[20:00] <+DavidAlvis> Hi, I’m David Alvis, and our game Marshals & Myrmidons is our unique take on tabletop RPGs. The creator is my father, and I responsible for the programming, the consistency, and data presentation of the game.
[20:00] <+DavidAlvis> We see our game as a hybrid tabletop-digital RPG that combines the sociality and impromptu dialog of a table-top game with the speed and variety of a digital game.
[20:01] <+DavidAlvis> It also introduces a new mechanic for playing these kinds of games, the Adventure Wheel, which we use for event generation and as a dice replacement.
[20:01] <+DavidAlvis> The basic premise is that the game takes place on the fictional world of Harnacaff, a post-technological society, which occurred a few thousand years ago in a massive world war. The outcome of the war threw the planet back into a medieval technology level.
[20:01] <+DavidAlvis> It has been long enough now that only a few remember what happened and still have access to technology from that era.
[20:01] <+DavidAlvis> However, we also have a whole galaxy of planets that make up our universe and some are very advanced and some are not. Though our primary focus has been on completing our knowledge base of Harnacaff before detailing the other worlds.
[20:01] <+DavidAlvis> (done)
[20:02] <~Dan> Thanks, DavidAlvis!
[20:02] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:02] <~Dan> So let’s see…
[20:02] <~Dan> Sounds like the place to start is the system in this case.
[20:03] <~Dan> What’s the core mechanic?
[20:04] <+DavidAlvis> Well, the game is designed to be as open-end as the game master/players want. The Adventure Wheels are used to drive along the adventure or to give it an obstacle.
[20:06] <+DavidAlvis> In our play sessions, some times the players have a goal, and other times they just deal with whatever comes up, which can sometime lead to having a goal.
[20:08] <~Dan> So it serves as a random event generator?
[20:09] <+DavidAlvis> Yes, the three rings on the wheels construct a randomly generated sentence that created anything from events that are happening around the players to things and directly affect the players.
[20:09] <+DavidAlvis> We also have specialty wheels for doing saving spins and random number generation
[20:10] <~Dan> Ah… So the latter replaces dice?
[20:11] <+DavidAlvis> that is correct. It is created with our stats system in mind so that the probabilities of success increase as your stats do.
[20:12] <~Dan> Can you give an example of the latter in action?
[20:13] <+DavidAlvis> Our player’s base stats start at 12 and can go up to 24
[20:13] *** Silverlion has quit IRC: Disintegrated: Nettalk6 – (Link: http://www.ntalk.de)www.ntalk.de
[20:13] <~Dan> And what is the range of the randomizer from the wheel?
[20:14] <+DavidAlvis> So at 12 there is a 25% chance of making a successful role, but they also have the possibilities of having a bonus that would increase it.
[20:14] <+DavidAlvis> At 18 it become 50%
[20:15] <+DavidAlvis> and by 24 there have an 80% chance of success
[20:15] <+DavidAlvis> There are two wheels, one with the most common stats, 12-23 and a second one for 6-11 and 24-29
[20:17] <+DavidAlvis> Since it is possible for stats to get down to 6, and some smaller creatures also.. same on the upper end, after 24 is reserved for animals that are much stronger than a human.
[20:17] <+DavidAlvis> Both these wheels are included in the demo that is available on itch.io
[20:19] <+GenoFoxx> are there any sapient species other than humans?
[20:20] *** Silverlion has joined #rpgnet
[20:20] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Silverlion
[20:20] *** ChanServ sets mode +o Silverlion
[20:20] <+DavidAlvis> yes, just on Harnacaff we have a creature known as a Logorrhean Struthiomimus, which is a kind of talking dinosaur.
[20:20] <+DavidAlvis> But there are other species in our galaxy that are not human. Some are space faring and some are not.
[20:21] <+GenoFoxx> what are the attributes for a character, and do you have a character sheet example?
[20:22] <+Vorthon> On a scale of ‘Orion’s Arm’ to ‘Star Trek’ how alien are most of the spacefaring species?
[20:22] <+DavidAlvis> There are a few other creatures that are intelligent, but that is the ones that come to mind
[20:22] <+DavidAlvis> Well, there a race that is pig-like..
[20:23] *** Monochrome_Tide has quit IRC: Disintegrated: AndroIRC – Android IRC Client ( (Link: http://www.androirc.com)http://www.androirc.com )
[20:23] *** DavidOkum has joined #rpgnet
[20:23] *** ChanServ sets mode +v DavidOkum
[20:23] <+DavidOkum> Hello
[20:23] <+Vorthon> …I guess I could word that better. Here goes: On a scale of ‘barely resembles terrestrial life and may not even share a remotely similar biochemistry’ to ‘humans with funny foreheads’ where do most of the spacefarers fall?
[20:23] <~Dan> Howdy, DavidOkum!
[20:23] <+DavidAlvis> another one that have orange manes– forget their skin color right off but are humanoid
[20:24] <~Dan> DavidAlvis, meet DavidOkum, one of your fellow game authors. As is Silverlion over there. 🙂
[20:25] <+DavidOkum> Greetings everyone. I’m zonked from the heat of the day. I’m not good in heat.
[20:25] <+DavidAlvis> Hi there
[20:25] <+DavidOkum> I’m dozing, trying to edit and write and edit some more.
[20:25] <+DavidOkum> Thought I’d take a wee break and see how things are going on here.
[20:26] <+DavidOkum> Hello David. Good name.
[20:26] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:26] <~Dan> DavidAlvis: Did you see GenoFoxx’s question regarding a character sheet?
[20:26] <+DavidAlvis> Well, the short answer is, I don’t recall right off.. its been quite a while since we were playing that part of the game.. been focused on what we have been trying to present. But the sky is the limit for the game master.
[20:28] <+DavidAlvis> ok. GenoFoxx, the character sheet has 7 attributes, each with a possible endowment or debility that is assigned by our character wheels.
[20:29] <+DavidAlvis> Our attributes are Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Sensory Perception, Constitution, Legerity, and Celerity.
[20:29] <+DavidAlvis> DavidOkum, thanks, I’m rather partial to the name
[20:29] *** jeffszusz has joined #rpgnet
[20:29] *** ChanServ sets mode +v jeffszusz
[20:29] <+DavidOkum> The character wheels look like a fun idea. Reminds me of the old Star Trek Concordance cover.
[20:30] <~Dan> What are Ethos, Pathos, Logos, and Legerity?
[20:30] <+DavidAlvis> As for an example, there is an editable pdf included with the game, which can be downloaded with the demo.
[20:30] <+DavidAlvis> Ethos = Character, Reputation, Persuasion
[20:31] <+DavidAlvis> Pathos = Deserving of Pity or Sympathy or Luck
[20:31] <+DavidAlvis> Logos = Logic, Intelligence
[20:31] <+DavidAlvis> Legerity = Dexterity, Nimbleness, Acrobatic Agility
[20:32] <~Dan> Celerity is speed, I assume?
[20:32] <+DavidAlvis> that is correct
[20:33] <+DavidAlvis> there is also a block on the sheet that has these explained
[20:33] *** Silverlion has quit IRC: Disintegrated: Nettalk6 – (Link: http://www.ntalk.de)www.ntalk.de
[20:33] <~Dan> Do you have the character sheet posted somewhere?
[20:34] <+DavidAlvis> (Link: http://miburl.com/n9FL08)http://miburl.com/n9FL08 That is the link to our demo, included in the download is the PDF of the character sheet
[20:36] <~Dan> Do the characters have skills as well?
[20:36] <+DavidAlvis> When the character wheel is used, there is an option to connect to our web server and get a pre-filled PDF for download.
[20:37] <+DavidAlvis> There is also an android and windows app that can be downloaded where you can store your character sheet
[20:37] *** jeffszusz has quit IRC: Ping timeout: 483 seconds
[20:38] <+DavidAlvis> Not so much skills per say…
[20:39] <+DavidAlvis> We have endowments that give your a bonus on your stats when doing something related to that activity, there are also debilities that take a way..
[20:39] <~Dan> How specific are these?
[20:40] <+DavidAlvis> Like someone might be highly fortuitous and get a +2 bonus to Pathos
[20:40] <+DavidAlvis> or they might be musophobic, and get a -2 on their Ethos when rats or mice and present
[20:41] <+DavidAlvis> sometime there isn’t a minus, but an obsession, like being flormaniacal.. meaning they also stop to smell the flowers
[20:42] <+DavidAlvis> We had a player take over a while castle with a musical skill that gave his a +2 to charm anyone with his music
[20:42] <+DavidAlvis> sorry.. whole not while castle
[20:43] <~Dan> That’s pretty impressive. Does the game generally have such epic effects?
[20:45] <+DavidAlvis> It can be.. we try and make things player focused, so they are driving the story.. we have had groups creating a game of giant catch ball using a bunch of clothes in a ball and a catapult
[20:45] <~Dan> Heh. Cool. 🙂
[20:46] <+DavidAlvis> A group seized a strong hold by infiltrating it and getting one of the women in the group to give the lord a seductive dance using a poisoned sword that paralyzed him when it touched him
[20:46] *** DavidOkum has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[20:47] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[20:48] <+DavidAlvis> We had a group avert a war by impersonating a spy that is horrible as disguises..
[20:49] <+DavidAlvis> *at disguises
[20:50] <+DavidAlvis> Oh and that woman that did the dance, that was her first day playing.. not bad for a first time..
[20:50] <~Dan> Now, you specified that this is a sci-fi setting at a Medieval technology level. Are there any supernatural powers involved?
[20:52] <+MonkofLords> Is this a Q&A?
[20:52] <~Dan> Yup!
[20:53] <+DavidAlvis> no.. a long time ago there was magic, because it was coming from the original game that was used to build upon, but we have since removed all magic and replaced it with a technological replacement.. at least as best we could.
[20:54] <~Dan> No psionics?
[20:54] <+DavidAlvis> the idea is that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic is the ideal we have gone for.
[20:55] <+DavidAlvis> no, at least not as a native ability
[20:55] <+BlasterKyubey210> Hmm, sounds like well
[20:55] <+BlasterKyubey210> Might and Magic then
[20:55] * ~Dan nods
[20:55] <+BlasterKyubey210> If Clarke’s Third Law is enforced, then there could be some termilogical confusion done on purpose
[20:55] *** Songtress has quit IRC: Disintegrated: Leaving
[20:56] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of what forms technology takes and what it can accomplish?
[20:56] <+DavidAlvis> many of the items are described as though they were seen through the eyes of someone in a medieval setting
[20:57] <+DavidAlvis> sure… lets see.. from our treasure list:
[20:58] <+DavidAlvis> Two Long Metal Tanks (E): Under the tanks are rubber goggles (E) with glass lenses. The two cylindrical metal tanks appear designed to hold air at high pressure. They have straps that seem to go over a man’s back, so he can carry the heavy tanks about.
[20:58] <+DavidAlvis> Connected to them at one end are rubbery hoses which are attached to some sort of valve switch, which on playing with it seems to control the flow of air through the tubes to an open, hilt-shaped device that fits nicely into the mouth.
[20:59] <+DavidAlvis> With these are two large, rubbery slippers shaped like the feet of a frog, no doubt deceptive foot gear. It is obvious that this is a contraption for killing frogs, with tanks for crushing them and goggles for peeking underwater and seeing their curious approach to the bubbling hose.
[20:59] <+DavidAlvis> The whole baggage is contained in a great net bag with a draw string, an airy sack suitable for holding many dead frogs.
[20:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:00] <~Dan> So that’s contemporary technology, clearly. Is that as advanced as technology gets?
[21:00] <+DavidAlvis> Or another one: Glowing Sticks (E): You find ten, thin tubes containing green goo in glassy-clear, soft sacks. When broken and exposed to air, they glow angrily without heat for several hours, lighting your way to doom in the darkness.
[21:01] <+willows> Who’s the POV character for these descriptions? “Appear designed to hold air at high pressure” seems to be a bit well-informed for your every Dark Ages peasant.
[21:01] <+DavidAlvis> no.. we have starships, and the kinds of weapons that would go with that.. a bit of cross somewhere between Star Trek and Star Wars..
[21:02] <+GenoFoxx> so are Humans native to the world or are they transplants?
[21:03] <+DavidAlvis> They are generally written that the players will be able to recognize the object in spite of the obtuse description.. We like to keep it fun, and minimized frustration
[21:05] <+DavidAlvis> GenoFoxx.. I can’t remember right off…it isn’t a topic that has come up in our discussions.
[21:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> Oh
[21:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> But as far as anyone knows well
[21:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> Are the Humans as we know it evolved?
[21:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> or nativve?
[21:06] <~Dan> And on a related note, how exotic are the flora and fauna on the world?
[21:06] <+DavidAlvis> We consider our humans to be roughly on par with what we are familiar with on our planet
[21:07] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[21:07] <+DavidAlvis> We have a the usual boring stuff, but we also have a specific wheel called Beast Feast the generate random creatures
[21:07] <~Dan> How common are such creatures?
[21:09] <+DavidAlvis> Well, we leave that up to the game master’s discretion. They can be as common or rare as they like. Especially if the players are exploring other worlds, then the GM can do as much of that as they want.
[21:10] *** Vorthon has quit IRC: Disintegrated: Leaving
[21:10] <+DavidAlvis> There are also some specifically created creatures they inhabit particular area, those tend to be rare.
[21:10] <+GenoFoxx> so are there other human civilizations in your setting and they visit the planet from time to time?
[21:11] <+DavidAlvis> Yes, that does happen.. some of the wheels have lines about aliens.. so it could happen as part of a random event.
[21:12] <~Dan> Is the random event generator key to the game, or simply a tool for when the GM is stumped?
[21:12] <+DavidAlvis> many years ago when I first started playing, we had another planet trying to invade our planet, and we crashed their base of operations (a hollowed out asteroid) to put a stop to it
[21:12] *** Jesse has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[21:13] <+DavidAlvis> It can be used either way
[21:14] <+DavidAlvis> We have used it to when players have been traveling from point A to B, it also can get used if the players are lacking a purpose
[21:14] <~Dan> Given the Medieval level of the world, how are characters able to resist spacefaring invaders?
[21:15] <+DavidAlvis> There is a small faction we call the Heroes of Harnacaff that still have space fare capability and defending the planet
[21:15] <+DavidAlvis> but they hide their existence from the general population.. though it is designed to that player characters could find and join them
[21:16] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[21:16] <~Dan> What is their motivation in keeping technology a secret?
[21:19] <+DavidAlvis> I don’t remember exactly.. but as I recall, it was mainly due to the devastating war that regressed the planet’s technology level.
[21:20] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[21:20] *** GenoFoxx has quit IRC: Disintegrated:
[21:20] <+DavidAlvis> There are caches of ships and tech hidden around the planet, though superstition keeps the locals away from them.
[21:20] <+BlasterKyubey210> So basically, something happened and they don’t want some oppressive Lord intimidating peasents with an old Battleship hull?
[21:20] <+DavidAlvis> something like that
[21:21] <+DavidAlvis> they are sworn to protect the innocent and defend the weak kind of thing…
[21:22] * ~Dan nods
[21:22] <~Dan> Going back to mechanics for a moment, how does combat work?
[21:22] <+DavidAlvis> now, it is entirely possible that a group of players could try and spread that tech around.. afterall.. the sky’s the limit in a rpg, right?
[21:22] <+DavidAlvis> sure
[21:23] <+DavidAlvis> we have a specially crafted wheel for combat.. at least the personal combat
[21:23] <+DavidAlvis> combined with the other wheel we discussed earlier
[21:23] <+DavidAlvis> Generally the way it works is when an action is taken, a saving spin takes place
[21:24] <+DavidAlvis> if they make it then they are successful with that action and can depending on the action deal damage to their opponent.. or the reverse for a fail.
[21:25] <+DavidAlvis> We used to have a simple damage mechanize, but found that wasn’t very fair
[21:25] <+DavidAlvis> which is why we made the wheel..
[21:26] <~Dan> How do weapons and armor factor in?
[21:26] <+DavidAlvis> There is a formula that goes with it that allows us to take into account things like what type of weapon and if there is armor involved. Then we built a calculator into the wheel so you just input the stats of the items involved and it does the rest
[21:26] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[21:27] <+DavidAlvis> We detailed all the math in the manual if someone prefers to do it that way, but with the calculator and the wheel, combat can be run fairly quickly
[21:29] <~Dan> Speaking of which, how would you rate the game on a gritty-to-cinematic scale of 1-10?
[21:29] <+DavidAlvis> for larger scale encounters, we usual group them into batches and spin a saving spin or use the random number generator to determine losses.. its pretty much up to the GM how they want to work it out
[21:31] <+DavidAlvis> Hmm.. we try and lean toward the cinematic style more.. we want the game to fun and enjoyable and not having to spend a lot of time micromanaging every detail, so I would say somewhere around an 8 or so…
[21:32] * ~Dan nods
[21:33] <~Dan> Are there any obvious antagonists built into the setting?
[21:33] <+DavidAlvis> I’d say that we spent a good quarter of our play time laughing our heads off at the hilarity of the situations..
[21:34] <+DavidAlvis> Yes, in the base setting of Astrakhan we have a strong hold of Amazonian women that don’t like any men, also there are a couple of keeps with lords that like to enslave people, and one rather dangerous dungeon
[21:35] <+DavidAlvis> and a volcano with a type of dragon
[21:35] <+DavidAlvis> at least from the local’s perspective
[21:36] <~Dan> Speaking of antagonists, does the game have a bestiary, and if so, how large?
[21:38] <+DavidAlvis> Right now we have about 100 animals that we have defined, but more will probably be added as we go along
[21:38] <+DavidAlvis> of those around a half of them are dangerous
[21:40] <~Dan> What about aliens?
[21:41] <+DavidAlvis> we have about 70 worlds that are confirmed inhabited by sentient species..
[21:41] <+DavidAlvis> with plenty of room for more to be added
[21:41] <~Dan> Right, but does the book stat out any of them?
[21:42] <+DavidAlvis> right now, no, but that is mainly because we haven’t sat down and flushed out the details for them
[21:42] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[21:42] <+BlasterKyubey210> So there’s a whole Star System out there
[21:43] <+DavidAlvis> Right now those details all exist in my father’s head. It’s my job to get those out and make them presentable.
[21:43] <+BlasterKyubey210> So what scale (if by chance the PCs are able to get ther) is one looking at
[21:43] <+BlasterKyubey210> Sector-scale, Sub-sector Scale (WH40k standards)
[21:43] <+DavidAlvis> there is correct.. we have a map that covers roughly half the milky way galaxy
[21:44] *** LW` has joined #rpgnet
[21:44] *** ChanServ sets mode +v LW`
[21:44] <~Dan> That’s pretty impressive.
[21:44] *** LW has quit IRC: NickServ (GHOST command used by LW`)
[21:44] *** LW` is now known as LW
[21:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[21:46] <+DavidAlvis> I’m not familiar with their scale.. but right now (and this is still subject to revision) we have a grid that each square is 500 parsecs and with our FTL drives take about 51 seconds to cross a square
[21:46] <+DavidAlvis> there is around 30 squares from one side to the other
[21:47] <+DavidAlvis> one of the advantages of our hybrid system is the digital maps have a scale and a tool to allow direct measurement of distance
[21:48] <+DavidAlvis> takes some of the guess work out of trying to figure out how far apart things are
[21:48] <~Dan> So it sounds like despite the general Medieval level of society, finding and using space travel technology is a given.
[21:49] <+DavidAlvis> very much so.. we quite enjoyed our adventures around the galaxy..
[21:49] * ~Dan nods 🙂
[21:49] <+DavidAlvis> we have been focusing on establishing our base environment and then building up the space since it is quite large
[21:51] <+DavidAlvis> unfortunately, due to real life circumstances, progress on that is very slow..
[21:51] <~Dan> So while you are welcome to hang out with us as long as you like, is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention in what remains of regular time?
[21:51] *** Canageek has quit IRC: Disintegrated: So long and thanks for all the fish!
[21:53] *** Lin_Chong has joined #rpgnet
[21:53] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Lin_Chong
[21:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[21:54] <+DavidAlvis> Well.. I would like the point out that we have been building up this game for around 30 years now.. it has been played by dozens of people over the years, so in spite of seemingly being new to the market, we have been sitting on this for a long time.
[21:55] <+DavidAlvis> What kept us from coming out sooner was the wheels
[21:55] *** Canageek has joined #rpgnet
[21:55] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Canageek
[21:55] * ~Dan nods
[21:56] <+DavidAlvis> Until we switched to the digital wheels, the physical wheels we used to use were rather cumbersome, but cool. Now we can iterate on developing new wheels very quickly and bring them into play with very little effort
[21:57] <+DavidAlvis> This also allows us to make it easy for anyone to create a while and bring it into their game… we have a special tool we built to test them and it take just 2 text files and an image to use them in the game
[21:57] <~Dan> Very nice. 🙂
[21:58] <~Dan> Thanks very much for spending time with us, DavidAlvis!
[21:58] <+DavidAlvis> one of the things we would like to do is get the game on Steam so we can use the workshop to share wheels with others
[21:58] <+DavidAlvis> thanks for having me.
[21:58] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll post the log and get you the link. 🙂
[21:58] <+DavidAlvis> cool