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Swordsfall RPG | Core System Change, Get Your D10’s

A Change from the Past

Story Highlights
  • Updated Core System
  • Full RPG, One Step Closer

When I first created the base system for the Swordsfall RPG, I based it off of Genesys, which was great. But as I built the system, I realized I needed something more flexible and easy to read at a glance. While working on Shadow Academy I realized it was time for a serious system change.

Merging Two Systems

Shadow Academy is a rename of a Naruto homebrew I started over a decade ago. When I first created it I based it on a d10 system. It was my first full homebrew system and it was janky at first, but I had gotten it operational over the years…and then shelved it. Because that’s how it goes, right?

Well fast forward to last year, and I stumbled across the document in one of my writing folders. I had forgotten how much work I had put into already, especially the core system. So I decided to fold it into the Swordsfall world and strip out all the Naruto stuff. As I did that and added in the Swordsfall system I had at the time, I realized they went perfectly together.

I had more or less recreated the central framework I had done a decade ago, just in a slightly different way. I liked parts of both systems I had made, and they already worked well together.

Readability Problem

I like the Genesys system, I like how it handles the concept of “Failing Forward”. However, the current way the system is set up relies on custom dice, something I didn’t really want to do. So for Summit of Kings, I showed a way to implement the system but without custom dice. It used a chart that replaced the dice with plain dice and I changed the combinations, but the core was still there.

One of the primary complaints I got about Summit of Kings was the dice system and the chart. They liked the idea of how the game played, but actually having to deal with the dice outcomes was annoying. It caused some folks to just use their existing dice of choice or just kind of handwave it.

That’s not something I want players to have to deal with. Well as I was updating Shadow Academy, I realized how much faster the d10 system was that I used for it. So I experimented with putting in the full Swordsfall system into the existing d10 of Shadow Academy. And well, I like it. A lot.

The New D10 Powered Swordsfall Cinematic System

At its core, it’s really quite the same. The goal is to throw some dice and get a result that’s not just binary. However, it’s accomplished in a different way. The chart is gone, and instead, we’re dealing with the tops and bottoms of the dice roll. How it works is simple and should be familiar to most people.

• Result of 10 (0 on a d10) to 8 is an Advantage.
• Result of 1 to 3 is a Consequence.

Additionally rolling the extremes (1 and 10) get the extra bonus or debuff.

• Result of 10 is a Divine Favour
• Result of 1 is a Disaster

This should allow the system to have similar flexibility in terms of results but should be easier for players to determine the outcome at a glance.

The way you roll is the same in terms of combining your Character Stats and Traits, just on a different number scale. But one that should also be more extensible for if a game really climbs in terms of damage numbers and such. This also lets me construct Techniques that can play with the threshold value for outcomes and other fun stuff.

Fifth Ebon Expedition and Summit of Kings: The Remix

Shadow Academy has the new d10 system, as it was the game that really started the change. The upcoming Fifth Ebon Expedition has already been converted over to the new d10 as well. And not to leave Summit of Kings out, I already planned to do a more in-depth revision of Summit of Kings, but now when I do so it’ll also be updated to the new d10 system for parity.

That’s it for this post. In the next post update, we’ll talk about the updated Character Stats!


Creator and Author of Swordsfall. He's a longtime omni-nerd who grew up during the classic days of Toonami, TechTV, and Transformers. However, as a black man in the hobby, he found himself longing for more stories that told the adventures of people that looked like him. Creating Swordsfall has not only been an effort to be the change he wanted to see but also as his own personal journey.

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