For a look at the fifty-plus titles authored, co-authored, and/or designed by Todd Downing (at least those currently in print), go here.
For a broad strokes overview, read on…
Arrowflight is an epic fantasy setting which sprouted from short fiction Downing began writing in junior high. Over the course of twenty years, it developed first as a 1988 film, then as an RPG setting, initially published in early 2002. A second edition was published in 2010, and there are a host of world supplements currently in print, further expanding the setting through the work of Gavin Downing, Samantha Downing, Michelle Downing, Jeffrey Cook, Robert Black, Andrew Kenrick, and others. A third edition was released in 2023.
Airship Daedalus is a retro-pulp adventure setting, in an alternate interbellum period, roughly 1920-1940. Springing from Downing’s short fiction in college, Daedalus first saw life as a retro-style comic strip from Downing and comic artist Brian Beardsley, followed by a series of “radio dramas”. Airship Daedalus (and the larger “AEGISverse” that contains it) merges tropes of classic pulp subgenres, such as weird science, air adventure, fantasy, western, lost worlds, and even cosmic horror. The RPG line was first published in 2016, with several supplements expanding the world. The IP also includes the novels, the original comic strips, and the radio adventures.
RADZ was created as an homage to the post-apocalyptic media consumed by co-creators Todd Downing, Mark Bruno and artist JD Green, with contributions from writer Jason Sinclair. Promoted as “Apocalypse with attitude” and “Ultraviolence with a wink,” RADZ was inspired by animated films such as Wizards, Heavy Metal, Fire & Ice, and Rock & Rule, and live-action fare such as Damnation Alley, Hardware, and the Mad Max franchise. Over-the-top and cartoonishly violent, RADZ imagines a desert wasteland occupied by warring factions, where magic is possible by harnessing the power (and volatility) of fallout. The game is currently undergoing an overhaul by Downing and Green.
Grimmworld is a dark fantasy setting – a mythical version of our own world set against a pastiche Georgian/Napoleonic period. Presented in near-period poetic style and utilizing playing cards for the randomizer, Grimmworld imagines a civilization undergoing great change, where the forces of faith, lore and science vie for supremacy, and the works of fiction from the era are undeniably real. Somewhere between Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Sleepy Hollow, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Frankenstein, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies lies the reality of Grimmworld. Co-authored with Gavin Downing.
Red Dwarf – The Roleplaying Game began as a pipe dream when Downing was a partner in a Seattle hobby store, almost a decade before the publication of Arrowflight. Deep7 Press began to examine potential licenses to plug their XPG game engine into, and a case was made to adapt the long-running sci-fi Britcom to the RPG market. Built on the premise of infinite universes from the show, players in Red Dwarf could assume the roles of evolved pets, GELFs, mechanoids, recently un-frozen humans, even wax droids of famous celebrities or historical figures. The line launched in early 2003 and included a hardcover rulebook, a tri-fold A.I. Screen with 24-page Extra Bits Book, and a Series Sourcebook covering the eight series which existed at the time. Downing was the primary author and product architect, with several guest designers such as Samantha Downing, Gavin Downing, Mark Bruno, Eddy Webb, Andrew Kenrick, John Sullivan, and Lee Hammock.
Note: The Red Dwarf RPG is long out of print, and the rights have reverted to Grant Naylor Productions.