DramaSystem – more drama than system

“Huh? Isn’t this blog dead?” No, merely hibernating. As it turns out, running a weekly game and writing posts inspired by that game occupy the same mindspace, and game preparation trumps blog. But having supported the kickstarter for Robin D. Laws’ Hillfolk/DramaSystem and consumed the preview rules in a day, I wanted to excise my impressions from my head and onto the (web)page. What did I think? Great theory, unconvincing practical application.

Update: oops, I’ve forgotten to actually say what Hillfolk is. It is an indie roleplaying game about Iron Age tribes in fictional 10th century BCE.  Its main focus is not heroic adventures, but rather dramatic interactions between characters. Hence, DramaSystem.

First things first. I haven’t yet played the game, merely read the preview rules. From my understanding, they’re unlikely to significantly change. I’ve also been left disappointed by almost all “narrative” roleplaying games I’ve tried, though I maintain it’s their fault. But I liked Robin’s Gumshoe, and so decided to give Hillfolk a try.

Continue reading