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Blade of the Iron Throne is the RPG of blood-red Sword & Sorcery, inspired by the pulp tales of authors such as Robert E. Howard. Read more

Cary, NC Tabletop Games
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This project was successfully funded on April 8, 2013.

Blade of the Iron Throne is the RPG of blood-red Sword & Sorcery, inspired by the pulp tales of authors such as Robert E. Howard.

Cary, NC Tabletop Games
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About this project

Do you remember the Indie RPG The Riddle of Steel by Jake Norwood?

Do you have a taste for challenging, maneuver-driven melee combat in your tabletop gaming?

Does your gaming group insist on the story being player-driven rather than referee-driven?

Do you lament the fact that there is so little gaming material out there that supports the Swords & Sorcery literary genre?

If you answered "Yes!!" to any or even all of these then Blade of the Iron Throne has been designed for you and your gaming group.

Check out the PDF Extract here.on process.

We think TRoS was an awesome game. We think Blade is better. Here's why:

TRoS was designed with a crunchy, maneuver-driven combat system and had Spiritual Attributes to ensure the game emphasized player-driven story. However many gamers, particularly those coming from a mainstream RPG background, instinctively emphasized the crunchy combat and largely neutralised the Spiritual Attributes - which allowed for referee-driven gaming. Nothing wrong with that of course. Blade places much more emphasis on the player-driven story elements, with new rules clarity that ensures that even first-time gamers understand that they are responsible for the direction that the story takes.

In TRoS, combat was cinematic. In Blade, this is formalised further by the introduction of the Limelight mechanic. In short, the camera stays with the player character until something interesting happens and then moves to the next player character. Non-Player Characters do not receive a Limelight - only their interaction with a Player Character brings them into the unfolding events.

In TRoS, sorcerors risked Aging when they cast spells. In Blade, sorcerors acquire Taint. Taint manifest in various ways -- but all are a form of corruption. In time sorcerors acquire an aura that causes mistrust, fear, and loathing - not as a weapon but as a penalty on all social interaction.

Most importantly, sorcery has been completely revised. It has been reimagined to emulate the sorcery found in the pages of pulp-era Swords & Sorcery literature. Magic is dangerous to the practitioner, wild and uncertain.

Drama is also revamped. Where TRoS had the Luck SA, and The Companion had Drama, Blade has a new form of Drama that allows you to have a:

Lucky Break - A substantial change in the game world that assists a PC in some goal but does not ensure that the goal is successful in its own right.
Scene Request - The player can request a specific scene be played out.
Auto Success - One non-combat action is completed successfully without rolling.
Steal the Limelight - During combat, changes the order of Limelights at any time. In other words, the player can insist that their character's next Limelight be resolved immediately. Great for rushing to the rescue!
Auto Melee Survival (Optional) - Reduces the severity of a killing or maiming blow to incapacitation. In addition, the character cannot be dispatched after the combat.

In TRoS, when several or all of your SAs fire the majority of dice in your dice pool will have come from your SAs. In Blade, only the PA that contributes the most dice is included in full -- other SA contribute a single die. This way PAs contribute significantly to your dice pool but they're not the largest contributor.

Naked Dwarf is no more - attributes are halved in the damage calculation.

The Rewards for Pledging are listed to the right. As you can see we've chosen to structure things quite differently to most Kickstarters.

The most important thing to note about the Rewards is this - if you want a physical copy of Blade of the Iron Throne then that will involve buying it through a Print on Demand (PoD) service. We are not selling the physical books through Kickstarter (unless you take the $300+ signed Hardcopy Pledge). If you decide to take the $22+ Hardcover Pledge and/or the $22+ Softcover Pledge you will be able to buy Blade of the Iron Throne from the selected PoD service at the print price (wholesale, rather than retail).

What will that cost? Here is the breakdown:

Electronic Format (PDF, Kindle, etc) - RRP of $24.95. Pledge $22. Backers save $2.95.

B&W Softcover - RRP of $34.95. Pledge $22. Print Cost $7.90. Backers save $5.05.

Colour Softcover - RRP of $37.95. Pledge $22. Print Cost $10.90. Backers save $5.05.

Colour Hardcover - RRP of $65.95. Pledge $22. Print Cost $36.60. Backers save $7.35.

The next point to be made involves purchasing multiple versions of Blade of the Iron Throne. This is very simple. The first version of Blade that you buy costs $22 no matter what format is chosen. Each subsequent version costs $11. So if you want the colour PDF and you want the Kindle version then select the $22 colour PDF Reward and simply Pledge $33. When the Kickstarter completes all those who have Pledged over the amount of their Reward will be asked which additional version(s) they wish to receive.

We don't want people to over-pledge just so they can see Kickstarter Stretch Goals. We prefer a transparent approach. Our initial Funding Goal gets us the bare minimum we need to commission artwork and hire an InDesign guru to update our layouts. It gives us the money we need to deliver on the Rewards for the Pledges. So if we make our target we will have enough money to finish the project and get everyone's Rewards to them.

The only Stretch Goal we created was at $6,000.oo which we have surpassed. All Backers who Pledge $22 or more will now receive the B&W "Text + Diagrams" PDF version for free. Not only that, it will be delivered by the end of the first week of May. That's about two months earlier than the scheduled availability dateor the other versions.

Any money that we receive over and above our Funding Goal will go into a warchest. We will use this money to:

Create free downloads for Blade of the Iron Throne, and/or

Create the free PDF Beta version of the next Iron Throne Publishing product.

It is as simple as that.

Risks and challenges

The awesome thing about this project is that the game has already been produced. The Beta program that ran between the start of January and the middle of March saw the free PDF version of our game downloaded by 969 people. You can see their feedback - and discuss the game with its developers, playtesters, and adherents - on our forum.

This does not mean that there aren't challenges to be overcome and risks that need to be mitigated. This is a hobby and sometimes Real Life gets in the way, causing delays and deadlines to slip. Our project team is spread across three continents and none of us have met face to face. This adds a level of obfuscation to communication that wouldn't be there if we all met around a table every second weekend for a game of Blade!

We know we can overcome these challenges. The free PDF was produced successfully and we've supported the game over the last ten weeks. We have a solid understanding of our player base and what they expect from the full production release of the game.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • We won't be using Lulu - DriveThruRPG provide the same service for less money on game-format books.

    They will charge $36.60 for a 300-page full-colour hardcover book, plus shipping. If the page count varies then the price will also vary slightly.

    Please see Update 3 for more details on the pricing of physical copies.

    Last updated:
  • We won't be using Lulu - DriveThruRPG provide the same service for less money on game-format books.

    They will charge $7.90 for a 300-page B&W softcover book, plus shipping. If the page count varies then the price will also vary slightly.

    Please see Update 3 for more details on the pricing of physical copies.

    Last updated:
  • Please see Update 3 for more details on Retail Pricing.

    Last updated:
  • Please see Update 3 for more details on the pricing of physical copies.

    Last updated:
  • No, our Rewards do not include other Rewards automatically.

    However, if you take any Pledge (other than the $1+ No Reward Pledge) you can add a version of the game for an extra $11.

    So let's say you wanted to take the Character Illustration reward, and you wanted a full colour hardcover, and you wanted three B&W softcovers. That would be:

    $120 for the Illustration, $11 for the right to buy the hardcover, and $11 for the right to buy the softcover. When the books are available from the publisher in June, then you would pay the publisher the wholesale cost of the physical books.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    13 backers

    I loved "The Riddle of Steel" and I want to help ensure that the principles of maneuver-driven combat, player-driven story, and genuine Swords & Sorcery gaming are carried on to the next generation of gamers! I want nothing in return but the heartfelt thanks of a generation of gamers prized-free from the death-grip of [insert name of popular mainstream RPG here].

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $22 or more

    57 backers

    One full-colour PDF copy of "Blade of the Iron Throne".

    This version of the PDF is quite a large file. It can be taken to a commercial print house for printing a personal copy of the game in colour.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $22 or more

    3 backers

    One B&W, text-only PDF copy of "Blade of the Iron Throne".

    This electronic version of the game has been designed for printing on the sort of laser or inkjet printer you might have at home. The only images that appear in this PDF are the front and back covers, plus diagrams that are used to illustrate key concepts in the text.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $22 or more

    2 backers

    One e-reader copy of "Blade of the Iron Throne". This version is designed to be used with Kindle and other e-readers.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $22 or more

    4 backers

    Not a softcover, B&W copy of "Blade of the Iron Throne" but the right to buy such a thing from Lulu. When this book is available through Lulu we will be selling it at cost to people who have Pledged for this reward. So you will have to pay the wholesale cost of production of the book plus the shipping costs to Lulu in order to obtain your hardcopy book.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $22 or more

    74 backers

    Not a hardcover, full colour copy of "Blade of the Iron Throne" but the right to buy such a thing from Lulu. When this book is available through Lulu we will be selling it at cost to people who have Pledged for this reward. So you will have to pay the wholesale cost of production of the book plus the shipping costs to Lulu in order to obtain your hardcopy book.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $22 or more

    4 backers

    Not a softcover, color copy of "Blade of the Iron Throne" but the right to buy such a thing from our PoD provider. When this book is available through our PoD provider we will be selling it at cost to people who have Pledged for this reward. So you will have to pay the wholesale cost of production of the book plus the shipping costs to our PoD provider in order to obtain your hardcopy book.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    You describe your favourite character and S&S setting and our artist will create an illustration of that character. We will use that illustration in Blade (for which you will receive a credit), and we will send you a printed version of the image (nothing special here, typical home printer quality) signed by the artist.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    A hardcover copy of Blade, signed by the authors with a personalized thank-you, and sent to your door. To accomplish this feat we either ship Michael to the US to do a book signing with Phil, or send Phil to Austria to do a book signing with Michael, or we send the books on a lengthy journey from Lulu to Phil, Phil to Michael, and Michael to you. The hardcover is a heavy tome.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    A short story involving a character of your description will be written by an established author. This text will then be used on the chapter facing pages throughout the book (that's nine pages, one for each chapter and the appendix). There will be accompanying illustrations including at least one involving your character.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (20 days)