Hexingtide Playtest 4 Character Creation + Core Dice Mechanics Preview: a Merry Monstrous Christmas!

Hexingtide’s Playtest 4 is still a month or two away, but here’s a holiday gift from me to you.

A rules sneak peak: updated character creation rules and core dice mechanics of Power and Portent Checks!

Available on Itch: WillPhillips.Itch.io/Hexingtide

As I write this on the eve of Christmas Eve, know that I’ll write a longer breakdown of the mechanical and design changes in the gap week between Christmas and New Years. For now, enjoy the sneak peaks and keep the following tweaks in mind:

  • The metaphysical worldbuilding of Chymoi (Blood, Phlegm, etc.) has been replaced by a much more straight forward and easy to understand system of Coteries: monstrous archetypes like Undead, Sorcery, Nature, etc. The rock-paper-scissors system of Strengths and Weaknesses remain.
  • Playtest 3 introduced a roughly hewn system of Social Reactions and Monstrous Tells in response to player questions of their monstrous PCs’ places in the public eye. These have been refined and replaced with Clamors and a dedicated type of Scene called Exposures.  Clamors use the same Weakness system that the former Chymoi (now Coteries) system uses.
  • In fact, the game itself has had clearer procedures introduced by creating four explicit Scene types: Challenges, Exposures, Investigations, and a purely RP-focused Freeform Scenes. These rules will be featured in the GM content with the full Playtest 4 release.
  • Player characters may now select a variety of classic deadly sin called a Compulsion, which gives their characters a benefit during Investigation Scenes (using the same Strength mechanic used by the Chymoi / Coterie system).
  • Earning XP has been overhauled and given an in-universe mechanic called Arcs.
  • Player-facing Power and Portent Checks remain the core mechanics of the game. However, Power and Portent Checks now come with three Intents each that describe narrative intent and carry different mechanical outcomes. This should have two effects: 1. Give players have clearer options on paper for what their characters – with their open-ended, player-defined abilities – can do, and 2. Create more gameplay variety, which should keep the experience from getting too stale.
  • Lastly, the layout of the rules themselves have changed: I’m now using full sized US 8.5×11 inch paper (versus the 5.5×8.5 inch folded zine size of previous rules). I’ve also gone back to black and white / greyscale designs for cheaper printing costs.

Download the Hexingtide Playtest 4 character sheets, character creation rules, and core dice mechanics reference sheet on Itch today: WillPhillips.Itch.io/Hexingtide

On Deck: GM Content

There’s a lot of writing  left on the updated GM section, and I hope to have that content complete and ready to share in a month or two.


The most frequent feedback I heard from playtesters has been that the minimal page count left little room to grok the intent behind certain rules or expectations in gameplay. This isn’t a retread of a d20 system or a hack of a popular indie game. Hexingtide is largely uncharted waters, and so assuming that would-be GMs and players automatically are on the same page with what’s in between my ears has been a mistake.

That’s the underlying reason for the increase in page count.

So I want to do a better job with Playtest 4 in explaining how to run the game and why certain mechanics work the way they do.

Sound Interesting? Let Me Know!

Your feedback is most welcome! Please comment on Itch and join in the slowly growing Hexingtide community:

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