[19:36] <+John> Okee dokee! My name is John Seibel and the writer of the RPG, The Harvesters via Troll Lord Games.
[19:36] <+John> Harvesters is an anthropromorphic RPG.
[19:38] <+John> The PCs can be badgers, otters, squirrels, rabbits/hares, or mice. With the slimmed down version, the characters can be fighters, magic-users, clerics, or thieves.
[19:39] <+John> I think with the expanded version other ones will be thrown in.
[19:39] <+John> But, as with all games, we like to leave most of that up to the DM/GM.
[19:40] <+John> This is a first for me, so just let me know what else.
[19:40] <~Dan> Ready for questions?
[19:40] <+John> Yep.
[19:41] <~Dan> Thanks! The floor is open to questions!
[19:41] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest96! You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:41] <~Dan> What inspired you to write this game?
[19:42] <~Dan> (Howdy, AmbulatoryCortex!)
[19:42] <+AmbulatoryCortex> hey!
[19:42] <~Dan> ( AmbulatoryCortex: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/harvesters-the-role-playing-game?ref=7zrixy)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/harvesters-the-role-playing-game?ref=7zrixy )
[19:43] <+John> The biggest influence was Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. I remember watching one of his series on PBS and our daughter just got the biggest kick out of it. Got me to thinking that it might be fun to do an RPG about it.
[19:43] <+John> Thanks for the plug.
[19:43] <~Dan> Certainly!
[19:44] <+John> I remember first presenting it to Steve Chenault of Troll Lord Games in 2004 at Gamefest Milwaukee. I met Steve through Gary Gygax as he was doing some work with them.
[19:44] <~Dan> Are all of the creatures in the game “normal” animals, or are there monsters as well?
[19:44] <~Dan> Wow!
[19:45] <+John> Most of the adversaries are animals, but if the monsters seem to fit I’ll add them – such as the owlbear as an example.
[19:45] <~Dan> Is the game still being written, then?
[19:47] <+John> For the most part everything is done. Still some tweaking being done, but the main rules are the three adventures are completed.
[19:48] <+John> As you may have seen via the KS, we’re going to be adding other animals as character races – a chipmunk, a water shrew, and a woodchuck at the moment. If all goes well, we’ll be adding a frog and possibly others.
[19:48] <~Dan> I see. What’s the story behind the setting? Is there a reason given for the anthro animals, or is that just the way things are, for example?
[19:50] <+John> The main idea was to have something similar to Brian Jacques’ Redwall, animals only. But it is written using the Castles & Crusades rule set, so you could add elves, dwarves, etc., ala Narnia, if you wanted to.
[19:51] <+John> My world of Wheat Hollow just has animals though.
[19:53] <+AmbulatoryCortex> how terifying an opponent is the bullfrog?
[19:54] <+John> Well, if being swallowed whole by one isn’t terrifying enough then I don’t know? 😉
[19:55] <~Dan> What is the scale? Are the anthro animals human-sized?
[19:58] <+John> Let’s see. Mice would be roughly halfling sized. Rabbits and squirrels would be the human equivalent, and badgers would be slightly larger than human size. I put all the bears into the giant class, but they are not PC races at the moment.
[19:58] <+John> Otters would be the other that is approx. human size.
[19:59] <~Dan> Ah, so the world it human scale, then, with everything scaled up? (Although I guess it wouldn’t really matter, if everything is scaled up the same way.)
[20:00] <+John> Yeah, we kinda did it that way to give people a frame of reference.
[20:00] <+John> Thought it might make the translation go a bit smoother.
[20:01] * ~Dan nods
[20:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[20:01] <+John> Greetings!
[20:02] <~Dan> (Topic: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/harvesters-the-role-playing-game?ref=7zrixy)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/harvesters-the-role-playing-game?ref=7zrixy )
[20:03] <~Dan> Is there any specific line drawn between which animals are anthro and which aren’t? You mentioned bears, for example. Are they “normal” bears or anthro bears?
[20:04] <~Dan> (Howdy, GKG_Alan!)
[20:04] <+John> I tried to make most of them anthro, but birds are a bit challenging. Had a rough time with the riding beasts, didn’t think they would take to kindly to be being ridden as such.
[20:05] <+Le_Squide> (Hey Dan!)
[20:05] <+John> So, I threw in some larger beetles for plowing the fields. Most of the travel is done by foot.
[20:07] <~Dan> So there are anthro horses?
[20:08] <+John> No, not at the moment, at least not in the world that the PCs currently live in.
[20:08] <~Dan> But they’re intelligent?
[20:10] <+John> Yes, but it varies. Owls tend to be quite intelligent, some even have spell capabilities.
[20:11] <~Dan> I see… So would it be correct to say that only certain animals are anthro, but all animals are fully sapient?
[20:11] <+John> I don’t have an exact %, but the vast majority are anthro.
[20:12] <+John> Any animal that has two arms/legs are usually given the anthro treament.
[20:13] <~Dan> While the snake in the KS pic is not anthro but is intelligent?
[20:14] <~Dan> (Sorry — just trying to get a feel for the world, here.)
[20:15] <+John> Correct. Snakes are not anthro, but tend to be very intelligent. Not to say that Yuan ti might not be lurking somewhere.
[20:15] <~Dan> (Howdy, WetInkBrandon!)
[20:15] <~Dan> (John, meet WetInkBrandon, who has an anthro game of his own. 🙂 )
[20:15] <+John> Greetings, WetInk!
[20:15] <~Dan> WetInkBrandon: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/harvesters-the-role-playing-game?ref=7zrixy)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/harvesters-the-role-playing-game?ref=7zrixy
[20:17] <~Dan> What is the meaning of the game’s title?
[20:18] <+John> The games title came from the first adventure, The Harvesters. Meant to call it Wheat Hollow, but the name just kinda stuck.
[20:19] <~Dan> Since there are clerics, I’m assuming that there are gods. What is the cosmology of the setting?
[20:20] <+John> No gods, per se. Just basically good vs evil. But one can use some of the Native American gods if they so desired.
[20:21] <+John> Seeing that this was geared more towards the younger crowd, we kind of left it alone. Something for the future, maybe.
[20:22] <~Dan> Ah, yes, I meant to ask about that. The game is aimed at children?
[20:24] <+John> Yes, something of an introductory RPG type of game.
[20:24] <+John> But, as you can see by the KS, things are evolving a bit.
[20:25] <~Dan> Were there any particular challenges in creating a game meant to be accessible to kids?
[20:25] <+WetInkBrandon> That’s good. Is the art done in house or do you use a particular artist?
[20:26] <+WetInkBrandon> And yeah, what in particular did you do to make is kid friendly
[20:26] <+John> Yes, and no. Trying to give younger kids the benefit of the doubt of being able to grasp the
[20:27] <+John> basic rules that are included in the game. The KS states six and older, but I think 8 to 10-12 is more
[20:27] <+John> reasonable.
[20:28] <+John> There are three main artists – Jim Holloway (former TSR artist), Brian Thomas, and Jason Braun. I doodle a couple, but don’t consider myself in that group.
[20:30] <~Dan> For those unfamiliar, can you give a basic summary of the system?
[20:31] <+John> C&C, Castles & Crusades, is a variant of the d20 system. Combat is similar to 3e from what I hear. I’ve never played 3ed on. I’m a 1e/2e person.
[20:32] <+John> Characters have the same basic attributes (strenght, intel, wis, etc), but most of the roles are based off a 12/18 format.
[20:33] <+John> Some attributes are primary and some secondary when making roles.
[20:33] * ~Dan nods
[20:35] <+John> For example, Seth the Thief wants to pick a lock. The challenge level is, say 5; so, to pick it he needs a 17. Rolls a d20 + lvl + att mod. to see if he succeeds.
[20:36] <+John> And that’s because one of his primes is Dex.
[20:37] <~Dan> So the base difficulty for him was 12, +5 for the challenge level?
[20:38] <+John> Yep. At least that’s the way I’ve always interpreted it.
[20:40] <+John> Now, if someone else tried to do it and they are not a thief, the base jumps up to 18.
[20:40] <~Dan> Are there any supernatural elements to the setting beyond spellcasting?
[20:41] <+John> No, not unless the DM/GM wants to introduce it.
[20:43] <+John> Of course, I include undead, can’t leave them out.
[20:44] <~Dan> What sorts of undead?
[20:45] <+John> Skeletons, zombies, and, of course, the vampire bat! 🙂
[20:45] <~Dan> That’s hilarious. 🙂
[20:46] <+John> I do have a wight that rides a hell hound in an upcoming adventure.
[20:46] <~Dan> What sort of animal is the wight?
[20:47] <+John> Any. This one happens to be a rabbit that was wronged by others and headless. My version of the Headless Horseman.
[20:49] <~Dan> He was wronged and makes it wight?
[20:49] <+John> Oooo…Gary would have loved that one. Heh.
[20:49] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:50] <~Dan> What sorts of adventures do the PCs have?
[20:51] <+John> Well, my daughter says, “Fun ones!” 🙂
[20:52] <+John> The Harvesters is fairly basic. Some local farm hands have come up missing and the group has to find out what happened.
[20:52] <~Dan> One would hope. 🙂
[20:53] <+John> That one has a wolverine as the main adversary.
[20:53] <~Dan> I imagine that would be a pretty nasty adversary.
[20:54] <+John> Yep, it can be. But the groups that I had go through it were pretty smart about it and didn’t attack it head on.
[20:55] <+John> At least, not at first.
[20:56] <~Dan> How did you decide what animals to be PC-accessible?
[20:56] <+John> Redwall, mostly.
[20:57] * ~Dan nods
[20:58] <~Dan> How much of a bestiary do you include?
[20:59] <+John> Can’t recall the exact number at the moment, but it was close to 150 to 160, I think.
[20:59] <~Dan> That’s pretty impressive.
[21:00] <+John> Thanks! Just kinda went through the good ole biology/animal books and started writing.
[21:00] * ~Dan nods
[21:00] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:02] <+John> Thanks!
[21:02] <~Dan> Are the animals that you feature native to the Americas, Europe, or both?
[21:02] <+John> Mostly North America.
[21:02] <~Dan> Is that a Redwall thing, too?
[21:02] <+John> The newest adventure does have some African animals thrown into the mix.
[21:03] <+John> Redwall was mostly European in nature, UK.
[21:04] <~Dan> Oh, gotcha.
[21:04] <+John> I used the NA version, but I don’t think it makes too much of a difference.
[21:04] <+John> At least, I hope it doesn’t. 🙂
[21:05] <~Dan> Except when it comes to badgers. As someone recently pointed out on FB, European badgers look like they want to invite you into their little cottage for tea and biscuits.
[21:05] <~Dan> American badgers look like enraged meth addicts. 🙂
[21:06] <+John> Yeah, looks can be deceiving. Unless, of course, you are talking about the Honey Badger. 😉
[21:06] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:06] <~Dan> Is this your first RPG?
[21:08] <+John> Yes. First started D&D with the Holmes Basic set in 78-79, but this is my first go at writing anything for publication.
[21:08] <~Dan> That’s pretty exciting!
[21:11] <+John> Yes, it has been! The first printing came out in 2010, but things have changed quite a bit since then.
[21:11] <~Dan> Oh, this isn’t a brand new game?
[21:12] <+John> Kinda. It’s much more expanded since it first came out, a bit of cleaning up. The second & third adventures help expand the setting too.
[21:13] <~Dan> Same system?
[21:14] <+John> Yes. The map that first came out is much larger now, more room to roam and beasties to find.
[21:15] <+John> More changes that needed to be made, little warts and such. 🙂
[21:15] <~Dan> As an aside, I have your KS page up in another window. “Rundown #7: You have reaped the Wood Chuck.”… I misread that as “You have raped the Wood Chuck.”
[21:15] <+John> Yeah, doing that to a woodchuck would not be nice!
[21:15] <~Dan> Heh.
[21:16] <~Dan> What is your gaming history? Mainly D&D-based games, or have you played other games as well?
[21:16] <+John> Hoping to reach the frog level. Next up is possibly a turtle. They also talked about possibly minis.
[21:17] <+John> Started with D&D in 78-79. Played a bit of Gamma World too. Went into the service, went to school, got married and job (not too much gaming there).
[21:18] <+John> Then in 2003, started gaming with Gary Gygax on his front porch in Lake Geneva. That was a trip, to say the least! 🙂
[21:18] <~Dan> Oh, wow!
[21:19] <~Dan> How did you manage that?
[21:19] <+John> Played through some of his Lejendary Adventures and the first few levels of the Castle Greyhawk.
[21:19] <+John> I was looking to get some things signed through the mail. He noticed I lived in Milwaukee and invited me to play some LA.
[21:20] <~Dan> I’ll be darned! That’s awesome!
[21:20] <+John> At the time, I had no idea what LA was. I was thinking Los Angeles RPG? Duh…no.
[21:20] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:20] <+John> So, yes, I was part of the Thursday night crew from 2003 til his untimely passing.
[21:21] <~Dan> Man… That’s amazing.
[21:21] <+John> Played some MA with Jim Ward too. Which you had on last night. Nice guy, but devious (in a good way). 🙂
[21:21] <~Dan> I was just about to ask if you knew him as well. 🙂
[21:22] <+John> Yep, memories to last a lifetime!!
[21:22] <~Dan> Sure sounds like it.
[21:22] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:24] <+John> Not really. Just hope anyone who reads this will jump on board. It is a fun game to run with the kids.
[21:24] <+John> The game is what you make it and you can pretty much take it in any direction you want.
[21:25] <~Dan> I’ll just remind folks that gratuities are welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ , if anyone is so inclined. 🙂
[21:25] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, John!
[21:25] <+Viktyr> Dan also has a Patreon.
[21:25] <+John> And thank you for taking the time to fit me in on short notice. Very much appreciated!! 🙂
[21:25] <~Dan> You’re very welcome. 🙂
[21:26] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂