[19:03] <+JGray> Hello everyone! My name is J Gray. I’m the developer working on the revival of Castle Falkenstein for Fat Goblin Games. Castle Falkenstein is the Origin award winning RPG which blends fact, fiction, and fantasy into a game of high adventure in the age of steam. It was designed by legendary creator Mike Pondsmith and originally released in the early 90s.
[19:04] <+JGray> Fat Goblin Games has acquired the license to revive the game, which went dormant after so long, and our first two products, “Curious Creatures” and “The Tarot Variation” just hit the market.
[19:04] <+JGray> They can be found here: (Link: http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/3865/Fat-Goblin-Games/subcategory/7767_26475/Castle-Falkenstein)http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/3865/Fat-Goblin-Games/subcategory/7767_26475/Castle-Falkenstein
[19:05] <+JGray> Curious Creatures is a bestiary but more than that as it covers a number of topics, including unicorns, sphinxes, Doctor Moreau style beast men and werewolves, intelligent animals, and familiars. The Tarot Variation replaces the normal playing card deck with a tarot deck for the purposes of casting magick.
[19:06] <+JGray> That’s the basic pitch. I’m happy to answer questions about the book and Castle Falkenstein in general.
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, JGray!
[19:06] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:07] <~Dan> Can you tell us about the scaling mechanic in Curious Creatures?
[19:08] <+sendoshin> I’m not familiar with the system or setting enough to know – how big a role does the steam tech (and clockwork as well, I’d assume) play in the setting? The mechanics? (technically two questions…)
[19:08] <+JGray> Sure. Curious Creatures uses the basic rules from Castle Falkenstein but expands on them. In CF, strength and physical damage are based on an Ability called Physique. It defaults to Average and can be bought up in chargen and through hard work. We recognized that doesn’t work for creatures. A small mouse can’t lift as much as a weak human no matter how fit.
[19:10] <+JGray> Meanwhile, the buffest human pales next to an elephant. So, we base certain characteristics such as physical strength, damage, and health on the animal’s size instead of on their Physique Ability. Essentially, creatures have a different scale which makes them punier at the low end and tougher at the high end when compared to humans.
[19:11] <+JGray> @sendoshin: It plays a fairly big role. In Castle Falkenstein all the fictional inventors are real. Nemo sales the seas in his Nautilus. Robur the Conquerer flies in his albatross. Babbage’s engines are not only real but being used to program giant canons devised by Jules Verne and used as a deterrent to keep Prussia in check.
[19:11] <~Dan> (Howdy, Eric_E!)
[19:12] <+Eric_E> Heya Dan!
[19:12] <+JGray> Automobiles are coming into fashion, especially among the rich, as are gyrocopters and powered dirigibles. The wealthy can buy clockwork servants or even clockwork prosthesis. There’s a mastermind who has conquered part of Japan using a giant steam and clockwork automoton.
[19:12] <+JGray> Hi, Eric!
[19:13] <+JGray> Mechanics wise, they all work fairly simply. Inventing is a checklist. You go through it, work out the “points” needed to build the device. That gives you the cost and time to build.
[19:13] <+Eric_E> Hiya JGray!
[19:13] <~Dan> (Just a sec — phone.)
[19:14] <+JGray> Gadgets are also a big part of the setting. The old TV show Wild Wild West was a big influence on the game so it isn’t uncommon to find canes, briefcases, or lady’s purses tricked out with hidden devices.
[19:15] <+sendoshin> Keep talking dirty to me…
[19:16] <+LucusPalosaari> I work with J, so I know this is a loaded question he just “loves” to answer — but is Castle Falkenstein “steampunk” (or something else)?
[19:16] <+Eric_E> Is this a game interview night or just discussion?
[19:16] <+sendoshin> Eric_E: Q&A in progress.
[19:16] <+JGray> Prussia has landfortresses. Think tanks only bigger and boxier. They’re countered by Bayern (Bavaria) and their aeroships, which use a combination of magic and dwarven technology to create war blimps that don’t just pop and blow up when shot.
[19:17] <+JGray> Eric_E: We’re discussing Castle Falkenstein. I’m the developer for the new line from Fat Goblin Games.
[19:18] <+Eric_E> Ok, sorry. /me sits back
[19:18] <+JGray> LucasPalosaari: It wasn’t intended to be. Mike Pondsmith, who knows his “punk” pretty well since he created Cyberpunk 2020, saw anything with “punk” in it to be more bleak and dystopian. He intended Castle Falkenstein to be a brighter world where swashbuckling and Victorian intrigue were the order of the day.
[19:18] <+LucusPalosaari> You can read about J and Castle Falkenstein in general here: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/castle-falkenstein/j-gray-rpg-net-q-a-live-tonight-7-pm-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/castle-falkenstein/j-gray-rpg-net-q-a-live-tonight-7-pm-9-pm-cst
[19:18] <~Dan> I call this sort of thing “steampulp”.
[19:19] <+JGray> However, since 1994, when the game came out, steampunk has evolved considerably into an aesthetic and a style as much as a specific genre. So, I won’t say it isn’t steampunk and I know some people who say Castle Falkenstein was their introduction to the concept.
[19:19] <+JGray> Steampulp is a good term. The original tagline was “High Adventure in the Age of Steam”.
[19:20] <~Dan> What are the categories of creatures covered in Curious Creatures?
[19:20] <+JGray> Mind you, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. You can’t have intrigue and adventure without good villains. We’ve got Unseelie literally trying to manipulate humanity into destroying the world, Otto von Bismark who wants to conquer the planet, British Steam Lords who want to turn the Empire into a feudal industrial state…
[19:21] <+xyphoid> so tehse are new supplements – what state’s the main game in? have you rereleased it?
[19:21] <+sendoshin> Love a good villain with a good backstory and motivation.
[19:21] <+JGray> Curious Creatures defines creatures as any living being which isn’t a human, dwarf, faerie, or dragon. It divides them into three categories: Native (evolved naturally, even if they have unusual abilities), Faerie Pets (‘genetically modified’ by faerie experimentation), and From Beyond the Faerie Veil (extradimensional).
[19:22] <+JGray> In CF there are also true undead and spirits/legends which are covered in books released by R. Talsorian.
[19:23] <+JGray> xyphoid: Castle Falkenstein and the original supplements are still available in digital form from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. R. Talsorian, the original publisher, fully controls those and we don’t have much input into their sale. You can find physical copies of most of the books on Amazon from their used book affiliates.
[19:23] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of Faerie Pets and creatures From Beyond the Faerie Veil?
[19:24] <+LucusPalosaari> (Link: http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/13/R-Talsorian-Games-Inc/subcategory/71_19469/Castle-Falkenstein)http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/13/R-Talsorian-Games-Inc/subcategory/71_19469/Castle-Falkenstein For the original books on RPGNow.com
[19:24] <+JGray> Dan: Sure. The basilisk/cockatrice is a Faerie Pet. It used to be a cobra before some Faerie got a hold of it. Wyverns were just plain old chickens until the daughter of Auberon, the Faerie King decided to try to create her own tiny dragons.
[19:25] <+JGray> Rainbow hounds are sheep dogs from the Isle of Man. A brownie created them to be the ultimate herder. They have the power to make animals stay put it touched.
[19:25] <+JGray> And, as you can guess by the name, they come in bright, vivid colors.
[19:26] <+JGray> Creatures from Beyond the Faerie Veil include the Caladrius, which looks like a little swan and has the ability to heal. They were brought to the Castle Falkenstein world by faeries who keep them as pets. The same is true of Vegetable Lambs and Barnacle Geese, animals which grow on trees and are cultivated by Faeries.
[19:27] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[19:27] <+JGray> The Jabberwock is from Beyond the Faerie Veil (which is the barrier between physical worlds) and can drive people mad with its burble. We include a nice madrigal of the poem you can sing along at home to.
[19:27] <+JGray> And the Questing Beast, from Arthurian Lore can infect the minds of men and women with an insatiable desire to hunt it down, forcing them to spend their entire lives in a mad quest.
[19:27] <~Dan> Nice.
[19:28] <+JGray> Also, Moby Dick is a Faerie Pet, used by ocean based fae to… express their displeasure with certain whalers.
[19:28] <~Dan> The ultimate Dick move.
[19:28] <+bojangles> Curious Creatures is really beautiful (i gotprint version) are other books going to be same quality?
[19:29] <~Dan> Oh, hey there, bojangles! Welcome to #rpgnet!
[19:29] <+bojangles> thank you
[19:29] <+JGray> There’s roughly 32 specific creatures in the book. Each has between a page or two pages of descriptive text written by Doctor Dolittle. There’s also stats for each, quotes from ancient scholars about each, and an adventure seed to help you use the creature in an “Adventure Entertainment”.
[19:30] <+JGray> Bojangles: That is the plan. Rick Hershey, the man who owns Fat Goblin Games, has decades of art and layout experience. Not every book will be available via print, sadly. Some, like the Tarot Variation, are too small. But we want them all to be attractive.
[19:32] <+LucusPalosaari> Any book of roughly 26+ page could potentially be released as a print offering via PoD. And smaller books may be combined for a print release “someday” but that’s all just discussion at this point.
[19:32] <+JGray> Castle Falkenstein, the original, was amazing not just because it was an evocative setting with fun rules but also because the books were designed, from the ground up, to fit it. Every word is in character. The fonts, pictures, layout, and background imagery are all chosen specifically to make you feel like you’re holding a piece of the steam age.
[19:32] <+JGray> We hope to do the same.
[19:32] <+JGray> And better, in some ways, since we have access to technology that didn’t exist in 1994.
[19:32] <~Dan> Good point!
[19:33] <+JGray> Side note.
[19:33] <+JGray> Bojangles, thank you for buying the book and supporting Castle Falkenstein.
[19:33] <~Dan> (Howdy, Will!)
[19:33] <+JGray> Hello, Will! I’m talking about the revival of Castle Falkenstein! Thank you for joining us!
[19:34] <+bojangles> ah, thank you. That is very nice and I look forward to it. Cf is one of my favorites of all time and I am very happy with what you have done to support it
[19:34] <~Dan> Hmm. I wonder if I still have my old CF books…
[19:35] <+JGray> I have mine. I’ve even managed to keep all the pages in it.
[19:35] <+Will> Wow, a CF revival?
[19:35] <~Dan> Yup!
[19:35] <+JGray> Yes!
[19:35] <+Will> For a long time Comme il Faut was one of my favorite game books
[19:35] <~Dan> Pull up a virtual chair, Will!
[19:35] * +Will screeeeeeeeches over a chair
[19:35] <+JGray> Comme il Faut is literally my favorite RPG supplement of all time. Its just so… full of… everything you need to be Victorian.
[19:36] <~Dan> Indeed.
[19:36] <+Will> Yeah. I wish I knew where I put it… probably6 long lost in a move
[19:36] <+JGray> It is available in digital form. Not as good, I know, but better than not having it.
[19:36] <+Will> And yeah, I remember liking A) all gthings Victorian as a resource, and B) I think I remember the magic system was an improvement. Hazily rememb er.
[19:37] * +Will nods, good to know
[19:37] <+sendoshin> Tablets make PDFs much more usable.
[19:37] <+JGray> CiF had some good secondary rules for magic. If we get a chance to do a second edition, I want to move those rules into the main book.
[19:37] <~Dan> Speaking of magick, what’s the new magick lorebook in Curious Creatures?
[19:37] <+JGray> They do. I have them all on my iPad for reference when writing.
[19:38] <+JGray> “The Adventures of James Caspen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California.”
[19:38] * +Will nods to sendoshin. He actually started having trouble trying to haul all his D&D 3e books to his group at one point. His bag started to pull apart at the seams.
[19:38] <+JGray> In our world, a simple chronicle which would eventually inspire a television series involving a bearded man and a bear named Ben.
[19:38] <+JGray> In the Castle Falkenstein world, it has a number of animal related spells hidden inside. If you know how to read it.
[19:39] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[19:40] <+JGray> There’s also rules for playing shapeshifting unicorns, beast folk (anything from a Jekyll/Hyde type to werewolves to Moreau style animal men), and wild children (think Tarzan).
[19:40] <~Dan> The promo text mentions “new and clarified rules”. Other than scaling, what else is there in that regard?
[19:40] <+sendoshin> (Looks like the CF core is available PoD…)
[19:42] <+sendoshin> (PDFs of everything combined, from both companies, only run $89.90… Not bad, though not as good as a bundle price…)
[19:42] <+JGray> We clarify how Abilities work with creatures. They attack with Athletics and speed is determined with Physique. There are new Abilities, including Animal Speech (Dolittle style animal chatting). We’ve got rules on poisons.
[19:43] <+JGray> Of interest to magick user players, we include rules on how to make an animal your familiar and the benefits of that.
[19:43] <+JGray> $90 for… I want to say 9 books is not bad.
[19:45] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, R_Hershey!)
[19:45] <+JGray> Speaking of, hello Rick!
[19:45] <+sendoshin> Yup, it’s 9 books. So yeah, not bad at all.
[19:45] <+R_Hershey> hey everyone
[19:46] <+sendoshin> And since my finances will allow it *clicks buy*…
[19:46] <+JGray> Excellent! Thank you for supporting Castle Falkenstein. We really want the revival to succeed.
[19:46] <+sendoshin> I love games I never knew i needed!
[19:47] <~Dan> You’ll find that happening a lot here, sendoshin. 🙂
[19:47] <+sendoshin> That’s one reason I stuck orudn.
[19:47] <+sendoshin> *around
[19:47] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:48] <+sendoshin> Orudn is something else entirely.
[19:48] <+Will> If my MTG sale proceeds, I’ll pick up at least some of it. 😉
[19:48] <+JGray> Good luck!
[19:48] <~Dan> JGray: Can you remind the folks of CF’s core mechanic?
[19:49] <+JGray> Of course. First, Castle Falkenstein is played with cards. Because proper ladies and gentlemen don’t use dice. They’re vulgar. 🙂
[19:50] <+JGray> Each suit corresponds to a specific type of task. Physical. Emotional. Mental. And so forth. Each player is given a hand of four cards. To perform a task the player declares, simply, they are performing it and then decides if they want to play cards.
[19:51] <+JGray> Your Abilities have a base rank. If your cards played match the suit of the Ability, you get the full value to add to that rank. If they don’t, you add a +1 for each card played.
[19:51] <+JGray> The goal is to beat the difficulty of the task.
[19:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[19:53] <~Dan> What’s the story behind Sphinxes?
[19:54] <+JGray> Hello, Lin_Chong. We’re discussing Castle Falkenstein’s revival. My name is J Gray. I’m the developer for the line.
[19:55] <+JGray> Simply put, Castle Falkenstein was always one of many possible Earths. It is, in fact, the fifth Earth the faeries visited. The Sphinxes come from the third Earth, a more science fiction universe where psionics and energy weapons proved a match for the Fae. There was a war and a group of sphinxes were captured. They eventually escaped from the Faerie Veil…
[19:55] <+JGray> … which is the space between worlds… and ended up on the world of Castle Falkenstein. They’re stuck there now and manipulate mankind from behind the shadows, mostly to mess with the fae.
[19:56] <~Dan> Huh. Cool.
[19:57] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ampersand!)
[19:57] <+JGray> They provide a faction, essentially, which isn’t your normal nation or even one of the Faerie Courts or Dragons which can be used as an ally, an enemy, or both.
[19:57] <~Dan> What abilities are available to a Wild Child?
[19:58] <+JGray> They’re created more or less as normal characters but their unique circumstances do suggest a particular set of Abilities. Physique. Athletics. Animal Speech for those raised like Mowgli or Tarzan.
[19:59] <+JGray> One of our examples is Fanotmah, the pulp goddess with the flaming skull head. She’s a wild child who is also a magick user.
[20:00] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about the new Tarot deck rules?
[20:01] <+JGray> Sure. In Castle Falkenstein you can’t just cast a spell. You need to build it by, essentially, figuring out the parameters. This tells you how much energy you need. You then spend some time gathering the energy. This is normally done with a deck of playing cards.
[20:01] <+JGray> If the suit of the card matches the harmonic style of the spell (physical magic is different from spiritual magic, for instance) it is worth full value. You can add cards which aren’t the proper suit but risk introducing Harmonics which will alter the effect of the spell.
[20:02] <~Dan> (brb_
[20:02] <~Dan> )
[20:02] <+JGray> The Tarot Variation adds a second twist, by replacing the playing card deck with a tarot deck. In addition to the possibilities of harmonics, Major Arcana cards such as the Fool, Death, and the Lovers can alter the magic further. Essentially, representing the whims of the universe.
[20:03] <+sendoshin> So normal (non-spell) play would still use a normal deck, or at least stick to the Minor Arcana?
[20:04] <+JGray> Normal play would probably still use a regular deck of cards. The Tarot Variation is specifically for Sorcery Decks.
[20:04] <+JGray> Though I am working on a possible variation for the regular “fortune deck” which uses tarot cards and introduces the Major Arcana as something akin to “fate points”.
[20:05] <~Dan> (back)
[20:05] <~Dan> Oh, that would be cool.
[20:05] <+sendoshin> That sounds pretty awesew.
[20:05] <+sendoshin> *awesome.
[20:05] <+sendoshin> Fingers not cooperating tonight…
[20:06] <+JGray> I have it on a list. There’s a long list.
[20:06] <+sendoshin> Lists have that habit, I’ve found.
[20:07] <~Dan> What dinosaurs does the book include, and where are they normally found?
[20:08] <+JGray> Hah! The niggle.
[20:09] <~Dan> ?
[20:09] <+LucusPalosaari> Always with the dinosaurs!
[20:10] <+JGray> The book is a bit high concept with dinosaurs. In England, there’s a place called Crystal Park. During the height of dinosaur fever, not long after they were “discovered”, a sculptor named Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins worked with the man who coined the phrase “dinosaur” to create life sized sculptures of dinosaurs… AS they were thought to be at the time.
[20:11] <+JGray> This book stays true to that concept. There are seven dinosaurs in Curious Creatures (digynodon, chthyosaurus, hylaeosaurus, iguanodon, megalosaurus, pterodactylus, and teleosaurus). They are written up according to the prevailing science of the time, as opposed to modern understandings.
[20:12] <+JGray> And they are all dinosaurs which were sculpted in Crystal Park. Where, by the way, you can see them to this day.
[20:12] <+JGray> As to where they are found… in Castle Falkenstein, there are likely some on Amazon plateaus, in lost worlds deep beneath the Earth, and on unexplored islands out in the sea.
[20:12] <+R_Hershey> and a lot of people are mad their favorites were not included in the book – you forgot that part
[20:12] <+JGray> We’ve had people wondering why we didn’t include raptors and T-rexes, yes.
[20:13] <~Dan> Not discovered yet.
[20:13] <+JGray> Basically. The T-rex was around 1910, I want to say.
[20:13] <+JGray> However, we will likely include them in a future book which is dedicated in some way to lost worlds. Another item on the list.
[20:14] <~Dan> The Victorian Africa game Dark Continent features a lost world that includes a T-rex. The players get to name the beast. If they call it a tyrannosaurus, that’s what it ends up being called. 🙂
[20:15] <+JGray> Funnily enough, Africa is where the narrator of Curious Creatures meets dinosaurs as well.
[20:15] <+LucusPalosaari> The real-world history is tricky, but yes the name didn’t come around for T. Rex till 1905-1906, and only things like teeth were found before (as early as 1874): (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus#History)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus#History
[20:17] <~Dan> Who is the narrator of CC?
[20:17] <+JGray> There are three, essentially.
[20:18] <+JGray> The fiction portion, which tells a story in which the rules are woven, is Tommy Stubbins, the apprentice of one Doctor John Dolittle.
[20:18] <+JGray> The rules are written by Tom Olam, a man from our world who got sucked over to the Castle Falkenstein world and invented an RPG there based on his adventures (which he sent back over here and, voila, Castle Falkenstein).
[20:18] <+JGray> And the bestiary entries are written by Doctor Dolittle himself.
[20:19] <+JGray> Sadly, Rex Harrison was unavailable for publicity events.
[20:20] <+Will> I hope there’s a CF version of the Bone Wars… 😉
[20:21] <+JGray> The Bone Wars are mentioned in Curious Creatures.
[20:21] <~Dan> What are True Unicorns like?
[20:21] <~Dan> The Bone Wars?
[20:21] <+JGray> And certainly, Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh would kill (perhaps literally) to get a real, live dinosaur.
[20:22] <+Will> (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_Wars)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_Wars
[20:22] <+JGray> Dan: During the late 1800s/early 1900s two paleontologists
[20:22] <+JGray> (Cope and Marsh) engaged in what is called the Bone Wars. They sabotaged each other’s digs, called each other out in public writing, tried to discredit each other’s papers…
[20:22] <+JGray> And in the process very likely destroyed quite a bit of paleothological history.
[20:23] <+LucusPalosaari> Dinosaurs in Castle Falkenstein get an additional interesting note because the “dragons” of the setting are related to pterodactyles (I believe)
[20:24] <+JGray> True Unicorns are… well… rather like Lady Amalthea in the Last Unicorn. They are beautiful, arboreal got like creatures who are telepathic in equine form, can shapeshift into human form, and have the power to see through lies and illusions. They evolved most of these abilities and their intelligence during the ice age as a way to avoid hunters and stay al
[20:25] <+JGray> Lucus is right. Dragons, in CF, are magically active evolutionary offshots of dinosaurs. Each dinosaur has not only its own memories by the memories of its forebearers, right back to before the great extinction. Some don’t like seeing their great-great-great grandfather hanging in a museum.
[20:25] <+sendoshin> (There’s a limit to the number of characters that actually get through the server, unfortunately… IRC limitation…)
[20:26] <+JGray> Was anything cut off?
[20:26] <+LucusPalosaari> TU post, the word “stay alive”
[20:26] <~Dan> JGray: yes.
[20:26] <~Dan> They evolved most of these abilities and their intelligence during the ice age as a way to avoid hunters and stay al
[20:27] <+JGray> Oh, sorry.
[20:27] <+JGray> to stay alive.
[20:27] <+sendoshin> Happens. 😀
[20:27] <+JGray> Their ability to see through lies and illusions is, essentially, an enhanced danger sense.
[20:27] <+sendoshin> (My IRC client actually splits the lines for me, but most don’t…)
[20:28] <+JGray> The whole “catch a unicorn with a maiden” thing has nothing to do with virginity. Instead, young people have less guile and decent and unicorns like that.
[20:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, JasonOwenBlack!)
[20:28] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet!)
[20:29] <+sendoshin> Young folk weren’t often virgins even back then, anyway, so that makes more sense.
[20:29] <+JGray> JasonOwenBlack!
[20:29] <+JGray> True enough.
[20:30] <+JasonOwenBlack> Hey!
[20:30] <+JGray> False unicorns, by the way, are a particularly nasty invention of the Unseelie Court of Faeries.
[20:30] <+JGray> They took horses and stuck horns on them, then put them in constant pain. The pain only subsides when the horses chase and attack women.
[20:30] <~Dan> Wow.
[20:31] <+JGray> Essentially, they took the myth of the unicorn and used it as a basis to create a twisted reality.
[20:31] <+JGray> A lot of Faerie Pets are based on mythology. Faeries can’t create but they can duplicate.
[20:31] <~Dan> (Howdy, Zaleramancer!)
[20:31] <+JGray> A guy sees a nest of snakes. The way he tells the story they are all one creature. Eventually the myth of the hydra is born.
[20:32] <+JGray> And then a Faerie uses their abilities to make a real hydra based on the myth.
[20:32] <+JasonOwenBlack> Are all the fair folk jerks, or just the Unseelie?
[20:32] <+Will> Are kelpies Faerie creations or faerie?
[20:32] <+JGray> Most of the older Fae, of both courts, are complicit in the destruction of at least two Earths.
[20:32] <+Will> Cause kelpies are naaasty
[20:32] <+JGray> But the Seelie have more or less reformed.
[20:33] <+Will> Or pookas. THough I always confuse the two. The irish loved magical evil horses
[20:33] <+JGray> (That doesn’t mean one won’t drown you if its convenient for them).
[20:34] <+JGray> Will: Phookas are Fae. Kelpies haven’t made an appearance yet.
[20:34] <+sendoshin> Hey, you said “more or less”…
[20:35] <+JGray> Hippocamps are faerie pets.
[20:35] <+JGray> The book on faerie in CF, btw, was written by Jeff Grubb.
[20:36] <+JGray> aka the guy who wrote the FASERIP Marvel game and Spelljammer.
[20:36] <+Will> Whoa. Cool
[20:36] <~Dan> Speaking of faerie powers, they seem a bit bland in the CF core book. Do they ever get more flavorful?
[20:37] <+JGray> In Memoirs of Auberon of Faerie they’re expanded on nicely. They don’t so much get more power as they get better definition.
[20:38] <~Dan> Ah, that’s cool. Can you give an example?
[20:39] <+JGray> For example, Forest Women have a power called “Grant Creativity”. They rewire a mortal brain into a more efficent pattern, giving them two levels of an Ability (Performance or Tinkering usually).
[20:40] <+JGray> Lake Ladies can Raise Nature, which depending on the difficulty of the task can range from making a sudden chill to creating earthquakes and tornadoes.
[20:40] <+JGray> All fae can use Glamour but its better defined and, essentially a form of temporary reality warping.
[20:42] <+JGray> At Poor Rank they can use it to manipulate light and shadow or diminish or raise sound. At the highest level they can create illusions which can lay over entire kingdoms and last hundreds of years.
[20:42] <+JGray> If you’ll recall the legend of Sleeping Beauty, that was essentially a high level glamour.
[20:42] <+JGray> It wasn’t so much that every one fell asleep and the castle was covered in thorny vines as everyone was convinced they were asleep AND immortal so long as they slept AND anyone coming to the castle was convinced it was covered in vines.
[20:43] <+JGray> And the glamour was so convincing it was more or less true.
[20:43] <+sendoshin> Nice.
[20:43] <~Dan> Huh.
[20:43] <+LucusPalosaari> I always liked that aspect
[20:44] <+JGray> In Castle Falkenstein there’s a giant sea smack dab in the middle of Europe called the Inner Sea.
[20:44] <+JGray> That’s there, essentially, because the king of the Fae convinced the Earth itself that there was a sea there for all eternity. But he’s godpowerful.
[20:44] <~Dan> Auberon?
[20:45] <+JGray> Right.
[20:45] * ~Dan nods
[20:45] <+JGray> And, of course, there’s shapeshifting, which is what Malificent used to become a dragon.
[20:45] <+JGray> And Etherealness which lets Fae pass through objects and fly.
[20:46] <+JGray> So, pretty darn neat, I think. 🙂 Of course, it isn’t all fun and games. Fae don’t like iron, especially cold (meteor) iron.
[20:46] <+JGray> They call the Fourth Earth hell because its covered in the stuff.
[20:46] <+JGray> By the way, we’re the Fourth Earth.
[20:47] <~Dan> Ah. 🙂
[20:48] <~Dan> Can you give us some idea of where you plan on taking the game line?
[20:48] <+JGray> There is so much left unexplored from the original books. So. MUCH. At the moment, we are less focused on the meta (the ongoing story of the world) as we are on just exploring the world as it is.
[20:49] <+JGray> We’re going to be putting out Adventure Entertainments (adventure modules) to help people play the game. That’s something the original line lacked.
[20:49] <+JGray> We’re working in a set of quick start rules to introduce new players to the game at an easy to afford price.
[20:51] <+JGray> We want to release smaller, less expensive books which give good quality but are budget friendly. For example, the Journal of Science Obscura will showcase steampunk inventions and new rules regarding them. Each “issue” will have a theme and feature 8 to 10 new gadgets/vehicles/whathaveyou.
[20:51] <+Will> It’s awesome to see cool games get revived like this.
[20:51] <~Dan> Sounds cool.
[20:51] <+JGray> The big, big, big project are the city books. We want to do for Victorian cities what Comme il Faut did for the Victorian period in general, creating definitive guides to playing in that city no matter if its in CF or Cthulhu by Gaslight or Victoriana…
[20:52] <+JGray> Paris is the first book. The second book might be Munich or Rio.
[20:52] * +Will has a warm squamous spot in his heart for Cthulhu by Gaslight
[20:52] <&Silverlion> I may have missed this, are you doing a new corebook?
[20:52] <+JGray> We won’t have conversion notes but we’ll provide the fluff needed to base your own crunch on.
[20:53] <+JGray> Silverlion: Not at this time. R. Talsorian (which basically means Mike Pondsmith) has full control over the core rulebook. At the moment, he’s happy with it as is. However, we are hoping to convince him with a success on this new line that a second edition is a viable option.
[20:54] <+JGray> Short answer: We reeeaaalllly want to do it. But its a long term goal.
[20:54] <&Silverlion> *nods*
[20:55] <&Silverlion> I understand, a friend gave me the old Core book, and its was an awesome gift. So I look forward to new stuff.
[20:55] <+JasonOwenBlack> Things like city books sound like a good way to expand the setting, and make it sort of module, so you can play with, say the core book and Paris and probably build an entire campaign from that.
[20:55] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:55] <+JGray> Sure.
[20:56] <+JGray> Castle Falkenstein is a classic. It helped define a genre and remains as wonderful and playable today as it was when it was a ray of light peeking out from behind the cloud of distopian sprawls and worlds of darkness.
[20:56] <+Will> (As an aside to anyone interested in this sort of thing, (Link: https://www.amazon.com/Austen-Charles-Dickens-Whist-Nineteenth-Century/dp/0671882368)https://www.amazon.com/Austen-Charles-Dickens-Whist-Nineteenth-Century/dp/0671882368 is an awesome source of Victorian era stuff)
[20:57] <+BPIJonathan> I have that book, I recommend it)
[20:57] <+Will> (Pretty sure that’s in the biblio for CF core book)
[20:57] <+JasonOwenBlack> It’s a game I never got a chance to play during it’s first life, but I’m looking forward to exploring it this time around.
[20:57] <+JGray> Fat Goblin Games is honored to be bringing it back to life and provide new insight into the game. However, like any game it needs to sell to survive. If you want Castle Falkenstein to continue and grow, please consider buying these new books.
[20:57] <+JGray> Sales equal money which can be invested in future books.
[20:58] <+Will> Any need for more artists? 🙂
[20:58] <+JGray> I know there’s a lot of choices out there now, but please support the original adventure in the age of steam.
[20:58] <+BPIJonathan> I may have missed it, but is it going to be available in print?
[20:58] <~Dan> Quick aside: My tip jar is here, if anyone is so inclined: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[20:59] <+LucusPalosaari> Also, consider joining our community: (Link: https://www.facebook.com/CastleFalkenstein/)https://www.facebook.com/CastleFalkenstein/
[20:59] <+JGray> Will: You would need to talk to Rick Hershey. He’s our art manager. You’ll see his art in a lot of small press books.
[20:59] <+LucusPalosaari> The Facebook is where J is most active, but he writes blogs for Fat Goblin Games as well: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/castle-falkenstein)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/castle-falkenstein
[20:59] <+JGray> BPIJonathan: Curious Creatures, the first book in our Castle Falkenstein line, is available as Print on Demand. (Link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/194571/Castle-Falkenstein-Curious-Creatures)http://www.rpgnow.com/product/194571/Castle-Falkenstein-Curious-Creatures
[20:59] <+JGray> The Tarot Alternative, the second product in the line, is not because its only a few pages long (but easy to afford!)
[21:00] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, JGray!
[21:00] <+JGray> Dan, thank you for having me!
[21:00] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you.
[21:00] <+JGray> Excellent.
[21:00] <+Will> Good luck with it
[21:01] <+JGray> I’m always happy to talk Falkenstein if anyone has any questions in the future. I check the Facebook page for the line about every hour. 🙂