[19:32] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hello! I am Vito Pandolfo, Managing Principal of 5th Epoch Publishing & Media, and Co-Author the Metal, Magic and Lore Fantasy RPG. We have been around since we made our debut with Metal, Magic and Lore at ORIGINS in 2007, and also publish The Vampire’s Codex RPG and Box Battles: Cold War Evolution, a 6mm War Miniature boxed game, 1970s era. Tonight, I am mos
[19:33] <~Dan> (Cut off at “I am mos”)
[19:33] <+Vito5thEpoch> mostly here to talk about Metal, Magic and Lore and 5th Epoch in general, how the product line grew to 5 books and 25 PDFs supplements, where we have both succeeded and failed and what revisions we are working on for the immediate and far future.
[19:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> It’s ok if it is a quiet eve – we have never been good at marketing, one of our weak points 🙂
[19:36] <~Dan> Oh, we’re just waiting on a (done) from you to start questions. 🙂
[19:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> Sorry!
[19:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[19:36] <~Dan> Heh. No problem. The floor is open to questions!
[19:37] <~Dan> What is the setting of Metal, Magic and Lore?
[19:37] <+Vito5thEpoch> VERY traditional fantasy. MML focuses on refining old ideas, incorporating the challenges of fantastic survival with the social order, and economic constraints similar to Medieval Europe. Men, Elves, Dwarves and Hilfolk (smaller folk): think Tolkien, Howard and Ambercrombie.
[19:38] <+Vito5thEpoch> I know alot of other fantasy games stretch into new races, new ideas…
[19:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> But we have stayed with our roots
[19:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[19:39] <~Dan> I’m not familiar with Ambercrombie. What has s/he written?
[19:42] <+Vito5thEpoch> British writer, some lesser known works, but in similar older styles
[19:43] <+Vito5thEpoch> Sorry was pulled away a minute
[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion! Meet Vito5thEpoch. 🙂 )
[19:43] <~Dan> No worries, Vito5thEpoch!
[19:43] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hello Silverlion! Happy Birthday!
[19:44] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yeah, so we have tried to deepen the ideas of traditional fantasy. I know that for some folks this can get old – but if you do it well enough, some of it can feel rather new
[19:44] <~Dan> Sure.
[19:44] <+Vito5thEpoch> In truth, the setting is one of the things that both critics and fans want more of
[19:45] <~Dan> Can you give an example of deepening the ideas of traditional fantasy?
[19:45] <+Vito5thEpoch> Sure
[19:45] <+Vito5thEpoch> For example, how does social class and economic base look in the world of Men, vs the world of Dwarves?
[19:46] <+Vito5thEpoch> How do trade good and value play a role in characters’ ability to ‘cash in’. using supply and demand?
[19:47] <+Vito5thEpoch> If a group of characters finds a species of pack animal,,,,say specially bred ponies by Dwarves, and are able to bring them to another region where Men priize them, can they fetch more coin?
[19:47] <+Vito5thEpoch> Does this make sense? (done)
[19:47] <~Dan> Sure.
[19:48] <+Vito5thEpoch> This plays into the more fantastical too…some lesser magics, herbs, tinctures, costs of armors, etc
[19:48] <~Dan> Regarding the species themselves, do your versions have any interesting twists, or are they pretty traditional?
[19:48] <+Vito5thEpoch> Quality of armor and make
[19:48] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, we have some twists!!!
[19:49] <+Vito5thEpoch> The one people always like are our “Gnomes”. You will notice I did not mention them before. It is because our Gnomes are actually a faction of Dwarves who chose to break from their tradition…
[19:49] <+Vito5thEpoch> They adopted the more common ways of Men, changed their style and manner of dress, ethics, conduct
[19:50] <+Vito5thEpoch> And so, they are Dwarves by blood, and their own culture – survivors.
[19:50] <+Vito5thEpoch> That is an example – (done)
[19:51] <~Dan> Interesting.
[19:51] <~Dan> What are your Elves like?
[19:51] <+Vito5thEpoch> One more things – even ‘Gnome’ is noted as coming from ‘Gnostic’ and ‘Nomad’…roamers from belief, so to speak
[19:51] <+Vito5thEpoch> Elves –
[19:52] <+Vito5thEpoch> Something similar happened to our Elves. The original Elves, called Gray Elves, were the settlers of the main continent. But the similar forces which pulled the Dwarves apart also pulled the Elves
[19:52] <+Vito5thEpoch> And so, most of the Elves on the land are called ‘Wood Elves’. or ‘Tribal Elves’.
[19:53] <+Vito5thEpoch> Gray Elves buld cities, build ships and sil the seas. But the Tribal Elves are across the lands
[19:53] <+Vito5thEpoch> The Tribal Elves are all Matriarchial in their leadership
[19:53] <+Vito5thEpoch> So, you can see some Tolkien in there, but….some twists.
[19:53] <+Vito5thEpoch> Is this clear? (done)
[19:54] <~Dan> Absolutely.
[19:54] <~Dan> Are the Tribal Elves more primitive?
[19:55] <+Vito5thEpoch> They seem it at first. They do practice tattoos, visibly and overtly. And they tend to live in more rural regions. But their primitive inclination has more to do with the region each tribe lives and the resources available
[19:55] * ~Dan nods
[19:55] <+Vito5thEpoch> In the far desert, no doubt, there is little metal there, and so weapons can seem to revert
[19:56] <+Vito5thEpoch> But in areas near their Gray cousins, they look quite sophisticated
[19:56] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[19:56] <~Dan> How do the two types of Elves get along?
[19:56] <+Vito5thEpoch> Dan, what type of gamer have you been? Which of these ideas are interesting to you?
[19:56] <+Vito5thEpoch> Haha! The Elves get along OK! The Dwarves and Gnomes not so much!
[19:57] <~Dan> Hmm… What kind of gamer have I been? Good question!
[19:57] <~Dan> I’ve kind of been all over the place in my game choices, I suppose.
[19:57] <+Vito5thEpoch> The Elves can put aside their differences when they need, but this seems to be a problem for the Dw/Gn combination. (done)
[19:58] <~Dan> I do appreciate fresh takes on fantasy standards, though.
[19:58] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yeah me too….I want to play more, but when you publish, you just cannot play as much
[19:58] <~Dan> Yeah, I hear that a lot.
[19:58] <+Vito5thEpoch> Fresh takes on fantasy, yes I could see that –
[19:59] <~Dan> How common is magic in this setting, and how powerful can it get on the high end?
[20:00] <+Vito5thEpoch> The magic is not powerful, but it is quite effective. It is scaled to the survivability of the rest of the game system. So, for example,
[20:01] <+Vito5thEpoch> You will not see magicians casting fireballs through 30 foot stone walls, but you will see a magician tapping into his friends ‘spiritual energy’ (Evocation), in order to case a spell strong enough to take down a Minotaur
[20:01] <+Vito5thEpoch> The system is scaled down overall, and so is the magic. We have about 100 spells in the basic game, Wizardry, Elementalism and Symbolism, all with different flavors
[20:02] <+Vito5thEpoch> In the advanced rules, players can modify the spells, so they come up with all sorts of cool combinations.
[20:02] <~Dan> How do the types of magic differ?
[20:03] <+Vito5thEpoch> Elementalists are specialsists: they choose Air, Earth, Water, Fire or Life. They get a great spell package that will onely work in certain situations. Wizards, however, have a wider variety of spells,
[20:03] <+Vito5thEpoch> Doing more general useful things.
[20:04] <+Vito5thEpoch> Symbolists have the least potent magic, but spelss that tend to protect or affect the whole group or party
[20:04] <+Vito5thEpoch> These are gross generalizations, of course
[20:04] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:04] <~Dan> So do they kind of fill the cleric niche?
[20:05] <~Dan> Regarding the Symbolists, I mean.
[20:05] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yeah, the Life Elementalist does – healing and such. And Wizards can emulate some elementalism. We do not have clerics, so to speak in the common sense.
[20:05] * ~Dan nods
[20:05] <+Vito5thEpoch> Symbolists can also help healing, albeit more slowly.
[20:05] <+Vito5thEpoch> Let me share a few basics, overall —
[20:06] <+Vito5thEpoch> The system overall is D% based. No character classes and no levels; skills are freely chosen to fill slots based on GM/player negotiation.
[20:06] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hit Points are based on body part and affixed (they do not increase); Attack rolls are defended against, and if not, a body location is chosen. If the armor stops the weapon, great. If not…Ouch.
[20:07] <+Vito5thEpoch> The same % system is used for spells as for attacking, as for other non-combat skills – one mechanic for all.
[20:07] <+Vito5thEpoch> In general, you get to improve skills only by using them. Critical successes and failures also get you experience. (done)
[20:07] <~Dan> I’m always glad to see a unified mechanic.
[20:07] <+Vito5thEpoch> I am glad to hear that!
[20:07] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:08] <~Dan> So do you use damage reduction for your armor mechanic?
[20:09] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yep. First roll location. Check the armor. Roll damage (and weapon type, cut, pierce, etc), and see what thet armor stops.
[20:09] <~Dan> Ah, so different armors have different effectiveness depending upon the weapon type?
[20:09] <+Vito5thEpoch> And, before you ask, it happens quickly. We have the die rolling at the table down well. On a Satruday afternoon, most combats are done in under 60 minutes.
[20:09] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, you are correct on that. Mail works well agains blades…not so much against maces.
[20:10] * ~Dan nods
[20:10] <~Dan> That’s not bad at all, re: combat time.
[20:11] <+Vito5thEpoch> Listen – In my 40 years as a role player, realism always meant a ton of tables and time and a billion die rolls
[20:11] <+Vito5thEpoch> I am proud that we do not have this problem.
[20:11] <+Vito5thEpoch> Demos at Cons, under 30 minutes.
[20:11] <~Dan> Was realism a main goal for your system?
[20:12] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, it was. We wanted to harken to a time when role players would focus on problem solving, not smashing
[20:12] <~Dan> What are some games that inspired you in that regard?
[20:12] <+Vito5thEpoch> And so, here we are. Players tend to go, “hold on, how about we do this without a fight?”, rather than “30 Orcs, no problem”
[20:13] <+Vito5thEpoch> Older games like Melee and Wizard (they are coming back!), Aftermath, hell even D& D Basic for that matter was a bit scary to play
[20:14] <+Vito5thEpoch> With the realism, players begin to think again. (done)
[20:14] <~Dan> Hmm… I was guessing that you’d say RuneQuest.
[20:15] <+Vito5thEpoch> Haha! It is funny, I never player RuneQuest, I bought it later, and I liked it a lot. There are some similarities
[20:15] <+Vito5thEpoch> We have also been told again and again that we are the ‘Kinder, gentler Rolemaster”. I never played, but after I read it, I saw what they meant!
[20:15] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:16] <+Vito5thEpoch> But there is no doubt this style of play is not for everyone
[20:16] <~Dan> Oh, sure. No style is.
[20:16] <+Vito5thEpoch> Thank you for sayin gthat
[20:16] <~Dan> Certainly. I applaud your self-awareness.
[20:17] <+Vito5thEpoch> Really? In what regard, may I ask?
[20:17] <~Dan> Well, we get a lot of game authors through here who don’t get the fact that no game is for everyone.
[20:18] <~Dan> They don’t understand having a target market, so to speak.
[20:18] <+Vito5thEpoch> Ah, I see…OK, well, maybe I can share a bit about where I think we failed, and what we want to improve…
[20:18] <~Dan> Worse still, many have limited experience with gaming as a whole and don’t know that what they think is innovative has been around for decades.
[20:19] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hahaha!!!
[20:19] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes!
[20:19] <+Vito5thEpoch> Personally, I think we did nothing that was new, except for a few design features. We simply improved on the old
[20:19] <~Dan> We try to gently open their eyes in that regard. I often have to explain that making “no classes and no levels” as a major selling point makes you look like you don’t know much beyond D&D.
[20:20] <+Vito5thEpoch> And, …as a metaphor, a Porche is not a Landrover. They each do some thing different
[20:20] * ~Dan nods
[20:20] <+Vito5thEpoch> RPGs are a lot like that. The mechanics and rules each deliver a diffeent play experience
[20:20] <+Vito5thEpoch> So, you need to know what you are looking for
[20:20] <~Dan> Indeed.
[20:20] <~Dan> I often compare RPGs to rock music.
[20:21] <~Dan> One upon a time, you could be reasonably sure what someone meant by “rock n’ roll”.
[20:21] <+Vito5thEpoch> I am a rocker, a drummer in particular, so yeah…
[20:21] <~Dan> That was a long time ago. Now, rock music can mean any number of things.
[20:22] <+Vito5thEpoch> Well, we figured, if we are going to do “traditional” fantasy, with a very “common” type of setting, we need to make it different. We want people to spend time making a character and then being afraid for that character’s life.
[20:22] <+Vito5thEpoch> Like a really great novel…
[20:22] * ~Dan nods
[20:23] <+Vito5thEpoch> That part, we did really well, I think.
[20:23] <+Vito5thEpoch> But our User Interface is where we fell flat.
[20:23] <~Dan> How so?
[20:24] <+Vito5thEpoch> Well, ironically, the die hard fans and critics are all in agreement about this, so, if I can share a few points –
[20:24] <~Dan> Sure.
[20:24] <+Vito5thEpoch> The first is that it takes a bit too much time to make a character. I like when players are invested, but honestly our editorial needs improvement, so the procedures are a bit easier. If someone shows you no problem, but
[20:25] <+Vito5thEpoch> if they don’t it is to hard to learn that way.
[20:25] <~Dan> Hmm.
[20:25] <+Vito5thEpoch> What makes it easy and fast to play is the character prep. Prep is required, and we did not do that well
[20:25] <+Vito5thEpoch> Comments on that, or shall I go to another point? (done)
[20:26] <~Dan> Well, on that point, are you referring to the revised edition?
[20:26] <+Vito5thEpoch> When we get to revised edition, that is one of the fixes.
[20:27] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:27] <~Dan> Gotcha. What was your next point?
[20:28] <+Vito5thEpoch> Another issue was that we assumed more Game Master’s would be self sufficient when it came to creating campaigns. While we do have a good set of support PDF material out there, in truth, there is not really
[20:29] <+Vito5thEpoch> enough for inexperienced GMs to work with. That can make it hard for them these days, if they are used to prepared materials.
[20:29] <~Dan> Very true.
[20:29] <+Vito5thEpoch> More world info needs to be released, more adventures, and more tips
[20:29] * ~Dan nods
[20:29] <+Vito5thEpoch> That will also be part of the revision (done)
[20:30] <+Vito5thEpoch> Third point overall, we just need updated artwork and editorial. Things can be more clear, and look better, full color instead of B&W interior
[20:30] <~Dan> I’m glad to hear that you intend to put adventures out there. For a long time, game authors neglected those as a waste of money.
[20:31] <+Vito5thEpoch> The game was our freshman effort, and it got us this far…but in this setting, people need to know how to SCALE an adventure. What is too hard? What is the focus?
[20:31] <+Vito5thEpoch> So, I have some people working on that now
[20:31] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yeah, I know what you mean, I agree with you
[20:32] <~Dan> The problem with not publishing adventures is that you ensure that casual gamers won’t use your game.
[20:32] <+Vito5thEpoch> We call them ‘Adventure Starters’. We have one out now, with 3 coming. They leave lines of space for the GM to write in his/her own notes. And they illustrate for the GM the potential after-game plots that can com elater
[20:33] * ~Dan nods
[20:33] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yea, you are correct. We learned that the hard way!
[20:33] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:33] <+Vito5thEpoch> Our Kickstarter failed to fund recently, but no worries, because these revisions are coming regardless.
[20:34] <+Vito5thEpoch> The KS was a way to present different offerings to customers – that is all.
[20:34] <+Vito5thEpoch> So we continue –
[20:34] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:34] <~Dan> Well, don’t get me wrong: I can understand why adventures can look like a waste when viewed strictly by the bottom line, because yeah, the gamers who spend the most cash on a game line may not buy them.
[20:34] <~Dan> But the end result is that you “strip mine” the hobby, so to speak, catering to a smaller and smaller group of hardcore gamers.
[20:35] <~Dan> At the expense of a broader market.
[20:35] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, sir no doubt.
[20:35] <~Dan> (Sorry, don’t mean to soapbox. 🙂 )
[20:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> (don;t apologize) We did not hit the adventures hard, simply because in 2007 when we launched, we did not predict that people were not investing the time to create them
[20:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> So, now we need to retool.
[20:36] <~Dan> In any case, all of this is good. Again, you display great self-awareness.
[20:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> Am I making sense?
[20:36] <~Dan> Absolutely.
[20:36] <+Vito5thEpoch> Haha! Thank you! I do not think it is anything special, but I will take the compliment
[20:37] <+Vito5thEpoch> You know, if you want to sell a product, you need to know what you are doing wrong.
[20:37] <+Vito5thEpoch> I see a lot of authors (have been on some panels with some), who are so busy touting what they did right, they forget to ….LEARN.
[20:37] <+Vito5thEpoch> Now I am soapboxing (done)
[20:38] <~Dan> Yes. I think a big part of it is that many game authors see themselves as being more like artists.
[20:38] <~Dan> And if people can’t appreciate what they’ve done, well, that’s their problem.
[20:38] <~Dan> Which is fine… if sales don’t matter to you.
[20:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> Uh…yeah. An all the while it is ‘their’ problem, you won;t sell any games. Their problem is your financial woe.
[20:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yep.
[20:39] * ~Dan nods
[20:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> 🙂
[20:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> So…where were we?
[20:39] <~Dan> All of which is to say that you have the right idea.
[20:39] <+Vito5thEpoch> hehe
[20:39] <~Dan> Let’s see…. Your three comments regarding where you feel you fell short up to this point.
[20:40] <+Vito5thEpoch> Thanks. We need to evolve. I am proud of our product, but not in love with it. It is ready for the next step.
[20:40] <~Dan> Oh, do you have a character sheet posted that we can see?
[20:40] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, in summary those are the three – but they are big ones!
[20:40] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hmm. Not sure how to do that. You mean here?
[20:41] <~Dan> Yes… Do you have one posted somewhere with a URL? If so, you can just copy/paste the URL in here.
[20:42] <+Vito5thEpoch> Ah, no we do not. The new ones are not ready yet, unfortunately. But when I return to come hang out!
[20:42] <~Dan> No big deal. I just find that it often helps with system discussion.
[20:42] <~Dan> Can you describe what elements make up a character? For example, are there attributes as well as skills? If so, which ones?
[20:44] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes. There are 9 primary attributes, and another 9 secondary, which are (formulaically) made up from the first 9. Stature, Strength, Coordination, Health, Beauty, Intellect, Reason, Creativity, Presence.
[20:45] <+Vito5thEpoch> These numbers run from 6 (minimum, lower than that and the character is considered a disability in that area), and can go to 20, but rarely go over 15.
[20:46] <+Vito5thEpoch> The interesting point of design are the Secondary attributes, which include Fitness, Perception, Load (which is true strength), and such, and because they are derived from the first 9, there are no ‘throw away’ stats
[20:46] <~Dan> How (if at all) do the attributes relate to skills?
[20:46] <+Vito5thEpoch> And so, the characters are almost impossible to MIN/MAX
[20:46] <~Dan> Always a good thing.
[20:47] <+Vito5thEpoch> Want a great fighter type? He had better have a good Perception, too…..To your question, yes – Attributes will affect skills. Skills have a base % number, and Attributes can affect them up or down
[20:48] <+Vito5thEpoch> So a total % chance is a Base + An Attribute modifier + a task that is being attempted (ie, how difficult it is)
[20:48] <+Vito5thEpoch> Then the GM can add or subtract a situation modifier
[20:48] <+Vito5thEpoch> A player can of course do things to improve this, like taking goo caution before doing something, adding a + situation modifier.
[20:49] <+Vito5thEpoch> The you get a total, roll a percentile dice and WHAM! You do it or not
[20:49] <+Vito5thEpoch> That is the mechanic of most of the game.
[20:49] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:50] <~Dan> Hmm. You know, I think I can see how character creation might take a while, what with trying to get the primary and secondary attribute scores just right for a character concept.
[20:51] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, well the secondaries now, will all be automated. We hav ebeen using automated sheets behind the scenes and they make this much easier
[20:51] <~Dan> That’s just speculation on my part, mind you.
[20:51] <+Vito5thEpoch> But yeah, you are correct.
[20:51] <~Dan> How specific are the skills?
[20:51] <+Vito5thEpoch> So we trim the math down from 25 minutes to about 5
[20:51] <~Dan> That’s good.
[20:51] <+Vito5thEpoch> Skills – yes, great question!
[20:52] <~Dan> Thank you. 🙂
[20:52] <+Vito5thEpoch> Well, in the old version they were EACH specific. The player is given a number of slots to fill and a list in the book. Then he/she speaks with the GM and start choosing
[20:53] <+Vito5thEpoch> But in the revision, the number of skills is reduced, with some being more general. Specifically, a character’s Vocation and Common Knowledge (from where he was raised), are broad band skills that can
[20:54] <+Vito5thEpoch> be used in a variety of ways. The specific skill development is then left for hobies, other interests and other tings that make the character;s background clear
[20:55] <+Vito5thEpoch> For example, someone may choose a Vocation of “Soldier”, and use that skill for about everything that is related in a general sense, but if he want sto specialize in Bow, he will need to develop that skill specifically
[20:55] <+Vito5thEpoch> how is this sounding? (done)
[20:56] <+Vito5thEpoch> except for my typos…
[20:56] <~Dan> I think I see what you mean there… I often like that holistic approach to occupational skills.
[20:56] <~Dan> Heh. No worries.
[20:56] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yeh that approach is better. It also reduces the amount of skills, also reducing character creation time further.
[20:57] <+Vito5thEpoch> So, yes, we are fixing stuff.
[20:57] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[20:57] <~Dan> How common are monsters in the setting?
[20:59] <~Dan> (Howdy, Dirian!)
[20:59] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hello Dirian, welcome –
[21:01] <+Vito5thEpoch> Well on Monsters. As you might imagine, that scaling is an entirely different world. So let me start with a few quotes from Cons we have attended over the years, and some anecdotal notes from players –
[21:01] <+Vito5thEpoch> “Would you like to give a party of 5 a tough adventure? Give them 6 or 7 Orcs to encounter, because someone is getting surrounded…”
[21:02] <+Vito5thEpoch> “Can my hero fight the Ogre? Yes, until the Ogre picks the hero up, throws him to the side and moves on to the next character”
[21:03] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:03] <+Vito5thEpoch> “My armor is Dwarven steel. It is strong enough that even blows from large weapons will not pass through”…..”Yes, but you forgot about Knockdown effects. And against that Hill Giant’s club, well 95 points should put you off to the right about 30 feet”
[21:04] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[21:04] <+Vito5thEpoch> And so, yes, we have about 20 beasts released in PDF, and are planning about 30 more which are not yet released. Honestly, no GMs have told me that they run out of beasts, because you do not need alot
[21:05] <+Vito5thEpoch> Also, our beasts are very tied to the geography which we are releasing more of. Not much ‘wandering’ around to meet, more tied to local ecolofy, climate and such
[21:05] <+Vito5thEpoch> ecology, sorry
[21:07] <~Dan> But how common are monsters? Are there armies of Orcs pillaging the countryside, or do you really have to go looking for a monster in order to find one?
[21:07] <+Vito5thEpoch> I am not sure if this is interesting to players or not, but certainly if you have watched “Dorks of Yore”, they explain the physics
[21:08] <+Vito5thEpoch> Some, like Orcs are regular threats. Around in many areas (and they are a real threat to a party)
[21:08] <+Vito5thEpoch> Some like Ogres, are in isolated regions
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:08] <+Vito5thEpoch> Minotaur are usually singular if found on the mainland, but that is good bc 1 Minotaur is good for a group of 5
[21:08] <+Vito5thEpoch> Dragons? Nope
[21:09] <+Vito5thEpoch> Undead?
[21:09] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes in pockets or tombs and such, but not in armies
[21:09] <+Vito5thEpoch> Undead are scary because they do not fatigue. Characters fatigue in combat, even if unwounded.
[21:09] <~Dan> No dragons? That’s bold of you. 🙂
[21:10] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yeah, sorry. We are working on a Wyvern, which will be a horrendous threat to a city
[21:10] <+Vito5thEpoch> We do have Manticore, Gryphon…all of which feed on horses and mountain cats, of course
[21:10] * ~Dan nods
[21:11] <+Vito5thEpoch> But the system is too brutal. Different scale. (done)
[21:11] <~Dan> And no need to apologize! It’s your vision of the setting, after all. 🙂
[21:11] <~Dan> Is that why you don’t include dragons? The brutality of the system?
[21:11] <+Vito5thEpoch> We go against the grain. People wanted us to make this a D20 game back in 2006. We did not.
[21:11] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[21:12] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, Dragons would be like. ‘Oh, a dragon woke? Ok, how do we evacuate the Kingdom and send word to the other kings?”
[21:12] <~Dan> Well, personally? Given your stated design goals, I’d include at least one dragon as a nod to tradition.
[21:12] <~Dan> (Howdy, AmbulatoryCortex!)
[21:12] <+AmbulatoryCortex> hey!
[21:12] <+Vito5thEpoch> You know….that is a good point!
[21:13] <+Vito5thEpoch> Hey AmbulatoryCortex!
[21:13] <+Vito5thEpoch> Dan, I like that
[21:13] <+Vito5thEpoch> Thank you
[21:14] <~Dan> Certainly. Just my opinion, mind you, but I think folks in your target market will want to see what “your” vision of a dragon is.
[21:14] <+Vito5thEpoch> Ok, I have shared a lot about improvement we want to make, and the missteps we made. But the game does sell each year in these niche places, so I do want to make sure I include a few small things,
[21:15] <+Vito5thEpoch> Any questions, or is that ok?
[21:15] <~Dan> Sure!
[21:16] <+Vito5thEpoch> OK, one random note, and I say this because I still have a hard time believing it myself, but it is true. When we are at Cons and run demos, not necessarily me or designers but just players who love the game – the rate of people
[21:16] <+Vito5thEpoch> who buy the game from the demo is 80%.
[21:16] <~Dan> Impressive.
[21:16] <+Vito5thEpoch> That has been consistent for the passed 6-7 years
[21:16] <+Vito5thEpoch> Crazy, right?
[21:17] <~Dan> Not if you’re just that good. 😉
[21:17] <+Vito5thEpoch> So, we know that people love how it plays. But of course, that is why we need to revise it, because it still not well known.
[21:17] <+Vito5thEpoch> LOL 😀
[21:17] <+AmbulatoryCortex> I’ve never heard of you, for example 😛
[21:18] <+Vito5thEpoch> OK, other random note….and that is about all I have to say
[21:18] <+Vito5thEpoch> Haha Ambul’ yes exactly!
[21:18] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:19] <+Vito5thEpoch> Once common thing is that people have used the system to play other games. We were asked for side rules for firearms and such…People play steam punk! And another one we hear about is…Firefly!!!
[21:19] <+Vito5thEpoch> Someone told us they have played L5R using our rule set
[21:19] <~Dan> Huh. Sounds like you have the makings of a generic system, then.
[21:20] <~Dan> (In a good way, I mean. I don’t mean to imply that your system sounds bland. 🙂 )
[21:20] <+AmbulatoryCortex> I’m skimming your kickstarter page to check it out, and I see you use a percentile system. Does margin of success matter?
[21:20] <~Dan> Oh, yes! I forgot to ask about that myself. Thanks, AmbulatoryCortex!
[21:21] <+Vito5thEpoch> Yes, indeed. I understand what you meant. So, we have pushed to revise the system for various settings. Our other RPG, The Vampire’s Codex, uses the same mechanics…..
[21:21] <+Vito5thEpoch> Ambul’ yes!!!
[21:21] <+Vito5thEpoch> By the way, was just sharing about our failed funding, but no worries, we been around a bit…so back to that question –
[21:22] <+Vito5thEpoch> It matters in that one die roll, a regular success, regular failure, critical success or critical failure can be determined by the same die roll.
[21:23] <~Dan> On a related note, can the system handle skill ratings in excess of 100%?
[21:23] <+Vito5thEpoch> So if you succeed by 5 or 10% margin, it will not matter much, but if you succeed by a much greater margin, it could mean a critical
[21:23] <+Vito5thEpoch> Clear? (done)
[21:23] <~Dan> Yup!
[21:23] <+Vito5thEpoch> Excess of 100% – Yes!
[21:24] <+Vito5thEpoch> For skill totals in excess of 100%, 2 things happen (1) your chances of a critical success increase, and (2) your chances of a critical failure reduce. But you can still fail, mind you –
[21:24] <+AmbulatoryCortex> so you are using a subtractive success model, not a blackjack model, correct?
[21:24] <~Dan> Cool. I strongly dislike systems that include a hard universal cap on ratings.
[21:25] <+Vito5thEpoch> Ambul’ – yes, in effect. Dan – yes, me too.
[21:26] <+Vito5thEpoch> There are ‘practical limits’ which occur all throughout the system, but we hardly imposed any at all for anything. This includes our earlier discussion on the amount of skills. You want a lot? go for it, you just will not be that good at anything…
[21:26] <~Dan> So with the caveat that there’s no need for you to run off, in the “official” time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:26] <+Vito5thEpoch> Your questions are intriguing –
[21:28] <+Vito5thEpoch> Honestly, I think we covered a lot. I am very glad that the KS has actually drummed up a ton of interest from many places. We have seen our sales increase, actually, even with some retailers. I just ask that people keep an
[21:28] <+Vito5thEpoch> eye out for us. We have a lot in the works and are totally imperfect. Wewill make more mistakes, just not the same ones. I am grateful for you folks, who give audience to people like us.
[21:29] <+Vito5thEpoch> (done)
[21:29] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Vito5thEpoch!
[21:29] <+Vito5thEpoch> Dan, thanks!!!
[21:29] <~Dan> Standard reminder to readers: 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. 🙂
[21:29] <~Dan> Vito5thEpoch: Give me just a minute here, and I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂