Small Games

Short notes on a series of games, supplements, or vanity projects that have been archived, were in early-testing stages but put aside, and abandoned projects that simply didn’t work out. Purely for historical/archival purposes. No links provided.

Contact Raven for more information on any of these if you have interest in the expanded notes or bare text.

the words

GM-less card-based game about dark magic, martial arts, and manifest inner demons in a world descending into an apocalypse of monsters and insanity, all thanks to ancient, once-hidden words of horror. More of a pre-alpha set of thoughts with pseudo-mechanics.


Dark sci-fi action with intergalactic criminals who choose to commute their sentences by undertaking deadly black-ops missions for the military. A Sorcerer-inspired design in development from 2005 through 2010 that reached beta playtesting, but couldn’t overcome some fundamental mechanical problems. Play the new Aliens RPG to experience what I was going for.

Wizards in the Vineyard

A Dogs in the Vineyard hack about wizards who rule cities on the coasts of a Mediterranean-that-never-was. Finished but untested.

Stars Over Africa

An Iron Game Chef entry. More of a board-less board game focused on resource collection and “tile”-placement than an RPG. Design never moved past alpha stage.

Dragons at Dawn

A game of dragons ruling over men. Written for the Iron Game Chef contest first held by the Forge discussion forum. The rules never quite distilled into anything playable.

Temple of Elfemental Evil

Based on the classic AD&D adventure, this was a crude and cheeky parody for the Elfs RPG from Adept Press. Fully designed through the ‘Village of Hommlet’ section of the source material. I never felt right in releasing the project in an ‘incomplete’ state.

Immortal: Revelations

A variant of Sorcerer for playing Immortal: the Invisible War, written in ’01. Needs polishing and clarification, but alpha readers commented it helped them make better sense of the ideas in the source game.

Saga Under the Dark Sun

An extensive rewrite of the card-based SAGA system that Wizards of the Coast released in the late 90’s, rebuilt for AD&D’s Dark Sun setting. Includes solid rules for sub-par weapons, wilderness survival, psionics, and defiling; and an easy fix for the “tossing cards just to redraw” issue of the source design. (I’m told this project inspired praise and discussion by the WotC staff of the time.)

PEGASUS Gaming System

My first attempt at system design outside of the D&D paradigm; from the late 90’s. Crude, early attempts at narrative-focused design which contained concepts later independently replicated and improved upon by other designers in the narrative RPG community. It was still heavily influenced by classic RPG design; ie: other designers did it better later.

Nth Edition

A 3rd-Edition AD&D variant from the mid-90’s. My collection of house-rules and design improvements: Hit points as Luck. Psionicists rewritten as a wizard-variant called Sorcerers (before Sorcerer became a D&D class). Dramatic combat styles. Spell school limitations for wizards. Etc. The usual stuff.