[19:37] <+DLB_Chuck> Hi everybody, I’m Chuck McGrew
[19:37] <+DLB_Chuck> I developed the tabletop paranormal and supernatural horror RPG Don’t Look Back
[19:38] <+DLB_Chuck> I’m currently on Kickstarter to get support to help create a new edition. We hit our initial funding goal within the first week.
[19:39] <+DLB_Chuck> We are working on some stretch goals now. This is my first Kickstarter
[19:39] <+DLB_Chuck> (Link: http://kck.st/2ymdijl)http://kck.st/2ymdijl
[19:40] <+DLB_Chuck> Any questions?
[19:40] <~Dan> Thanks, DLB_Chuck! The floor is open to questions!
[19:41] <~Dan> Can you tell us some more about the setting?
[19:42] <+DLB_Chuck> It is a distorted contemporary world with elements of paranormal horror and a strong undercurrent of conspiracies.
[19:43] <+DLB_Chuck> There is a dark organization called The Order that more or less controls everything and they want to keep people in the dark about what is really going on.
[19:43] <~Dan> Does the paranormal have a unified source, then?
[19:44] <+DLB_Chuck> The game world is just one reality and one dimension. There are others and there are places and times when things get thinner between them so power can be drawn from one to the other.
[19:46] <~Dan> Is there magic, then?
[19:46] <+DLB_Chuck> The order has puppet leadership in the world but they are from elsewhere. They don’t just try to keep things quiet to keep the peace. That is part of it. They also don’t want anyone to know they draw power from the modern world.
[19:47] <+DLB_Chuck> Not in the wizard sense but there are people who can manipulate things with their energy and control it with their mind
[19:47] <~Dan> What sorts of things can they accomplish?
[19:49] <+DLB_Chuck> PCs can be from any walk of life. There are immediate goals like shutting down some of the negative things feeding on people — literally and their power. There are longer goals too like exposing The Order
[19:50] <~Dan> Oh, sorry — I was referring to the energy control you mentioned.
[19:50] <+DLB_Chuck> At least initially, the PCs tend to mostly focus on running for their lives. That’s where the title comes from
[19:50] <+DLB_Chuck> The power people try to draw can be used to pull things from one world to another and it can also be used to manipulate objects and people.
[19:51] <~Dan> Is that something that PCs can learn to do?
[19:52] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye, Logomachist)
[19:52] <+DLB_Chuck> Ah. Sorry. Not in general. They are not striving to learn powers but things can happen to the PCs that causes them to begin to develop them.
[19:53] <~Dan> Sort of a mutation/corruption process?
[19:53] <+DLB_Chuck> Essentially but control is very hard to achieve
[19:53] <+DLB_Chuck> The paranormal abilities are more for plot devices than to turn the PCs into some kinds of super heroes
[19:54] * ~Dan nods
[19:54] <~Dan> What sorts of things are after the PCs?
[19:55] <+DLB_Chuck> There are the typical kinds of bad guys from horror like vampires, zombies, evil scientists and then more quirky things
[19:56] <+DLB_Chuck> One adventure has a lactose intolerant flesh eating amoeba, we published a supplement years ago called Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space
[19:57] <+DLB_Chuck> There is a group of example creatures in the rulebook but I am more likely to push using the special paranormal abilities to create unique or customized antagonists
[19:57] <+DLB_Chuck> It’s not very scary when everybody knows the monsters’ weaknesses
[19:57] <~Dan> True.
[19:58] <+DLB_Chuck> This go around I’m adapting the game to work with the D6xD6 game system mechanics
[19:59] <~Dan> How does that work?
[19:59] <+DLB_Chuck> Lester Smith created it not all that long ago. It’s easy to learn and you can create characters very fast — 5 minutes or less. I think it works well for horror and it allows DLB players to access lots of other settings and material.
[20:00] <+DLB_Chuck> The core of everything is a Dice Roll with 2 d6. The results are multiplied by each other so there’s a range from 1-36
[20:01] <+DLB_Chuck> There are modifiers like difficulty and penalties for being wounded etc. They are used to alter the result of one of the dice before they are multiplied.
[20:02] <+DLB_Chuck> One of the way it differs from most games is that there is a heavy reliance on a character’s “occupation” and skills and very little on their Attributes (brawn, wits, etc.)
[20:02] <~Dan> What is the relationship between Attributes and Occupation?
[20:03] <+DLB_Chuck> The game boasts only having one stat — one number. It’s called a Focus number.
[20:04] <+DLB_Chuck> Occupation is like a general summation or description of the character like Gumshoe Detective, College Student, or Artist. Anything you attempt to do that someone with that kind of description can probably do would draw on Occupation for the Roll
[20:05] <+DLB_Chuck> Skills could be related to the occupation but it’s better to choose things that aren’t directly related so the character has more things they do well
[20:07] <+DLB_Chuck> Skills can be considered either “Focused” (i.e. the character is very familiar with them) or “Unfocused” and the character is less likely to be successful with them but they do have some knowledge or training
[20:07] <~Dan> Sounds a bit like Over the Edge in that regard.
[20:07] <+DLB_Chuck> It’s more general like that
[20:08] <~Dan> What function to Attributes have, then?
[20:08] <+DLB_Chuck> So far there are over 30 published settings to use with D6xD6 but my game is the first full RPG licensed to use them
[20:09] <+DLB_Chuck> Attributes are more innate things about the character so Brawn for example would be used to lessen the impact of a poison or disease
[20:10] <+DLB_Chuck> Most of the rules for D6xD6 are online at d6xd6.com if anybody is curious
[20:11] <+DLB_Chuck> Right now I’m wrapping up an adventure that goes out with a set of Quick Start rules this weekend for everyone who has backed it before Halloween
[20:11] <~Dan> That’s cool!
[20:11] <~Dan> What is the adventure about?
[20:11] <+DLB_Chuck> It has a shortened version of the rules, an adventure, and 4 chracters
[20:12] <+DLB_Chuck> The PCs are ending a vacation together when they have boat problems and stumble into something. I don’t want to say too much in case any of the backers are on. I want them to be surprised 🙂
[20:13] <~Dan> Fair enough!
[20:13] <~Dan> So on a related note, do the PCs start out as ordinary people?
[20:13] <+DLB_Chuck> In this adventure they do. Most of the time they do as well.
[20:14] <~Dan> So they aren’t paranormal investigator types? The weird stuff happens to them first?
[20:14] <~Dan> (Howdy, Alanonzander)
[20:15] <+DLB_Chuck> They can be investigators but I find that the horror aspects work out a little better if they aren’t. Regular people who find themselves in something they don’t understand gets a little creepier fast
[20:16] <+DLB_Chuck> Over time they may grow into being investigators or working to thwart the machinations of the Order
[20:17] <~Dan> Are starting characters tough enough to survive, or are they most likely to become victims?
[20:17] <+DLB_Chuck> There is a group called The Brotherhood that broke away from The Order a long time ago and they fight to help expose the truth. PCs could in time wind up helping them.
[20:18] <+DLB_Chuck> They are tough enough to survive if they make smart choices
[20:18] <+DLB_Chuck> No matter how many campaigns a PC has been on, there is always a chance they could die. It isn’t scary when you have little to be afraid of
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:19] <+DLB_Chuck> One of the reasons I initially wrote DLB was out of dissatisfaction with the way most horror games are ran
[20:20] <~Dan> How so?
[20:20] <+DLB_Chuck> For the most part people run them like hack and slash games but just set in modern day. Kill the monster, take the treasure etc. Or they have a horror theme but it’s just a thinly veiled reason to play super powered characters
[20:22] <+DLB_Chuck> Good GMs can make them scary, but it’s hard in a lot of ways because the game mechanics pull you “out of game” a lot and that kills any sense of suspense.
[20:22] * ~Dan nods
[20:23] <~Dan> What are your takes on “traditional” creatures like vampires and werewolves?
[20:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, WickedClever)
[20:24] <+DLB_Chuck> In DLB something like them exists but it’s because of a mutating virus or the manifestation of a possession
[20:24] <+WickedClever> (Hello.)
[20:24] <+DLB_Chuck> Hi WickedClever
[20:25] <~Dan> So does the supernatural not technically exist?
[20:25] <+DLB_Chuck> Personally, I think vampires and werewolves are a little dull in most games because they are too predictable
[20:26] <+DLB_Chuck> It’s hard to say it doesn’t — it does but there are pseudo-scientific explanations
[20:26] <+WickedClever> Hey Chuck! Checking out the project now!
[20:26] <+DLB_Chuck> Thanks WickedClever!
[20:27] <~Dan> So sort of like Dark Conspiracy?
[20:27] <+DLB_Chuck> If you back it before Halloween you can get a free copy of the Quick Start — simplified rules and an adventure — by email before Halloween
[20:27] <+DLB_Chuck> The world is more cohesive than Dark Conspiracy but I’m a big fan of it too. Lester Smith wrote it.
[20:27] <+WickedClever> Nice!
[20:28] <+DLB_Chuck> Thanks
[20:28] <~Dan> Well, I mean in the sense that there’s a pseudo-scientific explanation for the supernatural.
[20:28] <+DLB_Chuck> Yes. We have the advantage of more technology since DC was written though to draw from.
[20:29] <+DLB_Chuck> There are a lot of options when you think about the potential for genetic manipulation, alien DNA, nanotechnology etc
[20:29] <+DLB_Chuck> Not as much in terms of cool tech for the PCs to use though
[20:30] <+DLB_Chuck> By cool, I mean powerful. You’ll mostly find things that exist right now for the PCs to utilize like guns etc.
[20:31] <~Dan> Can PCs get their hands on alien technology?
[20:32] <+DLB_Chuck> There’s a possibility but it would be pretty rare.
[20:32] <+DLB_Chuck> The PCs are more likely to be on the abduction end of that scenario or trying to protect others from it or trying to expose the coverup that says it never happened
[20:33] <+DLB_Chuck> The primary ways PCs start the scenarios in Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space is they wake up on an alien ship that’s crashing
[20:35] <+DLB_Chuck> The kickstarter has been fun. I think we still have 19 days to go. This is a new thing for me
[20:35] <~Dan> I’m glad it’s doing so well!
[20:35] <+DLB_Chuck> It’s amazing to think how the RPG hobby has changed over the last several years.
[20:36] <+DLB_Chuck> Thanks Dan. I’m glad too. We have some really great backers and had some great support from people in the industry.
[20:37] <~Dan> Do the monsters in the game have special vulnerabilities, or are they generally vulnerable to mundane weaponry?
[20:38] <+DLB_Chuck> Some of them have special vulnerabilities due to their makeup. There are substances that possess a type of energy or energy negating qualities that interferes with things from outside our reality
[20:39] <+DLB_Chuck> The flesh eating amoeba I mentioned is basically a blob that eats all the flesh off people leaving skeletons. Calcium negates it so milk can actually be used like a weapon
[20:40] <+Teller> Woah… I came in here looking for someone, but… is this a *new edition* of the classic Don’t Look Back???????
[20:40] <~Dan> Howdy, Longspeak
[20:41] <+DLB_Chuck> Hi Longspeak
[20:42] <~Dan> It is indeed, Longspeak.
[20:42] <+DLB_Chuck> It looks like most RPGs are starting out as Kickstarters these days
[20:43] <+Longspeak> Then I will shut up and listen.
[20:43] <+DLB_Chuck> lol
[20:43] <~Dan> Longspeak: Feel free to ask questions! That’s why it’s a Q&A. 🙂
[20:44] <+DLB_Chuck> Is anybody running a horror themed adventure for Halloween?
[20:45] <~Dan> Not I, sadly.
[20:45] <+DLB_Chuck> It looks like there are several horror titles on sale right now on DriveThru
[20:46] <~Dan> Indeed.
[20:46] <+Longspeak> I plan to make scary stuff happen in my Blue Rose?
[20:47] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[20:47] <+DLB_Chuck> I haven’t played Blue Rose. What’s it like?
[20:47] <~Dan> How do the PCs tend to deal with monsters? Do they have to do research of some sort first, like in CoC? Or can they just go in with guns blazing?
[20:48] <+DLB_Chuck> They usually find them before there’s time to do much research
[20:49] <+DLB_Chuck> The research can come as part of the journey once they start trying to understand what they are dealing with
[20:49] <+DLB_Chuck> It may help them understand how to better defeat or contain it
[20:50] <~Dan> Can research do any good, though, since these are pseudo-scientific creatures rather than occult ones?
[20:50] <+DLB_Chuck> Finding evidence of similar things or how they were dealt with may point to a scientific explanation or at least a clue they could use
[20:51] * ~Dan nods
[20:51] <+DLB_Chuck> Like if you were playing a game about the book/movie It, research may not tell you a whole lot but it would tell you that children are often the target and it comes back on a fixed interval so you could be waiting
[20:52] <~Dan> I see.
[20:54] <+DLB_Chuck> Do you all think a lot of people still do gaming at conventions?
[20:54] <~Dan> Certainly.
[20:55] <+Akyla> it’s the main reason I go to conventions. To play something new.
[20:55] <+Longspeak> Absolutely.
[20:55] <+Longspeak> My local con had a record breaking year for attendance and number of events this year.
[20:56] <+DLB_Chuck> I have to put together a schedule to see which conventions I can make next year
[20:56] <+xyphoid> i get a lot of my playing at cons, yeah
[20:56] <+xyphoid> dependng on your schedule it’s easier to get a weekend of gaming than a regular night
[20:56] <+DLB_Chuck> I used to hit the convention circuit a lot but haven’t gone much in several years.
[20:56] <+DLB_Chuck> Good point xyphoid
[20:58] <+DLB_Chuck> I would like to do some playtesting in the early spring at some cons
[20:58] <~Dan> That’s a good idea.
[20:58] <+DLB_Chuck> The new versions will be on sale next summer. The Kickstart backers get theirs first in May then it should hit drivethru and some other places in june/july
[20:59] <+DLB_Chuck> I playtested the original system quite a bit at conventions and had some great feedback that helped to show what worked well and what didn’t.
[21:01] <+DLB_Chuck> What conventions do you all think are good for games? My experiences are that you get lost in the crowd at the really large conventions. I tended to like the regional ones better
[21:01] <~Dan> What made you decide to go with a new system?
[21:02] <+DLB_Chuck> I like D6xD6 quite a bit. It does many of the same things “under the hood” that my system did and it’s easy to learn. I think it does some things a little better and I like the aspect of being able to connect with other material
[21:03] * ~Dan nods
[21:03] <+DLB_Chuck> I’m not going to push out a new supplement every few months or anything. I’ve designed Don’t Look Back to be a stand-alone game that you could play with for years (I’ve got several backers who say their old rulebooks are literally disintegrating from use) but I want people to be able to find more material if they want it.
[21:04] <+DLB_Chuck> I do plan to publish more material for it but I want people to be able to get even more than I have time to produce
[21:04] <~Dan> What additional books do you have in mind?
[21:05] <+DLB_Chuck> Most likely I’ll get a team working on a new version of Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space next year. I have an unpublished supplement called The Strange Files of Dr. Sorcis that’s about 90% finished. I’ll rework it into the new mechanics and probably release it as well.
[21:06] <+DLB_Chuck> Those are really easy to get out. I was working on rules for playing kids and teenagers called “A Bump in the Night” and since it’s timely, I’ll probably hop back into that too.
[21:07] <~Dan> Sounds like a good plan.
[21:07] <+DLB_Chuck> The way the industry has shifted toward PDFs and things like DriveThruRPG opens more possibilities than there used to be
[21:08] <+DLB_Chuck> These days for me it’s more about the things I am really excited about working on
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:10] <+DLB_Chuck> One of the really neat things has been the interest from the European gaming community
[21:10] <+DLB_Chuck> Don’t Look Back always had great support from the UK and I’m glad to see that crop back up.
[21:11] <~Dan> Really? That’s cool.
[21:13] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:13] <+DLB_Chuck> I think about 30+% of the previous editions’ sales were overseas — mainly in the UK — and we may be over that for the Kickstarter. We had great support form the international community. Some of my game industry friends used to call me the David Hasselhoff of role-playing
[21:13] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[21:13] <+Longspeak> I recall adapting an adventure (which I originally ran with Chill) to use Don’t Look Back, and turned it into a grindhouse. There were 18 PCs for 6 players, and when one PC died, the player got a new PC, until the final 6 were in play, and the story escalated to the climactic confrontation… and 4 of 6 remaining PCs died. We had a blast. So I fondly remember DLB and can’t wait to give you
[21:13] <+Longspeak> my… oh wait, you spoiled it with that Hasselhoff comparison…
[21:14] <+DLB_Chuck> I just appreciate everybody’s support. Lester Smith (Dark Conspiracy, D6xD6, Dragon Dice etc.) has been pretty amazing. He was a fan of the game and I wouldn’t be doing this new edition without his encouragement and support
[21:15] <+DLB_Chuck> Dave Gross was super supportive — novelist and former Dragon Mag editor — and did an interview with me in his blog and has been sharing all the plugs for the kickstarter
[21:15] <~Dan> Awesome.
[21:15] <+DLB_Chuck> We’ve got some really nice quotes from other people in the industry on the kickstarter site (Link: http://kck.st/2ymdijl)http://kck.st/2ymdijl
[21:17] <+DLB_Chuck> (Link: http://www.skylandgames.com)www.skylandgames.com should be running something about us in the blog sometime this week too. Scott over there used to help me at GenCon and was an amazing supporter along with some of the others
[21:17] <+DLB_Chuck> Right now I’m just looking for opportunities to help get the word out more
[21:17] <+DLB_Chuck> Really excited that you put me on the schedule for tonight!
[21:17] * ~Dan nods
[21:18] <~Dan> Glad to have you. 🙂
[21:18] <+DLB_Chuck> I appreciate it
[21:19] <+DLB_Chuck> I’ll hang out for a while in case any other questions pop up but you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if anybody wants to ask a question offline
[21:19] <~Dan> As usual, anyone interested in supporting my efforts can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:19] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you!