Lawless Heaven at CanGames

Are you going to be in Ottawa this weekend? If so, do you want to kick some ass in Ulsan? Then “Lawless Heaven” would be your jam.

I’ll be running “Lawless Heaven” on Saturday at 14:00 and Sunday at 09:00 this weekend (20 & 21 May).

In case you don’t know, “Lawless Heaven” is my homage to South Korean action cinema using my recently Kickstarted RPG Sword’s Edge. Seats are still available.

You can find the schedule here.

You can find CanGames here.

Here‘s a quick rundown of “Lawless Heaven”

And you can find out more about “Lawless Heaven” here.

Ballad of a High Plains Samurai

As I’ve mentioned a few times in a few places, I’m working on a fiction commission. It’s done and dusted, handed in and awaiting editing. It’s also okay for me to let people know what it is.

I’ve written a four-part story outlining the early history of Black Scorpion, a major figure in High Plains Samurai. Black Scorpion is a legendary bandit who once challenged the warlords hold on the One Land, and the story I’ve finished takes her from childhood to the final battle between the Desert Sun gang, with Black Scorpion as its chief, and the warlords of the Five Cities.

I’ll let you know when and where you can read the fiction when that information becomes available, but it’s probably best to follow Broken Ruler Games for all the breaking news. You might notice, if you are checking up on High Plains Samurai, that there is a stretch goal for fiction with my name attached. This would be a continuation of the four-part saga which would reveal more about my version of Black Scorpion.

And I would say my version, because if you are playing or running High Plains Samurai, your Black Scorpion might be different. Your One Land might be different. For me, it is a place where the weak cannot hope for justice and order is the same as submission. For me, Black Scorpion began as an outcast and became the most powerful warlord in the One Land, becoming such a threat that the other warlords united against her. For me, Black Scorpion is a tragic hero who desires justice but is fuelled by rage. In a world in which justice is absent, she is left with her rage.

So I hope you’ll enjoy it when its available, and I hope you’ll support High Plains Samurai, a fantastic game and a fantastic setting.

You can find out more about High Plains Samurai here.

You can find Broken Ruler Games here.

This Is How (What) We Do It

After having a fair break with minimal pressure following the success of the Sword’s Edge Kickstarter, with the payments in, project management has started. But that’s not all. There are a bunch of other projects on which I am working, and here’s a general overview of what I’m working on and what stage it’s at.

Sword’s Edge: So the text is off for editing, and I have both the indexer and the fulfillment locked in. Right now, I am finishing off the setup for BackerKit and once that is running, this will move to project management, which means long periods of monotony punctuated by spurts of effort.

Fiction Commission: I can’t say more until this happens, but I am updating a fiction commission that I had thought was done. That’s okay, because the reason for the revision is one I whole-heartedly support. It has kind of changed how certain characters should be impacting on the story, but it is totally manageable and I’m happy with how this is turning out.

More to follow when I can.

“Lawless Heaven”: This is going to happen. It is actually very close to being in presentable form. Unfortunately, I won’t have portraits for the pre-made characters, but I do have some art for the book and most of the text is written. I will be doing some tweaking with it before it is released, but it won’t actually hit the public until after Sword’s Edge is released as a PDF – which will likely be November 2017, a month after the Kickstarter backers get theirs.

“Face ‘Splosion”: Another Sword’s Edge adventure, this time a science-fiction high octane actioner heavily inspired by Borderlands and especially Borderlands 2. Like “Lawless Heaven,” this will be released after Sword’s Edge hits the public, but this requires more work. The adventure and pre-made characters are all ready, but I need to write the other text that will be included, like an introduction, an explanation of the genre, and a discussion of the intended setting in case this will become the intro to a wider adventure.

Head Crushers: Another role-playing game, but this one is at the intersection of Nefertiti Overdrive and Sword’s Edge. Its default is fantasy, and it was designed to replicate the Skull Kickers comic, which was itself based on RPG sessions. The writing on this one is done, but it’s going to sit on the backburner for now, though I have plans to release it.

The Wall: And yet another RPG, but this one far and away from anything I’ve done before. Rather than fast, high octane action, the Wall is much more about creating narrative scenes. Its subject – the difficulties of being a foreign occupier in an unfriendly city – screams for deep thinking and drama rather than hacking and slashing. The mechanics on this one are ready, but there is a lot of writing to get it ready to hit the public. The intention, though, is there.

“The Nor’Westers”: This is a Sword’s Edge campaign set along the North West Company’s fur trade route in Canada in 1810. This campaign is made up of short scenarios, and so needs to be fleshed out more with lots of supporting text. This will likely be the last of the Sword’s Edge supplements that will be put out as it needs the most work. This is very much a backburner project. Once Sword’s Edge is out, this will take a higher priority.

Sword Noir: I paused on the updates for this, my first RPG, but much of the mechanics revision is done. There is a lot more, though, because the included setting of Everthorn needs much more work than the SN mechanics do. For now, SN is going to follow Sword’s Edge, but with its own special differences. Everthorn, however, needs a very major overhaul in regards to characters, and I have considered releasing the mechanics separate from the setting.

Nefertiti Overdrive: The historical addendum to this game is growing, but I am still in the middle of research on the 25th Dynasty. This is scheduled to happen after Sword Noir is done, so likely not for a while. A cool part of this project is that I have an actual Egyptologist who has agreed to review my work. For those who wanted more history in their insane action, this should go a long way to scratching that itch.

Crowd-funding: One of the ways in which these projects might see fruition is through Patreon. I have been toying with the idea for a long time, and I think as a system it works better for me than Kickstarter. All of the projects listed could be Patreon projects – some of which might be released in components rather than a single work. I need to get enough in order that I will have a regular release schedule, so this is not something that will likely happen for a couple of months, but I think it makes sense. It is also a way to release my games and supplements in advance of Sword’s Edge hitting the public.

So, yeah, I’ve got a few things on my plate.


Burying Games in a Shallow Grave

I have amassed a fair number of RPG PDFs. Some are free previews and quickstarts. Some are games I have purchased for themselves, some are Kickstarters, some are parts of bundles, and some are from Bundles of Holding. Most of these have been acquired for their mechanics. I have never been big on settings or genres because that’s kind of what I love doing. That hasn’t always been the case, but right now I would much rather research and design a game about . . . I don’t know, let’s say special operations forces or Roman legionaries, than buy what someone else has done.

So my interest is almost exclusively in mechanics.

I have been going through these PDFs and looking at the mechanics. I’m saving those that have something really interesting. For others, I’m saving those pages that have the basic mechanical information. For most, though, I’m deleting them.

I’m not deleting them because they are bad games. I’m not deleting them because I don’t like them. I’m not deleting them because I believe I made a mistake when I acquired them.

I’m deleting them because I’m not using them right now and I can always recover them.

See, that’s one of the nice aspects about PDFs. In general, these come from sources to which I can return if I want them. And if they aren’t, there are lots of places I can store them out of the way where I can get them if I want them, like cloud storage or a USB.

And while ripping pages out of my print copy of Night Witches should lead to some kind of traumatic punishment, copying and saving some pages from my PDF to use as reference isn’t a problem – as long as I’m not sharing them or something.

As much as I love books on a shelf, I’ve become very fond of PDFs for RPGs. They are generally more useful to me.

You can find print and PDFs of my games here.

You can find PDFs here.

You can find Night Witches here.