02:06 + JRoss | So, Kaigaku is a samurai-themed RPG that draws inspiration from such sources as Toei’s Samurai Warriors series, the books of Takashi Matsuoka, real history and more.IT’s currently funding on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1059971838/kaigaku-a-samurai-rpg Think of it as an OSR L5R-type game.
02:06 + JRoss | Done
02:06 & GKG_Alan | Great! Floor is open to questions
02:06 & GKG_Alan | I’ll start (I’
02:07 & GKG_Alan | I’m an active L5R-ophile (I own every book, etc), what does your game offer that L5R doesn’t?
02:08 + JRoss | Faster character generation. It also contains a setting, but I’ve purposely written it in broader strokes to allow GMs and players to create their own stories without worrying about canon.
02:08 + JRoss | Combat is the ame or faster since you’re only rolling one die at a time.
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02:10 + JRoss | Character advancement is also simpler. In L5R, whose rules I really respect, you have to calculate level based on how many XP you’ve spent. In Kaigaku advancement is story-based, with levels gained at the end of sessions or adventures.
02:10 + JRoss | Done.
02:11 + Will | (hey all)
02:11 & GKG_Alan | (you dont’ have to say done after every question 🙂
02:11 + JRoss | Hey Will
02:11 & GKG_Alan | sounds good! So tell us about your setting?
02:13 + JRoss | Sure. So the setting takes my favorite parts of Asian history and blends them together. There are several anachronisms that I feel makes the story more dramatic. You have the alternating royal lines of the Nonboku-cho period, but no Shogun (yet), while the clans have autonomy and power based on the Azuchi-Momoyama period, and there are plenty of gaijin and
02:13 + JRoss | guns around. All of this is to make a setting with lots of drama and tension.
02:14 + Will | (as an aside, I just picked up some CGI models of wakizashi and tanto, heh)
02:14 + JRoss | Each of the clan daimyo is an homage (shameless ripoff) of a real Azuchi-Momoyama daimyo.
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02:15 + xyphoid | when you say retroclone here are you talking L5R retroclone or D&D retroclone
02:15 + JRoss | The setting differs from the real world in that there are fantastic creatures and super-powered ascetics.
02:15 + JRoss | xyphoid, it’s a DnD retrclone (expanded Black Hack), but it’s combined with mechanics based on L5R (similar to raising and five-tier schools)
02:16 & GKG_Alan | what sort of fantastic creatures and super powers are we talking about?
02:17 + JRoss | Ascetics that harvest powerful stones from meteor strikes. They play a lot like ise zumi, henshin and “element benders”. The fantastic creatures are the resulting mutations of these meteor strikes.
02:18 & GKG_Alan | So walk us through a sample char gen?
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02:20 + JRoss | You start with the familiar Black Hack: Roll 3d6 for 6 stats (there are some modifiers that keep you from rolling multiple 18s in a row, but that’s because in this game weak stats skyrocket. After rolling stats you pick a clan or choose to be a masterless ronin. Choose a class (Ascetic, Bushi, Courtier or Ninja) and take a ryu, or school, from your clan
02:22 + JRoss | Ryu are a lot like archetypes in 5E. You plug them into a class and gain a new ability at even-numbered levels. Lastly, you create a term to define your character’s birth, their driving passion and their duty to the clan; these are Skills. Whenever you can apply a Skill to a roll you get to add the Skill’s rank to the stat you’re using for the roll.
02:22 + JRoss | That’s it. Fast.
02:22 & GKG_Alan | Nice.
02:23 & GKG_Alan | So for those of us unfamiliar with Black Hack can you walk us through what you mean by that
02:24 + JRoss | The Black Hack is an ultra-simple version of 1E DnD. Every roll you make is 1d20 under your relevant stat. Enemy NPCs have one stat (HD), from which you derive the damage they do. They might have miscellaneous special abilities, based on flavor.
02:25 + JRoss | You gain levels at predetermined intervals. The GM could rule that you get a level after every successful adventure, once a week or whenever else. They have to be consistent so you know what to expect.
02:26 + JRoss | Distances are abstract (Close, Nearby, Far Away or Distant). That’s pretty much it. The core Black Hack rules only take a few pages.
02:26 & GKG_Alan | Ok, so how does your system modify the rolling system
02:28 + JRoss | Vanilla Black Hack doesn’t have Skills. Kaigaku also adds dueling and ryu, and I’m using the Contacts rules from Cyber Hacked, which lets you call in favors and learn information from your friends and acquaintances.
02:28 & GKG_Alan | sweet. That sounds fun. So how many pagse is the book
02:32 + JRoss | It’s not long. Right now it’s under 50 pages, but I have 7 backers who get to add their contributions to the game (each one gets to help create a lesser clan). The whole book was longer in manuscript form than in layout, which has never happened before with anything that I wrote. I’m currently working on a crafting systems, plus a write-up of a city called
02:32 + JRoss | Kajima. I want it to be around 80 pages total. Enough that you have what you need to play without prep, but without needless filler.
02:32 +Geek2theRight | Most things I’ve seen that codify contacts make them prohibitively expensive, including my beloved Fantasy Craft. Does this black hack cyber thing manage to avoid that, and if so, how?
02:33 + JRoss | I’m also waiting on some of the flavor fiction until I have info from the high-level backers so I can include their clans in the story.
02:34 + JRoss | Geek2theRight, everyone gets a Contact to star with. Courtiers get 2. You ask for a favor, you get a favor. It’s fast and easy. If you blackmail someone, treat them loyally or otherwise roleplay well, they can be your contact.
02:36 +Geek2theRight | Ok.
02:36 + Shiro | How do you handle honour? Is it just story-based or is there some ranking system?
02:36 + JRoss | Contacts also ask for favors, which leads to more adventures.
02:37 + JRoss | Shiro, there’s no honor ranking, but it plays a part. Here’s from the book: when you create your PC, you determine whether your character is honorable, and therefore outwardly loyal and vice-free, or dishonorable, and therefore free to act as he pleases in public, but rejected by those who can better hide their vices. Honorable characters can, once per
02:38 + JRoss | session, declare that they are acting for their honor when making a roll. This grants them Advantage, even if they have Disadvantage (which normally cancel one another out) for that roll. Failing the roll doesnâ€™t cause them to be dishonorable, because they tried sincerely, but word of their failure spreads far and wide. You can only act for your honor when
02:38 + JRoss | the stakes are high and there are witnesses. Acting in a dishonorable way gives an honorable character Disadvantage, even if they have Advantage. Additionally, if an honorable character acts so dishonorably to shame their clan or the Emperors, then they become dishonorable, but continue to have Disadvantage from dishonorable conduct. Characters who choose to
02:38 + JRoss | become dishonorable at character creation never suffer Disadvantage due to acting dishonorably (they might get Disadvantage from other sources). Characters who act too dishonorably (should they have an honorable lord) might find themselves exiled from the clan or even facing death. A character can attempt to redeem themselves and live an honorable life. This
02:38 + JRoss | is true both for fallen characters and those who begin the game dishonorably. It takes a great deal of personal struggle, both inwardly and outwardly, to change oneâ€™s life. The ultimate decision of whatâ€™s honorable and dishonorable, and to what degree, falls on each GM. The GM should be consistent in their application.
02:39 + JRoss | Advantage and Disadvantage work like in 5E
02:39 + Shiro | Setting-wise, are there any Ainu-equivalents?
02:41 + JRoss | There are Mongol-equivalents. I’m pondering adding stand-ins for the Ainu, Emishi, et al in a supplement. There was a lot of subjugation going on there, and I want to treat the issue with dignity.
02:41 + JRoss | One sec. Gotta make my daughter a quesadilla.
02:42 + Shiro | That’s fair (both regarding Ainu and quesadillas).
02:45 + Shiro | So have the meteor strikes created fantastic creatures in the forms of traditional Japanese monsters? Does that include stuff like tengu, oni, and kirin? Are there any fantastic creatures not caused by meteoric mutation?
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02:48 + JRoss | Shiro, dragonoids, yeah. I’ve just got this idea that I can’t shake, but the creatures are more like pokemon than traditional Japanese monsters (though there’s obviously some overlap). Like if it mutates wolves you’re going to get metallic-colored wolves with fiery eyes. That sort of thing.
02:49 + Will | Kappa!
02:50 + Shiro | So are all the monster mutations meteoric-themed, or are there a range of “elemental” options or effects?
02:51 + JRoss | Will, Koopa! Shiro, the world on which Kaigaku sits is home to “natural” phenomena and creatures that would be fantastic here.
02:52 & GKG_Alan | JRoss, what about magic
02:54 + JRoss | The stones from the meteors, kiseki, hold immense power. The way that ascetics in Kaigaku use them (implanting them under their skin) allows them to work effects that resemble magic. The scholars of the gaijin nations use thee stones in mechanical devices, which is just getting introduced to Kaigaku. This is one way to really differentiate from L5R.
02:55 + Shiro | Reminds me of soulgems in Tenra Bansho Zero! Except they fall from the sky instead of being mined. 🙂
02:56 & GKG_Alan | cool. how does it work in the game mechanically
02:57 + JRoss | Andy Kitkowski told me the same thing. I haven’t actually played TBZ. The idea came to me for a steampunk story I was working on, where the hero was a martial artist with stones in his body. He had to fight a cyborg Genghis Khan.
02:59 + JRoss | GKG_Alan, Ascetic ryu have more fantastic abilities. It manifests in fireballs from the hands, healing rays and all sorts of things you might see in Avatar or Street Fighter.
03:01 & GKG_Alan | but mechanically how are those assigned or given
03:02 + JRoss | Oh, I see. As far as character abilities go, for now they’re just a part of Ascetic ryu, but I’m also going to put them into the crafting system.
03:03 & GKG_Alan | ?
03:04 & GKG_Alan | how so in the crafting system?
03:06 + JRoss | As in, you can add kiseki to a sword (or whatever else) to get an elemental effect or some other bonus. Since those sort of powers are really the provenance of ascetics, creating these items is going to take a lot of work. Quest to find the stones, make successful (hard) rolls and you get them. Ever play Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors? Basically making
03:06 + JRoss | awesome weapons like that.
03:07 & GKG_Alan | sounds good
03:07 & GKG_Alan | I’m asking a lot of questions. Does anyone else have any
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03:08 + JRoss | If not, that’s no worries. Fam is getting antsy.
03:08 & GKG_Alan | Well, JRoss, if you want to go see your family, we can call it early! I’m intrigued and going to check your project out right now 🙂
03:08 & GKG_Alan | so you likely got one sale out of it
03:09 + JRoss | Woohoo!
03:09 + JRoss | Sorry. Such is being the dad of a four-year-old.
03:09 & GKG_Alan | Totally understandable!
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03:09 & GKG_Alan | Thanks for your time, and we appreciate you coming out!
03:09 & GKG_Alan | See you on the Kickstarter!
03:09 + JRoss | Thanks to you, too. Have a good night!
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