Free Role Playing Game Supplement Review: The Sandbox #1

The Sandbox #1 by Kevin Crawford is a free role playing game supplement published by Sine Nomine Publishing. This is a collection of articles related to the games published by Sine Nomine as well as the industry in general.

This is a fifteen page bookmarked PDF. Two pages are the colour front and rear covers and one page is an ad for Scarlet Heroes from Sine Nomine.

One page is what is essentially the introduction. It explains the concept behind the publication (this was meant to be a somewhat irregular series of periodicals; however, only this and issue 2 have been published to date) and what is in this particular issue.

The Last Prince is a new class for the Scarlet Heroes game, which is a one on one RPG. The concept behind the class, what its abilities are and a d8 table of doom for the people for whom the character is the last member are detailed.

The Sandbox #1Kickstarter Production Guidelines is the largest article. The author had, at the time of writing, run three successful Kickstarters (he has since run several more increasingly successful ones). This is, or was; it has apparently been tweaked since, his method of running, not promoting, a Kickstarter project.

A Quick Backwater Spaceport is a set of tables, d4, d8, d10, d12 and d20, for generating a spaceport on the fly.

What’s That Abandoned Structure is similar to the previous tables, using the same dice, this time for an abandoned building.

The PDF is decently bookmarked for its length, although it lacks a table of contents. Navigation is perhaps above average for a short supplement. The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. Apart from the cover images there is only one black and white illustration; all look like they have come from the publisher’s other projects. Presentation is above average.

The Last Prince is probably only really useful if Scarlet Heroes is owned, although it could provide inspiration for other settings. The two sets of tables are much more broadly useful; the spaceport table could be used in many settings, including Traveller and Cepheus Engine, and the abandoned building tables could be used in even more.

The article on Kickstarter is interesting. Sine Nomine is a one man band, so one of the first things the author says is to define the scope of the project at the beginning, and not to keep expanding it as money comes in. The entire process, which includes writing the manuscript (which is advised to be done before actually launching the Kickstarter), laying it out, finding and hiring artists and finally fulfilling the orders for backers, is covered. Even putting money aside for tax is considered.

Interestingly, the author pretty much suggests having the entire project ready before the Kickstarter is even launched, to make sure it stays on track. This might be tricky as it requires spending money up front, but it does pretty much guarantee that there won’t be any problems with completing the project once funded.

The Sandbox #1 is an interesting collection of articles, especially the Kickstarter one which should definitely be looked at by other small publishers, and it can be downloaded for free by clicking here.


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