The Eagle and The Horse
Let’s get this out of the way up front: this system is highly derivative and breaks little new ground in tabletop roleplaying design. That’s intentional. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. The Hippogryph System had to feel familiar and comfortable. The way it operates had to be simple and intuitive. There had to be a solid foundation that gave us common ground for discussion, yet still leave room for you to tinker, create, and modify it.
To me, all arguments about tabletop roleplaying systems come down to what the proper balance between wargaming versus storytelling should be. Some people firmly fixed rules with only a hint of character development and plot. Others want a story-first approach, with a few mechanics to reinforce the needs of the unfolding tale. I want to explore the middle ground. The focus here isn’t on the eagle, which in this metaphor is the storytelling, with its artistic hopes and lofty ideals. Nor is it on the horse, the rules set with its wargaming pedigree and the steadfastness and dependability that come with it. I want to look at the whole creature, the hippogryph. I want to explore what this amalgamation of a beast can be.
The Hippogryph System began as a hybrid of the D20 SRD and Fate Accelerated. Wargaming and storytelling. Locked-down and free-form. The horse and the eagle. Not a conversion of one to the other, but a whole, new thing incorporating the strengths of both. I like how it turned out. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it for what it is.
Middle Ground Between The Eagle and The Horse
I want to explore the oft-overlooked middle ground. The focus here isn’t on the eagle, which in this metaphor is the storytelling, with its artistic hopes and lofty ideals. Nor is it on the horse, the wargaming-pedigreed rules set with its steadfastness and dependability. I want to look at the whole creature. The Hippogryph. Rather than get caught up with distinct and separable parts, I want to look at what this allegorical amalgamation of a beast can be.
The system you’re about to read began as a hybrid of the D20 SRD and Fate Accelerated, another contrasting pair. Wargaming and storytelling. Locked-down and free-form. The horse and the eagle. What I’ve tinkered with was never a conversion of one to the other, but incorporating the strengths of both. Over time it evolved into its own thing, albeit with the marks made by the original influences still clear. It eventually became the thing that I needed it to be, and now I share with you.
About the Hippogryph System
Hippogryph is a d20-based, story-driven tabletop fantasy roleplaying system. It is the collision of the D20 System and Fate RPG, but like the legendary creature it is more than the sum of its parts. This isn’t off-brand D&D with Fate aspects stapled on, nor is it a collection of feats, spells, and class abilities translated into Fate terms. Hippogryph is a unique system that blends established legacy fundamentals with flexible, DIY story game ideals. Info Page ¦ DriveThruRPG ¦ Our Shop
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.
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