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Striking Back Against COVID-19: Free Conan Scenarios for 'Sellswords & Spellslingers'

Long-time readers of the blog will remember the adaptation of "Beyond the Black River" I started working on in the spring of 2018 for the Sellswords & Spellslingers rules. I ran it for the first time at Historicon 2018, and have now run it at several conventions and game days since.

Sellswords & Spellslingers is designed for solo and co-op play, so to do my bit in helping the game community in its fight against boredom during these isolating pandemic days, I've decided to gather and organize all of the material I developed for my convention scenarios and make it freely available as a download via this blog. At the link further down is a 68-page PDF file with all of my player aids and notes.

Of all of the major solo/co-op miniatures rules that have been released in the past few years, Sellswords & Spellslingers is hands down the best if unfortunately not the most widely known or used. I highly encourage you to buy a copy of the rules, if you haven’t already, and enjoy these scenarios as well as those that appear in the rule book. The original rules are set in a more traditional “high-fantasy” milieu, with orcs, dwarves, dragons, and mighty wizards. These two scenarios and their accompanying play aids, however, are designed to evoke a much more “low-fantasy” world more in keeping with the spirit of the source inspiration.

The original intent was to strip out any copyrighted art and intellectual property referenced in this home-brew creation and release a “generic” version of the scenarios and play aids via Ganesha Games (as discussed with Andrea Sfiligoi after I first prepared this material). Because it is taking me far too long to do the work necessary to prepare this for that sort of eventual publication, and because the world is now in the midst of a pandemic with people like me looking for ways to keep playing with all of their little lead figures while practicing “social distancing,” I have decided to release this material into the wild via this blog. I would appreciate it if rather than sharing the PDF bilaterally with others that you instead point them to this post where the download link resides. At least this way I will get the benefit of knowing how many people are interested in my efforts and maybe gain some followers to my blog in the process (there's a button to follow my blog in the column to the right).

For the handful of blog posts describing the game, how it played out at several conventions, the thinking behind the play aids, and crafting tutorials for the board and terrain, visit my blog and check out these posts where you’ll find a plethora of illustrative photos that should prove very helpful for staging your own games:

Up the Black River Without a Paddle

Any and all feedback or suggestions are welcome as either a comment on the blog or sent via email to I’d love to see photos of any of your own games using the scenarios!

Enjoy in good health!

The source material I drew upon when working up these scenarios.

A row of melee characters and a row of archers for the players to choose from.

Scenario No. 1 set up.

Tokens, cards, and dice used for these games.

Scenario No. 2 set up.

Post Script

For a discussion between the Scrum Club's members comparing Sellswords & Spellslingers with Rangers of Shadow Deep, you can watch this short video from Scum Club TV.



  1. Have you got the download link for 1.1 version? I saw your post on the LAF

    1. The link on the blog will take you to the v. 1.1 version, even though the file itself is named 1.0. If I change the name of the file, all of the links out there on the Internet will break. You can check the true version number not by the file name but by looking at the bottom right corner of page 2, where you'll find the current version number (which is v. 1.1). There are no real significant changes in this later iteration except 3-4 typos that were bothering me.

  2. Thank you very much for all the hard work and sharing, these will come in handy!

  3. Hey. I'm getting a blocked icon on all your above images. Seems to be the same for latest firefox and chrome. Is it just me?

    1. I just noticed it, too, but have no clue why or how that could have happened. I have gone through the post and re-uploaded the photos. Bizarre...first time in the history of the blog that has happened.

  4. Wow! What a great thing to share! What software did you use to make these cards? SS&SS is definitely the best solo game going.

    1. Thanks. I made the cards using Adobe InDesign. And completely agree about SS& favorite solo game, too!

  5. Hello,

    We are the French community of Sellswords and Spellslingers players ( We would like to translate and make your Conan campaign available for free (
    We would need your permission to do so. Of course, you will be quoted as the author of this campaign with a link on your blog article.

    1. Please feel free to translate my document and any of these web pages to French. I’m honored you are interested in doing so. Can you please send me a link to any posts or documents you produce.

      Best of luck!



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