BFF! at GenCon

I brought the latest BFF prototype to GenCon this year and ran BFF for a dozens of folks. It was really great to get to show off the new hangouts and just watch people discover the game for the first time. On Sunday, Jason Morningstar was kind enough to arrange a game with Anita Sarkeesian(!) who was kind enough to make time in here busy guest of honor schedule to play with myself, Jason Morningstar, Hakan Seyalioglu, and a 9 year old game designer named Alice. We told a sweet bff tale of hanging out in the woods, and playing games and prank’s in Lulu’s basement.


Check out Anita’s amazing work @ Feminist Frequency!


People Said Nice Things

Introducing Deernicorn Limited Prints!

Heart of the Deernicorn has partnered with some of our favorite publishers in indie games to bring you a series of limited-edition screen printed designs on shirts, hoodies, and posters.

  • All garments are hand printed with water based inks on 100% cotton American Apparel
  • Posters are printed on Classic Crest 80# Cover with a linen finish
  • Each Limited Print will be on sale for 2 weeks
  • After the sale, any extras will be available in our store.
  • 1-2 new designs each month
  • Made in downtown Olympia

We hope that by partnering directly we can remove some of the financial and logistical barriers that indie publishers face getting shirts made.

DLP #001 The Burning Wheel






Luke Crane was the first person to reach out to me after the publication of Fall of Magic to help him with this gorgeous cloth edition of Inheritance, so it feels fitting that we kick off our Limited Print series with this bonkers 6 color design for Burning Wheel. This is the most technical shirt design we have attempted to date and I am thrilled how it turned out!

The first layer of printing is done using a discharge ink that removes the dye from the black shirts, allowing the other layers to soak into the fibers. The result is a vintage-looking print that will age gracefully over time and not crack like plastisol inks that are more commonly used.

Available now through August 15th!

Fall of Magic stock

We are currently out of stock of all editions of Fall of Magic except French. We will have another 30-40 english available sometime this week. After that we will be out till we get a reprint done sometime early 2018.

Homemade Fall of Magic

dumwytgi writes:

“Dear Ross Cowman,

I read a list of best RPGs of 2015 and saw Fall of Magic on it. The write-up intrigued me, so I checked it out, got excited, needed to own it, wanted the scroll, checked my finances, bought the electronic version instead because I didn’t have the $75 to spend.

I love the game, but wanted to play the game with the same evocative feel the scroll provides rather than printed out sheets of paper. So I made my own. Spent days staining wood, sketching on linen trying to recreate your work and Doug Keith’s art. Learning to sew to put that gray trim on to keep the cloth from unraveling. In the end, I’m pretty pleased with it. It isn’t as gorgeous as the version you produce, and it definitely doesn’t have those wonderful tokens, but I worked hard on it and I’m proud of it.

But as I got ready to share it, it occurred to me that I was treading on your copyrights. It’s one thing to print up a PDF, but it’s another to recreate it entirely by hand, especially when it involves attempting to recreate the very specialness that makes the special edition special. I’m proud of my copy, but I don’t want to necessarily encourage others to make their own because your version is amazing and I would hate to feel like I were taking money out of your pocket. I guess I wanted to check with you before I shared pictures of it just in case. I may have worked hard on the scroll, but you worked hard on the game, and without your hard work, I wouldn’t have done what I did. I wouldn’t feel right, legally or ethically, sharing without your consent.”

Dear Dumwytgi,

You are awesome.

Signed, Deernicorn

FOM-homemade fom2homeade



What’s Next From Heart of the Deernicorn


Ross’s new game – Night Forest – is expected to launch on Kickstarter this Fall. It is a live action game, co-developed and beautifully illustrated by artist Mo Golden. To play, you find a few friends, candles, matches (careful now kids), and head for the woods (or a park, for those who don’t live in misty Olympia, where this game was first conceived). As you wander alone with your lit candle, you have an illustrated card with an evocative prompt that you use as inspiration to remember or invent a memory. As the memory comes to life through your movement, you encounter other walking memories in the darkness. You approach one another, share your memories, exchange cards, and venture off again into the darkness.

The game’s structure evokes deep introspection and compassion for other players, while also inviting players to explore their experience of being alone and in the company of others. The prompts offer players the possibility to truly take the game in whatever direction they want, and players are often surprised at what memories come alive for them as they walk, card in hand, through the candle-lit night forest.

Want to get notified once Night Forest is live on Kickstarter? Sign up here and you’ll get Heart of the Deernicorn game updates. Don’t get too excited though… the emails only go out about every 3 months.

Also, if you’re headed to BigBadCon, there’s a chance you could play a prototype version of Night Forest… maybe in a parking lot.

Fall of Magic Nominated for Origins Award

I made a news page. And this is the first piece of news.
The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design has nominated Fall of Magic for the Origins Award for RPG of the year.
If you are going to Origins this year, I will be there running Fall of Magic, Serpent’s Tooth, and Night Forest at Games on Demand.

This will be my first convention away from the west coast and I’m reeeeealy excited. Please stop by and say hi!