DramaSystem/Hillfolk Playtest Part 2

by Ralf Schemmann

Situation: The Grasseater tribe has been subjugated by the Rock-Mighty (the player’s tribe) and been forcefully integrated. In exchange for food (they were facing a famine), the Grasseaters had to collect iron ore for the Rock-Mighty from a canyon in the hills. A year has passed.

For a map of the setting and the PC relations can be found here.

The PCs are:
Weise Schildkröte – the tribe’s priest/spiritual leader, he’s the éminence grise behind the chief
Silberblick – his son and young chieftain of the tribe
Falkenauge – the chief scout, son of the former chief and rival to Silberblick
Seestern – favorite slave of Silberblick, a captive from the Trident people
Zornige Löwin – the tribe’s champion and strongest warrior, step-sister to Falkenauge
Dunkeltot – the tribe’s ritual assassin, brother to Falkenauge

We established precedence for theme selection with Weise Schildkröte’s player being the first to choose one. Precedence for casting the scenes happened to be the same order (I rolled the same number for both choices).

Scenes (First Round of Four)

1 [Weise Schildkröte] Dramatic, Open
Theme: Iron.
Describes the two smiths of the joined tribes combining their knowledge to smelt iron ore and produce raw iron themselves for the first time.
Petitions chieftain (Silberblick) to use this new wealth to trade with Tridents and enrich the tribe (emotional: asserting his power over his son in directing the tribe).
Silberblick grants the petition, earning a drama token.

2 [GM] Dramatic
The tribe’s old smith “Lodernde Flamme” confronts Weise Schildkröte, claiming the new smith “Eiserner Arm” still resents the Rock-Mighty and has secretly cursed the new iron. He demands the death of “Eiserner Arm” (emotional: wants the priest’s support in being the only smith of the tribe).
Weise Schildkröte declines to believe him, while promising to look into the matter (denied petition). GM gets a drama token.

3 [Zornige Löwin] Dramatic
Hearing of the proposed trade expedition, Zornige Löwin rushes to Silberblick to concinve him to send her and Dunkeltot on a scouting mission first, and an argument ensues whether trading the raw iron really makes sense. Zornige Löwin argues it would be better to forge weapons from it themselves. The chief eventually agrees that the two should scout the Trident’s and try to steal some of their weapons – perhaps the smiths can learn to forge better weapons from these samples. Emotional: ZL wants SB to be more aggressive and decisive.
ZL is satisfied with the chief’s decision (petition granted), earning SB a drama token.

4 [Silberblick] Color
The chieftain tells Dunkeltot about this mission he’s supposed to go on, which should rightfully be the work of Falkenauge (the tribe’s scout). Dunkeltot readily agrees though – no conflict happens.
Silberblick’s player was at a bit of a loss for another scene at this point, so we just called it a color scene and moved on.

5 [Dunkeltot] Dramatic
Dunkeltot meets with his brother Falkenauge, telling him about the scouting mission. Emotionally he seeks his forgiveness and absolution for taking over a duty that would really be Falkenauge’s.
Falkenauge grants the petition (drama token for him), while asking his brother for his support to get Zornige Löwin to marry the chief (Silberblick). This could have been another petition, but wasn’t clearly answered, so no drama tokens were exchanged.

6 [Falkenauge] Dramatic
Falkenauge has formulated a plan to get rid of his hated rival Silberblick and perhaps become chieftain himself. He tells his step-sister Zornige Löwin that she should marry Silberblick (it’s been established that he’s the family head and needs to grant his approval for her to leave, marry and form her own family). He insinuates that something bad could happen to Silberblick. Once she’s a widow, Zornige Löwin would then be free to marry anyone she chooses.
Zornige Löwin reluctantly assents, obviously not being happy about the whole idea. But Falkenauge feels his petition has been granted, earning Zornige Löwin a token.

7 [Seestern] Dramatic
Seestern, the tribe’s Trident slave, is understandably excited about the possibility of contact with her people. She tries to get her owner Silberblick to send her with the scouts (she speaks the language and knows the customs of the Tridents after all). He flatly refuses and even rejects her proposal to at least send Falkenauge instead of Dunkeltot – the latter’s role as assassin making her extremely anxious. Silberblick reveals that he doesn’t trust Falkenauge since the scout tried undermine his success in bringing the Grasseaters under his rule.
Seestern’s petition is clearly rejected and Silberblick passes her own of his drama tokens.


  • The evening started off a bit slow, as everybody was finding their footing, but by scene 6 we were back in full swing, with Falkenauge starting to form alliances against the chief, and an expedition into trident lands planned.
  • Players hardly needed a very quick reminder of the rules, and is was obvious from the scenes, drama was highly favored over procedural.
  • We had neglected to to note down the procedural token status for everyone last time, so we just started fresh for this session

Go to part 3 >>

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