[19:00] <+DarkNagaKevin> I am Kevin Watson, the owner and sole employee of Dark Naga Adventures.
[19:01] <+DarkNagaKevin> My second adventure, The Buried Zikurat, is live on Kickstarter now. It closes this Saturday at 7pm CDT
[19:02] <+DarkNagaKevin> I have been a DM since 1981. I have DM’d for the big shows, GenCon, Winter Fantasy, Origins, and for smaller events, in addition to home games and other public play.
[19:02] <+DarkNagaKevin> The Buried Zikurat is about a clay mining operation at Caford has discovered a large step pyramid, or zikurat. This imposing structure was buried completely in the clay sheet they have been mining for decades to make brick and other ceramic products. The local miners see what they think is an obvious entrance, but cannot get past the slab of stone. A call f
[19:03] <+DarkNagaKevin> A call for aid is sent, and the party is sent to investigate
[19:03] <+DarkNagaKevin> done
[19:03] <~Dan> Thanks, DarkNagaKevin! The floor is open to questions!
[19:03] <~Dan> Does this fit into any particular setting?
[19:04] <+Abstruse> What system is the adventure for?
[19:04] * +eezo hates to be *that* guy but what is it like to be at GenCon ? :3
[19:05] <+DarkNagaKevin> It will easily drop into any fantasy setting. A high magic setting might require the largest amount of adjustment. It would thrive in a medium and be fine in a low. There are some elements that are unique to my emerging world, but they are minor and there is
[19:05] <+DarkNagaKevin> an appendix to help a DM adjust.
[19:05] <+DarkNagaKevin> It is written for D&D 5e, an OSR and Pathfinder version will be released as well.
[19:06] <+DarkNagaKevin> GenCon is very busy, and gamers are a shrinking minority. It feels like it has shifting from gaming to a geek culture con, which is great for growth, but not so great for a grognard
[19:07] <+DarkNagaKevin> However, go at least once. Then check out the OSR focused events like Gary Con, NorthTexas RPG Con and GameHole Con
[19:07] <+Abstruse> What level is your adventure designed for?
[19:07] <+DarkNagaKevin> Levels 6-8. Ideal for 5 players at level 7
[19:07] <+eezo> DarkNagaKevin: If I get the chance, I most definitely will. 🙂
[19:07] <+Abstruse> How long is it?
[19:08] <+DarkNagaKevin> It is the second part in a 5 part series, The Haunting of Hastur. Part one was on KS in Feb 2016, and is currently on the OBS sites in PDF and PoD
[19:08] <+DarkNagaKevin> It takes about 4 sessions to complete, somewhere between 24 and 30 hours for most playstyles
[19:09] <+DarkNagaKevin> The first adventure is “The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil”, for levels 4-6 and is also about 4 sessions long
[19:10] <+DarkNagaKevin> Did I miss any questions?
[19:10] <+eezo> I wish I was smart enough for this kind of gaming…
[19:10] <+DarkNagaKevin> Table Top gaming is more about imagination than anything else
[19:12] <+eezo> yeah, being somewhat autistic, imagination doesn’t really work with me >.>
[19:12] <+DarkNagaKevin> I understand. What type of games do you enjoy?
[19:12] <+eezo> i’m mostly a computer gamer, really
[19:13] <+eezo> i grew up on FPS genre
[19:13] <+DarkNagaKevin> So is my nephew. Get gets frustrated with table top because the computer takes care of all the overhead.
[19:13] <+eezo> overhead and boilerplate I generally have no problem with
[19:13] <+eezo> just the imagination part is kinda derp with me
[19:14] <+DarkNagaKevin> I was drawing the weakest of comparisons. Table top isn’t for everyone, and for a wide range of reasons.
[19:14] <~Dan-brb> (back, sorry)
[19:15] <+DarkNagaKevin> No worries. Hope everything is ok
[19:15] <~Dan> Is the adventure mostly hack-and-slash? Or is there more thinking and/or interaction involved?
[19:15] <+eezo> one of my usual hangout spots is a gaming store in the city where all sorts of gamers hang out, some of them even playing 1E D&D still
[19:15] <+eezo> so I get exposure, it just doesn’t click with me very well 🙂
[19:16] <+eezo> And now I’ll stop babbling and let you all get back to the Q&A 🙂
[19:17] * +eezo bows and hides
[19:17] <+DarkNagaKevin> Great question. That is up to the DM and by extension the party. This one is a puzzle palace. There are 28 key encounters, all magic puzzle locks. You solve a puzzle the DM provides to defeat the puzzle
[19:17] <+DarkNagaKevin> However, if you cannot get the puzzle correct in 3 tries, the puzzle attacks with a construct.
[19:17] <+DarkNagaKevin> Also not all puzzles are working correctly after 1500 years, so some might attack immediately, others might think you have failed twice already.
[19:18] <+DarkNagaKevin> There are about a quarter billion combinations that can be directly controlled by the DM and indirectly controlled by the party
[19:19] <~Dan> What sorts of puzzles are there, if you can say without giving too much away?
[19:19] <+DarkNagaKevin> I try not to write linear or pure hack and slash adventures. The previous project, The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil had 6 key encounters where two were aimed at interaction, two were aimed at combat and the others depended on the approach
[19:20] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, GladsheimJack!)
[19:20] <~Dan> (I was just replying to your message.)
[19:20] <+GladsheimJack> Small world!
[19:20] <+DarkNagaKevin> I have provided a book of them, of course any DM is welcome to substitute one of their own. There are riddles, logic puzzles, and for the big bad lock, a cryptogram that I partially solved
[19:21] <~Dan> ( GladsheimJack: Q&A topic: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/darknaga/the-buried-zikurat)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/darknaga/the-buried-zikurat )
[19:21] <+DarkNagaKevin> The book of puzzles has twice as many as a DM would need to run the adventure to provide some flexibility.
[19:23] <+DarkNagaKevin> The short URL for the project is (Link: http://kck.st/2bo9Bgc)http://kck.st/2bo9Bgc
[19:24] <~Dan> ( GladsheimJack: Just got you all set up for 9/29. 🙂 )
[19:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, CapnTylor!)
[19:24] <+CapnTylor> Hello!
[19:25] <~Dan> Given the fact that the place was buried, are the types of creatures somewhat limited?
[19:25] <+DarkNagaKevin> It has been abandoned for 1500 years, the constructs are varied by a table of special abilities.
[19:25] <+GladsheimJack> (Dan: Thank you kindly! looking forward to it. I’ll have to hang around some more, and get some forum posts up as well.)
[19:26] <+DarkNagaKevin> So there is only one entry in the bestiary, but with 12 variants
[19:26] <~Dan> ( GladsheimJack: I’ll PM you with some more info.)
[19:26] <+DarkNagaKevin> Unless I decide to go with a backer suggestion and add some undead nasties.
[19:30] <~Dan> Are there any particular classes that are vital in the adventure?
[19:32] <+DarkNagaKevin> There are some mechanical locks and traps, so some characters that can do that well will help. If you decide to fight through most of it, bring 2 big fighters, 2 healers and a rogue and a wizard. The Nexus Guardians are pretty tough
[19:32] <~Dan> What about classes that don’t make much sense?
[19:32] <+DarkNagaKevin> But with 5th edition, those abilities are not unique to a rogue, so anyone can be in the spotlight for dealing with mechanical traps and locs
[19:33] <+DarkNagaKevin> I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Especially for a party who solves the locks.
[19:34] <~Dan> Any races that are particularly suited or out of place?
[19:35] <+GladsheimJack> You know, I’d been kind of bothered by the reduced specialization in 5e, which I’ve only played a little, compared to 3.5, but what you mentioned about multiple classes dealing with locks makes me think how much more versatile it must be from a writing end.
[19:36] <+DarkNagaKevin> Drow will be out of place. My world is human-centric. It is a side effect of the dark ages that passed since the end of the First Age of Man. The world is about 50-60 years from something like our Renaissance, and this adventure and it’s sequel is key to that Renaissance happening. During the enlightend age, the elves, halflings and dwarves emerge from their
[19:36] <+DarkNagaKevin> lands and interact with humans again
[19:38] <+DarkNagaKevin> GladsheimJack, I’ve heard that a lot. I am not sure where it comes from. The archtypes, feats, backgrounds combine well to let most people execute their vision without needing to multiclass.
[19:38] <+DarkNagaKevin> But the multiclass is largely lifted from 3.x, so it is there if the existing options fall short.
[19:38] <+DarkNagaKevin> Eldrich Knight and Arcane trickster put spell casting in the fighters hand for those who want it.
[19:39] <+DarkNagaKevin> Might be worth a second look.
[19:39] <+DarkNagaKevin> Sorry, Arcane Trickster puts spells in the rogue’s hands.
[19:41] <+DarkNagaKevin> Any character can take the criminal background and have basic thieves skills and tool proficiency. Or you can make your own background that give the same skills and tools without being a criminal. Like maybe a fantasy RPG Private Investigator
[19:42] <+GladsheimJack> DarkNagaKevin: You’re definitely correct, it’s more versatile in practice. I think I’m just used to throwing points into goofy stuff like juggling, or pottery, and the lack of that long skill list is sort of startling.
[19:43] <~Dan> DarkNagaKevin: How do you reconcile the humanocentric nature of the setting with the versatility you ascribe to it?
[19:44] <+DarkNagaKevin> The skills are more general and less focused now. I go so far as to let the player tell me how they are executing the skill to rationalize what ability is being used. Especially with Intimidate, you can use Brawn, brains, wile, charm or a display of speed as a basis for your intimidating action
[19:46] <+DarkNagaKevin> My game world is going through a metamorphosis. And the players who play in the Haunting of Hastur series will bring about changes that will make the world less humancentric, and more egalitarian. The trading nexus at the heart of the Buried Zikurat is a link to a tribe of elves that moved into the underdark to be its wardens.
[19:47] <+DarkNagaKevin> They also were a key part of collecting human knowledge, knowledge that was lost when the First Age of Man collapsed.
[19:47] <+DarkNagaKevin> To use a historical metaphor, the First Age of Man was the Greco-Roman era, and the Formene Elves play the role of the Moors and Arabs that translated Greek text into Arabic and saved them from the Dark Ages
[19:48] <+DarkNagaKevin> I don’t forbid non human characters, I just suggest they be few in number for this series if you want to use my world.
[19:49] <+DarkNagaKevin> They will be stares in some towns, since most of the elves, dwarfs and halflings are quite content to stay in their regions while man tries to rediscover civilization.
[19:49] <~Dan> Ah, I see…
[19:49] <+DarkNagaKevin> done
[19:50] <~Dan> What is the world called that you’re developing?
[19:50] <+DarkNagaKevin> My version of the underdark is very different than others
[19:52] <+DarkNagaKevin> Tumunzar, and the action so far takes place on the continent of Barestir. It’s about 70% of the size of the lower 48.
[19:53] <+DarkNagaKevin> There is a continent 1200 miles to the south, looks like South America but with Chile and Argentina’s lower halves cut off. called Arapa. It is the focal point of the 14 part series that followed the Hastur series
[19:53] <+DarkNagaKevin> That one will go from level 1 to 20
[19:56] <~Dan> Hmm… Is the setting generally Mesoamerican?
[19:56] <+DarkNagaKevin> I kinda feel like Daniel in StarGate.
[19:56] <+DarkNagaKevin> Arapa is a Sahuagin version of the Incas
[19:58] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, misteradam!)
[19:58] <+DarkNagaKevin> And, if I am not mistaken, one of my artists just joined us
[19:59] <+misteradam> Hello! Yes, I saw the facebook link and decided to join : )
[19:59] <~Dan> Ah! Glad you could join us, misteradam. 🙂
[20:00] <+DarkNagaKevin> Welcome
[20:00] <+DarkNagaKevin> I’m going to be afk for a couple of minutes. I need a quick break
[20:00] <+misteradam> Glad to he here. Happy Labor Day to everyone in the US
[20:01] <~Dan> Thank you kindly. 🙂
[20:01] <~Dan> No problem, DarkNagaKevin/
[20:03] <+DarkNagaKevin> back
[20:03] <~Dan> wb!
[20:03] <+DarkNagaKevin> Adam has done 3 pieces of art for this project.
[20:04] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[20:04] <+DarkNagaKevin> Including two portraits from descriptions supplied by 2 backers who backed at a tier that allowed them to have an NPC with art added based on their description
[20:06] <~Dan> Given the Mesoamerican flavor of your setting, do you have any interesting twists on standard D&D tropes?
[20:09] <+misteradam> Portraits are one of my favorite subjects. Would love to do more!
[20:09] <+DarkNagaKevin> The Mesoamerican setting is for the 2nd contintent. The main continent is based on European history.
[20:10] <~Dan> Ah! Sorry, I missed that.
[20:10] <+DarkNagaKevin> I have an NPC sage that found the court of Meawold, too noisy, and moved out to the country to work. Court is about as pompous as Henry VIII
[20:10] <+DarkNagaKevin> It’s ok.
[20:11] <+DarkNagaKevin> I think the biggest twist so far is that there is a non violence solution to every problem. The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil had notes for the DM concerning how the guards might respond to their use of violence in town.
[20:12] <+DarkNagaKevin> I am definitely from the 6 +3 = 9, but so does 4 + 5, camp. I try to leave more than one solution
[20:12] <~Dan> Let’s see… I’m running low on questions at the moment. Can you think of some other details about the adventure that wouldn’t be a spoiler?
[20:15] <+DarkNagaKevin> This particular one is about the most linear thing I expect to ever write for Dark Naga. The remainder of the series, 1, 3-5 all are much more open ended. In Buried Zikurat, you have a 2 part mission, and thus need to explore the whole thing to complete those two quests.
[20:15] <+misteradam> That’s awesome. I will let my DM friends know about your setting & how it focuses on more than stab and loot gameplay. What is the best place to link people to when I tell them about Dark Naga stuff?
[20:16] <+DarkNagaKevin> It is not a railroad adventure, and there are 22 pieces of lore that help the party navigate, give them inticing reasons to find a way to the underdark city of Talos, and some of the history along the way
[20:17] <+DarkNagaKevin> One big feature is going to be an art gallery, that has thumbnails of all of the art commissioned by me, with links to the artist’s portfolio or homepage (assuming they opt in)
[20:18] <+DarkNagaKevin> I want it to be a place where people can find out more about the art, and the artist behind it. Hopefully it will also allow other writers to find artists they can connect with
[20:18] <~Dan> That’s very cool.
[20:18] <+DarkNagaKevin> It also would serve to allow a reverse image lookup to find me, and my company as well as the artist
[20:19] <+GladsheimJack> I love it! In so many books, you have to hunt a bit to find artist attribution.
[20:20] <+DarkNagaKevin> This project is really 4 PDFs total. There is the main adventure, the Book of Puzzles, the Book of Lore with all of the lore arranged as player handouts, and a combination map/illustration book that puts one piece per page to print for handouts as well
[20:20] <+misteradam> Sounds great! I love connecting with writers and other creative people.
[20:21] <+DarkNagaKevin> I am very big on taking care of the artists who work with me. I don’t want people to have to search for info. Any exposure I can throw into to the deal only helps both of us.
[20:22] <~Dan> You’re a good man.
[20:22] <+DarkNagaKevin> Lost Temple had one artist, Rich Hershey. This time, I have four. There will be a section that identifies the artist. It might be in a tiny font to squeeze it in, but there will be credit given
[20:23] <+DarkNagaKevin> Right now my layout has maybe enough room for 3 medium size paragraphs to slip in without having to get creative with the font pitch, word wrap, art placement or other typographic tricks.
[20:24] <+DarkNagaKevin> What kind of art do you do, GladsheimJack?
[20:26] <+GladsheimJack> DarkNagaKevin: I can barely draw stick figures, but I have a lot of friends who are artists, film makers, and musicians, and they have a lot of horror stories. I actually have a game company as well, Gladsheim Games, thus the moniker.
[20:27] <+GladsheimJack> I’m mostly the history and lore guy, so all of my art is written. Easy to attribute that correctly.
[20:27] <+DarkNagaKevin> Cool. I mistakenly thought you were an artist
[20:29] <~Dan> Do you think this would be a good place to wrap up, DarkNagaKevin?
[20:29] <+DarkNagaKevin> Seems so. Any questions before we call it a night?
[20:30] <+misteradam> I just popped in to say hello. Will link my friends to the fb page!
[20:30] <+DarkNagaKevin> thank you for stopping by
[20:30] <~Dan> Not a question, but a comment: For anyone interested, my tip jar is here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[20:31] <~Dan> And thanks very much for coming, DarkNagaKevin!
[20:31] <+GladsheimJack> Thanks, DarkNagaKevin
[20:31] <+DarkNagaKevin> Thank you for having me. It was a blast
[20:31] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and give you the link.
[20:32] <+DarkNagaKevin> Great