Explore The One Land Like Never Before

HPS_Legends_cover_web_850x1200_Jan2018It’s launch day here at BRG and do we ever have some exciting news to share with you today. First, High Plains Samurai: Legends is officially on sale as a free PDF plus you can purchase softcover versions (either full colour or black-and-white) at DriveThruRPG.

But that’s not all. We’re very pleased to announce the launch of our new website, highplainssamurai.com. Here you can learn the basic rules for playing HPS, introduce yourself to the setting and concept of the game, read the ongoing short story of Black Scorpion’s origin by Fraser Ronald (Nefertiti Overdrive, Centurion)… oh, but that’s not all. The biggest feature we’ve added to the site is the Atlas of the One Land, a deeper exploration into the tumultuous world of post-apocalyptic qi warriors. Every week, new content provides a look at some of the exciting locations, interesting characters, new creatures from the Wastes and beyond by the team that helped bring this world to life. Plus anyone can submit new discoveries based on the stories you create with your Writers! Yes, we’re looking for everyone to share their creations with us to help populate this world like never before. So check out the site and discover more about HPS than you thought possible.

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One Successful Weekend

HPS_Legends_cover_web_850x1200_Jan2018…aaaaaaand it’s gone! If you were hoping to get your hands on a PDF of High Plains Samurai: Legends this past weekend, it is temporarily back in the vault until its full launch on March 20th. 333 downloads of the game over a period of 85 hours, working out to 3.9 downloads an hour. Thanks to everyone who jumped on board the game like an Outcast trying to rob the Salvation.

This was just a sneak peak and if you’re concerned about having to pay for a copy on the 20th, we want to assure you that will not be the case. You will still be able to download a free PDF of HPS Legends as well as purchase full colour or black-and-white softcover copies on March 20th and every other day after that. Even now, we’re making a few updates to the layers and some of the layout to give you an even better version in the next couple of weeks. We hope everyone’s diving through and getting a feel for what makes the One Land tick.

Because it’s going to get bigger. The Atlas of the One Land is coming soon…

Atlas_map_March2018
Artwork by Jeff Brown.

HPS Legends Unleashed For GM’s Day

HPS_Legends_cover_web_850x1200_Jan2018Damn you, Chaos! It seems that with all the hassle and bustle of getting ready for the official release of High Plains Samurai: Legends on March 20th, a certain extra-dimensional creator of the One Land decided to launch the free PDF for GM’s Day weekend. Rather than summon the other Elemental Spirits to fight the All-Father’s machinations once more, we’re going to roll with the punches.

HPS Legends is available to download for free this GM’s Day weekend (until Monday, March 5th) and won’t be back again until the 20th. On that day, you can purchase full colour or black-and-white softcover copies of the game along with the free PDF. Go ahead… unleash your potential!

Pick it up at DriveThruRPG.

Gnomes Love Samurai!

gnome_stew_logo_00There was a fantastic and thorough early review of High Plains Samurai: Legends posted on Gnome Stew yesterday from one of the game’s backers, Jared Rascher. It provides a complete chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the book as well as the pros and cons you expect from a review.

Here’s a snippet of it…

“The book’s appearance is striking, and that’s relevant beyond just the aesthetic value. That striking appearance helps to call out items in the adventures, sidebars, and special rules. The setting is evocative and has lots of room for play, and gives just enough detail to be useful. The rules provide a structure that allows for narrative descriptions that can be as cinematic as the players are able to provide, but still have some built-in mechanics to remind the players when to move the spotlight. The adventure structure is very useful at a table, and even divorced from the specific rules would be a nice template to follow to keep track of triggers and the flow of information about the plot.”

You can read the full review here. High Plains Samurai: Legends will be available on March 20th for free in PDF or for low-cost print-on-demand on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

It’s Time To Duel

234151Perhaps there’s no better way to relax after a long weekend than grabbing a sharp blade rusted by the blood of your enemies, slinging a cracked shield over your arm, and defeating a fellow warrior in hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps you will face a giant centaur or the gods will be pleased with your fight and award you with the wings of your fallen opponent. Either way, it’s time to Duel.

We’re pleased to announce the first of our ongoing series of mini-games, Duel, is now available for free at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. Played with Fate/Fudge dice, both players in a contest to the death will randomly build their warriors and the arena in which they fight before laying out a path of attacks, blocks, and complications to win the battle and fight for the favour of the gods. It’s easy enough to check out… because it’s FREE. Download it, play it, and let us know how it went. Did you have to call on a favour to earn your victory or can you dish out more harm than you receive to win the day? There’s only one way to find out.

What Are Fragments?

Every now and then, an idea for a mini-game comes along. It’s not large enough to design a full game and charge full price. There’s just enough to package it and send it out into the world. Fragments is a new line of free PDFs from Broken Ruler Games showcasing what we can do and we’re planning to release a new game in the series every quarter. We’re working on the next game, By The General’s Hand, a letter-writing game about two generals corresponding to their loved ones back home about their ongoing war. Each letter contains an update on the conflict between both players with dice rolls encoded in the handwritten details until a truce is declared or an army falls. Keep your eyes posted here for more updates on General as the game progress and sign up for our Broken Newsletter for sneak peaks.

Measuring Success: Q4 2017 + The Year That Was

Greetings once again, oh curious one. The end of another quarter means it’s time for another instalment of How Much Money Did We Make? Also known as Measuring Success. And yes, this one comes at the end of a quarter. Right on time and there’s a reason for that which I’ll dive into momentarily.

Below are the numbers of products moved and gross sales amount for both the last quarter of 2017 (October to December) along with the overall numbers for 2017. This is the first year I’ve collected a calendar year’s sales, not just a fiscal year (as mine runs from September to August). There’s a few new things I’m trying out with my accounting and this is one of them. These numbers include sales from DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, convention & direct sales (including to groups such as Ottawa Story Games and GenCon), Indie Press Revolution, and the Open Gaming Store.

Product Q4 Sales Q4 Gross 2017 Sales 2017 Gross
Killshot: The Director’s Cut 5 $18.30 34 $162.20
PDF 5   31  
Hardcover B&W 0   2  
Hardcover B&W + PDF 0   1  
Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal 0 $0.00 9 $0.00
PDF 0   9  
Softcover B&W 0   0  
Killshot: Direction 0 $0.00 0 $0.00
PDF 0   0  
Softcover B&W 0   0  
Killshot Files #0 8 $0.00 34 $4.95
PDF (Free) 8   34  
Killshot Files #1 0 $0.00 9 $12.00
PDF 0   9  
Killshot Files #2 0 $0.00 10 $27.97
PDF 0   10  
Ironbound 35 $1.50 290 $10.34
PWYW 15   120  
Blessed and the Damned 20   170  
ScreenPlay 720 $53.28 761 $243.73
PDF 718   755  
Softcover POD 0   2  
Softcover POD + PDF 2   4  
Dial M for Monster 3 $18.44 21 $86.94
PDF 2   18  
Softcover POD 1   3  
         
TOTAL 774 $91.52 1199 $548.13
         
Killshot Directors Kit (Bundle) 0   9

As stated in the last instalment of this series, 2017 was a lean year because so much effort was put into getting ready for this year (ahem, High Plains Samurai). There was also our donation of ScreenPlay‘s PDF into the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Bundle that has skewed some of the numbers (I’m a sucker for placing products into charity bundles once they’ve been out in distribution for a year). This amount is very acceptable because it’s enough to keep paying the bills, which are quite reasonable this time of year. Plus, these numbers do not include the Kickstarter funds raised in May-June 2017.

The last quarter of 2017 was… disappointing. It is possible the Bundle took out a lot of thunder for other sales, but I’ve spoken to a couple other publishers who have noticed a similar result in their Q4 sales. Even the uber massive Christmas sales were meh. To me, it’s a sign that new releases are in order as the pressure in this pipe is starting to fizzle out. This means there isn’t much more to cover with regards to sales and 2017 products that hasn’t been discussed already, so let’s move on.

A Few Extra Hours In The Day

HPS_Legends_cover_Dec2017_preview1Yes, the reason why I was able to actually produce quarterly results this time. BRG keeps me very busy and when combined with having a regular daytime job and some freelance work in between, my time is tightly managed to maintain my production schedule. If one of those things were to suddenly fade away, more time becomes available. And that’s exactly what happened.

As of the end of 2017, I am currently working full-time from home on BRG and my freelance graphic design. Doing so has allowed me to take the time to get things right and get back on track with HPS production after the expansion of High Plains Samurai: Legends, playtesting, and more. Along with some additional mini-games in the works (see Duel for a sample of our first product in the upcoming Fragments line). While the numbers you see above certainly do not come close to providing a solid income, this new year is going to be a game changer. Combine that with my freelance work and there’s only one way to find out, right?

Sign up for the Broken Newsletter & get a free PDF of Dial M For Monster.We’re already moving forward with this expanded workflow, as shown by last year’s announcement of HPS Legends and Duel. Plus with more surprises along the way, we’ve set up a monthly newsletter to help our fans keep track of what’s going on. (Psst, you’ll receive a free PDF copy of Dial M For Monster if you do. Just sayin’.) These are exciting and terrifying times. We’ll see how it all pans out in three months’ time.

Upcoming Releases: HPS Legends and Duel

Happy New Year to everyone in the world! Our world, at least. While we may tell our stories on worlds not our own, this one is ours and my iCal doesn’t know how to accept extra-dimensional holidays. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about…

DUEL_cover_preview1

Broken Ruler Games will be releasing two new products in the first quarter of 2018 and both have been added to this site. It begins with a short 2-player combat game called Duel, the first in a quarterly series of mini-games operating under our Fragments product line (more to come on that another day). Using Fudge/Fate dice to build your Arena and warriors as well as conduct your duels to the death, this upcoming PDF release is scheduled for February 2018.

HPS_Legends_cover_Dec2017_preview1

The following month will see the first official product for the High Plains Samurai Roleplaying Game make the journey from the One Land to our realm. High Plains Samurai: Legends (or HPS Legends) provides a one-shot version of our storytelling RPG that’s perfect for convention play or introducing the game to your friends. This PDF/POD release will be available in March 2018 (and our Kickstarter backers will receive their PDFs later this month).

You can stay up-to-date on both of these products and everything else we have on the go by signing up for our Broken Newsletter. In fact, we’re willing to bribe you into subscribing by offering you a free PDF copy of Dial M For Monster when you do. Just click here to sign up now. Or not. No pressure. We just thought we had a connection, you and us. Not to worry, we’ll be fine. It’s just heartbreaking when this happens each and every time.