Scablands Press


The kitchen-sink sci-fi setting and game Marked by the Odd is now out in the world.

Get a copy:

Get the PDF on ITCH.IO!

Get the PDF on DriveThruRPG!

Check out the KS page.

Get setting book "SUNK CITY" (PWYW).

Other coolness:

There are a lot of other systems and settings that mesh well with REDUX. Here are some:

Burzok's Mercenary Handbook is filled with NPCs and setting deatail: Get the PDF on ITCH.IO!

GROK?! has a really interesting sci-fi world and its own resolution system: Get the PDF on DriveThruRPG!


The Indie Hack Engine SRD is available in multiple languages

The Indie Hack SRD is now in Italian!

You can read all of the articles or search for individual terms.

Click here to get started on your own hack in English!

Click here to get started on your own hack in Italian!

Additional languages coming soon...

Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers is complete!

I'm very grateful to all backers and subsequent players of Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers!

It has been a wild ride, but the game is ready and out in the world.

Grab Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers on DTRPG for $12.00

Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers on Kickstarter [[We've funded!]]

We just hit our funding goal in under 48 hours, so Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers is going forward!

After some serious wrangling of text and artwork and some sample layouts, we launched the kickstarter.

I'm really excited about this project. You can check out the project page right here:

Dust, Fog, and Glowing Embers on Kickstarter!

The International Shipping Really Sucks Contest! [[IT'S OVER]]

Win one of three free copies of The Indie Hack, Deluxe Saddle Stitched Edition mailed to you!

International shipping really sucks...

But, you can join the Scablands Press International Spam* E-mail list to be entered to win free copies of games!

* Spam e-mails will be limited to offers like free international shipping and contests for free copies of games. Spam will be limited to no more than four (4) e-mails per year.

Join the spam list by February 10th, 2017, to be entered to win one of three copies of The Indie Hack Deluxe Edition (saddle stitched) delivered anywhere outside the United States.

Winners will be announced on February 17th, 2017.

Our winners are from UK, Poland, and Spain! Copies of TIH are in the hands of the United States Postal Service as of Feb. 17th!

The Indie Hack Engine SRD

The Indie Hack SRD is now live!

Click here to get started on your own hack of The Indie Hack!

Epimas Chat with Epidiah Ravachol

We talked about the spirit of the season.

Questions asked include...

Q: How did the first modern Epimas come about?

Q: An awful lot of great and/or famous designers have participated (The Bakers, Nathan D. Paoletta, Joshua A.C. Newman, Rob Bohl, Paul Czege, Emile Care Boss, Yourself). How did you rope the others in? What feedback have you gotten from them about the process?

Q: How do you decide on the names and themes of the bundles? Why is this year so damn cheerful and so non-profanity-laden? What's all this about Gods of Chaos (and maybe even Chaos Elves)?

Q: Which games will you, personally, be playing?

Click here to look at the Epimas bundles for 2016!

Here you go! It's 20 minutes and 1 second!

In .ogg format

Download .ogg audio

In .wav format

Download .wav audio

A chat with David and Jason of Discern Realities

Discern Realities 36

"Is there anyone else I can offend?" -Slade

I had a nice little chat with David and Jason on Discern Realities last week. Here are some highlights of that conversation.

Talking about The Indie Hack

"You do see a lot of this activity around making fantasy gaming more narrative focussed, and I think The Indie Hack is part of that, and I think it's pretty cool." -Jason

What is it?

"[The Indie Hack is] roughly as different an approach as Dungeon World from Dungeons and Dragons." -Slade

"[Although] I don't know that The Indie Hack is a response to Dungeon World as such. I think what it really does is it fixes the problems I have with epic fantasy gaming in the ways that I think are best." -Slade

Throwing out what doesn't work

"I'm not a big fan of trying to track encumbrance [...]. Let's get rid of hit points altogether. [...] I think alignment can probably go." -Slade

"XP is probably something that's going out the window." -Slade

Also, all the damn polyhedrals, except cubes.

On masters and monsters

"We've all done things that we're not that keen on doing because the boss has said so. I feel like that is the more interesting moral question [than alignment]." -Slade

"I'm kind-of throwing out a lot of assumptions about monsters. [...] Undead cats! That's a thing in The Indie Hack." -Slade

Final thoughts and the future

"We talk a lot about, if Dungeon World were to have a second edition, what would we do? What would our version of Dungeon World look like? I think The Indie Hack is a [...] cool response to this idea of 'Okay, we've been introduced to these ideas of how you can run a fantasy game. Let's take it one step further.' I think it's a totally legit conversation to say 'What are the things that Dungeon World is doing that we can strip away because, frankly, they're not needed any more?' " -Jason

"I'm planning to release something every two months. It makes me a little bit sad when indie publishers use this fire-and-forget approach. The game comes out and it's an artwork that stands on its own. Not that I disagree with their artistic interpretation, it's just that I want more of that artwork." -Slade

You can grab The Indie Hack for Epimas 2016 (before Dec. 24th)!

Interview with Gennifer Bone

We talked about art and weirdness.

Here you go! It's 32 minutes, 51 seconds!

Modern TIH

How do I run TIH in a modern setting?

First, you need some modern items...

Leathers   Common   Full of Holes ( /2)
Riot Armour   Rare   Dented ( /4)
Lighter   Common   Empty ( /3)
Backpack   Common   Full ( /6+Tough)
Toolbox   Scarce   Bent and Dull ( /3)
A Meal   Common   N/A
Long Rope   Common   Snapped ( /4)
Twine   Common   Snapped ( /2)
Sack   Common   Full ( /2+Clever)
Prybar   Scarce   Bent ( /2)
Hand Weapon   Common   Battered ( /3)
Heavy Weapon   Scarce   Smashed ( /3)
Pistol   Scarce   Jammed ( /3)
Shotgun   Rare   Jammed ( /2)
Rifle   Rare   Jammed ( /4)
Terrible Car   Scarce   Broken Down ( /2)
Decent Car   Rare   Needs Repair ( /4)
Sunglasses   Common   Smashed ( /2)
Multi-tool   Scarce   Dull ( /4)
Flashlight   Common   Out of Juice ( /4)
Burner Phone   Common   Borked ( /2)
Smartphone   Scarce   Bricked ( /3)
Laptop/Tablet   Common   Won't Boot ( /3)
PC   Common   Won't Boot ( /4)
GPS   Common   Poorly Calibrated ( /2)
Extensive Library (legal, historical, literary, technical, occult)   Rare   Destroyed ( /6)
*new*   Common   *new* ( /2)

Noises in the Old Theatre

What is This?

Noises in the Old Theatre
The rumour is that, yesterday, most of the goblin bandits that camp in the abandoned theatre left. They intercepted a fine merchant convoy, and now they are in the city, buying provisions or getting drunk on stolen wine. It's a perfect day for a small incursion into the goblin lair. In and out. Easy money.

Of course it won't be as simple as that...

Noises in the Old Theatre is an adventure and quick-start ruleset for The Indie Hack (TIH), which is a minimalist fantasy roleplaying game that is played with pencils, paper, dice, and imagination. There should be one Game Master (GM) and two to four players. Three players is a good number.

buy Noises in the Old Theatre [PDF] at DriveThruRPG for $3.00
Noises Cover

The Indie Hack

What is This?

The Indie Hack (TIH) is a minimalist fantasy roleplaying game, build up from the ideas in The Black Hack, that is played with pencils, paper, dice, and imagination. It takes OSR-style gaming and gives it an indie edge. That is, it takes dungeon delves with heroes, magic, traps, and monsters and gives the players more control over the richness of the story. The characters are ruled not by abstract ideas of goodness and order, but by Masters (who they need to try to impress) and Goddesses (who they try to appease when they are near death). The characters have relationships with each other and NPCs that mechanically evolve. Players answer class-centric questions about the world during character creation, to help the GM develop the setting and tone of the adventure.

There are seven classes to choose from: The Veteran and Exorcist replace the Warrior and Cleric of other games. The Hunter and Scoundrel are variations on the Thief. The Elementalist and Occultist are two very different kinds of Wizard. And The Outlander is... well... different.

In The Indie Hack, you don't collect XP, you collect scars, and be as concise or as gruesomely detailed as you like.

read some interviews, reviews, and GM tips

buy The Indie Hack [PDF, English] at for $7.70
buy The Indie Hack [PDF, English] at DriveThruRPG for $6.60
buy The Indie Hack [PDF, Italian] at DriveThruRPG for $6.60
buy The Indie Hack [PDF, Japanese] at DriveThruRPG for $6.60
buy The Indie Hack [PoD, softcover, English] at DriveThruRPG for $10.70
order The Indie Hack [digital offset, premium softcover, English] at for $12.70
The Indie Hack Cover

Order a Premium Softcover of The Indie Hack

Order a physical copy of The Indie Hack, in glorious digital offset quality. This copy is printed on A5 (5.83 inches x 8.27 inches) in rich colours with a saddle-stitched binding.


Note that is is an ordering system. After paying, you will be provided with instructions on how to enter your shipping address into our ordering system. This process is manual, and therefore, might take 3 to 5 business days.


Shipping to an address within the United States is included. All taxes are also included.

If you are OUTSIDE THE USA, please DO NOT use this system to order The Indie Hack, instead, please email office at scablandspress dot com to request a shipping quote.

Please direct all questions to office at scablandspress dot com

After the Sockhop

for GameChef 2016

A story-focussed roleplaying game for three players and a sentient time machine.

It was the day the music died. It was the morning of February 3rd, 1959. The bodies of four young women were found mangled and bloody on the side of the road just outside Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. Their cars were smashed up, but you know that that's not the whole story. It wasn't just a car crash.

You were her sweetheart, or her father, or her brother.

You've all fallen asleep in front of the television. The hockey game is long over. It's 2:02 AM. The TV has long since switched over to static. You are all woken up by the call. [...]

read more of After the Sockhop

Caffeine and Malpractice

for The 200 Word RPG Challenge 2016

An ordeal-telling game about medical mistakes.

Collect three friends. Travel to a location that provides tables and comforting, potent beverages (coffee works as well as whiskey). The current active player will do most of the talking. There are three states in which each supportive (non-active) player can be: leaning forward in anticipation (place your cup nearer the center of the table), leaning back in bewilderment (slide your cup close to the edge), and sipping. [...]

read more of Caffeine and Malpractice