[19:12] <+Ray_M_HGP> Howdy folks, I’m Ray Machuga. Friendly local Warsong game designer, engineer and owner of Higher Grounds Publishing. My game is Warsong: Between the Stars, where you play as the heroic Fated, agents of destiny who are trying to steer the course of events away from the insatiable and sentient void.
[19:12] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:13] <~Dan> Thanks, Ray_M_HGP!
[19:13] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:13] <~Dan> So your current KS is for a GM’s guide, I believe?
[19:14] <+Ray_M_HGP> I’m calling it the Fate Master’s Guide, but Fate Master is just another name for Game Master, Dungeon Master, storyteler, et cetera. So yes, the current Kickstarter if for the FM’s Guide.
[19:15] <~Dan> Can you give us an overview of the contents?
[19:15] <+Ray_M_HGP> Basically the book will open up opportunities to play other character types such as the mortal cult of Ascending Firmament, who in the last age of the void, have come to rely on themselves for their own salvation. Turning away from the fated. Or the Quicksilver Tribes, who are infused with the essence of primal creation which brings out the Follower aspect
[19:16] <+Ray_M_HGP> of a mortal’s soul, allowing them to shapeshift. You get all kinds of new setting information as well, and tips and tricks to how to run your own games, design stores and much more. The part that I believe is the most fun will be the Aegis Power Armor, which is mechanized armor that you can wear. MECHS!
[19:17] <+Ray_M_HGP> Basically, it’s he core book’s companion. Giving a lot of details and close scrutiny of the people and places you find in the world of Eldorande.
[19:17] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:17] <~Dan> Did you hear that, GenoFoxx? 🙂
[19:17] <~Dan> (GenoFoxx is our local mecha nut. 🙂 )
[19:18] <~Dan> Speaking of which, remind us of how the mix of tech and magic works in the setting?
[19:18] <+Ray_M_HGP> Ooohhh, that’s awesome! I’d love to hear from GenoFoxx then. I’m always developing new stuff. I’d love to hear from a Mech-Nut what they love about them.
[19:19] <~Dan> Maybe he’ll “wake up” here in a bit.
[19:19] <+Ray_M_HGP> Tech and Magic are separate in my world, but on much the same level. In some cities, you’ll find lights that run on electricity that comes from steam power, another from electricity derived from a lightning spirit and another that runs on pure magic. The biggest part of technology in Eldorand is the miraculous Magnedrives, which are to Eldorande what fossil
[19:20] <+GenoFoxx> (you called?)
[19:20] <~Dan> GenoFoxx: This game has mechs!
[19:20] <+Ray_M_HGP> fuels are to earth. They power every advanced city, and gave rise to portable vehicles, motorcycles (M-Cycles) and locomotives. They also havebeen used to power insane combat weapons and Aegis Armor. Magic is on a similar level of advancement, though. There are sorcerors
[19:20] <+GenoFoxx> ((I know it has power armor))
[19:21] <+Ray_M_HGP> out there who practice an outlawed version of sorcery that can literally change the world. It is illegal due not only to its power, but also the danger it poses. You make yourself a conduit into outside forces, or the Outer Worlds, where outsiders reside.
[19:22] <+Ray_M_HGP> There is a much more mundane form of magic that many folks use that comes from the power of Eldorande itself. And even that “minute” amount is quite a bit, because the world was forged from the body of a primodrial Surs Giant.
[19:22] <+GenoFoxx> Hence the Void?
[19:23] <+Ray_M_HGP> The Void is one of three ancient powers that spawned the ancients and Surs Giants, who are basically cousins. The three powers were the Fire, The Cold and The Void. Fire is creation and chaos. Cold is order and logic. The Void is the great equilizer, dividing the two so that they never meet.
[19:24] <+Ray_M_HGP> The Surs Giants and Ancients are byproducts of the two Order and Chaos powers meeting. There are Fire Surs Giants and Rhyme Surs Giants. They created the gods to battle against their brothers and sisters, eventually causing their own downfall because the Surs Giants couldn’t cross the Void, but the Gods could. It was their downfall
[19:24] <+Ray_M_HGP> to create such a weapon. The Gods, after that, took the Surs Giants and created the World, using their own power to hold the world above the Void.
[19:24] <+Ray_M_HGP> Unfortunately, the Gods have disappeared, and the Void approaches.
[19:25] <+Ray_M_HGP> And that is where the main story finds itself. Where your player character will come in. The Last Age. The Age of the Void. Hoping against hope that you can save your world from nothingness.
[19:25] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:25] <~Dan> Can you remind us of the game’s core mechanic?
[19:26] <+Ray_M_HGP> The d20 is the core mechanic, but it is a far cry and distant cousin from the d20 system as most players might know it. It uses the d20 as the core method of identifying values and determining chance actions just like other games, but that’s about where the similarities end.
[19:26] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:27] <~Dan> Is it class-based?
[19:28] <+Ray_M_HGP> In a sense. You choose what kind of character type you want to play. Previously, in the core book, you could only play as the Fated, which divided “classes” into which constellation your character was placed into by the Weavers, which are cousins of the Surs. Primal powers. With the Fate Master’s Guide, you will be able to play a slurry of new and different
[19:29] <+Ray_M_HGP> types of characters with new classifications and quirks. The character generation system is completely based on what the player wants. There is no randomness to character creation. You start with a number of points and spend them as you see fit. You can purchase Quirks, which are your characters powers
[19:30] <+Ray_M_HGP> and special abilities, yourself as well. Leveling is also customizable, kind of like a video game where when you level you get a number of points to spend in raising your attribute points, abilities, Quirks and all of your other statistics.
[19:30] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:31] <~Dan> How well do the new and old character types mix?
[19:32] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lassek!)
[19:33] <+Ray_M_HGP> They mix very fuidly. Like peas and carrots. They were designed from the beginning to live in the same world and interact. Playing one of each kind of character in a game might be problematic, but no more than playing a lawful evil theif with a paladin. They were, however, always
[19:34] <+Ray_M_HGP> intended to work together, and their existence was called out in the core book as a matter of fact. So their paths will always intersect.
[19:34] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:34] <~Dan> (wb, Drew)
[19:35] <~Dan> Does the new book add to the bestiary?
[19:36] <+Ray_M_HGP> Quite a bit, yes. The biggest addition to the bestiary will come with the Document of Denizens, though.
[19:36] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:37] <+Ray_M_HGP> Just to add a bit to that, though. The Fate Master’s Companion will include quite a bit of additional information on the monsters, denizens and creatures you can find in Eldorande, as well as methods of calculating encounters, experience and more.
[19:37] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:38] <~Dan> Do you have any favorites among the new monsters?
[19:40] <+Ray_M_HGP> A few, yes! The Vandal Plumes are awesome, and were incredibly fun to design. They’re sentient plant-like creatures that go through life phases where they are rooted, free and then root again when they gain age. They are capiricious as a matter of course, and capable of taking down the Fated if you stumble into a field of them and anger them. Their berries
[19:41] <+Ray_M_HGP> and other plant materials are used in various magical and mundane tinctures and cordials, such as the Vandalberry Cordial, which actually staves off he effects of aging in mortals. I actually have some art for their “juvenile” phase, when they are not rooted and free to migrate.
[19:41] <+Ray_M_HGP> (Link: http://imgur.com/a/WkXLN)http://imgur.com/a/WkXLN
[19:42] <~Dan> That is a creepy looking plant man. O.o
[19:42] <+Ray_M_HGP> There are also the Darkfur, which are incredibly fun and you’ll see an adventure module and setting book which has a lot of details about them. They’re literally creatures from the great beyond that are like giant apes without eyes, and their fur is so black that they gain almost supernatural camouflage abilities in shadow and night scenarios.
[19:43] <+Ray_M_HGP> I’m glad you think so! They were intended to be creepy!
[19:44] <+Ray_M_HGP> The Gangr were also very fun. The vampires of my world. There is actually a fiction story that you can follow in the in-character fiction between the chapters. It’s a vampiric love story between a Fated and a Gangrel (Gangrel is the singular of Gangr.)
[19:44] <~Dan> What are they like?
[19:44] <+Ray_M_HGP> Lastly, just about anything that comes out of the Void (which is kind of a misnomer, as nothing that goes in to the Void ever comes out) is an absolute strange pleasure to design.
[19:45] <+Ray_M_HGP> The Gangrel are animalistic blood-suckers. The way I believe vampires are meant to be. Capable of thinking and cruel intellect, but animalistic and savage monsters who feed on the living to survive.
[19:45] <+Ray_M_HGP> They undergo a physiological change that also changes their minds. They become more intelligent but much more monsterous and instinctual.
[19:45] <~Dan> And yet, there’s a love story?
[19:46] <+Ray_M_HGP> There is! (Spoilers!) It involves Zhandra of the Faint Smile, a Fated from the militaristic Kharoshtan Empire and a Gangrel that she is hunting.
[19:47] <+Ray_M_HGP> When writing fiction, I love tragedy.
[19:47] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:48] <~Dan> How powerful are the PCs, generally speaking?
[19:50] <+Ray_M_HGP> Incredibly powerful. That’s one of the first things that my playtesters noticed about the game when I handed them sheets. Later, during the game, he mentioned that he understood the power levels f the sheet and how they were balanced to the world around the character. At the end, one mentioned that it was “like D&D on steroids”.
[19:50] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:52] <+Ray_M_HGP> I really wanted to make a game where the players, from the get go and even as time progresses and the character grows, that they feel genuinely powerful. The whole idea was to make characters feel epic, and to make battles and stories feel like they were TRULY world-changing.
[19:52] <~Dan> Are the PCs the fantasy equivalents of superheroes, then?
[19:53] <+Ray_M_HGP> I hadn’t thought about it like that before but, in a sense, I imagine that yes, they are. Superheroes or maybe even supervillains because the fate of the world literally rests in the character’s hands.
[19:54] <+Ray_M_HGP> Not just the canon fiction characters. Not just high level characters. You, the player, are playing the most important characters in the entire world.
[19:54] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[19:55] <~Dan> What are some of the impressive feats that you’ve seen PCs pull off in your own games?
[19:57] <+Ray_M_HGP> Oh! One of my players completely derailed the story and pulled down the Tribunal’s tower atop one of their meetings. He didn’t expect those attending to survive, and, incidentally, spent the rest of the game at war with the other Fated and becoming a “supervillain”, befriending the Void, becoming Void-Scorched and eventually degrading down into madness. On a
[19:58] <+Ray_M_HGP> heroic note, one of my Dagger Fated snuck into a temple in the Rising Tide adventure module. He snuck past fourteen sentries and stole a relic, Indian Jones style, set off no traps and made it out within the time it took for all of the sentries to blink, simultaneously. hat’s what a natural 20 gets you in Warsong.
[19:59] <+Ray_M_HGP> *Indiana Jones
[19:59] <~Dan> Impressive!
[19:59] <~Dan> I’m getting a bit of an Exalted vibe.
[19:59] <+Ray_M_HGP> Incidentally, he made a reference to Doctor Who after that. “Don’t Blink.”
[19:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:00] <+Ray_M_HGP> Yeah, he said that’s where he got the idea! And I ran with it.
[20:00] <~Dan> Well, I mean from the setting in general. At least as far as the PCs are concerned.
[20:01] <+Ray_M_HGP> Absolutely. I love Exalted, so there is a big Exalted feel to my game. My game has a little less nudity, though. And stronger female lead roles.
[20:02] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:04] <~Dan> You touched on this earlier, but what are your future plans for the game line?
[20:07] <+Ray_M_HGP> There will be quite a few expansions and supplements. I already have a setting guide for the Nation of Mekelo in the works, as well as the Document of Denizens. The nations will all have supplement books, and the adventure path of the Rising Tide will be a three part adventure module including Ghosts of Mockingbird Bay. There
[20:07] <+Ray_M_HGP> is also an adventure module and setting guide for the city of Bastion which is a far north port city that I’ll be running on the Story Sanctum website ( (Link: http://www.storysanctum.com)www.storysanctum.com ), so that’s going to be very very fun. And lastly, I’m planning to make the setting a living, dynamic
[20:08] <+Ray_M_HGP> world where players can submit their own stories and how their characters got through the official adventure modules and actually become a part of the canon fiction, and steer the course of the world setting. So not only do I have the game written so that you, as a player, get to play a character who
[20:09] <+Ray_M_HGP> has a real effect on the world, but you will also have a chance to have a real effect on the canon fiction, supplements, and overall metaplot arc of the series.
[20:09] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:09] <~Dan> Are you taking a page from TORG there?
[20:10] <+Ray_M_HGP> To be honest, I’d ony heard of TORG through this chat, and I have done very little research into it. Though the idea is probably not original, admittedly. I just want to give my players and fans a chance to make an impact.
[20:10] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:10] <~Dan> Sure.
[20:11] <+Ray_M_HGP> Though, if that’s what they did, I should probably look into it more.
[20:12] <~Dan> Yeah, they did it by mail, actually.
[20:12] <~Dan> Back in the day. 🙂
[20:13] <+Ray_M_HGP> That makes sense. They;re pretty old, right? I plan to do mine digitally.
[20:13] <~Dan> Yup. Late 80s-early 90s, IIRC.
[20:14] <~Dan> 1990
[20:14] <+Ray_M_HGP> Yeah, the idea could grow leaps and bounds now, compared to then.
[20:14] <+Ray_M_HGP> Almost 30 years difference.
[20:16] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:16] <+Ray_M_HGP> I’ll be looking into this. If they did it, I could probably learn something from what they did and how.
[20:17] <~Dan> What sorts of powers can PCs have?
[20:20] <+Ray_M_HGP> That’s an incredibly broad question, but powers of characters run the gamut of being strong enough to pull down a tower to engulfing an enemy in flames. The Constellations bestow powers based on their epithets, so the Daggers can impose and sense guilt, and the Sword fated can create an onslought of attack that even the Surs Giants would be hard pressed to
[20:22] <+Ray_M_HGP> withstand. The Muse Fated create beauty and innspire others, and they can actually use their instruments and songs as weapons. Each character can choose Quirks, which as I mentioned, are powers the characters can attain, such as always armed, which allows you to use your unarmed attacks as weapons and even create weapons from nothing. The Crown Fated become
[20:23] <+Ray_M_HGP> supernaturally attuned to leadership, and can change memories and lay geas down on their subjects. The Beast Fated become one with the wilderness, and can even attain minor shapeshifting abilities. The Fated, however, have one really huge power called Weaving, which is the world-breaking mechanic that I’ve installed into the game. You basically get to
[20:24] <+Ray_M_HGP> do one of two things. First, you can alter the flow of events to your whim, or second, you can become a bystander in a past or future event and change it from that vantage point. That is the Fate Mechanic. Then there is True Sorcery, in which you become a literal conduit
[20:25] <+Ray_M_HGP> between Eldorande and one of the Outer Worlds, which are worlds composed of energy and are more an idea than a real place. True Sorcery is a world-shaking type of magic, but being a conduit to hose energies can also be dangerous and kill you, everyone around you, allow beasts in from those outer worlds or possess you.
[20:26] <+Ray_M_HGP> Basic quirks are based on the attributes, and bolster what those attributes (such as vitality and intellect) do, or springboard off of them to create superhuman feats from those stats.
[20:26] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:28] <~Dan> So it sounds like you have superpower-like abilities, and then you have dangerous magic?
[20:28] <+Ray_M_HGP> That is an accurate assessment!
[20:29] <+Ray_M_HGP> Superpowers, Dangerous Magic and Futuristic Technology.
[20:29] <~Dan> How advanced does tech get?
[20:31] <+Ray_M_HGP> Personalized aircraft and vehicles, mechanized power armor, steam power and magnedrive locomotion. There may or may not be but definitely is talk of being able to travel to the three moons as well.
[20:33] <~Dan> Why does steam tech coexist with higher tech?
[20:33] <+Ray_M_HGP> If you imagine Final Fantasy’s amount of technology, you’d have a fair assessment.
[20:33] <+Ray_M_HGP> Steam tech was the apex until very recently, when magnedrives were discovered. So while they are “archaic”, they are still used. Especially in places without the money to adapt and upgrade.
[20:33] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:34] <~Dan> Can PCs invent new tech?
[20:35] <+Ray_M_HGP> Absolutely! In fact, I have very a specific mechanic for crafting.
[20:37] <~Dan> Is it the equivalent of “weird science”?
[20:37] <+Ray_M_HGP> Foks who start in Inangradde, which is the hub Nation for advancements in technology and academia, could very easily create new forms of technology.
[20:38] <+Ray_M_HGP> Not exactly. I hadn’t intended the technology to fit into the “weird science” category, but it is definitely possible for a PC to be a mad scientist working on that kind of technology.
[20:39] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:40] <~Dan> Do you have a martial arts system?
[20:42] <+Ray_M_HGP> Absolutely! We have specific Quirk trees that are martial art styles. The two in the core book are Sword and Shield, which is about defense and uses Short Swords and Shields simultaneously. There is an Archery Style as well, that I’m quite proud of and it implements the Archer’s Paradox, which is the idea that an arrow shot from a bow
[20:44] <+Ray_M_HGP> shouldn’t be able to fly straight, but does so by bending quickly around the handle of the bow. That philosophy makes up the “Archer’s Paradox” quirk which adds to the character’s natural dodge bonus all the way to the No Shelter quirk in which a target can’t hide from an archer. The FMG will have a few more styles as well, and more will come as supplements
[20:44] <+Ray_M_HGP> are released.
[20:44] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:45] <~Dan> Are multiple races available to play?
[20:47] <+Ray_M_HGP> Not as of yet. Currently there are Mortals and Fated available for play. I am giving serious consideration to allowing outsiders and other creatures as playable, but for now, that isn’t an option that I’ve explored.
[20:47] <+Ray_M_HGP> (done)
[20:48] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:51] <+Ray_M_HGP> I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head. The Kickstarter has about four days left and we really need the help in getting this thing off the ground so if you’re reading this, then please take some time to back the project.
[20:52] <~Dan> Thanks, Ray!
[20:53] <+Ray_M_HGP> Thanks, Dan!
[20:53] <~Dan> As a reminder to folks, my tip jar is here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[20:53] <~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you.
[20:54] <+Ray_M_HGP> Awesome!
[20:55] <+Ray_M_HGP> Ah, and you can pick up the core book here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/197477/Warsong–Core