Games On Demand

For those not in the know, at Gen Con 2011, I’ll be a GM with Games On Demand at the Crowne Plaza in the “Pennsylvania Station C” ballroom on Thursday and Saturday mornings from 10:00 to 14:00. My main purpose to to run “Crossing the Millers” for Sword Noir and “Suffer the Witch” for Kiss My Axe. I will also have Old School Hack for improv gaming (meaning nothing prepared, but ready to run it) and I will have a military special operations adventure set in Khorforjan to run with True20. Come and see me if you want to game.

You can read about Games on Demand on Facebook.

You can buy Sword Noir: a Role-playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery here.

You can see the pre-generated characters for “Crossing the Millers” here.

You can get Old School Hack here.

You can buy the Khorforjan Gambit, an adventure for d20 Modern, here.

Kiss My Axe: the Quick And Dirty Gen Con Edition

Copies of Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death will be available at Gen Con, but these will be the Quick and Dirty Gen Con Edition. The big difference between the QDGCE and what will come later is the layout. Those of you who have purchased SEP products from the Khorforjan Gambit onward will have noticed the professional layout and graphic design. That’s due to Rob Wakefield. Now, he takes time to do his job, and I was in an incredible rush to get something ready for Gen Con. As such, I banged out a very basic layout and a cover that was the best I could do, but which ain’t winning any awards.

The game, though, is to the professional standards I hope SEP has exhibited in the past.

Just to give you an idea of what happens when Rob isn’t around to hold my hand, behold, the QDGCE cover!

Sales for June

July’s been pretty busy with projects and I’m afraid this posting is pretty late. June was a good month for us, and it gave me more data to see how sales for Sword Noir will pan out. So far, things are better than expected. Based on our current net revenue for Sword Noir, we might be in the black within 9 months. I originally projected two years, so that’s pretty good.

Total Sales for June
Albenistan Series
Albenistan: Election Day 1
Khorforjan Gambit, 1
Qalashar Device, 1
Raid On Ashkashem, 1

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 1
For Simple Coin, 2

Covert Forces
Blood and Guts 2: In Her Majesty’s Service, 2
Covert Forces Redux, 1

Sword’s Edge System
Sword’s Edge System, Free Rules, 91
Sword Noir, 21

Total Sales to Date
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113): 29
Khorforjan Gambit: 89
Qalashar Device: 103
Raid On Ashkashem: 142

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms: 20
For Simple Coin: 26

Charity Products
Relief Effort: 53

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section: 84
Covert Forces: 100
Covert Forces Redux: 132
In Her Majesty’s Service: 120

Modern Medieval
Gunpowder Plots: 73
Man-At-Arms Advanced Class: 36
Mercenary Advanced Class: 39
Spy Advanced Class: 34
Modern Medieval Compilation: 46
(for Japanese Disaster Relief)

Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit: 35
Line Zero: 32

Roles & Classes
Capable Hero: 84
Combat Hero: 83
Counter-Terrorism Assaulter: 95
Covert Hero: 92
Spec Ops Recce: 93
Special Operations Marksman: 93
Talent Trees Assembled: 68

Sword’s Edge System
Sword’s Edge System, Free Rules 538
Sword Noir 166

Treasure Chest Unlocked
Gems: 66
Incense: 7

Sword Noir and Kiss My Axe . . . On Demand!

Just in case you aren’t keeping up with my Gen Con 2011 schedule, I plan to be at Games On Demand, which one can find at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Pennsylvania Station C (which is a ballroom set aside for Gen Con gaming). Look for me on Thursday August 4 at 10:00 to 14:00 and Saturday August 6 at 10:00 to 14:00. I’ll have one-shots for both Sword Noir and Kiss My Axe. If I get a couple of people, I’ll be running a game, but I max out at 6.

Call me humble or call me a realist, but I have a sense I’ll be lucky to get two people interested in a game.

My Gen Con schedule is here.

You can find Sword Noir: a Role-playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery here.

Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death will be debuting at Gen Con with print copies of the “Quick and Dirty Gen Con” edition.

Fraser’s 2011 Gen Con Schedule

This post is going to be my little Gen Con scheduler . .  .or something. Basically, this will let you know where I’m doing whatever I am doing. I’m hoping to showcase Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death and Sword Noir, meaning I’m hoping to run some games. If you see an opening and want to game, let me know.

I’ll be updating this page as plans are made. I hope I’ll see you there.


1000 – 1400 Games on Demand, Crowne Plaza : Pennsylvania Station C
1500 – 1900 Sword Noir One-Shot “Crossing the Millers” at Embassy Suites
1930 – 2330 Social Event

1430 – 1630 Interviews
1700 – 2100 Sword Noir One-Shot “Crossing the Millers” at Embassy Suites

1000 – 1400 Games on Demand, Crowne Plaza : Pennsylvania Station C
1500 – 1900 Playing Old School Hack
2000 – 2300 Media Meet & Greet at Union Station Basement

Heading home.

SEP at Gen Con 2011

Indianapolis, I will be in you. Be warned!

Yup, going to Gen Con. This, in and of itself, is not news. I did want to highlight some information about the trip.

I’m going as a representative of the Accidental Survivors Podcast, meaning that SEP will not have a booth and that I’ll be looking to talk to other industry professionals.

I will, however, be carrying with me physical copies of Sword Noir and the very first ever copies of Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death. This will be the “Quick and Dirty Gen Con edition,” lacking professional layout, but mechanically the same as that which will come later.

Along with copies of Sword Noir and Kiss My Axe, I’ll have one-shot adventures for each which I will be happy to run.

Since I’m not going to have a booth, you’ll need to give me a shout before the con to set up a place and time to meet if you want to play in a one-shot. I’m also very open to just sitting down and running a game if you run into me.

So you have been warned, Indy. You have been totally warned.

You can find the Accidental Survivors here.

You can purchase Sword Noir here.

You can get other SEP goodness here.

Gen Con Pre-Gens

The Sword Noir one-shot for Gen Con 2011 is tentatively called “Crossing the Millers.” In this adventure, the player characters work for Finney, a crime boss in Everthorn’s East Corners neighbourhood. Finney’s citadel is in a converted waterwheel mill that still runs, and Finney’s gang is sometimes called the Millers.

The PCs are called on by Finney to do him a personal favour. What Finney doesn’t know is that he’s asking the crew to do something that might lead the crew into direct conflict with the boss himself.

For those of you who might still not have purchased Sword Noir: a Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery, it can be found here.

And these are the pre-generated characters that the one-shot will use.

Concept: Fixer, Good
Background: Merchant of Lies, Good
Faculty: You Can Trust Me!, Good (Cha)
Flaw: My Fatal Love, Basic
Phy Av; Agl Av; Wit Gd; Cha Gd; Wil Av
Where it Hurts (Wit, Gt); Connected (Cha, Gd); Charming (Cha, Gd)
Pivot: The Mouth is Mightier. An Advance when the character avoids a physical confrontation that s/he likely could have won and makes an ally—or at least puts another character in her/his debt—by doing so.

Concept: The Muscle, Good
Background: Underworld Bodyguard, Good
Faculty: Bringing the Pain, Great (Phy)
Flaw: Blind Loyalty, Basic
Phy Gt; Agl Av; Wit Av; Cha Av; Wil Gd
Brute Force (Phy, Gd); Taste Steel (Phy, Gt)
Pivot: Only if You Get Through Me. An Advance when the character places her/himself in real peril in order to protect a friend or ally.

Concept: The Witch, Good
Background: Seeker of Mysteries, Good
Faculty: Arcana, Good (Wit)
Flaw: I’m So Much Smarter Than You, Basic
Phy Av; Agl Gd; Wit Av; Cha Av; Wil Gt
Steady Hands (Agl, Gt); Mistress of the Tree, Charm of Seeing (Wil, Gd), Fist of Thunder (Wil, Gd), Voice of the Green (Wil, Gd)
Pivot: Finder of Secrets. An Advance when the character accesses secret knowledge and uses it in such a way as to defeat a superior opponent, not necessarily in battle.

Concept: Sicarius, Great
Background: Bloodsports of the World, Good
Faculty: Fast, Good (Agl)
Flaw: The Direct Approach, Basic
Phy Av; Agl Gt; Wit Gd; Cha Av; Wil Av
Strike Like A Snake (Agl, Gt)
Pivot: There Are Rules. An Advance when the character passes up an advantage over a superior opponent because it would be “unfair” or might not “look good.”
Note: Sicarius was the name given by the Romans to a group of assassins during the first Jewish Revolt in the time of Nero. In this game, it denotes a type of gladiator who uses two knives.

Concept: Burglar, Good
Background: Street Urchin, Good
Faculty: Light Fingers, Good (Agl)
Flaw: Bright shiny objects, Basic
Phy Av; Agl Gt; Wit Av; Cha Av; Wil Av
Like a Spider (Agl, Gt); Perfect Balance (Agl, Gd); Reflexes! (Agl, Gd); Flashing Blade (Agl, Gd)
Pivot: This is Why I Can’t Have Nice Things. An Advance when the character passes up an opportunity to profit or “acquire” a desirable object in order to protect or aid a friend or ally.

Concept: Sword For Hire, Good
Background: Shed Blood In Many Lands, Good
Faculty: Three feet of Steel, Great (Agl)
Flaw: Word of Honour, Basic
Phy Av; Agl Gt; Wit Av; Cha Gd; Wil Av
Infantry (Agl, Gd); Wolf in the Fold (Agl, Gd)
Pivot: I Got This. An Advance when the character enters into dangers combat against superior opponents without assistance when that assistance is available.

Concept: Ghost, Good
Background: Night Artist, Good
Faculty: I Can See It In Your Eyes, Great (Wit)
Flaw: Hunted Man, Basic
Phy Av; Agl Gd; Wit Gd; Cha Av; Wil Av
In The Shadows (Agl, Gt); Up My Sleeve (Agl, Gd); Deadly Strike (Agl, Gd)
Pivot: Did You Expect Me To Fall For That. An Advance when the character avoids serious peril due to the character’s insight into another or others actions, plans or motives.

Get Your Own Text, This One Is Mine!

For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, you may not know that Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery was plagiarized. Another “hardboiled sword & sorcery” product copied the text from Sword Noir verbatim. The product has been removed from where it was sold and I’ve contacted the publisher/owner, so right now it seems the case is closed. At least for now.

When I was warned about this, I kind of brushed it off. I said I would deal with it quietly. No need to embarrass anyone, just send some emails and get the product removed and no worries. When I actually saw the product, saw how blatantly this individual copied word for word almost the entirety of Sword Noir, I lost it. I could feel my face getting flushed and my hands were actually shaking. I was as close to pure rage as I can ever remember. I had to go for a walk to calm down. Before I had calmed down, I had blathered to the Twitterverse the identity of the culprit, though others had already discovered it. If you are really interested, go have a look at my profile over at Twitter, and you’ll learn what you need to know—and the thoughts of others.

I honestly have no idea what this guys was thinking. I mean, did he believe no one would notice? He friggin’ subtitled his work “hardboiled sword & sorcery.” In truth, I likely wouldn’t have found it myself, but anyone interested in that game will likely also be interested in Sword Noir. One of them is going to say something, okay?

And what really burns me is that I put the mechanics for Sword Noir out there as the Sword’s Edge System for free. Free! And it’s creative commons, so he could have taken the rules he wanted, provide his own interpretation of hardboiled sword & sorcery in his own words, and released it under creative commons and not only be in the clear, I likely would have been thrilled that someone else is digging hardboiled S&S as much as I. The catch? SES was creative commons non-commercial, meaning he would have to do it for the love of it.

And he would actually have to work. You know, actually write the game he is selling. That might have been a bridge too far.

Now, I am not about to condemn a little creative borrowing. I mean, look at Sword Noir, it’s an amalgamation of Tim Gray’s Jaws of the Six Serpents (published by Silver Branch Games), the PDQ system designed by Chad Underkoffler (published by Atomic Sock Monkey Press), The Shadow of Yesterday by Clinton R. Dixon, Fate 3.0 by Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks, and Leonard Balsera, Savage Worlds from Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and Lady Blackbird by John Harper from One.Seven Design. The thing is while I got mechanical inspiration from all those—especially Jaws of the Six Serpents—the words were all my own.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on podcasts, but I’m pretty damn sure game mechanics can’t be copyrighted while the expression of those mechanics—the writing including charts and graphs—can. If the dude had just taken the mechanics and made them his own—because what gamer in his right mind wouldn’t tweak what he had just borrowed—his product wouldn’t have been removed from its retail website all of five minutes after I sent the email with the subject line “Copyright Infringement.”

I guess I should have some sense of accomplishment, that my shit is so hot someone is trying to steal it. When someone steals one’s car, is that how one consoles oneself? First my websites get hacked and messed with, and now this—I am not feeling particularly charitable right now.

However, the Kheufer Scrolls is out. Kiss My Axe is done and in layout. I’m going to Gen Con.

I guess things could be worse.

You can buy the Kheufer Scrolls: A Sword Noir Adventure here.

You can buy Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery here.

You can buy more of my stuff here.

The Kheufer Scrolls

SEP just released its first adventure for Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery called the Kheufer Scrolls. In this adventure, the PCs find themselves caught up in the search for scrolls belonging to the ancient necromancer Kheufer. Allies, enemies and the unknown all intersect as the sand runs through the hourglass and the plans of an ancient power, long thought dead, move toward fruition.

The Kheufer Scrolls is a 34 page PDF including 5 maps and 10 pages of narrative characters. It is designed for up to six starting characters. While the adventure does not require the use of Sword Noir, the narrative characters and some situations are based on that system and would require modification to use with another system.

You can expect a second Sword Noir adventure in September 2011. This is going to be a version of the one-shot which I will be running for various people at Gen Con. Also in August or September, Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death will be available. An adventure for KMA will soon follow in October or November 2011.

You can buy the Kheufer Scrolls here.

You can buy Sword Noir here.