Tag Archives: Hillfolk

DramaSystem Askew: Planning a Game of Queer Strife Amid the Collapse

When a friend asked me to run an RPG for their group of friends—all of whom were queer, and most of whom had never played an RPG before—I gave her some options to choose from. Horror? D&D-style fantasy adventure? When I mentioned DramaSystem, her eyes lit up. The rules are very light, there are no […]

Building Bombs Into Your DramaSystem Relationships

When seeking structural inspiration for DramaSystem play, you’ll find the purest sources in literary fiction and realistic drama. With no genre conventions to process, the bones of relationship-based storytelling clearly show through. The satirical literary novel Startup, by Doree Shafrir, features an interconnected group struggling to stay afloat in NYC’s tech world. You could easily […]

Running DramaSystem at Conventions

Some of the most powerful roleplaying experiences I’ve ever had have come from running DramaSystem games. Starting with the Hillfolk roleplaying game, and continuing with Blood on the Snow and Series Pitch of the Month, DramaSystem offers a wealth of setting options for players to inhabit, and create compelling stories of interpersonal conflict and emotional […]

Surprise Outcomes in DramaSystem

In my last Page XX column I promised a rule for a rare instance of procedural resolution. This occurs when the caller of the scene wants to be surprised by the outcome of an external event. I admit to being surprised that people want this, but it turns out that a few groups do. It […]

See Page XX: Stripping Down DramaSystem Procedural Resolution

a column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws When characters in DramaSystem want to accomplish something practical, external to their emotional goals, the full procedural system seen in Hillfolk allows you to narrate a detailed scene around that. It determines not only what ultimately happens, but lays down a series of suspense beats along the […]

How to Be the Teller at the Hillfolk Memory Bank

In Hillfolk the GM acts as the custodian of the overall narrative. You mostly do this when calling your own scenes. You use these to heighten tensions, add new fresh developments, and picking up previous ones that got dropped along the way. Less evidently, you can also intervene during player scenes. This requires utmost subtlety. […]

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