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Wandering Blades RPG Quickstart

Lethal wuxia melodrama in an old school tabletop RPG package by Daniel Kwan & Drew Quon! · By Daniel Kwan

Wandering Blades Q&A/Feedback: January public playtest materials Locked

A topic by Daniel Kwan created Jan 12, 2024 Views: 332 Replies: 17
This topic was locked by Daniel Kwan 84 days ago

Feedback window ended on this version of the playtest!

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Developer (1 edit)

This thread can be used to ask questions or leave feedback related to the January 2024 playtest materials (i.e. quickstart guide v.1)!

*Please note: I will be in Japan on vacation until Feb 2, 2024 and will do my best to respond to posts here

I just gave the quickstart rules a quick read-through. I like the idea so far with the back and forth in the combat with the reactions. I am worried that starting levels in the game are super lethal for players who roll poorly in their starting HP.


That's a good point! Our game is about as lethal as the average OSR product. We wanted to enable character survivability through mechanics (qi abilities, reactions, armour, etc.) and table interactions (player-first initiative, player-driven initiative orders, and player strategy). The next two classes we're working on will include a physician that, at the moment, will have a lot of abilities associated with adding/removing statuses and augmenting rests. One thing that is not in the quickstart are guidelines on encounters. Because the world is meant to feel deadly, the players are meant to learn that not every encounter is meant to be solved with violence. 

As for starting HP, I think a good rules amendment would simply have it that 1st level characters start with maximum HP

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Related to reactions, might need to tweak Parry a bit, compared to Counter Attack and Withdraw. The play example indicates you can choose to Parry after you know what the attacker rolled (and whether they hit)–just like Counter Attack and Withdraw. But I could use it against a hit or miss.

  • If the triggering attack is already too low to hit, it is probable the Defender would have a better chance of landing a hit against the missed attack than the attacker’s Dodge.
  • Parry also doesn’t trigger any subsequent reactions because every other reaction only triggers against an Attack. Downside being, no opportunity to Crit or use of techniques that require you to make an attack.
  • Compared to withdraw, you don’t get to move, but worst-case you take damage and miss. Failing at the check with Withdraw, you take damage and the next attack is at +5 against you.

I think if you made the PC use the reaction when the attack is declared (before knowing hit or miss) or only usable when you are hit, it might mitigate some. But probability wise Parry is a much better deal. Especially because it can also mitigate damage from an attack against you.


Great points! I think we can break it down like this in the next version:

  • Guard - powerful way to negate attacks, but limited to shield users and has "charges"
  • Counter - straightforward reaction based on missed attacks
  • Bind - similar to counter in that it is triggered by a missed attack, but has functionality for group play (synergize with other abilities and create openings)
  • Parry - change its trigger to being when an attack hits you. This way, it is similar to guard yet has a chance of failure. This also differentiates it from counter better. 



For how Armor's Damage Reduction works, it seems there's two different rules in the book for how it works? The explanation of Armor's Damage Reduction on page 10 states that it makes the incoming damage dice smaller but the example of play on page 23 seems to be that damage reduction is subtracting that value from the damage and not making the damage dice smaller? Which then would be the intended ruling?


Good catch! It should lower the damage die, not the value of the roll. I'm going to fix the typo and update the file!

SUPER niche comment but unsure if credits go to Dong Man Tang (company) for Under One Person (artist/writer's name is Mi Er). Probably will have further comments downthread as I read further .

Meteor hammer feels like it ought to be able to be used to block melee attacks since the rope/chain can still be used to get in the way of things, let alone knocking things off trajectory with the tip. If limitations needs to be put on it, I'd rather suggest it asking to attack with agility only.

Actually ctrl+f reveals no block mechanic implemented, Guard requires the guard tag, unless blocking here is intended to be an umbrella term to catch Parry, Counter, Guard and Bind?

Developer (1 edit)

Hey there (replying from my phone while in Japan)! We should remove anything that says you can’t guard (a holdover from a previous version) since the party mechanic allows you to! I do like the idea of making it an exclusively agility weapon though!


I’ve made the edit to my working doc on the meteor hammer (re blocking)! I won’t be able to upload a new PDF until I get home from my trip, but it will happen!


All feedback made up to this point has been addressed in the latest PDF update! Thanks everyone!

Loving the updates! I was digging into the Statuses this time and honed in on STUNNED. Knowing how debilitating and fun-sucking stunned/paralyzed is in other d20 systems (e.g. 5e) has me a little concerned there’s no way for GM or another player to prevent this, even stronger effect.

  1. In the long-term, do you plan for anything else to cause this status beside Crushing Stone on a hit or Crits for Staffs? Alternatively, will support classes have any counters? The only one I see on first glance is a successful Parry, since everything else just prevents damage, not turn the hit/crit into a miss.

  2. Not sure if intentional but I think getting Stunned technically lets you still use your reaction during the round.

  3. Since you have fast and slow turns you can choose from, I wonder what it would be like if Stunned (or another status) instead forced you to take your next turn as a Slow Turn. Some fun support class shenanigans could be had controlling what type of turn a target you hit takes next.


Thanks for the feedback! Very good points! 

One thing I’m working on with the physician class is the ability to remove certain statuses from other characters in the heat of battle. In the interim though, being forced to take a slow turn might be a good interim solution! 


I’m also exploring status effects from other classes and weapons!


I decided that changing STUNNED to "You may only take 1 ACTION and no REACTIONS on your next turn, but do so as a SLOW TURN." I think this accounts for your valid point about how fun-sucking it can be to lose your turn, but also keeping the status as something impactful. Being able to take a single action keeps you in the fight, but losing a reaction and going on a slow turn makes you think twice about what you'd want to do. If I were playing, I'd even use my action to take a stance!

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The change is chef’s kiss. It is just disruptive enough to force the stunned player (or GM) to re-evaluate their plan and make a tactical decision, rather than going passive and watching the round go by. “How can I make the most of this action or get away from trouble?”


Exactly! Glad you like it!

Developer locked this topic