Holiday Update and New Products!

Ahoy, all!  

We’ve been 8 ways of busy since our Kickstarter for CSW: Rogues Gallery ended, refining the draft, commissioning art, and taking care of the logistical elements behind putting together a phenomenal book.  Our editors have been hard at work, our artists have been sketching away, and Andy’s been wracking his brain and keyboard with new material for both Rogues Gallery and for the coming convention season.

First up, let’s take a look at one of the newest pieces!

Cadeia and the Rojo Bastardes (Dan Orapallo)

In addition, we’ve finally managed to put together a few items that have been in high demand!  All of Andy’s pre-gen characters are now on sale via DriveThruRPG!

Both packs One and Two each contain 6 characters, ready to show up around your game table!

Have a great holiday, and we’ll have some more news for you in the new year!



Locked and Reloaded! The CSW: Rogues Gallery Kickstarter Returns!

Dear Friends–

In March, you came out in full force to support our Kickstarter drive for Cold Steel Wardens: Rogues Gallery, the first in a series of follow-up books for our award-winning Cold Steel Wardens rpg.  Unfortunately, we did not reach our funding goal in March, which left us with some difficult choices to make.

After much soul-searching, we have decided to give Cold Steel Wardens:  Rogues Gallery another go, but we still need your support to make it happen.

Burned and battered, but we're back, baby!

Burned and battered, but we’re back, baby!

We will be relaunching our CSW: Rogues Gallery Kickstarter on August 1st, 2016.  Our drive will run until September 1st, with a goal of $4,950.

Your support is critical to the continuance of Cold Steel Wardens as a game line.  If you’d like to see more CSW, please consider backing our drive on August 1st.  Your support, especially in our first few days, will be imperative to reaching our funding goal.  Even if you’re unable to help us financially, spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, online forums, and other social media sites.  The more exposure we have, the greater our chances of success!

We will be kicking off our relaunched drive with a launch party at The Malted Meeple game cafe in Hudson, Ohio, from 4-11pm.  We’ll be running demos there all evening, with special CSWthemed milkshakes and more!  This will be in addition to our already-scheduled events at GenCon as well as other events throughout the Ohio area.

More information on CSW: Rogues Gallery will be available on the Blackfall Press Facebook page, the Blackfall Press Twitter account (@BlackfallPress) and at www.blackfallpress.com.

Thanks again for your support, and we’ll see you on August 1st!



Summer Updates: Convention Schedule and Kickstarter Relaunch!

Ahoy, all!  Andy here.

Since our updates in mid-April, things have slowed down a little bit out here.  This has been partially due to the end of the school year–I teach English as my day job–but also because I underwent arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus at the end of April.  Mind you, this was following two full month of doctors’ appointments and physical therapy for what was first diagnosed as a knee sprain, then as a dislocated kneecap, then finally as a torn meniscus.  

That said, I’m more than ready to get back on the horse and do some gaming!CH13 warehouses-F

First up, the two big conventions of our season:  Origins and GenCon.  Blackfall Press is hosting official Cold Steel Wardens events at both conventions, with the newest print edition of CSW available for sale at both cons at the Studio 2 Publishing booth!

At Origins, I’ll be running two-hour demo sessions (Stolen Away and Hell on Wheels) at 1pm and 3pm each day.  At 7pm, I’ll be running our newest four-hour investigation:  Anastasia’s Bane.  Help take down kidnappers, break a fellow vigilante out of police custody, or track down an enigmatic arms dealer!  

In addition, CSW original playtester Julia Murgatroyd is bringing her own scenarios to the party!  Julia will be bringing the DC Comics-inspired Bile in the Throat, featuring the Birds of Prey!

At GenCon, I’ll have the same set of scenarios, available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, while Julia will be running Bile in the Throat on Saturday and Sunday.  Seats are still available at both the Origins and GenCon games, so swing on by with your generics and pull up a chair!

That’s not the biggest news, though.  After doing some post-Kickstarter analysis (and, let’s be honest, some soul-searching), I’ve decided to relaunch the Kickstarter drive for CSW: Rogues Gallery.  The text of the book is already done; it’d be a damned shame not to give it at least one more try.

However, this hinges upon you, heroes.  While we were moderately successful in our first attempt for Rogues Gallery, it simply can’t happen without the funds from a fully-successful Kickstarter; the burden of art, layout, editing, and graphic design are simply too much for me to finance on my own.

The new Kickstarter drive for CSW: Rogues Gallery will go live on August 1st, just in time for GenCon!

Please, above all else, spread the word!  The more buzz we can get moving about CSW and the upcoming Kickstarter, the more likely that we’ll succeed.  And, that success means that I spend more time working on CSW material in the future!

Thanks again for all your support; we’ll see you on August 1st for the relaunch of our CSW: Rogues Gallery Kickstarter!


For Immediate Release–CSW: Rogues Gallery Kickstarter!

Blackfall Press Announces Kickstarter Drive for Cold Steel Wardens: Rogues Gallery

Drive to run from March 15th to April 18th, 2016

[Englewood, OH]Today via the Blackfall Press webpage, designer A.P. Klosky announced the impending arrival of a Kickstarter drive to finance production of Cold Steel Wardens: Rogues Gallery, the second book in the Cold Steel Wardens game line.  The drive will begin on March 15th and run through April 18th, with Klosky running demos of Cold Steel Wardens at two regional conventions during the drive.

“I am beyond excited to get this book into the hands of our fans,” said Klosky, “It’s exciting to go back to Kickstarter just as the CSW corebook hits print once more through our new publishing partners at Studio 2.”  Klosky further encourages any fans of Cold Steel Wardens to visit the Rogues Gallery Prefundia page and sign up for an e-mail reminder for when the drive goes live.

As Blackfall Press, Klosky successfully Kickstarted the corebook for Cold Steel Wardens in 2012, winning a “Best Genre Emulation” BAMFsie award for the book.  Since that time, Cold Steel Wardens has made appearances at gaming conventions worldwide, providing the ideal game for fans of Iron Age superheroics.


Cold Steel Wardens: Rogues Gallery expands greatly upon the default New Corinth setting, featuring full write-ups for Stonegate Federal Penitentiary and Lincroft Asylum, as well as a bevy of mooks, masterminds, metahumans and would-be vigilantes for heroes to match wits against.

“What really sets Rogues Gallery apart from other ‘monster manual’ type books is the way it’s written,” Klosky continued, “Nearly everything in the book is written in-character, from our convention-favorite vigilante Sawbones.  In Rogues Gallery, you will literally have a copy of Sawbones’ notes and collected evidence:  his biases, his perspectives, and his successes as an investigator color this view of New Corinth.  My biggest goal for this book is that it should be fun to read, both for players and for GMs.”

During the drive, Klosky will be running numerous Cold Steel Wardens events at several regional conventions surrounding Western Ohio.  These conventions include CincyCon in Hamilton, Ohio, WittCon XIII in Springfield, Ohio, and WhosYerCon in Indianapolis, Indiana.


For more information on Blackfall Press, Cold Steel Wardens, or CSW: Rogues Gallery, please visit the following:

  • Website:  www.blackfallpress.com
  • Prefundia: http://prefundia.com/projects/view/csw-rogues-gallery/8287/
  • Facebook:  Facebook.com/BlackfallPressLLC
  • Twitter:  @BlackfallPress





Happy Holidays and a Contest Winner!

Our winner:  Marcella Connor!

Our winner: Marcella Connor!

First and most importantly, we at Blackfall Press sincerely wish each and every one of you a happy holiday.  We’re not picky about what you celebrate:  Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah, Yule, or Festivus for the rest of us…  But, in the end, this time of year is always about spending those cold dark nights with the ones you love most.  Eat too much, laugh too hard, and sleep too late–enjoy a well-earned rest in preparation for another new year just around the corner.  Trust us:  we have a ton in store!

Of course, today marks the end of our contest, and a winner has emerged!

Congratulations go out to Marcella Connor, who will be gifting the final Chronicle City copy to Shawn Connor.  Marcella, we’ll be in touch with you over the next few days for shipping information and the like.

Thanks again for all who entered!  Happy holidays!




Jessica Jones, Iron Age Noir, and Sawbones

Here at Blackfall Press, we love all things superheroic. And, of course, the Marvel Comics/Netflix series have been no exception.  Daredevil really left quite the impression on us–particularly Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk and Toby Leonard Moore as James Wesley.  When Jessica Jones landed on Netflix, we knew instantly that we’d spend the weekend binge-watching.

So…we did.  Two evenings later, we finished the series and we’re still debating whether we like Daredevil or Jessica Jones better!

You see, both Daredevil and Jessica Jones stand as exemplars of what makes the Iron Age of Comics so great:  flawed heroes struggling with difficult circumstances, nuanced, complex villains, and setting that drips atmosphere from every pore.  Hell’s Kitchen is every much a character in Daredevil as Foggy Nelson or Karen Page, which provides an unparalleled tone among the current television superhero offerings.

Marvel Comics/Netflix's "Jessica Jones"  (Image is copyright the original IP holders)

Marvel Comics/Netflix’s “Jessica Jones”
(Image is copyright the original IP holders)

It’s that atmosphere in setting that struck me, specifically, in Jessica Jones.  At its core, the comics that inspired Jessica Jones–particularly Brian Michael Bendis’ phenomenal Alias series–have their roots in noir-style private investigation more than spandex-clad superheroics.  Certainly, while classics of Marvel’s stable showed up in Alias, the focus of the series lay in Jessica’s own investigations, which relied more on stake-outs than on super-hearing.  Further, like the hard-drinking private eyes of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler, Jessica spends much of her time as a woman apart, holding the world at arm’s length, hoping to keep from harming it…and to keep from having the world harm her any further.

Honestly?  I was pleased most of all that showrunner Melissa Rosenberg chose to uphold the tradition of maintaining Jessica’s inner monologue:  a staple of pulp detective fiction rooted in the first-person perspective.  So many of the great Iron Age comics have utilized this trope, from Rorschach’s journal in Watchmen, to Batman’s brooding narrative in The Dark Knight Returns, to the awe-struck narration of the appearance of The Avengers during Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil.

CSW_10So, where does this leave Cold Steel Wardens?  Well, of course, CSW is no stranger to the private-investigator archetype and our forthcoming Rogues’ Gallery serves as something of a love letter to this pulp-inspired trope.

Allow me to introduce the not-so-humble narrator of CSW: Rogues’ Gallery:  Sawbones.

Sawbones, better known as private investigator Joe Bryson, is one of our convention-favorite characters.  We’ve always billed as something of “the bastard love-child of John Constantine and Kitty Pryde.”  A chain-smoking ex-paramedic, Sawbones put his paramedic and police training to good use, especially when coupled with his ability to phase through inorganic matter. After all, it’s so much easier to find evidence when you can simply walk through a vault wall and take it!

Having worked the mean streets of Smoke City for years, Sawbones has assembled stacks of police reports, psychological profiles, photos, and other evidence into a series of case-files on the various metahumans, mobsters, and menaces that roam New Corinth’s darkest alleys.  Naturally, these pieces of evidence come coupled with Sawbones’ own notes on these  ne’er-do-wells.  The vast majority of Rogues’ Gallery, as such, comes from Sawbones’ perspective–we wanted to build a setting book that a CSW GameMaster can literally hand to their players and say, “Here.  These are the files you find.”

Look for CSW: Rogues’ Gallery to hit Kickstarter this coming spring.  And, as always, keep your eyes peeled here for more info and sneak previews!


Happy Halloween! Here’s a Rogue’s Gallery Treat!

hellion1 copy


No tricks here, friends!  Just a treat for you for this Halloween:  a preview glimpse of our forthcoming Cold Steel Wardens book, CSW: Rogues’ Gallery.

Unlike most “monster manual”-type rpg books, Rogues’ Gallery is written from the perspective of an in-game character, the cynical, phasing, private-detective Sawbones.  Do keep in mind, this is preview material and is subject to change, as we’re in development and revision.  Regardless, here’s Sawbones’ view on He11ion!

Street Identity: He11ion (also, Hellion)

Civilian Identity: Simone Kirkman

Sawbones’ Narrative:

The first time I met He11ion, she shot me in the face.  

Granted, I was kind of sneaking up on her, trying to figure out who the pistol-packing looney-toon was that was prowling around St. Ignatius, but she whipped around and unloaded four rounds into my head.

Remember how I said that the whole ‘phasing through bullets’ thing was easier said than done?  Yeah, well…let’s just say that I’m glad that I had all that practice.  Otherwise, yours truly wouldn’t be able to write all this down.

He11ion’s a study in contradictions to be sure.  On the outside, she looks like she belongs in the crowd at a Slipknot concert or working at the Hot Topic in the Miatanka Mall.  Trip pants, ripped up wifebeater tank-top, shoulder holsters, you name it.  But in reality?  She’s every bit the good little Catholic girl that her appearance screams to the contrary.

I won’t get into her past; she’d be pissed if I did, but after we worked together a few times and shared a bottle of Captain Morgan, she opened up a bit.  That girl had a hell of a life as a kid.  It probably fucked her up something fierce, hence the mask, guns, and tendency to wander the streets at 2am, looking for a fight.

He11ion’s quite the pistolero and is fairly good in a scrap, but the church has got its hooks in her something fierce.  She never misses mass at St. Iggy’s, going at least twice a week, plus a weekly trip to Saturday confession.  Her apartment is outright covered in crazy religious books; she calls most of them ‘Apocrypha’–books that were excised from different versions of the Bible over time.  Yeah.  Pretty intense, that.

It all comes down, I suppose, to the pistol she keeps slung across her back.  She calls it the Sangraal, and I’ve never seen a gun like it.  It definitely doesn’t look like the .357s she keeps in the shoulder holsters, and certainly not like anything I ever fired on the academy firing range.

Have you ever seen a gun breathe?

The Sangraal did.  I nearly jumped out of my skin.  It looks like it’s made of metal, though it has this ornate carving across the barrel and stock that would make you think it’s a piece of art and not a real gun.  When He11ion picked it up, the damned thing literally let out a sigh.  Barrel moved and everything.  

Look, I don’t don’t truck much with the crazy, wack-a-doo occult stuff that goes in the NC.  I know there are plenty that do:  cultists and street-preachers and worse.  But on the whole?  I don’t think that there’s one big Creator up there and even if there was, I’d probably give him a piece of my mind about making New Corinth such a shithole for his beloved children.  

He11ion claims that after she ran away from home for the fourth time, she ended up living in an alley near St. Ignatius.  It was February, so she was half-frozen and starving to death, when she claims she was visited by Saint Malachi, glowing with streaming light and holding a burning spear.  Apparently, Saint Malachi thought it’d be a great idea to turn her into an “instrument of Heavenly retribution” and handed her the spear, which turned into her pistol as soon as he passed it over.  

The details are a little sketchy from there–He11ion cites a bunch of Biblical bullshit from her books–but she says that Malachi marked her forehead with the Mark of Wormwood, which allows her to detect “unrepentant sin”.  The Sangraal, meanwhile, fires bullets of flaming brimstone, which have to be harvested from the bodies of unrepentant sinners.  The gun holds 11 rounds:  one for each of the “true apostles of Christ.”  Yeah.  I know.  Creepy.  I’m not touching that mess with a ten foot pole.

Since that day, He11ion’s been floating around New Corinth, mainly in North Arlington, Grey’s Park, and Carriage Hill, taking down whomever needs taken care of.  No idea how, but she’s managed to stay off the news thusfar; that’s got to be a lot harder when your sidearm shoots fireballs!  We’ve worked together on a few cases here and there…and I might have made a drunken pass at her.  Yeah, so sue me–Captain Morgan fucks with my head.  Turns out she’s playing for the other team, actually.  No harm, no foul, though; we’re still on pretty good terms.  

In-Character Document: News Article–Aftermath of He11ion’s Escapades

New Corinth Post-Tribune: March 14th

“Rape Suspect Found Dead; Body Burned”

The Miatanka County Coroner’s office is piecing together a strange case this morning as the body of James Ratliff, 34, of Carriage Hill was found in an alley in the suburbs surrounding Adams College.  Ratliff was burned over 85% of his body, though none of the area surrounding Ratliff showed any signs of fire, burns, or destruction of any sort.

Crime scene investigators were quick to note that the cause of Ratliff’s death was, in fact, the fire itself, which would imply some sort of self-immolation or method of suicide.  However, investigators detected no traces of gasoline, lighter fluid, or other combustible.  Medical examiner Paul Arnleif commented that he had “never seen anything like this.  It’s almost as if he just burst into flame on his own.”  Arnleif added that he believed a full autopsy would provide more answers.

This incident comes just four days after Ratliff was released on bail; Ratliff was arrested three weeks ago as the primary suspect in the rape of Adams College student Gennifer Strickland, who was on her way home from a party off-campus.  Strickland successfully identified Ratliff from a police lineup, and his DNA was a 94% match to that found via a police rape kit.  Ratliff was being held on $40,000 bond, which was paid by an unknown benefactor.

Plot Hooks:

The dead, slain by He11ion’s Sangraal pistol, have begun to come back to life, swearing to continue the crimes perpetrated during their lives.

He11ion has a deep-seated fear that the being that called itself Saint Malachi was not actually an angel or a saint.  Rather, the hellfire pistol is, quite literally, the right hand of the devil itself.

What happens with an artifact like the Sangraal falls into the wrong hands?  Who knows how much damage the Sangraal might cause when the user runs out of the ‘living bullets’ that the gun feeds upon?