We tried something quite new at our Wednesday night gaming session this week. We created a story used Robin D Laws' new DramaSystem roleplaying game Hillfolk. This game is a cooperative storytelling system which shares the creative job normally reserved for the gamesmaster to the players around the table. While Hillfolk still has a GM he has just a much control of the creative process as any other player, his job is to focus the creative process of the players into a coherent story. We had incorporated a little of this joint creation in our previous games most notably Cold City but never to the level required by Hillfolk.
Here is what we created this week about the setting. The text in italics are the elements added by the players in response to a GM prompt
You live in the rugged southern highlands, where the strong and self-reliant prosper. Jagged hills cut them off from the rest of the world. They shelter you and daunt your pursuers. A distinctive natural formation, said to resemble the head of a bull, marks the hill on which your band’s fortress is built. This formation lends its name, Bullhead, to both your band, and to the fortress itself.
A narrow strip of flat land, raised on a plateau, sits in the middle of these hills. Your farmers work its poor soil. Uncertain rainfall soaks their fields one year, and leaves them to parch the next. In the rolling zones between hill and flatland, your herders pasture hardy sheep, scrawny cattle, and impudent goats. They graze on its weeds and grasses.
The land begrudgingly grants you grains and meat sufficient to a meagre existence. To enrich yourself, it demands that you go elsewhere, to raid. In bad times, like now, you raid each other. In good times, when a strong chieftain unites the hillfolk, you band together to raid more distant neighbours.
Many clans like yours inhabit the Southlands, each with its own distinct variations on a set of common customs and beliefs. Amongst these rival clans The DeerHunter tribe whose people are said to worship the Great Stag, are the Bullhead’s most tenacious and implacable rivals.