Welcome. I’m Bill Heron, and I’ve been both RPG player and GM (Games Master) for over 30 years although I spend most of my time GMing these days. TheMandragora.com is a site is dedicated to pen’n’paper roleplaying games (RPGs). It also has a page dedicated to Gaming in the city of Edinburgh where I live. I also harbour delusions of being a proper games designer and author too! I’m not a gaming “celebrity” as such, just someone who has been running RPGs for a long time! If you want to contact me, feel free using the Contact Me link.
This site originally was nothing more than a site for my Mandragora race, created for the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) tabletop RPG. Information on the setting can be downloaded from the Downloads page.
What have I been up to?
Plenty! I maintain a blog here, and that’s where you should be able find out what I’m up to. The Downloads I provide for D&D, AD&D, Cthulhutech, Mutant Chronicles, The Void etc. are all free.
I’m doing freelance work for Modiphius Publishing on the Mutant Chronicles line – the indexes, and occasional demented captions in most of the supplements are mine (as well as some of the proofing!). I am one of the writers on the Dark Symmetry Campaign and Mutants & Heretics.
Couldn’t make it to Conpulsion in 2016, sadly – nor did I make Q-CON owing to a prior commitment. I hope to, next year; if time and finances permit. I was at the UK Games Expo and plan to be at Dragonmeet, of course! Looking forward to doing a bit more networking this year at them, plus I enjoy meeting other gamers. Not signed up to run anything this time, so I might get to actually play some games this time around.
I ran fun games of Conan and Infinity RPGs (mid-Kickstarter) at Tabletop cafe, just up the road from the Kilderkin. I hope to run more demo games there soon, when time permits. Good food and drink, friendly staff, and a great atmosphere. As part of the Kickstarter, I’m going to be drawn in as a stat’ed NPC in Conan: Adventures in the Hyborian Age. I’ll also be appearing in the Infinity RPG.
The novel is now a secondary aim, along with any short fiction. I know I’m technically capable of writing them; just not temporally! It’s one of those things that I may revisit in future months, but for now, it’s on the back-burner.
I’m part of the Modiphius Silvershields scheme that allows GMs to get credit from running games – in my case, I ran a lot of games last year, so have built up some considerable credit. I also get points for referring new business. You can get 10% off Modiphius products in their store (both PDF and print) by using this link: r.sloyalty.com/r/uc3wlqcchb8R
I’ve managed to ask some members of ORC Edinburgh (the gaming community I help run) to take on Moderator roles for the site, so I can start taking a step back from that side of things. It’s an easy transition to make, thankfully. I’ve lost count of the different groups now, or what games are currently running and/or looking for players. ORC is now so big, it’s become difficult to keep track of things, in that respect.
What am I up to right now?
Recently, I’ve also been helping contribute to the Dark Eden Campaign and Dark Eden Supplement for the Mutant Chronicles. I’m hoping to pick up more freelance work in the months ahead. I’m finding it very rewarding, as well as giving me a creative challenge.
My Edinburgh Gaming page still proves incredibly popular, so I’ve been keeping that updated! On the down side, I’d hoped to try to get the disparate gaming communities to talk to each other more, but I just haven’t had the time. I used to do it when I could, but I step back from the politics now: it’s still very entrenched in old rifts and personal vendettas. I also run the Open Roleplaying Community Edinburgh – I’m the website admin.
Over the years, I’m asked to review products or publicise Kickstarters and game launches. I’m of two minds about these. Often, it’s someone looking for free publicity or product evangelist for products that aren’t even ready. Also, getting time to do a playtest or demo review session can be tricky. On the other hand, it’s pretty good fun to do.
Wargames & Boardgames
I’m not doing any war gaming or board gaming now, I’m afraid – something I need to fix. I haven’t had the time during the week, and need to maintain a “normal” life as it were. Plus, I seem to have trouble dealing with some of the more complex ones. I think it might be a side-effect of doing RPgs for so long. I’d hoped to get a chance to play some starter games of Cassus Belli’s Infinity game (the miniatures are absolutely amazing), and Battletech. I’d been thinking of trying to develop some of the Cthulhutech setting into the Battletech rules for some time now. I’ll get around to it at some point, I reckon.
Hopefully you’ll find some of the little nuggets of info and downloads useful.