[19:33] <+CSBarnhart> Our group is planning to design several products that help recreate that old school rules feel of older editions of role playing games. However the plan is to also include versions of the setting that include stats and rules compatible with other game lines, such as the Open Game License for Wizards of the Coasts 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons as well as Pa
[19:33] <+CSBarnhart> Pathfinder and other RPGs. Plans are being made for the Ice Kingdoms to be available in different editions to match different open game rules, including OSRIC, For Gold & Glory, Labyrinth Lord and 5E. We currently have three books we plan to produce. The first is a campaign setting called the Ice Kingdoms, a sword and sorcery Norse game setting that is sort
[19:33] <+CSBarnhart> sort of Conan meets the TV series Vikings. It captures the fantastical aspects of Norse Mythology with some Greek, Arthurian, Celtic, Germanic and Russian Mythology added for flavor, but it is firmly set in a fantasy world.
[19:34] <+CSBarnhart> Yes, I noticed that my preplanned statements are longer than the permitted space to write LOL.
[19:34] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:34] <~Dan> (PM to ungainlyswordsman)
[19:35] <+CSBarnhart> As for me I am only one of the creators, I have a stable of writers and artists who have worked on the project. Most notable RW Stenberg as Art Director who has enlisted the work of Dave Newbold, Sayu Gonzales and other great artists.
[19:35] <+CSBarnhart> As for other writers we were fortunate to have James Ward work on not just the core book but also helm an adventure that should be released in a month or two.
[19:36] <+CSBarnhart> We ran a moderately successful kickstarter last August, earning around $6500. Our book shipped a few weeks ago and we are currently finishing up the three attached adventures.
[19:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[19:37] <+CSBarnhart> The first adventure is currently available as is a map of the setting. Because of our indie game design nature our products are available at a variety of print on demand sites (lulu and drivethrurpg).
[19:39] <+CSBarnhart> Our first adventure, Lair of the White Wyvern, while set in our world is written to fit into any fantasy setting. The approach we wanted with Ice Kingdoms was one of open use and ease of adapting for a given campaign or used in our setting.
[19:44] <+CSBarnhart> I seem to be popular.
[19:44] <~Dan> (You haven’t said (done) yet, so people aren’t asking questions. 🙂 )
[19:44] <+Indi> ^
[19:45] <+CSBarnhart> done
[19:45] <~Dan> Thanks, CSBarnhart! The floor is open to questions!
[19:46] <~Dan> Is this a humanocentric setting, or are their fantasy races?
[19:47] <+CSBarnhart> It is fairly humancentric, though the humans have different variations. However there are non-human options, in the core book dwarves are an available race. More will be added in future releases.
[19:48] <+Indi> So you’re doing a custom system and setting then making the setting compatible with other systems?
[19:50] <+CSBarnhart> It isn’t a custom system, as much as it is written to be compatible with old school fantasy RPGs (classic D&D, AD&D).
[19:50] <~Dan> (wb, Sam!)
[19:51] <+Sam> Hey Dan, hope you’re well
[19:51] <+xyphoid> what do PCs do in this setting
[19:53] <+CSBarnhart> In addition to the standard possibility of just adventuring, PCs often get involved with the political and religious strife of the setting. Working for one thane or another as they manuever to gain power and position in the realms. Some PCs may be mercenaries, others may be house guards.
[19:54] <~Dan> If it’s not one thane, it’s another.
[19:54] <+CSBarnhart> Our adventures run from setting up border patrols to exploring long lost and “abandoned” fire giant lairs.
[19:55] <~Dan> Do you feel that any one of the systems you listed hits more of a “sweet spot” for the setting?
[19:55] <+Indi> What are some features built into the setting to accomplish an old school feel?
[19:56] <+CSBarnhart> I definitely think the setting fits best with OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord (AEC) or For Gold & Glory.
[19:56] <~Dan> (For those just arriving, topic: (Link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/cs-barnhart/ice-kingdoms-campaign-setting-hardback/hardcover/product-23028947.html)http://www.lulu.com/shop/cs-barnhart/ice-kingdoms-campaign-setting-hardback/hardcover/product-23028947.html )
[19:58] <+CSBarnhart> Indi, the Ice Kingdoms are built on a long lost civilization from centuries past. So the entire realm is pretty much a sand box setting. Ancient dwarven and elven ruins are scattered through out the realms. The ceaseless conflict with the hags, imho, provides a classic old school nemesis. And the basis of character concept over rules.
[19:58] <~Dan> Hags are awesome. IMHO.
[19:59] <+CSBarnhart> The Ice Kingdoms doesn’t get into all of those thousands of classes of 3E or 5E era games. If focuses on the core classes of classic AD&D. We also hired James Ward to write an adventure and to help give the core book a old school vibe, especially when it came to the gods.
[19:59] <+ungainlyswordsman> You just mentioned religious conflict and mythology earlier. Can you comment on the role of the gods in the setting?
[20:01] <+CSBarnhart> The gods are not a physical presence, they don’t show up. But their power is felt in their priests and cults. As with many settings, the cults are the bastions of knowledge and magic. The gods are not just worshipped, but the are often feared. Gods such as Aegis and Khoss are even more feared then the hags.
[20:02] <+CSBarnhart> Thanes and lords do very little without the counsel of a godi of Uthin or a prophet of Khoss.
[20:02] <~Dan> What are hags like in this setting?
[20:03] <+CSBarnhart> There is also the eternal war with Belac, O’Mawj and the Crone of Pohjola.
[20:03] <+CSBarnhart> Hags are very similar to the classic hags of myth and the hags of D&D. But they are relatives of trolls (actually they are the mothers of trolls). Many dwell in the foul Mournwood.
[20:04] <~Dan> Are trolls their minions?
[20:05] <+CSBarnhart> Sometimes, but not always. Trolls are not very bright and though powerful, don’t follow orders very well LOL.
[20:05] <~Dan> Heh. What do they use for foot soldiers in their wars, then?
[20:07] <+CSBarnhart> If hags get involved in a direct war they do it in several ways, one way would be with a force of orcs and goblins (and I imagine ogres and trolls) but likely they would someone manipulate a Thane or other lord (even a godi perhaps) to their ends.
[20:07] <+CSBarnhart> somehow not someone
[20:08] * ~Dan nods
[20:08] <~Dan> How well does flashy D&D-style magic work for what would seem to be a swords-and-sorcery setting?
[20:09] <+CSBarnhart> I noticed you posted the link to the lulu store. I think it would be nice to include this: 15% off Print Books and Calendars – Plus Free Mail Shipping! Code: WINTERSHIP Cannot be combined with other offers Does not apply to eBooks or services Ends January 26th at 11:59 PM
[20:10] <+CSBarnhart> We approach magic in several ways. First with runecasters, this isn’t too much different than standard magic, but they use runes (carved into various objects) instead of the standard components. There are also options to limit types of magic or alter the levels of certain spells.
[20:11] <+CSBarnhart> But really magic is only as flashy as the GM lets it be. Certain spells may be unavailable, other components not available. We do have our version of the sorcerer, which is pretty much a cleric/magic user multiclass or dual classed character.
[20:12] <~Dan> Do you use the standard Vancian fire-and-forget magic?
[20:13] <+CSBarnhart> Not for runecasters. They can cast any spell they know. They just are limited the number of times they can do so. Which, to be honest, usually works out to be very similar (other than they don’t have to prepare specific spells)
[20:14] <~Dan> What’s clerical magic like?
[20:15] <+CSBarnhart> While the Ice Kingdoms provides guidelines and suggestions for these sorts of things, it is also very open to different systems and approaches. We let the individual GM decide. I have a friend who play tests the adventures in Ohio who plays with Pathfinder. We play with 2E/FG&G here. Another friend is using it with AD&D 1E.
[20:16] <+CSBarnhart> Clerical magic is pretty straight forward AD&D 2E. Though each deity has specialty priests and the standard cleric really doesn’t exist. Deities also have various amounts of specialty priests. Uthin, for example, has two types, while O’Mawj has three.
[20:16] <+CSBarnhart> And yes, the Druid exists.
[20:17] <~Dan> Do you use the standard alignments?
[20:18] <+CSBarnhart> They are referred. A few classes may require them, but they are not a cornerstone of the setting. We don’t use alignment tongues or common tongues (well, sort of, thanic is the common language of the area, but there is no universal common tongue)
[20:18] * ~Dan nods
[20:19] <+ungainlyswordsman> Within the setting, there is a common language shared by the various human subgroups then?
[20:19] <+CSBarnhart> The paladin exists as a special “prestige” class that certain holy warriors can adopt for limited periods of time, but it isn’t a classically available class.
[20:20] <+CSBarnhart> Yes, but they have dialects. So you may be able to understand most people in your general region but the further you get away from you village the more difficult it is to understand someone speaking the same language.
[20:20] <+CSBarnhart> But outside the Ice Kingdoms you won’t find many people speaking any dialect of Thanic.
[20:21] <~Dan> Speaking of which, to what degree do you address the world beyond the Ice Kingdoms?
[20:24] <+ungainlyswordsman> There is a map, right?
[20:24] <+CSBarnhart> Well that is the world of my first D&D campaign from nearly 30 years ago. We have lots of information on that place LOL. We actually plan to expand outward over the next few years and highlight a few extra areas of the world.The core book had an appendix dedicated to the world of Eordan. References to the rest of the world are sprinkled throughout the book.
[20:24] <+CSBarnhart> Yes. One I am quite proud of.
[20:25] <+CSBarnhart> It is available at printer studio. (Link: http://www.printerstudio.com/sell/designs/101607316660-ice-kingdoms-map-24×36.html)http://www.printerstudio.com/sell/designs/101607316660-ice-kingdoms-map-24×36.html
[20:25] <~Dan> You’ve given some examples of this, but what are some more Ice Kingdoms twists on D&D standard tropes?
[20:26] <+CSBarnhart> We also have a facebook page. We are trying to get to 200 members and are holding a contest. If we can get to 200 members by 1 February we are going to give out free books to random members. (Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/icekingdoms/)https://www.facebook.com/groups/icekingdoms/
[20:28] <+CSBarnhart> Well, we don’t have the plethora of greenskins. We have orcs. But not hobgoblins (they are just orcs). We have orogs but no bugbears (they are orogs). Our elves are not nice (in fact the elves in the Ice Kingdoms are pretty damn mean). You don’t have the magic shop on every corner so you can’t just resurrect your dead buddy.
[20:29] <+CSBarnhart> Resurrection isn’t impossible, but a dead characters has a 5% chance per level of being taken by our version of the Valkyries to serve in Valagard (no resurrection possible in these situations).
[20:30] <+CSBarnhart> 18th level is the limit (without divine intervention). You get to increase a single ability score by 1 every even level of experience. Ideally the game should start with pretty average characters that grow into Conan or Merlin.
[20:32] <~Dan> What was the ancient civilization you mentioned like? An Atlantean analogue, maybe?
[20:32] <+CSBarnhart> Elf-Lantean I would say 🙂
[20:33] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha. Sort of Melnibonean elves, are they?
[20:35] <+CSBarnhart> There were several previous “civilizations” before the age of man. Giants/Titans and Dragons/Elves having the most influence. Yes, we won’t lie, our elves are more Moorcock than Tolkien. Sort of. In the broader scope it is more of a past where the Moorcock Elves went to war with the Tolkien Elves.
[20:35] <+ungainlyswordsman> And Tolkien’s elves lost?
[20:35] <~Dan> Yes, are there any left?
[20:36] <+CSBarnhart> everyone lost. Which is why we are now in the age of man.
[20:36] <+ungainlyswordsman> Dwarves are in the core book. What other demi-humans are you planning to include in the next book(s)?
[20:37] <+CSBarnhart> In the Ice Kingdoms you have roving packs of Wraith Elves, but you don’t want to meet them. There are isolated pockets of Gray Elves guarding over lost secrets of the Dragon Elves. In another part of the world you would find heirs to the Emerald Elves. There should be an entire book dedicated to that part of the world, one day.
[20:38] <+CSBarnhart> Demi-Humans: Skaelings (Thanic Halflings), Eski (Thanic Gnomes), Gray Elves will all eventually be PC races.
[20:39] <~Dan> Oh, I have to know: What are the Skaelings like? Little Hobbit Vikings? 🙂
[20:40] <+CSBarnhart> Hah. Yes. Somewhat. But fatter than normal halflings (I mean it gets cold).
[20:42] <~Dan> You mentioned dragons. How common are they?
[20:43] <+CSBarnhart> Humans are divided between the Einheriar (standard Thanic), Ursan (nomadic tribesmen with a bear totem), Fenrir (nomadic tribesmen with a wolf totem), Huirdu (a shamanistic clan of wisemen and fortune tellers), Pohjolan (cursed by the power of Pohjola) and Varyag (savage wild-folk, descended from cannibals)
[20:44] <+CSBarnhart> Dragons are fairly rare. Wyverns are an issue though. And Wyverns have age categories similar to dragons though. While the planned bestiary will cover a Thanic version of the white dragon, it will also cover the Thanewyrm.
[20:44] <~Dan> What’s the latter?
[20:45] <+CSBarnhart> Though I will reveal this much about the adventures we are working on. One has something to do with a dragon.
[20:46] <+CSBarnhart> The Thanewyrm is a non-traditional dragon. That is, it isn’t like dragons that already exist in old school games. It is something unique to the Ice Kingdoms. More Wagner less Gygax in style.
[20:47] <~Dan> I see. Cool.
[20:47] <~Dan> Are giants still around?
[20:47] <+ungainlyswordsman> More Wagner, less Gygax. I’ll have to remember that.
[20:48] <+CSBarnhart> Yes. Giants are still around. Especially in the Jotunreach. I don’t like metaplots in my RPGs, but if I were to try to sneak in a metaplot into my RPG it would involve giants. 😉
[20:49] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:49] <~Dan> The usual D&D varieties?
[20:50] <+CSBarnhart> Well we have fire and frost (of course) and hill and cyclops. I am not much on cloud. We do have titans, but they are just the original immortal/godlike versions of frost and fire.
[20:51] <+CSBarnhart> Lets just say you could easily run Against the Giants in the Ice Kingdoms.
[20:51] <~Dan> No storm giants?
[20:53] <+CSBarnhart> If there were to be storm giants they would probably be merged with another archetype, so storm fire giant or storm frost giant. So at this time, I really haven’t given them much thought.
[20:54] <+CSBarnhart> But if you like giants and you like dragons (er…wyverns) then you should definitely check out Lair of the White Wyvern.
[20:56] <~Dan> The Vikings were well-known explorers and traders. How much to your pseudo-Norse get around?
[20:57] <+CSBarnhart> In the south, not as much as their historical counterparts, though they did settle portions of the island of Jerresean and sire the line of kings there (this is covered in the book, and alludes to the Emerald Elf stuff).
[20:57] <+CSBarnhart> In the North they are the only sailors/explorers/traders who navigate the Crown Sea with any regularity and success.
[20:59] <~Dan> Fill in the blank: “If you love ________, you’ll love Ice Kingdoms!”
[20:59] <~Dan> The blank being another game.
[21:00] <+CSBarnhart> That’s a good one. Give me a second.
[21:00] <~Dan> Certainly!
[21:00] <~Dan> And there can be more than one answer.
[21:00] <~Dan> Because I am a generous host.
[21:03] <+CSBarnhart> Obviously the Northern Reaches Gazeteer for D&D’s Mystara comes to mind, as does the AD&D 2E Vikings Campaign Sourcebook. Iron Heroes and Mongoose’s Conan. The Scarred Lands from Swords and Sorcery Games.
[21:03] <~Dan> Good answers!
[21:04] <+CSBarnhart> However I am a product of movies. So with that as a note I would say Willow meets The 13th Warrior and Conan the Barbarian. 🙂
[21:04] <+CSBarnhart> And of course The Beastmaster on Ice!
[21:05] <~Dan> Ha! 😀
[21:06] <+CSBarnhart> And I hope some Middle Earth and Nehwon slip in with just a hint of Cthulhu.
[21:06] * ~Dan nods
[21:07] <~Dan> How do you see the game line developing going forward?
[21:08] <+CSBarnhart> We currently have two more adventures to publish from our kickstarter. We are working on products for our next kickstarter (another adventure and The Ice Kingdoms Bestiary). We hope to do that kickstarter by summer. We have two other adventures in production beyond that.
[21:09] <+CSBarnhart> We hope for a total of four setting books (Campaign, Bestiary, Adventures, Companion) and 8-10 adventure modules.
[21:10] <+CSBarnhart> We also hope to explore other parts of the world.
[21:11] <~Dan> Hmm…. Running out of questions here. To prime the pump a bit: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:13] <+CSBarnhart> I just want to thank you for hosting us a second time. I hope to be on again in the future. We are a young company and we are going through many learning experiences and it has been very rewarding.
[21:13] <+CSBarnhart> (Link: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/peacekeeper_b)http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/peacekeeper_b (Link: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203510/Ice-Kingdoms-Campaign-Setting)http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203510/Ice-Kingdoms-Campaign-Setting 15% off Print Books and Calendars – Plus Free Mail Shipping! Code: WINTERSHIP Cannot be combined with other offers Does not apply to eBooks or services Ends January 26th at 11:59 PM
[21:13] <+CSBarnhart> (Link: http://www.printerstudio.com/sell/designs/101607316660-ice-kingdoms-map-24×36.html)http://www.printerstudio.com/sell/designs/101607316660-ice-kingdoms-map-24×36.html
[21:14] <~Dan> You’re certainly always welcome here, CSBarnhart, in or out of a Q&A.
[21:14] <+CSBarnhart> We are very open to suggestions and comments. So if anyone wants to get a hold of me I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org
[21:15] <~Dan> And 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/
[21:15] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you, CSBarnhart.