Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland out in PDF

Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland is a storytelling game of the psychedelic Mesolithic. This standalone book brings your stories to Forgotten Doggerland – the land that lies drowned beneath the North Sea.

Cleaving close to the indie/story game end of RPGs, and powered by the minimalist Silver Road rules, you’ll take the role of the Maskwitches who struggle against evil spirits spawned by the troubles of the hunter-gather community you protect.

Troubles which frequently manifest into strange and horrific creatures which must be defeated in ritualised magical warfare.

In The Silver Road each character has two things they’re good at and two things they are bad at. In Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland, these take the form of the masks the witches wear, and amulets they carry. Witches are able to trade and change their masks, making their characters’ identities extremely fluid.

What other people are saying about Maskwitches:

A game that feels like a conjuring – a curious and compelling artefact. It is strange in the best possible way, a genuine work of art from the prose to the mechanics to art.

Gareth Hanrahan, author of The Black Iron Legacy Series, The Lands Of The Firstborn Trilogy, The Eyes Of The Stone Thief, The Darkening Of Mirkwood.

Maskwitches was one of the most immersive, emotional and dramatic games I ever ran.”

– Royston Harwood, Maskwitches playtester

The Story of Maskwitches Redux
Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland has had quite the journey to this new edition. Initially released 18 months ago, the first edition was an early experiment with AI imagery, which was very successful in its initial crowdfunding, raising £24,000 in a short weeklong campaign.

Handiwork games quickly realised there was no credible future in that technology, as the story of how data was collected and used without the permission of the artists who made it unfolded in real time.

It also became apparent that the temptation to replace artists with this new technology would be too great for many to resist.

Jon Hodgson, author of Maskwitches, and managing director at Handiwork Games:

“The so-called Ai imagery just wasn’t something I felt comfortable pursuing any longer. Initially it was a strange new frontier, with lots to learn about and explore – what was this new thing? What could it do? How could I as an artist work with it? I think it was a worthwhile experiment at that time.

But as it became monetised, and the facts of how these machines work became clearer and clearer, and as the various companies operating them showed just how little they respected the fuel they’re burning, both literal and metaphorical, I realised it was time to step away. I pulled all our Maskwitches titles overnight.

This presented a major hurdle for us as a small publisher. How to pivot into something more sustainable and ethically-aligned with our own values?

The game was good – at least people I trust were telling me so. But it needed entirely new art.

Something really important about the original was that it was very weird, and felt very unearthly, quite unlike anything else I’d seen. I could have simply painted artwork in the style of our other games, BEOWULF and a|state, but that didn’t seem quite right. Maskwitches demanded something else. And so I turned to my working history as a props maker.

This was going to be a huge ask – to remake potentially hundreds of images using physical props and sets. But I did it. I think it’s the single piece of work I’m most proud of. While it’s very different to the painterly artwork for which I’m known, after my efforts on The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer Historical, its been really satisfying to show it can be done.

I now have a vocabulary of techniques that can be used in the titles we never got to publish for Maskwitches. I certainly know how to put my money where my mouth is – we had a series of titles in various stages of development which were all halted by the rejection of so-called AI imagery. But I knew it wasn’t a good match for who we are or what we do.

The new edition is really exciting to me, and I don’t know of anything quite like it. Claiming that something is unique is always dangerous, but I think we’ve made something highly unusual.

I’m really looking forward to taking this game forward. Exciting times!”

Maskwitches is available right now as a 176 page PDF in full colour, and also as an “coffee table book” back and white edition called “Pine Pitch Black”. Bother can be preordered in print on the Handiwork Games’ website or bought right now from DrivethruRPG:

Handiwork Games Web Store:

About Handiwork Games
Founded in 2019 by industry veteran Jon Hodgson, Handiwork Games is a game design and publishing company based in Scotland. They produce various game products, including a|state second edition, BEOWULF Age of Heroes, Maskwitches of Forgotten Doggerland, the award-winning The Forest Dragon card game and a range of unique gaming accessories. Find out more at

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