[19:03] <+Manu> So, Hello everyone. I’m Emmanuel Roudier. I’m a comic book artist & writer living in France, and I’m also a rpg creator. Würm is a gmae I created a few years ago here, with quite a good success. It allows you to play men & women during the last Ice age, in a fantasy or historical setting.
[19:04] <+Manu> The rules are quite light. It all works with a set of 6 sided dices.
[19:06] <+Manu> OK. JUst to finish introducing the basis : I tried to create rules that would uphold the flavor of the prehistoric setting and feeling. So, for instance, there are no stats & skills in the game, but rather strenghts & weeknesses that show the influence of spirit totems.
[19:06] <+Manu> Done. 😉
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, Manu!
[19:07] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:07] <~Dan> So this can be either historical or fantasy Ice Age?
[19:08] <+Manu> Dan, you tell me if my answers need to be short or rather developped, will you ?
[19:08] <~Dan> Certainly, but it’s totally up to you. 🙂
[19:09] <&Silverlion> So what kind of spirit Totems are there?
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[19:10] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Kain!)
[19:11] <+Manu> OK. I decided not to include in the rules any pre-defined setting, so that anyone can come up with his own vision of the ica age times. When playtesting the game, I noticed that some players are very keen about keeping things very historical , and sole other really enjoy the magic and the sprit world, that is more fantasy. So what I did is include rules for s
[19:11] <~Dan> (cut off at “rules for s”)
[19:12] <+Manu> rules for spirit magic and a bestiary that came with two entrances : the actual icae age creatures and the fantasy icae age ones, including giants, fire spirits, ghosts and everything.
[19:12] <~Dan> (Sorry — forgot to mention the character limit)
[19:12] <+Manu> I noticed. 😉
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[19:15] <~Dan> Did you see Silverlion’s question, Manu? 🙂
[19:15] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ismellzombies!)
[19:15] <+Manu> Hi Silverlion. There are 28 totem spirit to choose from. Most of them are animals from the ice age world, ranging from the mammoth to the eagle, including the cave lion, cave bear, horse, buffalo, beaver, weasle and so on. Ice and ancestors alos can be totem spirits.
[19:15] <~Dan> (Ah, so you did. 🙂 )
[19:15] <+Manu> I’m not too fast with the keyboard, sorry…
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[19:15] <&Silverlion> No worries.
[19:16] <~Dan> It’s okay. We are a kind and patient people. 🙂
[19:16] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:16] <~Dan> Is there a character sheet we can see?
[19:17] <+Manu> Yes. It’s given in the sneak peak pdf preview that we uploaded in the KS page, as news #5. Or can I show it here somehow ?
[19:17] <~Dan> You can post the URL.
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[19:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, Geek2theRight!)
[19:19] <+Manu> all right : here’s the url. Included inside are the character sheet, and also the list of totem spirits : (Link: http://www.editions-icare.com/docs/WURM-sneakpeak.pdf)http://www.editions-icare.com/docs/WURM-sneakpeak.pdf
[19:19] <+Manu> Hi everyone. 🙂
[19:19] <~Dan> Cool. Let’s see here…
[19:19] <~Dan> (I find that looking at a character sheet makes discussing the mechanics easier.)
[19:19] <+Ismellzombies> ^agreed
[19:20] <+Ismellzombies> oh poo I can’t load it at work dan can you describe it for me since Im stuck on an IE machine at work?
[19:20] <+Ismellzombies> doesn’t have to be hyper detailed
[19:21] <~Dan> So you mentioned the lack of attributes and skills. Do Strengths and Weaknesses fill that niche?
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[19:24] <+Manu> Yes, they do, fort a part. Characters are all skillfull and strong people, that know how to survive. They are assumed to be able to survive in the ice age. But strengths give them special abilities that are very intense. Yet some skills need an initiation. In game, they are called talents and secret knowledges.
[19:24] <+Manu> Those cover areas like magic use (shamanism, sorcery) or secret comabt techniques? And some art.
[19:25] <~Dan> Ismellzombies: Space for Strenghts & Weaknesses, Talents & Secret Knowledges, Equipment & Fetishes, Favors of the Spirits & Curses.
[19:26] <~Dan> Can you describe the core game mechanic?
[19:26] <+Manu> The way the system work is very simple. To succeed at an action, you simple roll 2d6 and try to beat a difficulty level (ranging from 3 to 15). If you possess a certain strenght than may help you, you add one extra die to the roll.
[19:26] <~Dan> Can more than one strength apply?
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[19:28] <+Manu> You can also add one more die if you use some of your own experience pool, or the guardian sprit Manna, a collective pool that work for the whole party.
[19:29] <+Manu> In general, only one strenght apply at a time. I list in the rules a few exceptons when a GLM can allow two strength to apply at a time.
[19:29] <~Dan> So is it the case that someone is either strong or not? No degrees of strength?
[19:31] <+Manu> Every caharacter is assumed to be strong, unless he or she possesses the weakness “weak”. If he possesses the strength “strength of teh bear” or “might of the buffalo”, he is not only strong, he is incredibly strong.
[19:32] <+Manu> There are no small degrees. Either you are handicaped, good or really favored by the spirits
[19:32] <+Kain> interesting. Do you have rules for a barter or trade system?
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[19:34] <+Manu> Yes. A long list of items is given in the rules, with a trade value for each item. Of course, it can be adjusted depednig on the place, the tribe, etc. Characters can come with certain strenghts that help negociating, fast talking or discern lies…
[19:34] <+Manu> Sorry for my english. I try to write fast enough…
[19:35] <~Dan> You’re doing fine, Manu. 🙂
[19:35] <~Dan> How does combat work in the game?
[19:35] <+Manu> For instance, the strength “song of the blackbird” makes you a increadibly gifted talker. It may help the caharacter barter with people, but also with spirits if he become a shaman.
[19:36] <+Manu> Combat works really simple. Let me tell you.
[19:37] <+Manu> Characters & creatures possess a defense value that is given as Dodging value. You simply need to beat that number with 2 or more d6 to hit the creature. It’s like an AC, somehow.
[19:38] <+Manu> If you possess certain strength, like the fury of the lion, or the flight of the crow, you will hit easy. If you possess the quickness of the lynx, you will be hard to hit.
[19:39] <+Manu> If youi hit the target, you deal damage according to your weapon. and add extra damage if you’re incredibly strong. Like most of the bear-men (neanderthal) do…
[19:40] <~Dan> So Strength of the Bear would give more damage?
[19:40] <+Manu> Then tehre are many small stuff that adjust things. bonuses and maluses and also certain combat stances that you can choose (carefull, daring, etc).
[19:41] <+Manu> Yes, Strengtj of the Bear and Might of the Buffalo both give more damaging capacity.
[19:41] <+Manu> But might of the buffalo also make you more fertile if you are to concieve children…
[19:42] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:42] <~Dan> Nice touch. 🙂
[19:43] <+Manu> One special rule is that if you beat the difficulty target by six or more, you maximise damage or effects in numbers. THat is why it can be tacitcal to use experience points to add one more die to the roll. Or a Manna die.
[19:44] <~Dan> And you said that Manna dice are a communal resource for the group?
[19:46] <+Manu> Yes. THe Manna pool is a pool of dice that refelcts the help of the character tribe’s guardian spirits. Character may freely pick in desperate situations (there need not be balance between characters as a matter of fact) but the one rule is that Manna must never fall at 0, or the guardian sprit will be in bad mood…
[19:47] <+Manu> That would mean the characters used the spirit’s help without thanking or honoring it. Bad idea. Curse would ensue…
[19:47] * ~Dan nods
[19:49] <+Manu> In game, the Manna pool is a very important element. It’s a game mechanic as well as something that give cohesion to the group.
[19:49] <~Dan> You mentioned sorcery and shamanism earlier. Are they distinct in the game?
[19:50] <+Manu> And everytime the Manna pool drops low, tehre can be good moments of roleplay when the characters try to honor the guardian spirit to resotre the pool…
[19:50] <+Kain> Oh, I like that. I am a fan of dice pools in general but I like that approach.
[19:51] <+Manu> In the game, there is 3 kind of magic use that are distinct : shamanism, enchantement & sorcery.
[19:51] <~Dan> How do they work?
[19:52] <+Manu> Shamanism deals with the spirits. Enchantment is about crafting magical items; sorcery is about crafting potions, to maje short.
[19:53] <~Dan> I’m guessing that these are all slow to work? Nothing that would apply in combat?
[19:54] <+Manu> A character need to learn each path as a secret knowledge. There are several talents in each category. For instance, if you are to become a shaman, you will need to learn the secret knowledges trance, tongue of the Shaman, Spirit contact, exorcism and animal shape.
[19:55] <+Manu> Many thing can apply in combat, if they are prepared ahead of time : war paintings, spirit helps, fetishes, etc. But of course, the most obvious are magical weapons.
[19:55] <~Dan> Right, but nothing flashy, right? No fireballs and lightning bolts?
[19:56] <+Manu> A character that is very experienced can go up in a trance in secinds and come back with the help of a devastating spirit right away.
[19:56] <~Dan> Really? Interesting.
[19:56] <~Dan> What can these spirits do in combat?
[19:57] <+Manu> but nothing as flashy as a fireball… oh wait. Yes. If the caharacter manage to make a deal with the creature known as the “fire spirit”, he or she could be able to launch fireballs, in fact. 😉
[19:58] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[19:58] <+Kain> cool. Tell us more about free spirits?
[19:59] <+Kain> I miss read FIRE spirts
[19:59] <+Manu> Basically, if you are a shaman in a trance and you contact the spirit, you can deal with it to obtain several kind of helpings or powers (all are listed). You can have the spirit curse your enemy, send a tupilak (assassin spirit), or otherwise, you can have it lend you one of the 28 strengths (the one that’s assosciated with it, that is)
[20:01] <+Manu> But normally, these things happen rather befor comabt than during the actual fight.
[20:01] * ~Dan nods
[20:02] <~Dan> Can you tell us about the races that are available?
[20:03] <+Manu> Yes. You can play either an anatomically modern man (that would be a cro-magnon, in fact), or a neanderthal man. The former are known in the game as the Long men, the latter as the Bear men. (or women, of course)
[20:03] <~Dan> How do they differ in terms of game mechanics?
[20:05] <+Manu> They are distinct by their appearance, of course, by their starting talents (depending on their technical culture) and by their basis strenght. When a character begins play, his first strength always comes from his race (or people). He or she can choose it from tow favored strength typical of each race.
[20:06] <+Manu> Long men must choose between “speed of the horse” and “hand of the ancestors”. Bear man must choose from “Strenght of the Bear” and “heart of Ice”.
[20:07] <~Dan> What do Hand of the Ancestors and Heart of Ice do?
[20:08] <+Manu> So that will make theses characters generaly quite different. Knowing a typical character possesses 3 or 4 strengths (and 0 or 1 weakness)
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[20:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, Cassiemouse!)
[20:10] <+Manu> Hand of the ancestor give a bonus to craft and repair tools and weapons. It’s very important in the game. The flint tools and arms do not resist that much and you need to come up with new ones often (ofr instance, you need to check the resistance of weapons after each fight. Sometines you can repair, otherwise, you have to make new ones
[20:11] <~Dan> That makes sense.
[20:11] <+Manu> Heart of ice make the caharacter very comfortable resisting cold, including blizzard and frostbite, and also very resistant to pain. He can resist serious wounds quite easily, and wo’nt be stunned that easy.
[20:12] <~Dan> Cool. (Literally. 🙂 )
[20:12] <+Manu> From my experience, it’s quite hard to choose you strengths, as all are very helpfull, and I tried to balance them good.
[20:13] <~Dan> How do you write up creatures?
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[20:15] <~Dan> Do they have their own Strengths and Weaknesses, I mean?
[20:16] <+Manu> Creatures have special stats that are not the same as characters. Those sats are used when tracking them, or trying to catch them unaware. Otherwise, they have hit points, deal damage, and sometimes have special powers. Like tramlping, fear effect, or even magical powers.
[20:16] <~Dan> What are their stats?
[20:17] <+Manu> The thing is that, if you kill some game and eat its liver raw, you will earn the strength associated with it until the next sunrise.
[20:19] <+Manu> Creatures stats are Dodging value, Hide toughness, hit points, Initiative, Numbezr of attacks, damage, Vigilance and Speed. And the special powers.
[20:20] <~Dan> How would you simulate a human pitting its strength against a creature, for example?
[20:20] <+Manu> And I forgot coolness. Vigilance, coolness and speed are used in the hunt.
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[20:22] <+Catseye> hi
[20:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye!)
[20:23] <+Geek2theRight> Boom shakka lakka.
[20:23] <+Manu> There is a rule for unarmed fights. Characters use their strength dice (2d6, 3d6 with strength of the bear or might of the buffalo), and the creatures get dice according to their weight. If the character possesses a secret combat technique, he can brawl with super heavy creaztures such as buffalos, even… (but htat’s a bear-men technique)
[20:24] <+Geek2theRight> Buffalo meat is pretty tasty.
[20:24] <~Dan> What sorts of supernatural creatures exist?
[20:25] <+Manu> I cannot detail the rule completly here, but it’s quite complete. You can come up with any manoever you like. 😉
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[20:26] <+Geek2theRight> It’s brilliance would blind you all.
[20:27] <+Manu> Supernatural creatures : first, the special animals. Arctic creatures, Legendary animals, Darkness ones… Then the chimeras (not the D&D ones though), the winged and crawling dragons, the prehistoric unicorn, the mountains and glacier giants, the fire spirits, the water-women, the hags, the spectres, etc.
[20:29] <+Manu> There are also some other, like the buffalo-men, the Raven-sorcerers… and the good old skeletons, of course.
[20:29] <~Dan> Are the dragons literal fire-breathing dragons, or are they more like dinosaurs?
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[20:31] <+Manu> It’s up to the GM to decide. I describe the creatures as dinosaurs, but then I mention the possibility for some of them to spit venomous gaz, that the GM can decide to ignite… It depends on the tone of the campaign. Sometimes it’s good to have the plazyers doubt wether they encounter an animal or a magicla creatures.
[20:32] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:33] <~Dan> So what do the PCs do in the game?
[20:33] <+Manu> Otherwise, I need to mention two things :
[20:35] <+Manu> (that will answer your question) : in the last chapters of the core rulebook, I included a guide for random adventures building. That includes ideas for characters motivations or quest, as well as depictions of typical places and the dangers that can arise in each one.
[20:36] <+Manu> Lastly, in the core rulebook are given four scenarios, very different ones. So that each GM can feel that there are mulptiple ways of playing the game.
[20:38] <+Manu> In the game, the characters have many motivations. The basic ones, of course, are linked to survival (hunting and everything). But you will find that magical quests and diplomacy sceanrios come upo very often.
[20:39] <~Dan> What sorts of quests?
[20:42] <+Manu> Quests for magical raw material, for retrieving special herbs or long lost artefact, quests for legendary valleys to discover, or evil beasts to hunt, you name it…
[20:42] <+Manu> Quest to retrieve stolen women or to raid one, also. 😉
[20:43] <~Dan> Quest for Fire? 🙂
[20:43] <+Manu> IN fact, the “game of tribes”, knotting and plotting alliances & fueds is central to the game.
[20:44] <+Manu> Quest for sacred or magical fire, why not. But in those days, men had been knowing how to make fire easilly for more than 400 000 years, so…
[20:45] <~Dan> Fair enough. 🙂
[20:46] <+Manu> You have to figure that the prehistoric times depcited are very recend in fact (40 000 years ago). People did speak like you and me, wear ornated clothes of hide and leather, had very intense spirital life…
[20:47] <~Dan> I’m told they even kept foxes as pets on occassion. 🙂
[20:47] <+Manu> (sorry for the writing, it’s getting late…)
[20:47] <~Dan> (Of course!)
[20:47] <~Dan> Speaking of which, in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[20:49] <+Manu> That could be. Fox fangs where the most prized ornament, along with stag’s ones. In the rukles, I linked this to the crafting of special fetishes that would help giving birth or whistanding diseases. Also, some wolves where already domesticated at that time.
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[20:50] <~Dan> (Howdy, TQuid!
[20:51] <+Manu> I think we covered quite a bit of stuff. One last thing I would mention is that, if the KS is successful enough, we will translate one or two booklets that were published here in france, with many sceanrios included (translated by professional translators, of course)
[20:51] <~Dan> )
[20:52] <~Dan> Well, I’m sure you’d like to get to sleep. 🙂
[20:52] <~Dan> So just a couple of things….
[20:52] <~Dan> First, for those reading this, if you’re so inclined, my “tip jar” link is on the right side of the menu on my blog. 😉
[20:52] <~Dan> Second, thank you very much for joining us, Manu!
[20:52] <~Dan> The game sounds great. 🙂
[20:53] <&Silverlion> Indeed!
[20:53] <+Manu> thank you very much for having me here, Dan ! I hope I raised curiosity. I will check on your blog allright