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Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell
Works at Multiplay
Attended Bournemouth University
Lives in Poole
481 followers|96,049 views


Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell

Licensed Product Release  - 
Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell originally shared:
Announcing Rusthaven: An Iron Wind Sourcebook for Numenera

Rusthaven is a 120+ page sourcebook for the tabletop roleplaying game Numenera I’m been working on for about a year now. I finally got my license to publish it so now I can let the rubar out of the bag! Who Are You and Why Should I Care? I’m Andrew…
Rusthaven is a sourcebook for the tabletop roleplaying game Numenera. The book focuses entirely on the phenomenon known as the Iron Wind.
Michael Barry's profile photoAndrew Montgomery-Hurrell's profile photoA. Mars's profile photo
A. Mars
That looks pretty cool, I'm past interested now.
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This year I'm doing neither NaNoWriMo nor NaGaDeMon but I'm also kind of doing both in that I'll be writing (and hopefully finishing) the supplement for #Numenera  I've been working on for a very long time now, off and on.

I'm starting on 39460 words already written so far so I guess the finish line I'm aiming for is 89460 words total.

Since I have the project spread over multiple documents in google drive, word counting it all is a bit of a pain, so I'm downloading the entire folder of documents once a day and then running the following:

    mkdir ./tmp && find * -type f -name '*.docx' -print0 | while IFS= read -r -d '' file ; do cp "$file" "./tmp/$(echo $file | md5sum | cut -d' ' -f 1).docx" ; done && cd ./tmp && soffice --headless --convert-to txt:Text *.docx && cat *.txt | wc -w && cd .. && rm -Rf ./tmp

to word count the plain text versions of everything because there isn't a nice simple "word count this whole folder tree" option in google drive. A bit of a pain, but it seems to work :)

There is probably a better way of doing the above, but since some files have the same name I've got this hack going on to md5sum them into unique filenames before converting them all.
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Another cool piece of architecture that could well serve as a remnant of a prior world in Numenera. Imagine a group of explorers coming across such a structure in a voyage across the Sere Marica - what would they make of it and what, perhaps, would it make of them?
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Just ran through a playtest of my game on paper, in order to write an example of play for the rules, and I really enjoyed playing it, even if I was acting as every player. Even better, the player I'd chosen to be "me" in the playtest game ended up coming last place, so I feel reasonably confident that it's actually winnable by people who aren't me.

Think it's nearly time to ship it. If I put it off any more I'll tinker with it forever and ruin it. Just one more proof-read for old times sake...

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As I trim the fat from my game and remove the obstacles that are stopping me from finishing it (art and physical design mostly, since I suck at that) this is turning it into a sort of 2 page, competitive version of Microscope, with a focus on a single person's life instead of a whole universal timeline.

Now it needs nothing but a pen and paper to play it, it's much easier for me to focus on writing and moving onto testing to balance the maths for scoring.

It's been fun feeling out the design, seeing it evolve not only from the ingredients and theme, but also from the strengths and weaknesses I myself have design-wise.

In a weird way, given the game is about chasing dreams and abandoning them and the constant march forward towards the final judgement, the story of the game's development mirrors it's own thematics, which is both amazingly cool and also kind of scary in a prophetic sense!

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I'm now locked in on my game, need to design token, board, etc. I'm feeling pretty good about my premise now, which is basically a story game for board gamers, where a soul's past, regrets and journey are told through a set of tactical story-telling and story-blocking (the stories don't need roleplaying out, per se, but are emergent through play).

Actually feeling excited about it! Now need to make it actually work.

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Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell

General Discussion  - 
My friend is a professional GM and she's available for hire for online games.

Playing in one of her games, I can highly recommend her, so if you want to get into a game but are having trouble finding a GM, she could be just who you need. 

Anyone else ever thought of trying to 'go pro' as a GM? I know I've certainly considered paying for a professional to run me a game when I've found it difficult to find a GM for a new game I want to try out.
Hi, I’m Sahra, a professional Game Master who has run over 400 games over the course of 2 years. Specialising in D&D 5th Edition, using my own homebrewed survival-horror setting and variant rules, I will run online games for you and your roleplaying group via roll20. Prices are$60 - A standard 4 hour session (roll20+audio chat)+$10 per extra hour+$10 for different settings+$10 for different systems$10 for basic character builds (via email)+$10 fo...
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+Chris Scott and +Heath Wilder, it's not the charging for the space I mind so much as the profiting off of my effort.  You're right that it is the owner's right to charge for time and table space, as they are commodities.  I consider charging a cover to be demonstrative of a weak business model, but that is no crime.
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In another post +Rickard Elimää posted some interesting thoughts and it got me thinking. The main question raised, in my mind, was "What is the point of your content? Why is it there?".

One interpretation is that all content should be there to help the players play the game, to help them experience the kind of experiences you want them to as the game designer. Taken to extremes, this question can be asked of all content in your game, from every piece of art to each and every word that makes up the text. Art, mechanics, fiction, world building; ultimately all content can and should be able to answer this question definitively and if it can't, then one might consider it an unnecessary or even harmful distraction from delivering to the players the tools they need to fully experience the kinds of things you made the game for in the first place.

Another interpretation is that as well as providing your game product as a tool to enable players to achieve the experiences you want them to, it is also to help immerse them in the ideas of the game itself. Rather than providing specific tools, you use art, fiction and other content to provide inspiration, without explicitly giving tools to help players deliver similar experiences to those depicted by the content. Instead, you focus on providing enough immersion that the people consuming the media gain an insight into the ideas you've tried to imbue in the game and thus equipped, their imagination can build them tools of their own.

I think both approaches have merit, and like many things, a balance needs to be kept. I admit, I'm a fan of short-form fiction in roleplaying game material, but I'll admit, it's not always good enough to provide the inspiration I require to start building my own mental framework of tools for the game.

Equally, as a programmer, I find well-defined specifications extremely rewarding. I can't think of any case where clear instructions and tools to help me play a game (and more importantly achieve the kinds of experience the game intends) would be anything less than extremely useful.

I don't think dismissing all media from a game product in favour of providing those tools is doable though. Beyond serving the needs of the game itself, media is also the language of marketing and I imagine many potential players would never investigate something that appeared somewhat bland at first glance.

Anyway, I'm interested in your opinions on what I see as the trade off between media as inspirational and media as instructional. This isn't to say that instructions can't themselves be inspirational, but where is that tipping point and how does one get the best of both?
Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell's profile photoAndreas Walters (Metal Weave Games)'s profile photoRickard Elimää (This is Pulp)'s profile photo
Making Fiction Useful in Roleplaying Games

" I think however, with proper annotations, fiction can be extremely useful because it can be a narrative not only enjoyable in its own right as a consumable product "

The original post came from a discussion where +Caine Dorr asked about short stories in roleplaying games. The major issue I have is that very few people can write in an engaging way. Very few roleplaying designers are good authors. Just compare some of Robin D Laws's earlier work (ex. Hero Wars) to some of his kick-ass products today (ex. Feng Shui 2).

That said, I had the pleasure of reading three products that had good authors, and it worked well. Two of them had an ongoing story that presented the world, and one was Shane Hensley in Deadlands (the other was a Swedish game module). The first story in Deadlands, that introduced the game master to the world, was one of very, very, very few stories that engaged me as a reader. I can think of three games of the 200+ roleplaying games I read that managed to do that. It also gave me, as a game master,  an idea of how to present that information to the players.

So it's not impossible, but it takes skill.

A Swedish game called Hammarn och Trollspöt (Eng. The Hammer and the Wand) presented the world in form of letters, traveling journals, political documents, recipe, newspapers, and such. What was unusual was that all of these were open for interpretation so the game master had to actively puzzle things together. The author then presented an adventure creation model, also open for interpretation, that the game master then should mix together with (its own interpretative) setting material.

So I do know games that can both have fiction  that engages the reader, and make the reader taking an active part in how it can present the information to the players. But it takes years of learning the skill to do that, and few game designers have actually thought about this. I guess that's why it's so largely underrepresented in roleplaying games. That, and that some people assume that what works for one medium (literature) is beneficial for another (games).
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Thanks for all the feedback on my #gamechef1st  game. Some was helpful, some less so, but all appreciated. In complete agreement with the criticisms, many of which I had myself before submitting, but just had no time to resolve. I'll definitely be pondering over the things that have been said and make some adjustments.
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Aaaaaaaaand my #gamechef1st submitted! It's butterflies in the belly time... or should that be dragonflies in the belly?
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And to you too! 
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That feel when you're writing up your final version of your GameChef entry, and another really cool idea pops into your head at the last minute, screaming for your attention.
Chris “HyveMynd” Stone-Bush's profile photoAndrew Montgomery-Hurrell's profile photoMichelle Lyons-McFarland's profile photo
I had that happen! It's so weird. 
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The more I work on my #gamechef1st game, the more I keep seeing the mechanics and other influences of games I enjoy creeping into my design. It makes me feel like a plagiarist and I get this knee-jerk reaction to rewrite, but I keep fighting it back, because 1) I'm not ripping off anything wholesale, and certainly not intentionally and 2) I just don't have the time to constantly doubt myself and chase my tail

What is the quote? "Good artists copy, great artists steal."
Giacomo Vicenzi's profile photoJason Pitre's profile photoAndrew Montgomery-Hurrell's profile photoRoss Cowman's profile photo
Steal and give credit! 
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Have him in circles
481 people
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Web Applications Developer
Programming, Creative Writing
  • Multiplay
    Web Applications Developer, 2009 - present
  • SonicIQ
    Developer, 2005 - 2009
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Poole - Worthing, Sussex, UK - Poole, Dorset, UK - Manchester, UK - Southport, UK
A computer geek, amateur author and roleplayer.
Not much to say, I'm just an average computer geek with many eccentricities. I love coding, electronics hacking, reading, writing and music. I just mill around in Poole and Bournemouth in Dorset, living out my life as a professional software developer and web designer.

Cover photo by Joy Garnett:
Bragging rights
I manage to function as a reasonable human being despite my misanthropic tendencies.
  • Bournemouth University
    Computer & Electronics Interfacing, 2002 - 2004
  • The Bournemouth and Poole College
    Computer & Electronics Interfacing, 2000 - 2002
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Andrew Montgomery, darkliquid, Monty
Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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