[19:32] <+GregoryPredmore> I’m Greg, I recently wrote an RPG called Gobblin’ that’s on Kickstarter. It’s a game about fantasy world goblins that are dumped into a post-apocalyptic Earth and kind of love it. It’s still going over at (Link: http://www.goblin.house)www.goblin.house as a shortcut. (done)
[19:32] <~Dan> Thanks, GregoryPredmore! The floor is open to questions!
[19:33] <~Dan> How do the goblins get to Earth?
[19:34] <+GregoryPredmore> They become so insufferable to every other race in generic fantasy world that they pool their resources to make a massive banishing spell that targets all and any goblin and dumps them into a world that’s beyond their time and realm. Even the forces of evil got tired of them screwing up anything they enslaved them to do. (done)
[19:35] <~Dan> How would you describe your goblins?
[19:36] <+GregoryPredmore> The best kind of awful. Guys around 3 feet tall, 5 at a stretch if you feed em a lot. They’re overall the same way they are in every other fantasy setting, in that they’re the bottom of the monster food chain and society, but still kind of smug about it.
[19:37] <+GregoryPredmore> I keep pinpointing them as somewhere between a human, a cockroach, and a frog. Which their horrible eating habits and resistance to radiation and disease makes them oddly ideal for the new world they live in. Sort of lazy goons with malicious curiosity until one bigger or meaner one tells them what to do. (done)
[19:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, HDP_Dave)
[19:38] <+GregoryPredmore> ahoy
[19:39] <~Dan> What is the post-apocalyptic world like that they find themselves in?
[19:40] <+GregoryPredmore> It’s kind of a mishmash of all the other apocalypses. I ended up going fairly standardized with the apocalyptic and fantasy settings, because they don’t tend to be explored super deeply since one is in another dimension and the other’s kind of blasted empty.
[19:42] <+GregoryPredmore> I leave it vague where I can, but default to a colossal war happened after a Cold War style arms race. So it’s why there’s robots, various types of zombies, bio weapons, radiated animals, and whatever else you really feel like throwing in involved. Basically everything’s been abandoned, but the goblins keep finding “skeletons giving out free stuff!”
[19:42] <+GregoryPredmore> So a sudden absence of humanity leaves a lot of broken down hi-tech machinery and semi-preserved food, all of which is better than just about anything a goblin could make themselves anyway. (done)
[19:43] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[19:44] <~Dan> How good are the goblins at making use of abandoned technology?
[19:44] <+GregoryPredmore> Successful by trial and error…
[19:44] <+GregoryPredmore> They’ve mostly figured out what they can eat, and what guns and cars are.
[19:46] <+GregoryPredmore> It’ll vary from one to another, specifically the character’s Know score. But they mainly have to poke it a while to tell what anything more advanced does. Every so often one becomes a Tinker (one of the classes) by just gutting a lot of machinery, or become obsessed with some aspect of it like radios or building the world’s largest stilts.
[19:47] <+GregoryPredmore> So I include rules for including Goblin Tech, which is the blanket term for magic items that were lost with them or just advanced weapons and gear. I encourage them to roll to understand it, and if they fail have them just sort of find out as they play and the GM not tell them until it just goes off. (done)
[19:48] <~Dan> There are magic items?
[19:50] <+GregoryPredmore> Some, yea. I had an expanded list that included some things like elven bows and dwarven armor that they had stolen ages ago and was sent out with them when they were banished just by proximity. It was taken as an acceptable loss. There’s also goblin shamans who can do real elementary stuff (fireballs, summon vines, levitate a little, etc).
[19:51] <+GregoryPredmore> So it’s there, but tech is more prominent and about as effective. Which the shamans grumble about because now ANYBODY can kill a man from 50 feet away with a loud noise. There’s also a type of armor permitted called “imaginary armor,” which is mechanically different than no armor because they think it works. It doesn’t, but they believe that they’ll survive.
[19:52] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:52] <+GregoryPredmore> And the thing is that goblins are actually very durable if they’re not outright beheaded or ripped in half. But they haven’t realized that yet and so collapse or run away screaming from minor scrapes. (done)
[19:54] <~Dan> Are there any self-aware living beings in this world other than goblins? (Not counting robots here.)
[19:56] <+GregoryPredmore> Definitely not many. I leave stats as an option for humans, whether mutated or just your Fallout/Mad Max survivors. But they’re definitely few or else they’d still be running things rather than letting goblins take over whole facilities, apartments and forts to live in. I think I left two optional NPCs in the book.
[19:57] <~Dan> Do you have rules for mutations?
[19:58] <+GregoryPredmore> And humans can be real dangerous, because we famously mow them down by the dozen. They get to roll d20’s instead of goblins’ d12s. Beyond them, there’s a few especially crafty animals, but otherwise the GM’s call. I personally tend to leave them minimal to let the goblins make their own problems. (done)
[19:59] <+GregoryPredmore> Not mutations for the goblins so much. Some players just decide they have some extra or missing bits. I kind of threw together some for if someone wanted to play a human for the hell of it once, but it kind of ruins the mood when they just keep getting poisoned by everything the goblins just wolf down.
[20:00] <+GregoryPredmore> I have rules for artificial limbs of varying quality, if wounds go that far. (done)
[20:00] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[20:01] <+GregoryPredmore> I think I have one around… it’s relatively bare bones, but we had one of our main artist working on one. I mention that in a tight spot, you could write it on a napkin if you don’t mind looking up some things.
[20:03] <~Dan> Even a simple one would be helpful to aid in discussion of the system.
[20:03] <+GregoryPredmore> yes, ok!
[20:04] <+GregoryPredmore> found it
[20:04] <+GregoryPredmore> (Link: https://imgur.com/YgxSYlV)https://imgur.com/YgxSYlV
[20:05] <~Dan> Hmm. I can’t make out the stats…. What are they?
[20:05] <+GregoryPredmore> Bash, Brave, Run, Know, Laugh, Jerk
[20:06] <~Dan> What are Laugh and Jerk for?
[20:06] <+GregoryPredmore> Those are your social stats.
[20:06] <+GregoryPredmore> Laugh is to be liked, unassuming, funny, or bootlicking.
[20:06] <+GregoryPredmore> It’s also useful for healing others or calming them out of a panic.
[20:07] <+GregoryPredmore> Jerk is the more popular one, because it’s how you act socially awful. It’s for intimidating, lying, stealing and bullying. Most of the good leaders are jerks.
[20:07] <+GregoryPredmore> Well, “good.” The most common and effective leaders.
[20:07] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:08] <~Dan> Are there skills, or is everything based on stats?
[20:08] <+GregoryPredmore> There’s no skills, but there’s various other things that can influence your rolls. Gear, obviously, for one.
[20:09] <~Dan> What is the basic system?
[20:09] <+GregoryPredmore> But when you make your goblin, you have a three ways to create them. If you build from the ground up or roll randomly, you get a Perk or two. Basically small or specific bonuses or traits.
[20:10] <+GregoryPredmore> Or you pick a Specialty, one of the 13 classes with various benefits, drawbacks, and stat requirements.
[20:10] <+GregoryPredmore> Which tends to have stuff like the Headroc, who gets higher unarmed damage and takes more Wounds, but he refuses to use any other melee weapons than headbutts and gradually takes brain damage if he does it too much.
[20:11] <+GregoryPredmore> The basic system is d12. With 100% respect to D20 systems, I wanted to make it feel like old DnD style, but “dumber.”
[20:12] <+GregoryPredmore> goblins have real low HP, so roughly 8-10 tends to be the norm. If they run out, they don’t die. They take a small penalty based on what Wound they get, and then roll Brave to not realize they’re bleeding and run screaming into the apocalypse.
[20:13] <+GregoryPredmore> Because if you do that, and nobody stops you by force or shouting, the GM just has free reign to kill them off. Because they’re likely to run into a speeding car, landmine, hungry bear, or something that’ll actually end them.
[20:13] <+GregoryPredmore> But yea, speaking bare bones, almost everything is d12 + that Stat
[20:14] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:16] <+GregoryPredmore> It’s pretty similar to the oldschool ways as well. I even had a stat-to-bonus style chart like old DnD before the testers were like “Why bother?” But it’s roll initiative, take turns acting. Everyone gets a Big Action and a Small Action. Small’s stuff like moving around a little or switching weapons.
[20:16] <+GregoryPredmore> Big is trying to punch, shoot, pick a lock, or the one thing you’ve got enough brainpower to focus on.
[20:17] <+GregoryPredmore> And just goes around until someone runs away, stops the fight, or you smash the other to bits. I’ve been pleased to find players a lot more open to just running for it when they can afford to.
[20:17] <+GregoryPredmore> Or in one case, running away just to return with a bulldozer, screaming the entire time.
[20:19] <+GregoryPredmore> (done)
[20:20] <~Dan> How is damage determined?
[20:23] <+GregoryPredmore> It varies from weapon to creature. I took a page from Gamma World with the weapons, by making about 8 types of them in broad groups (sword, club, ranged, big gun, etc). Players love defining what those are, so they’re going around with potato guns, tennis rackets, railroad spikes, and such. Then it’s kind of balanced as best I can between accuracy and all.
[20:23] <~Dan> But how is damage rated?
[20:24] <+GregoryPredmore> It goes from things like a d6 to 1d12 or 2d4+Bash, based on what you’re packing.
[20:25] <+GregoryPredmore> And monsters get their own Threat rating, which kind of gives them a point pool to bump up their damage or HP and all when custom-making them.
[20:25] * ~Dan nods
[20:26] <+GregoryPredmore> And generally a Wound is when your goblin’s HP hits 0, which just means he’s hurt enough to care about it or is missing enough bits that he’s hindered. If one of those answers the question!
[20:26] <+GregoryPredmore> Or if 3 of those stack or someone deals double your HP, you’re legit dying unless someone does some makeshift field medicine. Because again, roach-like. Goblins can live a minute or two without a head.
[20:27] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[20:29] <~Dan> What does a typical adventure in this game look like?
[20:30] <+GregoryPredmore> Literally my first game I ran was the chief calls you to his hut, hands them a map written in marker on a paper towel, and says “don’t come back until you bring back a lot of food.”
[20:31] <+GregoryPredmore> It’s real big on exploring and scavenging and settling into their new world. It usually falls into finding a place or object that the players, as being capable but unimportant to the boss, are thrown at to see what it does.
[20:32] <+GregoryPredmore> So a lot of picking through the remains of a much darker storyline that they don’t care about. Or dealing with the literal and metaphorical fallout of the ruined human world.
[20:33] <+GregoryPredmore> And goblins all instinctively assigning a chief is helpful, because he’s a lazy boss who keeps going “What is that? I want it. Go get it.” While feeding some 10-50 goblins.
[20:33] <+GregoryPredmore> So it often boils down to roadtrip through the weird wastelands.
[20:33] <+GregoryPredmore> (done)
[20:34] <~Dan> Do you include a bestiary?
[20:35] <+GregoryPredmore> Short answer is yes! I’ve got about 15 in there of various threat levels, from just mutated wolves and zombies to war robots.
[20:36] <+GregoryPredmore> I originally had about 50 of them before we realized how that WRECKED our word count, because they all had origins and details, so we’re looking to make that into an expansion book. Lotta Lore’s supposed to have basically a monster manual and a table for rolling up Goblin Tech items.
[20:37] <~Dan> Is that a stretch goal?
[20:40] <+GregoryPredmore> yup, at the $9,000 tier, or if it just sells well later we’ll follow it up with that. If we get $3500, then I’m writing up Going Green, a slightly more manageable book that will be full of prewritten adventures of various length.
[20:42] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:42] <~Dan> Is Gobblin’ your first attempt at a published RPG?
[20:44] <+GregoryPredmore> Definitely for me. I’ve been writing games of various quality just for fun for years now, but never committed to making them real until this one grabbed me just right. I happened to follow The Drunk and The Ugly podcast, who did their own RPG Kickstarter a few years ago.
[20:44] <~Dan> What’s your gaming history?
[20:44] <+GregoryPredmore> Their main host mentioned how he technically owned a publishing company because of it, and I asked them to manage this one for me. And thankfully were able to apply their bumps from the last one to make this go smoothly.
[20:46] <+GregoryPredmore> It’s a bit roundabout, really… I basically just met an older guy in high school who told me his more amusing D&D stories, and invited me over to play one day. It was generally fun, but schedules made it so I only played once or twice.
[20:46] <+GregoryPredmore> But I decided to run it for my friends who had never played, but couldn’t afford 5 hardcover books, so I Googled whatever I could find and made up the rest to fill in the blanks, and none of us were the wiser.
[20:47] <+GregoryPredmore> But that went on in various incarnations until about 5 years ago, when I started listening to RPPR and Drunk and Ugly and went “Wait! There’s more than two flavors of d20 in RPGs?!”
[20:47] <+GregoryPredmore> I started running some of the strangers stuff like Monsters and Other Childish Things over Skype with some people I roped in off the forums and just kept experimenting from there.
[20:48] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:48] <+GregoryPredmore> So yea, I’ve been technically making RPGs about as long as I’ve been playing them.
[20:50] <~Dan> Do you have any plans for future games?
[20:52] <+GregoryPredmore> Very loosely. I’ve got some half-baked ones for kobolds or ogres that I’m not sure how far I’ll go with. And I do feel like I could write and run Gobblin’ content forever. I know it’s a real open market, so I want to make sure it’s unique enough to be worth writing, playing and reading.
[20:52] * ~Dan nods
[20:53] <+GregoryPredmore> All I have so far are ogres having a culture where leaders aren’t allowed to be TOO smart, or kobolds having an elaborate political culture with lots of intrigue that changes players’ stats based on who everyone else is playing as.
[20:53] <+GregoryPredmore> And yea, lots and lots of unfinished ideas or playtests I’d like to run to see what stands out.
[20:54] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[20:55] <~Dan> How does goblin magic work?
[20:56] <+GregoryPredmore> Poorly. I mentioned how they can only really do basic stuff, which I tend to summarize as whatever a Level 1 Wizard could do, and that’s if they’re committed to that lifestyle. I drop a few examples under the Specialty description, but it’s all things they have to be able to directly see and understand.
[20:57] <+GregoryPredmore> They can shoot lightning, because they’ve seen lightning.
[20:57] <+GregoryPredmore> They can’t teleport or read minds, because that gets a little metaphysical.
[20:57] <+GregoryPredmore> And they couldn’t turn you into a dog because they don’t get how that would even happen.
[20:58] <+GregoryPredmore> But most tribes have one or two older ones who live in huts with cauldrons and big staffs, doing their best to maintain what little history and culture they have
[21:00] <~Dan> How does magic work in terms of the system, though?
[21:04] <+GregoryPredmore> Oh, it’s specifically for the Shaman Specialty, or if you take a specific Perk that lets you access a single spell of theirs. That Specialty just has an ability that says “you can use magic. Here’s some things it can do.”
[21:04] <~Dan> What do you roll to use it?
[21:05] <+GregoryPredmore> And they can use Know to attack enemies or roll it similarly if they want to grab someone who’s falling or make a minor illusion or something.
[21:06] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[21:07] <~Dan> How high tech is the tech the goblins can scavenge?
[21:09] <+GregoryPredmore> I did my best to leave most of the Specialties and at least a few Perks with real broad abilities like that to give folks some wiggle room.
[21:11] <+GregoryPredmore> Just the Know score.
[21:12] <+GregoryPredmore> d12+Know to zap or levitate something or what have you.
[21:13] <+GregoryPredmore> They just have a drawback of Traditionalist, so that Know score is voided if they’re using technology.
[21:15] <+GregoryPredmore> (done, unless my internet is acting up right now)
[21:15] <+GregoryPredmore> (which is possible)
[21:15] <+GregoryPredmore> It’s scifi level, in a vaguely distant future where there was an arms race to make something crazy and risky enough that it would beat everyone else. So things like a personal robot butler, a tank with a built in AI, jet packs, laser weapons, nanomachines…
[21:15] <+GregoryPredmore> One I wrote in that I particularly enjoyed was the remote to a weather controlling satellite.
[21:15] <+GregoryPredmore> Or just a functional chainsaw or flamethrower can make their day.
[21:16] <~Dan> Heh. I’ll bet. 🙂
[21:16] <+GregoryPredmore> I tend to go with anything you can ALMOST explain with science, so some of it can get real Jetsons. Just that’s been through a nuke.
[21:16] <+GregoryPredmore> Which I’m not willing to put past Jetsons…
[21:16] <+GregoryPredmore> (done)
[21:17] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:18] <+GregoryPredmore> There’s one point I do always like to bring up that was a happy accident, and that was using the d12 mechanic.
[21:18] <+GregoryPredmore> It started as a joke, because if a human or an elf rolls a d20, goblins are only worthy of a d12. About half as good, kind of funny looking, and nobody really uses them.
[21:19] <+GregoryPredmore> People playing comment a lot about how they finally have a use for their d12’s now. But my real favorite part of it is that it also increases the odds of a crit.
[21:19] <+GregoryPredmore> 1 being instant and impressive failure, 12 being stunning success. And all the best stories from RPGs end up with “and then I critted.”
[21:20] <+GregoryPredmore> So it does a nice job representing them, on top of their blind luck and hopeless stupidity.
[21:20] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[21:22] <+GregoryPredmore> I did another interview lately where we kept going back to the same thing that gets the goblins through a lot of their problems: “stupidity works.”
[21:22] <~Dan> As usual, folks interested in backing my Q&A efforts can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:22] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:23] <+GregoryPredmore> In a sense of game design and problem-solving. Because I’ve looooved me some dark and interpersonal games, but everyone I’ve heard from gets really into the spirit and just has fun with this game, and I need some dumb fun once in a while.
[21:23] <~Dan> Doesn’t everyone? 🙂
[21:24] <+GregoryPredmore> Oh absolutely. Need to vent it out somewhere
[21:24] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:24] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, GregoryPredmore!
[21:24] <+GregoryPredmore> Oh, it was a pleasure!
[21:25] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂