Improving Sword Noir

I got a two-star review for Sword Noir over at RPG Now/Drive-thru RPG which brought up some very salient points. It’s unfortunate that Sword Noir didn’t work for this individual, and with the Sword’s Edge System now out for free, people can testdrive a version of the rules before paying good money for the genre-addition.

The thing is, the review is correct in that the rules don’t require one to create a specialist, though that is part of the Sword Noir concept—encapsulated in a paragraph I’ve reproduced so many times, I ‘m going to pass on doing so yet again. A poster on a messageboard pointed out that the rules would allow one to build whatever one wants, that it is not limited to a Sword Noir-style character. That was a feature, but it’s also kind of a bug. Much of the system was built to meet a definition, but in that example, it failed to do so.

That does not mean the system is faulty. I think the system works great, but then again, it’s cobbled together from a bunch of other great systems, so that is to be expected.

The reviewer also states that Sword Noir needed an editor. Well, it had an editor, and I think he did a great—as did everyone who worked on Sword Noir. That’s not to say there are no mistakes. Being humans, I would expect mistakes. What I would appreciate from all of you out there is to let me know what the mistakes are. I certainly want to know aspects of the system itself that could be improved—because I think everything can be improved—but what I am referring to here are spelling, grammatical, and usage mistakes.

Is a rule clunky, in that it is difficult to interpret? Let me know.

Did I misspell something? Let me know.

Is the writing obscure, impeding understanding? Let me know.

I intend to do an update of the rules before Sword Noir is available as a PoD. That’s based on feedback. I love feedback. It helps me make things better.

More on that later.

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4 Responses to Improving Sword Noir

  1. SnowDog says:

    I am reading the 20 page SES pdf and so far there is one minor thing that is a bit unclear.

    “A Pivot is created by the player but must have the GM’s approval. A player can create a Pivot
    at character creation or at the end of any session, but not during a session.

    A character may have up to three Pivots at a time, and he can add, remove, or change a Pivot
    at the beginning of a session, but not at any other time.”

    As you can see, the paragraphs are a bit contradictory. In the first paragraph the pivot can be created (added) at the end of the session. The second paragraph says that it should be done at the beginning of the session.

    Of course it doesn’t really matter, in the end. Only effect that comes to my mind now is that if it is done at the end of the session, the Narrator has more time to think of the consequences of the given pivot and maybe even think of how to use a possible hook.

  2. Valannor says:

    Hi! Excellent product!

    I’d like to thank you for putting up the Sword’s Edge System rules separately. It now feels like you’ve hit both the genre specific thing and opened up the playing field for more variation.

    I think you hit the genre perfectly as far as magic, combat, setting and sample adventure. That character creation may be used for other things, I think, shouldn’t detract from the merits of the work you’ve done. The first requirement for the game is, I believe you mentioned, player buy-in, which should result in appropiate character creation.

    As to the subject of possible errata/mistakes, I’ve only found 1 confusing thing in my first read through:

    p. 23: in the example where the water sorcerer attacks the earth sorcerer… shouldn’t the water sorcerer receive a penalty? This part was confusing. Also, when you say one element has a generative/destructive element has a destructive relationship to another… do those relationships maintain when affecting elements upstream or downstream of the chain? i.e. If water sorcerer were attacked by fire sorcerer, can a generative relationship be said to exist? Or is it just for the immediate next step in the chain only?

    There are a few spelling/word mistakes, like Tara’s weakness Mama needs a bag being written as Papa needs a bag on the example, but this is nitpicking, really 🙂

    Thanks again for a great product. I’m looking forward to playtesting this next week. Sign me up for a PoD copy, as well as for Kiss my Axe!

  3. Fraser says:

    Thanks so much for pointing out that confusing spot and that error! Expect to see a revision soon that will hopefully address both without creating more problems!

  4. Fraser says:

    A-hah! Another correction to make. Thanks so much, SnowDog. I’ll get that fixed, and I think your suggestion is right on the money.

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