Crayon Samurai

Taverns & Drakes

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

The Kingdom of Blim, under the Not Too Bad Leadership of King Harold the Adequate, is no longer in need of Adventurers as the Kingdom has more than its fair share and has been satisfactorily protected from monsters of all sorts for quite some time.

With 80 percent of those listing their primary occupation as Adventurer reporting an average annual income of well below the poverty line, the Kingdom strongly recommends would-be Adventurers to instead seek employment in food services, blacksmithing, farming, or crafts.

You’re not going to listen to that, are you?

Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard it all. Your parents tried to convince you to take over the family hog farm, your girlfriend begged you to take that job her uncle got you at the tailor’s, but you were snagged by the seductive call of the Adventurer.

You want the wealth, the fame, the wenches. You want to be the rock star that the elite 10 percent of the Adventurers in Blim are.

So, even though you’ve never so much as thrown a rock at a goblin, you’ve traded in your meager savings for some basic equipment, joined up in a party of like-minded fellows, and have officially opened for business. Now, only if there was someone who needed saving!

Taverns & Drakes is a light-hearted riff on tradition fantasy poking fun at adventurer culture, classes, and fantasy races. It uses a simple system utilizing a single d20 for resolution with an emphasis on fast and fun play. Although intended to use for one-shot games, the setting and system are robust enough to handle long-term campaigns.


Think it has a nice ring to it? Well so does most of the 16-24 age bracket in the Kingdom of Blim. In a recent census, 45 percent of that age bracket listed “Adventurer” as their primary occupation. Of those, 80 percent listed their annual income as five gold pieces or less, well below the Kingdom’s poverty line.

Adventuring is a cutthroat business. With the elite of the profession holding a monopoly on dragon slaying and saving the Kingdom, the entry level adventurers are left fighting annoying but rarely dangerous goblins, searching for the buried treasure of the local miser’s mason jars filled with copper, or defending a village against the occasional drake, the dragon’s smaller and ornerier but generally less dangerous cousin. Occasionally, when times are tough and their pockets are empty, adventurers resort to creating problems in order to save villages from them.

Adventurers group together in parties to increase their chance of making a decent living and of survival in case they run up against an angry troll or drake. The party is usually a diverse group who bond together over the common goal of making money and gaining fame. The top 10 percent of adventurers are revered in the Kingdom of Blim as celebrities and often receive free equipment, food, lodging, wenches and other perks for their service to the Kingdom. Most adventurers strive to make it to this upper echelon.

The Kingdom of Blim is a huge nation, encompassing vast plains, rocky mountains, rivers, swamps, and a lengthy coastline. If there’s a topographical feature you can think, it’s present in the Kingdom of Blim. The Kingdom is ruled by is 44th monarch, King Harold the Adequate. Under his reign, life in Blim isn’t too bad. Most people do okay, dutifully pay their taxes, go to work, and have a day or two off a week to spend with the kids or go fishing. Long ago, Blim was a dangerous place with lots of dragons spewing forth all types of deadly breaths, vampires, krakens, and other dangerous beasts.

The sheer amount of monsters required brave men and women to take the mantle of Adventurer and make the fledgling Kingdom safe for its people. As time went on, more and more people heeded the call. Eventually, most of the beasts were slain or driven away, but Adventuring remained a lucrative field for the few who could make a name for themselves because of the prestige and love lavished on them by the people.

Adventuring has been a largely poor career choice for some time now, but the lure of fame and riches still draws large numbers of men and women, mostly young ones but some old folks seek to get the glory they never had in their youth or need a new career after being laid off from the flour mill.

As a new Adventurer, you need to establish a name for yourself and make money… by any means you have available. Your party can help you out, but don’t forget that they’re in it for themselves as well. And you distinctly remember your party’s Bard badmouthing you outside the tavern the other night after that run in with those goblin punks…


Friday, August 15th, 2008

As a badass Barbarian, you heft your mighty battle ax and cut down your enemies while trying to contain your rage.

As a badass Noble, you use your social position to scheme your way to power while trying to overcome your madness.

As a badass Sorcerer, you use blood to summon vile demons to do your bidding while trying to hide your deformity and maintain control.

Krone is a sword and sorcery game centered on a corrupt and decaying city in the middle of a poisonous swampland. Players have a choice of three classes – a raging Barbarian, scheming Noble, or corrupt Sorcerer.

Krone provides just enough of a setting to run with and a very simple system that focuses on speed of play and encouraging slaughter and mayhem. This is a perfect game to run on short notice when you don’t have enough players show up for your regular session.

There’s this decadent Sword and Sorcery type city called Krone that’s situated in the middle of a vast swampland. It used to be the crown of civilization until something happened to the fertile plains surrounding it, turning the land into a subtly poisonous swamplands. Now the crops do strange things to people as does most of the drinking water found in Krone.

It has gradually begun to weaken the people’s minds, making them just a little off-balanced, and weakening their bodies just a little bit, making them a little more susceptible to disease.

But sometimes people are born with hideous deformities. They are either slain outright or abandoned/escape to the swamps. People don’t go into these swamps. There are demons living in
their murky waters and rumors are that sorcerers live out there as well, enslaving the foul demons to do their bidding. Rumors even say that the sorcerers are none other than the mutants themselves.

Several corrupt, decadent houses of nobility rule Krone in an uneasy alliance.

To the north the twisted swamps give way to purer lands and barbarians rove the steppes. They occasionally make trips to Krone in order to obtain weapons and medicines. The steppes are a barren land and resources are scarce.

But only the finest warriors are sent because of the dangers present not only in the swamps but the decaying city itself.


Friday, August 15th, 2008


Your parents left you, left you to fend for yourself in the harsh world. Destined for a life of destitution and despair, you had little hope for survival.

The Emperor Rescued You

His servants found you and recognized the faintest sliver of greatness you held. They rescued you, gave you a new home and a new family.

All He Asks for in Return is Loyalty

Trained to be a warrior, to uphold the glory of the Empire. Your discipline is unmatched. Your skills unquestionable. Your word is law, backed by the Emperor himself. All he asks for in return is your unquestioning loyalty. All he asks for in return is that you serve him as a Sovereign.

Sovereign is a low-fantasy game centered on the themes of duty, loyalty, and power. Players take on the roles of Sovereigns. Orphans rescued by the known world’s greatest power, the Empire, Sovereigns are warriors beyond match. They are entrusted with the most dangerous duty in the world, protecting the people from evil and corrupt sorcery, as well as carrying out the will of the Emperor.

Sovereign uses a system that puts the focus and discipline of these warriors at the forefront and contains a setting with a rich backstory. Players should not read the Gamemaster’s Guide as this has the potential to spoil some of the more interesting setting elements.

  • The Sovereign Gamemasters Guide contains optional rules for sorcery, advice on running Sovereign, and a complete adventure.
  • Email the author at

Welcome to Sovereign

Sovereign is a low-fantasy setting where you and your fellow players take the roles of warriors without match, sworn by oaths of loyalty and a debt that can never be repaid to a hereditary emperor who rules over a vast empire. Adopted into the Emperor’s family, these warriors are granted the title “Sovereign.” From that point forward they dedicate their lives to endless training and service. Chief among their duties is protecting the Empire and its people against foul sorcerers, people born with
the ability to contact the forbidden realm of the spirit and enslave shades, the spirits of the dead, in order to gain great but unnatural power.

Due to a lifetime of intense training and discipline, Sovereigns have unparalleled martial abilities. Due to the backing of the Emperor, they have authority over all except the Emperor himself. Their authority and abilities, however, are tempered by a sacred oath and by responsibilities and debts they can never fully repay.

As a Sovereign, you are one of the known world’s most powerful weapons. You are the first and best line of defense for the greatest nation in existence and, as a result, for the entire world. Only you stand a chance against the evils of sorcery, a chance to defend the people’s right to live their lives.

Do you posses the strength to serve the Empire and fulfill your obligations?