<+DLB_Chuck> I *just* released the third edition of my game in the last couple weeks after a successful Kickstarter that helped me update the game and bring in some new art plus a lot of new material.
<+Chen> That’s a nice name.
<+DLB_Chuck> I originally developed DLB in the early 90s and published the first edition in ’94 and a second edition a couple years later. Life, day jobs, kids, got in the way and I dropped out of the gaming industry then decided to bring it out after talking to my friend Lester Smith
<+DLB_Chuck> Lester is the award winning designer behind Dragon Dice, Dark Conspiracy and more recently the D6xD6 multi-genre mechanics system.
<+DLB_Chuck> I liked his new rule set so much I decided to change DLB over to a customized version of it and that’s part of the new edition.
<+DLB_Chuck> Currently the DLB 3rd edition is on DriveThru RPG at (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/256877/Dont–Look-Back-Terror-is-Never-Far-Behind-3rd-Edition)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/256877/Dont–Look-Back-Terror-is-Never-Far-Behind-3rd-Edition
<+DLB_Chuck> Don’t Look Back exists in a modern world with elements of the supernatural and paranormal buried within layer upon layer of conspiracy. There are secret government laboratories with psychic test subjects, alien technology, and genetic aberrations; cults and supernatural forces that reach across dimensions where they are banished; and a sinister force called T
<+DLB_Chuck> The Order that controls government, media, religion and science as well as other organizations that work to unravel their plans. The “Cleanup Crew” is a multi-national organization
<+DLB_Chuck> that has jurisdiction across governments and nations to secure the world from unnatural threats and keep the population none-the-wiser. In fact,
<+DLB_Chuck> they are actually the enforcement and science wing of the Order. They operate under many names and many of the people who are part of it have no real idea.
<+DLB_Chuck> Characters could be reporters digging into stories their editors have told them not to, government agents charged with investigating and debunking
<+DLB_Chuck> the paranormal, or simply people who see or stumble into something they shouldn’t who are now trying to expose the truth or simply try to get away with their lives while the Crew attempts to contain any information leaks.
<+DLB_Chuck> That’s enough pasting for now. Any questions Dan? Or others?
<~Dan> Thanks, DLB_Chuck! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Do I recall correctly that everything in the setting has a psuedo-scientific explanation?
<+DLB_Chuck> That’s correct. There are supernatural elements like ghosts and demons but there are pseudo-scientific explanations including multiple planes and levels of existence
<+CasWarner> With apologies in advance: If I ever play it, I intend to work in “T”, now.
<~Dan> Is that the virus from Resident Evil?
<+CasWarner> Ooh, that’s good…
<+DLB_Chuck> That could definitely be fun
<~Dan> Are the Order considered bad guys in the setting?
<+DLB_Chuck> I guess that depends on whether you are part of the Order 😉
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> From the PC’s perspective, the Order sees everyone as cattle basically — pawns to be manipulated and ignored like insects
<+DLB_Chuck> The Order is the primary dark force pulling the strings in the background. They are actualized in the game mostly through the Cleanup Crew — their enforcement and scientific arm
<~Dan> Can the PCs be members of the Cleanup Crew
<+DLB_Chuck> PCs will typically be caught in the middle of things but they can definitely be part of the Cleanup Crew. The layers of conspiracy are so dense, they may be part of the Crew and never even know it.
<~Dan> I see. Interesting.
<+DLB_Chuck> The Cleanup Crew operates under the guise of any number of government or private organizations all under a centralized web of control. This helps to ensure deniability and also helps to keep people from connecting the dots.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Does the Order have access to any high-tech goodies and/or alien technology?
<+DLB_Chuck> The Kickstarter edition included a special chapter on the Cleanup Crew and the Cleaners. That will be addressed with a supplement for the third edition down the road.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest41!)
<+DLB_Chuck> The Order not only has access to alien technology — they made some of it.
<+DLB_Chuck> Cleaners are dispatched anytime there is a report of artifacts or alien technology to secure and apprehend it as well as cover up it’s existance.
<~Dan> Can you give some examples of the tech they’re hoarding?
<+DLB_Chuck> Fires, mass shootings, and even terrorist attacks could be what they seem or they could be a facade to hide something else
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, RoadScholar!)
<+DLB_Chuck> Cleaners have access to special weapons. They also — depending on their level in the organization — also *are* technology such as nanotechnology that makes them faster, stronger, and able to recover much quicker than normal humans.
<+DLB_Chuck> One of the original DLB supplements was called Giant Psychic Insects From Outer Space. I’ll adapt parts of it to the new edition. It’s about what the title says and the Crew is all over their crash site.
<~Dan> Speaking of psychics, can the PCs have access to psychic powers?
<+DLB_Chuck> Some of the creatures described include alien tech or are derived from it including cybernetic assassins, aliens themselves, and a lactose-intolerant flesh-eating amoeba colony.
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> There is an entire chapter devoted to the paranormal including descriptions of many kinds of psychic abilities that the Game Host may choose to allow PCs to have. It’s going to all be story driven so it would need to make sense to have it in the plot
<~Dan> Is there magic as well?
<+DLB_Chuck> What we think of as psychic abilities are actually just weakened, recessive genes that continue to be passed along through watered down bloodlines from when humans had bred with “paranormals” (aliens and others with special powers). One of the reasons they are so rare and generally fairly weak is because the bloodlines are heavily watered down at this point
<+DLB_Chuck> Magic would just be in the form of psychic or paranormal abilities, however sometimes rituals and magnifiers (crystals, potions, etc.) may be needed to activate the power
<+DLB_Chuck> Summoning and opening a portal to the banished plane (demons) requires a group and harnessing a lot of psychic power including sacrifice
<~Dan> How specific are the psychic powers?
<~Dan> Like, is there a specific power for opening portals?
<+DLB_Chuck> I provide several concrete examples of the normal kinds most people would expect (ESP, pyrokenesis, phantasm, opening portals, etc.) plus added some less common like shape change, melting, wall walking etc.
<+DLB_Chuck> Those are the skills. There are also abilities like cohabitation (having more than one spirit in a host), indestructible, regeneration etc. Abilities are things that just kinda happen while skills are things you have to attempt to do.
<+DLB_Chuck> Opening portals is a skill
<~Dan> Are those abilities for PCs, or are those monster powers?
<~Dan> (re: regeneration, etc.)
<+DLB_Chuck> Usually they will show up in monsters but it’s possible for PCs to have them
<~Dan> How would PCs acquire them?
<+RoadScholar> How much in-setting awareness is there of the bloodlines? Are we looking at groups conducting selective breeding for great psychic ability?
<+DLB_Chuck> Another important thing to remember is that everything provided are examples and a starting point. Players and Game Hosts are encouraged to create their own.
<+DLB_Chuck> Yes there are those out there who want to identify and bring back the “bastards” to try to shore-up their own bloodlines.
<+CasWarner> Thought I had something about psychic insects but can’t think what it is…
<+CasWarner> …With this, though, I’m imagining that backfiring.
<~Dan> How many alien species are detailed in the book?
<+DLB_Chuck> déjà vu as an example is actually a heavily watered down version of a psychic power. the same goes for people who just think they are lucky etc.
<+DLB_Chuck> The book talks about a number but the only two I think detailed in the encounters section are greys and brain sucking aliens.
<~Dan> Please tell me that the greys have actual flying saucers. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> Everybody has flying saucers 🙂
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> Brain Sucking Aliens have lost the ability to create emotion on their own so they literally suck the memories out of people so they can experience them
<~Dan> A mind is a terrible thing to taste.
<+DLB_Chuck> They put people to sleep at night then use an appendage to suck the memories out. The PCs will start to have memory loss — maybe a few days or weeks at a time. Eventually after enough sessions they would become a vegetable
<+DLB_Chuck> When they drain the last of the memories it makes a sucking sound like when your soda is just down to ice
<~Dan> How brutal is combat in this game? Is the direct approach to monster-bashing effective at all?
<~Dan> DLB_Chuck: That’s just gross. 😀
<+DLB_Chuck> I don’t think you can use the term “realistic” when you talk about a game so I’ll say combat is more plausible compared to the real world than in most games.
<~Dan> So you really don’t want to get shot?
<+DLB_Chuck> Different types of weapons do different “types” of damage from a scratch (graze) through real wounds, stuns, or knock-outs and eventually death.
<+DLB_Chuck> Definitely not. Unlike a lot of games there are no Hit Points. You have a wound level and every level that advances gives you more penalties to your actions
<+DLB_Chuck> There is a regular physical wound level as well as a psyche level that both work the same — just affected by different types of attacks
<+DLB_Chuck> There are types of body armor etc. that can lessen the impact of a wound but there’s usually a tradeoff in that they impede your actions because of the bulk — unless you are in the cleanup crew who have custom sculpted advanced types of armor that don’t have the negatives
<~Dan> You mentioned ghosts earlier. What are they, in setting terms?
<~Dan> wb, DLB_Chuck!
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Lee!)
<+Lee> Thank you, sir!
<~Dan> (Our guest is also having technical difficulties and will be back momentarily.)
<~Dan> wb, DLB_Chuck!
<+DLB_Chuck> I’m back
<+DLB_Chuck> Thanks Dan
<~Dan> DLB_Chuck: Meet Lee, our latest arrival. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> Where were we before I dropped off?
<+DLB_Chuck> Hi Lee
<~Dan> I was just asking what ghosts are in the context of this setting.
<+DLB_Chuck> There are a number of types of ghosts including banshees, frights and ghouls
<+DLB_Chuck> One of the two sample adventures includes a couple ghosts. The PCs are part of a web video show investigating hauntings.
<~Dan> Are they literally the undead?
<+DLB_Chuck> Spirits live on a different type of plane — the energy plane
<+DLB_Chuck> Exist is better than “live”
<+DLB_Chuck> Humans have spiritual energy when they are alive and sometimes those energy signatures hang around and still have memories, traits etc. but they have a hard time interacting with the physical world
<+DLB_Chuck> Some of the more malevolent ones have to drain the life out of the living to stay here
<+DLB_Chuck> We were talking about paranormal abilities earlier. There are also paranormal limitations like curses that restrict a character or entity to a location or connected to an item
<+DLB_Chuck> A ghost may be trapped in this plane and unable to go to the place where their others are because of a tragedy or curse etc.
<~Dan> (wb, CasWarner! Did Mibbit crap out on you, too?)
<+DLB_Chuck> Cas did you get booted?
<+CasWarner> Not sure. The tab’s gone away on me.
<+DLB_Chuck> That’s what happened to me then it took a while to reconnect
<+DLB_Chuck> Before I forget, I made a couple discount codes I’d like to share in case anyone wants to check it out
<+DLB_Chuck> On DriveThruRPG if you use the following code you can get $10 off the price of the PDF: 93cf0c0ce5
<~Dan> That’s very nice of you, DLB_Chuck!
<+Lee> Thank you!
<+DLB_Chuck> You can save $15 off the price of the paperback edition (full size, color) with this code: 93d5d5908e
<+DLB_Chuck> The paperback includes a free copy of the PDF too.
<+DLB_Chuck> You’re welcome. Anything I can do to be supportive of the good people here.
<~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
<+DLB_Chuck> They have a pretty tight expiration so please check it out soon. I’m just starting to publicize the game. Feel free to share the code if you have a friend who may be interested.
<+DLB_Chuck> Hang on and I’ll put one on Google Drive
<+DLB_Chuck> (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ymfyn14G3JeAzyqldT0F6uyexuLAUF_J)https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ymfyn14G3JeAzyqldT0F6uyexuLAUF_J
<+DLB_Chuck> That should take you to an image of a couple of the sample PCs from the book
<+DLB_Chuck> The basic character sheets are half sheets of paper. The backs include spaces for notes etc. If you look at the sample PCs you can see that the occupation (think “class” or archetype) can be pretty open and very flexible.
<~Dan> Can you use one of the sample characters to illustrate how the system works?
<+DLB_Chuck> Sure. One of the things I haven’t mentioned yet is Drama points. They are special points you get at the beginning of every session that you can use to turn a failure into a success or do something extraordinary — think more cinematic — to help balance out the difficulty and toughness of the game
<+DLB_Chuck> Walking through the top PC you see an occupation, attributes, Focus (the only real “score” characters have) and a list of focused and unfocused skills plus the two types of wound levels (Damage and Psyche)
<+DLB_Chuck> All rolls in the game are based on the Focus score. You roll 2 six-sided dice and multiply the results. That sum is compared to the Focus score to determine success or failure as well as the extent of the success if you need levels like in combat
<+DLB_Chuck> Occupation is critical. It’s a very short basic description of not just a job but the character’s general persona. Most rolls are made based on occupation.
<~Dan> Are you trying to beat the Focus score? Roll under it?
<+DLB_Chuck> Focused skills are things the PC is good at doing and unfocused skills are things the character used to do well or that they are learning.
<+DLB_Chuck> If our top PC Paula was attempting to find clues about a ghost or trace evidence you would make a focused roll. Occupation is always considered a focused skill.
<+DLB_Chuck> You would roll 2d6 and multiply the result. If that result is larger or equal to her Focus score (6), it would be successful. If it was a high result, she might be “very” successful and find even more than the basic clues.
<~Dan> So lower Focus scores are better?
<+DLB_Chuck> If she was in a car and trying to outrun someone, she would also make a focused roll because she also has a focused driving skill.
<+DLB_Chuck> Yes — lower is better. All new PCs start with 6. The focus number is equal to the number of focused skills plus one for the occupation.
<~Dan> How does an unfocused roll work?
<+DLB_Chuck> Focus represents a combination of how much attention and expertise they have put into the things they are good at. Over time PCs can drop skills from focused to unfocused to drop their focus number.
<+DLB_Chuck> To make an unfocused roll you make the same 2d6 roll and multiply the result. If it is less than or equal to the Focus score, it is successful
<~Dan> What’s the rationale there?
<+DLB_Chuck> There are also unfamiliar rolls when you attempt something you have no real skill for. Those have to be less than the Focus score and they can only be basically successful (no additional levels). Game Hosts can also apply penalties in a few forms that alter the die results or the sums
<+DLB_Chuck> Unfocused skills are still things the character knows — they just aren’t currently as good at them as they are the things they actively practice (focus).
<+DLB_Chuck> LIke you said earlier, the lower focus number is good but it’s really only good for those things you are focused to do. The more you concentrate on a smaller number of skills, the better you are at them but the worse you are at everything else so there’s a bit of a balancing act going on.
<~Dan> What effect do attributes have?
<+DLB_Chuck> You could literally be the greatest martial artist that’s every walked the earth but not be able to cook an egg or ride a bike etc.
<+DLB_Chuck> The attributes are only sparingly used in rolls if nothing else makes sense. Usually they are more used to resist other things. They represent innate things about the character’s makeup
<+DLB_Chuck> In DLB, Will is probably used most because it’s the natural defense against psychic types of attacks.
<+DLB_Chuck> You get one focused attribute, on unfamiliar one, and the other two are unfocused. The circle represents the focused one and the lines through one indicate unfocused.
<~Dan> (BTW, Lee just tried to use your coupon code and got an error.)
<+DLB_Chuck> Which code did he use?
<+DLB_Chuck> I haven’t done coupons with DriveThru before so I may have set it up wrong.
<+DLB_Chuck> Hang on Lee
<~Dan> (I’m going to step away for just a minute while Chuck’s doing that.)
<+DLB_Chuck> Lee, try this link and please let me know if it works: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9f0c5b0887)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9f0c5b0887
<+Lee> Until you started describing this and I Ran over to DriveThru to read about it, I didn’t know this was D6XD6 – I backed that and have the deluxe version – must have missed this, somehow!
<+Lee> Yes! Thank you – that worked.
<+DLB_Chuck> This is the first full-blown game that uses the D6xD6 mechanics
<+DLB_Chuck> One of the things that appealed to me about licensing D6xD6 is that there are a ton of settings you can immediately incorporate into DLB that already exist as well as a growing number of adventures
<+DLB_Chuck> Thanks Lee. I really appreciate it.
<+Lee> Looking forward to getting it – very excited to learn this exists
<+DLB_Chuck> One of the ideas I have is to leverage the breadth of D6xD6 and work on an adventure that spans generations. The PCs have to do something based in a setting in the 1800s or early 1900s then after that arc is complete, their descendents must finish the job in modern times. There’s a lot of source material in D6xD6 to set the stage for the earlier setting
<~Dan> Back, sorry.
<+DLB_Chuck> While you were gone, I was able to generate a code that worked for Lee
<+DLB_Chuck> For the paperback edition, please click on the following link to get the discount on DriveThruRPG: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9f0c5b0887)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9f0c5b0887
<+Lee> And the ghosts of earlier PCs can guide their investigation, maybe
<+DLB_Chuck> That’s a great idea
<+DLB_Chuck> For the PDF edition discount, please click on this link: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9f25607eaf)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=9f25607eaf
<~Dan> How does combat work?
<+DLB_Chuck> I’m working on an adventure outline right now for something I was going to have Lester Smith write during the Kickstarter campaign but we didn’t hit the stretch goal. It is initially called “Layover” but I think I’m going to add a stylized “S” to the front to call it “Slayover”.
<+DLB_Chuck> It’s about being trapped in an airport because of weather at the beginning of the zombie virus breakout.
<+Lee> Given the material, I might use this for an idea Ken Hite gave the world years ago – The Banquo Dossier – espionage performed by ghosts.
<+DLB_Chuck> Combat works like any other types of rolls and is based on skills. You can have weapon skills (each basic class of weapon is a separate skill) as well as skills like hand-to-hand combat etc. You make the roll and then inflict an appropriate type of wound based on the weapon type.
<+DLB_Chuck> If you succeed by more than 10 points you do an extra level of damage so something that normally inflicts a “WOUND” becomes a “KNOCK OUT”
<+DLB_Chuck> There are defensive things you can do to lessen the impact of a wound. If you are at KNOCK OUT and get a graze it doesn’t kill you. It needs to be greater than your current wound level to escalate your injuries.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
<+DLB_Chuck> Some creatures start out with multiple wound levels that can be taken before they start to receive penalties (the negative numbers above the DAMAGE and PSYCHE levels)
<+DLB_Chuck> You can also use a drama point to alter your opponents roll and turn a hit into a miss or at least lessen it
<~Dan> Sounds simple enough.
<+DLB_Chuck> The right occupation or skill can help to revive a fallen character but it’s hard to come back from the dead. Damage levels recover naturally over time and there are special optional rules for things like second winds and how quickly wounds recover based on how deadly the Host wants the game to be
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+DLB_Chuck> DLB has a unique world. It covers a lot of ground but the paranormal and weird science aspects blended with crazy levels of conspiracies really makes it unique.
<+DLB_Chuck> The mechanics are chosen to be as easy and in the background as humanly possible. I don’t think you can build up horror if people are doing a lot of page flipping or rule referencing or math
<+DLB_Chuck> I mentioned this is a third edition. The previous editions had excellent ratings in Dragon, White Wolf’s magazine, and it was rated as one of the top 50 games of all type by Arcane (UK mag) back in the day.
<+DLB_Chuck> Please check it out and use those codes. They’ll go away in a couple days. This is literally the first place I’ve even announced that the game is available.
<~Dan> I’m flattered. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> I’ll start sending the PR notices to FB groups etc. in the next week or so. Please help me spread the word. I think you’ll enjoy it.
<+DLB_Chuck> Thanks again Dan for this opportunity and for all you do for the hobby!
<~Dan> Standard reminder: 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. 🙂
<~Dan> You’re very welcome, DLB_Chuck! Thanks for joining us!
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you!