[20:07] <+DavidGoetz> My name is Dave Goetz. I am the CEO of Aggressive Impact and partial conceptual designer on Threads of Tyrus.
[20:08] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> My name is Brian Leveque and our game is called Threads of Tyrus. It takes place in a world that is pregnant with magical power. One of our aims was to eliminate the tropes that exist in a lot of fantasy fiction games today, so we designed everything from the ground up.
[20:10] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> (done)
[20:10] <~Dan> Thanks, guys!
[20:10] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:10] <~Dan> So can you tell us a bit more about the game’s setting?
[20:11] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Sure.
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[20:12] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> It takes place on a world called Tyrus. Within this world exist the aspects of magic power that are separated into threads that traverse the world. Each one represents a different aspect of arcane power and the criss cross, but never touch. As such,they are collectively referred to as the Weave.
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[20:14] <~Dan> (Howdy, TQuid!)
[20:14] <+TQuid> Evening Dan
[20:14] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Everyone on the world has access to this power, from kings to peasants. Tradesmen craft with this power, people create food and water, and stave off disease. The people of this world measure their magical prowess in levels of attunement to the different Threads.
[20:16] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> The players, however, have more.. potential. Most are born with a fixed attunement to the Threads. Players are cast in the role of characters who can not only shift their attunments, but grow in power beyond the common man.
[20:16] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> (done)
[20:17] <~Dan> Does the setting have nonhuman PC races?
[20:18] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> It does. On the world of Tyrus, there was a time when humans were so powerful that they began to toy with other humans. As such, Threads of Tyrus features a few races taht were once human but have since been made into something quite different..
[20:19] <~Dan> Interesting. Examples?
[20:20] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> The Shiran are like humans, save for their red and stone like skin. They are a nomadic race that participate in the worship of artifacts handed down by their ancestors. They suffer some penalty to their appearance and personality statistics,but gain a natural armor and can start the game with a higher attunement to the red and brown threads than other races
[20:21] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Then there are the Fyden, crafted in the likeness of the most beautiful human woman every to have lived. She spurned the gift and their creator cursed them with an inability to perform any healing or life spells. As such they have had to develop herbalism. They are a very attractive race and live for roughly 350 years.
[20:23] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Also the Kinash. These are essentially large cats with human hands where paws would be. They have a very savage culture and are not interested in the customs of the other races on Tyrus. Very fast, very powerful, but prone to social awkwardness often.
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[20:25] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> One of our most unique races is the Shan-kin. They were not created from humans and have a caste based society. They go through a few different metamorphosis phases over their life, each one drastically different than the last.
[20:27] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> We also have the Hytha who have to control their population very strictly in order to remain a force in the world as their attunement fades if they exceed a certain threshhold. And the Gresh who are blamed for an event in the past that corrupted the Threads, rendering the use of them to lead to fatal results.
[20:27] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> (done)
[20:28] <~Dan> Does the setting have any built-in “bad guys”?
[20:30] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Well, as I mentioned, the humans of the past toyed with life on many levels. There are many dangerous creatures that prowl the wilds of Tyrus. Some of these are the creations of these masters of old and some have existed since before the civilization had a writing system.
[20:31] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Some were created for purpose and others are simply the failed creations of the old masters that were abandoned and still remain.
[20:31] <+DavidGoetz> Dan I have to step away to take care of something. I leave you in good hands with Brian. I feel confident he can answer any questions you all may have.
[20:32] <~Dan> Take care, DavidGoetz!
[20:32] <+DavidGoetz> Thanks for having me Dan. And thanks to everyone for having us here to talk about the game. I hope to see you all in the lands of Tyrus.
[20:32] <~Dan> Please come by any time!
[20:32] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> So there are plenty of dangerous things out there, in addition to other NPCs that may have the same powers that the PCs have to grow their power.
[20:33] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Thanks Dave!
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[20:33] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> (done)
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[20:34] <~Dan> How does magic work in the setting?
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[20:35] <~Dan> (wb, Ampersand!)
[20:35] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Characters have a power pool that is based on their total attunement to all of the Threads. They touch a Thread and trade the power for energy directly from the Thread which is then shaped into a pattern. When complete, it manifests in the world.
[20:36] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> With the Threads representing different aspects of magic, the game currently has 300 patterns spread across the 12 Threads and fully supports home brewing new ones.
[20:36] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> (done)
[20:37] <~Dan> So patterns are spells?
[20:38] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Correct. Since most of the people on the world are rarely born with more than a 2nd level attunement, patterns of this level are widely known. Higher levels have to be taught by another NPC or PC, or simply discovered through self study. There is a simple system in place for that.
[20:39] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of the Threads?
[20:40] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Patterns cab do just about anything from purifying water to restoring the dead to life. There are even some spells included in the core rule book that are of legendary and god like power. Attaining these is theoretically possible.
[20:40] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Sure
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[20:41] <~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)
[20:41] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> There are 12 total. Red represents fire and heat. Silver represents space manipulation, like teleportation and bending/folding space. Purple represents psionics. Gold is the Thread of shileding and manifesting magic as force, to create items, buildings, or even entire cities atthe apex of power.
[20:43] <~Dan> Are all of the Threads used independently, or are they combined in patterns?
[20:44] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> They are used independently of each other, but the players will have access to all of them. There is a limit to how attuned the players can be to the Threads in total though, so once they hit this cap, they will have to decide where to lose in order to gain. A being can only harness so much power.
[20:45] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> So it is entirely possible for a character to have a telekinetic link to an ally, while flying, wearing armor made of earth, and weilding a sword made of fire.
[20:46] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> telepathic, rather.
[20:46] * ~Dan nodnods
[20:46] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Though there is telekinetic flight
[20:48] <~Dan> So it’s a given that all PCs are powerful magically?
[20:48] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> (done)
[20:48] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> yes.
[20:49] <~Dan> What do the PCs do in the setting?
[20:49] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> The game is designed so that to ignore magical power is death in combat, but at the same time if you neglect physical combat, you are just as vulnerable. The combat is largely skill based, so nothing is locked away. There is no class system\
[20:50] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> The PC’s are called Traveler, due to the penchant of those so gifted with the ability to shift their attunement to travel the world. They could seek out long lost lore from the time before the Threads returned, oppress those who lack the power to rise up against them, or engage in any motive, altruistic or selfish.
[20:50] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Travelers, rather
[20:52] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> So they are essentially explorers, villains,or heroes, seekers of lore, saviors or destroyers.
[20:53] <~Dan> In a power level sense, are the PCs akin to superheroes in the setting?
[20:53] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> On the previous question though, I think we have some designs in the world for those who prefer to shun magic.
[20:54] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> That is a very good comparison and one I have made a few times int he design process. The access to the patterns that is granted to players essentially could be compared to super heroes that get to choose their powers.
[20:55] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> not at the start, mind you. This isn’t Skyrim where you are fighting dragons at level 4. It takes time to get that powerful.
[20:56] * ~Dan nods
[20:57] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted that we can see?
[20:58] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> I do not at this time. The mock up is currently awaiting final art and design. The stats will be along the left margin, with the skills just beneath. Thread attunement and patterns will be along the other side.
[20:59] <~Dan> No problem. Can you describe the core mechanic, though?
[20:59] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> I believe we are planning to have an online character generator up before the week is out though, so characters can be made on the website.
[21:01] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Sure… it is a versatile mechanic that allows for a lot of variance. Most conflict is settled via contested d100 rolls. Essentially, you locate your skill and roll, hoping to get under the skill value. They you subtract them. so if my stealth skill is 40, and I roll a 33, I subtract the roll giving me a 7. This is called a Target Number.
[21:02] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Anyone attempting to locate this character has to attain a perception Target Number of higher, using the same method. (skill) – (d100 roll) = Target Number
[21:02] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> This allows a novice to block an incoming strike from a skilled combatant in rare instances.
[21:03] <~Dan> Is this an attribute + skill system?
[21:04] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> In a fashion. Statistics determine your starting skills and then players are given 100 points to assign to skills as they see fit, so long as none start above 35. So a high statistic can give you a head start in a skill. Stats can be raised through training as well, which raises all skills that rely on them.
[21:05] <~Dan> 35, you say? Seems like that would be a lot of failed rolls.
[21:07] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Well..it’s hard to hit someone who is trying to hit you. It is the value that we are testing with at this point and we may raise it. There are also specializations that you pick from at character creation. Some of these give you a head start with skills and some are useful long term. You only get to pick 1 from 15. We are working on more at present.
[21:07] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Skills increase with use.
[21:08] * ~Dan ndos
[21:08] * ~Dan nods, even
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[21:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW)
[21:08] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> The progression mechanic works at the end of each play session.
[21:09] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> If a skill was used, the player rolls a d100. If the result is higher than the current skill, the player raises it permanently by 2 points.
[21:09] <~Dan> I see.
[21:09] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> This makes it easier to get better when you know little, but harder when you know a lot.
[21:09] <~Dan> Right, makes sense.
[21:10] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Magic works similarly
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[21:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, jeffszusz!)
[21:11] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> I can elaborate, but it is a very similar mechanic
[21:11] <~Dan> Sure, please do!
[21:13] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Sure. Attunement to a Thread is expressed in levels 1-10. Players start by spreading 14 attunement points over the 12 Threads any way they please,so long as they don’t raise a Thread above 2 (except in one racial case where red and brown can start at 3).
[21:14] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> If a pattern is used from a Thread, at the end of the play session, we multiply the attunement by 10. If the attunement is 2, this would give you value of 20. Then we do the same. Roll a d100. If it is higher than 20 in this case, we add 2, making 22, then divide by 10, giving us 2.2.
[21:15] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> unlike skills though, there is a limit. Apart from the Gresh, characters only have 35 points of attunement they can use. So they can’t master everything. Gresh get 40 points
[21:16] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> And that is expressed as 35.0 for simplicity.
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[21:17] * ~Dan nods
[21:17] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> So it is theoretically possible for a human to master 3 Threads and know half of another
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[21:18] <~Dan> Can you say a bit more about how combat works?
[21:19] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Sure. Combat is measured in rounds. There is an initiative skill that is tested. (skill) -(d100 roll) = Target Number as before. using these values, initiative order if established in reducing order.
[21:20] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> By default, everyone gets 2 actions and 2 reactions. When the first player takes an action, all players can react to it. If that action is an attack, another character (even the one who is not being attacked) can choose to react and block or evoke a pattern to defend.
[21:21] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Reactions can be used as a response to any action… but you only get 2 until your turn this round starts. If you run out, you could leave yourself vulnerable.
[21:22] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> If more than one character reacts to an action, the reactions are resolved in initiative order.
[21:22] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Once the current player has used all of their actions, the next player in order uses their actions.
[21:23] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> So lets look at small example.
[21:23] * ~Dan nods
[21:25] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Character A attacks Character B with a maul. A has a smashing skill of 40. Character B indicates that they are going to block the incoming attack. A rolls and gets a 50. 40-50 is -10, so this is a failure and a miss. B’s reaction is not used. A attacks again, using the maul. B decides to react by using a pattern.
[21:27] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> B does not have to reveal which one but has to determine it when choosing to react. A rolls and gets a 24. 40-24 is 16, so A has a target number of 16. A rolls damage and gets a 7 on 2d6. B uses a white pattern that blinds his target, reducing their target number by 5. A still has 2 as a Target Number so that attack is still coming
[21:27] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Wait.. sorry… 11.
[21:29] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> B still has a reaction. left this turn and chooses to dodge. B rolls against their dodge skill which is 30. B rolls a 27. 30-27 is 3 which does not beat the 11, so B takes 7 points of damage.
[21:30] <~Dan> How is the damage level of the attack determined?
[21:31] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Each pattern and weapon has a die roll associated with it. Threads of Tyrus is a low health game. 2d6 can quickly put you on death’s door if your fortitude stat is low.
[21:31] <~Dan> (brb — please continue)
[21:33] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> There are 9 stats. Might, Agility, Precision, Fortitude, Intellect, Intuition, Focus, Allure, and Glamour. Glamour was initially pulchritude, but Dave has issues with it not being a widely known word so we changed it. Stats all start at 8 and a d12 is rolled and added to each one.
[21:34] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Your health is directly derived from your Fortitude stat. So a character with a fortitude of 14 has 14 health. This can be increased via training or with patterns,\
[21:34] <~Dan> (back)
[21:36] * ~Dan nods
[21:36] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> It was an issue I have with system that present something like a goblin as dangerous at level 1, bt by level 5, you can fight all the goblins. I feel that danger is danger and you can never afford to bne careless.
[21:37] <~Dan> Does Might affect melee damage?
[21:37] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> No. It determines your starting skill with certain weapons.
[21:38] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> might is used for slashing and smashing while precision is used for piercing and launched/thrown weapons
[21:39] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Precision is also used as the base for the skill that helps you aim patterns that need an accuracy check
[21:40] * ~Dan nods
[21:40] <~Dan> Do you have a means of simulating a powerful but inaccurate attack?
[21:41] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Hmm… im regards to a critical miss?
[21:41] <~Dan> Well, let’s take a specific example. Does the setting have a creature analagous to a Giant?
[21:42] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Hmmm… there are larger creatures, sure.
[21:42] <~Dan> Okay. So it sounds like you reflect the impact of strength in the accuracy of the attack, which in turn increased likely damage, correct?
[21:43] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Correct.
[21:44] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> One of the things I have learned over the decades of being a DM is that it doesn’t matter what mechanic you cover, the players will always throw a wrench in your gears.
[21:44] <~Dan> Okay. So it seems that the system can’t simulate a big, clumsy creature that rarely hits but does loads of damage if it connects.
[21:45] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Some of the combat mechanics are being overhauled as we speak, so I am not privy to what is being tweaked at current. I will get those notes later, but I have a playtester who is very much of a melee mind. So no doubt it will come up.
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[21:45] * ~Dan nods
[21:45] <~Dan> It’s a common approach. Just a personal bugaboo of mine.
[21:46] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> And very valuable input. I thank you.\
[21:46] <~Dan> Certainly!
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[21:46] <~Dan> (Howdy, ladle!)
[21:46] <+ladle> (howdy)
[21:46] <~Dan> Does the game have a bestiary, and if so, how large?
[21:47] <+xyphoid> how do you manage danger in combat in a RPG system where in play PCs are probably going to win all their fights
[21:47] <+xyphoid> (eg, D&D manages it via resource expenditure and knocked-down states where you can generally get people up again)
[21:48] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Because we have been trying to stay away from monsters that appear commonly in established fiction, we currently have about 30 unique creatures in addition to animals that appear on earth with a few small adjustments.
[21:49] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Danger is ever present. In a low health game, one strike can be the difference between life and death. Even at high power levels, characters may only have 15 health or so… as a result 2 well placed attacks could have you down very quickly.
[21:51] <+xyphoid> so do you expect a lot of PC deaths in combat?
[21:52] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> For those who are not careful, certainly. And 0 health does not mean death. There is a small life line to prevent death, but these characters live in a dangerous world.
[21:53] <~Dan> In what remains of “regular time”, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[21:53] <+xyphoid> like, during playtesting, how many PC deaths do you get per session?
[21:55] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> At first it was rather common… maybe 1 of the 4 playing would go down each battle, with 2 hitting death’s door, but not actually dying in the first play tests. As playtesters have gotten smarter about the system they are using the gold Thread to mitigate attacks or the orange Thread to buff their stats and get more health. before getting stuck in.
[21:57] <+xyphoid> ah right so you will generally survive going down
[21:58] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Yes. essentially, you lose 1 level of attunement (temporarily) fro every round you are not healed.
[21:58] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> This can be from the Thread of the player’s choice. They may also willing choose to lose more than 1 level of attunement to rise immediately with health equal to the attunement lost this way.
[21:59] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> If a downed player takes damage,they lose attunement equal to the damage.
[21:59] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Once they are back up, a full night’s rest will get them back at full attunement or they can get is back through meditation
[22:00] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> So all new characters come with a built in 14 Health safety net.
[22:02] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Once your attunement hits 0 this way, your essence leaves your body and enters teh Weave where it must be retrieved in 7 days bya skilled user of the green Thread or the character is lost to the Weave.
[22:03] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Any other questions?
[22:03] <~Dan> I think I’m good!
[22:04] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Brian!
[22:04] <~Dan> Give me just a moment, and I’ll get the log posted and link you.
[22:05] <+[AI]BrianLeveque> Excellent. My board game group is iitching to start a TI3 game. I guess I am not sleeping tonight. We have a website up at Aggressiveimpact.com and a Kickstarter going currently. Thanks very much for the opportunity Dan and the RPGnet community.