Blood Bowl: am I playing it wrong?

I recently got a copy of the Blood Bowl computer game. I knew of the board game in the 80s, but had never played it.

Anyway I’m playing a team of humans. Some of the players are noted as being ‘throwers’ or ‘catchers’. However I almost never pass, because passing seems to be much harder than knocking over opposing players.

I just played a computer-controlled human team and they didn’t pass either. However, I wonder if I’m missing anything. Anyone read this blog and know the game?

Gigacrawler draft playtest, part 2

I have a new computer now, so I can continue testing what I’ve done of Gigacrawler.

My character is a vampire, with the following (above average) stats:

Agility 11
Charisma 15
Willpower 13
Physique 6
Intelligence 14

Technology 7
Magic 7

keywords: KW2.

10 shells.

I start in a hex with the location code M14 (a relatively tolerant town) and a movement number of 3 (which is unlikely to have much effect at this stage).

I start by trying to get more money. I think I’ll beg. Given several options, I choose to just sit looking downtrodden. An entire month of begging gains me only 3 shells.

I now have to choose how much to spend on food and shelter. I can only afford a hovel, which costs me 5 shells (it would have been 15 shells, but it’s cheaper for vampires, since animal blood is cheaper than human food).

This leaves me with 8 shells. Poverty also reduces my Willpower by 4 points.

As the second month starts, I realize I’m going to need more money. I decide to resort to burglary. This succeeds, gaining me 150 shells. However I lose another 2 points of Willpower, either from guilt or the temptation to become a full-time burglar rather than a wandering adventurer (Willpower is specifically your character’s will to continue wandering).

I decide to look for companions. I spend 2 shells (down to 156 shells), and meet an otherworldly child named Alice Liddell, who claims to be able to teach me magic.

I decide to spend the rest of the month recovering, and to live as well as a prosperous citizen, which costs me 45 shells (leaving 111) including paying for Alice, and brings my Willpower back to its full value.

In the third month, I decide to look for somewhere better. Three months’ rations for Alice and myself costs a total of 54 shells (leaving 57). As it turns out, the journey only takes 2 months, but the destination is disappointing: a village (at least one which is tolerant of wandering adventurers).

That, I decide, is enough testing for today. The systems I’ve done seem to work well enough. However I think getting companions is far too cheap and easy, and I would prefer begging to get you more money, but also carry more risks (getting kidnapped for example).

Gigacrawler draft playtest

I’ve written a bit over 10,000 words of Gigacrawler. This covers the basics of character creation, and stuff that you can do in settlements. However I want to start playtesting it as early in the process as possible. So this is a self-playtest, which I’ll be blogging as I do it.

First of all I roll my character’s attributes. This is done with the familiar 3d6.

Agility 11
Charisma 15
Willpower 13
Physique 6
Intelligence 14

Since I have at least one high (13+) and one low (8-) attribute, I don’t have to alter my attributes.

My highest attribute is Charisma, so my character is a vampire. This means that my Technology score is 2d6 (capped at my Intelligence-1). My Magic score is my Intelligence minus my Technology. I roll 7, so my scores are

Technology 7
Magic 7

I have the keyword KW2 (which just indicates that I’m a vampire).

Like all characters, I start with 10 shells (cowrie shells are the currency of the setting).

Now I roll for the starting hex, and get M14–a relatively tolerant town–with a movement number of 3 (this is relevant to moving around the board, and probably won’t matter much at this stage).

That’s character creation. I was going to go on to the main game, but my computer stopped working and I ran out of time. So I’ll continue this in another post.

Coils of Hate


The original cover.

Stuart Lloyd has created and published an edited version of the fondly-remembered, but famously badly-structured, Steve Bannon biography gamebook Coils of Hate. Get it for free here (possibly quickly, lest it get taken down). EDIT: No, the author has given permission.

Gigacrawler map

As always, looking for feedback.

This is an explanation of how movement works in Gigacrawler.

The player doesn’t have to learn this information before the game starts: it’s presented step by step in the paragraphs as they play.

hexexampleThe Gigastructure can’t be represented in two (or even three) dimensions. Distances may be different depending on the direction traveled. This is represented by movement numbers.

Each hex has three numbers. The top number, pre-printed, is unique to each hex. This allows you to make notes on what you find.

The middle number is the paragraph number. When you come to a hex which already has number you either turn to the paragraph corresponding to that number. When you come to a hex without a paragraph number you roll on a table, fill in the result, and then turn to the corresponding number.

The bottom network is the movement number. When you come to a new hex you roll a dice. 5s count as 2, and 6s as 3. 1-4 are counted as rolled.

When you leave a hex you move a number of hexes equal to the hex’s movement number, in any of the six cardinal directions.

There are three entities who may be entreated when moving:

Yafir, the Lady of the Spaces Between, allows you to move ‘diagonally’, as per the diagram below.
Yiraf, The Exalted Crone of the Far Places, allows you to add 1 to the movement number of the hex.
Yirah, the Infant Lord of the Near Places, allows you to subtract 1 from the movement number (therefore he can’t be entreated in hexes whose movement number is 1).

yafiregExample of entreating Yafir. If the movement number of hex A were 1, the player could move from A to any of the hexes marked B. If the movement number of hex A were 2, they could move from hex A to either of the hexes marked C.

Gigacrawler character creation v2

[Step 1 and 2 are the same as in the original version]

Determine background

Your character’s background depends on which attribute is the highest.

If your character has a tie for highest, randomly choose between the tied attributes.

Highest attribute Background
Agility Citizen of the repeating city of Black Creek, Wyoming
Charisma Vampire
Intelligence Citizen of the repeating city of Atlantis
Willpower Robot
Physique Neanderthal

[in the real game, each background will send you to its own paragraph.]

Citizen of Black Creek, Wyoming

If your Intelligence is less than 6, increase it to 6, and decrease your Agility by the same amount). This is done so that your character can safely use a pistol.

You are good at riding, and start with 6 bullets. In a world mostly made of metal, anyone could make a pistol. However gunpowder and cordite–and hence bullets–are rare. [Needs a disadvantage]

Your Tech Level is 6. Your Magic Level is your Intelligence minus 6.


You appear to be merely an attractive and/or persuasive human. However, where a human being would normally be liked or respected, you can completely dominate the weak-minded.

You are harmed by sunlight, although this will normally not be a problem in the Gigacrawler setting.

You require blood (not necessarily human blood) to live. Going without blood does not just make you weaker, but also makes you less in control of yourself. You usually look like a normal human, but your vampirism becomes more obvious if you go without blood. Particular kinds of magic or technology might also reveal your condition.

If you have fed recently, you can perform feats which are impossible for humans–for example climbing up the side of a building–at the cost of great fatigue.

Roll two dice. Your Tech Level is the total of the two dice, or your Intelligence, whichever is lower. Your Magic Level is your Intelligence minus your Tech Level.

Citizen of Atlantis

You are bad at fighting and bargaining, since neither of these things happen in Atlantis. For the same reason, you find eating meat repellent. Unlike all other characters other than robots, you don’t lose Willpower in the stultifying city of Atlantis.

Your Tech Level is equal to your Intelligence. However, if your Intelligence is over 15, your Tech Level is only 15.

Your Magic Level is also equal to your Intelligence, and also has a maximum level of 15. This is a significant advantage: most characters have a Tech Level and Magic Level which add up to their Intelligence.


You are immune to disease, less likely to have a soul, damaged by water and sandstorms, and don’t heal naturally but can get repaired. Unlike all other characters other than citizens of Atlantis, you don’t lose Willpower in the stultifying city of Atlantis.

Your Tech Level is your Intelligence minus 1. Your Magic Level is 1.


You gain Willpower in wilderness, but lose it in all cities. You are bad at bargaining, but good at hunting and gathering.

Your Tech Level is 3. Your Magic Level is your Intelligence minus 3.