I have been continuously working on expanding and towards completing my Lions Rampant paper miniature set that I have been making. Attached to this post is the current images PDF that I am using and have made to piece together terrain from.
On the Brain Trust discord (a discord community based around the Brain Trust podcast and its creators), there was a conversation that occurred about FKR games (Free Kriegsspiel Revolution), and the amount of freedom to create surrounding games where the rules are not wholly defined at the games outset.
This lead me to be inspired and write my own incredibly basic base set of rules to be used for FKR games but that was also inspired by other games that I like (Barons of Braunstein) and games that I play (Red Markets & Dungeon World).
Anyways, here is the PDF of the two short digest pages of rules. Feel free to use them and modify them for your own games and products.
I said that I would do something when I hit 800 followers and Twitter, and so here it is! Here is a free set of printable paper miniatures for wargaming.
I made these for use with Lion’s Rampant from Osprey, but as they are generic they could be used with anything probably. These were made for Lion’s Rampant (which is why you’ll notice the weapon combinations for the minis are similar to the choices present in the Lion’s Rampant rulebook).
Because regular miniatures are expensive, not just money but in time (assembly, painting, tools to paint etc), that is why I decided to make my own paper miniatures. Not because their weren’t options present online that I could have downloaded, printed, and used but because I wanted to play with minis that were of my own making/artstyle. So a little more cartoony, but not super cartoony. I just wanted minis that looked like they came out of the old school fantasy rpgs whose art style I like.
That is how I got to making these. I expect that once I have made even more paper minis, I may put them together into a zine with maybe my own house rules to be used with them when printed and assembled. But for that to happen, I would need to create paper terrain, do some more gaming and writing for wargames type stuff.
Until then, the most you will read about paper miniatures on this blog will be my own play reports from using these at my own table for solo gaming.
Runaway Hirelings is a silly game for those who like to play weak characters who fail, cannot hope to even bruise anyone in a fight, and want to play dungeons as the Demi-Lich intended. Really weird descriptions of rooms that could never be mapped on a grid, and rooms meant to be run through screaming.
In Runaway Hirelings, players take on the role a hireling whose boss has died leaving them in the final room of the dungeon. They now have to make their way out of the dungeon without any heroes to defend and fight for them. Hirelings will die, and other hirelings will be found that were lost along the way.
… what started as Wirdum, the Lost City of Cogs, and home to an unstoppable mechanical army slowly morphed into a multi-millenia-old, ruined theme park with broken animatronics and an unstoppable army of maintenance and cleaning mechanicals.James F.
- Preparation Required: Game-Master needs to read the rules. Handouts are made available to all Players, and 4 six-sided dice are to be shared at the table.
- Playtime: 1.5 hours – 2 hours.
- Players: 1 Game-Master, and 1-5 player characters (as Hirelings).
- Digital Contents: Rules book PDF’s and Handouts PDF. Rules are 36 pages (with blank pages left in for zine printing). An additional no-art compact version of the rules is also included for easy printing at home.
This game was intended to be read and then played in the same day, picked up and brought to the game table as quick as possible with little preparation.
Where to Buy
- Print and/or Digital: You can get it from DrivethruRPG here.
- Alternatively, you can purchase a digital copy through itch.io using the button below. Purchasing here is how you can give me tips, as well as on itch.io I receive a larger cut of each sale.
MORE for Runaway Hirelings
- Player Handouts; this includes rules reference pages and character sheets for use in play. They can be downloaded for free from here.
- Extra Sauce #1; Extra Sauce is additional rules and mechanics for RH. The first includes Dungeon Templates and an updated version of the playtest 0.5 dungeon “The Needlelands”. You can get the PDF for free here.
- Extra Sauce #2; This extra sauce contains the weirdometer, some rules to help with adding cosmic strangeness and alien old ones to your game. Also contains a new dungeon template “The Temple of Al-Guratt” and a new hireling called the Candlekeeper. You can get the PDF for free here.
Press & Podcasts
- The One Shot Podcast, episodes 252 and 253. Actual play episodes are here.
- Tabletop itch.io Selects Bundle; RH was featured in a sales bundle in December 2019, which sold 495 bundles! The sale ended, but can be found here.
- Technical Difficulties Gaming Podcast played a session and their Actual play is here.
- Comics Beat article: “Five Tabletop RPGs you can learn and play in a night”.
- Tabletop Bellhop unboxing video, which can be found on the Tabletop Bellhop YouTube channel.
- The Bleakest Pyramind, I ran the game for a one on one session with my friend Tony Obert for a playtest of the game. The playtest recording can be found here.
Our game involved a lowly farmer creeping along the floor with a barrel over his head pretending to be a worm to escape sentient statues, a torchbearer seducing a red dragon, a fool giving a lecture on the merits of a potato stuck on a stick as a form of art criticism as so much more. It was one the most hilarious games I’ve played in a while. You should all totally go get yourself a copy, and play the heck out of it.Abigail L.
Text, art, and layout for Runaway Hirelings is by Thomas Novosel. The game full release was edited by Owen Kerr and Jarrett Crader.
This development history is written so that people who were not around when I talked about this game back on Google Plus can look through earlier iterations of the game before publication. I think, personally of course, that most earlier versions of the game were barely playable. But each version and draft was crucial to forming what would become the end product. My little silly fantasy game about trap pokers in caves.
- Original Micro Game; Runaway Hirelings was originally written as a micro game for a fantasy game design challenge that involved making a fantasy rpg that didn’t use warriors, swords, or the traditional fare you would find in D&D inspired games. The original micro game can be downloaded here.
- Playtest Version 0.2; this is the original playable version of the expanded game that was used for the first couple games of play-testing. The quality may be bad, but it is because it is a scanned version of my personal printout that I used. It can be downloaded here.
- Playtest Version 0.5; this is a publicly released playtest version of the game that was put out as the first post on my Patreon to patrons. It pretty cleaned up, and much better, but still noticeably different from the final version of the game. It can be downloaded here.
- Unrelated Development Videos; early on in development I started working on notes videos where I talked about some of the early ideas. While I didn’t continue the series throughout all of development, it still might be interesting to watch. You can watch them here.
The micro game was released in early 2016, early writing for an expanded version started a few months afterwards. All of the art in the final game was done in October 2017, the original art style that was going to be used was traded in for an art style that I was using while doing Inktober, making use of a Pentel brush pen. Final notes were made and the game was released January 2018.
Runaway Hirelings is a game that plays with the tropes of comedic-ly incapable people who work for mighty heroes. They can’t do much and often fail at whatever they do in tabletop role-playing games. That is where the hirelings come from.
As for game mechanics, Runaway Hirelings was inspired by two games:
Apocalypse World by D. Vincent Baker and Meguey Baker for its writing style and rules presentation, the idea of writing rules as individual if then statements came from here. Apocaylpse World also lead me to treat the rules book as the GM manual, and to create handouts to act as the core way that players would interact with the game. This turned out to lend itself well to my core design desires for the game. That it be quick and easy to pick up and play, as well as teach.
The tone of the character funnel from the game Dungeon Crawl Classics from Goodman Games was a primary setting influence. My knowledge of the game came from the art in the rulebook which presented chefs stabbing skeletons, and the actual play episode from Role-Playing Public Radio playing through one of the game’s published adventures fueled the main purpose and plot of Runaway Hirelings as a game. Low powered characters dying left and right while fumbling to survive in a comedic dungeon run.
This section includes my copies sold, and any notable sales events. As of right now (July 2020) the Total Number of Copies of Runaway Hirelings sold is 946 copies.
- Release month: 30 total copies sold
- Release month of the One Shot Podcast Actual Play: 22 copies sold.
- Pay-What-You-Want month: 52 total copies (average: $1.70 ea.).
- Tabletop itch.io Selects Bundle: 495 total copies.
- Lifetime itch.io: 509 copies.
- Lifetime DriveThruRPG: 267 copies.
- Lifetime Gumroad: 20 copies.
I update this post from time to time with new and updated sales numbers for the game. So if you are curious about how this increases, check back later!
I have recently been looking at a ton of different art styles that involve pens, or things that I could replicate using technical pens. So I have been looking at old woodcuts and engravings, the type I remember finding in the school libraries copy of Dante Aligieri’s “Divine Comedy”. Specifically the first book, Inferno.
After looking across the internet, I downloaded a bunch of free to use images (found using google’s advanced image search of course), and assembled them into a zine. A art reference zine, which I could flip through whenever I need some inspiration quick or need to “oh yeah that’s how it looks” a specific things such as waves and water or fat pudgy clouds while working on a drawing or a piece.
Feel free to download this short zine, print it out even, and keep it by your desk too! Perhaps it may be useful to you too.
Here is issue 1.5 of the John Silence series of zines, a co-creative endeavor where Josh T. Jordan comes up with the words and I come up with the art for the weird detective and his various adventures (although this one is more of a game you see?).
The Ritual for Retrieving the Third Madness is meant to hold you over until the release of the second issue is upon us all! Josh described it to me as a “trancelarp”. So be sure to enjoy it!
There are still a few copies left of the first issue of the series, which can be purchased over at my webstore here.
The Indie Hack is this cool game by Slade Stolar that I can easily say I am a pretty big fan of. So it only makes sense that I make some cool and easy to use character sheets right? RIGHT!
These character sheets are bookmarked, have all the character info on each sheet for each character, is form-fillable so that they can easily be used on the computer or to type in and then print out at home, etc. etc. etc.
Anyways, here is a download link to this 8 pages of delicious.
There are also some alternate versions of the pdf now:
full letter character sheet 2 character per page sheet
UPDATE: (Four years later…. here are links to the PDFs hosted on my website instead of the dead dropbox links that are 5 years old).
Also here is a link to Slade’s website where you can purchase the game 🙂
If there are any problems with the character sheets, give me a shout over on Google+ or Twitter.