April 16, 2013

Hillfolk Mystery Contributor Revealed

If it’s mid-April it must be time for another Hillfolk progress report. Here’s where the project stands.

I am still awaiting submissions from three Series Pitch writers. Once those are in I’ll be know how the actual word count compares to the goal.  This will allow me to edit two other pitches that came in over the requested length, because I’ll then know how much of these I have to cut.

That’s the work of a few days.  Once everything’s in and proofed, layout will take about three weeks. We can’t assume that Christian can immediately clear his schedule of other projects when I drop the manuscripts on him, so there’s an indeterminate amount of time there.  Once he’s able to start work, we can estimate a hard release date.  Turnaround from layout to print is eight weeks. Then the shipping starts.

So our current timeframe looks like [waiting for final submissions] + approximately 1 week final editing + [deck-clearing for Christian] + 3 weeks layout + 8 weeks printing.

Absent a hard release date, let me see what else I have up my sleeve…? How about the long-teased identity of Hillfolk’s mystery contributor?

That would be Ed Greenwood, whose pitch “For Queen or Country” mixes espionage and faery folk in Elizabethan England. Ed surprised me with this over-the-transom submission of piracy, subversion and the Horned Man. This will appear in the main Hillfolk book. The illustration is by Aaron Acevedo. Looks like the original inspiration for Tinkerbell preferred Tudor-era court dress to a miniskirt made of leaves.

April 15, 2013

My Hannover Spielt! Events Schedule

Are you in the Hannover area and waffling over your possible attendance at this weekend’s Hannover Spielt! gaming convention? (If you keep reading, you’ll see what I just did there.) Surely a peek at my events schedule, as excerpted from the program book, will tip you over into attending.

Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering 
Saturday 11:00 
This is a seminar no GM should miss: Our Guest of Honor Robin D. Laws introduces us to the techniques and principles of his celebrated guidebook Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering. Afterwards you will be able to ask Robin for invaluable advice how to solve your unique or everyday GM hassles. The book Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering will be available at the Pegasus booth. 

Hillfolk Seminar
Saturday 14:00 
Robin D. Laws presents his newest creation: Hillfolk - A game of Iron Age drama. With its innovative DramaSystem Engine it might become a new milestone for our hobby. This unique system allows players, with a little help from the GM, to include not only procedural action into the gameplay, like fighting enemies and investigate mysteries, but also dramatic scenes where characters have to confront their internal obstacles and seek emotional reward from people they deeply care about for good or bad, like other players. The result is a dialogue-driven game without a lot of of boring flailing about and arguing over what to do next.

A Bier with Robin
Saturday 20:00
Late but not long ago Robin D. Laws discovered his fondness for beer. Shame on us if we would miss this great opportunity to familiarize Robin with the most valued treasure of our Vaterland: Bier. Mind you Robin will have to pick and sample as many brands as he needs to find a favorite. Of course we will take care of the rest. Apart from that you have the chance to chat with Robin in a casual atmosphere about everything you or rather he feels like. We would bet on games and movies.

Waffles with Robin & John
Sunday 11:00
Our Guests of Honor and fast friends Robin D. Laws and John Kovalic invite you to a breakfast brunch. While we make fresh waffles they will waffle about the hobby gaming industry, their Kickstarter projects, the state of the gaming hobby and the part roleplaying games played to help making gaming an universal, popular and ever present, almost inescapable cultural phenomenon. Do not forget to bring your curiosity and your Hspielt!20-mugs for free coffee.

Story by Accident?
Sunday 14:00
If you are familiar with the work of Robin D. Laws you can not help but recognize his interest in the narrative structure of films and games. Even before his analysis of film classics to find clues and elements for storytelling in games, published as Hamlet’s Hit Points, he was looking for ways to make the byproduct story an integral part of the gaming experience. He succeeds in designing rules and game elements that enable even gamers and gamemasters without strong storytelling skills to experiences fascinating games stories. A seminar that no enlightened roleplayer should miss.

Yes, folks, beer and waffles and John Kovalic too. I shall struggle manfully (personfully?) to meet the rigors of the above agenda.

April 08, 2013

Hillfolk Actual Play Series Kicks Off on NYERD Podcast

I’ve had a lost of requests for an actual play series to introduce people to Hillfolk and DramaSystem and have kicked around various ways of making this happen. Turns out all I had to was to wait for the NYERD Podcast to take care of it for me. And they found a great twist, too—rounding up a player group made up of experienced actors who have never roleplayed before. The series kicks off with a fab character creation session that really captures the creative process that emerges as a group finds their concepts and builds a web of relationships. The group’s actorly training kicks in as they zero in on strong choices providing plenty of grist for drama.

Also, kudos to the team for a well-recorded show, not an easy thing in Actual Play.

Head over to the NYERD episode post for more, or subscribe to the show on iTunes.

April 05, 2013

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Bring Your Own Goat

In the latest edition of our medically reputable podcast, Ken and I talk GAMA Trade Show, transplant quackery, player disbelief, and Jesuits in conspiracy lore.