Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Well folks, Skulldred draws ever closer to publication but first a quick holiday season to get through!

I did not manage to get through responding to every single applicant as I hoped, but the beta is not closed yet, so hang on in there and I will get to you shortly after my holiday season trip to see the family.

So what's in store for the new year?
Well 1212 is the launch year for Skulldred!
I have YouTube vids, floorplans, scenarios and miniatures in the works, as well as official Skulldred starter war band deals from associated mini companies- laser cut templates, custom dice and painting, converting and battle report competitions.

But I get ahead of myself- first up is beta 3.02, and the magic beta group which is just needing a last pass before releasing.

Well thanks for coming along on this ride with me- I will see you back here bright and early next year ready to unleash Skulldred on the community!

Happy holidays Dredling!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Holidays Dreadlings

Time to face facts- I am just flat out of spare time at the moment.  :(
I cannot beleive I actually took a few hours to watch Transformers:  Dark of the Moon recently.  Screw you Michael Bay.  I want those hours back.  I could have done more Skulldred with it, for a start.  The only reason he has to put every single fight into slow motion is that you cannot see which pile of junk transformer is smacking into which other pile of junk transformer, that, and I suspect he cannot direct fight scenes that build to a climax... its just bang, bang or... sorry.. baaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg your dead, cut to next scene of people running or making a pep talk.  I want my fucking life back that you stole from me Mr. Bay!
Somebody give me a flat 1 million and I will make a better transformers movie that he ever could.  Hell, I could make a better GOBOTS movie that any transformers movie he could ever make.


So I know I have a lot of pending applicants still waiting for a reply, so if you have not received your reply email- hang on in there.  What I need to do is enter everyones names into a database, mail them legals, check for received legals, read them, add them to the list, compile every one into a watermarked pdf, upload these to coded folders, then mail everyone their links individually.  That, and do my day job, write the rules, illustrate the rules, photo the minis, sculpt comissioned figures, write the theme tune, sing the theme tune and watch god awful DVD shrines to how hollywood can pile money onto a turd script in hope to bury the stench.  Aka, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

I was hoping to get another release out but the holiday season is looming like a tidal wave, and I am not sure my sanity can hold it.  For a start, I am reviewing DVDs in my gaming blog.  Next thing you know, I will be appearing in Freddie Wong videos or dancing with IJustine.

Oh, and my iphone crashed silently a few days ago, and did not announce any calls, messages, alarms, organiser and ebay push messages for a few days.  Great.  This brings my total financial losses thanks to apple since buying the iphone to a small shitload.  Android, anyone?  Not Michael bay Androids though, heaven forbid.  Could you imagine what his iphone would look like?  A dropped, confusing mess of scratched metal with flames painted on it for no good reason.

Happy holidays folks!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

If your still waiting...

New applicants are still flooding in, and I only have a limited amount of time to answer, so forgive me if there is a delay in responding.  I try to get on to each and every one.
3.2 is coming soon, but right now I am nursing flu and about to go on an overseas trip for a few days, so everything is on hold.

Poor me.

Hopefully I can get a build ready, update the lists and compile the new file soon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

v8 stat card

Just a quick peek at the new profile card and a note about the direction of magic.  Wounds, as you may be glad to see, now take their rightful place on the card.  This slot is used to note the number of wounds a model can take before it becomes downable.  Large creatures get a certain amount simply for being big, and you can buy extra wounds for your most treasured models.

Another noticeable change is that the Magic score has been dropped from the card.  In 3.2 each spell has its own target number based at the level purchased, and magical energy is exchanged for dice.
Any model can be given a spell- which, basically, is an ability that requires magic power to fuel.
Thus, you can therefore take, say, a magical beast such as a Chimera, and give it a magical charging breath weapon spell- or embue a sprite with a spell or two.  To field a powerful sorcerer, you can give them the sorcery spell (portal craft) and place a number of beefy spells at their command.

Stat card Version 8.  Mmmm... space...
I also changed the name ability to special rule on the card- since you list spells and negative effects here.

I am really feeling how much slicker the game is feeling now thanks to the recent feedback and ideas from the playtesting team.  Thanks all, we are not far away now!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Verona Kid's table

3.2 is coming along nicely, and will be posted out to new members instead of 3.0- so there is a delay in responding to new applicants.  Hopefully that will be sorted in the next week or so.

There has been some cool activity on the Feedback forum of late, and I wanted to share a cool little pic posted by Verona Kid- showing his family Skulldred table.  Apparently this is getting some Dave Andrews classic cardstock buildings too!

Verona Kid's gaming table
So hey, if you have a cool set up, warband or pictures of Skulldred games in progress, send them in- we would love to see them!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

3.02 notes and minis

First off, there are a few applicants who I have not yet gotten to sending out PDFs to.  I am still laiden with work and only have a few hours a week for Skully at the moment.
If you wait a few days I will have 3.2 ready, which takes into account changes from current playtesters, and I will then send that out to listed members!

How goes the playtesting?

3.02 returns favourite concepts from 2.5 and ditches a lot of the complexity 3.0 brought in.  By popular demand, Strength has been renamed to Dreadskulls, and once again they act as downed markers.  Armor and wounds are wrapped up into one new 'wounds' stat.  The leadership ranges have been trimmed down for more chaos on the battlefield and fast now only gives you 1 doublespan move per turn- making cavalry less cheaty.  Many of the little additions 3.0 brought in have been shifted to optional rules, which makes learning the game much easier.  Oh, and the example game is back in!


Whats the 'dred without miniatures?  As you know, Skulldred is about using the figures you want to use- regardless of origin.  Therefore, I have been chatting with a few more mini companies who are getting involved with the project.  So, rather than just be a Bederken Dwerg fest,  the core book will be jam packed with photos of cool figures from around the indy mini scene.  The book will also have a mini index listing all the minis that appear throughout the book with info on catalog numbers, who sculpted and painted them and web links- hopefully opening up new players to just how vast the options, and affordable mini gaming can be.  There will also be some space at the back showcasing figures from participating independant companies- so if your looking for some exposure, get in touch!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Victory bash

Just had a great 3.1 session this afternoon- played 'quick turnaround' rules, with the action dice rolled at the start of the turn to set the number of activation stones. Wild is four.

Thinking of adding a victory move when you wound or kill a foe- to make the game move even more. You can make a pace move in any direction, using it to disengage if you like. Alternatively you can 'put in the boot' forcing the wounded or dead Model back in a direct line one base (two if 2sizes larger) this knocks on enemies.

Additional victory abilities could be blink away, repel (knock back all engaged) and taunt.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beta 3.01 and patch released

Long day, and a heap of editing later and I have a 3.01 returning the action dice to the fore and putting the damage back to easy!

I have posted the patch on the closed beta forum, so you do not have to print out the whole book again- but if you would like the full updated book shoot me an email and I will forward you a link.

I am still going through the applications, so if you shot me an email- hang tight, your edition is on the way.

Man, doing everything yourself is exhausting.  Cheap... but exhausting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Playtesting round 2- or rather, 3.01

Hey Dredlings,

  Its taking a long time processing applications for play testing, so my apologies if you have not received a reply yet- I am clocking in about an hour per day on the project right now, and will be travelling for business this month, so will be off line for a week.  The slow part is checking and filing all the NDA's, then making the watermarked PDF- my wife just worked out a mail merge macro, which means we will be able to make updates and process outstanding applications quickly in the future.

For those still waiting, you may like to stick with 2.5 for now, as 3.1 will be shifting back to a few 2.5 core principles and 3.1 is just around the corner.

The 3.0 damage system, though richer and more detailed, fails in my mind to live up to the spirit of the original game- drawing out combat and loosing that speedy something that made 2.5 fly.

Likewise, the action dice system from 2.5 seems to be much liked, and I have to say I miss it too- though have some ideas on mixing the two together.  I will be incorporating a few ideas from 3.0 into the 3.1 system, which at this stage is looking like being taken back to 2.5 in many respects.

Cheers everyone for your patience!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Home of Skulldred

I thought you may like to see where Skulldred comes from... here is my home test board where I nut out the rules.  My big mistake of late has been designing the game seated at the computer... bad idea.  Here I am trying out my new counters that came back from the printers, and the citadel giant I finally confronted at the paint table after months of being daunted by it.  Still a long way to go, but sure is a hell of a lot more painted than most peoples... looking around gaming conventions its amazing how many people show up with undercoated giants.  Very daunting, but actually no slower to paint than a regular mini, funnily enough.  I figure a couple more days (I have to fill in some gaps I missed) and jobs a good'un.

Hey Elric... behind you!
Jes goodwin Elric of Melnibone, Citadel Giant, retro chaos warriors
and female warrior from Hasslefree

Printable counters finished!  Now how do I get the spray glue off my hands?

Jes Goowin Chaos Champ (here playing a Sorcerer) holds a magic portal.
Elric ponders the fate of a Citadel Fantasy Specials dead adventurer.
The giant is about to cop a blast spell from that green portal.

Fail flush... Reload!
Citadel classic Groms Goblin guard can be seen in the backdrop sporting a Litco wound marker.

Well there you go.  Hopefully you can hear the sounds of weapons clashing and boggarts being thrown through the air.

Nice to meet you!

I think I have most, if not all membership NDA's sent out now- and am very happy to have some cracking questionnaires returned!  Most are very funny and a few are heart warming.  I have a date booked in my calendar to just kick back and follow the links Dredlings have sent me where they hang out!
What's really great is the spread of people joining the playtesting club- folk from all over the world and from various age groups and backgrounds.  Everyone shares the desire to find a hassle free game they can use any miniature from their collection and that requires little effort to dive into, play and pack up after a hard days work.
It also seems that Skulldred has mutated into a family game, with a great many members playing it with their family.  I have taken this feedback most deeply, and have cast aside plans for the 'Dred to have an adult book version and a children friendly version.  I originally found the sterilizing and dumbing down of some games to make the market younger and wider distasteful- and wanted to capture some of the rebellious nature of gaming before that... like the days when rolling criticals in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay made my mates cackle with ghoulish glee... but I have other platforms for that stand.  The Skulldred rulebook will be a single volume that is for all ages.

Well.... maybe the odd chainmail bikini.

Or two.


MOAB (Sydneys big games event) was smaller this year, and I missed the bargains in the bring and buy (and actually put down something I later saw selling on ebay for $$$$- drat).  It was really cool to have a few folk introduce themselves and chat about my blogs, especially Kings Minis as the retro thing is having a huge following at the moment.  I suspect the formula is something like  Ebay + modern painting tutorials + reminiscence + soaring prices of modern crappy cast resin and 4thed DnD horrors= retro lead fans!
Hello to everyone who said hello!


So I will be spending more time in the Beta forum... so have placed the button nice and big for you to hit.  If your a playtester, there is a locked forum for feedback and discussions.  You should get the password when you send in the nda, but if I forget just flick me an email.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Technical difficulty or... DyFFiKULTEEEZ

Yeah, yeah... Somehow some of you got the wrong file.  I have absolutely no idea how a contractors agreement got saved over my Skulldred file.  I blame Vista.  I like vista because you can always blame it for stupid things... however it does actually do stupid things.  Windows 7 upgrade this week perhaps?

Can you get a Dave upgrade?

The real contract is now on its way out via email.  Please delete the original and pretend nothing happened.

A few folk have signed up using Skull Dred beta, skulldread beta or anything other than SKULLDRED BETA will have missed the mailout.  I will be manually sorting through my email backlog looking for these in the next few days.

As I was away at MOAB, I will be off by a day sorting stuff out.  I need a hired monkey or six.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Closed beta applications are huge!  Its taken me days to process them.  Once it goes commercial I am going to have to hire a winged monkey or something to do the emails.
Its really cool to finally see how many folk are playing the game and hearing their stories-  its much more popular than I first thought, and that makes me really happy.  Its been such a long labour of love, and to know its making a difference is really satisfying.


Based on the feedback, Stardred is proving to be a much awaited project indeed- but I have a couple of Skulldred projects to release first!  Stardred will be a tactical mission based game, and will be available with a full set of downloadable floor plans (30mm and 15mm), plus rules for robots, sentries, hacking, vehicles, star battles and psionics!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Beta 3.0 released


Yes its finally here!
Beta 3.0 is now waiting for you in a secret set of secret folders somewhere in secret internet locations.

Playtesters who registered via email using SKULLDRED BETA as the title will have an email waiting for them containing a non disclosure agreement and optional questionnaire.  Its not too late- if you have not sent an email yet, do so as soon as possible and I will add you to the list!

Once I get the signed NDA back, you will have a personal link sent out to a watermarked PDF.  Hope you enjoy it!

All feedback is done via the beta forum... you will need to register to get a password to the beta 3.0 section.

Phew.  I can go have a beer and relax now!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Prepare for combat. Beta 3.0 release schedule

Beta 3.0 is about to attack!

Having wrapped up the XLS unit builder, I am pretty much done for the beta.  I am going to check through the doc in the next two days and then release.

Now, everyone who is on the list will be emailed a link containing a watermarked PDF that they can download once the last parts of the book are checked.

The magic section will be released shortly afterwards- allowing you to play sorcerers.  The price lists has to be ironed out on this, but its pretty much done now.  A big thank you to everyone partaking in the play testing, I hope you enjoy this version.

Prepare for combat!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unit card v6 is up!

A new unit card is up.  There is no technical difference bar the renaming of wild to type- so if you prefer the older look you can keep going on it.  Before I could finish the rules I needed these cards done.  They take a lot of fiddling about and appear several times in the book.

I have patiently... very patiently... made a GIMP version too that is in the same zip file.  For cheap skates there is also a black and white roster sheet below that.  Look to the strip of buttons down the left hand side for the download buttons.

Hope you like them.  Rules to fill them in shortly.  I have to double check the pricing, fill in the quick-start cards and sample cards, then it should be good to go.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Counters and cover

Hey Dredlings,

First up, let me just shoot a big thank you out to all those who have applied for beta testing- you will receive a link in your email when beta 3.0 is ready!  I have had a flood, but am getting through them all- so be patient!

So an nice exciting blog episode.  I wanted to post up thoughts and feelings as the game went along so that other designers can get something from the process, (mainly how damned huge the task is of putting a game together) but I realise most of you come to the blog just for updates on when the game will be out and other cool stuff.  So, this ones for you!

Firstly, counters for beta 3.0 are now up!

Download them here. (4,101kb)

This has 4 sheets that include fold over counters, rulers and templates!  I recommend just taking them to a print shop and getting them done up on some thick glossy card- make sure they do not scale to fit, otherwise the templates won't work.  You don't need these to play, but it sure beats keeping notes on scraps of paper.  There will be laser etched acrylic templates and tokens available from the BeDerken site once the game is released.  These are 28mm scale- give me a holler if you would like 15mm!

Ooooh, pretty bits of card!

Next up is some eye candy whilst you wait for the new rules pdf.  Its a second mock up of the Skulldred booklet.  Thought you may like to see how things evolve!

Mock up of core rules booklet
The real book is coming in at round 90 pages give or take, though I am planning on cramming it full of colour pictures and diagrams if I get the chance.  Once I get this round of commission sculpts completed for my clients I can focus on the book- which should give you plenty of time to play the living heck out it!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Insomnia and Photoshop

Not to bug you with my problems, but I have one of those annoying allergies that nerdy people seem plagued with. If I eat soy in any form or sulphites, I cannot sleep.
What's that got to do with Skulldred? Progress, that's what.
I tend to get a lot of late night projects done when insomnia kicks in.
Tonight was counters. Four sheets of full color counters for you to enjoy with the new Beta. Not that you need them to play- it's a just a nice to have thing!

I will get some sleep now, and check them in the morning before I post them up.

Waaaaaaaaaaaay better than the current sets. Fold over double sided, easier to handle and making better use of the counter space.
I even made one sheet with spray templates and cut out rulers, one for wound markers and magic energy, strength and all the usual suspects from before. Should be pretty to play now!

Hopefully my tired brain will shut down for a little bit now!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Magic test

Sick today, so had some time to spend. I tested out my new magic system and it felt right. Finally!

It's all now to do with power- and that's the exciting part. Spell casters draw power into their power pool, and spend this on magic dice for spells. Instead of a magic dice score, magicians have a magic score, which is their target number like level is for combat.
Hard spells have a burn cost that must be payed before the spell can be cast. All points over that are magic dice.

It feels like magicians are playing with huge amounts of energy now- and the gameplay is about knowing what to gamble, when to block spell casters lines of sights, and holding back opponents whilst you charge up.

Familiars now speed up charging, as do altars, magic circles and so forth. Get your caster into a good position to charge, then unleash spells onto the battlefield.

Spells are now more universal- you can take a spell and upgrade it from single target to area effect at purchase time, so it's more about playing the spells you have at game time, rather than choosing options during. Spells can be dodged(combat vs. level) and countered (magic roll) but the effect is usually hit or miss.

Example: " I cast morlocks hellfire fish (wound lesser blast -4)!"
It costs 4 burn. I spend 3 more to get 3 dice. It costs 7 power. I roll 2 hits. A few goblins are in the blast radius. They take a wound if they cannot equal or beat 2 hits. 2 fail and are wounded, 2 pass and ignore the spell.

Spells can have custom names, with game effect listed in brackets. You can also combine spell effects together when you buy them e.g Plague Wind (recoil+poison+cone).

Simple, clean and tastes of powers being thrown around.

That should mean release is coming up for the sorcery book too!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beta 3.0 booklets

I have decided to spend a bit more time rewriting the magic system, as it does not feel right to me yet.  So in the meantime I am going to release beta 3.0 part 1- which will give you everything you need to play combat and shooting games and try out the activation system.
Combat has been streamlined a great deal, and links into the damage and strength/action system neatly (I hope).  Your dreadskulls are not just a resource for healing wounds, but can be gambled for driving extra actions, disengaging and performing stunts- once your force tires, they can no longer perform such feats- and the end draws near).  Should give you plenty to enjoy and push.

You should find this release a great deal less abstract- dreadskulls are now called strength, for example, and downed has been replaced by wounded and stunned.

I should have the first book ready shortly- its all the fiddly stuff now like having the character cards match the prices... uhg.  I need to hire a monkey.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two chapters remain...

One section of the magic chapter to go, and the revised price list, new excel spreadsheet and a few diagrams and I am good to go.
Thanks again to everyone who has sent in a 'join the beta' email- its really warming to hear all the comments!

I have to say the formatting effort I put in is finally starting to make a big difference-  the beta booklet is looking pretty darn nice now, and since its all color coded into sections, streamlined etc- finding info is really easy for me.  I hope that comes across in the playtest.  I am hoping the P.O.D can handle full bleed pages so I can get color tags in the corners of the deluxe printed edition.

Anyway, that's my spare time up for tonight- back to the old green stuff tomorrow morning.  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aarklask lives! Kats Birthday! Double celebrations!

Kats Birthday!
Its my lovely wife Kat's birthday celebrations over the coming week- the usual bacchanalia of feasting, jousting, wenching and burnt offering animal sacrifices (or as we like to call them in Australia, BBQs) will ensue.  The upshot (or inversely, the low down) of this is I will be unable to respond to emails* for a couple of days whilst merriment is made.  If you have sent me a request for joining the beta during this time, stony silence awaits.  Picture me in a corner- (a muscular, yet intelligent looking man- clearly a leader of men, a scholar and a gentleman of letters**) whimpering with a bag of ice on my head.

 *and spoken questions with little more than a grunt and a mumble about my poor head
** Actual Dave product may vary.

Aarklash lives!  (or un-lives depending on your point of view)

Skulldred member DV8 started a thread a wee while ago about using Skulldred to fill the void left by Confrontation for using those beautiful Rackham models he had.  That got me a little inspired to start hunting down the figures I really loved and by Rackhams ghost I scored some beauties off ebay and they arrived yesterday.  I am now the proud owner of a figure I thought I had missed for good-Eijin de Vanth  (or croissant head as I prefer her) she is one of the coolest models in the art deco style I have seen- and she also usually fetches a huge price.  Amazingly, I scored a genuine one for under a tenner, a Gorgon and a bunch of zombie dwarves, morbid puppets and familiars for her warband. Very happy indead... I mean undead... I mean indeed.  I am looking forward to a quiet month once work has died down and Skulldred is out there getting bashed around!

Catch you soon Dreadlings in another gripping instalment of my blog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Yes Dreadlings,

  Its getting really close to the release date of the core rulebook. 
  I have disabled the link to the beta 2 pdf since its way out of date, and I really would like everyone to be enjoying the huge upgrade I have given the system.
  If you would like a copy of version 3.0 for playtesting, just simply use your emaily-type-computational-thing and flick me a mail with SKULLDRED BETA in the title.  I will email you a copy when its ready!

  Beta 3.0 is a ground up rewrite, complete with new abilities, fast character building, streamlined action, combat and magic system all wrapped up in an A5 full color format that the final version will be

Progress report

I have finished shunting around data into the new chapters.  Each chapter now has a strip down the side and is colour coded, so you can flip through the booklet to the exact section you need without fuss.
The book is 83 pages right now, so with illustrations, diagrams and quickstart army lists it should be probably around the high 90's.  I cannot wait to see a printed version!

Its really awesome to see how many folks signed up for beta 3.0 so far- very exciting!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Beta 3.0 Progress

Huge progress on the beta today after a morning of sculpting mayhem.  Its really starting to come together.  I spent the majority of the time picking through duplicate rule references - if your writing your own game system, this can make a huge difference to editing and tuning- a fact I actually knew, but forgot about in the craziness of building this game.  Bad designer.  No biscuit.
I have been condensing all the exceptions to a rule in the abilities chapter and using the core rules description to assume a default model.  Huge difference in chapter size and readability now.
  The nice thing about all the rules for flying, grappling etc being in the abilities chapter is that you do not need to know or read them until you field a model with that ability.
  So I just need to pick through the spell system, rebuild the price list, price up the quickstart warbands and redo some diagrams before I can release it.

Once again, if your interested in getting a copy of the BETA 3.0 - shoot me an email with SKULLDRED CLOSED BETA in the title!

  I am feeling really happy about where the game is now. Plus, I just got a package containing some rare citadel old night horrors that I am itching to make a warband for!

Good night creatures.

Beta 3.0 goodies

Glad to hear people are excited... here are some of the features of the beta 3 booklet.

  • A5 pocket format.
  • 1 page model builder.  Dice cost flat amounts (smile Paolo!).  In fact, everything is in flat amounts.  All ability rules are back in own section where they belong.  You start with 0 dice on everything, and can buy up to size+level for shoot and combat dice, and level x 2 for magic dice.  That way you can buy big but weak monsters if you like.
  • Models may be either leaders, characters or minions.  Minions may be cowardly minions, brave minions, savage minions, squabbling minions, respawning spawn and treacherous minions.  Only minions make action rolls when outside of a leader or characters influence.  Characters control 1 span, leaders 1 long span.
  • Actions and moves separated out.  Models make 1 'free' move, and 1 action, or 2 free moves.  Any other actions must make a strength dice roll (dreadskulls)- you wager a number of strength dice, roll vs. your models level and any that roll misses are burnt.  The hits are return to your pool.
  • Models can make 'weave' moves- (2 base hops, each in any direction) or runs (1 span in a straight line).  Spans are now 4" by default.
  • Abstract concepts removed:  Downed models are now either stunned and wounded.  Dreadskulls are now called strength dice.  Wounded models can crawl around to get to a safe distance, and can be carried.
Wounds, glorious wound markers (litco mini skulls- awesome!)

  • Easy wound system. Boy I have been loving my litco skull markers!  Simple damage.  Compare your opponents hits to yours... the difference is how many wounds you cause.  A single wound is a stun... it uses a different counter to normal wounds (I use green skulls).  It can be shaken off at the start of your next turn for free if you want to risk waiting.  If the attack does 2 wounds you get a proper wound marker.  These are permanent- you must burn strength dice to remove or find a healer.  Yes, I said... HEALER.
  • Minions can only take 1 stun or a wound.  All other models stack up wounds and die once their To Kill score is reached.  If the damage of a blow equals your To Kill... your toast.
  • All attacks that land cause recoil (unless model is grabbed or snared).  If you cant recoil, you get an extra damage point.
  • You may no longer choose a lesser evil... you may only choose to press.  This speeds things up as the reaction is immediate- you dont have to wait for your opponent to tell you which option they pick.
  • Models can gang up over walls and up and down elevations.
  • Only models 2 sizes smaller can swing around- its called dart through now.  The rest can slide around the base to reposition.
  • Buffs streamlined to just 1 dice within 1 span.  Leaders buff 1 dice to all models within 1 span for all combat, shoot and magic rolls.  You can buff when engaged.
  • Cast spell is just an action- you can only cast 1 per turn.  Enemy spell casters can use counter spells.  Portal craft is a spell.  Monsters can now have magic dice and spells without being full blown sorcerers, opening portals and doing all that gumph.
  • Portals can now creep about the board.  Oooh, that spooky magic.  Walking into one makes you appear on any other side of the same marker you like... they can no longer be used to trap models in corners  (very sneaky guys!)
  • Spells have a target number to hit- the more hits, the more power the spell has. Job done.  All abilities can be lootable objects... once the model dies, it can be stolen by an enemy.

Something I want to trial out is using base range for long strike.  Simply put, you can engage folk within 1 of your base sizes away if you have the long strike ability. Mount your model on a larger base to increase its attack range- this works naturally with miniatures, as you probably need to mount spears and other polearm and whip bearing models on larger bases anyway.
Models in their enemies range, but not in their own suffer a 1 dice penalty... they must close the gap to be even.  Touching bases are grappling models... get your armoured rottweilers up close and personal to trap a model so it cannot recoil.
Longstrike uses combat dice as usual.

Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beta 3.0 on way

Yes dreadlings, a new skulldred looms on the darkening horizon!

Well, on the word processor, anyway.

It's a big overhaul - so I am calling it beta 3.0 and sending it out to current play testers.

This one is the same dice mechanics as before, but revises the action system with a more ergonomic game flow and less abstract concepts. The result is a slimmer book, and more narrative flow to a turn. Very exciting.

I will post here when it is released in a few days.  If you want to be on the beta, send me an email with SKULLDRED CLOSED BETA in the title!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big shout out to Paolo

Just wanted to give a big shout out to Paolo's gaming group in italy, who have amassed ten pages of playtest notes over the last month.  Excellent work guys.

My wife was chatting to a friend of hers about Skulldred the other day.  Her friend found it amazing how one day I wrote a game because I caught the flu, and its now being played all around the world.  I had to chuckle- I had not thought about it like that.

I hope everyone's enjoying it so far!

Feedback needed

Hey folks,
I am shifting the size system to 1 for small things, 2 for humanoids, 3 horse, 4, big things, 5 large things and 6 gargantuan things (that you cannot possibly miss unless your really unlucky).  To Kill is SIZE + 1 + armour (max armour is 3- light, medium and heavy), making instant kills beat by 3.  (This means an average 2 dice troop needs to get a strategic advantage or hope the enemy drops his guard to score an instant kill.)  Hit points are available to size 4, 5 and 6 models- simply deduct damage hits from the score- they default to 4, 5 and 6 hit points.  You can buy hit points for any hero level model or greater, or models size 4+.  Cost is 5 gold- default maximum in tournament is 12.

Seems to test well at my end, let me know how you like it in your games... its a LOT of work to edit it back out if its not good, so some timely feedback is much appreciated!

I am increasing champions cost by a 10 gold flat fee, 5 for heroes.  Flat 3 gold for combat dice, shoot dice, 5gc for long strike level. 

I am taking out multiple leap and jumps- you may only leap or jump once per turn.  Add 5 to all fast move options, and add 10 to all long move options (so fly long is 40 gold).

Buff all costs +20 gold.  Battle buff +5.

The new Magic system is still coming along.  Much smoother.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Kate wins. Fatality.

Got a great Skulldred session in with my lovely wife Kate tonight.  She soundly defeated me twice in a mirror match, making a 100 percent winning streak for her.  No.  I do not let her win.  :(
I did get to try out my new 30mm bases, and we both agree it makes a huge difference to the gameplay.  Now I have to shift her figures over too.  :)

We had a dramatic battle over an aztec ruined stepped temple, with Kate trying to rescue an amazon from being roasted on a spit .  Both of us made heavy use of leaping rules, jumping from ruin to ruin and performing jump attacks onto people below!  Great fun.

One trick to a great Skulldred game we discovered was to scatter goals about the board, such as lootable treasure chests that may contain weapons and spell items.  These gave units reasons to break away from the central fight.  This will be appearing in Skulldred Scenarios!

On the book front, things are coming along nicely, with the major magic revision streamlining the chapter down to a few simple pages.  I have added portal craft, chain command, creepy and counter spell as abilities.
I settled on spells having a target number (degree) and going with casting one spell instead of performing actions that turn.  Making portals is an action, requiring the portalcraft ability.  1 action pip per portal.  Limit of 3 in play per side.  You can now walk through portals, so they cannot be used to trap non magical users.
Just have to revise through the spells and its closed beta time!

Not long now!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Progress report

Got a great editing session in to the core rulebook, and feel I have streamlined a great deal.  Magic is the only area I think needs some serious reworking before the game is publishable.  Its been a really positive session, as I finally get my head around the book after putting it down for a while!


I have replaced span, fast span and long span, with span, double span and triple span.  Its pretty obvious why this makes it easier to understand.  This means the '5 human base width' fast span now becomes 6 base widths.  This may effect the price.

I would like to rename action points to action pips.  They sound nicer.  You spend the pips on the action dice, after all.


Models smaller by 2 sizes get slammed back in a recoil. They must make a 1 span move in a straight line, or else become downed.


Suggestions for price changes are warmly welcomed right now.  I have already mentioned that steadfast units, champions etc are going up, hordes are doing down.  Comments below if you have any suggestions!  I need to lock these down pretty soon so I can do the character cards for the release.


Is getting another big overhaul- I am looking at shuffling the system around a bit.  My current thought is that casting magic is done instead of performing actions.  One spell, one turn.  Each spell has a difficulty, and that acts as the target number to hit.  The number of dice hit determines the effect of the spell.  Enemy sorcerers in range can counter the spell by rolling opposed, and can gang up if mates are handy.  The down side is if they loose they become burnt.  A burnt sorcerer cannot use magic until they recover (3 action points).
The second change I am thinking of is having the ability 'sorcerer'.  Magic dice are used to activate magical abilities, but only sorcerers can open portals, cast spells and counter spell.  That way you can have dragons with a fire breath spell, for example, or displacer beasts who can use a blink spell, but require a magic roll to do so.

This will actually make spell prices more simple, as a difficult spell should not be more expensive than an easy spell- perhaps even a flat rate.

I am also considering making certain magical abilities lootable at a cheaper cost.  The idea is if you kill a model with a lootable ability, you can pick up the object and use it yourself.  Its basically weighing up a risk.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Basing for Skulldred

Hey Dredlings,

Here are some work in progress pictures of my new Skulldred demo models sporting brand new 30mm laser cut bases.  Woot!
If you thinking of basing up a warband specifically for Skulldred I highly recommend 30mm round bases as the humanoid base of choice from 28mm scale games.
Regular slottas are only 25mm in diameter- great for when figures where 24mm scale, but since then everything has crept up a fair way.  Modern lipped bases (Warmachine, Malifaux etc) are 30mm for humans, and thats great.  Believe me, adding that extra 5mm gives you a good bit of breathing space and your less likely to damage your brilliant paint jobs in a gang up.
As a modelling freak I also like it because I get to put more decoration on them and can multibase smaller creatures together.

Hasslefree Svala B and Kaylee B- sporting a scratch built shield.

Classic 1979 Asgard miniatures.  The lizard man is mounted on a 40mm poker chip.

Wooden laser cut bases are ideal for Skulldred.

I love it when people put minis on big decorative bases.  To allow for more of this I have tweaked the rules to allow you to move through gaps based on your SIZE, rather than your base footprint.  The rule still stands that you can only place a model where its base can fit, but can squeeze through gaps in the scenery based on an arbitrary SIZE score.


These bases are cheap laser cut plywood from Aussie company Aetherworks.  In the US, you can grab some from Litco. I really like ply bases, they look like plastic once painted and are easy to pick up during play- the lipped bases can be really tricky and most people end up picking the model up by the figure- not a great way to protect your paint job!  Not having the lip also lets me decorate the base more.
For the larger bases you can also use poker chips available from cheapo stores- an old gamer trick I recently adopted.  I prefer ply though, because it soaks up the black paint, whereas the paint on the poker chips tends to chip off.


Its really kinda lonely developing Skulldred from my tiny little room.  You know, I really would love to see some pictures of your games, warbands and your players.  Send em in, or stick them up on the beta forum and make an old game developer happy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Toughness returns?

Hi Dreadlings,

A suggested rule change for you to try.  This system makes downing bigger models harder, but not impossible- and make small things tackling big things more terrifying.

As before, beating a foe by 1 always causes a knock back.  Beat them by 2 or more and you apply the suggested damage rules to find the result.  It sounds a bit fiddly to begin with, but its really quite simple in practice.

Lets call 'ToKill' toughness for this rule set.  If you beat your foe by more than their toughness score, you score a heavy blow.  Less, scores a light blow.  If your opponent rolls no hits - they drop their guard.  Increase a light to a heavy, a heavy to a critical.

For regular combatants, a light blow causes a down result, a heavy blow causes a kill.
If opponent is bigger, a light blow causes a knockback.  A heavy blow causes a down.  A critical causes a kill.

'Massive damage' rules

If opponent is 2 sizes smaller- all your attacks are deadly.  Knock backs become downed automatically.
If opponent is 2 sizes bigger, your attacks are ineffective.  You must score a critical just to down them.

So you see its just taking the three possible outcomes - knockback, down or kill and sliding them up or down depending if your opponent is bigger or smaller.

(Tank killing weaponry and spells are designed to increase your effective size when comparing- so a hobbit with a rocket launcher could fairly tackle an ogre steam dreadnought.  The rocket launcher weapon would be Size+3, for example moving the hobbit from size 2 to size 5- enough to take out the size 6 ogres armour if it rolls better than its toughness.)

Well give it a go and let me know how you like it!

Beta Patch

I am going to release another beta patch soon with new values to iron out a few price changes and spell revisions.  Generally the new changes make spells easier to cast, champions more expensive, hordes cheaper, steadfast and leaders more pricey, and put a price curve in to combat bonuses- making +3 upwards significantly more pricey.

Miniature pictures

One exciting bit of news is that several indie miniatures companies are getting behind Skulldred and have donated figures to appear in the rulebook so we can have gorgeous examples of game play!    Looks like I am getting a fun paintey time tickling them with the hairy stick!

Comments and feedback always welcome!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


So during my early playtesting I had most models using two dice.  I kinda liked that, much quicker to tell at a glance.
I am wondering if its a good idea to make humans size 2, and group together smaller races, such as goblins and familliars to 1.  This would give an extra size category for larger creatures and make shooting folk a little harder.

Thoughts?  Give it a try?

Progress on the first edition is coming on nicely- I have been scribbling away on the illustrations and its starting to get a nice, gritty but cartoony feel to it, quite nice.

I would like to welcome a new playtest group in Italy who are thrashing the rules soundly- lots of great little gems coming out from them ironing out disputes in tournament play- such as disengaging over L shaped walls and other minuatae.  Brilliant stuff- every time I get a little crystalisation like this I feel like a dozen arguments in the future vanish.  Nice.

The text is quite different now- the last section to get nailed down is going to be sorcery.  Thats an area I would love everyone to thrash.

Anyway, comments on SIZE 2 warmly welcomed!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Suggested Updates

Hey Dredlings,

I have put together a document with some rules amendments I have been thinking of for 1st edition, that I would love you to have a look at and comment on.

Said document lurks here.... Suggestions document

Its a few little things, such as ghosting vs tunneling, and a suggestion for using ranked troops, and a more streamlined magic system.  Love to hear your comments below, or if you prefer the forum...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unit Card PSD Update

Hey folks,
The unit card did not open in photoshop elements, so I have updated it to remove layer groups.  You will also find it MUCH easier to use now, as I have applied photoshop jiggery pokery to the layers so all you need do is paste your layer- no faffing around with clipping masks!  Check the tute...

Tutorial on how to make your own PC cards
Card is in the same place.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Skulldred Forum Update

Hey Dredlings,

  The Skulldred forum has long been very quiet... which is not really surprising considering I hardly went there myself.  Plus its an ugly proboards thingie which is really hard to set up the look of (suggestions on a better free forum system most welcome).
  So I bit the bullet, did a spring clean, fixed it up good and proper like, and havejust  started to populate it with all things Skulldred- from battle reports, unit cards and stuff like that!
  A forum is only as good as its people- so if your loving the 'dred, please join in and start it rolling!  Post battle reports, unit cards, mini pictures- any drivel you like!

Ahhh..... That's better

You will find a bunch of unit cards for some of the figures I have been playtesting with over here, for example...

Custom unit cards

Still on the look out for bugs!

Thanks all...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sneak peek, and custom cards

Hey Dredlings,

  I am having a blast working on the book!  Having had everyone's approval to go full colour has really opened up my mind to what can be communicated graphically.  The A5 format is also really forgiving, forcing focus on one, perhaps two graphics per page means they can shine individually.  Very cool.  I am starting to get a finalised feel that I am confident about releasing.

Here is a sneaky peek at the format.

Sample page from The Skulldred Rulebook

The new rules are better paced, and address the reader directly when explaining concepts rather than in a dry third person.  It makes me feel like I am being taught the rules by someone, which feels more natural.  Though improper for manual writing, I actually prefer this personally.
You may also like to hear that example paragraphs now appears throughout the text.  These paragraphs are identified clearly under Example:, and written in italics.  Therefore you can simply skim over example blocks if you have already grasped the concept from the paragraph.

I have tried to keep the pages fairly zen, with plenty of white space, rather than the current trend of making things look like gothic manuscripts.  This means its much easier to digest and flick through.

Unit Card v5
I finalised the Unit Card today, and am pretty darn happy with the result- especially when you compare it to earlier versions... it just makes me want to play the game!

I am so excited by how the Unit Card turned out I have put up new downloads for you all to enjoy.  The master .PSD file allows you to customise your own cards, insert your own art and pick background colours.  There is also a black and white sheet version for those doomed to grey scale printing!

Here is the tutorial for those of you unfamiliar with GIMP or Photoshop.

Click on this for full tutorial!

Check the downloads bar to the left for all the things you need!

Now the cards are final, I can go through and make the unit cards for all the sample creatures- which is obviously a big effort to do each time I do it.  After that, its photo diagrams, more illustrations and a final pass on the writing.  Soon, Dredlings, soon...

Hope you like everything so far!  Comments always welcome.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last minute thrashing! T-SHIRTS!

Well folks, the time has come for a last minute thrashing of what will be first edition rules- so if you have the time and are made from the stuff of legends, this could be your finest hour!

Grab some obscure models as units, unusual spell mixes and thrash out some quick and dirty games- I am on the hunt for overly cheaty spells and power combinations. Current suspects are "wall" spells- which may require ousting from edition 1 to an expansion rulebook. trample and poison have been moved as you know, are there any other cads?

If you have not Submitted your findings from the game now is definately the time to shoot me an email! It does not have to be technical- something as vague as "I got hammered by flying large monsters last week- it sucked." will do me! Just pop SKULLDRED in the title so I can sort the mail!

I have been getting emails sharing excitement about the color a5 edition coming out- which is really nice as it encourages me to put more effort in!

Oh, and - hey... new logo.  The Skulldred speed skull...

I literally designed this on a napkin at a cafe, as the old cliché goes.  I wanted a text style that captures the feeling of speed and danger you get with the game, something that could can be a simple black and white symbol.  Don't worry, the mascot Ol' Mr. Skulldred will still be haunting the game pages and products.

I put this on some CafePress T-shirts if you fancy waving the flag at your local game club!  Visit here...  http://www.cafepress.com/daveking

Ooooh, merchandise!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Yes folks, I am officially announcing that after the first two Skulldred books are released, they will get a sci fi sister product- tentatively named project STARDRED.  (cue fan fare music here)

 Jody of Imbrian Arts and I have been chatting about his new sci fi range (which features an awesome modular power armoured warrior if you have not already seen it) and it struck me that I have not officially announced Stardred yet.  So here we are.  Stardred.  Everything you love about Skulldred, with things that go zap, bang, boom.

Now you can actually play scifi with Skulldred- just switch tech for magic and your gold.  However,  Stardred will allow you to play at skirmish level right up to meched out, tanked up armies.  The squad system I am currently kicking around in my noodle is just crazy assed and totally different to anything out there, so I am going to test the heck out of it before I say anything more, but if it all goes to plan, opponents are going to have much more fun whilst your chewing into their forces.

Anyway, enjoy the thought.  Back to Skulldred.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Progress report

Hey Dredlings,

Work on the Skulldred first edition is coming along nicely- its shaping up to be around 80 pages at the moment.  I have to say having colour back as an option has really made a huge difference to the feel of the book- its much lighter and easier to navigate and digest.  I am focusing only on the child friendly release first.  I am about three quarters through the blocking out, working out what diagrams and illustrations I am going to need and popping in place holders.  As I am going I am condensing and shuffling text about.

One of the first big changes I have made is to the unit cards.  Here is an example...

New character cards for the A4 colour edition
Long strike has been dropped from the standard stat boxes, it is now an ability- which makes the card look simpler.  Considering only a few models in play would need it, I think that is a sensible move. The new card are rotated to allow them to fit both the books A5 double columns and fit nicely into a regular gaming card sleeve.  Spell and ability cards also work like this.
The unit cards will be available in clean black and white and with a range of background wallpapers to suit the theme of your warband.  The webby will have a photoshop file that will allow you to drop your own art of mini photos in if your feeling fancy!  Dont say I never do nuthing for ya.  For a start, that would be bad English.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Skulldred approaches- but which format?

A big shout out to all of you who have been sending me emails regarding Skulldred, thanks!  Its really nice to keep getting so much positive feedback- and to hear people spreading the word.  The decline of notes and playtesting errata suggests to me that either its (a) getting pretty much ready for first edition (yay!), or (b) people are loosing interest for whatever reason (boo!).
  So, if you have been merrily playing along, I would love to hear from you!  Very shortly I will have a block of time required to reformat the whole book into its first edition- this is a huge job, as the print on demand format is quite different from the one I have been using.
  One thing I would love to know is everyone's preference for the printed format of book.    I am currently thinking of releasing the book in several formats- a Skulldred Pocketbook (A5 perfect bound, black and white, color cover) and a deluxe edition in full colour in hardback with lots of pictures of games and miniatures.
  Comment below if you have any favourites for your rulebooks!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Updates 2.05 b

I have just been compiling errata to make a 2.05b release- no system changes, just reordering and fixing the document.  Any last minute feedback and errata would be welcome!

I am making size 1 models have a to kill of 2.  Vulnerable have a to kill of 1.  Makes it MUCH easier to explain.

Also I am thinking of dropping longstrike as a stat, and making it a limited range version of shoot instead.  Thoughts?

Another topic I would like to discuss is the final 1st edition rule book, and whats going into it thats not in the playtest version.

Here are some thoughts...

  • More illustrations.  Its going to be pretty.
  • Bestiary of all your basic fantasy army stats, costed and ready.
  • Battle scenarios - classic vs, rescue, capture etc
  • More character abilities.
  • Machineries of war - large weapon rules, catapults, chariots etc.
Any other things you would like to see?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

2.05 arrives!

Skulldred Beta 2.5 is now sitting in the downloads section!

This massive update brings the whole system up to date with the size / skill flip as well as fielding a swathe of small tweaks to gold values and rules.  There is now an index too.

Thanks again to everyone playtesting and coming up with suggestions!  I have listed your names inside the book, please contact me if you want the details changed or added!

I have also built a spreadsheet character builder here featuring all the new prices and rules changes....  linky

Larder of Doom!

Thantsants over at Somewhere The Teas Getting Cold has posted yet another brilliant Skulldred battle report- The Larder of Doom!


Check out those wonderful old school minis.  You da man.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Size vs skill

So now we come to a good fork in the road!

Mr. Skinner thinks rolling SIZE dice vs combat skill makes more sense, and I agree with the logic.  It makes more sense in the damage results- at the cost of an extra stat and step in the warband creation.  Its also not as elegant to describe, but it does produce a more accurate representation of how fantasy creatures should behave in battle.  Bigger things do more damage, skilled things are more reliable and make better use of tactical bonus dice.

By adding a new combat option- evade- where a defender gets more dice to its combat hand in exchange for not being able to hurt the attacker if it wins the combat round, we get a better situation for small, nimble creatures going up against big lumbering monsters.

It's a big rulebook change, so I would really love everyone to take a go both ways and see what feels best.

Heres the system suggested:

Hand to Hand combat and Defending Against a Shot
Roll models combat dice.  This is SIZE+any combat bonus for being a particularly dangerous bad ass, carrying magic or heavy weapons etc.  To score a combat hit, you must roll equal or less than your models level (combat skill).  Level was 1 for fodder, 2 for militia, 3 for warriors, 4 for heroes, 5 for champions.

Roll models Shoot dice.  Target number is your opponents SIZE.

All usual bonus dice apply.

Adjusting 2.04 warbands to combat skill based system
 Make combat score their level (max 5).  If over 5- add the remainder to your size for combat dice.

Tora Frathaus - SIZE: 3 C: 7
Tora Frathaus - SIZE: 3   Level: 5(champion) Combat Dice: 5

That should allow you to quickly test the system, see if you like it.

To add evading to your games.
Models must have evade ability.  Costs (6-size) x 2 gold per level.  Max 3.  When attacked in hand to hand (not shooting), defender can announce he will evade.  Add one bonus dice per level of evade to hand.  If evader wins, attacker unharmed.  Evader must recoil or swing around on a win.  If model cannot do so, it cannot use evade.  Attacker may press an evader that recoils.

Let me know how it feels.  I have a hunch its the right way to go, costing a little elegance for a better representation.

Cheers Andy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Suggested Toughness and magic changes 2.05

Just incorporated a great little idea into the rules (thanks OldSchool- contact me to get your name in the credits)
Rather than Toughness -1 + armour, simply make any attack that equals toughness a kill, rather than higher than.  Duh!  Shame on me.

As Oldschool pointed out, one less sum is a good thing, and I am all for that as you know!

That means a size 3 needs 3 hits to kill.  Simple.

To clarify (I am rewording the book for this point) the rule is beaten by 1 = recoil.  Beaten by toughness = dead.  Beaten by less than toughness, but more than 1 = downed.
Therefore toughness 1 and 2 models both recoil on a 1, die on a 2.  You only down them only if they recoil into an obstacle.  An armour bonus for little folk is a good idea... as Frodo would no doubt testify.

Vulnerable models die instantly if beaten at all.

Wondering if changing the word toughness to To kill would clarify it.  "My dudes 3 to kill".  Abbreviated to TK.  Kinda like TKO...  :)     What are your thoughts?

A recent three way match also highlighted how magic can slow down the game.  I am thinking the best way to smooth this out is to limit each sorcerer to just 1 spell per turn.  The number of actions is the target number, you fire once and your done.  Perhaps dice splitting is still allowed?

Thanks all for playing- I am really loving the battle reports!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Skulldred 2.04 released

  After a soothing sunday back at the PC, I knocked the magic system into shape.  2.04 is now released in the download section.  I know Thantsants was looking to get into sorcery, so this should be fun to see.

So I have made magic much simpler, you buy a spell for a sorcerer.  It sits by his character card.  To cast a spell, you either cast through yourself or a portal.  Portals cost 1 action to place.  The number of actions you spend casting a spell is your target number to roll equal to or under on your magic dice.  Each spell has a level.  This is the number of HITS you need to roll on your magic dice for the spell to work.

Example:  Crowfester The Jester has 3 actions.  He moves for 1, then spends 2 casting a spell.  He has 5 magic dice.  If he casts a level 3 spell, he needs to roll 1 or 2 on at least 3 dice.

In response to the difficulty in casting spells, I am thinking of reducing the cost to buy a magic level to 5 per dice.  Try it and see how it feels.

So I have been painting a cover for the final Skulldred rule book- here is a small taster of what it could look like.  What do you think?

Skulldred book cover preview

Friday, February 18, 2011

Battle Report

 Howdy Dreadlings,

Thantsants, master of Somewhere the Tea's Getting Cold has posted a brilliant Skulldred battle report over at his blog.  Its richly narrated, funny and actually somewhat nail biting!  Dwarf miners battle orcs at the foot of a mountain...


Heh... Larder.   Rofl.

Thank's Thantsants- brilliant miniatures, brilliant table and brilliant report.  I hope you keep them coming!

Thanks also to all of you who posted feedback to me over the last week.  I have been away on holiday down the coast, and have been waiting all week to get back into mobile reception range to see what's been happening!  On the drive back, when I finally got a signal, I got all the feedback, and it was all very useful!

I am currently working on 2.04- which incorporates all of the feedback right now.  The next release will still be a week or so away, 2.03 system is pretty much unchanged though- so you can keep playing with the rules you have.  The main changes are...

Basic rules
  • Leaders can still lead models within 1 span and in LOS if engaged.  (Downed models still cannot lead)
  • Models can share out their action points to others within 1 span, for movement actions only.
  • Shoot rules clarified.  You defend using your combat dice.
  • Toughness clarified.  It is size-1 + armour bonus.
  • "Very Slow" added.  Slow now limits model to 2 moves. Very slow 1.  Being very slow gives you +2 or two +1 dices or armour levels.
  • Reload counter added to counters.
  • Sorcerers can have up to 3 portal counters in reserve for each sorcerer on the warband. (Lets you have custom looking ones for each model if you want- so a necromancer has bone portals, a firemage, fire etc.)
  • Sorcerers have 'open portal', 'cast spell' and 'charge magic' (add +1 magic dice) actions.
  • A warband can only have 3 portal counters in PLAY at once.
  • Yeah, all the costs for the sample armies where incorrect.  Bad me.  Apparently one play tester has made a spreadsheet for Skulldred that helps quickly price up models...nice one!

  I plan to overhaul and focus on the magic next, making sure that its as elegant as I can make it- as you can probably tell its quite hacked around at the moment from a couple of editions where the dice system changed.  Hopefully some time will land on my lap so I can play some sorcerer heavy games and really have a think about ways to make it slick and sexy.

Well, thanks again for playing- and I hope your all having fun with it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Skulldred 2.03 - super sleek dice stats return

Download 2.03 using the button and play THIS version.  Its WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY easier to get your head around.

I did not have time to do the army lists, but there is a quickstart stat card sheet for a generic humanoid warband.  Simply select mirrored sides and use these cards for your first few games, and your laughing.

I dropped the whole levels, hit dice rubbish and returned to straight forward dice.  You simply note the combat, magic and shoot dice for a model, and use its size for the combat target number.  Taught my wife to play in twenty minutes!

And then she beat me.

This version plays super fast, and we are testing with twenty as side battles.  Very quick.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Prefer Hit on Size?

I have had a couple of comments on email that think hitting on size was more elegant and easier to remember.

This was the main system for a while, basically- models had combat dice based on how good they where, and their target number was their own size for hand to hand (and defending a shot), their opponents for shooting.

My gut reaction is that this may be right- and is certainly easier to play- since you look to your character card for your combat dice, then look to your model to remember size.  Having to check hit dice, based on (size + weapon bonus) then check combat skill is much more taxing on the drunken mind.

So do you think it is better?

Andy Skinner pointed out that large creatures hit on a bell curve anyway- so the clumsy low stat- but big monsters fair well- which makes sense.  It muddies the odds you have to weigh in your head when generating warbands.

The second benefit of the 2nd gen  'hit on size' is that you can get combat stats that go up beyond 5- making a greater range of power levels you can field.

Thinking seriously about heading back to that version.  Comments warmly appreciated!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2.02 Point release

I had some time to edit down the book again, shuffling chapters and making it much clearer to read.
I revised the sorcery rules to streamline the experience and make it easier to understand.  Now you just say which spell you want to cast and how many action points you spend on it, roll the dice, if you get enough hits against your magic score, it happens- otherwise your wizard looses his turn.

I also added some quick start unit lists for players to get stuck right in.  Should make testing easier.

Armour rules have been revised too.  Toughness has been re-added in the wording, basically size+ armour.  So its as before, basically.  :)

Sample play demo

Following a great suggestion on Lead Adventure Forum, I have created this quick sample play document, so you can see a game in action.  I will include this in 2.01.

Sample Play Demo - Leonard vs. Raj

Errata 2.0

Spotted a silly mistake that will effect play testing.  Under Combat level, there is an extra entry for 'elite', which pushes heroes and champions up a slot.  I have corrected it in 2.01, but you dont have to print the whole thing out... just correct the following.

This is the correct levels for models.  You can only go up to level 5, not 6, as listed.

Model never hits.
Peasant rabbles, old men, children, Kobolds
Trolls, lesser goblins, green militia
War weary soldiers, sidekicks
Elite soldiers, adventurers
Legendary history makers

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BETA 2.0 is here!

Skulldred beta 2.0 is now available in the download section.  This new edition combines several game mechanics into one with the introduction of the action dice mechanic.  I hope you find it elegant.

I have stripped it back until I am sure the core mechanics are purring along.
The action dice is just a regular D6 with stickers applied.  It should read 2, 2, 1, 3 and have two wild sides.  Use any symbol you like.  When the wild result is rolled and the model is not under the influence of a leader, it falls back on its 'wild side'.  Some models panic, some go catatonic, some remain stalwart- others go beserk!

The action dice.  Customise your own with some stickers.

New Character cards
Beta 2.0 also returns the dice to traditional D6, after several play testers found it gave too much variance in the results given.  Its a shame, because all those hit/miss dice where very pretty and it made the game extremely easy to teach.  However, its important to have calculated risks and sure bets!

I wanted to give a big shout out to Andy Skinner, who totally blew me away with the amount and minute detail of his feedback- the guy is an editing machine!  Its thanks to Andy that Beta 2.0 no longer uses rules lists, sticking instead to plain English sentences instead.  I think it reads so much smoother now.  Cheers Andy, I hope you continue to put me in my place :)

Another shout out to Christian, from lead Adventure, who I got to meet at CANCON!  Christian and I are going to meet at some stage and have a few games of Skulldred at some point.  I did have an early copy of beta 2 floating around, but someone accidentally left with it mid show.  Next year I am planning on having a full demo game table for people to come and play!

Well, I have to get back to things other than Skulldred for a few weeks, so hopefully that should give you all some time to have a read and hopefully a play.  I may be off the PC for a while too, so please forgive me if I do not respond on the forum for a bit!

I hope you like it!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have been playing to death my latest build of Skulldred, and am getting close to hitting the PC again to revise the manual and get you a new release shortly!

Thanks for all the emails- great to hear people are 'getting the vibe' of what I am doing!  Yes, the last version was littered with scrappy bits from last minute changes that missed my attention.  Next one is better by far.  I hope.

The latest version is sexily streamlined- condensing the action-initiative-fear-stupidity into a single custom dice roll, and restoring the original normal d6 system.

Streamlined characters means no lists of numbers are needed to describe your force, - you can simply specify them by word descriptors if you like.  A regular human troop with no abilities would be just 'regular troop'.  A zombie can easily be described as 'crappy-slow-fodder'.  A stupid clumsy giant with magic armour is plenty to describe the model in game rules.

Models are condensed into hit-dice and to-hit scores.  Crappy units hit on a 1, poor/weak/green troops hit on a 2, regulars a 3 and so forth.  Size is condensed to match hit-dice, so you simply look at the size listing to get the number of combat dice to roll.  Small (imps, familliars, lesser goblins) roll 1 dice, regular (dwarves, orcs, humans, elves) roll 2, 'large' horses roll 3, 'big' war trolls 4, 'huge' small giants 4 and 'gigantic' dragons 6.  Simple.

You then tack on abilities and away you go.

Other stuff is the 'elements' chapter that gives you the ability to play the game with square bases tacked onto movement trays or multi-based, for larger simple mass combat.  Great if you have existing armies for other systems and want to throw a lot of figures around but still use the same rules.

Well, thats it from me and my insomnia.  Its like... 4:40 am here.  :)