In the latest episode of their towering concrete podcast, Ken and Robin talk favorite NYPL maps, Majestic Overwatch, FanExpo Q & A, and le Corbusier.

HandofGlory“Look! It burns clear, but with the air around,
Its dead ingredients mingle deathliness.”

— Robert Southey, Thalaba the Destroyer, a.k.a. “The Other Other Romantic Vampire Poem, You Know, The One That Gets No Respect”

From Gerard de Nerval to Harry Potter to the pub-rockin’ Smithereens, the Hand of Glory knocks so sneakily at our culture that of course I had to let it in. Also, unkind and waspish sorts might suggest that this is yet another Thing We Left Out of the Dracula Dossier, when in fact it is of course great fun for all games of horror and creeperie but yes okay fine there’s a Hand of Glory in the Whitby Museum (DH, p. 177) so it might indeed be handy to have written up as a Director’s Handbook-style Object. But you can also use it in a properly occult Trail of Cthulhu game — the Minor Artifact version below fits right into the skeevy world of Bookhounds of London, for instance. And since it began as a cool-sounding mistranslation, it’s clearly ready for the Esoterrorists, to boot.

Quick Esoterroristic Diversion: Early modern magicians, caught in a game of one-upmanship with competing rogues and cunning-men, had to deploy ever more outré magicks to keep their clients happy. Digging through a grimoire one day (probably) in the mid-16th century, such a warlock stumbled over the Greek word mandragora, meaning mandrake-root, which brings sleep (because it’s actually the same thing as opium poppies) and grows beneath the gallows (because eww, which is to say, cool) and shines at night (see opium poppies, supra). He transliterated it into his native French as main-de-gloire, or “hand of glory.” Since that’s obviously not the same thing as a root, it had to be something else: the hand of a hanged murderer (gallows!) that you burn like a candle (shines!) to put people in a house to sleep (!) to rob them. And once warlocks started offering such things for sale, inquisitors started asking witches about them under torture and hey presto genuine occult legend is born. So thus in our early postmodern era, an eager-adopter Esoterrorist with only broken English reads about the Hand of Glory on the Internet. He (it’s always a he) decides it’s actually Hangloria, the possessed demon hand of someone who dies of autoerotic asphyxiation that glows like a computer monitor and puts your chosen stalker target into a trance. And then he tells all his Esoterrorist creepster buddies and sure enough Hanglorias come crawling out of closets all over Bangkok and Macao and Sochi.

Okay, now back to the Hand of Glory in the Whitby Museum.

Hand of Glory

Appearance: Blackish-gray mummified human right hand. Forensic Pathology types it as severed after death, likely from a working-class man given the degree and type of bone deformation and callusing. Occult Studies might twig to the weirdness of a right hand being used as a Hand of Glory when traditionally the left, or sinister, hand was preferred. Of course, other traditions considered the handedness of the hanged murderer more important: the right hand of a dextral killer would be the “murder hand,” and thus more imbued with occult evil.

Supposed History: Research can trace this Hand of Glory back to 1935, when one Joseph Ford donated it to the Whitby Museum. Ford, a local antiquary, supposedly found it inside the wall of a cottage in Castleton in Yorkshire while repairing the stonework. More generally, a Hand of Glory (Occult Studies) is a magical thieves’ tool. Cut from the wrist of a hanged murderer (or thief, ideally at midnight in total silence) the hand is pickled with niter, salt, peppers, lime or borax, and an ingredient called zimat (possibly verdigris or iron sulfate) then sun-dried or oven-dried with vervain and fern. In some traditions, the Hand is potent enough now; in others you need a candle made from the fat of a hanged man, wax, and ponie (possibly one or all of: soap, horse dung, or sesame) to activate its magic. If you have the correct ingredients and a workable recipe, you can make a Hand of Glory in 28 days (17 if making the Hand during the dog-days of July-August) and a Candle in the night of the new moon. (2-point spend for all the ingredients, etc.)

Major Artifact: When the fingers of the Hand close around the Candle and the Candle is lit, the Hand has the following powers:

  • Any locked door, gate, portal, safe, etc. in the Candle light unlocks itself when the wielder spends 1 point (or 2 points for clearly impossible or advanced locks) of Stability.
  • When the wielder utters an incantation (usually given as “Let all those who are asleep be asleep, and let those who are awake be awake.”) everyone asleep in the building remains completely asleep regardless of noise or even attack. A Hand more suited to the world of 24-hour security might force a Difficulty 8 Stability (or Athletics) test to remain awake, or at least allow a +3 bonus to all surprise tests against those inside.
  • The Candle flares up blue in the presence of secret doors, buried treasure, etc. and its light reveals the invisible, including vampires. Vampires with Magic or Necromancy may of course be able to animate or otherwise control the Hand.

Seeing a Hand of Glory work inspires a 3-point Stability test in all witnesses, including the thieves. The Hand must be held in the wielder’s hand to activate the first two powers, although it can be set down upright and continue keeping sleepers somnolent, revealing the invisible, etc.

The Candle burns for 4-6 hours, and can only be extinguished by blood; the Hand lasts until destroyed.

Minor Artifact: To use the Hand, soak the fingertips in unguent or lighter fluid and light it up. When lit, the Hand has the following powers, depending on the number of Fingers (F; fingers including the thumb) it has remaining:

  • Adds +F to all the wielder’s tests of Mechanics, Infiltration, etc. to open a lock or door. Grants the Open Sesame cherry (NBA, p. 31) regardless of wielder’s Infiltration rating. (In Trail of Cthulhu, grants +F points of Locksmith.) The exception: doors warded with owls’ blood.
  • After the wielder utters the incantation, those asleep in the house remain asleep unless attacked. If someone is awake in the house, one finger goes out for each wakeful person. This does not diminish F unless the Director is feeling cruel.
  • Adds +F to the wielder’s (or anyone else watching) tests of Sense Trouble, Conceal, etc. for the purpose of finding hidden treasure, secret doors, the invisible, etc. Counteracts invisibility, e.g.: an invisible vampire adds +6 to the Hit Threshold to shoot her, but with a three-fingered Hand burning, that advantage is down to +3 to Hit Threshold.

Seeing a Hand of Glory work inspires a 3-point Stability test in all witnesses, including the thieves. The Hand must be held in the wielder’s hand to activate the first two powers, although it can be set down upright and continue keeping sleepers somnolent, revealing the invisible, etc.

The Hand burns for 30 minutes per Finger remaining on the Hand, including itself. So a Hand down to one Finger burns for 30 minutes. It can be extinguished by milk or blood; when it goes out it cannot be relit. After each use, one Finger no longer lights, so each Hand has only five uses.

Telluric Artifact: The Hand must be cut from the body of someone infected by the telluric bacteria, like a vampire. (Using the hand of a Renfield is only half as effective; use half F rounded up.)  The pickling, drying, etc. feeds the bacteria while (partially) shielding the wielder from infection. Until you light the Hand and inhale activated bacterial ash, of course. Its powers are the same as the Minor Artifact version, with a few tweaks:

  • The bacteria heighten the wielder’s hand-eye coordination and senses of touch and hearing, improving lockpicking, etc. tests by +F but also similar abilities such as Explosive Devices at the Director’s discretion.
  • The carbonized bacterial-zimat cloud puts everyone who inhales it to sleep except the quasi-infected wielder. If she has friends, they need gas masks or the equivalent to avoid the Difficulty 4+F Health test to stay awake in the same room as a burning Hand.
  • The bacteria also heighten the wielder’s predatory pattern-matching skills and awareness, adding +F to her Sense Trouble, Conceal, etc., and counteracting invisible (including tellurically invisible) targets as a Minor Artifact. Add F points of Notice to the wielder’s pool.
  • The bacteria also imbue the wielder with a rush of self-confidence bordering on the sociopathic. He must make an F-point Stability test to withdraw from the room, avoid touching the valuables, or generally not act like he owns the place.

Using a Hand of Glory requires an immediate 4-point Stability test.

It can be extinguished by anything that might normally put out a fire except milk or blood (or other high-protein or iron-rich fluids), which feed the bacteria and increase its effect on the wielder. (Wielder can now spend Health or Stability on any test improved by the Hand; the Stability test to resist its predator confidence is now Difficulty 4+F and costs F+2 Stability if failed.)

Fraudulent: The hand may have been mummified by actual thieves, or by a homeowner superstitiously trying to guard his cottage from thieves, or by a local antiquary who wanted his name in the paper, but it doesn’t have magic powers.

Connections: The formula for a true Hand of Glory might appear in Le Dragon Noir (DH, p. 273), or in another grimoire owned or coveted by the Bookseller (DH, p. 106). A true Hand makes an ideal target (or resource) for the Caldwell Foundation (DH, p. 160), Extraordinary Objects Department (DH, p. 161), or for the Psychic (DH, p. 96), Enigmatic Monsignor (DH, p. 114), or Online Mystic (DH, p. 126). As an early modern magician, Elizabeth Báthory (DH, p. 63) or her assets (DH, p. 135) may make use of the things. If the Sniper (DH, p. 131) has one, that could explain her ability to come and go from her hits; if Edom has one, it’s part of Pearl’s (DH, p. 52) kit. If Edom uses Minor Artifact Hands as standard field issue, that might put an intriguing spin on the origin of the term Lamplighter (DH, p. 123). In the latter case, if Pearl doesn’t keep tight hold of the stock, a Hand may turn up at Carfax (DH, p. 185) or buried inside the wall at the thieves’ target Coldfall House (DH, p. 188).


Frustrated in your hunt for Quandos Vorn, the arch-criminal of the Gaean Reach upon whom you have sworn vengeance dire? Rather than seek him directly, you and the rest of your rag-tag band of righteous grudge holders may find it fruitful to follow the trail of an item he has stolen. Yes, perhaps in some cases the item will turn out to have been purloined by others. But one of them must surely bring you face to face with the man himself–or at least to one of his bases, or a lackey eager to betray his present location.

  1. Prototype of the First Intersplit Drive. Stolen from the European Aeronautics Museum in Brussels, Old Earth, by an as yet unknown subterfuge. Docents discovered a hologram in its place eight days after its last confirmed cleaning. Recovering this object will entail logistical challenges, as it weighs in at half a tonne.
  2. Sapphire Crown of the Swamp Witch. Carved from an enormous gem of the specified type, this was taken from a shaman of Wyst in a savage raid that left her and seven members of her retinue dead.
  3. Pocket Watch once owned by Ferebos Yalune. Taken from a memorabilia auction on Alcydon. On record as admiring Yalune’s reign of terror from three centuries ago, Quandos Vorn collects artifacts related to his life and is thus suspected in this theft.
  4. Phryndal’s Recursive Refusium. Self-explanatory.
  5. The Jandoon Hotel at Calara. Dematerialized in its entirety, with seventy guests and one hundred and forty staff members, after a billing dispute with a roue later revealed to be a Quandos Vorn alias. Assumed destroyed until relatives of wealthy missing guests began receiving ransom demands. Staff members are believed to have been sold by human traffickers somewhere in the Ferriers sector.
  6. The Perfect Strawberry. Preserved in a beautiful crystal cryosphere, this was judged the apex of the fragaria ananassa at the 143rd Gustation Tournament of Yaphet. It spent its next hundred and twelve years in the Botanic Hall of Fame until it was taken at projac-point by known Vorn associates. Speculation has it that Vorn intends to eat it as part of his upcoming birthday celebrationtime and location to be announced.
  7. Murmurings of the Concrete Column at Plast. Copies of this inexplicable recording of course remain in various top-secret databanks, but the voice unit that captured the original audio was taken during a starmenter raid on the ship Ecdysiast.

The Gaean Reach, the Roleplaying Game of Interstellar Vengeance, brings to your tabletop the legendary cycle of science fiction classics by the great Jack Vance. This ingenious hybrid fuses the investigative clarity of the GUMSHOE system with the lethal wit of the Dying Earth Roleplaying Game. Purchase The Gaean Reach in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

In the latest episode of their delicious podcast, Ken and Robin talk powergaming, the science of taste, our Dracula movie, and James Jesus Angleton.

Seven Wonders_cover_350

Different times call for different games

Have you ever wondered…

  • what happened to the children from Narnia when they grew up?
  • what it’s like to voyage into a black hole?
  • how dystopias are created, and destroyed?
  • what you would sacrifice to protect your family?
  • what heroes talk about on the eve of a life-altering battle?
  • how to defend your village, when your heroes are away?
  • who protects your home when you’re not looking?

Seven Wonders has the answers!

Seven Wonders is a collection of stand-alone story games from UK-based games designers, which focus on characterisation and inter-character drama, and use improvisational techniques to tell innovative, compelling tales.

Seven Wonders includes the following new story games:

When the Dark is Gone

by Becky Annison

Imagine the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They visited a magical land, fought battles alongside talking animals and centaurs and won a war against a powerful and evil enemy. Then they returned home, no-one believed them and they were back to war time rations and maths homework. What did that feel like? How did they live with the memories of what they experienced?

Did they end up in therapy?

When the Dark is Gone is a GM’d story game for 3-4 players, who take on the roles of Clients in a real-world, modern-day setting, whose serious psychological disorders are damaging them and those closest to them. The game is set in their group therapy session – one final attempt to get their lives back on track.

Rise and Fall

by Elizabeth Lovegrove

Dystopias come from somewhere, and they go somewhere. They appear because someone is able to convince others that they are reasonable, and they disappear because someone is able to exploit their weaknesses. They rise, and they fall.
Rise and Fall is a GM-less story game for 2-5 people in which players create a dystopia, explore its rise to power, how everyday life operates during its tenure, and then how the regime is brought down.

Heroes of the Hearth

by Stiainín Jackson

Do you see them? Off in the distance? The heroes – the ‘adventuring party’. A thief, a fighter, a cleric, a mage – that’s the story, they’re off to do battle against some terrible threat. They’ll defend the villages by the way. They’ll fight fearsome beasts. They’ll find great and awesome treasure. And at the end of it … well, I guess they’ll go home?

Because every adventurer has a place that they’re from, and every adventurer has people that know them – many are lucky enough to have people that love them. Those people have stories too – what is their home like? How do they feel when their loved ones are off doing battle? What do they do in the face of this threat and how do they move on with their lives?

This game is about those stories and those people. They are the heroes of the hearth.When the Dark is Gone interior_350

Acceptable Losses

by Tova Näslund

A family drama set in a dystopian future. Humanity lives in self-sustaining buildings, large enough to supply hundreds of thousands of people. At the start of each month, an “employee of the month” is announced and allowed to move up a floor. On the other hand, a family that doesn’t fill their work quota are sent down a floor, to the even worse slums below.

In the tougher lower floors live the Witkins, a close family of maintenance workers. Over the years you’ve adopted a family motto: the Witkins don’t ask for help, they earn it. But you’re in dire straits, crippled with debt and due to be forced down a floor in the next five days. One of you has a means of escape – a promotion, through marriage. Do you all move down together – or do you split the family?

Small Things

by Lynne Hardy

In Small Things you play a noble guardian who protects your House and Family from whatever may come along. Problem is, you’re only little – and some of the things you have to guard against are very Big…

Set in Britain somewhere between 1930 and the mid-1950s (but without the inconvenience of a World War and rationing), Small Things takes place in a world of faded colours, good manners, few labour-saving gadgets and tea made in big brown teapots and left on the hearth to warm under a stripy tea cosy.

Nemesis 382

by Alex Helm

We know that a black hole is a star that has collapsed under the weight of its own gravity, creating a well in space-time that not even light can escape. But what lies beyond a black hole? Would an object entering be simply stretched and crushed to death? Would it fall through into another universe as some scientists speculate? Or perhaps, as holy men and women suggest, would it come face to face with God? Nobody knows, and there’s only one way to find out.

This is the story of the Albert Einstein III, a scientific research vessel dispatched to the newly discovered supermassive black hole called Nemesis 382. As the ship edges closer to the event horizon, the crew must decide once and for all – how far are they willing to go in the name of science?

Before the Storm

by Joanna Piancastelli

It’s the last few hours of the world as you know it. Tomorrow morning, the Stormsworn will attack – a huge army granted power by a malevolent ancient force. There’s no way out of the oncoming battle.

You sit in the hall of Castle Iriya, yourself and your small band of companions, the people you must now trust and rely on above all others.  You all have your flaws, your secrets and regrets, things you ought to tell each other but never have. In these last hours of eerie peace, you have a chance to put that to rights.

Status: In layout

Your freelance law enforcement crew may have formed and then found a ship with which to ply the justice trade out in the Bleed. Or perhaps you joined an existing laser gang that already had a ship. Whether or not you had a say in the class of ship you crew on, it has an attitude toward the galaxy that eventually comes to affect the way you see things. All right, all right, you’re a perfect flower of free volition, unencumbered by cultural influence of any stamp. But you have noticed that you can type other crews according to the type of ship they ride, right? You can guess an investigator’s ship class from seeing how she drinks in a bar, and can likewise estimate the sort of person you’ll be dealing with from the class of ship that hails you in the big bad black.

Let’s start with the obvious. And there is no ship class more obvious than The Hammer. The ship class that notoriously got liberated from its original designers by disgruntled operators. That tells you how a bullish craft shapes the decisions of those behind its consoles.

Hammers require more crew members than most to op their many battle stations. They take more casualties than most laser crews. This means recruiting a steady stream of expendables. Seasoned investigators may fill lead positions, but that leaves a lot of hair-trigger jarheads wandering around starport when the main folk are off gathering information. Look for the thick-necked young crewperson with the heat burns and skull-shaven hair, and that’s your typical Hammer crewer.

Used to cruising the Bleed in their shoot-first, question the debris later vessels, they default to bullying when challenged. Like most no-necks, you can back them down with a superior show of force and steelier Intimidation of your own. Many have criminal pasts whose past Downside associations you may recall and therefore leverage. Flattery regarding their workout routines can loosen their lips, too. Just be ready for a long stream of details about the relative merits of zero-grav versus heightened-grav core strength moves. Hammer crews don’t literally meet the definition of an alien species but they do tend to form their own cultures. Ergo, a show of Respect may be the fastest way to earn the trust of these authority-loving outlaws. Yep, they’re walking contradictions: folk who used to be loners on the run and are now valued members of a keenly survival-oriented unit. They’re ready to die for their brethren, so never try to get them to rat on each other. Whatever you need from them, holo it as something that benefits the team. Their sweaty, edge-dwelling, aggro team.


Ashen Stars is a gritty space opera game where freelance troubleshooters solve mysteries, fix thorny problems, and explore strange corners of space — all on a contract basis. The game includes streamlined rules for space combat, 14 different types of ship, a rogues’ gallery of NPC threats and hostile species, and a short adventure to get you started. Purchase Ashen Stars in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

Malandros cover Nov2015 small

[Editor’s note: the Malandros Kickstarter will end 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 Hillfolk Kickstarter campaign. One of the stretch goals they reached released DramaSystem under an open licence for people to use for their own designs. The text of Malandros will be released under a similar licence.

Characters & Setting

In Malandros, you play characters in a tight-knit community in the final year of the Empire of Brazil: gang leaders, captains of industry, fishermen, martial artists, swindlers and more. You all know each other – you’re family, friends, rivals or enemies, all living in the same part of town. You all want something from each other. Maybe it’s respect, maybe it’s love. Maybe it’s fear, or something else.

Rio de Janeiro at the end of the 19th century is a city of slums and palaces, street gangs and tycoons, the most modern technologies of the era and ancient traditions. As a setting, it’s got everything. A bustling city, people from all over the world, ethnic and class tension, street fights, sharp suits, magic, martial arts, freed slaves, carnival parades, corrupt elections… you name it, pretty much.

The malandros of the title are a classic carioca archetype. The well-dressed, work-shirking wise guy who sidesteps society’s rules to live as he pleases. Or tries to, at any rate. It’s not a term that’s always applied to someone approvingly, and many of your Player Characters might not see themselves as malandros even if other people do.

Malandros caricaturesYou can download a PDF sample from the character creation chapter, containing the dozen archetypes you choose from when creating your game’s main cast:


Malandros uses an entirely new system for procedural scenes, which ties into the scene economy in a different way to that of Hillfolk. Robin Laws explicitly designed Hillfolk’s procedural system so that one character acting alone is unlikely to succeed – you need to get other PCs on board with your plan to have a decent shot at success.

The reason for this difference is the outcomes each game is designed to produce. Hillfolk emulates ensemble TV dramas, such as Deadwood, Peaky Blinders or Battlestar Galactica (the more recent one, not the one with the robot dog).

Malandros draws on the legends of historical malandros and capoeiristas, 19th-century novels and modern telenovelas. These stories more often involve characters who are connected but go off in different directions to follow their individual agendas. So the Malandros procedural system lets you go off by yourself to do stuff, probably succeed if it’s something you’re good at, and get into trouble by yourself too. When it comes to dealing with the repercussions, that’s when you may want some help.

The core of the procedural system is simple: roll a d6. If you choose to spend a relevant ability, add its rating to the result. If you get a 6 or more, you succeed optimally. On a 3-5, it’s success at a cost, and on 2 or lower you fail.

So a bonus of 2 or higher from an ability or other source will guarantee at least a partial success – but once you’ve spent it, you can’t use it again until you refresh the ability in a later scene. Forward thinkers will try to approach high-stakes scenes with several abilities they can bring to bear on the situation.

If you don’t have a usable ability, you might get by through the blessings of Axé, which is what Afro-Brazilian religions call the divine energy of the world – the power to make things happen. In game terms, rather more prosaically, Axé lets you re-roll a result you don’t like.

The other half of the system in play, resolving dramatic scenes, is largely unchanged from Hillfolk. This made playtesting a lot easier, since that’s a set of robust, already tried and tested rules.

One new thing that’s important to the rhythm of the game is that procedural actions are hooked more directly into the scene economy. You refresh a spent ability by calling an appropriately unstressful dramatic scene, which helps maintain a pleasing balance between laid-back chats, everyday life and scenes of high drama or furious action.

You can download an extract of the procedural rules.

The Kickstarter

Malandros is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to cover its art budget. The game is already written, with a few more playtests scheduled before release in early 2016.

Malandros character creation spreads

The reason for running a Kickstarter instead of just releasing the game in its current form is that it needs more art to effectively communicate its themes and setting. Some things are better shown than explained with words. But while there’s a wealth of fantastic art available from the period, many of the people and activities that feature in the game don’t show up in contemporary art. Rich white people – no problem. Everyone else – not always as easy. So the funds raised will go towards custom artwork and photography licences to cover those gaps.

The stretch goals for the Kickstarter project include a number of alternative settings that apply the Malandros model to different eras and genres with a similar dynamic, focusing on ordinary and marginalised people:

The Sydney Razor Gang Wars – alternate setting in 1920s Australia
Aluminium Wars, a 1990s Russia setting by Mark Galeotti
Victorian London setting by Paula Dempsey
Other Borders, modern-day sorcery setting by Tod Foley
Gangs of Titan, an SF setting by Stras Acimovic
Kingsport Shore, Lovecraft/Twin Peaks style weirdness by Steve Dempsey

[Editor’s note – back the Kickstarter here.]

In the latest episode of their oracular podcast, Ken and Robin talk prophecy, Chicago film fest, Pyotr Rachkovsky and Eric, lava lamp of mystery.

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 another tends to act as a constant, too. Players can shift these with effort but the reasons that bring them to the gaming table tend over time to push the game toward the group’s default groove.

I have my habits too and try to consciously avoid some of them. I ration the use of particular themes that I’ve used too much in the past.

Sometimes though the story can have a surprising way of wending back to previously explored territory. A new player joined the Alma Mater Magica DramaSystem game I’m currently running and improvised her way to an area the rest of the crew already knew well. She introduced a dream reality into the setting, along with the sort of dreamscaping that featured in our previous Dreamhounds of Paris campaign.

Other players started to joke about the possibility of a cross-over.

At first I decided that I wouldn’t set about to introduce any elements from the old game in the new. If another player had wanted to, the narrative freedom of DramaSystem would certainly have allowed it. But no one did.

You might interpret this as meaning that they didn’t really want the current series to become a sequel to the last.

But the jokes and references kept coming.

I knew it would get a positive response when it happened, so when the story allowed the opportunity, I succumbed to the crossover urge.

A minor antagonist character turned out to be someone else in disguise. He revealed himself to be an insane dream reflection of a PC from Dreamhounds.

Yes, you guessed it. A simulacrum of Salvador Dalí turned out to be the big bad antagonist of the series’ second season.

Lesson: the fun value of a thing is more important than abstract qualms about the cheapness of the effect. In roleplaying, use what works.

Although Dalí hails from the Dreamlands, so far we’ve kept the rest of the Mythos out of it. So in our hunger for that sweet, sweet crossover buzz, we did show some restraint.

Hillfolk is a game of high-stakes interpersonal conflict by acclaimed designer Robin D. Laws. Using its DramaSystem rules, you and your friends can weave enthralling sagas of Iron Age tribes, Regency socialites, border town drug kingpins, a troubled crime family, posthuman cyberpunks and more. Purchase Hillfolk and its companion Blood in the Snow in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

In the latest episode of their ever so consistent podcast, Ken and Robin talk monster consistency, normalized necromancy and the latest raid on Powell’s Portland.

Previous Entries