Sword’s Edge Publishing

SEP has published a few lines that may be of interest, and you can find a page devoted to each.

Centurion: Legionaries of Rome has characters serving under the eagles of Rome in her famous legions.

Nefertiti Overdrive is about high-octane, wire-fu action set in Ancient Egypt and includes a series of adventures that tell a longer story.

Sword’s Edge is a generic system for which multiple adventures in different genres are available.

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Patreon-izing

I’m sure I’ve made the joke before, but what the heck.

If you have been here in the last few years, you will have noticed something different: nothing directing you to a Patreon. That’s an experiment that has come to a close. I have to admit that having started SEP in 2004, I still haven’t figured out marketing. Unlike Kickstarters, where drive-by traffic can fuel some (for me, it’s most) of the support, Patreon relies on the subject’s ability to pull in people.

Never been really good with that.

For a while, the Patreon proved useful just to push me to create RPG material. The larger one’s catalogue, the more revenue one can expect from Drive-Thru RPG (much like Patreon, itch.io—at least for me—is very dependent on the author/publisher’s ability to draw in customers). So in the end, the Patreon will likely have a longer reach than the revenue which came directly from it.

The sad truth is that, many modern societies and cultures measure a product’s value and impact in revenue. Back in university, I took a course on the social psychology of sport, and in a component about contracts we looked at studies suggesting large contracts are pursued more as a signal of the management’s regard for the athlete than for the money itself. I imagine it’s the same in entertainment as a whole.

All that to say, I’m not immune to this, so I’m afraid I continue to looks at sales and people’s willingness to spend money on me as a measure of my value—at least as an author and RPG designer.

I think I have one or two ‘for pay’ projects I might pursue, but if I write any more adventures, I think I might release them as ‘pay what you will,’ knowing the general perception will be that these are lesser products than those with a fixed price.

Forget it, Jake. It’s capitalism.

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A Quick Look at Nefertiti Overdrive

A quick rundown of Nefertiti Overdrive from the owner of Composed Dream Games who is also a friend. I think he’s pretty fair in how he presents it, so it’s a good preview if someone is interested in it.

You can find Composed Dream Games here.

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Feed Nova Scotia in December

Feed Nova Scotia, the food bank charity that covers the province of Nova Scotia, has indicated any donation on made on 1 December will be matched by Canadian food retailer Sobeys Inc.

I intend to donate SEP’s revenue from November to Feed Nova Scotia. That’s not going to be too much. It’d be nice if everyone did what they could for Feed Nova Scotia, so of if you donate, let me know and I can send you any of my games that might interest you just as a little thank you.

Also, if 2020 has hit you hard, please let me know and I would be happy to send along whatever might help distract you for even a moment. Just email me or DM and let me know what I can do to help.

While there may be hope on the horizon, it has been a really shitty year. I hope I can help in some small way to make it suck a little bit less for some people.

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Resistance: EARTH

Resistance: EARTH is now available at itch and Drive Thru RPG.

Ten years ago, the world ended. Today you’ve been chosen to bring it back.

A resistance to the alien overlords who govern the Earth is forming. Small, ill-equipped, and de-centralized, it had been in hiding, staying out of the regime’s gaze. It needs capable leaders, people who have the skills and audacity to take the fight to the regime.

That’s why they’ve tipped their hand, revealing themselves to the regime.

That’s why they busted you out of prison.

On the run, out of options, and marked for death, your characters are part of the resistance seeking to topple the proxies of the aliens who now rule the planet. You have nothing but your wits and out-dated weaponry. You face a technologically advanced force that vastly outnumbers you.

The only way you will survive is if you adapt, resist, and finally overcome.

Welcome to Resistance: EARTH.

Resistance: EARTH is an adaptation of Modern and Fifth Edition, blending the robust customization and granular options of OGL and Fifth Edition with the character-centric, narrative-focused style of story games.

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Sword Noir Second Edition Kickstarter

Are there those who only get their information on my work from this website? On that possibility, here’s your cue to go and back Sword Noir Second Edition on Kickstarter.

Sword Noir Second Edition is a clarification, update, and tightening of the existing rules rather than a wholesale change. If you own the original Sword Noir and it works great for you, you likely don’t need this version. If you own the current Sword’s Edge, you will see that Sword Noir 2E is very similar—Sword’s Edge was derived from Sword Noir, and with Sword’s Edge having had its update, I wanted to update Sword Noir to bring it back in line with the basic Sword’s Edge rules.

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Not The Time for THAT Kind of Direct Action

This being released concurrently with a post at my Patreon.

TL,DR: I support the protest of police violence against the Black community and demand police reform. Due to current circumstances, I am unwilling to release a game of military action, and will re-purpose it as a SF-action game of resistance against alien overlords in a near future Earth. 

If you disagree that systemic racism is an issue in the US, Canada, and pretty much around the globe, and that we—as the privileged—need to support the Black community, please don’t support me. You don’t want to give me your money as it will be going to support the Black community and police reform.

Okay, the details:

I hope everyone is well and safe. These are truly trying times, and while Canadian streets are not seeing the same kind of protest as many US streets are, we are not insensate to what is happening. Change must occur in Canada as much as the US—I honestly don’t know a country in which racial equality is not a problem.

And if you disagree with that, you would probably be happier not following me and not supporting my work, because I feel very strongly about this. I have been supporting food banks the last couple of months, but I will be supporting causes that have come to the fore in this crisis, causes that are supported by the Black community and especially Black creators and members of the tabletop RPG community.

Having said all that, the militarization revealed in the police force, the use of National Guard troops, and the threat of using US service personnel to police US streets has made me feel very queasy about working on and publishing a game about the military right now. Much like WARMONGER changed because of the COVID-19 virus, I feel Direct Action must change due to current circumstances.

The game will remain the same, I’ve been running two concurrent alpha playtests and the rules are getting close to a viable form. There are much less changes than initially planned, mostly because d20 and 5E were pretty solid platforms to begin with.

So, instead of Direct Action, I’ll be releasing Resistance: EARTH. Themes resonant with the current crisis is appreciated but unplanned. I had playtesters who were not at all interested in playtesting modern SOF, so Resistance: EARTH became a setting we could playtest the rules in.

Resistance: EARTH is kind of a post-apocalyptic action-adventure RPG. You play part of a resistance against alien overlords 10 years after an invasion. A primer is available at my Patreon which provides some insight into what I am proposing.

Thank you as always for your support. Please feel free to cancel that support. You won’t be missed.

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Riggers Are Coming

The results for my Patreon poll for July 2020’s release is complete. Riggers: Meta-Humans in a Shattered World will be added to the project queue. You can read more at my Patreon.

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Dark Roads: A Centurion Adventure

It’s 272 of the Common Era, and the Emperor Aurelian has defeated King Cannabas and his Goths, but has abandoned Dacia. Now he marches on Palmyra. As his force crosses Anatolia, Aurelian calls his trsuted retainers to him, and assigns to them a secret mission: contacting an imperial agent in Ankyra, an agent who may have access to Queen Zenobia herself.

Deep in enemy territory, the retainers learn that the agent has disappeared. Captured, killed, hiding—the retainers don’t know. All they know is that the clock is counting down, their emperor is relying on them, and the forces of the Palmyrene Empire may be hunting them.

Because facing down a Gothic Army wasn’t exciting enough.

Dark Roads: A Centurion Adventure is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Direct Action: Covert Forces and Special Operators

Undertaking the most difficult missions in the most dangerous locales, special operations forces are the tip of the spear. Secretive, highly-trained, and hauling the best kit, these shadow warriors represent a tactical response to strategic threats.

Direct Action is a game based on d20 and Fifth Edition, and draws on previous SEP products like Covert Forces: Redux, Blood and Guts 2: In Her Majesty’s Service, and Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section. Characters are special operators from national covert forces in adventures that can either jump from the headlines or explode out of fiction. Hunt down terrorists, shut down drug syndicates, protect diplomats in ungoverned spaces—the missions are as varied as the operators’ talents and training.

Kit up and head out for some high-speed, low-drag action.

Direct Action is will be the June 2020 release on my Patreon.

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Quantum & God: Gates of Hell

You were born into a world threatened by demons, protected by the benevolent Eternal. Now, the acolytes of the Eternal hunt you, ready to spill your blood, and you’ve found out the demons are real, and they are part of a war in the heavens. This world—your world—was built on lies, but its truths hold many more terrors.

Quantum and GOD: Gates of Hell is the sequel to Q&G: Rebirth (released through my Patreon but not generally available right now), and is an adventure for 3-6 player characters. It will be released with both mechanical information for Fifth Edition and for Sword’s Edge. Fifth Edition characters should be of levels 3-5. While the story provided does not require characters of good alignment, given that the goal is to save the world, good or at least non-evil characters are the most suitable for this adventure.

This adventure is intended mostly as a framework, but if played through with only the events and encounters related, will likely last two to four evenings, depending on the number of players and the speed with which they generally make decisions and move through mechanical encounters.

In this adventure, the PCs have been thrust into a world they don’t understand, and must come to terms with powers they’ve been raised to consider “demonic.” They’re chased by the followers of the Church of the Eternal, but have also found allies and enemies, and uncovered a threat to their world.

This provides a capstone to the adventure begun in Rebirth, but the world and the storyline begun there could wind through many other threads before arriving here.

Please note: a key component of this adventures is the questioning of a monotheistic religion followed by the populace of the setting, and revelations regarding it. While this is not intended to ridicule anyone’s beliefs, if you or someone in your group is sensitive to criticism of organized religion, you probably will want to give this adventure a pass.

Quantum and GOD: Gates of Hell is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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