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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 (21)
Customer avatar
Eric L November 26, 2019 12:32 pm UTC
When are we going to see a hardcopy of the book?
Customer avatar
Joel B October 02, 2019 12:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
I am loving the system so far, I like that combat has explicit complex rules and roleplaying its more let to imagination.
I do have a few questions.
Humans get to add proficiency for no cost. Does that mean that the racial bonus for a human is just that you can use any weapon as being proficient with it? Doesnt sounds like a great racial benefit if thats what it is.
There seems to not be a lot of information about poison or traps. Would it be a sourcebook to cover that extra stuff or is it up to DMs to decide how poison and traps should be valued for dmg and so on?
Can any race use Burdinadin armor? I had a PC started as a minor noble and he managed to buy the best Burdinadin armor since the start, should it be so cheap? Everyone else is wearing leather and chain mail and he already has the equivalent of power armor from Fallout
Is there gonna be sourcebooks with more gear, customisation,talents, schools and NPC sheets?
Hope you guys manage to create more content for this great...See more
Customer avatar
Zach I October 02, 2019 11:25 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
We're glad you like it, Joel! To help with your questions:
1. Humans are not the most exciting race, and so their racial abilities are as you say--not that great. They also don't have many drawbacks. What their two racial abilities allow them to do is potentially gain arc for use in other areas (boosting skills, attributes, etc).
2. At the moment, poison and traps are largely for GMs to decide. Although you can modify rules about explosions (in the Combat chapter) for certain traps. Poison may be an increased infection chance (see Wounds and Recovery). We may expand on other types of damage, but wanted to focus on the game's core for now.
3. Not really. Burdinadin armor is generally only available to Burdinadin, with very few exceptions. Read the first couple of paragraphs in Chapter 17, and you'll see why. If roleplay allows another race to have and maintain Burdinadin armor... then sure. But GMs should definitely restrict it for the reasons you've described. It's not made for others. But without...See more
Customer avatar
Joel B October 03, 2019 2:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
Many thanks for your fast reply and solving my doubts.
I would like to congratulate you one more time for the good work you guys have done and wish you succed.
Customer avatar
Fernando D July 18, 2019 10:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
SoS is a RoS successor? If anyone has played Blade of the Iron Throne, how does this hold up against that? they seem very similar and I was curious as to when their higher fantasy elements are due out. I have seen nothing here or on their Website to indicate if they have a delivery date.

Thanks
Customer avatar
José Miguel G October 31, 2019 7:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I didn't play Blade, but I played TRoS before. What I can tell you is that SoS is far less gritty, and the combats seem eternal with very little damage.
Customer avatar
Aleksandr V May 01, 2019 2:34 pm UTC
Am I getting it right: this is only Core Rulebook without ANY extras like equipment, army and monster decks, adventure module etc? So if you missed Kickstarter then there is absolutely no reason to buy this gutted product?
Customer avatar
Kirlian S May 01, 2019 2:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I suppose all these items will be here on the platform, the point is that none of them have been released so far.
Customer avatar
Kirlian S March 11, 2019 10:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
I have not found in the book, but is there any action that allows a ranged attack to be targeted at a target area? I understand that in the heat of combat this is more difficult, but in a situation of calm, with a sneak attack, without the target knowing the intention is much more plausible.
Customer avatar
Glenn K March 29, 2019 7:42 am UTC
PURCHASER
There is no such rule in Song of Swords. However, for Ballad of Laser Whales, there is a rule that states:

`Aiming for a specific Target Location costs 4 dice, but the attack automatically hits the chosen Target Location. You cannot “aim” for Critical Hits, however, and this option does remove the chance that those will occur.`

You might also limit the usage of this to only if the target isn't moving about (eg. waving arms, spinning around on the spot, etc.), but is completely motionless (like in the sneak attack you described.). Of course, this also means that target location mustn't be covered/facing elsewhere to begin with. Take note that this also refers to ONLY target location, the actual hit location (ie. body part) on Thrusting table, is something that you can't control either. I don't remember any Talent that allows you to call/shift actual hit location shots for ranged attacks (only for Melee).
Customer avatar
William E February 22, 2019 6:24 am UTC
Does this book cover any early firearms? How about combat against non-humanoid beasts and monsters? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Kirlian S February 22, 2019 10:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
Yes, he has some firearms. he has some rules against non-humanoid creatures, but from what I understand, he will have more details in the Hunters Handbook that should be released later.
Customer avatar
William E February 24, 2019 5:32 am UTC
Thanks!
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
Glenn K February 28, 2019 11:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
1. My intepretation only (since Beta days): I tend to treat Engage/Charge as an action and ignore the movement metric part that isn't actually part of the action itself but just a general movement cap limit imposed due to the action being taken. That means, "6 yards" is more like "maximum capped 6 yards" of movement. For unusually low MOB characters like MOB 2, i penalise this cap to 4 yards, MOB 1, penalise cap to 2 yards. Charge requires a straight line for "maximum capped 12 yards". But for unusually low MOB characters like MOB 4 or less, I limit the Charge movement cap to double of MOB only. But hey, there's no stopping you from using additional movement as part of the action if you feel this movement allowance is too restrictive, but this means it's easy to execute melee actions with movement. Also, sometimes for difficult-to-traverse terrain, I tend to roll MOB over Terrain TN to determine how many yards/distance they are allowed to move, and inform the player such modifiers...See more
Customer avatar
Glenn K February 28, 2019 11:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
More on Number 4 dynamics... even though this is not stated in the rules, I houserule that Disengage can be used as a means of also allowing a character to ideally move around more (MOB yards but maximum 6 yards), for the next phase. This has an effect of allowing a "disengaged" bout's location to shift up to 6 yards distance per phase (eg. I Disengage to move 6 yards away, even with no nearby bouts present, then, my previous opponent re-engages me in a bout, to kickstart the bout again) . As with all bouts being engaged, once an engage/re-engage into a different bout action occurs, the bout (ie. the 2 bout exchanges/actions,....) kickstarts immediately. So, someone that initates an Engage/Join a Bout action, will kickstart the bout immediately for that phase. Any other latter character in the phase that latter joins such a bout that had already transpired, will have to wait next phase for that bout to resume. This tends to encourage players to pick fights among "Fresh opponents" in the current...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
Mason T February 20, 2019 4:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yes, it is. I had the same question but found the answer myself. It's on page 81, the very last paragraph on the page above table 8.6 (which is a table related to your question).
Customer avatar
Calle A February 20, 2019 5:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That doesn’t actually describe the [W] notation, though... it just says that characters might start with some Wealth points. If the text had said “A character may start with a number of Wealth points, noted as [W]”, that would’ve been good.
Customer avatar
Kirlian S February 13, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
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
PURCHASER
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
Kirlian S February 22, 2019 10:24 am UTC
PURCHASER
sorry, language vices in my native language. by the rules of the book, no gauntlet is necessary. I was just questioning the fact that the user needed to hold the blade to perform the maneuver. But according to Jason K's comment, in practice, you do not need a gauntlet.
Customer avatar
Steven S March 21, 2019 2:53 am UTC
Yeah, half swording and the like (such as mordhau) doesn't really need a gauntlet IRL, I have practiced with the longsword some and so long as you aren't sawing the blade back and forth along your bare hand you aren't going to get cut, you rarely sharpen any sword (outside a Katana maybe) to shaving razor type sharpness, that is just asking to have your edge damaged hitting something hard (like an opponents armour) which as much as you try to avoid, still is going to happen from time to time even if just to ring their bell hitting their helmet when the chance presents itself. A Katana half of the training is learning proper form not to damage that edge.
Customer avatar
Christopher D April 27, 2019 9:13 pm UTC
Video by Skillagrim on the subject:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwuQPfvSSlo
Customer avatar
Kirlian S April 27, 2019 10:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
WOW!!!! very tks... its a great video!!!
Customer avatar
Jose F September 22, 2019 3:48 am UTC
Thanks for the video Christopher D. I've loved fantasy and RPGs for 40 years and hadn't seen a deep dive on half-sword like this before.
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
Emil H April 30, 2020 3:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The book has close to no information about the setting. There are some hints in the descriptions of the races and some of the equipment, but that's about it. The Hunter's Handbook also has some tidbits. But for more information about the setting, you can either look on the Tattered Realms wikia page, or wait for some "Campaign Setting" or some such to be released. The kickstarter backers will receive a short introductory PDF for the setting, but I do not know if that will be a public release.

I would also like to mention that there are no classes in the SoS RPG. It is a point buy system where you buy skills, talents etc., so it is quite free-form when it comes to character creation and advancement.
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
PURCHASER
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
Owen M February 19, 2019 11:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
While I think this game is a big improvement off its source material, we both have our opinions and that’s fine. And of course Driftwood is no longer in business to my knowledge and they weren’t going to add anything new. I prefer active addition to stagnant original material.
Customer avatar
Joshua K 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
Joshua K 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
Harrison T February 25, 2019 7:59 am UTC
PURCHASER
yes
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Product Information
Gold seller
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Pages
246
ISBN
978-1-7336378-0-0
Publisher Stock #
SOS003
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42.98 MB
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This title was added to our catalog on January 23, 2019.
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