HOLLOWS - TTRPG Boss Fights Done Right

HOLLOWS - TTRPG Boss Fights Done Right

Plunge into the nightmare realms of Hollows and slay other people's personal demons. Hollows' unique tactical combat system allows for dynamic positioning and tactical gambits, and makes combat spectacular.
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£252,583 🎉
of £75,000 (GBP) goal
2,843
backers
Project Ended
Ended on <time datetime="2024-06-28T16:54:20Z" data-local="time" data-format="%b %-d, %Y">Jun 28, 2024</time> at <time datetime="2024-06-28T16:54:20Z" data-local="time" data-format="%-l:%M%P %Z">4:54pm UTC</time>
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What is Hollows?

A long time ago, something very bad happened to you.
Now you’re something very bad that happens to other people.

You’re a Hunter. Today, you hunt.


Hollows is a new tabletop roleplaying game from the team who brought you Spire, Heart, DIE, and Eat the Reich. If you already know Rowan, Rook and Decard's games you’ll recognise the characteristic intensity and clever storytelling; this time we’re combining it with a really clever tactical combat engine that delivers the best boss fights in TTRPGs.

If you don’t know us, welcome. If you like dark fantasy with just a little crack of hope, or you’re a Soulsborne fan, or you’ve always wanted to do climactic TTRPG battles better, read on.

Alternatively, if you can't wait to give Hollows a try, click the image below to get a PDF of our quickstart, The Sins of Grisham Priory. It'll give you all the rules, premade hunters, and horrible entities you'll need for a few sessions of glorious violence.

Text reading "Try the free Quickstart" over the Quickstart's cover image


The world of Hollows is rotten and more putrid by the day, infested with awful realities that swell like boils around the worst people in the Isles – Hollows. If there’s to be any hope at all, Hollows need lancing. Armed with your Weapons – no mere blades and shot, but manifestations of humanity’s worst instincts – you and others like you are the only things powerful enough to do it and human enough to still care.

An image of a ruined town, illuminated by murky yellow light


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The World?

The World is sour. Here, sourer still. 

THE ISLES
Hollows takes place in The Isles, heart of a once-great empire now crumbling under its own weight and complacency. It has strong echoes of Victorian Britain with a knotty class struggle running throughout the game: who holds power, how they use it, and what it does to them.

THE FACTIONS
Four groups vie for control of the Isles – and commission Hunters to breach Hollows and slay, capture, or occasionally rescue their Lords. They’re not the most pressing threat in Hollows, but they keep the world in its miserable squalor, and many of them profit from it.

Logos for the Hollows factions: a boar's skull, a crown with antlers, a stylised sun with a crescent moon in the centre, and a dagger

The Crown is the ailing remnant of the Isles’ aristocratic rulers, clinging to the trappings of wealth and privilege even as they lose control of their kingdom. 

The Conclave are students of the sciences and the arcane, searching for power in dusty pages and lethal experiments. 

The House is full of politicians and demagogues who claim to be the voice of the people, wielding the mob like a weapon. 

And the Temple are upstart swine-priests who stave off famine for the low price of unquestioning devotion.

THE MALIGNANCIES
These vast cosmic powers are the source of the rot running through the Isles: Dominion, Fear, Fury, Grief, Hunger, and Pride. The Grand Malignancies latch onto people whose cruelty or suffering resonates with them, infesting and empowering them until they bloom into a rotten fruit of wickedness: a Hollow. 

A collage of oil paintings depicting the snarling, screaming, inhuman faces of the six Grand Malignancies

What a Malignancy is, though, isn’t the question a Hunter should be asking. What they need to know is, can I kill it? (The answer is no, but they might weaken its grasp on reality.)
 
LORDS & HOLLOWS
Whether the Malignancies caused the Isles to spoil or simply fed on the decay like maggots on a festering wound, the result is the same. When a person is overtaken by their own cruelty and obsession, or suffers so much they can take no more, they blossom into a Hollow: a pocket of blighted unreality in the form of its creator’s own personal hell. All of the Lord’s failures and transgressions are made manifest – and heaven help anyone trapped inside. 

Hollows are a pox on the Isles, a festering symptom of rot, and cutting them out is a bloody but effective cure.

HUNTERS
Players are Hunters: people infected with the same rot as the monsters they fight. Somewhere in their painful history they did something, or suffered something, that planted a permanent Seed of rot in their soul. They turn that corruption to a grim purpose: exterminating those whose Seeds have blossomed and who have become Lords of a Hollow. The only difference between Hunters and their prey is time and Weapons.

An illustration of four Hunters, each on different background. A pale, bespectacled woman wield a rifle; a soldier in Regency or Victorian style uniform holds a two-handed sword; a priest in a black hat and cloak carries a staff and a knife; a plague doctor holds a book and a lantern.

A Hunter’s Weapon isn’t just a blade, bludgeon or gun. It’s the primaeval essence of that Weapon. 

Not just any knife: your knife. A perfect point through which to exact your will. Truth spatters from split skin and dying breaths hold the words of prophets. 
It says: you are unstoppable.

Not just any gun; your gun. A steel lightning bolt. It speaks to you through the reek of gunsmoke. Exit wounds burst and blossom into visceral insight.
It says: this world is yours for the taking.

Hunters don’t die. At least, it doesn’t stick. Each time they come back the corruption within them spreads a little deeper, makes them a little stronger. They grit their teeth and fight, over and over, because the hunt is the only thing between them and a Hollow of their own creation.
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The Game

“You are righteous. You are undying. You are every nightmare’s worst nightmare.”

Hollows is a tactical powerhouse of a TTRPG that’s both easy to learn and satisfying to master. It’s based around a simple D20 mechanic where actions can fail, succeed, or succeed brilliantly. Failure is always interesting – it exposes the Hunter to greater risk, creating moments for other players to step in, support, and help hold the line. 

Character creation and advancement is simple but powerful. The Weapons a Hunter chooses to wield and the abilities they select for them open up hundreds of possible character builds. Players select new abilities with every kill and choose which ones to make permanent when they baptise themselves in the blood of a Hollow’s Lord.

Gameplay moves elegantly between exploring a Hollow’s poisoned world – rules-light and roleplay-heavy – and many-v-1 tactical boss fights unlike anything you’ve seen in a TTRPG. Fights are fast but easy to follow, and players quickly get into the swing of planning their tactics and adjusting them as the battle intensifies. Hollows’ combat keeps the player characters right at the heart of the action, with the battlefield changing and developing with every action. It encourages players to work together, paying close attention to each other’s moves and devising clever, cooperative strategies to take down Entities far bigger and stronger than they are.

Digital render of a game table set up to play Hollows. It shows tokens shaped like chess knights standing on the circular tactical grid, which is divided into different zones. Character sheets and reference sheets for different weapons surround the grid.

Designed to echo video games like Dark Souls, death is expected and intended. Dying slows a character down and gives the Hollow more opportunities to work against them, but it also gives a Hunter a chance to come back stronger.

You asked for more details on how
Hollows plays, and we’re happy to provide.

Hollows
combat happens on a circular grid. The Entity that Hunters are battling will always be in the middle of the grid. The Hunters choose whether to fight it up close or at range, or hang back in the support area out of harm’s way (but with limited ability to affect the Entity, too). Action revolves around the Entity – literally. It can turn or move, repositioning the Hunters in relation to it, so that a Hunter who was comfortably out of harm’s way on its flank is suddenly front and centre and very much in danger. Positioning matters: Entities, like Hunters, have different attacks that affect different areas of the grid.

Having the Entity’s attention, or being directly under its gaze, is dangerous. Hollows models that danger with Threat: the more Threat an area has, the more dangerous it is to be there. Entities use Threat to boost their attacks during their own turn, or interrupt Hunters’ turns with extra damage. Some Weapons attract extra Threat or allow Hunters to disperse it – there’s nothing on a battlefield that a Hunter can’t interact with in varied and interesting ways. Hunters can learn abilities so that even when they miss with an attack, something interesting happens.  

Two Hunters, one with a sword and one with a pistol, attack a pallid, red-eyed humanoid Entity that looms over them, ready to swipe at them with gnarled claws.


Different Weapons’ abilities synergise well, opening up opportunities for Hunters between their own turns. One character might come charging out of cover, saving one of their companions in the process, or make an extra manoeuvre as a result of someone else’s action. The more players pay attention to each other’s actions, the more they find themselves able to build interesting combos and benefit from each other’s choices.

Meanwhile, the GM builds a strategy based on what attacks an Entity will use, in what order, and where on the grid it will focus. Lure Hunters into dangerous positions, shock players with brutal assaults, and force them to choose between all-out attacks and cautious wars of attrition. Make them decide whether to save their dying companions or see whether they can take the Entity down before it kills again.

When Weapons end an Entity’s life, they grow stronger, giving their wielder new abilities, which are temporary - they last until the end of a Hollow, meaning players can explore different builds, switching out options based on what interests them or what sounds useful for their immediate future – which is just as well, because the only certainty in a Hollow is that the final fight, against the Hollow’s Lord, will be harder than everything that’s come before.

Want to know more? Grant's helpfully recorded a 10-minute video that shows you exactly how to play Hollows, and why it isn't like any TTRPG you've played before.

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Under a heading of Praise For Hollows, there are three quotes praising the game. From Gareth Hanrahan: "Beautifully engineered, brutally atmospheric". From Jay Dragon: "Hollows is a clean, elegant, and refreshing take on tactical combat in a narrative space."
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What are We Making?

The Hollows crowdfunding campaign is aimed at producing everything you need to play Hollows, in whatever way you want to play it.

THE CORE BOOK
Everything you need to play is in the core book: rules, setting, and character creation of course, but also in-depth advice on how to get the most out of running and playing Hollows. That includes a chapter of Entities, two Hollows ready for you to run, and another entire chapter dedicated to designing your own Hollows and their Lords. Plus we’ve gouged a lot of tips out of the Rowan, Rook and Decard collective game design brain and distributed them throughout the book for you.

The standard edition of Hollows. A hardback book with printed cover showing three hunters starting into a red, meaty, haunted portal.


The core Hollows book is a high quality hardback full of gorgeous art by Sam Lamont.

THE SPECIAL EDITION
The special edition includes all the same content as the standard edition, but it’s even more beautiful. It’s got a luxury binding of deep red bookcloth*, foiled and silkscreen printed to capture the rotting grandeur of the Isles. 

The special edition of Hollows. A hardback book with a red cloth cover showing the four faction symbols arranged in a column - a sunburst with a crescent moon at the centre, an antlered crown, a boar's skull, and a dagger. The faction symbols are gold foil.


(* It’s not the same fabric the Crown uses to clothe its doomed soldiers on foreign battlefields, but it’s as close as we could get without (a) invading another reality and (b) looting a lot of corpses.)

THE COMPONENT KIT
You can play Hollows with a printout of the tactical grid, some standard 20-sided dice, and an assortment of coins, other dice, and tokens from games you already own. We know this, because that’s how we played Hollows throughout most of its development.

The Hollows component kit. A black box of a similar size to a hardback rulebook, with the contents spread out in front of it. Include the tactical grid on a sheet of cotton, dice, chess piece shaped player pieces, and an array of other tokens made of wood and plastic.

The thing is, the component kit is nicer. It contains distinctive tokens for every aspect of Hollows’ gameplay, making it easy to keep gameplay flowing smoothly without asking “which one of these is Doom, again?”. And it gives you more of Sam’s art, which we highly recommend.

THE CROWN EDITION
If you pledge for the special edition rulebook and the component kit, they’ll be delivered in a luxury slipcase. It’s sturdy and it makes storage easy, as well as being a work of art in its own right.
The special edition of Hollows - a hardback with a red cloth cover, showing the four faction symbols in gold foil - plus the component set, plus a slipcase covered in an illustrated landscape. The slipcase is pierced to show glimpses of the red book inside.

ONLINE PLAY
Hollows’ tactical combat means everybody needs to be able to get eyes on the combat grid so they’re aware of the changing state of the fight. That doesn’t mean you can’t play it online – in fact we’ve built a Tabletop Simulator module to do just that. The module is free (Tabletop Simulator itself is not), so once you have the core book you can absolutely play Hollows online.

If we unlock enough stretch goals, Tabletop Simulator may not be the only way to play Hollows online...
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Pledge Levels

Pick up the core book or special edition, with or without components, or opt for the full Hollows experience with a pledge level that guarantees you get all of our physical stretch goals. 

Pledge Level 1: Show Your Support: Access to add-ons and pledge manager. £1 Pledge Level 2: The House: Core book PDF, plus all digital stretch goals. £20 Pledge Level 3: The Temple: PDF, standard ed book, all digital stretch goals. £50 Pledge Level 4: The Temple (plus components): PDF, standard ed book, all digital stretch goals, component kit. £100 Pledge Level 5: The Crown: PDF, special ed book, all digital stretch goals. £75 Pledge Level 6: The Crown(plus components): PDF, special ed book, all digital stretch goals, component kit, in a slipcase £130 Pledge Level 7: The Conclave - PDF, special ed book, all digital stretch goals, component kit, in slipcase, all physical unlocks, VTT access. £200 Pledge Level 8: Grand Malignancy: PDF, special ed book, all digital stretch goals, component kit, in slipcase, all physical unlocks, VTT access, original Malignancies art. £700 Retailer Tier: You get to pay retailer prices later on. £10

You can also acquire a piece of original Hollows art by pledging at the Grand Malignancy tier. Only six of these exist, so numbers are highly limited. 

We're hoping we'll be able to offer a custom VTT (virtual tabletop) for Hollows as a stretch goal. If we do, that will automatically become part of the Conclave and Grand Malignancy tiers, and will be available as an add-on for other pledges.
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Add Ons

We’ve worked hard to make sure the core experience of Hollows is great even if you only have a copy of the core rules, but some little luxuries never hurt anyone. 
The Hollows Quickstart softcover £15. Four enamel pins showing the Hollows faction symbols, £10 each or all 4 for £36. The tactical grid printed on cotton, £10.


THE TACTICAL GRID
The single most important part of the component kit, the tactical grid is the map for every single combat. If you don’t want the entire component kit, you can pick up the grid separately as an add-on. 

THE QUICKSTART
Add a printed copy of the Quickstart, which contains pre-made characters and an entire Hollow to explore and purge, to your pledge. 

FACTION PINS
These are just really nice to have. Declare your allegiance to the Crown, the Conclave, the House, or the Temple with these hard enamel pins. Or hedge your bets, buy all four, and feel safe and welcome wherever you go. Except inside a Hollow. A bit of jewellery won’t help you there.

AND…
Depending on what stretch goals we unlock, several of those will find their way into the list of add-ons too. 
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Stretch Goals

The bigger this campaign gets, the more Hollows you get. Our dream for Hollows’ stretch goals is to expand the game beyond just one beautiful book. 

Our top priority is some more ready-to-run Hollows, followed by some peeks behind the curtain at how we made Hollows and why and how we made some of the key design decisions. 

Each Hollow is a tragic tale, self-contained and complete. They’re partnerships between a single author and artist, bringing to life the Hollow and its Lord with a narrative, locations, challenges, and Entities for a team of Hunters to scour clean. We'll be producing PDF versions, which come free with all pledges at the House tier and above, and printed versions, available as add-ons, or free as part of the Conclave and Grand Malignancy pledges.

A red banner hangs in front of a crumbling building, which is partially covered by a huge dust sheet. The banner shows the antlered crown of the Crown faction. Below the image, text on the banner reads: £95,000 two ready made Hollows, £120,000 podcast and challenge coin, £150,000 Another Hollow and Presentation Box, £160,000 Upgraded Component Kit. To the right of the red banner, a purple banner showing the Conclave's moon in sun symbol reads:  £175,000 Two More Hollows, £185000 Hollows VTT, £200000 Two More Hollows, £250,000 The Final Hollows


£95,000: Two Ready-Made Hollows - ACHIEVED!
The War to Start All Wars – Kieron Gillen & Daniel Vega
A scientist dreams of the future of war, trapped in a nightmare of ever bleaker and more bloodthirsty killing fields.

Kieron Gillen is a writer, designer and recovering games critic. He is best known for his comic work, where he's co-creator of books such as The Wicked + the Divine, DIE and Once & Future.  As a game designer he is best known for writing DIE RPG, published by Rowan Rook & Decard, the game version of his and Stephanie Hans' meta RPG comic. He lives in London, for a certain value of living.

Daniel Vega is a Chilean illustrator and designer. He works mainly in the sci-fi, surreal and horror realms, and has produced artwork for a variety of games, album covers. etc. He's also creating a worldbuilding project/story called Terra Hypnagogica through different formats.

Into the Woods (working title) – Chris Taylor & Letty Wilson
Chris Taylor snares us all in a tragic fairy tale where childhood magic covers chasms of grief.

Letty Wilson is a large toad cursed with sentience, and also a Scottish comic artist and illustrator. they have worked on artwork for several TTRPGs, such as Wanderhome, Merry Mushmen’s Folklore Bestiary, and Hari Connor’s choose-your-own-path book Into the Tower. You can find them, and many of the horrible little guys they keep inventing, at @toadlett on social media, and read their webcomic Owl People at owl-people.com.

£120,000: PODCAST AND CHALLENGE COIN - ACHIEVED!
We’ll lock Grant, Chris, and Maz in a small room and refuse to let them out until they’ve achieved a state of creative delirium and told us exactly how – and why – they made Hollows. Expect design insights and a lot of complaining about vitriol.

Two copies of the metal challenge coin sitting on a wooden table. The coin is brass and silvery metal, with a verdigris-colored inlay. The coin design shows a stylised entity about to devour a heart.

We’ll also commission challenge coins to commemorate getting this far. If you’d like a solid metal version of the Entity token from the component set – which we hypothesise will scare the crap out of your players when you place it on the map – this stretch goal is going to be great for you.

£150,000: ANOTHER HOLLOW AND PRESENTATION BOX - ACHIEVED!
Rotgut Academy – Jay Dragon & Johan Nohr
A young boy sent to boarding school becomes trapped in his own trauma, necessitating a rescue by a team of Hunters more used to resolving their problems with murder.

Jay Dragon is an award-winning queer game designer in Philadelphia best known for Wanderhome and Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast. Jay has a passionate love for weird tactical RPGs and getting to revel in violence, which Jay doesn't normally get a chance to do.

Johan Nohr is a Swedish visual artist and graphic designer probably best known for his work on MÖRK BORG, CY_BORG and Into the Odd Remastered. His illustrations are loud, violent and leave a huge, splattery mess.

When we hit this stretch goal, we're going to have at least three printed Hollows to go with the core book, so we're going to package them up in a presentation box that we're quietly pleased with. You can see our current (but not final) plans for the box below.

A book-style box entitled Wretched Domains Being a Survey of Unreal Places, Their Topography, and their Denizens. The box is open to reveal several Hollows pamphlets inside, and two more (The War to Start All Wars and Rotgut Academy) are laid out in front of the box.


If you've pledged at the Conclave or Grand Malignancy tier, the presentation box of Hollows is included in your pledge. Otherwise you'll be able to purchase it as an add on, once we know how many Hollows we've unlocked at stretch goals.

£160,000: COMPONENT KIT UPGRADE - ACHIEVED!
For our next stretch goal, we’re giving the component kit some more love, adjusting some of our designs and materials for a more imposing, impressive set of playing pieces.  

Even if we don’t hit this stretch goal, we’re going to restyle the tactical grid with more art by Sam Lamont. You can see some early (not quite finished, let alone final) designs below. Nice, aren't they? 

two versions of the Hollows tactical grid. The version on the left has a hand drawn style, with a skeletal face in the centre, where the Entity would be positioned. The three concentric rings of the grid surround the skull. The Doom track runs along the outside of the grid, an arc of circles forming a path between a dead tree and a gravestone. The page is decorated with dead trees and the Hollows faction symbols. The version on the right is the same except that the inner two circles on the grid are coloured black.


£175,000: TWO MORE HOLLOWS- ACHIEVED!
This time, we've got something very special for you. Our fourth and fifth Hollows are by Minerva McJanda (yes, our Mina), and Cassandra Khaw & Jeff Solomon! 

The Polychromic Sea – Minerva McJanda & Carly AF

A trailblazing artist turns violent maelstrom in this adventure across an island chain, facing the many perils of an artist’s psyche, and with a subtle dusting of The Odyssey for good measure.

Minerva's been designing TTRPGs for fifteen years, including Voidheart Symphony and the Indie Groundbreaker award-winning Legacy: Life Among the Ruins. She also created what is, to her knowledge, the only card-based TTRPG inspired by the works of P.G. Wodehouse. She's got range, is what we're saying. 

Carly A-F is a freelance illustrator from the the UK making colourful, dramatic art. Her work is a combination of digital and traditional media; and she illustrates for a wide variety of projects including book covers, posters, ttrpgs, and picture books.

The Grand Isles Exhibition - Cassandra Khaw & Jeff Solomon, artist TBC
The Grand Isles Exhibition was to be a month-long celebration of excellence, ingenuity, and wonder. Here, the greatest minds of the Isles would have gathered to showcase scientific marvels unlike anything the world had ever seen. It would have heralded a new age for the Royal Motherland and all those lucky enough to dwell within her embrace. But within two weeks of opening, the fairground was suddenly shut amid whispers of death and tragedy. But why?

CASSANDRA KHAW is the USA Today bestselling author of Nothing But Blackened Teeth and the Bram Stoker Award-winner, Breakable Things. Other notable works of theirs are The Salt Grows Heavy and British Fantasy Award and Locus Award finalist, Hammers on Bone. Khaw’s work can be found in places like The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Tor.com. Khaw is also the co-author of The Dead Take the A Train, co-written with bestselling author Richard Kadrey.

JEFF SOLOMON is a writer and producer for television and film. He is known for his work on series such as Diabolical, Where Murder Lies, Killer Motive, and Amityville: An Origin Story.

£185,000 - HOLLOWS VTT - ACHIEVED!
When we hit our next stretch goal, we commit to making a full Hollows virtual tabletop (as well as the Tabletop Simulator mod we already have). VTT partner TBC.

£200,000 - TWO MORE HOLLOWS - ACHIEVED!
We're not out of Hollows yet. Not by a long shot. We've got two more coming!

Whitcliffe Moor – David Morrison & Morgan Robles
Star-crossed lovers reenact their tempestuous affair across a Hollow of windswept moors and embodied loneliness. As well as the doomed love story at the heart of the tale, we'll dig (perhaps literally) into the remnants of the religion that predates the Viridian Temple.

David has been playing and running games for longer than he cares to think about. He has written for Voidheart Symphony, Trophy, Brindlewood Bay and The Between. He is consistently procrastinating on his personal projects, and this provides yet another opportunity to put that work off.

Mx. Morgan G Robles (they/them) is an artist and illustrator based in Seattle, Washington. Their work is best known for its use of macabre themes, animals, and nature. They use these themes to explore mental illness, gender identity, or simply to make neat skulls.

The Lord of the Dockyard – Sasha Sienna and Helen Gould, artist TBC
A hard-working and well-liked sailor was keelhauled when his ship returned to port. Nobody knows what he did, but the moment the water closed over him a Hollow formed, storm-tossed and threatening. Explore the rotting remains of a once-proud shipping industry and the thousands who worked in it in this waterlogged horror story.

Sasha Sienna is a professional nerd who loves creating atmospheric playgrounds and sharp-toothed genre fiction. They're an award-winning writer and voice actor best known for their work on Doctor Who: Redacted, The Magnus Archives, and as one half of tabletop design duo, MacGuffin & Co. They dream of logging off someday but, in the meantime, you can find them at sashasienna.com, macguffinandcompany.com, or @sashasienna on most social media sites.

Helen Gould (he/they/she) is a writer, editor, and sensitivity consultant based in London. They have previously worked with Rowan, Rook and Decard on Spire and Heart, as well as on projects with Black Armada Games, MacGuffin & Co., Leyline Press, Renegade Game Studios, and many more. You can find him on the internet via his Carrd: https://helengould.carrd.co/

£250,000 - THE FINAL TWO HOLLOWS
These are the last two Hollows scenarios, at least for this crowdfunding campaign. If we hit this stretch goal, that brings the total number of scenarios in the boxed set to nine.

The Kinslayer Baron – Eleanor Hingley & Superstarfighter
A fratricidal aristocrat tends a veritable garden of sin and corruption in a warped version of his ancestral home. See the slow decline of the Crown and the poisonous decay of family loyalties in all their rotten glory.

Eleanor Hingley (she/they) has written for Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game, Wrath & Glory, Broken Weave, Voidheart Symphony, Aegean and SIN: A Spire Sourcebook. She has also released three independent RPG zines: Talking Thunder, Ex Libris and Seed of an Idea. Eleanor loves Gothic nonsense, beautiful horrors and mechanically elegant tactical RPGs.


We're keeping the details of our final Hollow under wraps for now. We've got to have one last reveal.


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The Team

Chris Taylor & Grant Howitt - Writing and Game Design (both he/him) Chris Taylor and Grant Howitt is a two-headed, eight-limbed creature that makes roleplaying games for a living in the beautiful city of Sheffield. Its previous work includes Eat The Reich, Spire, Heart, Honey Heist, the official Sunless Skies TTRPG, and the 2016 edition of Paranoia. In its spare time it enjoys smoking cigarettes, painting toy soldiers, and talking to itself.   Sam Lamont - Art (he/him) Sam is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He’s worked on a variety of tabletop, video game and TV projects including Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu and Doctor Who. Sam’s job on Hollows is to establish the look of the Isles, the Hunters and their Weapons. When we asked Sam what he liked about Hollows, he said “the way it allows for the GM to actively try and kill the players, and have that be fun for everyone, is brilliant.” And he’s right.  Maz Hamilton - Editor, Fixer, Head of Product (they/them)  Maz skyrocketed through the ranks of the UK journalism industry, kicked off a wall and rolled into several high-ranking jobs in media and charity, then decided to pack it all in, move to the countryside, and make books with their friends full-time instead. In the eighteen months since that happened, RRD has more than doubled in size and output, with Maz' hand firmly on the rudder steering us towards a glorious new future. When they're not making games happen, Maz enjoys fighting the weeds on their allotment and drinking over twice their bodyweight in tea on a daily basis.  Minerva McJanda - Art direction and Layout (she/they) Minerva McJanda is a graphic designer, layout artist, game designer and font-hoarder based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You’ve probably have seen her ENnie award-winning layout work in Heart: The City Beneath, and possibly her award-snubbed work in LANCER, Voidheart Symphony, Hard Wired Island, and the 5th Anniversary Edition of Spire: the City Must Fall. Mina conjured the visual language of Hollows out of shadows and smoke, which she will now transmute into a real book. Check out her work at honeybatdesigns.myportfolio.com.  Zach Cox/JellyMuppet (they/them) - Additional Design and Production Zach/Jelly spent hours in meetings with Grant and Chris over something like two and a half years, mumbling "make it bigger", uttering vague threats about Threat, begging them not to start the game from scratch (again) and thinking very hard about componentisation. Zach runs SoulMuppet Publishing now. You may know them as the (former) Producer from DIE, or the creator or Inevitable and Paint The Town Red, and one of the co-creators of Orbital Blues.  Chant Evans - Production (he/they) Chant makes games and, in his spare time, makes other games. It’s OK, he has other interests, and by interests we mean a greater than average number of spaniels. Chant didn’t even work for Rowan, Rook, and Decard when Hollows was originally conceived but he’s still convinced Chris and Grant made it especially for him. He’s deeply committed to making it the best, nastiest, and most satisfying version of itself it can be, and then getting it into your hands.


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Timeline

Hollows is a grand and mighty endeavour. It’s going to take a little while to bring it to fruition.

The project timeline is as follows. June 2024: Design finishes. Q1 2025: Editing and Layout. Q2 2025: Digital core product and Hollows collection released. Q3 2025: Shipping to backers.
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Shipping

We’ll charge shipping when we’re ready to send out rewards. Shipping costs vary widely based on your rewards, their weight, and your location. These estimates aren’t guaranteed, but they will give you a rough idea what to expect.

We've tried to be cautious with our estimates to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line. The more backers we end up with, the more likely it becomes that we can negotiate better shipping rates.


Important: Shipping costs can change rapidly based on global events outside our control. That’s a big reason why we don’t collect shipping until we start fulfilling orders.
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Sustainability is important to us. We use FSC certified printers for all our books, meaning we're using responsibly and sustainably sourced wood pulp in all our paper. We've also put a lot of thought into our component set, using FSC certified wood and card rather than plastic wherever it makes sense to do so. 

Finally, you won't find any Hollows minis in this campaign. Entities are unique to each Hollow, so we'd end up making effectively a lot of bits of plastic that get used once (or not at all). The Entity token makes a great centrepiece for the tactical grid, but if you're anything like us you've probably got loads of minis on your shelves. The good news is, Hollows is a brilliant opportunity to design Entities based on those minis and get some use out of them.
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