Fact Sheet

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Its early play-testers are saying that THE SECRET FIRE™ (TSF), launching on August 4th by Secret Fire Games™, is a new candidate for “The World’s Best RPG (Role Playing Game).” Here are facts about the game and the company:

Introduced and published by:

Secret Fire Games™ (headquarters: 237 Eldridge St., Ste. 27, New York, NY 10002, Tel: 917-763-1402)

Website URL: http://www.secretfiregames.com

Designed by:

George Strayton, CEO & Lead Designer, Secret Fire Games

Number of Players:

Minimum of 2, Maximum of 8.


$19.99 (hard copy)

$9.99 (PDF or e-book digital versions)

Where to purchase:

Online, at Lulu.com. The PDF and e-book versions are available at Lulu.com.

The character of the game:

A fast, flexible, familiar yet original fantasy role-playing game that substitutes words for numbers whenever possible and immerses the player in the experience with wizards, monsters, spells, talismans and three-dimensional characters that possess good, neutral, and evil traits.

How it is played:

As in the glory days of the first RPGs, everyone plays together, face-to-face.

Supplement release schedule:

Secret Fire Games will not overwhelm players with books to buy. There will be a release schedule of one book every four months, or three per year, designed to expand and enhance the game. (The first supplement for TSF will be released in December 2011).

Apps and other technologies:

Apps for mobile devices (like iOS and Android) and other technologies will be available ad hoc at low one-time prices (no subscriptions), meant to provide additional enhancements to the game.

Features of The Secret Fire

  1. ROLEPLAYING MECHANICS. Characters all possess a Good, Neutral, and Evil trait. One trait dominates, depending on the PC’s (player character’s) alignment, but the others are also within the character and emerge occasionally. Players gain Energy Points (see #2) for role-playing, whether following or ignoring their characters’ alignment (and its associated trait, for example a Good character following his self-sacrificing Good trait, or a Good character acting out his greedy Evil trait). They move along the spectrum toward Good, Neutral, or Evil, depending on the morality of their actions. Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic represent the characters’ Stability, i.e., how often they stick to or diverge from their alignment and its associated trait.
    In addition, each Ability score comes with an associated Descriptor. For example, Strength ranges from Feeble to Mighty, while Intellect ranges from Moronic to Brilliant. These Descriptors can also be used to gain Energy Points. An attempt at role-playing a Trait or a Descriptor earns Energy Points, whether successful or not.
  2. ENERGY POINTS. Exploration, battle, spell-casting, and other elements of the game can be enhanced by spending Energy Points, a pool of energy for each PC that starts out at maximum at the beginning of a new day. Characters can earn extra Energy Points by role-playing (see #1). Energy Points can be used in any way allowed by the MC (aka, Master Creator, TSF’s version of “GM” – a game referee) to achieve Special Effects. A few examples of Special Effects are: pinning an opponent, knocking out a combatant, re-casting a prayer previously cast or swapping a spell for one of equal or lower level, broken into major categories of Exploration, Weapon Attacks, and Spellcasting. The only caveat: the player MUST explain how his or her character is accomplishing this effect in a realistic way given the current situation. The MC is the final arbiter of what is possible in the game world.
  3. WOUND LEVELS. TSF uses a combination of hits (or hit points) and Wound Levels from other games, including several designed by TSF’s designer, George Strayton, including INDIANA JONES (D6), THE STAR WARS ROLEPLAYING: REVISED & EXPANDED (D6), and the D6 SYSTEM RULEBOOK, with a few major changes. At each of the five levels — Grazed, Hurt, Wounded, Messed Up, At Death’s Door — the PC suffers some effect, either positive, negative, or both.
  4. EVERYTHING STACKS! Enough said. No looking up, figuring out, arguing over.
  5. NARRATIVE VS. NUMERICAL STYLE. Players use code words that represent numerical values to make the entire game, especially battles, more immersive.
    • Example 1 (with attacker spending energy points): Dave shouts out, “Using my muscular strength, I slash at the Goblin with my longsword Garm’s Tooth, landing a serious blow for 10 points of damage! I finish the attack by slamming my shoulder into the Goblin’s chest, knocking it to the ground!”
    • EXAMPLE 2 (a player responds to a spell attack): Scott says, “My anti-magic fails to absorb the evil wizard’s rain of fire, dropping me to death’s door!”
    All players understand what these phrases/code words mean and are encouraged to embellish and create new ways of expressing them along with the MC.
  6. SANDBOX-STYLE, I.E., NOT NICELY BALANCED FOR YOUR PARTY. The world is the world. Parties may encounter easy obstacles they can overcome in seconds or impossible obstacles that will instantly destroy every member of the group. PCs must take care to figure out which is which and to attempt other strategies before engaging everything in battle, including parley and flight.
  7.  RESISTANCES VS. SAVING THROWS/DEFENSES. All attacks are against an opponent’s Dodge score. But all damage is rolled against the opponent’s Resistance score based on type of attack. Example: a sword thrust hits a ghoul (i.e., hits its Dodge). The damage is determined by subtracting the ghoul’s Armor Resistance (absorbing the blow) from the sword’s damage roll, with a minimum of 1 damage.
  8. THE ELDER GODS & THE CHARACTER WHEEL. The Character Wheel or Mosaic at the center of the TSF character sheet will fill in with different colors based on the types of encounters the PC faces over an adventuring lifetime. Other players can just glance at a PC’s Character Wheel to get a sense of that PC’s life so far. The Elder Gods are five primordial “forces” representing positive and negative aspects of their areas of power. They can be called on for succor – but that can result in owing them a favor that may be called in at the worst possible time. There are also Deities in the world worshipped by the masses, led by Holy-Men and Holy-Women acting as these Deities’ representatives. Deities and Elder Gods are NOT the same. Deities would quiver in the presence of an Elder God. Elder Gods also come into play in other ways, but those are the purview of the MC and will not be discussed here; they should remain a secret from the players (one of the benefits of being the MC)….
  9. UNIQUE TALISMANS. Each talisman (aka magic item) is unique, complete with special adornments, qualities, name and history, in addition to any magical abilities.
  10. GYGAX’S VISION FOR THE FUTURE. As Gail Gygax has mentioned on her Facebook page, a screenwriter is currently writing a movie based on Gary’s life using Gary’s unpublished works, his diaries and his ideas for gaming. The name of the screenwriter has not been revealed, but he possesses Gary Gygax’s inner thoughts on many things, especially his vision for the future of gaming. More on this topic later.
  11. SIMILARITIES & ADDITIONAL CHANGES. TSF has Ability scores, equipment, attack charts, increasing rather than decreasing Dodge score (i.e., higher is better). To accomplish a task, a PC must roll his/her Ability score or under on a number of six-sided dice. The number of dice is based on the difficulty of the task Plus, a Montage System allows the MC and players to move through long periods of game-world time very quickly with interesting and randomized results.
  12. IMMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY. THE SECRET FIRE will also have a look-up app that won’t require an internet connection (data will be stored locally on your mobile device, and the app will be faster as an added benefit) available for a ONE-TIME price, unlike other gaming companies. More apps and in-app purchases are planned, but none are required to play and none will require an ongoing subscription.
  13. GAME CREDIT FOR REAL-WORLD ACTIONS.  TSF allows players to continue as true adventurers outside game sessions by making their own lives and communities better, gaining themselves additional game benefits while making the world a better place.
  14. HIDDEN SECRETS IN THE TSF BOOK.  Those who decipher them will not only have a sense of accomplishment, they will discover extra free content.

Further information about Secret Fire Games or The Secret Fire is available from: Dave Heffernan, dheffernan@bridgeny.com, 212-583-1043 ext. 14.

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