HöL Help Pages

Need help? It's a common problem. HöL is not the most well known role-playing game created, and role-playing games themselves are not exactly discussed over every family's Christmas dinner table. It is my opinion that the best way to help you would be to provide an FAQ on the subject at hand, and if there's anything here that I haven't covered that you would like to ask me, then just chuck an e-mail in my direction. I'm just a sucker for helping people out.

The Basics:

What is a role-playing game?

A role-playing game or RPG is basically free form amateur dramatics performed within the collective imaginations of the gaming group. Each player takes on the role of a character, and one person running the game (known as the Hölmeister in HöL) places the characters in situations and runs events around them. To provide the players with a set of laws that they must adhere to there exist a variety of gaming systems, and to help whoever is running the game there are also a diversity of cmoplete settings available. HöL uses a simple system, and a farcical futuristic setting. Since no real acting out of the roles is performed, there is a great degree of freedom allowed to the players, who can indulge in actions that could not be performed in reality. The general purpose of an RPG is to be fun. It is a social activity that brings the group together, and improves skills in the areas of communication, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and imagination. Depending on the type of game being run, it can act as a release for strong passions (such as violent tendencies) in a harmless manner, that would otherwise remain pent up. Relief through release.

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What is HöL?

ISBN 1-56504-590-4, White Wolf stock number 5900, originally priced $14.95.

In one sense HöL is quite clearly a role-playing game, but in another sense it is obviously a farcical joke. For an experienced gamer, there is a horde of in-jokes to be discovered within the pages of the rulebooks, and also an equally large amount of jokes that are not dependant on being familiar with the gaming industry. This game actually had me strongly laughing out loud - no mean feat, believe me. There is a strong "homemade" feel to the books, as they look as though they've just been made up as the designers went along. Their style is unique to themselves, requiring nothing but paper, pens, stimulants, and creative genius. But we also see something very special at work - although HöL is extremely funny, and you can spend hours just reading it again and again, the system they describe is simple to use and works very well in practice. What we have here is actually an excellent game in and of itself. If that alone doesn't qualify it to be one of the best RPG's around, I don't know what does.

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What is Buttery Wholesomeness?

ISBN 1-56504-585-8, White Wolf stock number 5901, originally priced $9.95.

This is the first (and, to date, only) supplement available for HöL. It provides the Hölmeisters with more background, and a hilarious and unique method of creating characters. The creation rules consist of a morass of inter-linking tables (poking fun at other games systems) that are so much fun to traverse that anyone owning a copy of this book just sits and creates character after character - never intending to use them, just having fun in making them. This explains the presence of several web sites that contain nothing bar example characters that have been made using Buttery Wholesomeness. Trust me when I say that it is the actual process of creation that holds the pleasure, not the finished characters themselves. You can't appreciate Buttery Wholsomeness from merely gazing at a few misanthropes that have been rolled up using the book. Sweet goodies in the book include new skills, and several toys. Also included is an extra RPG: Freebase.

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And what on Earth is Freebase?

Freebase is connected to HöL only in that it is included as a supplement within Buttery Wholesomeness. It is an entirely different role-playing game farce. The basic idea is that it is a Live Action Role Play (LARP) set in "The World of Reality". Suffice to say that it encourages players to steal, fight, kill, rape, plunder, pillage, burn, swear, curse, squick, maim, fold, spindle, and mutilate. It's fun. A piss-take of LARP's in general, and in particular of the AD&D game.

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Who created these games?

  • Concept: Daniel Thron & Duane Waters
  • Written by: Todd Shaughnessy, Daniel Thron, & Chris Elliott
  • Interior Art: Daniel Thron & Chris Elliott
  • Front Cover Art: Simon Kono
  • Back Cover Art & Design (HöL): Simon Kono, Chris Elliott, Daniel Thron, Glen Whelden, & Todd Shaughnessy
  • Back Cover Art (Buttery Wholesomeness): Chris Elliot
  • "Wastem" Designed by: Glen Whelden

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    Who published these games?

    The HöL books were published in 1995 by White Wolf in their Black Dog imprint. The books are owned by the authors in the form of Dirt Merchant Games. Freebase belongs to High on the Hog.

    Hol™, Human Occupied Lanfill™, Buttery Wholesomeness™, and Dirt Merchant Games™, are trademarks owned by Daniel Thron, Todd Shaughnessym and Chris Elliott.

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    How can I get hold of HöL?

    Sadly, I believe both HöL and Buttery Wholesomeness are out of print. Try your local stockist of role-playing games anyway, in the hopes that they have some back copies in stock. Failing that, you could try a gaming convention or some kind of specialist stockist. Don't get your hopes up, though - I can't see people who own a copy wanting to get rid of it. If anyone finds out any news on the subject of another print run, please tell me immediately.

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    Who are you?

    M'name's Stelio. I'm just a big fan of HöL. As a long time fan of White Wolf, HöL came to my attention. I bought it, read it, and fell in love. I believe it to be one of the best role-playing games ever written. I made these pages out of pure devotion. Nothing more. The site is not endorsed by anyone official and it does technically violate some copyrights, but I'm doing this out of love, not a desire to make money out of this. Please don't sue. Please.

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