Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Why of Oddpool

At the start of 2015 I was really interested in playing Into The Odd, and while the print edition hadn't gone to press yet I had the pdf and two interested players in the form of Patrick Stuart and David McGrogan. The system looked so simple to run, I thought that I would take a stab at quickly putting some notes together for a sort of city crawl. Liverpool is just on my doorstep, and it's where all three of us grew up around or lived for a while, so it seemed like it would be fun.

As it happenened, on the day, we were playing in the cafe of the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, which looks out over the River Mersey and at an old sea defence, Fort Perch Rock. It made sense to me then to start the adventure there, a weird some-when counter-Earth that is fundamentally Odd. Captain Jean wants Henry Winkler (Patrick) and Karl Kennedy (Dave) to go into the ruined city of Oddpool to scout it out, see what they can find and report back.

They cross the river on a converted ferry boat, and then creep around the streets, tangling with strange gangs, mechsuit-corpses, zombies and a bizarre sheep-banana-hybrid giant. They made deals with a gang, ran from danger and survived despite their retainers taking a couple of hits. It was a lot of fun to run, and then after writing a quick AP on G+, the ideas went back on to the back burner as with so many other projects.

Flash forward to the summer, and I'm meeting Patrick and Dave again, along with Into The Odd's Chris McDowall, in order to playtest Dave's new project. I bring along my copies of their books for them to sign, and made a little Pocketmod from some of my Oddpool notes so that I didn't feel left out. I shared the pdf on G+, zero artwork, really rough around the edges, and a fair few people seemed to like it, and so the wheels started turning again...

For the longest time I've wanted to publish something for role-playing games. Why not have the first step be a little Pocketmod? I have lots of pictures of Liverpool, I live nearby and can take more, I have the tools to typeset something simple... Why not do it?

So I am, simple as that. I've been working on this in my spare time (and sometimes not in my spare time!) for the best part of a month, off of notes and ideas that have been percolating for about eight months. It's a little 8-page booklet that gets folded from a single sheet of A4. Directly compatible with Into The Odd, easily hacked ideas for other systems. If I make any profits from making this available I'm going to be reinvesting them into artwork for other projects (and I might go for tea and toast with my wife and daughter).

More soon: tomorrow, three groups that operate within the ruins of Oddpool...


  1. What is a pocket mod? Is it just a small format adventure?

    1. It's all about the size: Pocketmods are - or at least as I know them - a single sheet of A4 folded in a certain way to make an eight-page booklet, so each page is A7 in size.

      I first came across them here: http://pocketmod.com/ - I used the free software available from this site to turn an eight-page A4 pdf into a single sheet that can be printed and then folded into the Pocketmod.

  2. What is a pocket mod? Is it just a small format adventure?