(Technically it went live a month ago, but I forgot to do a blog post about it, so.)
HOLLOWS is our upcoming game about kicking in the doors to someone else’s personal hell then killing their demons with a shotgun that hates you. If you’re interested in playing it and helping us refine it into the best possible version of itself, you can take a look at the Hollows resource page here.
(We’re running the playtest for at least another couple of months. You can keep up to date with new versions and news about Hollows by joining our mailing list, and it also comes with nice design essays from me while we try to figure out how to make this all work.)
Hollows takes place in The Isles, a thinly-veiled 1860’s Great Britain analogue, which is being torn apart by supernatural and mundane forces alike. Great tragedy and trauma breed hollows, pocket dimensions of rust and ruin, that poison the real world around them. Players take on the role of Hunters who tilt headlong into these hollows and attempt to slay, or perhaps rescue, the tormented and twisted individuals at the centre of each of them.
Their chief weapon in this fight is, well, Weapons – tools with which to apply their torment outwards on the world through horrendous violence. Each of the Weapons is built around a lie that it tells you – that you’re faster, you’re stronger, you’re smarter than everyone else. That you have a duty to shed blood and break bones. Thanks to the magic of the hollow, some of those lies start becoming true.
Hollows is not our normal sort of thing. Where in the past we’ve made storygames with a focus on exciting scenes and cunning gambits, Hollows is a tactical combat RPG first and foremost. The rules focus around attacking and destroying a single large monster, called an Entity, and they utilise a unique tactical grid which – we hope! – provides an easy way to evoke a big, dangerous fight without getting bogged down in minutiae. We want to allow players to make satisfying combinations of Hunters and abilities and enjoy squeezing everything they can get out of the system.
Getting Hollows to playtest has been a challenge, but it’s been an exciting one. We’re eager to push ourselves to design something new, and difficult, and that tells stories in a whole new way. If you’d like to help us, we’d love to have you.