HLD:rpg Basic Rules v5 Patch Notes

by Andreas Walters on December 21, 2020

Greetings Drifters,

We're super excited to announce the release of v5 of the Hyper Light Drifter Tabletop Roleplaying Game. Its been a lot of work, and we're eager to finally get it into everyones hands. If you havent picked it up the basic rules are free, you can pick them up here.

We've got a lot of new features and cotent for you to dig into so let's dig into the patch notes!

Introducing the Talent Bar/Ability Slots 

Something that we found with ability systems is that as characters level, their arsenal of talents and abilities get longer and longer. Now this isn't necessariyl a bad thing if you plan for it, however what does happen is players start running into analysis-paralysis, in addition to spending time looking over their abilties to see if they have something that fits the situation (looking at you D&D spellcasters).

So although your character will gain abilities in Drifter now, you can only slot a handful of them in your ability bar. 

The UI of an ability bar from League of Legends

Much like our favorite games, ability bars provide you with a clear understanding of what your character can do (and of course you're still free to use your Skills/Disciplines to perform any action). So how do they work here?

We've set up 6 ability slots, 1 for you Dash ability (which is powered by your Dash charges), 4 for your General Talents, and 1 for your Passive Talent.

In addition, we seperated all of the abilities (which were by class), and broke them up into Disciplines, then into three categories (Dash, General, and Passive). This provides with a huge oppertunity in character build diversity, as well options. To reinforce class specialization and identity, we've now limited the total number of talents you can have slotted from your non-specialized discipline (to 2). This means, if you're a wielder, you can only slot two combat abilities. Though, once we start rolling out our ideas for advancement, you'll have oppertunities to change this number.  

Introducing The Delve Deck (Exploration Phase)

This is the final addition to the 5 games we've been talking about since development. I myself, am a very low-prep narrator/dungeon master. So when building these tool, I look at it from the lens of how can I best inspire myself, and others to run the game with as little prep as possible. 

As so, we're happy to announce the Delve Deck, something we've been talking about for a bit, and has now finally taken form. 

How it works is that, you build a deck for a dungeon/facility on what you want the players to run into. Tiles include things like Facility Features, Puzzles, Bosses, Discoveries, Teleporters and Room Traits (at least starting out). 

The players will take that deck, and lay down 1-3 cards, directly connecting to the start card.  When they explore a tile, they will flip it over, revealing its contents, and the narrator can describe the room/challenge ect. In addition the players can draw more cards to place face-down, connecting to the room they explored. And this process repeats until they complete the deck, or find/complete their objective.

This leaves tons to explore, with character abilities (like the passive manipulation talent, teleporter or secret passage) allowing players to mess with the tiles that are on the board.  

Here is a short GIF of the prcess (please excuse the janky connector lines).

Changes to the Character Sheet

In addition to the need to rework our entire character sheet to fit the ability bar, we made a few other improvements along the way.

Most Notably, the Woe Disicpline (for when you fill up on woe and are Tested), and the redefining of the lower threshold as Temperance, instead of Judgment. Although it seems like a minor thing, we really wanted to stick with consistent terminology to make it easier to understand. So now each Disipline has two thresholds (that you can put points into and reduce) Temperance and Fortune. Now you need to meet or beat these value to achieve these thresholds. 

Combat Changes Rebalancing And Movement

Movement in combat is now going to be limited to edge travel, however, some dash abilities will be able to ignore this restriction. (considering making it all dash abilities).

We've alter the consequence system, now it will provide points to the narrator which they can use to move and apply consequences. We've also clarified that consequences don't necessarily have to impact the one who triggers them, nor do they need to originate from the target the consequence was triggered on. All of these will allow for a more dynamic combat experience.

Narrator Section

First time we've presented some of our thoughts on how to be a narrator. Some of these are still a bit rough rough aruond the edges, and we'll be improving it as we go, especially as we develop out the core book and aim towards supporting GMless play.

Yes, theres not much art and its not optimized. 

We've been running barebones on art, and now that we have all the placeholders down, we're going to start filling in this document with beautfiul art. It'll take a little time, so please be patient, but we'll share those upadtes with you as they come.

To Come

We know you love our interactive and dynamic character sheets and reference tools, so we'll be working on getting those out as soon as possible to get you running in your Drifter games. 

Thanks again for all the support, and we can't wait to hear about your Hyper Light Drifter Tabletop stories.



 Download the Basic Rules

What is this?


Hyper Light Drifter is popular video game published by Heart Machine. Metal Weave Games, has recieved the license to produce a tabletop roleplaying game, based on the game, and is epected to release in early 2021.