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