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Hi. I'm Rob. I am based in the UK and amongst other things I'm a board game designer, which is what I seem to engage in the most on social media.

Other than that I dabble in folk music, spoon carving, nalbinding, LARP, cooking, yerba mate, coffee, kite flying, and a load of other stuff.

Pleased to meet you.

When I first joined Mastodon, one of the tips I found very helpful, and one I don’t see people Toot about enough is pinning your #Introduction Toot to the top of your profile page. When I Follow someone new I always see if they have done that. If they have I always Boost their Intro. #MastodonTips

Parenting - sorta 

My teenage daughter expressed interest in learning to paint game miniatures recently, so I acquired her a starter selection of paints along with a mini and a brush (she already had a GW mini from somewhere, which is what triggered the interest).

She is now up in her room, getting the back of her hand coated in assorted colours (many of which are also ending up on a mini), whilst listening to a Black Sabbath album.

Feels a lot like my teenage years! 😆​

What is a GRC - an explainer for cis people 

A Gender Recognition Certificate is a document that allows trans people to update their birth certificate - which is mostly useful if they move abroad. It also lets them get a marriage certificate that doesn't misgender them. And it ensures that their death certificate reflects their lived gender.

That's all it does.

Everything else that trans people do, like update their passports, get protection under the equalities and and are able to access in their lived gender does not require a GRC.

GRCs are currently onerous to obtain. Most people don't bother.

The fight to restrict access to GRC is a fight to misgender us in death. Many people very much want to issue wrong death certificates. They are willing to sink the union and to tear up their own political parties in order to use the wrong pronouns when we're dead.

This is what the fight is about.

I encourage to ask your MP if they agree with this. And if they do, ask them why it's personally important to them to misgender dead people.

Video link about board game playtesting 

This is the wonderful Adam Porter with an amusing game design parable that leads to one of the best pieces of advice about playtesting I have seen...

Here's a really nice one-pager of Mastodon tips which seems to cover most of the common questions I see.

Credit to @axbom

The Ultimate Board Game Survival Kit has just launched on Kickstarter!

Please go show it some love!

Board game convention 

To round off the Bastion convention, I only got to play one game today, The Isle of Cats, which ran a bit long, and then I had to leave. Well, I didn't HAVE to leave as such, but chose to, so I could get home at a reasonable time (which I did).

This was a really enjoyable convention and a great counterpoint to more commercial and/or trade-based events like UKGE. All very play-based, but feeling very comfortable and relaxed to me.

Board games played at a convention 

Saturday at Bastion was a good one. Another lovely walk down to town for a breakfast and a nose about, then some great gaming, mixed with chatting and chilling.

Tiny Towns
Nine Tiles Panic
Just One
Blood on the Clocktower
Asking for Trobils
Overstocked (twice)
High Society

Games played at a convention 

The first full day of Bastion was yesterday. I got out for a lovely walk around the medieval town of Conwy and also played...

Clans of Caledonia
Asking For Trobils
Saint Petersburg
Blood on the Clocktower (twice)

More to come today, but for now l'm taking advantage of the surroundings.

Games convention 

Getting ready to head up to Bastion, a small board games convention in the North Wales town of Conwy. I went for the first time last year, staying and commuting with friends who live about 30 mins drive away, and had a great time. This year I have a bunk booked, so potentially more gaming and less driving.

I've just had a negative Covid test, so have started packing the car. Really looking forward to this.

Travel, playtesting, meet up, trains 

On the train home after a long but enjoyable day.

In the Before Times, I'd make this trip most months, and it was a huge help in keeping me motivated and feeling like part of a community of game designers. It's great to do this again.

Played today a game about making connections (both literally and metaphorically), my co-design Grab Bag Zoo, a deduction and betting game, and a viking battle game. So much fun and inspiration.

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Travel, playtesting, meet up, trains 

... And made it onto the Central Line, so all good.

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Travel, playtesting, meet up, trains 

On my way to London for a playtesting meetup. The usual train isn't running today, so on a slower train that will arrive at a smaller station, further out of town, so will have to make up the rest on the underground.

On the plus side, the train is almost empty, and I've been reading through a draft of an RPG for a friend. And I'm not in any hurry, so all good.

Planning to playtest Grab Bag Zoo later, which I'm looking forward to.

re: Craft, spoon carving 

I ran out of daylight, so the last pic for today is indoors.

One of the spoons developed a split from a weak area that I hadn't spotted, so isn't worth continuing with, but I got the other one made into something closer to a usable spoon. It still needs a lot of work to finish off, but I'm going to let it dry off for now and get to tidying it up some time later.

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re: Craft, spoon carving 

A bit later and I have the bowls hollowed out. I have thanks to give to past me, who bought a pair of nice hook knives about a year ago, and they are so much easier to work with than the blade I had before.

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Craft, spoon carving 

I've been meaning to do this for ages. I spent a little while dodging rain showers to cut a chunk of hazel wood from the garden and rough out a couple of spoon blanks.

Some people are skilled enough with an axe to get them a lot closer to their final shape than I can do. Even with the knife, I know that these will end up very uneven when they are done, but it at least is a satisfying process for me.

Next up: get to work on those bowls.


I was just thinking about this whole OGL thing and the version numbers...

Going from 1.0a to 1.1 suggests a relatively small, incremental change.

What got leaked was a huge amount of additional text and major changes to the way the agreement is framed, which says to me NOT a small, incremental change. Shouldn't this be v2.0?

I’m going to tell you the story of the man who solved a crime.

Not, like, a cop who put together the clues and got his man, but a person who took a crime as old as civilization and fixed the problem where it got you in trouble.

The man: Artur Virgílio Alves Reis.

The place: 1920s Portugal.

The crime: Counterfeiting.

The problem he fixed: That the money is counterfeit.

(This is going to be a long 🧵 . Just trust me.)

The single most-useful article for gamers on the entire Internet:

S. John Ross's 'Big List of RPG Plots'

No matter what the title says, it's *not* just for RPG gamers -- half of these are also scenario descriptions for your favorite tactical-scale wargame.
(As well as movie plots, novel/short story ideas, etc.)

#rpg #rpgs #tabletop #tabletopgames #wargame #wargames #wargaming #ttrpg #ttrpgs #roleplaying #roleplayinggames #game #games #gamer


The second episode of the Everybody Wins podcast, accompanying my book of the same name, has just dropped on the usual platforms. In it, I discuss the state of the tabletop game scene in the late 80s and early 90s with Jervis 'Bloodbowl' Johnson and Marc 'Black Library' Gascoigne. It's a good one, and a chunky 90 minutes of listening. Enjoy!

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