[19:33] <+DirkStanley> So, Im Dirk Stanley and my game is Far Away Land RPG. It’s a rules-lite fantasy sci-fi game that uses d6s. It’s kid friendly and easy to learn. And we are running a Kickstarter for the next 3 weeks.
[19:33] <+DirkStanley> Done.
[19:33] <~Dan> Thanks, DirkStanley! The floor is open to questions!
[19:34] <+DLB_Chuck> howdy Dan and DirkStanley
[19:34] <~Dan> Can you describe the setting?
[19:34] <+DirkStanley> Hi Chuck!
[19:34] <+DLB_Chuck> DirkStanley: , we’re neighbors. I’m in Lexington
[19:34] <~Dan> (DLB_Chuck is the author of the horror game Don’t Look Back.)
[19:35] <+DirkStanley> Sure. So the main setting of the game is the world of Far Away Land. Which is located in this vast realm called the Materiosphere, which is itself part of a bunch of other spheres.
[19:35] <~Dan> (Howdy, JamesGillen!)
[19:35] <+JamesGillen> hi
[19:36] <+DirkStanley> A while back, Far Away Land was invaded by these guys called the boom. The boom plan went wrong, tore open fissures in Materiospace, and mucked up Far Away Land (FAL).
[19:37] <+DirkStanley> The setting is a mashup of fantasy and science fiction, pop culture elements are woven in. Most of the races are FAL specific. For example, hive mind Abraham Lincoln clones fight telepathic bear riding nuns.
[19:38] <+DirkStanley> Symbiotic Elvis-like dudes called ozotum ride giant three-eyed birds.
[19:38] <+DirkStanley> Its heavily influence by ’80s cartoon like He-Man, Thundarr, Thundercats, Visionaries, etc.
[19:38] <+DirkStanley> That’s the setting in a nutshell.
[19:39] <~Dan> Who are the PCs, and what do they do?
[19:40] <+Doctor> Your description calls the game “gonzo”… does it break the 4th wall?
[19:40] <+DirkStanley> So, in the original Tome of Awesome, which is the core rules of the game, you could only play human PCs. At least, there were only specific rules for creating human PCs. The new books have around 30+ playable races.
[19:41] <+DLB_Chuck> What are some of the more off the wall races you can play?
[19:42] <+DirkStanley> The PCs fight against the evils of the world as they attempt to survive/make a name for themselves/gain wealth and fame, etc.
[19:42] <+DirkStanley> @Doctor – no. But it does have rules for training montages where you get to describe your PC’s training while inspirational music plays. 🙂
[19:44] <+JamesGillen> MONTAGE!
[19:44] <+DirkStanley> @Chuck- Poomkin, which are anthropomorphic pumpkin folk. Catlings, like- cat people who are fascinated by martial arts and have nine lives. Headmen – where you play several character simultaneously. These dudes have sweet beards
[19:44] <+DirkStanley> and believe that heads should be liberated from bodies
[19:45] <~Dan> Heh. Awesome.
[19:46] <+DirkStanley> there are augmented characters who are bionic/cyborgs
[19:46] <+DirkStanley> done
[19:46] <~Dan> Cyborgs? Is that new in this edition?
[19:46] <+DLB_Chuck> cool DirkStanley
[19:48] <+DLB_Chuck> DirkStanley: what other (aside from playing lots of races) changes have been made to the rules since the last release?
[19:48] <+DirkStanley> they are, sort of. The original books had mechanical/clockwork entries but these new books expand on all of that and allow for specific PCs to be created. Also, I think it’s Creatures VOl. 3 that has a fairly lengthy section called Constructonomicon which has rules for building golems and clockworks
[19:49] <+DirkStanley> @Chuck – so, the Tome of Awesome has some rules added – like Shield Break which allows a PC to have armor or a shield destroyed in order to avoid a fatal blow
[19:50] <+DirkStanley> the ToA also has loot drops, size comparison silhouettes, and a bunch of clarifications and tiny fixes to text. One big change in that book is the Pilot boon is now affected by a vehicles MANeuver score as opposed to a DEX/WIT score.
[19:50] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[19:51] <+DirkStanley> The new books are Creatures Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Adventure Awesome, and Seas of FAL
[19:51] <+Doctor> How does advancement work? Is this best suited to one offs or long campaigns?
[19:51] <+DLB_Chuck> DirkStanley:, boons are skills?
[19:51] <+DirkStanley> There are over 300 creature entries, rules for naval combat and running crews, treasure and adventure generators, 14 full adventures…
[19:52] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – lemme see if I can find the revised character sheets – I think I’ve got em online somewhere
[19:52] <~Dan> Cool.
[19:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, WineDarkSea!)
[19:53] <+DirkStanley> @Doctor – Advancement is handled with XP purchases. You can upgrade your PC as you see fit. No classes. You just buy upgrades as you want. We’ve run some fairly long campaigns. Combat is pretty brutal though. Starting a PC at level 1 and making your way to higher levels is pretty rare.
[19:54] <+DirkStanley> Death is always on the horizon!
[19:54] <~Dan> That being the case, how long does character creation take?
[19:55] <+DirkStanley> We had a campaign with clones and multi-siblinged PCs. The clones were similar to the game Paranoia. The multi-sibling PCs kept dying and their brothers and sisters were constantly seeking revenge. Most of the family died.
[19:56] <+DirkStanley> PC creation takes a few minutes. around 5-10.
[19:56] <~Dan> That’s pretty impressive.
[19:57] <+DirkStanley> Here’s the revised character sheets. (Link: https://www.faruniverse.com/scg-blog/far-away-land-monday-character-sheets)https://www.faruniverse.com/scg-blog/far-away-land-monday-character-sheets
[19:57] <+Doctor> So you mentioned a high death rate. Is this a “2-3 characters per session” kind of game?
[19:58] <+JamesGillen> “Also, there is a PC portrait box so you can draw your character before they most likely die at LVL 1. ”
[19:58] <+DirkStanley> @Doctor – no. The rules favor the PCs. For example, ties go to PCs. Things like Battle Scar allow PCs to avoid death by taking a lasting physical/mental/emotional wound, Shield/Armor shatter like I mentioned before
[19:59] <~Dan> DirkStanley: Did you see DLB_Chuck’s question about boons?
[19:59] <+DirkStanley> If you play it smart and fairly safe, you’ve got a good chance of surviving. That being said, it’s pretty fun to make higher level PCs with special abilities who can lay waste.
[20:01] <+DirkStanley> Ah – Boons – yeah, they are like broad skill categories. For example, the boon Manipulate covers things like entertain, diplomacy, persuasion, bribery, etc.
[20:01] <+DirkStanley> There are 15 boons and PCs of any genre are covered, from sword and sorcery up to sci-fi star knights and space ships
[20:01] <~Dan> BRT = Brute = strength?
[20:03] <+DirkStanley> @Dan. Yeah. Its a 3 stat system, BRT=str, DEX= speed/agility, WIT= intelligence/wisdom. Each stat has a score that represents how many dice are rolled. Each boon is connected to a specific stat. Each boon has a score as well. When an action is made, the boon and stat are added to determine total dice rolled. The high die is kept and the others are discarded.
[20:04] <+DirkStanley> Dice rolls are compared to target numbers or opposed rolls. If multiple 6s are rolled, they count as +1. So a roll of 3,4,6,6 would be a total of 7.
[20:05] <+DirkStanley> done
[20:06] <+DirkStanley> @James – yeah, you can draw your character. And if they die, draw ’em dead.
[20:06] <~Dan> That’s pretty slick.
[20:06] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:07] <+DirkStanley> I don’t want to oversell the brutality of combat, because we aren’t making PCs constantly. However, a starting PC isn’t going to be power gaming for the most part.
[20:08] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – Combat is an attacker makes a roll, say with a sword which would be BRT + Melee boon. She rolls 3,4,5,6 so her score is 6. The defender makes an opposed roll which they can determine how they wish to defend. In this case the defender attempt to use their sword to parry.
[20:09] <+DirkStanley> The defender makes an opposed roll of BRT + Melee and rolls 2,4,4 for a score of 4. The defender’s roll is then subtracted from the attackers to determine Margin of Success – in this case 2. The weapon’s damage is then rolled, in this case 1d6.
[20:11] <+DirkStanley> So the total damage is weapon damage + MoS or 1d6+2. Let’s say the damage is 5. The defender has armor which has an AC of 2. Armor soaks or repels damage. So the AC is subtracted from the attack. In this case 6-2 for a total of 4 points of damage.
[20:11] <+DirkStanley> There are loads of optional rules/elements – but that’s the basics. And all combat works on this same mechanic be it space ships, naval, tanks, etc.
[20:12] <+DirkStanley> done.
[20:12] <+DLB_Chuck> How much damage can a typical character take?
[20:13] <+DirkStanley> Starting out about 12-15 points of damage. But you also have severe damage which is equal to your level. So say your PC is level 5. This means he can be reduced to -5 HP before dying. You generally get +1 HP per level and depending on your race, you start with 12-15 HP.
[20:13] <~Dan> What is the attribute range for humans?
[20:14] <+DirkStanley> At 0 HP the PC is KOed. At a damage level exceeding your severe damage threshold… thou art dead.
[20:14] <+JamesGillen> That’s the lethal part.
[20:14] <+JamesGillen> The margin between “mostly dead” and “all dead.”
[20:15] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – most stats for anything max out at 5, Most boons max out at 5 as well. So, if you are highly skilled, you might be rolling 8, 9, or 10d6
[20:15] <+DirkStanley> Dragons usually roll 8 or 9 d6s
[20:15] <+DirkStanley> @James – exactly
[20:16] <~Dan> Hmm… So there aren’t any races with superhuman attributes?
[20:16] <+DirkStanley> Also, we have a Quick Start Rules for free here (Link: https://www.faruniverse.com/uploads/1/3/1/6/13169050/falqsr_final.pdf)https://www.faruniverse.com/uploads/1/3/1/6/13169050/falqsr_final.pdf
[20:18] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – So, let’s say you play a poomkin which is the pumpkin folk race. These creatures have a regenerative ability which allows them to regrow lost limbs and recover HP faster. Or say you play a sletaur, which is like a six-legged centaur
[20:19] <+DirkStanley> you would have things like heightened endurance and ancestral memory. So, different races do grant special abilities. Oh, and there is an entire abilities section if you want to play humans with special powers. The rules are pretty much just you need to justify why/how
[20:19] <+DirkStanley> your PC got that ability
[20:20] <+DirkStanley> and then some races may not be able to use magic while other have psionic abilities or can fly or breathe underwater, etc.
[20:20] <~Dan> So there aren’t any limits to powers?
[20:22] <+DirkStanley> For the base PC creation, there aren’t any powers. It’s optional. It’s really up to the GM and players as to what kind of game they want to play. I generally have people choose a special ability if they feel like it fits their PC. They have to come up with a story
[20:22] <~Dan> (wb, Le_Squide)
[20:22] <+DirkStanley> about why the PC has that ability. I then try and use that element the player creates to weave that ability into the campaign in some way.
[20:23] <+DirkStanley> The rules are loose with this to a large degree. They also state that GMs and players should be creating PCs and running games that they want, in the flavor they want.
[20:23] * ~Dan nods
[20:24] <+Doctor> Did I miss the core mechanic or is now a good time to ask?
[20:25] <~Dan> I think you missed it, Doctor. Roll a pool of d6s, take the highest, add +1 for each extra 6.
[20:25] <~Dan> Is that right, DirkStanley?
[20:25] <+Doctor> *scrolls up*
[20:25] <+DirkStanley> That’s right. Compare against a TN or opposed roll.
[20:26] <~Dan> Does BRT add to melee damage, or does it just make extra damage more likely?
[20:26] <+DirkStanley> So, the new Kickstarter has 5 books, 800+ pages, 300+ creature entries, loads of random generators, 600+ pieces of artwork
[20:27] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – it just makes damage more likely, however, size does modify damage. So, a giant size creature gets a +2 damage bonus for size
[20:27] <~Dan> Ah, cool. That was my next question, as it happens.
[20:28] <~Dan> What is ACT on the character sheet?
[20:29] <+DirkStanley> Actions. So performing actions in combat has a cost. Most PCs get 5 ACT points and an additional ACT point every 5 levels. The box in the lower right has how much each action costs during a round.
[20:30] <+DirkStanley> Moving is 2 ACT and a Melee attack is 3. So most PCs could move and melee attack in the same round.
[20:30] * ~Dan nods
[20:30] <+DirkStanley> It would require a bit more skill to move and fire a ranged weapon
[20:30] <+DirkStanley> at least in FAL
[20:31] <+DLB_Chuck> The books are 5.5×8.5″?
[20:31] <+DirkStanley> Yes. Full color.
[20:32] <+DirkStanley> We have a bunch of free stuff here – in fact, all of the adventure are free. So with the QSRs and adventures, you can run a bunch of games at no cost. (Link: https://www.faruniverse.com/free-stuff.html)https://www.faruniverse.com/free-stuff.html
[20:32] <~Dan> Going back to races for a moment, what is the advantage of playing a human?
[20:33] <+DLB_Chuck> The adventures in the new KS are all new or are some of them on the website?
[20:34] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – humans are like a baseline, they are more malleable, they are more likely to have special abilities or the ability to gain special abilities
[20:35] <+DirkStanley> I don’t think they have an outright advantage as all PCs have Flaws, which are hindrances that affect dice rolls. Like phobias and what not…
[20:35] <~Dan> When you say “more likely”, does that go back to the GM’s call?
[20:37] <+DirkStanley> It does. Humans are not the dominant species in FAL. In fact, they aren’t even indigenous to the world. They were pulled into FAL during the Boom War. The entire city of Londol was ripped from Earth to FAL. They are sort of an endangered species.
[20:37] <+DirkStanley> @Chuck- All of the adventures on the site are in Adventure Awesome. It’s just a print version.
[20:38] <~Dan> How serious is the game?
[20:39] <+DirkStanley> lol – not very. I can’t recall a completely serious adventure. They have all descended into chaotic madness.
[20:39] <~Dan> Do you still have the flying dubstep heads?
[20:39] <+JamesGillen> ha
[20:40] <+DirkStanley> Yes. And their makers 🙂
[20:40] <~Dan> Who are their makers? 🙂
[20:41] <+DirkStanley> Angorocans. Giant cyclopean brains with tentacles and a dislike of most everything. They engineered the soracan.
[20:42] <~Dan> The soracan being the flying heads?
[20:42] <+DirkStanley> Yes.
[20:43] <~Dan> What is the general tech level of the setting?
[20:44] <+DirkStanley> Its sort of ambiguous at this point. An upcoming book called Adventures in the Materiosphere will define this. FAL is medieval for the most part but there are exceptions. So blast powder (gunpowder) exists but it somewhat rare.
[20:45] <+DirkStanley> Then you have sapient constructs that are remnants of the Boom War who have mechanical parts and lazers and stuff.
[20:46] <+DirkStanley> Tech is not mass produced on FAL. It’s sort of like Eternia from Masters of the Universe.
[20:46] <~Dan> You mentioned spaceships earlier?
[20:47] <+DirkStanley> So this Kickstarter does not feature books with spaceships. I was going to release the space book along with these but it was just too much. In fact, I think 5 books in one Kickstarter is a bit too much.
[20:47] <~Dan> Ah, okay.
[20:47] <+DirkStanley> But yeah. The game will expand into space. Space travel. Different worlds. Etc.
[20:48] <~Dan> So you can visit Close Up Land?
[20:49] <+DirkStanley> ha. No. But it should be a thing. It makes me think flatland, that Carl Sagan analogy in the original Cosmos.
[20:49] <+Doctor> The land of extreme close ups
[20:50] <~Dan> 😀
[20:50] <~Dan> What is the mechanical effect of Luck?
[20:50] <+DirkStanley> Like Baywatch.
[20:50] <+JamesGillen> 😀
[20:50] <+DirkStanley> It allows for extra dice or dice to be rerolled in case a roll is botched.
[20:50] <+DirkStanley> PCs get +1 Luck point per level automatically.
[20:51] <+DirkStanley> So while combat is brutal, there are a lot of mechanics to balance that deadliness.
[20:52] * ~Dan nods
[20:53] <~Dan> What are the mechanics of spellcasting?
[20:54] <+DirkStanley> So magic is based on WIT + Arcane. PCs can cast a number spells per day equal to their level plus 3. So a level 5 PC can cast 8 spells per day.
[20:56] <+DirkStanley> Spells have damage, duration, range. The base duration of a spell is like minutes, rounds, days, etc. The actual duration is based on a PC’s level. So a PC is level 5 and casts a spell that has a duration of minutes, the spell will have a duration of 5 minutes.
[20:56] <+Doctor> how long is one “round”?
[20:56] <~Dan> How powerful is magic on the high end? What sorts of things can a master wizard do?
[20:57] <+DirkStanley> Spells can be dodged by making various defensive rolls including a resist magic roll of WIT + Arcane.
[20:58] <+DirkStanley> @Doctor – rounds aren’t necessarily defined in specific time. A round is however long it takes all participants to all take their turns.
[20:58] <+JamesGillen> Well, you made a distinction between Round and Minute earlier.
[20:59] <+DirkStanley> @Dan – on the high end their are spells that can allow for movement between different spheres, destroy a target instantly, resurrect, etc.
[21:01] <+DirkStanley> @James – so things like movement and time are largely handled cinematically. Also, ranges in the new version have been abstracted into tiers like short, long, distant etc.
[21:01] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:02] <+DirkStanley> One of the design goals was to limit bookkeeping. We found it much easier in play to just abstract times and distances.
[21:02] * ~Dan nods
[21:02] <+JamesGillen> ok
[21:04] <~Dan> You’ve touched on this, but where do you see the game line going?
[21:06] <+DirkStanley> Next up is space and laying out the Materiosphere. That book is mostly finished and its big. Then to the spheres – sort of like the Manual of Planes. A couple years ago when I saw the new Mad Max I started working feverishly on a seting called Planet Metal
[21:07] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:07] <+DirkStanley> which was going to be like Mad Max and heavy metal and skulls and fire and 80s rock inspired. So that book is mostly done as well. Were working on a graphic novel. After the Kickstarter, Im going to begin a podcast that talks about what we talked about here
[21:07] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:08] <+JamesGillen> Planet Metal!
[21:08] <+DirkStanley> I don’t think so. I appreciate the questions and the forum. If you, James, Doctor, and Chuck, want to, give me your emails via PM and Ill send you revised ToA pdfs – if you’re interested.
[21:08] <+Doctor> Any game where I can rock a chrome skull codpiece that spits flame is a game I will buy…
[21:08] <~Dan> Oh, very much so!
[21:09] <+JamesGillen> ok
[21:09] <+DirkStanley> everyone should have a chrome codpiece that spits fire
[21:09] <+JamesGillen> how do I send you email?
[21:09] <+DirkStanley> email@example.com
[21:09] <+JamesGillen> Thanks
[21:10] <+DirkStanley> after the KS ships, Ill send you the Tome of Awesome pdf :0
[21:10] <+DirkStanley> Oh, one more thing. Sorry.
[21:11] <~Dan> Those interested in supporting my Q&As can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:11] <+DirkStanley> So, the KS doesnt have stretch goals currently. I am going to add stretch goals that allow backers to get extra sets of the pdfs to give to their friends. Each stretch goal unlcoked will allow folks to give more presents 🙂
[21:11] <~Dan> Heh. Nice. 🙂
[21:12] <+Doctor> cool, I like that
[21:12] <+DirkStanley> Thanks for doing this, Dan. Thanks you all!
[21:12] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you, DirkStanley!
[21:12] <~Dan> You’re very welcome!