[19:34] <+SJohnBateman> Hey everyone. Im S. John Bateman. Designer of the Deep Dark. Thank you so much for having me here tonight.
[19:35] <+SJohnBateman> The Deep Dark is a table top role-playing game about delving into dungeons for gold and glory. Its a game about helping your friends and keeping your promises. It likes to ask the question: ‘Who do you hold close when the torch light dims and you’re stranded in the Deep Dark.”
[19:35] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[19:36] <~Dan> (Howdy, mathias!)
[19:36] <~Dan> Thanks, SJohnBateman! The floor is open to questions!
[19:37] <~Dan> As you well know, there’s no shortage of dungeon delving games out there. What makes yours stand out?
[19:39] <+SJohnBateman> Good question. Opposed to some other games, the Deep Dark doesnt motivate players to be murder-hobos. It uses a different incentive experience system than your standard ‘kill things and take their stuff’. Also the Deep Dark is more concerned with the minutia of things like camp, rations, and especially light sources. As an added addition the game …
[19:39] <+SJohnBateman> is only about 64 pages in length, so its quicker to grab and start playing.
[19:40] <+SJohnBateman> It focuses on player narration and descriptions of how they overcome challenges. Thats an important part of the game, whereas other systems may worry more about combat. (done)
[19:40] <&Silverlion> So is that a lot of book keeping?
[19:41] <+SJohnBateman> Not especially a lot of book keeping no. Its simple placement of things on the character sheet that modify dice rolls (tests) and allow character to take certain actions.
[19:41] <+SJohnBateman> No more book keeping than your traditional role playing game
[19:42] <&Silverlion> What’s the basic mechanic?
[19:44] <+SJohnBateman> I think the best mechanic is how light plays into every test you make. The amount of light your characters are standing in determines what kind of penalties you take when you roll the dice. The Deep Dark constantly craws forth trying to strangle any light in its path. Bright light provides a +0 modifier to tests. Lantern light provides a -1 to all tests…
[19:44] <+SJohnBateman> and provides light for the entire table. Torchlight is -2 to all tests, and provides light to half the table. Candles are -3 and only provide light to the character holding them.
[19:45] <+SJohnBateman> This combines with the ways players narrate the actions of their characters, their character’s skills, tools, and alignment all play into the testing system
[19:45] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[19:46] <~Dan> Very cool. I think Silverlion was asking about the core task resolution mechanic, though. 🙂
[19:46] <+SJohnBateman> The basic mechanic (excuse me) Is a simple d6 roll. When your character attempts something you roll 1d6 and add modifiers for attributes, lineage descriptors, tools, and alignment
[19:46] <&Silverlion> Ah. Cool. So fairly simple.
[19:47] <+SJohnBateman> If that number is equal to or more than a 6. you succeed. If not the situation is complicated, or you succeed but witha compromise
[19:47] <+SJohnBateman> Pretty straight forward yes Silverlion
[19:48] <~Dan> You mentioned character motivation earlier. What motivates the PCs to explore the dungeons, if not the promise of treasure?
[19:49] <+WonderRat> *snifs around to make sure it is safe*
[19:49] <+WonderRat> Hmmm
[19:49] <~Dan> (Welcome back, WonderRat!)
[19:49] <+WonderRat> Who are you???
[19:50] <~Dan> (Heh. 🙂 Current topic: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862793034/the-deep-dark-rpg-quickstarter)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862793034/the-deep-dark-rpg-quickstarter )
[19:50] <+SJohnBateman> Good question again Dan. Characters, in the fiction of the game are of course motivated by the treasure. Its what they need to live on. Most of the reward structure for the game however is player motivation.
[19:50] <~Dan> (Oh, and #randomworlds2 is open for general chat, as always. 🙂 )
[19:51] <+SJohnBateman> Players are rewarded for 4 things in the Deep Dark
[19:52] <+SJohnBateman> Driving the narrative forward with their characters’ written alignments, resolving relationships between party members, recovering wounds, and narrating a ‘catch-up’ scene after you miss a session.
[19:52] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[19:52] <~Dan> What are the alignments?
[19:54] <+SJohnBateman> Alignments are the personal codes or moral strictures of the characters. They are written prior to the game session by the players as a one sentence ‘driving philosophy’
[19:54] <+SJohnBateman> ”
[19:54] <+SJohnBateman> “There’
[19:54] <+SJohnBateman> “There’s not but blood and gold for me.”
[19:54] <+SJohnBateman> “All adventures eventually lead home.”
[19:54] <+SJohnBateman> etc
[19:54] <~Dan> Ah, so not a pregenerated list as in D&D.
[19:55] <+SJohnBateman> Correct.
[19:55] <~Dan> And I take it they impact task rolls depending upon how the PC feels about the action in relation to his alignment?
[19:56] <+SJohnBateman> Right! A Theologist might have an alignment like “I will be the light and justice that cleanses the souls of the damned.” and they can use that to get a modifier when fighting undead or enemies anathema to their religion.
[19:57] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[19:57] <+SJohnBateman> Or an Arcanist may have an alignment “Magic is the blood of the earth” and can use it for spells, etc
[19:57] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[19:57] <~Dan> Does the game have its own setting, and if so, can you say a bit about it?
[19:58] <+SJohnBateman> The game has an ‘implied setting’ that is very minimal but shows through the mechanics. No maps or town names.
[19:59] <+SJohnBateman> Its a place where town is safe, the wilderlands are dangerous, and the dungeons are all together something more horrendous
[19:59] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[19:59] <+mathias> With light beings such a central focus… how does pacing work in the game?
[20:01] <+SJohnBateman> Good question again! Pacing in the game does what I would call ‘zoom in and out’. While playing we zoom in to the characters’ actions, the descriptions of the dungeon. Then something arises in the fiction that calls for a test. We zoom out, grab some dice, decide who’s helping and roll. The roll tells us what happens next. Then we zoom in again.
[20:01] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:02] <~Dan> I see… So is task resolution fairly abstract?
[20:02] <~Dan> (btw, new here, mathias? 🙂 )
[20:03] <+mathias> (yes, hi :D)
[20:04] <~Dan> (Welcome! 🙂 )
[20:04] <+SJohnBateman> I would say that its definitely a system of task resolution. But it does not always lead to a binary suceed move forward, fail stay in the same place result like some other traditional games. Besides that though, how tasks are resolved is fairly similar to more traditional games
[20:04] <+SJohnBateman> Could you elaborate on the question some Dan?
[20:05] <~Dan> Hmm, how to rephrase… Well, you mention “zooming out” during task resolution. I’m just wondering if you mean that one roll covers a whole series of actions, or whether, as in your traditional game, it’s one roll for one action.
[20:08] <+SJohnBateman> Most of the tasks in the game are questions like ‘can you ford the sunken hallway?’ ‘can you hit the goblin?’ ‘Do you intimate the rival adventurer?’ so yes I’d say it was one roll per task
[20:08] <+SJohnBateman> We just zoom out so we can see how other characters might be helping, and ask what tools might be used, or how alignments play in to the test
[20:09] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:11] <~Dan> Ah, I see what you mean.
[20:12] <+SJohnBateman> Yeah 🙂
[20:12] <~Dan> So does the action in the game begin and end at the dungeon entrance, or does the action take place in the towns and wilderness as well?
[20:14] <+SJohnBateman> Towns are safe havens. Their places to heal your wounds, and mend your wears. The wilderlands act as a dangerous buffer that separates the safety of town from dungeons. But yes, 90% of the game is in the dungeon. Town, and Wilderlands are more book keeping
[20:14] <+SJohnBateman> *Theyre
[20:14] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:15] <~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest35!)
[20:15] <~Dan> Does the setting have any sort of implied cosmology?
[20:17] <+SJohnBateman> Not so much in a ‘space’ sense. There is a god, a veil to the other side, and an aether in between.
[20:18] <~Dan> Is there a Big Bad?
[20:19] <+SJohnBateman> Not in a meta-plot overarching sense no. I guess I leave that to the individual GM
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:19] <~Dan> Can we see the character sheet?
[20:20] <+SJohnBateman> Certainly. So far the sheets I have to provide are only prototypes, and are for the BETA playtest I ran from February to early August
[20:20] <+SJohnBateman> (Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1w6QWgLvuQA7cZlmThy-oNI6NrNjkspwU?usp=sharing)https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1w6QWgLvuQA7cZlmThy-oNI6NrNjkspwU?usp=sharing
[20:20] <+SJohnBateman> ^you should be able to find them there
[20:21] <~Dan> Looking over one here…
[20:22] <+SJohnBateman> Yeah. Each class has a defined skill list, so there is a separate sheet for each class.
[20:23] <+mathias> What does the Deep Dark ask of me as a gm? What should I bring to and/or aim at during play?
[20:23] <~Dan> I like that you have a Cartographer class. Seems fitting for this type of adventuring, and not something I’ve seen before.
[20:24] <+SJohnBateman> Good question mathias! The Deep Dark has a set of principles for every gm that runs the game: Fill the world with Darkness, Challenge the Players, and be Impartial. Should I break those down?
[20:24] <~Dan> Please!
[20:24] <+SJohnBateman> Thanks Dan! The Cartographer is a valued member of an adventuring party.
[20:25] <+SJohnBateman> Cool yeah I’ll break down each of the GM’s principles.
[20:26] <+SJohnBateman> Fill the world with Darkness: More than often adventurers find the deep worse than that sung about in the songs when they delve looking for gold and glory! (cont)..
[20:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, Marco, Le_Squide!)
[20:26] <+Marco> Hi Dan, Squide
[20:26] <&Le_Squide> (Hey!)
[20:26] <~Dan> (Current topic: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862793034/the-deep-dark-rpg-quickstarter)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862793034/the-deep-dark-rpg-quickstarter)
[20:27] <+SJohnBateman> A GM should always fill the world with darkness. Darkness is a stand in for the things we’re scared of, Things that are unknown. Darkness swells around us, and tries at every attempt to strangle us. Presenting darkness means presenting danger and struggle. Untamed places, forlorn places,
[20:27] <+SJohnBateman> (cont)
[20:28] <+mathias> (!)
[20:29] <+SJohnBateman> A GM should always Challenge the Players! The Gm should give the players challenges to solve and overcome and let them go to. Allow them to overcome challenges through their own play skill and ingenuity. Encourage them to use the mechanics. (cont)
[20:29] <+SJohnBateman> A Gm should always be impartial. They’re not trying to kill the player’s characters, but they’re not leading them around through the dark by the hand either. let the dice fall where they may.
[20:29] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:30] <~Dan> (mathias, sent you a PM. 🙂 )
[20:32] <~Dan> Let’s see… What is the attribute scale?
[20:33] <+SJohnBateman> There are three attributes: Tough, Deft, and Wise. and attributes can range from -3 to +3.
[20:33] <+SJohnBateman> Though at character creation its +0 to +3
[20:33] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:34] <~Dan> And it looks like skills work something like they do in Warhammer, letting you apply your attributes in certain ways without adding bonuses of their own? Or am I misreading that?
[20:35] <+SJohnBateman> Skills allow you to do certain ‘special’ character specific things in the game. Yes they do let you apply your attributes in certain ways, and you add your attribute to any test, including for skills.
[20:36] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:37] <~Dan> I notice that there’s no thief/rogue type. Any thoughts on the subject?
[20:39] <+SJohnBateman> Yeah. One rogues are probably my least favorite class in other games. well, sometimes. Firstly I didnt see the deep dark to be about picking locks and sneaking per se. It was to be more about surviving the dungeon as a whole event. Also, in other games Rogues usually fill the space of the ‘skilled’ character, and Quartermasters fill that spot in the Deep Dark
[20:39] <+SJohnBateman> also halflings are naturally predisposed towards sneaking if you want to play a sneaky character
[20:40] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:40] <~Dan> I see.
[20:40] <~Dan> So there are fantasy races available?
[20:41] <+SJohnBateman> Yes. Four Lineages in total: Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Humans.
[20:41] <+Marco> what’s the motivation for going into dungeons?
[20:41] <+SJohnBateman> Sweet loot Marco. The fuel you need to pay your bills and live your life.
[20:41] <+Marco> is there magic treasure?
[20:42] <+SJohnBateman> Yes there is magic treasure. Magic weapons, potions, wands, relics, and scrolls.
[20:43] <+Marco> any examples of an odd magic item–something semi unique to the game?
[20:44] <+SJohnBateman> magic weapons give players an ability to automatic help on tests that include the magic weapon. so now you’re looking at rolling 2d6 instead of one. Increases the odds of success a bit. The other magic items usually modify a test roll of some sort. Or play into the camp/journey mechanic in some way.
[20:44] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:45] <+Marco> ok–if I have a magic sword, is there a way to get a better one?
[20:46] <~Dan> (btw, SJohnBateman, Marco here is one of your fellow game authors: (Link: https://www.jagsrpg.com/)https://www.jagsrpg.com/ )
[20:46] <+SJohnBateman> A better magic sword? I dont think in the fiction that would be necessary, no
[20:46] <+Marco> ok, that’s fine.
[20:46] <+SJohnBateman> well, Hey there Marco
[20:47] <+Marco> Any specifically interesting / unique monsters?
[20:47] <~Dan> Yes, what sort of bestiary do you offer?
[20:47] <+SJohnBateman> The Firebreathing Doomfrog comes immediately to mind.
[20:47] <+Marco> Hey John
[20:47] <+Marco> I like it
[20:48] <+SJohnBateman> Deep Dark has a four page bestiary with roughly 24 monsters. And rules for how you can simply create your own.
[20:49] <+SJohnBateman> Trolls, Iron Eaters, and Eldar Oculeye are some of my favorite (and some of the deadlist) monsters
[20:49] <+SJohnBateman> *deadliest
[20:49] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[20:49] <~Dan> Do there be dragons?
[20:49] <+SJohnBateman> Wyrms are nasty destructive conniving creatures, yes.
[20:50] <~Dan> Nice.
[20:50] <+SJohnBateman> Thanks
[20:50] <~Dan> I notice that every character sheet has space for spells. Can any character class use them?
[20:51] <+SJohnBateman> Arcanists and Theologist get spells/orisons. That has been updated since the BETA
[20:51] <~Dan> Ah, I see. And how does spellcasting work?
[20:52] <+SJohnBateman> Arcanists have a skill called incanting. The test works like any other. You pick the spell, describe to the table and roll. On a success you cast the spell. On a failure there is a consequence listed for each spell
[20:53] <~Dan> So spellcasting is freeform?
[20:54] <+SJohnBateman> Yeah, you can cast as much as you want. The consequence of failing your casting is what should make you question as to whether its the right point to cast. Things ranging from losing the spell to instant death occur
[20:54] <+SJohnBateman> depending on the spell (done)
[20:55] <~Dan> But there is no pre-set spell list? The player just describes what he wants to happen?
[20:56] <+SJohnBateman> Oh ok. I understand now. Yes there is a small spell list. 7 spells
[20:57] <~Dan> I see… What are they?
[20:59] <+SJohnBateman> A pretty standard spread: magic missile, shield, magic sword, light, fireball, darksight, and sigil.
[20:59] <+SJohnBateman> The arcanist has a few neat skills that supplement the rest.
[21:00] <~Dan> What is sigil?
[21:01] <+SJohnBateman> The Arcanist inscribes a rune on an object and on a success can choose one: to be alerted when the object is touched, a trigger goes off casting a spell when touched, or if the rune is inscribed on paper, it will save the spell to be cast at a later time when read
[21:02] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:02] <~Dan> So do orisons work the same way?
[21:02] <+SJohnBateman> On a failure, you could lose the spell or you could create an anti-magic field where no magic can ever be cast again.
[21:03] <+SJohnBateman> Orisons are very similar yes. Though they use the standard failure mechanics as the rest of the game does.
[21:03] <+SJohnBateman> create mana, speak with dead, light, bless, consecration, abjuration
[21:03] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[21:04] <~Dan> Abjuration meaning the repelling of undead?
[21:05] <+SJohnBateman> Theologists actually have a skill called judging, that allows them to judge undead and find them to be abominations against god. Ajuration is for demons
[21:05] <+SJohnBateman> *Abjuration
[21:05] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[21:05] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[21:07] <+SJohnBateman> Combat is pretty standard stuff. The GM rolls a d6 for the monster’s side, the players choose a team captain to roll a d6 for the player side. This determines initiative. And the initiative winner gets to choose at which range combat begins.
[21:07] <+SJohnBateman> Ranged, Reach, or Melee. Your characters weapons are only effective at their listed range.
[21:07] <+SJohnBateman> Ranged creatures attack first, then reach, then melee, then spells/orisons (takes them awhile to incant/pray)
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:08] <+SJohnBateman> making to hit rolls is pretty standard. reaching that target number of 6 is the same
[21:08] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[21:08] <~Dan> How is damage rated?
[21:10] <+SJohnBateman> damage is rated anywhere from a dagger at a d4 damage to a firearm at d6+3 damage. Most fall in between. Some spells may deal a d8.
[21:10] <+SJohnBateman> small damage, small hp (health descriptors actually)
[21:11] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[21:11] <~Dan> How does armor work in the game?
[21:12] <+SJohnBateman> armor works in two ways. You have two ‘classes of armor’ i guess i could say. Standard armor is light, medium, and heavy (leathers, chain, plate) and they absorb damage. -1, -2, and -3 respectively
[21:13] <+SJohnBateman> The second type are special. Helms and Shields. At any any time your character would take damage you can instead destroy your helmet or shield and take no damage.
[21:13] <+SJohnBateman> (done)
[21:14] <~Dan> So shields don’t do anything unless they’re destroyed?
[21:15] <+SJohnBateman> right. then its time to repair your shield at camp, or buy a new one back in town
[21:15] <~Dan> Oh, I meant to touch on this earlier, but what sorts of abilities do the four races have?
[21:16] <+SJohnBateman> Its pretty simple. Each Lineage gets an ability boost (standard stuff) – and then each lineage has a list of lineage descriptors.
[21:17] <+SJohnBateman> for example the elves descriptors are: singing, remembering, declining.
[21:17] <+SJohnBateman> So if your test has to do with any of those you may add +1 to your roll.
[21:17] <+SJohnBateman> its up to the player in their narration to come up with interesting ways to incorporate their lineages (done)
[21:18] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:19] <+SJohnBateman> I really like the town mechanics. town gives players time to pursue certain goals and mechanize down time
[21:20] <+SJohnBateman> each town is randomly generated, and may feature differing sorts of establishments. Each establishment has at least two mechanics the characters can interact with
[21:21] <+SJohnBateman> Temples allow characters to pay alms for boons, or have curses removed. Inns allow you to rest and recover. Workshops allow you to make masterwork tools. Taverns let you bring on hirelings and ask about adventure detail like monsters, or curses and get rumors and stuff.
[21:21] <+SJohnBateman> I like it (done)
[21:22] <~Dan> Yup, that’s pretty clever. 🙂
[21:22] <~Dan> Oh, did you post the link to your Kickstarter?
[21:23] <+SJohnBateman> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862793034/the-deep-dark-rpg-quickstarter?ref=creator_nav)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1862793034/the-deep-dark-rpg-quickstarter?ref=creator_nav
[21:23] <+SJohnBateman> I think thats it ^
[21:23] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:23] <+SJohnBateman> This was cool Dan, thanks so much.
[21:23] <~Dan> Speaking of links, here’s the link to my virtual tip jar if anyone is so inclined: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:24] <~Dan> You’re very welcome, SJohnBateman! Thank you for joining us!
[21:24] <+SJohnBateman> Thanks for having me Dan
[21:24] <~Dan> I hope you’ll hang out with us in the future. You’re always welcome. 🙂
[21:24] <+SJohnBateman> Will do!
[21:24] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the transcript posted and link you. 🙂
[21:24] <+SJohnBateman> sounds good