15 February 2015

The Hanging Garden, Issue No.1

Lookin' dandy
I have wanted to publish a free gaming zine for a long time. Some zines focus on a given game engine or game world; some others on adventures; others yet on a given company's products. I wanted mine to actually not focus on the content itself but rather on its presentation: text-only and literary in style.

After much hesitation, I have eventually settled for the EPUB format. This format can be viewed on most e-readers, tablets, and also on a computer via dedicated software such as Sumatra and calibre.

The idea behind a format that primarily targets e-readers (as opposed to, say, PDF) is to give gamers something to read on their commute. This is also why the articles are quite long.

Anyway, should I have made the wrong choices I guess no one will download and read The Hanging Garden. In the meanwhile, I aim at publishing an issue every second month. I hope you will enjoy the maiden issue, which features:

  • “Lady Sunflower”, a beautiful cover by Cédric Plante
  • Flower Knights, by Benjamin Baugh
  • The Genesis of Wind on the Steppes, by Olivier Dubreuil
  • a scenario for both WotS and TCE, by O. Dubreuil and yours truly
  • Back Under the Glowline, by Tom Zunder
  • The Heroes’ Voyage, a HeroQuest scenario by imaginos
  • Uprising at the Buzzard's Gulch Monster Rez, the first instalment of a Monsters! Monsters! campaign by Thessaly Chance



  1. BEWARE, -small- SPOILER !!!
    The scenario is obviously a frame which has to be detailed (or improvised) by the GM. If you like to spice a bit the scenario or to exploit the specific skills of Nomads PCs, I suggest the following:
    - For encounters in the desert, you can use or find inspiration in the encounter chart on page 138 of WotS. A death worm could be a challenge and kill a couple of horses, slowing down pursuing Nomads
    - Try to give a chance for Nomad PCs to use their “navigate” skill if lost for any reason, or to use their “knowledge [region]” to give them a hint if they lost the track (e.g. where are the possible rest places for fugitives) or are looking for a short cut
    - If involving camel Nomads NPC, you can also use the model proposed on page 144 of WotS
    - “Riding acrobatics” may allow to stay on horseback even if the horse loses his balance
    - If one of the Nomad PC is a shaman, he may try to take control of a mummy through a spirit combat, which would be easy with a POW of 1. Of course, he must be protected during his trance, unless he sends one of his allied spirits.
    - When trying to hit the mummies in the head, archers can use short ranged accurate arrows and try to aim at the head –of course, they have to understand that this is the way to incapacitate them
    - After the episode, if the players are not willing to co-operate, you may force them again by having the oasis been besieged by desert robbers or the above camel riders who would be happy to resell the PCs as slaves.
    - A shamanistic explanation of these mummies (knowledge [nomadic religion]) could be that kut souls of dead warriors found these corpses and brought them to life. Or maybe old evil magic built a screen preventing the kut to leave to return to the natural cycle or üörs to come eat them. Attratced now by these newly released kut souls, üörs may come and attack PCs as well
    - Behind some hidden (or not) slab, a shaft or a deep crack goes deep into the ground: The crypt is a gate to the Underworld. The mummies have been warding it. Destroying them may reopen the gate and allow Cyclops or other demons to come into the World, or the PC to go in the Underworld. This may be a trick if the PCs dispose the mummies too easily or the begin of a new adventure

  2. and BTW, thank you for citing me as co-author of the scenario, but I only had a modest contribution: you are the only true author.