Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our Playtest Handout

Our first playtest "in the wild" will be at Dragon's Lair tomorrow. To celebrate, we printed out 50 copies of the pdf below to give away or sell at just above cost (we'll see what the demand looks like).

This Hot Springs Island beta sampler contains 13 monsters, 8 plants, and 1 dungeon from the island. It's only a sliver of the content we've made for this hexcrawl, and we're thinking it might be good to keep churning out these little booklets, so we'd love any feedback you may have on the content or layout.

If you'd like to print your own copy, grab the PDF here. (print as booklet)

If you want to read it on your computer or tablet, this one is probably better.

And if you'd like a higher resolution version for printing, email feedback and the request to the email in the pdf. :) In the meantime, here are a few sample pages!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

... and 50' of rope

Work work! Gotta make the booth look awesome this Thursday.

Current inventory to accomplish this:
2.5 yards of heavy canvas
3 yards of burlap
25 yards of waxed cotton thread
One spool of black upholstery thread
One 3'x5' fish net
60 paper tags
5 heavy duty needles
4 wooden crates
89 camel bone beads carved to look like skulls
117 wooden beads
9 aluminum grommets
1 hammer
1 pair of scissors
1 pen
1 32gb flash drive
1 pocket knife
1 iron
3 proofs of our Zine-like handout

And 50 feet of rope 'cause what adventure would be complete without it?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We're making t-shirts. I've heard that black and gold is the best color combination for obscure yet metal RPGs.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Indie Creator's Night


The blog's gotten pretty quiet this month. To give you all a peek behind the curtain, the outward silence is because we're running around with our hair on fire because we were able to get a table at Dragon's Lair's "Indie Creator Night" to demo Hot Springs Island.

The event will be March 28th at 7:00pm in Dragon's Lair's brand spankin' new location on Anderson Lane here in Austin (same strip center as Terra Toys, Conan's Pizza, and a damn good Pho restaurant who's name escapes me at the moment).

The event is 5 hours long, and we're planning to start a new game at the top of each hour using pre-generated characters and the Pathfinder ruleset (wanted to use DCC, but just haven't had time to localize creatures for it. One day... one day that belt buckle will be mine). As each session begins, the party for that hour will begin at a random location on Hot Springs (shipwreck) and will be able to hexcrawl to their hearts content for the next real world hour, or 48 hours of in-game time. As people die, we plan to sub in people off the waitlist/backlog list, but we'll see how it works. It may be madness. =)

Since in-game play time will be limited to 48 hours, we're thinking we need to call this something like "A weekend on Hot Springs Island" or "[Party Name's] Killer Weekend", and then use this same 48 hours format as we really ramp up the play testing. It seems like a long enough period to do a good deal of stuff, but still short enough that we can capture play logs. We shall see....

If you're in Austin and would like to stop by Dragon's Lair on March 28th at 7:00pm, we'd love to show off what we've been working on! We're also planning on having some freebies to hand out, some stickers, and some t-shirts with the bitchin' Hot Springs Island logo on them.

If you'd like to reserve a spot at the table, please email swordfishislands AT gmail and we'll get you in a time slot!

Quizzical Svarku is wondering what all these peasants are doing on his island

Monday, March 11, 2013

Twenty Paces - Indie Metal Monday

Twenty Paces is a group from Minneapolis that (based on their current myspace/facebook) pages seems to have only really been active back in 2008 when they released a four track album of progressive instrumental metal called "Cassini". In 2010 they released a single track called "Ghost (She Moans)" which immediately caught my ear while trawling through Bandcamp.

It's haunting, in a kind of sad, forgotten, and beautiful way, and listening to it gets me all worked up and pseudo-philosophical. I don't know that anything about the track is truly ground breaking, but it's just so... right. With a digital cover looking like an exceptionally low-rez moonscape, the mellow, spacy vibes of music itself, and the possibility that Twenty Paces no longer really exists as a creative group (based on my cursory google-fu), this track is almost like a forlorn piece of perfectly preserved space debris, floating through the eternal black abyss of the net. Waiting to be rediscovered.

This is some beautiful spacy shit right here. Give 'em a listen, and check out Cassini too.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


"It... it grabbed Vivian from the shadows and bit out her whole neck in one bite with its giant fucking teeth man. Then it dropped a wall of fire on us and roasted that bastard Revio alive. I didn't think these things could cast spells man, but I was looking right at it as it did. And that's not all. That's not fucking all [indistinguishable]. As it dropped that spell, the thing, I don't know, flickered or something, and I swear on my cock that creature turned into a big-tittied naked woman with her head thrown back, mouth open to the sky like a whore's. But only for an instant."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Throne on Mars - Indie Metal Monday

Red Pyramid by Throne on Mars has brought me back to where I need to be. A good buddy of mine got me distracted by the happy insanity that is Bit.Trip Runner 2 (amazing btw), but I've got content to rework of a more... metal nature.

Enter Throne on Mars. Progressive, instrumental post-metal from Spain. Red Pyramid is 20 minutes of silver cord snapping goodness you won't regret. And that album art. Just look at that beautiful fucking album art. There's a whole campaign for a broken world summed up in the thousand+ words that picture is worth. Add in the music and it's absolutely everything a person needs to come up with an epic story line that spans the black spaces between the stars.

The first track, Pathfinder, was just what I needed to come back down from the happy cloud insanity induced by last night's Bit.Trip Runner 2 binge, and then the second track "Loss of the Axis" was just what I needed to reexpand my thoughts on things like ruins and volcanoes.

So give 'em a listen. They'll blow you away. And, like these guys on Facebook. It's absolutely criminal, but they've only got ~300 likes. This music is brilliant. The low driving rhythms of Loss of the Axis are just so damn inspirational, especially when followed up with the powerful riffs. These guys do an excellent job of building tension and delivering release, which when you think about it, is what all good storytellers do.

Level up your Monday with a listen!