Hyper RPG is releasing its new KOLLOK series tonight! This new series takes place 30 years after the Season 2 finale of KOLLOK 1991.

Alongside the returning cast members, we also have brand-new faces joining the party. These new cast members include Elyse Willems (Rosters Teeth’s Funhaus), Danielle Radford (Honest Trailer), and even Twitch Streamer yellowspoongirl. Returning cast includes Lucas Eubank, Mika Midgett, and Exandria Unlimited DM Aabria Iyengar.

Guest players will include B. Dave Walters, Mari “AtomicMari” Takahashi, and even Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse and House Of Sand And Fog). I had a chance to interview Game Master Zac Lim Eubank, and cast member Xu Mason to talk all about this new season of the show.

Zac And Xu Interview

Q: You guys have obliviously been doing KOLLOK for a while. You’ve done KOLLOK 1991, and now this new version. What’s different about this version to KOLLOK 1991?

Zac: Well, I would say it’s very different in a lot of ways. How we’re going about filming it, the story, the
cast, and our partnership. I mean this season we’re partnered with AMC Networks’ Feat HQ, and we’re
trying to rise to that occasion in every way possible to give something completely unique and never seen
before in an actual play. There are elements that will be familiar. I think, like Xu on the call here, she is
one of our ascended cast members.

And our ascended cast is going through the more traditional journey, kind of a fetch quest, that falls in a
little bit more of a line with a typical kind of adventuring party. Except in the world of KOLLOK, so it’s
going to be weird, it’s going to be dark, it’s going to be very extreme in certain ways. But our legacy cast
from 1991, that’s coming back, their entire story takes place in their subconscious, and it will be a very
different way to do an actual play.

And especially live, where instead of exploring a real-world, they’re exploring the last 30 years of
memories to try to unlock how the world as it is now became the way that it is. And ultimately, I would
say the entire show is, as weird as it is to say for an actual play, an exploration of overcoming trauma.
And both groups will be on a journey to overcome trauma, but in very different kind of formats.

Q: Xu, like Zac said, you’re joining the cast. What made you kinda decide to, you know,
join this as an actual play?

Xu: So, I’m pretty new to the TTRPG scene, and most of what I did was with Roll20, and I did a lot of stuff
with comedy improve teams so I did a lot of things that were just kinda like, just goofy, ridiculous,
Monster Of The Week stuff, and it was just super fun. And so, this was something totally different.

I kinda found out about this through someone that I did a different show with. And I think she recommended me. So, I was really excited to do something that was just so, that I had never done before. I had never seen a show like this you know. I’ve seen more traditional D&D, or kind of more like the fun stuff, Dimension 20. I had never seen like a horror-thriller exploration with comedic elements, trying to solve deep-rooted trauma. You know what, you have to watch the show. I was just very excited to do something I’ve never done before. 

Q: I got to check out the cast list and you have somebody that I love, Aabria Iyengar, who did the Dungeon Mastering for Exandria Unlimited for Critical Role. She’s also been on Dimension 20. What made you decide to bring her into this? 

Zac: Well, she’s been apart since kinda the beginning. She was a part of 1991, and we really wanted to bring her in. We had breakfast many years ago, and just immediately were drawn to Aabria and her improv skills; and wanted to bring her into the family here at Hyper. And have her as a member at our table, she is also an absolute force of chaos. 

And our original 1991 cast, we were playing off the meta quite a bit, in that the show itself is very, it’s self-aware, but we never allow our players to be self-aware. The way that we roleplay, we’re always asking our players to be completely in character, and never meta game above the table. We try to hold the in-world as much as possible through audio, visual, and acting. But some of the mechanics and storytelling elements are very meta to make it more relatable to a TTRPG audience. 

So, for instance, one of the cast members, or cast that was Aabria was playing, they are kinda powered by the god of chaos. And we figured that was a way to kinda play off the meta of TTRPGs that you know an adventuring party is going to be leaning heavily into that. So, we just kinda built that right into the world. And she fits perfectly as our kind of Laura Bennett, known as the Devil Itself. So, she’s amazing, we love having her at the table. We’re really excited to kind of bring her back, now, cause we had to go on break from COVID and the pandemic. 

And being that we are a live show that’s in person with studio special effects, we couldn’t really continue the show during the pandemic. And in that time that we took off from the pandemic, Aabria exploded in expertise, and notoriety. She has become one of the best GMs out there. So, it’s been really exciting to have her coming back to the table now. And discussing what she’s learned, how we can apply those things to the new season. And do something completely unique and different with her character as well. 

Q: Without spoilers, what are you able to tell us about the character you’re going to play? 

Xu: Ok so my character’s name is Ro, which is short for Rosemary. And she was born into a religious cult. And that’s where a lot of her formative years were spent. It’s going to be a deep delving of what happens when you are put through a pressure cooker and you become a child soldier. And then you fight, and you lose. So, I think that’s a jump.

That’s the jumping-off point. You know, every single character has this phenomenal backstory. And you’re just going to see how these very different people, who come from a very fractured past, are able to kind of, either pull together, or completely fall apart. 

Q: I know it’s airing on Fear HQ and you’re going to be using the audience to play NPCs. How’s that going to play out in the game? 

Zac: Well, we have a system called the Devina Form Network. So, we’re using our Discord to allow members of the audience to create a character that exists in our world. And everyone will be creating a character that’s known as an ascended member. These are humanity’s last children, who aren’t really children anymore. They all have the same birth date of November 12th, 1991, the last day a human was born on the planet Earth. 

So, now they’re all about 29 years old. So, these are, they’re all connected through this Devina Form. And they’re going to be roleplaying people who lived through a rebellion, lived through the collapse of government, and are now just trying to live out their lives in peace. So, we’ve kinda gone all the way through the full spectrum. It’s kind of exciting to now see what’s it like roleplaying after that. 

And a lot of this is obviosity is inspired by us living through 2020. And wanting to explore what it’s like to kind of, where do you move forward and how do you move forward. We’re asking our audience to be a part of that experience with us.  

Now while they’re on that form, our ascended cast members, the person who created the Devina Form, is Danielle Ranford’s character, C-dubbs. And they will be, in real-time, able to check the form, while they’re traveling across the country. 

And if there are people in the chat room who are roleplaying members within that region, we have some special secret stuff that we’re building in our backend form site, where they can find secrets about what’s going on in the world. 

So, using the Devina Form, they can hack like a local server, since everything is at a hawk local network, without the internet really existing. So, as they’re traveling, say if they’re going through a town, and they know that there is a research facility that they might be trying to break into. The chat room can be on our website trying to hack into our backend, and if they discover these secrets, they’re going to find these text logs that might be information they then can pass on to the players in real-time during the game to help them succeed in their goals or things like that. 

So, using the Devina Form, they can hack like a local server, since everything is at a hawk local network, without the internet really existing. So, as they’re traveling, say if they’re going through a town, and they know that there is a research facility that they might be trying to break into. The chat room can be on our website trying to hack into our backend, and if they discover these secrets, they’re going to find these text logs that might be information they then can pass on to the players in real-time during the game to help them succeed in their goals or things like that. 

But ultimately, that discord is open 24/7, and our audience is able to keep the world alive and keep roleplaying. And then we’ll probably do 1 or 2 episodes. like we did in season 1 and 2, where we hire actors to come play these characters that the audience created. And let them kind of have full run over their character sheets, and their backstories, and see a full printout of everything they said in the Discord room. So that they get to see “That’s my character.” And then they died because they rolled poorly. 

Q: You said this version is different because it takes place years after humanity basically got obliterated. To me, this kinda feels like it has tropes of The Walking Dead, and some other horror things. What can you tell us about your specific setting that sets it apart?

Zac: It’s some really, we have a trio of events called Cerberus, that kind of impacted the world as we know it. In 1991, there were 2 big events that happened, that directly correlate to actions that our previous cast members caused. One is the disappearance of Australia. The other is the disappearance of Mainland Europe. When these bodies of land disappeared from existence, it sent chaotic tidal waves across the earth, earthquakes, dramatic shifts in climate. Then on November 12th, 1991, a couple months later, all of a sudden, no more babies are being born. 

And humanity’s progress, and future just kinda comes to a halt. And we’re jumping up into the story 30 years into the future from that moment in 2021 in real-time. But it’s kind of an alternate universe. Without going too deep into the lore and backstory of the show, I will say that there is a new government that is in play. And things work a little bit differently. And they promise everyone that if you just comply, we’ll help you live out your life, the remainder of it in peace, as humanity slowly ceases to exist. People are just kinda dying off, but we are in a time of peace. But there was a time of war, about 10 years ago. 

And even though we’re jumping forward 30 years, we have the opportunity to relive some of what’s happened over the last 30 years through the memories of our legacy cast. Since their stories are taking place in the subconscious, they get to jump through time at their choosing. And pick up in these different points throughout time. So, we worked really hard with our writing team to create a giant log of story. So anywhere our cast wants to go, we kinda know what happened in the world in those time frames.

Q: How are the legacy characters going to come into the fold? I know you said they’re going to be living through their memories, but how is that going to work? 

Zac: It’s going to be very interesting. Like I said, our ascended cast is a more traditional story. And were actually breaking each live episode into 2 parts. So, I’ve put myself into a position where I’m GMing 2 shows in 1 night, and I don’t know why I did this. But at the break, we’ll switch over to the legacy cast, and there is a mystery of even where they are, how this is happening. And we have a really fun, kind of mechanic to explore even the audience trying to discover why is this in their subconscious. 

Why are we jumping through their memories, who is doing this, why is this happening. If both sides of the equation complete their kind of overall journeys, there might be an opportunity for them all to come together, but as well all know, anything can happen at the table. And how they roll the dice could completely change the course of the story. But it will be 2 separate tables, and it will be really interesting to see how that plays out. 

Q: As far as possible enemies they can encounter, monster-wise or really anything-wise, what should we expect? 

Zac: So, the world of KOLLOK is, it’s kind of like the darkest version of our own reality. But there are some very horror-type elements in there. Your kind of demons, and gods, and forces that are outside of your own control. But usually, the biggest enemy are yourself, and your fellow castmates, and the trauma. I mean we go full soap opera with some of this stuff. But usually, it’s your own decisions. And if I can say anything that makes KOLLOK unique, it’s that usually, the biggest conflicts are always the ones that you create for yourself based on your actions. 

Unlike, kind of power-fantasy TTRPGs, this much more every single action has a consequence. And every time you use a power, everything comes at a cost, and you can’t do everything for free. And we try to keep that as fun and entertaining as possible for the players by creating exciting avenues for them from a narrative standpoint to explore really unique things without feeling like they’re always getting beat down. So, the wins come narratively, but the wins in the world from a level-up or EX standpoint, hardly ever happen. It’s a very consequential world, and it’s a horror setting after all. 

It’s exploring loss, fatigue, and overcoming trauma. As far as you know some typical, there’s nothing that you can recognize from your kind of D&D world, but there are metaphysical properties, demons. There might be things lurking in people’s subconscious that’s trying to attack them. And take control of them and take control of the story themselves. 

Q: 1991 was using the Kids On Bikes system. Is that still the same system you’re using or are you using something else? 

Zac: It is the Kids On Bikes system that we’ve adapted. Fingers crossed that you might see that in print one day. We have adapted it for each section of the show. So, the legacy cast has a completely different dice set. And we’ll probably release that right when the show starts in terms of, you’ll be able to find that on our website on the characters sheets. I say that, that’s like less than 12 days now, so I got to get on that. 

And then our ascended cast is using more of the standard Kids On Bikes system with some small rule changes that we’ve made after years of using the system that kind of fit better with our narrative playstyle. 

Q: What can fans expect from this all-new version of KOLLOK?

Zac: From my standpoint, I would say they can expect more drama, if that’s possible. More darkness, more special effects, and surprises. We’ve worked really, really hard as a tech kind of team to bring in the best people that we could find to up every single aspect of the production. 

Making it more interactive, more engaging. But also our video elements, and the interactive aspects of the LED wall we built behind the players. And how that will interact with the story and how the audience can help impact how that’s moving and shaping as the story’s moving forward. So, basically, everything that you saw towards the end of KOLLOK 1991 season 2, magnified times 10. 

Xu: I think there is a lot. The most fun of doing any kind of live play is that you never know what’s going to happen. And you know, I think we have, all of the ascended cast and really everyone has sat down with Zac and the writers and we’ve all put our heads together. And it’s a very collaborative form. We’ve you know sat there and been like “How can we break this character’s heart just a little bit more?” “How can we just add a little bit more pain and trauma?” “And what else can we do to amp everything up?” 

Zac:  “And how can we keep that a secret from every other player?” 

Xu: Exactly. Everyone has very specific secrets, and we’re all trying to figure out what does someone knows, what does someone not know. I say as someone who does not know a lot. You know, and I think for anyone who, the way I describe this to people is I was like “Imagine Children of Men, but 30 years after.” And you know, that meets Twin Peaks and kind of a small-town setting. And then you throw in a blender and then you put in the trauma section. And see what happens. So, I’m just expecting for everything to be very dark. And for it to be an exploration of you know, “How do you get out of the darkest place possible if that’s possible?”

Zac: “If” yeah that’s the big one. See if the dice are in your favor on that one. 

Xu:  It’s never in my favor.

Premiere Date And Where To Watch

The new season of KOLLOK will be airing on Mondays at 9 PM PST/ 6 PM EST on AMC Networks’ FearHQ Twitch channel. And if you need to catch up on KOLLOK 1991 and KOLLOK 1991Bleach, episodes of both seasons 1 and 2 are available on Hyper RPG’s Twitch and Youtube. And they are also available on podcast services.

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