Sailing on Fair Winds…

Corsairs has been shipped. After receiving everything, my wife and I spent a couple of days packaging the games up, printing labels, and preparing, and today I took them to the post office and off they went…

Before

It was a surreal and uplifting feeling, handing them over in their stacks – this stack to Aussie addresses, this stack to the UK and Europe, this to the US… but it is done! I do not doubt there will be delays, given the pandemic sweeping the globe everything has slowed down and mail is one of those things that has been impacted, but the journey has begun!

After…

Shipping, all added together, was the most expensive part of making Corsairs. Over a quarter of the money made from the Kickstarter went toward paying for shipping costs. I would have loved to have been able to charge less, but shipping from (and to) Australia is expensive. It was one of the reasons I had both a PDF and physical option on the Kickstarter, and I was honestly surprised that far more people wanted a physical copy, than backed for the PDF only. I have to admit that I really like having a physical copy of my games and books myself, so I shouldn’t be that surprised! I really hope that when Corsairs arrives you enjoy it. That you enjoy reading it, enjoy the feel and look of it, and enjoy playing it.

If you get the chance, please consider heading over to DriveThruRPG or Itch.io and give the game a rating; ratings and reviews help immensely!

In any case, with that out of the way I am now focused fully on Smoke and Oakum. The final draft is mostly written, so things are getting close! I am hoping to have Smoke and Oakum out by the end of August, but we shall see how we go! The art is in, and it’s looking amazing. I can’t wait for you to see it!

I’ll be writing a bit more about Smoke and Oakum in the next update, until then I wish you a fair wind!

A ship has docked…

Delayed by plague and slow winds, the ship has taken a little longer to deliver it’s cargo to port than anticipated, but I am thrilled to announce that everything for Corsairs has now landed! From books and envelopes, to everything else required. We will take a little time to assemble the cargo for distribution among the new inhabitants of the isle of Teboa, but it will be done quickly, and shipping will begin next week!

I anticipate that the time it will take for packages to leave the customs house here and wend their way to your doors will take a little extra time given the current state of events, but hopefully it won’t be too long delayed!

Printed by Mixam, Corsairs has a lovely feel to it, with a laminate cover and silk finish paper for the interior. I am thrilled with how everything has come together, including the wonderful art by Felicity Haworth. This game has been a lot of fun to write, and I hope those of you who get a chance to play it, enjoy it as much as I have.

So what is next? Well, the next week or so will involve me finally shipping out the physical copies of Corsairs to backers. I am hard at work on the follow up supplements: Smoke and Oakum, and Speed, Strength, and Wits. I am really loving some of the stuff that is in those supplements, and I hope they manage to add a bunch of flavour to your games. I’ll be able to show off a little more on the supplements very soon!

If you’re interested in Corsairs, you can get a digital copy on DriveThruRPG and Itch.io, the downloads include the core book, a character sheet, ship sheet, and rules summary sheets for the characters rules and the ship rules.

There are still some physical copies of Corsairs available, so if you have the digital version, and would like a physical copy, you can still get them, I’m in the process of setting up a store here at Caradoc Games, but until then you can email me here!

Infinitely more…

It’s been a little while since I wrote about anything other than my latest game: Corsairs, but other things have been happening as well!

In the last few months three new source books have been released as a part of the Infinity: The Role Playing Game line. Going back over my spread sheets, across the three latest source books I wrote 7 chapters, totaling a little more than 53,000 words. It’s nice to finally see them released!

I have to say the cover art for these books is fantastic, and I am immensely proud to have contributed to all three of these source books. With the number of books left to produce from the Kickstarter dwindling, I wonder how long I’ll be working on Infinity. I can’t say at this stage, but I have enjoyed my time exploring and helping to expand this universe!

On to the books!

Mercenaries

Soldiers of fortune, bodyguards, pirates, cut-throats, and heroes. The worst villains and the greatest heroes of the G5 can all be found in this great melting pot of freelancing warriors. From the flickering bulbs of Novyy Bangkok’s fighting pits to the luxuriant skyscrapers of San Pietro, there is always someone willing to pay for their problems to be met with belt-fed subtlety and under-barrel discretion. Lone wolves, invisible techno-pirates, and even squads of murdering reavers, the mercenaries of the Human Sphere follow age-old traditions and work for the highest bidder, adapting and using all the latest technologies. Strangers to the ideals of patriotic love or loyalty, hard cash—or even better, solid quantronic credit accounts!—is the way to their hearts, and even more cash is the key to their loyalty.

 From the construction of the first orbital elevator to the ongoing conflict in Paradiso, many factions have turned to mercenaries for cost-effective violence and intimidation. Whether escorting doctors and refugees out of Ghezirah, providing close protection for paranoid executives across Neoterra, or brutally resolving a miner’s strike in Human’s Edge, the mercenaries of the Human Sphere will take your money and get the job done. Never have mercenaries been in higher demand thanks to the political situation in the various theatres of the Sphere, and both Hypercorps and G5 governments employ the services of these soldiers for hire. Sometimes in the open, sometimes undercover, it seems these lords of war are a necessity in the power games of the future.

But the life of a merc isn’t all bullets, venture onto the War Market where the cold and pragmatic business of war has never been so civilized. Meet Free Company Captains and review their units according to their performance both in the battle and in Maya. Your preferred company may be cost effective, but are they giving their extra with the WarCors and livestreams? Because in the Human Sphere, everything is about how good you look to the public!

The 114-page full colour Mercenaries PDF Sourcebook includes: 

  • Information on six of the major mercenary companies in the Human Sphere plus independent units such as the glamorous Foreign Company, the despicable Ikari, the discreet Spiral Corps, and the formidable Dahshat Company.
  • Rules and guidelines to develop your own career in the War Market, plus Lifepaths for Warmongers, Wardrivers, Recruiters, Arms Dealers, and others.
  • Weapons, equipment, and vehicles to kit your up-and-coming mercenary troops in order to fulfil their latest contract including antitank weapons, supplies, enhancement drugs, and pulpibeer!
  • Detailed rules on how to create your own Free Company and play a campaign focused on mercenaries.

Paradiso

We have fun, games and the bloodiest war in the Human Sphere! One of the most fertile planets known, living in this angry planet is a test for the hardiest settlers and warriors. Keep your wits about you or the jungle, its inhabitants or something worse will swallow you whole in an instant.

Hiding a tragic and terrible past, Paradiso is home to dark secrets and intrigue. Even before the NeoColonial Wars, the jungle planet has been the theatre of brutal conflict, destined to loom through the histories of numerous civilisations, human and alien alike. Never have the stakes been so high for Paradiso is the grandest trophy in the Sphere. Not only for the vast wealth offered by the system itself but with wormholes connecting to two alien powers, Paradiso is a Rubicon that if lost would lead to the Downfall of the Human Sphere.

Fame, glory and fortune wait for those brave or foolhardy enough to risk the dangers of Paradiso, so gear up and don’t miss the next Orbital Elevator planet side! Join the Human Sphere’s mightiest warriors and try to stop the Evolved Intelligence’s onslaught or lose yourself in populous cities under siege while you try to figure out who the infiltrated spy is feeding information to your enemies. Make sure you bring all your best equipment and don’t forget your bathing suit, for things are about to get hot in the Meat Grinder also known as Paradiso.

The Paradiso Sourcebook includes:

  • Information on Paradiso system, from the binary stars Nakula and Sahadeva to Orgoglio and Purgatorio asteroid fields, intriguing planets like Virgil, Dante, Ugolino, Beatrice and more!
  • Details on the current situation in the Paradiso theatre, the race for the last known Cosmolite in the planet and the truth behind the Penny Arcade.
  • Rules and guidelines to play your own Paradiso based campaigns including jungle warfare, terrain and the background of all three Combined Army Offensives in the system!
  • Weapons, equipment and vehicles to prepare for your jungle escapades: caltrops, machetes, flamethrowers, jammers and missiles! Lots of missiles!
  • Detailed rules on how to organize encounters in the dark jungles of Paradiso, wicked bandar-logs, cauchemar cats, nematodes, yorogumo. Brutal vegetation and deadly fauna are just some few of the dangers the paradise planets holds for you!

Combined Army

From the darkest reaches of the galaxy, an implacable tyrant looms slowly and inexorably, searching for intelligent races, studying them, contacting them, and ultimately absorbing them. Behold the Evolved Intelligence, an alien virtual entity bent on achieving the godlike state known as Transcendence. To reach its objective, the EI will use every tactic and strategy necessary to increase its almost infinite knowledge of the universe. This includes shrewd political alliances, peaceful unification, and where necessary, all-out war.

The Combined Army sourcebook gives players the opportunity to approach the Paradiso conflict from the other side and GMs a vast array of information to better understand the implacable enemy of the Human sphere.

This 112 page PDF features: 

  • History of the Combined Army, the different races composing it, their strategies, armed divisions, and the terrible secrets of this ever growing empire.
    • Details on the true nature and origins of the Combined Army’s omnipresent leader—the feared and worshipped Evolved Intelligence. Learn about its drives, ambitions, and trepidations!
    • Rules and guidelines to play several of the Combined Army’s warrior races! From the violent Morat, to the cruel Shasvastii, vengeful Sygmaa, and traitorous humans!
    • Weapons, equipment, Voodoo Tech, and more! Enough gear to wage war on those who would dare turn their backs to the EI and the Transcendence project!

Set in Stone…

A little later today the files for Corsairs will be heading off to the printer. At this point, everything is set in stone. I am nervous, and excited. Once printing is finished we will begin the process of fulfilling the physical copies of Corsairs!

In other news, progress on the follow up zines has been slow, but ongoing. There are some fun new things for Ships and Sailing in the upcoming release Smoke and Oakum, and expanded options for characters and development that I think add some nice features in Speed, Strength, and Wits. Felicity has completed the art for Smoke and Oakum, and it is looking fantastic! I am really impressed with the work she has done to help bring life and energy to Corsairs, I’m sure you will agree.

It’s been a chaotic time, from a bush fires to a pandemic, to social upheaval. Given these very real and very important events I have felt that trying to push and market Corsairs in this time is insensitive to those issues. So Corsairs sits, at the moment, slowly ticking away. I have been pleased to see Corsairs gather a few more sales on DriveThru and Itch, and hopefully this continues with the release of Smoke and Oakum. I am considering developing and writing a mini-campaign for Corsairs to supplement the line, but that will depend on how the follow up zines progress. Beyond that, there are a few more games in development that will either see light later this year, or be more fully realised for 2021, perhaps as a part of the ZineQuest then, if it runs again.

I know I have been quiet of late, but things have been ticking along. I hope to shift back to posting more regularly soon…

Seven Bells…

Corsairs hit DriveThruRPG and Itch.io on June 2nd, and has since been downloaded 348 times across both platforms. There have been a few extra sales, which has been nice, but almost all of them have been downloaded by Kickstarter Backers.

If you are a backer, and have not received your email, please reach out and let me know!

So what’s with the seven bells? Bells were a way of keeping time on a ship at sea, bell times were used not just to signal the passage of time, but eight bells would signal the end of a four hour watch…

So seven bells?

I left Corsairs ‘open’ for a period of time after the digital rewards were fulfilled. The object was to gather any feedback or corrections, and to generally ensure Corsairs was as tight as it could be before sending it off to the printers. That time is fast approaching. There are but a few days remaining before I ‘close’ Corsairs, and send the files off to the printers.

This is exciting, daunting, and generally thrilling moment, as I take a step I have never taken before – to send something off to be printed, and prepare for the fulfillment of the physical rewards.

This means of course, that the window to get in any feedback is fast closing. If you have had a chance to look at Corsairs, and have noticed any embarrassing slip ups or mistakes, please let me know at caradocgames@gmail.com using the subject line: Corsairs Errata. I have had some feedback already, and it has been much appreciated!

So with the seven bells rung out, we wait the approach of eight bells and the changing of the watch… Corsairs will be sent to the printers, and the next stage of our little Kickstarter will begin in earnest!

Indie Games for Bail funds

Right now on Itch.io there is a bundle of indie RPGs available called ‘Indie Games for Bail Funds‘. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Bail Funds for Protesters.

Here is the link again.

From the bundle:

#BlackLivesMatter, and protesters are doing the work of heros and champions. But because people on the other side of riot shields and barricades don’t get that, sometimes people get arrested, and that sucks. So this is A Charitable Aid Bundle, the proceeds from which will go to bail funds and other causes related to the BLM  movement and the protests for real change on streets all around the world.

All of these amazing indie TTRPG creators have kindly donated their work to the cause. Please buy these games, spread the word, and give back to the community!

All proceeds go to Bail Funds for Protesters, which is splitting all donations between bail funds in cities across the United States. 

Earlier this week I wrote some of my own thoughts on the current situation in a Kickstarter update, which I am adding below:

2020 has seen us gripped by fires, a pandemic, and now I watch what is unfolding in the US… The Black Lives Matter movement that has risen so loudly, defiantly, and powerfully in the US is a storm of energy pent up over generations of abuse and a power differential unfairly weighted against black people. As a white man, I have no context for what this feels like, what this means, and the weight with which it is felt every day. As an Australian I know that Indigenous Australians have suffered too, and continue to suffer a loss of culture, land, language, and self that can never be repaid. I hope this movement in the US brings about positive social change, and I hope it will have ripple effects around the world, not least in my country. 

Over the coming weekend there are going to be protests across my country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and with a voice that echoes that of the black American community in calling for awareness and change in how Indigenous Australians are treated here in Australia. These protests are going ahead in many states despite some state Governments asking for them not to proceed, threatening fines, and declaring them illegal. I do not know how they will proceed, or what the result will be, but I hope the end result is change.

We are a stronger society together than divided.

Indie Games for Bail Funds has currently raised over $1000 USD, and while that may not be a huge amount, it is something. In that bundle are a host of games, up to 37 items all told, including some wonderful, lavish, and expensive games, reduced and available on sale, with all proceeds going to a fantastic cause. I thoroughly recommend checking it out, and once again, you can find the link here.