluxetunnelsandtrolls.com

* I’m going off page views of the web site here, I haven’t worked out how to measure the feed yet.

Episode 7 (Part 1) Tunnels and Trolls RPG

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 00.19.23

Download Episode
RSS Feed

Yes, it’s time for Solos and … satisfaction? It’s time for Tunnels and Trolls.


Caroline is in big hair and specs, because we’ve had another iTunes in America!

Potted History (4.00):

A quick run through of the origin story of T&T.

Open Box (8.23):

Brought to you from a replica of Dirk’s teenage bedroom, as we bring memories of the early games, until the dog signals that it’s time to leave.

The White Dwarf (30.22)

@dailydwarf has light pickings from the early days of White Dwarf, but there are some great St Andre pieces.

Judge Blythy Rules! (44.36)

We take time to delight in elegant simplicity.

Ed’s Bargain Shed (1.15)

The first games that Ed played were with T&T. Sister Barbara could prevent the discovery of Trolls and Girls at school.

There isn’t final section (1.22)

Update on the Patreon campaign.

Send in your Traveller questions and comments.

Details of the next part of the episode which will feature Big Jack Brass, Jon Hancock, in interview.