[19:01] <+Dabney> I’m Dabney Bailey, the creator of Tavern Tales. I’ve been designing TT for about 5 years, 2 of which have been public.
[19:01] <+Dabney> TT is a fantasy-themed RPG that emphasizes customization, freedom, and cinematics.
[19:02] <+Dabney> The game will let you play virtually anything you can possibly imagine. In fact, just today someone posted on the forums a build for Gurren Lagann — effectively it lets you and your party members pilot an enormous robot.
[19:02] <+Dabney> Which is pretty impressive considering it’s a fantasy game I think, haha
[19:03] <+Dabney> There’s a lot more to the game, but I imagine we’ll get into that stuff a little bit later
[19:03] <+Dabney> done
[19:03] <~Dan> Thanks, Dabney!
[19:03] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:04] <+BrunoCarvalho> Where can I find TT (or at least a quickstart rules or something to read about it)?
[19:04] <&Silverlion> hi
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[19:04] <+Dabney> I posted the full rules on the website at (Link: http://www.taverntalesrpg.com)www.taverntalesrpg.com
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[19:04] <+Dabney> The rules have always been free since the open beta back in april of 2014, because I believe that this hobby runs on passion rather than money
[19:05] <+Dabney> done
[19:05] <~Dan> How does the game handle such a wide range of character creation options?
[19:05] <+Dabney> This is kind of a huge question for me
[19:05] <+BrunoCarvalho> take your time 😀
[19:05] <+Dabney> Designers have a difficult proposition ahead of them
[19:06] <+Dabney> Devs are trying to accommodate a huge number of players that want to play things you can’t even begin to imagine
[19:06] <+Dabney> So you’re stuck in this difficult position where you have to give options, but you have no way of knowing how players are going to use them, or if they’re even going to want to use them
[19:07] <+Dabney> So you end up with this issue where the developer’s vision of what a character is doesn’t sync up with what a player’s vision is
[19:08] <+Dabney> I think a lot of RPGs don’t really address this problem — they just kind of say “Here. This is a wizard. It’s my interpretation of what a wizard is, and if you want to play a wizard this is your one option”
[19:08] <+Dabney> I find that really frustrating because I want to play *my* vision of what a wizard is, not someone else’s
[19:08] <+Dabney> So what TT does is it takes all of the flavor that composes a wizard (blowing stuff up, teleporting, seeing magic, forcefields, being smart, etc) and puts them in themes
[19:09] <+Dabney> A theme is a loose grouping of traits that follow a common archetype
[19:09] <+Dabney> Each trait lets you do something new
[19:09] <+Dabney> For example, the Arcane theme lets you teleport and create force fields
[19:09] <+Dabney> The game lets you select any trait from any theme in any combination you want
[19:09] <+Dabney> So if you want to play an archetypical wizard, you can select a bunch of Arcane traits
[19:10] <+Dabney> Or, you can define your own wizard and take traits from other themes, like Beast or Elements
[19:10] <+Dabney> Maybe in your world, wizards get magic power from draconic blood, so you take traits from the Dragon theme
[19:10] <+Dabney> The game’s unlimited options allow you to pretty much build whatever you want, however you want.
[19:11] <+Dabney> done
[19:11] <~Dan> Hmm.
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[19:11] <~Dan> So do themes have any mechanic effect other than a grouping of traits?
[19:11] <~Dan> mechanical effect, rather.
[19:12] <+Dabney> They used to in the earlier versions of the game, but no not anymore
[19:13] <+Dabney> The themes serve 2 purposes
[19:13] <+Dabney> First, they give you a lore anchor for you to find traits
[19:13] <+Dabney> So if you want to, say, catch things on fire, you can look in the Elements theme for options
[19:13] * ~Dan nods
[19:14] <+Dabney> Second, they serve to inspire the players by giving them a nudge in the right direction. The themes work together to form a cohesive whole as if to say, “Look at what sort of character you can build”
[19:14] <+Dabney> done
[19:14] <~Dan> I see… How many themes do you offer?
[19:15] <+Dabney> 19 at the moment. A few: Arcane, Artifice, Beast, Dragon, Elements, Nature, Transformation, Undeath, Warfare
[19:15] <+Dabney> Each theme has about… hmm
[19:15] <+Dabney> 20 traits i’d say
[19:15] <+Dabney> The big thing about triats is that they’re extremely cinematic
[19:15] <+Dabney> I try to avoid +number effects as much as possible, so you won’t see things like “+5 damage”
[19:16] <+Dabney> I prefer effects you can see with your mind’s eye, like burrowing through the earth or breathing water.
[19:16] <+Dabney> done
[19:16] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted that we can see?
[19:17] <+Dabney> Yep, let me track it down
[19:17] <+Dabney> (Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1csnRBBu9MvcSUtBSo2wUwCLXXdGXcUHdodumy8IZmOE/edit?usp=sharing)https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1csnRBBu9MvcSUtBSo2wUwCLXXdGXcUHdodumy8IZmOE/edit?usp=sharing
[19:17] <+Dabney> I can’t take credit for this
[19:17] <+BrunoCarvalho> (minor point: I’ve read it up to the Telling Tales chapter and must say I like it very much. Only thing I can see as a major letdown is the total lack of page numbers”
[19:17] <+Dabney> A fan made it
[19:18] <+Dabney> If the game gets funded, I plan to hire a graphic designer to create an intuitive character sheet
[19:18] <+Dabney> Yeah, sorry about the page numbers. I’m not really a graphic designer so the PDF is pretty bare bones.
[19:18] <+Dabney> done
[19:18] <~Dan> Looks like you have four attributes?
[19:18] <+Dabney> Brawn, Finesse, Mind, Spirit
[19:19] * ~Dan nods
[19:19] <+Dabney> There are optional rules that let encourage you to create your own stat array if you want
[19:19] <~Dan> Oh, that’s a nice option.
[19:19] <+Dabney> Following my core design philosophy, I prefer to let the players decide what type of game they play, rather than me telling them
[19:19] * ~Dan nods
[19:19] <~Dan> So what is the core mechanic?
[19:20] <+Dabney> The core mechanic is a Tale, specifically divided into 3 categories
[19:20] <+Dabney> The most common one is a Neutral Tale. Both the players and the GM can tell Neutral Tales
[19:20] <+Dabney> When its your turn, you can tell as many Neutral Tales as you want. NTs don’t affect the story positively or negatively
[19:20] <+Dabney> Typically they’re just used for descriptions or basic stuff
[19:20] <+Dabney> Like “I take a seat at the tavern”
[19:21] <+Dabney> or “Blood drips down my arm and I grip my sword”
[19:21] <+Dabney> If a player does something risky, the GM has them roll 3d20
[19:21] <+Dabney> That player takes the middle die, so if you roll 1, 10, and 18 you use the 10
[19:21] <+Dabney> You add the appropriate stat to the result
[19:21] <+Dabney> If the player gets 8+, they can tell 1 Good Tale
[19:22] <+Dabney> Good Tales let you positively affect the story, like “I cut open the monster with my sword”
[19:22] <+Dabney> If the player gets 13-, the GM can tell a Bad Tale
[19:22] <+Dabney> Bad Tales add complications or problems for the player who rolled, like “The sword slips out of your bloody hand” or “Guards sound the alarm and start chasing you.”
[19:22] <+Dabney> So basically it’s like a team effort between the GM and the players
[19:23] <+Dabney> Everyone is in charge of describing what’s happening in the game world (Neutral Tales)
[19:23] <+Dabney> The players move the story forward by overcoming obstacles and making good things happen (Good Tale)
[19:23] <+Dabney> The GMs move the story forward by creating dangers and giving the players obstacles to overcome (Bad Tales)
[19:23] <+Dabney> done
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[19:23] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong)
[19:24] <~Dan> Sounds like the game is strongly narrative, but you mention tactics in your KS text. How do you reconcile the two?
[19:24] <+Dabney> Hmm, good question
[19:25] <+Dabney> So, typically games have a resolution mechanic
[19:26] <+Dabney> Like in DND, monsters have a certain number of hit points you need to whittle away until the monster dies
[19:26] <~Dan> Right…
[19:26] <+Dabney> As a result, your most meaningful action in combat is dealing damage, because it brings you closer to winning
[19:27] <+Dabney> TT completely avoids that with the resolution mechanic
[19:27] <+Dabney> The GM determines a certain number of Good Tales that players need to accrue to succeed a challenge
[19:27] <+Dabney> Like, the GM might say that the party needs to collectively accrue 8 Good Tales towards beating a dragon
[19:27] <+Dabney> But the key here is that the game doesn’t define what those Good Tales have to be
[19:28] <+Dabney> In other RPGs, those actions would almost always have to be attacks — any action that isn’t an attack doesn’t bring you closer to winning
[19:28] <+Dabney> but in TT, the potency of your action is determined by its inherent logic
[19:28] <+Dabney> For example, hitting the dragon with the sword might cause the GM to mark 1 challenge box towards defeating it
[19:28] <+Dabney> But suppose that the dragon is like Smaug and has a missing scale
[19:29] <+Dabney> And a player says he shoots an arrow at the missing scale and hits. Because this action is logically more powerful, the GM is encouraged to mark more boxes than normal
[19:29] <+Dabney> So conflicts aren’t about hitting the requisite number of successful action
[19:29] <+Dabney> It’s about addressing the conflict like an actual conflict
[19:29] <+Lin_Chong> Oh hey, it’s Dabney. Hey, Dabney.
[19:30] <+Dabney> Pushing a fire elemental into a body of water would probably kill it outright
[19:30] <+Dabney> So this encourages players to think outside of the box
[19:30] <+Dabney> Sure, you can just attack the monster
[19:30] <+Lin_Chong> I was Sage Mountain up there. Which I haven’t been in a while.
[19:30] <+Dabney> But anything you do with your Good Tale will count towards completing the challenge
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[19:31] <+Dabney> So you have to wonder: Should I attack? Should I push them into a hallway to bottleneck them? Should I aim for their weakspot?
[19:31] <+Dabney> The strategy doesn’t primarily come from the mechanics — it comes from how players interact with the story in a meaningful and logical way
[19:31] <+Dabney> Hey Sage! Been a while
[19:31] <+Dabney> done
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[19:31] * ~Dan thinks…
[19:31] <+BrunoCarvalho> Question: Can TT be run as a GMless game with the players telling both Good and Bad Tales?
[19:32] <+Dabney> Haha, that’s an interesting question
[19:32] <+Dabney> To be honest, I’ve never playtested that, so I can’t really attest to how successful it’d be
[19:32] <+Dabney> But now I’ll have to playtest that and figure it out
[19:32] <+Dabney> Hmm…. that’s a really interesting idea
[19:33] <+Lin_Chong> This Good/Bad Tales thing is new to me.
[19:33] <+Dabney> I’ll have to figure out some sort of mechanic that prevents players from going easy on themselves
[19:33] <+Dabney> Yeah, Good/Bad Tales are new with 1.0
[19:33] <~Dan> So by default, you get one Good Tale with a success, correct?
[19:33] <+Dabney> Right
[19:33] <~Dan> Do weapons matter at all?
[19:33] <+Lin_Chong> So it’s a pacing mechanic to get players to do cool stuff?
[19:33] <+Dabney> Yeah, but not as much as your character
[19:34] <~Dan> How do they work?
[19:34] <~Dan> (brb – please continue)
[19:34] <+BrunoCarvalho> (next question after the weapons one) How does your Good/Bad Tales work with the concept of “Failing Foward”?
[19:34] <+Dabney> Theme traits are divided into 3 categories: combat, exploration, and interaction
[19:34] <+Dabney> Items also have traits, which are divided into the same 3 categories
[19:34] <+Dabney> You use treasure to buy item traits for your items
[19:35] <+Dabney> So you might give a weapon lots of combat traits, you might give winter gear or mountain climbing boots exploration traits, and you might give fine attire interaction traits
[19:36] <+Dabney> Yes, Tales are a mechanic that let you do cool stuff. Giving one per turn is a balance and fairness issue so everybody has a chance to act
[19:36] <+Dabney> Failing forward:
[19:37] <~Dan> (back)
[19:37] <+Dabney> Tavern Tales embraces the idea that bad things are inherently part of the game
[19:38] <+Dabney> Every time you attempt a Good Tale, you risk getting a Bad Tale
[19:38] <+Dabney> These Bad Tales are blessings in disguise because they give you meaningful things to overcome
[19:39] <+Dabney> Bad Tales aren’t just “you’re 1 step closer to losing,” they meaningfully affect the game by changing the current situation
[19:39] <+Dabney> In fact, I’ve had players tell me that their favorite part of the game is overcoming the challenges their actions create
[19:39] <+Dabney> done
[19:40] <~Dan> So can weapons with certain traits lead to more Good Tales on a success?
[19:40] <~Dan> Effectively, more damage?
[19:40] <+Dabney> No not at all
[19:40] <+Dabney> I avoid +numbers as much as possible
[19:40] <~Dan> Ah, so you said.
[19:40] <+Dabney> Traits generally don’t make you more effective at stuff, they change what you can do and let you do more things
[19:41] <+Dabney> So like, a combat weapon trait might let you make attacks at range, or block attacks
[19:41] <+Dabney> Think of Tavern Tales like a movie
[19:41] <+Dabney> Traits almost entirely let you do things that you can imagine an action hero doing
[19:41] <+Dabney> Do you ever see Legolas make a +1 attack?
[19:41] <+BrunoCarvalho> brb
[19:41] <+Dabney> No…. but you do see him fire off a rapid fire volley of arrows, or see orcs coming from miles away
[19:42] <+Dabney> TT embraces these cinematic effects that you can “see” with your imagination
[19:42] <+Dabney> done
[19:42] <~Dan> How do you control the scope of a Good Tale?
[19:43] <+Dabney> The same way you do it in every RPG — GM balance and group expectations
[19:43] <+Dabney> In DND, can a player make a jump roll and leap over a grand canyon?
[19:43] <+Dabney> Typically no
[19:43] <+Dabney> Same situation in TT. Actions are limited by what is logically fitting
[19:43] <+Dabney> done
[19:44] <~Dan> Right, but the difference is that in D&D, mechanics are doing the limiting on the front end.
[19:44] <+Dabney> Yeah, that’s true
[19:44] <~Dan> In TT, it sounds as though the limit would have to be retconned if a player describes “too much”.
[19:45] <+Dabney> Well, yes and no
[19:45] <~Dan> Has that sort of thing come up in your games?
[19:45] * ~Dan listens
[19:45] <+Dabney> No, not typically
[19:45] <+Dabney> TT presents itself a little bit differently than games like DND
[19:45] <+Dabney> The game encourages you time and time again to have conversations with your gaming group and the GM
[19:46] <+Blarghedy> how similar are these to the Moves in Apocalypse World?
[19:46] <+Dabney> For example, there’s a mechanic called “Collaborate” which means “the player and the GM should work together to decide what this means”
[19:46] <+Dabney> The trait Teleport reads something like, “You can teleport. Collaborate on what that entails.” Then, the trait gives you a few suggestions for mechanics
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[19:47] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian)
[19:47] <+Dabney> So if you select Teleport for your character, you would have a conversation with the GM about the trait’s restrictions: how far can you tp? How frequently? Do you need line of sight?
[19:47] <+Dabney> This philosophy extends to your Good / Bad Tales
[19:47] <+Dabney> Your actions are much more like a conversation
[19:48] <+Dabney> Apocalypose World bakes the effects of an action into a roll
[19:48] <+Dabney> like a move will say…
[19:48] <+Dabney> If you roll X, do this
[19:48] <+Dabney> If you roll Y, do this
[19:48] <+Dabney> If you roll Z, do this
[19:48] <+Dabney> TT doesn’t tell you specifically what happens on a roll.
[19:48] <+Dabney> So, suppose that you teleport and roll a 10
[19:49] <+Dabney> The player would probably spend the Good Tale to say something like, “I successfully teleport out of the cave right before the ceiling collapses on me”
[19:49] <+Dabney> And the GM can interpret the Bad Tale however he wants
[19:49] <+Dabney> he might say “The cave monster that was leaping at you also gets caught in the telportation spell and appears next to you”
[19:50] <+Dabney> or “You successfully teleport, but in the chaos you leave your magic sword behind, which is now buried in the cave-in”
[19:50] <+Dabney> TT is a very trusting game
[19:50] <+Blarghedy> so it’s basically the same effects as Moves, but much more open to interpretation
[19:50] <+Blarghedy> neat.
[19:50] <+Dabney> it basically says, “You’re a smart person. I’ll do everything I can to give you the tools to play a fun game, but I have faith in you to use the tools intelligently in whatever way you choose”
[19:51] <+Dabney> Yeah you can say that
[19:51] <+Dabney> This is the overriding philosophy in TT
[19:51] <+Dabney> I, the creator, don’t tell you how to play
[19:51] <+Dabney> You, the player, get to use what I wrote however you want, play whatever you want
[19:51] <+Dabney> Your gaming group is the boss of your game, not me
[19:51] <+Dabney> done
[19:52] <+Dabney> Whew, this is a lot of typing
[19:52] <~Dan> You’re doing fine. 🙂
[19:53] <+BrunoCarvalho> Well, I gotta sleep, but good luck with the crowdfunding! Dan, I’l check the log later. Night all!
[19:53] <~Dan> Take care, Bruno!
[19:53] <+Dabney> Thanks for coming
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[19:54] <~Dan> How are threats to the PCs handled? How are antagonists written up?
[19:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, consilium)
[19:54] * +consilium wave
[19:54] <+Dabney> The GM selects a challenge number for how difficult he thinks this encounter should be
[19:55] <+Dabney> like he might say exploring a dungeon is challenge 8, and killing a dragon is challenge 15
[19:55] <+Lin_Chong> Whatever happened to Creative Control?
[19:56] <+Dabney> NPCs can be built using the exact same system to build characters, and exploration/interaction events typically don’t have any mechanics. You just go with whatever is logically appropriate. It’s not like in FATE where you give the terrain or an event aspects that can be invoked
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[19:56] <+Dabney> So really the game treats PC-controlled stuff and GM-controlled stuff the same way
[19:57] <~Dan> Is it the case, then, that nothing makes an individual roll more difficult? Or am I missing something?
[19:57] <+Dabney> Creatures are built with traits, and everything else is decided based on what is logically appropriate. You don’t need rules to tell you what a jungle is and what it does, because that’s generally agreed-upon information. Players and the GM can both use the jungle with their Good / Bad Tales
[19:57] <+Dabney> (Lin, i’ll get to your question in a sec)
[19:57] <+Dabney> Actually, no Dan
[19:57] <+Dabney> The dice mechanic is that you roll 3d20 and take the middle die
[19:57] <+Dabney> That’s the default roll
[19:58] <+Dabney> However, extremely difficult/easy actions cause you to decrease/increase the roll
[19:58] <+Dabney> For example, suppose you want to shoot a fly with an arrow
[19:58] <+Dabney> This is incredibly difficult but still possible, so the GM would say you need to decrease the roll
[19:58] <+Dabney> You roll 3d20 and use the lowest d20 instead of the middle
[19:58] <+Dabney> The same goes for increase
[19:59] <+Dabney> If you try something really easy, like trying to trick a drunk, the GM will let you increase the roll — use the highest d20
[19:59] <+Blarghedy> So the GM sets the challenge and then also decreases the roll?
[19:59] <+Dabney> Blarg, yes, but these two things are unrelated
[19:59] <+Dabney> Let’s suppose the players decide they want to kill a dragon
[20:00] <+Dabney> The GM decides this dragon is a challenge 10, which means they need to accrue 10 Good Tales to defeat it
[20:00] <+Dabney> Now, it’s up to the players to decide how they want to approach that
[20:00] <+Dabney> running up to the dragon and hitting it with your sword is straightfoward — that would probably be a normal roll that grants 1 Good Tale
[20:00] <+Blarghedy> Oh wait, I’m missing something then. How does one accrue a good tale?
[20:01] <+Blarghedy> oooh I see above now. Neat.
[20:01] <+Dabney> But if the ranger wnats to shoot the dragon in its missing scale, the GM might have the ranger decrease the roll. It’s a higher risk, but higher reward, because the player will have the logical grounds to be more powerful with his Good Tale
[20:01] <+Dabney> The fighter who slices the dragon’s belly might say “I rip open its belly and tear off a scale, revealing a tender patch of flesh”
[20:02] <+Dabney> now, the ranger can say “I strike it in its exposed flesh. Blood begins gushing out — it’s suffering from a life-threatening bleed”
[20:02] <+Dabney> Both players rolled and spent 1 Good Tale
[20:02] <+Dabney> but the logic of the situation determines what you can do with your GT
[20:02] <+Dabney> and the logic of the situation also determines if the action you’re trying to complete is decreased, normal, or increased
[20:03] <+Dabney> Lin: Creative License is still in the game, it’s just not keyworded. The game now effectively gives players CL by default
[20:03] <+Dabney> (this is an old mechanic that’s no longer in the game)
[20:03] <+Dabney> done
[20:03] <~Dan> Does the GM ever roll?
[20:03] <+Dabney> No, but I realize that this is a feature that a lot of players like, so I’m planning on writing an optional rule that will allow GM rolling
[20:04] <~Dan> It sounds as though, like in Apocalypse World, NPCs can’t really be better or worse at anything.
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[20:05] <~Dan> In that every roll is a “self-test”.
[20:05] <+Dabney> I’m not sure what you mean
[20:05] <+Blarghedy> as in the players fail something, which enables the NPCs to do something?
[20:05] <~Dan> Okay. Let’s say a PC is facing off against a master swordsman.
[20:06] <~Dan> The fact that the NPC is a master wouldn’t seem to matter, because the NPC’s skill isn’t going to impact the PC’s roll.
[20:06] <+Dabney> Ohh, I see
[20:06] <+Dabney> and that is definitely not the case
[20:07] <+Dabney> See, in my opinion this falls into the DND-style trap of thinking
[20:07] <+Dabney> In DND a master swordsman is better than a farmer because the master swordsman has +10 attack and +10 damage, while the farmer only has +1 attack / damage
[20:07] <+Dabney> Remember that TT completely forskaes numbers in favor of meaningful, cinematic effects
[20:07] <+Dabney> So in TT, suppose you are attacking NPCs
[20:08] <+Dabney> You roll badly against a farmer, so the GM says “The farmer stabs you with his pitchfork, drawing blood”
[20:08] <+Dabney> Now, the master swordsman has all kinds of combat traits
[20:09] <+Dabney> so you roll badly against the master swordsman, and the GM says “The swordsman deftly dodges your attack and cuts off your hand as you thrust with your weapons”
[20:09] <+Dabney> Because the MS has the trait “Carnage” from the Dragon theme, which lets him mutilate on attacks
[20:09] <+Dabney> TT doesn’t distinguish power by numbers — it distinguishes power by effects
[20:09] <+Dabney> You are powerful because you do powerful things, not because the things you do are higher numbers
[20:09] <+Dabney> done
[20:09] <+Dabney> Does that explain it?
[20:10] <~Dan> It does, but I think part of my point still stands. (more)
[20:10] <~Dan> Because while you’re point about effects is well-taken…
[20:11] <~Dan> …the chance of effects taking place is still 100% a matter of player ability.
[20:12] <+Dabney> Yes, that’s true. The players are rolling against a generally static number, which I feel speeds up gameplay because players instantly know what to do without waiting for the GM to confirm
[20:12] <+Dabney> But, let’s suppose you have a tanky NPC
[20:12] <+Dabney> if you’re rolling against a static number to attack the tanky NPC, what makes him tanky?
[20:12] <+Dabney> That NPC will likely have traits that allow him to avoid or turn back attacks
[20:13] <+Dabney> The static numbers keep things moving forward by encouraging fast gameplay. Players know what their rolls mean and the relatively low target numbers mean that somethings happens every turn
[20:13] <+Dabney> The real consequences come afterward, with how *what you say with your Tale* affects the story
[20:13] <+Dabney> and how your traits enable new options
[20:13] <+Dabney> I realize that this is probably not to some players tastes, who prefer a bit more granularity with their games
[20:14] <+Dabney> But TT is a game about cinematics, not mathematics
[20:14] <+Dabney> done
[20:14] * ~Dan nods
[20:14] <~Dan> We’re all about personal tastes here. 🙂
[20:15] <~Dan> How do Bad Tales ultimately affect PCs? Is death a purely narrative threat?
[20:16] <+Dabney> Players have Challenge numbers as well
[20:16] <+Dabney> When they suffer a Bad Tale, they mark 1 challenge number
[20:16] <+Dabney> Obviously, this depends on the story
[20:16] <+Dabney> If a player gets punched in the face, that’s probably 1 challenge box marked
[20:16] <+Dabney> If a player falls in lava, that’s probably all of his challenge boxes marked
[20:17] <+Dabney> When all of a player’s challenge boxes are marked, the GM can do something mean to him based on the logic
[20:17] <+Dabney> If it’s a bar fight, then that probably means he’s knocked unconscious and mugged
[20:17] <+Dabney> If it’s falling in lava, that probably means he’s goo
[20:17] <+Dabney> If the’s fighting a dragon, that probably means his arm gets bitten off and he falls unconscious, on the brink of dying
[20:18] <+Dabney> And the GM can decide if the dragon would logically kill the player
[20:18] <+Dabney> This might feel very arbitrary, but again this is part of the core philosophy of TT
[20:18] <+Dabney> It’s up to the gaming group to decide what sort of game you want to play
[20:19] <+Dabney> If you want to play a high fantasy game, then people should generally agree that players wont die when they run out of boxes unless it’s extreme situations (falling in lava, they have it coming, etc)
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:19] <+Dabney> If you want to play a dark and gritty game, then there’s a very real risk of monsters killing you whenever you run out of boxes
[20:19] <+Dabney> This is your game, so it’s your responsibility — and your right! — to come to an understanding with everyone else playing about what sort of game you’re going to play
[20:19] <+Dabney> The mechanics enable and reflect that
[20:19] <+Dabney> done
[20:20] <~Dan> Given the abstracted nature of “damage” in TT, how do you handle issues like armor and healing?
[20:20] <+Dabney> Armor and healing are a little bit different
[20:20] <+Dabney> Armor falls under defenses, which basically give you extra boxes you can only use in certain situations
[20:21] <+Dabney> For example, suppose you are a player with 4 challegne boxes. You can suffer 4 Bad Tales before the GM does something cruel to you
[20:21] <+Dabney> You buy a set of full plate and put it on. This armor (because of a combat trait that the armor has) gives you “You gain the defense ‘[ ] Armor.’ Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale that armor could logically negate.”
[20:21] <+Dabney> So, then you get into a fight and someone stabs you with a spear
[20:22] <+Dabney> Instead of marking your normal boxes, you can mark that defense box, effectively increasing your durability
[20:22] <+Dabney> Now, this doesn’t only fall under combat
[20:22] <+Dabney> There might be traits like “Gain the defense ‘[ ] Wanderlust.’ Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale caused by someplace you’ve never been before.”
[20:23] <+Dabney> Healing is based almost exclusively on logic. Let’s suppose that you’re fighting a swordsman, and you suffer enough Bad Tales that the GM says “The swordsman cuts you across the chest, leaving you with an open gash.”
[20:23] <+Dabney> That wound is entirely cinematic rather than mechanical
[20:24] <+Dabney> You write down “Open wound on your chest” and that means whatever it should logically mean
[20:24] <+Dabney> It heals whenever that kind of wound would logically heal
[20:24] <+Dabney> Or if you go into a fetid swamp, there’s a good chance that wound would get infected. That’s a great thing for the GM to do with a Bad Tale
[20:24] <+Dabney> or if you engage in strenuous activity, the GM might spend a Bad Tale to say that your wound opens up and sets back the healing
[20:25] <+Dabney> Magical healing has effects like “Heal your wounds as if you had 1 day of uninterrupted bed rest.”
[20:25] <+Dabney> Will that help you heal a chest wound? Certainly.
[20:25] <+Dabney> Will that help you heal a demon curse? Probably not
[20:25] <+Dabney> That wound would probably need to be dispelled or cleansed with holy magic
[20:26] <+Dabney> Or like, if your arm is broken, you don’t need to heal it
[20:26] <+Dabney> You could chop it off and replace it with a robot arm (there’s a trait for that)
[20:26] <+Dabney> done
[20:26] <~Dan> Heh. Cool. 🙂
[20:27] <~Dan> Does the game come with its own setting, defined or implied?
[20:28] <+Dabney> No, the game was built from the ground up to be setting neutral. I want players to build their own worlds.
[20:28] <+Dabney> There’s actually a worldbuilding section that gives players the tools to work together and create an original setting
[20:28] <+Dabney> The game leans heavily towards fantasy, but it can easily be reflavored for steampunk or scifi
[20:29] <+Dabney> Probably not modern, because the effects can be pretty outlandish (teleporting, summoning demons, etc)
[20:29] <+Dabney> done
[20:30] <~Dan> Think it could handle superheroes?
[20:30] <+Dabney> Definitely. One of TT’s oldest fans on the forums likes to refer to his players as “Fantasy supers”
[20:31] <+Dabney> If you want a more subdued and realistic game, the players and the GM really need to ahve a conversation about things that are offlimits
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[20:31] <+Dabney> Obviously, survival horror games would need to ban the more cinematic traits
[20:31] <+Lin_Chong> I used it to play a game of South/East Asian Jack Kirby New Gods once.
[20:31] <~Dan> That’s cool, Lin_Chong. 🙂
[20:32] <~Dan> How well can the game simulate the “standard” fantasy races?
[20:32] <+Lin_Chong> Worked real well.
[20:33] <~Dan> Like, build me a dwarf with TT.
[20:33] <+Dabney> Sure, let me open the doc
[20:35] <+Dabney> There are a few Dragon traits that are all about greed and hoarding treasure. I might give them a few of those
[20:35] <+Dabney> Warfare has some toughness traits that I might give them, which should do a good job of representing their physical resilience
[20:36] <+Dabney> If you wanted to go with an attunement to earth or mountains, you could easily find traits in the Elements theme
[20:36] <+Dabney> Though I will say that one of the Kickstarter stretch goals is the Heritage theme, which will specifically address classic fantasy races like elves and dwarves
[20:36] <+Dabney> It would also give traits that come from your family and culture
[20:36] * ~Dan nods
[20:37] <+Dabney> effects like “You have a large family or clan that’s personally invested in your prosperity”
[20:37] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:37] <+Dabney> or “You’re a member of nobility”
[20:37] <+Dabney> done
[20:37] <~Dan> What game or games do you see as your direct competitor(s)?
[20:38] <+Dabney> This might sound weird, but I actually think that TT doesn’t have any competitors
[20:39] <+Dabney> I think that the RPG industry is unique in that games don’t have competition. Rather, they’re all on the same team.
[20:39] <+Dabney> RPGs aren’t like cars or TVs, where you just buy one and that’s the one thing you use
[20:39] <+Dabney> Playing RPGs lead players to discover other RPGs, and the low barrier to entry (free at best, $50 at worst) makes it incredibly easy for players to branch out
[20:40] <+Dabney> I feel that games like Dungeon World and DND actually help TT, rather than hurting it
[20:40] <+Dabney> But that might be overly idealistic and naive of me
[20:40] <+Dabney> done
[20:40] <+Lin_Chong> Is it more like model kit building, where you buy one model kit so you can use its parts for another model kit?
[20:41] <+Dabney> No, it’s more like tasting discoverng a really good beer for the first time
[20:41] <+Dabney> most people aren’t like “this is the only beer i want to have for the rest of my life”
[20:41] <+Dabney> they’re like “holy crap I want to try all the beers!”
[20:41] <+Dabney> or all the deserts!
[20:41] <+Dabney> insert guilty pleasure of choice here
[20:41] <+Xenesis> The sahara is my favourite desert.
[20:41] <+Xenesis> :p
[20:41] <+Xenesis> But yeah, I agree
[20:42] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:42] <+Dabney> haha… been typing a lot
[20:42] <+Xenesis> People get excited about stuff and they like to delve
[20:42] <+Xenesis> Either broadly or deeply
[20:43] <+Dabney> yeah, that’s how RPGs are
[20:43] <+Dabney> it’s not like buying a computer where you make One and Only one Purchase
[20:43] <~Dan> Is this your first published RPG?
[20:43] <+Lin_Chong> Personally I think like; “I tried this food, I’m going to see if I can get that effect in the recipe I’m cooking with.”
[20:43] <+Dabney> Like a true homebrewer
[20:44] <+Lin_Chong> Well, I do cook for fun.
[20:45] <+Dabney> I think a while ago someone tried to make a chef build
[20:45] <+Dabney> Had Alchemy I know, and the Tracking trait that lets you take a trophy (meat, obviously) from monsters
[20:45] <~Dan> Funny. 🙂
[20:46] <~Dan> Did you see my question, Dabney?
[20:47] <+Dabney> Oh sorry I missed that
[20:47] <~Dan> No problem.
[20:47] <+Dabney> Yeah, it’s my first *published* RPG
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[20:47] <+Dabney> I think it’s my 8th or 9th RPG overall
[20:47] <~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx)
[20:47] <+Dabney> also done nearly a dozen board games
[20:47] <+GenoFoxx> hiya Dan, Dabney
[20:47] <+Dabney> I usually make a game, play it for 1 week with my friends, and then forget about it
[20:48] <+Dabney> I enjoy the journey more than the destination
[20:48] <~Dan> Were your other games as strongly narrative as this one?
[20:48] <+Dabney> TT is the first game that I felt was good enough to see the public
[20:49] <+Dabney> About half of them were
[20:49] <+Dabney> My games became increasingly narrative over time
[20:49] <+Dabney> The other ones were… let’s say “messy”
[20:49] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[20:50] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[20:50] <+Dabney> I don’t think so. we pretty much covered everything
[20:50] <+Dabney> Except for maybe some plugs
[20:51] <+Dabney> The Kickstarter is here: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1413330144/tavern-tales)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1413330144/tavern-tales
[20:51] <+Dabney> We’re 25% funded, which is pretty good, but we’ve got a long way to go
[20:51] <+Dabney> Most of TT’s fans are on reddit.com/r/taverntales
[20:51] <+Dabney> The community has been instrumental in developing the game
[20:52] <+Dabney> I’m a very collaborate designer, so pretty much every rule was run by the community first
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[20:52] <+Dabney> If anybody out there likes to see backend game design stuff, I strongly encourage you to check out the subreddit
[20:53] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:53] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Dabney!
[20:54] <~Dan> I hope you’ll hang out with us in the future.
[20:54] <+Dabney> Yeah, it was nice being here