The Greatest Bean of Them All

Anyone looking at the Tavernmaster Games website is likely to be aware that our great mate Jeff Freels has been waiting for a kidney transplant. What you may not know is that he has now had the surgery (he got a new pancreas as well!) and after a few scary moments, he is now out of hospital and starting out on the long road to full recovery. Jeff is a man of many parts: artist, cartoonist, writer, gamer, heck he even plays a pretty mean ukulele!

As well as providing cover and interior artwork for many a TMG project, his greatest contribution to gaming must surely be Bean! the D2 Role-Playing Game and its various supplements (World of Bean and Beans in Space plus various BM and solo adventures). I certainly enjoy the action and fun-packed sessions I run using this superb system and now that my friend is out of the woods, medically so to speak, I would just like to take this moment to say,

“Good luck and get well soon Jeff Freels, surely the greatest Bean! of them all”.

Mini-Diorama of a Bean! Space Marine – figure crafted and painted by Simon Lee Tranter

Building Work at Tarrrho Towers – Part 2

The lounge all plastered up.

So, the building work has powered ahead and now the plastering has been done in lounge and dining room and the new fireplace is fitted and looking resplendent. Of course, it’s August and we haven’t actually had it working!

The scaffolding rig – scary!

The new fireplace – very classy!

The new ceiling plus light in the dining room – it’ll look great with all the shades and lamps in, honest!

Beer & Pretzels 2013: Beans in Space

B&P2013 – A Space Oddity

The intrepid adventurers for Beans in Space
Drew, pay attention!!

This is a bit late being posted but I feel we (that’s the TMG royal we) ought to shout about the fun we had in May at the Beer & Pretzels gaming weekend in Burton-on-Trent. I will leave others to talk about the Saturday, but I will commit to the ether what went on on the Sunday. Traditionally, well for the last 2 years, Sunday is a day for Bean! This year was no exception but following the release of the Beans in Space supplement for that great D2 role-playing game, I thought it might be nice to switch to a science fantasy setting for a change.

With the aid of a well known scandinavian plastic block manufacturer, I even managed to produce some miniatures plus floor plans of the ABSA (All Bean Space Authority to you!) space station Ratatouillefor the action to take place in.

BSV 501 Ratatouille – a classic modular design

This year I had a full complement of the TMG crew; Andy Holmes, Jason Mills, Andy James and Simon Tranter, plus Drew Morton (Drreww from Trollhalla) and as always my son Darrgh Junior (also known as William). Each player chose/was allocated a character from ‘Zed Shift’ – new members of the crew of the station.

ABSA Space Marine confused by the strange servile robots

After a rousing pep talk from the Captain of the Ratatouille, Commander Mungo Sativus, things started to go wrong.

The Pilot-Navigator, a  biomechanoid called Fal-Nonn-Kae, takes over the station and attempts to destroy the crew by interfering with life support, lighting and artificial gravity.

Zed Shift are all sat in the mess waiting to go on duty when the lights go out… They determine to make their way through the hostile environment of the crippled station to try to get to the command module and save the Captain and their own lives into the bargain.


After battling through modules of the station lacking oxygen and floating uncontrollably into ceilings they have to fight sentient plant life, deal with servile robots that bear more than a passing resemblance to those deadly pepper pots from the well known BBC series Doctor Who, before defeating zombean space marines. Once within the command module, the battle sways one way and then the other before Dr Jelly Bean (Drew’s character and station medic) rolls a mega super duper success and leaps up the steps to plunge a scalpel in to Fal-Nonn-Kae’s neck and bring the action to a close.

Zed shift battle zombean marines and a deadly D’LEX robot

But, where is the Captain? And what will become of the two crew members who lost control of their flitter and went spiralling off towards the nearest planet? Plenty of opportunity for our intrepid adventurers to boldly go where no beanfolk have gone before in a continuing adventure of BEANS IN SPACE!!

Darrgh T July 2013


Building Work at Tarrrho Towers

After 16 years at Tarrrho Towers, Trollwife and I have decided to make a few alterations to the lounge. For those of you who have visited our humble abode, the following pictures may be of interest.

To everybody else, the delights of our interior design alterations may be of less interest.

Darrgh T


July 2013

Lesser-known Statuary of Manchester

I had leisure to chase up a trio of monuments as I ambled around Manchester yesterday. The first I must have walked past dozens of times without realising who it was: Abraham Lincoln! Yankee blockades of Confederate states in the US Civil War kept cotton out of the mills of Northern England, causing a lot of hardship and unemployment. Nonetheless, there was a union vote to support the Union (if you will), and after the war Abe issued a thank-you to us Northerners. Apparently Lincoln’s son didn’t like this statue, as the placement of the hands suggests Abe has stomach ache! So even though it was destined for Liverpool, it somehow ended up in Manchester. (I didn’t entirely follow that bit.) It’s in Lincoln Square (duh!) – Brazenose (“bronze nose?”) Street in fact, just yards from a rather more prominent sculpture depicting Chopin. (I fear I may have hogged the camera a little on this one…)

The next is in Sackville Park. It’s the great Alan Turing, computer pioneer and Bletchley Park Enigma-code-cracker. Prosecuted for homosexuality, he was found dead with a bitten apple that it is thought was poisoned (though evidently no one tested it!) – hence the one in the sculpture. The statue sits happily between the science buildings of Manchester’s academia and the gay bars of Bloom Street, in a pleasant little park that is also home to the Beacon of Hope, the only permanent memorial (it says here) to victims of HIV/Aids. Turing’s sculptor buried his own Amstrad computer under the plaque at Alan’s feet. (Wise move.)

Finally, a few streets south on Granby Row I came across this one by accident. It’s a monument to Vimto, on the site of the building where the first ever mixture of those ingredients was made. The giant fruits and whatnot in this sculpture, however, are not genuine: instead they are made of oak.