Hippogryph Modern – Urban Fantasy Roleplaying Now Available

Buy Now and Save 20%

Not all fantasy takes place in some pseudo-medieval, quasi-historical setting. Urban fantasy combines the familiar and the strange, using selected imaginary elements in an approximation of the real world. These elements, including magic and paranormal beings, often exist secretly in the world. The urban component is found in the setting, typically a city or suburban community. The use of contemporary technology, community, and social institutions establishes a recognizable context. The period in which the action occurs may be the fairly recent past or the near future, but will only require casual historical knowledge from the player and gamemaster.

Like urban fantasy, a hippogryph is a strange paradox. It combines the elegance of a giant eagle with the stability of a horse. It is a hybrid of two things that cannot logically go together. Somehow the unlikely remix produces something that elevates both of its antecedents. Hippogryph Modern began as a hybrid of the D20 Modern SRD and Fate Accelerated. The horse and the eagle. Not a conversion of one to the other, but a whole, new thing incorporating the strengths of both. I like how it turned out. Hopefully, you will enjoy it for what it is.

This book includes:

  • Systems: All of the information necessary to run a game, including the core mechanic, the use of hero points, and more.
  • Characters: The character creation system, explanations of abilities, and prompts for creating backgrounds.
  • Equipment: Mechanics and statistics for weapons, magic items, and other tools. 

This book is fully compatible with the Hippogryph core system but is fully self-contained. No other books are required to play Hippogryph Modern.

26 june 2022 | berin’s rules

Work in progress. Notes to be expanded upon later, adapted from 10 Bullets by Tom Sachs. I’m not running a studio, so I don’t need ten rules. These are for my personal use only. They might be useful to other work-at-home creators.

Rule #0: Workspace is Sacred Space. Treat working from home the same as if you’re in a traditional workspace. When you’re at work, you’re at work. No social media except on breaks, no phone calls, no pop-in visits from friends. Enforce the boundaries, but expect pushback from people who think being self-employed means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Rule #1: Prepare and Commit. Define your goal. Don’t start a project until you have the bare minimum resources required to see it through. Some things you can pick up along the way, but don’t overestimate that. Never jump into something unless you know you’re going to have the time, money, materials, and energy available to see it through to completion.

Rule #2: Document Everything. I mean everything. What you did. How long it took. What it cost. Where you got it. What kept you engaged. Where you started to lose interest. What distracted you. How you overcame distraction. Why you’re doing this. What failed. What worked. What could be better. What your expectation is. How much you got done today. Everything. Write it all down.

Rule #3: Be Persistent. Believe in the project. Failure is an opportunity to learn. Try it a different way. Ask someone else. Try again. Try again. Try again. Keep going. Ignore haters. Hug supporters. Thank everyone. Hang in there. Be annoying about it.

Rule #4: Be Accountable. Stick to the budget. Make the deadline. Keep your promises. Apologize. Don’t half-ass it unless there’s no other option. Admit when you’re in over your head. Ask for help. Find a way to make it work, because you’re responsible for both success and failure, so it might as well be success.

Rule #5: Stick to the Plan. If you followed Rule #1, then you won’t have a problem. Adjusting the plan is not abandoning the plan. Road trips have unexpected detours, but you don’t throw out the map, you grab the first chance to get back on the road. Get to the goal without violating rules 2, 3, and 4 because ignoring them was momentarily convenient.

I hope you’re doing well today.

Character Journaling (Hippogryph Edition) Now Available

Save 20% through Sunday, June 26th!

Character sheets frustrate me. Most of the time there isn’t enough space to record everything about my character. There’s always room left over for categories that don’t even apply to the person I’m playing. Some information is on the back when it would serve me better if it were on the front. While some are better designed than others, they remain a one-size-fits-all solution that ultimately isn’t the best solution for anyone.

In the 1990s I started carrying a 3-ring binder. There would be an official character record in the front, inside of a clear sheet protector. I dutifully updated it in case the gamemaster needed to see it. (Spoiler: he never did. In over 40 years of tabletop roleplaying, I’ve never seen a gamemaster ask to see a character sheet. As a gamemaster, I just ask the player for the information I need. It’s called trust. After all, it’s a cooperative, creative activity, not a matter of national security.)

The rest of the book was comprised of my notes on the campaign. I would have pages with lists of my character’s abilities. If I needed a reminder of how things worked, I could add that. With the aid of tabs to create sections, I documented things about the other player characters, supporting characters we met, places we traveled, and adventures we had. It was cool, and I never actually looked at my character sheet other than to change things when my character advanced. But the 3-ring binder was clunky.

Then I discovered bullet journaling.

Bullet journaling has become something of a phenomenon over the past few years. You add what you need as you need it. The creator, Ryder Carroll, describes it as a method rather than a format. Bullet journaling is a way of doing things, which means you can customize it to do what you want. It’s a perfect tool for tabletop roleplayers regardless of what system, setting, or genre you’re working with.

This book intends to provide you with tips and suggestions for using a bullet journal in conjunction with playing a tabletop roleplaying character. Like roleplaying itself, what you get out of it depends on how much you put into it. Make it your own. Take what works, ignore the rest, and use the basic principles to create whatever you need to make your roleplaying experience great.

In these pages you will find:

  • Journaling Basics: This section covers the methodology of bullet journaling. From selecting a journal to creating spreads and collections to the process of logging information, this is the foundation for building your character journal.
  • Index: The index functions as the table of contents for your journal, pointing you to the locations for information on different topics.
  • Rapid Logging: This simple note taking methodology balances speed with accuracy. Rapid logging uses symbols to identify different types of information as you write it down.
  • Future Log: A future log is a collection, broken down by month, where you can record appointments and tasks to perform at a later date.
  • Monthly Log: A touchstone for the current month, including goals, tasks, and events, collected in a convenient two-page spread.
  • Session Log: The means to document a single game session, keep notes, and capture tasks to follow up on later
  • Trackers: A tracker is a calendar, grid, or checklist used to monitor a recurring task. Rather than writing it down every time, mark the tracker whenever you perform that task.
  • Collections: These make up the bulk of a bullet journal and organize information by content. Collections can be logs, lists, trackers, etc. Other popular collections include habit and mood trackers, fitness or diet trackers, a list of books to read, restaurants to try, etc.
  • Glossary: A collection of bullet journaling and relevant tabletop roleplaying game terminology gathered in one place for ease of reference.

A hippogryph combines the elegance of a giant eagle with the stability of a horse. It is a hybrid of two things that cannot logically go together. Somehow the unlikely remix produces something that elevates both of its antecedents. The Hippogryph system pairs foundational fantasy roleplaying tropes with the creativity and flexibility of story gaming. Its toolkit approach allows you to design characters, worlds, and adventures the way you choose.

Lightspress Media is a tabletop roleplaying company with a lo-fi approach. The utility of content takes precedence over ostentatious production value. Graphic elements should enhance the message of the text, not act as page filler and eye candy. Physical books need to be compact, portable, and sturdy. This minimalist aesthetic results in powerful toolkits that are both useful and affordable. After all, tabletop roleplaying isn’t the book. It’s the creativity and collaboration that takes place around the tabletop. Our mission is to give you as much as you need, then get out of your way.

24 june 2022

All Lightspress Media titles are currently available at Amazon in Kindle format.

The DoubleZero and Hippogryph Editions of Character Journaling have been submitted to the printer for eventual DriveThruRPG print-on-demand.


Earlier this year, I stopped blogging. I know, I update this page daily, but I’ll get to that. Not worrying about having something to say, or dealing with unpredictable feedback, has had a positive effect on my mental health and my productivity.

I’m still gathering ideas for personal and professional mission statements. On both sides, I’ve been thinking a lot about Mister Rogers. Yes, he was initially motivated by what he saw as television programming that wasn’t in line with his values. So he created his own show. He didn’t spend his life complaining about how terrible other stuff was. He focused on making something that he was proud of.

This is why I don’t get embroiled in the drama of the TTRPG community/hobby/industry. There is no value created in doing that. I just sit here like a happy little hermit, creating things that reflect my values, doing things in a way that might hopefully serve as an example to people paying attention.

It is also why I don’t bother to blog anymore. I will give you updates on what I’m working on, but I’m not going to write lengthy articles about theory, practice, philosophy, and such. I’d rather just make the thing that embodies all of that.

My exception to this is swearing about politics on Twitter. I have no expectations that anyone is paying attention to me, or will be swayed by my screaming. The value is in the catharsis I feel. It may not be much, but I’m not passively sitting around while the fascists do their thing. Again, it comes down to demonstrating my values even in some small way.

I hope you’re doing well today.

Character Journaling (DoubleZero Edition) Now Available

20% Off through Sunday, June 26th!

Character sheets frustrate me. Most of the time there isn’t enough space to record everything about my character. There’s always room left over for categories that don’t even apply to the person I’m playing. Some information is on the back when it would serve me better if it were on the front. While some are better designed than others, they remain a one-size-fits-all solution that ultimately isn’t the best solution for anyone.

In the 1990s I started carrying a 3-ring binder. There would be an official character record in the front, inside of a clear sheet protector. I dutifully updated it in case the gamemaster needed to see it. (Spoiler: he never did. In over 40 years of tabletop roleplaying, I’ve never seen a gamemaster ask to see a character sheet. As a gamemaster, I just ask the player for the information I need. It’s called trust. After all, it’s a cooperative, creative activity, not a matter of national security.)

The rest of the book was comprised of my notes on the campaign. I would have pages with lists of my character’s abilities. If I needed a reminder of how things worked, I could add that. With the aid of tabs to create sections, I documented things about the other player characters, supporting characters we met, places we traveled, and adventures we had. It was cool, and I never actually looked at my character sheet other than to change things when my character advanced. But the 3-ring binder was clunky.
Then I discovered bullet journaling.

Bullet journaling has become something of a phenomenon over the past few years. You add what you need as you need it. The creator, Ryder Carroll, describes it as a method rather than a format. Bullet journaling is a way of doing things, which means you can customize it to do what you want. It’s a perfect tool for tabletop roleplayers regardless of what system, setting, or genre you’re working with.

This book intends to provide you with tips and suggestions for using a bullet journal in conjunction with playing a tabletop roleplaying character. Like roleplaying itself, what you get out of it depends on how much you put into it. Make it your own. Take what works, ignore the rest, and use the basic principles to create whatever you need to make your roleplaying experience great.

In these pages you will find:

  • Journaling Basics: This section covers the methodology of bullet journaling. From selecting a journal to creating spreads and collections to the process of logging information, this is the foundation for building your character journal.
  • Index: The index functions as the table of contents for your journal, pointing you to the locations for information on different topics.
  • Rapid Logging: This simple note taking methodology balances speed with accuracy. Rapid logging uses symbols to identify different types of information as you write it down.
  • Future Log: A future log is a collection, broken down by month, where you can record appointments and tasks to perform at a later date.
  • Monthly Log: A touchstone for the current month, including goals, tasks, and events, collected in a convenient two-page spread.
  • Session Log: The means to document a single game session, keep notes, and capture tasks to follow up on later
  • Trackers: A tracker is a calendar, grid, or checklist used to monitor a recurring task. Rather than writing it down every time, mark the tracker whenever you perform that task.
  • Collections: These make up the bulk of a bullet journal and organize information by content. Collections can be logs, lists, trackers, etc. Other popular collections include habit and mood trackers, fitness or diet trackers, a list of books to read, restaurants to try, etc.
  • Glossary: A collection of bullet journaling and relevant tabletop roleplaying game terminology gathered in one place for ease of reference.

The DoubleZero system is a tabletop roleplaying toolkit. First designed for action, espionage, and thriller adventures, the skill-driven tabletop roleplaying system is perfect for mysteries, police procedurals, and crime dramas based on your favorite television series, movies, and novels. DoubleZero works with any “realistic” modern setting that doesn’t lean into magic, the supernatural, or superpowers.

Lightspress Media is a tabletop roleplaying company with a lo-fi approach. The utility of content takes precedence over ostentatious production value. Graphic elements should enhance the message of the text, not act as page filler and eye candy. Physical books need to be compact, portable, and sturdy. This minimalist aesthetic results in powerful toolkits that are both useful and affordable. After all, tabletop roleplaying isn’t the book. It’s the creativity and collaboration that takes place around the tabletop. Our mission is to give you as much as you need, then get out of your way.