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What is Swyvers?

Swyvers is a tabletop role-playing game about bastards. You and your gang of criminals scarper through heists and sewers, stalk through the filth of The Smoke and, if you’re lucky, you’ll make it out with a few extra shillings. The whole of this city is your filthy, sickly oyster. 

Swyvers is a light-weight set of rules married to a full set of tools and tables for running a game in the chaotic sprawl of The Smoke, its many districts and The Midden. What a city it is — corrupt officials, looming war, rogue sorcerors, monsters below and nobs above. Violence rests as thick as the smog, nothing is sacred and it’s always bloody raining. 

Who are we?

Luke Gearing, David Hoskins, and the Melsonian Arts Council are bringing you an original, fantasy tabletop role-playing game. From the folks who brought you:

A brand-new game built from the ground up to give you a grotty system for running a grotty game.

What Readers Are Already Saying

'Very “Peaky Blinders” and “Taboo” rather than “D&D in London”. Nice'


'I have only read the "What is Swyvers?" section and I am sold. I love it.'

'And just like that, Melsonia takes up another spot on my shelf.'

'Cyberpunk 1820 should be the official subtitle'

'MUST get game. I will tell everyone who cares to listen'

'Beautiful art, damn'

'The carousing table is an absolute hoot'

'I love how grumgy the character art is.'

'Read it it’s freakin awesome.'


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The Smoke

The Smoke is the greatest city in the world, the beating heart of an empire. It is filthy and sprawling like a burst pustule left open to weep besides the iron-grey sea. It does have a name, but only the nobs and learned-readers know it.

Beneath slumbers The Midden – the interconnected passages of built-over streets, basements, tombs and hidden lairs where criminals lurk, beasts squat and lost wealth resides. An enterprising fellow with a sledgehammer can traverse in any direction they please – not that they’ll like what they find. It is rife with corpse-thieves, cellar-breakers and enterprising businessmen shunned in sunlit places.

The rich of The Smoke honour their dead with elaborate crypts, whose morose edifices encroach ever further into the slums – the trap-smiths of The Smoke do fine business from their craft, and the fences keep the money flowing thanks to enterprising tomb robbers.

Building The Smoke

Every group of swyvers will have their very own Smoke. The GM starts a campaign by generating the city, starting from a core of districts: the Royal Gaol, the Palace, the Mayoral District and the Docks. From there they follow along swyvers' generation tables to flesh out and, potentially, endlessly expand their rotten city. 

You will have a unique engine for running your own Swyvers games. In the book you will find procedures for building hideouts, generating heists, investing in properties (both legitimate and illicit), installing bizarre prosthetic tools, engaging fences, picking up odd jobs just to pay the bills, bribing officials, and dealing with demonic forces for personal gain.  


Example Pages


Download the quick-start rules now!

Sign up to receive news on Swyvers and immediately receive the FREE quick-start PDF of the rules.

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