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In the shadow of empires, an epic saga of ambition and desire!

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.

With the Hillfolk roleplaying game, you and your group weave an epic, ongoing saga of high-stakes interpersonal conflict that grows richer with every session. Its DramaSystem rules engine, from acclaimed designer Robin D. Laws, takes the basic structure of interpersonal conflict underlying fiction, movies and television and brings it to the world of roleplaying. This simple framework brings your creativity to the fore and keep a surprising, emotionally compelling narrative constantly on the move.

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?

SP14-The Whateleys

Detailed play style notes show you how to make the most of DramaSystem’s new tools. Once you’ve mastered DramaSystem’s nuances, you’ll hunger to take them to new vistas. A stunning talent roster brings you 30 additional series settings. From Cthulhu cult family drama to ninjas, pirates, and steampunk cowboys, Hillfolk offers years of play value.

Contributors from every corner of the gaming scene and beyond include Ed Greenwood, Gene Ha & Art Lyon, Jason Morningstar, Kenneth Hite, Rob Heinsoo, Meg Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Jesse Bullington, John Scott Tynes, and Keith Baker.


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Reviews (6)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Johnathan C June 20, 2021 7:03 pm UTC
Will Hillfolk be available for Print on Demand?
Customer avatar
Pelgrane P June 21, 2021 11:21 pm UTC
Hey Johnathan, thanks for the question! Hillfolk is available in print from our webstore and your friendly local game store, so we don't currently plan on releasing it via print on demand.
Customer avatar
Pierre S August 31, 2018 3:05 am UTC
If a game has no falling-damage dice-roll, but says "the damage that you get is congruent with the dramatic needs of the story," then turn 180° away from that innumerate thing and RUN.
Customer avatar
Holger M April 17, 2019 10:30 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Juan F March 01, 2021 5:42 pm UTC
If a GM doesn't know how to treat or describe a character falling from somewhere from neither a realistic or a storytelling standpoint without some abstract, arbitrary number, I 100% turn 180º and run from that creatively sterile videogame table.

I have -a lot- of issues with Hillfolk and the drama system. But this isn't criticism, this is just... dumb.
Customer avatar
Ian S January 07, 2015 7:18 pm UTC
I am not sure if my series idea is to actiony for it. Basically, The Prison is massive inspired by movies such as Cube and Maze Runner. The PCs are trapped in a giant machine that is passively trying to kill them. While I want the drama found in such horror movies, I also want the action of dealing with the environment and it's inhabitants.
Customer avatar
Calvin L March 08, 2015 9:23 pm UTC
I haven't run a campaign like that personally, but have you considered running the structure itself as a DMPC/NPC?
Customer avatar
Matthew I May 27, 2017 12:17 am UTC
I don't know if you've tried this or not but this system is fantastic even for action as it is solely based around descriptions and choosing whether success happens or not based around whether or not it is narratively interesting.
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File Last Updated:
February 24, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on February 24, 2014.