Sword’s Edge Publishing has been quiet for quite some time. Since the kids came, and I started studying part time, SEP took a back seat. My last course for my certificate (just polishing up some skills for work-related purposes) ends next week. My kids are still around, but they are requiring less effort. I’ve been able to put more time into working on gaming stuff and on creative writing.
What does this mean for SEP? It means there are some upcoming releases of which I wanted to make you aware. All of these new releases will be in the fantasy vein, unlike the modern products which had been SEP’s main stock and trade.
First to come will be Arcane Kingdoms.
Across the seas or perhaps trackless deserts, places of legend in stories told by sailors who have seen the edges of the world, these Arcane Kingdoms are beyond the knowledge of many. But here, collected in these pages, is all the information known of these realms.
Arcane Kingdoms offers descriptions of seven nations in a PDF with 27 pages of content. The expected price is $2.99. Arcane Kingdoms will be released in January 2011.
The purpose of Arcane Kingdoms is to provide a small amount of information on a collection of nations that could be used in your game. How these are used depend on what you need. If you are running a “points of light” campaign, your players’ characters may find themselves near the edge of the map, and begin asking what’s beyond that. You may need a background for a mysterious character, some place beyond the confines already known in your campaign. One of your players may want a character who likewise comes from beyond the known lands.
Basically, this saves you from thinking up some foreign lands, for whatever purpose they might be needed.
In late January or early February will come For Simple Coin: Four Tales of the Fantasy Underworld, this is a collection of three stories previously published and one new story that might be considered sword noir. These stories are about the underworld and those on the edge of society in a fantasy urban setting.
For Simple Coin presents four stories in a PDF with 59 pages of content. The expected price is $4.99. For Simple Coin will be released no later than February 2011.
If For Simple Coin is successful—well, successful for SEP—I have planned a successor collection, Facets of Power, Tales of Magic and Mystery.
In late February or early March, depending on when the final milestones are hit, you should be seeing Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery. This is the culmination of a lot of thinking I had done about the genre of sword noir, and the game attempts to hit on all the aspects of sword noir as I’ve defined it.
Characters’ morals are shifting at best and absent at worst. The atmosphere is dark and hope is frail or completely absent. Violence is deadly and fast. The characters are good at what they do, but they are specialists. Trust is the most valued of commodities–life is the cheapest. Grim leaders weave labyrinthine plots which entangle innocents. Magic exists and can be powerful, but it takes extreme dedication to learn, extorts a horrible price, and is slow to conjure.
The raw text is 78 pages, but I’m not sure of the size of the final product. We are awaiting art before Rob does his magic and makes it look awesome. If it comes out as around 80 pages, you can expect a $6.99 price point for the PDF.
If you are wondering about the game, there are plenty of articles here and threads over at the Accidental Survivors forums on the game and its mechanics.
Built from the Sword Noir engine, Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death is a role-playing game for Vikings. I’d like to say that it will be out late March or early April, but we haven’t even put that one in for layout and art yet, so it could easily be delayed. We’re looking at something around 60 or 70 pages, and likely priced at $5.99 for the PDF.
So as you can see, there’s a fair amount coming from SEP in the near future. That’s pretty much the first quarter of 2011 covered with releases. There’s the possibility that some products that you haven’t see for a while might come back as compilations, but that’s not on the front burner yet, so no promises.
Fingers crossed that this all ends up the way it’s planned. As with all grand strategies, I imagine this one won’t last long once it’s actually been executed.