[19:31] <+EricWoods> Alrighty – Hi everyone! This is Eric from HobbyHorse Games. I’m the company’s founder, as well as designer on our new RPG/card game hybrid, Firelight, now live on Kickstarter.
[19:31] <+EricWoods> I’ve been a casual fan of role-playing games for a while now, and a more serious fan of tabletop games since I was young. Firelight is basically my way of attempting to combine the easy setup of a card game with the player-drive storytelling of an RPG.
[19:33] <+EricWoods> If you’d like to see more, Firelight is live at (Link: http://bitly.com/2uN2Tc7.)http://bitly.com/2uN2Tc7. We’re JUST shy of hitting our first stretch goal at the moment, which is pretty exciting, and I’ve been updating every week with new artwork if you’d like to see a sneak peek at that sort of stuff. Anyways yeah, that’s me and my game in a nutshell!
[19:33] <+EricWoods> Looking forward to chatting with you all tonight! 🙂
[19:33] <+EricWoods> (done)
[19:33] <~Dan> Thanks, EricWoods! The floor is open to questions!
[19:34] <~Dan> Does the game have a setting?
[19:36] <+EricWoods> Yes Dan, definitely! So the world that the game takes place in is called (appropriately) “Firelight”. It’s a magic-driven planet on which all life, from humans to animals and trees, is sustained by a magical life force that brings health to the land. This life force, in turn, draws its energy from the stories told by the residents of Firelight.
[19:37] <+EricWoods> In an average game of Firelight, all but one player takes the role of Adventurers telling your stories, giving life to the world.
[19:38] <+EricWoods> The world itself is a blend of fantasy and technology. To give a brief overview of the world’s history, this is a planet where magic has largely powered human evolution. The game takes place during a sort of industrial revolution period, where innovators are now beginning to use magic to fuel more and more complex technologies.
[19:39] <+EricWoods> This allows us to marry some pretty fantastical magic alongside technology such as armored trains, airships, primitive guns and the like.
[19:39] <+EricWoods> Anyways that’s sort of a brief overview of the world, I can definitely go more in-depth on certain aspects if needed!
[19:39] <+EricWoods> (done)
[19:41] <~Dan> What sorts of Adventurers are there? Is this a class-based system, for example?
[19:43] <+EricWoods> Yep, it’s a class-based system. There are 8 Adventurer types total: Warrior, Thief, Archer, Wizard, Battlemage, Cleric, Troubadour, and Trickster. Each has their own unique Strength, Stealth, Persuasion, Perception and Acrobatics statistics, as well as 3 unique abilities which reinforce the intended playstyles of those Adventurer classes
[19:43] <~Dan> What are the Battlemage and the Trickster?
[19:44] <+EricWoods> Part of making the game more accessible for new players is how we represent Adventurers using cards. Everything in the game, from Quest objectives to enemies to treasures and Adventurers, is represented by a card. So your Adventurer card will basically be your go-to for any info you need on your Adventurer types
[19:44] <+EricWoods> The Battlemage and Trickster are a few of my faves to play as
[19:45] <+EricWoods> The Battlemage is focused on offensive magic, as opposed to the Wizard which uses magic more to manipulate their environment. So the Battlemage features high Strength and Acrobatics to excel in battle, and has 3 abilities: 1, a fireball which deals damage to up to three enemies. 2, a life-leeching magic strike which can be used to replenish a bit of health
[19:46] <+EricWoods> 3, a time slowing ability which can give advantage during battle, or even increase reaction speeds outside of battle
[19:48] <+EricWoods> The Trickster, on the other hand, is a very persuasive character. Tricksters can: 1, create an incorporeal copy of themselves to temporarily distract NPCs. 2, use sleight of hand to swap a treasure in the player’s inventory for another. 3, remove any advantage that an enemy might have going into battle, and give it to the trickster instead
[19:48] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[19:49] <~Dan> So are all characters of a given class identical?
[19:50] <+EricWoods> In terms of abilities and statistics, each character of a given class is identical. We do this in order to streamline the setup experience as much as possible. On our Kickstarter we say the game has “5 minute setup” including character creation. We wanted Firelight to be as easy to approach as possible for new players, and a more breezy and light experience..
[19:51] * ~Dan nods
[19:51] <~Dan> Is there character development?
[19:52] <+GenoFoxx> is there mecha?
[19:52] <+EricWoods> ..for experienced role-players. So having the pre-set character stats and abilities helps a lot with reducing the time in character creation. We do, however, have a Personality system which gives each character a unique set of personality traits. At the start of the game, each Adventurer player draws 5 Personality cards, and chooses their 2 faves to role-play
[19:53] <+EricWoods> Character development is also pretty streamlined – It’s represented in the form of Treasures, which are basically new one-off abilities that you add to your character. Treasure cards are awarded for achieving significant plot milestones, and might give you a quick way to escape combat, a way to avoid danger, cause chaos, and much more
[19:55] <+EricWoods> Hey GenoFoxx! In the base edition of Firelight, we don’t have any mecha. However, you kind of read my mind on one of the first places I want to go with the game, haha. We have our 1st expansion lined up and it’s sort of Eldritch-themed, and I’m definitely considering sci-fi for the follow-ups
[19:55] <+EricWoods> Part of the appeal of the concept to me was the ability to take the base systems into a huge variety of different settings 🙂
[19:55] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong)
[19:57] <+EricWoods> Oh hey, looks like we just hit that 1st stretch goal I mentioned before!
[19:57] <~Dan> Congrats!
[19:57] <+EricWoods> Ty!
[19:57] <~Dan> What’s the game’s mechanic?
[20:02] <+EricWoods> So, we have a focus on conversation and improvisation, so the core mechanics try to reinforce that. We use a D6 system for skill checks with complete failures, mixed successes and total successes, giving the GM player a chance to add storytelling consequences to any mixed results. We also use an advantage/disadvantage system for sticking to your Personality..
[20:02] <+EricWoods> traits, so if you play according to the Personalities you choose at the start, you can receive advantage rolls. These are both in service of keeping narration interesting on both the GM and Adventurers’ parts
[20:03] <+EricWoods> Similar thing in battle – Players are encouraged to narrate their attacks instead of merely saying “I attack” for the chance of advantage rolls
[20:06] <~Dan> Do you have a sample character that we can see?
[20:08] <+EricWoods> Yes, definitely! I have some card previews live on our blog here: (Link: http://www.hobbyhorsegames.com/blog/2017/6/20/first-look-firelight-quests-adventurers-and-treasures)http://www.hobbyhorsegames.com/blog/2017/6/20/first-look-firelight-quests-adventurers-and-treasures
[20:09] <+EricWoods> There are also a few other examples shown on our KS page and in our video! (Link: http://bitly.com/2uN2Tc7)http://bitly.com/2uN2Tc7
[20:09] <~Dan> Let’s see here…
[20:09] <+EricWoods> Not sure if there are image uploading tools on rpgnet (chat room amateur here, sorry >_<) but I can toss them directly in here if so haha
[20:10] <~Dan> Nah, this is good…
[20:10] <~Dan> So for task resolution, you add 1d6 to an attribute?
[20:12] <+EricWoods> Yep!
[20:12] <+EricWoods> We’re keeping the math simple, again as part of a narrative focus
[20:12] * ~Dan nods
[20:14] <~Dan> Are there skills as well, or is it all based upon the attributes?
[20:17] <+EricWoods> It’s just based on the attributes, and the Personality traits that govern the way you act in-game. Really playing into your Personality gives you the chance to get advantage on your rolls
[20:17] <+EricWoods> You may also be able to impact rolls using Treasures or certain class Abilities
[20:17] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords)
[20:17] <+MonkofLords> ( 0/ )
[20:18] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:21] <+EricWoods> Entering combat works similarly to many RPGs – If you attack an NPC or are attacked by an NPC, you begin with an initiative roll. The Adventurers roll, then the GM, and whoever has the largest number goes 1st, p standard. Once the fight starts, combat is turn-based…
[20:21] <+EricWoods> Adventurers act based on the highest to lowest Acrobatics stat. So a highly acrobatic character like a Thief or Archer will be able to spring into action 1st
[20:22] <+EricWoods> On Adventurer turns, players can choose to attack (D6 roll added to the Strength stat), use an Ability, use a Treasure, flee (an Acrobatics roll needed to escape battle), or converse with the enemy. Each class has its own specialties, and so will approach battle differently
[20:23] <+EricWoods> When it gets to the Enemy turn…
[20:24] <+EricWoods> Enemy cards each have HP, an Attack chance, a Defense chance, and a “Gambit” – essentially a passive ability which can serve to modify Enemy actions. On each Enemy’s combat turn, the GM rolls a D6, and the result corresponds to either attacking or defending. The Enemy’s Gambit then modifies that action. For example, if a Vampire enemy Attacks and the D6…
[20:25] <+EricWoods> lands on a 3, that Attack will also sap health from the targeted Adventurer.
[20:25] <+EricWoods> On the other hand, Defending causes Enemies to block, reducing damage dealt to them on the next Adventurer combat turn by 1/2
[20:26] <+EricWoods> Since each Enemy type has unique Gambits and Attack/Defend chances, we use that to make certain Enemy types more aggro, more defense-oriented, more buffing oriented, etc.
[20:26] <+EricWoods> (done)
[20:27] <~Dan> Is Acrobatics used for ranged combat?
[20:29] <+EricWoods> Ah, yes the Archer’s sniping Ability, for instance, is actually dictated by Perception (like seeking out and firing at the enemy’s weakest point)
[20:30] * ~Dan nods
[20:31] <~Dan> Would the Warrior use Perception as well if he used a ranged weapon?
[20:32] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Smrvl!)
[20:32] <+Smrvl> Thanks, Dan!
[20:32] <~Dan> (Here for the Q&A, or just visiting? 🙂 )
[20:33] <+Smrvl> I came for the Q&A—just wanted to say, Eric, I heard your interview on the Cardboard Herald podcast and backed Firelight mid-interview. Can’t wait to play!
[20:33] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:33] <+EricWoods> We generally tend to keep each Adventurer to one type of attacking interaction, so the Warrior hits with an ax, the Thief stabs with a dagger, etc. The Archer is the only one with multiple attacking options, as they can attack with bow from a distance, and then once the distance is closed, melee attacks using Strength
[20:33] <~Dan> Smrvl: Excellent. Fire away with any questions!
[20:34] <+GenoFoxx> (g’night)
[20:34] <+EricWoods> Wow thank you Smrvl! 🙂 I’m glad you liked the episode, if you have any unanswered questions feel free to fire em off!
[20:34] <+Smrvl> Thanks!
[20:35] <~Dan> Hmm… So characters can never change weapons?
[20:37] <+EricWoods> Correct Dan, your character’s starting weapon is their primary attack method from start to finish. Because the playtime is generally short, there generally isn’t a need to get new weapons, necessarily. The one exception I will mention is that certain Treasures take the form of weapons that any Adventurer can use. Treasures are one-off, though, so we encourage
[20:37] <+EricWoods> players to think carefully and use strategy when it comes to deploying those
[20:38] <~Dan> Well, you mentioned primitive firearms, for example. How can they come into play if the PCs can’t use them? Are they strictly for NPCs?
[20:42] <+EricWoods> Primitive Firearms can be collected as Treasures (think of a pirate’s pistol and how they were often fired once and discarded, for example), and certain Enemy cards like the Bandit will come equipped with them as well
[20:42] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:43] <~Dan> How does damage work?
[20:43] <+EricWoods> Yep! The Treasures take many, many different forms. In addition to a gun, you might be able to get a flare launcher, a one-off magical sword, etc. And then there are less combat-focused ones like the Bottle of Spirits, which is used primarily for causing chaos and escape opportunities
[20:45] <+EricWoods> For damage, each Adventurer card and each Enemy card has a unique HP value. Certain Adventurers are more combat-oriented, like the Warrior, and so that may be reflected in a higher HP amnt than, say, a Cleric. Our Quests are actually split into “Phases” which dictate your various objectives…
[20:45] <+EricWoods> and when each Phase is completed, Adventurer HP is restored to full
[20:45] <+EricWoods> If an Adventurer loses all HP in combat…
[20:46] <+EricWoods> that Adventurer enters a “Knocked Out” state. If players can use an Ability or a Treasure to revive the Knocked Out character, that Adventurer returns to life at a specified amnt of HP. If they can’t revive the player before the Phase’s end, that Adventurer dies and the controlling player has the option of creating a new character and explaining how they will
[20:46] <+EricWoods> eventually rejoin the party
[20:47] <~Dan> How is damage determined? Is it a flat value, a die roll? Something else?
[20:52] <+EricWoods> For Enemies, it’s a flat value (each Enemy card has a unique amount of damage that it deals upon attacking, potentially modified by their Gambit). The core game is scaled for 2-3 players, but we have a scale to increase combat difficulty including Enemy damage when more players join. For Adventurers, it’s a D6 roll added to their Strength for melee attacks
[20:54] <~Dan> You mentioned adventures not generally lasting very long. Why is that?
[20:58] <+EricWoods> Yeah, or at least, compared to a standard session of D&D for instance, they’re pretty short! It’s pegged at being a 70-100 minute game. It was designed this way because Firelight is very much intended to be a less intimidating RPG to play for new players, and sort of a breezy vacation from your campaign characters for serious players…
[20:59] <+EricWoods> When I was first designing the game, I wanted to play RPGs with my larger gaming group, but they were intimidated by the long rules, learning time and play time. They were more used to card games. So I actually began the game by combining card games with RPGs, shortening the playtime and streamlining a lot of the mechanics so we could play together
[21:00] <+EricWoods> It ended up being lots of fun, and as I continued to test it with more people, it evolved to become a retail product
[21:01] <~Dan> I’m not sure I follow what makes the sessions short, though.
[21:05] <+EricWoods> Ah, my bad – I should explain the Quests more. So I mentioned earlier that objectives are also represented by cards. Those are the Quest cards – Each gives players a unique story that they will be playing through, and breaks those stories down into 5 sub-objectives called Phases. An example of this is the Life of the Party Quest featured on our KS. This Quest
[21:07] <+EricWoods> tasks players with getting party clothes, infiltrating a masquerade party, finding a priceless painting, stealing it, and escaping. The way that the Quests are structured, the individual Phases are generally fairly short. Infiltrating the party in Life of the Party, for instance, might be a matter of persuading the guard…
[21:07] <+EricWoods> or using a Treasure or Ability to get through, or sneaking around and breaking into the party through Stealth.
[21:07] <+EricWoods> So you can almost think of each Phase as a vignette involving your characters, and they all connect to tell a full story
[21:08] <~Dan> I see.
[21:08] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest19!)
[21:09] <~Dan> Does the game feature a bestiary?
[21:09] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW)
[21:12] <+EricWoods> Yep! Another unique thing with Firelight is that everything is represented by cards, so in this case the bestiary is the cards themselves. Each Enemy card gives you Enemy HP, physical description, attack and defense capabilities, and one special “Gambit” ability as discussed earlier. Quests also have Enemy types associated with them, telling you where you
[21:12] <+EricWoods> can find each Enemy type
[21:13] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:13] <+EricWoods> As you set up the game, you just pull out the enemies associated with your Quest and have them ready to go should your characters encounter them!
[21:16] <~Dan> Very nice. 🙂
[21:17] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:18] <+EricWoods> Sure! So I think we’ve gone over the basic structure of the game pretty well: Up to 3 players take the role of Adventurers, and 1 the GM. The Quest card gives players the story they will be playing through, the Enemy cards indicate what types of enemies appear in each Quest, and the Adventurer cards, coupled with the Personality cards, are used for..
[21:18] <+EricWoods> …character building. The Treasures then augment that
[21:18] <+EricWoods> One other thing that I really enjoy about this game is the artwork, though
[21:20] <+EricWoods> This is another part of making the game more accessible and fun, and I think it’s been a large part of our success on Kickstarter as well! I was lucky enough to be able to get several incredibly talented artists to contribute to the game. We have Michelle Czajkowski, who created the “Ava’s Demon” webcomic. Caitlin Scannel, who does the “Heir Presumptive”…
[21:20] <+EricWoods> …webcomic. And Loika and Vicki Tsai, who both do online illustration
[21:20] <+EricWoods> Combined, I think they’ve brought a really unique visual style to the game, and contributed really heavily to bringing the magic to this world
[21:21] <+EricWoods> Artwork is used on both the Quest cards and the Adventurer cards to set the scene and show what types of characters people can play, respectively
[21:22] <+EricWoods> If you haven’t seen the game’s art yet, we have a lot of it featured on our Kickstarter. And if you’re not interested in the game, I’d still encourage you to check out the works of everyone above. They’re great fantasy storytellers in addition to artists
[21:22] <+EricWoods> and it’s been incredible to work with them all 🙂
[21:22] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[21:23] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, EricWoods!
[21:24] <~Dan> For those interested, my tip jar and Patreon link are here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:24] <+EricWoods> Any time, Dan. Thank you so much for having me!
[21:25] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂