Tuesday 11 June 2024

Mothership 1E


Five years ago I started working in ttrpgs. One of my first jobs was a little pamphlet adventure for a game that wasn’t really out yet, but that I’d seen enough of to know it was going to be cool. It was fun to write, people seemed to like it. I hadn’t even seen Alien.

Fast forward five years and 2d5 published adventures later, and Mothership has finally landed. I’m so proud to see this little game grow into the horrific behemoth it’s become.

You can get the box set for Mothership here, including a new starter adventure that I contributed to. You can also get the core rules for free. Also free are a companion app for Apple and Android (no relation), and more community resources and helpful fellow Teamsters than you can shake a space stick at.

I hope you all have fun dying horribly for many years to come x

Thursday 23 May 2024

GoGoGolf! is back, babyyyyyy

An all-new physical edition of GoGoGolf! is now available to preorder as part of the Details of Our Escape campaign from Possible Worlds!
  • Revamped art and layout from original artist Jon Bliss
  • Streamlined mechanics - everything is 2d6 now
  • More fun surprises???
And it’s only $5USD for print + pdf!

Big big thanks to Jon and to Tyler from PW for working on this with me. I made GoGoGolf! five years ago, my first year working in games. It’s my first ever ttrpg, and it means a lot to me that this very weird project still has fans after all this time. A polite golf clap to everyone who’s played and kept it going this long

Preorder now! And check out all the other great stuff you can get as part of this campaign on backerkit. Click here!

PS I have still never played golf in my life

Friday 1 March 2024


I’m making the difficult decision to close down the Graverobber’s Guide.

Lack of time and energy, as well as bad luck financially in and outside of my games work, have unfortunately gotten to the point where I no longer feel able to continue regularly writing for this blog. Instead of forcing things or slowing down, I feel like the best course for me right now is to take a break.

I will still be making stuff, and fulfilling any ongoing commitments. I’ve got some long-gestating projects that will hopefully surface this year. And I’m absolutely still taking on work, now more than ever tbh - contact me at graverobbers guide at gmail dot com

I’d like to thank everyone who’s read the Guide these past years, it’s been a lot of fun! For something that started as, and remained, basically just a notebook for me to blurt out my thoughts and ideas about our fantastic hobby, the response has been amazing. I got to do the best job ever because of this place.

Thanks especially to those of you who’ve commented on and shared your favourite posts. This is a solitary business and I’m not really part of any online discussion spaces, so it’s nice to know people are really out there.

If one person used something I wrote and had a good time with their friends, this has all been worthwhile. All the posts I’ve done here, good and bad lol, will still be here to read of course

If you’re able to help at all or just want to buy some cool stuff, my store is still open here.

I’d like to return some day. Until then, happy gaming x

Saturday 24 February 2024

Straturday, Light Breather

Got to admit I’m really not feeling it this week. I know one option would be to just not post, but it seems a shame to let the weekly posting streak die and also I think there’s value in sharing when you’re just not into it or up to much

Hobbies should be fun! Nobody’s making you do homework. Take a break, do something else or nothing at all. You’ll come back to your projects with a clearer mind and stronger drive, or you might get new ideas entirely

I think we all understand this, but make sure you actually do it. Relaxing can sometimes be something you have to actively do. (And because I know we’re all hobbyists and DIY folks here, make sure the things you do to relax are not just more work lol)

Just… stop. Schedule the time in, and make sure you use it unwisely. We’ll all be here when you get back.

While you do, my zinequest project is looking rough atm. That’s ok, I’ll live, and I know it was a slightly out there proposition int he first place. If you do want to support there’s still time, so check it out.

Take it easy ✌️

Monday 19 February 2024

Inconvertible Currency

 Riffing off this post 

Copper is the coin of the common man. Buy, hoard, sell, barter, clip, forge, steal and render unto Caesar. You’ll find it in pouches on the bodies you loot, trade it in for new adventuring gear. XP, if that’s your system. You can get just about anything an ordinary person might need with enough copper. In amounts only achievable through exploitation it could buy you safety, property, a retirement.

Gold is another thing entirely. Deals done in gold are made in the name of castles, armies, nations. Those who trade in it do so in shadowed vaults, behind grand tapestries, over tournament feasts. For these transactions, copper will not do, no matter how much you save. You may find someone offering gold for copper, or the reverse - the rate will always exceed your means, and there will always be some catch or scam at the rotten heart of the bargain. Gold demands to be inherited, conquered or betrothed. Hoarding it makes you not merely selfish, but a true Dragon.

In game this can be used to transition, wholly or in part, between the phases of play traditionally denoted by levels, the hardscrabble adventurer and the lord of the castle keep. A “gold” session is a banquet to entertain a new ally and sniff out a potential traitor. Then, back to a “copper” session for the journey to the western caves.

Being poor in either gold or copper forces players to resort to their wits, be it in dungeoneering or politicking, and offers a constant choice of two distinct avenues of progress. You could even have two “level” tracks, two types of XP for the two modes of play. And despite the distinct currencies, the two will naturally intersect - this is a single World, after all

(PS hey back my games)

Saturday 17 February 2024

Straturday Knight Reaper

Another chill one today! An artefact of these being weekly is that some weeks the weekend is just a weak end and there’s not much straturday to go around. I’m going to be recouping and playing some splatoon, how about you?

Ok, one cool thing. I sold off some old DS games over Christmas, but one I held onto so I could replay it was Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume. It’s a strategy rpg spin off of a series I never played, but I remember coming across it on sale in a game shop and picking it up on a whim, back when that was a thing people did.

Anyway, it’s a small, solid Square Enix title with hit-and-miss graphics and a very melodramatic, dark fantasy story about an emo boy getting revenge on the valkyrie who took his father to Valhalla. The central conceit is that as you progress through the various stages and gather allies, you can sacrifice them to further your personal goal. Said ally gets super powerful for that one battle, and then gets a somber death scene at the end, permadead. It’s an interesting decision, and one you’ll be forced to make as the game is decently challenging.

My favourite mechanic from this game though is Sin, which you “reap” by dealing damage over an enemy’s total HP. A defeated enemy disappears at the end of a battle round, but until that round ends you can keep doling out hits, generating Overkill which gets converted and fills up your Sin meter (doing the sacrifice thing auto-fills it).

This makes for really good gameplay! Now even weak enemies provide interesting decisions, you’re not just mowing them down because you know how easily you can kill them, but thinking about how much you can kill them. You have to think about which unit attacks when, based on their damage output. And do you leave that stronger enemy alive for one more round just so that you can overkill them next turn, or take them out while you have the chance?

Each level has a Sin threshold you’re encouraged to reach which gets you bonus items from the buxom french maid who accompanies you on your quest (accurate to the Norse sagas? Historians, weigh in below). And while there’s no penalty in the moment for not reaching a level’s goal, miss the target too many times and you’ll unlock the bad ending for the story.

Inspired by this mechanic, I tried to fold in something similar to the solo miniatures fighting game I’m working on. Feels like something with a lot of potential juice to it.

Hopefully a bit more hobbying time next week. In the meantime, have you looked at my zine quest project yet? Nearly 1/3 funded already!

Until next time, happy hobbying x

Friday 16 February 2024

Town Clock





-        A timepiece to act as your Town Clock. The rules assume the player is able to think about the game at some point or another between the hours of 14:00 and 00:00 each day (2pm-12am). If that doesn’t work for you, adjust the Town Clock to fit your schedule rather than real time. Do not adjust the Town Clock after you start playing.

-        Some way to keep notes, such as a journal and pen for doodling, an app or document, or an art piece such as a diorama made of junk that you can add to over time. You’ll be organising your game time by hours, days and weeks.

-        Two six-sided dice. If you see “XX” in the rules, that means a number you generate by rolling those two dice and adding the results together. “XXtc” means that time on the Town Clock, and game time ranges from 02tc to 12tc. Time outside of this range is for real life!



Hey! Where are you headed? Are you going to that town? Oh, you’re moving there, huh.


What’s that town called again? You should write it down.


I hear there’s a lot of stuff you can do in that town! Lots of people to meet, too.


Well, looks like we just arrived. Good luck settling in. Have a great time in your new home!



This is where you live! Give it a brief description or draw a picture.

Right now there are two items inside, a bed and a lamp. Your home can hold up to twelve items, and you can carry as many as you like in your pockets. Keep notes on what’s inside your home, updating when you get new items and erasing old ones to recycle them.



The first thing to do once you move in is introduce yourself! Roll a die to see what your neighbour is like, out of the six neighbour types listed below. Then, give them a name.


A neighbour has a type, and a level of FP from 0-12, so note these down. FP starts at 1, and you can learn more about how to increase it later. If a neighbour doesn’t gain any FP in a week, they lose 1FP. A neighbour with 12FP can’t gain or lose any FP, and will only move out if you want them to.


At the end of each week, it’s moving time! Any neighbours whose FP decreases to 0 move out. You can also roll a die again to have a new neighbour move in. Your town can have up to six neighbours total.



1.     Artsy. These neighbours love being creative! When one of these neighbours moves in, note down what kind of art they like making. Artsy neighbours are never too concerned about whether their art is any good or not, they just make things for fun.

2.     Fancy. These neighbours know how to take care of themselves! When one of these neighbours moves in, note down what’s cool or unique about their style. Fancy neighbours are wise about their budgets, and don’t chase trends needlessly.

3.     Hungry. These neighbours love food! When one of these neighbours moves in, note down their favourite food and drink. Hungry neighbours prefer healthy, balanced meals to random snacking.

4.     Lazy. These neighbours enjoy chilling out! When one of these neighbours moves in, note down a spot in your town where they like to relax. Lazy neighbours feel best relaxing after a hard day.

5.     Sporty. These neighbours love being active! When one of these neighbours moves in, note down their favourite sport. Sporty neighbours know not to push too hard and overexert themselves.

6.     Outdoorsy. These neighbours enjoy going outside! When one of these neighbours moves in, note down their favourite kind of place. Outdoorsy neighbours know how to stay safe when they’re exploring and look after nature.


If you’d like, you can also roll XX when a neighbour moves in to see what kind of animal they are.

2.     Octopus

3.     Horse

4.     Rabbit

5.     Mouse

6.     Dog

7.     Bird

8.     Cat

9.     Frog

10.  Cow

11.  Pig

12.  Kangaroo



Each day is a new opportunity to have fun in your town. Every day you can note down two activities. When you do, note down the current hour on the town clock as well.


Then, roll XX. If the result matches the current hour, you bump into a neighbour while doing that activity! Each activity will list the kind of neighbours you might bump into. If you bump into a neighbour, that neighbour gains 1FP.


If you do an activity in real life that you think one of your neighbours would enjoy, check the Town Clock and roll XX. If the result matches the current hour, that neighbour gains 1FP.



An activity where you go out and catch bugs! Roll XX on the chart below. If the result matches the current hour, you catch the bug you rolled on the chart! Treat it as an item.


You can bump into Artsy, Fancy and Outdoorsy neighbours while bug catching.


“You’re gonna want to go bug catchin’ in the evenings. Right around 7tc is prime time for insects, bro!”


2.     Ant

3.     Spider

4.     Grasshopper

5.     Bee

6.     Butterfly

7.     Firefly

8.     Woodlouse

9.     Cricket

10.  Moth

11.  Spider

12.  Ant



An activity where you sit and catch fish! For this activity you need to note down two times, the current hour when you start and the current hour when you finish fishing. You can’t do any other activities during this time.


Then, roll XX on the chart below. If the result is lower than or equal to the number of hours you spent fishing, you catch the fish you rolled on the chart! Roll XX to find its size. Treat it as an item.


You can bump into Hungry, Lazy and Sporty neighbours while fishing.


“The secret to fishing is patience, dear. The longer you wait, the better your chances.”


1.     X

2.     Moon fish

3.     Goldfish

4.     Trout

5.     Pike

6.     Crab

7.     Bass

8.     Crayfish

9.     Ray

10.  Anglerfish

11.  Shark

12.  Sunfish



You can invite a neighbour over to your place to hang out. This is seen as the sign of a serious friendship in your town! They will accept if you can roll XX equal to or under their current FP. If not, you can try again tomorrow, but asking still counts as one of your activities for the day.

You can choose the day, and they will suggest a time of XXtc. Note down the current hour at that time on that day, and that neighbour gains 1FP.


A neighbour who comes to hang out will gift you an item. Describe an item that matches that neighbour’s type.



You can stop by to see a neighbour at their place. Each neighbour is at home during different times of the day according to their type, as listed below. If you visit a sleeping neighbour, they won’t answer the door!


Artsy: Home 02tc-04tc, bedtime 10tc.
Fancy: Home 06tc-10tc, bedtime 10tc.
Hungry: Home 02tc-04tc and 07tc-09tc, bedtime 09tc.
Lazy: Home 06tc-08tc, bedtime 08tc.
Sporty: Home 07tc-09tc, bedtime 11tc.
Outdoorsy: Home 09tc-11tc, bedtime 11tc.


The first time you visit a neighbour and they’re home, note down three items they have at their place and number them. You should list and number any items at a neighbour’s place in this way. Describe items according to that neighbour’s type.


The next time you visit, roll XX. If you roll under or equal to that neighbour’s, FP, roll another die. If the result matches the number of an item at that neighbour’s place, they’re thinking of getting rid of it. You can take it if you want, otherwise it’ll disappear and be replaced next time you visit.


It’s considered good manners in your town to give a gift whenever you visit someone, so if you do, erase one item from your pockets and add it to their place. If a neighbour is home when you visit and you give them a gift, they gain 1FP.





I can already think of ways to add things like the item shop, home appraisals, and maybe some other activities so if you want to see more of this game lmk 👍

Monday 12 February 2024

The Graverobber’s Guide to Games

My zinequest project for 2024 is now live on Kickstarter! By pledging just £3 to the campaign you get a triptych of terrifically tense tabletop timewasters.

This is my attempt to do a small project all by myself, get a bit more financially stable after last year, and hopefully get some people playing some fun lil games.

Click here to check out the project and back today! Thank you x

Saturday 10 February 2024

A Month of Straturdays

back babyyyyyy

First off, the newest issue of MNKRM is out now! Taking a much needed week off meant that I didn't have as much time to flesh out a full post for this one, so February is extra minimalist. It's free, what do you want. Read and subscribe here.

I played some board games with the fam while on holiday but decided not to write that all up here, that was just for fun. I did win Ticket to Ride Netherlands twice though.

I also played a little Lockpick Solitaire, which you can find somewhere here on the blog and also in my upcoming Kickstarter campaign for zine month! I was going to launch on the 1st of Feb but holiday came first, so I’m thinking of going live this coming Monday. Very small, fun little project, a bit different but that’s the stuff folks seem to like from me. Follow here so you don’t miss out.

Straturday time! I managed to play a little Sasquatchers while I was away, which is a very fun little turn-based strategy game a la Fire Emblem, except your units are the members of a cryptid hunting social media channel. All the usual mechanical language of strategy games turned to a new purpose, with a great photography system in place of combat. I’m all about strategy genre stuff that gets its juice from places other than violence! More on that soon perhaps??

This week’s strategy game creator or thing worth checking out is Mountainside Tabletop. These guys make battle reports for skirmish games on YouTube, mostly Kill Team. No interest in the game personally, I feel nothing when I look at a space marine, but these guys are clearly super chill, just two bros hanging out and having fun. That’s the energy I need if I’m going to watch someone play games. They elevate the vibes with some excellent audiovisual production (end of turn recap animations? crazy good lighting? each team has its own bespoke theme tune? come on). Recommend watching their stuff!

Anyway that’s all I can think of for now, I’ve still got holiday brain. Back to work on Monday, speak soon and happy hobbying

Wednesday 24 January 2024


Playtesting! I lost

 This week I put the castle build on hold and went back to my main ongoing hobby project, which is making a game out of the random smattering of minis I already have.

For this project I’ve been trying a level of iterative design I haven’t really been able to accomplish before. With RPG stuff, playtest are multi-hour group sessions, but working on a solo war game means that I can knock out a test run by myself on a lunch break. The immediacy of coming up with an idea and then going straight into implementation has been really interesting and gratifying.

I’ve been trying to lean into this aspect of the design, finding the fun of the game through play first. To that end there’s still no real “fluff” for this game, no story to justify the maths. Of course a vague picture starts to form, but there hasn’t been much of the lore leading the mechanical development - again, a world away from RPGs where the lore is the mechanics.

Anyway, this week they announced the release date for the new Splatoon 3 DLC. Splatoon is an online shooter video game, on paper not to my taste at all, but the gameplay and theming are both hugely fun so I’m pretty into it. The new DLC actually looks like it functions a lot like this game I’m working on, a solo mode tackling an onslaught of AI enemies.

Enemies from the upcoming splatoon DLC. It’s like BLAME! with seafood

The reason I’m bringing it up though is that the developers of that game went through a similar iterative process when starting out. The first build of Splatoon had no graphics, or even an inkling of what its style and characters would end up being. Players controlled grey cubes in a featureless grey cube world, with the only aim being finding the fun of the gameplay. When the developers started finding themselves having in-office tournaments on their lunch breaks, they knew they were onto something.

If there’s a game you’re working on that you’re able to regularly test like this I’d really recommend it. That instant feedback on if an idea has legs has led to some surprising directions for this game, and remaining largely uncommitted to any particular setting or lore has made me focus on moment to moment gameplay in a way that really gets results.

With RPGs, maybe this could be something like character creation? It’s not usual for the kinds of games I chat about here but might be worth a try

Also, I want to start shouting out cool hobby stuff from other folks in these Straturday posts, games I like, creators i recommend, etc. Today it’s Gardens of Hecate, run by Ana Polanšćak, who does some of the coolest model painting and conversions out there. The post I want to link to though is her play report of TSPN, which is a solo miniatures game based on Tamagotchi. I’m all about gameplay outside the standard miniatures stuff and this looks way out there, definitely give it a read. And then look at her other work!

Finally, there most likely won’t be a Straturday post next week as I’ll be taking a little time off! But I plan on playing games during that time of course, so expect all the more hobby nonsense once I’m back.

Cheers and happy hobbying x

Saturday 20 January 2024

Straturday III


Ye castle taketh shape
Happy straturday!

Not much of an update as this week has been slow going and I haven’t got much gaming or hobbying in. I do think there’s still some worth in checking in weekly when I can though, just to keep track. And it’s been encouraging me to find time to do stuff for fun when I can, which was the intention :)

Oh, and as of me posting this blog gives voting is still on for the ADVICE category. My nominated post went up against one of Arnold K’s, which was only going to go one way, but I’m now in contention for a shot at the bronze. Voting link in my last post!

Hope you get some time to spend on your hobbies this weekend!

Thursday 18 January 2024

To quest, perchance to zine

 Zine quest / zine month / whatever is almost upon us! Every February small RPG creators gather to fund cool DIY projects and you can get in on the action by supporting your favourite small creators. There’s sure to be a great crop this year, I’ll be sharing my favourites here next month

I’ll also be launching my own project! This is the smallest scale thing I’ve done for zinequest, just one pamphlet, containing three playable tavern games from the world of Graverobbers. Been working on these for a minute and they’re genuinely, actually good. You can insert them into your own games, or just play em for fun. Click here to follow the project and get notified when it launches!

As a side note, the bloggies continue! I was summarily trounced in the GAMEABLE category, knocked out in the first round by the post that went on to win the whole thing which ain’t nothing. I’m also up for an award in the currently running category ADVICE, although I’m up against the likes of Sean’s #dungeon23 so I don’t fancy my chances. Still, you can vote for my post and all the other great contenders right here.

Get involved! I’ll be back this weekend for another straturday ✌️

Saturday 13 January 2024

Straturday Catch-up

The foundations. That doodle in the background is a spoiler for [REDACTED]

 Happy Straturday! i told you this was going to be a thing.

This morning I’m gluing some cardboard together in the hopes that it will eventually be a castle ruin. The only glue I have on hand takes a while to dry, so while that’s happening I thought I’d do a quick round up on my current hobby projects.

The first is a game I’ve been tinkering with since the end of last year, the idea that got me back into hobbying. I have a few models I’ve accumulated over the years but nothing resembling a full army, and none of the many rulebooks needed to play something like warhammer.

Then I remembered what I do for a living and decided to make my own tabletop wargame, the only criteria being that it exclusively use stuff I already have or could make from trash. It’s a solo game based on the chassis of Breckhelygan and some other long-discarded design ideas. I’m working out the mechanics, and it’s pretty fun already! Plays something like a mix of Bloodborne, Bayonetta and Vampire Survivors. Once it’s more concrete I’ll do a play report or something here.

There’s also a particular box of plastic knights I’ve had my eye on, and the need to justify the purchase plus all the Old World content I’ve been vicariously consuming have coagulated into another game idea about silly little knights on a quest. I’m excited about this one, no idea how it’ll play but once I’m able to afford these new toys I’ll test it. This is what the castle is for btw

Of course, these game projects are really just excuses for me to sit, craft, kitbash, design and play stuff for fun. So far it’s been working!

Anyone else got any fun projects on the go? Let me know in the comments or over on bluesky. Happy hobbying!

Wednesday 10 January 2024


Issue 3 of MNKRM is out now! Investigate and infiltrate a secret meeting at the hottest satellite rave in the junk belt. Read and subscribe free here.

Also, voting is now open for the GAMEABLE category of the 2023 bloggies! I’m nominated alongside some fantastic writers, I recommend reading them all and voting for your favourite here. You can find more info and stay up to date on the rounds of voting over the next few days on Zedeck’s socials - I’m also up for an award in the next category which I believe starts voting next week.

Finally, the great Jennell Jaquays, creator of the megadungeon, has sadly passed away. She leaves behind a great legacy of work as a true pioneer. Thoughts are with her loved ones.

Saturday 6 January 2024


 Announcing a new blog series for 2024!

Straturdays is a weekly post about my strategy gaming hobbying. I’ve never really played any tabletop war games and the like, but I’ve accumulated a handful of miniatures over the years and towards the end of last year started dabbling in crafting terrain and designing my own game.

To be clear this isn’t a serious devlog and I’m not doing any big essay writing. This is all hobby for me, stuff I want to do more of in my spare time. These blog posts are partly a journal, partly holding myself accountable to playing more games for fun, and mostly just sharing stuff I think is cool.

So there’ll be battle reports, things I’ve crafted and kitbashed, plus updates on this game I’m working on if anything interesting happens. I also want to try a bunch of new games! There’s this huge rush of great looking strategy games coming out, I want to play The Silver Bayonet, Night Thirst, The Doomed, Gravetrigger, Bangarang in the Gutterlands, SLUDGE, Trench Crusades… definitely more I’m forgetting right now. These are all smaller-scale skirmish type games which suits me just fine (although I am eyeing up all this Old World stuff GW is putting out today…).

A lot of these games are easily accessible too, which is good for the exactly zero budget I have to put towards all this. I also want to include a few video games, but given said budget it’ll probably be me dusting off old ones I already have rather than anything new.

The only other thing to add is that I’d love to hear about other people’s hobbying! If you’re doing anything similar then share it with me in the comments or over on bluesky. #straturdays ? I don’t think I have the pull to start a hashtag but we’ll see.

Happy hobbying, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Support your local graverobber! Games and more available for download here.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

BLOGGIES finalists!

The finalists for this past year’s BLOGGIES awards, hosted by the inimitable Zedeck Siew, have just been announced! A bumper crop of last year’s best writing by people who write for/about/around games, all free to read on god’s green internet.

And as it turns out I’ve been nominated in two categories! I was basically offline during the final week of December, so I was only vaguely aware it was all even happening. I certainly didn’t think anyone would put my blog up for an award. So thank you!

Voting for your favourite finalists happens throughout this month, in various categories. You should read all the nominated posts anyway, because there’s some good stuff in there!

Monday 1 January 2024


 Happy new year I’m glad you’re here world is a fuck let’s gooooooo

Last year was difficult, all my own projects (Graverobbers, Breckhelygan, Deadline, Journeylands, etc) are still on hold. It’s a shame, but we move

This year I have some cool projects coming out that I’ve worked on for other folks, not least of which is the Mothership 1E core box! Get hype. I’ll announce other things when I’m able.

(I’d like to work on more stuff too! Maybe you’ve got something you’re doing for zinequest and you’d like me to write or edit on it? Or some other cool project later in the year? Get in touch! graverobbersguide at gmail dot com )

As for this blog, it’ll continue to be a space for my hobby, which in case you’re unaware is games. I want to work on more stuff! I want to play more stuff! And you know what? I’m gonna fuckin do it

That’s it I think? The current social media is dgchapman.bsky.social so give me a follow over there. Excited to see what’s to come in 2024!

Speak soon. Let’s roll 😤