Reading The Runes
This week we speak to Colin Le Sueur, look at the new Citizen Sleeper art book and TTRPG from Lost In Cult, get attacked by Seagulls and more...
Heyyyyyyo! I was just about to congratulate us all on somehow making it through another week and then remembered I’m doing this on a Wednesday now not a Friday, which obviously sucks.
Anyway, our head has mainly been buried in spreadsheets so far this week, both making sure our new issue gets delivered all around the world, planning issue number 5 and trying to ignore any and all coronation chat. I might like playing in fantasy realms but even we have our limits.
Still, we do have some interesting stuff for you this week, including a Q&A with games designer and publisher Colin Le Sueur, a look at a ridiculously fine looking art book and RPG from Lost In Cult, some booze to give away and your regular sprinkling of interesting stories from around the web to check out.
The new issue of the magazine is dropping through more and more letterboxes every day with the first US ones seeming to arrive just yesterday. If you’d like to get yourself a copy, and I really cannot recommend it enough, then head over to our website now, it’s the only way we get to make more of them.
Right, I guess we better get on with the second half of this week then. Till next time…
Colin Le Sueur - By Odin’s Beard
This week Wyrd Scene heads to the windswept moors of North Yorkshire where Canadian game designer Colin Le Sueur now resides. The man (and indeed beard) behind publishing company By Odin’s Beard, Colin came to our attention in 2021 with Runecairn, his Norse themed hack of Yochai Gal’s excellent OSR RPG Cairn.
Since then Colin has continued to expand the Runecairn setting and dip his toes into the Weird West with We Deal In Lead. Right now he’s currently Itchfunding a new bestiary for Runecairn, featuring over 100 new monsters inspired by Norse mythology, so with that in mind we caught up with him to see what gets him going when he’s not wrestling with kraken…
What are you… playing?
I haven’t played in a regular TTRPG game for a few years now and I really miss it! I’ve played some solo games here and there, like Transmission for Them and Long Haul 1983 (I’ve also recorded these using an analogue tape deck and uploaded them to YouTube!) but I’m on the lookout to start playing something regularly.
As for video games, I’m currently playing Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the Switch and really enjoying it. I played the Gameboy version years ago and there’s something really soothing about it! I’m also dying to play the Resident Evil 4 remake, which I’ll probably get to after Zelda!
… listening to?
After hearing about it for some time, I’ve started listening to The Silt Verses, a weird fiction podcast. Really high production values and creepy atmosphere. I’m also loving Between Two Cairns, a TTRPG adventure review podcast with Yochai Gal and Brad Kerr. Great insight into different design approaches and a lot of fun!
For music, when I’m drawing I listen to classic 70s or Canadian folk rock like Gordon Lightfoot (Editor’s Note: Gordon Lightfoot sadly passed away this week after Colin sent in these answers but definitely check out, Sundown, one of our own mellow 70s faves)
My wife and I have started a re-watch of Black Mirror, in anticipation of the new season just announced. We’re also really enjoying the second season of Yellowjackets, a great concept filled with spooky folk horror vibes.
I’m a big horror fan and we usually do a Saturday night double feature. Last Saturday we did Enys Men (2022) and The Hole in the Ground (2019), in anticipation of Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise. Both were great, Enys Men had my old film studies muscles twitching!
I’m working my way through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, currently reading Mort, about a hapless apprentice to Death. I’ve also been brushing up on my Scandinavian mythology for the Runecairn Bestiary; so many interesting myths to draw from!
… working on?
The main project taking up most of my time now is the Runecairn Bestiary, a new supplement for my Norse fantasy Soulslike TTRPG Runecairn. The Bestiary adds 100 horrifying new monsters for Wardens to challenge their players with. It’s funding on Itch right now, and is almost at 80%, and we’ve unlocked a full colour hardcover print run!
I’ve also got more We Deal in Lead books on the way, including a new indigenous-focused adventure from writer January Martin and The Iron Draw, a hard-hitting gunslinger funnel set on a malevolent train.
Design Works: Citizen Sleeper
We’re big admirers of Lost In Cult here at Wyrd Science. Their lock.on journals not only look incredible but are the home to some of our favourite writing on video games and they’ve been steadily expanding their portfolio over the past year or so, publishing a stunning collection of the hitherto digital only Heterotopias zine and one of our favourite books of the past year, the wonderful A Handheld History.
For their latest venture, the 2nd volume in their premium art book Design Works series, they’re focusing on one of 2022’s most critically acclaimed indie video games, Gareth Damian Martin’s Citizen Sleeper.
An RPG set in the “lawless reaches of a far-flung space station on the edge of interplanetary capitalism” Citizen Sleeper was originally inspired by tabletop games like Blades In The Dark and since its release has been nominated for 12 awards and placed in more than 30 Game of the Year lists.
As we’ve come to expect from LiC this is an incredibly beautiful looking and lavish set that delves into both the Citizen Sleeper’s design history and Guillaume Singelin’s art. There’s a standard and, very, deluxe boxed edition and they’re even releasing a vinyl release of Amos Roddy’s soundtrack.
Importantly for us though Design Works: Citizen Sleeper also takes the game full circle with the accompanying tabletop RPG Cycles of the Eye, which is included in the deluxe edition and available as a standalone order.
Developed by Martin and the brilliant Alfred Valley (whose Mothership zines we’ve raved about in the past), Cycles Of The Eye is a complete solo role-playing game set in the Citizen Sleeper universe that comes with its own fancy looking dice, stunning 78 card holographic foil tarot deck, and several iron-on patches for complete immersion.
Honestly we feel like we should be seething that LiC aren’t content to stay in their much more monied video game lane and are now encroaching on us tabletop paupers, but when the end results look this good we just have to say gg and smash that back button.
Loading Bar x Deviant + Dandy: Win Or Booze
As featured in our latest issue, Win Or Booze is a hazy pale ale produced in collaboration by East London brewery Deviant + Dandy and Loading Bar, whose venues in London and Brighton are the perfect spot to kick back with a brew or two whilst making use of their ever growing collections of video and tabletop games.
Making a play for the title of ultimate beers & pretzels game not only does Win or Booze have a refreshingly fruity kick but the label peels off to reveal an easy-to-play-after-a-few-beers game.
Fancy trying it out then you may be in luck as we have a pack to give away (UK addresses only & you must be over 18, of course) simply tell hit the button below and tell us in the picture above which, occasionally, sunny seaside town that can is hanging out in, we’ll pick a winner on Friday midday (GMT).
A collection of other things, both interesting and inspiring, gaming related and not, culled from around the web...
In case you missed we we uploaded a couple of features from issue 3 to our website over the past week or so including our interview with Graeme Davis about his Mythic Britain & Ireland supplement for Vaesen, and our look at how the creators of games like ALIEN, Mothership & The Wretched approach horror in space.
Apropos of nothing Wizards of the Coast appear to be looking for a new barn door shutter.
We love pixel art, we loved mysterious ruined castles, so we obviously love this, whatever it is. Refresh away and find the 8 bit dread fort of your dreams.
The full release box for the 10th edition of Warhammer 40K has been revealed and yeah, it looks pretty good and will almost certainly be an absolute nightmare getting hold of. Still after 35 years or so will since I first bought a box of Space Orks will this be the edition that sees me build & paint a Space Marine…
Remember when D&D relaunched Dragonlance last year, no to be honest I’d forgotten about it too. Which going by this review over on The Alexandrian was probably for the best, still excited for Planescape?
Some cool selections from Linda Codega to check out on this week’s Gaming Shelf, including the eye catchingly titled Pantyhose Models from Mars…
Luke Gearing, of various very good Mothership scenarios, Troika books and games like Wolves Upon the Coast, has been offering one-to-one mentoring recently to up & coming game writers. Interesting debrief here from the most recent one he just completed with watt, the writer of recently kickstarted Cloud Empress.
Geoffrey Hinton, AKA the ‘Grandfather of AI’, has quit Google having decided he’s probably doomed us all. Nice, nice.
This is a wonderful & growing archive of tabletop game & game company logos, which as we’re working on a complete redesign I have been looking at very closely.
Sticking with RPG graphic design, you should definitely check out Clayton Notestine’s Explorers site where he goes through RPG rulebooks, such as Brindlewood Bay and Into The Odd, breaking down what, how and why their layouts and artistic choices work.
Last week we mentioned Mira Manga’s YouTube channel, so it’s only right to shout out another of our regulars, Walton Wood, who has started a new podcast to accompany his excellent Liber Ludorom blog. Kicking things off it’s a round table discussion about ‘The Awards’, the indie RPG celebration started last year that Wyrd Science was, in fact, one of the inaugural winners of.
Random one but we’ve wanted to pick up this hardback anthology of the magic themed Hocus Pocus comic for a while now and this month the publisher is offering free worldwide shipping. Even better they mainly sell actual (stage) magic stuff so treat yourself to a wand and top hat at the same time.
OK, that will do for now. Remember Wyrd Science issue 4 is on sale now!
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