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Song of Swords Core Rulebook
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Song of Swords Core Rulebook

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Song of Swords is a dark, low-fantasy tabletop roleplaying game that focuses on lethal, tactical combat, with a library of arms and armor inspired by real history.

In combat and through roleplay, your character’s choices and preparedness have immediate impact and severe consequences in Song of Swords. The game uses a dice pool system that only requires d10s. With a detailed wounds system, and the freedom to decide exactly where and how you attack, combat is a thrilling, and often deadly dance.

Inspired by themes and cultures of real-world history, Song of Swords takes place on the continent of Vosca, within the Tattered Realms. It is a rich setting filled with familiar fantasy elements, but below the surface, a dark and sinister world awaits.

The game caters to all players, no matter your campaign or character: play soldiers or gritty mercenaries in historical campaigns, or shrewd sorcerers and cunning elves in high- or low-fantasy campaigns!

Characters that act according to their core nature, pursuing their goals, are rewarded for their efforts and are able to advance their martial proficiency, abilities, and skills. This makes advancement a more rewarding experience than grinding through hordes of enemies.

 

CORE RULEBOOK CONTENTS

The Core Rulebook focuses on Song of Sword's main draw: realistic combat and equipment. Supplementary books include rules for magic (Magic Compendium) and beast combat (Hunter's Handbook), which are scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2019.

For more information about other supplementary materials, visit our Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2006613790/song-of-swords-tabletop-roleplaying-game/

The chapters and appendices of the Core Rulebook include:

1: Introduction 12: Melee Weapons Appendix A: Hit Locations and Target Zones
2: Character Creation 13: Missile Weapons Appendix B: Wound Charts
3: Arc, Advancement and Luck    14: Prosthetics Appendix C: Map of Vosca
4: Attributes 15: Shields Appendix D: Character Sheet (colorized)
5: Races 16: Armor Appendix E: Glossary
6: Boons and Banes 17: Burdinadin Armory
7: Skills 18: Mounts and Beasts
8: Social Class and Wealth 19: Combat
9: Schools and Proficiencies 20: Adventuring
10: Talents 21: Actions and Maneuvers
11: Equipment 22: Wounds and Recovery

 

SAMPLE PAGES

Melee Weapons Combat Armor Hit Locations

 
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Reviews (2)
Discussions (15)
Customer avatar
Natnucha S February 16, 2019 9:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Love the game so much. But there are so many rule that is quite unclear and I hope anybody can help?

1. On page 177, moving doesn’t count as one action you can do in phase. And then there is engage and sprint on page 179 that state “allow you to move up and initiate a melee bout”. Does that mean if I have MOB = 6, I can move 6 yards and then use Engage as an action to move another 6 yards before initiateing melee bout? Or Sprint, can I use move 6 yards then Sprint as an action for another 12 yards to a total of moving 18 yards in one phase?

2. About Engage, the weapon reach must be in two yards of the Target. There is an example of EL reach weapon can initiate target from 6 yards away. On page 173, EL reach weapon is in reach stage 7 but where is the rule that give the actual reach of the weapon in yards? How can I know that EL reach weapon can reach 4 yards?

3. Lets say that A and B are fighting in a bout. “A” has ADR = 4 and “B” has ADR =5. In a bout, “B”...See more
Customer avatar
Calle A February 13, 2019 11:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Maybe I’m just blind, but I can’t find this in the book anywhere. In the “Social Class & Wealth” table on page 81, what does the [1W] etc for the wealthier social classes mean?
Customer avatar
David C February 14, 2019 6:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
1 wealth point can be spent to buy assets or turned into gold. It's on page 89, under Asset. Table Wealth/Asset/Gold conversion.

So, say, you're a high freeman. You start with 40 GP and 2 Wealth Points. You can either put those 2 points into funds and thus, start with 52 GP instead of 40. OR you can get an asset like, say, a large farm run by hired hands. Now, each month, you get 40 silver.

Which can be a good way to keep food on the table if adventuring ever goes sour.
Customer avatar
Calle A February 14, 2019 9:45 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ah, I see. Thank you!

Is the [W] notation for Wealth points explained anywhere in the text?
Customer avatar
Kirlian S February 13, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
a doubt: the half-sword maneuvers and murder-strike should not have as a requirement a metal gauntlet?
Customer avatar
Brett T February 16, 2019 3:17 am UTC
It's hard to tell from your wording if you're asking if they should have a gauntlet or shouldn't as I haven't read the book to find out. They should probably require a gauntlet as both require you to hold the blade of the sword. If memory serves though, the original system they ripped off didn't require guantlets but I could be wrong
Customer avatar
Jason K February 18, 2019 7:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
You don't need a metal gauntlet to do either of those maneuvers in practice.
Customer avatar
Kirlian S February 18, 2019 11:21 am UTC
really?!? wow!!! as a complete newbie on this issue, I can only imagine the difficulty of executing them without a metal gauntlet, without cutting. thanks for the answer.
Customer avatar
Alexandre L February 13, 2019 4:41 pm UTC
Regarding the setting, exactly how long is the section describing it, and what are the key features given in terms of information? General information, brief gazetteer, minimum kingdom/powers description, gods, religions, groups?


I know the rules make mechanical use of setting related info, namely the races AND some classes. How are they dealt with in the context of this corebook?
Customer avatar
Thomas K February 07, 2019 1:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
In the defense/guard description on page 108, the smallsword is listed as an example of having a small guard (1), but in the smallsword weapon listing on page 111, it has a Gd 3 (Complex hilt)

The sidesword is cheaper than the esapda ropera and has a +1c for swing over the espada ropera, so currently there's no reason to pick the latter over the sidesword.


Customer avatar
Alexandre L February 08, 2019 11:34 am UTC
There are a number of weapons that on the mechanical aspect don't make any sense taking into consideration all the relevant aspects BUT the fact is in reality some weapons are simply better, efficient, then others even if the lesses efficient are more expensive. Such is reality.

But yes, in some cases there are some less logical results.
Customer avatar
Zach I February 09, 2019 11:23 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks for the catch! The weapon listing for smallsword is correct -- Guard 3 (Complex Hilt).
Customer avatar
Alexandre L February 02, 2019 1:00 pm UTC
There’s also some issues with the rules that I would like to know if they were solved or it’s interpretation clearer taking into account the beta version before I decide to invest in this system.

For instance, how are opposed rolls actually implemented? A straight SP roll, winning he who gets more successes, OR two actual skill rolls vs a designated RS (based on Skill modifiers) which are then compared in terms of net successes (successes above the RS level).

The rules were not clear at all on this?
Customer avatar
Alexandre L February 02, 2019 11:25 pm UTC
“The rules were not clear at all on this...”, and I wonder if this issue was solved in this released version?
Customer avatar
Zach I February 03, 2019 1:16 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Opposed rolls are discussed early in the book. Generally, opposed rolls are one character's attribute or skill pool against another character's attribute or skill pool, and whomever has more successes at or above the target number (TN) wins. There usually isn't a required success (RS). Some skills or situations specifically describe how an opposed roll should play out. Generally, the TN is 7 for most things, however GMs can modify this to be appropriate for the situation.

Hope that clears that up!
Customer avatar
Alexandre L February 03, 2019 8:56 am UTC
independently of the skills the way the system works in regards to applying objective or subjective difficulty to a given check is by modifying the RS. If the number of successes equals or beats this the test is successful.

I would think, for instance, the Stealth is treated as a case of opposed rolls. Let’s say the PC trying to hide himself in an alley full of boxes and garbage to avoid the detection of the militia that was after him.

The PC, given the context of the alley, had a -3 modifier to his Stealth, and the militia, trying to find someone at night with not even a torch had +4.

How would this apply AND what would you compare in the end to see who won the test? Would the straight number of successes, independently of the RS, or only the succeesses equal or above the RS (reaches by applying the mods given by each skill)? This is the only thing that makes sense to me, personally, because this is the only way for the difficulty os the task to be relevant in the context...See more
Customer avatar
Zach I February 09, 2019 10:37 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
It appears the text isn't clear on the intent, and we'll fix that up in our update.

When an opposed roll involves modifiers, the RS are instead used to modify the skill pool. For example, a Stealth roll where a character is running (+4 RS) against an Observation roll would involve subtracting 4 dice from the Stealth skill pool.
Customer avatar
Alexandre L February 10, 2019 10:47 am UTC
Thank you Zach. Just one more thing. Subtracting from the Dice pool can bring the pool to zero or less (and thus no pool at all) or down to a minimum of 1?
Customer avatar
Fernando D January 30, 2019 2:30 pm UTC
If this PDF is bought, do the supplements come with it or are they separate purchases?
Customer avatar
Zach I January 30, 2019 11:56 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
When the supplementary books (Magic Compendium and Hunter's Handbook) are released, they will be part of a bundle with the Core Rulebook. We will be offering a discount to those who buy the Core Rulebook pdf in line with that bundle price.
Customer avatar
Brett T January 28, 2019 2:19 pm UTC
Looks like a ripoff of Riddle of Steel
Customer avatar
Owen M February 12, 2019 9:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It is, it's a ripoff and an add-on. It's quite good compared to its source.
Customer avatar
Brett T February 16, 2019 3:25 am UTC
Not for me, I prefer the original and almost always avoid fan created extras or so called homages. It does XXX me off that they're claiming Driftwood Publishings concepts, design process, etc as their own original work. Half of what they claim was done by Driftwood, not them.
Customer avatar
January 26, 2019 4:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
The description says I can play a shrewd sorcerer. I'm confused. Which chapter has the sorcery rules? I may be blind, but I'm not seeing them.
Customer avatar
Emil H January 26, 2019 3:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I am one of the backers from the Kickstarter. I know that the rules for magic (as well as some races, like the Star Vampire and Orredin) will be included in the Magic Compendium PDF, which Opaque Industries are currently working on.
Customer avatar
January 26, 2019 4:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Seems like that really should have been mentioned in the description. Disappointing. I do like what actually is in the books, though. Thanks.
Customer avatar
Alexandre L January 31, 2019 5:27 pm UTC
That's one of the main issues with this release. It´doesn´t feel its a complete book because the lacks very relevant parts of what is hinted at, and may indeed be part of Character creation and of the setting, namely Magic.

Speaking of the setting, which seems to be named "Mundus"... yeah! No much about it from what I've read. I think I will wait till vital parts of the game are released before purchasing it.
Customer avatar
Matthew S January 25, 2019 9:52 pm UTC
Is this something of a spiritual successor to The Riddle of Steel?
Customer avatar
Jon B January 25, 2019 4:48 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I've had a look at the beta rules and colour me intrigued. Is there a "lets play" I can watch to see the flow of the game? Thanks.
Customer avatar
Zach I January 25, 2019 6:12 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Not a very official one, yet, no. Once we've finished delivering our Kickstarter products, it's something we will look into. For the time being, there is a run-through of a combat encounter and some more information on our Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2006613790/song-of-swords-tabletop-roleplaying-game/description
Customer avatar
Jon B January 25, 2019 6:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the quick reply Zach. I'll likely pick this up. the beta rules look very crunchy.
Customer avatar
Andrew M January 25, 2019 4:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Guys, I just bought this after looking through the Beta. Right off the top, there's one thing that grinds my gears, and it's about basic book construction. Odd-numbered pages go on the right. I'm very used to having to edit PDFs to put them into shape for physical printing at home, but you've laid out your book in such a way that I can't tweak the layout to make the whole thing work correctly. Even-numbered pages should NEVER go on the right. Otherwise the layout is good on a first look, if lacking (as, to be fair does almost every PDF) proper blanks to get the pages into correct Right and Left order with a count divisible by four.
Customer avatar
Andrew M January 25, 2019 5:03 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yeah, actually as I look at it, you REALLY need to insert a blank after the cover. You have different backgrounds for your right and left pages, so anybody printing this as-is is going to have your outside-edge illustration on the inside. There should also be blanks at the back to get the page count to a number divisible by four.

And you also need to get a printer-friendly copy, guys. Really, this is a must-have.
Customer avatar
Zach I January 25, 2019 5:54 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Andrew! Thanks for the feedback! This PDF was designed from the print-on-demand version, which has the even numbered pages on the left and odd on the right. We will insert a blank page after the cover of this digital version so that when you view it two-up, it looks more like the printed product would.

We're in the process of delivering a bunch of products from our Kickstarter, so please be patient with us as we work through these details. Expect a new version in the next two weeks with this problem solved.

Hope you're enjoying Song of Swords so far -- we're glad for the support!
Customer avatar
Andrew M January 25, 2019 6:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I am enjoying it, thanks Zach, and good on you for processing feedback so quickly. Sorry if I came on overbearing. I'm a nerd hobbyist, so you'll know what that's like. The book looks really sharp.
Customer avatar
David J January 25, 2019 1:08 pm UTC
Could you expand the preview to include less art and more substance, or include more art *and* substance? I really have no "feel" for how the game plays based on the limited preview (which shows 2 full page pieces of art and almost nothing about rules). You might have better sales with a better preview. W*I*N*K
Customer avatar
Andrew M January 25, 2019 2:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
You can get the 2.0 beta for free from https://www.songofswords.net/rules

I can't attest to differences in content from Beta to this; maybe Zach can.
Customer avatar
Zach I January 25, 2019 5:57 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Unfortunately, it seems that we can only show up to the first 20 pages of the book as a preview, and the last page shown here is page 20. However, you bring up a great point -- we will get some preview images up on the description page in the next few days.

In the meantime, we have spoled a few spreads on our Kickstarter page, which may be of interest!
Customer avatar
Andrew M January 24, 2019 6:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will there be a hardback outside the KS? If so, will a PDF purchaser get any credit towards purchase of the physical book?
Customer avatar
Andrew M January 24, 2019 7:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Replying to myself: Sorry for the duplicate question. Somehow I read John G's questions below and still five minutes later I asked basically the same question as he did.
Customer avatar
Zach I January 24, 2019 11:12 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
No problem! We do intend to give credit for the POD for those who purchased the PDF.
Customer avatar
John G January 23, 2019 8:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will there be a printer-friendly version? Or does the pdf have layers?
Customer avatar
Zach I January 24, 2019 4:35 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Not at this time, but it may be something we look into producing once we have delivered all of our Kickstarter products. We're working on getting color print-on-demand versions available at the moment.
Customer avatar
John G January 24, 2019 5:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome—can’t wait for the POD, and for future supplements! Will pdf purchasers get a discount when the POD is available?
Customer avatar
Zach I January 24, 2019 11:05 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
We intend to give discounts for the POD to those who purchase the PDF, yes.
Customer avatar
John G January 26, 2019 2:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks! Good luck with the rest of the line—I’ll be watching for the supplements!
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Product Information
Silver seller
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Pages
246
ISBN
978-1-7336378-0-0
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on January 23, 2019.
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