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Topics - FraserRonald

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News and Adverts / Centurion: Legionaries of Rome
« on: January 07, 2014, 04:42:37 pm »
March with the legions against the enemies of Rome in this role-playing game of military adventures.

Centurion: Legionaries of Rome was a successful Kickstarter in which players play scouts, spies, or special troops marching under the eagle of Rome. It is now available at RPG Now and Drive-Thru RPG.

The book supports games in the Late Republic (from the Second Punic War to the rise of Gaius Marius), the Civil Wars (from Marius to Augustus), the Principate (from Augustus to the third century), and the Crisis of the Third Century, providing ideas for characters and adventures. Face the army of Hannibal, track down Vercingetorix for Caesar, fight the dreaded Germanic menace with the armies of Marcus Aurealius, or try to save a shattered empire during the third century crisis as a legionary of Rome.

Whether you know Rome from textbooks or movies, Centurion offers your characters the chance to be part of history, and perhaps change it to suit their whims.

You can find more information on Centurion: Legionaries of Rome here.

Veni, vidi, vici.

News and Adverts / Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death
« on: December 21, 2011, 11:01:58 pm »
Are you ready for some Viking mayhem? Kiss My Axe: Thirteen Warriors and an Angel of Death is an RPG of Viking adventure that looks to the sagas as much as to history to inform its take on Europe's romanticized pirates and pillagers. Vikings invoked fear in the monks of England and fascination in the Victorians from that same nation. Raiders and reivers, explorers and merchants, the men from the North left no part of Europe untouched, and reached beyond, to lands only imagined or wholly unknown. Their imprint on European history is so strong, they have their own eponymous epoch. Dread warriors, they have been a staple of fiction and a paradigm of the barbarian. Is it any wonder role-players regularly turn to them for inspiration?

Kiss My Axe is available now in PDF and Print format from Sword's Edge Publishing. You can find it at RPG Now and DriveThru RPG.

News and Adverts / [Sword Noir] Crossing the Millers
« on: September 03, 2011, 11:06:23 am »
Crossing the Millers is an adventure for Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery.

Finney the Miller, master of East Corners, wants the Fixer's crew to take care of a romantic rival he suspects has captured his mistress' eyes, if not her heart. But does this risk a war with a gang that has sworn allegiance to the Millers? Or does it risk something else entirely?

Crossing the Millers is a PDF adventure with 21 pages of content including 3 pages of narrative characters and 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 system.

Crossing the Millers is now available from RPG Now.

If you have already bought both Sword Noir and the Kheufer Scrolls, you can get Crossing the Millers for free. If you aren't receiving email from RPG Now, drop me a line with your customer ID and I'll send you back the discount link.

News and Adverts / The Kheufer Scrolls: A Sword Noir Adventure
« on: July 07, 2011, 09:01:11 pm »
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 an adventure for for Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery. Designed for up to six starting characters, it is a 34 page PDF including 5 maps and 10 pages of narrative 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.

Hey All

Dark Quest Games has recently released Teams: SAS, a collection of NPCs from the UK's Special Air Service. The release was in cooperation with Sword's Edge Publishing, and your's truly wrote it. I thought I'd try something different and do a king of designer's blog but as a podcast. Being the goof I am, I coined it a "blodcast." In any case, it's up and available at SEP's Teams page. Have a look, give a listen, and let me know what you think. Hopefully I'll improve with practice.


On another forum, Krysst and I were discussing what makes a system Grim And Gritty. It got me to thinking about what Grim and Gritty really means when applied to an RPG. In my opinion, for a campaign, setting, or game to be considered GNG, it requires the following:

1. Shades of Grey
Morality is not clear cut good and evil, black and white, or chaos and law depending on your cup of grog. The villains are not irredeemably evil—they have positive aspects. The heroes may not be anywhere close to good, but even if they consider themselves good, it's not the absolute, do no wrong good or even philosophically inclined good of an alignment system. If I have a character who is an adherent to a church that is considered good, a character who is devoted to his family, gives to the poor, and helps the poor farmers fight off the bandits, society likely sees him as good. When his church directs him to raze the village of the heretics, to the last man, woman and child, he might have some cultural qualms about the deaths of children, maybe even women, but he'll likely be willing to spit those heretic men on pikes, whether they offer resistance or have committed an actual crime or not. This same character might assassinate a leading figure in the church in order to help increase the prestige of his own faction. That doesn't mean he's evil, because in a GNG campaign, that term just doesn't really apply.

2. Just ain't pretty
This isn't a golden age. The world doesn't live together in harmony. If there is a powerful empire, it's on the wane, with the corrupt bureaucrats running the show. If there ever was a magical age when people's lives were easy, that's long since past. There's crime, disease, and poverty, and they are all common. Too common. There is wealth, but it's held by a very small portion of the population. That same small portion of the population has the power, and they aren't very concerned about the “common good.” If a compassionate humanitarian ever got to power and began to actually help the poor and downtrodden, the rest of the power elite would eliminate him or her very quickly—at least they would try. And the mob—the vast majority of the common people, that organic eruption of groupthink among the urban poor—is fickle at best, ready to believe any lie and forgive any fault, as long as the bread and circuses keep coming.

That's really what I expect out of GNG. That's all. Deadliness can be a part of it, but it isn't essential. Death will certainly be common in the setting, its common in any world with rampant crime, disease and poverty. Life is cheap, but that doesn't mean the PCs are doomed. They can be the heroes, defying the odds, kissed by fate. There's got to be the threat of death—and that's required in pretty much any RPG in order to maintain tension—but that doesn't mean PC's have to drop like flies. I believe the GNG atmosphere can be maintained without high PC fatality. Like any good game of any conception, it requires a good GM, but I believe as long as the GM can maintain the 2 above criteria, I would consider the game GNG.


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