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Thornwood School of Magic At PAX AUS

The big news this month is that my in development Tabeltop RPG has been accepted into a PAX AUS initiative called "The Collaboratory" where we can take our in development games to get playtested. As part of this I received two free three day passes, and I've got two slots in the boardgame hall to playtest my game. One on Friday the 26th from 10:30 to 2:30, and same time on the Saturday. I'm pretty excited about sharing the game with strangers and seeing what they make of it.

Here's the pitch for the game that I submitted to collaboratory:

"You have been invited to attend the Thornwood School of Magic, a strange, wonderful, and occasionally dangerous school with a long history of magic and mystery.

This is a tabletop RPG with narrative dice mechanics, a freeform magic system, and everything else needed for you to live life in a magical boarding school. Each week you will decide whether to make friends, explore the grounds, perform magical experiments, or study for the test the next day all the while dealing with bullies, misunderstandings, embarrassment, and the confusing whirl of highschool emotions.


In the meantime, mysteries and danger are lurking around the corner. School life is important, but there are dark plots and conspiracies brewing, and you always seem to find yourself at the centre of them.


The adults never really listen, they’re too busy trying to protect you, underestimating you, or dealing with their own problems. So, it’s up to you to save the day. Maybe if you do it quickly enough you’ll still have time to study for those tests!


Grab your wand and your dice and get ready for a game of menace, mystery, and magic!"


It's also given me a big deadline to force me to work on the game some more which is good. I'm doing a playtest for the playtesting sessions this Saturday with some friends who haven't played before and I've got a bunch of game materials I'm planning to make / remake.


  1. I'm in the process of redesigning the character sheet. A few things have changed since I made it and I left some things off the original. I also realised that I could pack a lot more in there and use the space a lot better. I'm about three quarters finished with this.
  2. I've updated the spell reference sheets to be more practical, and created some weekly action reference sheets that outline all the weekly actions and recovery actions you can take.
  3. I need to make some half-pregen characters. I think the character creation process is pretty important because it lets you detail what sorts of things you'd like your character to succeed at and what things you want them to struggle with both mechanically and fictionally. So I'm going to make up some pregens with pre-filled skills and motivations and names, but leave the players with two Character creation points for getting things like relationships, and fictional traits.
  4. I'm going to prep an "adventure" which will basically be a situation near the end of a school year at a point of climax, I'll give the playtesters the option of going for this climactic part of the game that we can hopefully start and finish within the two hour block, or trying out how the game would normally start which would give them more of a taste of what the game would play like in a longer campaign.
  5. I need to make a google survey form for feedback, and I'm also planning on printing some qr codes and links on the back of the spell creation cards so that people can sign up to the mailing list or find me online.

So quite a bit of work to do, along with booking some rooms and working out what to do in Melbourne, over the next week and a bit. But I'm excited! If you'll be at PAX AUS feel free to reach out to me on twitter!



Posted on October 15th, 2018 by RhysHexmapping Tool | Twitter | Patreon