An All New RPG System!

One of the reasons formed was to help promote local events, comics, bands, and other creative endeavors we thought Portland Geeks would dig. So, when I received the following press release from my friend Corvus, I was more than happy to pass the exciting news onto you.  And, unlike most press releases received by your friendly neighborhood Geek, you’re getting the whole she-bang… ‘Cause trust me, you are gonna’ want to know anything and everything about this exciting new game design:

Zakelro Story

Studio Announces The HoneyComb Engine RPG Platform

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Zakelro! Story Studio today formally announced the upcoming release of the HoneyComb Engine, targeted for release in late 2011. The HoneyComb Engine is an open and extensible RPG platform that is based on the studios’ exploration of story, play, and community. Zakelro! has launched an official website at and will regularly update the site with preview content and behind-the-scenes glimpses over the upcoming year

“I’ve spent the majority of my performance and game design careers figuring out how to get other people to share their stories through my work,” says Corvus Elrod, Semionaut, Narrative Designer, and Zakelro’s co-founder. “The HoneyComb Engine is based on this idea–that what makes role playing such a powerful experience is the ability to weave together the stories of the intelligent and creative people sitting around the gaming table with you.”

The HoneyComb Engine reflects this philosophy by focusing exclusively on providing a solid framework that can be easily applied to any storyworld you wish. This framework can be extended or interpreted in new ways to create variants that incorporate a wide variety of gameply styles, from hack-and-slash, to mysteries, to romantic comedies.

Thanks to the The HoneyComb Engine’s reliance on simple and elegant mathematics expressed through the movement of tokens upon the LifeWheel–the gameboard that serves as a character sheet–all players, both new and experienced alike, are able to easily grasp the complete rule set without the need to use a reference guide during play. Its highly visual, intuitive, and iconic design removes the traditional split between role playing and combat and places each player in control of their characters’ successes and failures. This turns every encounter into a rewarding role playing experience and lets everyone contribute meaningfully to the unfolding story.

To complement the HoneyComb Engine’s focus on visual and kinaesthetic play, the handbook is being written entirely in the style of a comic book. In the comic, you’ll join three gamers as they explore the HoneyComb Engine and talk about how they use it to play in a variety of unique storyworlds.


Corvus said, “Writing and illustrating the handbook as a comic is incredibly exciting. We always knew that a traditional approach to the handbook simply wouldn’t work, but at first we couldn’t quite figure out how to approach it. Finally, as an experiment, we started storyboarding the content in order to gain a fresh perspective and before we knew it, we were writing a comic. And exploring the HoneyComb Engine from the ‘external’ perspective of the characters has been quite the revelation.”

The full HoneyComb Engine handbook, along with printable character sheets,  will be released for free on the website in Q4 2011, when it will also be available for purchase in print and PDF formats.

Zakelro Story Studio ( is a creative collaboration between Corvus Elrod and Rachel Zakariasen. It was founded in 2009 to explore participatory storytelling, which they define as the intersection of story, play, and community, through a variety of mediums, including games, fiber-arts, illustration, and performance. The HoneyComb Engine is their first RPG release.

A full press kit for this announcement is available for download at For further information about the HoneyComb Engine and Zakelro Story Studio, please contact Corvus Elrod via email at


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