Worlds Without Master & More Up on Indie Press Revolution

Time & Temp has been up on IPR since, well, since Time & Temp has been a thing. And Dread before that! But I’ve been embarrassingly slow at getting the rest of my catalog up on the Indie Press Revolution. That is, until now!

Thanks in part to my New Year’s Resolution to find a new venue for my games each month, I’ve dedicated April to bringing the Dig a Thousand Holes catalog to IPR.

The Indie Press Revolution Logo

It’s a pleasure working with IPR. They’ve got a hands-on approach that sets them apart of some of the other sites I’ve join so far this year, which is both helpful and reassuring in a way that automated systems simply can’t be. They’re also really big on con support, and since I’m inching my way back to print products, that’s something I think I’m going to appreciate.

So here it is, Dig a Thousand Holes at Indie Press Revolution!

Go dig in!

Dig 1,000 Holes on Gumroad

As part of my New Years resolution to find new horizons to litter with my works, I turn now to Gumroad.

I’m not overbrimming with opinions about Gumroad at the moment. It was easy to set up, but it doesn’t seem to handle VAT and there isn’t a whole lot of structure for cross-pollination, so right now I’m a bit more enamored with

That said, I’ve not done a deep dive on all the features offered by Gumroad. If you’re a Gumroad seller with an opinion to share, tell me what you’re digging!

In the meantime…

Behold, the Dig a Thousand Holes Gumroad store!

And as always, to keep up-to-date on this and other projects in the works, sign up for my monthly newsletter. There’s a special treat coming in the very next one.


The Complete Epidiah Ravachol Collection

Thanks to Richard Epistolary and Robert Carnel at the Across the Table podcast, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit my entire body of work, from Dread to The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku. Richard did a wonderful job of stitching together clips from podcasts I’ve done over this past decade or so my thoughts on my games around the time they were published. Check that episode out and don’t miss the following one entirely dedicated to a deep dive into Swords Without Master.

And then, last month, during #RPGTheoryJuly the opportunity arose again when I tweeted about how my games handle violence. That titanic thread starts here and ends somewhere around here.

So, how complete is your Epidiah Ravachol collection?

Download the PDF of the checklist—front and back—print it out, trim it to wallet-size, and carry it next to your heart.

Epidiah Checklist 2017 trim marks

That way you can mark off the games as you meet new friends and play with them. Or just grab the image below, check the games off with MS Paint—or whatever your favorite image editor is—and proudly display it in your social media to make your friends jealous.

The Epidiah Ravachol Starter Kit

But wait, Eppy! You’ve already marred my perfect checklist with four check marks. What gives?

That’s cause I’m going to get you started with four free games!

  • Trial & Terror: Supernatural Victims Unit—The first game I playstormed with the Imagination Sweatshop. Jason Keeley, Jim Sullivan and I sat down one Friday night with only the slightest inkling of a police procedural game set in a NYC where vampires and werewolves walk openly alongside mortals. By the next Friday we were on a train to JiffyCon with stacks of the complete, freshly printed game. Can your detectives build enough of a case in the first half for your district attorneys to argue in the second half? It’s a timed game and it’s free.
  • MonkeyDome—Another rolls around, another JiffyCon looms just a week away, and the Imagination Sweatshop, this time including Emily Care Boss, Jason Keeley, Jim Sullivan, John Stavropolous and myself, spends a Friday evening whittling a list of 20 one-line game ideas down to MonkeyDome. A post-apocalyptic jaunt through tonal whiplash. This game set the stage for Swords Without Master, which in turn set the stage for so many of my other games at Worlds Without Master. Truly a pivotal moment in my own game design, and it’s free!
  • Spaceknights—Inspired by Rom and Texas Hold’em, this game was made as part of a 24-hour, one-page front and back, game design contest. And it shows. But hey, it’s free!
  • What is a Role-Playing Game?—An entire game in 463 words that teaches you what a roleplaying game is. Pound for pound, the best deal in tabletop roleplaying. Free to read. Free to play. Free to use.

Seek out the rest!

You may find them on this site, at my PayHip store, hidden within issues of Worlds Without Master, over at The Impossible Dream, and among the stores of purveyors of fine roleplaying games.

The Economics of Interstellar Crime, or How Vast & Starlit’s Pay-What-You-Want Scheme Is Getting Along

It’s been a little over a half a year since Vast & Starlit went Pay-What-You-Want, and I’m curious to see how this endeavor is panning out, aren’t you?

For now, DriveThruRPG and its sister sites are the only places you get your hands on the PDF. The other avenues currently available to me do not handle Pay-What-You-Want too terribly well. In a moment, I’ll talk about how this is less than optimal, but let’s look at the numbers we have, first.

I started offering the Vast & Starlit library as Pay-What-You-Want on the 26th of December, 2013. As of this post then there have been 455 downloads, 141 of which folks paid for. In fact, people have paid a total of $410.35 for the game. If you don’t count the free downloads, that means folks have paid, on average $2.91 a game. If you do count the free downloads (which would be nonsense, but we have the numbers, so why not?) folks have paid on average 90 cents a game. Most folks who paid (31 of the 141) paid $3. The most anyone paid for the game was $10.


Oh, look at that, a chart! I’m not going to have any insightful analysis to offer here, but I should be able to make up for that in charts.

Read More

The Vast & Starlit Library, Electron Edition

VastLibrarySmaller than a business card! Vast & Starlit is now finally available on electrons (as a PDF). You can get the entire game for whatever you feel like paying by heading on over to DriveThruRPG!

If you already own the print version, please grab a free copy.

Gifts Without Master


As you may or may not know, every year around this time a bunch of us indie game publishers do our best to celebrate the traditional gaming holiday of Epimas. This year the holiday has been hijacked by the Lords of Chaos, and they’ve made a right mess of it. The basic idea is the same: buy some gaming PDFs to be delivered to a friend or loved one on Epimas morn (December 24th) and get those same PDFs for yourself for free. This year you can buy two games for $5, four for $10, six for $15, or every single one of the 27 participating games for $35!

The only catch is that you do not choose the games, the Servants of Chaos choose them for you.

But there’s an older, darker tradition that remains ever untouched by the corruption of chaos. On the first day of winter each year, a solstice surprise is announced. This year’s solstice surprise is Worlds Without Master.

Every Epimas delivery this year will include the first two issues of Worlds Without Master.

That means if you have already purchased an Epimas gift for someone, or if you purchase one before December 24, 2013, both you and your recipient will receive, all with all your games on Epimas morn:

There are two ways to look at this:

  1. Free sword & sorcery ezines with your games!
  2. Or free games with your sword & sorcery ezines!

If there’s someone on your Epimas list who could use a little wonder and adventure in their life, or you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to sample the far-off pleasures found within Worlds Without Master yourself, here’s your chance! Even the lowly $5 bundle gets both you and your recipient both issues, two random games, and a stocking-stuffer, all delivered by Epiclaus to your inbox on the morning of December 24th!

Then, that evening, as you warm yourself by the hearth, you can entertain the guests in your mead hall by recounting many glorious tales of conquest, sorrow, and sorcery found within.

Vast & Starlit the Third Way

Finally, the entire Vast & Starlit Library is available in a PDF. But there’s a catch . . . there’s always a catch. For the moment, the only way to get the Vast & Starlit Library PDF (which includes Vast & Starlit, Bodies in the Dark, The Stellar Atlas and The Renegade’s Technical Manual)  is to trick those chaos-corrupted elves over at the North Pole to deliver it to you and a friend or loved on on Epimas morn.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Choose a victim.
  2. Go to
  3. Figure out which games on that list both you and your victim already own.
  4. Check those games off to ensure you don’t receive them on Epimas.
  5. Make sure you have not checked off the Vast & Starlit Library in the stocking-stuffer section.
  6. Choose among bundles offered to you.
  7. And wait for the fateful day they arrive in your inbox.

So give the gift of chaos this Epimas and reap your just rewards.

I’m On Theory from the Closet!

Theory from the Closet

Over at Geeky & Genki, I’m on the latest episode of the illustrious Theory from the Closet podcast chatting with Clyde Rhoer and shooting my mouth off about all things Words Without Master, Swords Without Master, PatreonVast & StarlitWhat is a Roleplaying Game? and probably a lot more. I mean, I go on and on for just over two hours. Whew. I simply will not shut up.

The Post GenCon Debrief

IMAG1153I have returned, broken and filthy, from my adventures in the land of GenCon; but I have returned triumphant!

And not so broken, really. It was actually quite a healthy GenCon for me.

And the filthy part is a lie as well. Why do you people trust me?

I didn’t have a booth at GenCon this year, but I did participate in some amazing panels (one of which may have been recorded–I’ll link to it when I find out more) and in some delightful games of Vast & Starlit and Swords Without Master. One of which involved a flying saucer that was operated by touchscreens that required full-body contact and another which involved someone being seduced by a 10,000-year-old serpent goddess. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which was which.

I also managed to get copies of What is a Roleplaying Game? into the hands of . . . more than a hundred people, I think. Wow. (Even more impressive is that fact that What is a Roleplaying Game? is now available in Portuguese!) And I’ve handed out slightly less bookmarks for Words Without Master, but drummed up quite a bit of interested from potential writers, artists, and editors. (If you’ve been drummed, you can find the submission guidelines here.) Look to see the first issue by the end of next month!

My own personal haul was a bit slim this year, but I did snag one of these handy little dice rings. I got the one pictured above: two six-siders in rainbow. It’s like a mobile Swords Without Master platform with a Glum side (the one with the blue and purple edge) and a Jovial side (the one with the blue, purple and gold edge). They’ve even gone through all the trouble of shading all die results of three or less, so spotting Threads is a snap!

And I also got a super exclusive roleplaying game entitled Red Ones Go Faster about fast cars, illegal racing, and risky driving that you totally don’t have. Expect me to post more about that one once I get a chance to play it.