An Update of sorts on Works in Progress

bordermenWe currently have three products in various stages of production. The most high profile of these is Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game. We have, once again, made several minor changes (and a couple of major ones) to the system. I will give a more thorough accounting of its progress on at a later date. Suffice to say, we’re still thrilled with where the game’s headed. There are just a lot of eyes to dot.

Our next wave of playtesting begins Saturday, September 9th.

As for Blood & Honour, our card and dice game of swordplay, is, I suspect, 50-75% finished, if you can believe it. We have made a stylistic change, marrying it more closely to what is our third project, but the meat of the game is the same. Basically we’re down to developing the look of the game so that it is in line with our Veroldnar Campaign Setting.

Speaking of which, Drakkarsys: A Veroldnar Chronicles Campaign Setting is the third project of which we speak.

In November we’ll be launching a separate site where we will slowly roll out our 5th Edition Campaign Setting.

It will be free, for all intents and purposes. Donations will be welcome, of course, and there will be tie-in items that will come up for sale now and then (such as Blood & Honour), but for the most part, the Campaign Setting site will be a free to use DM and PC resource.

Drakkarsys Ad

The above image is just a ‘place-holding’ mock-up, but you get the idea. Veroldnar is an extension of our evolution in collaborative storytelling. Yes, it’s D&D (though can be adapted for any system), but its also a whole lot more.

But I won’t spoil any of it for you. The new site launches soon, so watch for updates here and on our twitter feed.



#RPGaDay Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?


Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

“Last day. Capricorn 15’s. Year of the city – 2274. Carousel begins.”


Okay, it’s nothing quite so dramatic, but we have reached the “Last Day” of RPGaDay 2017. It has been a thrilling month and a project I’m always happy to take part in. With all the negativity out here in the wild wild web, it’s nice to be a part of Autocratik’s brilliant attempt to inject positivity into our hobby.

Before I dive into today’s final answer, I would like to thank Anthony Boyd aka Runeslinger for once again being a terrific host for the event. If you’re not subscribed to Anthony’s YouTube channel you’re really missing out on some really thoughtful RPG discussion, critique, and evaluation.

But enough of all that, let’s get down to the business of sending off RPGaDay properly. The final question, What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?, is a great end-cap and I’m going to share with you three things I’m really looking forward to next year.



While not exactly an RPG, I’m really looking forward to A Song of Ice & Fire: The Tabletop Miniatures Game hitting retail. It’s a game we backed via kickstarter and we’re excited to receive those rewards in April or so. We’re also looking forward to the release of more factions, units, and starter sets. But most of all, we’re just eager to play the game and to integrate it into what is my number two most anticipated part of gaming in 2018.





Next year, I anticipate beginning a new D&D 5E campaign and utilizing A Song of Ice & Fire: The Tabletop Miniatures Game to help bring Drakkarsys v2.0 to life. Based on a sword & sorcery / epic fantasy series I’ve been noodling with — The Veroldnar Chronicles — this next campaign will, I believe, be my final campaign in Dungeons & Dragons.

No, I’m not giving the game up. I’m in my early 50s. I’m anticipating taking my 40 years of D&D experience and poring it all into this campaign that will carry me to the grave. And I hope that this world that my friends and I will be building together will live on beyond me, with the torch being carried forward by future generations of players.




The thing I’m most anticipating is getting Bordermen Games even further off the ground. With two games in various stages of production — Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game and Blood & Honour — Connor and I hope to make the push and get not one, but both out to the public, most likely via kickstarter.


So, that’s it for 2017. I look forward to 2018 with great anticipation, not only for the top 3 things I’ve mentioned above, but for many more gaming-related marvels sure to rear their collective heads.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my contributions to this year’s RPGaDay. I know I’ve enjoyed many of yours and I look forward to trolling youtube catching up on many I missed.


#RPGaDay Day 21: Which RPG does the most with the least words?


Day 21: Which RPG does the most with the least words?

I am, once more, going to take you back to Christmas 1978 when I received TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons box set for Christmas. Inside, was a module and some horribly cheap plastic dice. The rulebook, written by John Eric Holmes, was a slim 48 pages, reproducing David Sutherland’s box art on the cover in blue.


In those 4 dozen pages, I was not only introduced to the rules of the game, the combat system, monsters, and spells, but I was transported from this world into a fantastical one born through the power of imagination.

And it inspired a hobby that has sustained me for nearly 40 years.

If that doesn’t qualify for getting the most from the least, I don’t know what does.

#RPGaDay Day 18: Which RPG have you played the most?


Day 18: Which RPG have you played the most?

Even though my friends and I have been playing 5th Edition D&D almost exclusively since it dropped in 2014, there is another edition that still reigns supreme as far as which RPG I’ve played the most.

Roughly, I played Basic Dungeons & Dragons for several months before buying the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide in ’79, followed shortly by the Player’s Handbook.

I played AD&D for 8 years, until 1987 when D&D’s 2nd Edition was launched, which I played until 2014. If my math is correct, that’s 27 years.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner.


#RPGaDay2017 Day 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.


Day 13: Describe a game experience that changed how you play.

Growing up, D&D was much more of an adversarial game — DM vs Player, sometimes Player vs Player. It wasn’t necessarily how I ran my games, but there was a bit of that element to sessions I orchestrated. It was the Gygax style. The modules were designed that way. That type of thinking was fostered and encouraged.

I slowly tried to edge further and further away from that mind-set, but I recall a session in the late 80s that was a tipping point for me. I found myself punishing players, often times for performing perfectly reasonable actions, for no other reason than it was ingrained into my way of thinking.

This one particular night, eight of us were crowded around the small dining table in our basement apartment. We were in the thick of a campaign, inspired quite heavily, to be honest, by Darkwalker of Moonshea.

The adventuring party had traveled overland, on horseback, when they stumbled upon a cave. Tying their horses up, they entered, exploring the complex and battling a fair number of underdark denizens.

Upon returning to the surface, all their mounts had been killed by goblins.

There was no reason for me to have done that other than to be cruel, to punish them for… what exactly? For daring to own a horse? For going into a dangerous lair, and survive, only to be stranded without transport.

One player in particular had roleplayed her ass-off with her horse — naming it, taking time to feed it, bath it, brush it. And I killed it.

That game was the last straw for me. I felt bad for weeks afterward. that session killed the last smidgen of adversarial DM that lingered in me and I am thankful for it.


#RPGaDay Day 8: What’s a good RPG for a 2 hour session?


Day 8: What’s a good RPG for a 2 hour session?

Any RPG can be adapted to a two hour time frame. I’m running a two and a half hour game on Mondays and a two hour game on Saturdays. Both are Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Of course, these are also “big campaigns” and our sessions are like tiny slices of a much broader narrative.

So, wrapping my head around this question, I think a game that is sort of tailor made for a two hour session is Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of.

Howard’s Conan tales were, for the most part, a series of short stories, written and published between 1932 and 1936. There was a single novel and three novellas among the original twenty-one yarns. The rest are all considered novelettes.

Conan’s world lends itself to lightning-paced narratives and the game mechanics in Modiphius’ adaptation is a terrific match for this, duplicating the same kind of visceral experience that Robert E. Howard wrote so well.

Two hours to kill? Conan fits the bill.


#RPGaDay2017 Day 7: What was your most impactful RPG session?


Day 7: What was your most impactful RPG session?

My most impactful rpg session, without a doubt, occurred during a one on one game with my son, Connor.

The year was 2013. The game was Dungeons & Dragons: 2nd Edition. I was the DM. Connor was Valeros, a human fighter.

Why was this so impactful? Because it sparked a love for the game in my son that nearly rivals my own. He has grown to become a terrific roleplayer and a brilliant dungeon master.

In addition to saddling up with us oldtimers on a weekly basis, he also runs his own games for a group of great kids.


And to think, it all started with a human fighter befriending an ogre named Thun (“Thun rhymes with fun!”) and the sneaky little goblin murder/thief Soggybottom.

He took to the game right away, became invested in the story, his character, and, more importantly, made a real connection with his NPC compatriots.

He was heartbroken when Thun died in battle and overjoyed when he was resurrected by powerful magics later.

Yeah, that first session created a monster… and I couldn’t be happier.