To say I was floored that Robin Laws would want me to contribute anything to a book of his is a vast understatement but I’ve had a couple chances now to work with him and it’s been a treat every time. The most recent release is Hillfolk, the introductory book to his brilliant DramaSystem roleplaying gaem. Much like how his Gumshoe system was designed to emulate procedural dramas, DramaSystem gives players the tools to craft stories with personal conflict at their heart.

The base setting, Hillfolk, centers on the drama of the Iron Age people. From the official website:

In an arid badlands, the hill people hunger. Your neighbors have grain, cattle, gold. You have horses and spears, courage and ambition. Together with those you love and hate, you will remake history—or die.

As you build your story, you mold and shape the Hillfolk setting to fit its needs. Do you entangle yourself with the seductions of your wealthy cousins to the north? Do you do battle with the fearsome sea people to the west? Or do you conquer the scattered badlands tribes to forge a new empire of your own?

It’s really good stuff. For those who wish to expand beyond the base setting, Robin recruited a who’s who of gaming folks to contribute series pitches that apply the DramaSystem rules to new settings and genres. Check out this list:

Jason Morningstar, Michelle Nephew, Kenneth Hite, Matt Forbeck, T.S. Luikart, Jason L. Blair, Chris Pramas, Emily Care Boss, Rob Wieland, Steven S. Long, Eddy Webb, Jesse Bullington, Gene Ha & Art Lyon, James Wallis, Chris Lackey, John Scott Tynes, Ryan Macklin, Graeme Davis, Dave Gross, Allen Varney, Meguey Baker, Sarah Newton, Kevin Kulp, Mac Sample, Jason Pitre, Wolfgang Baur, Keith Baker, Will Hindmarch, Rob Heinsoo, Ed Greenwood

I can’t believe I’m in such company. My own series pitch, Inhuman Desires, brings paranormal romance to the DramaSystem. You’ll play as vampires, werewolves, fair folk, ghosts, and the enigmatic elders as they vie for control and influence of their shared resource: humans.

Hillfolk is out next month, and you can pre-order it (and the new edition of the excellent Esoterrorists) over at the Pelgrane Press website.