[19:05] <+MikeY> I’m Mike Yow, designer and author of The Savage Kingdoms RPG line, a heroic sword-and-sorcery system and setting designed, primarily, for immersive play-styles. I’m also a professional actor and acting coach, so I often approach tabletop gaming as (near) performance art.
[19:06] <+MikeY> The core rulebook was published a year and a half ago, and the first campaign setting expansion book just came out.
[19:06] <+MikeY> Called ‘The Savage East.’
[19:06] <+MikeY> (Done.)
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, MikeY!
[19:06] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:06] <+MikeY> Oops, I should mention there is also a Bestiary and an Adventure called Into Shadow.
[19:07] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:07] <~Dan> First, as a reminder to those who missed the first Q&A, can you give us a quick overview of the system?
[19:08] <+MikeY> Aye, Dan. The primary action resolution system is based on the roll of a single d20, with a natural 20 exploding (that is, you roll again and add that result to the original result).
[19:09] <+MikeY> Also, a natural 1 implodes, meaning you roll a d20 again and subtract – if you end up with a zero or less (i.e. negative numbers), you have critically failed.
[19:10] <+MikeY> Six Attributes (Agility, Physique, Vigor, Intellect, Magnetism, and Willpower), and eight Derived Traits. Then, 30 Skills, Talents, Weaknesses, etc.
[19:10] <+MikeY> Derived Traits are things such as Hardiness, Resolve, Renown, Luck, etc.
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[19:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[19:10] <+MikeY> Greetings!
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[19:11] <+MikeY> Non-class system.
[19:11] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, DaneAsmund!)
[19:12] <+MikeY> There are Life-path one can choose – similar to classes – but they’re really there just for “quick picks”. Character creation can almost literally allow one to craft any type of character concept.
[19:12] <+MikeY> Greetings indeed!
[19:12] <+MikeY> (Done)
[19:12] <+MikeY> *life-paths
[19:12] <~Dan> (MikeY, DaneAsmund is one of your fellow game authors, and a future Q&A guest himself. 🙂 )
[19:12] <+MikeY> Howdy, DaneAsmund!
[19:13] <+DaneAsmund> How are you doing Mike! : )
[19:13] <+MikeY> Game authors represent. 😉
[19:13] <+MikeY> Great – hope you’re well too!
[19:13] <~Dan> DaneAsmund: Here’s the product we’re discussing: (Link: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181583/The-Savage-East)http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181583/The-Savage-East
[19:13] <+MikeY> Thanks, Dane.
[19:13] <~Dan> MikeY, are you good with general questions about Savage Kingdoms as well?
[19:14] <+MikeY> Yes, hardcover and digital there. Also, softcover via Amazon.com
[19:14] <+MikeY> Sure
[19:14] <~Dan> Cool.
[19:14] <~Dan> So what makes the Savage East of particular interest?
[19:15] <+MikeY> Well, The Savage East is the campaign setting expansion, wherein the east and south of the known world of SK is detailed, and new races, cultures, talents, weaknesses, spells, and gear are likewise introduced.
[19:16] <+MikeY> The core rulebook covered the West – the quasi-European continent – the Savage East covers the East and South, the continents of Hassan, Emanju, and Mezca.
[19:16] <+MikeY> (Done.)
[19:16] <+MikeY> 206 pages
[19:17] <~Dan> What (if any) real-world regions to they resemble?
[19:17] <+MikeY> Wait, I just lied. 199 pages plus 2 character sheet pages.
[19:18] <+MikeY> Many of the Eastern and Southern cultures resemble Dark Ages and early medieval Asian and African cultures of our real world, although there are some that are a bit more to compare to our world.
[19:18] <+MikeY> For example, Zaramahd (or the Zaramese Empire) is similar to the Persian Empire, Tai-Kinara is similar to medieval China, etc.
[19:19] * ~Dan nods
[19:19] <+MikeY> And there are, of course, the non-human optional races and their domains (if any), such as Amrar of the Chenari, etc.
[19:19] <+MikeY> …Chenasi, N’gora of the Gajulah, etc.
[19:20] <+MikeY> (Done)
[19:20] <~Dan> Can you give us an overview of these new races?
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[19:21] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lassek!)
[19:21] <+MikeY> Aye. Briefly, there are the Djann, a genii-kin race with affinities for air, earth, fire, or water (player’s choice), Gajulah (ape-men or man-apes similar to Howard’s writings), Rathkiri (similar to White Walker/Others from GoT)
[19:22] <+MikeY> …leaving in the extreme north on the isle-continent of Ragnagard (that they call Rathkir), and the Tenku, similar to the Kenku or Tengu of Chinese/Japanese lore.
[19:22] <+MikeY> Otherwise, there are nearly a score new human cultures, races, really, in their own right.
[19:23] <+MikeY> Every bit as detailed and different – if not more so – than the non-human racial options.
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[19:23] <~Dan> Very cool.
[19:23] <~Dan> (Howdy, GeneR!)
[19:23] <+GeneR> Hey Dan, who is on deck?
[19:23] <~Dan> (MikeY, meet GeneR, yet another game author and previous Q&A guest. 😀 )
[19:23] <+MikeY> I’m a huge fan of Robert E. Howard, so there’s a good bit of that. George R.R. Martin as well, and maybe some of JRRT’s darker stuff.
[19:24] <+MikeY> Hiya, GeneR!
[19:24] <~Dan> (GeneR: MikeY, discussing this: (Link: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181583/The-Savage-East)http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181583/The-Savage-East )
[19:24] <+MikeY> Hope your creations/products are going well, GeneR.
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[19:24] <~Dan> (Whoops…)
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[19:24] <+MikeY> ?
[19:25] <~Dan> (wb, GeneR!)
[19:25] <+GeneR> Hit a wrong button
[19:25] <+MikeY> Heh. 😉
[19:25] <+GeneR> I had saw that Mike. Is it a full fledged system or a Campaign setting?
[19:25] <+MikeY> Full-fledged system. The core rulebook was published about a yeaer and a half ago.
[19:26] <+MikeY> Savage Kingdoms is the name of the line.
[19:26] <+GeneR> When I see the Names Howard and Martin you get my interest.
[19:26] <+MikeY> (Yes, I know, dark that Savage Worlds… ;))
[19:26] <+MikeY> Excellent!
[19:26] <+Lin_Chong> MikeY: Tengu aren’t Chinese.
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[19:26] <+MikeY> Japanese.
[19:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[19:27] <+MikeY> Kenku is based on Chinese myth, lest my research fail me.
[19:27] <+MikeY> Greetings!
[19:27] <+Lin_Chong> Nope.
[19:27] <+MikeY> Then failed it did, then. 😉
[19:27] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:28] <+Jezibel> The cadence of the name doesn’t sound chinese.
[19:28] <+MikeY> Which is no matter, since this isn’t actual earth, but a gritty sword-and-sorcery setting inspired by it.
[19:28] <~Dan> Lin_Chong is our local expert on Asian mythology. 🙂
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[19:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, JamesGillen!)
[19:28] <+MikeY> Excellent.
[19:28] <+JamesGillen> hi
[19:28] <+Lin_Chong> I’m your local Chinese person period, really.
[19:28] <~Dan> Well, yes. 😀
[19:28] <+MikeY> Kinda like me with Celtic mythology, probably. =)
[19:29] <+DaneAsmund> (The term tengu and the characters used to write it are borrowed from the name of a fierce demon from Chinese folklore called tiāngoǔ. Chinese literature assigns this creature a variety of descriptions, but most often it is a fierce and anthropophagous canine monster that resembles a shooting star or comet.)
[19:29] <+Lin_Chong> I was about to say.
[19:29] <+MikeY> Regardless, there is a PC optional race called the Tenku and they seem rather popular with players thus far.
[19:29] <+GeneR> Mike I am actually interested in Celtic Mythology. Do you touch on that in your game?
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[19:29] <~Dan> You mentioned new spells earlier. Are there new magic systems in the East, or simply new spells used with existing systems?
[19:29] <+JamesGillen> Is that in a supplement?
[19:29] <~Dan> (Howdy, SnotLord!)
[19:30] <+SnotLord> yo
[19:30] <+MikeY> GeneR, it’s more evident in the first book, the core rulebook, where the West was more the focus. Here, there are quasi-Celtic, quasi-Nordic, quasi-Roman, and quasi-Greek cultures.
[19:30] <+MikeY> Emphasis on the ‘quasi’, again. =)
[19:30] <~Dan> (And, in the French region, quasi-Modo.)
[19:31] <+MikeY> New spells, but yes, there is a talent allowing one to utilize a new sub-system of the magical arts.
[19:31] <+MikeY> Called ‘Wild Shaper’.
[19:31] <+MikeY> LOL
[19:31] <+MikeY> Quasi-Meaudeux
[19:32] <+MikeY> 😉
[19:32] * ~Dan snickers
[19:32] <~Dan> Can you remind us of how magic works in the core book and illustrate how this new sub-system differse?
[19:32] <~Dan> differs, rather
[19:33] <~Dan> (Oh, and GeneR, meet DaneAsmund, another game author and future Q&A guest. Feel free to exchange URLs and so forth. 🙂 )
[19:33] <+MikeY> The magic/sorcery system in SK runs just like any other skill, since I’m a big fan of sleek, unified systems. Gaming since 1979 teaches one much, in general. 😉 Thus, when casting a spell, one rolls the appropriate Magical Arts skill.
[19:34] <+DaneAsmund> (: )! Hi GeneR)
[19:34] <+MikeY> For Air, Earth, Fire, and Water disciplines, this is a Willpower + skill levels rolls (1d20)
[19:34] <+MikeY> Shadow magic utilizes Intellect instead
[19:34] <+MikeY> Life and Death magic runs off of Vigor.
[19:35] <+MikeY> If the DL – Difficulty Level – is hit or exceeded, then the spell works, just like any other skill.
[19:35] <+MikeY> I should point out that ritual magic is actually the primary style of spell-casting, as a short ritual will grant +5 to the skill roll and a long ritual +10.
[19:36] <+MikeY> One can, however, perform one-round casting times, but these bonuses aren’t gained.
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[19:37] <+willows> What would you say is your game’s killer app – the one thing that your game, singularly, does better than any other game out there? the thing that makes it special?
[19:37] <+MikeY> Thus, in general, magic (or sorcery as most call it) is fairly difficult, dark, and sometimes barely permeates in a “broken” world.
[19:37] <~Dan> willows: I first misread that as “killer ape”, which I’m quite sure his game has. 🙂
[19:37] <+MikeY> Hi Willows! I’d have to say the single d20 system, wherein attack success and damage are handled with the one roll.
[19:37] <+MikeY> LOL
[19:38] <+MikeY> Makes the game fast, sleek, and less “putter-y” with all the various dice.
[19:38] <+GeneR> Ducked out to watch your video. Sounds like an interesting game. Kind of a D&D type but maybe a step up?
[19:39] <+MikeY> That’s the one, anyway. I think immersion is a big thing too, but that can generally be done with almost any system. Almost…
[19:39] <+MikeY> Somewhat D&D-ish, yes, in that it is fantasy. However, it’s more Dark Ages setting and a bit more sword-and-sorcery than high fantasy.
[19:39] <+MikeY> Otherwise, it’s actually quite different from D&D.
[19:40] <+MikeY> Sorry for the video, GeneR. 😉
[19:40] <+GeneR> Okay I am going to sound ignorant, but am just getting back into RPG. Sword and Sorcery vs High Fantasy, what is the difference.
[19:40] <+GeneR> Mike it was better than my Kickstarter videos.
[19:40] <+DaneAsmund> (Mine too)
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[19:41] <~Dan> (wb, JamesGillen)
[19:41] <+JamesGillen> had to reboot
[19:41] <+SnotLord> Sword & Sorcery is what inspired all those stoner metal bands.
[19:41] <+MikeY> Sword-and-sorcery is very Robert E. Howard-ian, ala Conan the Cimmerian, and emphasises personally heroics and episodic adventure over grand,sweeping ones.
[19:42] <+MikeY> Although S&S can certainly have over-arching grandeur as well. Sorcery is usually darker too and more exotic.
[19:42] <+GeneR> Ah, I thought it might have to do with the level of magic.
[19:42] <+JamesGillen> We definitely need a stoner metal RPG
[19:42] <~Dan> Capers vs. quests, sort of.
[19:42] <+MikeY> Kinda. It’s often called Low Magic.
[19:42] <+GeneR> A stoner metal RPG – Magic Mushrooms?
[19:42] <+MikeY> In truth, at least what I call it, is “low magic, high mysticism.”
[19:43] <+MikeY> Heh. I would totally go see them. 😉
[19:43] <+MikeY> Or play their game. 😉
[19:44] <+MikeY> The game was also designed with immersion involved, and as a professional actor, I can completely relate.
[19:44] <+MikeY> Life imitating art, imitating life, as it were.
[19:44] <+MikeY> (Done)
[19:44] <+GeneR> Mike I like the two elements of S&S (in terms of episodic) and immersion.
[19:45] <~Dan> MikeY: This being the Savage East, do you include martial arts of any sort?
[19:45] <+MikeY> Me too, GeneR. Most definitely, Also love the lower and more mystical approach the magic/sorcery and the exotic locales.
[19:45] <+SnotLord> the most a player usually can usually do with magic in S&S is call out to their gods or take psychedelic and chant heavily while yelling into a fire while banging a big drum.
[19:46] <+GeneR> I think as we get older time is always critical. I want to be able to play out an adventure in one setting. And if you are not immersing why are you role playing?
[19:46] <+MikeY> Yes, Dan, most definitely. The Brawling skill gets probably even more use here than in the “West”, often reflecting more of a monastic approach to it than a brutality-based thing. although there is still that. 😉
[19:46] <+MikeY> So much agreed, GeneR.
[19:46] <+MikeY> I’m very much a fan of “time and place”.
[19:47] <+MikeY> Time and place for everything, and in that time (and place), full commitment if possible.
[19:47] <+MikeY> I teach this to acting students too.
[19:47] <+SnotLord> Sounds like a good setting for playing a clone of The Hound.
[19:48] <+MikeY> To further answer Dan’s question, there are some cool Battle Talents such as Leaping Mantis, Flight of The Dragon, and my personal favorite, Sweep The Leg.
[19:48] <+MikeY> Yes, The Hound!
[19:48] <+MikeY> =)
[19:48] <+MikeY> Take the Weakness of Phobia (fire)
[19:49] <+MikeY> Weaknesses are disadvantages one can take.
[19:49] <+MikeY> Grants bonus points for talents or skills, but better yet, nice RP nuggets (and fodder for the GM).
[19:50] <+GreyOwl> I find that weaknesses are great jumping off points for character story and development.
[19:51] <+MikeY> So very true, GreyOwl.
[19:51] <+SnotLord> Thing is with a character like that, its all about his hatred for his brother and the corruption of the powers he works for who he despises.
[19:51] <+MikeY> It’s interesting that Weaknesses are, in the true sense of storytelling, arent really weaknesses at all.
[19:51] <+MikeY> Truth, SnotLord.
[19:52] <+MikeY> Theyre strengths, really, especially in the hands of a skilled thespian-like player.
[19:52] <+SnotLord> so it works well in S&S because everything is a personal grudge or how he’s been personally betrayed.
[19:52] <+GeneR> Or Snot we are what we despise. But we only find it out slowly.
[19:52] <+MikeY> That’s a good observation, SnotLord.
[19:52] <+SnotLord> yeah exactly
[19:52] <+MikeY> So true.
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[19:53] <~Dan> (Hey, Plastik is back. 🙂 )
[19:53] *** Plastik is now known as Nicotine
[19:53] <~Dan> (Or not. 🙂 )
[19:54] <+MikeY> He is now Nicotine.
[19:54] <+SnotLord> The reason why I loved the ‘real’ Conan movie.. was the personal pain of the individual made epic.
[19:54] <+MikeY> Shape-shifter extraordinaire. 😉
[19:54] <+MikeY> Yes, the real Conan movie indeed!
[19:54] <+MikeY> Classic work of art, that, on several different levels.
[19:54] <+SnotLord> not being thrown into an epic story as a nobody made somebody
[19:54] <~Dan> MikeY: One thing that concerns me a bit about the system is “talent bloat”. Seems like there are an awful lot of talents to keep track of — even more so, with this supplement. Any thoughts on the subject?
[19:55] <+MikeY> Yes, I was a bit concerned about that, as we saw it in full-blown form in D&D 3.5, and moreover, Pathfinder.
[19:56] <+MikeY> However, since a player can usually only afford to gain one per Advancement, it’s actually been quite reined in.
[19:56] <+MikeY> occasionally 2 talents, but then only the cheaper ones and then usually only if its a racial/culturally favored one.
[19:57] <+MikeY> So, given that, and the fact that there aren’t any “Class Features”, the bloat is virtually non-existent.
[19:57] <+SnotLord> can I wield two shields and take it as a combat expertise?
[19:57] <+MikeY> Talents, in other words, equal class features and feats.
[19:58] <+MikeY> I suppose you could, with the Ambidexterity or Shield Bash talent(s), but to what end, I;m not sure. 😉
[19:58] <~Dan> Actually, to piggyback on SnotLord’s question, another concern I have about Talents is their overlap with what should be generally possible — Shield Bash being a good example, actually.
[19:58] <+SnotLord> swords are hard to come by if your dirt poor.
[19:58] <+SnotLord> especially in that setting.
[19:59] <+MikeY> There might be a slight measure of overlap, but very minimal, I think.
[19:59] <+SnotLord> shields you can make and repair yourself or modify from round wooden objects you find.
[19:59] <+MikeY> Besides, Ambidexterity and Shield Bash are actually fairly different.
[19:59] <+MikeY> yes, swords should be harder to come by, what with all that steel in one weapon. a lord’s weapons.
[19:59] <+MikeY> *weapon
[19:59] <~Dan> Does Shield Bash make you better at bashing with a shield, or do you have to have the talent to hit someone with a shield?
[20:00] <+MikeY> (And now Dan forces me to open my own core rulebook. ;))
[20:00] <+SnotLord> small shields should just give you a flat bonus to punching someone in the face with one.
[20:00] <+SnotLord> instant nose breaker
[20:00] <~Dan> (Go me!! 😀 )
[20:01] <+MikeY> =)
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[20:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye!)
[20:01] <+MikeY> It allows you to make an off-hand attack with a shield, while wielding another weapon, at a -5 bonus (or no penalty by expending a Stamina point).
[20:01] <+MikeY> Greetings!
[20:01] <+SnotLord> so what does that do with both shields?
[20:02] <~Dan> (SnotLord is a bit obsessive. 😉 )
[20:02] <+MikeY> If one, for whatever reason, was wielding two shields, then two attacks I suppose.
[20:02] <+SnotLord> yes.
[20:02] <+JamesGillen> play rope a dope
[20:02] <+MikeY> Honestly, the battle talents were designed with more of a quasi-historical approach in mind. =)
[20:02] <+MikeY> Heh 😉
[20:03] * +SnotLord coughs
[20:03] <+MikeY> Stamina points, by the way, are the “fuel” by which characters utilize special talents or maneuvers, as well as spells.
[20:03] <+SnotLord> yes well.
[20:03] <+MikeY> A nice universal system, that.
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[20:04] <~Dan> To bring this back to the immersive issue, I find that for me, “restrictive” talents make a game less immersive for me in the same way that, say, class-based abilities do.
[20:04] <+JamesGillen> Why?
[20:04] <~Dan> I start thinking less as my character because I have to view him as more of a playing piece, if that makes sense.
[20:04] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, GhengisRexx!)
[20:04] <+MikeY> Hmm. Maybe. But speaking personally, I find class-based things to be much more artificial and thus less immersive.
[20:05] <+GhengisRexx> I think they can be a double edged sword. Some players get inspired by them, and others are limited by them.
[20:05] <~Dan> I agree with you there.
[20:05] <+MikeY> Every Fighter or Cleric or Bard having essentially the same things, for example.
[20:05] * ~Dan nods
[20:05] <+JamesGillen> I’m the opposite. Having to tunnel everything in terms of “your class has X and Y” makes less sense to me than “You get to pick from these columns”
[20:05] <+MikeY> Yes, definitlely a double-edged sword.
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[20:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, WineDarkSea!)
[20:05] <+MikeY> You can do that in Savage Kingdoms too: Life-paths.
[20:06] <+MikeY> Greetings!
[20:06] <+JamesGillen> It makes sense if you’re thinking in medieval terms and you’ve only got so much time to be a scholar OR a warrior, but if you have (say) Elves in the game, they have enough time to train as both
[20:06] <+MikeY> pre-packaged talents, weaknesses, and skills, to those who desire such
[20:06] <+MikeY> True, that.
[20:07] <+Catseye> I’m a big time Sword & Sorcery geek.
[20:07] <~Dan> I’m trying to think of the best way to phrase this… If I run into something that I think my character should be able to do because anyone could do it, but I run into the action being limited to those with a talent, it kind of shakes me out of immersion on a certain level.
[20:07] <+MikeY> Long life-spans are, thus, the way to go. 😉
[20:07] <+MikeY> Excellent! S&S is awesome and, sadly, underrated.
[20:07] <+Catseye> And I mean that in the classical Howard sense
[20:07] <+SnotLord> my best way of testing a system is to see if I can build a character my 8 year old self would think was cool. If the system does it without the character being horrible to play then I am pleased.
[20:07] <+JamesGillen> I also don’t think class works as well for S&S. It works for D&D type games where you have a healer role, a blaster role, etc. You don’t have these in S&S so characters have to be more self-sufficient
[20:07] <+MikeY> There really are very few incidents of this, Dan. There are 30 Skills which cover lots o’ ground
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[20:08] <~Dan> MikeY: Cool. 🙂
[20:08] <+Catseye> I’m adding this to my Amazon cart as we speak
[20:08] <+GhengisRexx> 🙂
[20:09] <+MikeY> Talents merely represent social, magical, or other specialized training or knacks that usually serve to augment those Skills. A few, however, are required, as – I believe – it should be.
[20:09] <~Dan> ( GhengisRexx: Are you here for the Q&A, by the way?)
[20:09] <+MikeY> In fact, the only skills that require a talent in order to even attempt them are the seven Magical Arts skills.
[20:09] <+GhengisRexx> Yes Dan.
[20:09] <+JamesGillen> makes sense
[20:09] <+MikeY> Cool, thanks, Catseye!
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[20:09] <~Dan> ( GhengisRexx: Cool. Glad to have you here!)
[20:10] <+MikeY> Aye indeed!
[20:10] <+GhengisRexx> The talents are more of what you are a bit better at than others. You can still do most things without a talent. Just those with some specialization will be better.
[20:10] <~Dan> MikeY: Understood, re: Talents. Sorry… guess it was my turn to be obsessive, there. 🙂
[20:10] <+MikeY> SnotLord: SK might be a little too much for an eight year old.
[20:10] <+MikeY> On the other hand, the skill system is very streamlined, so maybe not.
[20:11] <+MikeY> No problem, Dan – good questions! =)
[20:11] <+Catseye> It’s simple. I like Sword & Sorcery. It’s my preferred take on fantasy. I find generic fantasy games that focus on High Fantasy to not be very satisfying.
[20:11] <+MikeY> 14 & Up recommended, mainly because of the darkness and grit in the setting.
[20:11] <+MikeY> So agreed, Catseye.
[20:12] <+MikeY> More adult, in my opinion, and worthy of epic storytelling.
[20:12] <+MikeY> (Done)
[20:13] <~Dan> Do you introduce new creatures (other than PC species) in The Savage East?
[20:13] <+Catseye> Your characters have to scratch for everything they get. Every aspect of their lives is challenge.
[20:14] <+MikeY> I do like the survival aspect of it. After that, the sky can be the limit, and like in Howard’s tale, a common barbarian might become king by his own hand.
[20:14] <+MikeY> Yes, Dan, definitely some new critters in SE.
[20:15] <+MikeY> Some takes on old classics, as well as some SK-specific ones, such as the Maw of Madness, Eye of Illix, Plague-Demons, Spawns of Xorexu, and Xurian Serpents.
[20:15] <+SnotLord> I’m of the general opinion that none of my players can argue about what tactically works better, as long as gameplay wise it works or we can agree on how it work for the adventure then I’m down with it. As long as it passes the rule of cool first.
[20:15] <+GeneR> Lifepaths?
[20:15] <+MikeY> yes, Rule of Cool doth, er, rule. =)
[20:16] <+MikeY> Life-paths are collections of recommended talents, weaknesses, skills, and gear one might select for a quick “class-like” build.
[20:16] <+GhengisRexx> Similar to Templates in GURPS
[20:16] <+MikeY> Such as Warrior, Shaman, Assassin, Knight, Vizier, etc.
[20:16] <+MikeY> yes
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[20:18] <+SnotLord> Mainly because I get annoyed with people trying to act all darwinistic and macho pragmatic about a subject they have had little to no expertise on except in books and some occasional reenactment society they are involved with.
[20:18] <+JamesGillen> heh
[20:18] <+MikeY> Very true, that can be rather annoying.
[20:18] <+GhengisRexx> I like that. Most of the time, me and my players prefer to create characters from scratch, but for players coming from a class based system, it is easier for them to start quickly7.
[20:18] <+MikeY> I kinda approach in the middle ground.
[20:18] <+SnotLord> Best way.
[20:18] <+MikeY> Aye, GhengisRexx.
[20:19] <+Catseye> I like characters. Not mindless murderhobos. I refuse to play with murderhobos
[20:19] <+MikeY> Heh, yeah, good ol’ murderbhobos.
[20:19] <+SnotLord> 😦 that’s my gaming group in a nutshell
[20:19] <+MikeY> I’ve been blessed with some great players for my personal campaigns, some of them my original playtesters.
[20:19] <+JamesGillen> What’s the difference between S&S and murderhobos?
[20:19] * +SnotLord hides in a barrel and weeps.
[20:20] <+MikeY> And they almost always have a deep approach to their characters, and seldom fall into murder-hobo-ism. 😉
[20:20] <+MikeY> LoL
[20:20] <+GhengisRexx> My players make characters with detailed backgrounds and complex personalit5ies, and then go off and rp their asses off while they murder hobo.
[20:20] <+JamesGillen> Ah
[20:20] <+MikeY> Heh 😉
[20:20] <+Catseye> When I play an RPG, I want to experience the world. the setting, the civilizations. The more vivid they are to me the better.
[20:20] <+MikeY> I suppose, in truth, most any fantasy RPing, to some degree, will have murder-hoboing.
[20:21] <~Dan> MikeY: Can you give some examples on the twists on classic creatures you mentioned?
[20:21] <+MikeY> same here, Catseye
[20:21] <+GhengisRexx> The World is Savage kingdom is one of the more detailed and well thought out ones I have played in a long time.
[20:21] <+GeneR> Well if all else fails do something extremely stupid! Like kill someone!
[20:21] <+MikeY> Thanks so much, GhengisRexx.
[20:21] <+MikeY> yes, Dan…
[20:21] <+SnotLord> I find it funny the ones that analyse the game mechanics like its a wargame manual then pull of the most stupid “because survival” actions you can think of.
[20:21] <+MikeY> Let’s see, off the top of me head…
[20:22] <+MikeY> Minotaurs are actually trapped by labyrinths, not masters of them…
[20:22] <+Catseye> That’s not just in sword & sorcery. It’s anything. I was sorely disappointed in not being able to experience the setting when I played Cyberpunk 2020. Everybodyt in that were treating it like a first person shooter. And frankly. That just wasn’t fun for me.
[20:22] <+MikeY> Dryads can turn one into wood…
[20:22] <+SnotLord> cool
[20:22] * ~Dan stifles off-color joke
[20:22] <+MikeY> (There’s a joke in there somewhere. ;))
[20:22] <+MikeY> Yes!
[20:22] <+JamesGillen> huhhuhhuh
[20:22] * ~Dan high-fives MikeY
[20:23] <+JamesGillen> you said “wood”
[20:23] <+MikeY> =)
[20:23] <+MikeY> Heh
[20:23] <+MikeY> Dragons are genderless
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[20:23] <+MikeY> They are so ancient, that they are from an era – and some say a world – before the gods gave genders to their creations.
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[20:24] <+MikeY> Catseyes hits on a good point.
[20:24] <+Catseye> I think the most disappointing thing I have faced in an RPG environment was not to have the feeling that my character was actually the protagonist in a book.
[20:24] <~Dan> “You kids and your new-fangled ‘genders’.”
[20:24] <+MikeY> In that, why play in a specific setting if it’s not going to be brought to the forefront?
[20:25] <+MikeY> LoL
[20:25] <+MikeY> But, yes, being backseat to everyone else – especially NPCs – is no fun.
[20:25] <+MikeY> I mean, it might be alright to a degree at first, but then, things most proceed, most grow.
[20:25] <+Catseye> really, that feeling is what attracted me to RPGs in the first place. But I have seldom gotten that experience.
[20:25] <+SnotLord> “Because I am low on rations I shall steal a goat from the farmer.” Okay, roll. *player makes bad roll* The goat runs away. “Sighs.. Oh I know I’ll steal the baby.
[20:26] <+GeneR> Settings need to be internally consistent. Biggest problem in fiction and RPG.
[20:26] <+MikeY> It often requires a perfect storm of setting, system, GM, and player cast.
[20:26] <+GhengisRexx> That is a fact
[20:26] <+MikeY> True, GeneR.
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[20:26] <+SnotLord> And no player trying to steal and eat babies.
[20:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, Doc!)
[20:27] <+MikeY> Darn goat-babies.
[20:27] <+MikeY> Greetings indeed!
[20:27] <+SnotLord> …
[20:27] <+SnotLord> not a goat baby.
[20:27] <+Catseye> MikeY: I’m also a writer. I have 7 books out now.
[20:27] <+SnotLord> just a baby.
[20:27] <+JamesGillen> mm
[20:27] <+MikeY> Awesome, Catseye! Five more than me for sure. =)
[20:28] <+MikeY> I approach RPGing too as an author, but probably moreover as an actor.
[20:28] <+MikeY> I just can;t seem to approach RPGing as a beer-and-pretzels player.
[20:28] <+MikeY> But to each his own.
[20:28] <+SnotLord> I approach roleplaying with a subway sandwich usually.
[20:29] <+MikeY> Heh 😉
[20:29] <+MikeY> Now I’m officially hungry.
[20:29] <+SnotLord> It depends
[20:29] <+SnotLord> I’ve run plent of beer & pretzel rpg games using risus.
[20:29] <+MikeY> I even end RPing Talisman, for gods’ sakes.
[20:29] <+GeneR> What sort of hit points does a sandwich do?
[20:29] <~Dan> Hmm… What do you think makes Savage Kingdoms in particular immersive.
[20:29] <+MikeY> *end up
[20:29] <+MikeY> heh
[20:29] <+GhengisRexx> Setting and cultures
[20:30] <+Catseye> My partners and I are eventually going to put out a set of RPG worldbooks based on the setting of our fiction. I’ve been very careful to try and find a game system that is evocative of our storytelling style. It’s not been easy.
[20:30] <+JamesGillen> nice
[20:30] <+GhengisRexx> I have often found it strange that “Humans” are a culture in most rpgs.
[20:30] <+SnotLord> Fith Element style adventures using RISUS are great for one shots.
[20:30] <+MikeY> I’m hoping SK is immersive through that writing in the book, and the fact that it’s touted as such to a degree. The setting is pretty detailed, and while there are plenty of other detailed, awesome settings, some of them just don’t seem to really push the immersion thing.
[20:31] <+GhengisRexx> SK does a great job, imho, of making the various cultures feel real, and feel different.
[20:31] <+MikeY> I do feel that system and setting begat one another, one married to the other for the most part.
[20:31] <~Dan> To be more specific, what about the system do you think is immersive?
[20:31] <+MikeY> Thanks, Ghengis.
[20:31] <+DaneAsmund> (MikeY Great stuff here, your game isn’t quite my flavor, but I am very interested in the core system and how it runs, so I’ll be picking it up! Gotta run a game now though!)
[20:31] <~Dan> (Take care, DaneAsmund!)
[20:31] <+Catseye> I have to ask: Are monsters in SK rare or frequent?
[20:31] <+DaneAsmund> (MikeY Best of luck with the expansion!)
[20:32] <+MikeY> Cool, thanks, Dane!
[20:32] <+MikeY> Thanks so much!
[20:32] <+MikeY> Pretty rare.
[20:32] <+DaneAsmund> (Thanks again Dan, good stuff!)
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[20:32] <+JamesGillen> Well, that’s the other thing. In places where non-humans are common, the race is the “culture.” In settings where Humans are the only or usually the only race, you have to go back to cultural differences, which you have to do in a realistic setting anyway
[20:32] <+MikeY> Monsters, that is. In fact, in the Bestiary chapter, it states that humans – raiders, brigands, duelists, sorcerers, shamans, etc – should be the main antagonists most of the time.
[20:33] <+JamesGillen> Another example
[20:33] <&Doctor> (link pls?)
[20:33] <+MikeY> Next would be beasts, or animals, such as Wolves, Boars, Bears, Sabretooths, etc.
[20:34] <+MikeY> Very true, James.
[20:34] <+GhengisRexx> Dan, one thing that appealed to me, was there are mechanical advantages (discounts) on talents that are common to societies. So you are rewarded for building a character that has abilities that are logical for your culture, but to restricted or forced into anything.
[20:34] <+MikeY> I think Doctor was wanting a link?
[20:34] * ~Dan nods
[20:34] <~Dan> Doctor: (Link: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181583/The-Savage-East)http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181583/The-Savage-East
[20:34] <&Doctor> danke
[20:34] <+MikeY> Thanks, Ghengis. One of the main aspects Im most proud of is the culturally favored talents and weaknesses
[20:35] <~Dan> Doctor: Core rulebook: (Link: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/134082/Savage-Kingdoms-core-rulebook?manufacturers_id=7243)http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/134082/Savage-Kingdoms-core-rulebook?manufacturers_id=7243
[20:35] <+Catseye> I found it on Amazon. I much prefer solid physical books. Call me a purist.
[20:35] <+SnotLord> Do you have any underground cavern races like the Blind Ones in Turok 2 or the Morlocks?
[20:35] <+SnotLord> (Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Mike+Yow&search-alias=books-uk&field-author=Mike+Yow&sort=relevancerank)https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Mike+Yow&search-alias=books-uk&field-author=Mike+Yow&sort=relevancerank
[20:35] <+MikeY> It rewards one for creating a character more fitting for that culture, but it doesnt prevent odd builds either.
[20:35] <+MikeY> Thanks, Dan.
[20:36] <+MikeY> The Sslir are a bit like that, SnotLord, and Red Caps.
[20:36] <+SnotLord> Good.
[20:36] <+MikeY> But not a whole lot. Might be one thing to look into for future supplements.
[20:36] <+Catseye> How common are non-human races?
[20:36] <+MikeY> (Honestly, I was trying to avoid the whole Underdark thing, at least to any great extent.)
[20:37] <+MikeY> Pretty uncommon in general.
[20:37] <+SnotLord> Nothing like cannibal troll people in the underground though.
[20:37] <+GreyOwl> The sslir are fun.
[20:37] <+MikeY> Not precisely, although there are clans of Thorakki like that.
[20:37] <+MikeY> Many are troll-born anyway
[20:37] <+MikeY> Sslir are kinda cool.
[20:38] <+SnotLord> As long as there’s something I can work with I’m good.
[20:38] <+MikeY> The rarest non-human race is the Rathkiri, but a close second are the Sslir and Djann.
[20:38] <+Catseye> Good. Hoping mostly for human-centric. Once you get into non-human races, you are ending up in High Fantasy
[20:38] <+GreyOwl> I always think of the Sleestaks (sp?) from Land of the Lost, although I know that’s not at all the inspiration.
[20:38] <+MikeY> Very true.
[20:38] <+MikeY> I mean, kinda, GreyOwl.
[20:38] <~Dan> What are the Sslir, by the way?
[20:38] <~Dan> Lizard-men types?
[20:38] <+MikeY> Most Howard’s Serpent-folk.
[20:38] <~Dan> Ah.
[20:38] <+GhengisRexx> Magicky
[20:39] <+MikeY> Aye, reptilian snake-folk
[20:39] <+MikeY> although there are warrior castes too, as well as hunter/scout castes
[20:39] <+Catseye> Well it sounds great so far to me.
[20:39] <+MikeY> Most common non-humans are likely the Sidhe, in their various subtypes, or maybe the Duergar.
[20:40] <+GeneR> Following up on Catseye, although I enjoy a setting with Dr waves, Elves and so forth I often find in games other races are thinly disguised Human Cultures.
[20:40] <+MikeY> but even they are pretty rare, at least in day-to-day human society
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[20:40] <~Dan> (wb, Le_Squide)
[20:40] <+MikeY> thanks, Catseye
[20:40] <+MikeY> Welcome back!
[20:41] <+Catseye> This is definitely on my order list. Even faster than the new Conan RPG will be.
[20:41] <+MikeY> I even make a statement about that in the core book – beware of the humans with pointy ears syndrome.
[20:41] <+MikeY> Also an actor thing I teach to students. 😉
[20:41] <&Le_Squide> (Heya)
[20:41] <+MikeY> Cool, thanks!
[20:41] <+MikeY> That new Conan game looks pretty decent, though.
[20:41] <+GeneR> I have been looking at it over at Drive Through. It looks like you put a lot of work into this. The layout looks excellent.
[20:41] <+MikeY> Thanks, GeneR.
[20:42] <+GeneR> Yes Star Trek does this all the time.
[20:42] <+MikeY> Wish I could have afforded color interior, though
[20:42] <+MikeY> Maybe next time. 2nd Edition. 😉
[20:42] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:42] <+Catseye> I have a near full collection of Mongoose’s OGL Conan books.
[20:42] <+MikeY> Me too. Love ’em.
[20:42] <+MikeY> By far the best iteration of the OGL D20 system
[20:42] <+MikeY> Hands down.
[20:42] <+Catseye> agree
[20:43] <+MikeY> Heck, we even borrowed the Conan font for the game. 😉
[20:43] <~Dan> Hmm… I have a system question that I think you may have answered last time, but I can’t recall the answer, MikeY.
[20:43] <+GhengisRexx> I bought it in the store because I thought it was Conan for SAVAGE WORLDS
[20:43] <+MikeY> Shoot!
[20:43] <+GhengisRexx> I was surprised, and rather pleasantly.
[20:43] <~Dan> Physique governs melee combat, correct?
[20:43] <+MikeY> Heh, oops.
[20:43] <+JamesGillen> Yeah, MIke, that font is the first thing I noticed. 😉
[20:44] <+MikeY> Physique does, unless you take Agile Weaponry as a talent.
[20:44] <~Dan> And damage is based on degree of success, with no Physique modifier, correct?
[20:44] <+GhengisRexx> Yes dan, but there are some talents that let you use agility, iirc
[20:44] <+MikeY> and now Agile Brawling from the Savage East
[20:44] <+MikeY> yes, but remember, PHY is already added in the initial attack roll
[20:45] <+MikeY> So it is there, but not used twice as in D&D
[20:45] <~Dan> Right, right… but…
[20:45] <~Dan> …how then do you simulate a strong-but-clumsy creature?
[20:45] <~Dan> You seem to have the “Ninjasaurus Effect”.
[20:45] <+MikeY> Many, of not most, large creatures have -1 to their attack rolls per point of PHY over 15.
[20:45] <+MikeY> so it’s accounted for
[20:46] <+GhengisRexx> You can have a low bonus to hit, but a high damage modifier.
[20:46] <+MikeY> Not most, actually, but I think all of them do.
[20:46] <~Dan> I thought there weren’t damage modifiers based on PHY, though.
[20:46] <+MikeY> Thus, a 25 PHY creature would be +23 instead of +25 without further training
[20:47] <+GhengisRexx> for players they are based on weapons used…. not sure how Mike maths out the monsters. But that is how I would do it.
[20:47] <+MikeY> there aren’t, but there are Damage Mods based on weapon type, including horns, claws, teeth, etc.
[20:47] <~Dan> What about size?
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[20:48] <+MikeY> Depends on the creature in question, but in general, a hoof usually has no mod, a horn likely +2 or +3, etc.
[20:48] <+MikeY> Size and strength are all factored into the Physique attribute
[20:48] <+GreyOwl> What about smaller weapons striking larger creatures? Is this accounted for?
[20:48] <+MikeY> No, as I feel it already takes care of itself.
[20:49] <+MikeY> Smaller weapons have lower, or non-existent, damage mods, and large creatures have high Health in general.
[20:49] <+GreyOwl> I ask because there’s a reason why a spear was always the dragon-slayer. Longer weapon for reaching deep vital organs in a large creature.
[20:49] <&Doctor> did someone ask the “unique selling point” question already?
[20:49] <+GreyOwl> Dagger just wouldn’t cut it.
[20:49] <+MikeY> Yes, true. There are weapon reaches, though, that make a big difference.
[20:50] <+MikeY> Reach is measured in yards, as all ranges in SK
[20:50] <+MikeY> I think so, Doc.
[20:50] <&Doctor> (sorry, I am in and out)
[20:50] <+MikeY> The answer was the single d20 mechanic, which handles – for example – attack and damage in a single roll.
[20:51] <+MikeY> No prob =)
[20:51] <+MikeY> Makes for faster action resolution, and thus freeing things up for more RP and immersion
[20:51] <+MikeY> that’s the theory, anyway =)
[20:51] <+MikeY> (Done)
[20:52] <~Dan> MikeY: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:53] <+MikeY> Hmm…
[20:53] <+MikeY> Some good questions and interaction, thus far, for sure.
[20:53] <~Dan> (And as always, you’re welcome to hang out with us as long as you like!)
[20:53] <+MikeY> I guess I should try the game out and let me know how you like it! =)
[20:54] <+MikeY> A 2nd Edition – yeah, I know – is already planned, with a bigger release and even more streamlined rules.
[20:54] <+JamesGillen> Keen
[20:54] <+MikeY> but that’s AT LEAST a year away, probably more
[20:54] <+JamesGillen> You always want to release a new edition every 2 years. It works for the college textbook companies
[20:55] <+GreyOwl> heh
[20:55] <+MikeY> I probably won;t hang too much longer than normal, as I’ve an acting student coming over in the morning followed by a performance.
[20:55] <+GreyOwl> And Wizards of the Coast, apparently. 😉
[20:55] <+MikeY> True, that, James
[20:55] <+MikeY> LOL
[20:56] <~Dan> Also, a quick note that if any of you have enjoyed the chat and are feeling generous, there’s always my tip jar. 🙂 (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[20:56] <+MikeY> Oh, I’ll be at Dragon*Con down in Atlanta again this year, after missing last year due to show biz commitments
[20:56] <+MikeY> Always a good thing, a tip jar. =)
[20:56] <~Dan> 😉
[20:57] <&Doctor> Dragon*Con, like Gen*Con but not a s*** show
[20:57] <+MikeY> Either as a Guest or just as a GM running some SK demos
[20:57] <&Doctor> with better looking people 🙂
[20:57] <+MikeY> LOL, mostly
[20:57] <~Dan> And for those of you who stopped by for the Q&A, please feel free to hang out with us any time you like. We’re a friendly bunch. 🙂
[20:57] <+MikeY> Thanks, Dan!
[20:57] <&Doctor> Gladys Knight has a chicken and waffles place in ATL
[20:57] <&Doctor> get some
[20:57] <~Dan> You’re welcome, MikeY! Thank you for joining us!
[20:57] <+MikeY> Truth
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[20:58] <+MikeY> Lived down there for 40 years.
[20:58] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you.
[20:58] <+MikeY> You;re most welcome – thanks for having me!