Tuesday, 3 December 2030

What is the RPG Pipeline and how to use it

The RPG Pipeline is a posting board to keep track of upcoming tabletop rpgs. When I see a new rpg released, going into crowdfunding or looking for playtesters, I post it here. I cover only games (not supplements or other add-ons) and only English language.

If you want to subscribe to the blog by email and receive a daily digest of all posts then click Subscribe to The RPG Pipeline by Email.

If you use RSS feeds, you can follow the blog at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheIndieRpgPipeline

If you want to support and improve the pipeline, including its news podcasts, then do become a patron.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Treasures & Traps: The Adventure Story Game

Treasures & Traps: The Adventure Story Game:

Treasures & Traps: The Adventure Story Game
Publisher: Studio 9 Games

With this 28-page booklet, Treasures & Traps becomes a storytelling game set in the realm of Arb, a humorous fable and fantasy world. Here, everyone has a chance to add to the plot! Up to four players are in the role of Lead Characters who are called to a heroic—if not a totally whacked out—quest. One other player will be the Story Master, who plays the role of narrator, director, supporting cast, and every secondary character in the story. The Story Master is working with the Leads to experience the tale that unfolds.

The Treasures & Traps cards are used as prompts to move the story forward and add creative spark, as well as to help determine the chance of success in the wild world of Arb. This addition to the world of Treasures & Traps is ideal for those learning role-playing games, those with limited time, or as a creativity prompt to evolve a story concept. So grab your Treasures & Traps cards, some friends, and a wild imagination, because everything else needed to enjoy an adventure is provided within!

Included in this booklet:

• Three Complete Adventures & Two Adventure Prompt Set-ups

• Character Sheet

• Easy How-to-Play rules

• World Map of The Realm of Arb

• People, places, and things of Arb

Price: $5.99

Man, Myth & Magic (Classic Reprint)

Man, Myth & Magic (Classic Reprint):

Man, Myth & Magic (Classic Reprint)
Publisher: Precis Intermedia

Precis Intermedia brings back this classic roleplaying game of magic, mystery, and adventure (originally published by Yaquinto Publications).

Discover the Riddle of Stonehenge... the Secrets of the Pyramids... the Mysteries of the Ancient World...

A Roleplaying Game of Man’s Greatest Adventures

This fantasy roleplaying game is set in the ancient world, one not seen from our modern historical perceptions, rather through the eyes of the people who lived there. It is a world filled with magic and sorcery, demons and monsters, and incredible powers and forces that hold the key to the domination of all mankind.

Begin play as a seasoned gladiator fighting for your very life on the bloody sands of a Roman arena. Then, reincarnate as an Egyptian sorcerer, British druid, Greek merchant, Visigoth barbarian, or even a Hibernian Leprechaun to face the might and mysteries of the ancient world.

The Basic game is presented in such a way that you learn as you play for the first time. The Advanced game is rich and varied, providing countless hours of breathtaking magic, mystery, and adventure. While the exciting adventures may be played separately, each is but an episode in an interrelated series filled with challenges, intrigue, and irony. In addition to the learn-as-you-go introductory Basic adventure, there are five additional episodes:

  • Back to the Warren (Basic)
  • The Dragon Loose in Rome (Episode 1 of the Advanced Adventure)
  • Apollo's Temple (Episode 2 of the Advanced Adventure)
  • The Witches of Lolag Shlige (Episode 3 of the Advanced Adventure)
  • The Great Pyramid (Episode 4 of the Advanced Adventure)
NOTE: This is a scanned reprint of the classic 1982 boxed set and includes the same content as the Classic Reprint Softcover.

Price: $7.95

Dark Times

Dark Times:

Dark Times
Publisher: The Polyhedral Knights

The trains don't run through this part of town anymore. Not since someone stood on the tracks and tried to rob one.

Thirteen years ago, he would've just ended up in the obituaries, but instead he melted the engine with an energy blast from his hand and thirty-seven people were injured. 

 Downtown, they have “Peacekeepers” to prevent that. Dressed in their corporate power armor, they stand on every street corner, looming over the pedestrians. Waiting for an excuse. 

 Here, things work a little differently. People pay their protection money to crooked supers. Folks grumble about it, but when a man who can shoot lighting from his fingers floats down from the sky and demands you call him king, you call him king. 

 The corporations say they are doing their best to round up the renegade creations they made, but there are a few good Enhanced out there too, caught between the corps and their own kin.

This is the world of Dark Times: a tabletop roleplaying game about superheroes in the corporate slum that has swallowed up most of the United States.

Twenty-six years ago a man named Dr. Anton Valasakis changed everything with the discovery of a gene that unlocked superhuman powers. He started his experiments at pharmaceutical supergiant Prometheus Medical, working first on “willing volunteers”, and soon he was sanctioned by the government.

By this time Prometheus Medical was already a powerful corporation and had its hooks deep in controlling many politicians. Many of the first test subjects were prisoner who were on death row. This was a chance for them to gain a chance at life. Many died, and not much is known about this few who survived.

The experiments continued and soon a rash of industrial espionage broke out. Many large corporations, seeing the potential in customized superhuman technology, were now in a race to have their own Enhanced on their payroll. These laboratory creations were treated as slaves and many fled their masters, hiding in the slums. Some of the ones that got away even had kids.

Now there exists a second generation of Enhanced and still the corporations view them as company property. By now the laws had been warped to protect the rights of the corporations and their “investments” and not the people.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

In Dark Times, players work together with their powers, protect their people, and build their community, all under the shadow of a corporation that has replaced the government and seeks to enslave them since they are viewed as “company property”.

With a little bit of cyberpunk, a little bit of noir, and a whole lot of superpowers, Dark Times mixes old-school and new-school design to create a game that is fast, pulpy, immersive, and fun to play.

Price: $9.99

The Princess Bride Role-Playing Game

The Princess Bride Role-Playing Game:

The Princess Bride Role-Playing Game
Publisher: Toy Vault, Inc.

Explore the world of The Princess Bride with your friends!

The Princess Bride Roleplaying Game is designed and written by Steffan O'Sullivan, the designer of classic RPG titles such as GURPS SwashbucklersGURPS Bunnies and Burrows, and of course FudgeThe Princess Bride RPG uses the Fudge system, a great, light RPG engine that provides just the right feel of light-hearted, fantastic adventure that embodies The Princess Bride universe.

You'll need a set of fudge dice or 3D6 to play.

Price: $25.00

Brinkwood - (Forged in the Dark) - Playtest Kit

Brinkwood - (Forged in the Dark) - Playtest Kit:

Brinkwood - (Forged in the Dark) - Playtest Kit
Publisher: Crone RPG

Click here to join the Brinkwood mailing list so you never miss an update!

Mask up. Spill blood. Drink the Rich.

The world is not as it should be. The rich feed, literally, upon the poor, as blood-sucking vampires who barely bother to conceal their horrific, parasitic nature. The downtrodden peoples of the world struggle under the burdens of rent, payable through the sweat of their labor or the blood of their veins. Evil has triumphed. Many have given in to despair. But all is not lost.

In Brinkwood, you take on the role of renegades, thieves, and rebels struggling for freedom and liberation in a castylpunk world controlled by vampires. Radicalized by tragedy, you have taken up arms and fled into the forests, where you were taken in by unlikely allies - the fae, forgotten creatures of myth - who offered a different path and the means to fight back against your oppressors.

Masks, forged of old wood and older magic, are the final tool left to fight a war long ago lost. If you wear them, they will take their price, etching themselves upon your very soul. But they will also let you spill the blood of the rich and powerful vampires that now rule the land, and from that blood strengthen yourself and your movement.

Original Concept and Graphic Design: @Talen_Lee

Editor: @mizutonic

Price: $5.00

Heroic Chord (Sword of Symphonies Beta)

Heroic Chord (Sword of Symphonies Beta):

Heroic Chord (Sword of Symphonies Beta)
Publisher: Peach Garden Games

Over a hundred years ago, the world melted. The great Cloudcomb Mountains collapsed, flooding the world as if wiping humanity off the slate and making room for horrors, beasts, and demons.

Humanity has survived this long. The Deiliths, the divine monuments that keep watch over the world, appoint their chosen ones to push back against the darkness, and together they fight to reclaim what humans once had. It's not enough to survive the wild - these Rangers master it completely, and use its secrets to forge powerful spells.

As heard in the podcast "Sword of Symphonies". Meet Cobb, Tissa, and Penelope, or create your own Ranger and go on an adventure all your own!

The world isn't over yet. Together, we can survive.

Price: $10.00

You'll Never Believe It

You'll Never Believe It:

You'll Never Believe It
Publisher: Falconian Productions

You’ll Never Believe It is an “augmented reality” cooperative storytelling micro-game that requires little more than texting back and forth with a friend or other roleplaying partner.

It involves taking events or locations you come across in real life, and letting your imagination go wild. What’s really behind that door you’ve never seen anyone touch in the coffee shop? What happens in that untended graveyard you’ve never seen anyone anywhere near? What was that sound you heard when you were walking home last night?

Maybe if you talk things over with a friend, you can figure it out...

Price: $0.50

Firefighter Sharks in Space

Firefighter Sharks in Space:

Firefighter Sharks in Space
Publisher: Voidspiral Entertainment

Whooooah, dude!

Space is the most dangerous place for fires, and only sharks like you have the skills, guts, and fearsome drive to fight them!

In this dice-lite RPG, you and your friends can

  1. be sharks
  2. patrol space
  3. bite fires until they stop
  4. save your little human buddies, regardless of how much they want to be saved
There are also mechanics revolving around creativity, problem-solving, and the timely use of shark facts, making this system runnable for gamers ages 5 and up.

Firefighter Sharks In Space, while not a part of the setting of The Dawnline, was commissioned as part of the campaign that produced The Dawnline.

Price: $3.00

Sorcerous Ascension RPG

Sorcerous Ascension RPG:

Sorcerous Ascension RPG
Publisher: Age of Sorcery Games and Publishing

This game is a simple way to play Sorcerers or Wizards. Featuring only the attribute of Intelligence, characters must decide which of the 4 schools of magic they will study. They can choose from Fire, Earth, Air or Water. Each school reduces your Intelligence, so choose carefully. If you like simple games that focus on cool abilities, then this game is for you!!

Price: $0.50

Freestyle RPG 2112

Freestyle RPG 2112:

Freestyle RPG 2112
Publisher: Age of Sorcery Games and Publishing

This is a simple 1 page game that uses Random Powers and interesting abilities. Designed to be set in WWII, players must escape from a German Medical Facility and reach Allied lines. This game is meant to be a fast-paced version that will feature interesting adventures, all while deciding whether or not to gamble and use your Powers...

Price: $0.50

Super Secret Spy Agency ^

Super Secret Spy Agency: Click here to view Super Secret Spy Agency

A Secret Agent Tabletop RPG inspired by Kingsman, Archer, Get Carter and Johnny English - [currently £101 (20%) of £500 goal]

The Asphodel Complex ^

The Asphodel Complex: Click here to view The Asphodel Complex

A horror role playing game that challenges you to survive a perilous journey through the nightmarish Asphodel Complex. - [currently $747 (11%) of $6,500 goal]

Emberlord ^

Emberlord: Click here to view Emberlord

An easy to learn, infinitely variable tabletop RPG made for any kind of story. - [currently $163 (16%) of $1,000 goal]

Red Carnations on a Black Grave ^

Red Carnations on a Black Grave: Click here to view Red Carnations on a Black Grave

A Story Game of Resistance - [currently $3,234 (108%) of $3,000 goal]

CatFish: An Improvisational Storytelling Game ^

CatFish: An Improvisational Storytelling Game: Click here to view CatFish: An Improvisational Storytelling Game

In this Cat-Eat-Cat World, if you're not a predator, you're prey. - [currently $540 (11%) of $5,000 goal]

Realm Of The Livingstones - A High Fantasy RPG ^

Realm Of The Livingstones - A High Fantasy RPG: Click here to view Realm Of The Livingstones - A High Fantasy RPG

A role playing game, in a high-fantasy setting. Explore, go on quests, level-up your avatar, battle foes, and more. - [currently $126 (4%) of $3,000 goal]

SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City RPG 2 Book Quickstarter. ^

SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City RPG 2 Book Quickstarter.: Click here to view SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City RPG 2 Book Quickstarter.

Punch the criminals of Vigilante City in the teeth one adventure at a time! - [currently $1,408 (44%) of $3,200 goal]

Bleak Spirit ^

Bleak Spirit: Click here to view Bleak Spirit

A roleplaying game about exploring dangerous, melancholy places, and discovering how they came to be that way. - [currently £827 (21%) of £4,000 goal]

Sign up for the HEART RPG playtest now!

Sign up for the HEART RPG playtest now!:

In two weeks’ time we’re going to release the playtest document for Heart, our next big game – and if you’d like to help shape it from the ground up, we’d love for you to be part of our alpha playtest community. (If you don’t want to read any more and just want to sign up for the playtest straight away, click here.)


Set in the Heart – the nightmare, unreal labyrinth that pulses and writhes beneath the city of Spire – Heart is a game about damnation, redemption, survival and obsession. It’s also a game about body horror, walls made of breathing meat, and exploring a possibly-malevolent parasite dimension. It’s also a game about dungeon-crawling, at the base of it; we wanted to take the classic story of descending into a dangerous underworld and see what twist we could put on it.

We’ve got amazing illustrations from Felix Miall (we’ve posted some of them here, you can’t miss ‘em) and layout from Jay Iles.

We’re going to Kickstart Heart towards the end of 2019, but before then, we want to see if we can make it really, really good.


Of course! In the playtest document alone, you can expect to find:

  • Flightless owl hives
  • Predatory libraries
  • Heretic priests of the Moon Beneath
  • Platemail made out of repurposed train parts
  • A mimetic virus that makes you build labyrinths
  • Full rules for accidentally becoming a messiah
  • The Ravening Beast, a hunting dog that hides in your thoughts

We need you to play it. Get your friends together, make some characters, and play out a few games using the rules in the PDF. We’ll have some questionnaires for you to fill out, talk about how the game felt, ask you what you liked and disliked, and so on.  We’ll need you to actually play it – we want to see how it performs in practice.

We’ve tried to make Heart as easy as possible to run, and made it so that a GM and players can sit down with very little planning and improvise a session on the fly. (However, if you want to draw out your own mad undercity and expose your players to it, you’re welcome to spend as much time as you want to prepare for a session.)


The document will feature full rules for running games of Heart – the core systems at play, but also mechanics for exploring and mapping the undercity, making and reinforcing connections between landmarks, and developing relationships with the people you meet down there. We also have five of the (planned) nine classes, and five callings – reasons that you’ve chosen to explore the shifting, dangerous world of the Heart.

Finally, there are some details on the world of Heart – landmarks, havens, incidental details, non-player characters, and adversaries – and a scenario to run through, if you wish. It’s not representative of the final product, but it’s enough to be going on with for our purposes.

There will also be links to an exclusive Discord community for early discussion of the game, as well as at least one feedback form we’ll ask you to complete to help us improve the game.


Heart uses a modified version of the Resistance system that we created for Spire. Some of the skills and resistances you’ll recognise – we still have a Blood resistance to measure how hurt you are, and a Sneak skill to go unnoticed. Others are new and designed to tell stories unique to exploring a body-warping magical city – Echo resistance shows how much the Heart has changed you, for example, and Supplies resistance shows how much spireblack your lantern has to burn before it sputters out and leaves you in pitch darkness.

We’ve streamlined down some of the systems from Spire, making them (hopefully) easier to use on the fly.

We’ve focused on making fallout smoother to use in play and, with the addition of Critical fallout, used it to give your character a descending arc as misfortune and pain are poured upon them. We’ve added a little more complexity to the combat system, because there’s more of it in Heart, but not a great deal (and we aren’t using tactical maps or anything like that).

The systems will be instantly recognisable to anyone who’s played Spire, and we hope you enjoy the tweaks we’ve made.


It’s not – it’s completely standalone. However, we will continue to support the Spire line – we’re in the process of writing our next supplement right now and will continue, if demand stays high, to release a new major sourcebook on a yearly basis.


Fill out the form below and, once it’s all ready to go, we’ll send you a download link to the PDF documentation.


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The post Sign up for the HEART RPG playtest now! appeared first on Rowan, Rook and Decard.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

The King of Dungeons ^

The King of Dungeons: Click here to view The King of Dungeons

A tabletop RPG about fantastic shenanigans. - [currently £1,262 (421%) of £300 goal]

Tidepools [$5.00]

Tidepools [$5.00]: a two-player game about mermaids and humans courting each other


Sexy Assassins [Free]

Sexy Assassins [Free]: You are ultra-lethal assassins. You are also all in love with each other.

Sexy Assassins

Alone in the Labyrinth [Free]

Alone in the Labyrinth [Free]:

Alone in the Labyrinth

The Escort [Free]

The Escort [Free]: A wuxia themed hack of John Harper's Lady Blackbird tabletop RPG

The Escort

Ambrosia Cafe [$5.00]

Ambrosia Cafe [$5.00]: A storytelling game of gods in a cafe.

Ambrosia Cafe

Pirate Movie Night [Free]

Pirate Movie Night [Free]: A short, silly party game about pirates entertaining themselves

Pirate Movie Night


BACHELORLOCK [Free]: a 2 player game about dating demons.



I AM THE AGES [Free]: the world-building game


Diaspora [Free]

Diaspora [Free]: The first edition of Diaspora, signed for the 2013 Bundle of Fate


Execution of Movement [Free]

Execution of Movement [Free]: A solo RPG about dancing, the joy of movement, and connecting with ourselves.

Execution of Movement

Cepheus Quantum

Cepheus Quantum:

Cepheus Quantum
Publisher: Stellagama Publishing

Ever needed to run a quick sci-fi game at a convention without much time for the players to go through the rules? Ever wanted to introduce your friends to sci-fi RPGs with ease? Look no further! Cepheus Quantum provides streamlined, simple rules for exciting sci-fi adventures - which fits on a single sheet of paper! (the two sides of one page). These rules use a simple 2D6 skill mechanic and includes 12 character types, adventuring equipment, and rules for personnel, vehicle, and starship combat.

For further, more detailed sci-fi adventures, we recommend Cepheus Light - our full-scale, yet fast-play, 2D6 sci-fi role-playing game.

Cepheus Quantum comes in both A4 and US Letter formats for easy printing.

Price: $0.00

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Catbox [$2.00]

Catbox [$2.00]: a bottle episode crime thriller game.


The Lost Soul Blues (playtest)

The Lost Soul Blues:

The Lost Soul Blues
Publisher: Voidspiral Entertainment

Crimson lightning licks the skybound tooth mountains above the plain of magma. The landscape of Hell roils before you. A fell power has beckoned you from the wastes and bound you to a cause. Accomplish it to gain your freedom.

The Lost Soul Blues is a short, compact game about lost souls trying to earn their freedom from Hell. Don't let the 3 pages fool you, there's rules for the players, rules for the GM, and even mods and rules for advancement.

The Lost Soul Blues is in Beta, and we need your help to refine it. Join the discussion on reddit.com/r/voidspiral and tell us what you think!

Price: $1.00

Ace of Cage [Free]

Ace of Cage [Free]: A 2 page tabletop RPG where you play as Nicolas Cage

Ace of Cage

Ionic Defenders [Free]

Ionic Defenders [Free]:

Ionic Defenders

Ancient Stones [$5.00]

Ancient Stones [$5.00]: A card game of discovery and improvisational storytelling for 2-4 players

Ancient Stones

Era Ten Fundamentals

Era Ten Fundamentals:

Era Ten Fundamentals
Publisher: Better Games

Era Ten is Sci-Fi Free-Style Role-Play using a Quick and Dirty system; hence, no effort has been made to explain the basic mechanics of dice rolling or player interaction. This book is everything the Ref needs to run a game. There will be others in the series to help you generate ideas or fully flesh-out your campaign. This Fundamentals booklet has plenty of combat tables and some Era Ten concepts to get you started.

The Galaxy is a wild and exciting place filled with technological wonders and amazing adventures and coincidences. Mankind is free from the burden of a short life by using Mortality Reduction Drugs (MRD), but also most humans are free from the burden of choice, tainted with the Pacification Virus. The players are those one in a million who are unaffected by the Pacification Virus – Immunes.

The Tetra-League has enemies too numerous to mention; the military is torn by internal rivalry and threatened by external forces. Hostile aliens that once were enslaved, or in some cases even treated as allies, now want to destroy all humans. Every Immune is important; those able to survive in combat especially so. The Taints cannot fight, leaving the Immunes as both scourge and savoir.

Sending out soldiers in Power Armor is an absurdity. You’d think that Immunes being so scarce would be important, that they’d be treated better. Someone’s got to fight the wars. Some Immunes are treated well, executives. None of them are FNG player characters. They get fitted into combat armor and dropped from orbit on the enemy. That’s where they might have been treated better.

The Environmental Enclosure battle suit is so effective it can destroy just about anything, except someone else in another EE Suit. All the best counters to all the best attacks were developed. Then the design sort of stopped. Hence the problem, if the players want to really fight, and fight well, they are forced to use their EE Suits in creative manners, in actions beyond their design. Sure, you can brush aside some street punks or knock down a static building, but if you want to fight an equal, you have to learn to unlearn what the EE Suit does.

At Era Ten, only Immunes can fight the wars, and the best have served for centuries, but ambitious commanders have been known to conscript anyone, impressing them into an EE Suit. Your first combat drop from orbit is your Jump and Die. Seeds tossed in the air, only a few sprout as mere weeds. The rest get eaten by very scary birds.

Why would you stay? You’re an immortal. Why risk that even if forced? A century ago your character ran a factory, a decade ago you wrote a novel, last week you lorded over an asteroid colony or ran for mayor unopposed…Most characters stay because being a Space Marine is pretty thrilling. You’re ready to play one, aren’t you?

Era Ten is Sci-Fi free-style role-play, the emphasis is on mission and story, character building and gaming. Player Agency? When did this hobby start demanding a law degree to run a character in a role-play game?

Reclaim your hobby. Put the dice rolls back into gaming.

Troopers in power armor in systems of the Milky Way galaxy a millennium in the future as mankind is still messed-up. Only a few have the savvy to fight. It’s similar to Battle Born, just using Cutlass style event driven mechanics.

Watch us game on YouTube. Find my Battle Born novels on Kindle Prime. Read more about free-style role-play or submit questions at our Vox Populi public message board. www.spacegamer.com

A few bucks is truly nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Price: $4.99

Etude of the Evening [Free]

Etude of the Evening [Free]: A trial to recover your beautiful history.

Etude of the Evening