Montag, 26. September 2022

Everyone ought to have some toy soldiers

Toy soldiers.
I think, everyone should have some. 
Because they are universal.
They are soldiers in uniform - technically representing anything.
Their uniforms show their togetherness (mabye underpinned by some skill shared by everyone), they've got rifles indicating their ability to shoot and they've got sables, indicating their ability to stand their ground in melee combat.
Add some miniatures not wearing their uniform, and you've got some mercenaries with their own unique set of abilities.
Pictured here: Debonne Soldiers, Mercenary Cultist, Mercenary Gunslinger and Pirate riflewoman, all by Freebooterminiatures.
The whole crew is ready to hunt some monsters, Silver Bayonet style - however according to the rules of Duel.

Mittwoch, 14. September 2022

1 - 2 - 3 - A universal roleplay system in pocketmod format


The pocketmod format is extremely restrictive: It forces you to boil down whatever you want to say to 7 sites (8, if you count the frontcover in), sized A7!

So, that's a pretty tiny space to bring your message across.

However, the advantage is: it forces you to think about what is really important and how are you going to put it down in words, as every typed character counts pretty quickly against the limit.

Anyway, I've created a first draft of the rules, just to see, whether they are "good to go" or still need work.

If you want to, you may download them here:


Note: I'm fully aware about how "the GM has to design everything" is pretty much "lazy ruleswriting". So chances are, in future I'll have to dish out additional booklets, with content like skill suggestions and adventure hooks for different settings like fantasy, sci fi, neolithic and whatever there is ...

Duel: The core rules in a Pocketmod

Sooo ... I am still working on my rules for my 15 minute skirmisher "Duel" 


Right now, I have cracked down the core rules into a format, that makes them easily portable: The "pocketmod" format! A pocketmod is a single site you can fold down into a booklet by adding a cut in the centre. (Read more at for details - or in the instructions in the PDF 🙂 ) 

You may get a sneak peak at the current pocketmod rulebook here:

If you are interested in the full rules, you may download them here:  

My question to you now is: what do you think about those pocketmod rules? Are they easily understandable? What would you add or kick out?  

Montag, 12. September 2022

Duel: How to improve upon the rulebook

 Asking the proper guys, and receive wisdom!

Here are the replies I got upon asking, how to improve on the rulebook:

Use a serif typeface for your body copy. Check for some neat fonts.

Look up Smart Quotes. Seeing the double quote on the baseline is unnerving.

If you have two or more sentences one after an other, put a tab space in front of the 2nd and later ones to break up the 'wall of text'. If just a line of text don't add the tab.

The headers (Action, Terrain) could be larger and maybe overlap the border.

For graphics to spice up the text? Cow skull, wagon wheel, cactus, cowboy hat, etc. Gives a western feel. Even monotone or silhouette graphics are OK.

Regarding the "Smart Quotes" I found this article:

That's a great article on quote marks.

Correct, start the headers outside the border. Or make them bigger.

The cover blurb at the bottom. Don't be afraid to put it in the shadow of the man's back (to make it easier to read).

On fonts, here is a link to dafont for free western style fonts. Use them for headers. Unless it is easy to read, I wouldn't use them as body copy. So, here is a link for free eroded style fonts that might be good for body copy. (Yeah, I'm overthinking it.)

Using photos of miniatures, unless you made the miniatures someone else owns the copyright on them. You might find free western photos at Pixabay, Freepik, or other public domain or royalty free art sites.

Checking your rulebook again, I see that you used Microsoft PowerPoint. While it works, it isn't the best program to make a rulebook. If you can, try Word, OpenOffice/Writer (free), InDesign ($/mth), Affinity Publisher ($), Scribus (free).

I've offered it before, here it is again: Board Game Creation on BoardGameGeek. You'll find a LOT of information on making games there. Registration is free. They also have a large database of games. You can search for them on the top right.

Hi! I would definitely add some photo/picture of the setup and the main actions. As a plus I'd add some cool cowboy hanging around the text. I would divide the text in two columns so it is easier to read, maybe highlight the main words

This actually looks better than I thought it was going to based on your description. That said, I do have a couple thoughts. Yes, I went meta with this comment and incorporated my own advice in.

My Suggestions
Typographic hierarchies

The basic idea is to have a couple levels of font size/weight for headers going from broadest category to narrowest. You don't need to overdo it - in fact you've got the framework for it already with your page headers at the top and your bolded section headers. I would consider putting the page headers actually in the body of the page - I didn't even notice them the first time around. You can maybe keep a small version in the footer of the page as well to let people know what section they're in. Numbering also helps, ex: 1. Requirements & Setup, 2. Game Turn, etc. You can then add those headers to your table of contents to help people find what they're looking for even faster.

Bullet Points / Lists

You have several places where there are basically lists of short sentences. Lean into that - people love checklists, and they help focus on what is important. It may help to start a section with a short sentence or paragraph explaining what the list is, for example "Here's what you'll need to play" followed by each of the requirements in a list. That way people also know when the list is over.


Emphasize keywords by bolding them rather than putting them in quotes. It's a simple change but it's amazing how impactful it can be when scanning the page to find something. If you do decide to use bold for keywords, try to avoid using it for anything else - people will develop an understanding that bold = keyword and then be confused if another bolded word isn't a keyword.


If you end your „Move“ or „Interact“ action drawing a line of sight to an opposing model, you immediately start shooting at it.

could instead be

If you end your Move or Interact action drawing a line of sight to an opposing model, you immediately start shooting at it.


I know there's a few minds around tables, and I'm not suggesting adding in some crazy lookup tables, but your page 7 has several examples that would be perfect for a short table which would increase comprehension drastically.


TerrainWalk ThroughSee ThroughProvides Cover
Field of wheatYesYesYes
Any open spaceYesYesNo
Dense ForestYesNoYes
A fenceNoYesYes
Open fireplaceNoYesNo
A wallNoNoYes

Finally, if you just can't get around lots of text, you can break up the flow of things simply by adding some flavor images. They don't even have to be related - they could just be there to break up the flow a bit. And when in doubt, use more whitespace.

One thing to consider /u/CatZeyeS_Kai is if you're going to have a PDF version of your rules, you may want to provide links within to other parts of the document. The table of contents, for sure, but also anywhere there's something that relates to another part of the document, or may be explained in more detail. That's the only real use-case I can see for underlines in this context.

The rulebook should be frontloaded with the minimum information someone needs to play, with any further material positioned after that. Even if it's just a two sentence introduction about where you got the idea.

The first page should have a very brief description of the setting and the object of the game. For example:

Duel is a short and simple skirmish game set in the old west. Take on the role of a gunfighter as you try to outgun and outsmart your opponent. The race is on to grab the treasure and make it out alive.

Instead of wordy descriptions of what players can use for components, let the illustrations speak for you.

"use anything you like as terrain, for example:" (then have a photo of nice miniatures and custom terrain pieces, and another photo of plain meeples standing on a zippo.)

Be brief. Use illustrations. Have examples of the rules in action. Put additional material at the back. Cut out most of the exclamation points.

You start with "At the beginning of 2022 in the Facebook Group...". That's not necessary info for learning the game, so I'd move it to the back of the book if not just cut it altogether.

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