My wife, Tove Gillbring, has been a champion for Swedish roleplaying games during the three last decades. Together we have published and developed games, gaming magazines and hosted gaming events at gaming conventions all over Sweden. Tove has always encouraged and supported other gamers and game creators. In our view, the entire gaming hobby benefits when a game is successful, be it our own or somebody elses. Now I want your help to show Tove how appreciated she is, and to make it easier for her to accomplish the creative fireworks she wants to set off in the midst of the bad news she is coping with. Her old breast cancer is back, and has spread beyond the possibility to cure her completely. Her lungs, skeleton and lymphatic system is affected, but she is a fighter. We got help to battle the medical issues, thanks to great doctors and medical teams in combination with the best treatment available for her kind of cancer. But Tove wants the rest of her life to be about more than merely surviving. She wants to focus on the things she loves to do. To develop and publish gaming titles, working with some of the people she loves most.
In the midst of the horrible news, Tove has been an inspiration. She considers herself lucky to have lived a good and full life, even if she had hoped it would be longer. Tove is not afraid to die and takes on all treatments her doctor suggests, to battle the cancer. She wants to get as many days as she possibly can to working on her favorite projects. Tove looked me straight in the eye on the very day she was told that there is no cure and said:
“I want to spend as much of the time I got Ieft with you, and keep doing the things we love. I want to see all of the projects we have planned in print before I go, I look forward to each and every one of them and will enjoy working on them to see them completed. That’s a lot of titles, so we need to step on the gas to make it happen. I want you to take time off from your regular work to make it happen, and hopefully our friends and freelancers will help us out too. I will not pass silently into the night, I prefer going out in a crescendo of creative fireworks”.
Since Tove can no longer walk, she needs my help to get around. I have been able to cut down my time at work in half in order to be home with Tove. While I work, Tove is stuck in her bed. It gives her time to rest, but if I could be with her all the time both Tove and I would be able to work more and plan our days better.
It might sound crazy to want to work on the creative fireworks at such a harsh time in our life, but it is what Tove wants to do and a testament as good as any on how much she has enjoyed her life. And we have been down this road before. When Tove got cancer the last time around, we had just started our Swedish gaming magazine Fenix. We could easily have cancelled the magazine right away, but instead Tove insisted that we should keep it up. Thirteen years later we have just published our 84th issue on a bimonthly schedule. We work well under pressure, especially when doing things we love (and with a little help from our friends).
Tove and I have worked together in the gaming hobby since back in the eighties, at the dawn of Swedish roleplaying games. Right from the start, our pet project was Western – a wild west roleplaying game. Our fourth edition will be released in English next summer, followed by a multitude of scenarios, source books and even choose your own adventure books. Many of the titles will be available in both Swedish and English.
Joe Dever contacted us in 2013, and asked us to be his Swedish publishers. Our Lone Wolf production line is mainly in Swedish (with a few exceptions soon to come), while Freeway Warrior will be released in both English and Swedish. There are quite a few titles coming up to both these production lines, where we are happy to have material left to publish based on our close co-operation with Joe Dever while he was still among us.
Our Swedish gaming magazine Fenix is also at the core of our production, and Tove is adamant about wanting to be there for at least the 100th issue. Most of the magazine is printed in Swedish, but thanks to great contributions from esteemed game writers such as Kenneth Hite, Graeme Davis, Pete Nash and Will Hindmarch, there are a couple of articles in English each time as well. We have already published three “Best of Fenix” volumes, and Tove wants to make more of the magazine available to gamers all over the world. For a while we were contemplating a twin magazine in English, but now it is more likely to make pdf-files of issues or articles available – or to release some more volumes of Best of Fenix.
Other projects on our drawing board? The German choose your own adventure success Rider of the Black Sun by Swen Harder, a second comic strip album of Åke Rosenius’ Birger Barbaren (possibly followed by an all English Bernard the Barbarian album), a Collector’s Album of an award winning comic made by some talented Swedish gamers and Åsa Roos’ cool Keyring RPG, in an English edition. This was one of the very first successfully crowdfunded Swedish games. This game is small enough to carry on a Keyring, yet packed with gaming material and fully functional. Easy and fun to play and the coolest gift ever! We could stop there, but … we actually have some other dreams too. So keep your eyes open!
We hope to be able to finish as much of the fireworks together as we possibly can, but please know this. I will honor my wife’s legacy by keeping her dreams alive, even when she is not. I will not abandon her dreams or her projects, instead I will take it upon myself to see them through.
Do you want to help us and get something in return for your kind support? Since we are gaming publishers, there are lots of titles from Åskfågeln you can buy for yourself or others. We always want our titles to be played and read, so spreading them to new gamers is just an added bonus. There are lots of places you can get hold of our games and books. You can always look for Åskfågeln at your local gaming store (even outside Sweden, since we are part of Modiphius’ distribution network). Or you can find us online at:
Our company web store and the only place where you can buy Gift Cards from Åskfågeln, if you already got all of the titles we already published and want to be sure to get hold of upcoming books as well. Please note that many of our titles are only available in Swedish.
To begin with, you can find the spectacular photo book on dice at
Dice – Rendezvous with Randomness
or Freeway Warrior – Highway Holocaust at
but as we add new titles in English to our production line, you will find them at Modiphius to.
The International home for our Best of Fenix volumes in hardback (as well as in pdf)
Here you will find an increasing amount of pdf-files of gaming titles from us at Åskfågeln. Please note that some titles are in Swedish only, while others are in English. When we add issues of the gaming magazine Fenix, they will consist of material in both Swedish and English.
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