Announcements - Groundhoggoth Rises!

Posted by: James Mullen On: Oct 31st 2010

The stars are right and Groundhoggoth has arisen!

With the help of David Arthur, I've set up a website to act as a portfolio for games and scenarios I've written or am working on, so at, you can download a variety of RPGs in various stages of completeness and scenarios for games like Dead of Night and Best Friends, with more to come for Cold City, Hot War and Over the Edge to name a few.

Here are some of the complete RPGs available now:

When Bad Things Happen to Good Magicians: A turn based, competitive RPG that crosses the Fellowship of the Ring with the Jerry Springer show and asks the question: who takes the blame when the quest fails?

Never to Die: An entry and finalist for Game Chef 2010, this is a game about a typical British lads' night out that ends in a tragedy.

Sawmill: A mini-game inspired by films like Saw, Cube and The Collector, in which a group of strangers must expose their darkest secrets in order to escape the death maze of a psychopath.

Mystery of Life: A mini-game where an Angel & Demon investigate a case of apparent suicide and the evidence they collect is then used by the celestial court to determine the fate of the deceased.

Pyramid: A romping mini-game of pseudo-Victorian exploration, where players brave the traps & guardians of the tomb in order to claim the treasure.

The Curse of the House of Wretchwick: A full size RPG set in the Gormenghast-like 'House of Wretchwick', in which the PCs are dissolute nobles seeking ways to fill the emptiness in their over-privileged lives. A very tongue-in-cheek game of Gothic suffering & despair, where death is no guarantee of release.

Dead Man's Chest: Full on pirate adventure RPG.

As usual, I'd appreciate any constructive feedback on any of these games or scenarios, if anyone has the time for a quick look :-)

Posted by: Keith Fyans On: Oct 31st 2010

Although we don't get much traffic I've added a link to the SiG page :)

Posted by: Iain McAllister On: Nov 2nd 2010

I'll do the same on the GB site and check out the gaming goodness.

Anyone of these you would liked looked at first James?



Posted by: Andrew Kenrick On: Nov 2nd 2010

It's good to see you doing something with the many fine games you've written. You should post up APs that you've written for them too.

I know I've asked you this before, but now that you've written them up, do you think you'd ever compile them into an anthology for print?

Posted by: James Mullen On: Nov 2nd 2010

Yes, I need to get off my lazy ass this week and post up more content for all those menu links, but preparing for Indiecon is taking up quite a bit of time.

I think Indiecon will be provide a good indication of what I do with the games next; I'll be able to see what gets a good response and decide what route I should take for publishing.

Thanks for all the links on other pages; if anyone has a banner for their site they want to send me, I could do with a replacement for the stock example banners I've got at the moment!

Posted by: Andrew Kenrick On: Nov 10th 2010

Well... what worked at Indiecon? Which of your games did you get to play?

Posted by: James Mullen On: Nov 10th 2010 edited

I got a session each of Mystery of Life, Global Security, 101 Zombies!, Dead Man's Chest and Pyramid, a double session of Sawmill, with a player change over at half-time and three sessions of Never to Die, one in each evening slot (Friday & Saturday back in the safety of my lodge, Sunday sitting in the fairly quiet Main Hall).

The game I got most feedback on was probably Global Security, which works as a basic concept but needs numerous tweaks, e.g. stick with 2 decks of cards or just use one for everything? Provide a chart for players to fill in as they go or let them draw their own map on a blank sheet of paper? I'll probably start a thread with specific questions on all the suggested and potential changes soon.

I was very happy with the convention and got a lot of engaged, enthusiatic players who were forthcoming with good, constructive suggestions; that was why I was able to play back-to-back games of Sawmill, as we were able to make the necessary patches at the table and have another go at it right away!

Never to Die is getting its own momentum now, I hope; everyone seemed genuinely entertained, even as they squirmed in their chairs and winced at the awful things occurring. It definitely pays to encourage players to adopt a safe-space mentality, so that they can be free to bring in themes and events that sail close to the edge without being harshly judged for it.

The main thing I realised it that there were lots of other GMs running extremely good games (mostly games of Dead of Night, Duty & Honour, Cold City...) that I wanted to be in on, so next year I shall definitely run fewer games and make time to be a player. This year though, using Indiecon as a launch platform for Groundhoggoth and a captive pool of willing play-testers was a major success.

BTW, thanks for the mention on the Steampower blog, that is much appreciated.

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