An Introduction to the Hippogryph System
The Hippogryph Codex is a complete tabletop fantasy roleplaying system. As a player, you take the role of a character in an amazing world of magic and excitement. If you are the guide, you coordinate what’s going on. Everyone collaborates and creates fantastic adventures. This book contains everything that you need to know about how to do all of that.
A hippogryph is a legendary creature, possessing the front half of a giant eagle and the body of a horse. In various cultures it’s come to symbolize different things, but usually represents two contradictory ideas coming together to create something new and surprising. In designing this system I want the familiarity and stability of a system like Dungeons & Dragons (our sturdy and steadfast horse). I also wanted the do-it-yourself, story-driven outlook of a system like Fate (soaring eagle). Players should have many options to choose from when creating their characters, but not be limited to fits within the pages of the book. They should be able to easily create new elements in order to personalize the characters and setting, while still having a solid foundation to build upon.
Thanks to the Open Game License, I was able to create the system that I wanted. Make no mistake, this isn’t simply the D20 system with Fate aspects clumsily bolted on, nor a straight-forward Fate conversion of D20 classes, spells, and so on. The goal has been to create a unique experience that fuses the strengths of each system. In other words, a true hippogryph.
The Hippogryph Codex is currently in production at Dancing Lights Press.
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press publishes creative aids and story games that embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation. The spotlight belongs on the creativity of the players as they converse and collaborate on plot, worldbuilding, and character development. Roleplaying is an activity, not a book. Our titles are merely part of the delivery system.
The madness that is my life has calmed down for a few days, so I’m back to work on the Hippogryph Codex. Barring anything strange and unexpected happening — and what are the odds of that, here in 2020 — there’s a good chance it will be released next week. But we’re way beyond normal, so for all I know I could end up dropping another book that I haven’t spoken of in public yet.
I haven’t forgotten about the Adventure Generator or Building Monsters, either. I know that the three most recent new releases seem to have come out of nowhere. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, I did what I could, where I was, with what I had. Which means, in the midst of chaos, I was able to work on the books that I just released, but not the books I’d previously announced.
The easiest way to describe this system is “a mashup of D20 and Fate“. It’s not D20 elements converted to Fate Core, or Fate Accelerated, or even Fate Condensed, although it uses the latter. It’s also not D20 with aspects ham-handedly stapled on. You roll a d20 and add modifiers, like in D20. The results as compared to a ladder, like in Fate. Both Open Game Licenses and System Reference Documents are used for fill effect.
Like the hippogriff that I keep hammering as the central metaphor, though, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The Hippogryph Codex is a decidedly unique creature. There’s the creativity and lofty ambition of the eagle, represented here as the DIY ethos and storygame approach of Fate. There’s also the stability and comfortable familiarity of the horse, which in this case is the comfortable, crunchy familiarity of D20.
I’m excited about this one. On some level I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever worked on. It plays really smoothly, incorporating the strengths of both donor systems. You can easily create your own character classes, feats, and spells, or stick to the substantial list provided. It’s currently in the editing stage, so soon you’ll be able to see for yourself.