#RPG #Art Darkzel Scholarship 2016-17 Commencing Soon

The Darkzel Scholarship for 2016-17 will be starting fundraising soon.

This will be the fourth annual fundraiser in memory of my long-time art collaborator ‘Zel’ Harris, cruelly taken from us in a terrible accident, putting paid to what I always thought was a very promising career in art. In his memory and given working for me helped him through his education, I have set up an annual scholarship to aid genre artists working their way through college or in reduced circumstances such as disability, long term unemployment, mental health crises and other hardships.

The fundraising part will run through the month of December and we’ll be accepting entries through December and January before awarding the scholarship by the end of February.

We already have a fund of $100 from this year’s art sales, I’ll be seeking to raise another $500 on top of that for a total of at least $600 as a scholarship.

The aim is still to make the scholarship self funding and it has become apparent that a much stronger effort is going to be needed to make this happen. As such I’m doing a big push this year for donation art. As well as supporting with financial contributions, sharing on social media etc I will be hitting up artists for contributions that can be sold to help support the scholarship in the coming years.

More information will be coming soon, but for now if you’re an artist or know artists and are willing to help, please contact me about submitting a piece for sale (as stock art) to help continue to fund the scholarship. Your work will be sold electronically and will be used – with credit – by multiple role-playing and publishing companies as well as contributing via the sales to the fund.

These pieces should be genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, superheroes or similar) and 300-600dpi. Old pieces or concept pieces you haven’t otherwise sold are perfectly acceptable.

I think you, in advance, for your aid, whether in donating art or helping with the publicity and fundraising in the near future!

Love and bunnies,



#RPG – The Orangelist – Exposed


I was ‘threatened’ with having this conversation ‘outed’, though I believe my conduct here to have nothing to be ashamed of within it. Getting it out so that there’s no shenanigans. I have screenshots too, just in case.

Strike first to make sure the narrative control isn’t taken by the enemy.

Balsley is an even-less-significant-than-me game writer, amongst other things. He’s the guy behind the ‘orangelist’ that has people concerned. A blacklist for people that supposedly supported Trump. A ‘hoax’ list (with some accurate names) has been doing the rounds but that’s irrelevant. He IS operating a blacklist. It’s not the only one going around the games industry as a whole or the tabletop industry in particular. That’s the important part.

I regard that as unacceptable. Whether I’m on the list or not. Whether the ‘hoax’ list is accurate or not, there is a list and that is enormously, massively hypocritical.

Me: Why the fuck am I on your McCarthyite ‘orangelist’. I’m not American, can’t vote in its elections and didn’t support Trump. Are you fucking high?

Balsley (No, that’s his real name): It’s not my list. I also know you aren’t American.

Me: But you are still making a list. The specifics aren’t the bad part.

Balsley: A list of people I won’t work with or buy from because of their views, yes. One that has to do with the skin color of my relatives. Something I’ve been very honest about.

Me: Which makes you an horrendous, McCarthyite bigot as bad, or worse, than the people you are against. I hope you think again.

Balsley: So, you’re saying that I shouldn’t have a list when I have minority family members?

Me: You shouldn’t have a blacklist for any reason. It’s an horrendous lapse of ethics and breathtakingly hypocritical.

Balsley: I will not give money to people who are celebrating the election results and denouncing the protestors while ignoring the uptick in hate crimes. That would be telling my Mexican family members they aren’t important.

Me: If that’s happening and any hate crimes are the responsibility of the offenders. People shouldn’t boycott gay businesses or turn away gay customers either, whatever their personal morality.

Balsley: Well, they do and it’s legal. It’s how commerce works.

Me: Human rights such as free expression and freedom of political conscience are universal. You are being everything you claim to be against. No, it’s how censorship and bigotry operate using finance as a cosh. Don’t bother contacting me again until you grow up. You and people like you are going to ensure Trump gets a second term by acting like this. Ciao.

Balsley: No, I’m not. See, if people won’t listen with their ears, you can get them to listen with their wallets.

*Second Conversation*

Balsley: You bought into a hoax and Mr. Florio has proven it with his own “evidence.” A full expose is coming proving it. You do have a list, you admitted as much to me. The fake list is irrelevant to that point. It’s a shitty, shitty thing to have done. A fake list doesn’t exonerate you.

Balsley: All artists have lists of people they won’t work with.

Me: And I told you not to contact me again unless you’d grown up. Have you decided to ditch the whole idea or not? I don’t.

Balsley: This conversation is going public.

Me: Good since you admitted to having made a blacklist. I have nothing to hide. Have you changed your mind and are now not going to maintain a blacklist? Second asking.

Balsley: Except you have me on a list.

Me: No. I don’t. One more time. Have you changed your mind about maintaining and operating a blacklist?

Balsley: I never made one per your definition.

Me: “A list of people I won’t work with or buy from because of their views, yes.” To quote you. So yes, you are and you have been. That’s strike three. Don’t contact me again until you’ve changed your mind.

Balsley: Hahaha

Interview with RPG Designer James “Grim” Desborough

Argosy Magazine

14900553_10157597632260545_5489451569054181338_n.jpgLet start at the beginning. How did you get your start in RPG publishing, and what would you recommend to new writers today?

I got my start in games writing producing photocopied fan material and zines – very punk. Would be considered illegal to do these days, I’m sure. I’d sell them at conventions and around school, that sort of thing. Eventually me and a friend pitched a bunch of ideas to every RPG company we could find and SJG took the bait – and Munchkin was born. That was my ‘lift off’, I suppose.

Today I’d tell writers that it is an horrendously fractured and absurdly competitive field. That there’s no rules any more. That they’re probably better off self-publishing, but that it’s a lot more work and needs a fine balance of self promotion and not being a dick. When it comes to the fiction I’ve not cracked…

View original post 1,092 more words

Facebook & Patreon Update


So here’s the plan.

Patreon subscribers will now get the following perks.

  1. Patreon subscribers will get to suggest topics for new Youtube videos and those ideas will be given priority over other topics. Simply use the contact messaging system there to submit ideas.
  2. Patreon subscribers will, monthly, get access to a discount code for one of my existing products, typically allowing them to purchase it at half price. At a buck a month, that should add up fairly quickly to value for money!
  3. Patreon subscribers will be able to suggest other things they’d like access to as perks by messaging in private.

I have removed individual product pages from Facebook and, in their place there are now three pages.

I shall try and make sure I provide updates at least once a month, but social media wrangling on a serious scale does take time away from working.

#RPG – November Update


The iconic tarnsman

I’m going to have a little reorganisation. I’m removing most of the individual product Facebook pages and I’m going to replace them with two pages, one for my role as an author, another for my role as a game designer. The Postmortem Studios page will remain, but the new pages will allow me to promote to more specific audiences and to promote works I’ve collaborated on.

I’m going to start putting greater effort into Patreon. At the moment it’s really just a tip-jar, but it’s not getting that much traction. I had hoped my greater Youtube activity might help, but building an audience there is also slow going and hard work. I’m investing in some new video software to help with the quality of that output and hopefully that will pay off. Asking people what they wanted for their patronage didn’t seem to get me too far, so we’ll start with discounts and prioritised video topics.

The next game project I will be working on is a semi-episodic survival game with an emphasis on team work and mechanics to drive players to devote time to doing survival-oriented actions such as improving shelter, finding food, water, and getting better quality of life. It will be an improvement on the system used for Kagai! Think of it as a ‘green apocalypse’ in a ‘Last of Us’ style with a metaplot unfolding over three books in a manner similar to Orpheus (if anyone remembers that). I hope it will do well.

Gor… I’m sick of making promises, still. Every time I do something goes wrong. The art is still, really, the sole thing causing issues and it is coming in. The project is under risk, but no matter what happens backers will get PDF/Print copies even if anything else has to get pulled. Backers are guaranteed. Whatever is complete, you’ll get. If the project should fail you’ll get full disclosure, but until then I am constricted from going into detail. I do not think we’ll fail, just preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. I know we’re massively overdue, I’ve been holding off other work and projects waiting and working on this and it bugs me every day. I won’t let you down, one way or another.

I am available for freelance work:

Currently, my plate is clear and free for freelancing and consultancy after last month. Despite my internet issues I should be able to complete any work, it just may take a little longer than normal (24-48 hours). I’m normally pretty reliable and can offer reasonably fast turnaround.

I am a 16+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with experience in freelancing and self-publishing. I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning into short pieces of text. As a self-publisher, I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publications including writing, editing, layout and modification. I also produce Youtube material and have begun producing audiobooks.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client. I will work pseudonymously if that is a concern for you, however stupid that situation is.

  • New writing (raw text): $0.03c/word (minimum)
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary: $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation Skype/Hangout/Call: $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project: $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign): $11 an hour.
  • Stock Art Shopfront: Postmortem studios have a huge stock art catalogue from multiple artists and we’d love to add you to that storefront. If you’re an artist who wants to sell your stock art but doesn’t want to deal with the accounts and uploads etc with your own storefront (which would be my first recommendation) then I can do that for you for 50% (I round up your payouts). Even if you don’t want to do this through me I recommend doing it anyway for all artists and can consult on best practice if you need advice.
  • Voice Work: If you find my dulcet tones to your liking, I’m available for voice over work and narration, recording audiobooks and more. Rates negotiable, starting at $11 per hour.

Recent Products


Black Mass: A horror scenario for Blood! The adventure plays off the paranoia of the right wing and the naivity of the left to create a hybrid scenario shocking through violence, culture shock and violating various racial conceits. Think of it as an urban Green Inferno.

Sexbots: A supplement for Machinations of the Space Princess detailing sexbots, adding character creation options and fitting them into the implicit setting of MotSP.

Foul Humours: A set of monsters summoned from human excrescence for old school D&D/OSR style games.

Powder Monkeys: A set of black-powder weapon rules for 5e D&D.

Word Wizards: A fun, educational/wordplay RPG that uses letter-tiles and vocabulary as a resolution system. Intended to be lighthearted, punny and to do for English skills what regular RPGs do for mathematics.

Our entire catalogue (other than the newer items) – easier to browse than the online sites can be downloaded for free HERE. http://www.rpgnow.com/product/176399/Postmortem-Studios-Publisher-Catalogue-2016&affiliate_id=50144

Social Media & Contact

I’m always open to contact, discussion, ideas and more. If you have questions, queries, suggestions or feedback – good or bad – please do get in touch.

  • You can comment here on the blog (Postmortemstudios on WordPress)
  • You can find me on Twitter @grimachu
  • You can find me on Facebook (James Desborough)
  • You can find me on Youtube (PostmortemVideo)
  • If you want to ask questions (or troll me) anonymously I have an Ask.fm (Grimachu)
  • If you want to support my writing, games design and other work I have a Patreon (Grimachu)
  • I’m also on G+ (JamesGrimDesborough).
  • I’m on Minds.com as Grimachu

Second Hand Books & Old Stock

I have a number of old books and stock available for sale. £5 for small format books, £10 for large format books + shipping (UK only).

100 Conspiracies
Adventurer’s Vault 4e
Agents of SWING: Agent Casefile
Ant Assault (Cardgame)
Black Rock Bandits (4e adventure & Map)
Bloodlust RPG (French)
Bloodsucker: The Juice
CTG: Isle of the Mighty
Cthentacle (Hardcopy)
d20 Mecha
Dark Conspiracy: Darktek
Dark Conspiracy: New Orleans
Darktown RPG
Desecration (Pathfinder adventure & map)
DK System (French)
DM’s Guide 2 (4e)
DM’s Guide to Immortals (Basic D&D)
Dog Town RPG
Exalted: Return to the Tomb of Five Corners
Inferno (Boardgame)
Legend of the Five Rings LRP Rules
Mantel D’Acier (French)
MET: Antagonists
MET: Book of the Damned
MET: Dark Epics
MET: Journal No 4
MET: Laws of the East
MET: Laws of the Night Camarilla Guide
MET: Laws of the Nightmares
MET: Laws of the Wild Changing Breeds 1
MET: Laws of the Wild Second Edition
MET: Liber des Ghoules
MET: The Masquerade Second Edition
MET: The Shining Host
Monster Manual 2 4e
MTA: Akashic Brotherhood
MTA: Blood Treachery
MTA: Book of Shadows
MTA: Cult of Ecstacy
MTA: Dreamspeakers
MTA: Initiates of the Art
MTA: Masters of the Art
MTA: Progenitors
MTA: Sons of Ether
MTA: The Loom of Fate
MTA: Verbena
MTA: Void Engineers
Ninjas & Superspies RPG
Old, Fat Punks (Novel)
Palladium The Mechanoids (Rifts Sourcebook 2)
Player’s Handbook 2 4e
Red Box Basic D&D
The Sting (Pathfinder adventure & map)
Traveller New Era: Fire Fusion & Steel
V:TM 2nd Edition
Victoriana 1st Edition
VTM: A World of Darkness
VTM: Berlin by Night
VTM: Blood Bond
VTM: Blood Magic, Secrets of Thaumaturgy
VTM: Chicago by Night
VTM: Children of the Nightmares
VTM: Elysium
VTM: Ghouls, Fatal Addiction
VTM: Guide to the Sabbat
VTM: Midnight Siege
VTM: Milwaukee by Nightmares
VTM: New Orleans
VTM: New York by Night
VTM: Storyteller’s Handbook
VTM: Storyteller’s Screen 2nd Edition
VTM: The Anarch Cookbook
VTM: The Hunters Hunted
VTM: The Succubus Club
VTM: Thrashing Dragons
VTM: Time of Thin Blood
VTM: Ventrue
WOD: Combat
WOD: Outcasts
WTA: Axis Mundi – The Book of Spirits
WTA: Corax


I have a near complete run of 2000AD from 315-1386 and Judge Dredd Megazine from 4(1992) to 72(2000) for sale. Entertaining offers on runs or singles, but preferably for the whole lot from someone who can come get them (all packed up ready for transport).