<+Ed_Jowett> Hi everyone, I’m Ed Jowett from Shades of Vengeance. It’s a pleasure to be back once again to talk about another of our amazing games!
<+Firlefanz> Hi Ed!
<+Ed_Jowett> I’m the lead game designer of SoV and I’m here today to talk about Era: Lyres – specifically the Definitive Edition Rulebook, which is currently on Kickstarter for the Make100 initiative.
<+Ed_Jowett> The link is here: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/make100-era-lyres-definitive-edition?ref=5qxaon)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/make100-era-lyres-definitive-edition?ref=5qxaon
<+Ed_Jowett> Era: Lyres is a game about being an adventurer in a fantasy world.
<+Ed_Jowett> More precisely, it’s about NOT being an adventurer in a fantasy world – adventuring is dangerous, unsanitary and often boring!
<+Ed_Jowett> But adventurers get a lot of gold and glory when they return from their quests.
<+Ed_Jowett> So how do you get the gold and glory of being an adventurer without actually risking your life?
<+Ed_Jowett> Simple! You become a Lyre. Lyres tell stories of their “amazing adventures”, which “totally did happen” to eager audiences in Yarnolth.
<+Ed_Jowett> Of course, society expects people who have these stories to be adventurers, so you have to be as convincing as possible.
<+Ed_Jowett> Now, Lyres are not allowed, but if you can convince the tavern’s patrons that your adventure was real, well… they are very likely to shower you with the gold and renown which you so desperately seek.
<+Ed_Jowett> The game is about taking the role of a team of “adventurers” (Lyres) and telling stories to the GM, who plays as the audience.
<+Ed_Jowett> Pretty much anything can “happen” in the story, but the more outlandish it is, the more likely you are to be found out. A demand of a test of strength for someone who claims to have wrestled a bear, for example, does not sound unreasonable.
<+Ed_Jowett> While many of the tavern patrons are drunk and will accept your word (as long as you don’t go too far), they are wary of this movement, which has grown in recent years.
<+Ed_Jowett> And that’s the game in a nutshell!
<~Dan> (Ready for questions?)
<+Ed_Jowett> THe Definitive Edition that I’m creating with the Kickstarter adds brand new material to this world, based on the four years of experience I’ve had since I first published it.
<~Dan> (Oops! n/m)
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s intended to be the ultimate (or dare I say “Definitive”) guide to the world.
<+Ed_Jowett> It provides a Bestiary of creatures which… shall we say subvert the tropes of Fantasy? (Link: http://www.shadesofvengeance.com/era-lyres/bestiary/)http://www.shadesofvengeance.com/era-lyres/bestiary/
<~Dan> (Howdy, Moxiane!)
<+Ed_Jowett> It provides the Traveller’s Guide to Yarnolth, previously only available in Digital Format…
<+Ed_Jowett> and it also provides the outcome of 4 years of playing the game in terms of character creation, GM advice and rules tweaks which help Era d10 better fit the setting (you’re not going to be shooting someone in the face with an arrow in a bar fight!)
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s a pretty cool package there, and the top-tier reward even comes with some cool extras – well worth a look. The link again is (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/make100-era-lyres-definitive-edition?ref=5qxaon)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/make100-era-lyres-definitive-edition?ref=5qxaon
<+Ed_Jowett> And now, please feel free to go ahead and ask any questions you like! 😀
<+Ed_Jowett> And hi Firlefanz!
<~Dan> Thanks, Ed_Jowett! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> How does game play proceed? What are die rolls used for?
<+Ed_Jowett> Dice rolls are primarily used whenever you make a claim which the GM feels is “outlandish”.
<+Firlefanz> So basically a “lie save”?
<+Ed_Jowett> That might be someone who is fairly wimpy-looking claiming to be stronger than he looks… it might be someone claiming to have hit a target from 500 metres away with an arrow ballistically…
<+Ed_Jowett> or it might be that someone claims to be able to control fish.
<+Ed_Jowett> They basically give the opportunity for the players to “prove” they really are that good by giving a quick demonstration without *having* to stop gameplay in order to do so.
<+Ed_Jowett> You might want to, as the GM, but it’s totally up to you.
<+Ed_Jowett> Firlefanz, yes, in a sense. It is an opposed roll between the adventurer and the most qualified member of the audience to dispute what they are saying…
<+Ed_Jowett> if you claimed you fought 100 enemies and your sword was not even dented, the blacksmith might have an opinion.
<+Moxiane> Kaor, Da’nport Dan et al
<+Ed_Jowett> If you claimed to have hit a dragon in the sky from a kilometre away, the barmaid who is also a part-time hunter might have something to say, etc.
<+Ed_Jowett> If you claimed to find diamonds in the south, the jewel merchant may know there are none there…
<+Ed_Jowett> it can be pretty much anything.
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s to keep the adventurers on their toes and give a chance of failure.
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s linked to the Confidence mechanic, which measures how much people believe or disbelieve your story… which affects your reward (or possibly punishment!) at the end.
<+Firlefanz> Makes sense. I still think it sounds a bit like a “reverse game”, in that the players are actually inventing their adventure.
<+Ed_Jowett> Yeah, it’s exactly that.
<+Ed_Jowett> That was what I was going for as a feel 🙂
<~Dan> What does the GM do other than listen to the story and have audience memebers call B.S.?
<+Ed_Jowett> Sit back, relax and have fun.
<+Ed_Jowett> Generate the audience at the start, give rewards at the end.
<+Ed_Jowett> Sometimes put a time limit on the story length, and there’s a chance for roleplay with the “stern landlady”, easily-swayed barmaid, eager adventurer people who are in the tavern.
<~Dan> How is the game played with more than one player?
<+Ed_Jowett> Oh, it’s much better with more than one player.
<+Ed_Jowett> The other thing the GM does is keep the story moving between people.
<+EpicofDreams> Is there a mechanic driving that?
<+Ed_Jowett> They may have a few minutes to plan the story at the start, the broad strokes, but you can do it in or out of character “I’d like to hear from this gentleman now!”
<+EpicofDreams> Really cool take on rolls btw
<+Ed_Jowett> There is not, EpicofDreams, no. It’s more at the GM’s discretion. The reason for that is I don’t want to force people who are maybe less confident, or who are worried they won’t measure up to the guy across the table from them too far.
<+Ed_Jowett> But it’s down to the GM to decide how far is far enough – not everyone has an equal level of talent at imrpovisation, and it’s a great vehicle to learn but I’ve found that forcing the issue just leads to a bad time when someone can’t think of something, or when they run out of ideas.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Kei!)
<+Ed_Jowett> And thank you – It’s quite a different approach I think, and it really lets you tell whatever story you’re interested in telling.
<~Dan> How are the characters statted out, and do you have a character sheet we can see?
<+Ed_Jowett> Which is entirely the point of the game, in the end! It’s just putting some mechanics and a way to measure success around that.
<+Ed_Jowett> The character sheet follows the fairly standard Era Games principles: (Link: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/era-lyres-character-sheet-free/)https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/era-lyres-character-sheet-free/
<+Ed_Jowett> The characters are generated in one of two ways – you can do point-buy, it’s in the Definitive Edition, but it’s not the recommended way.
<+Firlefanz> You know, I’m a writer and I tried to GM – failed miserably because my players wouldn’t do what I had imagined. It’s a tad easier to get my characters to behave. But I think I could easily love this game, because it lets me go wild with my imagination.
<+Ed_Jowett> Instead, I recommend you choose 3 Attributes and 5 Skills to be “good at”, and you’re not very good at anything else.
<+Ed_Jowett> That makes incredibly unbalanced characters…
<+Ed_Jowett> and on the day the archer has to explain how he fought off a bear in hand-to-hand combat, it means you’re likely to fail!
<+Ed_Jowett> Which is great for the story, because watching people get out of how they fail is a fantastic experience.
<+Ed_Jowett> “Oh, I punched the dragon in the face and it fell unconscious!”
<+Ed_Jowett> *loses roll*
<+Ed_Jowett> “Well, I thought it did, but it actually was pretending, and then tried to eat me!”
<+Ed_Jowett> But fortunately, my friend here jumped on its top jaw and shoved its mouth closed.
<+Ed_Jowett> (and then maybe the firend takes over telling the story, explaining that, as a hero and a paladin (honest!), they had no choice but to take the risk.
<+Ed_Jowett> (and that’s a great example of the story transitioning between players.
<+Ed_Jowett> I’ve played it a large number of times in the last 4 years and I have never had an issue with a single player hogging the limelight, just with a little “can we hear from him/her now” type of request.
<~Dan> Is the success or failure of the story just up to the GM to judge, or is there a mechanic behind that?
<+Ed_Jowett> There is a mechanic behind that.
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s based on how many of the tavern’s Patrons are still engaged at the end.
<+Ed_Jowett> Depending on how you fare in rolls, epople might engage more or disengage…
<+Ed_Jowett> or even go out and call the Guard!
<+Ed_Jowett> Only the people who are engaged will give rewards at the end (and there’s a relatively simply table).
<+Ed_Jowett> [Apologies, by the way, my punctuation is all over the place, with about 50 million open brackets!]
<+Ed_Jowett> There we go, that about fixes it.
<+Firlefanz> Hehehehe. I can relate to that. 🙂
* ~Dan chuckles
<+Firlefanz> So do you have any tricks to jumpstart story telling for your players?
<+Ed_Jowett> Yeah, what I do is each tavern has a “theme”.
<+Ed_Jowett> So you might start on a market square corner. You can get away with pretty much anything.
<+Ed_Jowett> You might decide instead to go for a seedy tavern, where people want to hear tales of how you stuck it to the man (even if it’s a “man” in another city)
<+Ed_Jowett> Or you might go for a higher-end tavern (if you have enough Confidence – you earn more at the end of every story with your gold), where they want to hear stories of saving princesses and defeating monsters, saving the kingdom… that sort of thing.
<+Firlefanz> Ah, neat. I thought you had one one tavern, basically.
<+Ed_Jowett> That gives people a guideline about what they might tell.
* +Firlefanz nodnods.
<+Ed_Jowett> No, Yarnolth has 14 in the RUlebook (and actually a few more in the Zine we’re producing in February)
<~Dan> (Howdy, luc!)
<+luc> Hi Dan et al.
<~Dan> How are the monsters you mentioned statted out, if they’re not meant to be actually fought?
<+Ed_Jowett> They aren’t, because they don’t need to be.
<+Ed_Jowett> You can claim you punched a cyclops in the face… or a goblin…
<+Ed_Jowett> and people might believe a goblin, but it’s really up to the GM.
<+Ed_Jowett> Equally, the GM doesn’t have to call on every time you punch something, if it’s too much.
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s 100% up to the GM if something sounds dodgy. If it sounds fine to the GM that people control fish… they might just let it go without a roll..
<~Dan> Speaking of controlling fish, how do you “prove” supernatural powers?
<+Ed_Jowett> Well, you obviously can’t. So you have to come up with something convincing.
<~Dan> So none of the PCs are actual magicians or the like?
<+Ed_Jowett> In that case, I had him step outside to a fish pond and majestically wave his hand… and roll a Luck roll.
<+Ed_Jowett> All the fish in the pond swam to the left.
<+Ed_Jowett> Just at that moment, total fluke.
<+Ed_Jowett> (haha, fluke)
* ~Dan laughs
<+Ed_Jowett> So everyone believed he could control fish.
<~Dan> (They did it just for the halibut.)
<+Ed_Jowett> They just accepted it!
<+Ed_Jowett> That’s one of the amazing things about this game… if you’re on the ball as a GM, you can have a LOT of fun.
<+Ed_Jowett> The fish was his claim, the proof was my idea, and when he won the roll, he was open-mouthed in shock!
<+Ed_Jowett> It was absolutely brilliant and hilarious.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, OnaFrost!)
<+OnaFrost> Heya yall
<~Dan> (OnaFrost: Here for the Q&A, or just a random visit? 🙂 )
<+Firlefanz> I have to say that I am impressed, Ed. This is turning gaming around in a fun way.
<+Ed_Jowett> Thanks very much, Firlefanz. I just came up with a silly idea one day.
<+OnaFrost> I mean, I am usually lurking in the discord, so why not lurk here to. 😁
<+Ed_Jowett> It just turned out absolutely amazing.
<~Dan> (OnaFrost: Excellent. Please make yourself at home! I’ll PM you with what’s going on at the moment. 🙂 )
<+Ed_Jowett> I was actually just walking to a friend’s house and thinking about Storytelling Games, the way they had been explained to another friend…
<+Ed_Jowett> and I thought… wait, what if you actually could tell any story you wanted with no rules… but there were meta consequences?
<+Ed_Jowett> And that’s when I came up with the idea. I just took it and ran with it further than others might!
<+OnaFrost> That sounds amazing Ed.
<+Ed_Jowett> Thanks, OnaFrost!
<+Ed_Jowett> The world has grown so, so much since then, though.
<+Ed_Jowett> Actually, interesting factoid…
<+OnaFrost> The world can be adapted. Find what you aanna d
<+Ed_Jowett> Era: Lyres Definitive Edition is going to feature the first concrete link between any two Era games.
<+OnaFrost> Wanna do and make it the best
<+OnaFrost> Stupid fingers. 😡
<+Ed_Jowett> I have done hints before, but never the actual specifics. This features those in no uncertain terms!
<+Ed_Jowett> But yes, OnaFrost, you’re absolutely right. The world is not *needed* for the game. It’s a great resource and it means you aren’t just playing to the exact tropes – the material is really all around subverting tropes…
<+Ed_Jowett> The Wererabbits, for example, are considered the greatest threat to the Kingdom by the man who writes the Bestiary, “Professor Wilton-Smythe”.
<+Ed_Jowett> Yeah, rabbits.
<+Ed_Jowett> He’s a great little character, because he’s never left Yarnolth.
<+Ed_Jowett> There’s no proof of what may or may not be out there…
<+OnaFrost> Good. We need more representation of other were creatures. 😁
<+Ed_Jowett> but he “can tell” which stories are true and which are false.
<+Ed_Jowett> ANd now, the major development in the world since the previous edition is the introduction of Ann Trout.
<+Ed_Jowett> She… barged in and basically declared herself his apprentice.
<+Ed_Jowett> (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wCion4UrZY)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wCion4UrZY
<+OnaFrost> I need to finish cooking dinner. See yall later!
<~Dan> Bye, OnaFrost!
<+Firlefanz> Ah, so you do have specific people in the Audience?
<+Ed_Jowett> Well, shenanigans follow. Many of the new Bestiary entries are “researched by A Trout”
<+Ed_Jowett> I am the king of bad jokes XD
<+Ed_Jowett> No, not usually. She is just a vehicle for adding new things to the game.
<+Ed_Jowett> As is the Professor.
<+Firlefanz> I see.
<+Ed_Jowett> They might be referred to by “knowing adventurers”, but they wouldn’t have to be.
<+Ed_Jowett> In my mind, the City of Yarnolth is basically 2/3 of adventurers, or more, are Lyres.
<+Ed_Jowett> Just some are considered more credible than others.
<~Dan> Do the rules cover action outside of stories (and associated proof)?
<+Ed_Jowett> No, they don’t. Apart from a few bits and pieces.
<+Ed_Jowett> Bar fights, yes.
<+Ed_Jowett> Actual adventuring? No.
<+Ed_Jowett> They aren’t supposed to, it’s outside the scope of this game.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> How large is the rulebook?
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s a little over 200 pages.
<~Dan> What takes up the most space?
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s the Bestiary and the Traveller’s Guide, I think. I’ve not actually counted!
<+Ed_Jowett> There’s only about 40 pages of “rules”, but there’s character creation and equipment as well, of course.
<~Dan> Equipment? How is that used in the game?
<+Ed_Jowett> The reason I like the “unbalanced” character creation is it’s super quick and easy… and there’s more chance you’ll try to do something you’re unskilled at, which is hard, and means you’ll probably fail.
<+Ed_Jowett> Well, there is the obvious stuff – swords and such.
<+Ed_Jowett> If you want to prove you’re a melee fighter, you might be challenged to a duel.
<+Ed_Jowett> Armour to look the part, etc.
<+Ed_Jowett> Then there’s things like the “Artifact”. It’s a mysterious glowing thing which is expensive but, if you have it, you can regain the engagement of someone you lost through a roll.
<+Ed_Jowett> Whether it’s actually an artifact… hmmm…
<~Dan> Hmm… I can’t think of any other questions offhand. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+Ed_Jowett> Maybe just the extras.
<+Ed_Jowett> We’re offering some cool “Yarnolth Gold Coins” with the top-tier pledge – limited edition, only 200 in existence!
<+Ed_Jowett> (You also get the Definitive Edition, of course!)
<+Ed_Jowett> And also a map… it’s printed on Cloth and it’s clearly a map which two different Lyres have had in the past.
<+Ed_Jowett> So it’s passed to you… and it has all the notes about the various taverns and streets of Yarnolth which these guys have put on it.
<+Ed_Jowett> (Link: https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/023/607/046/773d808f32a24becb2cab258f2b2e8af_original.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&w=680&fit=max&v=1545344827&auto=format&gif-q=50&q=92&s=669528abafcac4238a414c051f8a29d6)https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/023/607/046/773d808f32a24becb2cab258f2b2e8af_original.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&w=680&fit=max&v=1545344827&auto=format&gif-q=50&q=92&s=669528abafcac4238a414c051f8a29d6
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s really pretty hilarious in placed.
<+Ed_Jowett> Oh, but that one’s a bit hard to read.
<+Firlefanz> Very neat.
<+Ed_Jowett> “Landlord here owes me 5 ales…”
<+Ed_Jowett> 2nd Lyre “But I owe him money!”
<~Dan> Nice. 🙂
<+Ed_Jowett> We had a lot of fun making it, and it came out really well, so we’re offering those to backers.
<+Ed_Jowett> And the coins were made by Drawlab to the design of our layout artist on all our books, Keith Draws.
<+Ed_Jowett> They are fantastic – weighty like a coin should be, unique design… really nice.
<+Ed_Jowett> And really well-balanced for coin tosses!
<+Ed_Jowett> That is just about it, though. Era: Lyres is not a complex game in concept – it opens up endless possibilities.
<+Ed_Jowett> And, as I said earlier… that’s the idea!
<~Dan> Oh, speaking of coin tosses, for those unfamiliar with your other games, perhaps we should quickly cover task resolution?
<+Ed_Jowett> Sure, absolutely. I should say first if you want a quick demo, there’s no better place than here: (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc7RBrk2-qE)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc7RBrk2-qE
<+Ed_Jowett> Well, basically, there are Attributes and Skills.
<+Ed_Jowett> You either have double Attribute (for raw power) or Attribute plus Skill (for a learned ability)
<+Ed_Jowett> You roll that number of dice. It’s a dice pool system with a variable Threshold based on difficulty.
<+Ed_Jowett> In Era: Lyres, nearly every roll is opposed, except maybe Investigation when you walk into the bar to see what patrons you can identify.
<+Ed_Jowett> So you both share the same Threshold, most of the time.
<+Ed_Jowett> The number of Successes defines the outcome – more Successes is better – 1 is a minor success, 3 might be average, whreas like 7 or 8 is pretty outstanding.
<+Ed_Jowett> This means the GM can decide whether they believe that the adventurer has done enought o totally convince a member of the audience or just enough to quiet them for now.
<+Ed_Jowett> It’s pretty much as simple as that. The Combat Rules that some might know from other games are adapted to allow bar fights to be more of an “honest brawl between folk” rather than “fight to the death!”
<~Dan> Cool. 🙂
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Ed_Jowett!
<+Ed_Jowett> You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for having me once again.
<+Ed_Jowett> I’m sure you’ll see me again soon!
<~Dan> Reminder to folks: Gratuities are always welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
<+Firlefanz> Thank you!
<~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll post the log and link you. 🙂