A downloadable roleplaying game

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more
Hail, wanderer. Your travels have led you on a pernicious path. The Hinterlands have long been forsook for wilderness. None come here now but the lost and the foolish. Fewer still leave. 

Wandering Swords is a tactical and atmospheric pen-and-paper roleplaying game of swords and sorcery, set in the enigmatic realms of the Hinterlands. Drawing inspiration from OSR and Souls-like games, Wandering Swords is an experience of exciting, intense combat, exploration in strange and perilous lands, and strategic development of your character into a powerful adventurer of the Hinterlands. This game requires 3-5 players, one to assume the role of the guide, and the others to play the wanderers themselves. 


Wandering Swords uses an original, easy-to-learn ruleset! Success and failure is determined by attempting to roll under an attribute score related to the challenge. Fighting involves interpreting enemy behaviour and choosing the best stance to respond to threats. Fights require collaboration between players, and unlike other Souls-like games character death is not quite so inevitable, nor so easy to return from...

This Edition

0.8e provides small adjustments and quality improvements, alternative rules for levelling up, a new map, and a new greater foe. Updates are planned to add additional content, including sample adventures. Future editions may come with price increases, so be sure to grab the game at this early access price. You can download a demo of the first 13 pages for free below!  

What your download gets you

  • An 80-page illustrated rulebook as a PDF in pages and spreads format.
  • character sheet with an additional form-fillable PDF format. 

What you need to play

  • 3-5 players
  • A set of roleplaying dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12 and d20)
  • Writing materials
  • Tokens (optional)

This game includes illustrations from Stoneshore's Tabletop Art Pack.


Wandering Swords boasts a unique combat system which really encourages players to learn each foe's moveset and react to monster tells. This among many other design choices, makes this the perfect game for a short souls-like campaign.

-- Patrick Lapienis

Updated 11 days ago
StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
TagsDark Fantasy, point-crawl, Souls-like, Tabletop, Tabletop role-playing game
Average sessionA few hours


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this roleplaying game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Wandering Swords 0.8e (pages).pdf 9 MB
Wandering Swords 0.8e (spreads).pdf 9 MB
Character Sheet v2 (Print) 150 kB
Character Sheet v2 (Form Fillable) 5 MB

Download demo

Wandering Swords 0.8e demo.pdf 4 MB

Development log


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Hey, just here to let you know I think you really nailed the atmosphere and feel for this game. Looking forward to seeing further updates.


Thanks so much!


Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to running this the other night and we had a great time. We played through the intro scenario in the pdf in three hours. We loved the tactical processes and also five fights and a bit of exploration in the hours is nice and fast too! Well done. :-)

Thanks so much for sharing! That's great to hear!

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Can a PC use shieldbash and blocking in the same turn? Is it considered 1 action or it requires 2?

Does sacred shield permanently double its hit tolerance for the remaining of the fight or does it last after the fight too (since text says is permanently)?

In the current rules, shield bash would count as a weapon attack, so it would require the engage stance rather than the block stance, so you wouldn't be able to block and bash in the same turn.

The sacred shield power can only be used outside combat, but the shield's tolerance is permanently doubled, lasting until destroyed :)


Got it.

Just to confirm: Armor descriptions state -1 of -2, min 1. Does this mean character always takes 1 hit minimum?

Yep that's right! Armour can't reduce hits taken to below 1 - that way PCs are never invulnerable.

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Hello, here just to report a line that repeats on page 21-22 "If all the wanderers are slain..." repeats again right after on the next sentence.

Page 55 "only held the wanderers..." should be Help not held.

Thanks for letting me know!


this game is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m so excited to be running it for my players soon! I wish there were more greater enemies in the book, but frankly, it’s just given me a chance to make my own! Combat is simple yet evocative, though I think that the book would benefit greatly from an example battlefield, as it took me a while to understand the visual concept of positions. 

However, the atmosphere of the game as a whole is fantastic, and gives a great feeling of a soulsborne game. 

Hey, thanks so much! I absolutely agree that the combat rules could be clearer, I'm going to be putting some more explanation in the next edition to address this, and I'm working on a little illustration (see below) which shows how different circles are used to map positions, where combatants in the same circle i.e. position are 'close', and in separate positions are 'distant'. Hopefully this should do the trick!

have you thought about adapting Professor Dungeon Masters Ultimate Dungeon Terrain. Seems like a perfect match. I’m going to be using it for my game next weekend and I’ll let you know how it goes!

This is the first time I've heard of that actually, and yeah from a quick look it seems like a good fit! Hope it goes well, enjoy!


I’m going to be able to run it for friends in a couple weeks but we have a larger group. 6 PCs. Do you have any suggestions for larger numbers of play?

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As I haven't tested it with groups that size, it would be interesting to hear how it goes! The main thing I'd expect is players tag-teaming a lot during combat, which might make fights against single opponents (e.g. greater foes) trivial and could get repetitive. I might suggest trying out some area of effect attacks which keep players on their toes. Other than that, I'd think about boosting the hit tolerance of enemies by a few points. Hope it goes well, and enjoy!


I'm really excited to try this out, as I've been digging for a souls-like ttrpg that can do frequent combat well, and coincidentally the small list of foes available for v0.6 slots perfectly into the first region I'd created. Seeing one more Greater Foe would be very useful in terms of enemy creation to gauge how scarily you think things should go. On the note of the bestiary, there are a few chunks missing from the Bone Amalgam's attacks as if they were cut short to include the loot table. Looking forward to later versions or even discussion!

Amazing, hope you enjoy! That makes a lot of sense, I'll be sure to put a couple more greater foes in 0.7e, which I'm hoping to get out in about a month. Thanks for letting me know about the error, it's incredible what gets through proof-reading! Feel free to get back in touch with thoughts and feedback any time :)

Could you clarify the section about Charting a Region? It talks about Places of Interest and Paths, easy enough, but then says "each place and path features challenges, enemies, and sights to see; roll 1d4 for each to determine how many there are". Is that supposed to mean 1d4 Challenges, Enemies, and extra visuals per Place of Interest AND Path? I'm making an overgrown town, which seems to be the Region, with a road, chantry, crossroads, pit, and graveyard as Places, each with Paths to connect with other(s). Was the overgrown town just supposed to be a Place of Interest? I guess I'm looking for clarity on that section since I'm trying to fill out a thematic locale using your generation rules and hit a bump on which tables to roll on. 

Both paths and places of interest should have one or more encounters of varying sorts (I guess the difference is paths are a linear sequence of encounters, but a place can be a bit more exploratory). If a place of interest has significantly more than four encounters, you may want to break it up into several places or paths instead. This kind of framework is a bit arbitrary as it's designed more to help players break the world up into navigable chunks, so they can say 'this session we'll travel this path and explore this area'.


I tried out the sample area with a party of 4 wanderers. The baseline mechanics are fun and the combat went smoother after we got the hang of declaring stances. Even with one player rolling garbage all game, nobody died and the boss was taken out in only a few rounds; I'd added one zone of 2 Inhumans and added a 3rd Frog to an existing fight to try and raise the difficulty up. 

(Made 4 pre-made characters using the 7/6/5/4 stats, and while I did give 4 items each, the Arming Swords dropped and lack of needing their consumables evened out. I rolled for 90% of the enemy actions. If enemies had a personal loot pool, I rolled it each time.)

Should I have added even more enemies to account for only a 33% increase in wanderers? Should Greater Enemies have more hit points? I'm also intrigued why they would have a stance that only heals 1 Hit.


This is really useful feedback, thank you! My experiences so far are generally that fewer enemies than players = easy fight, equal number = can go either way, more = challenging. I think the more wanderers you have it gets exponentially easier, particularly with bosses, so I'll play around giving bosses more attacks which hit multiples, and place other tactical restrictions on players. In terms of how hard they hit, I was wary not to make them always deal 2+ dmg because of how low Hit Tolerance is and the condition dice mechanic! But sounds like I might be being too kind :)


Hello, enjoying the rules so far! Reporting a minor typo on page 45:

> Phantom creatures may attempt to terrifying wanderers into running away

Hey, thanks so much! That's really helpful cheers, will add to the fix list for 0.7!

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Hello! We love your game, and we are interested in translating into spanish and publish it. We wanna chat with you, can we mail you with more info about us and an offer?

Hey! You can email the details to stoneshore.trpg@gmail.com :)