The Bloody Crown: Rhona Argusdottir

As mentioned earlier, I’m posting chapters from The Cyclops BannerA Bloody Crown, a novel I wrote. It’s a second-world fantasy inspired by the First Scots War of Independence.

As I post chapters, I’m also going to post game stats for many of the chief characters here, on the Sword’s Edge Publishing website.

Rhona Argusdottir Trevean, after the death of her father, embodies the resistance for the kingdom of Kellalh, under occupation by neighbouring Surraev for going on 15 years. Her father, the Old Baron, was the last holdout in his isolated province of Selcost, and with him gone, she is his heir. Except traditionally in Kellalh, women can’t inherit.

So, Rhona is fighting for the freedom of her kingdom and for her own freedom. Cristobel might be the commander of the army that seeks to free Kellalh, but she’ll be its leader.

As with last time, I’ll present Rhona as she would have been as a new character, and then how I see her in the novel.

A character sheet for Rhona Argusdottir, a character in the novel A Bloody Crown, as a young person
A character sheet for Rhona Argusdottir as presented in the novel A Bloody Crown

The Bloody Crown: Cristobel vel Lupus

In 2023, over on my personal site, I’m going to be posting chapters from The Cyclops Banner: A Bloody Crown, the novel I recently finished. It’s a second-world fantasy inspired by the First Scots War of Independence.

As I post chapters, I’m also going to post game stats for many of the chief characters here, on the Sword’s Edge Publishing website.

One of the first characters you are going to meet is Cristobel vel Lupus, Count Terenquist and Captain-General of the Free Company of the Unicorn Banner. He is a key protagonist whose presence has an outsized impact on events in the story.

For Cristobel, let’s build him as a Sword’s Edge character. I’m going to provide both stats for when Cristobel was an introductory character (probably about 20 years before the events in the novel) and then as the character as presented in the novel. That later character will have had 10 Advances—one for every couple of years of life experience. He probably would have earned five of those in the first two years of his career as a mercenary, with the others accumulating after.

I’m Not Dead Yet

I’m feeling better . . .

I am in the middle of playtesting a new game. For those who used to support my Patreon, it is based on the Quantum and GOD setting, but now called the Lost Earth. I don’t think it will ever see the light of day, simply because of the cost of bringing it out along with its setting, and the system is derived from its setting, so I don’t think I’d be happy releasing it separately.

A figure stands before broken structures looking like fallen skyscrapers beneath the title The Lost Earth: Rebirth, and the subtitle of Adventures in a Broken World

I said the same thing about League of Misfits, so who knows.

Anyway, the playtest is not only helping me with the system, but also helping me with myself.

My formative RPG experience was D&D—AD&D, 2E, and 3/3.5. Until the early 2000s, I almost exclusively played D&D—a bit of Top Secret, some Gamma World, Some WEG Star Wars and a bit of Champions was the sum total of my RPG experience.

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Nefertiti Overdrive 2E

Cover of Get Netiqret

As mentioned earlier, I was working on updating Nefertiti Overdrive, tweaking the rules, focusing the characters more on Egypt and Egypt’s environs, and adding historical context. I’ve removed Get Netiqret as its own thing. When I first wrote Nefertiti Overdrive, I was heavily inspired by the design of Lady Blackbird, but what I released was not nearly as elegant or purpose-driven, and so I think it makes more sense to have Get Netiqret out there on its own.

I also removed the quickstart and released its adventure separate—but still for free now called Proof of Death.

It’s all complete and out now at itch.io: Nefertiti Overdrive, Proof of Death, and Get Netiqret.

I feel better having got it all done. Research proceeds apace for Kiss My Axe 2E, and it is going to be a significant departure in character design if not in base mechanics from what exists now.

Broken Tigers: A Sword Noir Adventure

In a city of memories is a city of violence.

A fantasy city in darkness illuminated by a strange blue light

I’ve released another adventure for Sword Noir 2E. In it, the PCs go back to Everthorn and East Reach outside the walls to face a piece of their past.

Traditional wisdom says one cannot go back to one’s home, because one cannot travel in memory. To forget one’s past is to forget one’s self, but the past is always a trap for the present. Of course, you’ve never been one to let good advice ruin a bad plan. An old friend is in trouble, and no matter what trap the past has laid, you’ll help them if you can—and you are certain that you can.

Broken Tigers is a 45-page PDF adventure for Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery (Second Edition) with 6 pre-generated characters for use by the players. 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.

You can purchase Broken Tigers at itch.io.

Speaking Of Winter’s Silence

Some of you may have noticed that SEP has released a few Sword’s Edge adventures recently, as well as updating two Sword Noir adventures to 2E. I’ve just finished the first draft of a third and original Sword Noir adventure that I hope to have out soon.

Betrayal is part of the game.

The client claims to be a mythical figure of legend, exiled from his body, inhabiting that of another until he can regain his sanctum sanctorum. Whether you believe him or not, he’s got gold and he seems ready to spend it. You know it means trouble, insinuating yourself into the world of the guilds and their wealthy members, but trouble is always part of the bargain. And the client’s story is only the tip of a very cold and very dark iceberg.

Hopefully that gets you in the mood and gets you excited. Another Sword Noir adventure is in the works, though I have done nothing other than write down some conceptual notes. I intend to get that to you as quickly as I can.

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.

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.

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.

Abyss of the Crimson Caves, a Fifth Edition Adventure

Sword’s Edge Publishing has released its second of three Fifth Edition adventures, this a sequel to Cult of the Abyss.

A minor cult following an obscure myth is seeking artifacts and using ensorcelled children to do their digging. The Crimson Caves hide more than simply this, as the cult is building an army for the day when their deity is released. It’s up to a band of adventurers to free the children and foil the cult in this dungeon crawl for Fifth Edition.

Abyss of the Crimson Caves is an adventure for 3-5 player characters of levels 5-7, though it best played with 4 PCs of level 6.

The format of this adventure has the monsters listed without further information in the room description, with the monster’s information blocks at the back of the PDF in the order in which they appear. A separate file is included with the monsters information provided in the order in which they appear so that it can be referenced while playing.

This adventure and the earlier Cult of the Abyss is already in the hands of my Patreon backers, as is the following one. If you like the kinds of products SEP releases, you might want to back the Patreon to get them first and usually cheaper.

Abyss of the Crimson Caves is available now at Drive Thru RPG.