Skip to main content

The Shadow of RPGs

This wonderful slice of darkness turned up recently, and sparked equal excitement and nostalgia in me. Shadow of the Demon Lord is a traditional, pen-and-paper RPG (roleplay game, like Dungeons and Dragons if you must). It is written by Rob Schwalb, who - if modern RPGs are ruled by a pantheon of super-powerful supernatural beings - is a demon lord of RPGs. On many levels Shadow of the Demon Lord is my kind of thing; it has demons, and a grim take on fantasy, and a polished game system under the hood. On another level just picking this up and reading through it made me smile, and do some reflecting on the past.

I used to run a lot of RPG games, and collected source and system books to the extent that they took over the room I rented when I was a student. I also earned my first real money and writing credits working on RPGs. Coincidently one of those first writing jobs was with Rob, on a little game called Dark Heresy. I won't lie - it was great. I learned how to hit a deadline, how to survive an acidic review, how to collaborate with other creatives, and all kinds of other things the books don't tell you*. I also got to work with a gab bag of talented people: Alan Bligh, of Forge World fame, Mike Mason, who now holds the reigns of Call of Cthulhu at Chaosium, Kate Flack, Owen Barnes, and Rob to name only a few,

That was ten years ago this year, which seems an implausible length of time, but the calendar tells me it's true, and so it must be. Looking through Shadow of the Demon Lord it does not seem that long ago at all. It seems like yesterday.

*Thinking about it maybe I should write down some of those lessons, maybe even on this blog. 


Popular posts from this blog

Alan Bligh Remembered

Alan Bligh - 1974 to 2017 This is not something I ever wanted to write.   Alan Bligh died on the 26th of May 2017 after a brief fight with cancer.   I met Alan in 2003. I was on the edge of deciding that a career in academia was not for me, he looking for something to do after going through university as a mature student. We both answered adverts for part time mail order staff to work at Games Workshop. They employed us both, and I got both a job that lasted a couple of years, and a once in a lifetime friendship. Now, facing the prospect of the future without him, and seeing the impact that he has had on people, made me want to tell those not as lucky as me what he was like. Alan had a fierce intelligence, boundless creativity, and a will to put them to use. It’s fairly common to find people who want to write, or design games. Lots of people have lots of ideas and some of them might even think about doing something with them, but mostly those people only get as far as

What are the Horusian Wars?

'So you're doing a book on Inquisitors…' 'Yup.' 'Cool, but what is this Horusian War thing?' What indeed. Prompted  by a few short stories I did last year, questions like this keep coming up. Which is great, because at the back of all authors' skulls lurks the dread that we have decided to tell a story that no one will be interested in. But, thankfully, you guys are intrigued, and the questions have made me think that I should give some kind of answer on what the Horusian Wars are. So here I am, not with one answer, but, of course, with several. Answer 1: The Horusian Wars is my next 'thing'. By 'thing', I mean the topic of most of my writing for Black Library at the moment (apart from the Horus Heresy, and no, I haven't forgotten Ahriman). At the core of the Horusian Wars is a series of novels. The first book is done, and was announced at Black Library Live last November

Ahriman Series - Order of Stories

If you are tracking the Ahriman series and wondering how the novels, short stories and audios fit together, here is the running order: All is Dust*   (short story) - Exile  (novel) - The Dead Oracle*  (short story) - Fortune's Fool  *(short story) - Hounds of Wrath*  (short story) - Honour of the Space Marines, The First Prince*  (audio) - Gates of Ruin*  (short story) - Sorcerer  (novel) - Hand of Dust*  (