[19:04] <+Blackstone> Hello everyone – I’m the lead designer for Mystos: The Role Playing Game. This is Blackstone Entertainment, Inc’s first published tabletop game, and we’re really excited to talk to you about it.
[19:04] <+Blackstone> A huge thanks to Dan for giving us this opportunity!
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[19:04] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, PaulS!)
[19:05] <+PaulS> Thank you Sir
[19:05] <~Dan> (Here for the Q&A?)
[19:05] <+PaulS> yes excited about the idea for Mystos as I am a longterm fan of Blackstone Inc
[19:06] <+Blackstone> Thanks, PaulS!
[19:06] <+Blarghedy> oh yeah, that’s tonight
[19:06] <+Blarghedy> oh hey, it’s actually right now
[19:06] <+Blackstone> 🙂
[19:06] <~Dan> (Oh, please give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions, Blackstone. 🙂 )
[19:07] <+Blackstone> (As an aside, whoever first discovers the ‘Easter Egg’ in my ramblings below and reveals it (with names!) once I am done with the introductions will get a free copy of our .pdf Quickstart Guide after the end of this Q&A)
[19:07] <+Blackstone> So let’s begin!
[19:07] <~Dan> Thanks, Blackstone!
[19:07] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:07] <+Blackstone> —–Who are you:—–
[19:07] <+Blackstone> Let me begin by telling you a little about myself. My name is Ronald Joy, and by both hobby and profession, I’m a writer.
[19:08] <+Blackstone> Some of my system-neutral fantasy game supplements (the ’47 Series) can be found on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG – just search for Blackstone Entertainment, Inc. and you will find them.
[19:08] <+Blackstone> My game design and writing background includes content and quest writing the in-development indie MMORPG ‘Citadel of Sorcery’, as well as sci-fi and fantasy short stories for small press publishers.
[19:08] <+Blackstone> Please don’t blame Citadel of Sorcery’s place-holder graphics on me; I was just a writer 🙂
[19:09] <+Blackstone> As for my background, I am a military veteran with service in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a defense contractor I’ve been deployed all over the world.
[19:09] <+Blackstone> I am also an avid supporter and part-time volunteer with the Wounded Warrior Project, helping disabled veterans to achieve mobility and recovery through physical health and wellness programs.
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[19:09] <+Blackstone> When I’m not doing any of the above, you can find me working with the great Simon Fetscher (Link: http://simonfetscher.tumblr.com/)http://simonfetscher.tumblr.com/ to finish the artwork for Greystaff: Legends, an original epic fantasy role playing game I have been building for well over 10 years.
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[19:10] <+Blackstone> I highly encourage all of you to take a moment and browse through Simon’s art – it is absolutely amazing, and he’s a great guy… for a Swede 🙂
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[19:10] <+Blackstone> Finally, Blackstone Entertainment, Inc. is an official sponsor of 1d4Con – a gamer’s gaming convention – which will take place in Martinsburg, WV in April this year.
[19:10] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, JarHeadzEtc!)
[19:10] <+Blackstone> As we do every year, we’re also participating in the 1d4Con’s 2015 Games of Charity drive, helping out The Red Wagon Ministry, a local group that supports low-income families and their children.
[19:11] <+Blackstone> The Con is in its 3rd year running, and it has been a blast. For those planning on attending, Warhorn registration for games and GM’ing slots opens up this weekend. We’ll be running Mystos there, our first convention game with the system!
[19:11] <+Blackstone> Unless there are any questions for me thus far, I’ll move on to the game. (done)
[19:12] <~Dan> Well, just a quick note:
[19:12] <~Dan> Thank you so much for your service and for your work with the Wounded Warrior Project.
[19:12] <~Dan> I salute you, sir.
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[19:12] <+PaulS> I agree
[19:13] <+Blackstone> I appreciate it; I have some very good friends who benefit greatly from the WWP, and its amazing to see these men and women overcome the difficulties they face.
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[19:14] <+Blackstone> (I will move it along.)
[19:14] <+Blackstone> —-‘Play The Game Tonight:—-
[19:14] <+Blackstone> Mystos is a dark fantasy/mythological role playing game built around the principle of simplicity. The rules are extremely minimalist in nature, allowing the players to spend more time exploring great stories, and less time fussing over tables and charts.
[19:15] <+Blackstone> We set out to create an exciting RPG experience that could be mastered – even by novice players – in less than 15 minutes; after many, many months of design, re-design, and play-testing, I can honestly say we have done it.
[19:15] <+Blackstone> Character creation couldn’t be simpler – You won’t spend a single moment rolling stats or worrying over kits, weapons, or spells.
[19:16] <+Blackstone> You make the choice between playing the hard-hitting Warrior archetype, or the cunning and powerful Wizard archetype. Assign a pair of skills, and you’re done! Your character is ready to face his or her first foes in the world of Mystos!
[19:16] <+Blackstone> Those two character class archetypes can be heavily specialized through the assignment of Skills, which we will talk about in a little more depth later.
[19:16] <+Blackstone> Through Skills, your Warrior can be tailored as a fast and deadly rogue, a bow-wielding ranger, a tactician, party support, or even as a good ol’ fashioned meat-shield.
[19:16] <+Blackstone> Similarly, your Wizard can be specialized as a deadly ranged threat, a stalwart defender of the party, a healing specialist, or even a summoner of dark and terrible minions.
[19:17] <+Blackstone> The combinations you can unlock through Skills are many and varied, and we’ve only covered a handful here.
[19:17] <+Blackstone> —–‘Mike and the Mechanics:—–
[19:17] <+Blackstone> The core mechanic of combat in Mystos is based on the age-old rock-paper-scissors concept – with two important twists. First – the cognitive bias of rock-paper-scissors is entirely removed by substituting hand gestures and decisions with our custom Mystos dice.
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[19:18] <+Blackstone> Second, Mystos uses the concept of opposed resolution (one set of dice for offense and another set for defense) to create a total of 4 oppositional dice.
[19:18] <+Blackstone> This means that rather than Rock beating scissors, rock-paper-scissors is rolled against an entirely different set of variables – one that Rock can defeat, one that will defeat Rock, and finally, one that ‘wards’ against Rock’s attack. More on that later.
[19:18] <+Blackstone> Our custom Mystos dice are, besides the rules themselves, the only things you’ll need in order to play the game.
[19:19] <+xyphoid> can you replace the custom dice with normal ones?
[19:19] <+Blackstone> xyphoid: You can, but you’d need a pretty good memory; I’ll explain why in a bit.
[19:20] <+Blackstone> The 4 custom dice used in Mystos are as follows: Offensive Melee, Offensive Magic, Defensive Melee, and Defensive Magic. These 4 dice handle every single combat situation, and the outcome of each roll will determine the survival of your character on the field!
[19:20] <+Blackstone> —–‘Truly, Madly, Deeply Minimalist:—–
[19:20] <+Blackstone> With the exception of combat, Mystos is about as free-form as an RPG can get. It is entirely up to the Storyteller (our version of the DM/GM) how to handle just about every situation that occurs outside of battle.
[19:20] <+JarHeadzEtc> Test
[19:21] <+Blackstone> (We’ve gotcha JarHeadzEtc)
[19:21] <+Blackstone> This puts the emphasis on storytelling and imagination, as the players and Storyteller will have to role play a great deal of the things that are generally left to the whim of the dice in other games – skills, senses, stats, non-combat magic, abilities, etc.
[19:21] <~Dan> (Hello, JarHeadzEtc! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:21] <+JarHeadzEtc> Yes
[19:22] <+Blackstone> In addition, our rules for movement and battle maps in combat are entirely optional – ignoring them will have minimal impact on gameplay, as they are there simply for the benefit of those who prefer to use miniatures and battle-maps.
[19:22] <+Blackstone> —–‘Ordinary World:—–
[19:22] <+Blackstone> Finally, I’ll talk a little about the World of Mystos itself. In Mystos, the core struggle in which your characters take part is one that has been going on for thousands of years.
[19:23] <+Blackstone> Whether you play as an ambitious Human, a proud Centaur, or even as one of the noble but savage Rez’a, your starting character will be born into the first generation of your people in over 6,000 years to have known freedom.
[19:23] <+Blackstone> Just twenty years ago, six millennia of slavery and oppression of the Mortal Races came to a bloody, climactic end. The Immortal El’ohir, vastly powerful beings of great power and terrible, cold intellect were finally defeated after centuries of rebellion.
[19:23] <+Blackstone> The Tetragon – a group of 5 mortal heroes – managed to lead an army of former slaves to defeat the El’ohir host and their Minions at the Battle of the Titan’s Caldera.
[19:23] <+Blackstone> The battle was won, but at great cost. Humans, Centaur, and Rez’a were finally free, and for a time, were united by the Tetragon into one great nation.
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[19:24] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest36!)
[19:24] <+Blackstone> This alliance was, tragically, very short-lived. Within months of the El’ohir’s defeat, the ambitions and pride of the various races – and indeed amongst the tribes of Men themselves – created rifts that could not be easily mended.
[19:24] <~Dan> (Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:24] <+Blackstone> The land was sundered, and many small nation-states grew out of the ruins of what had once been the Domain of the El’ohir.
[19:24] <+Blackstone> The Tetragon continues to rule over a small corner of Mystos – a land known colloquially as The Tetrarchy – and their attention is constantly and unwaveringly focused on the remnants of the Immortal El’ohir and their Minions. Though defeated, these foes are far from destroyed.
[19:25] <+Blackstone> This is where our first Quest Module kicks off. The Sands of Kael will take your first characters in the World of Mystos down the troubled and dangerous path of discovery – and set the stage for the conflict, intrigue, lies, secrets and horrors that surround Mystos.
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[19:25] <+Blackstone> The Free Races of Mortals stand divided, and the whispers of war echo in the streets and alleyways of your home. As for the Immortal El’ohir – they have fled to the forbidding wastes of the west, along with those slaves who dared not rise against their masters.
[19:25] <+Blackstone> For the El’ohir, the past 20 years have scarcely been more than a heartbeat, and their vengeance yet burns brightly. For now, they lick their wounds, and send forth many creatures who are still loyal to their ancient masters.
[19:25] <+Blackstone> These Minions are a constant source of danger for the fledgling Mortal kingdoms, and many can still be found lurking in the ruins and wilds throughout Mystos.
[19:25] <+Blackstone> The Sands of Kael Quest Module will introduce new players to some of these Minions, as well as foreshadowing the budding conflict between the Mortal states. Echoes of Glory, the second Quest Module for Mystos, will expand upon these concepts even more.
[19:26] <+Blackstone> Since I’ve taken up quite a bit of time with my intro, I will now open the forum for questions. (done)
[19:26] <~Dan> Thanks, Blackstone!
[19:26] <~Dan> So why just two classes?
[19:27] <+Blackstone> The minimalist nature of the rules brought us to create two broad archetypes; The Warrior, and The Wizard.
[19:28] <+Blackstone> Those two character class archetypes can be heavily specialized through the assignment of Skills,
[19:28] <~Dan> Are skills very broad and/or powerful, then, since you only start with two?
[19:29] <+Blackstone> For example, Warriors have access to both Warrior-specific and General Skills. Using these Skills, a Warrior archetype can be played as a rogue, a ranger, a front-line tank, a tactician or a support fighter.
[19:29] <+PaulS> Thank you for your service, my question is what will set this game apart from others that are out?
[19:30] <+Blackstone> Due to Mystos’ unique paper-rock-scissors dice mechanics, each Skill will open up an extremely broad category of benefits, from increased movement, to increased missile range, to healing abilitie.s
[19:31] <+Blackstone> PaulS: What sets Mystos apart from other games is the ease of play and the focus on roleplaying. You wont find chapter after chapter of charts in our Guide.
[19:31] <+PaulS> will you be able to use miniatures with this?
[19:31] <+Blackstone> What you’ll instead find is a minimalist system tailored to groups who want to jump right into the action.
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[19:31] <+MonkofLords> Yo
[19:31] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:32] <+xyphoid> so skills do all have mechanics tied into them?
[19:32] <+JarHeadzEtc> I just have one question for Mr. Blackstone plz…my husband would classify himself as “gamer”, hes played several rpg type games, one in particular was “dungeons & dragons. I hated him playing bc of the bad media attn it received in 80’s, i know that times have changed but what makes Mystos different? Im not game talk savvy but hes been talking about ge
[19:32] <+PaulS> i like that idea. so its like pick up and play!
[19:32] <+Blackstone> PaulS: You will, though the use of miniatures will be entirely optional – if your group wants to make use, there are rules for movement and facing. If not, you can toss them out the window just as easily and still play as before.
[19:32] <~Dan> JarHeadzEtc: Cut off at “talking about ge”
[19:33] <+JarHeadzEtc> etting the game once it hits the market and i wanna feel comfortable with him having it.
[19:33] <+Blackstone> JarHeadzEtc: We like to say that Mystos is a game for anyone ages 10 to 90. This is a narrative-driven game, focusing its very few rules specifically on combat, and leaving the rest to the imagination of the players and the ‘Storyteller’.
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[19:34] <+Blackstone> Collaborative role playing is a great way to get a group of friends or even family members together for an evening, and since Mystos is so easy and quick to learn, you and your family can sit down and play your first game in just minutes!
[19:34] <~Dan> (howdy, Kalidrev!)
[19:34] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet!)
[19:35] <+Blackstone> Does that answer your question JarHeadzEtc?
[19:35] <+Kalidrev> Thanks Dan!
[19:35] <~Dan> (Kalidrev: Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:35] <+JarHeadzEtc> Yes, ty. I might have to give it a try myself.
[19:36] <+Blackstone> xyphoid: Sorry, you got lost in the shuffle there. To answer your question, all skills are based around either our dice mechanics, or enhancing the group’s abilities.
[19:36] <+Kalidrev> sure am 😃
[19:36] <~Dan> JarHeadzEtc: If your concern is about roleplaying games in general, well… I lived through the Satanic Panic of the 80s and am still gaming after all these years, relatively unscathed. 😉
[19:37] <~Dan> Kalidrev: In progress! The floor is open to questions. 🙂
[19:38] <+Kalidrev> Okay, great. Blackstone: what was your inspiration for the Mystos setting?
[19:38] <+Blackstone> Kalidrev: I’ll start by talking about the influences you’ll see in Mystos, and then get to the idea behind the mechanics.
[19:38] <+Blackstone> Mystos draws heavily from earth Mythology – Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Persian, Chinese, and Indian, to name but a few.
[19:39] <+Blackstone> The culture and level of technology you will find in Mystos is very similar to what you’d see in the late Bronze Age Mediterranean. What you’re going to see is a lot of colonnaded temples, Bronze Age weapons and armor, minotaurs, basilisks, hydras, centaurs, etc.
[19:39] <+Blackstone> You’ll also find creatures and peoples created specifically for Mystos, like the Rez’a – a mortal race of reptilian peoples who sided with humans and centaurs in the Great Rebellion.
[19:39] <+JarHeadzEtc> Ty Dan bc thats exactly what i feared due to the media. Ty both! With that said, where will it be available?
[19:39] <+Blackstone> You’ll see the vile Gothin, a deformed, corrupted race of overseers created by the El’ohir to guard and punish the enslaved mortal races.
[19:40] <+Blackstone> JarHeadzEtc: If funding for our Kickstarter goes as plans, the game will be available on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.com, with a link to my own site so you can order our dice!
[19:40] <+Blackstone> Kalidrev: You’ll encounter the Ssarathor, cousins of the Rez’a who once served as the front-line soldiers in the armies of the El’ohir. You’ll also run across undead, giants, demons of the primordial world, and of course, the powerful and feared Wyrms, to whom even the mighty El’ohir show begrudging respect. (done)
[19:40] <+JarHeadzEtc> Awwsome, good luck! Ill be looking.
[19:40] <+Blackstone> Thanks JarHeadzEtc!
[19:41] <~Dan> JarHeadzEtc: If you’re curious about the hobby in general, please feel free to hang out here any time! There are plenty of gamers and game authors who’d be glad to chat with you. 🙂
[19:41] <+PaulS> Blackstone: Will there be modules to play through or will you be able to incorporate your own “modules” to play thru?
[19:41] <+xyphoid> so how do the dice work?
[19:42] <+JarHeadzEtc> Sounds gr8, thx:)
[19:42] <+Blackstone> PaulS: There are 2 Quest Modules for Mystos – The Sands of Kael, which is followed by the darker themed Echoes of Glory.
[19:42] <+Kalidrev> I am most used to playing rukes heavy d20 games. How can a game with onky two classes allow for versatillity and customisability in character generation?
[19:43] <~Dan> (Question pause after Kalidrev’s question, please.)
[19:43] <+Blackstone> xyphoid: A little about our dice mechanics, and the symbols you’ll see. If anyone wants to take a look at some of our dice and charts, take a look at our KS page: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/76519304/mystos-the-role-playing-game/)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/76519304/mystos-the-role-playing-game/
[19:43] <+Blackstone> When combat begins, two 6-sided Dice are rolled by each combatant, with three possible outcomes for any roll: Win: You defeat your foe, causing 1 Wound. Lose: You are defeated by your foe, taking 1 Wound if your failure was Defensive. Ward: You hold your foe at bay (tie).
[19:43] <+Blackstone> The symbols on our Mystos dice each represent an aspect of a Warrior or Wizard’s nature, tactical ability, or mindset. These aspects thus oppose one another in combat, as detailed below.
[19:44] <+Blackstone> Melee Offensive Dice: This die bears three symbols (repeated twice) upon its six faces, each representing an aspect of a Warrior’s attacks in battle.
[19:44] <+Blackstone> The Arrow: The Arrow symbolizes the cunning, speed and skill of a Warrior, as shown by cunning tactics and maneuvers learned by a disciplined, veteran soldier. The Arrow symbol is also used to determine the success of Missile Attacks against The Warrior’s foes.
[19:44] <+Blackstone> The Dragon: The Dragon symbolizes rage, manifested in The Warrior’s brutal attacks and ferocity in the heat of battle.
[19:44] <+Blackstone> The Sword: The Sword symbolizes a Warrior’s strength and dedication, manifested in powerful, constant attacks levied against his or her foe in combat.
[19:44] <+Blackstone> The Arrow, Dragon, and Sword will each appear 2 times on each of our 6-sided dice
[19:44] <+Blackstone> Now for Melee Defensive Dice…
[19:45] <+Blackstone> The Raven: The Raven symbolizes a Warrior’s courage and patience in battle, as manifested through careful but precise and decisive action.
[19:45] <+Blackstone> The Shield: The Shield symbolizes a Warrior’s discipline in war, as manifested through his or her ability to withstand the tide of battle.
[19:45] <+Blackstone> The Tower: The Tower symbolizes a Warrior’s confidence in the face of the enemy, as represented by his or her willingness to stand fast, regardless of the situation.
[19:46] <+Blackstone> If you scroll down to the “Melee Reference Chart” on the KS page, you’ll see these symbols, and how they interact with one another.
[19:47] <+Blackstone> Kalidrev: Let’s look at some specific Skills with our Wizard class, to help answer your question.
[19:47] <+Blackstone> Wizards have access to both Wizard-Specific and General Skills. Now lets say you want to make a classic spell-slinger-type Wizard.
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[19:48] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!)
[19:48] <@egyptian> (hi!)
[19:48] <~Dan> (Quick aside, folks: #rpgnet2 is open for general chat, if anyone is so inclined. 🙂 )
[19:49] <+Blackstone> You could choose Channeling (your Offensive victories now cause 2 Wounds, rather than just 1), Alacrity (the Wizard now gains more than 1 missile attack per round), or even Sorcerer (granting you rerolls of your Offensive attacks in combat).
[19:50] <+JarHeadzEtc> I want to thank you Blackstone n Dan for putting my mind at ease. Yall have a great night and gl and i am sincerely looking forward to the Mystos launch PARTY!
[19:50] <~Dan> Take care, JarHeadzEtc! Come by any time. 🙂
[19:50] <+xyphoid> how does targetting work? let’s say you have 2 players fighting 3 monsters – do you choose who you’re rolling against?
[19:50] <+Blackstone> Now instead of a classic spell-slinger, say you wanted to play a healer. You could instead choose the skills Healing (which allows you to Heal yourself or an ally in combat, rather than make Offensive Attacks), and Chirurgery (allowing you to heal a comrade outside of combat).
[19:51] <~Dan> (brb – please continue)
[19:51] <+Kalidrev> btw, im a friend of luke. we were stationed together in japan. hes always bragging on your game worlds
[19:52] <+Blackstone> Xyphoid: Fighting multiple foes is very dangerous for low-level characters in Mystos, but if you find yourself and an ally facing off against 3 or more foes, you could make use of ranged attacks, movement, traps, fear effects, or even the use of skills like Phalanx, which allows your group to gain multiple defensive rolls each round.
[19:52] <+JarHeadzEtc> One more thing Blackstone, is the easter egg…the catagories being song titles or music related?
[19:53] <+Blackstone> Yes they are, JarHeadzEtc!
[19:53] <+Blackstone> Someone was paying attention 🙂
[19:53] <+PaulS> Really…
[19:53] <+JarHeadzEtc> Wooohooo, awesomeeee, great titles!
[19:54] <+Blackstone> xyphoid: And yes, you get to choose who you wish to target at all times; even allowing a foe to gain an unopposed attack against you (which is dangerous, but sometimes your only option when you’re outnumbered)
[19:54] <+Blackstone> Thanks JarHeadzEtc
[19:54] <~Dan> (back)
[19:55] <~Dan> So one thing I’m unclear about: How does degree of ability impact the rolls?
[19:55] <+Blackstone> Can you clarify, Dan?
[19:56] <+Blackstone> Do you mean how does the level of your character impact your dice rolls?
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[19:56] <~Dan> I suppose that’s one way to put it, yes.
[19:57] <+xyphoid> it sounds like it’s always two dice vs two dice, right? and skills are the only thing modifying that?
[19:57] <+Blackstone> You may have noticed by the simplicity of our dice that there is exactly a 67% chance of defending yourself from an attack – either by a Defense, or by a Ward (4 of 6 dice faces grant successful defenses).
[19:57] <+Blackstone> So how in the world is a character expected to survive the horrors of battle in Mystos? The answer lies in level advancement.
[19:57] <+Blackstone> As you gain in experience, you ‘Level up’, just like in many other RPGs. When you gain Levels in Mystos, you gain reroll attempts at your Offensive rolls, your Defensive rolls, or even BOTH.
[19:57] <+Blackstone> For example, while a 1st Level Warrior gets to roll his or her Offenses and Defenses one time each, a 5th Level Warrior gets a total of 2 dice rerolls each Combat Round – meaning you have the choice of re-rolling both you Offense and Defense once, or in a pinch – of rolling your Defense a total of 3 times.
[19:57] <+Blackstone> Skills you gain in Mystos can also affect the number of die rolls you gain, as can Magical Weapons and Armor. (done)
[19:58] <~Dan> Speaking of which, how do weapons and armor function in the game?
[19:58] <+Blackstone> So instead of having only 1 chance to roll a successful offense or defense, through skills, levels, and magical items, you gain multiple attempts.
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[19:58] <+Kalidrev> what if i wanted play something like a sneaky assassin?
[20:00] <+Blackstone> For normal (non-magical) weapons or armor, your gear really doesn’t factor into it, again keeping to the principle of minimalist rules. As your character adventures in the world of Mystos, you will invariably come across weapons and armor left behind by the powerful and Immortal El’ohir.
[20:00] <+Blackstone> These weapons and armor have properties that greatly increase your abilities in Mystos – I will give you two good examples.
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[20:01] <+Blackstone> The Sword of Skilios: This ancient sword was forged by a master enchanter for his El’ohir master, and when wielded, it grants its user an additional Offensive Reroll (in addition to any he or she gains from Skills or Levels) each Combat Round.
[20:02] <+Blackstone> Shackles of Demorr: Forged by a necromancer of great power, these bronze manacles enable a Wizard to increase the Level of any demonic minion summoned by 1. Requires Summoning Skill.
[20:02] <+Blackstone> Kalidrev: We’ll use skill checks here as an example. We’re all used to the thief or rogue having the ability to sneak around his or her enemies in other games.
[20:03] <+Blackstone> Mystos has no rules at all for hiding in shadows or ‘stealthing’. Exactly how to handle this is left up to the needs and dramatic requirements of the story. A good Storyteller will develop a fair give-and-take relationship with the story as it develops.
[20:03] <+Blackstone> He or she will determine whether the player can accomplish the feat based on the information at hand (is it dark, does the character stand out from the surroundings, is the enemy distracted, does the player role play the attempt well, etc.)
[20:03] <+Blackstone> He or she will determine whether the player can accomplish the feat based on the information at hand (is it dark, does the character stand out from the surroundings, is the enemy distracted, does the player role play the attempt well, etc.)
[20:03] <+Blackstone> Sorry, repeat 🙂
[20:03] <~Dan> Echo!
[20:03] <+Blackstone> Cho! O! o!
[20:03] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:03] <+Kalidrev> makes sense, thanks
[20:04] <+Blackstone> It is one of the fundamental design decisions behind Mystos. Now, if you want to play a warrior who took advantage of our mechanics to be a rogue…
[20:05] <+Blackstone> You could grab the Skills Ensnare, Tracking, Momentum, and Speed.
[20:05] <~Dan> So I’m curious… This seems to be one step away from being a rules-free storytelling game, that one step being combat. What are your thoughts on freeform roleplaying?
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[20:05] <+Blackstone> All of which would make your Warrior faster, more slippery, and resistant to being surrounded, run over, or grabbed.
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[20:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, Graah, SolutionCat!)
[20:06] <+Blackstone> Dan: I absolutely love freeform tabletop gaming, as it really puts the focus on collaborative storytelling.
[20:06] <+SolutionCat> hi dan
[20:06] <+SolutionCat> get my email?
[20:06] <+Blackstone> Ironically, I usually play very rules-heavy games, and simply end up running scenarios that rarely make use of dice 🙂
[20:06] <~Dan> (With the alien info? Yup! Passed it along, thanks!)
[20:07] <~Dan> (Oh, Blackstone, meet SolutionCat, one of your fellow game authors and Kickstarters. 🙂 )
[20:07] <+Blackstone> Hey SolutionCat!
[20:07] <~Dan> (And a former Q&A guest himself. 🙂 )
[20:07] <+PaulS> I like the idea that the combat is controlled by dice and the rpg is up to the storyteller.
[20:08] <+Kalidrev> in comparison to other rpg games, how deadly are combats in Mystos?
[20:08] <+Blackstone> That was one of our primary aims. Free the players (and the Storyteller – our version of the GM/DM) to really flesh out the role playing experience of Mystos, and give them very simple but versatile rules when naked steel is the only option!
[20:09] <+PaulS> But for situations where their is a chance of success or failurw in roleplaying would it be possible to use the dice for those occassions?
[20:09] <+Blackstone> For low level characters, Kalidrev, you will see a relatively high level of danger. Our fights are designed to be very quick, very ugly, and very dangerous.
[20:10] <+Blackstone> As you gain in experience, (making the right choices along the way), you will see your character’s survivability go up exponentially, rather than piecemeal. By 9th level, you are going to be a hard nut to crack!
[20:10] <+Kalidrev> that sounds exciting!
[20:11] <~Dan> What sorts of stats do antatonists have?
[20:11] <+Kalidrev> whats the max level for a character?
[20:11] <+Blackstone> PaulS: We leave the dice out of all role playing situations in Mystos. We instead replace it with a focus on the dramatic narrative: whatever makes for great encounters, awesome storytelling, and sticky situations!
[20:11] <+Blackstone> Dan: You have 3 very general kinds of foes in Mystos.
[20:12] <+Blackstone> First, there are Lesser Foes. These are your Skeletal Minions, the vile and cowardly Gothin, and your average untrained peasant farmer. These poor sobs
[20:12] <+Blackstone> have only 1 health,
[20:13] <+Blackstone> and your character causes them Wounds not only on their Offensive Successes but their Wards as well.
[20:13] <+Blackstone> (Most foes are only Wounded when your Offensive roll is a Success)
[20:14] <+Blackstone> The second general tier of foe are your Heroic foes. These guys are on par with most low-mid level adventurers in Mystos. They often have one or two special abilities (basilisks petrify, hydras have multiple attacks, etc.) and range in level from 1 to 9.
[20:15] <+Motulev> are there no stats at all involved in say, social rolls? I’m afraid this makes it hard for socially not-adept people to play “face” type characters
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[20:15] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
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[20:15] <+Blackstone> The final tier of foe are known as Legendary foes. These are your heavy hitters – the beasts and villains you don’t want to run across alone. This includes Wyrms, Giants, Titans, and of course, those few Immortal El’ohir that yet remain in the world.
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[20:16] <~Dan> (wb, PaulS)
[20:16] <+Blackstone> They have vast magical powers, the ability to fly, crush city walls, hit multiple foes at once, etc.
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[20:16] <+Lin_Chong> So what are we QA-ing this time?
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[20:16] <~Dan> Want to make with the KS link, Blackstone?
[20:16] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:17] <~Dan> (Howdy, Randy_CoA!)
[20:17] <+Blackstone> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/76519304/mystos-the-role-playing-game/)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/76519304/mystos-the-role-playing-game/
[20:17] <+Blackstone> Kalidrev: For the Quickstart Guide, the ‘soft cap’ level for player characters is 9th. We have rules for much higher level gameplay, but those aren’t ready for publishing just yet 🙂
[20:18] <+Blackstone> Motulev: I haven’t forgotten you 🙂
[20:18] <+Motulev> (I’m patient)
[20:18] <+Lin_Chong> What is a “hand motion”?
[20:19] <+Lin_Chong> Oh, those.
[20:19] <+Blackstone> There are no stats at all in Mystos – now, for those who are less socially adept than your average gamer, this is where the responsibility of the group as a whole comes in.
[20:19] <+Blackstone> We’ve all played games where there is one very quiet player sitting in the corner.
[20:19] <+Blackstone> He or she rarely speaks up, makes the group’s plans, or takes a hard stance on much of anything.
[20:19] <+Lin_Chong> So what is the overall aesthetic?
[20:19] <+Motulev> ok
[20:20] <+Blackstone> This is where the Storyteller (GM/DM) and the other players have to step in and provide encouragement. Mystos is tailored to groups who really like collaborative role playing, and since we leave everything outside of combat up to the imagination of the players, there is no ‘wrong’ way to do anything.
[20:21] <+Blackstone> Lin_Chong: Good to see you again! Are you asking about the overall aesthetic of Mystos as a world or are you talking about the mechanics?
[20:21] <+Motulev> does that mean that players, as a group, come up with what a character might do in a non-combat situation, and then that happens?
[20:22] <+Motulev> because if it is, thats good
[20:22] <+Lin_Chong> Well, I was asking about the former, but go ahead and explain how the latter interacts with the former.
[20:22] <+Blackstone> The Players and the Storyteller come to an agreement on it, and if it makes sense for the story in which everyone takes part, then yes, it works how the group decides.
[20:22] <+Motulev> nice
[20:23] <+Blackstone> Fair Storytelling (GMing/DMing) is absolutely essential. Trust is the cornerstone of any role playing game.
[20:23] <+Randy_CoA> just reading what i missed
[20:24] <+Blackstone> Lin_Chong, the mechanics of Mystos are minimalist – they are entirely focused on the combat aspect of the game, leaving the rest of the gameplay experience to role playing. We take the age old rock-paper-scissors concept, and improve upon it.
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[20:24] <+PaulSGuest> sorry bad connection
[20:24] <~Dan> (No problem, Paul!)
[20:25] <+Blackstone> Instead of Rock beating Scissors, Rock, paper, and scissors are rolled as “Offensive Skills’ against an entirely different set of “Defensive Skills”. Each Combat Round, you gain one of each to roll against a single foe. As you advance in Skill and Level, you gain more rolls.
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[20:25] <+Blackstone> More rolls means you can either reroll against a single foe (ensuring you hit it, or conversely, ensuring you don’t get hit in return!) or roll a single dice against multiple foes.
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[20:26] <+Blackstone> PaulS keeps losing his voice 🙂
[20:26] <+Blackstone> As far as Mystos the World, Lin_Chong, Just twenty years ago, six millennia of slavery and oppression of the Mortal Races came to a bloody, climactic end. The Immortal El’ohir, vastly powerful beings of great power and terrible, cold intellect were finally defeated after centuries of rebellion.
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[20:26] <+Blackstone> The Tetragon – a group of 5 Mortal heroes – managed to lead an army of former slaves to defeat the El’ohir host and their Minions at the Battle of the Titan’s Caldera. The battle was won, but at great cost. Humans, Centaur, and Rez’a were finally free, and for a time, were united by the Tetragon into one great nation.
[20:27] <+Blackstone> This alliance was, tragically, very short-lived. Within months of the El’ohir’s defeat, the ambitions and pride of the various races – and indeed amongst the tribes of Men themselves – created rifts that could not be easily mended.
[20:27] <+Lin_Chong> Oh, no, that’s not what I mean.
[20:27] <+Blackstone> ?
[20:27] <+Lin_Chong> I read that in the Kickstarter page.
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[20:27] <+Lin_Chong> Like, what imagery are you trying to invoke to the players?
[20:27] <+Blackstone> Ah.
[20:27] <+xyphoid> it looks very ancient greek?
[20:27] <+xyphoid> pretty neat
[20:27] <+Lin_Chong> It mentions the Titans. Am I to assume that it’s Greek imagery you’re trying to invoke?
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[20:29] <+Blackstone> Mystos as a role playing game is one where the players are going to have to struggle against terrible forces. Yes, Greek influences are very strong in Mystos, both in the setting and the name. You’ll also see elements of mythology from Roman, Babylonian, Persian, Chinese, and Indian myths, to name but a few.
[20:29] <~Dan> (Howdy, RandBrittain!)
[20:29] <~Dan> Given the lack of attributes, how does the choice of race affect characters?
[20:29] <+Lin_Chong> Specifically, what Chinese or Indian myths are you drawing from?
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[20:31] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[20:32] <&Le_Squide> (Hey Dan!)
[20:33] <+Randy_CoA> yes curious what you used from Chinese and Indian as well.
[20:33] <+Blackstone> Lin_Chong: Our undead are largely based on the Jiangshi, and Mystos is also home to Wyrms, which visually resemble Chi and Dilong Dragons. The El’ohir are visually and thematically close to the veddic Rishis.
[20:34] <+Blackstone> Though they have long since fallen from their better natures.
[20:34] <+Lin_Chong> Neat.
[20:34] <~Dan> Hopping vampires, you say?
[20:34] <+Blackstone> Dan: Your choice of starting Race is going to be very important in Mystos. Though Humans are by far, the most populous of the survivors of the Great Rebellion, they are not the only free people to inhabit Mystos.
[20:35] <+Lin_Chong> Jiangshi are only…slightly similar to vampires.
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[20:35] <+Blackstone> The proud and warlike Centaur are going to have an obvious advantage in Movement Rate (4 vice the standard human Movement Rate of 2), and great range bonuses when they engage in missile combat
[20:35] <~Dan> (wb, Kalidrev!)
[20:36] <+Blackstone> The Rez’a are great healers, healing at over triple the normal healing rate of other characters – remember, at Level 1, you have exactly 2 Health (Unless you’re a Warrior, and you choose the Heavy Armor Skill).
[20:37] <+Blackstone> So regeneration is a very big advantage.
[20:38] <+Lin_Chong> Blackstone: So your class choices are warrior and wizard. Does this reflect the world at large, in that these are the two social classes that are going to thrive/be needed in this world?
[20:38] <+Blackstone> Centaurs and Rez’a have disadvantages as well. Centaur cannot be Wizards at all, while Rez’a have very limited numbers, and they are preyed upon by nearly all of their neighbors.
[20:39] <+Blackstone> Lin_Chong: As far as adventurers, yes – those archetypes are your choices. As far as being reflected in Mystos as a whole, let me say a few things about Magic and Wizards in general…
[20:39] <+Blackstone> Magic is very much in its infancy among the Mortal Races – after all, during their 6,000 years of slavery under the oppression of the Immortal El’ohir, its practice was entirely forbidden. It has only been in the last century that Mortals have begun to delve into the mystical arts.
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[20:40] * ~Dan snickers
[20:40] <~Dan> The name says it all. 😀
[20:40] <+Blackstone> Haha
[20:40] <+Blackstone> So what happens when an extremely oppressed people gets their hands on a sharp object? They put the pointy end in the other man. Magic is no different, in that the Mortal races primarily use it as a weapon of war, simply to inflict harm upon their foes, or to defend from that harm.
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[20:40] <+PaulSwithcrappyinternet> so ummm whatd i miss lol
[20:40] <+Blackstone> The subtler, non-martial uses of Magic is largely unknown – even discouraged – by the various masters and tutors of Magic at this time.
[20:40] <+Blackstone> *use
[20:41] <~Dan> Is part of that due to the nature of the system, Blackstone?
[20:41] <+Blackstone> What you also see in Mystos is almost no gender profiling at all – and here’s where we get into a sensitive subject…
[20:41] <+willows> And why do they discourage that?
[20:42] <+Blackstone> Willows: The El’ohir are universally hated throughout Mystos. Their reign was not a kind one, and they used their magic for everything from the creation of servitor races (The Rez’a among them) to animating the dead.
[20:42] <+Blackstone> Magic outside of direct combat is looked upon with great caution – even superstition – by the masters of the art
[20:42] <+SolutionCat> So no being a traditional wizard?
[20:43] <+Blackstone> It philosophically seen as a sword, rather than a paint brush, if that makes any sense.
[20:43] <+Blackstone> What you’re going to see in Mystos is the slow, but deliberate changing of this dynamic.
[20:43] <~Dan> It doesn’t seem as though the system would be able to handle non-combat magic, to clarify my observation.
[20:44] <+Blackstone> Dan: And that brings me to my next point.
[20:44] <+Blackstone> Some Wizards are naturally going to want to ‘see what they can do’ as time goes on.
[20:45] <+Blackstone> These Wizards are going to earn the ire and suspicion of nearly every other practitioner of the art in Mystos, and they will form into cults to attempt to hide themselves and advance their learning.
[20:45] <+Blackstone> In future supplements, you’re going to see a huge evolution in progress as study of the arts expands beyond its mere ‘utilitarian’ uses.
[20:46] <+Blackstone> Role playing wise, Magic outside of combat is going to be nearly non-existent until this ‘evolution’ happens.
[20:46] <+SolutionCat> do the game mechanics prevent this?3
[20:46] <+SolutionCat> or will we see white wizards going against taboo and healing people?
[20:47] <+Blackstone> Game mechanics encourage it, SolutionCat. Freeform magic is something that should always be role played, and that’s why we focus so little on non-combat rules and charts.
[20:47] <+Blackstone> Wizards can heal already, as a combat mechanic, actually SolutionCat.
[20:48] <+Lin_Chong> Blackstone: What are the fundamental ideas behind magic? What metaphysical concepts should we keep in mind?
[20:49] <+Blackstone> Lin_Chong: For magic in combat, what you have is a set of three offensive principles or mindsets, if you will, opposed by three defensive principles or mindsets.
[20:49] <+Blackstone> The three faces of your Magic Offensive Dice are as follows:
[20:49] <+Blackstone> The Demon: The Demon represents the darker side of a Wizard’s art, and symbolizes might and mystical power. Depending on the Skills chosen by the player, The Demon may also grant a Wizard the ability to summon demonic allies in the heat of battle.
[20:49] <+Blackstone> The Dragon: The Dragon symbolizes the chaotic fury of magic, as represented by a Wizard’s willingness to allow him or herself to be overtaken by the sheer power of the mystical arts.
[20:50] <+Blackstone> The Staff: The Staff symbolizes mastery over one’s own powers, as represented by a Wizard’s speed, skill, and knowledge. The Staff symbol is also used to determine the success of Missile Attacks against The Wizard’s foes.
[20:50] <+Blackstone> The three faces of your Magic Defensive Dice are:
[20:50] <+Blackstone> The Circle: The Circle symbolizes cunning and fortitude, as represented by a Wizard’s ability to properly prepare for any contingency through attention to detail and devotion to the arts.
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[20:50] <+Blackstone> The Henge: The Henge symbolizes patience, as represented by a Wizard’s ability to properly master his or her art through study, meditation, and practice. Through the Druidic Lore skill, The Henge may also increase a Wizard’s chances of successful rolls in battle.
[20:50] <+Blackstone> The Orb: The Orb symbolizes both foresight and courage in battle, as manifested through The Wizard’s confidence in the success of his or her endeavors.
[20:51] <+Blackstone> As an example of an opposed roll….
[20:51] <+Blackstone> The Demon (offensive) symbolizes might and sheer power, while the Circle represents cunning, fortitude, and preparation. Might and power are philosophically opposed by cunning and preparation, and thus The Circle defeats (by imprisonment) The Demon.
[20:52] <+Blackstone> As a note, Magic can be opposed by Melee, and vice versa. Thus, a Wizard can go toe to toe (up close) with a Warrior (though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it) 🙂
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[20:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
[20:53] <~Dan> While you’re welcome to stay and chat as long as you like, Blackstone, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up in what remains of “regular” time?
[20:54] <+Blackstone> The Demon (magic Offense, might and sheer power) can be opposed by a roll of the Tower (melee Defensive, confidence in the face of the enemy, and willingness to stand fast).
[20:54] <+Blackstone> Dan, unless there are any more questions for me, I think I’ve explained the majority of the game. I can go further into the history, if people want, but that is by no means a requirement. 🙂
[20:55] <+Blackstone> I appreciate everyone coming by to ask questions or even just listen in. Thank you!
[20:55] <+PaulSwithcrappyinternet> i enjoyed the qa. thanks and good luck Blackstone.
[20:56] <+Lin_Chong> I have another question.
[20:56] <+Blackstone> Thanks PaulSwithcrappyinternet!
[20:56] <+Blackstone> Shoot!
[20:56] <~Dan> By the way, I do hope that those of you who showed up for the Q&A will feel free to hang out with us in the future any time you like. We’re a friendly bunch. 🙂
[20:56] <+Lin_Chong> The El’ohir ruled the world, yes? And after the people rebelled, they took up combat magic and ostracize all other uses of it.
[20:57] <+PaulSwithcrappyinternet> and Dan thanks for bearing with my connection and i especially liked your “Satanic Panic from the 80s” comment earlier lol
[20:57] <+Lin_Chong> Am I to assume that the El’ohir’s use of magic was totally non-combative?
[20:57] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:57] <+Lin_Chong> As in, it made, it twisted, it created, but it does not directly destroy?
[20:58] <+Blackstone> Lin_Chong: Combat magic was something that was learned in the early days of the rebellion, by those select few humans that were still trusted by their masters (in other words, used against the humans that were rebelling).
[20:58] <+Blackstone> El’ohir magic was everything rolled into onw.
[20:58] <+Blackstone> one*
[20:58] <+Blackstone> They mastered many arts, and combat was certainly one of them.
[20:59] <+Lin_Chong> Then why are people so opposed to non-combative forms of it?
[20:59] <+Blackstone> The only difference, as far as the free races are concerned, was that the Wizards who took part in the Battle of the Titan’s Caldera were using El’ohir magic to defend other mortals.
[20:59] <+Blackstone> They used it against the El’ohir, and it is for this reason that magic – in any form – is tolerated at all.
[21:00] <+Blackstone> Picture magic as being a very nasty weapon that nobody likes – most free peoples in Mystos hate all forms of magic – the combat magic of Wizards being no exception
[21:00] <+Blackstone> It is seen as a ‘necessary evil’.
[21:00] <+Lin_Chong> “We don’t like it, we’re scared of it, but if we’re going to have to live with it, better that we throw it at the monsters”?
[21:01] <+Blackstone> It is not that combat magic is seen as ‘good’ and non-combat magic is ‘bad’ – it is more like both are seen as very bad, but a necessary weapon in the hands of the free races for use against those who would see them returned to chains and slavery.
[21:01] <+Blackstone> Exactly.
[21:01] <+Blackstone> Great question.
[21:02] <~Dan> Thanks very much for spending time with us, Blackstone!
[21:02] <+Blackstone> It has been a pleasure Dan!
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[21:02] <+AP_Jeff> hello
[21:02] <~Dan> No need to run off — I’m just going to wrap up the “official” chat here so that I can log it and get you the link. 🙂
[21:02] <+Blackstone> Cool!