So, succumbed to the latest Bundle of Holding and picked up Pelgrane Press’s Hillfolk, the RPG that bills itself as having play like an HBO original series.
The base setting for Hillfolk is an early Iron Age tribe. I thought we were talking about the late European Iron Age, until I saw pg. 68, which is a map of the area.
Hillfolk’s hills, if I’m not mistaken, are the Judean hills, with the Jordan River to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Given that I’ve spent more time than I’ve cared to puzzling over Israeli road maps, I’m pretty sure I’m not mistaken (also it says it’s the 10th Century Levant two pages later).
I’m actually a little disappointed by this, because the instructions around this map are to make the area abstract and suited to whatever story you want to tell, which is great, but the Levantine early iron age was actually super-interesting, with all sorts of amazing cultural and religious details, but unless I’m a super-nudgy GM who demands them in despite the opposition of my players those details will never get included.
Otherwise, I like the system and look forward to trying it out. I also think running the underlying mechanics would be good for my “Eleanor Roosevelt’s Commandos” setting.
So, instead of blogging, or doing anything else I’ve been promising to do, I’ve been playing the free-to-play game Card Hunter by the Blue Manchu studio. It’s ridiculously addictive.
It’s a “collectible card” computer game, but with the conceit that you’re playing something strangely similar to but clearly not using any licensed trademarks of Dungeons & Dragons, somewhere between 1st and 2nd Edition. Lots of moving little people on grid mats while a geeky teen in a cape tells you you’re in the lair of the kobold king or whatever.
As it sounds, the game doesn’t take its setting that seriously, although each battle does have a lovingly-rendered fake D&D module cover and chapter page to set the flavor of the next encounter.
As for the battles themselves, they’re fun. Each item equipped on one of your three characters grants them a number of cards to play with, which are randomly drawn each turn, so you either are chasing baddies around the board hoping to use your attack cards, running away from baddies hoping you’ll draw some attack cards, or just wondering why you equipped that weird item in the first place because these cards are effing useless. It’s all in good fun.
So, if you want to suck up all your time in a free-to-play game, and the Kim Kardashian game doesn’t do it for you (playing that I somehow ended up with an albino lesbian character who dressed like a Forever 21 clearance rack threw up on her), Card Hunter is worth a try.
Below the fold is the summary of social statuses, professions, and factions in Clockwork & Chivalry, as I promised in my Nobilis post. I handed it out to my players so I could help everyone generate a character at the same time with some speed, as opposed to having everyone sit with a book.