The Beowulf: Age of Heroes RPG from Handiwork Games, is a lovely looking book that is also a great setting and game. Using the 5th Edition system it’s one of a few games that focuses on a two-person experience – with one Game Master and one Hero (although you can still play more traditional group play if you wish). This ‘duet game’, as they call it, allows greater focus on the Hero and their followers, and also encourages journaling between games to further flesh out the saga that is being written.
Now Handiwork have released the ‘Beowulf Annual 2022’ in both PDF and physical forms. This 64-page book collects all the written content from the first eight digital packs released to support the game.
Inside you’ll find:
• Detailed inspiration for making BEOWULF characters
• New material for Voyages
• New magic items appropriate to the Age of Heroes
• New magic weapons
• New Followers with new Gifts
• New Monsters
• A beautiful map for the Three Ogre Brothers adventure
Now I’m a big fan of the ‘Annual’ approach, and had pitched the idea years ago whilst at Cubicle 7 for Victoriana. The idea being that at the end of every year we collect all the digital content we released as PDFs – adventures, mini-supplements, etc – that would be too small, or niche, to print by themselves and wrap them all together as a nice new supplement we could sell at conventions and through distribution. If that worked we could then do something similar across a few of the other lines.
Of course that never materialized, largely because we weren’t producing enough PDF only content as we were super focused on getting physical books completed and printed and had probably stretched ourselves a little thin considering we were just two people in the office and had a host of game lines to look after – as well as at the time several dozen third-party partner companies we were publishing and distributing for.
So I’m incredibly pleased to see the idea made flesh (or atleast tree-flesh…) and hope it catches on. It’s certainly something I’d still love to do with some of the future games I’m working on.