Introducing The Devil's Brand + a Hexingtide Update

In addition to a chaotic professional life, 2022 saw a lot of hustle and grind work going into Hexingtide.

To be honest, I released the third playtest in January and immediately hit a wall of burnout - both in the prep for my personal, home game and in the marketing and playtesting of it online.

I stepped back to write a micro RPG about murderhobo outlaw gangs in the Wild West called The Devil's Brand.

Some highlights:

  • Old school inspired (random character creation, lethal combat, etc.), but not a retroclone or strictly OSR
  • Designing to frame old school dungeon delving in a Wild West context. No magic or fantasy.
  • XP-for-gold (actually no XP at all, just gold and ill-gotten gains)
  • Classless characters with randomized character progression
  • Weaponized fashion and social combat (a contentious subject, for certain)
  • Five 8.5x11" pages of rules. Two pages of weapons and accessories: including guard dogs, exotic animals, and animal skin hats.

I've been running it for my home group for the last few months. Now it's live on Itch for just two bucks.

You may like it if you need a break from more crunchy games or hectic GM prep.

What's next for Hexingtide?

I have plans to resume work on Hexingtide this summer - and scheduling online games. 

Feedback about the third playtest was good. The simplified dice mechanic is a clear win. Adding an additional Chymos not so much. Extra explanatory text is great, too.

Right now, however, I'm enjoying the lazy, low prep nature of The Devil's Brand - but I'd call out that this is more a matter of the pressure I put on myself for epic Hexingtide stories with lots of player handouts, art, minis, etc. than the game itself. (But with the Brand, I'm just using a series of 3x5 index cards as maps and calling it good, so there's that.)

If you want to see more work on Hexingtide, please reach out and let me know!


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