Hyper Light Drifter: Tabletop Role-Playing Game

Created by Andreas Walters

A tabletop role playing game based on the award-winning video game: Hyper Light Drifter.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Map Sneak Peek + Backerkit Lockin
about 1 year ago – Mon, Jun 01, 2020 at 11:45:42 PM

Hello Drifters, 

Backerkit: Quick note, we'll be charging credit cards on Backerkit on June 18th. If you're in a place where you're not comfortable in your current situation, just let me know and I can manually prevent it from locking down and charging you until you're in a better place. 

Poisoned Forest, region WIP

Map WIP: We're hard at work on the setting, and I wanted to just share with you a snippet of the map. This was a style test to see if we could do justice to the HLD map style, and honestly, I am very very happy about it. Welcome to the Poisoned Forest, this was the region where we ran our first playtests, and given its the biggest area that's separated from our continent, it was perfect for a style test. 

In addition, you may notice the hex-grid background. Hex-Grids were a popular aspect of AD&D and OSR styled games (including Forbidden Lands, a modern OSR game). The benefit of hex-grid maps is that it provides a structured increment of travel while at the same time, making each tile relatively unknown to the player, typically providing a roll-table of potential encounters/events. Anything could happen on the next tile.

The thing with older hex-grids is that they're usually pretty lackluster on map features. Typically only showing a few named locations, making the world feel hollow (at least in my opinion). With Drifter, I want the map to provide ideas and inspiration, and so we've littered the map with several places and markers. Some of these are fleshed out while and others are undefined, allowing you to use as you see fit. 

Anyways, I hope you all love it, and we'll be sharing more about the world and setting as they get further fleshed out. v4.3 is coming, and I'll talk more about the changes to abilities that will come with it. 

Until the next update!!

Drifter Andreas

Dev Update!
about 1 year ago – Sun, May 03, 2020 at 11:56:23 PM

Hey All,

I wanted to record a video for this update yesterday, but apparently, Kickstarter disabled live video updates, so I guess I'll type out everything instead. I apologize for the lack of updates, I was hoping that people would be keeping track of the patch notes as we go along, but some people may be waiting to get the final game to lay their eyes upon what's been developed.

There are two things that I do need to share with all of you,

I have not charged Credit Cards on Backerkit yet, as COVID19 spread across the world, it didn't feel appropriate to charge backers at the time. I have pushed back the collection date, probably to June or July, we'll see as the world-reopens and people's lives become more stable. (note: if you paid via Paypal, those funds have already been collected).

Production Schedule Delayed: Mostly as a result of COVID19, schedules, and availability of contributors has varied quite a bit. Fortunately, from the game-dev side of things we've been making good progress, and I appreciate the slow stream of feedback we've been getting over the past few months to help make the game even better.

As of current, I'm projecting that we'll have the final version of the Basic Rules around, 7/2020, with the completion of the core book done 10/2020. Add printing to that, and we're probably looking at rewards delivery around 1/2021 (sooner if things go well)


Also, Last Thursday, I sat down with Alx (creator of HLD), to go over the current state of the project, to show off the mechanics, and get clearance on the setting material we've developed so far. Good News! we're currently green to go forward! Which is great! He was impressed with our current design and progress. We also gave him an update on our projected schedule.



So since our last update, we talked about moving forward to our landscape layout starting in v4.0/4.1. Since then, we've implemented Corruption, Woe, Base Building, Downtime, Advanced Options, as well as improving ability balancing, Adversity Levels, removing ability scores form the early game, and more. *Whew*...I think that's everything.

So I'll do a little explanation of each if you haven't been watching the updates.  (also, at the start of each version, there's a patch notes section where you can review the updates.)

Corruption - This is our way of representing the drifters' sickness, as you explore, fight, stay, or interact with things/creatures/places that are corrupted you may take on a corruption point. This is measured in a ~13 point meter and is intended to be a very slow gain. When you max out on Corruption, you plan out/write a eulogy for your character and plan their final moments.  Only some discoveries can remove points of corruption. Also, you can gain corruption by stopping yourself from Not Dying (not today). It works as a natural way to pace campaigns and bring campaigns/characters to a close.

Woe - I like to explain this using Darkest Dungeons sanity mechanic, as it's very similar. Failing social encounters, facing fears, accumulating bad luck, and being in stressful situations are all ways to gain Woe. When you fill-up on Woe, you make a Tested roll. The result of this roll determines whether you take on a boon or a burden, you get to pick the one you think best fits.  Burdens prevent you from using a specific skills and increase your threshold to get a Fortune result for that discipline (for other skills). These Burdens can usually be resolved during self-care downtime activities, so if you acquire one out on an adventure, you'll have to manage it until you can take some time to remove it. For Boons, you have a buff that you can activate that grants you (and sometimes your allies) a buff depending on the boon.

Downtime - Now resting at a fire and or taking some time off at a sanctuary is a bit more structured. The narrator will tell you how many 'slots' you get, and the players can spend their slots on whatever activities they see fit, from resting/healing, self-care and training, crafting items/upgrades, base building and more. If you want to spend more time doing downtime activities, you can, but the narrator can add the additional slots as increased difficulty elsewhere in the coming adventure. 

Advanced Options - Its a starting point for alternate/variant rules, in it we talk about breaking up the combat board, to create some more interesting encounters. 

BaseBuilding - One of our newest sections, leveraging the downtime mechanics. This will include setting up your own base of operations, and upgrading existing sanctuaries. We plan on having some buffs applied to some of the buildings, but its still pretty early. 

Adversity Levels - This was clarified a bit more, we had it written where enemy abilities had damage, which made no sense to why we implemented Adversity Levels in the first place. So now, Adversity Levels range from 1-5. Each level can deal health damage equal to it's level, but there are other effects that can be swapped in instead (like knocking down, stunning, woe damage (3), corruption point (5), to summoning allies). So now a Dirk is a level 2 enemy, which deals 2 hp damage. If you get a Temperance Result, they deal Adv-1, which would mean they deal 1 damage.  (and nothing can be reduced below 1 adversity level). 


What's in Development?

The map is the coolest thing that's being worked on right now. It's not ready to show off yet, but when it is, I'll def share it. 

I've also got a big change coming down the pipe for abilities, we're going to create 4-5 ability slots, and let you put abilities into those slots. As you advance, you can buy/unlock more space,  as well as use a downtime activity to swap out abilities. 

In addition, we've got some changes coming for weapons (esp wield machines, dual wield and two-handed weapon balancing). 


Anywho, if you've got any questions I'd be happy to answer them. I'd say Discord is the best place to reach me, as I am there most the time and we've got a nice little community there. 

All the best


Backerkit Going Out!
over 1 year ago – Fri, Mar 06, 2020 at 06:11:42 PM

Hey Drifters!

Some good updates to come down the pipe! v4 of the playtest is out (with a v4.1 going out this weekend) Download the playtest on our website, or on DTRPG. In this update we fully implemented the landscape layout, which took a little longer than I would have liked, This was mostly due to messing with the align-to-grid text, so that all of the rows match up, but are not terribly spaced out (headers were a pain to get right).  I am currently working on v4.1 which will fix a few UI aspects that I had missed, as well as expand Corruption and Woe (which are briefly touched on in v4) 

Also, upon the release of v4, we were able to get Adam Koebel to do a first look of Drifter. If you haven't looked at the playtest yet, this is a great introduction to the rules


Alas the time has come, to finally get all of you into backerkit. For those who don't know, backerkit is a pledge manager, and how we will administer our surveys, allow you to upgrade and add-on to your pledge, and allow us to charge shipping.  Its a powerful tool, but its a fiddly one with a lot of levers, and if you have any issues, need help, or messed up, we're here to help (just send us a message).

Starting today, and throughout this weekend you will get an email invitation to backerkit. If you do not receive this email you can get to your survey from this address:


Now once, you're in, you'll see this screen. Here, there is an opportunity for you to switch your pledge tier. This will allow you to change to a different pledge tier. I highly recommend you play around with changing tiers to find the best shipping prices. I recently just implemented some changes that make shipping a bit easier to calculate, but if anything looks super wrong, send me a message and let me know.

As you go through, you'll answer a few pledge questions. This is where we collect your names to credit you in the Corebook. 

Setting and Corebook costs - We have made these books cost the same ($45), and we have provided credit to the pledge tiers (Delvers) who's math does not add up, this should credit towards your shipping. 

 After the pledge questions, you'll see the pre-order store. There you can add anything as you see fit. We included a few of our other core products as well. 

Charging Cards

If you are paying via credit card, you will not be charged immediately. This will likely happen in May as we start to lock down the surveys and pre-orders. 

And finally

if you have any, questions, feel free to ask. Discord is a easy place to quickly reach me, but messaging us here on KS will work as well. 

This weekend, I want to do an update this weekend to talk about some of the mechanical design, if there is something you want me to talk to  (esp now you can watch Adams vid to get a sense of the game), let me know. 

Thank you and all the best, 


January Update
over 1 year ago – Wed, Jan 29, 2020 at 03:24:33 PM

Hey Drifters!

I hope the new year is going well for everyone. This is more of a check-in post. Most of my work has been coordinating the start of setting development with our creative team, composing the art specs for our future pieces, and most importantly whittling away at the basic rules and it's layout. 

Also, I have a good selection of sound effects from Akash that are nearly ready to share and Disasterpiece has begun work on the Fragments EP.

Here are my favorite sound effects from Akash so far (wow those are giant) 


Progress on the basic rules have been going very well, I've been meaning to publish a new update to the playtest however I've been suffering from a little bit of scope-creep in getting it out. 

Currently the patch notes on it are almost two pages long, and I think they're all for the better. Little things as wording improvements, ability clarifications, and organization are certainty there. With bigger updates such as, switching to a Landscape layout, removing ability scores from character creation, and the addition of Woe and Corruption as new mechanics (which also warrant a character sheet redesign). 

The decision to go landscape is so that we can put a solid emphasis on the art. Also, in doing so, a landscape book should be easier to read in both tablet formats and at the table. 

Chapter Page, illustrated by Daniel Riise
Class Page

As I push out the next playtest udpate, I'll make a post about Corruption (your sickness mechanic) and Woe (a stress mechanic), I don' t think it'll be too long until that update, given that the ball is really rolling now,.

And finally, we've got an amazing discord server that you're welcome to join. In addition, I'm fairly active on twitter if you want to hear my design musings. 

If you have any questions feel free to hit me up at any time.

All the best. 

Drifter Andreas

Oh! and Backerkit!

Almost forgot, I'll be opening up backerkit in February, Probably around when i push the next update. 

Happy Holidays Update
over 1 year ago – Mon, Dec 02, 2019 at 12:58:58 AM

Hey Drifters! 

I apologize for the silence, its been a busy two months. So far, I've cranked a lot out on the drifter design, sat down and had some conversations with the Alx and the Heart Machine team about lore, scope and setting. I've also had conversations with both, Disasterpiece (musician) and Akash (sound designer) about what we can get on the musical side of things (both are promising). 

I don't like making long updates, so I'll summarize them here;

  • In addition to music, we may get background tracks and sound effects.
  • I've sent out emails to each of the Design a Boss/NPC backers to talk about their contributions. 
  • The continent of Drifter will happen closer to the continent of HLD. 
  • Our discord community, is an amazing community and the best place to chat about the game, mechanics, suggestions, or even HLD in general. 
  • I'm just about to post another decent-sized update to the playtest, if you don't have the PDF you can pick it up here, you'll get notified right when I push an update. You can also check out the website when I push updates.  
  • I want your opinions on when to put everyone into Backerkit.

Backerkit Question

I know I stated that we were going to bring you into Backerkit right away so you could manage or upgrade your pledge. We've been holding off on sending the surveys out because Backerkit dosent elegantly handle charging for shipping later and I have been searching for a decent solution.  So far they've provided us with two options

  • Wait to import you until we're ready to charge shipping.
  • Let everyone in now, but remind everyone alot when the shipping charges get updated. 

Currently, I'm leaning towards just waiting until we have all the costs figured out. This way there is little to no confusion about how much your final bill is going to be. As of current, there is nothing I need from backerkit this early on in the process. 

Anyways, I'd be interested to hear what you guys have to say about it. Next updates will be more about specific mechanics that we're putting into the game.

Thank you and stay awesome drifters