Meet Philomena Bucket

Hopeless, Maine RPG!!

The Hopeless Vendetta

Please meet Philomena Bucket. She has recently shipwrecked on the island (which may explain her worried expression)

Philomena is a Traveller. Which is to say,  the example character in the Hopeless, Maine role playing game which is in development by Keith Healing. The whole project is coming along beautifully and has a publisher, so, fear not (or, not too much) it will be with you in the fullness of time. Keith understands the setting and the story in a way that makes us nearly giddy and is finding ways of having players explore and interact with the island and its flora and fauna (and those things which are uncomfortably neither or both) and create experiences and dark adventures.

Here, in Keth’s words, is how Philomena Bucket was born (or created) with some rolls of the dice-

“Philomena Bucket
These numbers tell us a lot about her. Philomena is of average build (STR…

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Finding Hopeless, Maine

A love letter to Hopeless, Maine

The Hopeless Vendetta

Finding Hopeless, Maine

Come in, dear traveller! I hear you are looking for directions. Yes ,yes, sit down. Now, you want to get to Hopeless, Maine. Are you sure?  You’ve been warned about it, yes? The witches, the eldritch terrors, the night potatoes… Alright, alright, I can see that you are a stubborn and headstrong sort, who will not be dissuaded. Not even if I tell you that most people are desperately trying to come the other way? Well it was worth trying. Now let me think; directions to Hopeless Maine. Hmmmm.

Well there are a lot of different paths, yes, and they tend to shift. I can’t guarantee that you’ll arrive safely. Or arrive at all. So here, dear traveller, are three ways of getting to Hopeless Maine that will probably succeed. You have been warned…

1) Collect all of your best spoons, and lay them out in the…

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The Traveller’s Traveller

Further adventures of Hopeless, Maine gaming!

The Hopeless Traveller

When Tom, Nimue and I initially discussed the mechanics of a Hopeless RPG we all agreed that the game system had to be simple, straightforward and easy to customise. The aim was to make a game that people who had never even contemplated playing an RPG before would be able to pick up, spend a few happy hours reading, and then settle down with friends and start exploring the Island.

I’m pleased to announce that, as things stand, this is what seems to be appearing.

The core of the game will comprise of two books, one for players (called the Traveller’s Handbook) and one for the person running the game (called the Master of Ceremonies’ Handbook). The aim is that players should not buy the MCs Handbook unless they decide to start running games. This will mean that Hopeless’ secrets are kept, well, secret.

The Traveller’s Handbook will contain everything…

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In a land that had cried out for a Hopeless, Maine role playing game…

The Hopeless Traveller

Any rumours you may have heard about the emergence of a Roleplaying Game based on Hopeless, Maine are…true.

So – where to start. Introductions, I suppose.

I imagine that most of you, dear readers, are reading this because you are already familiar with the dark and tentacle-ridden island of Hopeless, invention of artist Tom and writer Nimue Brown. Populating a series of graphic novels, and with other avenues now being explored, Hopeless has become something of a cult. A nice cult, one that cuddles you and gives you chocolate while encouraging you to keep one eye looking towards the shadows. The books, and their heroine, the (not a) witch Salamandra have gradually wormed (or tentacled) their way into people’s hearts and souls. Mixing steampunk, Victoriana, otherworldly horror and quirky asides (night potatoes – I’m looking at you), Hopeless is an ideal candidate for a roleplaying game -albeit a slightly odd…

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Morning Cuppa: Intelligent Designing For Amateurs

“This is a wonderfully witty and marvellously magical tale which fans of Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman will absolutely adore.” Absolute truth! 🙂

The Curious Adventures Of Messrs Smith And Skarry

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Max and Collin’s marvellously meretricious parlour located within the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster.

True some have called it a brummagem quagmire  brim full of the ashes of mortal hopes and dreams… but we consider that such individuals are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.

You find us this morning wading through a slough of self pity, shuddering sporadically with shame as we remember the horrors and humiliations of the past two weeks.

Montmorency waved his straw-stuffed hand breezily as he assured me that exploitation was not a word in his vocabulary, that everyone in his employment was over sixteen and by opening his burlesque club to employ “Men, Women and Everything In Between” he is “pioneering a new era of equality in workers’ rights and flying high the flag of anti-discrimination.”

But nobody likes being referred to…

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Morning Cuppa: Letters Between Gentlemen

Utterly splendid review of Letters Between Gentlemen!

The Curious Adventures Of Messrs Smith And Skarry

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Max and Collin’s zealously zabutonous parlour located within the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster!

Today you find us shamefacedly apologetic that we were not at home last Tuesday; the Great Lancastrian Frying Pan Race was afoot and our vile and persistent landlord threw us out before dawn threatening to feed us to his tuffs if we didn’t sell enough lemonade to make last months rent… well all I can say is February is a tightfisted month that slinks by far too quickly without giving a gentleman time to amass the means to pay his dues.

If you are unaware, The Great Lancastrian Frying Pan Race takes place annually to herald in the gruelling period of fasting and general abstinence from anything fun which Wizards tell us is essential to commemorate Wiz’s final capture and defeat of The Holy Child before he turned him…

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Opium Dreams.


I have never experienced opium dreams, but I have read the exquisite writing of Wilum Pugmyr and I expect that is close enough. (Without the harmful side effects)

I was approached, last year by Centipede press and asked if I would like to illustrate a volume of short fiction by Mr Pugmyr and as the schedule allowed, I jumped on it. This is exactly the sort of writing that brought me into weird fiction in my youth. I would go so far as to say, that Wilum Pugmyr is one of my all time favourite authors in the genre. I was to do ten illustrations for nine stories (Unknown Gulf of Night is longer, so it gets two pieces)

This job has been an absolute (dark) joy for me, and really hardly qualifies as work at all. The image above is the last finished drawing (finished art will be toned and monochrome) for the project and illustrates his tale Unknown Gulf of Night. I will be shrieking and gibbering from the rooftops when the book comes out in May.

Hoping (as always) this finds you well, inspired and thriving.

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