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Trespassers

Overview

My primary project as a writer and designer is developing the Trespassers Universe. It is a world of contemporary fantasy where supernatural cartels pull the strings on society, monsters stalk the streets, and extra-dimensional entities whisper forbidden spells to desperate magi. Peacekeeping falls to Judges, humans who have been entrusted with mantels of tremendous power, while hedge witches, law enforcement agencies, and unfortunate misfits are caught in the crossfire.

 

Novel

Disillusioned with reality, Holden has lived alone and worked from home for an entire year, eking out a sad existence built on escapist pleasures. His purgatory is interrupted by a strange visitor who gives him a stranger gift: each night, he must relive the past 24 hours from the perspective of a person he met that day.

First, he experiences life as Lark; a short-tempered young woman who goes trespassing for sport and illicitly audits college classes. Next, Holden becomes Reza; a brilliant fraud haunted by a half-remembered past. After a fraught introduction, the three agree to explore the extent of Holden’s gift, and the frightening implications behind it.

Together, they stumble into Los Angeles’ magical underworld through a rabbit hole of conspiracy and corruption. Fools among magi and killers, the trio must discover their strengths in a maze of dark magic, savage violence, and seductive opulence to save each other… and, ideally, the world.

Trespassers is the first book in a trilogy that will serve as the foundation for a fictional universe. I am currently querying agents for representation. If you are interested in the manuscript, or offering a referral to somebody who is, please email me at Rhwhitson@gmail.com!

 

Novella

Eliathan’s Wake
As magic fades from the Earth, a dragon embarks on a quest to avenge his friend’s death and recover a stolen grimoire.

 

Tabletop Game- L.A. Wyrd

Several supernatural factions are fighting a shadow war for the soul of Los Angeles and Pasadena’s Arroyo. The Judge and members of his Seat want to keep the peace and hold the criminal Firms in check, while the Firms want to overrun the Seat and each other to seize control of the city. Hedge mages are manipulated by both sides, and are simply trying to gain enough power to live life on their own terms. To accomplish these goals, players must travel the city, complete agendas, vanquish monsters, and kill members of rival factions to prevent them from acquiring too much power.

Design Process and Inspirations
Designed for seasoned board gamers who are looking for a fun party game, LAW is a complex game with a simple heart. To capture the themes of my book–magical noir rife with violence and intrigue–I drew upon two primary sources of inspiration. Emiliano Sciarra’s Bang! provided the seed for the game’s combat system, and the way various factions interact with each other. Easy to teach, with fast-paced combat and a beautiful dynamic of bluffing and backstabbing, it was the favorite staple of my college game nights. It wasn’t without it’s problems though; in the base game, players could be eliminated early (before they even had a turn) and were forced to sit out for the remainder of the game. An eventual lack of variety also snuck up on our sessions, with fights resolving in similar ways.

To address those problems, I drew from a much more complex title: The Witcher Adventure Game. Featuring variable objectives, unique character decks, and a fun approach to questing, no two games are alike. The depth of mechanics also beautifully captures the themes from the excellent Witcher franchise. Unfortunately, players have almost no motivation to interact with each other, turning each turn into a waiting game. There is no PVP, leaving few opportunities to meddle with opponents, and while there are cooperative opportunities, there is precious little impetus to do so, as the game is ultimately competitive.

LAW attempts to merge the rich player interaction from Bang! with the thematic depth and mechanical variety of Witcher, for an engaging experience that plays differently every time. I am developing the game using Berserk Games’ wonderful Tabletop Simulator, Illustrator, and PhotoShop.

More examples!

Want to Play?
If you are interested in playing, please email me and I will invite you for a session. As a warning, the game contains a few oblique spoilers for my books.

 

Short Stories

Coming soon!

 

 

(C) Hank Whitson 2007-2018. All rights reserved.




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© Hank Whitson 2008-2016