hippogryph: a system and a zine

hippogryph issue zero

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.

hippogryph issue zero is available at drivethrurpg

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.

2 replies on “hippogryph: a system and a zine”

I have read the thesis and I find it intriguing. Having googled your work I love that you are doing this in parallel with writing a novel. To be honest I am closer to hippo than gryph, I have rarely strayed from the ready supply of “stuff” being pushed toward me. I would have been the first to ask “so where is the pick list?”. However I do love the act of creation. Sometimes more than the act of play. I buy lots, read some, and all the while dream of actually finishing a campaign. I particularly love your honesty. Publishing a game with no expectation of it being played, may not be unique in subsequent fact, but it surely is in initial approach. So bring it on. Let’s see where you go with this. Thank you.

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