A downloadable game


Metal Sword
is an "acoustic cover" of Austin Ramsay's Beam Saber, made for the Acoustic Cover Jam.  It's a fully playable Forged in the Dark game, but with simpler rules, easy to read character sheets, and less overall math than is often seen in games of this genre.

The central mechanic for building both your pilot character and their vehicle are "Quirks", which you devise similar to how you would design your vehicle's Quirks in Beam Saber or a character's aspects in FATE. Where the Stress bar exists in most Forged in the Dark games, Metal Sword merely gives narrative heft to each two ticks of stress by pairing it with a Quirk of your character.

Download it and give it a try today – you can start playing within minutes!


(note: this was a release for a game jam – the game absolutely works as-is, but in its current version works best as a "rules lite" way to play if you listen to a Beam Saber podcast and are loosely familiar with the game, but want a much, much lighter set of rules at a table. another version will eventually come out with more detailed GM rules for how to run the game.)

Download

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METAL SWORD v15.pdf 70 kB

Comments

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(3 edits) (+3)

Metal Sword is a tight, compact, Forged In The Dark game where you're a squad of mech pilots.

It feels *a lot* like Front Mission.

The PDF is 3 pages, but it's packed full, and the level of content that's been somehow squeezed in reminds me of Succulent Sorcerers.

That said, the PDF does start on the third page, and then you read upwards, so it's sort of a weird first impression.

Mechanically, the Blades engine isn't explained in huge detail here, so you may want to read the SRD or be familiar with Blades first. If you are familiar with Blades though, Metal Sword does a great job of hacking the engine to focus in on the elements that work best for a squad-based mech game. For example, your character and their mech are made up of quirks, which are functionally small two-hit pieces of your overall hp. Break quirks, and they come back changed. This is maybe the best way I've seen a game do "limbs have their own hitpoints", and it feels cool instead of cumbersome.

Other gameplay elements all fit pretty close to the Blades style, and gameplay is objective-oriented and squad-focused. The dice might be a bit swingy, and it's on the GM to decide when the group's been through enough and a given mission is over, but these are both issues in Blades as well, and can be handled through good use of clocks.

Overall, if you like crunchy mech games but don't want an extremely granular ruleset, this delivers. And if you're familiar with any Forged In The Dark game, Metal Blade will be very easy to learn. I would strongly recommend checking it out for short campaigns in your real-robot setting of choice.


Minor Issues:

-Does each PC do one of each Downtime Action in every downtime? The text implied this, but I couldn't tell for sure.

-Does pushing yourself using a quirk cause that quirk to take two damage? The text seems to imply this, but likewise I couldn't tell.

(+1)

Thank you so much for the review and feedback! The comparison to Succulent Sorcerers is both flattering and appreciated.

A new PDF has been uploaded with what is hopefully clearer text for each of these issues (short answer: yes to both), a little more direction, and a re-ordering of the pages!