Evil Hat Productions

 

Evil Hat Productions

COVID-19: A Further Update

Apr 6 2020

On March 18th we posted a statement on how COVID-19 was affecting our business. We noted that the situation was highly fluid and unpredictable and promised that we’d keep you updated.

Some two-and-a-half weeks later, it’s time again to check in.

Impact to Our Operations

As states have worked to mitigate the spread of the virus, many of our business partners have (rightly) been deemed non-essential businesses. This includes our main distributor, our printer, and many of the local game stores who carry our titles. Our retail pipeline is basically shut down. Obviously this is a dire – but necessary – step. We’ve weathered financial hardship before and we’re fortunate to be in a position where we can absorb this hit for a couple of months. Obviously the situation is supercharged with uncertainty but for now we are holding steady.

This turn of events has forced some operational changes, however.

Since our warehouse is closed, we can’t fulfill physical orders and for the time being we have closed our webstore. If you’d like to support us or are just looking to pick up a game in PDF format, you have two options:

In terms of upcoming releases, the Fate Space Toolkit made it through the printing process before the facility was closed. We anticipate that it will be ready to pick up from your FLGS within a couple weeks of our warehouse re-opening. If your FLGS is open and takes part in Bits & Mortar (which they should, it’s free for them) they can take your pre-order and deliver you the PDF right away.

AGON is final, the proofs have been approved, and the game will go to press when our printer re-opens. We are currently taking pre-orders here. Making a pre-order now gives you immediate access to the PDF.

With so many local game stores closed, our fans have been forced to look elsewhere to find our books. We are temporarily broadening our PDF guarantee to include other sources. We encourage you to support your FLGS however you can. They need your help in these times.  But we don’t want to penalize customers who don’t have that option. If you buy one of our games new, we’ll send you the PDF for free.

If you’re in the US and looking to mail-order our recent releases and most popular titles in hardcopy, Indie Press Revolution is still shipping daily. They send you both the book and the PDF and stock a finely-curated selection of indie titles from a variety of great publishers. They also carry physical copies of our highly-praised story-building game For The Queen and the goofy party game of pitching anime tv shows, Channel A. If you have teens or pre-teens both of these are easy to learn and will provide stimulating creative engagement for bored kids and parents alike.

While many other retail outlets are closed, IPR is not a retail storefront in the traditional sense and you can read more details about their unique situation, why they’ve chosen to stay open, and how they work to keep their staff and their customers safe.

The Online Escape Valve

Especially in these times, we’re glad we have official licenses with online virtual tabletop Roll20. If you’re looking for a very rules-light game that’s extremely newbie-friendly, we recommend For The Queen. It uses a simple yet engaging series of prompts to help you develop the characters and story. It’s easy to learn, easy to play over the internet or tablet, and it’s never the same twice.

Fate makes it easy to pick up a set of dice and set foot in the world of your favorite movie, tv show, or novel. The Fate Complete Bundle gives you rules, character sheets, two complete Worlds of Adventure, character tokens, and more. Everything you need to get a game of Fate going on Roll20. 

The Fate SRD has recently been updated with resources and tips for playing Fate online.

If you’re looking for a concise, streamlined version of our rules, last month we released Fate Condensed.  It’s a tight 60-page package that explains how to play Fate and is fully compatible with everything else we’ve published for the system. It’s priced as a Pay What You Want PDF or you can browse the rules online at the Fate SRD

And on the board game side of things, the digital version of the Dresden Files Cooperative card game offers cooperative play and a wide set of challenging cases to solve together. It’s available on Steam, the App Store for iOS, and Google Play. It supports both online and local pass-and-play. Fans of the novels will appreciate the characters and references, but knowledge of the books is not required and doesn’t give a player any specific advantage. End-to end, it’s a terrific adaptation of the highly-acclaimed board game.

In Conclusion

As we’ve learned in the past two+ weeks, this crisis moves quickly and takes unexpected turns. We’re dealing with the uncertainty as best we can. It’s challenging and stressful but we still see a path forward for our business. We know there is a lot of economic instability out there. If you’ve been affected by reduced hours or a job loss and are looking for a distraction or creative outlet, you have our full blessing to pick up any of our 30+ Pay What You Want Worlds of Adventure and set the price to zero. If you find yourself in a position to help ease some of the suffering out there, we still recommend supporting your local food bank.

Please put health and safety above all else, the only way we can beat this is through discipline and collective action.

Regarding COVID-19

Mar 18 2020

These are difficult and unpredictable times, so we wanted to take a moment to share how COVID-19 is affecting our business.

However, before we get into operational details: do what you need to do to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community . Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and help flatten the curve. The World Health Organization has excellent resources and advice for the public.

Impact to Our Operations

Day to day, the impact of this initial stage of the outbreak has been marginal. The staff here at Evil Hat already work from home, so there has been no workplace adjustment needed to manage the projects we have in the pipeline and do the marketing, layout, and design work required to prepare them for production.

Our card games are printed in China and so a reprint we ordered of collaborative story-building game For The Queen has been delayed until May or so. Good news: it is also available and very easily playable via Roll20. You can find it here in the Marketplace for $7.99.

Our books are printed in the USA and so far those production schedules are holding to their estimates. The Fate Space Toolkit print run is complete and getting loaded to our warehouse now. We’re optimistic we can hit the April 20th release date. AGON is in its final proofing stage and almost ready to go to press, we are also ordering reprints of Blades In The Dark and Monster of the Week. So far, so good but of course the situation is fluid.

In terms of fulfilling orders, we’ve been in contact with our main distributor and are satisfied with the steps they’ve taken to address employee wellness, business continuity, and minimization of risk to both their workers and our customers and retailers.

On the convention front, we’ve scaled back our con presence in the past two years. We’ve been very happy to have Indie Press Revolution carry our products and represent us at the major cons. We trust them to make whatever decisions they feel are warranted as restrictions on events and public gatherings are implemented across the country.

Serving You While You Stay Safe

If you’re trying to maintain social distance but still crave the interaction of gaming together, we recommend Roll20. It’s a virtual tabletop that supports chat, dice-rolling, rules, character sheets, and more. You can join for free and everything is run off your browser, nothing extra to download or install. 

As we mentioned, For The Queen is a rules-light, collaborative story-building game you can play in as little as half an hour. Available now in the Marketplace for $7.99. The Fate Complete Bundle includes rules, character tokens, the Deck of Fate, and the popular Til Dawn and Masters of Umdaar worlds of adventure. The bundle is $19.99 or (like any bundle) you can buy just the parts you like. Roll20 also has fan-creations supporting Blades In The Dark and a ton of other games. This recent thread on the Blades forums will give you some tips on setting up a game in Roll20.

If you’re on a budget and looking to game or just get a shot of inspiration, last month we released a streamlined version of our Fate rules in a tight 60-page package we call Fate Condensed. It’s a great explanation of how to play and it’s fully compatible with any one of our 30+ Fate Worlds of Adventure. Each World features a unique take on a genre. From explorers researching abandoned alien relics in the far future to vampires hunting settlers on the Oregon Trail to magical cats secretly holding eldritch evil at bay, there’s a Fate World to surprise and inspire you.

And we mean it when we say Pay What You Want. If you’re facing financial insecurity and you need to set the price to zero, you have our blessing.

Serving Our Hobby and Our Community

We believe that the expertise and culture fostered by local game shops is essential to keeping our hobby thriving and growing. The bans on gatherings will hit this segment of the industry hard. If you have some extra dollars to make a purchase, please consider buying a gift card or making a pick-up order with your FLGS. Without tournaments and organized play events to bring customers into the store, they will need extra support. As always, if you buy one of our games new from your FLGS, we will send you the electronic version of that game for free. It’s our PDF guarantee.

We want to look beyond the hobby as well. As schools close and gatherings are limited, Americans who are food insecure need our help more than ever. That’s why we’ve made a $500 donation to Feeding America, a network of food banks supporting communities across the country. They’re rated four stars by Charity Navigator and have set up a dedicated COVID-19 Response Fund to help food banks secure the resources they need to efficiently serve the most vulnerable members of the community. Every dollar helps secure and distribute 10 meals to people facing hunger. If you have the means, we encourage you to make a donation.

In Conclusion

We understand the stress brought about by this fast-moving and unpredictable situation. We’ve taken appropriate steps to mitigate our risks as we can currently foresee them. Things will certainly change and we’ll keep you apprised as they do. The best way to stay up to date is to follow us on twitter or subscribe to our once-a-month (and only once-a-month) email newsletter.

We thank you for being our fans and customers, and we have confidence we can continue to provide some inspiration, creative distraction, and a social outlet as we all face these challenges together.

Agon – Reviews and Actual Play

Feb 20 2020

Actual Play

Let’s Play on the Critshow
The Fated Strings of Polybius with Theater of the Mind Players
The Dreams of Thalia with Theater of the Mind Players
Harping on Kyria with Theater of the Mind Players
Judgment of Pashiphae with Theater of the Mind Players
InTurtle Games of Domon with Theater of the Mind Players

Reviews

Agon: First Look

Fate Condensed

Feb 5 2020
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3-6 13+ 2-8 Hours PWYW

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Fate Condensed is an updated, streamlined, 50-pages-or-less version of Fate Core System. It’s completely stand-alone and features new refinements to the Fate Core engine that’ll have it running better than ever. Call it Fate 4.5, if you like—it covers all the ground (and uses the same skills) as Fate Core, in about a sixth the size.

You can use Fate Condensed (FCon) to drive any game, any scenario, with proactive, capable player-characters leading dramatic lives. The easy-to-digest rules are presented here with a minimum of verbiage, letting you get to the table and roll the dice, fast.

For game creators, the text of Fate Condensed is available for development under an open license, at a word-count that won’t bust your budget when making an all-in-one-book stand-alone game Powered by Fate.

Fate veterans will appreciate the refinements and additions to the Fate Core engine, including:

  • A shift to one-point stress boxes to help reduce player confusion.
  • The use of “Balsera Style” initiative (also known as “elective action order” or “popcorn initiative”) as the default rather than using skills to determine turn order.
  • Improvements to advancement, eliminating significant milestones and finessing major milestones to compensate.
  • Changing active opposition so it’s no longer separate from the defend action.
  • Eight pages of optional rules to make building your variant of choice easy, including Dresden Files Accelerated scale rules, extreme consequences, countdowns, and a variety of ways to make your Big Bads bigger and badder.

Fate Condensed.
Refined. Streamlined. Stand-alone. Open licensed.

Download now at DriveThruRPG or itch.io

Girl by Moonlight – Media

Jan 15 2020

Actual Play

Interviews

Interview with Andrew Gillis on The Critshow

Thirsty Sword Lesbians

Jan 15 2020
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3-6 13+ 2-4 hours TBD

Thirsty Sword Lesbians

Love, swords, and adventure.

Thirsty Sword Lesbians battle the Lady of Chains when her enforcers march down from the frosty north. They rocket through the stars to safeguard diplomats ending a generations-old conflict. Even when swords are crossed, they seek peace with their opponent—and sometimes connect more deeply than anyone expects.

A sword duel can end in kissing, a witch can gain her power from spirit lovers, and an entire campaign can be built around wandering  matchmakers flying from system to system.

Thirsty Sword Lesbians is a rolepaying game for telling queer stories with friends. If you love angsty disaster lesbians with swords, you have come to the right place.

In this book, you’ll find:

  • Flirting, sword-fighting, and zingers in a system designed for both narrative drama and player safety.
  • An innovative take on the Powered by the Apocalypse family of games.
  • Nine character types, each focusing on a particular emotional conflict: Beast, Chosen, Devoted, Infamous, Nature Witch, Scoundrel, Seeker, Spooky Witch, and Trickster.
  • Guidance and support for running the game, including how to make appealing adversaries, set the tone, pace the game, and structure play.
  • World building worksheet for custom scenarios and starting scenario seeds to play with: Best Day of Their Lives, The Constellation Festival, Gal Paladins, and Sword Lesbians of the Three Houses
  • Variant rules to highlight different identities, emotional connections, and setting elements.
  • Strategies to adapt any setting where swords cross and hearts race for Thirsty Sword Lesbians.

Ready? Let’s go!

GAME INFORMATION
Number of players: 3-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-4 hours
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Languages Available: English
Product Number: TBD
ISBN: TBD
Page Count: TBD
Format: Hardcover and Digital formats.
Release Date: TBD
Availability: Check here
Game Designer: April Kit Walsh

Girl by Moonlight

Jan 15 2020
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3-6 13+ 2-4 hours TBD

Girl by Moonlight

Tragic Magical Girls illuminating the darkness

Girl by Moonlight is a multi-genre RPG of Magical Girls grappling with destiny: hopes thwarted, defended, redeemed, and betrayed. It explores the heartbreak of denying who you really are, fighting for what you believe in, and the transcendent power of relationships and community. These Magical Girls clutch their tragic struggles tight, seeking to score defiant triumphs against the darkness of an oppressive society.

The game features four distinct playsets: In the Kingdom of Dawn heroic magical girls fight to reclaim a world corrupted by darkness. Mecha pilots battle against the extinction-level threat of the leviathans On a Sea of Stars. Dream travelers seek the truth of a magical conspiracy In a Maze of Dreams. Compromised members of the Memorial Academy spiral around the bounds of their own inevitable doom In Darkest Night. The critically-acclaimed Forged in the Dark system seamlessly pins it all together.

In this game, you’ll find:

  • Seven character playbooks of magical girls —the Guardian, Enigma, Outsider, Stranger, Time Traveler, Unlikely Hero, and Harmony.
  • Four series playsets to play different aspects of the magical girl genre.
  • A custom skin of the Forged in the Dark system to unify the action.
  • Actions such as Confess, Defy, Empathise, and Conceal deliberately designed to explicitly integrate characters’ inner life into the narrative.
  • Conflict outcomes that include mending, care, and connection.
  • Exploration of complicated answers to questions of identity, love, and community.
  • A cycle of play that drives the story forward, and keeps the protagonists grounded in the world they are fighting to change.
  • Ready made quick starts for each playset to get you right into the game. Ideal for single session or convention games, jump into Girl By Moonlight with the Silverstar Knights, Memorial Academy, ICARUS, and Dream Travelers.

We play to see how they fall, or if they rise to meet their destiny. 

GAME INFORMATION
Number of players: 3-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-4 hours
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Languages Available: English
Product Number: TBD
ISBN: TBD
Page Count: TBD
Format: Hardcover and Digital formats.
Release Date: TBD
Availability: Check here
Game Designer: Andrew Gillis

Demihumans

Jan 15 2020
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3-6 13+ 2-4 hours TBD

Demihumans

A game about magical people sustaining a community in the face of extinction.

Playtest info: Playtest applications closed. We’ll announce the playtesters by 12/31/2019.

The squalid world you live in was once a far finer place. The Golden Age was a time of unparalleled wonders. It was ruled by Those Who Came Before—beings who wrought great works of magic in that ancient era, wonders that can scarcely be imagined in these threadbare days. The magical spark of the impossible that was set burning in the Golden Age is a mere guttering ember now, as we live our lives under the human boot heel.

Demihumans is a standalone RPG inspired by Apocalypse World where you’ll play members of an enclave—a small community subordinate to a human city—of magical, nonhuman people who are trying to endure and thrive as magic is dying out.

In this book, you’ll find:

  • Playbooks to create the Company—the enclave’s citizens of note who are trying to ensure it survives and thrives—including the Dwarven Lawgiver, the Elven Sparksinger, the Trollish Greenward, and others.
  • Questions to set Gnosis and Legacy, which, respectively, tell you how well you understand the other members of the Company and what bigoted attitudes the peoples of the enclave tend to have of one another.
  • Rules to create the enclave and populate it with fantasy motifs and the threats they bring, to measure human ire at the enclave with the flower of human antipathy, and to improve your enclave and forestall its ending.
  • Guidance and support for the Demiurge—the loving bedeviler who keeps the Company as her heroes, but also makes their lives challenging and tragic—on how to run the game in the “improv GM” mode it calls for, as well as how to structure a tale so it produces a satisfying story.
  • Many systems and inducements to describe culture—your people’s culture, human culture, your family’s culture, the cultures of dead peoples, and so on.
  • Rules text written in an entertainingly poetic voice that is a pleasure to read and reinforces the game’s aesthetic of faded elegance and things not meant for this era without sacrificing clarity as a rules text.

The fate of the enclave depends on you!

GAME INFORMATION
Number of players: 3-6
Age of players: 13+
Length: 2-4 hours
Type of Game: Roleplaying Game
Languages Available: English
Product Number: TBD
ISBN: TBD
Page Count: TBD
Format: Hardcover and Digital formats.
Release Date: TBD
Availability: Check here
Game Designer: Robert Bohl

Monster of the Week – Media

Jan 15 2020

Actual Play

Interviews

Reviews