[19:34] <+JZitomer> Hi everyone! I’m the designer of The HP Lovecraft Preparatory Academy RPG coming from 3rd Eye Games!
[19:34] <+Eloy-3EG> And I’m Eloy Lasanta, owner of Third Eye Games who is the publisher of HPL Prep. lol
[19:35] <+Eloy-3EG> and if you’re wondering, yes, I’ll just be restating everything Jeff says. 😛
[19:35] <+VictorSerrano> Lol
[19:35] <+JZitomer> And since he’s the boss, it’ll be canned, pre-approved answers. 😉
[19:35] <+JZitomer> Fire away!
[19:35] <+Eloy-3EG> if only I had time to pre-write answers. lol
[19:36] <~Dan> Thanks, guys! The floor is open to questions!
[19:36] <+Eloy-3EG> Our kickstarter for the game is currently running
[19:36] <+Eloy-3EG> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eloylasanta/h-p-lovecraft-preparatory-academy-tabletop-rpg)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eloylasanta/h-p-lovecraft-preparatory-academy-tabletop-rpg
[19:36] <~Dan> What is the game about? 🙂
[19:36] <+Eloy-3EG> it has already doubled its original goal, which is pretty awesome!
[19:37] <+JZitomer> Imagine if the Harry Potter books were written by Lovecraft.
[19:37] <+sendoshin> Didn’t see the intro to the game itself, above. What’re we looking at? (Oh, Dan beat me to it…)
[19:37] <+JZitomer> Instead of magic and wonder, it’s more like horror and conspiracy.
[19:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, sendoshin! Long time no see!)
[19:37] <+JZitomer> With a dash of Scooby-Doo investigation by the students.
[19:38] <+sendoshin> (Yeah, finally found a moment to pop in!)
[19:38] <~Dan> How serious is it?
[19:38] <+sendoshin> You say Scooby-Doo investigation, but I assume these villains are the real deal?
[19:39] <+sendoshin> As opposed to dudes in suits?
[19:39] <+JZitomer> It’s semi-serious, as written. But you can tone it down without a problem – or make it goofier.
[19:39] <+JZitomer> Yep. Monsters aren’t common. You’re not going to see an Elder Thing take a stroll across campus. They’re in the background, or minions.
[19:40] <~Dan> So it’s more about dealing with cultists and such?
[19:40] <+Eloy-3EG> Just like with most RPGs, it’s usually hard to pin it down to “it’s about X”
[19:41] * ~Dan nods
[19:41] <+Eloy-3EG> dealing with cultists is one type of story you can tell, for sure!
[19:41] <+JZitomer> There are cultists, monsters, and ancient mysteries. It’s up to the PC to sort things out and save the world.
[19:42] <~Dan> Is H.P. Lovecraft literally the name of the academy?
[19:42] <+JZitomer> Players can choose one of six different “classes.” There’s the Witch, Mad Scientist, Dreamer, Summoner, Hybrid and Monday.
[19:42] <+JZitomer> We’ve also opened up the “Carrie.”
[19:42] <~Dan> …Monday?
[19:43] <+JZitomer> It’s slang for Mundane. These characters don’t have supernatural powers (and the complications that come with them). They get skill boosts, instead.
[19:43] <+sendoshin> (Link: https://usercontent.irccloud-cdn.com/file/IwiHvPSz/Monday-600×600.png)https://usercontent.irccloud-cdn.com/file/IwiHvPSz/Monday-600×600.png
[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
[19:43] <+VictorSerrano> I have never played using the PDQ system can you talk a little about it and how the game benefits from it?
[19:44] <~Dan> Interesting… So the majority of characters have supernatural powers?
[19:44] <+JZitomer> And yes, the academy is named after Lovecraft, who is supposedly the founder.
[19:44] <+Eloy-3EG> and Chosen Ones, don’t forget them! 🙂 They’re unlocked too!
[19:44] <~Dan> Are those like Buffies?
[19:44] <~Dan> re: Chosen Ones
[19:44] <+Eloy-3EG> Exactly @Dan
[19:44] <+VictorSerrano> Oh nice!
[19:44] <~Dan> Go me!
[19:44] <+JZitomer> We reeeaaaalllly diverged from the PDQ system, but the mechanics are pretty simple. Every skill level has a modifier. Roll 2d6 and add the modifier.
[19:45] <+DLB_Chuck> Hi dan
[19:45] <+JZitomer> If you beat the target number, you succeed. If you’re making an attack, the amount you succeed by is your damage, plus weapon modifiers.
[19:46] <+VictorSerrano> Oh ok I get it sounds simple enough
[19:46] <~Dan> Is there a character sheet that we can see?
[19:47] <+Eloy-3EG> Yep! And my favorite bit of flavor is that your “levels” are grades. So, you may have a C in one skill, but an A in another. Great for fitting the themes!
[19:47] <+JZitomer> The Chosen of Nodens were inspired by Buffy. Basically, Nodens doesn’t like a lot of the other gods, particularly the Crawling Chaos. The Chosen has a bonus when fighting monsters.
[19:47] <+DLB_Chuck> Eloy-3EG: that grade idea is pretty cool
[19:47] <&Silverlion> Sounds awesome for a game idea.
[19:48] <+JZitomer> For players who prefer a “pure” PDQ game, there are notes for converting back. It’s not difficult. The skill levels match to PDQ exactly.
[19:48] <+VictorSerrano> Very nice
[19:48] <~Dan> (Howdy, EggEmbry!)
[19:49] <+Eloy-3EG> Dan The book about to go into layout, so we don’t have a character sheet to share at this very moment.
[19:49] <+JZitomer> One other nifty thing is that the players and the GM develop the faculty list together. There are only a few set NPCs, like Dr. West. Everyone else is decided by the group.
[19:49] <~Dan> (EggEmbry: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eloylasanta/h-p-lovecraft-preparatory-academy-tabletop-rpg?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=eloy%20lasanta)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eloylasanta/h-p-lovecraft-preparatory-academy-tabletop-rpg?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=eloy%20lasanta )
[19:49] <+EggEmbry> (Howdy, Dan!)
[19:49] <+Eloy-3EG> Hey Egg!
[19:50] <~Dan> Eloy-3EG: No problem…. In lieu of that, can you describe the elements that make up a character?
[19:50] <+JZitomer> I can tackle this one.
[19:51] <+EggEmbry> Hey, Eloy.
[19:52] <+JZitomer> You pick a class, which determines what supernatural abilities you get (if any). You then pick skills. You’re given X “B” skills, Y “A” skills, a couple of “D” skills and everything else is “C” (average).
[19:53] <~Dan> So no attributes? All skill-based?
[19:54] <+JZitomer> The skills include attributes as well. There’s a Brawn skill and an Appeal skill, for example.
[19:54] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, Woo!)
[19:54] <+JZitomer> Most of the skills are fairly broad, but there’s enough of them to make your character distinct.
[19:54] <~Dan> Does the Brawn skill affect melee damage?
[19:55] <+JZitomer> Not directly. The unarmed skill is “Smackdown” and the melee skill is “Medieval.”
[19:56] <+JZitomer> You could be weak, but a good fighter, for example.
[19:56] * ~Dan nods
[19:56] <~Dan> But Brawn doesn’t make you hit any harder?
[19:56] <+JZitomer> Brawn also includes stamina and health, although it could be used for intimidation.
[19:56] <+DLB_Chuck> Can you increase your “grades” or is there some other method for character progression?
[19:57] <+sendoshin> Study harder.
[19:58] <+JZitomer> You can substitute Brawn for one of the combat skills, depending upon the situation. Just as you could use “Phys. Ed.” instead of “Medieval” if you were wielding a baseball bat.
[19:58] * ~Dan nods
[19:59] <+Eloy-3EG> it’s a common question, but the answer is that Skill usage is contextual.
[19:59] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[19:59] <+JZitomer> Yes, progression is definitely included. It’s harder to increase supernatural skills, so a character that focuses on becoming a powerful witch will probably do so at the expense of some other skills.
[19:59] <+Eloy-3EG> if you’ve got a reason to use one skill in place another, go for it.
[20:00] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest10!)
[20:00] <~Dan> (You can set your name with the /nick command. 🙂 )
[20:01] <~Dan> How gritty is the game? In particular, how dangerous is combat?
[20:01] <+JZitomer> There is some overlap to the skills. While you could use Phys. Ed. to hit someone with a baseball bat, it wouldn’t do you much good if you only had a length of chain or a sword.
[20:01] <~Dan> And are the students expected to go toe-to-toe with the monsters?
[20:02] <+JZitomer> Healing is fairly fast. You can take physical or mental damage. Mental damage comes from fear, psychic attacks, and being humiliated by your classmates. Each is recorded on a damage track.
[20:03] <+JZitomer> When your track hits zero, you’re out for a bit (infirmary). When you return, your sanity will drop, meaning you could develop a quirk or an insanity. The price you pay for visiting Dr. West!
[20:03] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:04] <+JZitomer> Monsters range from human-like to ancient red dragon level. Taking out a ghoul isn’t much of a challenge – remember, the PCs have their own powers.
[20:05] <+JZitomer> A shuggoth is another story. PCs had better be experienced and prepared.
[20:05] <+JZitomer> I should mention that Dr. West is from the story “Reanimator.”
[20:05] <~Dan> Yeah, I got that. 😉
[20:05] <+VictorSerrano> I love that story
[20:06] <~Dan> Speaking of which, what year is the setting?
[20:06] <+JZitomer> It was a fun story – I had to include him.
[20:07] <+JZitomer> The default is modern times, but you could set it whenever you wanted. Just pull the references to modern tech.
[20:08] <+JZitomer> This hasn’t been mentioned on the project, but once the project is completed, I’ll be donating my share of the proceeds to charity.
[20:09] <+sendoshin> Rowling did that in her own story, when she wasn’t showing us Dudley’s spoiled nature.
[20:09] <+sendoshin> (Since the comparison was already made.)
[20:10] <~Dan> That’s very cool, JZitomer!
[20:10] <+VictorSerrano> Any specific charity?
[20:10] <+VictorSerrano> And I agree that is very kool!
[20:10] <+Eloy-3EG> What JZitomer just touched on is something very cool, but something we can’t mention on the Kickstarter for… reasons. But yes, a portion of all sales well be going toward Autism research, something that has touched both Jeff’s and my own life.
[20:11] <+JZitomer> The Autism Science Foundation.
[20:11] <+VictorSerrano> Ok sweet
[20:11] <~Dan> Oh, wow. Good for you guys.
[20:11] <+DLB_Chuck> That’s really cool
[20:12] <~Dan> Is it kosher to pass along that info in a signal-boosting post on FB, though?
[20:12] <+Eloy-3EG> I’ve been hush hush about that tidbit for one big reason… Kickstarter can kick a campaign for it. They are not for charities and they enforce that pretty harshly.
[20:13] <+JZitomer> While we can’t run a “charity project” we’ve decided that we will donate money to autism research when the project is complete.
[20:13] <+Eloy-3EG> we could easily justify it by saying all sales “after” the kickstarter will have this rule, but I almost don’t want to disturb the sleeping dragon, you know
[20:13] <~Dan> I understand. Well, if it would cause you any problems, I certainly won’t mention it.
[20:14] <~Dan> But I definitely wish you guys great success! What a great cause…
[20:14] <+Eloy-3EG> agreed there.
[20:14] <+Eloy-3EG> (done)
[20:15] <~Dan> What sorts of powers can the PCs possess?
[20:15] <+JZitomer> The witches get magic. It’s flexible, but dangerous. And they need spell components (or the spell gets tougher to cast).
[20:15] <+sendoshin> And similarly, what sorts of powers can possess the PCs?
[20:16] <+Eloy-3EG> And actually, I need to leave early, but Jeff can handle the rest of the questions. I do want to note that while Jeff is discussing the PDQ -inspired version of the game, we have unlocked the Pip System version of it as well, and the next stretch goal is to make it a Savage Worlds title too!
[20:16] <+Eloy-3EG> We’re very excited about being able to introduce HPL Prep to a number of different gaming communities!
[20:16] <~Dan> Very cool. 🙂
[20:16] <+VictorSerrano> Yes!
[20:17] <+JZitomer> Mad Scientists can create gizmos (yes, that’s the term we use). They’re a bit safer than spells, and other people can use them, but you can only have a few at a time (you need to tinker with them to keep them working)
[20:17] <+DLB_Chuck> Will these other versions be separate books or are you putting it all into one?
[20:17] <+Eloy-3EG> separate books. Otherwise, a single book would be like 500 pages to accommodate all the systems. lol
[20:17] <+JZitomer> Summoners get a “pet.”
[20:17] <+Eloy-3EG> Summoners are my fave, after the Rich Kids. lol
[20:17] <+JZitomer> Dreamers can influence sleeping minds.
[20:18] <+JZitomer> Hybrids are mutants. You pick your power from a list and you can add others as you evolve (devolve). But they make people uncomfortable.
[20:18] <+Eloy-3EG> *slinks away into the darkness, waving silently to everyone as not to disturb Jeff’s answers*
[20:18] <~Dan> (Take care, Eloy-3EG!)
[20:19] <+JZitomer> Mondays don’t get supernatural powers, but they get skill boosts. They include Prodigies, Rich Kids, and the Chosen of Nodens.
[20:19] <+JZitomer> Finally, “Carries” are pretty much what you’d expect. They can be ticking time bombs!
[20:20] <+VictorSerrano> I like how that sounds
[20:20] <~Dan> So Carries are telekinetic?
[20:20] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest15!)
[20:21] <+JZitomer> Basically, every power has a drawback. Explosions, social ostracizing, etc.
[20:21] <~Dan> How do Witches’ powers work?
[20:22] <+JZitomer> Yes, Carries are psychokinetic.
[20:23] <+JZitomer> You pick a spell, like Curse, pick the power level (up to your skill level), and add some modifiers to customize the spell (if you want).
[20:24] <+JZitomer> You have to beat a target number to cast the spell successfully, and if the spell is targeting someone, you’ll have to beat their roll, as well.
[20:24] <~Dan> (wb, EggEmbry)
[20:25] <+sendoshin> (Reask, because I think it got missed…) “And similarly, what sorts of powers can possess the PCs?”
[20:25] <~Dan> Is the public aware of the supernatural in this setting?
[20:26] <+JZitomer> NP. The powers depend on the characters class, but it’s magic, weird science, dream manipulation, gross mutant stuff, or a pet. Or vanilla human with better skills.
[20:27] <+sendoshin> I swapped some words in mine. Slightly different question. 🙂
[20:27] <+JZitomer> The public has no idea. And the campus administration aims to keep it that way. You can get in big trouble if you leak proof of the supernatural!
[20:28] <+JZitomer> In fact, many incoming first year students have no idea about the supernatural. Their first day is… special.
[20:28] <+JZitomer> Sorry – I missed that. Dreamers can possess other characters, and so can hybrids.
[20:29] <+JZitomer> Sort of “Thing on the Doorstep.”
[20:29] <~Dan> What other powers can hybrids have?
[20:29] <+sendoshin> So not much worry of being commandeered by Unknowable Horrors, then.
[20:30] <+sendoshin> Just other characters, generally.
[20:31] <+JZitomer> Hybrids can choose from a list – aquatic, consume, natural weapons, unnatural speed, unnameable, etc.
[20:31] <~Dan> What does “unnameable” do?
[20:32] <+JZitomer> There’s a random abomination generator. You can roll for the critter’s powers or pick. So you could definitely have a mind-swapping monster.
[20:32] <+JZitomer> If I told you want unnameable was, it wouldn’t be unnameable anymore!
[20:32] <~Dan> -_-
[20:33] <+JZitomer> Actually, the character is so horrible, that they automatically cause terror.
[20:33] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[20:34] <~Dan> How old are the PCs?
[20:34] <+JZitomer> Characters are first-year students, so about 11 or 12. Junior-High students, to start.
[20:36] <+JZitomer> It’s a sandbox environment. First-years are restricted to the campus, but that covers a lot of territory.
[20:36] <~Dan> Really? How large is the campus?
[20:37] <+JZitomer> The main building, alone, is pretty huge. There are four dorms (in various states of disrepair), a few other houses, an ancient coliseum, a hedge maze, a bottomless lake, and steam tunnels.
[20:38] <+JZitomer> From a bird’s eye view, the main building is a five-pointed star inside of a pentagram. There are no 90 degree angles in the building.
[20:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, Zed!)
[20:41] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[20:41] <~Dan> Wait… A five-pointed star inside a pentagram? I thought a pentagram IS a five-pointed star.
[20:42] <+JZitomer> Sorry – you’re right. Typo. PentaGON
[20:42] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[20:42] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Rikki!)
[20:43] <+Rikki> Hiya
[20:43] <+JZitomer> I should mention that we’ve unlocked the conversion to the PIP system (Mermaid Adventures, Infestation, etc.) and we’re about $1,500 away from a Savage Worlds conversion.
[20:43] <~Dan> Does the school train the students in the use of their powers?
[20:43] <~Dan> (Rikki: Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[20:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Akyla!)
[20:44] <+Rikki> Just peeking my head in for a sec, yup
[20:44] <~Dan> (Cool. If you have any questions, ask away!)
[20:44] <+Rikki> Um, what is the PIP system and what does the PIP acronym stand for?
[20:45] <+JZitomer> Not really! At the GM’s discretion, the school could offer advanced classes, but the only supernatural class that’s currently part of the curriculum is “Occult Studies.” If characters have exceptional skills, the school will find a place for them.
[20:46] <+JZitomer> The PIP system is a generic system created by 3rd Eye Games. The “PIP” refers to the pips on the die. Players roll positive dice which are offset by negative dice. It’s a nifty system!
[20:47] <~Dan> Hmm… So if the school doesn’t teach supernatural abilities, what are all these supernatural students doing there in the first place?
[20:48] <+JZitomer> I mentioned the faculty very briefly before. I think one playtest group had Dr. Egon Spengler for science, Rod Serling for English, Ash (from Army of Darkness) was the custodian.
[20:50] <+JZitomer> That’s actually covered in the GM section. In a nutshell, they’re there so they can learn to keep quiet!
[20:51] <~Dan> How does the school find students?
[20:52] <+JZitomer> Although the school doesn’t directly offer classes in Mutation 101 (although it could, if you’re were playing a goofier game), characters may be enrolled in Genetics or Biology (depending upon their skill). Likewise a technically apt character may be enrolled in an engineering course.
[20:52] <+JZitomer> There are class periods set aside for supplementary or accelerated classes of the GM’s choosing.
[20:54] <+JZitomer> The academy may recruit, but the majority of the parent who send their children there already know about the peculiar nature of the school. Either they were students, have powers themselves, are cultists, or are somehow part of the supernatural community.
[20:55] <~Dan> (Howdy, WineDarkSea!)
[20:56] <+JZitomer> I can take a couple more questions.
[20:56] <~Dan> Given the supernatural nature of so many of the PCs, is the supernatural as sanity-blasting as it is in CoC?
[20:58] <+JZitomer> Not really, after seeing things a couple of times, you get used to it. And academy students have a pretty high tolerance. Seeing a ghoul for the first time may come as a shock, but it’s not likely to be debilitating.
[20:58] * ~Dan nods
[20:58] <~Dan> Does the game include a bestiary, and if so, how extensive is it?
[20:59] <+JZitomer> I love COC, but my first experience was not a forgiving one! I saw something that rendered my character permanently insane. I wanted the PCs to be heroes.
[21:01] <+JZitomer> There is a bestiary with an assortment of different creatures from the mythos. There’s also a random monster generator. Lovecraft didn’t reuse his monsters extensively. Usually just one or two stories and maybe a mention in another.
[21:01] * ~Dan nods
[21:01] <~Dan> Do you include the Dreamlands in any way?
[21:02] <+JZitomer> There’s a proto-Dreamlands. Dreamers can enter what they call “Slumberland” which is kind of like the space between minds in the collective unconscious. From there, they can enter a dreaming mind and interact with the imagery.
[21:03] <+JZitomer> Unlike deckers in cyberpunk games, they can pull the other PCs along for the ride.
[21:03] <~Dan> Oh, that’s handy.
[21:03] <+JZitomer> Playtesters made it clear they didn’t want to deal with soloing Dreamers!
[21:04] <~Dan> Are Dreamers pretty much out of luck in the waking world?
[21:05] <+JZitomer> Nearly. They select their powers as their abilities grow. There are a couple that work while they’re awake. At night, they’re very powerful and can take out an opponent in their sleep.
[21:06] * ~Dan nods
[21:06] <~Dan> Did you need to head out, JZitomer?
[21:06] <+JZitomer> Good questions! I’ve got time for one more!
[21:06] <~Dan> Oh! Well, in that case, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:07] <+JZitomer> I think we’ve got most of it!
[21:08] <~Dan> Okay then!
[21:09] <~Dan> I’ll just mention that 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/
[21:09] <+JZitomer> Thanks everyone and have a good evening!
[21:09] <~Dan> And now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll log the chat and link you. 🙂