[20:30] <+HayleyG> Hi all, I’m Hayley Gordon, one half of Storybrewers Roleplaying.
[20:30] <+HayleyG> This is us: (Link: http://storybrewersroleplaying.com/)http://storybrewersroleplaying.com/
[20:30] <+VeeHendro> And I’m Veronica (or Vee) Hendro, the other half of Storybrewers Roleplaying. We’re based in Sydney, Australia (and it is 40°C / 104°F at the moment! 🔥 )
[20:31] <+HayleyG> We design our games together, but I handle most of the actual pen-to-paper writing and research.
[20:31] <+VeeHendro> I work on most of our art direction and graphic design. Generally making things look pretty and easy to reference. But to be honest, we help each other out a lot as well.
[20:32] <+HayleyG> True.
[20:32] <+VeeHendro> We’re here because we just launched our first ever game on Kickstarter, Alas for the Awful Sea ((Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/259750074/alas-for-the-awful-sea-myth-mystery-and-crime-in-1)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/259750074/alas-for-the-awful-sea-myth-mystery-and-crime-in-1).
[20:32] <&Silverlion> hey that sounds like some nice winter weather! (kidding I know its summer down there..our winter was 85f today)
[20:32] <+HayleyG> Alas for the Awful Sea is a game of myth, mystery and crime set in the 19th century British Isles.
[20:32] <+VeeHendro> Please ask us any and all questions about our game, our process, or Storybrewers in general! (done)
[20:32] <&Silverlion> that link does not work
[20:32] <&Silverlion> i think its the period at the end.
[20:33] <~Dan> Thank you, ladies! The floor is open to questions!
[20:33] <&Silverlion> What is the game about? pirates? privateers?
[20:33] <&Silverlion> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/259750074/alas-for-the-awful-sea-myth-mystery-and-crime-in-1)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/259750074/alas-for-the-awful-sea-myth-mystery-and-crime-in-1
[20:33] <&Silverlion> better link.
[20:34] <+VeeHendro> Thanks.
[20:34] <+HayleyG> In Alas players are the crew of a ship sailing around the remote British Isles in the early 1800s
[20:34] <+HayleyG> The game really has two aspects to it. Firstly confronting and exploring the lives, politics, and problems of people in the rural UK at that time.
[20:35] <+HayleyG> Secondly the mythic and mystical folklore element that stems from that
[20:35] <&Silverlion> Interesting and it is *world based?
[20:36] <+VeeHendro> I’m not familiar with that term, do you mean, based in the real world?
[20:36] <~Dan> I believe he means based on Apocalypse World.
[20:37] <+VeeHendro> Ah, ok. Yes.
[20:37] <+VeeHendro> It is 🙂
[20:37] <+HayleyG> It is powered by the apocalypse
[20:38] <+Catseye> hi
[20:38] <~Dan> That’s an interesting choice for what on its face would seem to be a highly narrative game.
[20:38] <~Dan> wb, Catseye
[20:38] <+HayleyG> I actually find AW to be an extremely narrative based system
[20:38] <~Dan> (Oh, HayleyG and VeeHendro, Silverlion and Catseye are a couple of our resident game authors. 🙂 )
[20:38] <+HayleyG> The mechanics build narrative into the resolution of every die roll
[20:38] <+HayleyG> Cool cool
[20:39] <+VeeHendro> (lovely to meet you both Silverlion and Catseye)
[20:39] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[20:40] <&Silverlion> I feel much the same way, it is mechanistic–but it creates choices.
[20:40] <+Catseye> (graphic novel and prose novel writer. My first RPG is still in development)
[20:40] <+HayleyG> There’s in fact a link to all our character sheets on the KS page. Let me grab it.
[20:40] <&Silverlion> dan: (Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6jLy2F5sGNza3pQb0d3R3YtVXM/view)https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6jLy2F5sGNza3pQb0d3R3YtVXM/view
[20:40] <&Silverlion> I was poking at it.
[20:40] <+HayleyG> ah thnks
[20:40] <&Silverlion> (lovely to meet both of you by the way.)
[20:41] <+VeeHendro> We find the tense choices of the system helps players get really invested in the story. This is something we like to capitalize on in our adventures for the game.
[20:41] <&Silverlion> your game has a pretty narrow focus–but I find that interesting, what changes have you made from other AW based games to make the poltics/folklore aspects come to life?
[20:42] <+HayleyG> One thing we’ve added to the game along with custom playbooks is “descriptors”, which are attributes that define your character
[20:42] <+HayleyG> For example, love or clansman
[20:43] <+HayleyG> These have a folkstory like quality to them
[20:43] <+HayleyG> The custom moves they have kind of blur reality with folklore
[20:43] <+HayleyG> We’re getting a link
[20:43] <+VeeHendro> (Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6jLy2F5sGNzNktNbVZRc1lzOHM/view)https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6jLy2F5sGNzNktNbVZRc1lzOHM/view
[20:45] <&Silverlion> neat.
[20:45] <~Dan> What is “Beyond” in this context?
[20:45] <+VeeHendro> Beyond is the forces of the mystical and the mythical that exist in the world.
[20:46] <+VeeHendro> It’s the place from where a bit of folklore bleeds into our world
[20:46] <&Silverlion> Like the Beyond in Chill? (it was chill wasn’t it dan?)
[20:47] * &Silverlion stares at his 2e books across the room and decides he’s too tired to look.
[20:47] <+HayleyG> We’re looking this up 🙂
[20:47] <~Dan> I believe so.
[20:47] <&Silverlion> The cover art is beautiful.
[20:47] <+VeeHendro> We love it, too!
[20:48] <&Silverlion> Kinda melancholy..but still
[20:49] <~Dan> Very evocative.
[20:50] <~Dan> And the crew is shipwrecked, correct?
[20:50] <+VeeHendro> Yep, that’s why we thought it was perfect. Sadness, regret, human emotions feature in the adventure included in the book.
[20:50] <+HayleyG> In the core adventure yes
[20:50] <+HayleyG> The crew is
[20:51] <+HayleyG> But that’s not a neccessary part of the game
[20:51] <+HayleyG> In fact some of the stretch goal adventures involve a lot of sailing
[20:52] <+HayleyG> I think it’s tone, atmosphere, time period, and loosely place that unites the game
[20:53] <~Dan> How does the crew get involved with local politics?
[20:56] <&Silverlion> interesting.
[20:56] <+VeeHendro> Politics can be two things. It can be being a politician, which is very specific. Or, it can be how you think that a place should be run, should be organised. In the game, the crew is presented with situations which will have them answer these kinds of questions.
[20:57] <~Dan> So dealing with local corruption? That sort of thing?
[20:58] <+VeeHendro> And it helps that the locality is in a particularly tense and unstable state, in the core adventure. Smuggling, poverty, and yeah, corruption and the like.
[20:58] * +VeeHendro nods
[20:58] <+HayleyG> Also struggles with the environment
[20:58] <+HayleyG> And tradition vs change
[20:59] <~Dan> Storms and such, re: the environment?
[21:00] <+HayleyG> That, and also sustainable fishing and natural life cycling, as well as dealing with the strange things that come out of the water
[21:00] <~Dan> Like… sea monsters? Or are you talking more low-key?
[21:00] <+VeeHendro> So much of the folklore of that area revolves around the sea.
[21:02] <&Silverlion> man eating frog-men? selkies?
[21:02] <+HayleyG> These are all interesting suggests 😀
[21:02] <+VeeHendro> So there’s probably scope for a wide-range of ‘monsters’. But our personal preference is to keep it more low-key. The most important thing is that the Beyond is a reflection of the community, and relates to the struggle of the people of that region. However that may manifest.
[21:03] <~Dan> Can you give an example?
[21:04] <~Dan> (Howdy, Xaos!)
[21:05] <&Silverlion> nightmares? unseelie things, haunts? a town with a terrible economy do to scarcity turns the cause of that scarcity into its own monster?
[21:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
[21:06] * &Silverlion sorry he just likes to ask questions
[21:07] <+VeeHendro> For example, in an adventure I’m writing for the game, there is conflict in the town between overgrazing cattle, and whether natural resources should be tapped for the short term or long term gain. A giant, cow-eating water bird complicates the picture…
[21:07] <+VeeHendro> Silverlion, I really like your ideas there, too!
[21:07] * ~Dan blinks
[21:07] <~Dan> A giant cow-eating bird isn’t exactly low-key. 😀
[21:08] * +VeeHendro just wanted to type giant cow-eating bird
[21:08] <+HayleyG> Ha ha. It’s an extension of nature though
[21:08] <+HayleyG> As many folktale things are
[21:08] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:09] <~Dan> And your KS mentions that some people may not be… well, people?
[21:09] <&Silverlion> Indeed.
[21:10] <+VeeHendro> Welllllll, you’ve already mention selkies, for one 😉
[21:10] <&Silverlion> What made two australian ladies want to write about 19th Century British isles?
[21:10] <+HayleyG> Well I’m a history major
[21:10] <~Dan> So Silverlion’s suggestion gets your seal of approval?
[21:11] <+HayleyG> I actually studied this place and period and found it fascinating
[21:11] <+HayleyG> so much change going on at this time
[21:11] <+HayleyG> But also, music provided a lot of inspiration
[21:11] * +VeeHendro hands over a SEAL of approval, arf arf.
[21:11] <~Dan> 😀
[21:13] <+VeeHendro> Yep, I had to endure hours of Hayley listening to Celtic music. Never heard so much fiddle before in my life.
[21:13] <~Dan> The focus of the game would seem to be on drama. How much combat do you generally see in the setting?
[21:14] <&Silverlion> nice!
[21:14] <&Silverlion> i just wish the KS wasn’t over so soon. i’ve no money atm.
[21:14] <+VeeHendro> Agreed, a lot less combat compared to drama. We still see at least one or two combats per session though.
[21:15] <+HayleyG> The way apocalypse world resolves combat. It can be a blow by blow exercise. But more often it can also have a narrative focus.
[21:15] <+HayleyG> I’ve been known to resolve a whole combat with one seize by force roll. Or sometimes to play it out slowly.
[21:15] <+HayleyG> Depends on player interest
[21:16] <+VeeHendro> Yes, the KS runs until 22 Feb. But we’ll try to make our games available on our website at some point in the future though.
[21:17] <&Silverlion> yay!
[21:18] <~Dan> Again going back to the drama focus, what does an adventure look like? I’d think the intensely personal nature of the game would make adventure design difficult.
[21:18] <~Dan> Or am I missing something?
[21:18] <+HayleyG> It does in that you have to stay very adaptable
[21:19] <+HayleyG> Like all AW you have to play to find out what happens rather than taking control as a GM
[21:19] <+HayleyG> The way we’ve handled this is to break down games into storyline “families” rather than set encounters
[21:19] <+HayleyG> Within each family is a number of encounterts
[21:19] <+HayleyG> GMs can pick which ones they want to use based on where the story is at, and what the characters have done and said
[21:20] <+HayleyG> But they can and should change them to suit the game so far
[21:21] <+VeeHendro> There’s an entire chapter in the book that addresses the topic of how to design an adventure for the game.
[21:21] <+HayleyG> It really lands somewhere in between traditional adventures and AW “threats”
[21:21] <+HayleyG> and
[21:21] <+HayleyG> “fronts”
[21:22] <~Dan> Fronts?
[21:23] <&Silverlion> you know i keep seeing this one comic book–Alpha Flight, where this doctor faked his death, but figured he’d survive, but they respected him so much they buried him in the arctic–and he lay there soaking up evil magic..
[21:23] <&Silverlion> he was from an 19th century sailing vessal.
[21:24] <&Silverlion> vessel? darn it.
[21:24] <+HayleyG> fronts in AW (not my words): Apocalypse World Fronts are basically a set of linked threats that the MC writes down with countdown clocks and stakes questions as a means to (a) give him interesting things to say that aren’t just improvised from scratch and (b) address one of the principles of AW which is “sometimes, disclaim decision making”.
[21:24] <+HayleyG> They’re a network of threats
[21:24] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[21:26] <~Dan> Do you see this as the start of a game line, or is this strictly a one-off?
[21:27] <+VeeHendro> We might consider more adventures in the future, but the game itself is a one-off.
[21:27] <+VeeHendro> It isn’t a game line in our minds, for sure.
[21:27] * ~Dan nods
[21:28] <+VeeHendro> And besides, we have so many other games and game settings to write 😛
[21:28] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:28] <+VeeHendro> Hahaha.
[21:28] <~Dan> Speaking of which, what other games have you written?
[21:29] <+VeeHendro> We’re really just starting out. We’ve been playtesting a couple of games at local conventions, but those aren’t ‘written’ yet. Alas is really our first complete product.
[21:30] <+VeeHendro> But we have some free games on our website you can check out.
[21:30] <+VeeHendro> (Link: http://storybrewersroleplaying.com/freegames/)http://storybrewersroleplaying.com/freegames/
[21:30] <&Silverlion> IT looks VERY professional and well done.
[21:30] <+HayleyG> The game we’re working coming up next is actually called Pride, Prejudice and Roleplaying.
[21:31] <&Silverlion> the jane austin rpg?
[21:31] <+HayleyG> Exactly
[21:31] <+VeeHendro> (Thanks, Silverlion, it really means a lot to us!)
[21:31] <+HayleyG> You play regency gentlefolk in an austin like world
[21:32] <+HayleyG> And have secret objectives
[21:32] <&Silverlion> I wish I had such skills.
[21:32] <+VeeHendro> We’re also still constantly learning.
[21:33] <~Dan> What are your gaming backgrounds?
[21:34] <+HayleyG> The first game we ever played was mouse guard
[21:34] <~Dan> That’s an interesting starting point.
[21:34] <+HayleyG> Yes Vee purchased it
[21:34] <+HayleyG> She likes redwall
[21:34] <+VeeHendro> I was just about to say that.
[21:34] <+HayleyG> And may have thought it was more boardgame like because it came in a box
[21:35] <+VeeHendro> We were avid board gamers (still are).
[21:35] <+VeeHendro> But that’s how we got into RPGs.
[21:35] <&Silverlion> awesome! glad you’re here then!
[21:36] <+HayleyG> Bit of an addiction now
[21:36] <~Dan> Mouse Guard uses Burning Wheel, IIRC?
[21:36] <+HayleyG> yes it does
[21:36] <+HayleyG> but simplified and mouse style
[21:37] <~Dan> Burning Wheel defeated me.
[21:38] * +VeeHendro chuckles.
[21:38] <+VeeHendro> I know we’re supposed to be the ones answering questions, but it’s always interesting to hear how folks get into roleplaying. 😉
[21:38] <~Dan> wb, Tsyklon
[21:39] <~Dan> Well, as it happens, I got into roleplaying due to a misunderstanding as well.
[21:39] <~Dan> I thought the 1e Monster Manual was just a cool book about monsters with hypothetical stats that I didn’t quite understand. 🙂
[21:40] <~Dan> It wasn’t until later that I figured out that it was part of this new weird sort of game. 🙂
[21:40] <+VeeHendro> 😀 That is pretty great!
[21:40] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:41] <~Dan> So do you think that historical games are going to be your specialty going forward?
[21:41] <&Silverlion> i was introduced on a playground to this game a friend “made up” (he’d heard his older brother playing D&D, but didn’t have so made his own version.) i went into a maze with a halberd and a lantern to fight a minotaur. i’ve been playing since I found the game which inspired him.
[21:41] <+HayleyG> Ah well we didn’t plan on it, but it does seem to be an interest
[21:42] <+HayleyG> We’ve got a few other games in the (distant) pipeline though that have slightly different focuses
[21:42] <~Dan> Oh? Do tell! 🙂
[21:43] <+HayleyG> There’s a freebie we’re working on called “To the Temple of Doom! To Stop the Ancient Evil” where you essentially play Indiana Jones
[21:44] <+VeeHendro> We’re planning to get that one up by the end of the month.
[21:44] <~Dan> Sounds like fun.
[21:44] <+HayleyG> That’s been heaps of fun so far, just a game for one-shots
[21:45] * ~Dan nods
[21:45] <&Silverlion> neat…:D
[21:45] <+VeeHendro> Yeah, we try to add to our free games page pretty regularly…. maybe once every six weeks to two months.
[21:45] <+HayleyG> On top of that I’m also working on a more serious game about people returning to their hometown that is setting agnostic
[21:45] <+HayleyG> That one still needs a lot of work
[21:46] <+VeeHendro> (We find working on smaller projects in between big ones keeps us engaged and improving on the game design front)
[21:46] <+VeeHendro> So we’ve established that we’re a real mixed bag… huh…
[21:47] <~Dan> Nothing wrong with that. 🙂
[21:47] <+VeeHendro> XD
[21:47] <~Dan> Getting back to Alas, does the game come with any sort of bestiary of adversaries?
[21:48] <+VeeHendro> Yes, thanks to all our backers, we’ve got a chapter entitled Folklore Bestiary and Tales.
[21:49] <~Dan> Nice! How extensive is that?
[21:49] <+HayleyG> Well that’s a good question, we haven’t nailed it down yet
[21:50] <+HayleyG> It will depend how much detail I want to go into on each items, as we’re limited in pages
[21:50] <+HayleyG> But long enough for plenty of inspiration!
[21:50] <+VeeHendro> (Read: Hayley is still writing that chapter. Heehee.)
[21:50] <~Dan> Can you give us an example of an entry you have planned?
[21:52] <+HayleyG> I don’t have a complete one as I’m still researching for this chapter (it was a stretch goal, so we only knew it would go ahead a couple of weeks ago)
[21:52] <+HayleyG> I’m drawing on myth from the Scottish Hebrides which is a remote set of islands off Scotland
[21:53] <+HayleyG> So for example
[21:53] <+HayleyG> Callieach, the hag that controls the weather, will definitely feature
[21:54] <~Dan> Oh, yes!
[21:54] <~Dan> Silverlion should remember her. 😉
[21:54] <+HayleyG> As well as a harp made from a women’s bone that sings about murder
[21:54] <&Silverlion> yes, i do.
[21:54] <~Dan> Silverlion was in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game of mine.
[21:54] <+VeeHendro> I see there is backstory here.
[21:54] <&Silverlion> That was a tough but awesome adventure.
[21:54] <+VeeHendro> Nice!
[21:55] <~Dan> I wrote an adventure based on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
[21:55] <~Dan> Callieach was the Witch of November.
[21:55] <+VeeHendro> There’s so much cool lore to draw on!
[21:55] <+HayleyG> That sounds cool
[21:55] <~Dan> It’s my personal favorite bit of GMing that I’ve done.
[21:56] <~Dan> Actually… Are you two familiar with the Gordon Lightfoot song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”?
[21:57] <+VeeHendro> No, but I have a feeling we will soon be…
[21:57] <~Dan> (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A
[21:57] <+HayleyG> Listening now 🙂
[21:58] <~Dan> Listen to it when you get a chance, and I think you’ll see the Callieach connection.
[21:59] <+HayleyG> This is kind of song that inspires me 🙂
[21:59] <~Dan> 🙂
[22:00] <&Silverlion> See, dan is secretly useful in that kind of thing.
[22:00] <~Dan> So let’s see… What other aspects to Alas are there that we haven’t discussed yet?
[22:02] <+VeeHendro> Nothing immediately sprang to mind. We’re getting a couple of new characters as part of a stretch goals (which our backers are currently voting on), so that’s cool.
[22:03] <+VeeHendro> The only other thing I’d add is that we’ve got a few actual play videos and audio podcasts for people to listen to if they’re interested.
[22:03] <~Dan> Sure! Link away!
[22:04] <&Silverlion> I need to hire these two….if only i had the funds.
[22:04] <+VeeHendro> (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6jLy2F5sGNzZUhwYW9lZW5zTzg)https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6jLy2F5sGNzZUhwYW9lZW5zTzg
[22:05] <+VeeHendro> That’s us and our adorable friends playing a short 2 player adventure.
[22:05] <+HayleyG> This adventure has been unlocked as one of our stretch goals so we’ll be providing it to backers.
[22:06] <+HayleyG> It’s one where there is a 1st encounter, and then all the rest happen if you want them to in any order you choose!
[22:06] <+VeeHendro> Hire?! We’re supremely unqualified and sheepishly humbled. 😛
[22:06] <~Dan> 🙂
[22:07] <~Dan> Well, you certainly seem to know what you’re doing to me. 🙂
[22:08] <+VeeHendro> 👍
[22:08] <+VeeHendro> There’s lots of other links from the KS page.
[22:08] <+HayleyG> thanks for inviting us to chat
[22:09] <~Dan> Absolutely! I hope you two will stick around. It’s a friendly place. 🙂
[22:09] <&Silverlion> You look way more organized and ready than I am! (pokes at game he’s been revising for years.)
[22:09] <+HayleyG> as you can see we love to talk rpgs
[22:10] <+HayleyG> so it’s cool this chat is here!
[22:10] <~Dan> As usual, folks can find my tip jar here, if anyone is so inclined: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[22:10] <~Dan> Give me just a minute, and I’ll get the log posted and link you.
[22:10] <+VeeHendro> The RPG community is lovely. 🙂