Heads Are Gonna Get Crushed!

Coming to my Patreon in September will be HeadCrushers: an RPG of Fantasy Mayhem. This is a very simple system – more simple even than Sword’s Edge – that is designed for quick, loud fantasy adventures but which can be easily adapted to other genres. This was directly inspired by the fantastic Skullkickers comic, which you can ​read online but which is ​available in print.

I would greatly appreciate your support to my Patreon. HeadCrushers will be coming to the regular venues for sale in around October, but it’s cheaper if you get it through the Patreon.

 

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Sales for Second Quarter 2018

This is a bit late, but then again I’ve got my hands full with family, school, and work – and that list is in order of priority. I’ve been pretty honest about running silent and how that’s likely to last for a while longer, and I’m not really happy about that, but I will be happy when my schooling is done and I get that piece of paper.

My neglect of both SEP and my Patreon has not helped sales numbers. Pretty sluggish, but then again, I’ve never been able to figure out what drives sales. I know regular releases help, but the slump started while I was still releasing every month, so not sure exactly what’s goin’ on.

I’ll likely never figure it out.

But, in any case, here are the numbers:

Sales for Second Quarter 2018 (Apr – Jun)
All sales venues

Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day,
Khorforjan Gambit, 1
Qalashar Device, 1
Raid On Ashkashem, 1

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 1
For Simple Coin, 1

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 2
Covert Forces Redux, 2
In Her Majesty’s Service, 1

Other
Centurion, 4
Centurion: Hispania Ulterior Motive, 2
Judged: A Nefertiti Overdrive Adventure, 2
Line Zero, 1
Nefertiti Overdrive, 2
Starship Commandos, 4
The Wall, 2

Sword’s Edge Systems
Crossing the Millers, 1
Face ‘Splosion, 1
For A Few Swords More, 1
HardCASE, 6
Kheufer Scrolls, 1
Kiss My Axe, 2
Sword’s Edge, 6
Sword Noir, 6

Total Sales to Date
Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113), 43
Khorforjan Gambit, 124
Qalashar Device, 138
Raid On Ashkashem, 182

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 69
For Simple Coin, 66
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 42

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 114
Covert Forces, 100
Covert Forces Redux, 188
In Her Majesty’s Service, 160

Other
The Boltcutter, 4
Centurion, 207
Centurion: Hispania Ulterior Motive, 2
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit, 43
Judged: A Nefertiti Overdrive Adventure, 16
Line Zero, 42
Nefertiti Overdrive, 126
Starship Commandos, 31
The Wall, 20

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 159
Face ‘Splosion, 17
For a Few Swords More, 18
HardCASE, 10
Kheufer Scrolls, 205
Kiss My Axe, 234
Lawless Heaven, 13
Suffer the Witch, 97
Sword’s Edge, 43
Sword Noir, 689

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Sales for First Quarter 2018

I used to do this a lot more often. It’s a long weekend and I’ve finished my taxes for 2017, so it seemed relevant to have a look at SEP’s sales data for the first quarter of 2018.

I think the increase is due to the regular release of products, but I could be wrong. I’m not smart with marketing and I don’t think I have enough data to really be able to figure out what’s going on, but that is the main change between the same period in 2017 and 2018.

And with that lack of explanation, here’s the data.

Sales for First Quarter 2018 (Jan – Mar)
All sales venues

Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day, 1
Khorforjan Gambit, 1
Qalashar Device, 2
Raid On Ashkashem, 2

Arcane Kingdoms
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 2

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 1
Covert Forces Redux, 2

Other
Centurion, 6
Judged: A Nefertiti Overdrive Adventure, 14
Line Zero, 1
Nefertiti Overdrive, 11
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules, 47
Starship Commandos, 3
The Wall, 18

Sword’s Edge Systems
Crossing the Millers, 2
Face ‘Splosion, 16
For a Few Swords More, 17
HardCASE, 4
Kheufer Scrolls, 1
Kiss My Axe, 3
Lawless Heaven, 13
Sword’s Edge, 23
Sword Noir, 6

Total Sales to Date
Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113), 43
Khorforjan Gambit, 123
Qalashar Device, 137
Raid On Ashkashem, 181

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 68
For Simple Coin, 6
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 42

Charity Products
Relief Effort, 55 (discontinued)

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 112
Covert Forces, 100
Covert Forces Redux, 186
In Her Majesty’s Service, 159

Other
The Boltcutter, 4
Centurion, 203
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit, 43
Judged: A Nefertiti Overdrive Adventure, 14
Line Zero, 41
Nefertiti Overdrive, 124
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules, 699
Operation Nearscape, Free Product, 430 (discontinued)
Starship Commandos, 27
The Wall, 18

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 158
Face ‘Splosion, 16
For a Few Swords More, 17
HardCASE, 4
Kheufer Scrolls, 204
Kiss My Axe, 232
Lawless Heaven, 13
Suffer the Witch, 97
Sword’s Edge 1E, Free Rules 1669 (discontinued)
Sword’s Edge, 37
Sword Noir, 683

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HardCASE: a Sword’s Edge Adventure

The newest release from SEP is now available.

On a mission to hunt down an arms dealer connected to several high profile assassinations, operatives in the Contact Team, the kinetic, direct action arm of the secretive CASE – the Clandestine Activities Special Executive – uncover a link between a secretive Russian cutting edge science program, in existence since Soviet Union, and North Korean arms smugglers. The Contact Team is sent to hunt down a Russian scientist linked to this project who is seeking to meet with the North Koreans. What are they planning and how can CASE stop them?

“HardCASE” is a near-future action-thriller adventure for Sword’s Edge. It’s available now at Drive Thru RPG. It includes a new addition to the rules for Challenges in Sword’s Edge and presents six pre-generated operatives from CASE.

This adventure was developed as part of a Patreon campaign. If you would like to see more adventures like this, please support the author at Patreon.

 

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An Opening In the Wall

The Wall is now available through Drive Thru RPG.

You are the occupying soldiers of a foreign power garrisoning a city far from home. You do not share a culture with the citizens, and your state has decided to use the existing political structure to maintain its rule. You stand as the voice of the occupying power, ensuring the elite protect that power’s interests while avoiding antagonizing the regular citizens. You do not want political opposition and you do not want riots.

You are the Wall against chaos, against dissension, against revolution. But you are also the Wall against freedom and self-determination.

This is not a game about playing inhuman monsters. It’s a game about playing humans in a monstrous situation.

The Wall is a role-playing game about hard choices which uses a simple conflict resolution system to decide the outcome of scenes, which in turn affects the city the characters occupy and the factions within that city.

This game was developed as part of a Patreon campaign. If you would like to see more games like this, please support the author at Patreon.

You can find out more about the Wall here.

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The Wall

This month, the release through my Patreon is the Wall, a new role-playing game in which you play members of an occupying force in a foreign city.

You are the occupying soldiers of a foreign power garrisoning a city far from home. You do not share a culture with the citizens, and your state has decided to use the existing political structure to maintain its rule. You stand as the voice of the occupying power, ensuring the elite protect that power’s interests while avoiding antagonizing the regular citizens. You do not want political opposition and you do not want riots.

You are the Wall against chaos, against dissension, against revolution. But you are also the Wall against freedom and self-determination.

And now you need to live with that.

This is not a game about playing inhuman monsters. It’s a game about playing humans in a monstrous situation. You are right in the middle of various factions, all seeking to better their lives or increase their power. You need to maintain order without alienating the foreign elite or making enemies out of allies. When you are ordered to do something wrong, how do you avoid it? How do you find a better outcome? And then what are the repercussions for you?

You can find the Wall at my Patreon.

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Sales for 2017

I’ve been remiss in sharing sales data for 2017, and while a year-end round-up lacks the detail of monthly or quarterly reports, given the number of my sales this year, it seems fitting.

My sales have seen a jump in the last few months of 2017, and this I attribute to the only factor that I have reliably noted – regular releases push back catalogue sales. Since my Patreon is pushing me to produce product, that product will get released and that will drive my back catalogue. It’s not a huge leap. We’re still talking beer money here, but it’s substantial beer money.

For your edification, the year’s total sales figures, then the figures for PDF and print sales, followed by sales to date (meaning from 2004, when Raid on Ashkashem was released). The numbers of sales for Sword’s Edge only includes those sales outside of the Kickstarter.

Sales for 2017
All sales venues

Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day, 5
Khorforjan Gambit, 5
Qalashar Device, 5
Raid On Ashkashem, 6

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 7
For Simple Coin, 2
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 3

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 4
Covert Forces Redux, 5
In Her Majesty’s Service, 6

Other
The Boltcutter, 1
Centurion, 20
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit, 3
Line Zero, 1
Nefertiti Overdrive, 31
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules, 126
Starship Commandos, 20

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 10
Face ‘Splosion, 4
Kheufer Scrolls, 10
Kiss My Axe, 28
Lawless Heaven, 6
Suffer the Witch, 4
Sword’s Edge, 18
Sword Noir, 52

PDF Sales for 2017
Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day, 5
Khorforjan Gambit, 5
Qalashar Device, 5
Raid On Ashkashem, 6

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 7
For Simple Coin, 2
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 3

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 4
Covert Forces Redux, 5
In Her Majesty’s Service, 6

Other
The Boltcutter, 1
Centurion, 10
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit, 3
Line Zero, 1
Nefertiti Overdrive, 10
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules,
Starship Commandos, 20

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 10
Face ‘Splosion, 4
Kheufer Scrolls, 10
Kiss My Axe, 10
Lawless Heaven, 6
Suffer the Witch, 4
Sword’s Edge, 17
Sword Noir, 22

Print Sales for 2017
Centurion, 10
Nefertiti Overdrive, 21
Kiss My Axe, 19
Sword’s Edge, 1
Sword Noir, 31

Total Sales to Date
Albenistan
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113), 47
Khorforjan Gambit, 127
Qalashar Device, 140
Raid On Ashkashem, 185

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 75
For Simple Coin, 8
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 43

Charity Products
Relief Effort, 55

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 115
Covert Forces, 100
Covert Forces Redux, 189
In Her Majesty’s Service, 165

Other
The Boltcutter, 5
Centurion, 217
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit, 46
Line Zero, 41
Nefertiti Overdrive, 144
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules, 778
Operation Nearscape, Free Product, 430
Starship Commandos, 44

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 166
Face ‘Splosion, 4
Kheufer Scrolls, 213
Kiss My Axe, 257
Lawless Heaven, 6
Suffer the Witch, 101
Sword’s Edge System, Free Rules 1669
Sword’s Edge, 18
Sword Noir, 739

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The Wall: Coming in 2018

You are the occupying soldiers of a foreign power garrisoning a city far from home. You do not share a culture with the citizens, and your state has decided to use the existing political structure to maintain its rule. You stand as the voice of the occupying power, ensuring the elite protect that power’s interests while avoiding antagonizing the regular citizens. You do not want political opposition and you do not want riots.

You are the Wall against chaos, against dissension, against revolution. But you are also the Wall against freedom and self-determination.

And now you need to live with that.

The Wall is a role-playing game about hard choices from the designer of Sword’s Edge, Nefertiti Overdrive, and Centurion: Legionaries of Rome. It will be released first on Patreon and will be available to the public in March 2018.

If you are interested in the Wall or the other RPGs by Sword’s Edge Publishing, please follow us at Google Plus and/or support Fraser Ronald’s Patreon.

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Lawless Heaven Now Available

Four cops. One hundred criminals. Countless broken bones.

The Sword’s Edge adventure, “Lawless Heaven” is now available through the Composed Dream Games RPG Marketplace. You can also find Sword’s Edge there.

In this homage to modern Korean action cinema, Three cops and an intelligence operative in South Korea’s industrial heartland face off against a local gang involved in a heroin smuggling ring. The cops have only one order: bust the ring, but no one realizes the true depth of this particular cesspool.

This is an adventure for two to six characters for Sword’s Edge. It includes six pre-generated characters and supplemental rules for chase scenes.

This adventure, and others, are part of my Patreon campaign, which I would appreciate you supporting.

You can find out more about “Lawless Heaven” here.

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Mechanics Informing Spotlights

About a month ago, I wrote about sharing the spotlight among characters in RPGs, why it’s important players get a chance to have a character in the spotlight, and how you can make sure that happens. But since the spotlight is supposed to be about highlighting how special the characters are, how can you – as the DM/GM/whatever – create spotlight moments that fit the characters?

Of course, in order to fashion spotlights that sing, one needs to know and understand the characters. If one doesn’t know about the characters, one can design events that provide relatively generic spotlight moments – something to do with a good fight, something to do with a good sneak, something that needs magic, something that needs persuasion. These kinds of spotlights can be adapted on the fly to better suit the characters as the GM recognizes them or the players present them. This can be difficult to accomplish along with all the other tasks and responsibilities a GM has in many games, but doing so can really help to make the session memorable.

While how a player presents a character in play is perhaps the best guide to developing spotlights for that character, most systems will have hints for the GM. The games that I have designed all have a mechanic that can be used by players to signal the kind of scenes and spotlights they want for their characters. Pivots in Centurion, Nefertiti Overdrive, and Sword’s Edge all provides rewards in a slightly different manner, but the mechanic has another purpose which is the same across all three games – it signals to the GM the kind of spotlight the player wants. In general, this is by providing an indication of what is important to the character.

Sword’s Edge goes a step further, including a goal, a quirk, and a style to help fashion different kinds of spotlights. All three of these could even be used together to design a scene in which the character truly owns the spotlight. It might relate to the character’s goal, the character might be able to reveal or utilize their quirk, or the scene can require the kind of style which the player has noted. Of course, any one of these alone could inspire a scene in which the character can shine, but together could make it particularly notable.

Most RPGs have mechanics in their character design that can indicate to the GM the kind of spotlight that would interest the player. Of course there are classes or careers, but these can be relatively generic and spotlights built on them tend not to feel personal to a character. However, if a player builds a fighter with a non-traditional skill – perhaps some kind of musical or artistic ability – that should tell the GM that the character needs to have a scene in which they use that skill. D&D 5E has personality information used both for gaining Inspiration but which also should inform the GM in building spotlight moments. Fate has Aspects and Stunts that can reveal much about the kind of cool scenes the player wants for their character. Look at what the player has built and be especially aware of the uncommon and non-traditional.

Spotlights are important for players, and the right spotlight, highlighting how unique the character might be, can really fuel the player’s enjoyment and immersion.

The earlier post on spotlights.

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