Kindle Fire RPG Adventure Contest

Through an ordering error on my part, I’m in possession of an unneeded, Woot refurbished, 16 GB, red Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet (7th gen). The OS is fresh, ready for connection to a new owner’s Amazon account, but I’ve preloaded the tablet with PDFs of every published Lester Smith Games RPG title: D13, D6xD6, D6xD6 Dungeons, and Bookmark No HP RPGs, plus all their supplements.

I don’t need the tablet. What I do need is adventures for those role-playing games.

So I propose a trade.

A trial by contest. Send me a publishable 1,000-word adventure (or longer) by 30 April (2023), and I’ll choose one as winner of this Kindle Fire with the complete LSG RPG library of PDFs. All other publishable adventures will receive the same PDF library, sans Kindle Fire.

By “publishable,” I mean that if in my judgment I can edit into shape, and it hasn’t been published elsewhere, it’ll count.

In return for the prizes, I’m asking for all rights to publish the adventure online and/or in a compilation, with your name in the credits.

That’s all there is to it. Please knock my socks off. Thanks!

From DC, to D13, D6xD6, and BNHP

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

What with Halloween just 13 days away, I’d like to share a tiny bit of Dark Conspiracy RPG history and of personal pitch.

My goal with DC was, as you may know, to create a setting into which any horror story could be fit. Details I needed to achieve that goal—cyberpunkish urban sprawl, anachronistic rural regions, areas of bleedthrough from hellish dimension, and a rationale for beneficent aliens becoming inimical, for example—slowly amalgamated into a distinct personality of DC’s own.

But not everyone likes the DC mechanics, the inhouse system ported over from Twilight: 2000. Note that the T2K rules did play their own role in shaping DC’s character as a combat-heavy game of meet the monster; get your asses kicked; learn its weakness; come back better armed and kill it.

For GDW it made sense to have a shared system for all of its RPGs. (Well, until Space: 1889 broke ranks.) And the other reason is I wasn’t yet a mechanics guy. My two contributions to the inhouse system were to add experience rules (in Traveller: 2300, which got me hired in the first place) and to push for a change from d10 to d20. Adding an Empathy stat and trimming the T2K weapons list to suit DC were more a matter of developmental editing.

But since that time, my design skills for game mechanics have grown. Even earning an Origins Award! In RPGs, I’ve developed a passion for minimalist precision. For universal mechanics that dependably but unobtrusively support play. Even, say, hmm, I don’t know, maybe Dark Conspiracy adventures?

So here’s the pitch. If you love DC as a setting, but not the mechanics, I have three options to sub in for them. First, D13 is specifically designed for horror, any type, a bit more brutally than DC, but with push-your-luck paranormal abilities rules suitable for DC’s Empathy stat. Second, there’s D6xD6 ( is the core rules), and come to think of it, Chuck McGrew’s use of it in Don’t Look Back 3e could handle the DC setting right out of the gate. Lastly, there’s the Bookmark HP RPG, a deceptively simple system that has been called “an epiphany in game design.”

Each game system has its own unique take on dice mechanics; all three with dependable math under the hood. So, if you love the world of Dark Conspiracy, but aren’t a fan of its mechanics, why not give one of these three a try? Links in the sidebar.


Art from the D13 RPG

What is the D13 RPG?

Conceptually it’s a game for running truly horrific adventures in campaigns across time and space. Characters face the real threat of death or madness in individual adventures—unaware that they are also threads of existence for supernatural beings battling a greater darkness.

Mechanically it’s an easy attribute-and-skill based system—4 attributes, any sort of skill. Actions use 1d4+1d10 (read 0-9) for a number range of 1-13, with beneficial doubles at the low end. For adventures involving psychic abilities, a tarot deck (or a poker deck) depicts the uncertainty and danger of those powers. For combat actions and turn sequence, a Ouija board can be used.

Why a D13 RPG?

When I designed the Dark Conspiracy RPG in 1991, I envisioned a world into which any sort of horror tale could be adapted. But that setting’s framework also constrained the time, place, and even themes of those adventures. I’ve long wanted to do something more far-reaching.

Also, most horror RPGs either dial back the danger to let PCs survive from one adventure to the next, or make them part of a secret society, or abandon altogether the idea of campaigning so as to convey true horror.

The D13 RPG is a solution to all those problems. It lets GMs run truly horrific adventures that may maim, madden, or kill PCs—without killing the campaign.

Who Is the Artist?

Lenka Šimečková is an amazing young illustrator of the dark and bizarre, from the Czech Republic. I first became aware of her work while designing the D6xD6 RPG in 2014. She provided two character illos for that book, and I knew she’d be the perfect illustrator for D13 RPG.

More Game System Details?

You can learn more about the structure and mechanics in this #rpgnet Q&A transcript.

Character Sheets & Online Randomizers

Where to Buy

  • I have a few signed D13 RPG Limited Edition books remaining from the Kickstarter. Printed by Jostens, these are Smythe-sewn with custom end papers and vibrant color throughout.
  • Standard hardbound D13 RPG books are available on my webpage at
  • The D13 RPG PDF version is available exclusively on

D13 RPG Dice & Cards Randomizers

Dice Randomizers



Tarot Minor Arcana Randomizer