Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Silver Swords issue 2 update and new Kickstarter!

Production of Silver Swords is in full swing, with all the articles laid out and almost all the art laid out, all that's left is to check and double-check the zine for errors and improvements, massage the text, and send it to the printers.

As was promised when we unlocked our final stretch goal, I've completed and uploaded the trifold pamphlet dungeon "Escape from Drydon Keep!" to DTRPG as a pay what you want title so that it can be enjoyed by anyone. Here's a link.

And, finally, that brings us to the new Kickstarter. 


Vallakia is a micro setting in zine format. Inspired by things like Ravenloft and Darkest Dungeon, it's a grim setting where people fight to survive every day of their lives. Players can be from Vallakia, or can find their way into the Province through the dense, usually impenetrable fog. It comes packed with multiple locations, a short history of Vallakia, a dungeon, and a quest generator!

Come check it out on Kickstarter!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Red Ink Adventures hacked and slashed

Recently on Reddit, Dreaming Dragonslayer posted his own creation called Red Ink Adventures, based on Into the Odd and Maze Rats where you play as a bunch of deeply indebted adventurers looking to pay off their debts.

Inspired by this hack, I made my own! And everyone's favorite sleepy wyrm-killer made a post about it! Feel free to check it all out! Make your own hacks! (P.S. I hear he wants people to make more creditors!)

Here's a changelog, to see what's new.


  1. Flexible target numbers: For when GMs want to adjust the difficulty of their game on the fly.
  2. Side v. Side initiative. To speed the game up, both sides roll and go in turn.
  3. Combat has had a few changes: First, Attack rolls are treated as opposed rolls. Second, Armor is treated as a second health bar that must be depleted before health is damaged, it "refills" after combat is finished. Finally, damage dealt is reduced to a simple 1, and 2 if you roll double the enemy's defensive roll.
  4. Death is more likely now. And scars are a negative modifier, rather than positive.(Originally, I was going to have scars deal damage to an ability modifier until healed. Felt a bit too mean.
  5. The last change is that you can roll twice for modifiers. Originally my concept was to have them both be added up to make a more powerful character, but that's a bit much. Instead, now, you roll twice and take the preferred set.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Reflections on a setting written by a child

Memories

Boy, they sneak up on you. January 1st is coming up in just a few weeks and that day constitutes not only another year spent circling the sun but my 6th year playing RPGs. Not much of a milestone, especially compared to others in the blogosphere who have been playing since before D&D was even published. But it's still more than a quarter of my life.

In honor of this unimportant anniversary, I'm going to share one of my earliest creative thoughts born from RPGs with you all.

Bear in mind, I was 15 at the time.

ZOMBIE ISLAND


Yeah, my creativity sectors needed some work. They still do.

So here's the skinny. There was this ancient empire a thousand years ago. the "Totally-not-Roman Empire". They held sway over such vast territories that, after the fall, communication between these many distant lands broke down.

One such place was a tiny island hundreds of miles away from any nearby coastline. The place had been settled shortly before the fall by a young prince as a sort of pet project. He founded on the island a town to house the workforce as well as a castle for himself and his friends.



Eventually, this Prince went on and inherited the Empire, doing his part to cause its decline. But the island was still inhabited, thousands of people farming the land, fishing the seas, and thriving off of the goods shipped in by the Empire.

When the Empire fell, the ships stopped rolling in. By the time powers on the mainland had reached the point of wealth and stability where they could take ownership of the island and support it with long-range shipping, the island had been utterly forgotten. What few scholars and administrators who tried to reach out to the island were met with ambivalence by a world more consumed with its own petty squabbles.

In this time, the island fell into disarray, the population which numbered nearly ten thousand before the fall, dropped to less than a thousand within a decade. The issue was not just that the island couldn't support the former population by itself, but it was also hit with an infestation of the dead.

Where exactly they came from nobody knows. Some say a necromancer, some say it was just part of the cataclysm which befell the Empire, some thought it was the Gods taking revenge on their faults. But no one knows for sure.

During the collapse, the people of the town quickly fell to the dead. But, eventually, the town organized a defense. They tore down houses and villas to build walls and protect themselves from the onslaught of the dead. But not all the survivors currently living can be found within the ruins of the town.

The castle is still occupied, but not by the Prince's decadent friends, no. The new denizens of the fortress can be charitably described as "insane". A pseudo-religious cult of about 50 "knights" who don thick plate armor and mount up on their barded horses and ride forth to kill the dead who cover the island.

That's about as far as the setting ever got back when I first wrote it in 2014. Here's the original design document. The last edit I made was in 2016, when I came up with the god awful name "Roltarich".

Some comments I have on this setting as an adult.

It certainly has potential. There are some interesting questions raised: Why can't ships reach the city now? How was it forgotten? What befell the Empire?

Why do the Knights ride out daily? Where do they procure armor and horses from? Are they religious? Insane? Scared?

What really caused the dead to rise? A necromancer? A plague? The gods?

If fully fleshed out, this could make an interesting mini-setting. I may take the time to do that, I may not. Only time will tell.

Did you have any questions about this setting? Did you like it? Hate it? Drop a comment and let me know!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Silver Swords issue 2 is is live on Kickstarter!

As of yesterday, the Kickstarter for the second issue of the Role-Playing Game zine Silver Swords is online, and we're already almost halfway to our goal!

Come check it out and see what you think of the project! I'm happy to answer any questions you may have!


With art by our returning layout designer Ariana V.S.!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Silver Swords Issue 2 is looking for contributors!


Hello!

My name is William Cord, and I represent Stronghold Press Games. We are looking for contributing authors and artists to provide quality content for the second issue of Silver Swords, the roleplaying zine!

First and foremost, we are looking for dungeons, small adventure modules, maps, and worldbuilding for Fifth Edition and OSR systems, but we are also open to ideas you may have for content and would like to discuss that with you. We expect these articles to come in around 750 words but are flexible to change on the subject, so long as it is well communicated.

As well, we are interested in including short comics to this edition of the zine, and would love to hear from artists on this!

Payment for articles will be a $20 flat rate as well as a pdf copy of the completed zine, if accepted.
Payment for comic strips will vary depending on the work. For $15 for a 1-3 panel strip, up to $45 for a full-page comic, if we accept it.

The deadline for submission is tentatively September 30. We would like to be in contact with you before then.

As mentioned above, all articles are subject to approval before you are paid. Poor quality content will not be purchased nor published. Thank you for your understanding.

Please feel free to send an email to strongholdpressgames@gmail.com with your content ideas and we will discuss the particulars of the project!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Silver Swords Design Survey results!

A few days ago, I put together a survey and posted it to a couple of subreddits and a few MeWe pages. The results everyone has given us has been very useful in helping decide how to layout our next issue and what to fill it with.

We asked a total of 5 questions with an extra response line for adding your email to the list to hear about our next issue. We aimed for as few questions as possible to get the data we need in order to keep the response time nice and short.

We got a total of 51 responses over the last few days, not exactly a Pew Research Center survey size, but more than enough for us to gauge the general opinions of those who would read our zines.

Firstly, we asked the respondent's age to help us understand our audience. This one somewhat took me by surprise, as a young man of only 21, I expected the ages to be weighted around the 20's, but that wasn't the case.

Under 18: 5.8%
18-25: 7.7%
26-35: 25%
36-45: 25%
56-55: 30.8%
56-65: 3.8%
Over 65: 1.9%

Next came a question asking how interested respondents were in buying Zines. This one also happily surprised me, with over 2/3rds of all asked selecting positive responses to the idea.

"Very Interested!": 21.2%
"If it strikes my fancy": 46.2%
"It's kinda cool, I guess": 15.4%
"If they're cheap": 9.6%
"Only if they're free!": 7.7%

Next were two questions asking people what system they would enjoy seeing get coverage in upcoming issues and what type of content they would prefer. Given that these options allowed write-in answers, there are a bit too many responses to list them all here, so I'll give you the highlights.

Systems:

OSR D&D games got the most love as far as systems go, with 34 respondents selecting it. Next was D&D 5e with 16 votes, followed by Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0., Warhammer Fantasy, and Call of Cthulu all with 8 votes each.

Content:

The responses here were a lot more varied, giving more votes to all sorts of ideas, again I'll list the top responses. 

Adventure modules/Dungeons came in first with 41 votes, that's almost 80% of all respondents indicating they would like to see these in upcoming issues!
Area maps/Worldbuilding came next with 30 votes.
Articles on gameplay came in third with 24 votes.
DM/player advice columns came in a close fourth with 22 votes.
Rounding out the bottom of the list(excluding the write-ins) were Game reviews, New Classes, and Fiction with 14, 13, 8 votes, respectively.



All in all, this survey gave us a load of good information to help in putting together issue two and the issues following it. We're grateful to all who took the time out of their day to answer these questions and help us refine our craft!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Silver Swords Design Survey

You may have seen the link floating around the internet the past couple of days but, if you haven't, here it is again.

We have been working on planning and designing the new issue of Silver Swords, taking into account all the advice we received from the last one and making this the best product we can. To help us do that, I've thrown together a short survey to get an idea of what people want to see in the zine.

We'd love to see as many responses as possible, and thanks for the good feedback we've been getting so far. After it's finished, I'll compile the results and post them here, for reference.

Here's the link again, just in case. :)