[UPDATED] 5th Ed D&D Core Design Team member, Rodney Thompson, launches Scratchpad Publishing!

Rodney Thompson, one of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition core design team , whose other design credits also include Thornwatch, Star Wars RPG Saga Edition, the Lords of Waterdeep boardgame and more, has founded Scratchpad Publishing, a new publishing company whose first release will be the Dusk City Outlaws RPG. [UPDATE - The Kickstarter for this is now live!]


Dusk City Outlaws is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-7 players, set in the sprawling city of New Dunhaven. In this game, the players take on the roles of criminals on the wrong side of the law, collectively known as the Right Kind of People to those who run in outlaw circles. These criminals come together to form a crew, and take on a Job, a criminal enterprise brokered to them by a third party.

Each member of the crew is a member of one of the eight cartels that rule over the city’s criminal underworld. These cartels each have their own turf, their own specialities, their own motives, and their own methods, but they are all bound together by the Arrangement, an agreement that the cartels entered into to preserve themselves against too much infighting. In short, the cartels agree that they have enough enemies without warring with one another, and that they all want the same thing: to get rich. The cartels agree to respect each others’ turf, and while some bickering and fighting is allowed, large-scale conflict is forbidden, and revenge is frowned upon.

To maintain this peace, when someone from the cartels has a Job they want done, they call upon the crew, which has members from several cartels, to pull off the Job. Each cartel gets a cut of the take from that Job, and the crew gains some wealth, prestige, and influence, plus the promise of future Jobs from those brokers.

Once the Job has been assigned, the crew must come up with a plan, do the legwork to set it into motion, pull off the plan, and the survive long enough to get paid.

In Dusk City Outlaws there is no “right” way to handle the Job. The member sof the crew formulate their own plan and put it into motion however they like; the Judge does not need to plan out plot twists and a complete narrative arc, only react to the actions of the players. New Dunhaven itself is a massive urban environment on the scale of modern-day New York City, giving the players nearly limitless freedom for the scope and details of their plan. Dusk City Outlaw uses sandbox play, accompanied by robust systems to help the Judge improvise, to give players ultimate freedom and eliminate the need for lengthy scenarios.


For more information about the game, and the forthcoming Kickstarter, please check out Scratchpad Publishing’s website.
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
THIS looks like something I will pick up. Fits a different niche and with Rodney I've got a good feeling about the mechanics really supporting the theme.
 

blakem

First Post
This looks great, but what I'd love to see is Rodney leverage his knowledge and name recognition on some 5e content from Scratchpad.
 
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deactivatedadam

First Post
Watched the Live Play they have linked, quality production, great choices for players, all of them seemed pretty on point and for the most part well versed in the rules, memorable characters. Would love to see a character sheet, but I'm sure thats a planned release down the road. The dice mechanic looks interesting, though I admit at times it seemed like they were trying to get under a certain percentage and at others above. Will definitely kickstart when it goes up.
 

Mike Selinker

Explorer
Rodney's my co-designer on Thornwatch, so I might be biased. He's also my DM, so I might be bribable.

But seriously: Dusk City Outlaws is great and you're going to love it.

Mike
 

RodneyThompson

First Post
Watched the Live Play they have linked, quality production, great choices for players, all of them seemed pretty on point and for the most part well versed in the rules, memorable characters.

I'm so glad to hear you say that. The truth is, I briefed them all about the rules of the game about 10 minutes before we started shooting, and we ran right up against our hard stop time when the studio became unavailable!
 


Aoirorentsu

Explorer
I will be intrigued to compare this, gameplay-wise, to Blades in the Dark, since the themes/gameworld are pretty much the same (at least at the 10,000 foot level) and Blades in the Dark got so much notoriety when it entered its "open development" stage.

Anyone out there have experience with both?
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
I'll be curious to see it, because my one-shot experience with Blades did not go well, and since the GM was fantastic, all the players I was with were all top-notch, and the concept itself is iconic, I think it was the system I couldn't get my head around.
 

Brodie

Explorer
I will be intrigued to compare this, gameplay-wise, to Blades in the Dark, since the themes/gameworld are pretty much the same (at least at the 10,000 foot level) and Blades in the Dark got so much notoriety when it entered its "open development" stage.

Anyone out there have experience with both?

I backed the Kickstarter for Blades, but haven't actually had a chance to play. But on the surface (in other words the basic description) it does look a lot like Blades. As for Blades itself, it's currently available on drivethrurpg, and has been picked up by Evil Hat so hopefully we'll see a finished product this year.
 



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