Monday, February 27, 2012


Development on the full Sword & Shield RPG continues.  I have 27 classes so far.  Each class is defined by dice attributes and a Specialty (feat).  In the case of Wizard classes their spell book is their specialty.  Adventurers gain new specialties at 2,4,6,8, and 10th level.  Ceratin adventurers can learn spells, but give up learning a specialty at that even level in order to learn a spell.

Wizards gain 1 spell per level of advancement. On the even advancement levels they can forgo the spell and choose a specialty instead.  Below is a list of the classes.  I have others in the bullpen-but they can be in a supplement at a later time. 

Why SO MANY classes? I think it's partly an outgrowth of my love of roguelike games which often have a lot of different class choices.   Second, people like to play as specialists and want to have something unique about their character. Last, most folks have a special character from a movie or book that they really like, and I think you could find an appropriate class to jump into.

While the simplified attribute/dice idea may seem limiting, its actually quiet effective in play and there are enough "specialties" to create uniqueness in game play and individuality.  At least that's how I see it so far. Below is the current class list
Adventurers Wizards Demi-humans
Archer Conjurer Dwarf
Blackguard Witch Halfling
Barbarian Healer Night Elf
Bard Elementalist Wood Elf
Bounty Hunter Druid
Fighter Shaman
Knight Illusionist
Monk Necromancer
Paladin Summoner
Ranger Transmutor
Thief Alchemist (poisoner)
Witch Hunter

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Explore the Dark Frontier

What started as an 8 page pocket mod Sc-Fi RPG last year has now (almost!) become a full fledged RPG.  I have test copies of the final game coming, and hope to have it available for purchase in about 2 weeks. 

I am going to try something different by offering it for sale at print cost ($7) with no mark-up, nor profit on book sales for me.  Instead, if you buy it, like it, and want to see more, I'd ask you to donate to The Rogue Space Program.  It's what I am calling the donation program to keep new material coming.  Your financial donations equal my time and efforts in exploring and expanding Rogue Space with more materials.

It's a risk, but I am willing to take a chance.  All exploration is about risk, so the philosophical symmetry seems appropriate. If there is not much support, no problem, then it just goes away as a failed mission.  I will let you know when it is done and available for purchase.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On the Forge

Work continues on Rogue Space editing and layout, this will be completed this weekend!  Jumping from that frying pan, I will leap into the fire of a making a complete Sword & Shield RPG basic rules book.  Currently there are 26 classes including demi-humans whose race acts as classes.  Lots of specialties (feats) and the spell books for each Wizard class are fairly short but there are a lot of them!

I'm also considering 3 different Sizes of the S&S RPG rules:
  • Broadsword edition (8.5x11)
  • Short Sword Edition (6x9)
  • Dagger Edition (4.25 x 6.8" paperback novel size)
Back to working on the game forge!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sword & Shield RPG rules v2

After some good feedback from the blogoshpere...and at home in play testing...I have just added v2 of the Sword and Shield rules AND updated the adventure to fit.  What changed?? Really not much at all:

1) I lowered starting character power levels a wee bit

2)Added initiative rules

3) Changed the TN scheme back to the original die v die mechanic for Skills.  One mechanic to rule them all!

I did leave up the v1 rules & adventure if you want to compare and give feedback.

So what's next?  Glad you asked.  I am really excited by this rules set and frankly its charm is the simplicity and fast playing rule lite design.  At least that is what I think!

 The full rules will have a LOT more "gamer cred" BUT remain quick and playable with the same mechanic, just more chrome.  My Rogue Space RPG edit/layout is finishing this weekend and then I will get cracking on writing  the full S&S rules set.

Thanks for taking time to check out the rules and leave your feedback,click on the S&S logo to your right to get the rules for free!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


What a fellow blogger thinks of the Sword & Shield RPG sample? I was too. 

Of note the sample has some changes coming and the full game has many more additions that take a simple resolution system and adds more meat to the bones....but, it all has to wait.  Art, layout and editing of Rogue Space all finish this weekend! (finally) and a print test will be ordered as well.  I believe Rogue Space will go up for purchase in mid to late March.  Once the Rogue Space edit is complete I will start fleshing out more of the S&S RPG.  Stay tuned for details.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It is done!

I have finished the basic pocket rules for Sword & Shield.  You can download the pocket mod booklet by clicking on the game cover image to your right.

In brief, I used a die v. die mechanic.  Character classes and their respective attributes are based on a specific die.  Leveling up does not change the die, it provides a bonus (+1) to the attribute die of your choice.

Monsters are represented by a single die for all their tests.  I left out special abilities (feats) and a lot of magic schools and additional classes.  Why?
1.) Because it is only 8 pages
2.) I am not sure if it is worth putting additional time and effort into it.

Anyway, you can download the basic pocket rules and decide for yourself. I am in the final edit for my Sci-Fi RPG Rogue Space, and my wife is finishing up some additional art.  This little system sprang to mind in the midst of editing malaise. It may very well represent that funk!

Sorry, quick edit and re-posted rules (7.45a PST)

BONUS #1-I put up a free adventure to try the rules out with. Map cartography by Dyson Logos.  (8.55a PST)

BONUS #2-I just posted character sheets for download (1.06p)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

At last (I think)

This blog originally started as a place holder for my planned Sword & Shield RPG.  While the original design morphed into other things, I have held onto the idea that at some point a Sword & Shield game would come to mind again.  Well at long last it has.  Though not D&D based, it DOES use polyhedral dice.  A shocking idea coming from my d6 mind, but there it is all the same.  I hope to have a pocket mod sample up tomorrow for free download.  A fuller rules book though will be made for sale assuming it is even worth pursuing that far and there is interest in it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What If? Robert Howard + Bob Kane

Imagine the possibilities of the team-up...or just buy the figures!

Batman + Conan

Batman + Solomon Kane

These figures are based on a Batman graphic novel entitled: Batman, The Return of Bruce Wayne.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dying Earth

I had never read Jack Vance's Dying Earth novels, and recently acquired a compilation of all 4 in one volume.  Two brief stories in and it is as if I am reading stories penned by someone who played a LOT of D&D.  I have read many others comment on the influence of Jack Vance on D&D, but I am amazed at how the tone, style and events seem to be the whole sail cloth from which D&D was cut. 

I don't know if I like it though, and again my own prejudices against a ton of sorcery in favor of a ton of swords may unfairly shade my appreciation.  It is still early as I have barely scratched the surface of the novels.  Even so, it is a good read so far and very illuminating in many ways.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Atari flashback

I am in the last month of editing and work before the Rogue Space RPG manual releases.  As a lark I mocked up a faux cover using the Atari 2600 Super Break out manual.
It was funky cool...but what struck me as really cool was the actual sci-fi back story for the game...

All of that story and cool art...and then you get to play this:

I now remember why our Atari was the bullpen choice if we couldn't get enough people to play an RPG...