Hail, raiders of the Gen Con high country!  To celebrate the launch of Hillfolk and its companion volume Blood on the Snow, we’ve arranged two signing events at the Pelgrane Press booth. We have so many contributors at the show that we’re going to be splitting our signers into two bunches.

On Thurs Aug 15th at 3 pm swing by to grab autographs from such tentatively scheduled luminaries as Jennifer Brozek, Steve Dempsey, Dave Gross, Rob Heinsoo, Ryan Macklin, Michelle Nephew and illustrator Rachel A. Kahn.

Then come back on Sun Aug 18th at 11 am for the cuneiform stylings of Keith Baker, Emily Care Boss, Steven S. Long, TS Luikart, Andy Peregrine, Wade Rockett and Pedro Ziviani.

The Pelgrane Booth has moved to bigger digs this year, and is now #101, across from our fine pals at Paizo.

I’ll be there for both events, and around the booth for much of the rest of the time. As always I’ll be happy to deface any of my books, new or old, for you.

Many other contributors are at the show but unable to make this event. This will not prevent you from suavely bushwhacking and/or waylaying them as they perform their duties at booths elsewhere on the exhibit hall floor.

Kickstarter backers will recall that they can arrange ahead of time to pick up their books at the show. And of course there will be copies on sale for those of you who did not join us for the campaign back in October.

BloodOnTheSnow_Cover_reducedA DramaSystem Companion

Kick your mastery of Robin D. Laws’ DramaSystem, the roleplaying game of epic interpersonal conflict, into high gear, with this essential companion volume. A fervent crowd of backers demanded it, and here it is — an imagination-stretching compendium of DramaSystem insights and ideas.

Blood on the Snow contains:

  • LARP rules from Emily Care Boss. Take the drama off the couch and up onto its feet with two live action applications. Play richer and bolder live characters than ever before.
  • DramaSystem MasterClass. A fierce vanguard of early adopters expands the margins of the game. Unlock its prequel potential. Free your scene calling. Tune to single session play.

Also by popular demand, we present a veritable deluge of character, setting and genre from 33 top gaming talents, from the gurus of today to the shapers of tomorrow.

BSP23-Transcend

  • Dive with dolphins, flee genetic persecution, or rule a fantasy city.
  • Explore histories alternate and accurate.
  • Find out how DramaSystem provides the ideal vehicle for science fiction’s idea-driven tradition.

Series Pitch creators include John Rogers, Mark Rein•Hagen, John Kovalic, David L. Pulver, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Lester Smith, Greg Stolze, Paula Dempsey, and James L. Sutter.

You’ll need Hillfolk, the original book of DramaSystem roleplaying, to enjoy Blood on the Snow.

Authors: Angus Abranson, Kevin Allen Jr., Scott Bennie, Jennifer Brozek, Ken Burnside, Emily Care Boss, Jon Creffield, Marcos Dacosta, Steven Darlington, Paula Dempsey, Steve Dempsey, Cédric Ferrand, Ian “Lizard” Harac, Chris Huth, Richard Iorio II, John Kovalic, ASH LAW, Robin D. Laws, Antti Lax, Phil Nicholls, Jack Norris, Andrew Peregrine, Mike Pohjola, Sean Preston, David L. Pulver, Mark Rein•Hagen, Jeff Richard, Josh Roby, Wade Rockett, Mark Ryan, John Rogers, Aaron Rosenberg, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Ralf Schemmann, Lester Smith, Greg Stolze, CA Suleiman, James L. Sutter, Mark Diaz Truman, Nick Wedig, Pedro Ziviani Artists: Aaron Acevedo, Andrew Gustafson, Rachel A. Kahn, Jon Hodgson, Jérôme Huguenin, John Kovalic, Pierre Legay, Jan Pospíšil, Mikko Vihervaara, Hilary Wade, Jonathan Wyke,
Stock #: PELD02 Pages: 208pg A4 Hardcover

Buy

Christian is very close to being finished with the layout for Hillfolk, and it’s really capturing the feel of the game. We’ve also had a picture from the printers of one of the bags for the Hillfolk tokens. Here are some initial mock-ups of how the books, the cards and the bag will look.

Hillfolk_books_mockup

Hillfolk_cards_mockup

Hillfolk_bag_mockup

I am very pleased to report that editorial for the core Hillfolk book has been completed. The last submissions are in, edited, and proofed, and the text and illustrations are now in the hands of graphic design supremo Christian Knutsson. That final straggler of a Series Pitch is now in hand at last. Barring unforeseen calamity, that means that Blood in the Snow should be ready for layout by the time Christian has finished with the core text. He estimates that layout will take three weeks. After we sign off on the layout, we’re looking at an eight week turnaround for printing.

We will fulfill electronic editions as soon as layout is ready, so everyone will have the PDFs in hand even as the presses are rolling on the print copies.

So raise your cups of mead, raiders. The snows of an overlong winter have delayed us, but we have finally equipped our forces. We now ride off into the badlands, to claim our victory.

If you missed the Kickstarter but want to jump on board now, stay tuned for pre-order details.

And here, apropos of nothing in the first paragraph, is John Kovalic’s illustration for his Blood on the Snow Series Pitch, “The Dagon Bar and Grille,” which brings to DramaSystem the vibe of an animated sitcom. Plus tentacles, natch.

After a brief break to complete another commitment, I am once again at work assembling Hillfolk. Here’s an update for backers and future buyers.

All of the key art for Hillfolk and its companion volume, Blood on the Snow, is now in. We’ll need a few spot illos for the LARP and Master Class sections of the latter, but I have an ingenious plan for that and it shouldn’t impact the schedule. This project not only allows for, but requires, a range of illustration styles as great as the range of settings you can bring to life in DramaSystem. So you’ll see a much greater visual variety in these books than any one RPG project would normally accommodate, from line drawing to digital manipulation to painted work to photo collage. At right appears Aaron Acevedo’s evocative illustration for Lester Smith’s ghostly series pitch, “The Spirit Is Willing.”

As of this writing, I have 96% of the text for the core book in hand, and 93% of Blood on the Snow. Almost all of this has already been copy-edited. Two pitches from each book have yet to come in. These include pieces from key names I greedily wish to keep in the books, rather than shifting them to the Pitch of the Month Club. Two of the submitted pitches exceed the standard length; I can run them in extended form if outstanding submissions remain in the wind too long. A fun pitch from an aforementioned and unannounced gaming guru also grants me flexibility to shift the line-up if need be.

I’ve been discussing with graphic designer Christian Knutsson how to handle the presentation of the two books. He’ll be creating two layout styles for us: the Hillfolk theme previewed during the Kickstarter, and a more generic DramaSystem look for the series pitches in the main book. The latter will also appear throughout Blood on the Snow. Christian has valiantly agreed to go above and beyond his original commitment to complete both books for us and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

When we launched the Kickstarter, for a 128-page book from a team of five people, I estimated an April delivery date. I had hoped, against all logic, that we could stick to that after stretch goals expanded the project to two books of twice that size, and a team of approximately eighty contributors. (Eighty? Good grief!) Reality has now set in, and I’ll get a revised publication date out to you when we have one nailed completely down. I don’t want to issue a series of guess dates and then keep having to revise them, so please bear with us as we finalize our duck alignment.

People have been asking how they might support the project now that the Kickstarter has closed. We’ve suspended orders for the moment, in order to concentrate on making the books. When we draw nearer to the final release date, we’ll open a new round of pre-orders for those who missed the crowdfund. Watch this space for further announcements.

Now that Hillfolk Kickstarter backers have had time to digest and play the game, it’s time to solicit submissions for the Master Class section of the Blood on the Snow Companion book. This is an opportunity for the emerging game writers among you to gain some experience and see your name in print.

 

The Brief

We’re looking for contributions of approximately 300-1000 words in length that will help readers understand, play, and expand DramaSystem.

The theme: challenges you encountered during play, and how you overcame them.

If you wish to submit a piece taking another angle on DramaSystem play or design, feel free to do so, with the understanding that pieces adhering to the theme are more likely to be accepted.

Whatever your subject matter, all pieces must show that you have actually played the game. Armchair ruminations will have to seek other homes.

 

The Context

These submissions will appear in a 20,000 word section of Blood on the Snow, interwoven with commentary by Robin.

 

The Process

This is an open call for pieces written on a spec basis. We will accept as many quality submissions as fit within the section’s word count. In the case of similar submissions, we’ll pick the one of greatest utility in DramaSystem play.

Deadline for submissions is Jan 14. Send submissions in .doc, .docx or .odt format to Robin at robinlaws at-symbol rogers.com.

You will not be asked to perform rewrites. Instead, Robin may adjust your prose for clarity, brevity, and maximum impact, allowing you the opportunity to comment on these changes.

 

The Deal

Authors whose pieces are accepted for publication will receive 3 cents a word US, due on acceptance, in exchange for all rights to your text. You will receive credit both as a byline and on the table of contents. Due to the brevity of these pieces our budget does not permit us to offer complimentary author’s copies. (Remember that all Hillfolk backers already receive the book in electronic form, whether you purchased the print copy or not.)

 

Note to Established Designers

This open call addresses new and emerging game writers. If you are an already established designer and wish to submit, contact me with a concept brief and we’ll discuss alternate terms.