In Review: 2014

Disappointment would be the word that best sums up 2014.

I can’t pretend that I managed to achieve anything this year under the Just Crunch banner, other than sell some physical product at conventions and electronic versions through the Arion Games store on RPGNow.

Despite my good intentions, I have not extended the Consult Appendix Z line of random table products, despite having plenty of ideas. Somewhere along the line I have not prioritised my activities in a way that has made this possible. Practical, yes – I wouldn’t suggest that I haven’t had the opportunity; I have failed singularly to seize the day.

Electronic sales have been trickling along, and such is the nature of these things. I do take the book versions of Consult Appendix Z and Blessing of St Agnes to cons – and I do what I can to raise awareness about them. I think they’re all good product.


Then again, I also think Stench of the Sea happens to be pretty neat too, but I suspect I need to consider another angle to sell it as a product for gamers to consider. It’s a micro-setting packs with adventure ideas, sites for playing in, and interacting non-player characters. I have cards in their for reference. I have a method for generating mines. I have maps and magic treasures. On top of all that, it isn’t tied to any particular system, so you can use it with any game. I’m going to have to think about it.

My writing for Maelstrom remains popular. I continue to champion the Beggars Companion as a great supplement for anyone wanting to include historically accurate vagrants in their games, whether as player or non-player characters. It offers context to the existence and treatment of ‘sturdy men’ that applies outside of the Tudor period. It outlines two dozen approaches taken by men and women alike to make a living in their sorry state, through one means of deception or another.

The reviews for the companion have been solid enough, and I’m first to concede that every book needs at least one more edit than it ever finally receives!

The Beggars Companion is a reasonably well presented book. It is lightly illustrated and although it is an easy read, it could have done with a closer edit in places. Overall, this is an interesting little book that nicely expands upon an aspect of Tudor England and Maelstrom. It would be nice to see it supported with more adventures and even a campaign, but in the meantime, there is plenty of detail and background material for the Referee to bring to his game.

Review from R’lyeh, November 2013

I aspire to write more this year. For me, that will mean more work on my game system, 214, and the associated settings, including The Dee Sanction. If I can, I will also get those promised Consult Appendix Z volumes completed, because between electronic and physical sales, one or two a month is quite alright to me.

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