[20:43] <+Dom9Dragons> I’m Dom Parry and I own and run Nine Dragons RPG Ltd out of Hong Kong. We are Hong Kong’s premier English Language RPG publisher. At present we have three games published, Honour, a modern day fantasy RPG based on Asian Mythology; Honour Students, a LITE version of Honour that allows players to be University students in a kind of pre-Honour setting.
[20:44] <+Dom9Dragons> …and Rats and Rabbits, an RPG for 5-7 year olds.
[20:44] <+Dom9Dragons> We are currently developing Honour 2nd Ed and another game, The Flintlock Role-Playing Game. That’s it for now!
[20:45] <~Dan> Thanks, Dom9Dragons! The floor is open to questions!
[20:45] <~Dan> Can you tell us a bit more about the setting of Honour?
[20:46] <+Dom9Dragons> Sure.
[20:47] <+Dom9Dragons> Honour has two main inspirations, general Asian mythology (I’m a lifetime resident of HK and as a kid grew up watching Chinese/Japanese movies and cartoons) and an historic location we used to have her in HK, the Kowloon Walled City.
[20:48] <+Dom9Dragons> The KWC was an amazing place with an incredible history which I’ll summarise here:
[20:50] <+Dom9Dragons> Before the Brits took HK in the Opium Wars, it was all part of China. So, in the remote southern outpost of HK they Chinese army had a fort. It was manned, but only with a minimal force. After the Brits took HK the fort remained with a force. Eventually the Brits said enough is enough, get the soldiers out, so the left. But sovereignty never changed.
[20:51] <+Doctor> I’m not familiar with Honour, what’s the elevator pitch?
[20:52] <+Dom9Dragons> Fast forward to the early 20th C and refugees from China started arriving in HK. They looked about for land to build a home on and found the site of the fort. They built. More arrived, they added. The “city” grew, but mostly upwards as it was a restricted area. Eventually, by about 1950, there was a city state within HK over which the HK govt and police
[20:52] <+Dom9Dragons> had no jursidiction! It was a city of vice, crime and adventure. It was a vertaical dungeon for the modern world! It was the inspiration for Honour!
[20:54] <+Dom9Dragons> Doctor, Big Trouble in Little China meets Crouching Tiger, Directed by John Woo!
[20:54] <+Dom9Dragons> (Doves optional)
[20:55] <+Doctor> Six demon bags will always sell with me. You mentioned flintlocks?
[20:56] <+Dom9Dragons> Doctor, yeah, that’s another project. We signed a deal with Time Bomb Comics of the UK to create and publish a game based on their comic series “Flintlock”. It has just entered play-testing.
[20:56] <+Dom9Dragons> Anyone intersted in getting on the play-test train can contact us at (Link: http://www.ninedra9onsrpg.com/contact)http://www.ninedra9onsrpg.com/contact
[20:57] <~Dan> Who are the PCs in Honour?
[20:57] <+Doctor> What are the mechanics of Honour, and how do you believe they reflect the core concepts/aspects of the game?
[20:57] <~Dan> (Howdy, Snoof!)
[20:58] <+Doctor> I’ll defer to Dan
[20:59] <+Dom9Dragons> Glad you asked. In Honour the PCs are “awakened” members of society. We imagine the game being set in HK, but it takes no effort at all to locate it anywhere in the world. The character creation system is important, you create a PC in two stages, the Slumber and the Awakening.
[21:00] <+Dom9Dragons> In the Slumber you create a well rounded, skilled up individual with skills from both legitimate and criminal careers. This part of the creation process really builds background.
[21:02] <+Dom9Dragons> In the Awakening phase your PC has a number of experiences that introduce them to the world of Demons, Charmed Ones, Sorcery and The Between Spaces. We like to think of Character Creation as the Pilot Episode to the Series that will become your character! (We all watch too much telly, or TV if you are not a brit)
[21:02] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:03] <+Doctor> So, I’ll return to my question: What are the mechanics of Honour, and how do you believe they reflect the core concepts/aspects of the game?
[21:04] <+Dom9Dragons> Doctor, sorry, missed that in the thread.
[21:04] <~Dan> (brb — please continue!)
[21:04] <+Doctor> No worries, I deferred to Dan
[21:04] <+Dom9Dragons> Honour uses a d12 based original system.
[21:04] <+Doctor> I’ll keep him busy dan)
[21:05] <+Dom9Dragons> We wanted to reflect Asian culture and mythology from across the continent. That’s a big place with a plethora of ideas.
[21:06] <+Dom9Dragons> After a lot of research we came up with the three obvious areas of Physical, Mental and Emotional abilities. Then we watched A Better Tomorrow again and added Coolness, because, y’know, it’s our game!
[21:07] <~Dan> (back)
[21:08] <+Dom9Dragons> So characters have those four areas and each divides into Strength, Grace and Resilience. This gives your PC a final 12 Aspects and these aspects control the Skills that you can use.
[21:08] <+Wreiterblock> What will we get from your game that we won’t get from an others? What challenges are unique to your game?
[21:10] <+Dom9Dragons> Wreiterblock, In Honour PCs are Awakened and with that comes the realisation that Balance is the true state of any reality. The universe is made of Qi energy and that itself is composed of Yin and Yang. PCs strive to maintain that balance, so rather than the trad idea of fighting for good vs evil (or vice versa) they represent balance.
[21:11] <+Dom9Dragons> We have a mechanic that rewards PCs who keep the balance.
[21:11] <+Doctor> So what aspects of the mechanics add to the game play in key ways? I know from experience that building a system from scratch is no small undertaking. Usually, it’s done to facilitate something other systems just don’t do. How is “Balance” expressed in the system?
[21:11] <+Dom9Dragons> But just to keep things interesting, that same mechanism also allows you to decide to move away from balance and receive temporay, but powerful advantages…
[21:11] <~Dan> Hmm… Does that mean that they might find themselves attacking nuns to prevent there from being too much good out there? 🙂
[21:12] <+Dom9Dragons> DAn, that’s entirely up to you as the GM.
[21:12] <+Dom9Dragons> But I’m always up for a scrap with Nuns! I was raised a catholic.
[21:12] <+Dom9Dragons> If a PC strays too far from balance and too close the EITHER Yin or Yang, bad things can happen.
[21:13] <+Dom9Dragons> Doctor, does that answer your question?
[21:14] <+Doctor> To a degree. You’ve told me what you can get by violating the balance… what is the incentive to keep it?
[21:15] <+Dom9Dragons> Similar thing. The Emotion characteristic indicates your PCs ability to control Qi.
[21:16] <+Dom9Dragons> The closer the PC is to that balance point, the more effective their ability to control Qi, and the more able they are to use sorcery and perform cool Wire-Fu/Gun-Fu type things.
[21:16] <+Doctor> Are there more nuanced outcomes than “success” and “failure” in the system?
[21:17] <+Dom9Dragons> Indeed there are. I am a big believer in letting GMs and players co-construct the story, so our nuances are basically success, little bit of extra success/failure, medium amount of extra, whopping big wonderful/problematic amount.
[21:18] <+Dom9Dragons> We suggest players suggest what the consequence might be and the GM then moderate that if necessary.
[21:18] <+Dom9Dragons> Usually players are pretty realistic and enjoy the autonomy.
[21:19] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[21:20] <+Dom9Dragons> Yes. A PDF, it has a Development section and a Game section.
[21:21] <+Dom9Dragons> Can it be shared here?
[21:22] <~Dan> If you have it posted somewhere, you can post the link to it.
[21:23] <+Dom9Dragons> Ok. It isn’t posted right now, but I can add it to the Members area of our site, then folk can visit if they want. I’ll have a go while we are chatting!
[21:24] <~Dan> Okay, cool. I find that having a character sheet to see helps with rules discussion.
[21:24] <~Dan> What sorts of unusual abilities do the PCs possess?
[21:25] <+Dom9Dragons> God, question …
[21:27] <+Dom9Dragons> Skillswise you will see the usual stuff, but we do have some fun things in their, such as Brew Tea, Cook Chili, Dance like a Fool, Jammy B*st*rd.
[21:27] <+Dom9Dragons> AFK
[21:31] <+Dom9Dragons> Sorry, back now. Geocachers at the door!
[21:31] <~Dan> Geocachers?
[21:31] <+Dom9Dragons> My other hobby. One of them. Google it, but basically you hide things and other people find them!
[21:32] <~Dan> Ah, cool. 🙂
[21:32] <~Dan> So! Unusual abilities… 🙂
[21:32] <+Dom9Dragons> As wel as the skills is the Sorcery/Tech system that we think is quite original (but I’m sure other games must have something similar, just not the games I have seen).
[21:33] <+Dom9Dragons> First off we take the magic is just technology you don’t understand approach to sorcery and tech.
[21:34] <~Dan> Can all the PCs use sorcery?
[21:35] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, yes, if their Emotional Grace is sufficient. The system has a kind of menu of elements that players or GMs can pick from to construct effects.
[21:36] <+Doctor> Elaborate on that?
[21:36] <+Dom9Dragons> Say you wanted to levitate 10m, you could do that by considering the mass and distance you wished to move using Qi energy.
[21:38] <+Dom9Dragons> So, I look at the “menu” and see that moving something of human size is a level 6 Qi manipulation. Moving a distance of 10m is another level 6 manipulation.
[21:39] <+Dom9Dragons> That will require me to throw under my Emotional Grace level on 12d12 (that is the roll at it’s most basic, ther are some opportunities to moderate the result).
[21:40] <+Dom9Dragons> Also, I would need ato have a Qi Skill level of at least 6 to perform such a sorcery.
[21:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[21:41] <+Dom9Dragons> Tech works in almost exactly the same way, but with Mental grace as the foundation for success.
[21:42] <~Dan> What sorts of thing can Qi manipulation accomplish?
[21:44] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, anything that you can imagine and that can be defined from the “menu”. We want it to be an open system. Of course, the GM has the final say, but ain’t that the Second Law of Role-Playing?
[21:44] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[21:45] <+Dom9Dragons> The first being inspired by GBS and his improvement on the Golden Rule, Treat as players as you can best ascertain they wish to treated; ask if you’re not sure.
[21:45] <+Dom9Dragons> other, not as
[21:45] <~Dan> You mentioned previously that there are multiple forms of spellcasting?
[21:46] <+Dom9Dragons> Look, if you can explain itin the terms of Range, Mass, Speed, Targets(living things), Duration, Damage and a couple of other exotic categories, then you can construct the sorcery.
[21:47] <+Dom9Dragons> Now, casting that, well that’s another matter.
[21:47] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, sorry, crossed over there.
[21:47] <~Dan> No problem!
[21:47] <+Dom9Dragons> Yes, you have improvised sorcery, as we have just discussed, learned and Clan Sorcery.
[21:48] <+Dom9Dragons> Learned is exactly the same as improvised but your PC spends some time practicing and learning a spell. This makes casting approximately twice as easy as improvised.
[21:49] <+Dom9Dragons> The catch with learned is that you can only learn as many spells as you have Qi Levels.
[21:49] <+Dom9Dragons> So you are probavbly still going to need to use some improv, and that;s cool because improv is good for the soul!
[21:50] <~Dan> Indeed!
[21:50] <~Dan> And what’s Clan Sorcery like?
[21:51] <+Dom9Dragons> My favourite sorcerers are Art Blakey, Steve Lacy and Theloniuos Monk!
[21:51] <+Dom9Dragons> Clan sorcery is truly powerful, but very difficult to get your little PC hands on.
[21:52] <+Dom9Dragons> The Clans in Honour are those of the elements. Fire. Water. Air. Earth. Metal.
[21:53] <+Dom9Dragons> Each specialises in a type of sorcery. If you can join a clan (long term campaign motivation/goal/carrot) you will gain access to that clans library of sorceries.
[21:53] <+Dom9Dragons> These are ancient and powerful castings with Qi energy built into them, a bit like a solar powered calculator!
[21:54] <~Dan> Are wire fu/gun fu moves treated as sorcery?
[21:54] <+Dom9Dragons> The sorceries are much easier to cast (still some chance of failure though, have to keep people on their toes) and can do things that improv/learned sorceries can’t.
[21:55] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, re wire-fu/gun-fu.
[21:55] <+Dom9Dragons> No, but yes.
[21:56] <~Dan> ?
[21:56] <+Dom9Dragons> What I mean is their are non-sorcerous ways to learn those skills to an extent, but you could use sorcery to replicate some elements of those skills if you wanted to, an obvious example would be flying.
[21:57] <+Dom9Dragons> The conflict system has classic wire/gun-fu moves built in as development points.
[21:57] <+Dom9Dragons> As your character becomes more competent at a martial skill, armed or unarmed, there are cool things they can choose to add to their repetoire.
[21:58] <+Dom9Dragons> We say conflict system, not combat, because we allow players to use all four areas of their PC to enter into and resolve conflict.
[21:59] <+Dom9Dragons> The obvious one is physical combat, then emotional combat, which is basically fighting with sorcery, but we also have Argument and Swagger.
[22:00] <+Doctor> So… The Gun Katas are a skill or magic?
[22:01] <+Dom9Dragons> Skill.
[22:02] <+Dom9Dragons> But say you don’t want to start shooting, because there is the distinct possibility you might get killed, you could convince the GM to let you use argument against an NPC/adversary.
[22:03] <+Dom9Dragons> It is the same process as physical combat, but based on your Argument skills, their levels and refinements.
[22:04] <+Dom9Dragons> Or, you could just use argument against a security guard you are pumping for information, rather than torturing the poor bugger (Torture is a skill, BTW)..
[22:07] <~Dan> Speaking of which, how specific are the skills?
[22:07] <+Dom9Dragons> Swagger is the same thing again, only based on your Coolness.
[22:07] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, pretty specific i guess, I mean, Brew Tea, Cook Chili, right?
[22:08] <~Dan> Ah, so you said. 🙂
[22:08] <+Dom9Dragons> But not all are that tight, we have the usual Knowledge Skills that can be very broad.
[22:09] <~Dan> Can you describe a character taking an action, like jumping over a gap?
[22:09] <+Dom9Dragons> Also things like, Quick Buck, Persuade, Read Intentions all require breadth and imagination.
[22:09] <+Dom9Dragons> Ok. Jumping the gap.
[22:11] <+Dom9Dragons> PC needs to jump a gap of 10 ft. That’s a fairly tough jump.
[22:12] <+Dom9Dragons> The GM defines it as Challenging, requiring a 6d12 throw UNDER the character’s Emotional Grace.
[22:13] <+Dom9Dragons> Lets say their EGra is 30. The player rolls 6d12 for a total of 29 and is successful.
[22:13] <+Dom9Dragons> But what if they fail?
[22:13] <+Dom9Dragons> Good question.
[22:14] <+Dom9Dragons> If they are jumping purely based on their EGra then they fall down the gap and presumably suffer some Physical (and maybe Coolness) damage.
[22:15] <+Dom9Dragons> But if they are using a skill, and there is a skill, Jump Deadly Gaps, they have achance to modify the result.
[22:16] <+Dom9Dragons> Say they had Jump Deadly Gaps Lvl 2, that would mean they reomve two of the dice from the initial roll. So 6d12 becomes 4d12.
[22:16] <+Dom9Dragons> Easier.
[22:16] <+Dom9Dragons> Also, there is a way to use Qi to further modify rolls/results, but let’s leave that for now.
[22:17] * ~Dan nods
[22:17] <+Dom9Dragons> PC Booklet (yea, booklet) available at (Link: http://www.ninedra9onsrpg.com/circle-of-ninedra9ons)http://www.ninedra9onsrpg.com/circle-of-ninedra9ons
[22:19] <+Dom9Dragons> How are we doing?
[22:19] <~Dan> Doing well!
[22:20] <~Dan> What sorts of creatures are found in the setting?
[22:21] <+Dom9Dragons> Asian mythology gives us an amazing range of creatures and adversaries/allies.
[22:21] <+Doctor> I have to jet, but your prices are very reasonable. Do you have a US distributor or is it shipped from HK?
[22:22] <+Dom9Dragons> We have Demons and the Charmed. Demons are those creatures whose nature tends towards Yin, the dark, chaotic, random side of things.
[22:22] <+Dom9Dragons> The Charmed are those which tend towards Yang, the light, order, conformity, organisation.
[22:23] <+Dom9Dragons> Noe are good or evil by nature, although they can be by choice.
[22:24] <~Dan> How much of a bestiary do you feature?
[22:24] <+Dom9Dragons> They are simply more inclined towards chaos or law.
[22:25] <+Dom9Dragons> SPecifically we have the Abada, Bahtzu, Bao Ren, Dragons (Elemental), Huli Jing, Fucanlong, Hundun and many many others nearer the end of the alphabet!
[22:26] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[22:26] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[22:27] <+Dom9Dragons> I love the Bao Ren, completely selfish demons in the form of cat people (look a bit like leopards with demon horns and upright stance). They can trick you into caring for them and suck your life force (your Aspect Points) from you.
[22:27] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, thanks, not too much, but a few things.
[22:28] <+Doctor> <Doctor>: I have to jet, but your prices are very reasonable. Do you have a US distributor or is it shipped from HK?
[22:28] <+Dom9Dragons> We are very proud of Honour, 1st Ed, but the 2nd Ed will blow it away.
[22:28] <+Dom9Dragons> Doctor, US distribution.
[22:29] <+Dom9Dragons> In fact we encourage people to ask their local store about the game.
[22:29] <+Doctor> awesome, got a customer then if I can order direct. Thanks!
[22:30] <+Dom9Dragons> We use Studio2 out of Knoxville for store distribution.
[22:30] <~Dan> A good bunch, in my experience.
[22:30] <+Dom9Dragons> Doctor, wait for 2nd Ed. It gonna be amazing.
[22:30] <+Dom9Dragons> Dan, to finish off.
[22:30] <+Dom9Dragons> We also have support materials that we will convert from 1st to 2nd ed.
[22:31] <+Dom9Dragons> Those are: Nihon -A japn Source Book (new monsters, new sorcery, new Mecha)
[22:31] <+Dom9Dragons> The Wedding Banquet – part one of what we plan to be a long running campaign.
[22:32] <+Dom9Dragons> Curiosity Killed the Cat – a shortish intro adventure that encourages role-play vs roll-play (we think).
[22:32] <+Dom9Dragons> Oh, and most stuff is available as a PDF on DriveThruRPG, too.
[22:33] <+Dom9Dragons> Is there anything else I can let you know?
[22:34] <~Dan> I think we’re covered!
[22:34] <+Dom9Dragons> In that case, thank you so much for the opportunity to share, it has been a pleasure!
[22:34] <~Dan> Let me know if you’d like a review of the game at some point. 🙂
[22:35] <+Dom9Dragons> Once 2nd Ed is ready, I’ll definitely be in touch for a review.
[22:35] <~Dan> Excellent.
[22:36] <+Dom9Dragons> Speak later in the Chat! Laters.
[22:36] <~Dan> Take care! I’ll get the log posted and link you.