Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.
One of the gaming podcasts, The Grognard Files, interviewed me a while ago. The first part of it covering the White Dwarf years, is here:
More to come on my later stuff, not sure when.
I recently learned that one of my old articles for Pyramid magazine is on line on Steve Jackson Games' web site - Holy Klono!, a discussion of a religion for GURPS Lensman. So far as I can remember it's the only article they ever published for this setting, which is a shame.
Something to give you an idea, a typical small advert from a newspaper in this setting:
LET THE POWER OF KLONO INTO YOUR LIFE!
Since the dawn of Civilization thousands have owed their lives and fortunes to the intercession of KLONO. Wild Bill Williams was an unsuccessful asteroid miner, dogged by pirates and claim jumpers, until he bought a LUCKY KLONO STATUETTE; on his next mining trip he found a meteor worth FIFTEEN HUNDRED CREDITS, and went on to make a series of MASSIVE ORE FINDS. Vesta of Vegia was a lowly translator until she learned Spaceal and began to SWEAR BY KLONO; within weeks she WON 1,762,810 CREDITS and BROKE THE BANK of Club Elysian on Chickladore, and went on to become a PROMINENT VEGIAN BANKER. Kimball Kinnison is known to have SOUGHT KLONO'S INTERCESSION many times in his career; today he is GALACTIC COORDINATOR! Now YOU TOO can own a LUCKY KLONO STATUETTE, identical to those belonging to many FAMOUS PERSONALITIES AND CELEBRITIES! Send a check or money order (no cash or stamps please) for a mere Five Credits to LUCKY KLONO STATUETTE, 934 Strata Towers, Dublin, Tellus. Money back if your fortunes have not improved within 28 days of receipt of a LUCKY KLONO STATUETTE. Offer void where prohibited by law - handling charges may apply in the second galaxy - Mars residents add 1 cento sales tax.
The article is here
Hodgson and Clark Ashton Smith offer
The Bundle Of Holding people are currently offering a big collection of fiction by William Hope Hodgson and Clark Ashton Smith, with added Cthulhu-mythos fiction by many other authors.
Since they're primarily an RPG distributor there's also some gaming content - Forgotten Futures IV, The Carnacki Cylinders, which is based on Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. Unfortunately I was only asked to participate a few days before the offer went live, so this isn't an all-new edition, it's just the same files that I have on line here. I'm not actually getting anything out of this except possibly more people reading my work, but the bundle supports charity and the eBooks are nicely laid out and presented.
The offer ends in ten days, which would appear to be the morning of November 9th, my time, but it's cheaper the earlier you buy it.
The Children of Captain Grant by Jules Verne
Last year Don Sample asked me if I'd like to host his new translation of The Children of Captain Grant, AKA In Search of the Castaways, by Jules Verne, with a lot of illustrations from earlier publications. I set it up on this site, but a few days later my web hosts had to restore the site from a backup which (as it turns out) deleted the front page links to the translation, and I didn't notice the change. I'm going to try to redo the front page in a moment, if it doesn't work the relevant page is here:
You will probably need to open it in a new window or tab, otherwise it will be squashed into the window on this page.
As Easy as A.B.C. Cover
A couple of years ago I put illustrated versions of Kipling's With The Night Mail and As Easy as A.B.C. on line, with some notes on their publication and variations.
As Easy as A.B.C. was serialized over two issues of The London Magazine. At the time I said
The cover of the March  issue was related to this story; unfortunately it was not included in the bound volume from which this was scanned. The illustration on the next page was originally a small photograph of a very battered copy of the magazine; I’ve corrected perspective etc. but couldn’t do much about its size. I don’t know if the April issue’s cover was relevant; any information would be welcome.
I've just found an image of the April issue's cover and it has nothing to do with Kipling, it's a bit of mawkish patriotism, a generic British soldier hugging the flag, so apologies to anyone who has actually tried to research this for me!
Bushfire Charity Bundle News
A couple of weeks ago I heard that there was going to be an RPG bundle in support of charities associated with the Australian bushfire disaster. I put Elvis: The Legendary Tours in (only one title per per publisher was allowed) and they ended up with so many contributions that they had to run EIGHT different themed bundles. This ended on the 11th; all together they've raised a bit over USD $218,000, or $325,000 AUD! All earnings will be divided equally between the following charities:
1. Red Cross of Australia’s “Disaster Relief and Recovery” fund, and
2. Australian World Wildlife Fund’s “Bushfire Emergency.”
I'm very sorry that I forgot to mention it here - to be honest, it just slipped my mind. Many thanks to everyone who did buy these bundles - and if you missed out, there are still plenty of ways to support these charities.
More details here
This year's Online Xmas Card...
You may need to open the link in a new window or tab.
For best results print it double sided on card with short edge binding, and fold it so that the picture is the front of the card.
This is a little rushed and not quite as good as I would have liked, I started at about 1 AM on Christmas Day...
Charity Bundle Results
The charity bundle sold 1,092 copies and raised $3,665.12 after transaction fees from Paypal, Amazon etc., which were fairly high because of the small size of transactions. The average donation paid was $3.79, the highest I think was $30.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed.
Bundle of Holding Birthday 2019 Bundle - For Charity
The Bundle of Holding Birthday 2019 games bundle includes various free RPGs, including Forgotten Futures, and is being sold in aid of charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund, which helps games designers in need of support. The offer is only running for two days, and there's a lot of good stuff in there...
Server Crash Update
Things should now be working properly again - please let me know if you spot any problems.
There has been a catastrophic server failure affecting the Forgotten Futures web sites - I've uploaded a backup, but at the moment it's only accessible as forgottenfutures.org - files that were accessed as forgottenfutures.com or forgottenfutures.co.uk are giving error messages. I'm still waiting to hear back from technical support about this, hopefully it's fixable.
There's currently a recurring problem with pages on this site that are linked as forgottenfutures.com - I thought I'd fixed it a month or so ago but for some reason it's come back. It's caused by some sort of domain registration error.
I'm trying to fix it permanently, but as a temporary work around all of these pages should open correctly if you copy the link, paste it into the browser, but replace .com with .org before pressing enter. Please let me know if you find any page that won't open this way.
Like all EU web sites I need to comply with the GDPR rules on privacy.
This site does not collect data, and I no longer take user registrations. I still retain a list of previously registered users in case there is any query, but I have no intention of sending out mailings and have never given the details to any third party. This file will be deleted seven years after I closed registration.
If you make a donation via the PayPal button I will send you an email thanking you - after that I will NOT bother you or send out any unsolicited emails. Again, I will not be passing details to any third party.
I should probably point out that PayPal keep their own records, and I have no way of knowing what they do with them.
Finally, I think that XKCD has it about right:
Site Support Donations
I've decided to change the percentages I donate to charity from user contributions. In future I will be donating 50% to Cancer Research UK until site costs are covered; once costs are covered, 100% of the money donated will be paid to Cancer Research UK. I'm doing this because the original rate wasn't raising much for charity, this will make sure that it gets more.
Apologies that the site redesign hasn't happened yet, I'm still trying to come up with a way to do it which won't break all of the links from other sites - for example, there are a large number of links from Wikipedia - and won't require the creation of hundreds of extra files which would have to be tested. Hopefully I'll get it sorted this year!
This year's Online Xmas Card...
For best results print it double sided on card with short edge binding, and fold it so that the bigger picture is the front of a "tent" style card.
Due to a severe cold I probably won't make Dragonmeet - and I don't really think players would appreciate me spreading my bugs if I do feel well enough to go there, so I've reluctantly decided to cancel the scenario I mentioned. Many apologies!
This Year's Dragonmeet Adventure
I'm going to be running one adventure at Dragonmeet this year, in the afternoon slot (3-7 PM but probably nearer 3 hours than 4)
Title: Bring Me The Head of Harry Potter
System: Diana, Warrior Princess
Word on the streets in LA is that someone has put out an open contract on some British kid, just out of school. There's a hundred thousand dollars waiting for anyone who can kill him and prove that they did it.
All you need do first is check in with some crooked lawyers, they'll tell you all you need to know about the kid and his travel plans. After that the money is as good as yours!
Knowledge of Harry Potter, Angel, The Sopranos and Pulp Fiction is possibly helpful...
Note: Knowledge of any fanfic with this title I may have written in the past will probably NOT be very helpful.
Photobucket have abruptly changed their service and blocked links to other sites, unless you pay massive amounts of money for their highest priced level of service, and some of the material on the Forgotten Futures site is currently missing its illustrations. Instead you get something like this which really isn't terribly helpful:
Fortunately the fix to this is comparatively simple - I need to get my act together on putting the whole FF CD-ROM on line, since all of the illos will then be on my own site. I'm hoping to get this done over the next few weeks - until then, many apologies for the problem.
New Article on Site
I've been wanting to post this for ages, but couldn't because H.G. Wells is one of the authors and was still in copyright until the end of the year. Then I forgot in January, for which many apologies:
The English House of the Future from The Strand Magazine December 1903: No author credited for the first section, though various architects are quoted at length, the end section is by H. G. Wells.
This year's online Xmas Card
On line here - for best results print double-sided
The illustration is here
Still working on the site redesign - hopefully on line early next year.
And to all a good night...
Dragonmeet Scenario - Case Nightmare Orange
If anyone was wondering, this is what I'll be running in the afternoon at Dragonmeet on December 3rd:
GM: Marcus Rowland
Scenario Name: Case Nightmare Orange
Game System: Diana: Warrior Princess
Description: As Queen Elizabeth approaches her ninetieth birthday there are rumours of trouble that may mar the ceremonies. Thatcher the Undead Chancellor has risen from her grave (again), the Church of England predicts the rise of an Anti-Queen, and strange lizard men seem to be doing their best to assassinate the adventurers. Oh, and the island of R'lyeh has apparently applied to join the UN, but that's probably someone else's problem.
Business as usual, in other words, for Diana: Warrior Princess and her friends...
At the moment I'm not planning to run anything in the morning, but this may change.
This site will be moved to a new server on November 3rd-4th, and will probably be off-line at some stages of the move. Hopefully there won't be any long-term problems, I'll post more on this as things develop.
Flatland in Indie Games Bundle
The Original Flatland Role Playing Game has been included in a bundle of Independent RPGs currently on offer. As usual all of my income from this will go to Doctors Without Borders.
Update 27/9/16 - the offer is now over, and I've just donated £400 (my share rounded up slightly) to Doctors Without Borders. With Gift Aid that becomes £500, and will hopefully be useful.
Life, the Universe, and Returned Payments
I've just received £42 in returned refunds from PayPal - about two thirds was from people who it turns out don't currently have PayPal accounts set up for the email addresses they'd given me, the rest were people who declined the refund, one of which was my error, a person who'd already said he wanted his money to go to charity. Since I have no good way to chase up the others, all of this money will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
Update - paid to Cancer Research UK 6th July 2016. New total for that charity £2342.
If anyone thinks that they should have received a refund please contact me, otherwise I hope that this process is now complete.
Site Update Phase 1
The first part of the site update is now complete - I've put the Forgotten Futures CD-ROM on line as a free zip file (follow the link to it), and added "tip jar" buttons at several points for those who want to support the site and Cancer Research UK. Please be patient if downloading the file takes a while, especially at first, and please try to get it from Megaupload or Dropbox before getting it from this site directly. If I can figure out how to set up a torrent I'll do so.
Phase 2 will be putting all of the CD-ROM contents on line so that they can be read without downloading the entire CD. After that I hope to add more content, and possibly get back to game design.
All of this will take quite a while - please be patient, I hope you'll enjoy the eventual result.