<+EdaraRyan> okay! thanks Dan. my name is Ryan Schoon and I am the co-designer and lead writer for Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance.
<+EdaraRyan> the game is Tolkien fantasy done with a steampunk twist
<+EdaraRyan> I’ll let Carl finish up (done)
<+EdaraCarl> Thanks Ryan. My name is Carl Harrison, and I am the lead designer and co-writer for the game.
<~Dan> Thanks, guys! The floor is open for questions!
<~Dan> Let’s start with the basics… Can you give us an overview of the setting?
<+EdaraRyan> The world is split into 5 kingdoms. The elves, humans, dwarves, and the mountain races all have their own kingdoms.
<~Dan> Mountain races?
<+EdaraRyan> there is also a set of free cities that bow to no government.
<+EdaraRyan> Yes. two of our races, the Orcs and Ogres live in tribal mountain camps
<+EdaraRyan> it’s very much grounded in the fantasy stylists of Tolkien. however with the invention of steam power the world is becoming much smaller and the races are forced not only to acknowledge each other but work together to keep peace. it is middle earth fast forwarded to the steam age (done)
<~Dan> How far has steam technology advanced?
<+EdaraCarl> It is really just beginning.
<+Crazy-Cabal> When you say Talkien are we also working with the limited magic style he had or more D&D/vancian?
<+EdaraRyan> Carl I’ll let you field that one
<+EdaraCarl> The Element used as a fuel source was discovered about 60 years before the game’s story picks up, so the people of the world are just learning how to use it. The industrial revolution is in its infancy, but there have already been many developments like the railroad, automobiles, and firearms. (done)
<+EdaraRyan> Carl want to talk about about the magic system?
<+EdaraRyan> airships are a brand new technology. they are available but rare and expensive!
<+EdaraCarl> The magic style is more advanced, similar to D&D. It is present in all the disciplines that people of the world can follow, if they show aptitude and choose to pursue it. (done)
<~Dan> Submarines? Steam tanks? 🙂
<+EdaraCarl> Nothing like that yet! But the world is evolving, and one day there may be.
<~Dan> How about mechanical augmentations?
<+EdaraRyan> Dan, nothing so complex but there are inventors and engineers everywhere!
<+EdaraRyan> mechanical augmentations are coming in the future. each expansion is going to push this fantasy world further and further into technology.
<+GenoFoxx> so basically book 1 and 2 of the Avatar the last Airbender
<+EdaraRyan> That is not a bad analogy. But the level of Strampunk (at least in the human kingdom) is more approaching that of the Legend of Korra (done)
<+EdaraRyan> steampunk sorry 🙂
<@Silverlion> Why elves and dwarves?
<+EdaraRyan> We wanted to take classic fantasy and bring them on this journey. Elves and dwarves are too staple fantasy races so it was important for us to see how this changing world would effect them.
<+EdaraRyan> Sorry, my phone likes to autocorrect to improper words : (done)
<~Dan> While we’re on the subject, can you tell us the degree to which the races do or do not conform to the usual stereotypes?
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<+EdaraRyan> That would be all Carl 🙂
<+EdaraCarl> Plus they were some of the races that were there when the world began to evolve. The game started as only a world setting, and it was built and expanded upon by people playing in it. Some of those characters were elves and dwarves, so we wanted to make sure to stay true to the world’s own history.
<+EdaraCarl> I would say that for the most part they are all true to their stereotypes. There are, of course, variations. Each race has their own culture, government, and lifestyle, and that varies in places from the classic versions.
<@Silverlion> So there are multiple Elf cultures?
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<+EdaraRyan> In our world for example it is the Humans who are the most reclusive and segregated of all the races, not the elves
<+EdaraCarl> Yes and no. The elves are a tribal people, and some of the tribes live in settled towns, while others are nomadic.
<+Crazy-Cabal> When we talk about steampunk we tend to assume a bit of a victorian bent, Does that flavor the cultures or is it more fantasy setting with steam elements?
<+EdaraCarl> However, all the elven tribes are part of the same government system and follow the same overall beliefs and customs. (done)
<~Dan> So more along the lines of the woof elf stereotype in terms of cultural sophistication?
<+EdaraRyan> Steampunk usually does have Victorian flavor. We wanted to avoid that and go with a more fantasy setting
<+EdaraCarl> Dan, they are like wood elves in their simplistic lifestyle, but I would say they are similar to high elves in their sophistication. Their principles, craftsmanship, and customs are very refined.
<+EdaraRyan> The world itself is in the middle of it’s cultural Renaissance and slowly adapting to the industrial revolution
<~Dan> What’s the relative tech level of the various races?
<+EdaraRyan> The humans and dwarves are the most adaptive. They have build the first trains, steamboats, and airships. The human kingdom is definitely the furthest along. Within their borders life is more akin to what it was like during the Industrial Revolution
<@Silverlion> Are there firearms?
<+EdaraRyan> The orcs and ogres in the mountains lack resources. they don’t have access to the power or the items that can be crafted with it. They are forced to loot, pillage, and scavenge for their tech and are often very piecemeal because of it. technology to them is quite a prize.
<+EdaraCarl> Yes, there are firearms. However, gunpowder does not exist as we know it. Everything is powered by the Element, so guns are pressure-fired.
<~Dan> So there are no explosives?
<+EdaraRyan> Dan there are, but they do not use gunpowder
<+EdaraCarl> There are explosives, but those are either alchemical or use the Element in its raw form, which is combustible. It is too difficult to use that way in something so small and complex as a handheld firearm, though.
<~Dan> How advanced are the firearms? Steam aside, what are their real-world historical equivalents?
<+EdaraCarl> Late 1800s. We have weapons as complex as revolvers and gatling guns.
<+EdaraRyan> For basic ballistics we are looking at historical equivalents of the blunderbuss and elephant gun
<~Dan> Hmm. There is quite a bit of difference in tech level between a gatling gun and a blunderbuss! 🙂
<+EdaraCarl> Well, that too, haha. We actually have the blunderbuss and an elephant gun-type weapon. Guns get more sophisticated based on who made them. For example, the dwarves have a much more advanced shotgun.
<+EdaraRyan> And Dan, that level of complexity is factored into the weapons. The complexity determine the rarity, cost, and ease of use of a weapon. so while you can find Gatling guns in the world finding someone to make one and gaining the levels needed to use it would take some time
<+EdaraCarl> Indeed. It is very difficult to use such a complex weapon early in a character’s lifespan. (done)
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<~Dan> How powerful is magic compared to technology?
<+EdaraCarl> They are powerful in different ways.
<+EdaraCarl> Offensively, characters need different kinds of armor to protect from each. For utility, there are spells that address some things and gadgets that address others. It has been my experience that both are often needed to excel. You never know what you might come across.
<~Dan> What are some things that magic can do that tech cannot, and vice versa?
<+EdaraRyan> well one thing is effect the world in ways beyond damage. spells in Edara are not all damaged based. it’s about 50/50 (done)
<~Dan> What about tech makes it the Wave of the Future?
<+EdaraCarl> Technology frequently can enhance a character’s natural ability. You can climb or jump better, for example. There are rudimentary wings that allow gliding. Magic allows teleportation, though, as an example. (done)
<+EdaraRyan> Technology makes life easier for those born without Aura Sense, the ability to use magic. it makes travel easier. it allows them new comforts such as clocks and watches and electric lighting.
<+EdaraRyan> (done. sorry?
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<~Dan> (Howdy, CaptainMal, MonkofLords!)
<~Dan> Let’s see… Shall we turn to the system for a bit?
<~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted somewhere that we could see?
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<+EdaraRyan> it is available to download for free at drive thru RPG
<~Dan> Got a link handy, perchance?
<+EdaraRyan> (Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/134350/Edara-A-Steampunk-Renaissance-Character-Sheet?)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/134350/Edara-A-Steampunk-Renaissance-Character-Sheet?
<~Dan> One moment while I pull that up…
<+EdaraRyan> everyone go download it 🙂
<~Dan> Let’s see here… So this is a level-based system?
<+EdaraRyan> yes! each level gives you points to spend on character progression (done)
<~Dan> We discussed this pre-Q&A, but what is the relationship between attributes and skills?
<+EdaraCarl> Attributes are inherent features that define things like strength and intelligence. Skills are the character’s learned abilities, such as engineering or athletics.
<+EdaraCarl> A character’s Attributes give them the points they can spend in a Skill category. So for example, the Agility Attribute gives a certain number of points to spend on Agility-based Skills.
<~Dan> What happens if a character attempts something without the skill?
<+EdaraRyan> yeah basically attributes act as your cap on skills. you can’t be better at lifting than you are strong. or better at solving puzzles than you are smart. (done)
<+EdaraCarl> In most cases, characters are able to attempt a skill whether they have trained in it or not. Their chances of success, however, are very low.
<+EdaraRyan> anyone can use any skill. there are no blocked skills. (done)
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<~Dan> What determines the chance of such an attempt?
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<+EdaraRyan> the skill formula is d12+skill
<~Dan> So they’d just roll a 1d12?
<+EdaraRyan> yup. always 1D12
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
<+EdaraRyan> and the base TN is 10 so you can perform an easy skill without points but you have a small chance.
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* ~Dan checks out the character sheet again…
<~Dan> What are “bands”?
<+EdaraCarl> I’ll take this one, haha.
<+EdaraCarl> Bands are the disciplines in the world. Our version of classes, but they are much more open than that word typically suggests.
<+EdaraCarl> Every god has a discipline that they taught to their followers. Not everyone believes in the gods anymore, but their teachings are still around, and in some cases have been built upon.
<+EdaraCarl> There are 4 ability trees in every Band. A character gets to select a Primary and Secondary tree, learning abilities from both. However, they will only reach the full potential of their Primary tree, branching into one of two specializations.
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<+EdaraCarl> This method gives 120 different “class” combinations. You could have a party all of the same Band and still have very different characters.
<~Dan> Are there any bands that are specific to any races?
<+EdaraRyan> Nope! Though some races tend culturally towards specific bands. The elves for instance. Their tribal leader must be a green band female
<+EdaraRyan> and the orcs tend to mostly follow the red band because it gives an advantage in combat
<~Dan> How does magic work in the system?
<+EdaraRyan> Each Band has at least one ability tree that is focused on magic.
<+EdaraCarl> There are 5 tiers of spells, which designate both their strength and how long they take to cast. When a character learns a tier, they may learn 2 spells from it. Beyond that, there is no limitation on casting—a spell may be cast unlimited times.
<+gWorldz> Are there any plans for other genres / settings using your game engine / system?
<+EdaraCarl> We would like to do that at some point, but at this time there isn’t anything official.
<+EdaraRyan> At this time we are focusing on the Edara brand. But we have definitely discussed ways to adapt our system for other genres, like sci fi.
<+EdaraCarl> Haha, what he said!
<+gWorldz> Have you considered licensing options available for fans?
<+EdaraRyan> As far as licensing it out, that is not something we have discussed yet. We are still solidifying our plans for the future based on fan feedback for the core. if it seemed like there was a lot of interest we would discuss it.
<~Dan> How common are monsters in the setting, and how large of a bestiary do you include?
<+EdaraRyan> Well we do have a “bestiary,” which we call Adversaries. We do this because a majority of the enemies are not monsters.
<~Dan> Is that because monsters aren’t common in the setting?
<~Dan> And are the Adversaries specific individuals?
<+EdaraCarl> It depends on the area of the world, really.
<+EdaraRyan> Not that they aren’t common but most enemies are humanoid. There are animals, zombies, and dragons even. but there are also paladins, fighters, snipers, and all manner of humanoid enemies to fight.
<+EdaraCarl> Exactly. So for example, the human kingdom sees very few creatures, but lots of humanoids. The wild areas of the world are the opposite.
<~Dan> You mentioned gods earlier. Do they objectively exist in the setting?
<+EdaraCarl> There is an entire plain called the Griffin Plains because griffins are very common there, travelers beware. The vast expanse also allows for the growth of dire animals, which are almost nonexistent elsewhere. So you really see a lot of variety based on the environment. (done)
<+EdaraRyan> No. it’s very subjective.
<~Dan> Any demon-y type thingies?
<+EdaraCarl> I will let Ryan take the questions about the gods, as his lore here is superb.
<+EdaraRyan> haha Dan yes there are demons. Each Band has a group of creatures called Archons that link with it. these Archons are the physical representation of that band.
<+EdaraCarl> In fact, “demon” is a colloquial term for the Shadow Archon.
<+EdaraRyan> so the white band has angels, the black band has demons, the red band has fire Elementals, the blue band has water spirits, and the green band has ent-like beings.
<~Dan> How cinematic is your system, and on a related note, does it include any sort of “hero point” mechanic?
<+EdaraRyan> yes, but they are called prowess points. ill let Carl explain!
<+EdaraCarl> Okay. Prowess Points can be spent to enhance a roll. Characters may gain other ways to use them, such as to reroll if they failed or even to gain hints about their actions from the GM.
<+EdaraCarl> As for a cinematic nature, there is not a system there by default that lends itself to something like that, as there is in some games. However, the nature and flavor of some abilities opens a window for that sort of thing if players want.
<~Dan> You mentioned dragons. How powerful, intelligent, and influential in the setting are they?
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<~Dan> (Howdy, FaerieGodfather!)
<+EdaraRyan> They are incredibly powerful and very intelligent but not influential at all. They keep to themselves and do their best to hide, to a point where many people no longer believe they exist (done)
<+EdaraCarl> Except for the mages! Recently, the Blue Band has started trying to raise dragons in captivity and keep them as pets. It is one of the trees available to that Band to gain a dragon Companion, but this is a new thing in the world. (done)
<+gWorldz> I might have missed the answer earlier but how many bands are there?
<~Dan> Does the setting include any definitive Bad Guys, or is it more of a morally gray setting?
<+EdaraCarl> There are 5 Bands total. Black, Blue, Green, Red, and White.
<+EdaraRyan> There are 5 bands each with 4 ability trees.
<+EdaraRyan> and Dan the world is too grey for that. Each realm is both heroic and villainous depending on whose side you are on
<~Dan> So you have sort of a Glorantha thing going on in that respect.
<+EdaraRyan> Yes. (done)
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<~Dan> (Howdy, Trax`!)
<+EdaraCarl> I want to point out that the gray morality is in everything in the game, and we were very specific about that.
<~Dan> What motivates the PCs? Is that totally up to the players, or are there any assumptions built in about what they’ll be doing?
<+EdaraCarl> For example, the White Band is about healing and the Black Band is about death, but neither is good nor bad. The history of the world challenges that further, making actions of both morally questionable. It is a major source of conflict when the players enter the scene.
<+EdaraRyan> No assumptions Dan! we provide some story hooks and the modules obviously give more direction but there are so many possible stories to tell.
<+EdaraCarl> And we encourage players to pursue and tell their own stories. Our modules do follow an over-arching storyline, though, that we hope will take all players of the game on a fun and engaging episodic journey, much like a TV show. (done)
<+gWorldz> you mention the White and Black bands are a source of conflicts do the other bands have opposing bands also?
<+EdaraCarl> Nothing nearly as conflicting as that. Red and Black have some history together, and Red and Green can occasionally be at opposition because Red embraces technology and many elves follow Green and reject it.
<+EdaraRyan> There are natural philosophical differences between all the bands. certain traits and personalities are common in each band and sometimes there’d don’t mesh. the cool and calculated blue band is sometimes at odds with the fiery and impulsive red band, for example.
<+gWorldz> So teh bands are used to “balance” the world as a whole?
<+EdaraCarl> White and Black are definitely the two big ones in that regard, due to their conflicting purposes. It is an ancient conflict, based on Greco-Roman mythology.
<+EdaraCarl> Yes, they are. Each one offers very different approaches and disciplines to both weapon-based and magical combat.
<+EdaraCarl> As well as their non-combat roles, of course. We tried to weave that flavor into all aspects. And in some places, that includes the history.
<~Dan> Quick pause, folks!
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<~Dan> I’d like to remind our guests that they are always welcome here, to discuss their games or to just hang out. (more)
<~Dan> That being the case, you guys are also welcome to hang out as long as you like and answer questions. (more)
<~Dan> That said, in what’s left of “regular” time, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+EdaraCarl> I’ll let Ryan start with that one.
<+EdaraRyan> well yeah! there is a lot about what makes the game unique. we have a really involved and intricate character creation system that we are incredibly proud of. the way you build your character determines your ultimate success, not the die roll!
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<+EdaraCarl> That is one thing I definitely wanted to mention, too. I already mentioned that we have 120 “class” combinations, but that is just one small part of the creation system. The whole thing is based on a series of difficult but meaningful choices that have a significant impact not only on your statistics but also the role play.
<+EdaraCarl> You can really make your character unique, and that was very important to us.
<~Dan> Cool. 🙂
<+EdaraCarl> There are 2 other things I’d like to touch on quickly as well.
<~Dan> Please do!
<+EdaraCarl> One is that, as I mentioned before, the world started with the players. It began as a single town, and grew from there. Players backed it on Kickstarter, and now players continue to shape the world. We take feedback very seriously and try to make changes where and when we can based on that.
<+EdaraCarl> Hopefully we can continue to evolve the world the way it began. If any of you play, please take to the forums and give us input!
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<+EdaraCarl> Finally, as much as this sounds like a plug, I am very proud of how easy the book is to use. Ryan did a fantastic job with the layout, and all you need is the one book.
<~Dan> (Psst… Feel free to post links. 😉 )
<+EdaraCarl> The Adversaries that we discussed before, the character creation process, world lore, rules, and tools for GMs are all located in the same book, which is very easy to navigate. GMing myself, I cannot tell you how much time I have saved with it compared to other products, haha.
<+EdaraRyan> well here is the link to the book itself.
<+EdaraRyan> (Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/130182/Edara-A-Steampunk-Renaissance-Revised?term=Edara+)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/130182/Edara-A-Steampunk-Renaissance-Revised?term=Edara+
<+EdaraCarl> And here is our website: (Link: http://edarathegame.com/)http://edarathegame.com/
<+EdaraRyan> it’s fill color, full size, 284 pages of awesome.
<~Dan> Good deal. 🙂
<~Dan> Thanks for stopping by to chat with us, guys!
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a sec here, I’ll get the log posted and give you the link. 🙂
<+EdaraRyan> it was fun!
<~Dan> (No need to run off, mind you!)
<+EdaraCarl> It was our pleasure!