[20:04] <+RobertTurk> Hello, my name is Robert Turk and I am the creator of Purgatory House, a pick up and play Haunted House RPG currently on Kickstarter!
[20:04] <+RobertTurk> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gandersnitch/purgatory-house-a-casual-horror-role-playing-game)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gandersnitch/purgatory-house-a-casual-horror-role-playing-game
[20:04] <+RobertTurk> Should I go on?
[20:05] <~Dan> If you like!
[20:06] <+RobertTurk> Purgatory House is a diceless, easy to play, anybody can run it game that uses two decks of playing cards to create the House, fill it with obstacles, and resolve all the mechanics. It was designed as an infinitely replayable single session game, but does include rules for longer campaign style play.
[20:06] <+RobertTurk> (done?)
[20:06] <~Dan> Sure!
[20:07] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:07] <~Dan> Does the game always take place in a haunted house?
[20:09] <+RobertTurk> The core game is centered around a House. But this also covers mansions, asylums, castles, hotels, etc. Essentially, any contained structure that is comprised of rooms that are used in day to day life of human beings. As an expansion I am exploring the idea of amusement parks, wild west towns, abandoned space stations, ect. (more)
[20:10] <+RobertTurk> The reason being is that I wanted this to be a game that anyone could run with no prep and very little experience. So the House is created as you play using one of the decks of cards to generate rooms and obstacles from a chart. For example, drawn a Queen of Spades and a 2 of Diamonds and that gives you… Hang on, let me check
[20:10] <+RobertTurk> Ahh. Sudden amnesia in the Dormatory.
[20:11] <+RobertTurk> Ok, not the scariest of obstacles, but still potentially fatal to a PC 🙂
[20:11] <+AlooWalking> So there’s a look-up table in the book with all the possible card draws?
[20:12] <+RobertTurk> Thematically, I didn’t set out to create a universal system. I wanted the mechanics to support the core concept of being trapped in an endless, hungry house. It is a concept that appears throughout history and culture, and has recently appeard in CreepyPasta and even a new sci-fi channel TV show.
[20:13] <+xyphoid> nice art style, it reminds me of fighting fantasy books
[20:13] <+RobertTurk> Yes! There are two tables. One for room and one for obstacles. Easy to reference. Some rooms and obstacles have special rules, and the book will contain rules, suggestions, and descriptions for everything in the charts. But the charts are only used to generate the house. And if a room flat out doesn’t make sense (more)
[20:14] <+RobertTurk> The Dealer (GM) is free to use any room that works.
[20:14] <+RobertTurk> The charts are there to make it fast and easy.
[20:14] <+AlooWalking> Hungry house? So it’s not just haunted.
[20:15] <+RobertTurk> Re: Art – Art is INCREDIBLY important to me. I think it has so much potential to set the tone and pull players right into the game, even with an inexperienced GM. So I tracked down a group of folks with similar but distinct black and white styles to do the art for this book. That is a big part of the kickstarter, paying for professional artists.
[20:16] <+RobertTurk> Re: Hungry House. Yes. In my mind, and the mythos, the house is a… in not living, then a sentient thing. The House wants you to die. It feasts on your soul. Etc. Etc. Though, there are some scenarios provided that do away with that idea.
[20:17] <+RobertTurk> Right now there are 5 base scenarios in the book, and 6 pregen characters for each. But there are also cgen rules to make your own. I am trying to cover all the bases, from folks who have never played a rpg to the experienced ones who just want tools to make their own.
[20:17] <+RobertTurk> (done)
[20:19] <~Dan> What is the system?
[20:20] <+Akyla> Your kickstarter mentions the two player option. Could you give us a brief summary of how that will work differently from the normal game?
[20:20] <+RobertTurk> The system is totally custom. Essentially, it is Blackjack. 21. The casino game. Originally the idea for this game came from a nightmare. I thought I was going to write a novel based on it. The more I researched the idea, the more I found myself thinking it would make a cool game. Originally I was thinking Savage Worlds (more)
[20:22] <+RobertTurk> As that is what my weekly group plays. But I put this game on the back burner to work on other projects. Then I was told about a 200 word rpg contest and needed an easy system to pair with this concept to submit. I grabbed Blackjack because I knew it didn’t take many words to explain 🙂 (more)
[20:22] <+RobertTurk> Then I started expanding the idea and playtesting. And blackjack was totally the right choice. There is a tension inherent in a quick gambling game that works for the tension in a haunted house. As a playtester this past weekend said “It feels like we are literally gambling with our lives!” (more)
[20:23] <+RobertTurk> Now, it isn’t straight blackjack though. Characters have traits they can “exhaust” to adjust their score. Damage is taken if a player busts (then they lose an entire trait from their sheet) and failure makes subsequent tests harder.
[20:25] <+RobertTurk> Re: 2 Player mode. Akyla, I only have the barest ideas for that mode. I had someone this past weekend ask if they could run the game for just their wife and I said, sure, but it might not be as dynamic. Once we fund, I want to play around with this idea and find where the two player mode really works.
[20:26] <+RobertTurk> Once I get it, I will add it as a free update on our website. I think it would be a nice treat for Valentines day. We also have several pledge levels where I will include it as a printed insert.
[20:26] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[20:27] <+RobertTurk> Yes! I am posting those in tomorrow’s update. Let me load one to my blog right now for you and link. Does that work?
[20:27] <~Dan> Certainly!
[20:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, vika!)
[20:29] <+RobertTurk> (Link: http://www.wicked-clever.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/purgatory-cs.jpg)http://www.wicked-clever.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/purgatory-cs.jpg
[20:30] <+RobertTurk> Hmmn. Do I have to do something special to link?
[20:30] <~Dan> Heh. A toe tag. Cool. 🙂
[20:30] <~Dan> Nope, that worked!
[20:30] <+RobertTurk> (Link: http://www.wicked-clever.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pregens-1.pdf)http://www.wicked-clever.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/pregens-1.pdf
[20:30] <+RobertTurk> And there are two of the playtest pregens.
[20:31] <~Dan> How does Concept work in play? Or is it simply a description?
[20:31] <+RobertTurk> Note: The 666 has been removed by request of several playtesters. They felt that might alienate some players. People are strange about that number 🙂
[20:31] <+vika> hello dan
[20:31] <+RobertTurk> That is just a description to help people jump in.
[20:31] <~Dan> So the Traits are what matter?
[20:31] <+RobertTurk> Fear and Hook have a game effect too.
[20:32] <~Dan> When I worked at Arby’s back in the day, there was a manager who wouldn’t take an order if the amount came up $6.66.
[20:33] <+RobertTurk> Yes, Traits are used to modify your final hand total. So lets say you bust with a 24. If your first trait is applicable, you could exhaust it (cross out the number or cover it with a token) and use the -3 to bring you down to a 21. That is most likely a win! But you can only use traits once without resting. Getting a natural 21 (Ace + face card) lets you…
[20:33] <+Akyla> Are there character traits to choose from or is it your and the GMs discretion?
[20:34] <+RobertTurk> recharge one trait. If your obstacle matches your fear, you can’t use traits against it. And hook is a relationship to one other character in the game. It is who you will Haunt if/when you die. Because when you die, you are still in the game.
[20:35] <+RobertTurk> There are going to be sample traits, but mostly it is player and GM discretion. I like giving people the room to be creative with their character and roleplay what works for them. That balances out, I think, with the prescribed nature of the rooms and obstacles being determined through random card draws.
[20:35] <+RobertTurk> (done)
[20:36] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:38] <+RobertTurk> So, when an obstacle is encountered, the players always have a chance to say what they do. Some obstacles effect everyone in a room (poison gas for instance) but most target just one victim. So the Dealer decides who is at risk based on what the players decide to do. Then the Dealer deals out two cards to the player(s) at risk and one face down to him and one
[20:38] <+RobertTurk> (more)
[20:40] <+RobertTurk> The player has to decided whether to hit or stand, use traits ect, before the Dealer reveals their 2nd card. (Just like blackjack.) Once the player stands, their total is locked and the Dealer flips over his cards and tries to beat or tie the player’s total. Dealers don’t have traits though. So, if a player busts, they lose and take damage. If they win (more)
[20:41] <+RobertTurk> they get to narrate how they escape/defeat the obstacle. If the dealer wins, then that triggers rising tension. The camera zooms in on the victim’s struggle and things get worse. A new hand is dealt with the player getting 3 cards to start. If they fail again, this rises to 4, and so on until they succeed or bust. (more)
[20:42] <+RobertTurk> For instance. Lets say Dan is being chased by a crazy witch lady. He turns and tries to fight her off. He stands at a 17, but the dealer gets 19. On three cards, he stands at a 18, and the dealer then busts trying to beat it. It would be narrated as them struggling back and forth, maybe the witch claws him across the face (more)
[20:42] <+RobertTurk> But finally he breaks free, punches her in the gut and darts away.
[20:43] <~Dan> It would seem that no monster is any different from any other, then.
[20:44] <+RobertTurk> Well, as far as threat goes, they are all an equal threat. Sorta.
[20:44] <+RobertTurk> There isn’t a “monster manual” where zombies are stronger than goblins are stronger than rats, etc.
[20:44] <+RobertTurk> But!
[20:46] <+RobertTurk> There is an uber class of “Monster” known as a Horror that stalks the players until it kills one of them, and it can’t be killed, only escaped from. There is also a mechanic where if the obstacle and room match, things are worse. If they match suit, then you lose two points of damage on a bust instead of one. If they match #, say a pair of 4s (more)
[20:46] <+RobertTurk> then the obstacle is fatal. You die on a bust. (Again, dead players aren’t out of the game though. They become shades and still impact the game in a meaningful manner.)
[20:47] <+AlooWalking> There’s a lot in the monsters and traits that seems made for role playing. It’s all left up to the description of the players
[20:47] <+RobertTurk> Yes. This is very much a rpg as opposed to a card game.
[20:48] <+AlooWalking> It seems like a blend of RPG and Boardgame.
[20:48] <~Dan> Do weapons have any mechanical effect?
[20:48] <+RobertTurk> The name of the obstacles is there to serve as a springboard. To make it easy to determine what you are facing. But on the whole, the players are normal folks, so the difference between a mandman with a chainsaw and a giant cobra are negligible. They are both fatal 🙂
[20:49] <+RobertTurk> AlooWalking I am aiming for the easy of a boardgame with the creativity of a RPG. Ie. easy to setup and jump right in, premade characters and scenarios if you want them, and a very easy to use mechanic. But lots of room for roleplay and creative interpretation.
[20:50] <+AlooWalking> I’m sure you’ve played Betrayal at House on the Hill.
[20:50] <+RobertTurk> Dan, yes they do. Gear is broken down into three categories. 1) Clothing. 2) Pocket Utility Items (like a flashlight or video camera) and 3) Weapons.
[20:50] <+RobertTurk> I have AlooWalking. The playtesters have said that this is like Betrayal, but way more open ended and flexible.
[20:51] <+RobertTurk> Personally, I love Betrayal. But it is very much a board game. Sure you can roleplay it if you want, but really it comes down to the dice and the cards.
[20:52] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:53] <+RobertTurk> Back to gear for a moment. Clothing allows you to avoid rising tension for a full test (the mechanic where you add cards if you lose) – so you could be trying to get out of a room with darts that keep flying out of the walls, and declare that you use your leather jacket in the escape, using it as a shield. It save you that one time, but is destroyed.
[20:54] <&GenoFoxx> (g’night)
[20:54] <+AlooWalking> (g-night Geno)
[20:55] <+RobertTurk> Pocket Utility gives you a +1 on situations where it is applicable, but you must declare that you are using it from the start of the test. If you bust on that test, it is destroyed. Weapons allow you to discard one card in a test and draw a new one. Same rule for busting though If you bust, the weapon is destroyed. Some rooms (and GM discretion)…
[20:55] <+RobertTurk> have items that can be found in them too. Like the wardrobe would let a player take one Clothing item to use. The armory would let you get a new weapon, and so on.
[20:56] <+AlooWalking> How many cards do you have at a time?
[20:56] <+RobertTurk> It uses two decks of standard playing cards. The rules are in a 6×9 hardback book.
[20:57] <+RobertTurk> Sorry, misread the question.
[20:57] <+RobertTurk> I am not sure I understand the question, actually!
[20:58] <+AlooWalking> I assumed you have some cards in your hand. I guess you generally don’t in Blackjack though
[20:58] <+RobertTurk> Everybody starts with one piece of “gear”, and room/obstacle cards are drawn each time a player goes through a new room. There used to be a thematic rule that if they closed a door, the room behind it changed to something new. But that was a pain in the butt to keep track of.
[20:59] <+AlooWalking> If gear adds +1 when do you know to use it? Just when it’s thematic?
[20:59] <~Dan> So you can map the house and its “cleared” rooms?
[20:59] <+RobertTurk> Ahh no. No cards in your hand… Until you die! Then, you get to keep one card in the hand that killed you. You may swap that card out with any that your chosen haunt draws. So, as a shade you can help or hinder the others at your whim.
[21:00] <+RobertTurk> Yes, Dan. Mapping is easy, but pretty much a necessity for the Dealer.
[21:00] <+RobertTurk> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gandersnitch/purgatory-house-a-casual-horror-role-playing-game/posts/2019210)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gandersnitch/purgatory-house-a-casual-horror-role-playing-game/posts/2019210
[21:00] <+RobertTurk> That shows my map from the game I ran this weekend.
[21:01] <+RobertTurk> I use one or two letter abbreviations, arrows for doors (and the direction the players went) and notes for any lingering obstacles.
[21:02] <~Dan> Is there a win condition?
[21:03] <+AlooWalking> Are there times when players have to backtrack (or flee) through the house?
[21:04] <+RobertTurk> Whoops. Missed your question AlooWalking. Yes, the +1 from gear is only when thematic. So if you chose to have a hammer, then it might give you a +1 to disabling mechanical traps. Re Backtracking, totally! I also tend to connect rooms if they get drawn again (which will happen the more you shuffle the room deck.)
[21:05] <+RobertTurk> Dan, in a one session game there is. The end game triggers when only one player is left alive, or after the deck has been shuffled a number of times = to players. Each time you reshuffle, you add one Joker. Jokers summon the unstoppable horrors I mentioned before, or make them even stronger. Jokers drawn by the players allow them to heal (more)
[21:06] <+AlooWalking> So one deck is for the house/obstacles and the other is for passing them?
[21:06] <+RobertTurk> though that will probably become an optional rule, because too much healing makes the game take too long. Once the end game has started, the players left alive must defeat a number of obstacles equal to the number of reshuffles so far (I use tokens to track this) – then they can escape the house.
[21:08] <+RobertTurk> One deck is for dangerous challenges, the other is for the rooms/obstacles/and non-survival tests. For instance, lets say a player wants to search a room for a weapon. (or in the case of the last game, a jar of salt) – you use the house deck to do a quick single hand of blackjack. If the player wins, they get what they need, etc. If they fail, they dont.
[21:08] <+RobertTurk> So no Rising Tension on non-dangerous challenges. But they also don’t burn up cards in the Survival deck.
[21:09] <+RobertTurk> Ie. So they don’t get you closer to the end game.
[21:09] <+RobertTurk> (done – unless I missed a question)
[21:10] <~Dan> I don’t think so.
[21:11] <~Dan> Do the card draws determine what kinds of monsters show up?
[21:13] <+RobertTurk> Yes, Hearts are monsters that will chase you from room to room till you beat them. Spades are persistant obstacles (dont go away – like poison gas or quicksand), Diamonds fire off once and only to the first person to encounter them, and Clubs are group effects (everyone has to test)
[21:14] <~Dan> But there’s no card that stipulates a witch, a ghost, a werewolf, etc.?
[21:14] <+RobertTurk> Yes!
[21:16] <+RobertTurk> This is the beta chart and is changing slightly but: 2=Wraith/Ghost, 3=Beast, 4=Birds/Bats, 5=Snakes, 6=Rats, 7=Living Art, 8=Goblin/Demon,9=Clowns/Dolls,10=Zombie/Skeleton,J=Creepy Children, Q=Evil Woman,K=Madman
[21:17] <+RobertTurk> And Evil Woman could be Witch, nurse, that mom from any Steven King movie. Whatever fits the scenario, etc
[21:19] <+AlooWalking> Again, these are for flavor, not a table with different stats, right
[21:19] <+RobertTurk> For instance, there is a scenario called “Ghouls Gone Wild” which is a college kids in the woods over spring break take shelter in an old abandoned shack. And the Madman card should then be interpreted as a redneck with a chainsaw, shark hook, whatever.
[21:19] <+RobertTurk> (done)
[21:21] <+RobertTurk> Also, this hasn’t been announced yet, but the beta rules will be made available to backers only on Nov 1st. I am cleaning them up for some playtest GMs to run at a convention next weekend, so I figured I would let backers play with them and give feedback while we await for art.
[21:21] <~Dan> You mentioned that this can be used for campaign play?
[21:22] <~Dan> And wouldn’t making the rules available the day before be more thematic? 🙂
[21:22] <+RobertTurk> It can, Dan. There is one campaign scenario included, called Slaughter House Season 1. This is a reality TV show (like big brother) where the contestants are trapped in a ‘haunted house” and each episode ends when someone dies.
[21:22] <+RobertTurk> If we fund, then I will do that, Dan 🙂
[21:23] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:24] <~Dan> Assuming that the game funds, do you have any future plans for it?
[21:24] <+RobertTurk> I also envision a Ghost Hunters/FBI style campaign game. Personally, for a long campaign, I would prefer a more robust system like Savage Worlds. But it can be done with this Blackjack system too.
[21:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[21:25] <+RobertTurk> Well, we have some monetary stretch goals I really want to try and hit. But right now I am focused on getting the last 3k we need to pay the artists, print the books, and ship. The stretch goals are those non-house expansions. I am going to do them like travel brochures. They will have their own new charts, 6 pregen characters, a intro description and (more)
[21:26] <+RobertTurk> a custom horror. If we hit them, they will be on 11×17 tri fold paper, just like an actual brochure. If we don’t hit those, I may put them in a 2nd book as an expansion. After that, this game is done and I will move on to other projects 🙂
[21:27] <+RobertTurk> Though, I have been asked to adapt the blackjack system to other concepts. I might do that. I dunno yet.
[21:27] <+AlooWalking> I like that – new tables for a whole new haunted environment.
[21:28] <+RobertTurk> Yeah. I didn’t want them in the main book because page count costs money and I felt they sorta skewed the core theme of the game. But as expansions I think they rock!
[21:30] <+RobertTurk> So far we have a haunted amusement park, a wild west ghost town, an abandoned space station, a cruise ship in the bermuda triangle, a Fallout style futuristic vault, and a necromancer’s dungeon crawl lined up as Travel Brochures.
[21:31] <+AlooWalking> You mentioned 200WordRPG earlier, there’s one from this year called “[Tech]: Boldly Go” which did some neat stuff with the 21 idea if you want inspiration.
[21:31] <+RobertTurk> If it looks like we are only going to hit one or two, I will let the backers vote on which ones we make first and include as rewards.
[21:32] <+RobertTurk> Oh cool! I will look at it. Purgatory House should be up there too, but it has now gone WAY beyond that 200 word idea.
[21:33] <+AlooWalking> Lol! That word limit is brutal.
[21:33] <+RobertTurk> (Link: https://200wordrpg.github.io/2017/rpg/2017/04/20/PurgatoryHouse.html)https://200wordrpg.github.io/2017/rpg/2017/04/20/PurgatoryHouse.html
[21:34] <+RobertTurk> It was! That was a great exercise in distilling an idea down to its most basic form. It was fun, and it really got me thinking about this game again.
[21:35] <+RobertTurk> Oh, hah! I forgot that you were supposed to play as yourself in the 200 word version. That was abandoned in the full game, though you can totally make yourself as a character.
[21:36] <+AlooWalking> Nice. I can see how that idea has been expanded. How many pages to you expect the book to be?
[21:38] <+RobertTurk> When we quoted, we were roughly at 108. We have added a scenario since then, though I think it will be as a travel brochure. I also want to add the Scooby Doo rules (non-fatal, clue based exploration) which may add pages. Layout is still rough as we wait for art and I write descriptions for all the rooms and obstacles.
[21:39] <+RobertTurk> We are using a slightly thicker paper too, for durability. So this book should be thicker than Kobalds ate My Baby, thinner than Savage Worlds Explorer Edition.
[21:39] <+AlooWalking> That seems like a good size for a casual rpg.
[21:40] <+RobertTurk> Yeah, not too long but with enough meat to make it worth printing 🙂
[21:40] <~Dan> Do you mind if we wrap up a bit early, RobertTurk? The wife wants me to turn off the computer so she can sleep. 🙂
[21:40] <+RobertTurk> And it will be hardback. I was really torn on that decision, because it would cost about 2k less to do a paper back. But I see pages flipping a lot, especially for new GMs.
[21:41] <+RobertTurk> I am good, Dan! Last call for questions?
[21:41] <+RobertTurk> And link one more time: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gandersnitch/purgatory-house-a-casual-horror-role-playing-game)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gandersnitch/purgatory-house-a-casual-horror-role-playing-game
[21:42] <~Dan> Those wishing to support my Q&A series can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:43] <~Dan> Thanks very muh vjoinin ug, uj
[21:43] <+RobertTurk> Thanks all!
[21:44] <+AlooWalking> Thanks
[21:44] <+RobertTurk> I can keep talking for a few once Dan stops the log, if you have any more questions AlooWalking, or want more clarity on something.
[21:44] <+Akyla> Thanks for answering more questions
[21:44] <+AlooWalking> And thanks to you, as always, host Dan.
[21:45] <+RobertTurk> Dan is a good guy 🙂
[21:46] <~Dan> Awwww… Thanks, guys!
[21:46] <~Dan> Give me just a moment, and I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[21:46] <+AlooWalking> I’m good. It is pretty easy to see what you’re up to.