<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Alright! So my name is Bastien Lecouffe Deharme (obvious enough?) and I am a French illustrator (Magic: the gathering, Nat Geo, Random House, etc …) who have been living in the US for 10 years. I am also a writer and a world builder.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> And I am here to talk about my brand new creation, that I am building with my friend Julien Blondel. A Dark Fantasy ttrpg called GODS
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> And I thin I am *DONE* with this short introduction!
<~Dan> Thanks, BastienLecouffeDeharme! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, JN!)
<~Dan> What can you tell us about the setting?
<+Saurbaum> Does it by chance involve deities?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> I can tell you a lot! Let’s start by saying that GODS is a love song to what I loved in dark fantasy during my childhood and adulthood. The land is called the Wildlands, and it is a massive continent. I wanted to respect the codes of sword&sorcery. It is cold in the north, warm in the south.
<+Moxiane> Or the Bitmap Brothers?
<+Saurbaum> or Data Design Interactive
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> What is different in the Wildlands is the fact that the previous civilization of First Men collapsed. So the land is full of gigantic ruins, and other signs of the previous people.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Nomeansno!)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The gods have deserted the land. They abandoned mankind.
<+Saurbaum> Do you draw a lot of art for it and could you share some?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> And this is what the game is about: the players play a group of Chosen Ones, working on the awakening of the Gods who disappeared, and facing the rise of the Cult of the Black Sun.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Nicolas!)
<~Dan> (Nicolas: Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> So yes, GODS involves a full deity system. The game is about their awakening and how they are transmitting some of their powers to the players, so they can sing their song once again and wake them up.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, ImFrenchPutain!)
<+FreeGamer> So the gods abandoning mankind wasn’t voluntary?
<+Nomeansno> Of course! 🙂
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> And to do so, the Chosen One carry a Shard, a manufactured object that the god infuses. The Chosen build the link with their gods through this vector that is the Shard. It can be anything: a sword, an amulet, a mask…
<+Nightbird> just one shard ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> We are already touching to some of the big mysteries of the game, but you are correct: the Gods want to come back!
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Alukar!)
<+Saurbaum> Are the gods weak or are they locked away?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Each Chosen has one Shard. It’s a precious unique object that evolves and shows powers in accordance to the god it is related to!
<+Nightbird> different kind of shard can be related to a same god ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The players will find out what is going on with the Old Gods. What is clear is that they are acting up again, through the actions of the Chosen Ones
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> yes, two Chosen can bear a Shard of a god of death. One can be an axe, and another a mask! All that very flexible and open during the character generation.
<~Dan> What sorts of powers do the Old Gods provide?
<+Saurbaum> What kind of system is this?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Powers related to their domain of expertise! A god of death will provide powers linked to death, the god of illusion as well, and so on. We are talking lists of powers here, with a crazy amount of options for the players to: chose their god, those their shard, and select the powers that they want and that will evolve through experience. Full custom!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> GODS plays on 3 different levels called Game Modes. You can start as a simple adventurer who “hears” a calling, and evolve to the 2nd and 3rd Mode, where things get epic and serious.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> We are using the Totem system, created by Julien Blondel, a true veteran of French rpg. Let me post a link to a more complete presentation of the system.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/731310612/gods/posts/2431120)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/731310612/gods/posts/2431120
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, MarkT!)
<+Nightbird> is there already a pantheon of gods in the setting ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Yes. Each civilization and culture has their own pantheons. Each pantheon have their own representations of the essential deities (War, Death, Love, Fire, Water and so on…)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> that creates a very reach amount of deities.
<~Dan> How many pantheons do you define?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> some civilizations share some gods, or at least some aspects of a god, so we are talking about 4 major pantheons, each with more than 30 deities.
<~Dan> (wb, ImFrenchPutain!)
<+Alukar> There will be 2 scenarios in the dm guide, those of strechgoals + the scenario from the quickstart kit. That’s the plan for now?
<+Nightbird> the concept of the gameplay is that the party is thouth and created before characters, how to introduce a party of merchants in the dark and epic world of GODS ?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest26!)
<+Alukar> Those will be for the first level you mentionned earlier?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest82!)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Alukar, we are about to update the KS page to clarify all of this. But yes, there will be scenarios available, and we would love to have the opportunity to offer a large scale campaign in the future. Running from 1st Game Mode to the 3rd one!
<+Nicolas> Does all the PC have to worship the same god?
<+Nicolas> A large scale campaign would be awesome. 🙂
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Party system is made to link the characters together. It is not a limitation of any kind. It allows the players to get together at the table and decide “okay, what are we going to play?”
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The party does not limit the options for each players to build their own characters as they wish, instead it is offering a talk about how to build them into a coherent group.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Each Chosen can be linked to different gods!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the party can be whatever the players want: a group of thieves linked to different gods and using that a a strength, or a group with a warrior, a blacksmith and an ex-slave who are getting together because they pray the same god.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the party system open doors and closes none!
<~Dan> I know you linked to the system, but can you give our readers a quick overview?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> of course!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> it is a system based on 10sided dice. The players have Traits and Skills and Specialties.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Traits score between 1 and 3, two as an average.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> for any test, the players roll a Trait (usually 2d10)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the Skills and Specialties act as bonuses, to boost the Trait roll
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> each d10 must equal or top a Difficulty
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> jumping to the other side: Difficulty 7 (difficult)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the player rolls the trait “Agility” (2d10), adds 1d10 because of the Skill Acrobatics, total 3d10. Results are 2, 9 and 8.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The player obtains 2 successes.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> We want the system to be simple, and realistic, but able to remain complex when needed (aiming, bleeding and all the stuff that needs accuracy)
<~Dan> How does combat work?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The combat system is fast and lethal. With GODS, we want players to know that they might regret any fight they start. We want real tension here.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Oppositions between attack and defense, based on the same principle than the one I explained.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> We compare successes in the attacks and defenses. The difference between both adds up to the damages of the weapons.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Potential armors are subtracted from that number, and the final number is compared to Wounds ranks
<+Nightbird> can you tell us a bit more about the 3 modes ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the wounded fighter checks circles on the character sheets until death comes
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Of course. The game modes are made to reflect the intentions of the players at the table. What type of adventures do we want?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Mode 1 is simple adventuring. Perfect for one-shots and random adventures, like we like to read it in Conan or Kane.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Mode 2 is for the Chosen Ones, the PCs know that they are in touch with the Old Gods, and they know they are working toward their awakening. They spread the wills of their gods to make them stronger. The Shards become more powerful.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Mode 3 is what I jokingly call “Full Blast”. The PCs are Heroes, legendary Chosen working on the awakening of their gods and fighting the Cult of the Black Sun and other things that I won’t discuss here. They can also openly communicate with their gods through the Shards.
<+Nightbird> how does it work in game ? do the npc have diffrent stats ? difficulties are higher ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The stats evolve, the creatures and mysteries that the GM can “unlock” gets more intense and dangerous. And the Shards accumulate more powers.
<&Silverlion> (Hi Dan)
<+Nightbird> can the party start with Mode 3 ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Of course if that is how they want to play!
<+Nightbird> my last question ^^ :
<+Nightbird> would say that fights in GODS are lethal ?
<~Dan> Other than their Shards, do the PCs have access to magic?
<+Nightbird> (like Symbaroum or Degenesis for example)
<+Nightbird> (thx Dan, intersting question ^^)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Yep, combats are deadly. If you pull your blade out, you better be confident or crazy!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Yes, there are other forms of magic! If a player wants to build a link to the gods in other way than with a Shard it is possible. Shaman, seers, druids all have access to the Essences. And those are linked to the gods as well.
<+ImFrenchPutain> Just wanted to say hi to Bastien, love your work man!
<~Dan> Can you give us an idea of how powerful magic can be?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Meaning that a player can have access to the Essences without getting through the will of a god. Other forms of magic in GODS will be sacrificial, ritualistic, and always involve a loss to obtain a gain.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> haha thanks FrenchPutain!
<+Nicolas> Il LOVE this idea. 🙂
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The power of magic depends of the Game Modes. But we are talking small “favors” like creating a flamme on a stick to starting storms on a massive scale, or spreading plague throughout the will of the god of Death in an entire region.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> GODS offers that flexibility. We chose to what level we set up the amp!
Session Start (Dan:#randomworlds): Tue Mar 12 14:33:55 2019 -0500
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> I myself love to play on Mode 2, simple adventures, possibility for one-shots, and still having. good level of power and potential for big scale events.
<~Dan> Whoops! Sorry about that!
<~Dan> Can you tell us more about the Cult of the Black Sun? What motivates them?
<+Nightbird> i guess that shards are rare in the world or there will be too many Chosen fighting
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> First, keep in mind that many things must remain secret, to avoid spoilers
<+Nightbird> of course ^^
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> here is what I can say about the Cult:
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> (Yes, Shards are very very rare, and forbidden by the Cult)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Cult of the Black Sun was born in the Empire, in the east. After the disappearance of the Old Gods, the world was up for grab! So a Promet appeared, preaching the words of a unique God, the One.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Cult says that the Sun is the open eye of the One. He doesn’t close his eye because he doesn’t trust mankind yet. When mankind is ready, the One will trust them, and will close forever, welcoming mankind into the Primordial Darkness.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Black Sun is the symbol of the Eye closed.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> So the Cult is actively “preparing” mankind. In other words: destroying and killing everything that is not in accordance with their dogma.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Cultists, pilgrims and priests of the Black Sun are slowly spreading all over the WIldlands. Dressed in black robes and hoods, white bandages to protect themselves from the Sun (because they are beyond its Judgement)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> We are talking about villages on fire, corpses exposed on the side of the roads, and all kind of violence and political manipulation.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> and done!
<~Dan> What sorts of monsters exist in this setting?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Conan and Kane are my main inspiration
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Big yellow pythons in the swamps
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> creatures a bit bigger and dangerous than the ones we know
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Undead armies
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Dark Fantasy tradition!
<~Dan> (brb — please continue!)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> We are still discussing demons! Because they imply a link to the divine.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> so, there will some “form” of demons
<+Nightbird> “Avhorae, a modern and advanced feudal civilization” can you say more about this civilization ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> It is a Queendom
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> A young queen raised to the throne and unified the Divided Kingdoms into Avhorae. She named the provinces after the names of her ravens.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Avhorae is a feudal civilization, an old land with grey stones, castles and citadels.
<+Nightbird> I meant it’s a big difference with roman/greek/… civilization of the east of the world
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> It’s a place that I love for its rainy mood, green forests. It reminds me of where I was born (Brittany).
<+Nightbird> (I imagined Brittany too ^^)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> yes it is! It’s totally odd if you compare to our history. But in GODS we wanted the presence of full armors, and big castles, deep forests and being able to keep this med-fan tone we love as well.
<+Nicolas> Do you already have ideas for the big campaign you want to publish later? What can we expect?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the map is so vast that it justifies some of the gaps compared to “real history”
<+Nightbird> a war between north and est will be very unbalanced 😀
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> That the thing, a war would be balanced, and this is what keeps the WIldlands standing
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Empire in the East / Avhorae in the North / Babel in the South
<~Dan> Can you tell us of what sorts of resources (magical or otherwise) the Cult of the Black Sun possesses?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> As far as the campaign goes, I can’t say anything! Any word would be a spoiler. BUT … we would probably use Babel and the legendary city of Sabaah as a starting point. And explore the WIldlands from there, while evolving between game modes!
<+Nightbird> it would be balanced ? roman warriors against war horses mounted by armor plates warriors ?
<+Nightbird> (Dan wants lots of informations about black sun cult ^^)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Balanced because it is not real world. The Empire have resources that Avhorae doesn’t have. It’s a long topic, be we are making sure that the world stands strong!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Cult of the Black Sun is the identified enemy.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> so it is essential in GODS!
<~Dan> (Howdy, Anzufvytar!)
<+Nicolas> I really want to DM this campaign. 🙂
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Cult has many ressources. They have an Empire backing them up! They also have their God who is the only active strong god at the moment!
<+Nightbird> ok, i will read with many attention and pleasure descriptions about the 3 countries 🙂
<~Dan> That seems rather daunting.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> and because the land has been abandoned by the gods, the Cultist have no issue recruiting people from everywhere. So yes, the main ressource of the Cult is the people, and the despair of mankind!
<~Dan> How is it possible to combat an active God?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Nightbird, Keep in mind that we are not dropping all our content on KS. We have pages and pages about those civilizations, and we are obviously keeping that for the books. We are only sharing the main ideas with the backers.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, MCCirculaire!)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Dan, the only way to oppose the Cult and the rise of the One is to wake the Old Gods, and rebuild the balance
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> oops, I am talking too much!
<+Nightbird> (I meant : read the descriptions when I have the books :p)
<~Dan> Can you give some examples of the powers of Shards?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> oh, yeah, those 😉
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest92!)
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Shards are very similar to Stormbringer (I assume I do not have to introduce our dear friend Arioch)
<~Dan> (Not to me! 🙂 )
<+Nightbird> Dan, you didn’t read the novella by Justine Niogret :p
<~Dan> No, I did not…
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> The Shards accumulate powers accorded to the god they are linked to
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> a god of war will provide powers such as “sharp blade”, “Brutal strike” or anything that serves the Chosen in combat … berserk, more resistance, armor, and on and on
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> a god of death will have powers related to death
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> and a god of Death and Fire will allow the Shard to access powers on both lists: fire and Death
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the powers, called “Favors” mark the Shards. So a Shard is often covered with physical display of the powers they have.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the powers it has*
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/731310612/gods/posts/2440235)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/731310612/gods/posts/2440235
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> this short story by Justine is a great example of the link between a Chosen and its Shard.
<~Dan> How much more powerful is a Chosen from the average person?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> it depends of the Link.
<~Dan> Can you explain that a bit?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> At first, the Link is new and fresh. And a Chosen with a glove as a Shard, specialized in social skills and Favors, has all the chances in the world to die from a simple dagger stab.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> but as the Link evolves, through experience, game after game, the Link becomes stronger and the Favors (powers) as well.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> the Gods can also be disappointed! The Link can be broken. That mean that the relationship between the Chosen and the Gods are also part of the narrative in GODS
<~Dan> Can the Chosen exceed the 3-die cap?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> part of the narrative, and part of the gameplay. With the Favors also come some forbidden actions and responsabilities
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Dan, yes
<~Dan> How difficult is that to achieve?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest62!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> A legendary Chosen in Game Mode 3 can pass that cap. But in the system itself, even an adventurer on game mode 1 can accumulate 3 in Strength + 2 in the One handed Weapons Skill + The Speciality “Swords”. For a total of 6 dice to roll!
<+Nicolas> Do you have a way to justify the fact that all the PC of the group will be chosen, and not necessarily by the same god? If they’re a group of merchants, by example.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> (there is also a re-roll system connected to the skills)
<+Nicolas> Also: will we be able to play the moment they discover they’re chosen?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Nicolas, yes, I love to play those moments!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Also, yes, 4 merchants in a group with 4 different gods? I see a group of individual ready for urban and politic type of game, with a group of influential merchants using the favor of their gods to achieve a common goal! (Common goals that are defined by the players during the Party Generation)
<+Nightbird> can you tell us more about the party that seems to be very important in the game ?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> they might even recruit a warrior in the group to ensure their own security!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Nightbird We just want to play games with a coherent group
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> we want that dynamic to be credible and an active “engine” during the game
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> so in GODS there is a system of Resources that each member of the Party can access. Those Resources evolve accorded to the actions of the group and their connection the concept and goals of that party
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> there are a lot of mechanics linked to the Party, it acts as a “home” for the players and increases the coherence of the gameplay!
<+Nightbird> so it’s important to choose gods that have not opposite concepts when creating the party
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> spoilers ahead: The Old Gods have a common enemy and a common goal 🙂
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> so a god of fire and a god of water can exist together in a same group
<+Nightbird> yes, I don’t mean goal but concept
<~Dan> (Sorry, got called away there for a bit.)
<~Dan> BastienLecouffeDeharme: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> it obviously has to be discussed during Party and Character Generation phases, but iif it is justified, it works!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Dan, a lot has been said. I just want to point out that I am really happy to see that the game is funded and will happen! We didn’t know how our game would be received for our first US Kickstarter campaign. We are in the middle of it, and we planned a lot of cool stuff for the remaining 15 days.
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> I am just really pumped to know that the Wildlands are becoming reality and that the GODS will wake! 😀
<~Dan> Quick note: If any of you have enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee, you can do so here: (Link: https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe 😀
<~Dan> Much appreciated!
<~Dan> Thank you so much for joining us, BastienLecouffeDeharme!
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Thank you very much for having me here Dan!
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll post the log and link you. 🙂
<+BastienLecouffeDeharme> Perfect! Thank you all!
<~Dan> And for all of you who showed up today, please feel free to hang out with us in the future! We’re always here, and we’re a fun bunch. 😉