<+GirdedRoseL> My name is Eleni “L” White I am the Director of Visual Arts for Girded Rose Games. We are a new gaming company that was started by a husband and wife team who have been long time gamers. Our company’s all about “Gaming for all ages” as well as Gaming for all in general. Our first game we are soon to be releasing is called Clockwork Depths
<+GirdedRoseL> CWD is a modern day underwater Steampunk setting that is geared as a tabletop or LARP
<+RobynBachar> And I am Robyn Bachar. I’m the Executive Editor and Marketing Director for Girded Rose Games. (And also an author.)
<~Dan> (Just a reminder to give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂 )
<+RobynBachar> I think she’s typing. I’m a former mmorpg player, so I learned to type fast before the dragon wiped your party. 😉
<+GirdedRoseL> Our creator took a spin on our history and at the end of WWII all atomic age technology was banned due to 2/3’s of the population being decimated after the war. Our setting is that a large portion of the population has settled in dometowns under the ocean and in colonizing parts of the sea new species were both created and discovered.
<+GirdedRoseL> Robyn is there anything else for the intro you would like to add?
<+RobynBachar> I think that’s a good intro, and we can get into the details during the questions. So, (done).
<~Dan> Thanks! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> So is the surface uninhabitable?
<+RobynBachar> There are parts of it that are, but there are also surface countries who stir up trouble for the dometowns. And of course there are airships above the waves, because this is steampunk. 😉
<+GirdedRoseL> No, the surface is inhabited as well as sky docks for airship travel. We are looking to eventually do expansion to the whole of the world.
<+RobynBachar> It’s just a smaller population worldwide. Things are more isolated.
<~Dan> Who enforces the ban on atomic age technology?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, PWW!)
<~Dan> Would you guys like to share the link to your KS?
<+RobynBachar> This is the link to the kickstarter: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1581208925/clockwork-depths)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1581208925/clockwork-depths
<~Dan> Thanks, RobynBachar!
<+RobynBachar> It does end tomorrow, though.
<~Dan> (wb PWW!
<+GirdedRoseL> There are several political forces in power that help to enforce these laws some of them friendly and some potentially antagonistic. The main one under the waves that you will run into is the United Coalition. There are also many societies that hold presence people can join which was very popular during the Victorian type age.
<+GirdedRoseL> One being the Octopus Society a popular organization for submersible owners and crews
<~Dan> How advanced is steam and clockwork technology in the setting?
<+GirdedRoseL> There are modern technologies up to about the 1950s. There are also Technomancers in CWD that deal in illegal tech. The more popular and readily acceptable form of modern science is Alchemy.
<+RobynBachar> Fairly advanced. Many of the steamtech devices are also powered by Infernite, which is our shiny mystery mineral that may or may not explode when you poke it.
<~Dan> How was Infernite discovered?
<+RobynBachar> Yup. Infernite is the key to alchemy. We’re steampunk with mystical aspects.
<+GirdedRoseL> Alchemy uses Infernite in most of its workings. Infernite is also how one of our species the Chimaera were created. Using animals and infernite one of the coroprations Vita-Solutions was able to splice himan genes with animals.
<+RobynBachar> The game’s history diverges from ours at the Columbian Exposition at the first Chicago World’s Fair, where a clockwork man started walking and talking, much to everyone’s surprise. The clockwork was inhabited by an elemental spirit, and was the first Mechis, our clockwork Sea Species.
<+RobynBachar> Humans built clockwork bodies for the elementals to inhabit, and in turn the Mechis explored the seas and discovered Infernite.
<~Dan> So the supernatural exists in the setting, clearly.
<+GirdedRoseL> Yes there are supernatural and magical aspects to the game. There are 9 playable species in CWD
<+RobynBachar> We have a little bit of everything, so players can focus on the things that they like. D&D players may enjoy the Undyne and their magic system.
<~Dan> Can you give us an overview of the 9 species?
<~Dan> (Howdy, AmbulatoryCortex!)
<~Dan> AmbulatoryCortex: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1581208925/clockwork-depths)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1581208925/clockwork-depths
<+RobynBachar> The Mechis are one of them. We also have the Kumugwei, who are a humanoid species who revere sharks. Merrow are the descendants of the people who sank with Atlantis, and the Undyne are the witches and wizards who split from the Merrow.
<+RobynBachar> Hello! We’re discussing undersea steampunk. 🙂
<+GirdedRoseL> The Mechis are water elemental spirits that inhabit clockwork bodies meant to mimic and look human. This species can choose to be male, female or gender neutral.
<+GirdedRoseL> Robyn’s beating me to it
<+RobynBachar> You gotta type faster to keep up with me. 😉
* ~Dan chuckles
<+RobynBachar> The Ghielt are undersea nomads and scouts. We have humans, of course. And then there are Dagonites, who are followers of the Cult of Dagon. Which is our creepy, Lovecraftian, tentacly aspect.
<~Dan> RobynBachar is like: (Link: https://tenor.com/view/kermit-typing-essay-school-smart-gif-4851885)https://tenor.com/view/kermit-typing-essay-school-smart-gif-4851885
<~Dan> Are the Dagonites akin to the Deep Ones?
<+RobynBachar> Pretty much. EverQuest taught me to type fast, back in the day.
<+RobynBachar> Their god, Dagon, is. He’s an elder sea god.
<~Dan> You said that tech goes up to the 1950s… What’s the steampunk aspect?
<+RobynBachar> Mainly because anything digital is a no-no, and even many electrical gadgets. Most technology is still steam-powered, because society considers it “safer.”
<+RobynBachar> They’re still more than a little nervous thanks to the second world war, which was far more devastating in Clockwork Depths.
<~Dan> How are steam-powered subs able to function? Or are they clockwork?
<+RobynBachar> So technology backslid some.
<+GirdedRoseL> \The discovery of infernite allowed steamtech to thrive. Most submersibles are powered with it. Anything of a computer or atomic like nature became banned and only used in secret by technomancers.
<+RobynBachar> The Infernite fuels the boilers more efficiently than coal did in real world steam engines.
<~Dan> Do you have steampunk cybernetics?
<+GirdedRoseL> The Mechis are as close to that as we come. You may have someone with a clockwork prosthetic, and there are some forms of biotech.
<+RobynBachar> Thanks to improvements in the technology that makes up the Mechis clockwork bodies there are steamtech “improvements” available to characters who sadly lost a leg in a shark fight or other unfortunate circumstance.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> What sorts of feats can Alchemy accomplish?
<+RobynBachar> Well every rpg needs healing potions. Those are mandatory. There are a number of potions and brews geared toward helping life underwater. Especially for the poor humans, who don’t have gills.
<~Dan> And you said that there’s biotech?
<+RobynBachar> Yes. Some of it is a bit squicky, because David, the head game designer, is an evil genius. Essentially many of the biotech items are made with living creatures.
<~Dan> Can you give some examples?
<+GirdedRoseL> Yes first developed by our Undyne (sea witch) species they have made a number of different weapons, armors or breathers using biotech.
<+RobynBachar> Like, here’s a cloak that grants you bonuses, and it also happens to be made of hundreds of tiny snails.
<+GirdedRoseL> There is a breathing apparatus for non water breathing species that is basically wearing something that looks like a water spider on your face. Lasts longer than a regular steamtech one but icky.
<+RobynBachar> One of the biotech uses is the process that creates Chimaera, our animal/human hybrid species.
<~Dan> What sorts of Chimaera are there, and why were they created?
<+RobynBachar> So, you can splice yourself with a shark to gain gills and eyes that can see in deep water. But the process kills the shark. 😦
<+GirdedRoseL> first created to be underwater miners for infernite humans were crossed with water species like fish and amphibians. Then the wealthy got onto it and spliced more exotic creatures in the mix too.
<+RobynBachar> Chimaera were first created to adapt humans to work in the undersea Infernite mines. It was much easier to have miners with gills and webbed fingers and toes.
<+RobynBachar> And then like most technology, the rest of the populace got a hold of it and made it trendy.
<+RobynBachar> Peacock feathers! Tails! Fur!
<+RobynBachar> Very stylish.
<~Dan> Nice. 🙂
<+RobynBachar> We have plans for winged and feathered surface Chimaera when we get to the surface expansion.
<+GirdedRoseL> One species we haven’t mention are the Hexen. They’re our underwater telepaths. Prolonged exposure to the infernite when we first discovered it caused them to develop psychic powers.
<~Dan> That’s interesting. Do they have powers other than telepathy?
<+GirdedRoseL> Some have developed Telekenisis, but the main perk to them is they’re all connected. They have a mass resource network at their disposal as long as one of them knows it they all potentially can.
<+GirdedRoseL> sorry esp not telekenisis
<+RobynBachar> We had to call in our expert.
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<~Dan> Are Undynes the only users of magic in the setting?
<+RobynBachar> They are the main magic users.
<~Dan> Is magic ability learned or inherent?
<+RobynBachar> Learned. One of the differences in our magic system is that it is ritual based, and most of the casting and prep work is done during down-time actions between gaming sessions.
<~Dan> Ah…. So if you want to be able to use a lightning bolt in combat, you have to prepare the spell beforehand?
<+RobynBachar> No one wants wizards lobbing fireballs in small, enclosed submersibles.
<+RobynBachar> Yes. It makes combat a little more strategic. You can only cast so many rituals per downtime, so you have to pick and choose which ones you think you’re going to need most.
<+RobynBachar> If you’re going into a gaming session that you know is going to be a dungeon-crawl like adventure, then sure, it makes sense to prep your offensive spells. But if it’s more of a social-focused political intrigue plot, probably not a good idea.
<~Dan> What sorts of things can magic accomplish on the upper end of the power scale?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest18! 🙂 )
<+RobynBachar> One moment while I consult the book. Talk amongst yourselves…
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, mib_1rrzlr!)
<~Dan> While we’re waiting, do you happen to have a character sheet posted that we can see?
<~Dan> (wb, PWW!)
<+RobynBachar> No, but I can bug them about adding that to the website.
* ~Dan nods
<+RobynBachar> Okay, magic notes, the Undyne are the main practitioners, and they’re divided into witches, who do beneficial magic, and wizards, who break things.
<+GirdedRoseL> I will get on that 🙂
<+RobynBachar> High level witch spells include the ability to regen limbs and major organs, and high level wizard spells can do fun necromantic things like bind the souls of your fallen enemies to objects.
<+RobynBachar> Wizards can raise zombies, because zombies are my favorite. 🙂
<+GirdedRoseL> I on the other-hand will be the first one to bite it in a Zombie Apocolypse. 🙂
<+RobynBachar> There will be more necromantic spells in our first expansion, Dead in the Water, which we have slated for first quarter next year. I’m writing a fiction tie-in novel to accompany the launch.
<+RobynBachar> It’s fun stuff.
<~Dan> In lieu of sharing a character sheet, can you describe the elements that make up a character?
<+RobynBachar> The game can definitely be adapted for horror campaigns. Dometowns are isolated and prone to unfortunate events like space stations.
<~Dan> Welcome, KKGRG!
<+RobynBachar> We’re discussing undersea steampunk.
<+KKGRG> I should hope so. 🙂
<~Dan> KKGRG: What brings you by today? 🙂
<+RobynBachar> We summoned the Karrin!
<~Dan> Oh! Howdy, Karrin!
<+RobynBachar> KK, he wants details about character creation.
<+KKGRG> Hey! Sorry for the lateness.
<~Dan> No worries. 🙂
<~Dan> But yeah, I’m curious about what makes up a character. Attributes, skills, etc.
<+KKGRG> Character creation can be done in two ways, first is called a Quick Character sheet, that takes all the main attribute traits (Mental, Physical, Social and Mystical) and Skill sets and only uses their main functions
<+KKGRG> The full character sheet breaks them down a little more
<+KKGRG> There are 8 total attributes 2 under each category, and these determine how many tokens you have in your bag to pull from
<+KKGRG> The points you put in your skill sets tells you how many you actually pull for any challenge.
<+RobynBachar> And each of the Sea Species have specific bonuses. Kumugwei, the shark people, have bonuses to physical attributes because they’re larger humanoids.
<+RobynBachar> Merrow have appearance and sociall bonuses, because they’re pretty mermaids. Merpeople.
<~Dan> What benefits do Humans get?
<+KKGRG> They get two benefits. First, when you make a character there are 8 skill sets but you only get to take 7. Humans get all 8. Second they get an ability called Omni contact that allows you once per session to claim an NPC has close ties to you
<+KKGRG> Good ties
<~Dan> What are the skill sets
<+RobynBachar> Because humans are social, and they always know a guy who knows a guy.
<+KKGRG> Academic, Athletic, Combat, Creative, Crime, Socialite, Technology, and Wilderness
<~Dan> Can you describe the task resolution mechanic?
<+KKGRG> Sure. Say you walk into a room and are trying to locate an object in that room. Under Crime is the category Investigation. Crime doesn’t have to be, being a criminal, it can be for security and solving crime as well. So you’re looking around, and you have 4 points in investigation. You pull 4 tokens from your bag. If you pull any blue, which is Mental
<+KKGRG> you win, if you pull more than one blue, you get bonus info depending on how many more you get
<+RobynBachar> And in your draw bag every player gets one white and one black token. White is an automatic success, and black is an auto fail.
<~Dan> Will you be selling these draw bags and tokens?
<+RobynBachar> Anyone can attempt a draw on something they’re unskilled in, but they only get to draw one token.
<+KKGRG> not auto fail, a black token removes a success, so you *could* still succeed, but it’s harder
<+RobynBachar> And yes, on the website.
<+KKGRG> We plan to, yes. But we also designed them so people can make their own pretty easily
<+RobynBachar> And inexpensively.
<~Dan> What led to your decision to use token draws rather than dice?
<+KKGRG> So far I’ve used everything from metal blanks to poke chips. Not mixed together, of course, but I’ve been playing around with different ideas for making them.
<+RobynBachar> Well, for one, tokens hurt less than a d4 if you step on them.
<+KKGRG> That has to do with the Tabletop vs LARP of it all. It’s really hard to roll dice in a LARP, so this makes the whole system more versatile.
<~Dan> Ah, yes! I forgot about the LARP option! Okay, that does make sense.
<~Dan> How many tokens do you need? What’s the attribute scale?
<+KKGRG> a full set, right now, is 35 tokens
<+KKGRG> that’s 8 per color, one black, one white, and one species token for whatever attribute you get a bonus in
<+RobynBachar> 0 tokens is below average, average is 1, 2 is above average, superior is 3, and pinnacle is 4
<+KKGRG> I say right now, because David and made some alterations just last night. Minor tweaks, but it will allow for better and longer character development
<~Dan> Is that the human scale, or the universal scale?
<~Dan> Really? Does that mean that the strongest human is as strong as a giant squid?
<+RobynBachar> Nothing is stronger than the Kraken! 😉
<+RobynBachar> Seriously, do not taunt the Kraken.
<+KKGRG> A giant squid is going to get species bumps. 🙂
<+RobynBachar> Yes, I have those…somewhere.
<~Dan> Ah, I see, re: species bumps.
<~Dan> How does combat work?
<+RobynBachar> Aha, found it. Above Pinnacle is: Superhuman is worth 5 tokens, Preternatural is 8, Titanic is 12, and God-like is 20.
<~Dan> Ah, so there we go. 🙂
<+KKGRG> It’s the same as every other challenge, actually it moves super fast, which is nice. You let the GS know what you plan to do, then take a look at the subsets in Combat (Guns, Ranged, Melee, and Unarmed) to determine how many tokens you get to pull. Red (physical) is a success. If you get more than one, it adds 2 damage per extra success up to twice the damage
<+KKGRG> Thanks hon, I couldn’t remember either. 🙂
<~Dan> How deadly is combat?
<+RobynBachar> Players have taken to it pretty fast during our play tests.
<~Dan> Is the game fairly gritty overall?
<+RobynBachar> It’s adaptable. It can be as gritty as you want it to be. We have a system for the dometowns where the size of the population determines how stable, or unstable, the settlement is.
<+KKGRG> It can be. The main goal of the game is working together to survive. Ending up in a fire fight…or harpoon fight, near a dome wall or in a submersible is super deadly. Human make up the bulk of the population and they can’t breath underwater without help
<+RobynBachar> Smaller dometowns can be wiped out by one system failure, or pirate attack.
<+RobynBachar> Because of course we have undersea steampunk pirates.
<~Dan> Of course! 🙂
<+KKGRG> I ran a horror one shot at Midwinter Gaming Convention that was super creepy and a lot of fun. I’m running a longer term game right now with our kids and some of their friends
<~Dan> What was it about, KKGRG?
<+RobynBachar> I ran a one shot at a local library game night, and it was casual gamers who had never played an rpg, and they loved it.
<+RobynBachar> It’s the sort of setting that I absolutely love as a storyteller, because you can do so much with it.
<~Dan> Does the game include a bestiary, and if so, how large?
<+KKGRG> The players were on a Submersible that was hit by Pirates. They survived but the sub was damaged and the closest place they could go was a nearby mining settlement for repairs. When they got there, it appeared deserted and there was a green mist covering the ground.
<+KKGRG> There are creatures written up in the main book and we’re working on a book for undead and other creepy horror based critters as well.
<~Dan> About how many creatures are we talking in the main book?
<+RobynBachar> There’s a basic beastiary, and we have included a guide for assigning stats to sea beasties and other animals.
<+RobynBachar> The number keeps changing as David gets more ideas, heh.
<~Dan> Gotcha. 🙂
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+RobynBachar> Like, *someone* decided we needed megaladons after watching the Meg. That someone was not me, but I agree with this plan. 😉
<+KKGRG> I had nothing to do with that
<+RobynBachar> Because GIANT SHARKS!
<+RobynBachar> I blame Jason Statham.
<+RobynBachar> But, as we go along we’re going to have stats for new creatures, characters, submersibles and other content in our newsletter.
<+RobynBachar> Particularly content that is related to our podcast.
<+RobynBachar> And we’re planning to release a few modules with different focuses, like the horror plot KK mentioned.
<+RobynBachar> We have a sort of wacky, dinner-murder-mystery-on-a-submersible plot.
<+KKGRG> Most of the plots we test at cons and game shops will be fully written out with maps and such as moduals
<+KKGRG> they’ll also be written out as modules 😉
<+RobynBachar> We should have the pre-order links for the e-book version of the main book up on the website soon.
<~Dan> Oh, before we wrap up, usual reminder: Gratuities are always welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
<~Dan> Any other thoughts?
<+RobynBachar> Check our website for updates on the game: (Link: https://www.girdedrosegames.com/)https://www.girdedrosegames.com/
<+RobynBachar> And please follow us on social media!
<+RobynBachar> We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
<+KKGRG> Thanks so much for having us on!
<+RobynBachar> Yes, thank you! 🙂
<~Dan> You’re very welcome! Thanks for joining us!
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂