[19:32] <+Eric> Well, I am Eric E. Johnson, Project Manager for Haphazard Projects and my game is called Chronicles of the Orb: Shaedeam’s Song, or just Shaedeam works just fine.
[19:33] <+Eric> Shaedeam is a Gothic fantasy-horror game, filled with fallen gods, tragic characters, and weird monsters that freak people out.
[19:35] <+Eric> The game has 21 races in the book, never-seen-before (anywhere), and the final three are, essentially, humans, elves and dwarfs.
[19:36] <+Eric> And the world setting is H-U-G-E! You can spend an entire Adventurer’s career in an area and not see but like 0.5% of the setting in its full.
[19:37] <+Eric> I can keep rambling on, but I don’t want to hijack the chat….
[19:38] <~Dan> Ready for questions, then? 🙂
[19:38] <+Eric> of course!
[19:38] <~Dan> Thanks, Eric! The floor is open to questions!
[19:38] <~Dan> Can you tell us more about the setting, and what makes it Gothic?
[19:41] <+Eric> Gothic is from the haunted places, living cities, nearly dead Divine creatures, a strict chain of command of Shonnesthera (the “main place” described in the book; it translates to the Dreven kingdom, with Dreven being the primary race encountered in this section in the world).
[19:43] <+Eric> The Empire is made up by 13 city-states, covering about 70% of the continent we start with.
[19:43] <+Eric> The setting gets its flavour from the races that dwell there. They have each had a huge deal in making the setting what it is.
[19:45] <~Dan> Can you say more about the “living cities”?
[19:45] <+Eric> I’m trying to not use the Flavour names, but the language of the game gets people right into the world around them.
[19:46] <+Eric> There are individual powers and abilities that can be learned just because of a certain race, or certain locations, et al.
[19:48] <+Eric> And each one fits into the story in their own way. For example, there is a three-tiered Athletics Ability for being a member of what is essentially the Olympics. So, the these things come in full being already woven into the story right there!
[19:50] <+Eric> On “living cities”, there is one city-state which is on the back of an ancient fae creature, and depending on what happens on her back, she can move around in a lot of ways, while still being able to be placed in the one location.
[19:52] <+Eric> There are a few other places, such as the Temple of Bone, the haunted lands of forgotten magics on the continent of Uros. There are one or two I don’t want to give away just yet ;P
[19:53] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[19:53] <+Eric> Thanks 🙂
[19:53] <~Dan> What are the horror aspects of the setting?
[19:53] <+Eric> Oh, they are everywhere!
[19:54] <+Eric> One instance is if you ‘murder’ somewhere in the Empire, within 13 hours, it will rise as a powerful undead that then seeks out other murderers, while sparing their creator.
[19:57] <+Eric> I took a step forward when writing up Creature Descriptions and instead of going into great detail, I kept things obfuscated. You’ll never read a race that comes right out and says “this has 211 eyes”. Instead, I say “it has uncountable eyes”. Things can and will make gamers think of H.P. Lovecraft, more than once.
[19:58] * ~Dan nods
[19:58] <~Dan> Do you use plenty of italics? 🙂
[19:59] <+Eric> In the creature descriptions, there will be a few Story Keys that instead offer some pointers in how to describe it to their players, so no two GMs are likely to run the creature the same way.
[19:59] <+Eric> Italics?
[19:59] <~Dan> A Lovecraft thing. 🙂
[19:59] <+Eric> Actually, yes I do. Mostly when I describe a short story or something from specific books and the like.
[20:00] <~Dan> Heh. Nice. 🙂
[20:00] <+Eric> And the book is scattered with one-page stories set from a specific character’s POV
[20:00] <~Dan> I wouldn’t expect you to detail all 21 races, but can you give us some highlights?
[20:02] <+Eric> Okay, sure. The Drevens resemble large humanoid two-tailed wolves, but picture them in a noble sort of way, kind of a blend between Greco-Roman and Feudal Japan.
[20:03] <+Eric> The Thaun are literally mortal steampunk creations that live and breath just like humans do. They appear as clockworks, all gears and such.
[20:06] <+Eric> The Tiatok are my favourite (and I’m using my prerogative to actually HAVE a favourite) by far. The are short humanoids of a sort of frog, or toad. They are the undisputed master of all magics and are sought out frequently for either advice or abduction.
[20:06] <+Eric> There are so many though.
[20:06] <~Dan> What are your Elves and Dwarfs like?
[20:07] <+Eric> Ha! I knew I’d have to answer that one.
[20:09] <+Eric> Dwarfs are called “Khazaldi” and they are an all-male species. When they want a son, they must bind themselves with rocks and minerals that have qualities akin for their son. Eight months later, the parent emerges from the stone, and they’ve got a son.
[20:09] <~Dan> So when they want to procreate, they get stoned?
[20:10] <+Eric> Ha! I can’t believe I never thought of it like that!
[20:10] <~Dan> 😀
[20:10] <~Dan> Sorry. Don’t mind me. Please proceed. 🙂
[20:11] <+Eric> But, there are a number of bloodlines in regards to warriors-borne, Daemon slayers, and the like. I believe that there are six of them in total.
[20:11] <+Eric> They are all still Khazaldi though.
[20:12] <+Eric> Elves (or, Edael in the game), are on the far side of the spectrum.
[20:13] <+Eric> Edael are immortal beings, better than a human in all things linked to direct Attribute pools. But since the humanoid mind cannot fathom everything they see, or even dream, they discard memories to make room for more.
[20:13] <+Eric> It’s called “vexing”.
[20:15] <~Dan> Huh.
[20:15] <+Eric> Edael also have a number of bloodlines, eight in total I think….
[20:16] <~Dan> Did you vex the total?
[20:16] <+Eric> I think you caught me there.
[20:16] <~Dan> 😉
[20:16] <+Eric> 😀
[20:16] <+ImperiusRex> 🙂
[20:17] <~Dan> Sounds like the Edael are pretty powerful. What are their drawbacks?
[20:18] <+Eric> Oh, they have a few, not mentioning vexing. They are closer to the minds to True Fae, so they tend to risk Insanity damage just by going asleep.
[20:20] <+Eric> Also, unless you have a familiarity with Edael, they tend to be… nondescript. They are also, androgynous.
[20:21] <+Eric> A lot of their penalties deal with in-game penalties. Same with any other race.
[20:21] <~Dan> Like what?
[20:22] <+Eric> Well, the Edael are just coming out of 20,000 years of slavery due to the Drevens (something about the genocide of all dragons). So obviously, there’s animosity.
[20:24] <~Dan> Interesting. There are no dragons in the setting, then?
[20:24] <+Eric> Another race, the Nakruon, can’t stand to be alone. The mighty M’chect giants are, well, giants, full with supernatural strength and all, are now pacifsts.
[20:26] <+Eric> Nope. There is one race that can, limitedly, turn into something like a dragon. So all the dragon sightings are just that – the magic is there, but no dragons.
[20:28] <~Dan> Speaking of dragons, how common are monsters in general?
[20:28] <+Eric> Monsters are fairly common. Horrors, on the other hand much rarer.
[20:29] <+Eric> Monsters are things the mind can cope with, like say a giant spider.
[20:30] <+Eric> But a Haikyl on the other hand are insanity wrecking death machines.
[20:31] <+Eric> The Haikyl are also fae shapechangers.
[20:32] <~Dan> Do Horrors have anything in common?
[20:33] <+Eric> Yes. They are rare and the only surefire way to survive the encounter is by running away.
[20:34] <+Eric> After that, it just goes down hill.
[20:35] <~Dan> How common is magic in the setting, and how powerful?
[20:36] <+Eric> Well, there are three sorts of mystic arts: arcane, Divine, and psionics (though that term isn’t used in game)
[20:38] <+Eric> All of these are very common, as anyone can learn to cast a spell or three, or earn Divine power from worship. Or just develop Rushen naturally (rushen is the term for psychic power, though it implies so much more).
[20:38] <+ImperiusRex> illusions can be very powerful
[20:39] <+Eric> Some monsters have a measure of arcane power, Horrors have Rushen talents, and so on.
[20:39] <+Eric> Yes, illusions are powerful.
[20:39] <~Dan> How so?
[20:39] <+Eric> As Rob can definately attest to.
[20:40] <+ImperiusRex> I played a character that ‘burned’ someone to death with illusionary fire
[20:41] <+ImperiusRex> made grapes seem like eyes while someone was eating them
[20:41] <+Eric> There are no illusion spells or prayers except in the more powerful manifestations. Basically, you roll for what is called the Active Result (which is the target’s ability subtracted from your own).
[20:42] <+Eric> What ever your result is, you use that number as Placement levels, basically deciding right then and there on the target (s), how long it lasts, what kind of damage it can take the shape of, and so on.
[20:44] <~Dan> You mentioned a steampunk race earlier. What is the overall tech level of the setting?
[20:44] <+Eric> Its only limitation is as good as the roll, and the player’s imagination.
[20:45] <+Eric> Steampunk, yes. Well, you have to reaslise that the Empire has 700,000 years in its histories, so they have developed a lot.
[20:46] <+ImperiusRex> actually, kind of high…at least based on my playthrough
[20:47] <+ImperiusRex> we had a huge ATV troop transport called The Prowler
[20:47] <+Eric> So there are steam powered submarines as well as some (clumsy) power armours. There are vehicles (some have arcane engines, follow rules from alchemy and geomancy), there are even rifles and pistols.
[20:47] <+Eric> … that they designed themselves.
[20:48] <~Dan> That who designed themselves?
[20:48] <+Eric> The playtesters, of whom Rob numbers with
[20:48] <~Dan> Ah! Nice.
[20:48] <+ImperiusRex> 😀
[20:48] <~Dan> So would you call this a steampunk game, then?
[20:49] <+ImperiusRex> with smaller single scout vehicles
[20:49] <+Eric> Not really, even with the high-tech. Yes, what he said, too.
[20:49] <+ImperiusRex> I thought it was a little more advanced than steampunk
[20:49] <+Eric> But it has a lot of steampunk within it without it actually being steampunk.
[20:50] <+ImperiusRex> more like cyberpunk with magic
[20:50] <~Dan> Really? What cyberpunk aspects are there?
[20:50] <+Eric> There are a few elements, yes.
[20:50] <+ImperiusRex> the prowler had onboard computers
[20:51] <+ImperiusRex> I think you can get inplants
[20:51] <+ImperiusRex> implants
[20:51] <+Eric> Yes, the empire uses computers (or, terminals), networking, the whole deal. Properly equipped characters can jack in.
[20:51] <+ImperiusRex> they have magical laser guns
[20:52] <+Eric> Yes, cybernetics do exist, but they are rare and limited scope.
[20:52] <~Dan> Limited how?
[20:52] <+Eric> Not magical laser guns, real laser guns. It is very rare, very expensive and hard to repair.
[20:54] <+Eric> You can only get them through a specialised writ from a Noble House, a doctor has to sign up prior to the surgery, evaluations must be done. Some races can’t accept cybernetics simply because their nature doesn’t fit for it.
[20:54] * ~Dan nods
[20:55] <~Dan> Let’s turn to the mechanics. Do you have a character sheet available to view?
[20:56] <+Eric> The only one I have was before my newest updates to the game. I should be able to pull one up…. one moment please.
[20:57] <~Dan> Certainly!
[20:57] <+Eric> (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89ffw2tFHbwNWNOVmp1WUo1Z1E)https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89ffw2tFHbwNWNOVmp1WUo1Z1E
[20:58] <~Dan> Thanks!
[20:58] <~Dan> Is this an attribute + skill system of some sort?
[20:58] <+Eric> I had a form-fillable, but it hasn’t been updated yet.
[20:59] <+Eric> You Roll your Attribute and Skill dice (each being of 1 to 12 sides) and add any racial/learned bonuses that might exists, then boom.
[21:01] <+Eric> It is outlined in the primer package you got as well.
[21:01] <+Eric> Those primers are not available for public consumption though, so yeah.
[21:01] <~Dan> So it’s a d12 dice pool system?
[21:02] <+Eric> Dice range from a d3, d4, d6, d8, d10 and finally d12 – maximum for mortals in most cases.
[21:03] <~Dan> Oh, I see. So one die for attribute one for skill?
[21:03] <~Dan> Added together?
[21:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[21:03] <+Eric> yes, plus bonuses your race or character path (read: class, but you make that path as a player)
[21:05] <~Dan> How do you handle superhuman attribute levels?
[21:06] <+Eric> With a similar range, from 2d3, 2d4, 2d6, 2d8, 2d10 and it tops out at 2d12… though at those higher levels, you will have as much as a +12 bonus, depending on the individual build.
[21:07] <+Eric> The Skill Dice add to that further.
[21:08] <+Eric> Skills, however, max out at d12.
[21:08] <~Dan> What is Ciiom’m?
[21:08] <+Eric> So one with superhuman strength, high combat skills with a fair number of bonuses would roll3d12+12
[21:09] <+Eric> Ciiom’m is basically “magical energy points). They are used in many abilities, with spellcasting being the obvious first.
[21:10] <~Dan> I see.
[21:10] <~Dan> Looks like the skills are very broad.
[21:10] <~Dan> Does one skill really cover all forms of combat?
[21:10] <+Eric> Not really. There are only 8 Skills.
[21:12] <+Eric> Skill-Based Abilities cover common martial arts from hand-to-hand to masters of oh so many kind of weapons, even purely defensive combat is covered. A Specialisation can be taken on top of this, giving up to a +6 bonus.
[21:13] <+Eric> The *Combat Skill-Based Abilities, that should read.
[21:13] <+ImperiusRex> but there are no set Specialisations are there
[21:14] <+Eric> No. The Specialisations are too many, left only for the player to define.
[21:14] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[21:17] <+Eric> It basically works by your strength or agility attribute trait (you mostly get this from your race, anywhere from +1 to +6). There are simple directions used to determine things like Attacks, the fighting order and basic defensive totals. Once you have those, they are put on the character sheet, because they won’t change much unless you get Skills and Powers.
[21:19] <~Dan> How is damage determined?
[21:19] <+Eric> You roll a d10 (the Encounter Dice) and that covers when you act. The Initiative total decides when you act. Then it is Attribute+Skill, adding up bonuses from Race or other Abilities. The Active Result is your total versus the target.
[21:22] <+Eric> You take your Active Result, and roll for damage. Base damage is multiplied by the Active Result. That is subtracted from Vitality (non-lethal) or accumulated Wounds (physical damage). Then you go back to the start and repeat until everyone has used all their actions.
[21:22] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[21:23] <~Dan> Does the core book include a bestiary, and if so, how large?
[21:23] <+Eric> One encounter, and you know how the entire mechanics work.
[21:23] <+Eric> The Bestiary in proper is a separate work. But the Core Book does come with common animals and Monsters.
[21:24] <+Eric> It is shaping up to be a 200 page book.
[21:24] <~Dan> Impressive!
[21:25] <~Dan> Oh… What is the meaning of the game’s name?
[21:25] <+ImperiusRex> hard cover or soft cover
[21:25] <+Eric> Either or, Rob
[21:26] <+Eric> Dan, Chronicles of the Orb is the “name of the game”. Shaedeam’s Song is the setting.
[21:27] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:27] <~Dan> (And as usual, I’ll mention to my readers that gratuities are always welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ .)
[21:28] <+Eric> um… The mechanics are called the DPS System (dice pool scales). I get a kick out of that.
[21:28] <+Eric> 😀
[21:29] <+Eric> There will be a finite number of books in the series, 11 total (including the core book and bestiary).
[21:29] <+Eric> After that, I will introduce the next “Song”.
[21:30] <+Eric> 11 books, done and so on until eight “Songs are complete.
[21:31] <+Eric> So this project has, essentially 88 books possible. But you don’t need all the books. You can stick with just the Core and Bestiary for Shaedeam.
[21:32] <+Eric> Yes, it does say 88 books possible. Key word possible
[21:32] <~Dan> Sounds like you have a real vision there. I respect that.
[21:32] <+Eric> I’ve been working on this for almost 30 years.
[21:32] <+Eric> Time to share.
[21:32] <~Dan> Wow!
[21:33] <~Dan> Speaking of sharing, thanks very much for joining us this evening, Eric! You too, ImperiusRex!
[21:33] <+Eric> No problem! I enjoyed it!
[21:33] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[21:34] <+Eric> Should I drop a link to the KS?
[21:34] <~Dan> Oh, sure!
[21:34] <+Eric> (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89ffw2tFHbwNWNOVmp1WUo1Z1E)https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89ffw2tFHbwNWNOVmp1WUo1Z1E
[21:34] <+Eric> Ack! Wrong quote!
[21:35] <+Eric> Here we go, without the oops:
[21:35] <+Eric> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adgramaine/chronicles-of-the-orb-shaedeams-song?ref=user_menu)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adgramaine/chronicles-of-the-orb-shaedeams-song?ref=user_menu
[21:35] <~Dan> Got it
[21:35] <~Dan> !