Concept: “Unleash havoc with this set of rules featuring devastating blackpowder weaponry.”
Content: Includes rules for historic firearms, blackpowder mishaps, and a gun-toting character class
Writing: Clear delivery of more-complicated-than-average weapon mechanics
Art/design: On-brand use of color, type, and visual arrangements
Usability: Well laid out in discrete sections and easy to navigate
Content: A walkthrough conversion of Rotblack Sludge for Lichoma.
Writing: A conversational tone that presents both the results and thought processes behind them.
Art/design: A hybrid of the Rotblack Sludge and Lichoma design, with creature illustrations in Lichoma’s visual style.
Usability: Best if treated as a tutorial or exercise. Mark up a copy of Rotblack Sludge.
Content: Tithe for the blood countess.
Writing: Bloody simple, sensuous, and effective.
Art/design: A spacious and symbolic design.
Usability: Uses 5e style advantage mechanics.
Content: Variant rules for rolling weapons at character creation, a tiered weapons table, weapon characteristics (and restrictions for using them), and mechanics for weapon availability
Writing: Primarily instructional with some creative flourish in categorizing PC types
Art/design: Readable body text with more stylistic typefaces for the headers; traditional and grunge highlighting help draw attention to section headings
Usability: Adds some complexity to weapons and combat but at a manageable level; good for groups seeking a little more tactical crunch
Content: Tooth extraction made easy.
Writing: Purposefully perilous dental operations for some twisted new teeth.
Art/design: Got that classic child skull look for extra tooth action.
Usability: Please don’t bite your dentist, it causes infection.
Content: A souls-like setting with “undead player characters, dodging, parrying, backstabbing, invading phantoms and the looming threat of going hollow.”
Writing: Rules that place emphasis on equipment attributes and a risk-reward reaction system to abstract strategic gameplay.
Art/design: A two-columned structure with dark and opulently recolored prints.
Usability: A functional but ongoing work in progress. Still in development.
Content: Dog breeds, dog-related items, an optional dog-based class, rules for dog PCs (with their own optional classes), and a dog-centered adventure
Writing: Clearly and affectionately written with a clever shift to the dog’s POV in the dog-PC section
Art/design: Designed for easy reading and navigation with graphic touches like a dog-head border and pawprints across pages
Usability: Sit. Stay. Good.
Content: Random tables, optional rules for dice & powers & armor/weapons/combat, pointy teeth, monsters & NPCs … and a Börk Morgue & a Maus Borg
Writing: Presented with a personable tone with plenty of wry wit
Art/design: Loaded with Mörk Borg aesthetic elements, color, and some creative layouts
Usability: Adds some deeper complexity in some areas (especially complex) and some irreverent variety all around
Content: A variety of NPCs, monsters, and other hazards as well as a new scroll, a malevolent mushroom, an optional Misery-related madness, a relatively benign tavern, and a much less benign inn
Writing: The first-person POV and travelogue style have a folksy and often irreverent tone
Art/design: Typefaces, engravings, and paintings reinforce the concept while other graphic elements lend some insidious and esoteric atmosphere
Usability: Includes player-facing handouts that include lore but no mechanics or GM-specific information
Content: A sprawling sandbox-style adventure set amidst a sinister miasma emerging in Grift
Writing: Incorporates copious descriptions, in-game documents, and random tables to add flavor to play; also includes numerous monsters, NPCs, and items
Art/design: Incorporates original and found art into exuberant designs and diverse layouts
Usability: Includes copious reference sheets, handouts, and topic-specific indices for GMs and players to use during play; GM-eyes-only material is segregated to facilitate more exciting solo play
Content: An irradiated wasteland of careening cars, bloody bunkers, scavengers, and survivors. Complete with standalone rules, a character sheet, and a starter adventure.
Writing: Understated, clear, and economical style that conserves its limited resources.
Art/design: Wasteland weapons and vehicles punctuate a plain text experience
Usability: Legible, organized, and printer-friendly design.
Content: Spend money and time to increase attributes and gain traits, items, recruits, etc.; clever use of simultaneous dice rolls
Writing: Clear and thoroughly entertaining
Art/design: Subdued but easy on the eyes
Usability: GM may need to consult additional supplements; in itself, perfectly usable
This entry was sponsored by the creator as part of the Ex Libris RPG crowdfunding campaign.
“I paid $50 just to tell you that I made this in Microsoft PowerPoint. Also, in hindsight, it is sorely lacking in pulsating anuses. Ani? Eh. You get it.”
Content: Standalone island survival horror. Full of mysteries, afflictions, and terrors both supernatural and mercilessly mundane.
Writing: A gorgeous set of core mechanics to keep your Castaways tired, injured, hungry, and desperate. With a whimsically brooding setting that will leave them feeling haunted and curious.
Art/design: A collection of soft and vibrant illustrations (often recontextualized) with haunting marginalia builds the sense of wonder and suspense matching the setting's tone.
Usability: Pragmatically organized for reference and play.
Content: A solo-play supplement for Castaway, with oracles and tools for daily life and strange encounters on a desolate island.
Writing: New mechanics for solo play that capture the grinding and haunting decline of the original.
Art/design: A desolate, ink-splattered, pastel hellscapes of desperate and wild beauty.
Usability: Castaway – now playable on your own deserted island.
Content: A parody of 70s science-fiction/fantasy pop culture, seen through adolescence, writ Mörk Borg.
Writing: Restructures Mörk Borg to better incorporate TRUE SCIENTIFIC REALISM, with significantly expanded abilities, and interactions between scientific and primitive technologies.
Art/design: Retains the character of early RPG illustration and design.
Usability: A substantial core rulebook, bestiary, starter adventure, and excel character generator as separate files.
Content: Two dozen tables to create a living, breathing settlement
Writing: Tons of little details to add real personality to locations
Art/design: Good use of Mörk-Borgy colors while being easy on the eyes; physical version glows under a black light (awesome)
Usability: Keep a notepad handy; there are too many characteristics to remember unaided
Content: Hellish machinations and their pilots, Angels of Sin and sigils carved in flesh, adventures in “the broken earth”.
Writing: Apocalyptic in both scope and tone. Sweeping. Violent. Occasionally biblical.
Art/design: A frenetic collage style recontextualizes public domain imagery into a tortured reality. Rules organized in a distressed newspaper layout.
Usability: Stylized language may require the occasional divine inspiration.
Content: Your friendly local cult of corpse grinders and soul stealers.
Writing: A discursive introduction to a resurrection cult for scvm with discontinuity issues.
Art/design: Robed figures tend to corpse grinding over plain text.
Usability: Written in setting, but easy to adapt to simple rules.
Content: 19 sanity-shaking creatures. d66 delusional prompts to manage the fallout.
Writing: A thorough mix of indescribable humor and horror. With a fantastical sanity system that won’t take your players out of the game.
Art/design: Impressionistic and inked illustrations capture both the silly and the strange.
Usability: Text which balances between utility and style from passage to passage.
Content: A full adaptation of the Mörk Borg core system for weird, investigative horror in the early 20th century
Writing: An appropriate mix of clear instructional text with more evocative descriptions
Art/design: More traditional layout and design than some releases, but the colors and illustrations establish the setting and tone well
Usability: At 120 pages, a bit heftier than the norm
Additional supplements for this conversion are available on the creator's itch page.
Content: Includes stats for various cultists and rules for torture and trauma; some interesting rules interactions
Writing: Clear and concise with entertaining cultural and metagame references
Art/design: Nice public domain art (some color-enhanced) sets the tone for individual cults
Usability: Pstress rules are a bit complex but robust rather than complicated
Concept: “You’ve been cursed with immortality.” Bummer.
Content: 6 ways characters can survive death (albeit not entirely unscathed)
Writing: Descriptive and punctuated wry comments and mechanics to match
Art/design: Typographical and color choices create a dynamic gestalt while aiding navigation
Usability: Step 1: Get cursed. Step 2: Die. Step 3: See what happens.
Content: A trio of 6-point tables
Writing: Tongue firmly in cheek
Art/design: Yellow. Pink. Black. Old Newspaper Type. Copperplate Gothic. Good to go.
Usability: Get ready for Die Nohrland
Content: A standalone fishblade hack of DARK FORT, with optional co-op rules.
Writing: Puns that are succulently fishy. Mechanics that are seriously blade-y.
Art/design: Awkward man-fish, and fish-saws flop between pages of aquamarine and white.
Usability: Available in full size, A4, and letter format. Included character sheet.
Concept: “( /pu/ – /dre/ – /ser/ ) 1. n. excrement of the stars 2. n. Star Jelly”
Content: Apocalyptic options for alternative weather events
Writing: Variously horrifying, bewildering, and humorous
Art/design: A variety of visual styles in diverse and energetic layouts
Usability: Straightforward on the GM side; player choice has a notably important influence on phenomena
Concept: “Need to give your players a small bit of hope or respite? Then roll on this table. Want to take away that hope? The event has an optional dark twist.”
Content: 12 light occurrences and ways to pervert their charm
Writing: Well written with especially good comedic pacing and timing
Art/design: A useable, visually interesting table with particularly fun guiding graphics
Usability: Rolling a d10 is the easy part; deciding to crush the PCs’ souls a little bit more is the fun part
Content: Replacement limbs, and what to do with them. Maybe also what they do to you.
Writing: Framed as research notes, compiled and annotated by a paranoid scvm.
Art/design: Anatomy study chic.
Usability: Intact and not too crazed.