The Black Orifice

Tabletop gaming resources and events from grumpy old games designers, Ben Redmond and Nigel McClelland

Free RPG Resources

Below you will find a selection of roleplaying game resources created by Ben and Nigel, some of it is published under Creative Commons licence, others under fan licenses for other games, further work is produced without any licence at all and is merely hoped that the owners of the IP in question don't object to our humble work in praise of their excellent settings. Feel free to download, use, hack apart or do with it whatever you desire.


based on Guild Ball by Steamforged Games

In this roleplaying game, an homage to the Empire of the Free Cities setting of the Guild Ball miniatures game, you take on the role of an agent of the Council or the Armistice, a shadowy organisation tasked with policing the guilds and other power-holders to maintain the peace that keeps the guilds in power.


Ben's homebrew D&D 5e setting

A homebrew setting for 5th edition D&D that Ben designed in collaboration with his regular gaming group. You can read about the process in the blog.

Etherscope Resources

Game material for Etherscope direct from the game's creators

Here's some extra official material for Etherscope that never made it into a published book. The first document provides an errata, a way to streamline the skill list, some new rules for collaborative program crafting, and a new fighting technique. The second provides rules for black and grey scope programs, that can actually cause feedback harm to your body when they eject you from the scope.

Midgard: Viking Legends

Violent viking drama in a world of the Norsemen's greatest fears

Midagrd: Viking Legends is a mythic-historical roleplaying game set in northern Europe in the late first millennium AD. It has a highly flavoured system that immerses players in the viking world, through a dice rolling mechanic based on rune casting, and by tying characters to the gods and the fates through the abilities they choose. It is a crunchy system with a details system for combat as befits a viking saga

Originally written for the 1KM1KT website, Midgard: Viking Legends has been further expanded based on fan requests for a example enemies and a sample adventure. Inspired by Qin: The Warring States roleplaying game, Midgard was designed to show how a flavourful system can immerse players in teh setting. Ben considers this the best of his games design work to date.


An urban fantasy setting and rules kit for Savage Worlds

ShadowFlux is a rich urban fantasy setting, where a magical veil, the Shadow, enshrouds the world, powering supernatural creatures yet clouding the minds of ordinary men and women to the existence of such horrors. As player characters, you will play one of the rare mortals who has learned of the Shadow and shaken off its power - you may have even learned to tap into its power through the Flux, or have become possessed by it, becoming a creature of Shadow yourself, fighting to retain what you remember of your humanity. For Savage Worlds, this provides rules and sample creatures for an urban fantasy setting that allows characters to interact with the supernatural in a variety of ways, including a toolkit system for creating playable supernatural creatures balanced with standard starting PCs.

ShadowFlux is the first game Ben and Nigel wrote together. They tried unsuccessfully to find a publisher (most publishers were only interested in D20 System products in the early 2000s), but it showed them that they could write great games together and started off the working relationship that led to Etherscope and many other products. This version takes their original setting and puts it together with a great toolkit of rules for Savage Worlds.

Sion: Deliverance

a Sci-Fi/Western setting for Savage Worlds

If you enjoyed Firefly you'll Love Sion: Deliverance - a western-themed sci-fi setting for savage worlds.

This is an early draft of the rules - we tried to develop it for full publication under the full Savage Worlds licence, but got rejected for what felt like a really trivial reason. It ended our relationship with Savage Worlds, but I do have some work for it that I might be able to dig out and extract the copyright infringing bits from at a later date. Sion is a really good setting and one we have had lots of fun playing with my regular gaming group - Ben.


Full-Throttle gaming in a world of car chases, explosions and ass-kicking

Inspired by the action movies of the 80s and 90s, Extreme is a world a little like our own, but filled with nefarious villains. Characters play action heroes, thwarting the plots of these evil masterminds with their awesome skills and witty one-liners. The setting includes a number of classic movie villain archetypes blended together into a rich setting. Game material includes a bunch of new Edges for your PCs, stat blocks for henchmen and new rules for mooks - the type of nameless henchmen you can mow down in their multitudes.

Extreme first appeared in brief as a campaign archetype for D20 Modern in Ben and Nigel's Modern Heroes: Martial Avengers.

Savage Trinityverse

A conversion of the Trinityverse to Savage Worlds

My all-time favourite setting is the Aeon Trinity universe, with its three separate timelines. When a second edition looked like an impossibility, Ben write this to get some use out of his old Trinity products. Now, in 2017, Aeon 2nd Edition is on the horizon, so maybe there'll be no need for this. But if you fancy trying it out under Savage Worlds rules, be my guest,

Black Star Rising

A Sci-Fi setting of espionage, political intrigue and terrorism

A setting that takes the themes and tropes from spy movies and political thrillers, alongside an exploration of the causes of terrorism, and wraps it all up with a sci-fi bow. If you've enjoyed The Expanse on Netflix or SyFy you'll know the sort of thing (although this predates the Expanse novels by a good few years and has a less "hard" sci-fi feel). Originally written for the Gateway system, it's fairly light touch in terms of game mechanics and well worth a look at. At some point in the future it may get written up for another system, or get used as a setting for another game entirely, but until then, enjoy!