Tag Archives: Hillfolk

See P. XX: Adjusting the Circuitry

Page XX A Column about Roleplaying by Robin D. Laws When we of the Pelgrane-Industrial Complex write and test GUMSHOE scenarios, we take care to avoid short circuits—moments that, early in play, could conceivably allow the investigators to abruptly move to the end of the story. The dissatisfactions of short-circuiting are various. The players miss […]

The Rhythm of Ensemble

In DramaSystem players both work together as co-authors to build a story, yet also compete as characters in pursuit of their unmet emotional needs. By requiring you to call scenes featuring other characters who don’t necessarily want to give you what you seek, it bends you toward conflict. But if you’re used to a more […]

Problem Solving vs Problem Protecting

Just as DramaSystem characters are torn between two dramatic poles, we as roleplayers may find ourselves torn between two roles: character and co-author. Certain games and play styles encourage us to think only of what our PCs would do. Some players who prefer this approach take a semantic leap overboard and declare any game where […]

The RPG Geek DramaSystem Contest 2015

The RPG Geek DramaSystem Contest 2015 by Yohann Delalande I only discovered Hillfolk a year ago. I was fortunate enough to experience a demo game run by Robin D. Laws himself at the Chimériades, a small French convention with a huge gaming-holiday feel. This experience turned into a real eye-opener. DramaSystem showed me how to […]

If Game of Thrones was Your DramaSystem Game

My booth pitch for Hillfolk describes its rules engine, DramaSystem, as emulating the structure of serialized cable TV shows. So let’s take an example heavily watched in geekland, “Game of Thrones.” Here’s a scene breakdown of the first episode of the fifth season with an eye toward identifying the petitioner and the granter and seeing […]

Abandoned Idea Clearinghouse: DramaSystem Scene Intention Grid

Like most designers, when I get a stray idea for a game mechanic I try to exercise the discipline to make a note of it. Here’s where I can’t speak for other designers: I almost never use them, because they are misconceived by dint of their very nature as stray ideas. Mechanics for their own […]

Chuffa In Hillfolk

A relatively new entry in scriptwriting jargon owes its secret origin to notoriously uncooperative movie star Bruce Willis. Kevin Smith recalls the moment, during their unfruitful collaboration on fore-doomed project Cop Out, when Willis started ripping out pages of dialogue he deemed irrelevant to the main action. This was chuffa, Willis said, and he wasn’t […]

See P. XX: How DramaSystem Characters are Like Island Finches

A Column about Roleplaying by Robin D. Laws Early episodes of television series sometimes seem perfectly wrought in retrospect, ably setting up the themes and situations that the ending pays off. Others evolve from the original conceptions the writers set out for themselves in their pitch documents. “Parks and Recreation” gives us a textbook example. […]

See P. XX: Back to School with Alma Mater Magica

Page XX A Column about Roleplaying by Robin D. Laws With my nearly year-long Feng Shui 2 series properly ushered to its exploding, juncture-rattling big finish, and my days currently occupied by a mobile game project I don’t have to playtest, I thought the Thursday night game should slip back into the familiar waters of […]

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