The Double-Edged Swords Reverse-Sale

Experiment time!

While fiddling around on the backend of Itch.io as I was trying to set up a bundle for the first 11 issues of Worlds Without Master I happened upon two intriguing features.

The first was the ability to set up a “reverse” sale, where you can make your projects temporarily more expensive.

Reverse Sale

The second was the ability to set a public goal for your sale, where you can keep your customers abreast of how much you’d like to earn with this sale.

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I must discover how these work! So, for one day only, I will be running the Double-Edges Swords Sale!

For the next 24 hours you can purchase issue 3 of Worlds Without Master, the very same issue that includes the critically acclaimed sword & sorcery roleplaying game Swords Without Master, for just twice the usual price!

And I fully intend to see a sweet century of games this way. Or fail trying!

Update!

This is why we experiment, folks! The two features I wanted to test here, namely the reverse sale where the price is increased and the progress bar that reflects the sales made so far, don’t seem to be functioning.

When you click on the issue to buy it, you’re offered the issue at the regular price.

Thus far, folks who have bought the issue used Itch.io‘s tip system to honor the sale. My hat’s off to these good folk! But their purchases don’t seem to count against the sales goal.

So here’s my deal! Until this gets sorted on the backend, if you manually add the reverse sale’s extra 100%, I’ll manually update the progress bar with my awesome drawing abilities!

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So far, we’re at 3%!

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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 Return of Worlds Without Master!

Allow me to celebrate this the triumphant return of Worlds Without Master!

Behold, issue 11! A glorious 40-page PDF including:

(You may also seek out another tale of Kassmamon in issue 7 and the first Wolf Neighbours in issue 9.)

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Get your copy of the issue at the Worlds Without Master bazaar, at the Dig a Thousand Holes Payhip store, or at DriveThruFiction. You can also read “The Shape of the World” as well as all of Epidiah’s other sword & sorcery fiction for free at Medium.com/Words-Without-Master/.

And as always, you can stand with the Patron Horde, lend your sword to the cause while guaranteeing your share of the spoils.

For Whom the Bells Jingle

Tis the Epimas season, once again. And once again, you get the unique opportunity to give the gift of games to friends and loved ones, and receive that same gift for yourself!

This year, each bundle has at least one issue of Worlds Without Master in it, which means each issue has at least one game from Worlds Without Master in it: Swords Without Master, Enter the Avenger, Wolfspell, A Scoundrel in the Deep, Sorceress Bloody Sorceress, Invisible Empire, No Longer With Us, Masks of the Mummy Kings, and The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku!

Epimas is a yearly celebration of gaming, a holiday tradition that stretches back to the dawn of civilization, and one known the world over. And the mainstream media has done everything in their power to erase it from the season. These eight pissed-off reindeer aren’t having it anymore.

This year, Epimas fights back!

Each bundle listed at WorldsWithoutMaster.com/Epimas is a trove of indie tabletop roleplaying games and supplements. Individually, each bundle is worth an excess of $20. But you can gift any bundle below to a friend for only $12. And you get that same bundle for yourself, for free! Here’s how it works:

  • When you click on an Add to Cart button, you will be asked for a recipient’s email address.
  • As per tradition, your gift recipient will receive an email on Epimas (December 24th) with instructions on how to get their PDFs.
  • Meanwhile, you will be able to download the PDFs at the moment of purchase.
  • That way you will have time to read the instructions so you can play the games with your friends on Epimas.

What’s more, if you purchase 2 or more bundles at once, you can use the coupon code ReindeerGames to get a 10% discount. If you purchase 4 or more bundles at once, you can use the coupon code SquadGoals for a 25% discount. And if you got for the whole lot, you can use the coupon codeWholeTofoose for a 50% discount. That’s over $200 worth of games for you and your friend for just $48!

Sale ends on the morning of December 24th!

Dasher

Specialist Dasher

Dancer

Specialist Dasher

Prancer

Specialist Dasher

Vixen

Specialist Dasher

Comet

Specialist Dasher

Cupid

Specialist Dasher

Dunder

Specialist Dasher

Blixem

Specialist Dasher

 

The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku

Published late last night, the 10th issue of Worlds Without Master holds within its covers the weird fantasy game The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku. The game is blend of horror and sword & sorcery, inspired in part by the works of Clark Ashton Smith and Jack Vance. You are skalds and half-scholars under the geas of Duke Vulku and compelled by witchery to adventure with him at the command of the seventeen sages. This game is also a glimpse at what Dread may have looked like if I had waited until today to write it.

It has been over 15 years since Dread was first conceived and over ten since it was born. When the first game ever of Dread was played, there was still an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The litany of changes to the design and structure of tabletop roleplaying games and to the methods of production and distribution since then is staggering. Pile upon that my own personal journey through gaming this past decade and a half, and you have a recipe for a new take on a familiar game.

The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku has all the elements of classic Dread.

  • There’s the Jenga tower, though now it is called the Spire.
  • Characters still die when it falls, but now there’s stuff to do once you’ve crossed over.
  • Characters are created through questionnaires, though much shorter ones and now the Host has their own questionnaire to fill out.
  • Fighting amongst yourselves is still bad news.
  • The heroic sacrifice option is still there, but with a couple twists, including the right to demand of your companions “Which among you will sing of this?”

The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku has a much sharper focus than Dread. It is a single scenario. One that can be played over and over without fear of spoiling the mystery, but it does not have Dread‘s scope. In its stead, you will find specific rules tailored to the scenario. This is the marriage of Dread and Apocalypse World with moves built around the pulling of blocks. Among the list of new wonders to be discovered by fans of classic Dread there are:

  • Custom moves for each character, inspired in part by some of the designs in Dread House, where each player keeps a cache of blocks that can be used in lieu of pulling from the Spire.
  • Each time the Spire falls, one of the surviving characters will learn new moves.
  • Those sinister enough to set their will against that of Duke Vulku’s must make their pulls with their off hand.
  • Those that have died can still mete their petty vengeance upon their former companions by forcing them to push blocks back into the Spire.

And more!

If you are all curious, I urge you to surrender yourself to the Duke’s will today. Pick up your copy of Worlds Without Master issue 10. Regret will be the least of your torments in Duke Vulku’s service.

 

This 42-page issue of Worlds Without Master contains:

  • “Because I Clasp the Clouds As Mine,” a tale of a shifting identity byOsmond Arnesto.
  • “The Hoard of Yengra,” a tale of commerce and justice by Epidiah Ravachol.
  • Illustrations by Wendy MartinVlada Monakhova, and Tiffany Turrill.
  • Another installment of Bryant Paul Johnson‘s comic Oh, the Beating Drum!
  • The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku, a game of horror and wonder based on the game Dread by the original author, Epidiah Ravachol.
  • A miscellany of delays and distractions for any journey.
  • And full-color cover art by Jabari Weathers.

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Get your copy of the issue at the Worlds Without Master bazaar, at the Dig a Thousand Holes Payhip store, or at DriveThruFiction. You can also read “The Hoard of Yengra” as well as all of Epidiah’s other sword & sorcery fiction for free at Medium.com/Words-Without-Master/.

And as always, you can stand with the Patron Horde, lend your sword to the cause while guaranteeing your share of the spoils.

 

Wolf Neighbours, Mummy Kings, and Three Dozen Crypts

Worlds Without Master Issue 9 has just been released, and it is the second largest issue we’ve ever done. Losing out to issue 3 by only 8 pages.

Wolf Neighbours

Featuring the debut of Rachel Kahn‘s new comic Wolf Neighbours

This 40-page monstrosity barely contains:

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Get your copy of the issue at the Worlds Without Master bazaar, at the Dig a Thousand Holes Payhip store, or at DriveThruFiction. You can also read “High Upon the Table of the World” as well as all of Epidiah’s other sword & sorcery fiction for free at Medium.com/Words-Without-Master/.

And as always, you can stand with the Patron Horde, lend your sword to the cause while guaranteeing your share of the spoils.

Worlds Without Master, Issue 8, Funerals, Ghosts & Buzzards

The latest issue of Worlds Without Master is now available. It’s a bit of a milestone being both our first monthly issue and very soon now it will be the first issue that will be available in print as well as a PDF.

Right now, however, the PDF is available and as always it is jammed pack with adventures to be told and experienced. This 32-page PDF includes:

399-IconYou can get your copy for $3.99 at WorldsWithoutMaster.com, Payhip or DriveThruFiction.

Or read “In Search of a Slaying” for free at Medium.com/words-without-master.

Ensure that you always get your share of the spoils, join the Patron Horde!

Go buy it, read it, and get back here, because I want to talk about the game in this issue: No Longer With Us.


Got it? Read it? Good.

Confession: I love when my character dies. In a roleplaying game, that is. Love it. It’s a chance to shed the old skin and slither into a new one. And a chance I rarely pass up. Take pity upon my PCs, for they risk their lives for a joy and glory they know not.

Because of my eagerness to jump into a new character, there’s rarely a moment to eulogize the dearly departed. This is one of the many reasons by No Longer With Us appealed to me. Death comes hand-in-hand with adventuring and while successful adventures dig down to find new and interesting ways to elude it, eventually it comes to us all. This is a game for the inevitable. A way to celebrate a passing and, perhaps more tantalizing, create a new beginning.

It stands on it’s one, allowing you to create your own rich world at this particular crossroad. You can invent adventures past and witness the birth of new adventures in the conflicting agendas of the various mourners. But it can also serve as a moment outside your regularly scheduled game in which you can turn the passing of a beloved PC into an event with substance and impact.

 

A Year of Sword & Sorcery

Over on the Worlds Without Master site, I posted a retrospective on the first year of publishing the ezine.

It’s a lot of numbers, but it gives some idea of where the money’s coming from and where it is going and the barest hint of future plans for the ezine.

An Official Worlds Without Master Website

Worlds-Without-Master-AdWhen you’re looking for your sword and sorcery fix, you have no further to look than www.WorldsWithoutMaster.com.

It’s got it all . . .

And between now and the full moon, if you use the coupon code “WizardsEyrie” you’ll get 25% off all those back issues you’ve missed. Then visit Patreon and join the Patron Horde so you don’t miss another.

Worlds Without Master Issue 4, Now With Cover Art!

Thanks to the might of the Patron Horde and talents of accomplished artist Rachel Kahn, I am very pleased to present the first ever issue of Worlds Without Master to feature full-color cover art!

Issue four of Worlds Without Master includes:

  • “Two Swords of Mars,” a tale of swashbuckling upon the red planet, by Rose Bailey.
  • “The Prize of Banteteth,” another Snorri & Manyara tale by Epidiah Ravachol.
  • Illustrations by Gary McCluskey and Jon Taylor.
  • More “Oh, the Beating Drum!” from Bryant Paul Johnson.
  • “See New Places, Meet Interesting People & Visit Retribution Upon Them,” a supplement to Enter the Avenger (found in issue 1) by Rafu.
  • And the aforementioned full-color cover art by Rachel Kahn.

If you’re not already a part of the Patron Horde (and you should be), you can pick up your copy at DriveThruFiction or DriveThruRPG.

Or you can purchase it direct from me at the Worlds Without Master website.