[19:26] <+seankreynolds> Hi, I’m Sean K Reynolds! I’ve been a designer for TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Interplay, and Paizo. Now I’m on my own and I’m writing (and kickstarting) a new game called Five Moons RPG.
[19:27] <+seankreynolds> The goal of Five Moons is an easy-to-read/learn/play RPG that’ll be familiar to people who know D&D and Pathfinder, but without so much number-crunching and min-maxing.
[19:27] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest11! Please set your name with the /nick command.)
[19:28] <+seankreynolds> I’m here to answer questions about myself, the game, and the kickstarter project. 🙂
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[19:28] <~Dan> Thanks, Sean! The floor is open to questions!
[19:29] <~Dan> So to what degree does Five Moons differ from D&D-based games?
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[19:29] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, InsainDragoon!)
[19:29] <+InsainDragoon> SKR?
[19:29] <~Dan> Yup, he’s here! We’re just starting, and the floor is open to questions. 🙂
[19:30] <+InsainDragoon> I saw a post on SKR’s twitter and clicked the link
[19:30] <+seankreynolds> Well, one of the common complaints about D&D/PF is that there is a huge disparity in power level between martial and spellcaster characters. I’m restructuring how those classes play, so there’s not a “15 minute adventuring day” that benefits casters over martials.
[19:30] <+xyphoid> so, are you going to need magical healing
[19:30] <~Dan> InsainDragoon: Cool. Glad to have you here. 🙂
[19:31] <+seankreynolds> Also, I wrote the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box, and I want to use that reader-friendly language to make the game more accessible and understandable. So much of the rules text in PF is written like a reference book rather than a teaching tool for learning the game.
[19:31] <~Dan> Did you power down casters, power up fighters, or both?
[19:32] <+seankreynolds> Xy: There’s much less of a differentiation between character abilities, so any character can learn healing, and there are abilities that allow even a “nonmagical” martial character to heal themselves in battle without having to rely on potions and such. You can still have potions, but you won’t have to rely on them in an emergency.
[19:32] <+xyphoid> so a healing surge style mechanic?
[19:32] <+InsainDragoon> So one of the things that looks cool to me about 5 moons RPG is the ability to create Red Mages, White Mages, Black Mages, ect through the spell school selection and the Base Class template things
[19:33] <+seankreynolds> Casters are powered down, martials are powered up. In short: everyone gets at-will abilities, but can “boost” those at-wills for various effects. So instead of the arbitrary 4e “this is a per-encounter” power, you have a pool of boosted uses you can activate per day, even if it’s twice in the same encounter.
[19:33] <+seankreynolds> Xy: No, but (frex) if you take the equivalent of the Toughness feat, not only do you get bonus hp, but you can auto-heal yourself using one of your boosts.
[19:33] <+xyphoid> so 4e psionics, more or less?
[19:34] <+xyphoid> at-will powers and a pool of points to spend enhancing your powers?
[19:34] <+seankreynolds> I’ve heard people compare it to 4e psi, but I haven’t read those rulebooks so I can’t verify how accurate that comparison is.
[19:34] <+InsainDragoon> also how close to the preview character sheet should we expect a final character sheet
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[19:35] <+seankreynolds> ID: Yes, magic isn’t organized according to schools, it’s to keywords. So you could be a poison wizard, glue wizard, fire wizard, etc. … or build your own custom wizard identity by mixing keywords. And martials can do the same thing with fighting styles.
[19:35] <+seankreynolds> ID: I expect playtest feedback to change things, so it’s hard to say. Maybe 75% the same, at least in terms of concepts?
[19:36] <+InsainDragoon> so SKR, how would one create a Red mage in five moons? Pick the spell/martial hybrid template and pick healing+elemental key words? will I have the ability to say… imbiue my sword with fire and then swing it?
[19:37] <+xyphoid> i’m surprised you haven’t done some cherrypicking from 4e for this, it sounds like you’re working in the space of a hybrid that could make all of us happy
[19:37] <~Dan> So is magic Vancian?
[19:38] <+seankreynolds> Yes and yes. The preview warrior actually has that ability, just with cold energy instead of fire. So pick your class “skeleton” (say, the hybrid martial/caster), pick your keyword spells, and go.
[19:38] <+InsainDragoon> I love it, thanks!
[19:38] <+seankreynolds> Well when the kickstarter is done (and before I start writing everything full-time) I’m going to read the 4E PH again cover to cover to see if there are any concepts I want to use. 😉
[19:39] <+seankreynolds> Dan: Magic is non-Vancian. Vancian magic leads to caster/martial disparity and the 15-minute adventuring day. I wrote a blog about it, lemme grab the URL for you…
[19:39] <+InsainDragoon> ok, so SKR are you familiar with Final Fantasy in the least?
[19:39] <+seankreynolds> (Link: https://fivemoonsrpg.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/five-moons-rpg-throwing-out-vancian-magic/)https://fivemoonsrpg.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/five-moons-rpg-throwing-out-vancian-magic/
[19:39] <+seankreynolds> ID: Just a little bit. Feel free to explain concepts to me.
[19:40] <~Dan> So magic falls into that per-day-with-boost paradigm?
[19:40] <+InsainDragoon> Even if you aren’t I’m hoping we can see a Blue Mage concept realized in the game
[19:40] <+seankreynolds> Dan: Yep! Later this week I’ll be posting a wizard preview and you’ll be able to see some of his 1st-level spells, all of which have an at-will or constant effect, plus elevated effects he can create using boosts.
[19:41] <+InsainDragoon> Mages who have trouble learning spells on there own, bit can learn spells through special circumstances such as observation, being hit by the spell, or eating the user
[19:42] <~Dan> Hmm. So it almost sounds like you have something akin to a spell point system, albeit one that powers non-magical abilities as well.
[19:42] <+seankreynolds> ID: Actually, being able to learn magic above and beyond “I level up, I learn new stuff” is an important part of the game, both for casters and martial characters. So I can see a limited wizard having an ability to more easily learn new spells in response to attacks… or having an ability that lets them spend a boost to duplicate a spell they’ve seen.
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[19:43] <+InsainDragoon> if that can make it into the game it would make my Brother and a lot of people happy
[19:43] <+seankreynolds> Dan: I’ve built spell point systems before, and they’re fun, but they can be overwhelming for a new player. It’s easier to say “you have ## abilities you can use at will, and ## time per day you can do improved/variant versions of those abilities.”
[19:43] <+seankreynolds> ID: send me an email about it as a reminder, or a tweet.
[19:43] <+InsainDragoon> on the Paizo boards a similar odea showed up in the ACG and people flipped out about a Pathfinder blue mage
[19:44] <+seankreynolds> I remember some of that (but I didn’t work on the arcanist so my attention was elsewhere).
[19:44] <+InsainDragoon> I’m using my phone for IRC right now, so excuse spelling errors
[19:45] <~Dan> seankreynolds: I see, re: spell points.
[19:45] <+xyphoid> what kind of stuff are you doing for fighters to bring them up to speed? is it still feat-based?
[19:45] <~Dan> So if a wizard knows a spell, he can use it at will but has a limited number of times he can boost/tweak it?
[19:46] <+InsainDragoon> one of my friends has always complained that in a lot of settings spells are limited to uses per day and wants a system where his magic is “always on” I lik
[19:46] <+xyphoid> (i never figured out why fighters had feat chains to eventually get to a fun bit and spells didn’t chain similarly)
[19:46] <+InsainDragoon> I think he will like five moons system for spells
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[19:47] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Currently it’s built like PF feats, just for familiarity’s sake, but it’ll probably skew from that before or after the playtest. So fighters get access to a lot of combat feats, rogues get access to “stunts.” And each of those have boosted effects. So Power Attack lets you boost it for extra damage, or no attack penalty, and so on.
[19:48] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Also, fighters get an outright +5 to attack with all weapons, so they’re always better than other characters at fighting (I was always annoyed that they’re only 5% better than a same-level cleric or rogue). And that comes in handy for offsetting the attack penalty for Power Attack, Combat Expertise, etc.
[19:49] <+seankreynolds> Dan: Yes. Frex, magic missile is at-will for 1d4, but you can boost it to do extra damage, or hit a second target, or try to disarm your opponent. Feather fall always protects you from the first 10 feet of a fall, and you can boost it to affect other people, or for increased falling distance.
[19:49] <+seankreynolds> (that 1d4 is just a placeholder value right now, btw)
[19:49] <~Dan> Gotcha.
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[19:49] <~Dan> Huh. That’s pretty cool.
[19:50] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, Apollo!
[19:50] <+xyphoid> so the final game is replacing out the D&D feats/spells?
[19:51] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Pretty much. Some abilities, when translated from PF, can’t be at-will in their present form because they’re built for a Vancian X-per-day use (where X is a small number). So I need to make a powered-down, at-will version… and then introduce the “normal” PF version as a boosted ability.
[19:51] <+seankreynolds> Frex…
[19:52] <+seankreynolds> The Five Moons version of Dimension Door gives the wizard a dodge bonus because you can bamf out of the way like Nightcrawler from the X-Men (just in your same square). Boosting that spell lets you go 100 feet, or bring a passenger a short distance, and so on.
[19:52] <+InsainDragoon> In 3.X I’ve always hated that power attack, combat expertise, ect was a feat and wasn’t just a base function in BAB. What’s your opinion and do you think that can be addressed?
[19:52] <+xyphoid> but you’re still going to have Dimension Door as a thing?
[19:52] <+xyphoid> (for example)
[19:53] <~Dan> It almost sounds like Five Moons makes the PCs into something akin to fantasy superheroes.
[19:53] <+seankreynolds> ID: I agree. 3E does have a limited, no-feat-needed version of some of those… frex, fight defensively is a weaker version of Combat Expertise, but there’s no equivalent for Power Attack. Add a no-feat-needed PA-light ability into the game and suddenly it’s an action everyone can do. The feat version is just the “perfect” execution of that maneuver.
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[19:54] <+seankreynolds> Xy: It might not be called Dimension Door, but yes.
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[19:54] <+xyphoid> is it OGL?
[19:54] <+InsainDragoon> how do you think 5 moon will tackle PA?
[19:55] <~Dan> (Question pause after InsainDragoon’s question.)
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[19:55] <+seankreynolds> Dan: Considering that by the time they’re 6th level, D&D characters are basically low-powered superheroes, yes, that’s not surprising. And I’ve played the heck out of the old FASERIP Marvel Super Heroes game to see the fun in letting people have at-will powers and “power stunts.”
[19:55] <~Dan> (Not a criticism, just to be clear. 🙂 )
[19:56] <+seankreynolds> Xy: My wife and I haven’t decided about how we’re handling 3rd-party content. It’s different enough from PF that I can’t just say, “it’s OGL, you figure out how they relate to each other.” And on one hand I like Paizo’s free license that has content restrictions (no porn, no Guide to Babykilling). And on the other hand
[19:56] <+Apollo> How great will the emphasis on feats/powers be? I noticed a tendency as 3.5 went on, and into 4e, for players to look down at their character sheet and “default” to some power/feat, rather than coming up with unique and on the fly reactions to events. Granted may be more of a table issue than a rules one.
[19:57] <+seankreynolds> I like Monte Cook Games’ model that requires permission but not approval. So… hard to say at this point. But in general I am a fan of the Open Gaming movement and I have several 3PP who want to write for it.
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[19:57] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide, MonkofLords)
[19:57] <+seankreynolds> Dan: I didn’t think the supers comment was a criticism. 🙂 Having played Labyrinth of Madness run by Monte, where everyone had Stoneskin and Fly, it felt very super-heroic. 🙂
[19:57] <+seankreynolds> ID’s question about Power Attack…
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[19:58] <~Dan> (Howdy, DrNate)
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[19:58] <+seankreynolds> ID: Currently it’s “take a –5 penalty on your attack roll, get a +5 bonus on your weapon damage. Boost: Ignore the –5 penalty for this attack. Boost: Add an additional +5 damage.” Plus some possible other effects.
[19:58] <+InsainDragoon> It wont make or break my purchase, but its one of my burning questions
[19:59] <+InsainDragoon> thanks 🙂 I like that response
[19:59] <+seankreynolds> Dan, shall I answer Apollo’s question? I’m not sure what pausing the questions means. 🙂
[20:00] <~Dan> Oh, that just means no more questions until you’re caught up. Just give us a (done) when you’re ready for more. 🙂
[20:00] <+seankreynolds> Ok, then I’ll tackle Apollo’s question next 🙂
[20:00] <~Dan> It doesn’t mean you have to stop answering. 😀
[20:01] <+seankreynolds> Apollo: The nice thing about boosts in Five Moons is not only do they have specific effects described in the feats, stunts, and spells, you can spend them when you want if you’re trying something cool. So if your character doesn’t have any obvious abilities that’ll
[20:02] <~Dan> (cut off at “abilities that’ll”)
[20:02] <+seankreynolds> … help them get across a chasm, you can tell the GM, “I’m a badass warrior, I’m going to throw an axe into the wall, spend a boost, leap out and land on the axe, and finish the jump from there.” So you’re never limited to just what options you have on your character sheet.
[20:02] <+seankreynolds> (I broke that into two lines so people wouldn’t have to wait for me to type out one long comment. :))
[20:02] <~Dan> Now that’s pretty darn nifty.
[20:03] <+seankreynolds> I’m ready for more questions. 🙂
[20:03] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about the setting?
[20:03] <+Apollo> That sounds very fun
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[20:05] <+seankreynolds> Sure! Okay so the setting is another world, not Earth. Mysterious beings brought modern humans from Earth to that world and tinkered with their DNA/magic, then let them “cook” as an isolated culture for 125 years. Now the barriers surrounding their
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[20:05] <+seankreynolds> island home are down, and the descendants of those Pioneers are now exploring other islands and other cultures. On the surface level,
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[20:06] <+seankreynolds> you can play it as a standard fantasy setting. Or you can go deeper and look at how all of the humanoid races are related with human and animal DNA, and tackle questions of racism and such (in a world where the orc tribe can use magic to change into humans or elves, is it really ok to just outright murder them?).
[20:07] <+seankreynolds> The setting isn’t part of the rules corebook, so you can also just use the rulebook to run your own setting, without anything to do with the setting I’m writing.
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[20:07] <+seankreynolds> Should I say /done after I’m done with a comment, so you know I’m done? 🙂
[20:08] <~Dan> It depends upon whether you think it’s obvious that you’re done. 🙂
[20:08] <+Apollo> What are your plans for publishing the setting itself?
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[20:10] <+seankreynolds> Apollo: Initially I have a 32-page world sourcebook on the schedule, plus a book about the gods (because that’s what I do). And the three planned adventures will be written for use in the setting, but will be setting-neutral enough that you can use them in other worlds.
[20:10] <+seankreynolds> BTW here is my in-character blog post about the history of the setting, starting with the arrival of the Pioneers from Earth: (Link: https://fivemoonsrpg.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-world-of-five-moons-2/)https://fivemoonsrpg.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-world-of-five-moons-2/
[20:11] <~Dan> You mentioned races… Are all of the fantasy standards represented?
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[20:12] <~Dan> (Howdy, Sil)
[20:13] <+seankreynolds> So far for the Corebook I’ve just been focusing on the humans, elves, and dwarves. Whether I go whole-hog and include the D&D standards of half-orcs, half-elves, halflings, and gnomes is undecided. However, there will be a way to swap out racial features for others, so you could build yourself a spideroid, wolf-like, or other monstrous race (or something more
[20:13] <+seankreynolds> humanlike such as a half-elf) if you want to.
[20:13] <+seankreynolds> (done)
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[20:14] <~Dan> What is the tech level?
[20:15] <+seankreynolds> Good questions! 🙂 The default tech level is medieval—your standard fare for armor, weapons, and so on. I wanted people to be able to play their current campaign with these rules, and not have to force them to houserule-out flying ships, trains, and so on.
[20:16] * ~Dan nods
[20:16] <+seankreynolds> But because I dial back the realism, you could introduce other tech if you wanted, like simple firearms, without breaking the game.
[20:16] <~Dan> Is armor AC or DR?
[20:16] <+seankreynolds> (And not have to answer questions like, “if there are guns, why do some people still wear armor?”)
[20:17] <~Dan> (Answer: “Because full plate armor was designed to counter firearms.” 🙂 )
[20:17] <+seankreynolds> I’ve grown unhappy with how DR works, partly because it punishes martial characters and forces parties to rely on magic spells or magic weapons. And because I want the game to stay pretty simple and familiar to D&D/PF players, it still uses an AC system, which is abstract but effective.
[20:18] * ~Dan nods
[20:18] <~Dan> I prefer damage reduction, but I can certainly see your reasoning.
[20:19] <+xyphoid> aren’t we all just houseruling longbows as guns anyway, heh
[20:19] <+seankreynolds> I’m sure some 3PP will make DR rules for it. 🙂
[20:19] <+seankreynolds> Xy: True, true. 🙂
[20:19] <+Apollo> Is there a “level” cap? Is progression fixed, like “you leveled up, you get this,” or more free form, “you leveled up, you can pick from a pool?”
[20:19] <~Dan> Are there any unusual tweaks to the fantasy standard monsters?
[20:20] <~Dan> What are dragons like, for example? (Assuming they exist.)
[20:21] <+seankreynolds> Apollo: It’s a bit of both. Your class “skeleton” comes with some pre-set abilities, but most of your options at leveling up are much more freeform. In fact, I don’t really differentiate learning feats from learning spells… if you’re
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[20:22] <+seankreynolds> a level 5 warrior, you could pick a martial ability available to level 5 characters or a spell available to level 5 characters (it doesn’t matter whether you’re a warrior, rogue, wizard, or whatever).
[20:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide)
[20:22] <+seankreynolds> Also…
[20:22] <+xyphoid> haha i misread that earlier, i thought you actually had skeletons as pcs
[20:22] <+seankreynolds> heh
[20:22] <+xyphoid> (skeletons should be pcs)
[20:22] <&Le_Squide> (Hey Dan!)
[20:23] <+seankreynolds> Yes, there is a level cap, it’s level 25. However, levels in this game are “smaller” than they are in PF. A level 4 PF character is the equivalent of a level 8 Five Moons character (overall, double your PF level to get your Five Moons level). So the level 25 cap is
[20:23] <~Dan> (Xyphoid: You need to play Spooks!: Welcome to the Great Beyond. Plenty of skeleton PCs.)
[20:23] <+seankreynolds> about the power level of a level 12 or 13 PF character. It means your characters can still do great things, but it stops before the math in the game gets really broken (as it starts to do in the teen levels of 3E).
[20:24] <+seankreynolds> (actually, swap your racial abilities right and you could have a skeleton PC, or something like a Forsaken from Warcraft)
[20:25] <+seankreynolds> Dan: Dragons are much more like the dragons of Earthsea: intelligent, snakelike, natural spellcasters, and are built more like wingless Chinese dragons than conventional European ones. They’re native to the World of Five Moons, so they’re kinda weird and mysterious,
[20:25] <+seankreynolds> and have their own agendas, which may help or hinder what the PCs want to do.
[20:25] <+seankreynolds> And because most of the creatures in the world are made from the DNA of Earth creatures, you can
[20:26] <+seankreynolds> have all of the typical Greek hybrid monsters (chimera, centaur, and so on), plus creatures that look like animals but have fully-human intellects, and
[20:26] <+seankreynolds> even some creatures that mix animal DNA with those of creatures from other words (as the entities who brought the Pioneers to this world have access to other worlds, too).
[20:27] <+seankreynolds> /done
[20:27] <~Dan> How does the game handle skills?
[20:27] <+seankreynolds> (“DNA” being a pseudoscientific explanation for it, of course.)
[20:27] <~Dan> (Sorry for jumping around a bit.)
[20:28] <+seankreynolds> Skills work similarly to 3E, but I’ve consolidated more of the skills. Frex, the Move skill handles acrobatics, climb, ride, and swim. This means each of your skill points are worth more (1 point in Move benefits all of those types of movement) and means you’re
[20:29] <+seankreynolds> less likely to have skill point scarcity (as in “I really wish I had some points to spare to I could learn a Craft skill, it would suit my character’s background”).
[20:29] <+seankreynolds> Skills will also have default boosts. Stunts (the skill-character equiv to martial combat feats or caster spells) will have their own boosts for those skills, too).
[20:30] * ~Dan nods
[20:30] <+seankreynolds> So you could boost your climb to run up a wall, or (if you have the right feat) run up the wall and still have your hands free to attack.
[20:30] <~Dan> That’s a nice touch.
[20:30] <+seankreynolds> Also…
[20:30] <+xyphoid> so craft isn’t consolidated?
[20:31] <+seankreynolds> I think far too much emphasis has been on combat. The GM section will reinforce that an adventure should be a mix of combat, skill, and social/roleplaying challenges. That way players can’t just minmax their DPS and expect to win the adventure.
[20:31] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Craft and Profession are now a part of Know/Knowledge. I find myself using 3E terms a lot just so people know what I’m talking about. 🙂
[20:32] <~Dan> Did you consider making combat skill-based?
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[20:33] <+seankreynolds> Not directly, no. Part of the problem with PF is that martial characters are already SO specialized that it’s hard for them to be flexible. By the time a fighter is level 8, they’re really good at using one weapon… and if they can’t use that weapon, they’re really weakened. So…
[20:33] <~Dan> (wb, Derek!)
[20:34] <+Derek> (Thanks, Dan)
[20:34] <+seankreynolds> you’d end up in a similar situation if you had fighters learn multiple skills to be able to fight effectively. However…
[20:35] <+seankreynolds> There is a generic sort of “specialization” each character gets at 1st level. Which sort of works like a PF archetype. So that lets you pick an easy-to-understand style for your character. And, like spellcasters in PF,
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[20:35] <+seankreynolds> martial characters can study/train to learn other styles above and beyond the base amount. So if your TWF warrior really needs to pick up a shield for an encounter, they can, and still be pretty effective.
[20:35] <+seankreynolds> (done)
[20:36] <+seankreynolds> (If that wasn’t clear: they can learn those other feats or combat styles without costing existing feat slots… just like how a wizard can learn more spells without erasing spells in his spellbook)
[20:38] <~Dan> What classes are available?
[20:39] <+seankreynolds> The five class “skeletons” are wizard (100% caster), martial (about 75% martial, 25% skill), skill (25/75), a hybrid (about 50 martial/50 caster),
[20:40] <@Silverlion> Is there not a Skill/Magic hybrid?
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[20:41] <+seankreynolds> … and the skill/magic, which is about what the bard, investigator, and alchemist are. 🙂
[20:41] <+xyphoid> neat, so wizards get less skills than fighters this time around?
[20:42] <+seankreynolds> And again: those are just the skeletons of class. You can customize your abilities a lot. If you want to play a wizard and pick mostly combat feats instead of spells, or a martial character who mostly picks skill stunts, or a skill character who mostly picks spells, you can.
[20:42] <+seankreynolds> Yes. Wizard spells can duplicate *some* skill effects, but I don’t want to create a 3E situation where the caster character is better at using skills than the skills character.
[20:43] <+seankreynolds> Cmon, hit me with some questions. 🙂
[20:43] <~Dan> Do you use alignments?
[20:44] <+xyphoid> who’s your target audience for this – it feels very much aimed at existing PF players
[20:45] <+seankreynolds> NO alignments! People and monsters don’t fit into nine convenient boxes. However, similar to how spells are categorized by keyword instead of school, creatures have an Ethos entry, which’ll have concepts like aggressive, territorial, xenophobic, mercantile, and so on.
[20:46] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Well on one hand it is target at PF players… PF players who are tired of having to number-crunch and create “optimized” build characters… PF players who would rather go back to playing for fun rather than as a math or character-building exercise.
[20:47] <+seankreynolds> Having been neck-deep in the rules for so many years, the simpler approach of the Beginner Box was a breath of fresh air for me (and for a lot of PF fans). As the author of the BB, I’ve made it my role to expand the easy-to-read, easy-to-learn, easy-to-play aspects into a full RPG instead of just an intro to
[20:47] <+seankreynolds> very complex and rickety RPG.
[20:48] <+seankreynolds> The Corebook won’t read like an encyclopedia or reference book… it’s meant to be read and used to learn to play, not as a reference for people who already know how to play 3E.
[20:48] <+seankreynolds> Basically: If you like the simplicity of the Beginner Box, and really wish there were an Expert Box that took the BBox from level 6–12, you should look at Five Moons.
[20:49] <~Dan> So with about 10 minutes to go in regular time, I like to give our guests a chance to bring up anything that we haven’t covered so far.
[20:50] <~Dan> (While mentioning that you are welcome to stay and discuss your work as long as you like.)
[20:51] <+seankreynolds> I’m all ears. 🙂
[20:51] <+seankreynolds> (My artist Gerald Lee recently drew an “earholder” as a joke… a sphere covered in ears and earstalks…)
[20:51] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:53] <~Dan> So, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention, Sean? 🙂
[20:53] <+seankreynolds> Well, I have this crazy idea about social combat!
[20:53] <+seankreynolds> This is going to sound like a weird digression, but bear with me…
[20:54] <~Dan> Hey, it’s your show. 🙂
[20:54] <+seankreynolds> In the movie Sucker Punch, much of what’s going on is actually a dream/denial/hallucination by the main character. So when she’s in the asylum, she’s having this vision of being in a bordello, and she needs to acquire “fire” as part of the plan to escape. Rather than showing a
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[20:55] <+InsainDragoon> Hi everyone
[20:55] <~Dan> (wb, InsainDragoon!)
[20:55] <+xyphoid> [you got cut off at ‘showing a]
[20:55] <+seankreynolds> mundane heist where the characters steal something mundane like a lighter, there’s a fantasy sequence where they’re soldiers in a plane, attacking orcs in a castle, with a dragon at the heart of it, and the “fire” is actually the dragon’s egg. And there’s
[20:55] <+InsainDragoon> I just finished driving home
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[20:56] <+InsainDragoon> I sent a reminder about the “blue mage” ability to your KS page SKR
[20:56] <+seankreynolds> another sequence where the main character is attacking giant samurai robots with chaingun arms. None of these sequences are real, but they REPRESENT the real conflict/plan that they’re doing. So, applying that to RPG gaming…
[20:56] <+seankreynolds> ID: ty
[20:57] <+InsainDragoon> What’s the official name for these abilities? From what I understand each class starts off close to a blank slate then we customize ourselves by picking “class features”?
[20:57] <+seankreynolds> … imagine a scenario where the PCs have to convince the king to take action. You could have a scenario where the player of the talky character gives a shorthand speech to convince the king, and the player makes a Diplomacy check, and the
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[20:58] <+seankreynolds> GM decides if the king is convinced or not. That’s boring. So what if that situation became a meta-situation where the PCs had to battle a dragon that *represented* the king, and by defeating the king, they return to the true reality, and the king agrees to their demands. And in this
[20:59] <+seankreynolds> king-as-dragon setup, the talky PCs can have badass powers, and the less-talky characters are much less effective in this “social combat.” So the charismatic warrior is still charismatic and good at social combat, the bookish wizard isn’t much help, and the snarky rogue gets in some “chat” backstabs in the fight.
[20:59] <+seankreynolds> That’s the gist of “social combat.” Not something you’d use in place of most social encounters, but it makes a “boss” social situation more interesting than just resolving the king’s decision with one or two Diplo rolls.
[21:00] <~Dan> Huh. Freaky!
[21:00] <+seankreynolds> ID: Currently, fighters still get bonus combat feats, rogues get bonus stunts (akin to rogue talents), wizards get bonus spells. But you can still mix and match with your normal at-each-level special ability choses. As for a general category name,
[21:01] <+InsainDragoon> I missed something, is “Social Combat” going to be an optional rule written into 5 Moons, or is this an explanation of a GM technique
[21:01] <+seankreynolds> I hesitate to call them “powers” because I think some people unkindly associate that term with 4E, so the name for the category isn’t set in stone yet.
[21:01] <+InsainDragoon> Talents is out of the question?
[21:01] <+InsainDragoon> Why not call them features? Since they are close to class features?
[21:02] <+seankreynolds> Social Combat is an optional rule in Five Moons. It’s a GM technique they can use to create climactic diplomacy/intim encounters.
[21:02] <~Dan> And if you multi-class, you can get double features!
[21:02] <+seankreynolds> ID: They could be called features. No decision made yet (I don’t want them to sound TOO generic, though).
[21:02] <+seankreynolds> Dan: lol 🙂
[21:02] <+xyphoid> you could use a different term for each class
[21:03] <+xyphoid> like ‘exploits’ for martial powers and ‘prayers’ for divine ones and ‘spells’ for arcane ones
[21:03] <+InsainDragoon> I heard a lot of the features can be taken by multiple classes
[21:03] <+seankreynolds> Xy: well, each class does have them… the question is, what class-neutral name do you call them all so you don’t have to write “maneuvers, spells, and stunts” every time you want to refer to all three kinds. 🙂
[21:03] <~Dan> I notice that you didn’t say anything about clerics.
[21:04] <+InsainDragoon> It looks like you make a Cleric by picking appropriate spell key words
[21:04] <+seankreynolds> Dan: True. If you want to make a “priest” or “cleric,” you’d use the wizard “skeleton”… they just pick spells with the healing keywords. If you wanted a more martial cleric or priest, choose the hybrid skeleton instead of wizard.
[21:04] <+seankreynolds> Yep. 🙂
[21:04] <+InsainDragoon> say “I wanna be an evil cleric. I will grab the Curse and Evil keywords for spells”
[21:05] <+seankreynolds> And a paladin would either be a hybrid or a martial, choosing appropriate spells/maneuvers to your theme.
[21:05] <+seankreynolds> Yep. 🙂
[21:05] <~Dan> How would you make a ranger?
[21:05] <+InsainDragoon> Personally I love this approach
[21:05] <+xyphoid> are you keeping ability scores
[21:05] <+InsainDragoon> ahh yes, will any classes get pets?
[21:06] <+seankreynolds> Ranger would be a martial or skill, depending on your focus, then choose some spell abilities with your level-ups instead of skills or maneuvers.
[21:06] * ~Dan nods
[21:06] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:06] <~Dan> Are monks doable?
[21:06] <+seankreynolds> Pets are a really stick issue. I want to have them as an option, and it would be great if it’s an option for any skeleton (so you could have a cavalier/martial, a ranger/skill, druid/caster, etc.). Still working out the details. 🙂
[21:07] <+InsainDragoon> Reason I love this approach: My character creation approach goes from concept, to picking class, to picking class options. The approach in 5 Moons favors a method like that.
[21:07] <+seankreynolds> Monk is martial or skill, depending on your focus. Perhaps taking some spells, or going hybrid martial/spell.
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:08] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Yes, keeping ability scores, but I’m folding WIS and CHA into one state: PSY, which represents intuition and internal power.
[21:08] <+InsainDragoon> Say, for example, I want to make Goku. Instead of trying to find a class that works like Goku I would pick a class and grab features that give me Goku like abilities
[21:08] <+seankreynolds> state/stat
[21:08] <+seankreynolds> Yep. Classes are handy for easy character-building, but it can make it hard to build some character concepts.
[21:09] <~Dan> (brb)
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[21:10] <+InsainDragoon> If I want to be something as Broad as “A Witch Hunter” in 5 moons I could probably run that out of most of the templates
[21:10] <+InsainDragoon> Depending on how much I would want to rely on spells myself
[21:11] <+seankreynolds> Yep. By unshackling what PF treats as class abilities, and allowing anyone to select them, it really opens up what you can do with your character concept.
[21:11] <+InsainDragoon> In Pathfinder a Witch Hunter would probably be an Inquisitor.
[21:11] <+xyphoid> are you still tying powers to particular abilities?
[21:12] <+InsainDragoon> But if I wanted to be a full BAB witch hunter in Pathfinder I wouldn’t have too many options that would make me effective vs casters
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[21:12] <+seankreynolds> ID: Yep.
[21:12] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Do you mean “You have to have STR 13 to take Power Attack”?
[21:12] <~Dan> How extensive is the game’s bestiary?
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[21:14] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, Kaidinah!
[21:14] <+seankreynolds> Xy: If that’s what you mean, then… not nearly as much as PF, at least not at low levels. There may be some “phenominal Strength” abilities at mid-to-high-level that might require you to have an above-average Str, but it’s uncommon.
[21:15] <+seankreynolds> Dan: The first stretch goal is a 32-page bestiary, which includes at least 40 animals in table form (because you don’t need to spend a whole page on a bear or wolf or whatever), plus about 22 full-page monster entries. A later stretch goal bumps that up to 64 pages and adds 32 more full-page monster entries. Note that
[21:15] <+Kaidinah> Hello! I am glad to see you interacting with the community. Very cool of you Sean
[21:16] <+seankreynolds> it being a stretch goal doesn’t mean it won’t happen if we don’t hit that funding goal: it just means it won’t be pre-funded, and it’ll get paid for with sales rather than pre-orders.
[21:16] <+seankreynolds> Hi, Kaid, and thanks! 🙂
[21:17] <+InsainDragoon> Ok, less about 5 Moons, but I have been curious about something. What caused you to develop your current opinion on the weaknesses of the 3.X systems? Was it a gradual thing as you’ve seen people talk about it. Have you personally experienced a game with a huge difference in narrative power?
[21:18] <+Kaidinah> I was wondering if DR will make it into this system. I personally dislike that its hard to get a good DR build going (besides 1 or 2 corner cases) in d20 systems
[21:19] <+seankreynolds> I’ve been working on some form of D&D 3E (3.0, 3.5, or PF) since 1999. I see where it’s held together with duct tape and chewing gum. I squished it down and cut off some of the ugly parts to make the Beginner Box. I know the game has a lot of warts. And I was the developer for Numenera, and like most people I’ve played other games (including some OD&D). There
[21:20] <+seankreynolds> are simpler options out there, and I was tired of having to create new bandages to fix problems in the game system–I wanted to start fresh without all of the legacy issues and the forced backwards-compatibility. So It was a gradual thing, but inevitable.
[21:21] <+InsainDragoon> Thanks, that helps me understand your perspective better while you go into this project 🙂
[21:21] <+seankreynolds> Kaid: I mentioned earlier that I’m unhappy with DR in general, as it punishes martial characters and forces PCs to rely on magic weapons or spells. So I’m doing my best to keep DR out of this game if I can.
[21:21] <+xyphoid> [sorry] I meant with regards to magic, etc – are spells still tied to int or psy depending on a type?
[21:22] <+xyphoid> the whole DC system, etc
[21:23] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Currently they’re scaling like monster abilities: going up as your level increases. That way there’s not so much pressure to ramp up your ability score to increase your DC to crazy levels.
[21:25] <+seankreynolds> (I’m really scaling down reliance on huge ability scores in this game.)
[21:25] <~Dan> Do you have any plans for using Five Moons for something other than fantasy?
[21:25] <+InsainDragoon> I remember reading that you have been involved in video game development before and I was wondering how involved you are with video games? Do you play them?
[21:26] <+seankreynolds> Dan: Well, people have asked me about adapting the ruleset to scifi or superheroics, so that’s on the table. But that might be a 3PP thing, as my writing schedule is pretty tight for the next 18 months.
[21:26] * ~Dan nods
[21:27] <+seankreynolds> ID: Yes I was on the design team for Balder’s Gate 3, the lead story designer for the original Fallout 3, an Exalted game, and Balder’s Gate Dark Alliance 3. I grew up playing video games, and I still play World of Warcraft on a regular basis (not so much the past couple of weeks, tho, because of kickstarter commitments).
[21:29] <+seankreynolds> As my Paizo profile used to say, “you can learn things about game design from video games, but it’s possible to take it too far.”
[21:29] <+InsainDragoon> I already know you’re not too familiar with the Final Fantasy series, but I did find it interesting that most final Fantasy games have a lot of balance between “Martial” and “Magic” characters
[21:30] <+seankreynolds> So I’m trying not to take it too far. 🙂
[21:30] <+seankreynolds> ID: Well I’ll just say “great minds think alike.” 😉
[21:30] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:30] <+InsainDragoon> We have non-magic users capable of amazing feats fighing side by side with Magic users releasing powerful spells
[21:31] <+InsainDragoon> In my mind thats how I like to imagine my tabletop RPG battles
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[21:31] <+InsainDragoon> and a system where not being able to fly and teleport isn’t a huge hindrance to your viability would be really nice
[21:31] <+seankreynolds> I agree: just because the fighter isn’t magical doesn’t mean he can’t do awesome stuff. After all, Captain America and the Hulk aren’t magical, and they get to do crazy things. :p
[21:32] <~Dan> seankreynolds: Again, you’re welcome to hang out with us as long as you like, but I should probably go ahead and log the “official” chat. 🙂
[21:32] <+MonkofLords> Is the Q&A over?
[21:32] <+seankreynolds> I can take a couple more questions but then I need to eat some foods. 🙂
[21:33] <+InsainDragoon> which brings me to my next question. In Pathfinder if a Party of Fighter, Rogue, Paladin, and Investigator came across a 100 ft chasm, they would not be able to proceed. The same chasm would be a simple challenge for a Druid, Wizard, Cleric, Bard party
[21:33] <~Dan> Ah! In that case, I’ll wait a minute. 🙂
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[21:33] <+InsainDragoon> How would a similar party to the first in 5 moons handle the chasm?
[21:33] <~Dan> (Howdy, Drakkar!)
[21:33] <~Dan> (MonkofLords: Not quite.)
[21:33] <+MonkofLords> (derp)
[21:34] <+xyphoid> are you doing much with encounter design
[21:34] <+Kaidinah> Personally, I don’t think the DM should throw “the chasm” at any party
[21:34] <+seankreynolds> ID: Someone asked a related question (Kain?), and here was my answer: boosts aren’t just used to augment your abilities in the ways described in the spell, maneuver, or stunt, they let you do cool things. So you could spend a boost, throw a couple of axes and ropes across the chasm, the axes get embedded in
[21:34] <+seankreynolds> the far side, and you can climb or slide across the ropes. Victory!
[21:35] <+xyphoid> as a GM designing an interesting and challenging fight was one of the most annoying things about PF/3.x for me – CR was all over the place and you had to tailor stuff based on the PCs
[21:35] <+seankreynolds> (And that just assumes that none of those characters chose a flying or jumping ability.)
[21:35] <+InsainDragoon> Ok, I like that. It’s heroic and a lot less silly than just jumping it
[21:36] <+seankreynolds> “that’s not in the rules” is something I want to eradicate from player and GM vocabulary 🙂
[21:36] <+Kaidinah> with how variable PCs sound in 5 moons, I’d expcect CR to be hard to calculate
[21:36] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:36] <+InsainDragoon> Does that mean we can expect a bit of text in the Core book for GMs saying “Just because we don’t have a rule for it, doesn’t mean you should say no to a character wanting to do something cool”?
[21:37] <+seankreynolds> Xy: Well if all the abilities you can select at level X are about the same power level, then you can balance encounters for CR X encounters.
[21:37] <+xyphoid> it’s going to depend heavily on whether people pick combat or noncombat powers though isn’t it?
[21:37] <+seankreynolds> ID: yes. that’s the whole point of having stunts–allowing your character to push beyond the constraints and accomplish something really amazing.
[21:38] <+seankreynolds> Xy: True. But the GM also needs to be told to take PC abilities into account. If no PCs have fire abilities, don’t throw a monster at them which can only be hurt by fire.
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[21:38] <+seankreynolds> Conversely: the players should be encouraged to take abilities that make them well-rounded characters.
[21:39] <+InsainDragoon> Well I’m pretty much sold on 5 Moons, now all I gotta do is scrounge up some more money for the kickstarter
[21:39] <+seankreynolds> (Fortunately, just as a wizard can learn extra spells in his spellbook, other characters can train or study to learn other maneuvers or stunts.)
[21:39] <+seankreynolds> Here’s the link, if anyone missed it: (Link: http://kck.st/1pbSex0)http://kck.st/1pbSex0
[21:40] <+seankreynolds> The kickstarter ends on Oct 28. Print books will be available just before Gen Con next year, PDFs about 1–2 months before that. 🙂
[21:40] <~Dan> By the way, I do hope those of you who showed up for the Q&A will feel free to hang out with us in the future. 🙂
[21:40] <+InsainDragoon> I already backed for a dollar to increase backer number for front page advertising
[21:40] <+InsainDragoon> is RPGnet a website?
[21:40] <+Songtress> Yes
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[21:41] <~Dan> It is, but it’s not directly related to this chatroom anymore.
[21:41] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, brad2411!
[21:41] <+Songtress> Or rather is it that the Chatroom is no longer ‘related’ to the website
[21:41] <~Dan> Yes, that.
[21:42] <+InsainDragoon> Thanks a lot SKR for talking with us. I hope that if I get to go to Gencon this year I can shake your hand
[21:42] <+seankreynolds> I’ll be there, hope you can be, too. 🙂
[21:42] <+seankreynolds> And now I must zoom away for some foods. Have fun and good gaming
[21:42] <+seankreynolds> !!! 🙂
[21:43] <+InsainDragoon> Enjoy your meal!
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[21:43] <~Dan> I’ll have the log posted in just a moment if you can wait, seankreynolds. 🙂
[21:43] <+seankreynolds> I’ll wait for that so I can link it
[21:43] <+seankreynolds> *tummy rumble*
[21:43] <+seankreynolds> And thanks for all the questions. 🙂
[21:43] <~Dan> Thanks for coming by!