[19:34] <+Derek> My name is Derek Ehlmann, and I am the creator of Oddity High, a new tabletop RPG currently going into its last week on Kickstarter
[19:35] <+Derek> It’s a PbtA game themed around being a Japanese high school student whose life is far from ordinary, inspired by works such as Haruhi Suzumiya, the Persona games, etc.
[19:36] <+Derek> (done)
[19:37] <~Dan> Thanks, Derek! The floor is open to questions!
[19:37] <~Dan> What sorts of oddities exist at this high school?
[19:38] <+Derek> That’s up to the GM and the players to decide, but it could be anything from ghosts to robots to shady government organizations to time travelers
[19:39] <~Dan> Are the PCs “ordinary” students, or can they be weird themselves?
[19:39] <+Derek> Oh, they’re certainly strange
[19:40] <+Derek> One of the core tenets of Oddity High that sets it apart from other PBTA books is a two-Playbook system
[19:41] <+Derek> One of them (your Real-Life Playbook) dictates the type of student/anime archetype that you fill. The other (your Other-Life Playbook) dictates what you are and how you’re tied to the supernatural.
[19:42] <~Dan> Do you have a sample playbook we can see?
[19:42] <+Derek> So, looking at the Other-Life Playbooks, you could just be ordinary, or you could be a magical girl, an alien who’s there to learn more about humanity’s customs, a member of an ancient secret society sent to keep an eye on the school, etc.
[19:44] <+Derek> I currently do not. Backers get access to all of the base Playbooks but I don’t have one formatted up to showcase to people.
[19:45] <~Dan> No problem.
[19:45] <~Dan> Can you describe was aspects make up a character?
[19:50] <+Derek> Each character has their two Playbooks. Between them, you have your character’s stats, their moves, possibly some special mechanics depending on the Playbook, their Comforts (which dictate how they can recover from stress), Friendships (relationships between them and other characters), and their School Club, if any
[19:50] <~Dan> What are the stats?
[19:51] <+Derek> Six stats – Guts, Strangeness, Brainpower, Sense, Manipulation, and Charisma
[19:51] <+Derek> Er, not Charisma, Empathy
[19:51] <+Derek> Mistyped
[19:51] <~Dan> How is Strangeness used?
[19:52] <+Derek> Strangeness is primarily used to tap into your character’s otherworldly powers.
[19:54] <+Derek> It’s what you use when you roll to *unleash your true power* – which is the Basic Move that pertains to using your supernatural abilities in ways that don’t involve facing threats head-on
[19:54] <+Motulev> what do the characters seek to achieve in this game?
[19:57] <+Derek> Usually it’s something like solving a mystery, dealing with a new threat or situation that’s come up, or working towards the agenda of themselves or someone pertaining to their Other-Life Playbook
[19:58] <~Dan> How much of a factor is combat in this game?
[19:58] <+Derek> I don’t know if the *characters* have a goal per se. But the goal of the players is to create a good “episode” of the anime you’re all making together.
[20:00] <+Derek> Combat’s a decent factor in the game, though depending on what the players want and how the characters are set up, it can be more or less of a factor in a given campaign
[20:01] <~Dan> How serious is the game setting?
[20:02] <+Derek> There’s room for the game to be anywhere from “pretty serious” to “really, *really* stupid in a really good way”
[20:03] <~Dan> How do you usually play it in that regard?
[20:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[20:04] <+Derek> Depends on what the players want
[20:04] * ~Dan nods
[20:04] <+Derek> I tend to play it about as serious as, say, a Persona game – quite serious at some points, rather lighthearted at others.
[20:05] <~Dan> I see.
[20:06] <+Derek> If things end up not being serious for the scene, I roll with it – I’ve invoked a decent few anime-esque gags when the situation’s called for it
[20:06] <~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, ScourgeBooks!)
[20:08] <~Dan> Are adventures usually a balance between school and, well, adventure?
[20:09] <+Derek> I’d say so. There’s oftentimes a lot of overlap between the school and the adventure
[20:09] <+Derek> Dealing with other students, dealing with things going on with the school itself or the faculty, et cetera
[20:11] <~Dan> How out in the open is the weirdness?
[20:11] <+Derek> Depends on the character and on the campaign
[20:12] <~Dan> So there really isn’t a default setting?
[20:13] <+Derek> No. In fact, part of character generation involves creating the school that your characters go to
[20:13] <+Derek> Creating rumors about it, helping to define its teachers, et cetera
[20:14] <~Dan> That’s interesting… How much detail goes into that process?
[20:14] <+Derek> There’s a planned book that’s part of a stretch goal that’s been hit that provides three settings, but that’s a supplement
[20:14] * ~Dan nods
[20:15] <+Derek> So, part of character creation is that each player is to come up with one fact and one rumor about the school
[20:15] <+Derek> There’s a table of questions in the book for this purpose
[20:16] <+Derek> Some examples of these include “What’s unique or special about the school building itself?” and “What recent event had the media all over your school?” as Facts, and “Tell us an urban legend that’s been circulating around the school” and “Which of the school’s teachers is rumored to have a dark and terrible secret?” for Rumors
[20:17] <~Dan> That’s cool. Instant plot hooks for the GM.
[20:18] <~Dan> How are the teachers defined by the players?
[20:18] <+Derek> After those are answered, the players define their homeroomt teacher(s) (if they’re in a class with two or more PCs, which is recommended) as well as a few smaller details
[20:19] <~Dan> (Ah, n/m. 🙂 )
[20:19] <+Derek> More detail on the teachers can be fleshed out by the GM as needed
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:19] <+Derek> As is the case in high school anime like this, the teacher can vary from “practically a background character” to “absolutely a main character”
[20:20] <+Derek> (That last one’s looked at in more detail in one of the expansion Playbooks 😉 )
[20:20] <~Dan> Ah, so the expansion covers playing a teacher?
[20:21] <+Derek> Yeah, there’s a Real-Life Playbook called The Teacher which covers it
[20:22] <+Derek> How it actually works is still a little up in the air, but I’ve been focusing on non-expansion stuff for the time being
[20:22] <~Dan> You mentioned the three settings in the expansion. Can you describe them?
[20:22] <+Derek> Sure.
[20:24] <+Derek> There’s three schools – one of which is a “vanilla” one in the heart of Tokyo, one of which is a smaller school in a small rural village, and the last one is a shiny academy for the ultra-rich (and scholarship students) on a secluded island that totally has mysterious research facilities underneath it
[20:25] <+Derek> Each one will also come with its own flavor of the supernatural and explanations on what that means for each Playbook
[20:25] <+Derek> Again, details for that are a little TBD since it’s not base content
[20:26] <~Dan> Sure, I understand.
[20:27] <~Dan> Is the game class-based?
[20:27] <+Derek> It’s Playbook-based, what with it being a PBTA game and all
[20:28] <~Dan> So archetypes, essentially?
[20:28] <+Derek> Yeah, more or less
[20:28] <~Dan> How many Playbooks are there?
[20:28] <+Derek> Base game has nine Real-Life and ten Other-Life
[20:29] <+Derek> (One of the Other-Life Playbooks has the core concept of “this is your only life, you don’t have an Other-Life”)
[20:29] <+Derek> Er, don’t have a Real-Life
[20:29] <~Dan> Ah… and players combine one of each (except in that one circumstance)?
[20:30] <+Derek> Exactly.
[20:30] <~Dan> So you could be a cheerleader who’s really an alien, or a ghost, or whatever?
[20:31] <+Derek> Yeah.
[20:31] <+Derek> Though the real-life Playbooks are less Western character archetypes and more Japanese character archetypes
[20:32] <~Dan> Oh, that makes sense. Can you give some examples?
[20:35] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[20:35] <+Derek> Sure. Some examples of Real-Life Playbooks include the Brash (what you lack in politeness and restraint, you make up for with energy), the Noble (you’re the senpai that everyone else wishes would notice them), the Otaku (you’re a giant nerd), and the Space Cadet (your train of thought is… different to say the least).
[20:39] <~Dan> What are some of the Other-Life playbooks?
[20:41] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:42] <+Derek> Some examples of those include the Vanilla (totally ordinary), the Henshin (you can transform into a different form to fight with – magical girls, sentai, etc.), the Leash (you have an entity bound to you – powerful, temperamental, and under your complete control)
[20:43] <+Derek> The Interface (you’re synthetic; built with great powers, but you exist only to serve your Leader) and The Newbie (you woke up the other day to discover that you’ve got phenomenal powers. If only you knew how they worked…)
[20:48] <~Dan> (Sorry, back.)
[20:48] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[20:49] <&Le_Squide> (Hey!)
[20:51] <~Dan> For those unfamiliar with Powered by the Apocalypse, can you give an overview of task resolution?
[20:51] <+Derek> Sure, I can do my best
[20:52] <+Derek> So, basically, you have specific moves that generally do specific things. In order to determine whether you succeed or fail, you roll 2d6
[20:52] <+Derek> On a 7+, you succeed. On a 6-, you fail
[20:53] <+Derek> Your stats and the surrounding conditions modify your roll
[20:53] <+Derek> (There’s also degrees of success, with 7-9 being a partial success while 10+ is a complete success)
[20:55] * ~Dan nods
[20:57] <~Dan> Does the game include any sort of bestiary of foes?
[20:57] <+Derek> That’s one of the things I’m currently working on
[20:58] <~Dan> For an expansion or for the core rules?
[20:58] <+Derek> For the core book
[20:59] <+Derek> Though the setting packs will also contain threats and adversaries aplenty
[21:01] <~Dan> Any particularly interesting foes you’re working on? Got any favorites?
[21:02] <+Derek> Not really, sad to say. Honestly, I’ve got something akin to writer’s block when it comes to this sort of thing
[21:03] <~Dan> No worries.
[21:03] <+Derek> I’m planning on taking a day or two to focus on doing more research and getting good ideas for this
[21:03] * ~Dan nods
[21:04] <~Dan> Good plan.
[21:05] <~Dan> Do you see this as the beginning of a game line?
[21:05] <+Derek> Can’t say I do.
[21:06] <~Dan> Is this your first published RPG?
[21:06] <+Derek> Really, this whole thing started as a “I’d like to tell this sort of story, wonder if I can come up with something”
[21:07] <+Derek> And then going “hey, maybe I can sell this and people would be interested”
[21:07] <+Derek> It is
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:08] <~Dan> Do you have anything planned next?
[21:08] <+Derek> I do not.
[21:09] <+Derek> Gotta publish this one first
[21:09] <~Dan> Sure, makes sense.
[21:09] <~Dan> What is your personal gaming history?
[21:09] <+Derek> Let’s see
[21:10] <+Derek> Fair bit of Fate in various forms, played in a Shadowrun game for the past three years
[21:10] <+Derek> I’ve ran campaigns for Firefly, Mouse Guard, a FATE homebrew setting, Masks, Fellowship, and of course Oddity High
[21:10] <+Derek> Bunch of smaller PBTA games here and there
[21:12] <~Dan> Is there any game you’d like to try but haven’t yet?
[21:12] <+Derek> Not too many, I’ve found
[21:12] <+Derek> I think the big one is Ryuutama
[21:13] <~Dan> Oh, yeah, that sounds right up your alley.
[21:14] <~Dan> Hmm… I think I’m out of questions for the moment. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:14] <+Derek> Not really
[21:15] <~Dan> Want to wrap up a little early, then?
[21:15] <+Derek> Sure
[21:16] <~Dan> Okay. I’ll just make my standard mention that my tip jar is at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ , if anyone is feeling generous. 🙂
[21:16] <~Dan> Thanks so much for joining us, Derek!
[21:16] <+Derek> No problem!
[21:16] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you.