After a few months of in-person and online playtesting (and various side quests in the Real World) I’m happy to release Playtest #2 of Hexingtide – the minimalist TTRPG rules for monster heroes, inspired by Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, the various incarnations of the World of Darkness, and other pop culture and folklore monster stories.
The very good news is the core foundation of the game is working well.
Little of the foundation of the game needed to be altered: the tri-part construction of a player character into skill and ability tracking Bonuses (now Powers), looming dangers of defensive Banes (now Portents), and the de jure healing mechanism of humanizing Bonds (now Pacts) remain in place – as do the rules-light rules of all player-facing dice rolls.
There are been some interesting additions to further customize player characters and to flesh out the rules with better explanatory text and examples. Hexingtide is now a 32 page 5.5″ x 8.5″ zine (with six of those pages being actual covers with art and pseudo end pages).
- Introducing Perils – Danger, Hardship, & Isolation: Perils are thematically heavy attributes that map back to the themes of the monster stories Hexingtide is trying to tell: ever-present Danger, hard-luck Hardship, and alienating, insightful Isolation. These attributes are die values that are double-edges swords. Sometimes you want to roll high; other times low. Choose your dice sizes carefully!
- More Dice! With the introduction of Perils, the game has moved away from using a single d10 for every roll. Now all die checks are keyed to a Peril and uses the die selected for it: a d6, d8, d10, or d12. You’re welcome, shiny math rock goblins. 😉
- New Game Terms: “Bonuses, Banes, and Bonds” have been changed to “Powers, Perils, and Portents.”
- Status Conditions: A simple status mechanism to give encounters more variety – and dangerous punch.
- Reworked Bane / Portent Checks: The defensive of the two core dice checks has been reworked to account for the new Perils system – and to give the GM flexibility by setting target numbers.
- Fleshed-Out Chymoi System: The bare-bones section on the metaphysical system of Chymoi has been better fleshed out – and expanded, so it plays a more regular (but not complex) role in the game.
- Better Explanations & More Examples: Playtesters repeatedly asked for more examples and explanatory text than what the twelve-page zine would allow. I’ve added just a smidge more content to how to run the game – Scenes, combats, investigations – with starting examples for would-be GMs to riff off of.
- GM Principles: In addition to the “Appendix N” style introduction, I’ve added a few, short, simple principles for best running the game.
- And last, but not least: kickass cover art! Brought to you by UK comic book artist Luke Parker.