Sword Noir Sneak Peak

There are two things that are making me really happy right now. One is the layout for Sword Noir. Rob and Melodie Wakefield have totally kicked ass and turned this book into a piece of art. Maybe I’m biased—okay, I am biased—but I’m really excited about the look.

Second, Ed Northcott has handed in his line art for the book and it is amazing. Ed is a friend, but he is also a professional illustrator, and when he said he’d be willing to help out with Sword Noir, I was thrilled. He’s totally nailed the look of the two iconics I created for Sword Noir’s included setting.

Below, have a look at the character blocks for Aterus and Fasgar, then take a gander at a preview of the art depicting these two. If that’s not getting you pumped for this game, I don’t think anything else I say will.

Fasgar, Right Hand of the Invisible Judge: This is a massive brute of a man with long, muscular limbs and a broad chest. His blonde hair passes his shoulders and his reddish beard is plaited. He claims to act for the Invisible Judge, a rumoured enforcer of justice in the Warrens, though he exhibits an independent streak and a tight friendship—closer to brotherhood—with the thief, Aterus Pullo, who can be found in Al-Sham.
Concept: Warrior Skald +2
Background: Northern Barbarian +2
Faculty: Swordplay (Phy) +4
Flaw: I am an Honourable Man -2
Phy 18; Agl 15; Wit 9; Cha 15; Wil 18
Brute Force (Phy +4); Wolf in the Night (Agl +4); Charming Rogue (Cha +2); Traveller of the World (Wit +2); Voice like Honey (Cha +4)

Aterus Pullo, Right Hand to the Many-Eyed: He is a small man with bright, alert eyes, dusky skin and dark hair. He is dressed in tarnished finery with a feathered beret on his head and a slim sword at his hip. He claims to represent a wizard known as the Many-Eyed, but has an independent streak and a tight friendship—closer to brotherhood—with the barbarian, Fasgar, who can be found in the Warrens. Aterus himself resides in Al-Sham with various flophouses and apartments, each with the exterior appearance of pathetic disrepair, but hiding palatial interiors—and many, many trips, traps and locks.
Concept: Civilized thief +2
Background: Failed scholar +2
Faculty: Cat Dancing (Agl) +4
Flaw: I am Smarter than You -2
Phy 9; Agl 18; Wit 12; Cha 15; Wil 12
Beauty of Swordplay (Agl +4); Cat Burglar (Agl +2); Cat’s Paws on Carpet (Agl +2); Dabbler (Wit +2); Pupil of the Many-Eyed (Wit +2); Crystal of Scrying (Wit +4)

Click for embiggenage

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  1. Ok…so NOW I’m curious.

    By my count, that means any effort put into the Sneak Peak was worth it…as it did it’s job in grabbing the attention of at least one more buyer. But here is the real question at hand: What are your plans for sales … distribution? I mean I see you now link all of your Spec Ops stuff to RPGNow, but I came across SwordsEdge stuff at RPGObjects while picking up Modern20. I understand you may not be able too (or simply may not wish too) disclose if one source is “better” than another for Swords Edge; but I can’t help but notice the “implied” preference for RPGNow. Any reason that you can disclose? I guess more to the point, as a publisher do you receive a higher rate of return from one distributor (not sure if that is the right term, I’m referring to the place of purchase) over another?

    Incidentally I found your Relief Effort pdf on sale at RPGNow…yet no where else. (Operation Pele’s Revenge caught my eye, since I participated in a real world operation involving relief efforts due to a volcano in the Philippine’s–sadly it was called Operation Fiery Relief–I now have a humanitarian medal apparently earned for the Department of Defense’s use of the 353 SOG in something related to hemorrhoids)

    1. It’s funny you should bring up sales venues right now. I’m going to give you a peek behind the curtain. Those not interested in the BIZ, move along . . . nothing to see here.

      SEP is moving forward to using One Book Shelf—OBS which runs both RPG Now and Drive-Thru RPG—exclusively. The reason for this is that while e23, Your Games Now and Paizo all took a lower commission, the sales there were minimal. I mean, sales for SEP recently have been minimal (we haven’t put anything out and I haven’t been marketing), but other than OBS, the sales venues have been painfully slow.

      Thanks for reminding me about RPG Objects. I’ll have to drop them a line as well.

      Going exclusive with OBS means they take a lower commission, meaning SEP nets more per sale. I’ve terminated the SEP contracts with the other sales venues and have sent in my contract for exclusive status. Contract termination clauses are standard 30 days, so that’s why the release of Arcane Kingdoms is being delayed—I’ll release it to OBS once all the background biz stuff has cleared.

      As to Relief Effort, I’ll drop you a line about that situation.

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