[20:03] <+JasonDurall> I’m Jason Durall… the line developer for Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, coming soon from Modiphius.
[20:03] <+ChrisLites> I’m Chris Lites, assistant line manager for said game.
[20:03] <+JasonDurall> Here’s the Kickstarter link: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modiphius/robert-e-howards-conan-roleplaying-game?)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modiphius/robert-e-howards-conan-roleplaying-game?
[20:04] <+ChrisLites> The basic intent of this game is to remain faithful to Robert E. Howard while evoking thrilling pulp action.
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> I’m going to cue up Poledoris’ theme from the Conan movie now, for background music. I encourage everyone to do the same.
[20:05] <~Dan> 🙂
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[20:05] <+ChrisLites> Too bad we can’t embed that OST in the pages.
[20:06] <~Dan> (Just a reminder to give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂 )
[20:06] <+JasonDurall> So yes, as Chris was saying, we’re managing the team of writers producing the game. It’s a new approach to REH, we think, where we’re working with REH scholars who’re also gamers, and we’re looking to the original source material as our primary inspiration.
[20:07] <+JasonDurall> So (done) and loose your questions.
[20:07] <~Dan> Thanks, Jason! The floor is open to questions!
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[20:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, consilium!)
[20:07] <+consilium> (Hey~)
[20:07] <+ChrisLites> Hello
[20:08] <~Dan> So what do you think this game brings to the table that previous Conan games have not?
[20:08] <+ChrisLites> 1. REH as canon, no pastiche.
[20:08] <+JasonDurall> That!
[20:08] <+ChrisLites> A rules system designed to emulate the reversals of fortune common in pulp and particularly REH
[20:09] <+JasonDurall> 2. REH scholarship, as in actual published REH experts
[20:09] <+ChrisLites> And your father’s sword, of course
[20:09] <+ChrisLites> Yes, everything is vetted by these scholars.
[20:09] <+netobvious> A question here…
[20:09] <+ChrisLites> shoot
[20:10] <~Dan> Ask away, netobvious!
[20:10] <+JasonDurall> A focus on how Howard was actually portraying the Hyborian Age, as opposed to how de Camp, Carter, or some random dude from a Marvel comic back in 1978 portrayed it.
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[20:10] <+netobvious> You mentioned reversal of fortunes?
[20:10] <~Dan> (wb, jeffszusz!)
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[20:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, Janana!)
[20:10] <+ChrisLites> Yes, none of the comics or pastiche stories exist in our Hyborian Age
[20:10] <+netobvious> Does that means adventurers may die prematurely. Players may not take to kindly to that mechanic in combat.
[20:10] <+JasonDurall> We’re also working on a line of sourcebooks that focus on the different flavors of Hyborian Age storytelling.
[20:11] <+JasonDurall> Adventurers will likely go out in a blaze of glory. Not dying prematurely.
[20:11] <+ChrisLites> More like reversals of fortune as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Oh, Indy did this great thing, but then something bad happens, but he gets out of that, but then he’s dragged behind a truck….
[20:11] <+JasonDurall> Our emphasis is on heroic pulp-style adventure, so if a player character dies in combat it will likely be a pretty epic combat.
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[20:12] <+ChrisLites> Exactly.
[20:12] <+netobvious> Ah! Thanks for the explanation of this “reversal of fortune” Who controls the narrative consequence, GM or players?
[20:12] <+ChrisLites> both
[20:12] <~Dan> How so?
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> We’re also making explicit the actual horrors that Howard brought to the Hyborian Age. The links to HP Lovecraft’s stories and mythic history, for example.
[20:12] <+ChrisLites> players can essentially press their luck for higher chances or success or greater results
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[20:13] <+ChrisLites> and the GM then gets Doom points to throw the proverbial wrench into the plans
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> There are three “fate-changing” mechanics at play in the game: Momentum, Doom, and Fortune.
[20:13] <~Dan> JasonDurall: Actually, before we get into that, do you think you should touch on the core mechanic?
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> Players who roll better than they need get points of Momentum, which can be spent to improve their actions, change the situation to their better, or do more amazing stuff.
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> Momentum can also be banked, which lets the players share Momentum amongst themselves.
[20:14] <+ChrisLites> It’s 2D20 and you want to roll low.
[20:15] <+ChrisLites> You have a target number to roll under. Each D20 under that is a success.
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[20:15] <+ChrisLites> And each task has a difficulty from 1-5. Those are the number of successes needed for that task.
[20:16] <+netobvious> What is the lowest target number for average and epic tasks? 10 and 5? or 15 and 10?
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> Your target number is your core attribute and a related skill… such as, for example, Agility 10 and Skill Expertise in Ranged Combat +4, which would give you a 14 to roll under.
[20:16] <+ChrisLites> And the fate changing mechanics allow you to “buy” extra D20s to roll.
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[20:16] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[20:16] <+ChrisLites> Cool screenname.
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> You will also have Skill Focus… which is a smaller number. For the above example, your Target Number would be 14 based on an Agility 10 and Skill Expertise of Ranged Combat of 4
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> You could also have Skill Focus of 2, which means that any roll of 1 or 2 gives you an extra success.
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> A task is given, as Chris says above, a Difficulty of 0-5.
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> 0 = automatic
[20:18] <+ChrisLites> So, you are dealing with a target number but also a number of successes needed.
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> 1 = standard
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> 2 = tougher
[20:18] <+ChrisLites> Which allows a bit more flexibility than D20, say.
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> all the way up to 5 = insanely difficult
[20:19] <+ChrisLites> The theory we approached much of the mechanics from was—what happened in the stories?
[20:19] <~Dan> Hmm. So it seems that the difficulty rises steeply between 2 and 3.
[20:19] <+JasonDurall> So when a player rolls, they’ll take 2d20 and try to roll low, ideally getting a 1 or a 2, hoping to achieve a number of required successes to handle the task they’re trying to do.
[20:19] <+ChrisLites> Conan was, for example, a barbarian, a thief, a king….
[20:20] <+JasonDurall> So if you really want to roll extra dice, you can spend a Fortune point and get an automatic roll of 1. You just place it on the table as an extra dice with a 1.
[20:20] <+JasonDurall> If you have any Skill Focus, you’ve likely just gotten two successes.
[20:20] <+ChrisLites> And you can get extra D20s, but the GM then increases his or her Doom pool.
[20:21] <~Dan> And how does the GM spend the Doom pool?
[20:21] <+JasonDurall> If you get extra successes, like you needed 1 and got 3 on your roll… you could improve your damage, spend them in a few other ways, or you can bank them.
[20:21] <+JasonDurall> in the Momentum pool.
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> Another player can take dice/points out of the Momentum pool and use them as an extra dice, 1 per 1.
[20:22] <+ChrisLites> One way is to activate NPC abilities. That’s specific. Another is more fluid and narrative. The GM can make interesting or unfortunate things happen.
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> You can roll up to five d20s technically, if you use Momentum, Fortune, etc.
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> Some talents let you roll extra dice under certain circumstances.
[20:23] <+ChrisLites> The idea is to give tangible in game mechanics for Doom while also allowing narrative freedom if you like that play style.
[20:23] <+JasonDurall> Doom can also be spent by the GM to improve NPC rolls.
[20:23] <~Dan> So does that mean that certain NPCs can’t use certain powers at all if the PCs don’t take risks?
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> Or to increase the quality of NPC enemies, such as upgrading a mook to an elite.
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> Players who roll 20 on a skill test have taken a Complication.
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> or a 19 or 20 when rolling something they have no skill in.
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> A complication is a minor setback, etc.
[20:25] <+ChrisLites> You can certainly reduce the deadliness of an NPC by playing it safe… but you don’t necessarily know which ones.
[20:25] <+JasonDurall> It might be Conan breaking his phoenix-enchanted sword on an assassin’s helmet when he kills him.
[20:25] <+JasonDurall> He succeeds in the attack, but the 20 complicates matters…
[20:25] <+JasonDurall> The GM can instead just say “instead of adding a Complication, I’m just going to take a bit of Doom”.
[20:26] <+ChrisLites> Right.
[20:26] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> The GM’s Doom resource begins with a number based on the # of players at the table, and the GM can also add Doom to the pool when the players are dawdling in the face of danger.
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> Getting involved in metagame digression when their characters should be acting with haste, for example.
[20:27] <+ChrisLites> Yes, pacing is important.
[20:27] <+ChrisLites> Howard didn’t write the boring parts.
[20:27] <~Dan> Are the players aware of how much Doom the GM has at any given time?
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> If the GM wants to conceal it, then no.
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> But a GM who doesn’t care could keep it out.
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> GMs might be also willing to add to it for other stuff… like John Wick’s black die to add when players do Monty Python quotes.
[20:29] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[20:29] <+ChrisLites> AHNOLD impressions, for example
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> But it’s not an adversarial relationship at all. The GM is just using Doom as a means of adding heat to the situation.
[20:29] * ~Dan nods
[20:30] <+JasonDurall> All of these are tools to push the game towards more pulpish dramatic action.
[20:30] <~Dan> Do you happen to have a character sheet available for viewing?
[20:30] <+ChrisLites> Yes, in the Quick Start.
[20:31] <+JasonDurall> The quickstart has seven pregens in it, and the final character sheet has yet to be finalized.
[20:31] <~Dan> Do you have the link to the Quick Start handy?
[20:31] <+ChrisLites> Can I upload an image here?
[20:31] <~Dan> No, but you can post a URL link.
[20:32] <+JasonDurall> On it
[20:32] <+ChrisLites> (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/174829/Robert-E-Howards-CONAN-Roleplaying-Game-Quickstart?)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/174829/Robert-E-Howards-CONAN-Roleplaying-Game-Quickstart?
[20:32] <+ChrisLites> That’s the quick start link.
[20:32] <+JasonDurall> My internet is incredibly slow.
[20:33] <+ChrisLites> What else would you folks like to know?
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> So if it comes to looking stuff up, Chris will beat me every time.
[20:33] <+ChrisLites> The riddle of steel?
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[20:33] <~Dan> While the quickstart is downloading…
[20:33] <~Dan> How do you handle the issue of magic?
[20:34] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest14!)
[20:34] <+ChrisLites> It’s dangerous, an intrusion of the unnatural into the natural world.
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[20:34] <+ChrisLites> Also, lots of what passes as magic is trickery, alchemy and the like.
[20:34] <+netobvious> Does that mean Player Characters are discouraged from a purely magical character class to avoid reaching high levels of magic use?
[20:34] <+JasonDurall> Those who want to use it will make desperate bargains, usually at ruinous costs.
[20:35] <+JasonDurall> Not as such, but there will be a cost.
[20:35] <+ChrisLites> We have a whole book, The Book of Skelos, dedicated to magic
[20:35] <+ChrisLites> and magic is in the core book.
[20:35] <+ChrisLites> You can play a wizard if you want, but you aren’t going to be slinging fireballs and the like.
[20:35] <+JasonDurall> The goal is that it is obviously a dangerous and powerful tool, and whilst it is possible to achieve immense things with it, it is not something to be trifled with.
[20:36] <+netobvious> For this game to remain true to REH literature, is there any mechanic to discourage a whole group playing as sorcerers?
[20:36] <~Dan> Is it strictly rituals?
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> Even one of the most powerful sorcerers in the age, Tsotha-lanti, used a poison ring to bring Conan down.
[20:37] <+ChrisLites> While not a single mechanic, a group of sorcerers wouldn’t love long.
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> No, there are direct damage spells, like the one in People of the Black Circle where the sorcerer rips someone’s heart out from afar.
[20:38] <+ChrisLites> So they are not all rituals and, as Jason mentioned, some of it is science like alchemy.
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[20:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[20:39] <+ChrisLites> What we aim to do is always go back to the source—Howard.
[20:39] <~Dan> Mechanically, what’s the limitation on spellcasting?
[20:39] <~Dan> (e.g., spell points, fatigue, etc.)
[20:39] <+ChrisLites> To fuel very powerful spells, one might need a great deal of life-force. Which is to stay draining life.
[20:40] <+ChrisLites> Even the sorcerer’s own.
[20:40] <+JasonDurall> and many need Momentum spends to activate effects
[20:40] <+ChrisLites> Which is why someone like Tsotha-Lanti has a poison ring.
[20:41] <+ChrisLites> Howard’s cosmology included life force as an essential part of the world.
[20:41] * ~Dan nods
[20:41] <+ChrisLites> And it can power magic.
[20:41] <+ChrisLites> Also, not for nothing, but we’re including Howard’s Lovecraftian stuff too so, you know, magic could drive you crazy.
[20:42] <~Dan> Just glancing at the sample characters, I see several that appear to be at least dabblers in Sorcery. Is that fairly common?
[20:42] <+ChrisLites> The weird horror hasn’t ever been captured fully in a Conan game as far as I can tell.
[20:42] <+JasonDurall> That “dabbling” means they know some things about some things.
[20:43] <+JasonDurall> Without the Sorcery talents, they’ve not been taught any proper use of magic.
[20:43] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:44] <+ChrisLites> There again, you see where we don’t have a class system as such.
[20:45] <~Dan> It appears that skills are pretty broad. Are there specialties involved as well? Or does Melee really cover every hand weapon?
[20:45] <+JasonDurall> There are a variety of sorcery talents that let players branch into things like summoning, alchemy, enchantments, etc.
[20:45] <+JasonDurall> We’re intentionally keeping skills broad, but talents will create specializations
[20:45] <+ChrisLites> But I’d underscore that magic is really unnatural to the age. It’s something profane. You don’t go to ye Old Magic Shoppe.
[20:46] * ~Dan nods
[20:46] <~Dan> Can you describe how combat works?
[20:47] <+JasonDurall> The players go first, generally. They can pick the order they want to go in.
[20:47] <+JasonDurall> If the GM decides it’s really important that one or more NPCs go first, then the GM needs to pony up some Doom.
[20:47] <+ChrisLites> It’s obviously melee focused with enough detail to give imagery like the stories did but, once you play for maybe a half hour, it moves fast.
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[20:48] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Brutalman!)
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> Players decide their attacks, and pick the relevant # of dice.
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> They can roll hit location at the same time.
[20:49] <+JasonDurall> Targets of attacks can attempt to parry or evade, based on how they’re best set up.
[20:49] <+JasonDurall> When the dice hit the table, the successes are counted up.
[20:50] <+JasonDurall> Any successes in excess of the required difficulty (usually 1) become Momentum, and can be spent immediately for stuff like extra damage dice, disarms, etc.
[20:50] <+JasonDurall> Different weapons do different damage dice, and characters have base damage bonuses.
[20:51] <+JasonDurall> Add them together and roll d6 = combat dice.
[20:51] <+JasonDurall> so a broadsword might do 5CD in damage, and a strong character can have +2CD damage bonus, so 7CD are rolled.
[20:52] <~Dan> So 7d6?
[20:52] <+JasonDurall> For combat dice, a roll of 1 is a success. 2 = two successes, 3,4 are paltry and weak and forgotten, and 5 or 6 mean an Effect is created, as well as granting a success.
[20:52] <+JasonDurall> Yes.
[20:53] <+JasonDurall> Armor, shields, cover… toughness… all of these can create Soak, which is the target’s ability to shrug off or soak up damage.
[20:53] <+ChrisLites> It’s fairly straightforward.
[20:53] <~Dan> Seems to be.
[20:53] <+ChrisLites> That was something I liked about the Mongoose Conan.
[20:53] <+ChrisLites> Armor absorbed damage.
[20:53] <+ChrisLites> Made sense.
[20:54] <~Dan> Yes.
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> Weapons will have qualities like Vicious or Piercing or Stun… and these are activated when Effects are rolled.
[20:54] <+netobvious> Does armor get damaged if it absorbs too much damage in one encounter?
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> These Effects do different things, sometimes allowing for extra dice rolls.
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> Yeah… you can lose parts of your armor.
[20:55] <+ChrisLites> I read that as “pants” of your armor for a sec.
[20:55] <+JasonDurall> Effects like Piercing ignore armor points.
[20:55] <+JasonDurall> Crom cares not.
[20:55] <~Dan> 😀
[20:56] <~Dan> How deadly is combat?
[20:56] <+JasonDurall> So players have two Stress “tracks” … Vigor and Trauma.
[20:56] <+ChrisLites> We’re trying to evoke Howard’s whole worldview, too. Rise and fall of civilizations, gods may or may not be real, etc.
[20:56] <+netobvious> For traditional non-armor wearing characters in REH literature, what benefit do they get for not being fully clad in armor?
[20:56] <+JasonDurall> Vigor is physical, Trauma mental
[20:57] <+JasonDurall> Both are based on attributes, and when they’re exhausted, the player takes serious harms
[20:57] <+ChrisLites> You can wear whatever armor and have it Soak.
[20:57] <+JasonDurall> But in the Hyborian Age, anyone with a choice put on armor
[20:57] <+JasonDurall> and rarely was being unarmored an advantage
[20:57] <+netobvious> But is there a benefit for the Conan non-armored visage?
[20:58] <~Dan> The chicks dig it.
[20:58] <+ChrisLites> Yes, he isn’t an easy target.
[20:58] <+netobvious> If not all that artwork is misdirecting our ideal heroic image. 😦
[20:58] <+ChrisLites> He rarely wears underwear and, when he des, it’s usually something unusual… and furry.
[20:59] <+ChrisLites> The barely clad barbarian is most definitely in the game as a hero.
[20:59] <~Dan> Does the game encourage creative combat? Is there an incentive to avoid “I swing. I swing. I swing.”?
[20:59] <+JasonDurall> Armor is clumsy and might slow you down, or wear you out
[21:00] <+JasonDurall> All joking aside, Conan as portrayed in the stories generally tries to wear armor whenever he can.
[21:00] <+ChrisLites> If you narrate something cool, you could get Fortune or Momentum if the GM wanted.
[21:00] <+JasonDurall> The “devils bargain” when using an all-star cast of artists famous for their Conan work is that often he’s portrayed as half-naked
[21:01] <~Dan> ChrisLites: Is that stated in the rules, or implied?
[21:01] <+JasonDurall> Going through the REH works, when Conan is not wearing armor, he’s not ready for battle
[21:01] <+JasonDurall> Yes, there are guidelines for awarding Fortune at the table
[21:01] <+ChrisLites> I’ll have to check for sure with the design team on that.
[21:01] <+JasonDurall> No need. It’s in there.
[21:02] <~Dan> Excellent.
[21:02] <+ChrisLites> OK, I thought it was.
[21:02] <+ChrisLites> But I did not sleep well either.
[21:02] <+ChrisLites> And I may have punched a camel.
[21:02] <~Dan> Now, 2d20 was first used in Mutant Chronicles, correct?
[21:02] <+ChrisLites> Yes
[21:03] <~Dan> How (if at all) have the core mechanics been tweaked to fit Conan?
[21:03] <+JasonDurall> The gamemaster should award Fortune points during a session for reaching milestones, creating entertaining moments at the table, and other in-game accomplishments.
[21:03] <+JasonDurall> (that’s a quote from the quickstart)
[21:03] <+ChrisLites> They are lighter.
[21:03] <+JasonDurall> The core mechanics are much more dramatic
[21:03] <+ChrisLites> More melee focused.
[21:04] <+JasonDurall> combat dice have an extra “effects” side to activate these powerful effects and do more damage
[21:04] <+JasonDurall> combat is more focused on hand-to-hand fighting than ranged
[21:04] * ~Dan nods
[21:04] <+ChrisLites> Say MC3 is high crunch and Conan is medium.
[21:05] <+JasonDurall> There are some terminology tweaks, as well.
[21:05] <+JasonDurall> Skills are different. Languages are more of an issue.
[21:05] <~Dan> Are skills in Conan broader?
[21:05] <+JasonDurall> Talents are different, more focused on Hyborian Age adventure
[21:06] <+JasonDurall> I defer to Chris on that, as I’ve only played MC3rd, but it was a while ago.
[21:07] <+ChrisLites> MC3 is more specific about skills and guns and gizmos.
[21:07] * ~Dan nods
[21:08] <+netobvious> Seems the Concn RPG made a good choice on lighter rules. I am running MC3 and am now worried about the rules crunch.
[21:08] <+ChrisLites> With MC3, there was a history of crunch in past editions and all.
[21:09] <+ChrisLites> Cyberpunk with psionics gets that way.
[21:09] <+JasonDurall> Yes… “how far” to streamline Conan was a big question.
[21:09] <+JasonDurall> John Carter of Mars will be lighter, more streamlined.
[21:09] <+ChrisLites> Simply not needing firearms combat helped right away.
[21:10] <+JasonDurall> He didn’t focus on the grittiness of combat, for the most part.
[21:10] <~Dan> Lighter still than Conan, re: John Carter?
[21:10] <+JasonDurall> He = Burroughs
[21:10] <+ChrisLites> Yes
[21:11] <+ChrisLites> But there will be special rules, too, for honor and reputation and building a following like Carter did.
[21:11] <+JasonDurall> Since REH’s stuff had a level of grittiness there, with differences between weapons, armor playing a factor, etc., and the games market is generally favoring games with mid-level crunch, it was a nice synchronicity.
[21:11] <+netobvious> Interesting Trend. Mutant Chronicles (heavy 2d20), Robert E. Howard’s Conan (medium 2d20) and John Carter of Mars (light 2d20)
[21:12] <~Dan> How much of a bestiary is included in the core rules?
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[21:12] <~Dan> Howdy, TQuid!
[21:12] <+JasonDurall> Many monsters
[21:13] <+JasonDurall> many types of NPC foes and minions
[21:13] <+ChrisLites> And monsters are usually unique in some way. There aren’t goblins running around.
[21:13] <+JasonDurall> Monsters drawn from REH stories and from the Mythos stories he connected to.
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[21:13] <~Dan> (Howdy, Snoof!)
[21:14] <~Dan> Given the unique nature of monsters in Conan fiction, do you have any kind of monster creation rules?
[21:14] <+ChrisLites> Monsters are actually monstrous again.
[21:15] <+JasonDurall> There are rules for customization.
[21:15] <+ChrisLites> Yes, there will be rules for making your own horrors.
[21:15] <+JasonDurall> I’m also putting in a section of “also known as” for many of the creatures REH mentioned more than once, but using different names
[21:15] <+JasonDurall> regional varieties, etc.
[21:17] <~Dan> IIRC, Conan saw no shame in running like Hell from monsters at times. Do your rules make that a wise course of action?
[21:18] <+JasonDurall> Depending on the foe, yes, that would be a completely reasonable approach to a likely-mortal confrontation.
[21:19] <+ChrisLites> Yeah, Conan bolted when necessary.
[21:19] <+JasonDurall> Conan probably also lost a Willpower check and took too much Resolve damage from time to time, such as at the end of “The God in the Bowl” where he just says “nope” and flees town.
[21:19] <+TQuid> I loved the sample spell shown that had mental effects as well as grimly ripping people apart. I think magic should be scary as hell to any sane person. How do you reconcile that with having PCs doing it as a tactical thing?
[21:20] <+JasonDurall> Ah, earlier we discussed the prices needed for magic
[21:20] <+TQuid> Ah, my apologies. I’ll look at the log
[21:20] <+netobvious> Is Conan featured in the story arcs of any sample adventures? I am curious on the statblock for this legendary hero compared to the Player Characters.
[21:20] <+ChrisLites> It drains life force. It can drain sanity and nobody trusts it as it’s unnatural.
[21:20] <+JasonDurall> That it comes with a steep price, and is not easy.
[21:20] <+JasonDurall> He is not in any sample adventures.
[21:20] <+TQuid> I love the idea of playing a PC magus who is definitely headed for a bad end.
[21:20] <+JasonDurall> He’ll be in the core book and the sourcebooks, and we can follow his career as he grows and improves.
[21:21] <+ChrisLites> He’s in the career books at various stages of his life.
[21:21] <+JasonDurall> I am saving him for monumental occasions, when it comes to appearing in adventures or campaigns.
[21:21] <+ChrisLites> It isn’t the sort of game where you feel like hangers-on to Conan.
[21:21] <+netobvious> So Conan can be featured as an NPC? He has statblocks at various stages of his career?
[21:21] <+JasonDurall> Conan as a character can take the wind out of everyone else’s sails.
[21:21] <+JasonDurall> Yeah, there’s nothing preventing a GM from using him.
[21:22] <+JasonDurall> My goal with all of the scenarios is to keep asking “Would Conan do this?”
[21:22] <+JasonDurall> He doesn’t sit around in a tavern waiting to be hired.
[21:22] <~Dan> Speaking of which, is the assumption that the PCs will be, at least to some extent, Conan-like in their behavior?
[21:23] <+JasonDurall> Instead, he usually enters stories with his own agenda, and his goals are usually obvious throughout the story.
[21:23] <+JasonDurall> Yes and no.
[21:23] <+TQuid> Is there any setup for PCs having bonds with each other? Without it, it seems like your crew of rogues, cutthroats, brigands, and footpads might have little reason to work together out of the gate.
[21:23] <+ChrisLites> Insofar as they are more morally gray than in epic fantasy I’d say.
[21:23] <+ChrisLites> But you don’t have to play it that way.
[21:24] <+JasonDurall> The stories will have strong and obvious goals for player characters, but its not expected that they’ll be barbarians, or rogues, etc.
[21:24] <+ChrisLites> Yes, there are tables for background and connecting your PCs.
[21:24] <+JasonDurall> We’re covering “how to get a group together” for campaigns.
[21:24] <+TQuid> Great. Last question from me, did you coordinate with the Kult folks to destroy my wallet with your kickstarters? Because seriously.
[21:24] <+JasonDurall> For published adventures, I’m usually asking the writers to plunge players into the action, in media res.
[21:25] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:25] <+ChrisLites> Yes, we did.
[21:25] <+TQuid> LOL
[21:25] <+JasonDurall> John Wick was our advance scout.
[21:25] <~Dan> 😀
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[21:26] <~Dan> Is there any mechanical encouragement for PCs to blow their fortunes on “ale and whores”?
[21:26] <+JasonDurall> It’s funny, because we held off on the KS last summer/fall because it was just so crowded with the Conan boardgame from Monolith having just ended, the Conan: Rise of Monsters game out there for a while… we thought “after the new year it’ll be quieter.”
[21:26] <+ChrisLites> I am looking forward to Kult too, so I feel your pain.
[21:27] <+JasonDurall> Our system guy is working on an update discussing Carousing between adventures.
[21:27] <+JasonDurall> So yes, those rules will soon see the light of day
[21:28] <~Dan> Speaking of the light of day, are you guys holding up okay? 🙂
[21:28] <+netobvious> Carousing is a nice touch. More to life than hunting for the next beast to slay. Well played, indeed!
[21:28] <+ChrisLites> That was something we wanted from the start.
[21:29] <+ChrisLites> Conan never has any damn money for long.
[21:29] <+JasonDurall> Doing all right. The KS is a big beast that needs to be fed, and managing a team of like two dozen writers working on about a dozen books and that many more adventures, simultaneously, is a challenge.
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[21:29] <+JasonDurall> Plus, you know, a day job.
[21:30] <+ChrisLites> I’ve only shot two men for snoring so far, so that’s a win for me.
[21:30] <~Dan> Oh, I meant holding up as in staying awake okay. 🙂
[21:30] <+JasonDurall> Still here!
[21:30] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:30] <+ChrisLites> Me too.
[21:30] <~Dan> Do you plan on publishing adventures for the game?
[21:30] <+JasonDurall> My head will soon slide into my bowl of porridge.
[21:30] <+ChrisLites> yes
[21:30] <+ChrisLites> just dont ask for more
[21:31] <+JasonDurall> Yes… the first collection is called “Jeweled Thrones of the Earth” and has about 10 short adventures.
[21:31] <+ChrisLites> We’ll have campaigns as well.
[21:31] <+netobvious> Low level or various levels of player characters in those adventures?
[21:31] <+JasonDurall> We’re probably doing about half that many as extra, either online or as print.
[21:32] <+JasonDurall> Low to mid, with guidelines for beefing them up or scaling them down.
[21:32] <+ChrisLites> They’ll cover different points in an adventuring career.
[21:32] <+JasonDurall> We have at least two campaigns being worked on, and others discussed.
[21:32] <+netobvious> Great, thanks JasonDurall, A useful tool for the newbie GM that.
[21:33] <+JasonDurall> My goal is something like the old Middle-Earth Role-Playing adventures, where they had the little map on the back cover. You could see where the adventure was located.
[21:33] <+JasonDurall> I think/hope that the adventures book will contain a map with little call-outs as to where the adventures are located.
[21:33] <+ChrisLites> Fewer charts though.
[21:34] <~Dan> Are there any events in Conan’s history that are considered “fixed” in the game setting?
[21:34] <+TQuid> Oh, any domain management? Seems appropriate for King Kull and such ilk
[21:34] <+ChrisLites> though that’s more Rolemaster
[21:34] <+ChrisLites> Yes in the King book.
[21:34] <+JasonDurall> GMs who want to do one-shots without strong continuity between can just pick one, begin with a quick summary of how the heroes got to where they are, and go.
[21:34] <+TQuid> Duh.
[21:34] <+ChrisLites> Mass combat too.
[21:34] <+ChrisLites> How not to get strangled on your throne.
[21:35] <+JasonDurall> GMs wishing the whole episodic campaign structure can connect adventures and play out the travel between locales.
[21:35] <+ChrisLites> Conan did have a lot of unintended adventures that way.
[21:36] <+JasonDurall> Ah, to answer Dan’s question… yes, Conan’s career is “fixed” in that we’ll discuss his effect on the area in each regional sourcebook, or even events that have little to do with him.
[21:36] * ~Dan nods
[21:36] <+JasonDurall> But GMs can use him, ignore him…. whatever they’d like.
[21:36] <+ChrisLites> There will be a timeline too.
[21:37] <+JasonDurall> Another goal is to have all of the adventures more-or-less playable as Conan and his allies.
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[21:38] <~Dan> Ah, so Conan is playable?
[21:38] <+ChrisLites> Yes, if you want.
[21:39] <+ChrisLites> It’s assumed most groups make their own PCs.
[21:39] <+JasonDurall> We’re presenting some downloadable characters who are well-known in the Hyborian Age, and there’s no reason the GM couldn’t say “I’m going to run this adventure… pick from the list of Conan, Valeria, Taurus, Shevatas, Strom, and Amalric.
[21:39] <~Dan> If you go that route, is there any kind of balancing mechanic between Conan and his allies?
[21:39] <+ChrisLites> sadly, they shot down my idea of not having character generation rules like in the classic Indiana Jones TSR game. 😦
[21:39] <+JasonDurall> The GM will have some options.
[21:39] <~Dan> Something like the balance used in Doctor Who and Buffy the Vamire Slayer?
[21:39] <+JasonDurall> Bingo.
[21:40] <+ChrisLites> Yep
[21:40] <~Dan> How does that work?
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[21:41] <+ChrisLites> Allies will have unique abilities but, at the end of the day, electing to play Conan comes with there being a “star.”
[21:41] <+JasonDurall> That’s still in development, but basically will “probably” involve adjusting Fortune to start. There are also story reasons why Conan might have a rougher time of it than others.
[21:41] <+ChrisLites> Yes.
[21:41] <+ChrisLites> Especially when younger and brash.
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[21:42] <~Dan> (wb, Brutalman!)
[21:42] <+JasonDurall> It’s also worth noting that for the most part, Conan’s allies were badasses in their own rights, and frequently it’s difficult to see them clearly past Conan.
[21:42] <+ChrisLites> Yes.
[21:42] <&Silverlion> The problem with no chargen is people WANT it. RE: Marvel Heroic.
[21:43] <+ChrisLites> I was just kidding.
[21:43] <+JasonDurall> Yeah. I suspect Chris was kidding there.
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[21:43] <+JasonDurall> (jinx)
[21:43] <+ChrisLites> Though I do not hate the TSR Indy game actually.
[21:43] <+JasonDurall> I’d have a hard time justifying a Conan game that didn’t allow new characters.
[21:44] <~Dan> Seems like you may have touched on this, but does the game have a “mook” mechanic?
[21:44] <+TQuid> What’s the appeal of leaving off chargen? I mean, it’s less work on one way, but you still want your own notion in the balance of PCs
[21:44] <+JasonDurall> Yes, the quickstart even demonstrates it.
[21:44] <~Dan> How does it work?
[21:45] <+JasonDurall> (spoilers) They begin with generally lower attributes, and once their Vigor or Resolve are cleared out and they take a single bit of Harm, they’re out.
[21:45] <+TQuid> You also have a way to combine mobs o’ mooks into one roll, yeah?
[21:46] <+JasonDurall> PCs can take 5 points of either type of Harm, whether Wounds or Trauma.
[21:46] <+JasonDurall> Yes, GMs can elect to have mob attacks vs. rolling individually.
[21:47] <+JasonDurall> Here’s the actual rule: Mob: The gamemaster may decide that a group of two or more minions are acting as a mob: they will take a single turn for the group, rather than a turn for each minion. When the mob acts, it rolls 1d20 per member for the skill test. When attacked, the mob counts as a single target, and each time a member of the mob is taken out, any rem
[21:47] <+ChrisLites> you pulled that up fast
[21:47] <+JasonDurall> aining damage carries on to the next member of the mob; continue until there is no more excess damage, or there is no more mob.
[21:47] <+JasonDurall> Pantherish speed.
[21:48] <+TQuid> Reminds me very much of the clever Reign mob system
[21:48] <+ChrisLites> haha
[21:48] <+JasonDurall> A greying, sleepy panther.
[21:48] <+ChrisLites> still a panther
[21:49] <+netobvious> I am a sleepy panther myself. Thanks guys. Great insights. Good luck with even more stretch goals and pledges for the KickStarter.
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[21:49] <+JasonDurall> I am a big fan of Reign, but did not actually write those rules… they came from Misters Nathan Dowdell and Benn Beaton.
[21:49] <+ChrisLites> Thanks, Net.
[21:49] <~Dan> In what remains of regular time, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
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[21:50] <+JasonDurall> Hmm… we have a few books that remain unannounced at this time, and will hopefully be unlocked as stretch goals for the Kickstarter.
[21:50] <+ChrisLites> I hope people are interested/excited for an REH-centric Conan RPG.
[21:50] <+ChrisLites> With some weird horror elements.
[21:50] <~Dan> I know I am!
[21:50] <+JasonDurall> I can think of at least one book that will cause some sort of a stir.
[21:50] <~Dan> I’d be interested in reviewing the game when the time comes, for that matter.
[21:51] <+ChrisLites> Message us when it’s time.
[21:51] * ~Dan nods
[21:51] <+JasonDurall> and I can’t wait until we can start talking about “Nameless Cults”, or book of Hyborian Age gods, cults, and Mythos horror.
[21:51] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[21:51] <+JasonDurall> Happy to answer more questions, as well.
[21:51] <+ChrisLites> Me too.
[21:52] <+JasonDurall> I should emphasize that we’re not just planning stuff named in the Kickstarter. There are books beyond these we’ve announced, and in some cases, we’re just thinking “that’ll be a 2017 release”.
[21:52] <~Dan> Do you plan on statting out Lovecraftian deities, or are you of the school that says, “If you stat it, they’ll kill it”?
[21:52] <+JasonDurall> Not everything will be Kickstarted.
[21:52] <+JasonDurall> I am loathe to stat out the unkillable.
[21:53] <+JasonDurall> If it is encountered in a scenario, it should be there for a reason, and dealt with accordingly.
[21:53] <+ChrisLites> Some of them aren’t really god though, so they can have stats.
[21:54] <+JasonDurall> There are precious few places where Conan actually encounters something “divine”
[21:54] <+ChrisLites> for sure
[21:54] <+TQuid> That’s a common theme in Conan. “It’s a god! We must placate it!” “Let me just check that for you.” *STAB STAB CHOP STAB* “Hmmmmm, nope.”
[21:55] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:55] <+TQuid> Just occurred to me Fafhrd & Grey Mouser universe could tuck itself into a corner of Conan. Well, I guess the cantrips would be a different thing.
[21:55] <+JasonDurall> But you know… everyone’s Conan is different, and if it seems appropriate we may throw a “giant mass of hit points” at the heroes for a dramatic encounter.
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[21:55] <+ChrisLites> The dragon in Red Nails could be one of those.
[21:55] <+TQuid> Any boss-fight goodies? That’s one thing that Strike! seemed to handle well.
[21:55] <+JasonDurall> Generally, though, battles against “gods” are pretty boring. They’re either one-shot kills, or they’re a lot of hit hit hit hit hit…
[21:56] <+ChrisLites> Yes.
[21:56] <~Dan> Good point.
[21:57] <+ChrisLites> Conan versus The Stay Puft Marhmallow Man could be cool though
[21:57] <+TQuid> Yeah, exactly. Seems like big bosses need to be divvied up into distinct tasks, like a wee dungeon of their own
[21:57] <+TQuid> Haaahahahaa
[21:57] <+JasonDurall> We are trying very, very hard to avoid boring combats. They don’t scale well, and can be campaign enders.
[21:57] <+JasonDurall> by that, above, I mean “boring god-level combats”.
[21:57] <+ChrisLites> That is one big challenge between prose and gaming.
[21:58] <+JasonDurall> But we are providing all manner of guidelines and tools for GMs to finesse adventures to suit the particular party.
[21:58] <+ChrisLites> Fighting Thaug is easier to handle when you are the writer.
[21:58] <+JasonDurall> Not everyone is Conan…
[21:58] <+JasonDurall> …or wants to be.
[21:59] <~Dan> True. 🙂
[21:59] <+JasonDurall> So our goal is to present the Hyborian Age setting with enough content and guidelines for GMs to bring the awesome to any group of player character heroes.
[21:59] <~Dan> Thanks very much for staying up to chat with us, guys!
[22:00] <+JasonDurall> Happy to be here!
[22:00] <+ChrisLites> My pleasure.
[22:00] <~Dan> I would normally say “no need to run off”, but I suspect sleep beckons you. 🙂
[22:00] <+TQuid> Yeah, thanks guys!
[22:00] <+JasonDurall> So there are various threads on rpg.net and other places where our team are happy to be answering questions, as well as on the Kickstarter.
[22:00] <+ChrisLites> I can stick around for a bit.
[22:00] <+JasonDurall> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modiphius/robert-e-howards-conan-roleplaying-game?)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modiphius/robert-e-howards-conan-roleplaying-game?
[22:00] <~Dan> However, can you hang on just a moment while I post the log and get you a link?
[22:01] <+JasonDurall> I am gonna call it a night.
[22:01] <+JasonDurall> Sure!