[19:01] <+Clovis> Hello everyone! I will be speaking here as the representative of the team behind Shadows of Esteren, a medieval-fantasy RPG with a horrific, gothic mood. The game is very influenced by gaming universes such as Ravenloft (of which several of the founding members of the project are huge fans) or World of Darkness, but also by books such as Lovecraft’s or Poe’s,
[19:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, Mike!)
[19:01] <+ActorMikeY> Howdy, Dan!
[19:01] <~Dan> (Clovis: Cut off at “or Poe’s”)
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[19:02] <~Dan> (Howdy, Gar!)
[19:02] <+Clovis> (Oh, indeed.)
[19:02] <+Clovis> (cont.) and movies such as Braveheart or Sleepy Hollow.
[19:02] <+Clovis> The universe itself is set in a fictional land called Tri-Kazel, very inspired by Celtic mythology and culture. The scenarios are usually about unraveling mysteries, seeing the characters evolve, and simply surviving, more than getting all-powerful or super rich.
[19:02] <+Gar> (Hey Dan! I’m late…I see…)
[19:03] <+Clovis> You might compare the atmosphere to that of Warhammer, although the game is meant to be less brutal and less directly supernatural.
[19:03] <+Clovis> The game aims to be realistic, so even very experienced characters will remain vulnerable, flesh and blood people, and combat was designed to be quick and lethal, so as to discourage rash, bloodthirsty behavior from the players and stress how fragile the life of their characters can be.
[19:04] <+ActorMikeY> This sounds awesome, and is somewhat in line with my game system/setting as well.
[19:04] <+Clovis> One of the main purposes of the game is to enjoy creating your character, seeing her evolve… simply put, setting a nice, involving atmosphere. The rules have been designed to be simple and efficient (only one D10 is required), so that the players and GM can focus on creating a good story, and even novice role-players can get the hang of it quickly.
[19:04] <+ActorMikeY> And you had me at “Celtic mythology and culture” 😉
[19:04] <+Clovis> The game mechanics themselves give priority to fleshing out your character according to her background and personality, and actions are resolved with a simple [Attribute] + [Skill] + D10 system.
[19:04] <+Clovis> (Ha ha, thank you!)
[19:04] <+Clovis> Shadows of Esteren is not only a RPG universe, however, as we want it to be a cross-media project. So far, two music albums (Of Men and Obscurities and Dearg) have been released (which are kinda the game’s OSTs), and a third one (Rise) will come out soon.
[19:05] <+Clovis> A point’n’click video game (The Mac Lyrs’ Legacy) is also in the works, and a board game (The Black Rose) has recently been financed by a Kickstarter campaign.
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[19:05] <+Clovis> As for who I am myself, I’m Clovis, the head translator for Shadows of Esteren, faithfully serving since 2010, which saw the release of the game’s core book. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about Shadows of Esteren with you!
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[19:05] <+Clovis> For more information, the link to the official forums, sample tracks from the music albums, etc. feel free to check out our portal: (Link: http://www.esteren.org/)http://www.esteren.org/
[19:05] <+ActorMikeY> Glad to hear about, as for me, and have followed it somewhat on KS.
[19:05] <+Clovis> I could keep talking about Shadows of Esteren for hours on end, but I’m here to answer questions, not give a lecture, and I’ve already been quite verbosive so…
[19:06] <+Clovis> (done)
[19:06] <+xyphoid> Translator? Is it originally a non-english game?
[19:06] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions! 🙂
[19:06] <+Clovis> Well, I’ll start with xyphoid’s then.
[19:06] <+Clovis> Shadows of Esteren was originally a French game.
[19:07] <+Clovis> It was made by a team of enthusiasts, was released in 2010, and steadily grew to become what it is today, with an ever-expanding series and growing community.
[19:07] <~Dan> Clovis: Do you have a character sheet that we could see?
[19:07] <+Clovis> Of course. Just give me a sec’…
[19:10] <+Clovis> Here you go. Sorry for the wait: (Link: http://www.esteren.org/shadows_of_esteren/download/Esteren_character_sheet.zip)http://www.esteren.org/shadows_of_esteren/download/Esteren_character_sheet.zip
[19:10] <~Dan> No worries! I just find a character sheet often helps facilitate the discussion.
[19:10] <+Clovis> This is the official character sheet.
[19:11] <+Clovis> Of course!
[19:11] <+Abstruse> Are you tweaking anything in your localization of the setting, or doing more of a straight translation?
[19:11] <~Dan> Ah… Looks like I remembered correctly that the attributes are all mental. Could you share your thoughts on that?
[19:12] <+ActorMikeY> Very nice!
[19:12] <+Clovis> @Abstruse: since SoE is set in a fictional universe, not much was changed. Some terms were adapted, but overall, not much was changed.
[19:13] <+Clovis> Names such as “Boischandelles” were translated into “Candlewood”, things like that.
[19:13] <+Gar> During my research, I wondered about the different “Books”. I think three so far… Clovis, can you tell us a bit about this division, please? It seems that the “Rulebook” is divided into separate Books… (Book 0, Book 1 and Book 2…by now)…
[19:13] <+Gar> Is this a right assumption?
[19:13] <~Dan> (Question pause after Gar’s, please. 🙂 )
[19:14] <+Clovis> @Dan: The characters attributes, the Ways, represent the character’s personality, it’s way of thinking and living, more than quantifiable things such as Strength, Intelligence or Charisma.
[19:14] <+Clovis> They were meant to encourage role-playing through a more psychologically-oriented construction of the character.
[19:15] <+Clovis> For example, someone can have a very high score in Combativeness and yet be small and scrawny. However, this character will kick ass because he’s full of piss and vinegar, and stops at nothing to get his way.
[19:15] <+ActorMikeY> As an actor and acting coach (and game designer), I like this approach a lot.
[19:15] <+Gar> (btw… Book 0 – Prologue, is free 😉 )
[19:16] <+Clovis> @Gar: Book 1 (the core book), is actually all you need to play the game. It contains a subjective description of the universe, and the complete set of rules.
[19:17] <+Clovis> Book 0 is the starter kit, with sample characters, scenarios, and an overwiew of the game system and universe. It was made to get a first taste of the game and see if you like it!
[19:17] <+Clovis> (Hence why it is downloadable for free.)
[19:17] <+ActorMikeY> I think I’ll be downloading that, thanks!
[19:17] <+Clovis> Book 2 is for GMs and offers more in-depth content, scenarios, signature characters, a small bestiary, etc.
[19:17] <+Gar> But, I understood that the maps, beasts and aids are provided in Book 2, right?
[19:17] <+Clovis> (Please do, ActorMikeY!)
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[19:17] <+Gar> Oh, ok 🙂
[19:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, Randy!)
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[19:18] <+ActorMikeY> Greetings, Randy!
[19:18] <+Clovis> Finally, The Monastery of Tuath was recently translated, and features more details as well as a large scenario focusing on one of the game’s major factions.
[19:18] <+Abstruse> What makes your game world different from Ravenloft? Since you brought up the comparison :p
[19:18] <+Randy> Heya Danny
[19:18] <+Abstruse> (Crapbaskets, sorry, didn’t see the question pause)
[19:19] <~Dan> (No worries. 🙂 )
[19:19] <+ActorMikeY> I like the evocation of the Tuatha De Danaan
[19:19] <+Randy> ((whoops, didn’t know it was interview time, what’s the link for the other room?)
[19:19] <+Clovis> There’s also Ghost Stories, a book about the world’s supernatural aspects, and Dearg, the official campaign, which is currently in the works.
[19:19] <~Dan> (Randy: #rpgnet2)
[19:19] <+Abstruse> (It’s #rpgnet2 just click there)
[19:20] <+Randy> ((thank ya, couldn’t remember if it has a dash in it0
[19:20] <+Clovis> @Abstruse: Well, the setting, for starters: SoE is a wholly original universe (although its sources of inspiration can sometimes be easily recognizable).
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[19:21] <+Clovis> SoE is also less ghastly and gloomy than Ravenloft. Of course, there are unsettling and even horrifying elements, but they are most often veiled.
[19:21] <+Clovis> We wanted SoE to be a mysterious universe that players can enjoy discovering, and to leave room for hope… and why not even a bit of glory and heroism!
[19:21] <+Clovis> (done)
[19:22] <+ActorMikeY> Were there any other mythological inspirations other than, one of my faves, Celtic?
[19:23] <+Clovis> Hmm… the universe is mainly Celtic, but it also features more original elements, with various sources of inspiration.
[19:23] <+Clovis> There are, for example, steam-punk elements through a science called “Magience”, which makes use of an oil-like substance called Flux to power strange machines.
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[19:24] <+ActorMikeY> Celtic mythology can be very haunting, so I most definitely see the merits of that choice.
[19:24] <+Clovis> That’s the idea yeah: we want supernatural things to be mainly the stuff of legend.
[19:25] <+Clovis> Supernatural elements or creatures should never become mundane for the PCs.
[19:25] <+ActorMikeY> Excellent, and in my opinion, as it should be. 😉
[19:25] <+Clovis> Thanks!
[19:25] <~Dan> Now, on that same point…
[19:25] <~Dan> …I would like to hear your thoughts on the completeness of the core book given (IIRC) its lack of supernatural elements.
[19:26] <~Dan> I get that you want the supernatural to be rare, but shouldn’t it at least be present?
[19:26] <+Clovis> Of course, it should.
[19:27] <+Clovis> Supernatural elements, though rare, are by no means unknown in Tri-Kazel.
[19:27] * ~Dan nods
[19:27] <+Clovis> For example, for a long time, there have been druid-like figures called the Demorthèn who can call upon the powers of nature through magic stones called Ogham.
[19:28] <+Clovis> There are not many of these Demorthèn, and their advice is heeded. They have a lot of influence, particularly among traditionalists.
[19:28] <+ActorMikeY> Nice, with the Ogham (“tree-script”)
[19:28] <~Dan> (Oooh, I learned all about those on my recent trip to Ireland! 😀 )
[19:28] <+Clovis> There are also followers of a religion called The Temple, who worship a One God, and whose most devout followers (the Elect) are able to call upon Miracles.
[19:29] <+ActorMikeY> Would they, like Druids, advice clan-chieftains, tribal kings, and others of note and renown?
[19:29] <+Clovis> Obviously, they are at odds with Demorthèn, who have it that the world was created and is maintained by the spirits of nature, not by some One God.
[19:29] <+ActorMikeY> (Regarding the Demorthen)
[19:29] <+Clovis> Precisely!
[19:29] <+ActorMikeY> Excellent.
[19:30] <+Clovis> They are called the “keepers of traditions”, and the King of one of Tri-Kazel’s three kingdoms has a Demorthèn as his special advisor.
[19:30] <+Clovis> One last thing.
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[19:30] <+Clovis> There are also Feondas. No one knows what they are, but they have always been the enemies of manking, monstrous creatures every child learns to flee at all cost.
[19:31] <+ActorMikeY> Very cool, sort of a dark fey or Sidhe, or even Goblinoids of sort(?).
[19:31] <+ActorMikeY> (Dan, when was you trip to Ireland?)
[19:31] <~Dan> (March.)
[19:32] <+Clovis> Hmm… more like horrifying beasts.
[19:32] <+ActorMikeY> Officially jealous
[19:32] <~Dan> (My boss sent the wife and I there. 🙂 )
[19:32] <+Clovis> Here is what a Feond can look like : (Link: http://esteren.org/ulule/feond2.jpg)http://esteren.org/ulule/feond2.jpg & (Link: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/001/821/991/2071603c5a0a9d8f05203008b6810173_large.jpg?1396338080)https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/001/821/991/2071603c5a0a9d8f05203008b6810173_large.jpg?1396338080
[19:32] <+ActorMikeY> Yes, please show.
[19:32] <+Clovis> They come in all shapes and sizes, but have always been the enemies of mankind.
[19:33] <+ActorMikeY> Ah, very cool – sort of nightmares manifested.
[19:33] <+Gar> Your ArtWork got me from the first minute on…
[19:33] <~Dan> Indeed. And that’s some fantastic artwork.
[19:33] <+Clovis> Sort of. It’s really the idea of the unnatural beast lurking in the shadows…
[19:33] <+ActorMikeY> Indeed. I’ve some good artists on my project, but probably not quite to this level. 😉
[19:33] <+Clovis> Thank you very much! Our artists are a very talented and hard-working bunch indeed =)
[19:34] <+Clovis> Feel free to check out Book 0, the forums, the blog, etc. for more illustrations.
[19:34] <~Dan> But do I remember correctly that Feondas do not appear in the core book, at least as statted creatures? (I know they’re discussed.)
[19:35] <+ActorMikeY> Sorry, I know Dan’s question was first, but where can I find Book 1, etc? Can’t seem to locate it from the link given above.
[19:35] <+Clovis> There are no statted creatures in Book 1. It covers the system and universe, but does not include scenarios or creatures (although it does include 6 premade characters). This is mainly included in Book 2.
[19:36] <+xyphoid> i read that as Pandas not being in the core book
[19:36] <+xyphoid> THIS CANNOT STAND
[19:36] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:36] <+Clovis> I am so very sorry xyphoid…
[19:36] <+Clovis> I know it’s a shame.
[19:36] <+Gar> (Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=5029)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=5029
[19:36] <+Clovis> Ah, thank you Gar!
[19:36] <+Gar> Looking at it for some time now 😉
[19:37] <+Clovis> I was just about to share that link.
[19:37] <+ActorMikeY> Ah, thanks – silly me
[19:37] <~Dan> Hmm… See, that’s why I would hesitate to call Book 1 “complete”. I agree that it sounds functional, but I’d suggest that a horror game without the monsters isn’t really complete, you know?
[19:37] <~Dan> Or am I missing something?
[19:37] <+Clovis> I get what you mean. However, Book 1 is already a pretty big book as it is. Adding more content would really have made it huge!
[19:37] <+ActorMikeY> You’re missing Book 2, is what. 😉
[19:38] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[19:38] <+ActorMikeY> Pathfinder sized 😉
[19:38] <~Dan> Clovis: Sure, I get that. 🙂
[19:38] <+Clovis> Also, with the rules from Book 1, you have everything you need to design NPCs or creatures.
[19:38] <+Gar> I share Dan’s vision…therefore my previous question…
[19:38] <~Dan> Oh, really? There are rules for creature creation?
[19:38] <+Clovis> And should you want more concrete examples, you can check out Book 0 or fanmade scenarios.
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[19:39] <~Dan> (wb, Lolth!)
[19:39] <+Clovis> No rules for creature creation proper, but you can easily improvise stats for any creature of your design.
[19:39] <+Clovis> Since the rules are fairly simple, it’s honestly not hard.
[19:40] * ~Dan nods
[19:40] <+Songtress> What is in Book 2?
[19:40] <+Clovis> This much in “Attack”, that much in “Defense”, a sprinkle of Special Abilities, and there you have it!
[19:40] <+Clovis> Book 2 features (list ahead!):
[19:40] <~Dan> I see your point. As a reviewer, though, I’m always leery of giving a game credit for what someone could make up themselves that’s not actually present, if you follow me.
[19:41] <+Clovis> Details about locations, signature characters, a bunch of short scenarios and a large one, and a small bestiary.
[19:41] <~Dan> I’m not saying your point’s invalid, mind yo.
[19:41] <~Dan> you, even
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[19:41] <+Clovis> I get what you mean Dan.
[19:42] <+ActorMikeY> I’m aboard with single die systems.
[19:42] <~Dan> Yes, can you tell us a bit more about the system?
[19:42] <~Dan> (Howdy, Snoof!)
[19:42] <+Clovis> Book 1 is here to give a complete overview of the system and universe. Kinda like WoD’s core book.
[19:42] * ~Dan nodnods
[19:42] <+Clovis> Hmm… what would you like to know about?
[19:42] <+Gar> See, even before the Q&A I decided to get Shadows of Esteren, but then…looking at the books… I was like: Hm…let’s see how many more are to be released. Because it looked like it was a sequence for Basic Rules still..
[19:43] <+Randy> ( #rpgnet2 for the hottest rpg chat)
[19:43] <+Clovis> Rolls in general? Combat? Health? Sanity?
[19:43] <~Dan> Let’s start with the core mechanic.
[19:43] <+Clovis> As I mentioned in the starting blurb, it’s a simple [Attribute] + [Skill] + D10 system.
[19:44] <+ActorMikeY> Target or Difficult Number?
[19:44] <+Clovis> The Ways (Attribute) are rated from 1 to 5. 15 must be shared between the 5 of them at character creation.
[19:44] <+ActorMikeY> *Difficulty
[19:44] <+Clovis> There’s a Difficulty Threshold, yep.
[19:45] <+Clovis> The Domains (Skills) are rated from 0 to 5. When a character reaches 5 in a Domain, he must then specialize to go further, and purchase a Discipline.
[19:45] <+ActorMikeY> Cool, cool.
[19:45] <+Clovis> For example, a fighter can have “Close Combat 5 (Swords: 5, Polearms: 7)”
[19:45] <+Clovis> The absolute maximum for a Discipline is 15.
[19:45] <~Dan> I’m always a fan of general skills with specialties.
[19:45] <+ActorMikeY> Same here
[19:46] <+Clovis> Yeah, it really allows you to flesh out your character.
[19:46] <+ActorMikeY> Indeed
[19:46] <~Dan> Is this a success level system?
[19:46] <+Clovis> What do you mean?
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[19:46] <+Randy> ((heya monochrome)
[19:47] <~Dan> I mean, is a success just a success, or does the amount by which you beat the target number matter?
[19:47] <+ActorMikeY> Meaning “average” result, “good” result, “critical” result?
[19:47] <+Clovis> Oh, alright!
[19:47] <+Clovis> To begin with, the more you’ve beaten the Difficulty Threshold, the better your character will perform.
[19:47] <+ActorMikeY> Good stuff, there.
[19:48] <+Clovis> A system for Critical Successes and Failure was also included.
[19:48] <+ActorMikeY> Nice.
[19:48] <+Clovis> I’ll give you an example.
[19:48] <~Dan> Does this translate into damage in combat?
[19:48] <~Dan> (Sorry — please continue)
[19:48] <+Clovis> Yes.
[19:49] <+Clovis> Each Domain has an associated Way. For example, Relation (which covers basically every social interaction) is associated to the Way of Empathy, which measures how well you can relate to other people, but also how suggestible you are.
[19:49] <+ActorMikeY> Cool.
[19:49] <+Clovis> Let’s say I play a very sensitive guy with 4 in Empathy, but who’s not very good with talking, so with only 2 in Relation.
[19:50] * ~Dan nods
[19:50] <+ActorMikeY> Is this a class or level based system, or neither (or only one)?
[19:50] <+Clovis> (I’ll finish with my example and answer your question.)
[19:50] <+ActorMikeY> ah, sorry 😉
[19:50] <+Clovis> And let’s say I’m trying to seduce a girl.
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[19:51] <+Clovis> Let’s say the GM rules that the Difficulty Threshold to seduce the girl is Complicated (which equals to 14).
[19:51] <+Clovis> And let’s say I roll very poorly: a 2.
[19:51] <+Clovis> My total is 4 + 2 + 2 = 8
[19:51] <+Clovis> Obviously a failure.
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[19:52] <~Dan> (Howdy, TwentySix!)
[19:52] <+ActorMikeY> by 6, or does this matter?
[19:52] <+Clovis> And since the failure margin is rather big, the GM may rule that not only have I failed to seduce the girl, I have also made a fool of myself and several other people are laughing at me.
[19:52] <+ActorMikeY> Makes good narrative sense.
[19:53] <~Dan> Is there a benchmark there, or is that left up to the GM’s judgment?
[19:53] <+Clovis> Yeah. It’s up to the GM to determine the consequences of a roll according to the result, the conditions, and common sense.
[19:53] <+Clovis> There is no precise benchmark.
[19:53] * ~Dan nods
[19:54] <+Clovis> There is a Difficulty Threshold table ranging from Easy (8) to Superhuman (35).
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[19:54] <+Clovis> Now, your question ActorMikeY.
[19:55] <+Clovis> The system is kinda similar to WoD in that there are no classes or levels.
[19:55] <+ActorMikeY> Excellent, my favorite approach.
[19:55] <+Clovis> At Character Creation, you choose a Profession, Background, etc. that will determine your basic stats. You’re also given 100 XP to buy Advantages and buy points in Domains.
[19:56] <+Clovis> Afterward, you can spend your XPs freely to improve your Domains and combat stats.
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[19:56] <~Dan> Do I remember correctly that physical attributes fall under Advantages?
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[19:56] <~Dan> (Howdy, DrNate!)
[19:56] <+Clovis> Outstanding ones, yes.
[19:56] * ~Dan nods
[19:57] <+Clovis> If you want your character to be particularly strong, quick-witted, quick, etc.
[19:57] <+Clovis> … or, conversely, particularly weak, slow-witted, sluggish!
[19:57] <~Dan> Are those limited to flat bonuses, or are there levels of these?
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[19:57] <~Dan> (wb, Randy!)
[19:57] <+Randy> ((thank ya)
[19:58] <+Clovis> Almost every physical and mental Advantage simply gives a +1 bonus to several Domains.
[19:58] <+Clovis> For example, being “Charismatic” will give you a +1 bonus to Relation and Performance rolls.
[19:59] <+Clovis> You can also take one (and only one) “superior” version of an Advantage, meaning that the bonuses it grants will be doubled.
[19:59] <+ActorMikeY> What is the general XP Award range per game-session?
[19:59] <+Clovis> For example, instead of being simply “Strong”, your character can be a “Colossus”.
[19:59] <+Clovis> 10XP on average.
[19:59] <+Clovis> Enough to buy a point in a Domain.
[20:00] <+ActorMikeY> Cool. And are those points, in turn, spent on improvements?
[20:00] <+ActorMikeY> Ah, yes. Thanks.
[20:00] <~Dan> Hmm. So how do you create stats for creatures, which (presumably) would include superhuman levels of physical prowess?
[20:00] <+Clovis> In can range from 3 to 15 XP, according to how well or how poorly the players have performed.
[20:00] <+Clovis> I’ll take another example.
[20:01] <+Clovis> At creation, a very talented fighter can have 5 in Combativeness, 5 in the Close Combat Domain, and maybe +1 from being Strong, for a total of 11.
[20:01] <+Clovis> So 11 means a skilled fighter.
[20:01] * ~Dan nods
[20:02] <+Clovis> So you can compare such ratings and determine that, for example, that ugly man-tree thing that can quarter a man effortlessly will have 18 in Attack.
[20:02] <+Clovis> A number that can only be matched by very skilled fighters.
[20:03] <+Clovis> Same thing for Defense and Speed, the other two main fighting attributes.
[20:03] <+ActorMikeY> This all sounds very good, Clovis, and thanks for the Book 1 download link. However, and alas, I need to seek out some late dinner.
[20:03] <~Dan> Before you go, Mike, want to link Clovis to your own game?
[20:03] <+Clovis> No problem. Thank you for your attention, ActorMikeY!
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[20:04] <+ActorMikeY> If you like – it’s his forum tonight, though. =)
[20:04] <+Clovis> Oh, feel free to share it!
[20:05] <+Clovis> I’ll make sure to take a look at it.
[20:05] <~Dan> I know. I wasn’t expecting you to give him the whole sales pitch. 😉
[20:05] <+Clovis> Ha ha ha!
[20:05] <+ActorMikeY> It’s not out yet, corebook-wise, actually, so there are just Facebook and website pages representing it right now (and Kickstarter).
[20:05] <~Dan> (Mike will be coming by for his own Q&A on 7/10.)
[20:06] <+Clovis> (7/10 huh?)
[20:06] <~Dan> (Yup!)
[20:06] <~Dan> Thanks, Mike! Have a great evening! 🙂
[20:06] <+ActorMikeY> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/115420877/savage-kingdoms-heroic-swords-and-sorcery-roleplay)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/115420877/savage-kingdoms-heroic-swords-and-sorcery-roleplay
[20:07] <+ActorMikeY> Okay, there. Shameless plugs done. 😉
[20:07] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:07] <+Clovis> Thank you for this shameless plug then!
[20:07] <+Clovis> I’ll give it a good read.
[20:07] <+ActorMikeY> Clovis’ SoE game is somewhat similar to SK in feel, so this has been a great chat.
[20:08] <+ActorMikeY> Love the art, the atmosphere, and the simplicity of the core engine (I also use a single die resolution system too).
[20:08] <+Clovis> I could see that, yep.
[20:08] <+Clovis> The setting reminds me very much of Conan.
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[20:09] <+ActorMikeY> Yeah, it’s quite Hyborian Age meets Game of Thrones.
[20:09] <+ActorMikeY> Some horror elements, like SoE, but more so in a swords-and-sorcery pulp vein.
[20:10] <+Clovis> I see, I see.
[20:10] <+Clovis> Grim & gritty sword & sorcery stuff.
[20:10] <+ActorMikeY> Right, then. Thanks, Clovis and Dan, and good luck with further success with SoE!
[20:10] <+Clovis> Thank you! Good luck with Savage Kingdom!
[20:10] <~Dan> Enjoy your dinner, Mike! 🙂
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[20:11] <~Dan> Cool guy. 🙂
[20:11] <~Dan> Okay! Back to SoE! 🙂
[20:11] <+Clovis> He certainly looks so!
[20:11] <+Clovis> Yep!
[20:11] <+Clovis> Although the chatroom seems pretty empty, alas.
[20:12] <~Dan> So in the case of creatures, you take a kind of holistic approach to their stats?
[20:13] <~Dan> It’s hard to tell who’s actually here sometimes, Clovis. We may have quite a few people just watching and not speaking up.
[20:13] <+MonkofLords> ( I myself came in late, and I’m not totally sure what’s happening, apologies. Your game sounds very interesting though, I think I saw it at my FLGS.)
[20:14] <+Gar> (Just reading, interestingly…following…)
[20:14] <+Clovis> (Thank you! Feel free to ask any questions you may have, however silly they may sound.)
[20:14] <+Clovis> To answer your question, Dan, I’d say that’s the idea yeah.
[20:15] <+Clovis> One day, we will release the Book of Secrets, which will include everything about the secrets of Shadows of Esteren, and everything you need to handle its supernatural elements.
[20:15] <~Dan> Both in the case of PCs and creatures, how do you determine purely physical capability? Like, say, a feat of strength or agility?
[20:15] <@Silverlion> Shadows of Estaren looks cool. Is there a core “book” of rules and setting? that I missed?
[20:16] <+Clovis> @Dan: Through its scores in the various Domains and Combat Attributes.
[20:16] <+Gar> (Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=5029)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?manufacturers_id=5029 <— Silverlion
[20:16] <+Gar> (Book 0 is free 😉 )
[20:16] <+Clovis> More precisely, there is a Domain called “Feats” that measures everything the character is capable of as far as physical prowess is concerned (kinda like “Athletics” in WoD).
[20:17] * ~Dan nods
[20:17] <~Dan> I see.
[20:17] <+Clovis> Let’s take a particularly agile PC.
[20:17] <+Gar> (Clovis said that Book 1 is the “Core Rule Book”, “Book 2” being a supplement – especially interesting for GMs)
[20:17] <+Clovis> He may have taken the “Nimble” Advantage at creation, and a Discipline such as “Tumbling”.
[20:18] <+Clovis> (Thanks for answering, Gar!)
[20:18] <+Gar> (Welcome 😉 )
[20:19] <+Clovis> If you want a monster that is particularly strong, but not very agile, you can put: “Feats 6 (Feats of Strength: 17)”
[20:19] <@Silverlion> Thanks. I may look into ti.
[20:19] <+Clovis> Does that answer your question, Dan?
[20:20] <~Dan> It does, thanks.
[20:20] <~Dan> On a related note, can you make a creature that is clumsy but hits very hard?
[20:21] <+Clovis> Yes. That’s a point I haven’t mentioned.
[20:21] <~Dan> Maybe it would make more sense to cover combat in general first, then?
[20:22] <+Clovis> In addition to Attack and Defense, which measure how deftly a character is able to deal and avoid blows, there is also a “Damage” stat and a “Protection” one.
[20:22] <+Clovis> I can cover that, yes.
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[20:23] <+Gar> (oops)
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[20:23] <~Dan> Oh dear.
[20:23] <+Gar> ( 🙂 )
[20:23] <~Dan> Ah, there he is. 🙂
[20:23] <+Clovis> My apologies. I faced an unexpected bug.
[20:23] <+MonkofLords> (It happens)
[20:23] <+Clovis> I’ll resume.
[20:23] <+Clovis> As I said, there are three combat stats: Attack, Defense, and Speed.
[20:24] <+Clovis> Attack is basically “Combativeness + the Close Combat (or Shooting and Throwing, if you’re using a ranged weapon) Domain + D10”.
[20:25] <+Clovis> Defense is a fixed value: “Way of Reason + Way of Empathy + 5” (it can also be improved with XP)
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[20:25] <+Anduwaithe> heya 🙂
[20:25] <+Clovis> Speed is basically Initiative, and equals to “Way of Combativeness + Way of Empathy” (it can be improved with XP as well).
[20:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, Anduwaithe!)
[20:26] <~Dan> I’m with you so far.
[20:26] <+Clovis> There is also Damage (which depends on which weapon is used: a Dagger has a Damage of 1, a Long sword has a Damage of 3), and Protection (which depends on which armor is worn: leather grants 1, plate grants 4).
[20:28] <+Clovis> So let’s say we have Bob (Attack 8, Defense 11, Speed 7, Damage 2 (Short Sword) Protection 2 (Studded leather armor) and Jim (Attack 5, Defense 13, Speed 4, Damage 0 (Nothing, just his fists), Protection 0 (just clothes).
[20:28] <+Clovis> Since Bob’s Speed is greater than Jim’s, he attacks first (you can also add 1D10 to each combattants Speed at the beginning of each turn to throw in a random factor).
[20:29] <+Clovis> Bob rolls to attack Jim and rolls a 8, bringing his Attack to 16, which is 3 more than Jim’s Defense.
[20:30] <+Clovis> So Bob hits with a margin of 3. You add the long sword’s Damage (3), and substract Jim’s Protection (0) for a total of 6 Damage to poor Jim.
[20:30] <~Dan> Nice.
[20:30] <+Clovis> So you know, the basic Health of a character is 19 (an Advantage or Disadvantage can bring a one or two point difference to this).
[20:30] <+Clovis> Of course, there are also wound penalties.
[20:30] * ~Dan nods
[20:31] <+Clovis> There is also a Fighting Attitude system, but maybe that would be going a bit much into details.
[20:31] <+Clovis> Of course, I can elaborate if you want me to.
[20:32] <~Dan> Actually, I want to make sure we cover some more regarding the supernatural powers, if you don’t mind.
[20:33] <+Gar> Very nice and interesting so far… (Would really like to hear Clovis about SoE’s Sanity mech as well)
[20:33] <~Dan> Sure — want to coverr sanity first, Clovis?
[20:34] <+Clovis> Supernatural powers mainly exist through the Demorthèn (Esteren’s druids) and the Elect (very devout followers of the religion of the One God). Of course there is also Magience, the steam-punk-like science, which makes it possible to perform superhuman feats.
[20:34] <+Clovis> (I’ll get done with magic and then continue with Sanity, if you don’t mind.)
[20:34] <~Dan> (Sure!)
[20:35] <+Clovis> A chapter is dedicated to every one of them in Book 1.
[20:35] <~Dan> Can you give some noteworthy examples of what each can accomplish?
[20:35] <+Clovis> Basically, there are lists of “spells” for the Demorthèn and Elect, and a list of Artifacts for Magientists.
[20:36] <+Clovis> A Demorthèn may accelerate the growth of plants, call thunder, calm animals… a particularly powerful one may even wake a volcano!
[20:36] <+Clovis> As for Elect, they can heal people, scourge them with invisible whips, and even, it is said, bring back the dead.
[20:37] <+Clovis> Of course, not all Demorthèn and Elect have the same powers.
[20:37] <+Clovis> Magientists, for their part, have tools such as Lighters, Mechanical Saws…
[20:38] <+Clovis> Now, for Sanity.
[20:38] <+Clovis> How sane or insane a character is is measured by Trauma points. You start with a variable number of Trauma points according to how you’ve spread your Ways, which will determine how unstable your character is to start with.
[20:39] <+Clovis> Afterward, traumatic experiences can give you Trauma points (similarly to Warhammer’s Insanity Points).
[20:40] <+Clovis> At Character Creation, you choose which type of madness your character will develop should he accrue too many Trauma points (Hallucinations, Paranoia, Melancholy, etc.)
[20:40] <+Clovis> The more Trauma points a character gets, the crazier he becomes.
[20:41] <+Clovis> An interesting part is that the more insane a character gets, the more unbalanced he will be, but he will also develop special bonuses. For example, a paranoiac will be very hard to catch unprepared.
[20:42] <+Gar> “Trauma” is reversible? And “Hardening” irreversible?
[20:43] <+Clovis> Actually, there are Temporary Trauma points (which heal with time spent in calm conditions) and Permanent Trauma points (which can only be removed with special treatment).
[20:44] <+Clovis> Hardening points are acquired when you roll a 10 on a Mental Resistance roll. The more Hardening points you get, the more your character will be able to stomach horrible things, but the more unresponsive and dull he will also become, up to the point of developing a particular form of madness.
[20:46] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:46] <+Gar> Very nice! 🙂
[20:46] <+Clovis> Yeah, Sanity management is a pretty important part of the system!
[20:47] <~Dan> In the time we have left, Clovis, is there anything you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered already?
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[20:48] <~Dan> (And I should mention that you’re welcome to hang out and answer questions as long as you like, but I imagine that you’re getting rather tired, given the time zone issue. 🙂 )
[20:49] <+Clovis> Well, I’d like to mention the cross-media content again: the musics in particular are very nice, and a strongly advise you to give them a try!
[20:49] <+Gar> Please… I also wanted to ask you about those projects…
[20:49] <+Clovis> The video game is still in the works, but the board game was done thanks to the funds of the last Kickstarter we’ve done.
[20:50] <+Clovis> (Yeah, it’s very, very late here, but it’s a pleasure to answer questions!)
[20:50] <+Clovis> So if you’ve got anything else you want to know, ask away!
[20:51] <~Dan> What do the PCs generally do in the setting?
[20:52] <+Clovis> Depends on what the GM wants them to do! But as I mentioned, the scenarios generally focus on uncovering mysteries.
[20:52] <~Dan> How tough are the PCs relative to the general population?
[20:53] <+Clovis> The basic principle of SoE is often to start from a small scale and gradually expand to reach a thundering climax at the end of the scenario or, more largely, campaign.
[20:53] <+Gar> Are you going to make the other projects available through a dedicated Shop? For example, the Hardcovers, Artworks, Limited Editions, Cds and DVDs, etc.
[20:53] <+Clovis> For example, the three scenarios included in Book 0 are focused on a small vale, and also serve as introductory scenarios to the official campaign.
[20:53] <+Clovis> @Dan: The PCs are no stronger than the average healthy guy.
[20:54] <+Clovis> They can be very good fighters/doctors/scholars/travelers, of course, but they won’t have exceptional abilities right off the bat… although they may hone their skills at the campaign progresses, of course.
[20:55] * ~Dan nods
[20:55] <~Dan> Oh, kind of a specific question: can Magience produce firearms of any sort?
[20:56] <+Clovis> @Gar: An online shop is one of the projects we’d most like to make a reality. However, this is a very complicated matter, so for now, the main way we can be in contact with the community as far as sales are concerned is through Kickstarter.
[20:56] <+Clovis> @Dan: Ha ha! Yes, it can!
[20:56] <+Clovis> However, these weapons are rare, require specific training to be used, and are very expensive.
[20:56] * ~Dan nods
[20:57] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:57] <+Clovis> Such is the price of putting a lead pellet through someone’s skull.
[20:57] * ~Dan chuckles
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[20:58] <~Dan> Let’s see… Did you already post the relevant links earlier, Clovis?
[20:59] <+Gar> May I assume that “Books” are always related to rules and that Adventures / Adventure Packs will carry separate designations, like “Monastery of Tuath”?
[20:59] <+Clovis> @Dan: I posted a link at the SoE portal at the beginning. Just in case, here it is again: (Link: http://esteren.org/)http://esteren.org/
[21:00] <~Dan> Great, thanks. 🙂
[21:01] <+Clovis> It’s more that “Books” have more extensive and diverse content than “Adventure Packs”, which focus on a specific theme.
[21:01] <+Gar> Thank you so much Clovis!
[21:01] <+Clovis> For example, “Ghost Stories” features short stories, scenarios, and signature characters, all of them connected to supernatural manifestations, mainly ghostly or ghost-like ones.
[21:02] <+Clovis> You’re welcome!
[21:02] <~Dan> Are ghosts a type of Feond?
[21:02] <+Clovis> I hope that I was able to provide satisfactory answers to your questions, and that I made you feel like giving SoE a try!
[21:02] <~Dan> Or is that a spoiler? 🙂
[21:03] <+Clovis> @Dan: They may or may not be. Opinions vary!
[21:03] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:03] <~Dan> Well, if you can hang out just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and get you the link! 🙂
[21:03] <+Clovis> Actually, regarding such matters, it’s up to every character to have one’s opinion on the subject. That’s part of the fun.
[21:04] <+Clovis> For example, for the believers of the Temple, Feondas are demons born from the sin of men, while for Demorthèn, they are the manifestation of the spirits of nature’s anger.
[21:04] <+Clovis> Sure, no problem.
[21:04] <~Dan> And thanks very much for coming by, Clovis! Please know that you (like all game authors) are always welcome to hang out here, whether to promote your game or to just chat. 🙂