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Project Black Flag Friday: Core Fantasy Roleplay

Project Black Flag Friday: Core Fantasy Roleplay

By now, you know that Project Black Flag is the code name for Kobold Press’s endeavor to update and streamline a core fantasy RPG based on 5E Dungeons & Dragons SRD 5.1.


Our original thinking was to name the open core ruleset something standard that anyone could use. We were going to call it Core Fantasy Roleplaying rules.

But then we realized we aren’t going to trademark this name, so we can call it whatever we want. We started with Black Flag as a working title, and we always liked it better. So we renamed the rules system Black Flag Roleplaying rules (BFR).

Kobold Press aims for the BFR rules to keep 5E products that the community has already created relevant. And we want to do it while providing a compatible option for the future.

How to Find a Black Flag Roleplaying Game in the Wild

But you’re going to need to know what’s what on the store shelves, right? So we’re making a logo for that.

The Black Flag Roleplaying logo will be available to all partner companies and freelance publishers who create content for it. This makes it easy for gamers to identify 5E- and Black Flag-compatible releases.

For instance, a virtual tabletop might show a BFR logo in a product release. Or you would find a PDF on DriveThruRPG in both the BFR section and the 5E search section.

When we have that logo ready for everyone, we’ll put it on talesofthevaliant.com.

What’s in the Rules?

The Black Flag Roleplaying rules will contain basic classes, lineage, spells, talents, and monsters. This includes a complete Player’s Guide and a GM’s Monster Vault with encounter-building tools.

We expect to have the Black Flag Roleplaying Rules Document (BFRRD) for public use by the end of the year. That means freelancers, companies, and individuals can begin creating using BFR by 2024 at no additional cost and with no strings attached. 

Questions? Go see TalesoftheValiant.com for more recent updates and insights.

18 thoughts on “Project Black Flag Friday: Core Fantasy Roleplay”

  1. This system needs a catchier, more memorable name when Kobold Press rolls out its own rulebooks. How about Kobolds and Kingdoms? Kobolds and Knights? Kobolds ‘n Kritters? (That last one is a stretch, I admit.)

  2. In the spirit of Black Flag, please establish some sweet rules for nautical and sea campaigns, and some boss pirate stuff 🏴‍☠️

    1. Personality I want to see more combat maneuvers (charge, cleave, bull’s rush, sunder, etc) and fantasy or setting specific archetypes (weapon master, duelist, knight, shadow dancer, etc), a spell less ranger and paladin (with a half spellcaster archetype each), a bard “half spellcaster” (with a spellcaster archetype), and a non spellcaster inventor class.
      Fighting Style Maneuvers: off hand parry for two weapon fighting for exemple, all in for heavy weapon fighting style, etc.

    1. > Why not “Black Flag”?

      Because the goal is actually to have something kind of boring. “Core Fantasy Roleplaying”. It does exactly what it says on the tin. The goal isn’t to make the system itself particularly exciting. It’s just a holder for the glue of the system.

      The Kobold Press version of the system will probably have a more interesting name.

  3. To be clear, Core Fantasy Roleplaying is the name of the rules system. It’s NOT the name of the actual game (that has not been revealed quite yet 🙂 )

  4. Hey, Kobold Press. You are doing everything in reverse order. You start by making everything around the game – how someone else can use the rules, partnerships, ect.

    I think you should focus on just making a great game. Because unless your game is really good no one is going to want to use your rules for anything.

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