Friday the 13th Hexingtide Design & Playtest Update

A brief, but important update on the current state of Hexingtide!

(What’s that? My minimalist TTRPG of monster stories and monster protagonists. Inspired by Hellboy, the World of Darkness, and a whole heap of other spooky sources. You can download the early access playtest at a name-your-price cost on Itch.)

I released the third playtest for Hexingtide back in January 2023 and then… crickets.


Burnout: both as the forever GM and as a hobbyest indie game designer (plus marketer).

I wrote a rules-light, murderhobo, Wild West game called The Devil’s Brand and have been quite contentedly – and brainlessly – running it for my home group since February.

But the urge for the monstrous and spooky is coming back! Here’s the update.

What’s happening with Hexingtide?

  • I’m critically auditing my Playtest 3 rules with the lens of the monster theme: what tweaks are needed to make the theme even more prominent in the rules? I’ve got some solid ideas there.
  • Which rules aren’t clear and/or don’t make for the best gameplay experience? What needs to be changed to improve the mechanics? I’ve got a lingering suspicion here that the open-ended Powers may inadvertently contribute to a repetitive gameplay experience (similar to what happens with games like Fate, PDQ, or Risus). I’ve got an idea, but it’s much less well formulated in my mind as of yet.
  • I’m running a 5-6 session campaign with my regular, twice-a-month home group to test these new rules.
  • After I wrap up this home campaign, I’ll work on revising the rules for public distribution. Likely January 2024 at this rate.
  • The rules are returning to black and white, by the way. Printing playtest zines at home in full color is costly.
  • Public online playtests, convention appearances, etc. are all up in the air. I remain uncertain how much time and effort I feel this project warrants, and remain a tad shellshocked from the hustle-and-grind of promoting my tabletop projects in 2021 and 2022.

Stay tuned!

If you’ve enjoyed Hexingtide in the past, please let me know. 

It’s more encouraging to put in work on this knowing there may be an interested audience.

Join the Hexingtide Facebook group here!
(I’m still ambivalent and only occasionally using the Discord server.)

Stay spooky; stay strange,

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