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Trespassers

Overview

The Trespassers Universe 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

This book is the most ambitious project I have undertaken to date and I think it has some of my finest writing. Over the course of 4 years and 3 major drafts, the manuscript is complete at 264K words. I am currently querying agents and seeking publication. Have a jacket blurb:

Holden has spent an entire year alone, working from home, avoiding human contact and eking out a sad existence built on escapist pleasures. His purgatory is interrupted by a strange visitor who gives him a strange gift: each night, he must relive the past 24 hours through the eyes of a person he saw that day.

First, he experiences life as Lark, a short-tempered young woman who goes trespassing for sport and illicitly audits college classes. Next, he becomes Reza, a brilliant fraud haunted by conflicting memories. With his interest in the outside world reignited, Holden seeks out Lark and Reza and they agree to help him explore his gift.

The trio falls down a rabbit hole of conspiracy and corruption, landing in Los Angeles’ magical underworld, where they are recruited by an opulent and ruthless syndicate. But Reza’s new employers are the people who ruined his former life, and he seeks revenge from within their ranks. Meanwhile, Lark awakens an earth-shattering power that plays a role in a prophesied ritual. And when Holden discovers his demonic visitor has manipulated events to suit an even darker purpose, he must determine where his loyalties lie and use his gift to avert a cataclysm.

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 reading the manuscript, or offering a referral to somebody who is, please email me at Rhwhitson@gmail.com! Or if you would prefer just a taste, here are the first 3 chapters.

 

 

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 the Trespassers series.

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




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© Hank Whitson 2008-2016