Tag Archives: Hillfolk

Hillfolk Limited Edition

In the shadow of empires, an epic saga of ambition and desire! Only 100 copies of this faux-leatherbound limited edition Hillfolk exist. 50 are available to customers in the U.S. and Canada, and 50 are available to customers outside the U.S. and Canada. The books are faux leather with foil, and each one includes a sticky-backed bookplate signed […]

Star Trek: Discovery, Ashen Stars, and Episode Structure

[Contains a mild spoiler for the most recent episode of Discovery…] A note on tone in Ashen Stars invites you to think of it as the gritty reboot of a beloved TV space opera show from the past. Enough episodes of Star Trek: Discovery have dropped to see that it is very much reading out […]

Those Two Pesky Cards (A Variant Hillfolk Procedural Rule)

Some Hillfolk players report cognitive dissonance over an edge case in the game’s procedural resolution system. Success in a standard procedural scene with the players on one side and the GM on the other depends on matching a target card. When the GM spends a green procedural token, at least one of the player’s cards […]

Dramatic Poles of “Better Call Saul”

In a world where it’s impossible to watch enough great TV shows to declare any of them the greatest TV show now in production, I’m still gonna call “Better Call Saul” one of the best shows going. (And I still haven’t made it all the way through “Breaking Bad”, which might suggest some kind of […]

Can We Have the Room, Please?

Although DramaSystem, the rules engine underlying Hillfolk, builds game sessions that feel like episodes of serialized TV dramas, differences between the two mediums do sometimes lead to somewhat different results. One device you see all the time in TV shows rarely appears in DramaSystem. Very often on a TV show the writers emphasize the emotional […]

Malandros – A New DramaSystem Game

[Editor’s note: the Malandros Kickstarter ended on 20th November 2015] Malandros is a tabletop roleplaying game based on the award-winning DramaSystem rules engine created by Robin Laws. Like its predecessor Hillfolk, it’s a game of personal struggles and interpersonal drama. Making a new DramaSystem game like this is possible thanks to the generous backers of the […]

See P. XX: Free-For-All DramaSystem Procedural Resolution

A column on roleplaying by Robin D. Laws A while back in the Alma Mater Magica series I’ve been running we came across an unusual situation not covered by the DramaSystem procedural rules. A wizardly confrontation pitted at least three player factions against each other. I polled the players to find out what their characters […]

The Siren Song of Crossover

When I start a new series, I always intend to keep it separate from the last one. Certain factors inevitably continue from one game to the next. At the top of this list appear the habits of individual players in creating and portraying their characters. The way any two players tend to riff off one […]

Join the Fantasy Confrontation League

In my recent piece on the necessity of kicking out incorrigibly disruptive players, I briefly mentioned geek culture’s fear of ostracizing behavior. JS3’s comment on the post has me wanting to consider that in a little more depth. The idea that geeks don’t separate themselves from fellow members of the sub-culture due to their own […]

The Old Centipede Trick

The play advice in Hillfolk largely focuses on the GM as the source of external pressure that keeps the player characters at odds with one another, generating new and compelling drama. However, as a DramaSystem player, you may well enjoy the process of tightening the screws on, or delivering comeuppances to, other players’ characters. A […]

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