Main Logo Critical Miss Title My Current Project


Top Ten


Back Issues



Issue 10 Winter 2006      The Magazine for Dysfunctional Roleplayers

Hi everyone,

Well here it is, as promised.

It's been quite a while since the last CM, and I've been pretty busy. I've written the Slayers Guide to Games Masters and the Jonny Nexus Compilation for Mongoose Publishing, written an article entitled "The Care and Feeding of an English Gamer for the Irish gaming fanzine White Elephant, been translated into French, and been cited in an academic paper! In addition to those, I had a column for Mongoose Publishing's magazine Signs & Portents, initially in print, but later as a free PDF download. You can get articles by me in Issue 26 ("Alternate Magic Items"), Issue 27 ("Goodbye Doctor Dalton"), Issue 28 ("The Day I Nearly Killed A Player"). Issue 29 ("Rebooting Your Campaign: Part I") and Issue 30 ("Rebooting Your Campaign: Part II")

I've also played around with my digital camera, been bored near to death at meetings, narrowly avoided poisoning myself, and felt proud to be English.

Oh, and the roleplaying's been as dysfunctional as ever.

Anyway, here's Issue 10. Hope it was worth the wait.

Jonny Nexus, Editor, Critical Miss Magazine.

P.S. One big change since last issue is that we've introduced a new forums site, complete with separate sections for discussing each article. Just click on the "Discuss this article..." link after each article and you'll be taken straight there.

P.P.S. I've taken the liberty of reproducing a few pieces that I previously published on my blog. Just so that regular blog readers know to skip these, I've marked them with a big •RECYCLED• tag.


Guide Information Laundering 101

Information Laundering was something that I described in mine and Mongoose's excellent Slayers Guide to Games Masters, and with Mongoose's kind permission I'm returning to the subject here, with an introductory guide to what I described then as "probably the most cutting edge research area in the whole field of munchkinology." Discuss this article...

Slayers Guide To What?

The Slayers Guide to Games Masters was the third in Mongoose's line of parody slayers guides, and the first to be written by me. It was published in the summer of 2003, and is, in my admittedly biased opinion, brilliant.

On a slightly more quantifiable note, I'd say that it's basically the same humour as Critical Miss, but in print, and with pictures; so if you like CM then you should love the Slayers Guide. Even my friends called a temporary halt to hostilities to concede that it was actually "rather good", before returning to their usual practice of (playfully) slagging the shit out of everything I do.

I think I should leave the final word to Simon Collins, staff reviewer at EnWorld who in their official review declared: "I guess if you like your humour coarse and black this will probably have you rolling on the floor with laughter" before going on to suffer a totally morally outraged meltdown, at the end of which he awarded it a score of 1 out of 5, "appalling" - the lowest score in Mongoose history.

I was rather proud of that, actually.

Anyhow, you can buy the print version of the book here, and the PDF version here.

Oh, and if you're wondering if the purpose of this "ad" is in any way financial, it's not. I got paid a standard flat rate fee for doing the Slayers Guide and will make no further money should you purchase it. No, this is pretty much all personal vanity I'm afraid.

EDIT: The above was honestly the case when I first published Issue 10, but I've since become an Amazon affiliate for when my novel, Game Night, is released later this year - and having set that up, I thought I might as well test it out. So if you buy it by clicking on the Amazon link above, I will actually get a bit of cash.

Guide Dog Town: A Review

We (me and General Tangent) got a chance to play Cold Blooded Game's Dog Town at Dragonmeet 2005. It's a game of 1970s New York mobster action where you get to beat the crap out of random people and commit acts of gratuitous violence. At least, that's the way we played it. Discuss this article...

Scenario Load Up On Guns, Bring Your Friends

Violence was always much more than a game: it was a mirror that revealed the darkness that hides within our hobby. Its transplantation of the violence of a typical fantasy roleplaying game into a recognisable modern setting gave us a horrifying insight into what it was that we were really doing. Violence was a piece of thought-provoking satire that would never, should never, actually be played.

But hey, this is Critical Miss, so here's a scenario for Violence by Jody Macgregor! Discuss this article...

Service AQA: A Munchkin's Dream?

AQA (Any Question Answered) is a UK service that claims to answer any question texted to them. Could this be what munchkins across the UK have been waiting for?

We checked it out. Discuss this article...

Guide The Complete Smeghead's Guide to Campaign Destruction

Darrin Bright purges a few demons from the past by giving you the complete lowdown into ending a campaign in which you're playing. Discuss this article...

Free Game Grammar Fascist

Pissed off at the low standard of literacy displayed by many Internet users? Feel smuggly superior at the standard of your own posts? Want to do your bit to improve the quality of the text that's out there? Then you need to play Grammar Fascist, our new, forum-based educational game. Discuss this article...

Rant Nobody Likes Me, I Don't Care

This is an article I started for Signs & Portents but never got round to finishing, and later found during an archaeological search of my laptop's archives. (Finding an entire, near-complete, article you've forgotten about is pretty cool, in a kind of "finding five quid down the back of the sofa" sort of way).

And after writing all that, I can't actually be bothered to try and think of some introductory text explaining it. Oh well, bollocks. Just go read it yourself if you want to know. Discuss this article...

Guide The Campaign For Real Monopoly

For fifty years now people have been playing a weak, watered down version of this classic game. No more. We want the real thing, and here's where the campaign starts. Discuss this article...

Stuff Yet More Readers' Own NAMGs

We first introduced the concept of New Age Mythos Games in issue 7, with the article: How To Write A "New-Age Mythos" Game. We continued the theme in issue 8, with Readers' Own NAMGs, and again in issue 9 with More Readers' Own NAMGs. Well this issue is no exception, so here are a couple more NAMGs our readers have come up with. Discuss this article...


A sick, entertaining, and possibly libelous NPC for Marcus Rowland's game, Diana, Warrior Princess. Discuss this article...

Free Game Courtroom: The LARP •RECYCLED•

An idea I had for a sort of LARP-lite game with a varying level of participation required (from having to dress up in costume and act for some particpants, to simply sitting and listening in standard clothes for others). Discuss this article...

Free Game Body Language Rugby

A simple game for two or more players that can liven up an otherwise boring gathering such as a wedding or business reception. Discuss this article...

Convention Reports

Report K2 2004 •RECYCLED•

K2 is a laid-back convention held at the Killarney Country Club in Ireland's County Kerry. Here's what happened when I went there. Discuss this article...

Report QCon 2004 •RECYCLED•

I'd decided to go to QCon because I wanted to do something mad, and even though my friends thought only of what they might be left in my will I stayed resolute, despite the occasional wobble.

But in the end I went, and had a time that was both good and interesting. This is the story. Discuss this article...

Note:- In true Dukes of Hazzard, fifth season, post failed contract negotiations style, this exiting issue of Critical Miss features an entirely new cast of characters: RPGActionFigure, BoxNinja, TimeForTea, Janet and UbiquitousCat - collecively known as the CGS guys. But don't worry, we're not jumping the shark, honest. It's just that none of the other miserable bastards wanted to come. (Stu was poor, Bog Boy was busy, and Mark had apparently acquired a life).

Report Warpcon 2005 •RECYCLED•

Warpcon 2004 had been an all time low for me, due to a cough that started bad and turned painful, and was notable only for the disappearance of the signed/annotated Slayers Guide to Games Masters that I'd created for the charity auction. Since then, the Slayers Guide had been found, lost, and requested again. Unsuccessfully. I'm still looking for the bastard.

But I did have a good time at Warpcon 2005. Full story with pics here. Discuss this article...

Report Conpulsion 2005 •RECYCLED•

Me and Bubba headed off to Edinburgh's Conception 2005 hoping to have a good time.

We had a great time.

And after returning home alive I wrote the mother of all con reports. Hope you like it. Discuss this article...

First Church of James Wallis Sanctified

Guide Introduction To The Faith

Joining the First Church of James Wallis Sanctified has changed my life, and it could change yours too. This brief introduction to the Jamesian faith will attempt to explain why, and hopefully answer any questions you might have. Discuss this article...

Guide The Authorised Book Of James

The full text of the Holy Book that is the foundation of our faith. Discuss this article...

Guide Talking Point

Faith without understanding is a pointless thing. It is to this end that we've decided to host, in each issue of Critical Miss, a theological debate in which we pick a pressing issue, and then examine how the lessons we find in the Book of James can be applied to that issue.

We start with Green Ronin.

Preservers of the true faith? Or heretics who should burn? Discuss this article...

Agony Ask Doctor Bubba

Our Ask Doctor Bubba section of the past was a shameful thing, where we laughed at the problems submitted to us and used them as nothing more than ammunition for our sarcasm. We told outselves that this was acceptable; we told ourselves that the people who wrote to us were in on the joke.

We were wrong to do so. We apologise.

But now we a faith to guide us and things will be different. We have carefully examined each problem submitted to us, drawing upon the guidance and teachings that the Prophet has entrusted to us. Every answer we give is based upon the words of Book of James.

Blessed be the Prophet. Discuss this article...

That's all folks!

If you haven't already done so, check out The Forums. And again if you haven't already done so and want to know when we publish Issue 11 then just subscribe and we'll get an e-mail out to you when the next issue is online.

Critical Miss Magazine is published four times a year  three times a year when we can be arsed, by the Critical Miss Gaming Society.

GURPS is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games inc. Dream Park is a registered trademark of Tower Of Night Enterprises. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Paranoia is a trademark of West End Games. Heroes Unlimited is a trademark of Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. Magic: The Gathering is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast Inc. Timelords and Corps are trademarks of Blacksburg Tactical Research Center. Hero System is a trademark of Hero Games. Cyberpunk 2020 is a trademark of R Talsorian. Fuzion is a trademark of R Talsorian and Hero Games. Masterbook is a trademark of West End Games. Battlelords of the 23rd Century is a trademark of Optimus Design Systems. Nexus is a trademark of Daedalus Games. Feng Shui is a trademark of Robin D. Laws. Silhouette and Heavy Gear are trademarks of Dream Pod 9. Millennium's End and Psychosis, and the Millennium's End and Psychosis logos, are trademarks of Chameleon Eclectic Entertainment, Inc. Superhero(s) and Superpowers are registered trademarks held jointly by DC Comics, Inc. and Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. Wonder Woman and The Flash are trademarks of DC Comics, Inc. The Fantastic Four, Mr Fantastic, The Thing, The Human Torch and The Invisible Girl are trademarks of Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. Mr Fucking Excellent is not, to the best of our knowledge, anyone's trademark, but if it is then we're truely, deeply sorry. Ericsson is the registered trademark of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. T18s and DI 27 are the registered trademark of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. Series 5MX are Trademarks of Psion PLC. EPOC is a trademark of Symbian Ltd. PULSAR Spoon Ingot is the Registered trademark of SEKIO. Eye Jackets and Fingerprint are the Registered Trademarks of OAKLEY. Dungeons and Dragons, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, D&D, AD&D, the D20 System and Wizards of the Coast are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast. Tampax is the registered trademark of Procter & Gamble. Aberrant is the registered trademark of White Wolf Publishing Inc. QAGS is the trademark of Leighton Connor, Dale French and Steve Johnson. Shadowrun is a registered trademark of WizKids LLC. Knights of the Dinner Table is a trademark of Kenzer and Company. Network Walkman, Memory Stick Walkman, NWMS9 are trademarks of Sony. Model 8561/Blue is a trademark of Silhouette. Jornada is a trademark of Hewlett-Packard Company. Pocket PC is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 6210e is a trademark of Nokia. Star Trek is a trademark of Paramount Pictures. Astroglide is the registered trademark of BioFilm, Inc.

Critical Miss Magazine recognises the status of all copyrights, trademarks, product names and registered trademarks, and the use of the aforementioned within the publication should not be construed as a challenge to such status.