[20:03] <+BenWoerner> Hi! I’m Ben Woerner, Game Designer. I’m the owner of WunderWerks game and I am partnered with Gallant Knight Games who handles a lot of my back end distribution and the like. I have Nighty Knights the RPG on Kickstarter right now ((Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/381911690/nighty-knights-the-rpg)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/381911690/nighty-knights-the-rpg) and it is going great! It uses the TinyD6 system and is a
[20:03] <+BenWoerner> game where you play stuffed animals defending their sleeping children from monsters and nightmares.
[20:04] <+BenWoerner> We hit our goal on the first day of the KS and have almost hit the 300% mark today. 🙂
[20:05] <+BenWoerner> You may know me from my first game World of Dew, a samurai noir RPG, or from my work as a developer on the Ennie Award winning Pirate Nations supplement for 7th Sea 2E.
[20:05] <+BenWoerner> Or one of the many other freelance projects I’ve worked on like Scion 2E, Wrath & Glory, Baby Bestiary, etc..
[20:05] <+BenWoerner> Done
[20:06] <~Dan> Thanks, BenWoerner! The floor is open to questions!
[20:06] <~Dan> BenWoerner: We met at GenCon 2016, didn’t we?
[20:06] <~Dan> I remember discussing the Baby Bestiary with someone…
[20:07] <+BenWoerner> We did! 🙂
[20:07] <+BenWoerner> I think it was my 2nd or 3rd GenCon.
[20:07] <+BenWoerner> 3rd
[20:07] <+dannerz> What is your favorite game you designed?
[20:08] <+BenWoerner> Argh, that’s like asking which child is my favorite. They’re all cool in different ways, and depending on my mood that day of the week. 🙂
[20:08] <~Dan> BenWoerner: Ah, cool. My memory hasn’t completely failed me, then. 🙂
[20:08] <+BenWoerner> But I won’t leave you hanging
[20:08] <+BenWoerner> It has not. 🙂
[20:08] <+BenWoerner> I think you had a cool hat on Dan.
[20:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye!)
[20:09] <~Dan> Ah, yes, my “trademark” fedora! Thank you kindly. 🙂
[20:09] <+BenWoerner> I LOVED working on my adventure for Wrath & Glory because it is the first time I think that they have really gotten the system write for Warhammer 40K RPG. It feels like the Green Ronin WHFRP game.
[20:09] <+BenWoerner> Yes!
[20:10] <+BenWoerner> Also Ross Watson is an absolute fantastic Developer and boss to work with.
[20:10] <~Dan> Cool. Haven’t had any luck getting him in here to talk W&G, alas.
[20:11] <+BenWoerner> I loved writing on Pirate Nations because I’ve been a pirate history nerd since I was like 8 and saw the Disney Treasure Island movie. It was my first chance to really just go to town and spew pirate lore and inside baseball pirate history into a game book.
[20:11] <+dannerz> Ben have you made any PC games?
[20:11] <+BenWoerner> I have not, although I have been looking towards maybe working as a writer for several video game companies.
[20:12] <+BenWoerner> My dream job in video games would be CDPR. Cyberpunk was my 3rd RPG, and I’m a huge fan of the Witcher series.
[20:13] <+BenWoerner> Although, I do also love the Assassin Creed games. I just finished Odyssey this weekend (just the main story) and it might be the best one yet. It’s Black Flag level.
[20:13] <~Dan> BenWoerner: Can you tell us a bit more about the setting of Nighty Knights? Does it literally take place in one child’s bedroom?
[20:13] <+BenWoerner> Yes and No.
[20:14] <+BenWoerner> Nighty Knights is set in both the real world (usually the house and surrounding area of a child), but also the knights can travel to the world of Underbed and the Dreamlands.
[20:14] <+BenWoerner> Underbed is a great city that glows golden with a thousand lights as it perpetually exists in a twilight place accessible via going under any child’s bed or going into their closet or dark corner.
[20:15] <+BenWoerner> It exists within the Dreamlands which are the collective imagination and dreams of all children who have ever lived.
[20:15] <+dannerz> Do you have spare time to play or you work a lot?
[20:16] <+BenWoerner> Monsters and Nightmares come from the Dreamlands, so all isn’t peaceful there. They also try to invade the real world and steal the dreams of the children. The Nighty Knights, of course, fight back.
[20:16] <+BenWoerner> I work a lot, although I am trying to strike a life/work balance.
[20:16] <+dannerz> ok.
[20:16] <+BenWoerner> I work from home, which is both great and has it’s own share of problems.
[20:17] <+dannerz> High profile people seem so busy with life
[20:17] <+BenWoerner> Distractions are everywhere, but I have worked hard to be able to focus on one piece of work and hitting my daily word count before playing a game for a few hours.
[20:17] <+BenWoerner> Yeah
[20:17] <+dannerz> you do a lot of writing?
[20:18] <~Dan> To clarify, Underbed exists in the Dreamlands, but there’s more to the Dreamlands than Underbed?
[20:18] <+BenWoerner> I write on average 2000 words a day, and do a quick edit pass of them, but 5 days a week. My weekends are for kid soccer games and family and relaxing.
[20:18] <+BenWoerner> Dan: Yes!
[20:19] <+dannerz> how much power / development can the Nighty Knights reach at maximum?
[20:19] <+BenWoerner> Underbed is a City in the Dreamlands where the Great Citadel of the Nighty Knights exists. The famous Night Markets are there and all sorts of old and retired toys live there full time now.
[20:20] <+BenWoerner> The TinyD6 game uses a Trait system, so as you play the game you can gain new Traits which equal more control/chance for control/power.
[20:20] <+BenWoerner> The basic system of TinyD6 is when you are asked to Test for a Task you roll 2d6 (two six sided dice)
[20:20] <+BenWoerner> If you roll a 5 or 6 you succeed at what you are doing.
[20:20] <+BenWoerner> If you have a Trait that applies you roll 3d6
[20:21] <+BenWoerner> You can also do things like Aim which gives you successes on a 4,5, or 6.
[20:22] <+BenWoerner> Traits can be anything from things like Perceptive: roll with Advantage (3d6) whenever you are looking for something.
[20:22] <+BenWoerner> Or Bottomless Backpack: You have a backpack that seems to have what you need in it. Mark 5 boxes on your sheet. Whenever you need a mundane item mark a box and pull it from your backpack! 🙂
[20:23] <+BenWoerner> You can also take Traits to increase your character’s Hit Points, or Size, or any number of different things. 🙂
[20:25] <~Dan> Hmm. If Underbed is, well, under the bed, where does the Monster Under the Bed come from? (I’m assuming that such a creature exists, mind you.)
[20:25] <+BenWoerner> AFK one second
[20:25] <+BenWoerner> It comes from there too
[20:25] <+BenWoerner> There are many portals to and from the Dreamlands
[20:28] <~Dan> So the MUTB doesn’t come from Underbed?
[20:29] <+BenWoerner> I am back
[20:29] <+dannerz> WB
[20:29] <+BenWoerner> No it comes from somewhere else in the Dreamlands
[20:29] <+BenWoerner> Somewhere dark
[20:30] <~Dan> Speaking of which, is there one MUTB, or is it a category of creature?
[20:31] <+BenWoerner> It is a category.
[20:31] <+BenWoerner> There are many types of monsters and nightmares
[20:32] <+BenWoerner> and the monster under the bed is one of the from the shadows/under the bed/from the sewers/outside your window family of monsters.
[20:33] <~Dan> What is the difference between a monster and a nightmare?
[20:34] <~Dan> (Howdy, Blackwell!)
[20:34] <+Blackwell> Hey 🙂
[20:34] <+BenWoerner> Hi!
[20:34] <~Dan> (Tonight’s guest: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/381911690/nighty-knights-the-rpg?fbclid=IwAR1PKYLzJRZxP7alokfcG5ggaag7RRlGMrR2nKuW34wMKCjz7uf6ObCqtjQ)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/381911690/nighty-knights-the-rpg?fbclid=IwAR1PKYLzJRZxP7alokfcG5ggaag7RRlGMrR2nKuW34wMKCjz7uf6ObCqtjQ )
[20:34] <+Blackwell> Hello 🙂
[20:34] <+Blackwell> Ohh! I seen this earlier today
[20:34] <+BenWoerner> A monster is a singular creature that might vaguely resemble something like a scary dog, a ghost, a moving shadow, or even a vampire or werewolf.
[20:35] <+Blackwell> I saw this earlier… too late at night, my ability to write has abandoned me
[20:35] <+BenWoerner> Nightmares are powerful entities that rule that darkness and feed on dreams. They are powerful legends like Baba Yaga, La Llorona, Bloody Mary, Opa Nacht (the Boogey Man), or Wendigo.
[20:35] <+BenWoerner> All good. 🙂
[20:36] <~Dan> Opa Nacht… Is that German for “Grandfather Night”?
[20:37] <+BenWoerner> Yeahup
[20:37] <~Dan> Go me! \o/
[20:37] <+Blackwell> I love the sound of this. It has a similar feel to Stuffed Fables from what I can see but as a ‘real’ RPG
[20:37] <+BenWoerner> It’s rather obscure, but that and the Banshee were the two big scary Nightmare stories I grew up with.
[20:37] <~Dan> What is Stuffed Fables, Blackwell?
[20:37] <+BenWoerner> It is similar!
[20:38] <+Blackwell> (Link: https://www.plaidhatgames.com/games/stuffed-fables)https://www.plaidhatgames.com/games/stuffed-fables
[20:38] <+Blackwell> It’s like an RPG boardgame
[20:38] <+Blackwell> That you play with a big storybook
[20:38] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:38] <+BenWoerner> Crazy thing, I didn’t hear about Stuffed Fables until after I finished writing the game, and had created the Kickstarter page. I was about five days from launch when someone mentioned it to me. 🙂
[20:38] <+BenWoerner> I’ve heard great things about it. 🙂
[20:38] <~Dan> So what can stuffed animals do about these horrors?
[20:38] <+Blackwell> The contents are all great quality and the rules are simple but I haven’t managed to wrangle my group into it yet
[20:40] <+BenWoerner> They can arm themselves with magic, or say furry friends like cats and dogs and ferrets, or maybe green army men, or go into battle themselves risking their very stuffing with a wooden sword and shield as all that stands between their child and a horrific Nightmare.
[20:40] <+Blackwell> It has Army Men, I’m sold!
[20:40] <+BenWoerner> It also has action figures as a stretch goal we have reached
[20:41] <+BenWoerner> And Robots in Disguise.
[20:41] <+BenWoerner> A stretch goal we hit just yesterday.
[20:41] <+BenWoerner> That is being written by a pair of very talented authors out of the Philippines who also might be the world’s biggest Transfo*****er fans.
[20:43] <+Blackwell> That’s really cool
[20:44] <+BenWoerner> Yeah. 🙂
[20:44] <+BenWoerner> I’m crazy excited.
[20:44] <~Dan> What sorts of magic can the NKs do?
[20:44] <+BenWoerner> The base game lets you play as all different types of stuffed animals, dolls, plus good stuffed monsters.
[20:44] <+BenWoerner> There are several types.
[20:45] <+BenWoerner> The basic are low level effects similar to prestidigitation type things.
[20:45] <+Blackwell> What are the “Not Your Parents”? That is an ominous name that puts me in mind of Coraline
[20:45] <+BenWoerner> an Archmage though can have powerful effects like shooting magic across a room, healing magically, etc..
[20:46] <+BenWoerner> Yes, after watching that movie I have never forgotten the sheer creepiness of that idea.
[20:46] <~Dan> (Howdy, El_Squido!)
[20:46] <+BenWoerner> Also, I have a memory as a child of running up to my mom after we got separated in a grocery store, grabbing her hand, and it turning out to be some other person.
[20:46] <+BenWoerner> Hi!
[20:47] <+BenWoerner> There are also toy and animal companions which Archdruid or Toysmiths can have as boon companions.
[20:48] <+Blackwell> Like Woody’s horse in Toy Story?
[20:48] <+BenWoerner> If you watch the actual play game, our Penguin has Watson, a rubber duckie that was tough (because squishable rubber), and a marksman with shooting water. But he wasn’t very quiet, he squeaked when he moved, and also when trying to talk.
[20:48] <+BenWoerner> Yes!
[20:49] <+BenWoerner> Or the green army men, or the barrel of monkeys, or the slinky dog.
[20:49] <+BenWoerner> Or an actual real life cat
[20:49] <+Blackwell> Amazing
[20:49] <+BenWoerner> or dog, or maybe a fish in a fish tank
[20:49] <+Blackwell> It kind of sounds like Engine Hearts but more focused on hope and joy than slow decay and sadness
[20:49] <~Dan> Speaking of shooting water, are toy weapons actually effective, or are they just toys?
[20:50] <+BenWoerner> It wasn’t a companion, but a player came up with an Oracle like creature, an ancient threadbare rabbit that only ever sat on the mother’s dresser in the parent’s room, both of it’s eyes were missing. But it was always dusted and cared for.
[20:50] <+BenWoerner> As effective as the GM decides.
[20:51] <+BenWoerner> Healers are tailors/seamstresses.
[20:51] <+BenWoerner> Any knight who knows how to handle a needle and thread is a powerful individual.
[20:51] <+BenWoerner> If you get too much of your stuffing knocked out of you, you can’t function, same if you get your limbs torn off.
[20:52] <+BenWoerner> Thus, a sewer can push your stuffing back inside and sew you right up! You’ll be right as rain in no time! 🙂
[20:52] <+Blackwell> I noticed on your KS that you work with freelance writers to make adventures and such, if you’re looking for any more I would love to write something for this 🙂
[20:53] <+Blackwell> took me a second to realise sewer meant person with a needle and not sewage
[20:53] <+BenWoerner> Right!
[20:53] <~Dan> How are other types of toys repaired?
[20:54] <+BenWoerner> Well, we have a lot of freelancers right now already lined up, but the kickstarter is doing great, so I might need more. Send me your resume to email@example.com and we can talk. 🙂
[20:54] <+BenWoerner> Toysmiths!
[20:54] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha. 🙂
[20:54] <+BenWoerner> They know how to change batteries, fix plastic, and screw limbs back on.
[20:54] <+BenWoerner> Hello!
[20:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, FreeGamer!)
[20:55] <+Blackwell> Will do 🙂
[20:55] <+Blackwell> so there are specific types of healers or can toysmiths sort of do both?
[20:56] <+BenWoerner> You can have a toysmith and also a healer as mundane sorts of healers.
[20:56] <+BenWoerner> But also some mages can heal toys magically.
[20:56] <+BenWoerner> And truly, a little of what the master toysmiths do is really magic.
[20:56] <+BenWoerner> Heck, everything they do is magic. Walking talking stuffed animals and toys after all.
[20:57] <~Dan> Going back to weapons, though… I’m still not clear on what works and what doesn’t, even given GM fiat. For example, you mentioned toy army men. Are their rifles functional by default?
[20:57] <+Blackwell> I’m going to have to drop off, 2am here, nice speaking to you and I’ll definitely be checking the KS out tomorrow 🙂
[20:57] <+Blackwell> night guys
[20:57] <+BenWoerner> good night!
[20:58] <+BenWoerner> It is up to the GM, they can decide and talk with the players at the beginning of a campaign to decide how real or magic they want it.
[20:58] <+BenWoerner> Playing with little kids as young as six you have to let a lot of wonder and magic be par for the course as their imaginations run wild.
[20:59] <+BenWoerner> If you are playing with say a group of just adults or teenagers you can make it much more realistic and gritty, if you like. 🙂
[21:00] <+BenWoerner> Every character is proficient with one of four things: Light Weapons (1 handed things), Heavy Weapons (2 handed), Ranged Weapons (bows/guns/etc), or Tools (hammers, screwdrivers, etc..)
[21:01] <+BenWoerner> I’ve had players who had a good monster who carried a real hammer as his Heavy Weapon.
[21:01] <+BenWoerner> I’ve had players use that really hard vacu-formed plastic cut into a sword shape as their weapon.
[21:02] <+BenWoerner> I had a stuffed dragon who’s 7 year old player decided she wanted magic fire as one of her traits, so she breathed magic fire (Ruby School of magic). 🙂
[21:02] <+BenWoerner> So it’s all over the place.
[21:02] <+BenWoerner> Penguie in the live play was a penguin who was a Toysmith and she carried a computer case Phillip’s head screwdriver.
[21:03] <~Dan> Speaking of Toysmiths, are their classes in this game?
[21:04] <+BenWoerner> No, just Heritages and Traits
[21:04] <+BenWoerner> There are some powerful traits that are similar to classic fantasy classes.
[21:05] <~Dan> What are Heritages?
[21:05] <+BenWoerner> Paladin Trait lets you Smite things, Druid gives you a real live animal companion.
[21:05] <+BenWoerner> Heritages are what type of stuffed animal you are
[21:05] <~Dan> Ah. And what effect does that have, mechanically?
[21:06] <+BenWoerner> Bird, Bear (all furry creatures besides the others listed), Cat, Dog, Monkey, Reptile, Doll, and Good Monster are the base Heritages
[21:06] <+BenWoerner> They give you a special trait no other Heritage has.
[21:06] <+BenWoerner> So Monkeys are great at swinging around and avoiding being hit.
[21:06] <+BenWoerner> Good Monsters get a Monster trait and can pretend to be bad monsters.
[21:07] <+BenWoerner> Bears get two extra regular trait instead of a special trait.
[21:07] <+BenWoerner> Dogs are Loyal and their HP are double when they are with friends.
[21:07] <+BenWoerner> Birds can either fly or get Focused if they are flightless birds and get one of the more powerful traits at character creation.
[21:08] <+BenWoerner> Cats get Nine Lives and can automatically succeed at nine tasks at any time during a game, but that’s it. Once used up they don’t get any more. They never refresh
[21:08] <+BenWoerner> Dolls are popular and well liked
[21:09] <~Dan> When you say “Good Monsters,” you’re still talking about stuffed animals, though, right?
[21:09] <+BenWoerner> Reptiles are cold blooded and thus hard to sway
[21:09] <+BenWoerner> Yes
[21:10] <+BenWoerner> So if you have a stuffed Cthulhu or say a furry monster stuffed animal they are Good Monsters who help kids.
[21:10] <+BenWoerner> You also have a chosen kid and the kids get a broad sort of adjective like Friendly, Imaginative, Brave, Athletic, Prepared, etc..
[21:11] <+BenWoerner> Each kid has certain traits you must choose, so while the knights might have many differences they all share a similar set of traits they received from their child.
[21:11] <+BenWoerner> That grew out of my card and dice game of Nighty Knights.
[21:12] <~Dan> So if the kid who owns the toys is Brave, all of the toys are Brave, too?
[21:13] <+BenWoerner> Not exactly
[21:13] <+BenWoerner> Here is the rough draft text for the Brave Kid traits:
[21:13] <+BenWoerner> Bravery: Choose one of these Traits to start with: Basement Delver, Dark-fighter, Perceptive, Quartermaster, Resolute, Survivalist, Tough, Vigilant
[21:13] <+BenWoerner> So while they can choose any of those traits, they all follow a similar theme of adventuring into scary places.
[21:14] <~Dan> Ah… but not every toy has to choose the same trait?
[21:15] <+BenWoerner> Right
[21:15] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[21:16] <+BenWoerner> Yeah
[21:16] <~Dan> Can you say a bit more about the Dreamlands and what they’re like outside of Underbed?
[21:17] <+BenWoerner> So you choose your kid as a group, then everyone chooses their Heritage, their free to choose Traits, what they are proficient with, then they record what they have in their backpack/bag/sack/toolbelt and they are ready to play.
[21:17] <+BenWoerner> Characters fit on a 3×5 card and take about 10 minutes to make from concept to finish
[21:18] <+BenWoerner> 15 if you’re indecisive
[21:18] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[21:18] <+BenWoerner> 2 if you know what you want and have made characters before.
[21:18] <+BenWoerner> Sure!
[21:19] <+BenWoerner> The Dreamlands are basically are a place like Faerie or the Dreaming or the Shadowlands. Everything a kid has ever imagined exists there. Some of it silly, some of it fantastic and wonderful, and some of it dark, depressing, and even horrifying.
[21:20] <~Dan> Do you define any of it, or do you keep it all loose?
[21:20] <~Dan> (Howdy, Blarghedy!)
[21:20] <+BenWoerner> Keep it loose
[21:20] <+BenWoerner> HOWEVER
[21:21] <+BenWoerner> I have rules for asking players to leading questions so they can help me build the world they want to play in.
[21:22] <+BenWoerner> Places, Themes, Groups, Threats, Faces are all categories players can give details on before we start playing.
[21:23] <~Dan> Faces being…?
[21:24] <+BenWoerner> People.
[21:24] <+BenWoerner> Important NPCs
[21:24] <+BenWoerner> Like say a popular doll who the cowboy toy is in love with, etc..
[21:25] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[21:25] <~Dan> Do you include a bestiary of monsters and nightmares?
[21:27] <+BenWoerner> I do, the core book monsters and nightmares are direct 1:1 of the monsters and nightmares in the card and dice game I developed for Nighty Knights
[21:28] <~Dan> How many entries are there?
[21:28] <+BenWoerner> Here’s an example:
[21:28] <+BenWoerner> Not Your Parents HP: 20 Description: Evil doppelgangers who try to take the place of your real parents. They know far more than they should. Traits: Charismatic Educated Eidetic Memory Eyes In the Back of Their Head: They know things about you and your family that only your parents should know. They can Test 2d6 and on a success know what your immediate plans
[21:29] <+BenWoerner> The Tentacles HP: 9 Description: It attacks from sewers, streams, drains, and toilets. This beast is something like a kraken or malevolent octopus. They attempt to grapple and drown their enemies to feast upon them. Traits: Constrict (Melee Attack): Test 2d6 against an enemy within 10 inches of you. On a successful hit, the enemy must roll a Save Test to avo
[21:29] <+BenWoerner> And another one
[21:29] <+BenWoerner> Opa Nacht, a nightmare:
[21:29] <+BenWoerner> Description: The Boogeyman, The Man with Red Eyes, Krampus, or a thousand other names. Opa Nacht is a Nightmare who hunts down child to eat them. He claims he only hunts down naughty children, but good children who have gone missing around him give lie to his claim. First, however, he prefers to terrorize his victims with creeping dreams about darkness
[21:30] <+BenWoerner> So stuff like that. 🙂
[21:31] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:31] <~Dan> Creepy, too.
[21:31] <+BenWoerner> Exactly. 🙂
[21:32] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:32] <+BenWoerner> This is just the beginning for Nighty Knights
[21:32] <+BenWoerner> Interest has been far higher than we anticipated.
[21:32] <+BenWoerner> We are hoping to write more expansions for the game and setting
[21:33] <~Dan> Great!
[21:33] <+BenWoerner> And are also planning on launching a cooperative push your luck style card and dice game that plays in about 30 minutes and 1-4 players around GenCon next year.
[21:35] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[21:36] <+BenWoerner> Yeah, I actually playtested the card and dice game before I wrote the RPG.
[21:36] <+BenWoerner> I ran playtests at GenCon in 2016 in fact. 🙂
[21:36] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, BenWoerner!
[21:36] <+BenWoerner> You’re welcome! 🙂
[21:36] <+BenWoerner> I had a great time.
[21:36] <+BenWoerner> 🙂
[21:36] <~Dan> Usual reminder: Gratuities are always welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:37] <~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll post the log and link you. 🙂