Band of Bastards is a role playing game of moral conflict in an immoral world. Its a game of dangerous men and women making hard choices as they struggle not just to survive, but thrive, in a world where the deck is stacked against them. It is a game of ambition and power-plays, of subterfuge and sacrifice, of honest thieving and dishonest flattery, of tragedy and gallows humor, of profane, subtle sorcery and fast-paced, brutal swordplay.

Band of Bastards is a game with a strong focus on both character-driven narrative and simulationist detail to support the fiction. It is a game about creating strong protagonists who can take on the world even at character creation. It’s about deciding what is most important to your character, and what lengths they will go to in order to defend or further their ambitions. It's a game about conflict tough decisions and deadly consequences.

When you play with the Band of Bastards RPG, you can expect:

  • A Narrative focus on creating strong, character-centric stories and conflicts
  • Metagame mechanics that emphasize and enable player-driven plot arcs 
  • Simulationist design that focuses on realism within the fiction whenever possible
  • A visceral, maneuver-driven combat system that has been designed to be as fluid and intuitive as possible. 
  • Innovative ranged-combat rules that both emulate the chaos of combat and neatly tie complicated combat scenes together all while making ranged combat feel every bit as deadly and dynamic as melee. 
  • A "subtle magic" sorcery system that gives the creative occultist incredible power, while keeping the nature of magic mysterious and discrete like depicted in folklore rather than a living artillery.  
  • Detailed, graphic wounds that are easily accessed and resolved, along with healing rules that can be expanded for those who want a more gritty (or fatal) experience. 
  • A passion for historical accuracy and authenticity, with every effort made to ensure that weapons and armor all function exactly as they should.
  • Dynamic weapon modeling that represents the fluid nature of weapons from every era, accounting for the kind of subtle differences and personal tastes of those who choose to wield them. 
  • Warband rules for easily handling mass combat scenes, whether they be between a dozen followers, a ship's crew, or an army of thousands, all while keeping the focus exactly where it should be: On the players.
  • A dynamic system for handling "giant" creatures, from war-elephants to dragons or whatever else, representing the inherent challenges in fighting a creature that could trample you without noticing. 

This list is far from complete, but should be enough to give you a quick taste of what you're in for!


We few, we happy few, we band of bastards...  
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