[19:07] <+Haphazard> Hello, everyone! My name is Eric Edward Johnson and I am the Project Designer for Haphazard Projects. We recently ran a Kickstarter for our latest game – Chronicles of the Orb: Shaedeam’s Song (a.k.a. Shaedeam for short). It is an epic Gothic horror-fantasy RPG built for both in-depth role-play as well as tactical combat simulation.
[19:08] <+Haphazard> Here is the link to the KS. We didn’t raise the money this time around, but we’re re-launching quite soon… – (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adgramaine/shaedeams-song-a-rpg-core-rulebook)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adgramaine/shaedeams-song-a-rpg-core-rulebook
[19:08] <+Haphazard> (done)
[19:08] <~Dan> Thanks, Haphazard!
[19:08] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:09] <~Dan> Can you expound a bit on what you mean by “Gothic horror-fantasy”?
[19:11] <+Haphazard> “Gothic horror-fantasy” is quite literally the literary terms. “Gothic refers to a mixture of horror based on social standing, perhaps between a lord and a knight, terms of loyalty, and literary romance (not the kissy-kissy kind, though there it is sometime present).
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[19:12] <~Dan> (Howdy, Teylen!)
[19:13] <+Haphazard> “Horror” is due to the fact that we go beyond – way beyond the natural thriller-esque type horror present in Gothic tales. We get into insanity, introducing Old Ones, Divine entities that cannot be reasoned with, one-of-a-kind monsters, and the like…
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[19:13] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest12! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
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[19:14] <~Dan> (Thanks, Anthony!)
[19:14] <+Haphazard> And of course, “fantasy” is a large part of the game. Numerous races never before seen, various forms of magic which are used to define the setting, and that sort of thing.
[19:14] <+Haphazard> (done)
[19:15] <&Silverlion> What kind of races?
[19:16] <+Haphazard> Silverlion, if you look at the KS, you’ll see a bunch of creatures you’ve never seen anywhere before. Each image is of a playable race.
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[19:17] <+Teylen> (Howdy Dan)
[19:17] <+Haphazard> Now, we have a lot more races that what we show, and each that will be included in the game is purposely woven into the metaplot as to not give the appearance to simple “plug & play”.
[19:19] <+Haphazard> The races run the gamut between humans, elves and dwarfs (which are only in the game so players can see something they are already familiar to) and through anthropomorphic, aquatic races, giants, and others quite small.
[19:20] <+Haphazard> Some were created by the mighty dragons (now extinct), other by the fae (which function more like Old Ones) and the Divine themselves.
[19:20] <+Haphazard> (done)
[19:20] <+Catseye> metaplot? How indepth is it?
[19:23] <+Haphazard> Catseye – well, the game is presented in eight eras of play with more than 300,000 years of recorded history. We broke it up into eight eras so players wouldn’t feel like they had to read everything just to play the darned game. But it is a deeper and more interactive than most games currently on the market. I think the duration of recorded history pretty muc
[19:23] <+Haphazard> *much says it all.
[19:24] <~Dan> How much does technology advance over that time?
[19:24] <+Haphazard> That being said, the map isn’t fully notated. The setting is huge (more than twice the size of Earth), so there is plenty there to discover. Exploration is key.
[19:25] <+Haphazard> Tech is a slow growing element. But by the fourth era, the most powerful governments have steam-tech, firearms, composite armours and so forth.
[19:26] <~Dan> Is that limited to “real world” steam tech, or are you talking steampunk tech?
[19:26] <+Haphazard> It stops there for the most part. But Shonnestherra (the most stable government in-game) eventually designs energy weapons, computer networks, ground vehicles, steam-tech mechs and giant robots, television, radio and so much more.
[19:26] <+Haphazard> (done)
[19:26] <+Catseye> What role do the player characters have in all of this?
[19:28] <+Haphazard> Catseye – the players decide for themselves. They could be adventurers out to explore the unknown corners of the planet, or villains trying to pull of the greatest crime in history, or anything in between. Literally, the players have complete control over character creation and the goals of what ever they wish to try and accomplish.
[19:29] <+Haphazard> Most play heroes facing the infinite horrors, in fitting with most any Gothic tale.
[19:29] <+Haphazard> (done)
[19:30] <~Dan> To what degree is the setting morally objective/subjective? Are there obvious good/bad guys?
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[19:33] <+Haphazard> Dan, again it runs the gamut. Most folk are pretty morally ambiguous. But there are those who can actually be called good and those who are bad. Reputation is a core element, and if you act as a good guy, folk expect that kind of behaviours from your character. If they think of you as bad, they tend to walk quickly and lock doors.
[19:33] <+Haphazard> Shonnestherra is the exception.
[19:33] <+BlasterKyubey210> Hmm? What makes that one the odd-man out
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[19:35] <+Haphazard> It is a huge empire, a benevolent one at that, where citizens are very open and given everything they need by the government itself. They welcome free trade, possess quality health care, excellent public schooling and a system of recognised guilds which makes it easy to find jobs… at least for those who want to work.
[19:36] <+Haphazard> They are the good guys for the most part.
[19:36] <+Haphazard> Most citizens ca literally keep their homes unlocked 26 hours a day.
[19:36] <+Haphazard> *can
[19:36] <+Haphazard> There is nothing ambiguous about the empire.
[19:37] <+Haphazard> (done)
[19:37] <~Dan> What sorts of monsters exist in the setting? Are they mostly traditional horror and/or fantasy creatures, or are they unique to the setting?
[19:40] <+Haphazard> They are most definitely not monsters anyone has seen before. They are quite unique, just as much so as the playable races. Some of them are one-of-a-kind that might never be encountered because they tend to stay in a given area. There are even eight kaiju (strange and giant monsters) that haunt their own corner of the world.
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[19:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:41] <~Dan> Are there any hostile NPC races?
[19:42] <+Haphazard> Perhaps my favourite monster is the Natisae – it is a large thing, not unlike a wingless dragon of old, with chitinous exoskeleton, eight legs, a scorpion like tale and hundreds of eyes front its head. If it sees you, you are likely to turn to stone, unless you happen to be playing a character who is corrupted by the horror that seeps into the game…
[19:42] <+Haphazard> from all throughout the setting.
[19:43] <+Haphazard> Hostile races? To be sure, there are quite a few!
[19:44] <+Haphazard> The enigmatic desert tribe of the Duskmen who have domain of the powers of darkness; the corrupt Agrophin who practice evil blood magics….
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[19:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, johntarnowski!)
[19:44] <+Haphazard> There is a bloodline of dark elf (not anything like drow) that are pretty evil.
[19:44] <+johntarnowski> hi there!
[19:45] <+Haphazard> But the Ma’al bake and take the cake in this question.
[19:45] <~Dan> How so?
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[19:46] <+Haphazard> They are a powerful fae-blooded race that is known all across Shaedeam’s Back as slavers and practitioners of dark magic that specifically grows more powerful with more suffering near the caster. That’s known as kraeomancy – magic through torture and pain.
[19:47] <+Haphazard> (done)
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[19:48] <+Catseye> Honestly, I think that went into the TMI area for me. I prefer things not to be so graphic
[19:48] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Cobblepot!)
[19:48] <+Cobblepot> *Waves Hello*
[19:48] <+Haphazard> It is not a necessary element of the game., Catseye
[19:50] <+Haphazard> Everything in the book is presented in degrees. Firstly, you can take anything presented, or remove the most graphic elements, or leave out the pervasive evils altogether and just run a horror-fantasy game.
[19:50] <~Dan> (Cobblepot: Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
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[19:51] <+Haphazard> I certainly didn’t want to turn players off with the presented material, so there are sections clearly labelled with a warning and rating, just so you don’t accidently read something you did not want to.
[19:52] <~Dan> (Heh. I misread that at first as “with a warning and ranting”.)
[19:52] <+Haphazard> (LoL – maybe I should have included some ranting….)
[19:52] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:53] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted that we could see?
[19:53] <+Cobblepot> (Observing, wanted to learn about the game. :))
[19:54] <+Haphazard> I do, but it’s not very “pretty”. It is functional only. One of the reasons we are doing crowdfunding is our need for art and design. We’re all writers here.
[19:55] <+Haphazard> (just one sec as I get the link….)
[19:55] <+Haphazard> (Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B89ffw2tFHbwNWNOVmp1WUo1Z1E/view?usp=sharing)https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B89ffw2tFHbwNWNOVmp1WUo1Z1E/view?usp=sharing
[19:55] <~Dan> (Cobblepot: Cool. The floor is open to questions, if you are so inclined. 🙂 )
[19:56] <+Haphazard> This is not the full sheet. This is simply what we use at cons and game events for “one shot” stories.
[19:56] <~Dan> No problem. I just find seeing a character sheet helps guide discussion of the system.
[19:57] <+Haphazard> Of course. Character sheets are the first thing I look at when I am thinking about buying a new game.
[19:57] <~Dan> (And again, some of this we discussed last night.)
[19:57] <+Haphazard> (Yep. But I love answering questions, so it’s all good)
[19:57] <~Dan> So it looks like you have three core attributes, two of which have sub-attributes?
[19:58] <+Haphazard> Actually, all three have Traits, as we call them. Soul simply governs the “power traits” like spell points and the like.
[19:59] <~Dan> Oh, I see.
[20:00] <~Dan> Is this an attribute + skill system?
[20:01] <+Haphazard> Indeed. You take the Attribute + the relevant Trait dice pool, add the Skill level to the roll, and you need to roll higher for great success.
[20:02] <~Dan> What is the dice rolling mechanic?
[20:02] <+Haphazard> The sheet does have two typos I’d like to point out.
[20:02] <+Haphazard> One – Resistance has been renamed “Vigour” and we have a new point system for a Survival Score….
[20:03] <+Haphazard> but the mechanic itself is simple, and I will explain by way of example.
[20:03] <+Haphazard> So Dan, let’s say you are playing a human character. What is his focus?
[20:04] <+Haphazard> Not class so much, as this is a classless system.
[20:04] <~Dan> Um… archery?
[20:04] <+Haphazard> Awesome! That’s actually a great example.
[20:05] * ~Dan bows
[20:05] <~Dan> Pardon the pun.
[20:05] <+Haphazard> …very punny. 😛
[20:05] <~Dan> (Not actually intentional, believe it or not. 😀 )
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[20:06] <+Haphazard> Anyway – Each Attribute is rated on a scale of 1-5, the higher the rating, the higher the die type. A human begins with a d8 in each attribute (2 on the scale, or average).
[20:06] <+Haphazard> Humans begin with 0 in each Trait (on a scale of 1-6). Having a zero is average.
[20:08] <+Haphazard> So, your Physique is a d8. Now, there are only eight skills and any character can roll to attempt any task. These are rated 1-20 with a 4 being starting level competent.
[20:08] <~Dan> (Wow! I coulda had a d8!)
[20:09] <+Haphazard> So, you would likely be rolling d8 +4. Since 8 is the basic Difficulty, you can see a basic starting human should have a 50% chance of success.
[20:09] <+Haphazard> Here’s where experience comes in…
[20:09] <+Haphazard> If your archer had any dice in the reflex Trait, that would be included in on the Skill Check.
[20:09] * ~Dan nods
[20:10] <+Haphazard> However, there is a secondary method for ranged attacks – You can roll Psyche and use your perception Trait if you prefer.
[20:11] <+Haphazard> If you can reason through an Attribute + Trait + Skill combo, then you can have your character attempt it.
[20:11] <+Haphazard> So anyone can cast spells right out the gate.
[20:11] <~Dan> So Traits are flat bonuses, just like Skills?
[20:11] <+Haphazard> No, Traits are dice, rated 1-6, ranging from a d3 all the way to a d12, which is max.
[20:12] <+Haphazard> You can also Specialise your Skills which gives you a +3 on Skill Checks of that sort.
[20:12] <~Dan> Ah… So you’d be rolling an Attribute die plus a Trait die plus a flat Skill bonus?
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[20:12] <+Haphazard> Yes. However…
[20:13] <~Dan> (Howdy, Marleycat! Long time no see!)
[20:13] <&Silverlion> (Allo Marleycat)
[20:14] <+Haphazard> A highly trained character (say, your archer, has taken a Specialisation in Archery attacks) can then take Focus Levels to master a given Specialisation. Focus levels are extra dice, rated 1-6 between a d3 and a d12.
[20:14] <+Haphazard> That’s how you develop your dice pools and become experts in a given task.
[20:15] <+Haphazard> it’s the DPS System… Dice Pool Scaling System. I thought the name was awesome….
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[20:15] <~Dan> 😀
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[20:16] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Necrozius!)
[20:16] <~Dan> Hmm. Do you find that the system has much of a stop-and-think factor at play as players try to figure out which and how many dice to roll for a given task?
[20:17] <+Haphazard> Not at all. It is designed to be easy. If you are doing a physical attack action, you know you have to roll Physique and agility (ranged weapons use reflex, as stated in the example)
[20:18] <+phondle> (Oh man another QnA
[20:18] <+phondle> )
[20:18] <+Haphazard> Then, which Skill you use should be easy as well, since there are only 8 of them
[20:18] <~Dan> (You there, Necrozius?)
[20:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, phondle!)
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[20:19] <+Haphazard> And bonuses from Specialisations and Focus Levels are unique for each Skill, so it’s a flow chart basically.
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:19] <+Haphazard> Most players get used to it after a Check or three.
[20:19] <~Dan> Did I read correctly that degree of success matters?
[20:20] <+Haphazard> It can. By every factor of 8, you can have better successes.
[20:20] <+Haphazard> Right now, I have a player running a soldier who can get a result of 30 on an Attack Check
[20:21] <+Haphazard> Most Checks never get that high. And never are their triple digits.
[20:22] <+Haphazard> Simple math only…. because I hate complex math.
[20:22] * ~Dan nods
[20:22] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:22] <+Haphazard> Just like the Skill Checks I walked you through.
[20:22] <+Haphazard> It’s that easy.
[20:22] <~Dan> And damage?
[20:23] <+Haphazard> Attackers roll to hit; Defenders roll to Defend.
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[20:23] <+Haphazard> Damage is fairly unique. It had to be since some of the races are 1-2 feet tall and the tallest are the M’Kecht giants measuring in at over 40 feet tall.
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[20:24] <+Haphazard> being a horror-fantasy, I wanted to have a game where a giant can step on someone and smush them with that one attack.
[20:24] <+Haphazard> But speed based characters could get out of the way.
[20:24] * ~Dan nods
[20:24] <~Dan> That’s a big deal for me.
[20:25] <+Haphazard> So I came up with Size Class, which basically measures… you guessed it – size.
[20:25] <+Haphazard> The larger your Size Class (which is 5 for the M’Kecht), the more damage you deal.
[20:26] <+Haphazard> On a basic hand-to-hand strike, a race gets a damage multiplier equal to their Size Level.
[20:26] <+Haphazard> Each degree of success increases the multiplier by +1
[20:27] <~Dan> Is that relative to the opposing Size level?
[20:27] <~Dan> As in, is it based on the difference?
[20:28] <+Haphazard> No. A two foot tall character can get a 7 multiplier for damage is they roll high enough. Since most giants are slow, but very tough, they’ll do damage. But it will take several such blows to bring a giant down.
[20:29] <+Haphazard> It’s called the Class Hit.
[20:29] <+Haphazard> Weapon damage is also rolled, added, and then the Class hit is applied.
[20:29] <~Dan> Oh, I meant in terms of the Size multiplier.
[20:30] <~Dan> Because a giant hitting a giant shouldn’t do a much damage as a giant hitting a sprite.
[20:30] <+Haphazard> Unless that sprite shot the giant in the eye… or another vital area as such
[20:31] <+Haphazard> That’s figured from the Attack Check.
[20:31] <~Dan> True. I’m all for the bonus from the Attack Check.
[20:31] <+Haphazard> If that sprite gets 4 raises, he goes from having a Class one hit to a Class 5 hit.
[20:31] <+Haphazard> That’s a hell of a shot
[20:33] <+Haphazard> Where the giant v the giant comes in is that giants can take more damage
[20:33] <+Haphazard> and they are more resistant to damage
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[20:33] * ~Dan nods
[20:33] <~Dan> (wb, Monochrome_Tide!)
[20:34] <+Haphazard> Size Level of course determines that damage resistance as well. The higher the level, the more Wound points you have in each health level.
[20:35] <+Haphazard> Bigger or tougher races might have more than the basic five health levels
[20:35] <&Silverlion> So is there any reason to play anything but a giant?
[20:35] <+Haphazard> Oh, yes indeed!
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[20:37] <+Haphazard> Most giants are not civilised and therefore not exactly welcome in most areas. Each race has its own unique abilities that they bring into play as well as an established place within the metaplot, maybe information not available to other races.
[20:37] <+Haphazard> And believe me, the playable races are many and varied greatly!
[20:38] <~Dan> How does armor work?
[20:39] <+Haphazard> Armour increases a character’s Base Defence as well as Damage Reduction. There is a Stress Die for each type, anything from a d3 to d20. If your opponent hits you with 6 raises in damage and your armour has a d12 Stress Die, you have to roll under a 6 on that Die.
[20:40] <+Haphazard> Roll over, your armour is damaged.
[20:40] <+Haphazard> If that armour gets damaged six times, it’s useless.
[20:41] <+Haphazard> (done)
[20:41] <~Dan> Can you describe the magic system?
[20:41] <+Haphazard> In three words I can : “no spell lists”
[20:41] <+Haphazard> 😀
[20:42] <~Dan> All freeform?
[20:42] <+Haphazard> indeed.
[20:42] <+Haphazard> A Spellcaster crafts a spell via Skill Check. Beating the Difficultly level provides what we call Placement Levels.
[20:43] <+Haphazard> Placement Levels dictate damage, range, area of effects, all of that.
[20:43] <+BlasterKyubey210> Can you give an example of the thing in action?
[20:43] <+Haphazard> With certain Abilities, you might have bonus Placement Levels to play around with.
[20:43] <+Haphazard> Of course!
[20:46] <+Haphazard> A beginning level wizard makes a Spellcraft Skill Check and scores a total of 12. It is considered a success. He then puts three levels in ‘range’ for 3 grids/15 feet, three levels into ‘damage’ for 3d3, three levels into duration for damage each phase of combat up to three phases, and three levels to eat through arcane resistance.
[20:47] <+Haphazard> They name the spell Corrosive Fireball. Range 3 grids, and it does 3d3 damage over 3 combat phases. If you have arcane resistance, it eats through up to three levels of it.
[20:47] <+Haphazard> Once you design a Spell, the wizard knows it permenately and can cast it as long as they have the spell points.
[20:48] <+Haphazard> That spell has 12 Placement levels, so it costs 2.4 spell points permenately to create, and 1.2 each time it is cast.
[20:49] <+Haphazard> So game balance is very easy to maintain.
[20:49] <+Haphazard> (done)
[20:50] <~Dan> Is there any advantage to preparing spells in advance rather than coming up with them on the fly?
[20:50] <+Haphazard> If you cast from the fly, you may “overcast” or get more Placement levels than your Skills allow you to manipulate without other bonuses. Overcasting physically damages a character.
[20:51] <+Haphazard> If you craft a spell, you can never overcast it
[20:51] <~Dan> Ah, nice.
[20:52] <+Haphazard> 😀
[20:52] <~Dan> So in the time we have remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
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[20:54] <+Haphazard> Well, the one thing all of my playtesters scream about is the playable characters. They break the tropes of fantasy, being completely unique and never-before-seen. It seems that is what draws folk to the game right off the bat.
[20:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[20:54] <+Lin_Chong> Hi.
[20:54] <+Haphazard> The basic mechanics are pretty simple, and you can personalise them.
[20:55] <+Lin_Chong> What do you mean by “unique” and “never-before-seen”?
[20:55] <+Haphazard> For that question, please refer to the art here: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adgramaine/shaedeams-song-a-rpg-core-rulebook)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adgramaine/shaedeams-song-a-rpg-core-rulebook
[20:56] <+Haphazard> They are not the only races in the game. Not even close.
[20:57] <+Haphazard> Lastly, I would like to say that the KS will be relaunched at the beginning of the next month.
[20:57] <~Dan> Good man!
[20:57] <+Haphazard> Thanks
[20:58] <+Haphazard> Oh, and if you know artists, direct them my way please 😛
[20:58] <~Dan> Certainly!
[20:58] <~Dan> And I do. 🙂
[20:58] <+Haphazard> Well, I need concept arts out the wazoo.
[20:58] <~Dan> Can you hang out a moment while I post the log and get you the link?
[20:58] <+Haphazard> Absolutely.