[19:02] <+EugeneFasano> My name is Eugene Fasano and for all intents and purposes, I am Arcana Games, the company behind Blood and Bone.
[19:03] <+EugeneFasano> I’m twenty-three. I graduated from Vassar College about a year ago. After half a year of adventuring and souls searching, I decided to turn my long time hobby of game design into a reality. I founded Arcana Games LLC and set to work turning Blood and Bone (then code-named Raven) into a proper, publishable game.
[19:03] <+EugeneFasano> The idea for Blood and Bone began my freshman year of college, and, by senior year, I was running dozens of alpha tests on what would become the game I’ve polished today.
[19:03] <+EugeneFasano> In essence, I was unsatisfied with most of the systems I played, so I decided to make one myself. Of course I was heavily influenced by D&D – I’m drawn to the D20 as a core mechanic, but at the same time I’m a great proponent of intuitive rules. I like being able to quickly explain a game to someone who has never played and dive right in. That said – I’m a
[19:04] <~Dan> (Cut off at “I’m a”)
[19:04] <+EugeneFasano> I’m a huge fan of “crunch” in my games, and love options and customization. Thematically, I wanted a dark system. My college friends and I were all avid fantasy fans and tended to gravitate towards dark and realistic worlds, like A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)
[19:04] <+EugeneFasano> The core premise was to create a cohesive and elegant system, based of the d20, to facilitate dark and gritty stories without rote fantasy tropes. This gave rise to Blood and Bone.
[19:06] <+Vorthon> …That’s odd, got a cookie from the WotC site despite not visiting their in ages.
[19:06] <+EugeneFasano> The way I generally describe it to folks in my elevator pitch is, as it says on the kickstarter page – “D&D meets Game of Thrones”
[19:06] <+Vorthon> …Not interrupting anything, am I? .-.
[19:06] <~Dan> Vorthon: Q&A in progress. 🙂
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[19:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
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[19:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!)
[19:08] <&Le_Squide> (Heya!)
[19:08] <+EugeneFasano> George R.R. Martin aside, I was influenced by the brutally realistic historical fantasy championed by writers such as Glenn Cook and Robin Hobb.
[19:09] <+EugeneFasano> To quote from our campaign, “The world of Blood and Bone is governed not by cosmic forces of good and evil, but by the actions humans, driven by Machiavellian principals in a struggle for power. The world is morally complex, fueled by sexuality, political intrigue, and war.”
[19:10] <+EugeneFasano> I’d love to go into more detail about the world – or the mechanics, but I feel like I’ll be apt to ramble, so whenever you’d like to jump into the Q&A i’m ready to give it a go.
[19:10] <~Dan> Thanks, EugeneFasano!
[19:10] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:11] <~Dan> So let’s see… Would you say it would be easier to start with the system or the setting?
[19:13] <+EugeneFasano> Entirely up to you, Dan. They inform one another quite heavily, so one will lead into the other eventually.
[19:13] <~Dan> Okay… Let’s start with the system. What’s the core mechanic?
[19:14] <+EugeneFasano> The book itself will be in two parts, enabling the use of our setting with any system, or our system to be adapted to an alternate setting.
[19:15] <+EugeneFasano> When I designed the system of Blood and Bone, I used d20 as my base, my raw marble. I chipped and carved until I made a new and beautiful creature (If I do say so myself!). But allow me to preface that metaphor before I continue.
[19:15] <+EugeneFasano> I feel that a disproportionate number of good role playing games are otherwise crippled by terrible mechanics.
[19:16] <+EugeneFasano> The first game I played was call of Cthulhu – don’t get me wrong, I’m into horror, Lovecraft, and insanity, but the mechanics were so painfully bad.
[19:16] <+EugeneFasano> I’m currently playing a game called 7th Sea with the same problem. The world is vast and detailed – a mock 18th century Europe where pirates and swashbucklers sial the highs seas, But mechanically – its a nightmare. Game play is crippled by its limiting, nonsensical, and convoluted rules.
[19:16] <+EugeneFasano> A core principal behind Blood and Bone is that mechanics belong under the hood. The system should be as unintuitive as possible. The ideal role playing game doesn’t have dice. Its being eight years old, in the forest with your best friend, using sticks for swords.
[19:16] <+xyphoid> intuitive or unintuitive?
[19:16] <+EugeneFasano> intuitive**
[19:17] <+EugeneFasano> Sorry about that, attempting to type with speed and accuracy and seem to be sacrificeing the latter.
[19:17] <~Dan> No worries. 🙂
[19:17] <+EugeneFasano> Starting with d20, With my core premise of minimizing math in mind I reasoned thus:
[19:17] <+EugeneFasano> Any time a player has to do math is a break from immersion, but players do like to roll. Thus, each roll should have as little math as possible in its resolution.
[19:18] <+EugeneFasano> Comparing numbers is best, is 7 > 2, if yes, 7. Addition comes next. It’s easy and fast.
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[19:18] <+EugeneFasano> And there, after addition, I draw the line. Subtraction starts to get messy, especially if you;re adding and subtracting. All the +1’s and -2’s of Pathfinder are a nightmare – and an unnecessary one. Every second a player is doing -2 +3 -1 +6 +4 in their head is a second they aren’t seeing your world
[19:18] <+EugeneFasano> Multiplication and division are off the table entirely, though the former is superior to the latter. Division always feels like a penalization, even if its part of a formula. So in conclusion Blood and Bone uses addition sparingly (at most 3 small numbers at a time) and comparison as much as possible.
[19:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, SteveRP!)
[19:19] <+EugeneFasano> So… about the core mechanic; as with D&D your character is defined by base stats that directly influence the rolls of a d20. Think of skills as a middle ground between 3.5’s mess of modifiers and 5e’s dumbed down proficiency.
[19:19] <+SteveRP> Hi Dan.
[19:19] <+EugeneFasano> Skill modifiers aren’t static, they’re rolled. If you’re character is unskilled in a task, he rolls, and adds his stat. We certainly drew inspiration from the d20 paradigm, but have since taken things (quite far) in our own direction.
[19:20] <+EugeneFasano> If a character is a novice, he rolls, 1d20+1d4+stat, this increases to +1d6, +1d8, +1d10, with +1d12 being the skill of a master. Unlike the blanket proficiency of D&D 5e, In Blood and Bone’s system a character can be a novice (+1d4) in say, sword fighting, while being a master (+1d12) at blacksmithing.
[19:20] <+EugeneFasano> The points a character earns upon leveling can go towards learning new skills, or increasing the dice steps of skills he or she possesses, among other things.
[19:21] <+xyphoid> you’re using levels?
[19:21] <~Dan> So skills are rated in dice and attributs are a flat bonus?
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[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:22] <+EugeneFasano> Correct – so for example if a character can have +2 Dexterity, and +1d8 to archery. So his roll would look like (1d20 + 1d8 +2)
[19:23] <+xyphoid> are you using the default D&D ability scores?
[19:23] <+EugeneFasano> The most math he will ever have to do is those two small steps of addition. Had he no skill it would be (1d20 + 2)
[19:23] <+EugeneFasano> had he no attribute bonus, it would be simple (1d20 + 1d8)
[19:23] <+EugeneFasano> having the skill mod be randomized plays into the dark and gritty realism of the setting
[19:24] <+EugeneFasano> on average, a master swordsman is much better than a novice, but even he can fumble, and even a novice can get lucky.
[19:24] <~Dan> Because things are less certain?
[19:24] <+EugeneFasano> Exactly, just as in life.
[19:25] <~Dan> Given your use of dice to rate skills, do you have a hard cap on skill levels?
[19:25] <+EugeneFasano> Yes. its strictly 1d4 – 1d12
[19:26] <+EugeneFasano> with 0 being unskilled, 1d4 being a novice, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, to 1d12 being a master.
[19:26] <~Dan> Does degree of success matter?
[19:27] <+EugeneFasano> Mathematically, if one were to average the dice rolls, it is a similar numeric progression to D&D 5.0’s proficiency, ranging from a static +2 to a +6.
[19:27] <+EugeneFasano> Degree of success matters sometimes. Like its d20 base, “DC’s” are pass fail. you are trying to roll above a target number.
[19:28] <+EugeneFasano> where is does matter, however is in combat.
[19:28] <+willows> So, how does adding more dice to the resolution system line up with your goal of doing less math? I feel like if you were able to total up static modifiers beforehand, you’d be doing fewer addition operations in the moment.
[19:30] <+EugeneFasano> More dice arent added – the size of the die simply increases. Granted, if it were static, you could add it before hand, but I feel you would be hard pressed to find a system that uses less mathematical steps.
[19:30] <+EugeneFasano> I.E. you will never roll 1d20+1d4+1d6. and adding 1d20+1d4 is the same amount of math as adding 1d20+2.
[19:31] <+xyphoid> but you will do 1d20+2+1d4 right?
[19:31] <~Dan> I think by “adding more dice”, willows is just referring to using dice for skills at all rather than static modifiers. Is that right, willows?
[19:31] <+willows> That’s correct. Two dice is more than one die.
[19:31] <+EugeneFasano> d20 aside*
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[19:33] <+EugeneFasano> Suffice to say, so as to avoid any confusion, the most math one will ever do it two steps of addition.
[19:33] <+EugeneFasano> A d20 is always rolled.
[19:33] * ~Dan nods
[19:33] <+EugeneFasano> Skill can add a single die.
[19:33] <+SolutionCat> So I am running a space scifi game next weekend for some friends, the theme is cowboy bebop in a semi star trek universe with a lower tech level
[19:33] <+SolutionCat> ask G+ someone suggested the bounty be Riddick…
[19:34] <+SolutionCat> which would be awesome and terrifying at the same time
[19:34] <~Dan> (Q&A in progress, SolutionCat. 🙂 )
[19:34] <+willows> (cats we are in a QA buddy)
[19:34] <+SolutionCat> oops sorry!
[19:34] <~Dan> (No worries. Want to discuss it in #rpgnet2?)
[19:35] <~Dan> EugeneFasano: So you mentioned degree of success affecting combat. How does that work?
[19:36] <+EugeneFasano> It actually has to do with armor specifically – but if we’re going to jump into combat, mind if I begin at the beginning?
[19:36] <~Dan> Please do!
[19:37] <+EugeneFasano> One innovative step we’ve taken is that damage isn’t rolled! There is no damage — at least not in the conventional sense..
[19:38] <+EugeneFasano> The system’s core mechanic of a d20 roll for a skill check is the only roll the system uses. Unlike say, pathfinder, you dont roll to hit then roll 2d8 for damage.
[19:38] <+EugeneFasano> In lieu of hp there are wounds. Not weird clunky target based status ailments, more like badass hit points.
[19:39] <+EugeneFasano> There are three kinds of wounds,
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[19:39] <+EugeneFasano> Minor wounds, kind of a 1/2 damage, that doesnt mean anything unless you get another minor wound. Then it becomes a wound.
[19:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, WonderRat!)
[19:40] <+EugeneFasano> A wound you can think of it as taking one “damage” or losing one “health”. Most times, being hit with a meaningful blow will wound you. How many arrows could I take before going down? That’s wounds
[19:41] <+EugeneFasano> Then there are Mortal Wounds (2 or 3 “damage”) think of them as crits. Things like spears will do 3, where bows will do 2.
[19:41] <+EugeneFasano> The average human has about 3-5 vitality (health)
[19:41] <+EugeneFasano> 10 Vitality is huge. That’s a warrior being stabbed, slashed, stuck with several arrows, breaking his leg and still fending off his attackers.
[19:42] <+EugeneFasano> People heal very slowly. (about 1-5 vitality per month, assuming care). There is no “magic” per say in the world, but there is a supernatural gift, known as the Blood, which can aid healing.
[19:42] <+EugeneFasano> So in scoring mortal wounds degrees of success matter.
[19:43] <+EugeneFasano> Basically factors that in D&D would boost your damage, in Blood and Bone increase your critical strike range (to put it in d20 terms)
[19:43] <+SolutionCat> is vitality the least important consequential damage type you take?
[19:43] <+EugeneFasano> Vitality is the only kind.
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[19:43] <+EugeneFasano> It drops to 0, and you’re dead.
[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Abstruse!)
[19:43] <+Abstruse> (Hi…need distraction badly…)
[19:43] <+EugeneFasano> Vitality is your health or hitpoints.
[19:44] <~Dan> (You’re in luck! Q&A in progress!)
[19:44] <+Abstruse> (Link to the game please?)
[19:44] <+EugeneFasano> So back to criting (Mortal Wounds)
[19:44] <~Dan> (Link: http://www.arcana-games.com/)http://www.arcana-games.com/
[19:45] <+EugeneFasano> Having a high Dex bonus, say +3, will increase your critical strike range by that much. Instead of a natural 20 being a mortal wound, 17, 18, 19, and 20 will now all be critical.
[19:45] <+EugeneFasano> The d20 determines the crit chance, so having a sum of 20 from stats and skill roll, is not a crit.
[19:46] <+EugeneFasano> Additionally, strength and dexterity contribute to your chance to hit with certain weapons.
[19:47] <~Dan> Does strength affect melee damage?
[19:47] <+Lin_Chong> What kind of experience is this game supposed to give players?
[19:48] <+EugeneFasano> Brutal, gritty, fast and tense – as far as combat goes.
[19:48] <+EugeneFasano> Strength, like dex doesnt increase “Damage” as it isnt rolled – jsut your chance of landing a mortal wounds. so effectively, yes. Strength and Dex both increase your *chance* of dealing a better hit or more damage
[19:48] <+EugeneFasano> There then becomes an obvious relationship between your chance to hit and your chance to crit.
[19:49] <+EugeneFasano> An example of this is relationship is thus. A noble’s daughter is trained with a sword. She has is twelve, but has been training since her 7th birthday. Her sword skill is high (+1d8). She has a good chance to hit. (this will mean she is dolling out wounds, it is a sword after all)
[19:49] <+EugeneFasano> However since she has a low strength score, her chance of inflicting a Mortal Wound (crit) might be lower. She isn’t going to be hacking off arms or sundering necks.
[19:49] <+Abstruse> So skills are step dice?
[19:50] <+EugeneFasano> Yes, sorry, you missed that bit!
[19:50] <+EugeneFasano> The inverse of our fencer girl is a brute with a club.
[19:50] <+Lin_Chong> What other kinds of experiences does this game provide players?
[19:51] <+EugeneFasano> He has no skill in fighting, so his chance to hit is lower – but his strength is high, lets say +5, so if he does hit, he has a much higher chance of that hit being a mortal wound.
[19:51] <+willows> So, how has this worked out in playtest? Do crit chance and hit chance mostly feel equally effective?
[19:52] <+EugeneFasano> To Lin, the game was created with the pillars of warfare, political intrigue, and horror in mind.
[19:53] <+EugeneFasano> To Willows, it has worked extremely well in play test. Over the passed two years of balancing numbers, I – and my many testers – all feel really good about it.
[19:53] <+Lin_Chong> What systems do you have in place to support political intrigue and horror?
[19:54] <+SolutionCat> Do people have the ability to fence or evade attacks?
[19:54] <+SolutionCat> So the Noble girl vs the Brute, she might have an advantage from training outside the die to attack
[19:54] <+EugeneFasano> At Lin – We have a modular set of rules for horror that can be used at the GM’s discretion
[19:55] <+EugeneFasano> At cat – Well let me jump into “Avoidance” next. But Also, the girl would likely have “Traits” related to sword fighting
[19:55] <+EugeneFasano> Traits are one of the systems three pillars (the others being attributes and skills)
[19:56] <+EugeneFasano> Traits are Adjectives that define your character in some unique way and give them cool tricks and bonuses – but lets stick with combat for now, just so I paint a complete picture.
[19:58] <+EugeneFasano> A character has two static stats for avoiding attacks. Dodge – 10+Dex+Shield and Parry – 10+Dex+Shield+AS. AS is the average skill of their weapon die. so if the girl has +1d8 in swords, her AS is 4 for the equation.
[19:58] <+EugeneFasano> lets say her dex is +2. She has 12 Dodge (used against ranged attacks, falling rocks, and ‘spell missiles’)
[19:59] <+EugeneFasano> and she has 16 parry – used in melee combat
[19:59] <+EugeneFasano> So unlike, in say D&D or Pathfinder, being a good swordsman actually contributes to not getting hit
[19:59] <+EugeneFasano> Imagine that.
[20:00] <+Lin_Chong> What are these modular rules for horror?
[20:00] <+Lin_Chong> And what about the politics you mentioned?
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[20:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, WadeD!)
[20:03] <~Dan> (Eugene, meet Wade Dyer, one of your fellow game authors. As is SolutionCat over there, for that matter. 🙂 )
[20:03] <+EugeneFasano> The modular rules for horror include an enumerated list of various DC’s for potentially horrifying scenarios, along with the mechanical ramifications. Note, this is not Lovecraftian horror – the overlay of the horror rules are meant to be used in conjunction with say, the gritty comabt
[20:03] <+EugeneFasano> Hey Wade!
[20:03] <+WadeD> hi 🙂
[20:04] <+SolutionCat> Hello! (sorry about earlier)
[20:04] <+WadeD> I am just watching the KS video now
[20:04] <+EugeneFasano> So it might not make sense to be using horror checks in a high combat campaign where all the characters are grizzled mercenaries
[20:05] <+EugeneFasano> But it can add a layer of realism if you’re playing a low combat game with characters not desensitized to seeing a man killed, or being hurt themselves.
[20:05] <+Lin_Chong> Would the players feel the horror as well, or is it more about seeing the characters encounter the horror?
[20:06] <+EugeneFasano> Ideally, the players would as well – included in the book will be my 30 tips on how to role play horror.
[20:07] <~Dan> Speaking of horror, are there monsters in this setting, and if so, how common are they?
[20:07] <+EugeneFasano> They will also be aviabale for independent purchase as a pay-what-you-will product
[20:07] <+EugeneFasano> I’ll give you a sample so you get the idea.
[20:07] <+WadeD> Sorry if this question has been asked already. What is the key resolution mechanic of your game? (eg: 1d20 + skill vs DC?) and why did you choose this resolution mechanic?
[20:09] <+EugeneFasano> 1d20 + skill (1d4 though 1d12) + attribute bonus. Picked because its low math (you only ever do two tiny steps of addition), Everyone knows d20, and 5% tiles are just nice. (sorry, that was our first hour!)
[20:09] <+EugeneFasano> So some examples of the 30 tips: 1. Stay in character. Everything players say should be in character, reference the dice as little as possible.
[20:09] <+EugeneFasano> 2. Minimize (or eliminate) food/drinks/snacks
[20:09] <+EugeneFasano> 3.
[20:09] <+EugeneFasano> Ambiance; control the environment. Dim lights, phones off. Ambience music can be very effective, but a looped track, or one familiar to the players can be a distraction.
[20:09] <+EugeneFasano> 4. Suspense over surprise. Something popping out isn’t scary, it’s a reflex save. Inching closer, knowing, thinking, fearing, imagining something will pop out, that’s horror.
[20:10] <+EugeneFasano> 5. Describe threats rather than naming them; a risen is less scary than a rotting corpse stumbling towards you.
[20:10] <+EugeneFasano> Its a list of 30, but you get the idea.
[20:10] <+EugeneFasano> Would anyone like me to jump back to Armor as the last bit of combat not covered? Or is there something else folks would like to know?
[20:11] <+Lin_Chong> What kind of choices should the players make during play?
[20:11] <~Dan> Oh… Actually, yes, I’d like to hear about armor before you address my monster question. 🙂
[20:11] <+EugeneFasano> Ok! Lin first, then to armor.
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[20:11] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
[20:12] <+EugeneFasano> Well, that depends largely on the type of scenario. the mechanics exist not to dictate what players can and cant do, but to facilitate doing whatever they choose to do.
[20:13] <+EugeneFasano> Obviously, with combat being so dangerous, choosing who, when, how or even if to fight can be huge, even if in a high combat campaign.
[20:13] <+EugeneFasano> I’ll use that to jump back in at armor.
[20:13] <+EugeneFasano> Armor doesn’t stop you getting hit. If armor’s coming in to play, it means you have been hit. Armor lessens the blow. Mortal Wounds become simply Wounds, and Wounds become Minor wounds, and minor wounds are completely mitigated.
[20:14] <+EugeneFasano> Armor has a range such as (2). Any hit above your dodge or parry that’s in this range, will be taken by the armor. If you would dodge with a 12, but they roll a 13, your amor takes it (13-14).
[20:14] <+EugeneFasano> So armor occupies a narrow window between being missed and being hit.
[20:15] * ~Dan nods
[20:15] <+EugeneFasano> heavy armor can actually reduce your avoidance, detracting from your ability to dodge – but offers a much higher window like (6).
[20:15] <+EugeneFasano> Like real armor – if you’ve ever had the experience
[20:16] <+EugeneFasano> Incidentally – Plate armor does not exist in the world. Nor do Crossbows for that matter.
[20:16] <+EugeneFasano> Anyhow. That’s combat.
[20:16] <+SolutionCat> Could you give an example of what that would look like in game mechanics?
[20:16] <+SolutionCat> the heavy armor guy vs the no armor
[20:17] <+EugeneFasano> Ok. So lets take two identical soldiers, A and B.
[20:17] <+EugeneFasano> A and B both have +2 dexterity. They also both are ok with a sword (+1d6)
[20:18] <+EugeneFasano> So both their dodges are 12 and both their parries are 15.
[20:19] <+EugeneFasano> Now lets take A and put him a suit of Abkhazi Scale – made of ceramic tiles – a fine, but heavy suit of armor.
[20:19] <+EugeneFasano> It detracts from his +2 dex bonus, but offers him an armor range of (5)
[20:20] <+EugeneFasano> So A now has 10 dodge, 13 parry, but on attacks of 10, 11, 12 if dodging or 13 14 15 if parrying, he takes half damage. (15% of the time).
[20:20] <+EugeneFasano> B still has a dodge of 12 and parry of 15 – but no chance of damage reduction.
[20:21] <+EugeneFasano> To visualize the fight, A would kind of lumber forward, blows maybe glancing off his side, and B would dodge and weave, getting hit less, but if he did get hit, it would be a bad scene.
[20:22] <+EugeneFasano> That answer your question alright?
[20:24] <+WadeD> thats helpful, quite intuitive.
[20:24] <~Dan> So let’s talk monsters. 🙂
[20:25] <+EugeneFasano> Thanks – that’s what I was shooting for. When we did our play testing, I tried to include one person who had never roleplayed in each pool
[20:25] <+EugeneFasano> and they got it!’
[20:25] <+EugeneFasano> Great – monsters.
[20:25] <+EugeneFasano> Shoot 🙂
[20:25] <~Dan> Are there monsters? 🙂
[20:26] <+EugeneFasano> Not in the D&D sense – no sentient dragons, talking animals, or humanoid-cat people.
[20:27] <+Vorthon> AtLA-style critters? (Sorry, started watching that again recently out of nostalgia)
[20:27] <+EugeneFasano> The world is Humanocentric. That said there are certainly scary beasties.
[20:27] <+EugeneFasano> Ah alas – no AtLA hybrids!
[20:27] <~Dan> Got some examples? 🙂
[20:27] <+EugeneFasano> But plenty of fantastical – if realistic monsters
[20:28] <+EugeneFasano> Take, for example the 45-55ft Titan Serpents in the Southeast Mercish Marshes
[20:28] <+EugeneFasano> Closer to “animal” than a “magical” creature
[20:29] <+EugeneFasano> but to a medieval world – a monster none the less
[20:29] <+Vorthon> Anything else inspired by extinct terrestrial life?
[20:29] * +Vorthon knows that some sea scorpions got rather large.
[20:29] <+EugeneFasano> The closest thing to “supernatural” creatures are the byproducts of man
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[20:29] <~Dan> (Howdy, jeffszusz!)
[20:30] <+EugeneFasano> In the world, there exists a powerful hereditary supernatural force called the Blood, that basically defines human civilization
[20:30] <+EugeneFasano> one of the things it can do is create, effectively, zombies called Hands (or Risen, if theyre not controlled)
[20:31] <+EugeneFasano> It can also make Thralls (human brought back to life, not rotting, like zombies, but not quite all their either) “soulless” as the people would perceive it, they are docile walking catatonics.
[20:32] <+WadeD> So we have plenty of Undead and beast variants? (these would go well in a gritty Game of Thrones styled game)
[20:33] <+EugeneFasano> One particular race in the world, the Eskarn actually use the Blood (it can mend flesh) to attach deer antlers or wolf’s fangs to creatures that, by all rights should not have them
[20:33] <~Dan> They buck the system?
[20:33] <+SolutionCat> I think so
[20:34] <+EugeneFasano> Indeed ^^
[20:34] <+Vorthon> …I’m just picturing a chipmunk struggling to drag along a pair of fangs that got attached as a result of somebody getting waaaay too drunk now.
[20:35] <+WadeD> Another question: does your setting have a “big bad evil force” of some kind?
[20:36] <+EugeneFasano> Since its humanocentric, I steered away from cosmic forces of good and evil, and focused instead on the actions humans. Its a bit more morally complex (or ambiguous) than BBEG
[20:37] <+WadeD> Sounds good 🙂
[20:37] <+EugeneFasano> To quote George R.R. Martin, “The true horrors of humanity derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves”
[20:37] <~Dan> How powerful is the Blood? What other things can it accomplish?
[20:37] <+Vorthon> After all, it’s humans that make terrible film adaptations. :u
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[20:38] <+EugeneFasano> The Blood is not seen as “supernatural” force. Its analogous to any other trait one can be born with, say being incredibly beautiful or extremely inherently big and strong.
[20:38] <+EugeneFasano> That is one reason why we’ve shied away from using buzz words like “magic” and “spells”. There are no runes, rituals, books, or incantations. Think of the Blood as the Force from Starwars if it were Necromantic in scope.
[20:38] <+EugeneFasano> While the gift of the blood is rare, its impact on society is omnipresent. Imagine that, to use another metaphor, Doctors and Scientists, in our world, are the Blooded. We don’t need to have their level of training or schooling to benefit from the services, goods, and societal advancement they provide.
[20:38] <+EugeneFasano> To use an example from the game, something as mundane as child birth is profoundly impacted by the blood. Imagine a medieval world not constrained by infant mortality, disease or infection — at least for the rich.
[20:39] <~Dan> So if you don’t have the Blood, you wind up with Crips?
[20:39] <+EugeneFasano> Allow me to quote from the Kickstarter to give you some examples of what exactly it can do
[20:39] <+Motulev> (AUGH!!)
[20:39] <+Vorthon> We need a shame corner for Dan already. :u
[20:39] <~Dan> <.<
[20:40] <+EugeneFasano> Ironically, the term crip was given do to the gang members carrying canes.
[20:40] <+Motulev> (a corner? we need a whole damn building)
[20:40] <+EugeneFasano> and cripples can, incidentally, be cured with Blood.
[20:40] <~Dan> I figured. 🙂
[20:40] <+Lin_Chong> How are you handling the political side of things?
[20:41] <+EugeneFasano> Blood is the power over life and death. It is exhausting to use and requires great skill and training to control. Used to destroy, it can wither flesh, rot wood, and rust metal. Used to heal, it can cure infection, knit flesh and bone, and mend wounds.
[20:41] <+EugeneFasano> The regenerative powers of the Blood may challenge even death itself. It can be used to create Risen — horrible, half-living men, reduced to primitive rotting husks.
[20:41] <+EugeneFasano> It can also be used to truly return the recently dead to life. However, if this goes awry, it may create a Risen, or worse, a Thrall. Thralls, returned to life, are technically living, but they are empty, reduced to hollow, mindless, shadows of their former selves.
[20:42] <+SolutionCat> Are there wizards in this game?
[20:42] <+EugeneFasano> Yes. But magic in Blood and Bone is about as real as our world.
[20:42] <+EugeneFasano> Many “magicians” are alchemists, astronomers or msytics.
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[20:42] <+SolutionCat> ahh, but blood magic is the real stuff?
[20:43] <+EugeneFasano> The Blood isnt viewed as magic – but yes – its the “real stuff”
[20:44] <+EugeneFasano> To Lin… I despise mechanics that govern soft “role play”. so there are no hard intrigue characteristics like a “composure” stat or “honor points”
[20:44] <+EugeneFasano> rather, the same Attributes, Skills and Traits govern intrigue the same way they do combat
[20:45] <+EugeneFasano> There are skills specifically for inter character interactions and specific traits one could take, depending on how the wanted their intrigue based character
[20:46] <+EugeneFasano> such as being alluring, a social chameleon, or having an iron will.
[20:46] <+Vorthon> Anything specifically for getting along really well with the elderly? 😛
[20:47] <+EugeneFasano> You could always pick up some historical knowledge, an archaic language, or learn how to play their favorite game of chance.
[20:48] <+EugeneFasano> That cover what you wanted to know?
[20:48] <+Lin_Chong> What other kinds of choices are the players able to make?
[20:49] <+Lin_Chong> Say, character creation, or the direction of the story, etc.
[20:49] <+EugeneFasano> As far as character progression goes?
[20:49] <+EugeneFasano> Ah ok.
[20:49] <+EugeneFasano> Upon character creation a character picks one of three “Paths”
[20:50] <+EugeneFasano> there are no classes, the Paths just determine what avenue of progression is easiest.
[20:50] <+EugeneFasano> Attributes, Skills and Traits can all be increased with Experience Points.
[20:51] <+EugeneFasano> 2 points increase an arrtibute 1 step, or buy a new skill.
[20:51] <+EugeneFasano> 1 point increases a known skill one step
[20:51] <+EugeneFasano> 4 points buy a new trait.
[20:51] <+EugeneFasano> The paths are Determined, Skilled, and Blooded.
[20:51] <+EugeneFasano> Determined buy skills at a rate of 3 instead of 4 points.
[20:52] <+EugeneFasano> Skilled gain more points per level (3/4/3/4… instead of 3/3/34…)
[20:52] <+EugeneFasano> And Blooded can learn Blooded abilities, traits that only they have access to and cost 2.
[20:53] <+EugeneFasano> Players get a pool of points to spend at creation, and a few every level
[20:55] <+EugeneFasano> Character creation and progression are two of my favorite parts of the game
[20:56] <+EugeneFasano> They are simple, elegant, and streamlined – no tables or other clunk D&Desque crutches.
[20:56] <+Lin_Chong> To what degree are the players allowed creative control?
[20:56] <~Dan> So a couple of quick notes, EugeneFasano…
[20:56] <+EugeneFasano> Yeah Dan?
[20:56] <~Dan> First, please know that you are more than welcome to hang out with us as long as you like and answer questions, or just hang out.
[20:56] <~Dan> For that matter, you are always welcome to do so.
[20:57] <~Dan> Quite a few game authors do on a regular basis. Just ask SolutionCat over there. 😉
[20:57] <~Dan> That said, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention in what remains of “regular” time?
[20:57] <+EugeneFasano> Thank you – it’s been fun. I’ll hang out a bit longer now to wrap things up… and I’ll certainly be back to hang out. These questions have been great.
[20:58] <+EugeneFasano> One last thing I’d like to mention
[20:58] <+EugeneFasano> My favorite part of Blood and Bone, and what will be the majority of the book, has nothing to do with the mechanics.
[20:59] <+EugeneFasano> I’m most proud of the world, the campaign setting, as it were.
[21:00] <+EugeneFasano> Its huge, and detailed, and just packed with some really cool stuff.
[21:00] <+Lin_Chong> Okay let me try to ask my question differently. Who gets to create the story?
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[21:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, Canageek!)
[21:01] <+EugeneFasano> And at the end of the day – that’s what matters, people wont remember if they rolled d% of d20. What sticks is the world, the story. That’s really where my heart is, and I’m sure anyone who plays the game will feel the same
[21:02] <+EugeneFasano> That’s it for my pitch 🙂 If you like the talk – here’s our project (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcanagames/blood-and-bone-a-low-fantasy-rpg)www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcanagames/blood-and-bone-a-low-fantasy-rpg
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[21:02] <+EugeneFasano> Even just a token show of support is more than welcome, but I sincerely hope I’ve peeked some interest here!
[21:03] <+WadeD> thanks for taking the time to chat with us 🙂 I wish you all the best with your KS
[21:03] <~Dan> Absolutely!
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[21:03] <~Dan> Thanks for visiting with us! Again, no need to rush off — I’m just going to log the official chat here. 🙂
[21:03] <~Dan> One moment, and I’ll get you the link!