A system and a zine. This issue contains the hippogryph system core rules in a basic, stripped-down form. Future issues will be 32 pages, released semi-weekly, and add to the system. Each will contain an editorial/opinion piece as well as a balanced mixture of articles on character development, worldbuilding, storytelling, and rules interpretations.
Tabletop roleplaying is ephemeral. The rulebook isn’t the game. What’s in a rulebook is fixed. It’s settled law, static and permanent. At least until a new edition comes out in a few years, assuming it sells well. What happens in real time around the table is the game. The action exists in the moment of play, and then is gone. It’s not a movie, it’s live theater. It’s about the journey, and the fleeting and spontaneous moments along the way.
By contrast an ongoing zine is more of a living document. From issue to issue I’m able to learn and change. I can reshape my opinions based on what’s going on in my life and in the world. The way I feel about tabletop roleplaying as I’m writing this today may not be the way that I feel next week, next month, or next year. My new and evolved thoughts can be shared in future issues, and I’ll still have these past issues to chronicle my journey, to look back and reflect on. Plus, I can add errata and course-correct when things aren’t working as planned
The other reason I chose the zine form is that it’s both nostalgic and contemporary. The original white box D&D rules came in 8.5×11 folded booklets, a classic zine format. New zines are hot right now because it’s a shape that’s easy for creators to work with, and affordable for fans and collectors. For myself, it’s a connection between tabletop roleplaying and the do-it-yourself, counterculture nature of punk rock, two influences that struck me like lightning when I was a certain age. The best course into the future, at least according to my own creative muses, is to reach back into the past.