Skip to main content

Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells 2nd Edition - Perilous Journeys

In a violent and savage world inhabited by ancient beasts and monsters spawned in the deepest abyss, traveling is a feat in which few people regularly engage. Going from one City-State to the next is an adventure all on its own.

Many dangers can befall travelers in their journeys, not only monsters and bandits, but many other hazards such as storms, wildfires and fetid swamps. Additionally, when adventurers explore savage and unknown lands, any raging river, steep mountain, or tortuous trail can become an obstacle.

In game terms, each character needs to make a Luck Roll for each leg of the journey. If the majority of the group succeeds, nothing bad happens. However, if most of them are unlucky, something unfortunate befalls the group. When this happens, roll on the table below.


Travel Hazards


Mundane animals of the region are strangely agitated and act in weird and disturbing ways during the night. The group cannot sleep well and everyone receives a Negative Die during the next scene, unless they pass a Physique test.


The Durability score of rations and similar supplies are reduced by 1d3 points due to insects or other creatures that seemed strangely attracted to the party's food stock.


The trail ahead is blocked and the party needs to make a detour, increasing the travel time by 1 day.


Bad weather reduces visibility drastically, forcing the party guide to make an Intellect test or lose 1 day of travel time to make sure they do not deviate from their trail.


After a good night of rest, the party wakes up to find out they've been robbed. They lost 1d6 Treasure Points divided among them.


The landmarks the guide was using as reference have disappeared. She now has to make an Intellect test or the party will follow the wrong path.


A group of untrustworthy merchants is met on the road and tries to take advantage of the party. Each character must pass an Intellect test or lose 1d4 Treasure Points.


Having to flee from a terrible threat (a creature or hazard), each character loses one random item of equipment.


A traveling warlock curses the group, reducing their Luck score by 1 until they perform a task for him. The curse can be resisted by passing a Willpower test.


A ghost appears to haunt the party until they help it finish its final mission.


The party's scout needs to pass an Intellect test or the adventurers will fall for a trap or ambush set by bandits or viler creatures.


Something or someone is following the group. The watcher can test Intellect to detect the pursuer. What may it be?


The party crosses the territory of a powerful individual or creature and now needs to negotiate passage, be it by combat or more civilized ways.


Strange nightmares take hold of the adventurers’ dreams, disturbing their sleep. Each character needs to make a Willpower test to decipher the prophetic signs hidden in their vision. If they fail, when they confront the situation the dream was based upon, they will receive a Negative Die for all actions. Those who succeed will receive some information that might help them with their adventure.


A perilous obstacle needs to be surpassed (a cliff, a ravine, a raging river.) Characters need to make a Physique or Agility test. Failure indicates that they suffer 1d8 points of damage.


Predators from the region are following the adventurers. To escape confrontation, they need to shake them off (Intellect test) or be quicker than their pursuers (Agility test.)


The food consumed today was poisoned. The characters need to pass a Physique test or suffer 1d4 points of damage to that Attribute.


A fanatical warrior from a local community challenges one of the characters to a fight to the death. He doesn't seem to be willing to take no for an answer.


The party is exposed to the radiation emitted by an ancient civilization's technological artifact. All characters need to make a Physique test or suffer 1d6 points of damage to Physique or Agility.


A supernatural entity casts an illusory spell on the party. The adventurers need to pass an Intellect test to realize the reality they are seeing is false. Only one test can be made per day.

During the days Laeria was lost in the haunting woods, the Referee asked her to make a Luck Roll to see if she would run into any Travel Hazards. As she rolled above her current Luck score, he rolled a d20 and got a 14, making her have some terrible nightmares.

Designer’s Notes

Traveling is an adventure in itself and I wanted to help the game reinforce that idea. A journey of just a few miles shouldn’t always be dangerous, but longer distances should carry surprises and opportunities for new adventures and quests to develop. The entries on those tables don’t explain everything about these encounters, but the players might have their own theories and a new avenue of adventures can be created in the game!

Popular posts from this blog

My RPG Zine Trilogy is on Kickstarter!

 I can't believe I didn't post about it here! The Dead are Coming, Screams Amongst the Stars and Running Out of Time are on Kickstarter right now! These are 3 complete games, made using the system of Electric Bastionland and Mausritter as the basis (and with some modifications to fit my vision for each of them). As with my games, they all come filled with many tools and tables to generate gaming content, adventures, locations, NPCs and much more. They are compact, easy to use, and equipped to provide you with years of entertainment! Here's a brief description of each of the games. The Dead Are Coming The first of them is called The Dead Are Coming, a minimalist, OSR style RPG about survival in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead have risen and other survivors can be much worse than the undead. Characters in this game are common people who have been struggling to survive, find their loved ones, keep them safe and just trying to keep living. They all carry resources like

How to never describe a dungeon!

Artwork by Luigi Castellani I've heard it a thousand times. You probably heard it too. Some people , I don't know why, say that dungeons , especially large ones, are boring . The endless repetitions of rooms and corridors and having to choose to go left, right, north or south depresses them. I don't know why. Actually, I do know why. Because they don't really know how to run a dungeon in play. It seems easy, effortless. Just say what's in the room the PCs are in and where the passages going out of it go. But it's not. They get bored with the "you get to a intersection and there is a door to the north and two passages, one going east and one going west" because that's a terrible way of describing a dungeon environment and gives nothing really useful to the players to choose from. You never describe a dungeon like that . There's a lot more going on that we can initially see. A good referee will take all the context of what the dungeon w

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets - Complete Game Text

November was NaGaDeMon (National Game Design Month), and I decided to create an Action Horror RPG using my system (updated with all the modifications of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells). Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, X-Files, The Chilling Tales of Sabrina, Grimm and many more TV Shows, comics and books, I quickly worte Dark Streets & Darker Secrets . It is written in a very direct and simple way, similar to Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells originally was, but with uodated rules and a lot of tools and tables to assist the Referee in creating adventures, NPCs, locations, artifacts, monsters and much more. The book itself will eventually be release in partnership with Gallant Knight Games , but the text is already written and ready to be used, so I am sharing it here with you all! There is no official character sheet yet. I am working on it. But a simple Index Card will work just as well! So here it is: