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The Men prospered in the incandescence of the Sun above, as Her light kept horrendous Beasts, spawns of the Dark at bay.

But at one point in time, so long ago that even the oldest of immortal elves don’t remember it, things have changed. The Sun above stopped to warm and started to burn, Men and Beasts indiscriminately.

Whatever sin was committed, it was great and now you must suffer to repent it.

Or, at least, the Temple says so.


This is the game of faith. This is the game of dangers, struggles, darkness and corruption. This is the game of hopeheroism, self-sacrifice and friendship, forged in blood and fire.

Players take on roles of the heroes, risking their life at every turn to make sure that their world, or even the world at large lives to see another day.


Inspirations

  • Calvary by John Michael McDonagh for reflections on faith, sin, and, most importantly, virtue. There’s a thought raised in this film that basically shaped this game: we talk too much about sins and too little about virtues.
  • Dark Souls by From Software for somber atmosphere, mysteriousness and people going hollow. Also, praise the Sun!
  • Bloodborne by From Software, again, for people turning into Beasts, questionable Healing Church and stylish gothic cathedrals.
  • I’m thinking of ending things by Iain Reid and the Charlie Kaufman’s film by the same name for the depiction of reality falling apart and for the question at the heart of it: to continue, or not?
  • Grandmother’s Garden by KittyHorrorShow for the cruel world that keeps demanding, but gives little in return and for the people living there, who just accept it as the nature of things.
  • Isle of the Dead (Остров мёртвых) by Sergei Rachmaninoff and black-and-white version of Isle of the Dead (Die Toteninsel) by Arnold Böcklin for the feelings of despair and impending doom but with undertones of hope.
StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Release date Mar 29, 2021
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(18)
AuthorLOVERDRIVE
Tagsblades-in-the-dark, dungeon-world, Fantasy, Forged in the Dark
Average sessionA few hours
LanguagesEnglish

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Swords under the Sun [Open Beta].pdf 40 MB
Fighter.pdf 1,023 kB
Ranger.pdf 1,005 kB
Rogue.pdf 909 kB
Sorcerer.pdf 8 MB
Sun-Speaker.pdf 850 kB
Rules reference.pdf 4 MB
GM.pdf 616 kB

Development log

Comments

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(3 edits)

Hey, was getting into hacking up my own Sword-and-Sorcery game, and found this. Enthralled. Your touchstones are obvious in hindsight, and I've been desperately trying to engineer some greater-than-the-whole mix of PbtA and Blades.

I would offer to help with the production, but it sounds like you've already got everything covered? If so, good luck! I'll be looking forward to playing and developing content for this game when it comes out - empire-factions, playbooks, all that good stuff.

I pretty much got nothing covered haha. I kinda lost passion for this project (as I finished all campaigns I ran with it to conclusion), and so I work at snail's pace.

All in all, if you want to do something with it, don't wait for me, everything I do is CC-BY-SA anyway.

(1 edit)

Roger that. Passion is a capricious beast! If working together is in the cards sometime then let me know, but I'll at least credit you thoroughly!

I don't understand how the Sorcerer's magic works

(+2)

The "Recover" section describes rephrasing Grave and Extreme harm into scars that never go away. That's great. I love that. It's a little unclear, though, if that becomes a purely fictional aspect of the character, or if Grave and Extreme harm literally never go away, meaning a character can only take 1 Grave and 1 Extreme harm ever. 

(+1)

Hi I had another question, for comparison against NPCs and for the purpose of stuff like Fine equipment, how do you at least initially determine the Tier of PCs? It feels like some kind of soft guidance for that topic, or just an address of how you don't do that (if you don't) could be helpful!

Oh, yeah, it is planned and there is a first rough draft already, though it needs some heavy editing.

Sadly, I have only so much hands haha

(+1)

This is really cool!


It wasn't clear to me, how do you increase your action ratings? I'm guessing it's an either/or thing with your EXP, but I don't think it's explained.


Do you have any interest or intention to add more Playbooks to this?

Thanks!

As for increasing action ratings, I've just completely forgotten to write about advancement lol. In short, on the charsheet there are 5 dots near an attribute name -- each time you gain XP you can put it either into one of the attribute XP trackers or into playbook XP. When an attribute tracker fills up, you can increase one of the action ratings by 1.


I don't plan to add more playbooks, at least at this point and, honestly, I don't really know what kind of playbook is there to add -- pretty much every fantasy archetype is already covered.

Hi everybody. First of all: nice. I love those Dark-soulish games. And I like BitD mechanics, so... nice combo.
Then, a potential bug: pag. 45, Flashback chapter talk about "stress", while I suppose here should be Doom.

Also, pag. 46, you used the Dark, with the capital D, while the Chapter title has a humble dark.

Pag. 50, under  End of the Line there's a reference about Darkness Ability. But the only similar thing I find along the book are the Dark Gifts.

In this part, you could put a couple of black signs on the Might bar, so the image is 100% coherent with the example you are giving on the left.

(1 edit) (+1)

The bar is for tracking XP, though I completely forgot to talk about advancement in any length lol


Noted! I'll publish an updated version somewhere this weekend, there's a couple of other things I've noticed.

Of course, there are typos around, but I suppose the beta version is still in full developement. However, at least fix incadecense at pag. 64, opportuunity at pag.51, sloppines at pag.57, beaty at pag. 76.

(+1)

This is a Dungeon World killer for me. Excited to give this a try!