[19:29] <+Jason_Koh> Hey guys! I’m Jason and I’m the writer for Pentopia, an original campaign setting for 5th Edition currently on Kickstarter at (Link: http://kck.st/2JnnhL6.)http://kck.st/2JnnhL6.
[19:30] <+Jason_Koh> Pentopia is an original campaign setting first conceived by illustrator CGlas two years ago as a personal project, and we started collaborating sometime in the middle of last year to bring his setting to life as an RPG world.
[19:32] <+Jason_Koh> The world itself is inspired by the diversity of nature, especially insects, and this carries across in the fey-like, garden style aesthetics and principles of the setting and environments that players can explore.
[19:34] <+Jason_Koh> As part of the project, we will be releasing an artbook in physical format, a digital PDF of the 5th Edition supplement, as well as various accessories. (done)
[19:34] <~Dan> Thanks, Jason_Koh! The floor is open to questions!
[19:35] <+Kei> So…are Pcs bugs or bug-sized in this setting? or is it just an aesthetic thing?
[19:35] <+Jason_Koh> That’s a great question. Let me answer that. 🙂
[19:35] <~Dan> Was the setting designed with 5e in mind? If not, how difficult was it to adapt?
[19:36] <+Jason_Koh> I’ll take Kei’s question first, followed by Dan’s.
[19:36] <~Dan> No problem!
[19:37] <+Jason_Koh> So for the PCs, it’s a matter of scale. The world of Pentopia itself is self-contained, though it can be easily plugged into an existing homebrew, plane-hopping campaign. The concept of bugs and insects is an aesthetic choice, and in terms of actual scaling, the PCs will be about the same size as PCs in a typical adventuring world.
[19:39] <+Jason_Koh> As for Dan’s question, the setting was originally created visually first by CGlas. He came up with concept sketches and illustrations, and we’ve been tweaking those designs to ensure that there’s a uniformity and relevance to the 5E ruleset in the past year.
[19:40] <~Dan> I see…
[19:41] <+Jason_Koh> CGlas just joined us a moment ago, and we will be doing an interactive character design exercise later to showcase some of the aesthetics and artistic interpretations later.
[19:41] <+Jason_Koh> (done)
[19:41] <~Dan> Is this a high fantasy setting?
[19:42] <+Jason_Koh> Definitely. Pentopia’s world concept revolves around an abundance of magical energy flowing from the Tree of Life that is central to the world building concept, as well as disembodied and slumbering ancients called Progenitors that grant powers to the mortal races in the setting.
[19:43] <+Jason_Koh> Magic, especially in the world that players are initially introduced to, will play a significant part in their daily lives, and the ecology of the world itself will also reflect this through the environment and monster designs.
[19:44] <+Jason_Koh> It’s probably easiest to think of Pentopia as a world that is somewhat like the lands of the Fey and common popular culture interpretations of the Feywild, in that respect.
[19:44] <+Jason_Koh> (done)
[19:46] <+Jason_Koh> Let me show you guys some images of the world design.
[19:47] <~Dan> Sure!
[19:48] <+Jason_Koh> This is an image depicting the world itself. The Tree of Life is central to the world, and the world itself is ordered around the base of the Tree.
[19:48] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a0njiliquzgm118/1.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/a0njiliquzgm118/1.jpg?dl=0
[19:49] <+Jason_Koh> So towns, cities, civilizations, dungeons, in that sense thrive beneath the boughs of the Tree, and start from there.
[19:49] <~Dan> What’s that on the underside?
[19:49] <+Jason_Koh> That’s something we were hoping to reveal on this discussion actually. 😉
[19:50] <+Jason_Koh> So thanks for pointing that out.
[19:50] <~Dan> Certainly. 🙂
[19:52] <+Jason_Koh> The underside of the Tree of Life is a literal reflection of the surface world, a withered husk accessible through the depths of the earth by root tunnels deep beneath the Tree. In addition to the threats on the surface world, the underside boasts additional, deadly threats that gnaw at and attempt to destroy the Tree itself.
[19:53] <~Dan> So that’s… an Anti-Tree?
[19:54] <+Jason_Koh> I won’t give too much of the story away at this point, but suffice to say, the adventures we’ll be writing and releasing for Pentopia will eventually bring the adventurers into the depths beneath and they’ll uncover a heretofore unknown secret about their world.
[19:54] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[19:54] <+Jason_Koh> Here are some images of more environments on the surface world.
[19:54] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8pxcf4nashv05r1/11.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/8pxcf4nashv05r1/11.jpg?dl=0
[19:54] <~Dan> Is the underside the source of all of the antagonists, or are there bad guys on the surface world as well?
[19:55] <~Dan> Very Impressionistic!
[19:57] <+Jason_Koh> I’d say that like many other fantasy stories, antagonists come in every stripe and origin. A good part of the stories can be set on the surface world, with clearly defined threats like hostile nations, marauders, deadly and dangerous beasts, and the like.
[19:58] <~Dan> How large is the world?
[20:01] <+Jason_Koh> I’d say that the land mass beneath the tree is about the size of an entire continent, or two continents, if you count both above and below ground. The mass of roots in the middle also forms a sizeable portion of the world, and we will also eventually be developing the area within the boughs of the tree and among its branches into another portion of the world.
[20:02] <~Dan> Ah, so the core book doesn’t cover the tree itself?
[20:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, FreeGamer!)
[20:04] <+Jason_Koh> There will be enough basic information for DMs and players who want to tie the Tree into their stories, and we’ll mention at least one location in the upper parts of the tree, but any additional information about the area will depend on whether we hit our stretch goals. 😉 We’ll be adding more content to both the art book and the rulebook
[20:04] <+Jason_Koh> when we clear funding milestones.
[20:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[20:05] <+Jason_Koh> We also have a possible second book planned, that develops the anti-Tree and the world beneath the surface, giving DMs and players both new class options, new race options and adventuring opportunities.
[20:06] <~Dan> How do people travel up the Tree?
[20:09] <+Jason_Koh> The natives of Pentopia have built structures closer to the base of the trunk, and at least one location sacred to the Progenitors is built into the lower parts of the trunk itself. However, travel up the trunk is not something easily accessible to most characters or NPCs due to the nature of the world itself.
[20:10] <+Jason_Koh> Mana flows down from the Tree, and it gets denser as it reaches the bottom. This makes it difficult to travel up the Tree.
[20:11] <~Dan> So the Tree is mostly unexplored territory?
[20:12] <+Jason_Koh> That’s correct, and that’s why it also opens up interesting possibilities that we will be exploring as we go along. 🙂
[20:12] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:12] <~Dan> What races are available to play?
[20:12] <+FreeGamer> How does mana density make it hard to climb?
[20:13] <+Jason_Koh> Here we go. I’ll take FreeGamer’s question first.
[20:16] <+Jason_Koh> The density of mana in this world is a phenomenon that causes actual physical effects. When mana pools at the base of the tree, it permeates into the environment and suffuses everything, which helps make the living things at the base of the tree thrive.
[20:18] <+Jason_Koh> It kinda becomes like air to them. At higher altitudes, mana is thinner and more dispersed, and past a certain point, the mana is so thin that it makes breathing and moving difficult. Mechanically, the higher you climb, the more levels of exhaustion you’ll accrue.
[20:18] <+Jason_Koh> And we all know how exhaustion as a mechanic works in 5E. 😉
[20:18] <+Jason_Koh> Now for Dan’s question
[20:19] <+Jason_Koh> I’d say that all most basic humanoid races are available for play, but for the purpose of flavor, they are different variations of the base Pentopian native.
[20:20] <~Dan> Examples?
[20:21] <+Jason_Koh> What sets Pentopia apart from other settings is that rather than possessing the traits of fantastic races such as orcs or goliaths or dragonborn, natives are humanoids that take on insect aspects.
[20:21] <+Jason_Koh> Let me show some examples. 🙂
[20:22] <+Jason_Koh> Here are some NPCs you might encounter in the Pentopia setting. (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1gzk7w5ris21c46/19.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/1gzk7w5ris21c46/19.jpg?dl=0
[20:24] <~Dan> Very pretty!
[20:24] <+Jason_Koh> So in this example, the flea-like NPC at the very bottom might very well be a goblin gang boss.
[20:24] <+Jason_Koh> And might use the stat block of a goblin leader.
[20:25] * ~Dan nods
[20:25] <~Dan> And the other two?
[20:27] <+Jason_Koh> The rapier wielder might be an elf veteran or swashbuckler type character.
[20:28] <+Jason_Koh> And you’ll notice as well that many of the characters in Pentopia do have longer ears and more defined features that make them appear elf-like or feylike.
[20:30] <+Jason_Koh> The spider in the back is an NPC from the Weaver’s Guild, who specializes in making webweave, which is a type of fabric you’ll discover in the equipment section of the Rulebook. It’s silk infused with mana that can be made into armor.
[20:30] <~Dan> I note the rapier-wielder has wings.
[20:31] <+Jason_Koh> Yes, and that’s something that we intend to make a core component of Pentopia. In general, the highly specialized class paths that we have created for the setting will unlock opportunities for characters to gain flight abilities.
[20:32] <+Jason_Koh> Of course these abilities will come into play for characters at higher levels.
[20:32] <~Dan> So gaining the ability to fly is a function of class, not race?
[20:32] <+Jason_Koh> I’m personally a fan of 3D combat, and we want to also use this to bring across the fey and faerie vibe and to add a new layer to the game.
[20:33] <+Jason_Koh> It’s a class ability tied to the blessings of the Progenitors. Each Progenitor favors one of the 12 base classes, and characters can develop their mastery and the Progenitor granted traits by mastering that class path.
[20:34] <~Dan> So are the PC races all simply reskinned standard races?
[20:34] <+Jason_Koh> Characters will gain the traits of their insect Progenitor patron upon taking on their first class level.
[20:36] <+Jason_Koh> You can say that. We don’t see the need to reinvent the wheel when the base races are so well done as is. We instead chose to focus on developing class paths that fixed some gaps in play styles and to introduce fun mechanics.
[20:36] <~Dan> Do you introduce new classes?
[20:39] <+Jason_Koh> We have two in the works which we plan to reveal as bonus content and also a teaser of things to come in the second book. We intend for them to be class paths that rely on technology and creation rather than magic.
[20:39] <~Dan> Technology, you say? What’s the tech level of the setting?
[20:39] <+Jason_Koh> For want of a better designation, we’ve tentatively dubbed them Tinkerers and Magesmiths
[20:42] <+Jason_Koh> Technology on the surface world is typical for that of a high fantasy setting, where magic plays an integral part in their daily lives. In the depths (and this is something we intend for the second book if the first one gets funded), we will be introducing mana-fueled clockwork technology.
[20:43] <~Dan> Very cool.
[20:43] <+Jason_Koh> There will be a heavier reliance on clockwork fused with magic, with a steampunk-style gears and pistons aesthetic in such a case.
[20:44] <+Jason_Koh> I’ll talk a bit about some of the class paths. I’m sure that’s something that everyone’s excited to learn more of. 🙂
[20:44] <~Dan> Sure!
[20:45] <+Jason_Koh> I’ll share three examples briefly as a teaser, and also reveal some of our WIP as we are constantly reworking and improving on what we’ve done.
[20:45] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/y0e52g56dszyq2s/ant%20commands.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/y0e52g56dszyq2s/ant%20commands.jpg?dl=0
[20:46] <+Jason_Koh> This is a Paladin sworn to the Ant Progenitor, under the Oath of Solidarity.
[20:46] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qdcgngxaa84uwfp/Ant%20Soldier.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/qdcgngxaa84uwfp/Ant%20Soldier.jpg?dl=0
[20:47] <~Dan> Do the Progenitors take the place of gods in this setting?
[20:47] <+Jason_Koh> That’s correct. In a sense they’re like deities or patrons that empower the characters.
[20:49] <~Dan> So they grant spells to clerics?
[20:50] <+Jason_Koh> Actually I was going to come to that in a bit. 🙂
[20:51] <+Jason_Koh> I’ve never been particularly fond of 5E where clerics are domain locked to a deity, and we want Pentopia to encourage players to choose the domains and portfolios that appeal to them.
[20:51] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fpi4s8ezhxix533/5.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/fpi4s8ezhxix533/5.jpg?dl=0
[20:52] <+Jason_Koh> Here’s the Cleric, which draws power from the Moth Progenitor.
[20:52] <+Jason_Koh> The class is favored by the Moth Progenitor in Pentopia, and most clerics are in it’s service.
[20:53] <+Jason_Koh> What we intend for the Cleric in Pentopia is that they may choose one domain from a pool of domains.
[20:54] <+Jason_Koh> The express purpose being that they follow a creed/tenet rather than just anchoring themselves to the entirety of the deity’s teachings.
[20:54] <+Jason_Koh> This also allows players to take thematically appropriate domain choices suitable to their roleplaying and playstyle.
[20:55] <+Jason_Koh> Of course, that’s not to say that there won’t be a domain unique to Pentopia. We’re developing a domain for clerics who aspire to become oracles of the Moth Progenitor,
[20:55] <+Jason_Koh> (done)
[20:57] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:57] <+Jason_Koh> Yep. So Clerics can pick from any domain (with the possible exception of Death) and also the unique domain we are preparing for Pentopia.
[20:58] <~Dan> What sorts of adventures can PCs get up to in this setting?
[21:00] <+Jason_Koh> We’d love for DMs to create their own stories and adventures where they explore the world of Pentopia and encounter the many unique flora and fauna native to the world. We’re also producing introductory adventures for the players to experience the world through a narrative that takes them from Flea Market, a trade town, into the surrounding environs.
[21:01] <+Jason_Koh> The introductory adventures will be bundled with our Kickstarter if we hit certain goals.
[21:01] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/42bjf2ze12obkix/14.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/42bjf2ze12obkix/14.jpg?dl=0
[21:02] <+Jason_Koh> Here are some scenes showcasing our Iconic Champions, who will be the pregens that players can play in the introductory adventures, exploring environments and encountering the native wildlife.
[21:02] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/42bjf2ze12obkix/14.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/42bjf2ze12obkix/14.jpg?dl=0
[21:04] <+Jason_Koh> The second picture in this second link is something called an Investiture Ceremony. It’s kind of like a rebirth when a character picks their first class (and thus swears to their first Progenitor).
[21:06] <+Jason_Koh> As we’re conversing, CGlas is working on some artwork just to reveal here, and it’s for the third class we were going to talk about as an example.
[21:08] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q7zkuhhue54dwfd/Hornet_rework.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/q7zkuhhue54dwfd/Hornet_rework.jpg?dl=0
[21:09] <+Jason_Koh> We’re constantly revising the looks of the class paths to reflect the changes we’ve made to mechanics as we develop Pentopia.
[21:09] <+Jason_Koh> And in this case, the Fighter, whose archetype is based on the Hornet, has moved from being a bruiser to a more technical, defensive warrior that gets stronger the more damage he takes for his allies.
[21:11] <~Dan> Do you have a bestiary?
[21:11] <+Jason_Koh> Certainly. There will be 20 or so new monsters included in the rulebook.
[21:12] <+Jason_Koh> As an example, let me link some images.
[21:12] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/awsyhou9mci8sqe/amaranthus_001.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/awsyhou9mci8sqe/amaranthus_001.jpg?dl=0
[21:13] <+Jason_Koh> One concept we’re introducing in Pentopia is the idea of more legendary monsters at low and mid tiers, especially since monsters here are also suffused with mana.
[21:14] <+Jason_Koh> It would not be uncommon for them to gain greater powers, and take on the traits of their environments.
[21:15] <+Jason_Koh> The Dusk Prowlers are wolves that have adapted to the toxic environment of the Duskridge location, and have heightened tolerance for poison among other things. Their leader is also capable of releasing a hallucinogenic mist that slows and dulls the senses of characters nearby.
[21:15] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gs6pjhozbxvvp2e/RAvine%20Cobra-lr.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/gs6pjhozbxvvp2e/RAvine%20Cobra-lr.jpg?dl=0
[21:17] <+Jason_Koh> This creature’s working title is Ravine Cobra, though that will likely change in the final. It’s one of the draconic creatures in our setting that has gained some insect-like features in addition to it’s base type.
[21:18] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4e70m46g49m5qkg/Creep%20monster.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/4e70m46g49m5qkg/Creep%20monster.jpg?dl=0
[21:19] <+Jason_Koh> And finally, this is something that adventurers might face on the frontlines assaulting one of the “Ant Mound” fortresses built by the paladin orders.
[21:19] <+Jason_Koh> We’ve not posted this image anywhere else, so this is something of an exclusive treat for you guys. 😉
[21:20] <+Jason_Koh> These burrowing giants might occasionally rise from deep beneath the earth to attack the roots of the tree, intent on causing as much damage as possible.
[21:21] <+Jason_Koh> They’re a nightmare combination of organic matter and mana charged clockwork.
[21:21] <+Jason_Koh> (done)
[21:23] <~Dan> Wow!
[21:23] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:25] <+Jason_Koh> Well, in the next few weeks, we’ll be posting teasers and previews of stat blocks and character paths on our Kickstarter updates, so be sure to check there if you’d like a taste of the Pentopia mechanics. 🙂
[21:25] <+Jason_Koh> The URL is (Link: http://kck.st/2JnnhL6)http://kck.st/2JnnhL6
[21:25] <+Jason_Koh> At the same time, we’ll be announcing a physical copy of our Rulebook as a Stretch Goal today.
[21:25] <~Dan> Great!
[21:26] <+Jason_Koh> Thank you for having me here. It was a pleasure, and I’d be happy to answer any other questions about Pentopia at any time.
[21:26] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us! Please know that you’re always welcome, so come by any time!
[21:27] <~Dan> For those interested, my virtual tip jar is at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:27] <~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll post the log and link you!
[21:27] <+Jason_Koh> As a closing note, @Cglas would like to share something that he was working on while drawing inspiration from our conversations here. 🙂
[21:28] <~Dan> Oh, let’s get that in the log, then. 🙂
[21:28] * ~Dan waits
[21:30] <+Jason_Koh> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dku5iek3edtx3fq/Spider%20reworkstages.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/dku5iek3edtx3fq/Spider%20reworkstages.jpg?dl=0
[21:30] <+CGlas> Hello!
[21:30] <+Jason_Koh> He was working on a rework on the sorcerer class, which draws power from the Spider Progenitor.
[21:31] <~Dan> Wow! Awesome work, CGlas!
[21:31] <~Dan> You are very talented.
[21:31] <+CGlas> Thank you Dan!
[21:31] <+Jason_Koh> It’s a more control oriented sorcerer specialization, and we’re making changes to reflect the style.
[21:31] <~Dan> Coo!
[21:32] <~Dan> Cool, even!
[21:32] <+CGlas> Would love some feedback on the designs if there is any, please contact us on kickstarter if that is any!
[21:32] <~Dan> Great!
[21:32] <~Dan> Okay, let me get that log for you guys…