[19:29] <+Chris> Hi I’m Chris, the Author of Ascendant Destiny.
[19:29] <+Chris> A fantasy roleplaying system whose main strengths are: flexibility that is independent of setting, balanced system that scales well and meaningful progression
[19:30] <+Chris> I’m an Ambulance Attendant from Melbourne Australia and a long term geek
[19:31] <+Chris> I was first introduced to RPGs when I was 17 (17 years ago) while I was at university
[19:31] <+Chris> I loved them straight away and within months I was running my own games as a GM.
[19:32] <~Dan> (wb, jason)
[19:32] <+Chris> However, I found that a lot of the games I was involved with had systems that where either too specialised to a particular setting or were too unrealistic.
[19:33] <+Chris> So I started making Ascendant Destiny. It has been at least 15 years with roughly an equal amount of time play-testing
[19:33] <+Chris> (done)
[19:34] <~Dan> Thanks, Chris! The floor is open to questions!
[19:34] <~Dan> So the game doesn’t have an associated setting?
[19:37] <+Chris> I intended for the system to not have a setting. If anything it has a high fantasy setting. I do use my own setting in games I run. I have been writing my own setting for the same period of time that covers roughly 4000 years of history, but that is not part of the book.
[19:37] <~Dan> Gotcha. So it has more of an implied high fantasy setting?
[19:38] <+Chris> That’s correct, but the setting has been used by a friend to run a sci-fi game. With a little creative input he was able to do so easily
[19:39] <~Dan> Cool… Can you describe the game’s task resolution mechanic?
[19:42] <+Chris> The core dice rolling mechanic for the system is rolling d10s. The player rolls a number of dice equal to their skill (with the occasional modifier) and totals up the final result. The result is obtained by picking the highest result and adding a bonus to the result for each other high scoring dice.
[19:43] <~Dan> Are there attributes as well as skills?
[19:45] <+Chris> Yes, there are attributes. The attributes are used to determine the natural talent that the character has for the skills. Attributes also add to the derived stats of the character. Stats such as hit points, power points and vigour
[19:46] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted that we can see?
[19:49] <~Dan> wb, ChrisAscendantDestiny! Lost your connection?
[19:51] <~Dan> You there, Chris?
[19:51] <~Dan> wb, ChrisAscendantDestiny!
[19:51] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I got dced sorry
[19:51] <~Dan> No problem!
[19:51] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Australian internet lol
[19:51] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[19:52] <~Dan> I’m assuming you missed my last question. Do you have a character sheet we can see?
[19:53] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I am going to do an update on Kickstarter that explains the character sheet today actually. I have teasers on the Ascendant Destiny Instagram
[19:54] <~Dan> No problem. It just helps system discussion if one’s available.
[19:54] <~Dan> What are the components of a character?
[19:54] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I could post it on facebook. I have recently had an artist remake the character sheet.
[19:54] <~Dan> That would work.
[19:55] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Uploading now
[19:56] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> The components of a character include the following: Attributes, trained skills, professions, abilities, feats, magic and virtues
[19:57] <+xyphoid> so what do you do in this game – what’s a default session look like
[20:00] <~Dan> (Checking to see if we lost him again.)
[20:01] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Ascendant Destiny is a tabletop RPG. A typical session would be 4-6 friends sitting around a table with some snack food, lots of dice and some character sheets. Sometimes we use miniatures if there is a combat to give a visual of what is happening.
[20:04] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> (Link: https://www.facebook.com/AscendantDestiny/)https://www.facebook.com/AscendantDestiny/
[20:04] <~Dan> What sorts of characters are available to play?
[20:05] <~Dan> (Races, etc.0
[20:05] <~Dan> )
[20:07] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Races would be dependent on the setting so that would be up to the GM, however, there are default races in the rules to get you started. The races in chapter 2 are Human, elf, half-elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, orc, goblin and ogre. In the advanced rules there are examples of werewolves, vampires and minotaurs.
[20:08] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> There is a guide in the advanced rules (chapter 12) on how to create races and how to balance them
[20:08] <~Dan> (wb, ChrisAscendantDestiny)
[20:09] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Did you get my last two replies?
[20:09] <~Dan> I think so. “…and how to balance them”?
[20:10] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Yep
[20:11] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Ok, as for character you can play, you can craft whatever fantasy character you want. There are four chapters dedicated to spell casters: sorcery, priest, shaman and druid
[20:11] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> (done)
[20:12] <~Dan> Do you offer any unusual twists on the standard fantasy races?
[20:12] <+xyphoid> Sorry, I meant what do your characters do
[20:13] <+xyphoid> like if you were writing a representative adventure or the like
[20:16] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I personally like to run long games that I call campaigns. A campaign that I write typically goes for 40-60 sessions (so 1 – 2 years real world time). In that time the players play the same character in the same story as they work toward defeating the big bad.
[20:16] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> The player’s character progress to epic levels on the journey.
[20:17] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I have run single session games using the system and I have also adapted pathfinder modules into the Ascendant Destiny rules and used those.
[20:18] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Does that answer your question Xyphoid?
[20:19] <+xyphoid> I’m more trying to get at like what’s the plot of a default adventure
[20:20] <+xyphoid> are you just D&D-style adventurers?
[20:22] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I am a D&D-style personally. I love the high fantasy setting! However, Ascendant Destiny has been used in a sci-fi campaign and I have faith that it can be used in any setting.
[20:23] <~Dan> (wb, KJ2)
[20:24] <~Dan> Can you describe the differences between the four types of magic/spellcasters?
[20:25] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> The last game that I ran went for over 50 sessions (about two years) and it was about the characters finding out that they were actually powerful beings called fate weavers that were brought together by fate. They had to find out more about their past lives and eventually put an end to a plot to destroy a continent called Chak.
[20:25] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Sure Dan
[20:27] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Sorcerers are like you bread and butter wizards. They learn from books or through careful (or not so careful) experimentation. These types of spell casters can have a very broad range of spells chosen from 8 different schools of magic
[20:28] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Priests gain their powers through devotion to a deity or concept. Most of the time the spells they cast are powered by their own essence, however, the priest can call upon their deity for more direct intervention.
[20:29] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Shamans gain their spells from the more chaotic elemental voodoo style and spirits.
[20:29] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> and sheer force of will
[20:30] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Druids gain their spells from the worship of nature. These spells all have something to do with preserving nature or feeling the wraith of nature.
[20:31] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> All four types have a lot of variety
[20:31] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> You could have a party entirely composed of druids and they’d all be different
[20:31] <~Dan> What are the limits on spellcasting (e.g. spells per day, magic points, fatigue, etc.)?
[20:32] <+xyphoid> do non-casters get interesting things to do in combat?
[20:32] <+xyphoid> eg fighting moves etc
[20:32] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Most of the spells (80-90%) are non combat spells.
[20:33] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:33] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> For spell casting in combat the characters mostly use eruptions of raw magic rather than using spells. Thus spell casters and non-spell casters actually fight in a very similar manner
[20:34] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> For both spell casters and non-spell casters there are different ‘combat styles’ which are covered in the core rules (chapter 11)
[20:35] <~Dan> (back)
[20:36] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> For non-caster characters there are many feats and special abilities/stances etc. hat they can use. There are also very flexible rules for deflecting arrows or spells with your melee weapon. Non-casters definitely don’t miss out. There is a lot for them
[20:37] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> (done)
[20:37] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> To answer Dan’s question
[20:37] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Spells use Power points. There is no spells per day mechanic as such
[20:38] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Cool non-casting abilities also use power points
[20:38] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Power points regenerate over time (usually per hour)
[20:38] <~Dan> What determines starting Power points?
[20:40] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Starting Power points are dependent on charisma and essence. There are many feat that add to power points though. So a starting character can have as little as 6 PP… but most casters have about 18 to start with
[20:40] * ~Dan nods
[20:40] <~Dan> What are Essence, Divinity, and Celestial Weight?
[20:40] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Plus you can still fight with magic even if you are out of PP. You just can’t cast spells
[20:41] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Essence is your character’s ability to shape magic and the degree that magic is attracted to them
[20:41] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Both divinity and Celestial weight are your character’s epic stats
[20:42] <~Dan> Epic stats?
[20:43] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Celestial Weight is a passive gauge of how powerful your character is and is derived from your character’s high stats and the number of people who worship them. It has no mechanical impact on the game other than being a requirement for divinity
[20:44] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Divinity is an Advanced rule used to buy Divine feats. Each point of divinity monsterously increases your character’s stats and power level
[20:45] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Going back to cool combat abilities…
[20:46] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Ascendant Destiny has a mechanic called Vigour
[20:47] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Vigour is a measure of your character’s ability to avoid being hit in combat and I like to equate it to James Bond
[20:48] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> When you are attacked and you don’t defend well, you can spend Vigour points to increase your roll in order to avoid being hit
[20:48] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> So if there is an attack you really want to avoid, you can… so long as you have enough vigour.
[20:49] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> It represents your character spending their willpower and energy towards avoiding being hit. Eventually though your vigour can run out
[20:49] * ~Dan nods
[20:49] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> (done)
[20:50] <~Dan> So they’re akin to low-end “hero points”?
[20:50] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Yes, you could say that. When I added it to the system it added an awesome dimension to the game
[20:51] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> All characters have vigour
[20:51] <~Dan> What determines Vigour?
[20:51] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Some have a lot more than others… some have more hit poitns
[20:52] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Starting vigour is determined by the charisma attribute, and the intuition and dodge skills. It is further modified by feats and later on by Epic strength and epic Dexterity
[20:54] <~Dan> Now, I see some skills say that they’re based on “physical” and “mental” rather than specific attributes. What does that mean in game terms?
[20:55] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> It means you use the highest of those attributes to determine natural talent. Natural talent for a skill determines how high you can advance the skill before it starts getting more costly to do so
[20:56] <~Dan> So the attributes don’t form the base of associated skills?
[20:57] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Melee, for example is physical. Meaning you use your highest physical attribute as natural talent (i.e. strength, dex or con)
[20:57] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Not for trained skills. Trained skills start at 0 unless you put points in them. Abilities on the other hand…
[20:59] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Abilities start with a number of points in them equal to half your natural talent (rounded down). As your attributes increase so do your abilities. Abilities can also be trained exclusively to be higher
[21:00] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> (individually rather than exclusively)
[21:00] <~Dan> And I’m guessing that Education/Profession skills aren’t related to attributes at all?
[21:02] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> That’s correct. Education/professions/specialisations etc. do not have natural talent and are for those specialised skills that you want your character to have. They can be used as skills in their own right but can be used to bolster other skills. This is covered in chapter 4
[21:02] <~Dan> You’ve touched on this a bit, but can you give us a high-level overview of combat?
[21:03] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Examples can include blacksmithing, readin/writing, playing an instrument, duel-weapon specialisation
[21:03] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Combat is done in rounds.
[21:03] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Each round represents approximately 6 seconds.
[21:04] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Each round character’s can make one action
[21:04] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Actions can be split. So the character can make more than one action, but at a penalty
[21:05] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Because of the dice rolling mechanic, it becomes better at higher levels to split your actions as your character becomes more powerful
[21:06] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> When an attack is made, the target must defend
[21:07] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Defences are passive (i.e. they don’t need actions), however, if the character wants to defend against multiple actions in one round, it starts to get more difficult.
[21:08] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Attacks can be melee, ranged or magical. Defences can also be melee, ranged or magical
[21:09] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Whenever a character is attacked they are given a chance to defend themselves. Characters may defend themselves using whatever combat skill they wish (for example, a character may choose to defend using their melee or archery skill, or even their concentration skill (if they are capable of casting spells)).
[21:09] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Whilst it is possible to use any combat skill to defend, it is more difficult to defend against attacks that are made using a different skill than the one used to defend. For example, it is harder to defend against magic attacks using a sword. Finally, a character is able to defend against any attack using their dodge skill instead of a combat skill.
[21:10] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> (done)
[21:10] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:11] <~Dan> I think this question may have gotten missed from earlier: Do you offer any unusual twists on the standard fantasy races?
[21:11] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> As I’ve said, it may sound complex, but it is actually all rather elegant. I’ve put a lot of effort into simplifying the rules. Plus there is over 14 years of play-testing 😀
[21:12] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:13] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I feel that the races a GM decides to use in their campaign is up to them. You can made the races a lot more unusual if you want. In my personal setting I sometimes have very cultured orcs.
[21:13] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Some races in Ascendant Destiny are slightly more powerful than others
[21:14] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> To balance that, those more powerful races get less Freebie points during character creation
[21:14] * ~Dan nods
[21:14] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Freebie points are used to round out a character during character creation. It balances out in the end.
[21:16] <~Dan> Do you include a bestiary in the game?
[21:18] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> No bestiary at the moment. However, it is one of the things I’m thinking of including if the Kickstarter really takes off. At the moment the four spell casting chapters have a small bestiary at the end of them to show what kind of creatures they can summon. I’m considering putting them all into a new chapter and adding to them.
[21:18] * ~Dan nods
[21:19] <~Dan> I’m a sucker for a good bestiary. 🙂
[21:19] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:19] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I really want to commission some cool monster pics so I’m pretty keen to make it a thing
[21:21] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I’m going to be doing a chapter by chapter teaser in the updates section of the Kickstarter.
[21:21] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> For those who want to know more information 🙂
[21:21] <~Dan> Good to know!
[21:22] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Also remember that one of the pledge rewards gets you an early version of the rules so you can get stuck into it
[21:22] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> And also, one of the Kickstarter rewards is to get you RPG character’s illustration into the book!
[21:22] <~Dan> Nice!
[21:23] <~Dan> Quick note: Those wishing to support my Q&As can do so at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ .
[21:23] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> I’m super excited about the whole thing! I hope that other people out their can enjoy my work as much as my friends and I do!
[21:24] <~Dan> I hope so as well. 🙂
[21:24] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Chris!
[21:25] <+ChrisAscendantDestiny> Thank you so much for having me!
[21:26] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂