Episode 20 (Part 1) Golden Heroes RPG (with Simon Burley)


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INTRO: This is a game that embodies the spirit of the podcast. It belongs to a period when the players were informing the gaming industry. Games Workshop decided to do a big budget version of the game. You can see the short film I made here (it’s less than 5 minutes)

OPEN BOX (with Simon Burley): As the co-creator of the game, Simon shares the story of its ups and downs. You can find SQUADRON UK at Drive Thru by following the link.

JUDGE BLYTHY RULES: We examine the rules with our resident rules lawyer.

OUTRO: News of the latest Patreons. and the aims of the campaign.

Golden Heroes – Unboxing

Episode 20 of the GROGPOD is coming later in April and is all about GOLDEN HEROES: a very smartly produced game that had a dramatic appearance, so I’ve made a short film to demonstrate the material.

I was very lucky on eBay. For £22, I managed to get everything that was produced by Games Workshop (in very good condition too), including all of the counters for all of the scenarios.

The pièces de résistance  was the un-billed inclusion of the original A5 rules that were published by Simon Burley and Peter Haines. They would schlep these rules around the convention circuit back in the early eighties where they gathered a strong reputation for the ability to replicate scenes from popular Marvel and DC comics. 

The game caught the attention of the Armchair Adventurers thanks to the great Brian Bolland cover for the first scenario pack LEGACY OF EAGLES. I ran the game with disastrous results (listen to the podcast for details). At ConVergence recently, we revived the game and had tremendous fun.

The podcast will be released in soon, until then, enjoy this short film.


Episode 19 – Paranoia RPG (with Paul Baldowski)


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INTRO: Thanks to a Poll of Patreons, we are examining a game that we never played back in the day … PARANOIA.

OPEN BOX: (with Paul Baldowski): Paul Baldowski was a writer for the Mongoose edition. He’s also runs Just Crunch which publishes The Cthulhu Hack. Also, make sure you check out the Fighting Fantasy accessories at All Rolled Up.

WHITE DWARF: @dailydwarf provides a survey of the surprising amount of PARANOIA material that appeared in White Dwarf after Games Workshop printed the second edition in the UK

ACTUAL PLAY: A sample from an online game of PARANOIA. You can’t beat a bit of bully.

GAMESMASTER’S SCREEN: One of Blythy’s clones talks about the game and why we never played it back in the day.

OUTRO: Thanks to Patreons and best wishes to Kalum of the Roliste Podcast

virtual GROGMEET 2018 ScrapBook

Last year, we reached a tipping point where we realised that most of our Armchair Adventuring was taking place online. Our never-ending quest to get more people to play games with continues. To support our endeavours we created virtual GROGMEET to complement the annual event in November.

Some of the GROGSQUAD wanted to discover online play for the first time and have the opportunity to play with the GMGMs that make GROGMEET in Manchester such a distinctive experience.

Squadron members from all over the UK plus others from British Columbia, Australia and North America were joined games of Numenera and Maelstrom and others listed below.

Of course the curse of online play bedevilled it with glitches and interventions from real life, but it was an enjoyable event by all accounts.

Hopefully, new gaming connections were made during the event and this is the beginning of more groups forming, because “play’s the thing”. Dirk

There’s more play reports from Neil and Kehaar, and on google plus from Andrew Jones and Andy Cousins

WarHammer Fantasy Role-Playing: A rousing version of Summer Holiday, a bar-room brawl, death and destruction in the opening scenario of The Enemy Within. Asako_Soh
Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Having climbed into the Butchers through the roof the party encounter a mutated dog in an attached room.  Engaging their OSR drive by trying to avoid unnecessary conflicts, they came up with a clever plan which became known as the Norwich Gambit.  Their scheme in place they opened doors while keeping out of the beasts reach and felt some degree of cleverness as their ploy worked and the external door was closed behind the dog as it wandered outside.  They were later to discover the consequences of that cleverness. Neil Benson
Judge Dredd RPG (GW): Andy, Mark and Brett – were soon in the middle of a firefight. All three really committed to the game, and inhabited the characters of their Judges really well. (The phrase “Eat Judge boot, creep!” was deployed to much satisfaction.) They were very inventive both in their use of the tech, and in their theories of what the clues they uncovered could mean … (continues)
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Judge Dredd RPG: Their detection methods were also top-notch, leading me to short-circuit one part of the adventure as I thought their ideas deserved to be rewarded. The big finale played out well (sound effects on roll20 at least worked out very well), although at times I felt I was losing “flow” somewhat – I think that might have been down to the system showing its age, coupled with my inexpert hacking of the rules.
Overall, good fun for me to run again – I had an excellent set of players who threw themselves into the setting with gusto, and Mega-City One remains a great playground for roleplaying. Next time though, I think I might try a different rules system, more geared to pulp action.
Savage Worlds anyone? Alan Gairey
Night’s Black Agents: 1984, Harry Reeves pulled together a crew; a wheel wizard, box man and wire rat to black bag Frank Holton: a miner with connections in the USSR: “BagPuss is in the building”. Dirk.
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Cthulhu Hack: Good time was had by all. The use of my artwork murals and a trap based portion of the game generated a real ‘adventure game’ feel to play. Cthulhu hack worked well especially sanity erosion to build the players sense of dread and I’ve at least 3 different threads out of the game. All in all a result. Keehar.
HeroQuest: I had 4 players, with limited experience of Heroquest, so it was good to take them through the character generation system & how contests work. Heroquest is one of those systems that truly opens up through play, rather than reading the corebook- which reveals it’s pearls of wisdom after play.
Highlights included grabbing the heart of Orlanth from a Lunar Demon and then just about defeating that demon mid air in the Otherworld- the first time running the scenario we had had major conflict. All because of a “over-confident” character trait from one PC. Andrew Jones.







Virtual Grogmeet 18

Today was Virtual GROGMEET … a scrapbook will follow shortly, until then, enjoy this post from @nfbenson

Old Scouser Roleplaying

November seems such a long time ago now, but I still have great memories of games played and people met at Grogmeet 17.  Organised by Dirk the Dice, host of the Grognard Files podcast, this is an evening and full day RPG meetup in the heart of Manchester.  For those who were unable to attend Dirk arranged Virtual Grogmeet, an evening and day of gaming taking place this weekend over Roll20.

The event was arranged well in advance with lots of time to consider what adventures to run.  I had thought of running something Pulpish, but ultimately decided to stick to my favourite system, offering to run one of the published Lamentations of the Flame Princess scenarios Forgive Us.  Yesterday evening I was joined by Andrew, Graham, Howard, Steve and Tom as they set out to recover a green porcelain demon mask from the Tenebrous Hand.


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Virtual GROGMEET 18 – last few spaces


Limited places are now available for The GROGNARD files first ever online convention


A handful of places are still available for the games listed below:

Friday 13th April (20:00 – Midnight)
Title: Shattered Hope (introduction adventure)
Number of Players:  4
System: Dark Heresy (1st ed)
Brief description: Make ready your chainsword, strap on your bolter, and say a prayer to the God-Emperor, for Warhammer 40,000: Dark Heresy. You as the the closest ‘Inqusitor’ agents are sent to a world to deal with a particular problem. – this quick start is for those wanting to learn the system and explore the dark universe.
Beginner level …. there will be blood shed.
GM: Jon Dawson

Title: Sabeurs & Savant

System: Cthulhu Hack

Players: 4-6

Brief description: 1800, Napoleon has invaded Egypt intending to become a new Alexander the Great. Accompanied by scientists, he also intends to uncover the secrets of this ancient land. He’s despatched the player characters a mixed bag of scientists and soldiers to uncover an artefact from the desert sands….


GM: Keehar

Saturday 14th (10:00 – 13:30)

Title: Better Living Through Chemistry

System: Judge Dredd RPG

Players: 4

Brief description: In the aftermath of the Apocalypse War, life is hard in Mega-City One, even for the Judges in Sector House 170. Widespread desolation, mutie incursions through the Cursed Earth Wall, and a scarcity of resources are making it hard to uphold the Law. But new teams are being put together to ensure the citizens are kept in line, and that law and order are maintained. While fighting crime on the mean streets of the Mega-City, the players will need all their skills and cunning, but can they also find… better living through chemistry?

GM: Alan Gairey




To register: Head to WarHorn, register your details, allow a short period for ‘clearance’ and then sign up to the game.

Games Masters will be in touch with participants shortly.



Now & Then: Diary of an RPG Gulliver

Now and Then is an occasional series of blog-posts from members of The GROGSQUAD, sharing their stories, hints and tips and images from their ‘thawing out’ after the Deep Freeze. First, is Rog Coe, who you may recognise from the ’18 GROGZINE, he laid out and illustrated the scenarios in the distinctive White Dwarf style, he also wrote the Call of Cthulhu adventure. Find out about his return to gaming:

“Draw The Blinds on Yesterday –  through the lens of The Professionals: Cultists and the desperate battle it out with shotguns blazing, while Fire Vampires fly, and in the shed a combine-harvester fires up…”

The realities of real life seem to slowly cripple your gaming over the years.

It’s like being an RPG Gulliver, slowly pinned down by ropes, hammered in by little people; and not just your children; partners (no matter how easy going) work and responsibilities, all cause that time-destroying mallet to swing.

Gaming changed from 90’s Traveller sessions of 8 players round the kitchen table all weekend, down to 3 player D&D games in the 20-teens, crammed in the man-den once in a blue moon; and ultimately to nothing.

Until all you can do is lift a hand clear of the ropes to read an old supplement or click on a certain Bolton-based podcast.

‘Play is the thing’

Like an activation code for a sleeper agent, the Grognard Files’ steady drip of ‘newstalgia’ re-ignited my urge to play. The first ropes snapped, and the idea for the ‘RPG Club’ was born (catchy name I know).

It would have to involve new blood as well as the few old regulars, be in a venue that everyone could get to easily, and (at least until it was fully fledged) involve one shots, so it would feel light and fun, and if people didn’t like a system one time, (especially the first time players), there’d be something new the next.

Most importantly other people would have to step up and run their own adventures after my initial run of four, after 30 years of always being the GM I’d finally get a chance to play again. Grogmeet had whet my appetite.

And it’s worked so far, very well, we’re three games in, and everyone’s having fun.

We meet on the 1st Friday of the month, (be there or miss out), in a stylish games café, (full of everyday people of both sexes, all ages, all gaming), with good food and drink, and in reach of a disreputable pub (for post-game analysis).

We’ve got a core of up to 8 potential players, with a couple of super subs in reserve so there’s been a good number round the table for the first games, and likewise the number drawn to the pub after is increasing, people whose Venn diagrams might not coincide have an excuse to get together to game and beyond. I rolled in at 1.45 after the last game; don’t judge me, there was a lot of adrenaline to counteract!

“Albuquerque Starport Rebooted: Lazarou the Carrin appears, destined to die from a beak full of Force Axe – but not before a missile from his ‘lil friend’ cracks the concourse dome, pouring sand and sand sharks into the finale mix.”

Games I’ve had sitting on the shelves and never played are being dusted down, there’s fun to be had mashing up, retrofitting and adrenalin-pumping old scenarios, ‘Pimp My Module’ if you will. Like an awful singing show on TV – if they do well as a one shot a glittering campaign may await next year.

I’ve stretched new muscles GM’ing, after playing in a different style to long campaigns, it’s a lot of prep work each time, yes, and more of a workout because of the pace, but the results are worth it. Pre-gen bios for the players for instance, a new thing for me, have led to much fuller interaction, players are bringing relationships and grievances to the table.

And as the one shot is not so daunting for first time GMs there’s more than one player now reading rulesets and putting together a scenario. It’s not just a re-awakening of the group, it’s an evolution, into a many GM-headed beast.

My initial stint is up after our next game, (Marvel Superheroes RPG does Strikeback), and a new GM has the next game ready: ’55-ish Days At Peking’ where we’ll be playing troops of the colonial powers holding out against hordes of Boxers.

“Are we the baddies?”

I cannot wait. Rog Coe