Not The Time for THAT Kind of Direct Action

This being released concurrently with a post at my Patreon.

TL,DR: I support the protest of police violence against the Black community and demand police reform. Due to current circumstances, I am unwilling to release a game of military action, and will re-purpose it as a SF-action game of resistance against alien overlords in a near future Earth. 

If you disagree that systemic racism is an issue in the US, Canada, and pretty much around the globe, and that we—as the privileged—need to support the Black community, please don’t support me. You don’t want to give me your money as it will be going to support the Black community and police reform.

Okay, the details:

I hope everyone is well and safe. These are truly trying times, and while Canadian streets are not seeing the same kind of protest as many US streets are, we are not insensate to what is happening. Change must occur in Canada as much as the US—I honestly don’t know a country in which racial equality is not a problem.

And if you disagree with that, you would probably be happier not following me and not supporting my work, because I feel very strongly about this. I have been supporting food banks the last couple of months, but I will be supporting causes that have come to the fore in this crisis, causes that are supported by the Black community and especially Black creators and members of the tabletop RPG community.

Having said all that, the militarization revealed in the police force, the use of National Guard troops, and the threat of using US service personnel to police US streets has made me feel very queasy about working on and publishing a game about the military right now. Much like WARMONGER changed because of the COVID-19 virus, I feel Direct Action must change due to current circumstances.

The game will remain the same, I’ve been running two concurrent alpha playtests and the rules are getting close to a viable form. There are much less changes than initially planned, mostly because d20 and 5E were pretty solid platforms to begin with.

So, instead of Direct Action, I’ll be releasing Resistance: EARTH. Themes resonant with the current crisis is appreciated but unplanned. I had playtesters who were not at all interested in playtesting modern SOF, so Resistance: EARTH became a setting we could playtest the rules in.

Resistance: EARTH is kind of a post-apocalyptic action-adventure RPG. You play part of a resistance against alien overlords 10 years after an invasion. A primer is available at my Patreon which provides some insight into what I am proposing.

Thank you as always for your support. Please feel free to cancel that support. You won’t be missed.

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Riggers Are Coming

The results for my Patreon poll for July 2020’s release is complete. Riggers: Meta-Humans in a Shattered World will be added to the project queue. You can read more at my Patreon.

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Dark Roads: A Centurion Adventure

It’s 272 of the Common Era, and the Emperor Aurelian has defeated King Cannabas and his Goths, but has abandoned Dacia. Now he marches on Palmyra. As his force crosses Anatolia, Aurelian calls his trsuted retainers to him, and assigns to them a secret mission: contacting an imperial agent in Ankyra, an agent who may have access to Queen Zenobia herself.

Deep in enemy territory, the retainers learn that the agent has disappeared. Captured, killed, hiding—the retainers don’t know. All they know is that the clock is counting down, their emperor is relying on them, and the forces of the Palmyrene Empire may be hunting them.

Because facing down a Gothic Army wasn’t exciting enough.

Dark Roads: A Centurion Adventure is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Direct Action: Covert Forces and Special Operators

Undertaking the most difficult missions in the most dangerous locales, special operations forces are the tip of the spear. Secretive, highly-trained, and hauling the best kit, these shadow warriors represent a tactical response to strategic threats.

Direct Action is a game based on d20 and Fifth Edition, and draws on previous SEP products like Covert Forces: Redux, Blood and Guts 2: In Her Majesty’s Service, and Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section. Characters are special operators from national covert forces in adventures that can either jump from the headlines or explode out of fiction. Hunt down terrorists, shut down drug syndicates, protect diplomats in ungoverned spaces—the missions are as varied as the operators’ talents and training.

Kit up and head out for some high-speed, low-drag action.

Direct Action is will be the June 2020 release on my Patreon.

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Quantum & God: Gates of Hell

You were born into a world threatened by demons, protected by the benevolent Eternal. Now, the acolytes of the Eternal hunt you, ready to spill your blood, and you’ve found out the demons are real, and they are part of a war in the heavens. This world—your world—was built on lies, but its truths hold many more terrors.

Quantum and GOD: Gates of Hell is the sequel to Q&G: Rebirth (released through my Patreon but not generally available right now), and is an adventure for 3-6 player characters. It will be released with both mechanical information for Fifth Edition and for Sword’s Edge. Fifth Edition characters should be of levels 3-5. While the story provided does not require characters of good alignment, given that the goal is to save the world, good or at least non-evil characters are the most suitable for this adventure.

This adventure is intended mostly as a framework, but if played through with only the events and encounters related, will likely last two to four evenings, depending on the number of players and the speed with which they generally make decisions and move through mechanical encounters.

In this adventure, the PCs have been thrust into a world they don’t understand, and must come to terms with powers they’ve been raised to consider “demonic.” They’re chased by the followers of the Church of the Eternal, but have also found allies and enemies, and uncovered a threat to their world.

This provides a capstone to the adventure begun in Rebirth, but the world and the storyline begun there could wind through many other threads before arriving here.

Please note: a key component of this adventures is the questioning of a monotheistic religion followed by the populace of the setting, and revelations regarding it. While this is not intended to ridicule anyone’s beliefs, if you or someone in your group is sensitive to criticism of organized religion, you probably will want to give this adventure a pass.

Quantum and GOD: Gates of Hell is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Everthorn: The Centre of the World

A once proud city, the centre of an empire, has fallen into disrepute. Its empire gone, its power diminished, it remains a vibrant commercial and cosmopolitan crossroads for trade from around the known world. Its gold still shines, but its streets are darker than ever.

This is Everthorn.

Everthorn is the default setting for Sword Noir and was presented in the original core rules. With the completion of Sword Noir 2E, now would be an excellent time to reconsider Everthorn, re-work it, and present it anew. While the mechanics attached to the setting would be Sword Noir 2E, that system is abstract enough to allow easy adaptation of Everthorn to any setting seeking a major port city in which the PCs find themselves enmeshed in dark and gritty adventures for questionable patrons.

Everthorn: The Centre of the World is one possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Sword Noir 2E Adventures

Finding the lost love of a shattered criminal. Becoming pawns in the struggle of an undead necromancer to regain his former powers. Getting trapped in a complex web of betrayal and underworld politics.

All of these are adventures for Sword Noir. Farewell, Something Lovely was presented in the core rulebook for Sword Noir, while the Kheufer Scrolls and Crossing the Millers were released as stand-alone adventures. With the completion of Sword Noir 2E, now is an excellent time to update these adventures—both the writing and the mechanics.

Sword Noir Adventures update is one possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Skull Shot: A Sword’s Edge Adventure

They tried to kill your handler, someone you kind of thought of as maybe a friend. That wasn’t nice.

Then they tried to kill you. That was a mistake.

Now you are going to find them, you are going to mess them up, then you are going to figure out how to profit from it. Sometimes, just sometimes, profit doesn’t come first.

A science-fiction action adventure for Sword’s Edge, Skull Shot is the sequel to Face ‘Splosion.

Skull Shot is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Directorate 7: THE SOURCE

Directorate 7 is the government’s expendable solution to the most dangerous of problems. It offers a simple deal with people that have done wrong: make the world better and we can make your life better. Cross us, and you die.


A D7 contact team is working undercover as bodyguards for the family of an arms trafficker. When he crosses the wrong person, the trafficker and his family come under threat, and D7 offers a deal: work with us and we can protect your family. But that’s easier said than done, and as the clock runs down, the contact team needs to get the family to safety.

Directorate 7: THE SOURCE is a possible project slated for a vote on my Patreon.

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Sales 2019 Per Venue

This was originally posted on my Patreon. If you dig my work, please support me there.

Last time I shared the sales for 2019 (with info on second to fourth quarter, since I had already shared the first quarter sales on SEP). Now let’s look at the numbers for each sales venue.

I have not included convention sales, as I did not sell at any conventions in 2019. I am the absolute worse salesperson for my own stuff, and unless one of my friends is hawking my wares (thanks Jason and Josh!) I don’t even bother any more. I might have one or two spare books of the game I am running, but I always get flustered when talking about price and taking a person’s money. I suck at this.

The component that should jump out is how few sales I make on Amazon. Yeah, not surprised. How would one even find my stuff there unless one was specifically looking for it?

IPR will no longer be carrying my stuff, which I completely understand when you look at those numbers. The thing is, even with those low numbers, the monthly revenue was not much lower than that for Drive Thru, through which I sell a lot more. That’s because IPR sells mostly print. And there are costs associated with print—not just shipping costs, but inventory costs when money is tied up in physical copies that are not actually valuable unless someone wants to buy them. Production, shipping and customs swallowed up almost half of my revenue from IPR for 2019, so the actual profit from that revenue stream is actually pretty low.

A new stream that is happening in 2020 is, which is so far doing better than Amazon, but is not on track to replace IPR’s revenue. It too, however, is an e-product venue, meaning the only costs are the actual production of the games.

I shouldn’t even get into revenue vs. profit, because that’s kind of sad. But quickly: conservatively, I spend about 8-10 hours a week working on RPG material. Based on 2019 numbers, removing money spent on the Sagas of the Sea Peoples Kickstarter, I got paid between $1.08 and $1.35 CAN an hour for my work on RPGs.

If you include in the costs associated with preparing the Sagas Kickstarter, I lost over $1 CAN each hour I worked on RPG stuff.


Anyway, the sales numbers for 2019’s sales venues.

Sales Through Amazon (all sales are print products)
Arcane Kingdoms
For Simple Coin, 1

Nefertiti Overdrive, 3

Sword’s Edge Systems
Kiss My Axe, 1
Sword Noir, 1

Indie Press Revolution Sales for 2019
Centurion: Legionaries of Rome (Print), 1
Nefertiti Overdrive (Print), 5
Nefertiti Overdrive (PDF), 1

Sword’s Edge Systems
Kiss My Axe (Print), 1
Kiss My Axe (PDF), 1
Sword Noir (Print), 3
Sword Noir (PDF), 1
Sword’s Edge (Print), 3
Sword’s Edge (PDF), 1

Sales Through Drive Thru RPG for 2019
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113), 4
Khorforjan Gambit, 4
Qalashar Device, 4
Raid On Ashkashem, 5

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 4
For Simple Coin, 4
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 2

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 2
Covert Forces Redux, 3
Blood and Guts 2: In Her Majesty’s Service, 3

Fifth Edition
Abyss of the Black Cloud, 3
Abyss of the Crimson Cave, 5
Cult of the Abyss, 9

Centurion: Legionaries of Rome, 5
Daughter of the Sun: A Nefertiti Overdrive Adventure, 4
HeadCrushers, 6
Hispania Ulterior Motive: A Centurion Adventure, 6
Judged: A Nefertiti Overdrive Adventure, 4
Nefertiti Overdrive, 3
Questions of Loyalty: A Centurion Adventure, 8
Starship Commandos, 5
The Wall, 6

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers: A Sword Noir Adventure, 4
Face ‘Splosion: A Sword’s Edge Adventure, 3
For A Few Swords More: A Sword’s Edge Adventure, 3
HardCASE: A Sword’s Edge Adventure, 6
Kheufer Scrolls: A Sword Noir Adventure, 5
Kiss My Axe, 7
Lawless Heaven: A Sword’s Edge Adventure, 3
Six Stood Alone: A Sword’s Edge Adventure, 6
Suffer the Witch: A Kiss My Axe Adventure, 3
Sword Noir, 14
Sword’s Edge, 8

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