Earlie, I made a two-part series discussing the scifi game Stoneburner by René-Pier Deshaies-Gélinas & Galen Pejeau. As a part of the Kickstarter, René-Pier mentioned making a more traditionally fantasy-style game to be a prequel to Stoneburner on the same structural engine. Now that time has come, the time for Tales of the Burned Stones!

Title graphic for Tales of the Burned Stones

Tales of the Burned Stones vs Stoneburner – The Same…

As you can imagine in a pair of games built on the same modified engine of the Breathless system, they have significant similarities. Both Tales of the Burned Stones and Stoneburner are compact and solo-friendly action games. They are built on characters with a limited number of stats directly linked to dice values. They have a wide number of rolling tables to help facilitate both character creation and world-building. An open-ended structure uses character advancement to encourage players to direct the larger narrative of the game. Both of the games are also based around teams of players delving into areas dominated by fiends and their allies to find valuable items.

…but different.

The key to the differences lies in the fiction and resources & mechanics provided to facilitate that fiction.

The basics of Stoneburner is built around characters from a Dwarven House, rebuilding after the house’s fall in generations past. As such, there are settlement building mechanics. The thematic culture behind the classes, names, and setting is built around Dwarven concepts. Finally, the backgrounds, powers, and enemies are designed to fit a fantastical scifi setting.

In contrast, the player characters from Tales of the Burned Stones takes more design direction from games like Diablo and The Witcher rather than Stoneburner’s DOOM. Instead of setting up a permanent home between delves, your group is drifting across the ruined, slowly coping countryside and small settlements around Mount Baram. As such, the game has a more structured economy and diverse location generation tools.

With more diverse locations come characters designed to come from a wide verity of cultures. While these cultures are predecessors to ones we see in Stoneburner, they are more mixed and visible with protagonists. Your typical fantasy heritages are avalable from Dwarfs to Humans to Orcs. The backgrounds are also based on the typical fantasy class motifs like Striders (rangers), Druids, Minstrels (bards), and Sorcerers.

But what are these “Burned Stones?”

That requires a bit of a deeper dive into the fiction of Tales of the Burned Stones. As I mentioned, both Stoneburner and this game have devilish creatures that have taken over a people’s former home. In this case, Mount Baram went and turned into a transdimensional volcano who’s erruption has disrupted the surrounding societies. Great tunnels opened up filled with hellspawn that seek to conquer, devastate, and corrupt the world and beings who live in it. The Burned Stones are artifacts believed to be able to close the rifts, so many are interested to find them.

A page from Tales of the Burning Stones featuring some dark art and descriptive language.

This sounds fun! Where can I get it?

René-Pier and Galen consider this game paid for by the Stoneburner Kickstarter, so Tales of the Burned Stones is free. In fact, you can get it here!

The game uses the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license, so it is also free for all to create derived works or adventures for use in the game for so long as you do not use any materials that are considered reserved according to the individual licensor. In this case, RP Deshaies has included “all the details about the setting, the non-player characters, the rolling tables, and the adventures” in the reserved materials, but you can read more about that here.

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