Fanzine Scrapbook: New Voyager Issue 1

During the introduction for GROGPOD 30, I mention New Voyager, the short-lived UK magazine that was: “Today’s magazine for those who can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Thanks to The Empire Strikes Back and other block-busters such as The Wrath of Kahn, as well as the NASA Space Shuttle launch, the interest in science fiction and all-things space was very much front and centre in 1982.

Around this point, Games Workshop were reaching out to a wider audience through genre magazines. In this issue, Steve Jackson provides an overview of the current state of the art of RPGs with a capsule review of the games available. There’s a couple on there that I’m not familiar with, such as Heroes of Olympus, Odysseus, and Universe. Fortunately, in pride of place is D&D, ‘rising star’ RuneQuest and Traveller (all distributed by Games Workshop, handy eh?). If you are interested in finding out more, you can send off for information, or enjoy a White Dwarf subscription a whole one pound cheaper than the normal price.

There’s a fairly dry listing of the episodes from the first series of Blake’s 7, which I suppose would have been indispensable given that the details were probably not available anywhere else.

The reason I was fascinated by this issue at the time was the contribution from my hero Mat Irvine who gave a report on the Shuttle programme. It might have been miserable in early-eighties Bolton, but we had a Golden Age of space travel to look forward to in the future. I can’t wait.

If you would like to see more, this is now available in the GROGLOCKER: a page of resources for Patreon supporters. See the post issued today to unlock.

Look, it’s those weepy things, covered in carpet.
I loved the article about building an airfix AT-AT
£49.95 … no thanks, I’ve seen a better offer:

Patreon Refresh

The 7th August is our 4th Anniversary.

The Podcast is entering the 5th year of production. There’s been 51 podcasts, over 50 blog posts, 3 GROGZINEs, 3 Volumes of The Collected Daily Dwarf, 3 GROGMEETs, 2 virtual GROGMEET, and over 500 hours of online play with Patreons supporters.

We do this for fun and we’ll keep doing it while it stays fun.

The GROGSQUAD patreon campaign

We have a Patreon campaign to support the different projects and incentivise us to get better at what we do.

Thank you to all the people who have come and gone and, especially, those who have stuck around over the years. In the current uncertain climate and with the ever-mounting portfolio of micro-subscriptions nibbling away at your income, it’s very much appreciated that you give us a tip every month.

Over the coming months we have more podcast content planned, including interviews, GROGGLEBOX, actual play samples, as well as the usual bobbins from Blythy and Daily Dwarf.

I’m sending out the final batch of GROGZINE19 to people who have joined us since March, so look out for them arriving soon. For GROGZINE20, I have a new idea, which I will share with you soon.


GROGSQUAD locker: A private space for fanzine PDFs and other shared resources. 
Monthly One-shots: Every month a 2 hour one-shot held on a Sunday evening between  21:00 – 23:00 online will be hosted by Dirk and Blythy on alternate months. 
Happy AP: Record and release raw recordings of the Monthly One-shots on a separate channel to the GROGPOD.
‘Zine Book Club: A monthly discussion about a zine from back in the day loaded into the GROGSQUAD locker. 

Thanks for your support.

Dirk and Blythy.

Quasits & Quasars – Fanzine Scrapbook

I’ve spent the weekend packing and addressing envelopes stuffed with the GROGZINE19 (and associated extras for Patreon backers at different levels). If you live in the UK, you can expect to receive it around the weekend.

This year we have designed the zine as a homage to the golden age of UK RPG zines from the early to mid 80s. One of the favourites from the era was Quasits & Quasars. There were 10 issues, including a team-up with DragonLords, and it is the latest to appear in the sluggish, Fanzine Festival.

“Played once, never again”

Edited by David Hulks, supported by his friend and GROGSQUADer Neil Hopkins (he’s done a great First, Last and Everything for Episode 29 of the GROGPOD), Quasit & Quasars was more about good content, rather than fiery exchange of opinion, by providing scenarios and other GM resources for both fantasy and SF genre games.

Unlike many others, it also featured solo games, Neil recalls carefully cutting and pasting the paragraphs together, using real scissors and glue, when composing the adventures.

From the three copies that I’ve studied (on loan from Doc Con’s Marc Gascoigne wing of his extensive RPG library) there’s a certain bias towards Tunnels and Trolls, which split opinion on the letters page. It was protected by the editors, promising a feature every other issue; as for Gangster! well, Gangster! got hit!

Dirk the Dice

The covers represented their coverage of the fantastic and the futuristic

You can almost feel the time draining as you read the page
There are loads of examples in zines where the editor apparently runs out of space or is filling space with a plea (chortle)
There was always a good, lively coverage of T&T, this provides an overview of the available material …
Hit Locations in Tunnels and Trolls!
Thieves in T&T!
Handwritten letters!!


IMG_2335.JPGWork has commenced on the annual ‘zine that we put together as a ‘thank you’ to Patreon backers of the Podcast, who keep us going with monthly tips into the hat.

The previous two issues are available to Patreons on PDF as hard copies are extremely limited. The print run will be determined by the number of Patreons at the end of 2018, so if you want a hard copy, you’ll need to sign up before the end of November.

This time, we’re looking beyond White Dwarf and taking our inspiration from some of our old school, favourite ‘zines such as the peerless DragonLords.

Russ Nicolson is on board to produce another wonderful cover for issue three and GROGSQUADer Marc Laming will be reimagining Daily Dwarf again.

The content list for the main magazine looks like this so far:

Steel Hearts and Straight Razors – an epic WarHammer Fantasy Role-playing scenario from Rog Coe –

Lempfahle hurled himself into the undergrowth, sprang up the high boundary wall and jumped down the other side, before pelting into the dark city streets.

Minutes later, he paused for breath outside a workshop, despite the interruption he still had a decent haul safe in the bag at his side; he’d lost his tools, but he could buy more. He exhaled with relief, it looked like ‘Three Balls’ had pulled it off again.

It was then he saw the blue glow from the corner behind him and the skittering of barbed feet as a vision of chaotic horror raced shrieking toward him….

Author Niall Hunt goes in search of his past and the Midlands Role-Playing Club

There’s no school like the Old SchoolThe Old Scouse Role-Player, Neil Benson, provides an introduction to the OSR

Ramshackle – Nick Edwards looks back at the appeal of the Judges Guild

FRP Family Tree – FRP writer Sean Hillman looks at the different directions that d100 games have grown towards.

Still Golden? – Jerry Nuckolls found Golden Heroes 1st edition after hunting for it for thirty odd years, what did it reveal?

More content is promised from great the great GROGSQUAD talent pool: watch this space for more.

This year, depending on your pledge level, you’ll get a bundle which will include The Collected Daily Dwarf Volume 3, with essays on the Golden Age of White Dwarf about Judge Dredd, Paranoia, Golden Heroes and more.

For the first time, you can ‘own’ the dubious wisdom of Judge Blythy in his ‘Book of Judgment‘ where he hand-picks and analyses 10 of his favourite mechanics.


Not sure what you’ve missed in previous years? Thankfully, Pookie has provided his usual forensic analysis on his long-running, always interesting, Reviews from R’Lyeh.

All this is due to be released in January 2019. Keep watching for updates.

1D6 Operation Fast Pass


When I was preparing Ep. 11 TOP SECRET, I was desperate to play the game again. I was keen to understand how the rules worked in play, as they’re paradoxical: a class and level game, that doesn’t really use class and levels; a neat character attribute generator that doesn’t tell you how to use them; a system of intuitive D100 mechanics peppered with clunky ‘outcome tables’.

I said in the GROGPOD: “It’s a narrative game trapped in a simualtionist rule-set”.

Is it really? Was it really a game of understated genius, or was it as Judge Blythy said “a bit weird.”

The only way to find out is to play the game, so the online GROGCLUB opened up for business last week to play the TSR module: Operation Fastpass (Code Name: Puzzle). It’s a scenario set in the Cold War era complete with ‘straight of central casting’ KGB agents.

The set up goes like this:

CLASSIFIED: Administrator – Priority A

SITUATION: Andrei Lerekov, a communist code expert, has sent a secret message indicating his desire to defect. Lerekov is the author of several military codes and has information of vital importance. He will be the guest speaker at the European Puzzle Editor’s Conference in Budapest.

OBJECTIVE: Help Lerekov to defect and ensure of his safe arrival in a friendly country.

AUTHORISATION: Administrator and Agents will operate under the authority of Section Mercury, ISB.


MISSION: Agent team will infiltrate the conference suite under cover, locate Lerekhov, neutralise enemy security, and get Lerekov out of the country. Security forces may include hostile agents.

Team personnel are authorised to use any means necessary to accomplish this mission.



Here’s 5 highlights and a lowlight from the first session.

The Setting The pitch that I made to the players was that it was going to be Man from U.N.C.L.E. with eighties chic meets Ocean’s 11. I realised when preparing the session that this was best viewed as a period piece. Although the agencies involved were the ‘real’ KGB and GRU unlike THRUSH or SPECTRE, for example, there’s an absurdity to the scenario now that we know more about the actual state of Soviet intelligence. They’re pitched as ruthlessly efficient, but it is probably better to see them as comic caricatures, because that what they seem like now.

I like how TOP SECRET equips the players with the Spy-fi gadgetry which allows this tongue-in-cheek approach possible.

The KING is keen to make sure that this mission is a success after the failure of the last one.

The Characters  The players had great fun selecting actors from the period to represent their characters and they all adopted code names from a pack of cards, as they were known by the ISB as ‘The Lucky Deck. Once shuffled they were deniable assets installed behind the Iron Curtain.

KING of Clubs – Technician – Lead, Field Agent
QUEEN of Hearts – Assassin – Second in command
Diamond JACK – Infiltration
The KNAVE – Infiltration
The ACE of Spades – Investigation
JOKER – Technician

The KNAVE knows that the QUEEN is something of a loose cannon.

The Tourist The adventure is constructed as a Hotel Dungeon, with rooms of interest designed for exploration and encounters rolled on tables at various points of the action. There’s enemies, allies and traps … that’s right … traps … for the player characters to discover as they search for Lerekov.


I re-engineered the scenario so that it was suitable as a shorter, more action focused, session, but I’ve retained some of the encounters, such as the spy fiction enthusiast who has been keeping an eye on the ‘Ruskies’

He’s an American Industrialist, looking to make contacts, but also adding to his interest in the world of espionage by watching the comings and goings in the hotel. There was a great ‘side-scene’, almost ‘off-camera’ as the hapless ‘cobbler’, the KNAVE, sought his papers so that he could get the team out of Hungary. He wasn’t quite ready to tell the King that he wasn’t ready..

 The Trade Craft 

He’s the master of the switch-switch, not a lot of people know that …

The best aspect of the session was seeing the players getting into the mode of thinking like spies. The KING and the JOKER did a sweep of the room to dry clean it before the rest of the team arrived to share their humint on the movements within the hotel. They found a bug in the light fitting, so they used a Fusion Jazz LP to turn their discussions into white noise.

Last on the team sheet, the first with the answers …

They also used an elaborate bug system that dangled out of the window to listen to the room below, where they hear talk of the sinister myasnik, an infamous GRU general.

There was also a great scene where the Diamond JACK and the ACE of Spades exchanged a vital piece of information in an audacious ‘brush pass’ under the noses of the goons in the lobby filling with puzzlers.

The Imposter In a ludicrous piece of plotting, it turned out that there were TWO Lerekov  ‘s at the event and they need to use a code word to determine which one one is which, unless the QUEEN gets them all killed first.

Roll 20. The only downside is the increasing flakey behaviour of Roll 20. In recent months, it seems that the platform struggles with more than 4 in a game. We soldiered on, because peace and freedom was at stake…  Although, there was one agent, willing to take matters into her own hands …

The QUEEN – they knew that she liked to shoot first before asking questions …

The online GROGCLUB is one of the many benefits of being a PATREON of the GROGNARD files Including a chance to determine the subject of the end of the year podcast. The nominations are open this week, with polling taking place next week. There’s RuneQuest and Gangbusters planned later in the year. To find out more, on the page.

Down the back of the armchair …


Back in the hey day of the esteemed WORD, when it was a Magazine, A Podcast and a way of life, there was a weekly round-robin that was fired out by e-mail every Friday titled “Something for the weekend …”. I loved it. This was in the naughties when it was still possible to be awestruck by tiny corners of the internet, such as Casey Neistat’s brilliant examination of the phenomena of chatroulette or birds with arms.

Nothing is that tiny any more.

Now, there’s a sense that everything is being pushed at us all of the time. I feel so inert in the face of all the stuff I’m supposed to read, that I end up reading nothing at all, apart from the endless diply rabbit holes of pictures of celebrities looking a bit older than I remember them.

I set a Patreon goal of doing a weekly newsletter with my recommendations of ‘consumed media’ in the spirit of Ken and Robin Talk Quickly About Stuff. They provide a weekly digest of the stuff they’ve been watching for their Patreons. For our homage/rip-off of the idea, I set an impossible target that was reached very quickly thanks to the generosity of our listeners.

Do you really need someone else pushing stuff under your nose to consume, when you barely have time to speak to your family? Do you want another anxiety inducing missive that merely confirms that everyone else seems to be having a much better time then yourself? Really?

OK. If you insist. Rather than presenting this as fortnightly, unmediated collection of capsule reviews, I will be approaching this as a sort of ‘mix tape’ that I’ll compile of stuff that has caught my eye and I think is interesting, or at least, worthy of a pithy comment. This first one is available on the blog, future editions will be for Patreons only.



I, GEMINI (Let’s Eat Grandma, Transgressive Records, 2016)

There’s something simultaneously beguiling and terrifying about the sound of Let’s Eat Grandma. The precauciousness of the performers are taunting yet charming. The album is a collection of folk infused, complicated, music-box melodies, best exemplified by the signature track EAT SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS. There’s the echo of a repertoire of female voices from past popular music: Kate Bush, Bjork and even Martin Harnet era Clare Grogan, but it’s the experimental music that stands out. Recommended.


COLD FEET (Mike Bullen, etal,ITV)

During a recent discussion on The Gamerstable podcast, the hosts were complaining that a revival of the nineties is now overdue. Over here in the UK, the revival has been spear-headed by a reissue of the appalling Oasis album BE HEAR NOW and trendy ‘dramady’ COLD FEET; exemplars of modern Manchester feeling a bit too pleased with itself. When it comes to pre-millenial angst of Generation X, THIS LIFE was better, but with COLD FEET the characters were … well … nicer. This new series catches up on the old gang of friends while they are deep into middle age with all the complicated baggage that it brings. John Tompson plays put-upon Pete who is wrestling with depression while tackling euthanasia of one of his care ‘clients’. Karen is a sexually charged power-dresser having affairs and taking control of her own destiny. Jenny is the matriarchal comedy figure thanks to Fay Ripply’s stupid attempt at a Manc accent. David is undone by the most interesting plot line about old fashioned business morality clashing with modern corporate responsibility. Adam … Adam is still the sanctimonious kidult with a face you’d never tire of punching.

I include it here as I thought it might be interesting in game terms to bring back old characters to ask the question where are they now? What about those flakey souls who came through Masks of Nyarlathotep? 20 years later, there’s another eclipse and the cults are reforming, picking up the conspiracy … the PCs have to come out of retirement to prevent it happening all over again. Or, in Glorantha, Duke Raus of Rone contacts the mercenaries years later as there are new residents in Five Eyes Temple ….

I wonder if Art Malik will be available as an NPC? He was wasted in COLD FEET. Meh.


Revisionist History (Malcolm Gladwell, Panoply, 2016)

Fuzzy-peg essayist brings his cogent analysis to audio with a theme of giving the past ‘a second chance’. In essence, Gladwell’s schtick is to challenge the conventional assumptions about a series of themes, from basketball technique to satire. He uses his familiar device of looking at the specific, making a general argument then returning to the specific again. The strongest episodes from this first series are the ones where he polemically challenges state-sponsored subsidy of the Ivy League Universities and the pernicious effect it has on the equity of the entire economic system of the US; he does this by examining the canteens in different educational establishments. They are thought-provoking conversation starters packed with little sparks of anecdotal wisdom that you’ll want to drop into your chats in the pub. Highly recommended.


JOBS (Boyle, US, 2015)

Silicon-valley hippy power-bot, Steve Jobs bio-pic. Artfully focusing on three periods of his life, the launch of three key products that came to define his personality in the world of consumer electronics: the Macintosh, NeXT and iMac. The use of the three act structure with its replicated encounters with family, friends and members of staff is a conceit that is very clever and allows the drama to focus on the focus of the protagonist. Fassbender is striking as the cool operator who rattles through his Sorkin tongue-twisting monologues with aplomb.  Winslet plays his long-suffering personal assistant Joanna Hoffman who provides a half-way house of humanity to mediate her boss’ irritable and irritating behaviours. Jeff Daniels is the paternal John Sculley who was brought into Apple by Jobs to “change the world” only to end up sacking Jobs due to his single-mindedness in the pursuit of Macintosh success. Steve Woz relentless pursuit of recognition for the Apple II developers is a counterpoint to the main dramatic trust of the movie, which is his relationship with Lisa, his daughter who Jobs denied for years until reconciling with her later in life.

There’s much fun to be had playing spot the Job’s aphorism during the movie as Sorkin’s screenplay is littered with them. Boyle makes as much as he can with the confines of the set, deploying his tool-kit of Brechian vvvssss techniques, such as projecting the launch of Sputnik on a hallway as Jobs waxes on about his vision for the world. All in all, it’s a film that easier to admire than like and if you want the real story of Jobs then I recommend the source of the story, Walter Issarcson’s doorstopper biography, which is wonderfully candid and written with great vigour. Better still, download the audio-book read by Dylan Baker as it is much more dramatically convincing than this film.


Disturbing the Peace (Richard Yates, 1975)

“I’m feeling down, put-upon, purposeless, middle-aged and impotent in the face of the world. A bit of Richard Yates will perk me up.” I tweeted the other day while on the way to work. Throughout the day I was offered words of support from concerned followers, “chin up” etc. I should have known better. I was making a comment about Yates, who is the laureate of suburban discontent and the crisis of masculinity in the late 20th century. This is not one of his best novels (it takes a bit of an effort to get through to be honest), but I do like Yates’ skill at creating desperate characters coping with the angst of modernity. John Wilder is a successful salesman who ‘has it all’ but he is no longer interested in family life, he has a chain of infidelities and he drinks too much. He decides one day that he’s not going home … Yates’ skill is the things that are left unsaid, the implied contextual circumstances, the sub-text behind the passive aggressive interactions between the characters. Anything by Yates is recommended, (he’s best known for Revolutionary Road(1961) but is his collected short stories are my favourite.


So, that’s the first collection, let me know what you think … too much … too little … I’d be interested in your views.

Adios Amigos



1D6 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.

Armchair Museum of Stuff


Today is the first anniversary of the Podcast.

Whizz. Pop.

The first episode had a painful birth, but I eventually managed to squeeze out the Runequest file on 7th August last year.


My internet presence began as a lauded Anonymous Work Blogger who lost out on a prestigious Guardian Award (judged by Bruce Sterling, no less) to a prostitute in 2003. Since then I have had various projects that come and go, some more successful than others. When began to seriously to get back in to the hobby in 2010, I held the desire to translate it into something…

Originally we had conceived an e-book of our memoirs of playing games back in the day. I don’t really have a voice for radio, I’m a hesitant, low talkin’ slow talker, but I love listening to podcasts and have been listening to them for a long time, so I really wanted to make one of my own.

My podcast inspiration came from RPG Gamer Dad who was a fellow gamer from back in the day who was trying to rediscover the hobby that he left behind. His podcast is currently on an extended hiatus, but the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half of long, and I urge you to go back and listen to his back catalogue. He has a sense of wonderment and excitement about the hobby that I can never hope to reach. Thanks to RPG Gamer Dad, I was introduced to the rigorous approach of Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria, a podcaster who takes care to research his subjects and present them from the position of subjective authority. Finally, the most important influence on theGROGNARDfiles is the late, lamented Word Podcast, hosted by Mark Ellen and Dave Hepworth who are veterans of the UK Rock magazine scene, who adopted the tone of two old duffers in conversation, sharing anecdotes and opinions on how the world of music was changing.

Of all the crazy projects that I’ve initiated, the podcast has been the most rewarding as it has put me in touch with so many great people, a whole network of gamers that I never really knew existed. The greatest element is getting feedback and the stories of people going up into the attic to recover the games they used to play back in the day.


Our Patreon campaign has reached another goal which unlocks something for backers only: a fortnightly digest of media consumed by The Armchair Adventurers. This was an idea directly stolen from Ken and Robin Talk Quickly About Stuff as it is a feature that they offer, however it’s going to be more like the “Something for the Weekend” e-zine that Word magazine circulated weekly, pointing out interesting corners to explore in a world where you are constantly bombarded with ‘push notices’ and links.

The Armchair Museum is a newsletter that handpicks 5 – 6 interesting, entertaining and unusual things that catch our attention, with pithy comment from us. Pith, we have a lot of pith.

Books, films, music, magazines, TV series, adverts, apps, stationery, and anything else in an eclectic mix tape made just for you.

The first one will be released in September and in a ‘try before you buy’ it will appear here. The rest will be for Patreon backers only.


I’ve been asked a number of times “What’s your plan to keep going in the long term?” The number of old games is finite, so the format we’ve adopted has the potential run out of steam. Don’t worry, we have enough fuel in the tank to keep us going at least for the next 12 months. We’ve got interviews, campaign specials, DVD commentaries and lots more games to come. The podcast will keep coming while it’s still fun and not a chore.

Thanks for backing, commenting, reviewing and plain old listening over the past 12 months… here’s looking forward to another 12! Dirk

GROGMEET Update! – July

GrogMeet 2016 (corrected)



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


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 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. This is an original adventure based in the official setting Promise City entitled “Matthew 12:43”

GM: Ian Griffiths


  • Judge Blythy from the GROGNARD files will be running a STORMBRINGER adventure to feed Arioch with souls.
  • We’re delighted to have GM @Asako_Soh on the team, who is fresh from running games at UK Games Expo and the D&D Tweetup,  to run a classic adventure for West End Games Star Wars RPG
  • Dirk the Dice will be taking players to Glorantha in a Classic RUNEQUEST scenario: Assault on Lunar Outpost XIII.


The event will begin with demonstrations and ‘pick up and play’ board games hosted by – the home of convivial gaming. Cris Watkins will help us get in the gaming mood with mass participation games and a pop-up library of sample games to play.


The event is being held on 12th November at Manchester’s Mad Lab, in the heart of the city’s Northern Quarter. Doors open at 10.00 for board games and chat, RPG sessions begin at noon and will finish at 4.30 – 4.45.

There’ll be a short presentation at the end of the event to launch theGROGNARDfiles ‘zine – doors close at 5.00pm.

Use the eventbrite page link here – let me know if you have any issues.


The GROGNARD files ‘zine will be launched at the end of the event and every attendee will get a copy to take home.

The Armchair Adventurers are currently burning the mid-night oil to create content for the ‘zine. Thanks to the support of Patreons we’ll also be including the collected works of @dailydwarf.

To get a copy, you’ll need to be registered as a Patreon before the end of September. The Patreon campaign supports the podcast and helps to develop other projects. There’s the chance to play in online games (using Roll20) as well as additional material.

Thanks – Dirk