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Want a job? We got jobs!

Rowan, Rook and Decard is growing. (Are growing? We’re all the same size as we were before. There’s just more of us.)

We’re looking for some enthusiastic, talented people to join our ranks as we expand and take on more responsibilities. The (fully remote, UK-only) roles we’re currently hiring for are:

PRODUCER. You’ll have overall oversight of a suite of products, and you’ll be the person making sure that our games are as good as they can be – and that our players are excited and satisfied.

VIRTUAL OFFICE MANAGER. You’ll be at the heart of our organisation, helping take care of critical tasks to support the editorial, financial and social health of the business. 

FINANCE MANAGER. You’ll support our business as it grows, helping us to put new systems and structures in place as well as ensuring we meet our financial obligations.

RRD is a small six-year-old tabletop RPG studio and publisher, and we work very flexibly and in a fully remote setup, using Discord and other tools. We are a queer-, disability- and neurodivergence-friendly organisation and we aim to make sure that everyone working with us is supported, empowered and enabled to live well as well as doing their best work. We encourage working in a way that works for you personally, and we strive to create a high-trust, high-autonomy environment in which you own and can be proud of what you do.

If you’d like to join our fantastic team, take a look at the links above and submit your application! We’d love to hear from you.

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EAT THE REICH is live now!

The Kickstarter campaign for EAT THE REICH launches at 4pm BST on Thursday 17 August 2023, and it will be live for 28 days. You can click here to back it!

In EAT THE REICH, you’ll take on the role of one of six iconic vampire commandos and undertake a daring raid on occupied Paris during WW2. Although the vampires are outnumbered and outgunned, they have the element of surprise on their side – they’re being dropped in via armoured coffins at terminal velocity.‎

They’ll have to use speed, cunning and audacious amounts of violence to achieve their final goal: boarding Hitler’s private zeppelin and drinking all of his blood.

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EAT THE REICH: what is it?

We announced EAT THE REICH earlier this month to thunderous acclaim: but what is it? Details below:


EAT THE REICH is a pun that got way, way out of hand. I’ve been experimenting with the concept for about a year now after realising that “REICH” and “RICH” are very similar words and going on from there. It began as a Powered by the Apocalypse game, but that really didn’t allow me the flexibility I was looking for, and after much experimentation I ended up re-purposing and refining the mechanics for orc fuckabout HAVOC BRIGADE.

HAVOC BRIGADE is a freewheeling over-the-top chaos simulator where a gang of elite orcish operatives break into a city and steal a prince. EAT THE REICH operates along similar lines, in as much as the player characters are the most immediate and dangerous threat in any scene and the defenders are perpetually on the back foot. You’re not fighting one nazi – you’re taking on a couple of squads at once, maybe an armoured car, and mashing through defenders with ease. 

Systems-wise, you’re rolling a handful of D6 (about four to ten) and looking for any that show 4 or more, then spending those to do exciting things like: shrugging off automatic weapons fire, throwing a truck into a river, drinking all the blood out of a nazi officer and, in general, stomping your way across occupied Paris.

Each scene is framed as an Objective (what you need to do to progress) and Threats (whoever’s trying to stop you from progressing). Each turn, Threats increase their damage as more and more nazis rush your position – so it’s a toss-up between pushing back the Threats to give yourself breathing room or dashing to solve the Objective before you’re overwhelmed. 

In terms of game length, you’re looking at two to three evenings of play to take your group from your coffin-drop to your epilogue. EAT THE REICH is designed to tell one story (and it tells it well!) so we don’t faff about with minor details.


EAT THE REICH uses pre-generated characters. I did a lot of back and forth on this – I had a robust and entertaining character creation system, even – but the intended tone for the game became hard to communicate and it was tricky to get everyone on the same page. Plus, unlike many RPGs which are about anything and can go anywhere, this game is about a specific four-hour period in an alternate version of wartime Paris.

EAT THE REICH has six iconics that players can control as they invade France.  On offer to the players are:

  • Iryna, a gothic socialite warlock who brought a cavalry sabre from home
  • Nicole, a hard-bitten gun-toting French Resistance explosives expert
  • Cosgrave, an East London wideboy necromancer
  • Chuck, a rotting cowboy trying his best
  • Astrid, a spirit-channelling wild woman with a machine gun
  • Flint, a half-bat monstrosity who lives in a cave

Each of them plays a little differently – Flint has more vampiric powers than equipment, Nicole is packing more heat than your average spec-ops unit, Chuck can sacrifice his brand new hat to escape death – but they all use the same core system of rolling a bunch of dice and picking out 4-ups.


We provide you with an inaccurate map of 1940’s central Paris, you pick a drop site, and then bash your way towards Hitler. Throughout the game, players can trigger Flashbacks (usually in reaction to rolling very poorly) that shed light on their previous actions in WW2 that lead to this climactic assault, and show the bonds they’ve created as a rag-tag team of undead commandos.

The adventure always ends the same way: confronting Hitler in his luxury zeppelin that’s tethered to the communications network inside the Eiffel Tower. This seemed like the most extra way we could do this.


Let’s address the fascist elephant in the room: this is a game with nazis in. Real-world ones lead by their real-world leader Adolf Hitler in real-world occupied city Paris. This is not a sensitive portrayal of the realities of war or the challenges of tackling fascism, whether in military or civilian terms. We’re taking a lot of liberties with the source material here including establishing Paris as a major nazi power base, upping Germany’s technological advantage and, of course, that thing with the vampires.

EAT THE REICH is not a tasteful game. It is garish, and disgusting, and violent. It glorifies bloodshed. The players massacre their way through dozens if not hundreds of nazis en route to  drink all of Hitler’s blood and then shove his lifeless corpse off a dirigible. It is also a comedy game, in as much as the central premise is ridiculous and we then provide the players with a variety of opportunities to kill fascists in novel and entertaining ways.

To this end: we are working with a number of professional sensitivity readers to ensure that what we’re putting out is tasteless in the right sort of way, and that it doesn’t punch down at anyone. (I actually don’t think you can get lower than a nazi, but they seem to have a high opinion of themselves, so it counts as punching up in my book.) We have several sensitivity readers lined up with diverse backgrounds and expertise to ensure that we strike the right balance throughout the book. And this is a situation where the more perspectives we have, the better, so if you are a sensitivity reader with relevant expertise, please get in touch. 

Despite our best intentions, we know this isn’t going to be a game that everyone will love. And that’s fine. Hyperviolent antifascism is a tricky genre that certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone, and we know some people will want to sit this one out. There are both historical and modern-day resonances here that can be uncomfortable to play with even when they’re handled with care. If it’s not your sort of thing, we offer a wide variety of other roleplaying games with absolutely zero nazis in.


We want to get everything ready before we come to Kickstarter – as in, all the art, all the layout, all the writing, etc. All we’d need to do is hit print when the money comes through and we’re off to the races. At present, the art is coming along nicely and the text is near a complete first draft, at which point I’ll be handing it off to our sensitivity readers and awaiting feedback.

You can follow the project here to be notified upon launch. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to come along to our Discord and ask ’em, or post a comment below.

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EAT THE REICH: Coming Soon!

EAT THE REICH is an upcoming over-the-top action game in which you, a gang of ghouls, revenants, necromancers and cryptids are coffin-dropped into the streets of occupied Paris to kill Hitler and fatally destabilise the nazi war machine.

Written by Grant Howitt (Spire, Heart, Honey Heist, Havoc Brigade, One Last Job) and illustrated by Will Kirkby (Image, BOOM, Dark Horse, Critical Role), EAT THE REICH is a fast-burn game filled with explosive action, meaningful flashbacks, illegal blood magic and hundreds upon hundreds of extremely dead fascists.

EAT THE REICH is coming to Kickstarter in July. Before then, we’re intending to get the book entirely finished, so when we collect the funding from the campaign we’ll be able to get the final product into your hands as soon as possible. The text’s written and the art is all done. We have one very good idea here and we don’t want to slow the whole thing down by adding too many complex extras. (There will be some add-ons and stretch goals, but our aim is not to let them affect delivery or printing of the core book.)

You can follow the campaign at our Kickstarter preview page to be informed as soon as it goes live.

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Hollows playtest is live

(Technically it went live a month ago, but I forgot to do a blog post about it, so.)

HOLLOWS is our upcoming game about kicking in the doors to someone else’s personal hell then killing their demons with a shotgun that hates you. If you’re interested in playing it and helping us refine it into the best possible version of itself, you can take a look at the Hollows resource page here.

(We’re running the playtest for at least another couple of months. You can keep up to date with new versions and news about Hollows by joining our mailing list, and it also comes with nice design essays from me while we try to figure out how to make this all work.)

Hollows takes place in The Isles, a thinly-veiled 1860’s Great Britain analogue, which is being torn apart by supernatural and mundane forces alike. Great tragedy and trauma breed hollows, pocket dimensions of rust and ruin, that poison the real world around them. Players take on the role of Hunters who tilt headlong into these hollows and attempt to slay, or perhaps rescue, the tormented and twisted individuals at the centre of each of them.

Their chief weapon in this fight is, well, Weapons – tools with which to apply their torment outwards on the world through horrendous violence. Each of the Weapons is built around a lie that it tells you – that you’re faster, you’re stronger, you’re smarter than everyone else. That you have a duty to shed blood and break bones. Thanks to the magic of the hollow, some of those lies start becoming true.

Hollows is not our normal sort of thing. Where in the past we’ve made storygames with a focus on exciting scenes and cunning gambits, Hollows is a tactical combat RPG first and foremost. The rules focus around attacking and destroying a single large monster, called an Entity, and they utilise a unique tactical grid which – we hope! – provides an easy way to evoke a big, dangerous fight without getting bogged down in minutiae. We want to allow players to make satisfying combinations of Hunters and abilities and enjoy squeezing everything they can get out of the system.

Getting Hollows to playtest has been a challenge, but it’s been an exciting one. We’re eager to push ourselves to design something new, and difficult, and that tells stories in a whole new way. If you’d like to help us, we’d love to have you.

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HOLLOWS is coming soon, and you can playtest it

We’ve been working on Hollows for a long time, alongside our other projects, and we’re happy to announce that we’re getting close to opening it up for playtest that you could take part in! But what is Hollows? Read on to find out!

All art by Lucas Utani


Sin, death and fear collect in the dark places of the world until reality curdles and rots and becomes a Hollow – a place outside of time and space, a wound in the world, and traps people inside it. The land twists and shifts into unforgiving, inhospitable terrain; the inhabitants grow distrustful and furious and strange; and the beasts change into nightmare creatures of legend.

Every Hollow wants to spread and soak into the world around it. Every Hollow has a Lord – the creature that spawned the rift, or the worst infected with the rot, or just the biggest and strongest thing inside it. Kill the Lord, and you kill the Hollow – but normal people can’t enter a Hollow. (Nor would they want to.)

You’re not normal. Something terrible happened to you, and the seed of a Hollow was planted in your heart. One day, you will falter and be overtaken by the dark power that festers within the earth and become something unspeakable and dangerous.

Unless: you hunt down the hollowed creatures and kill them. You put the land to rest and clear the metaphysical rot in the bones of the world. You bathe in the sticky-black blood of these creatures and push back your doom by another dawn. Some people are happy to see you because you kill the pallid beasts that prowl between the shadows at night; others, wiser, know what you could become given one bad day and a handful of wrong decisions, and shun you.

You’re good at killing. It’s all you’ve got.

Hollows isn’t set in Spire or Heart or anywhere in the wider background of Destera. It’s pretty close to the real-world, aside from the stuff about rotting black magic and giant monster hunting. Don’t expect the sort of detailed setting you’ve seen in Spire – this is a world of stitched-together super-local nightmares, each the ultimate ruler of their own domain, and you’re going to destroy them.


Each Hunter carries two Weapons; capital-W weapons that tap into the platonic ideals of what a weapon is rather than being a mere lump of sharpened metal or a lead slug and some gunpowder. The same magic that pumps through the Hollows and corrupts the land can be turned to your ends – and what ends are more human than weapons? What better ways of imposing your will on the world? What better way of elevating yourself above the luckless wretches stuck in the Hollow than brutal, unremitting violence?

Each one of the ten Weapons bestows different abilities on the wielder and acts as half of their class. The Knife is frantic and vicious; the Spear is relentlessly xenophobic and promises to protect you and yours; the Sword says you can lead armies; the Rifle is convinced that it alone can civilise the broken world; the Bludgeon says that you’re the top dog, the alpha predator, and that your fallible physical form is a barrier to victory.

In short: the Weapons are all different flavours of toxic masculinity, and all of their promises are lies, and we’re working through some stuff, as ever.


Hollows is very combat-heavy. We have neat rules for out-of-combat stuff, and there’s roleplaying opportunities and all that good stuff, but the meat of the game is the bit about killing big monsters. We wanted to focus on tactical positioning, teamwork, risky gambits and cut-throat battles without getting bogged down in calculations or sacrificing excitement and evocative action for interesting, if sterile, gameplay.

Players of Unbound will find something familiar in the rules-set – that game, too, is focused on combat and wants it to be a celebration of your characters’ abilities rather than a punishment for not rolling high enough on stealth checks. You’ve chosen to fight these monsters, so we might as well make it fun to do.

Chief amongst our mechanics is the tactical grid that puts the Entity at the centre of the fight and only ever defines your position as relative to the creature. Terrain only exists as a tag that you attach to your character; being in cover is less a matter of where you are precisely in space, but more a stance you can attempt to enter to gain an advantage against the creature.

Threat is the second innovation that we’re particularly proud of; Entities can place Threat tokens on the grid in response to player actions (and, to a lesser extent, wherever they want) which represent the creature’s attention, reach, speed and danger. Threat tokens are spent to move towards player characters, make quick interrupt attacks, or augment damage to set up killer blows. (A bit like in Dark Souls where the enemies telegraph their attacks, you know?) Often the presence of Threat is enough to keep a Hunter at bay, but there are no end of abilities which interact with it and allow you to shift it around the grid.

So: think Dark Souls, as we mentioned above, and Bloodborne, and Hunt: Showdown, and Monster Hunter as our design touchstones. Heart and Spire are quite loose in their approach to combat and have abilities like “you can now fall three storeys without taking damage” or “you can teleport as long as you’re dancing and on magical MDMA” and Hollows is much more focused on the nitty-gritty of footwork, weak points, keeping your guard up and getting smashed about by a dog the size of a transit van.


We’re not going to go into any more detail now because we’re still firming things up, and also we want to keep you excited by being vague. But you can sign up for the playtest by following the link below, and – in a first for Rowan, Rook & Decard – we’re going to have a go at a design podcast, released regularly, recorded during production rather than as a post-mortem.


That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more details.

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DIE the RPG is coming to Kickstarter on May 17th (for real this time)

Kept you waiting, huh?

We’re proud to announce that the Kickstarter for DIE the RPG, based on the comic of the same name, is coming to Kickstarter on May 17th 2022.

DIE is a roleplaying game about you and your friends getting trapped in a nightmare fantasy kingdom of your own creation and fighting to get back to the real world – or fighting to stay there, as the case may be. Exploring the age-old tropes of D&D and RPGs in general, author Kieron Gillen has written a tremendous game – and we’ve made it as good as it can be by applying our wealth of publishing and writing experience. You’re going to love it.

We had to postpone the launch by six months, but we’re here now and we’re ready to rock. You can follow the project here to be notified when it goes live, or subscribe to our newsletter, or just come within a mile radius of Grant at some point over the next eight weeks.

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ORC BORG Kickstarter is live

Grant Howitt and ROLLINKUNZ’ ultraviolent technicolour zine extravaganza is now live on Kickstarter. If you want to forge your own path to a glorious DOOM amongst the stars, you can pledge for a physical or digital copy here.

In ORC BORG you play a cybernetic orc hooning through space on an out-of-control junkheap spaceship called THE DERELICT. The Derelict’s ultimate destination – you believe – is the DOOM, a fiery cataclysm triggered when it crashes into heaven. You are doing everything you can to survive until it happens and/or trigger it ahead of time, because it sounds like a laugh.

It’s based on the MÖRK BORG game engine, but it’s a standalone game which can be played entirely from the material inside the book. For more details (including the beautiful RISO printing method we’re producing the zines with) you can check out the Kickstarter page here.


Kickstarter courted controversy late last year when they announced they were interested in implementing blockchain technology into their platform, leading to some users cutting ties with the company. Since then they’ve been noncommittal with regards to the decision, leading to a lot of frustration. We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of using Kickstarter as a funding platform and, for Orc Borg, we think it’s the best choice. It’s no guarantee that we’ll use them in the future, and we’ll continue to examine our funding methods as we release further products.

We’ve explained our reasoning in this document. If you’re not interested in supporting Kickstarter, ORC BORG will be on sale through traditional channels as soon as possible, and we’ll keep you informed via our newsletter.

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GenCon 2022 recruitment

Rowan, Rook and Decard are doing GenCon this year, but there just aren’t enough of us to do all the jobs we need to do. So: if you’re interested in helping us out AND getting paid in the process, take a look at the two opportunities below.

Both roles pay $15 per hour.

GAMESMASTER. You’ll be running two (or more) games of Heart using a one-shot scenario that we’ve specially written for conventions (along with pregenerated characters). You’ll be responsible for promoting the game, making sure players have a great time, and learning and demonstrating the rules. Apply here.

STALL CREW. You’ll be assisting us on our exhibition show floor stall by selling our games, answering customer queries, carrying boxes of books to and from places, and so on – general con stall stuff. This role includes accommodation for the duration of the convention as well as other benefits – please look at the application form for full details. Apply here.

Deadline for applications is February 21st 2022.

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SIN on general release

As of TODAY you can now purchase PDFs and pre-order physical copies of the Sin sourcebook, the Magister’s Guide, the Conspiracy Kit and the Spire Quickstart from THIS VERY WEBSITE. This is obviously wonderful news. If you’d like to learn more about those things then READ ON:

SIN is the second full-length sourcebook for Spire: The City Must Fall. It includes two new character classes (the divine con-artist GUTTER CLERIC and the bureaucratic hangman MORTICIAN EXECUTIONER), three full-length scenarios and intensive details on the Religion, Crime and Order Scenarios. It’s been written by us and a load of very talented people we hired and we think it’s great.

THE MAGISTER’S GUIDE has supplemental rules systems, advice, and additional content for every single class in Spire, Strata and Sin. Grant spent ages on it and it has rules for CHEKOV’S GUN, which increases in damage the longer it is referenced but not fired.

THE CONSPIRACY KIT and GM SCREEN is everything you need to craft a web of intrigue and mystery around twelve different NPCs and then get your players to infiltrate the whole damn thing in service of the Goddess. Plus it has a GM screen in it! (It’s nice.) We are happy to confirm that at least 50% of these NPCs are kissable. All NPCs (kissable or not) have been illustrated by the talented Rowan MacColl.

THE SPIRE QUICKSTART, rocketing out a scant four (five?) years after the release of the core system, contains a slimmed-down version of the rules, pregenerated characters and a cracking little scenario called SNUFF OUT THE SUN which is mainly about killing bishops. And it’s pay-what-you-want in PDF, so you can’t turn your nose up at that can you.

Right! That’s that. Pre-ordered physical copies should be with you by April but you’ll get the PDF immediately if you want to get started.