[19:01] <+rjschwalb> I’m Robert J. Schwalb and I’m here to talk about Shadow of the Demon Lord, a horror-fantasy tabletop RPG Kickstarting now. (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/432417423/shadow-of-the-demon-lord)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/432417423/shadow-of-the-demon-lord
[19:02] <+rjschwalb> (done)
[19:02] <~Dan> Thanks, Robert!
[19:02] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:03] <~Dan> So what is the game about? 🙂
[19:04] <+rjschwalb> Players take the roles of embattled survivors exploring a world teetering on the brink of the apocalypse. A cosmic destroyer lurks in the gaps between realities–the Demon Lord–and it casts its shadow upon the world, causing mayhem, death, and destruction.
[19:05] <~Dan> So is this a fantasy setting gone Horribly Wrong(TM)?
[19:05] <+rjschwalb> The GM chooses what catastrophe afflicts the setting–zombie apocalypse, global pandemic, nature run amok, corrupted magic.
[19:05] <+rjschwalb> Yeah. I opted to take the best part of a fantasy campaign (the end) and make it the backdrop for the game.
[19:06] <+Mundangerous> We unlocked a stretch goal in the KS campaign today… it seems like an alternate Mad Max-style setting. Can you tell us more about what that means? Does it include additional rules for modern tech?
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[19:07] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, ShadowStalker! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
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[19:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, TwentySix!)
[19:08] <+rjschwalb> The Scorched Earth setting bolts onto the core game. It includes the mechanics needed for cars, chases, more guns, and more strangeness. It’s fully compatible with the core game so if you want Mad Max with orcs, demons, magic, and so on, you got it.
[19:08] <~Dan> Nice!
[19:08] <+rjschwalb> The product will include new paths and character options, while also giving GMs guidance and a short intro adventure to launch a campaign.
[19:09] <~Dan> You say “more” guns. Does that mean that they exist in the default setting? Are we talking Renaissance-era fantasy in the manner of Warhammer?
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[19:10] <+rjschwalb> Yep! SotDL’s world is pre-Industrial. Pistols, rifles, bombs, zeppelins, balloons, factories, fun stuff like that.
[19:10] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Keyes!)
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[19:10] <+Mundangerous> You’ve managed to get the who’s who of game designers and writers to contribute to the setting, especially a lot of the WHF crew, which you’ve said was a major inspiration for the feel and setting. What’s Dan Abnett’s deal? He’s conspicuously missing. How much more do I have to pledge to get him to write a short story?
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[19:10] <+Keyes> Thanks, Dan – here for the SotDL chat
[19:11] <~Dan> (Keyes: In progress! Welcome as well, tbaker!)
[19:11] <+tbaker> Dan: Thank you very much.
[19:11] <+rjschwalb> I would love to bring Abnett into the world of the Demon Lord. Hopefully at some point down the road.
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[19:11] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Boots!)
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[19:11] <~Dan> (Oh, and howdy, Randy_CoA!)
[19:12] <+Randy_CoA> 🙂 howdy yall
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[19:12] <~Dan> rjschwalb: So it sounds like the setting is much more technologically advanced than your typical fantasy setting. What “standard” fantasy tropes exist, if any?
[19:12] <~Dan> (Howdy, TommyBrownell!)
[19:13] <+TommyBrownell> (Hi, Dan!)
[19:14] <+rjschwalb> Well, the usual suspects are going to be there. We have dwarfs, elves, goblins, and a dragon or two, but they all have a twist to make them evocative.
[19:14] <~Dan> Can you give some examples?
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[19:16] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest37! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
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[19:16] <+rjschwalb> Elves are immortal. They live in the hidden realms, floating across the surface of the world like soap bubbles on you bath water. They regard mortals as talking animals. They take what they want from them. Pretty eyes? An elf is likely to scoop them from the mortals head.
[19:16] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest01! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:16] <+rjschwalb> Gnomes are elementals. Demonic/divine blood created them from the earth.
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[19:16] <~Dan> (Thanks, Neal!)
[19:16] <+rjschwalb> Rather, created them from the earth when the blood rained across the world.
[19:17] <~Dan> Creepy, re: elves!
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[19:17] <~Dan> (Thanks, TheHadMatter! 🙂 )
[19:18] <+rjschwalb> Mortal live again and again. When humans die, their souls drop into the Underworld where they remain until they forget who they were. They then return in new bodies. Some remembers bits from former lives, making it a cool hook for players and GMs
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[19:19] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest33! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:19] <~Dan> What about the dwarfs? I’m a big fan of those guys. 🙂
[19:20] <+Randy_CoA> sounds cool the whoel life cycle
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[19:21] <+rjschwalb> Dwarfs are mortals, like humans. They were the first, almost as perfect as the “gods” who created them. They saw themselves as equals to their makers and laid siege to the gods. They were defeated, cursed into twisted parodies of their former selves, and reduced to scrabble in the rock for gold and gems.
[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silaninil!)
[19:22] <+rjschwalb> Dwarfs are big on ancestor worship. When they die, they might join their ancestors, but most likely, they get pooped back into new dwarf bodies.
[19:23] <+Mundangerous> Which actual play youtube/podcast would you say gives the best illustration of the game in action?
[19:24] <+rjschwalb> Never got a chance to do a video. My buddy Nat ran a game for TheRPGAcademy. It ran three episodes and it demonstrates how the mechanics work.
[19:24] <+tbaker> I love the idea of being able to complete an adventure in a single session. In addition to adventures containing an hour worth of play per page, will the core book provide suggestions on how to keep play going at that pace?
[19:25] <+rjschwalb> Yep! The GM chapter gives you guidelines for constructing adventures and tips for keeping the information sparse while also letting player expectation determine what is and what is not in the story.
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[19:26] <+rjschwalb> The adventures leave it to the GM to provide the connective tissue to bind adventure to adventure.
[19:27] <+tbaker> How much do SotDL’s mechanics contribute to that fast pace?
[19:27] <~Dan> Speaking of mechanics, is there a posted character sheet that we can see?
[19:28] <+rjschwalb> A good amount. I streamlined the game engine to jettison complexity. The game master decides what happens and uses the rules to interpret what happens when it’s not clear.
[19:29] <+rjschwalb> On the KS page ((Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/432417423/shadow-of-the-demon-lord)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/432417423/shadow-of-the-demon-lord) scroll down.
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[19:29] <+rjschwalb> In short, you roll dice only in situations when the outcome of a described activity is not obvious.
[19:30] <~Dan> What is the core mechanic?
[19:31] <+Keyes> Direct link to character sheet image: (Link: https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/003/408/461/57330c01ba42e72ab6c8ac742d10c5bc_original.jpg?v=1425910876&w=700&h=&fit=max&auto=format&q=92&s=c39fa92d489eaeee30ec594d88a56109)https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/003/408/461/57330c01ba42e72ab6c8ac742d10c5bc_original.jpg?v=1425910876&w=700&h=&fit=max&auto=format&q=92&s=c39fa92d489eaeee30ec594d88a56109
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[19:32] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest12 and Guest34! Please set your names with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:32] <+rjschwalb> Task resolution involves rolling a d20 + mod. If you’re making an attack, you compare the result to the score of the attribute or characteristic used to resist the attack. If you’re doing anything else, the target number is 10. The game models difficulty with boons and banes.
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[19:33] <+rjschwalb> For each positive circumstance that would help you, you roll one boon (a d6). For each negative, you roll one bane (also a d6).
[19:33] <~Dan> (Thanks, Ruben!)
[19:33] <+rjschwalb> Boons and banes cancel each other die for die.
[19:33] <~Dan> (Ruben: Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:34] <+rjschwalb> When you roll, you roll all the boons or banes and, in the case of boons, you add the highest d6 to your d20 roll, or, for banes, you subtract the highest d6 from your d20 roll.
[19:35] <~Dan> What sorts of things count as boons or banes?
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[19:35] <+tbaker> Would you mind providing an example? Perhaps demonstrating how an attribute check would work for accomplishing a task that doesn’t have a guaranteed outcome?
[19:36] <+rjschwalb> A boon may come from a talent (gained from one of your paths) or it may be something the GM awards. You might have a bane from an affliction or from some other circumstance.
[19:37] <+rjschwalb> Example: Say you’re climbing a wall. The wall has plenty of handholds and you’re not under pressure. You climb the wall.
[19:37] <+rjschwalb> If the wall is smooth glass, you don’t climb the wall.
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[19:37] <+Mundangerous> A lot of games that are successfully kickstarting right now, as well as some major publisher titles, are using card-based mechanics for either character sheets, conflict resolution, or both. Any reason you chose dice over cards, and the particular dice (flat distribution + or – boons/banes) you did?
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[19:38] <~Dan> (Question pause after Mundangerous’s question, please.)
[19:38] <+rjschwalb> If the wall has plenty of handholds, but demon-possessed orcs are shooting rifles at you, you make a roll. If you drank a potion that makes you stronger, you’d have a boon. If you’re impaired from a long night of drinking, you’d have a bane.
[19:39] <+rjschwalb> If both situations apply, you would have a straight roll.
[19:39] <~Dan> (Actually, I do have a follow-up question, but I’ll wait until after Mundangerous’s answer.)
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[19:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ettin!)
[19:40] <+rjschwalb> Yes. Familiarity. I designed this game for two groups. One, for people who know a bit about RPGs, want to play, but don’t want to grapple with complex rules/chargen. Two, for people who enjoy traditional FRPG but have an appetite for something a bit slicker.
[19:41] <+rjschwalb> Familiarity and accessibility
[19:42] <~Dan> Do skills fall under talents?
[19:42] <+Vorthon> Still trying to figure out if resistance against necrotic damage and advantage on saving throws against poisons and diseases is too much for a PC race, especially when paired with a touch attack that has a small chance to stun opponents for one round.
[19:42] <~Dan> (Q&A in progress, Vorthon. 🙂 )
[19:43] <+Vorthon> ((Whoops! Kind of in a daze today, sorry.))
[19:43] <~Dan> (No worries. 🙂 )
[19:45] <~Dan> And if so, does that mean that you either have a skill or you don’t?
[19:45] <+rjschwalb> Skills are represented by Professions and Talents. Professions are soft tech. They don’t have attached mechanics. Rather, they are story cues for interpreting what happens in the game. Talents scoop up anything that has genuine mechanical weight.
[19:46] <+rjschwalb> Attributes, though, carry the task resolution burden.
[19:47] <~Dan> Does that mean that to model a gunslinger, you’d need to rely mostly on high Agility?
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[19:47] <~Dan> As opposed to pure skill with firearms?
[19:48] <+rjschwalb> Correct. I am a scholar of history or I’m not. If I’m a scholar of history, I know stuff about my historical field. As the game expects campaigns to last 11 sessions, it only cares if you know about history or not, and then only from the perspective of the story.
[19:48] <+ShadowStalker> How does armor affect rolls?
[19:48] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest01! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:48] <+rjschwalb> Gunslinger. Yep. You have four attributes and Agility would be the attribute you need the most.
[19:49] <~Dan> Yes, speaking of armor, how does combat work in general?
[19:50] <+rjschwalb> All characters have a Defense characteristic. It equals Agility. If you wear medium or heavy armor, the armor replaces your Agility for Defense. I opted for this route as play testing revealed a damage reduction system introduced a little too much complexity for casual play.
[19:50] <+Vorthon> ((Okay, sorry to budge in like that, but coloured text?))
[19:51] <+ShadowStalker> Sorry, cell phone and chimp thumbs☺️
[19:52] <+rjschwalb> Combat takes place in 10-second round. Each round has three parts: fast, slow, end of the round. Each combat may take one turn per round. Players typically go first. You may take a fast turn or a slow turn. If you take a fast turn, you either use your action or move up to your Speed. If you take a slow turn, you use your action and move up to your Speed.
[19:52] <+rjschwalb> Players decide the order in which they act each round.
[19:52] <+rjschwalb> Actions are “big ticket items.” I attack with a weapon, cast an attack spell, rush across the battlefield, and so on.
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[19:54] <+Ruben> I had a question whenever Robert gets a second.
[19:54] <~Dan> (Fire away, Ruben! I’ll call for a question pause to give him time to catch up as needed.)
[19:55] <+rjschwalb> Hit me
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[19:56] <+Ruben> I’m wondering what characters look like in your world. Are they sort of pseudo-fantasy characters in the traditional sense, or is there any flair to them in your setting? Anything built in that the players can build upon?
[19:57] <+rjschwalb> Do you mean appearance, literally? Or how they fit into the story?
[19:57] <+Ruben> (Sorry if that’s a broad question.)
[19:57] <+Ruben> Mostly appearance.
[19:57] <~Dan> (I think that question applies to males or females, actually, Ruben.)
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[19:59] <~Dan> (Okay, that one was a bit obscure, perhaps. 🙂 )
[19:59] <+rjschwalb> The world concept is light so that GMs and players have control over developing the setting to their tastes. This means you can describe your character in whatever manner you want.
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[19:59] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest34! Please set your name with the /nick command. 🙂 )
[19:59] <~Dan> How does damage work?
[20:00] <+rjschwalb> In fact, the game wants players and GMs to build the world, to add those details to make it their own.
[20:00] <+Mundangerous> Obviously you’ve been playing a lot of SotDL lately, but do you get a chance to play other games? If so, which are you into, and what influence have they had on SotDL?
[20:00] <+Ruben> Sorry! I guess I meant was there any fluff or artwork that helped establish a look for characters? Are they typically gritty and weather worn or shining heroes? But I think you answered my question well enough, thanks!
[20:01] <+rjschwalb> You have a Health score. You accumulate damage. When damage = Health, you fall down and bad s#$@ happens to you. Health as a threshold lets the system increase or decrease health independently from damage. As well, the game uses corruption and insanity to model spiritual damage and mental damage,
[20:01] <~Dan> How is the level of damage determined, though?
[20:02] <+rjschwalb> Ruben: Sorry. Gritty, bloodstained survivors for the most part, though you can dial back the dark as far as you want.
[20:02] <+rjschwalb> Other games.
[20:02] <+rjschwalb> I ran my first 5E game, post-publication, this week. That’s about it.
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[20:04] <+rjschwalb> Weapons and spells deal damage, usually as some number of d6s. Talents add onto damage. If you have the warrior novice path, you character will deal 1d6 extra damage on weapon attacks.
[20:05] <+rjschwalb> The game also has broad benchmarks based on path–starting, novice, expert, master–to help GMs assign damage on the fly.
[20:05] <+Ruben> Thank-you! That’s what I was wondering and that sounds awesome!
[20:05] <~Dan> Does Strength affect melee damage?
[20:06] <+rjschwalb> No. You don’t add attribute modifiers to damage.
[20:06] <+rjschwalb> Your weapon or spell tells you the amount of damage dealt on a successful roll.
[20:06] <+tbaker> Will level-0 play have any similarities to the level-0 funnel in Dungeon Crawl Classics? A meat grinder, in other words? And if that’s not the default, would that kind of play be easy to create without a bunch of house rules?
[20:06] <~Dan> Hmm… Is Strength the attribute used for melee?
[20:08] <+rjschwalb> No funnel. DCC does that well enough. I liken 0-level play to CoC. You probably don’t want to fight and you probably want to solve problems with clever thinking, interaction, and so on. You could, however, use the funnel system. Char Gen includes a slew of tables to randomize background, profession, and so on.
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[20:08] <+rjschwalb> You make Strength attack rolls when attacking with most melee weapons and Agility for most ranged weapons. Swift weapons have a property that lets you sub Agility for Strength.
[20:09] <~Dan> How would you simulate a big, strong, clumsy monster that doesn’t hit often but hits hard when it does, like a giant?
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[20:10] <+rjschwalb> Most monsters have boons for their attack rolls. A swingy monster, low accuracy, high damage, might have a bane (or banes) for the attack roll and deal a bucket of damage.
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[20:10] <~Dan> (wb, ShadowStalker!)
[20:11] * ~Dan nods
[20:11] <~Dan> I see that there’s a Size stat. How does that affect play?
[20:13] <+rjschwalb> Size is used for play with minis and to easily communicate how much space creatures take up. A large bag could hold creatures whose total Size does not exceed 1. So that bag could hold a human, 2 halflings, 4 pixies, and so on.
[20:13] <+rjschwalb> It also determines reach.
[20:13] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:13] <~Dan> So you mentioned levels. Is this a class/level system?
[20:13] <+rjschwalb> If you’re using squares or hexes, Size 1 occupies one square or one hex and grants a reach of 1.
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[20:17] <+rjschwalb> Anything else?
[20:18] <~Dan> (Did you see my class/level question?)
[20:18] <+rjschwalb> Oops. No. Sorry.
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[20:18] <~Dan> <~Dan> So you mentioned levels. Is this a class/level system?
[20:18] <+Ruben> Is there an established pantheon?
[20:19] <+rjschwalb> Your starting adventure is all about how your group comes together. The origin story. When you finish the adventure, you group forms and gains a level (1). Each member of the group chooses a path–magician, priest, rogue, warrior–and gains the benefits for level 1.
[20:21] <+rjschwalb> You play another adventure and your group levels up. Each member gains benefits from hitting level 2. Another adventure and your group becomes level 3. Each member chooses an expert path, something that describes how they do what they do. The path might reinforce the novice path decision or may take the character in an entirely different direction.
[20:22] <+rjschwalb> At level 7, you choose a master path, again enhancing or diversifying your capabilities. This means, you could start as a human, become a warrior, become a thief, and then become a demonologist. All path choices ought to reflect what happens in the game.
[20:23] <+rjschwalb> Groups gain a level when they complete an adventure. The GM can slow progression or speed it up as desired.
[20:23] <~Dan> Are there any benefits that the GM can offer individual characters for good roleplaying, for example?
[20:24] <+rjschwalb> The core game has two major religions and lots of minor ones. Of the main, there is the Cult of the New God and the Old Faith. The New God’s cult evolved from the Old Faith after a mortal prophet revealed that the old gods are different masks worn by the same deity.
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[20:25] <+Ruben> Oh wow! That’s different and cool!
[20:25] <+rjschwalb> The prophet was stabbed to death and “ascended.” New God cult is very much opposed to dark cults, forbidden magic, and that sort of thing. Old Faith includes many gods, such as the Queen of Summer, Old Man Winter, Father Death, the Horned King, and more.
[20:25] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Afro-Goblin!)
[20:26] <+Afro-Goblin> Thank you Dan! good to be welcomed
[20:26] <+rjschwalb> A GM can award fortune for good RP, clever ideas, and cool story stuff. A character with fortune may spend it to roll with a boon or allow another character to reroll any die.
[20:27] <+rjschwalb> Once you use it, it’s gone.
[20:27] <~Dan> (Afro-Goblin: Here for the QA? 🙂 )
[20:27] <~Dan> rjschwalb: Ah, so hero points, of a sort?
[20:27] <+Afro-Goblin> Aye, that I am! What have I missed so far?
[20:27] <+rjschwalb> Sort of, yeah. A non-fattening cookie a GM can hand out to invested players.
[20:28] <~Dan> (Quite a bit, unfortunately, but the log will be posted shortly after we’re done. In the meantime, the floor is open to questions! 🙂 )
[20:28] <+rjschwalb> Back to the class question. To clarify, this isn’t a class system. Instead, it
[20:28] <+rjschwalb> ‘s more like a feat tree system.
[20:29] <+rjschwalb> You pick your package and gain benefits by group level. Once you finish the path, you choose another one.
[20:29] <~Dan> Sounds a bit like 1e and 2e Warhammer FRP in that regard.
[20:30] <+Afro-Goblin> The “Path” system seems to be similar idea to 4e’s Paragon Paths and like. Which was a decent idea, just flawed when X-men level, and writing down stuff like “I’m a gladiator!”.
[20:31] <+Mundangerous> Any advice for aspiring writers or designers?
[20:31] <+rjschwalb> A bit of both. If you choose warrior, you get benefits from being a warrior when your group is level 1, 2, 5, and 8. If, at level 3, you choose wizard, you’d gain benefits at level 3, 6, and 9. And if at level 7, you choose explorer, you gain benefits from your path at level 7 and 10. Level 4, you get a benefit from your ancestry.
[20:32] <+rjschwalb> Advice? Write, design, share your design, embrace feedback, and fail often.
[20:33] <+Afro-Goblin> I’d definitely second the “embrace” feedback. Even if people sound like they’re insulting you, take what they’re saying to heart. Don’t ignore someone just because they have mean words in their feedback.
[20:33] <~Dan> By default, what is the state of civilization at the start of play? Full-on apocalypse?
[20:33] <+rjschwalb> Exactly.
[20:33] <+Ruben> I had the same questions, Dan.
[20:34] <+Afro-Goblin> When I first read the KS, i thought the Apocalypse bit too. But then further updates made it sound more and more “heroic-like”.
[20:34] <+rjschwalb> Civilization has begun to collapse. The game takes place in a frontier province, a bit removed from the horrors devouring the Empire, but close enough that people are worried.
[20:34] <+Afro-Goblin> Which I guess brings me to a question, How is villany and such supported, if such antics brand you with demonic corruption? Will Amoral Mercenaries just eventually turn into demons in this world?
[20:36] <+rjschwalb> The corruption mechanic exists to model the effects of truly despicable acts in the game. If your character learns the hateful defecation spell, you’re at risk of gaining corruption. If you are a mercenary who fights for whomever, that doesn’t always mean corruption.
[20:36] <+rjschwalb> The character must willfully do something horrific to earn corruption.
[20:37] <+rjschwalb> Eat a baby alive. Cast a spell that causes a dude’s junk to slough off, but otherwise leave him alive. Burn down an orphanage full of kids. Release a demon from the Void.
[20:38] <+rjschwalb> All that is corruption worthy. Being a dude fighting for the necromancer won’t cause you to sprout horns or grow extra fingers.
[20:38] <+Afro-Goblin> Ah, I hope explanations of such things will be clear in the game. Otherwise leaving it vague kinda leaves it open to encourage only “goody-two-shoes” type characters, which is weird for Dark Fantasy.
[20:38] <+rjschwalb> Nope. It’s clear in the game.
[20:38] <+Afro-Goblin> Sweet
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[20:38] <+rjschwalb> No room for goody goody characters.
[20:39] <~Dan> So no Big Damn Heroes?
[20:39] <+rjschwalb> Also, corruption is not likely to climb by more than a point or two per session. Since the game expects 11 sessions, you have plenty of time to embrace the dark and reap the rewards or punishments.
[20:39] <+Afro-Goblin> Though there does seem to be a Heroic-bent implied for the game. Which, someone like me would dig
[20:40] <+Afro-Goblin> Good to know that piece, didn’t seem the case from the previews.
[20:40] <+rjschwalb> Sure thing. There are plenty of options for heroic characters. And they may fail, die in spectacular ways, or make a change in the world.
[20:40] <~Dan> Speaking of which, is the destruction of the world a forgone conclusion?
[20:41] <+Mundangerous> Speaking of 11 sessions, that’s actually a big draw for my group, since we tend to move between campaigns in 6-12 session arcs. How did you arrive at that number?
[20:41] <+Afro-Goblin> I guessing with Schwalbs intent for 11th+ level expansion material…not necessarily
[20:42] <+Afro-Goblin> He has mentioned ye can end a game in one session via Zombie Apocalypse + Global Pandemics & Corrupted Magic ( remembered it because I’m going to run such a session)
[20:42] <+rjschwalb> It’s up to your group. For me, blowing up a fantasy world every 11 sessions might be fun for a while, but might grow tedious too. You can set it so that the doom is imminent, distant, or somewhere in between.
[20:43] <+rjschwalb> Data from my time working on D&D revealed that campaigns last about 2-3 months. Eleven sessions fits insider that window just find.
[20:43] <+rjschwalb> fine
[20:43] <~Dan> So is it the case that you have to create new characters every 11 sessions?
[20:43] * @Silverlion won’t mention his multi-year campaigns of 1E/2E A&D
[20:43] <@Silverlion> AD&D
[20:43] <+Mundangerous> ha, glad to know we are empirically average
[20:43] <+rjschwalb> I plan to introduce rules for play above level 11, but such games involve making new starting characters.
[20:44] <+Afro-Goblin> Will 11th+ play be redone ruleset to fit that capability of play?
[20:44] <~Dan> How powerful is magic in the setting, and how does it work mechanically?
[20:44] <+rjschwalb> You might create new characters every 11 sessions or, if you want longer play, extend the time it takes to advance by an adventure or two.
[20:45] <+rjschwalb> I ran a 1e/2e campaign from 1992 until 1999.
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[20:46] <+rjschwalb> When your group hits 11, each player makes another starting character. The new character might be an agent, henchmen, apprentice, or something else to the higher level character.
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[20:47] <+Afro-Goblin> why does it have to be a new character for 11th+ play however? Seemed like if ye were refitting the mechanics to an incompatible chasis, that’d make sense, but unsure why otherwise.
[20:47] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Betweentheworlds!)
[20:47] <+rjschwalb> This isn’t high fantasy in the FR sense, but magic is powerful. All spells belong to traditions–Forbidden, Curses, Fire. Your path gives you the option to discover a tradition (which grants you knowledge of a minor spell) or learn a spell from a tradition you have discovered.
[20:48] <+Afro-Goblin> How does your game tackle the “Horse archer problem”? That is, where most threats in the game can be punked by a guy on a Horse using ranged attacks/archery. Due to moving faster, and shooting farther than was generally most creatures reach & movement (especially since most of em were melee brusiners)
[20:48] <+rjschwalb> All characters have Power, which tells you how many castings you have for each spell you have learned and what rank spells you can learn.
[20:49] <+rjschwalb> Spells have ranks (0-10). So, if I have Power 1 and have discovered Earth magic, I could learn a rank 1 spell. At that Power, I can cast all rank 1 spells I have learned once. At Power 2, I can cast all rank 1 spells I have learned twice. And so on (though castings slows for higher ranks).
[20:50] <+rjschwalb> The power curve drops dramatically when you reach 11. Level 11+ characters aren’t much more powerful than level 10, but can affect things on a broader scale. Plus, game play is a bit different, since you play regionally. The new starting characters act as agents for the higher level characters.
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[20:51] <+Betweentheworlds> Good evening (here)! Just popping by to say hi and check out the conversation.
[20:51] <~Dan> How much of a bestiary does the core book include?
[20:51] <+Mundangerous> Is there any risk associated with magic? Risk of injury or dismemberment, demonic possession, etc? That’s one of my favorite elements of grimdark, and in WHF/40k, it really helped balance casters.
[20:52] <~Dan> (Betweentheworlds: Here for the Q&A, or just for a general visit? 🙂 )
[20:52] <+Afro-Goblin> It does seem like there’s a large list of “traditions” going by the Cleric List. Some even sounding redundant, like Witchcraft having….Witchcraft.
[20:52] <+rjschwalb> The Horse Archer problem is one of shifting expectations from fight, fight, fight, loot, level to one that’s story focused. Combats should occur when they are relevant to the story.
[20:52] <+rjschwalb> The Bestiary will run about 32 pages I think.
[20:53] <+Afro-Goblin> Kiting monsters via ranged, a combat style though it be, I’m not sure how that’s a solution to the issue?
[20:53] <+rjschwalb> Dark magic (Demonology, for example) has lots of risks. Discovering the tradition and learning spells can grow your corruption. Insanity, spell side effects and more can make casting some spells risky.
[20:53] <+Afro-Goblin> Even if in the fights ye “do” have, if still capable of kiting all the opposition, then the problem remains, regardless of the focus.
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[20:54] <+rjschwalb> I have 38 traditions designed. The Witchcraft tradition went away and was replaced by Curse and a couple of other traditions.
[20:55] <~Dan> So, a quick note, rjschwalb: You are welcome to hang out with us and field questions as long as you like.
[20:55] <+Afro-Goblin> How will Dual-Wielding or “Two Weapon Fighting” work in SotD? (assuming its supported at all).
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[20:55] <~Dan> That said, in what remains of regular time, is there anything you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered?
[20:55] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, JasonBoro!)
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[20:55] <~Dan> (Howdy, willows!)
[20:55] <+JasonBoro> Hey Dan. Thank you.
[20:56] <+willows> (hi dan! QA time i see)
[20:56] <+Afro-Goblin> Dan is a good welcomer
[20:56] <+Guest84> Do you have all the artists chosen yet? Will the book have crazy, awesome maps? Will the Demon Lord have stats, so players can read them and sob into their collective tissues at the awesomeness of its majesty?
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[20:56] <+rjschwalb> The big difference is that killing a monster doesn’t earn you anything. You complete an adventure when you complete the story goal.
[20:56] <~Dan> (willows: Yup. Tail end of “regular” Q&A time, though. 🙂 )
[20:56] <~Dan> (Thanks, Afro-Goblin! 😀 )
[20:57] <+JasonBoro> I’m a new player to the RPG world and a buddy told me about Shadow of the Demon Lord. How easy is it for someone to pick up and play?
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[20:57] <+Afro-Goblin> Considering ye seem to only need 3d6, and a D20, and everything is explained to you, seems easier than most other RPG’s I’d say.
[20:57] <+rjschwalb> You may use an action to attack with a weapon you wield in one hand and a weapon you wield in your off hand. You make each attack roll with a bane.
[20:57] <+JasonBoro> That’s my kind of game
[20:58] <+rjschwalb> Ivan Dixon is going to do a lot of the art. We’re finalizing our artist list over the next two weeks. Awesome maps for sure. Andy Law, I hope, will cover a lot of them.
[20:59] <+rjschwalb> If we reach the Horrors of the Void PDF, the Demon Lord might have stats. Demon Princes, aspects of the Demon Lord, are bad enough.
[21:00] <+rjschwalb> SotDL is designed for people to pick up and play. It’s streamlined, reduces character creation time to minutes, and lets you build your character as your group level increases. Fast, low-time investment, and story focused.
[21:00] <+Guest84> Thanks for the replies. Good luck with the remaining day of your campaign.
[21:00] <+Afro-Goblin> I do hope the Demon Lord will have stats, funner that way
[21:00] <+Betweentheworlds> Rob – I’m a story person (mechanics are like visits to the dentist – necessary but better when short and sweet) – what’s inspired the world you created? What’s your favorite part? 🙂
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[21:01] <+Afro-Goblin> (so long as they’re internally consistent, nobody likes random values +100 values make no sense, not as fun then)
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[21:02] <+rjschwalb> Everything in the game’s design comes from my experiences at the table. I’ve had great ambitions for world-shattering events (Elder Evils, Age of Worms), yet never reach it b/c real life intrudes. What I wanted was a game I could play that lets me and my friends drink a few beers, make up fun and gross stuff, kill a few monsters, and forget about it until the
[21:02] <+rjschwalb> next time we play
[21:03] <~Dan> (Question pause after the question from Betweentheworlds, please. I’ll log the chat there, and then rjschwalb can continue to answer questions during regular chat if he likes. 🙂 )
[21:03] <+Afro-Goblin> What I really like about the short campaigns bit, is it allows me to get to the big climatic stuff I always want to do in my campaigns, but get distracted by other junk.
[21:03] <+rjschwalb> What I take pride in is giving the groups the ability to take the inspiration from the world information and make it their own.
[21:04] <+Afro-Goblin> How much of an issue is “Kiting” against opposition in this game? Why would a “story-focused” game change that. Secondly, lot of this games rules seem to focus on combat, since backgrounds are fiat-y wonder how that caters to allowing this “story focus”?
[21:04] <+rjschwalb> (done)
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[21:04] <+Betweentheworlds> Sweet. So excited! Thank you.
[21:04] <+rjschwalb> Afro: Yes. One hundred times yes.
[21:04] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Raddu76!)
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[21:04] <~Dan> rjschwalb: Thanks very much for spending time with us this evening!
[21:05] <~Dan> Again, no need to run off, but I’ll go ahead and log the “official” chat there and get you the link. 🙂
[21:05] <+rjschwalb> OK.
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[21:05] <+rjschwalb> Thanks! I have to run too.
[21:05] <+Ruben> Thanks, Robert!
[21:05] <+Ruben> Looking forward to the game’s release!
[21:06] <~Dan> Okay then! I will get you that link. 🙂
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[21:06] <+Afro-Goblin> I wish I knew of this ahead of time, dang work had me miss most of this. Thank you for your time good sir
[21:06] <+rjschwalb> Thank you all for your questions!