A downloadable game

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Revolution in a Fantastical Setting

Nasty Brutish and Long is a fantasy RPG about drama, revolution, and class war. It is a game about beliefs, wealth, and relationships. It lets you hit the ground running with a player created setting and starting scenario that gives you a rich and detailed world and compelling characters in the midst of immediate and irrevocable change. Will you side with the status quo, the revolution, or just try to make a profit? 

A Fantasy RPG Forged in the Dark

Using the Blades in the Dark rules system, Nasty Brutish and Long uses pools of six-sided dice to determine the outcomes of character actions and random turns of fate. Characters mark experience and take advances when they fail or do something desperate, and the system has been fine-tuned so that more often than not characters will end up in ugly situations that propel the narrative forward with little-to-no prep from the GM.

Make and Break Your own World

Create your own setting with ongoing magical, economical, industrial, and religious revolutions. Use helpful tables to generate an inciting event that forces your characters to reach beyond their station, and a map to give your story a real sense of place and history. With over 100 character backgrounds divided into 3 economic classes, character creation becomes storytelling as players weave a narrative with how their characters came to be where they are as the story begins.


Written & Designed by Michael Elliott

Based on Blades in the Dark, a product of One Seven Design, developed and authored by John Harper, and licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Illustrations from Old Book Illustrations

Timetoplay typeface and dicier by Speak the Sky


Buy Now$18.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $18 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Nasty, Brutish, & Long v 2.5.pdf 20 MB
Nasty, Brutish, & Long v 2.5 Singles.pdf 20 MB

Exclusive content

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

Everyone who purchases this game provides a copy for someone to download free of charge. These community copies of the game are intended for those who are experiencing financial hardships and cannot pay for a copy. If you want to check out this game and cannot afford the price, help yourself.

You can also get this game, and all my games, for a small monthly pledge on Patreon.

Download demo

NBL Character Sheets v 2.5.pdf 188 kB
NBL NPC Sheet v 2.5.pdf 175 kB
NBL Reference Sheets v 2.5.pdf 88 kB
NBL Map Sheet v 2.5.pdf 44 kB

Development log


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Excellent, excellent title! I knew it sounded familiar, until it clicked: it's a Hobbes' Leviathan reverence! "No arts, no letters, no society; and what is worst of all continual fear and danger of violent death. And the life of man: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short [long]." Or at least it goes something like that, it's been ages since I first memories that line. Love how it challenges those Hobbesian ideas in a subtle way without directly spelling it out.

Heh, this very reference made me confuse it with:



In other things, not gonna avail myself of the Community Copy 'lest my payment actually go through, but in Actions, it's "ley( )line", not "lay line".


Mmm, Classes. Gonna get this to see what I can do with LitRPG-s...


This game has one of the best flufftext intros I've ever read (page 1 of the PDF). It presents so many great hooks ("the witches have returned from the woods", etc.), it immediately set gears turning in my head.

The set dressing that unfolds over the subsequent pages is also well-done, communicating very well the tone and place of the game. Importantly, it leaves lots of gaps for the imagination.

I think this is one of the strengths of the whole system: character creation, too, leads to a character sheet filled with potential hooks, touching upon the PC's past and characterization in a very clear, concise way. Altogether the game delivers potential stories very well. It guides with a light hand.


Nasty, Brutish, and Long is an incredibly unique game in the TTRPG space. By focusing on a very specific fantasy - revolutionaries in a fantastical world - it creates a fascinating free-form structure.

The book looks great, with excellent layout and font choices. The words are snappy and to the point, and almost every page reinforces the themes. A streamlined version of the Forged in the Dark ruleset makes the game cover huge amounts of time willed with player-driven drama. Incredibly evocative stuff!