Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Over the last few months I have relocated to Melbourne, Australia and set up at the game collectibe 'The Arcade'- which means I share a kitchen and loo with the folks who make Crossy Road, Baldur's Gate and Armello among others!

Here is the current state of my playtest/demo table- currently assembled from cheap Reaper Bones minis and dollar store toys.  I can't wait to ship
up my old collection once I find a place to live.

Rules wise, I have been focused on core game speed and really pushing the maths-free aspect.

Major changes:

In this cut there is an armor save roll.  An attack's damage dice are rerolled if the opponent has armor and any dice that roll equal or under are discarded to give the final wounds.  This improves things greatly because it means even a heavily armored dragon can get one in the ribs from a halfling with attitude, (and has the bonus of avoiding loaded die as you want to roll low then rolll high).

If you win, your foe must recoil or get wounded- now it is compulsory if you lose and mist be in a direct straight line back... Unless you have the 'dodge' special rule.  

Whilst that is happening you can pick up the winning die, drop dice equal to the losers hit dice and roll the remaining for the armor save.
It's actually faster than comparing to a toughness/ To Kill and doing the 1=recoil 2=down or wound, 3=etc etc
You also can cause multiple wounds in the optional rules- one per dice up to your weapon's heaviness- which means you can play with multiple hit points if you prefer over the core rule's 'fall down or take a wound counter if you lose'

Other changes are minor.  I combined spell power and some special abilities to a generic 'charge up dice' system- so you can use it for dragon breath, petrifying gaze, spin and charge attacks and other classic special attacks that take time to power up.  Basically you can turn an action pip into a power die and place it on your model card or by the model.  When you have enough, you pick up the amount you want to use.  You can charge up four, but an go further if you only walk- the moment you run you lose all power dice over the four.  Getting vexed means you lose all power dice.
Spells can be cast on the same turn you power up.

Special abilities marked 'spells' can be counterspelled, but gain bonus dice from magical sources.

Special abilities can also be made into loot cards in an optional rule.  Each team can shuffle and pick several points of loot cards.  Each conveys an ability, but can be dropped and used by opponents if the model dies.

The other change is ganging up is limited to two dice, unless the models attacking and ganging have a special rule 'pile in'.  This spreads things out a little.

Sooo, core rules early beta is nearly knocked up.  Custom warbands and special rules come later.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New cover art

I got to spend the whole day on the 3.03 free beta rulebook... imagine that?  A whole day!

After pushing info around all day, my inner artist was itching to get out, so I decided to spend a few hours tonight refreshing the look of the cover.  This resulted in a tweaked logo too, and certainly did raise my spirits!  I have been staring at the old one for so long.  NOW it feels like Skulldred is rising from the ashes.  Here is a quick taste.

New look, new counters, new cards, new pogs

So the new quickstart cards come with matching pogs, so you can play immediately without any miniatures.  Skulldred uses the top down view of the models base of the miniature for all line of sight tests, not the figure itself... which means you can easily play with counters, papercraft minis or 'pogs'- and of course all your miniatures are legal... regardless of pose, make manufacturer or size.  So long as you can get it on a base, you can play!

(oops- I just noticed this version still has her bum sticking out... I will return her loincloth for the release!)

 The new counters do not have english words on them- no need to translate!  They are also hex shaped and are double sided- so you can flip over a reload to use as a hide counter, for example.

As far as rules go... well, you will just have to wait and see!

Another day on the book tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Hey Dredlings-


Phew, I just compiled the new beta player list from all the emails that have been gathering in my gmail folder.  There is a LOT of eager Dredlings!

Rather than have everyone fill in a questionnaire, I am going to post one up on the forum and you can choose to fill it in as a forum post in the introductions- that way we can all get to know each other a bit- and you may find people you connect to that you can play Skulldred with.  Ahh, community.

You will receive welcome mails shortly giving you the password to the new playtest forum- as well as a pleasant little surprise.  I will announce the mailout on this here blog- so if you do not get a login, something is amiss- flick me an email!


The new free beta is a cut down version of the book release.  It is formatted to A5 paper (pocket size).  Though it is rather sexy looking, this is only the word file and does not represent the final layout, photography or illustration of the book.  Rest assured.  It will be even sexier.

The free beta is missing some modules, which will be privately emailed to NDA members.


As promised, with the release of the new beta,  I will be reinstating the Skulldred Warband painting competition that got halted when I fell ill.  The warband must have between 5 members and 12 members, and must feature either the Skulldred 'S' skull logo or 'Ace of Dread' logo.  You are invited to make custom character cards for your warband, and a backstory.  Prizes are Darkling Games miniatures- awarded for creativity, painting chops, conversion skillz, profile cards and general craziness- as judged by me.  You have two weeks from beta release to finish your entry.  May the maddest, paintiest Dredling win stuff!  I m looking for diverse and clever use of minis from ranges from any era, any manufacturer.  'Tis the Skulldred way.

The new counters are language free with just an icon. Yep- I am listening!

More done!

Combat and wounds/health rules are done. So much nicer now.
Boost dice now equal 1 dreadskull per dice- lowering their worth so it balances out using skulls for extra pips and for standing.  Basically you get double the dreds now, and have more ways to use them.

I only had a few hours tonight so I tackled the character card .psd file today and got that ready.  I know making custom cards was a big enjoyment for everyone.  I have still to do the gimp version.

Now that is done I can make the updated diagrams for the profile building section, pregenerated starter cards.

Only a few days to go.  Tomorrow I am training a studio in a software package, but the day after it is fulltime on Dread!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Busy busy

I have just wrapped a big FX job and am back on 'Dred.  Yay.

The forum is down thanks to spambots- apparently the inbuilt catchpha in phppbb was hacked ages ago and is useless.  I have to install another security measure when I get the time- hopefully the old forum is working so we can use that for this beta.  Any advice would be appreciated in the comments below...

Combat is up and running- with fresh color coded diagrams for damage.  I ended up going with a drop dice system for damage for this edition.  Scoop up winning dice, drop your opponents hits- then any armor they have (most have none- big 1, huge 2 etc).
  If the result left is zero- you gain advantage (knock back, drive back, circle or disengage).  1 =down, 2= wounding blow and 3 killing blow.  Step up one level if opponent caught off guard.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spam, spam, chips and skulldred.

Mmmm. Spam.

I will sort that out once I have some free time.  If anyone is a master of fitting spam filters and wants some free minis... drop me a line- many hands makes fast work.

The beta proof threw up a bucketload of errors- so I have to sit down and recompile it before beta release.  Right now my focus was on a freelance gig... but that wraps on Wednesday- and with any luck I will be hammering the new edition into shape the rest of the week.

I am going to add the campaign rules to the core rule book and shunt several spells and abilities out to the expansion.  Skirmish is about characters... and campaign advancement is integral to that experience.

By the way, the one and only Thrud The Barbarian is slated to join in on the fun!  A perfect setting for him!

If anyone has some last minute contributions of painted indy minis, terrain or so forth drop me a line!
Thanks a for your patience whilst I juggle life, mini sculpting, freelancing and recovery!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Hey folks.

  Darklinggames.com is now up and running!
  The forum is also live... but empty of course, do pop by the introduction page and post- plus if you have painted any of my figures I would love to see them in the showcase gallery!
New sexiness that is darklinggames.com

  Our fancy new content management webstore is taking longer than we hoped, so we had the old one sexied up ready to take the upcoming new releases this month.  Yep.  This month.

Okay so the SKULLDRED BETA passwords are still the same, and I have yet to migrate any content.  I probably could do with a moderator soon.  Anyway, back to the rules.