About a GM


Welcome Traveller,


My name is Phil Nicholls, and these are my tales.


I began gaming with Basic D&D and B2: Keep on the Borderlands. Inevitably, I progressed to running First Edition AD&D. After a brief flirtation with Hero System, I built my own version of D&D 3.5.


A more detailed look at the Big Four RPGs in my life.


However, I gradually realised that the best part of a RPG was the story. HeroQuest 2 by Robin D. Laws was a revelation. These elegant rules enable Player creativity and produce graded outcomes from every contest, thereby helping the GM narrate a branching story.


Here is why I love HeroQuest 2.


l-r: Myself, Si & Phil-the-Artist

l-r: Myself, Si & Phil-the-Artist

My Tales of the Hero Wars campaign is built around a narrative created in collaboration with the Players. The aim of my Tales of a GM blog is to help other GMs develop the narrative within their game and find the tools to ease the burden of game prep.


When not gaming,I am a full-time Father to two energetic young boys and three troublesome cats. I also have the school run to manage, and school events to attend, which combine to chop my writing day into small pieces. Working amidst the complexity of family life, it can be difficult to find the time I need to write.


Along with my blogging I write fiction, mainly for younger children. I am exploring how to teach children creative writing thanks to the support of our local school. Also, I am slowly bulding a freelance writing career.


Happy Gaming



Do you want to know more?

Here are a few other topics with dedicated pages describing them.


About Tales of a GM


More of My Writing







Magpie Tales

  There are many excellent Forums in the hobby, and I enjoy being part of some of them. My favourite Username is Philmagpie, using this avatar picture. “A Thrush Dressed as a Penguin?” First of all, the picture is of a Magpie, specifically a European Magpie. This may be a different species to the one …


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    • Si on August 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm
    • Reply

    Looking forward to seeing where you’re going with this!

      • Phil on August 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you Si,

      First Visitor AND first Comment.

      I have plans, but one step at a time.


    • Baz on August 17, 2013 at 8:02 am
    • Reply

    great website Phil, and thanks for all the awesome gaming 🙂

      • Phil on August 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm
      • Reply

      Hey Baz,

      Thank you for the kind comments.

      So glad that you liked the FAE game. We must do another one-shot together sometime.


    • Si on May 12, 2014 at 11:40 pm
    • Reply

    Magpies have a dark side. Do you?

      • Phil on May 13, 2014 at 6:30 am
      • Reply

      Hi Si,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, I do have a dark side, I guess that we all do. I can be lazy, have low self-esteem and I tend to worry a lot. The boys would certainly tell you that I can have a short temper and do a lot of shouting.

      Of course, I fight against these as best I can, but that is not to deny their existence.

      Life is not just black and white, it can be iridescent green too!

      All the best

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