<+JoshuaSmith> Thank you, Dan. Hello #randomworlds! My name is Joshua Smith, and I am the developer of the Storybook Role-Playing Game.
<+JoshuaSmith> Storybook is an easy-to-learn, genre-hopping RPG that has a literary twist.
<+JoshuaSmith> Players take control of characters within books, based on any setting or world that you can imagine.
<+JoshuaSmith> Storybook is designed to be both easy for new players and fun for veterans looking for something different.
<+JoshuaSmith> Its biggest asset, though, is how easily one can mesh worlds. In Storybook, there is no need for everyone to play from the same setting.
<+JoshuaSmith> Want a fantasy character in a Sci-Fi world, working alongside Sherlock Holmes in pursuit of It? We can do that.
<+JoshuaSmith> The only limit is your imagination.
<~Dan> Thanks, JoshuaSmith! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> So let’s see… Is there any setting at all involved?
<+JoshuaSmith> Not right now, but I am working on a very tongue-in-cheek world that ‘connects’ the different worlds, called Parchment.
<+JoshuaSmith> Parchment is similar in theme to the world of the Phantom Tollbooth.
<~Dan> Can you say some more about that for those unfamiliar?
<+JoshuaSmith> Right now it is just in the sketch stage, but it is conceived of as the place where all of the ‘authors’ exist between making characters in Storybook.
<+JoshuaSmith> Absolutely. The regions are named after literary puns or references to books.
<+JoshuaSmith> An example would be the vast Plain of Speech, or the Dry Pundra to the north
<+JoshuaSmith> The Topical Rain Forest is one of my favorites. The land itself is bordered by the ‘Hard Sea’ and the ‘Soft Sea’, a reference to the ‘Hard C’ and ‘Soft C’ in English
<+JoshuaSmith> Creatures such as Paper Tigers, Dust Jackals (dust jackets), and the Missing Ink all roam this world.
<+JoshuaSmith> Naturally, the apex predator is a great beast known as ‘The Saurus’
<~Dan> Naturally. 😀
<+JoshuaSmith> The world of Parchment is supposed to operate differently than the regular ‘Stories’ that characters will play in. Rather than being a world of fiction come to life, Parchment would be as close to ‘real’ as Storybook gets.
<~Dan> Come to that, how do you simulate “fiction come to life”?
<+JoshuaSmith> By making it as easy as possible to take a character – either an imagined one or an established one – from concept to stats.
<+JoshuaSmith> Storybook uses a simplified stat system that is based on two facets: traits (which represent how skilled the character is at certain tasks) and abilities (which are stand-alone powers, like magic)
<~Dan> (Howdy, Drewcifer!)
<+JoshuaSmith> The traits are purposefully broad in order to cover as many settings as possible. Melee Combat and Ranged Combat are two skills that will cover just about all armed conflict.
<~Dan> (JoshuaSmith, want to post the link to your KS for Drewcifer here? 🙂 )
<+JoshuaSmith> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storybookrpg/storybook-rpg?ref=user_menu)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storybookrpg/storybook-rpg?ref=user_menu
<+Drewcifer> Much obliged!
<~Dan> Actually, before we delve too deeply into the system, do you have a character sheet that we can see?
<+JoshuaSmith> My pleasure
<+JoshuaSmith> One moment, I’m trying to find the chat’s file sharing button.
<~Dan> I don’t think there is one… Do you have it posted so that you can share the URL?
<+JoshuaSmith> I don’t, I’m afraid. I’ll work that in the background and hopefully have it up in a few minutes.
<~Dan> Okay! No worries.
<~Dan> Are attributes and skills rolled into “traits”?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Janus!)
<+JoshuaSmith> Traits covers more of the ‘skills’ selection.
<+JoshuaSmith> Skills includes: Athletics, Awareness, conversation, Crafting, Endurance, Evasion, Insight, Larceny, Melee Combat, Mysticism, Operation, Performance, Ranged Combat, Stealth, Study, Survival, Tinkering, and Willpower
<~Dan> I see… So are there attributes as well?
<+JoshuaSmith> Abilities are generally specific to a character’s Genre or Archetype, and include things such as Magic Power, Adorable, Strange Creature, etc.
<+JoshuaSmith> Nope. No base attributes like Strength or Charisma.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
<~Dan> Hmm… So how do you determine how much someone can lift, for example?
<+JoshuaSmith> For lifting, the Narrator would ask for an Athletics check, if they asked for anything.
<~Dan> I see… What about melee damage?
<+JoshuaSmith> Every weapon comes from a category, such as Long Blades or Energy Pistols. Each category has a set Damage. When somebody is hit by a weapon, they must make an Endurance check against that weapon’s Damage.
<+Drewcifer> Interesting stuff! Are there any story-propelling mechanics in the core rules?
<+JoshuaSmith> When you make a check, you roll a number of d6s equal to the points that you have in the relevant trait. For withstanding damage, you also get a bonus from any armor or shields
<~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
<+JoshuaSmith> There are. Characters all have a Genre and an Archetype. The Genre is what sort of story the character comes from, such as Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Romance, or Sci-Fi
<+JoshuaSmith> Normally when making a check, any dice that come up as a 5 or 6 are counted as successes. However, if you are attempting something that is ‘aligned’ with the Genre of your current story – that is, something that fits really well with the genre – a 4 counts as well.
<~Dan> I dig that.
<+JoshuaSmith> A good example would be running away from a monster in a Horror story.
* ~Dan nods
<+JoshuaSmith> On the other hand, if you do something that is ‘disjointed’ with your current Genre, such as trying to build a nuclear reactor in a Fantasy setting, only 6s count as success.
<~Dan> Now, how does Genre affect the character (as opposed to the setting)?
<+JoshuaSmith> Acting aligned with your character’s Genre grants a +2d6 bonus on the action, and being disjointed puts a -2d6 penalty.
<+Drewcifer> So it would be common for characters of different genres to be in one story of a single genre together? Like having a fantasy character, horror char, and a sports char in a horror story?
<+DLB_Chuck> Sorry if I missed this but how many dice are used in a roll?
<+JoshuaSmith> Therefore, to continue the above example, a Sci-Fi mechanic trying to build a nuclear reactor in a Fantasy story would get +2d6 dice to his Crafting check, but would need 6s.
<+JoshuaSmith> Drewcifer, it would be very common. The system is designed to let them mesh together.
<+JoshuaSmith> So far, every game I’ve played has been that way.
<+JoshuaSmith> You could get everyone on board with doing the same genre, which would really cement their desire to adhere to ‘aligned’ actions.
<+Drewcifer> Okay cool. So people arent gaming their characters to ALL be horror chars in a horror story
<+JoshuaSmith> DLB_Chuck: you get a number of d6s equal to the points that you have in the relevant Trait
<+JoshuaSmith> For example, if you have 6 points in Conversation, then you get 6 dice when you want to sweet-talk the Duke out of his duel.
<+JoshuaSmith> If you have 0 points, then you still get one dice but it can only count 6s as successes, even if it is an aligned action or otherwise gets bonuses.
<~Dan> Going back to Traits for a moment, how do you simulate someone who’s unusually strong hitting someone? Especially someone like, say, a giant?
<+JoshuaSmith> A high Melee Combat skill. Probably combined with the Devastating Attack ability (+3 to the weapon’s damage).
<~Dan> (Sorry if I’m too fixated on the subject. 😀 )
<+JoshuaSmith> Most games like to demarcate between somebody who is merely strong and hits with high force versus somebody who is not as strong but has superior skill.
<+JoshuaSmith> Storybook eschews that in favor of simplicity,
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> What sorts of supernatural powers does the game support?
<+JoshuaSmith> Fantasy and Sci-Fi characters can access the Magic Power and Psychic Power abilities, respectively. They pull from the same power list:
<+JoshuaSmith> Energy Blast, Energy Bolt, Healing, Light and Darkness, Telekinesis, Telepathy, and Weather Control
<+JoshuaSmith> Energy Blast and Energy Bolt each have elemental variants: fire, ice, sonic, acid, and force.
<+JoshuaSmith> Each power has five levels. When a character selects the Magic Power or Psychic Power ability, they can either choose a new power at level 1 or raise an existing power.
<~Dan> wb, DrewciferRESSURRECTED!
<+JoshuaSmith> Oh, electricity. I forgot that one.
<+JoshuaSmith> It’s another elemental option for Energy Blast and Energy Bolt
<~Dan> So Magic and Psychic powers are the same, mechanically speaking?
* ~Dan nods
<+DLB_Chuck> Can you earn the new one at an equal cost to increasing an existing one?
<+JoshuaSmith> Yes. Magic Power and Psychic Power both cost 3 points to purchase.
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> So, what defines Storybook against systems such as FATE, or Savage Worlds? What does Storybook have that nobody else can offer?
<+JoshuaSmith> Archetypes and Author Points.
<+JoshuaSmith> Every character has an Archetype. If the Genre is their ‘race’, the Archetype is their ‘class’
<+JoshuaSmith> It is the type of character that they are in their story. The five in the core book are the Damsel, Hero, Mentor, Rogue, and Sidekick
<+JoshuaSmith> Rather than advance through a traditional exp system, characters advance along an Archetype-specific Character Arc.
<~Dan> How do the Archetypes work mechanically?
<+JoshuaSmith> Moving from one step in the arc to the next requires the character to do something specific.
<+JoshuaSmith> For example:
<+JoshuaSmith> The Hero moves from the first step in her arc to the second when she defeats enemies of her current story’s protagonist.
<+JoshuaSmith> The Rogue, on the other hand, moves to the second step when he helps the protagonist without asking for a reward.
<+JoshuaSmith> Moving from one step to the next grants more points for improving the character.
<+JoshuaSmith> Author points are the other thing that makes Storybook distinct.
<+JoshuaSmith> When a character finishes their arc, dies, or is ‘written out’ at the end of a chapter, the player gets Author Points.
<+JoshuaSmith> How many Author Points they get depends on how the character leaves. If the player merely decides to change characters at the next chapter, then they only get 1.
<+JoshuaSmith> The same if the character dies before the end of the story: only 1 Author Point. Getting more requires getting your character through their entire Arc.
<+JoshuaSmith> Author Points are used to purchase powers that are not specific to your characters. They are yours. They can grant bonuses to all characters you make of a particular Genre (such as Genre Specialist),
<+JoshuaSmith> or they can give you more flexibility in making characters (such as Innovative Author).
<+JoshuaSmith> One of the hardest ones to get is called Subversive Author, but it is worth the wait. It allows you to effectively assume control of the story for a limited time.
<~Dan> Huh… I’m not sure I’ve run across a game that defines GM abilities in this way.
<+DLB_Chuck> That sounds fun
<+JoshuaSmith> Oh, they’re not GM abilities. They’re for the players.
<~Dan> Oh, I see! I misread.
<+JoshuaSmith> If I as a player get my character all the way through his arc, I get 10 Author Points. I can decide to spend them on, say, Genre Specialist (fantasy), Genre Specialist (mystery), and Crossover Author
<~Dan> So they’re sort of “metagame” abilities, I guess?
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> So it is common for Author Players to go through several characters throughout one Story. Is the Protagonist always an ‘NPC’?
<+JoshuaSmith> The character arc system encourages players to bring their characters through a traditional ‘heros journey’-style path
* ~Dan nods
<+JoshuaSmith> Possible to the first, yes to the second
<~Dan> That’s darned clever, sir.
<+JoshuaSmith> Thank you
<+JoshuaSmith> A player can conceivably play a new character every ‘chapter’, if the rest of the group will allow it, or they can take one from start to finish
<+JoshuaSmith> The arcs are all set up to culminate with helping the story’s protagonist achieve their goals, so it should (SHOULD) line up nicely with a single Story.
<+JoshuaSmith> You can always bring an advanced character back for a later Story. They just won’t have anywhere to advance.
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> I see.
<+JoshuaSmith> The protagonist is always an NPC. The players are inserted almost like an OC in a fanfic.
<+JoshuaSmith> Or, as a better example, they are the Fellowship rather than Frodo
<~Dan> Seems like designing the protagonist would be a bit of a balancing act to make sure they don’t overshadow the PCs.
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> Sounds accessible. What are your target demographics for Storybook?
<+JoshuaSmith> Young/early players, new RPG players, crossover fans
<+JoshuaSmith> Oh, I finally got the character sheet to load on an image-sharing site.
<+JoshuaSmith> (Link: https://pasteboard.co/I64meMH.png)https://pasteboard.co/I64meMH.png
<+JoshuaSmith> (Link: https://pasteboard.co/I64meMH.png)https://pasteboard.co/I64meMH.png
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> Very good.
<~Dan> Hmm… Says the site can’t provide a secure connection.
<+JoshuaSmith> Hopefully it works for you guys. I keep getting a broken link photo on my end.
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> It is broken as well
<+JoshuaSmith> I’ll try another one. Apparently ‘pasteboard’ is no good.
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> When i did my QnA i uploaded a char sheet onto the KS page
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> Quick n dirty
<+JoshuaSmith> Good advice. I just published it as an update on the Kickstarter page
<~Dan> Can you post the link to that?
<+JoshuaSmith> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storybookrpg/storybook-rpg/updates)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storybookrpg/storybook-rpg/updates
<+JoshuaSmith> How did that work for you guys?
<~Dan> Ah! There we go.
<+JoshuaSmith> Whups. It seems that Drewcifer has ‘deresurrected’
<~Dan> wb, DrewciferRESSURRECTED!
<+JoshuaSmith> And he’s back!
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> The portals have wills of their own
<+JoshuaSmith> I’m stealing that line for a Sci-Fi game.
<~Dan> I see the check boxes for Health… How is Health determined, again?
* ~Dan chuckles re: portals
<+JoshuaSmith> Characters start out with 10.
<+JoshuaSmith> Tougher characters have a higher Endurance score.
<~Dan> Ah, right, right.
<~Dan> Under Traits, what’s the difference between Points and Bonuses?
<+JoshuaSmith> Henchmen, the run-of-the mill baddies, have 3. Monster archetypes have 20 and Villains have 40
<+JoshuaSmith> A bonus is something gained from an ability or possession.
<+JoshuaSmith> For example, the Strange Creature ability allows you to gain a +2 bonus to any one trait.
<+JoshuaSmith> The distinction is important because there is a cap of 7 POINTS in any one trait.
<+JoshuaSmith> You can get more dice by using abilities that grant a BONUS instead.
<~Dan> Does that apply to NPCs as well?
<+JoshuaSmith> You mean the cap, right?
<+DrewciferRESSURRECTED> Night, gents. Succeed in your endeavors. Carry the torch with faith.
<~Dan> Take care, DrewciferRESSURRECTED!
<+JoshuaSmith> There is an ability, Trait Specialist, that will allow you to raise the cap on one trait to 10, but that is as high as it goes.
<+JoshuaSmith> Even with bonuses, a player is unlikely to be rolling more than 17 dice at any point.
<~Dan> How would you stat out something way superhuman, like a dinosaur?
<+JoshuaSmith> Write ‘dinosaur’ on the character sheet.
<~Dan> (Sorry. I can’t help but try to “break” systems. It’s the reviewer in me. 😉 )
<+JoshuaSmith> Since there is not much specificity in attributes, special rules are generally unecessary
<+JoshuaSmith> (no worries 🙂 )
<~Dan> DLB_Chuck here knows. He’s a Q&A vet himself. 🙂
<+DLB_Chuck> What about a super hero genre?
<+JoshuaSmith> You could get the Strange Creature ability, which allows either a +2 bonus to one trait (in this case, probably Endurance) OR immunity to one sense
<+JoshuaSmith> Super Hero is not a main Genre, but I’m hoping to do it in an expansion.
<+JoshuaSmith> *immunity as in the creature is not susceptible to attacks that rely on that sense. A bug person with no eyes, for example./
<~Dan> How hard would it be to stat something with a whole slew of specific abilities, like the traditional Gothic vampire?
<+JoshuaSmith> Apart from that, it’s just a question of where the points go. For a dinosaur character, you could put points in Endurance, Melee Combat, and Athletics – and leave none in Evasion unless it was a raptor.
<+JoshuaSmith> Not terribly hard. Most abilities are fairly cheap. A character begins with 40 points and gets them in batches of 10-20 as they advance.
<~Dan> Well, I meant as an NPC.
<+JoshuaSmith> For a vampire, say of the Horror Genre, they could get the Sudden Appearance and Back from the Dead abilities for 20 points total.
<+DLB_Chuck> Mind if I ask some questions about your Kickstarter? As in the process etc??
<+JoshuaSmith> as an NPC, a vamp would be a Monster archetype, so…
<+JoshuaSmith> sure, ask away
<+JoshuaSmith> Give the vamp the Weird power for Monsters (allows him to select magic powers for 5 points instead of 3) and give him Telepathy level 3 for 15 points.
<+JoshuaSmith> Spread the rest of his points out (monsters get more than the starting 40) among Evasion, Melee Combat, and Conversation especially.
<+JoshuaSmith> Boom, vampire.
<+DLB_Chuck> A lot of other established smaller designers set their goal lower than yours? Why $8000?
<+JoshuaSmith> There’s a pie chart on the Kickstarter that shows how it breaks down, but I can explain here too:
<+JoshuaSmith> Almost $2000 is for professional illustrations, another $2000 is for physical printing of 400 books, character sheet pads makes up another grand, and then there’s the donor awards.
<+JoshuaSmith> TBH, if this round does not work I will be trying again but for only an ebook version.
<+DLB_Chuck> Are you doing print on demand or offset?
<~Dan> Have you thought about POD rather than a full print run?
<+JoshuaSmith> That will cost much less as I will not have to worry about the physical printing
<~Dan> ^5 DLB_Chuck
<+JoshuaSmith> I have considered it, but needed to have more ‘hard numbers’ for the kickstarter than only POD.
<+JoshuaSmith> I may set up that option if/when I redo the kickstarter for ebook.
<~Dan> I see.
<+JoshuaSmith> *shrug* I’ve been writing games for years, but this is my first Kickstarter.
<~Dan> Do you have other published games?
<+JoshuaSmith> This would be the first
<~Dan> Good for you!
<+JoshuaSmith> I do a lot of homebrew for my own gaming crew…and my own amusement
<+DLB_Chuck> It has to start somewhere
<+JoshuaSmith> I got hooked on RPGs as a kid, and once I found the worldbuilding tools in D&D it was all over.
<~Dan> What edition did you start with?
<+DLB_Chuck> What kind of marketing did you do?
<+JoshuaSmith> not enough.
<+JoshuaSmith> FB and some local showcases.
<+JoshuaSmith> I’m currently between jobs so ‘starting capital’ is a bit light
<~Dan> Sorry to hear that. 😦
<+JoshuaSmith> At least the Kickstarter has generated some interest, even if it fails (this time). Hey, it got me here!
<~Dan> And being here got your KS posted in multiple FB groups and web site forums.
<+JoshuaSmith> So, any more questions about the game?
<~Dan> Do you have any NPC magical abilities for use in horror games, like demon summoning?
<+JoshuaSmith> Untold Power.
<+DLB_Chuck> Have you read any of the Kickstarter books like Crowdfunding or the one from Monte Cook Kicking It?
<~Dan> What does Untold Power do?
<+JoshuaSmith> It’s a Villain archetype power. Cost is 10 points, and it allows the Narrator to create a new power for the NPC
<+JoshuaSmith> DLB_Chuck, I have not, but I shall!
<~Dan> How many pages is the book?
<+DLB_Chuck> Is that 6×9 or 8.5×11?
<~Dan> Does that leave room for any sort of bestiary, or do you just provide a toolkit?
* ~Dan nods
<+DLB_Chuck> Black and White interior?
<+JoshuaSmith> I am in the middle of the first supplement, which contains 6 Stories, including a bestiary
<+JoshuaSmith> 5 color, otherwise BW
<~Dan> Is the supplement a stretch goal?
<+JoshuaSmith> No. I tried to keep it simple, since I haven’t tried KS before.
<+JoshuaSmith> It’s a stretch inasmuch as it is what I would do with any ‘excess pledges’
<+DLB_Chuck> Your prices to get a book are out of sync with the size of the book
<+JoshuaSmith> That’s probably true.
<~Dan> DLB_Chuck: How so?
<+DLB_Chuck> The PDF is $25 for a 75 page mostly BW book and $50 for a printed copy
<+DLB_Chuck> Most PDFs that small would be 10 or 15 at the most
<+JoshuaSmith> To be fair, the intended sale price of the printed book is $12.
<+DLB_Chuck> That seems reasonable but usually backers get a better deal than retail
<+JoshuaSmith> That would be true if the only thing I was asking for money for was the printing.
<+JoshuaSmith> But the backers are also being asked to cover the cost of the illustrations, the cost of the non-book rewards, kickstarter’s cut, etc.
<~Dan> Man. Lots of stuff to juggle.
<+DLB_Chuck> I think it’s a hard sell to get them to pay more than retail
<+JoshuaSmith> That’s a fair assessment. I’ll keep it in mind.
<+Blarghedy> I’ve backed a substantial amount of kickstarters, and I follow a lot of advice forums and such. One of the most recommended things is to not have things that aren’t your actual product because they distract, confuse, and cost you money
<+Akyla> I will say I back a lot of kickstarters. And as interested as I am I’m hesitating at the cost
<~Dan> This is kind of out of left field, but especially given the sci-fi genre, do you cover vehicular combat?
<+DLB_Chuck> Have you thought about making a stripped down version for “play testing” to introduce people to the game that you could circulate for free or next to it?
<~Dan> (Also, howdy, Blarghedy! Didn’t know you were there. 🙂 )
<+Blarghedy> I’m always here o.o
<~Dan> wb, JoshuaSmith! What’s the last thing you read?
<+JoshuaSmith> I was answering your question about vehicular combat
<+JoshuaSmith> Did you get the answer?
<~Dan> Ah. No, I did not.
<+JoshuaSmith> Here we go then:
<+JoshuaSmith> Nothing specific, but the general rules are present. Driving a vehicle uses the Operation trait, and passengers (or the driver) could fire weapons using the Ranged Combat trait
<+JoshuaSmith> There are rules for being hit by large objects that would help Narrators with questions of full-on impacts.
<+JoshuaSmith> The one downside to Storybook is that while it is easy for players is can be hard for the GM (the Narrator). A lot of things are left in their hands, and improvisation is key.
<+JoshuaSmith> It also means that it is more important than ever to not have a pendejo (can I use that word?) as a Narrator.
<~Dan> Yeah, I can see that.
<~Dan> (And we’ll let it go, re: the naughty word. 😉 )
<+JoshuaSmith> Were there any other questions that I had missed?
<~Dan> What advice do you have for Narrators?
<~Dan> I think you missed a question from DLB_Chuck… Let me scroll back…
<~Dan> Ah, here we go…
<~Dan> <+DLB_Chuck> Have you thought about making a stripped down version for “play testing” to introduce people to the game that you could circulate for free or next to it?
<+Akyla> A quick start as it were. Make pregens and a base setting with a few ideas to start off and I would be happy to try it with my many groups. We playtest A LOT. I would happily back at a reasonable print level after.
<+JoshuaSmith> That’s a great idea, DLB_Chuck. I’ll get one posted as an update to the KS, and keep it around if I need to do another one.
<+JoshuaSmith> I’ll post a few pregen characters, and the start to a story.
<~Dan> Yeah, that is a pretty good idea!
<+JoshuaSmith> Would you guys rather see a Mystery Story (the Train to Edinburg) or a Horror (Wendigoag)? Or both?
<+DLB_Chuck> It may help if people can see what they are getting into
<~Dan> Horror. 🙂
<~Dan> So both, I guess. 😀
<+Akyla> For me but thats my wheelhouse
* ~Dan nods
<+JoshuaSmith> Looks like it 🙂
<~Dan> It would be interesting to see how the game works for a “mundane” setting and a “weird” one, so both might be a good thing.
<+DLB_Chuck> Using it and your website as a way for people to participate in your process may boost your backers for next time
<+JoshuaSmith> As far as advice to Narrators: be flexible. Giving bonuses or penalties is a good way to move games in the direction you want, but don’t try to control it. Controlling players is like herding cats.
<~Dan> Or trying to grip Jell-o. 🙂
<+JoshuaSmith> Instead, think about what your protagonist wants and what your villain wants. Move them in response to the players.
<+JoshuaSmith> ^ Dan
<+Akyla> My GM style is about 4 lines of plot written down and a random generated name list and npcs on the street
<+JoshuaSmith> That works.
<+JoshuaSmith> Every time I’ve done a playtest, my ‘worksheet’ has been a single page of notepad paper with some bad guy stats and a rough plot
<~Dan> (Howdy, TStrauss!)
<~Dan> (JoshuaSmith, meet TStrauss, a recent Q&A guest whose KS just funded!)
<+JoshuaSmith> (what was the project?)
<+TStrauss> (Hi Joshua! I’m cheering for you 🙂 )
<+TStrauss> (My project was Jinkies!, a 1970s action/ adventure cartoon based game)
<+JoshuaSmith> I love the name
<~Dan> You mentioned a bestiary in the supplement… How many critters, and can you give us some examples?
<~Dan> (And yeah, it’s a great name. 🙂 )
<+TStrauss> (Thanks! Jinkies! is an interative work. I promise you, the first name was dreadful. :D)
<+JoshuaSmith> Creatures would be written out as Henchmen archetypes, all with the Critter ability (makes them immune to anything that allows a contested Willpower check.
<~Dan> (Howdy, El_Squido!)
<+JoshuaSmith> I would give examples to probably 10 or so. Dogs, horses, bears, etc.
<~Dan> No monsters?
<+DLB_Chuck> Any actual monsters or just animals?
<+JoshuaSmith> Oh yes, definitely. Sorry for blanking on that
<+DLB_Chuck> There we go again dan
<~Dan> Right? 🙂
<+JoshuaSmith> Goblins, black dogs…anything small can be a Henchman. Larger ones like dragons would be Monsters.
<+JoshuaSmith> Naturally, none of this would be set. Narrators would be free to alter the stats for their own Stories.
<+JoshuaSmith> Because Storybook is simplified, it means that many creatures would be functionally identical (especially with the few points that Henchmen get to spend)
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Looks like we have about 15 minutes left… Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+JoshuaSmith> One response I’ve gotten when I go over the Archetypes is that people assume that Damsels are all female and Heroes are all male.
<+JoshuaSmith> This isn’t true, but I understand where folks are coming from
<+JoshuaSmith> The difference between the two archetypes is, instead, their position in the story.
<+JoshuaSmith> The Damsel archetype is central to a story but they do not necessarily act to change it. Princess Leia (who is central because the Empire wants her and Luke wants to rescue her) is a Damsel archetype
<+JoshuaSmith> Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice is also a Damsel archetype. He does not so much change the world, as the world changes around him.
<+JoshuaSmith> Heroes change things.
<+TStrauss> Your archetypes sound pretty spot on. Have you considered using less gendered names for them?
<+JoshuaSmith> I have not found anything that fits as well as ‘Damsel’ and ‘Hero’. I am open to suggestions.
<+DLB_Chuck> I think hero is fine but by definition a damsel is usually a female
<+TStrauss> Google says bachelor for male damsel, but that is pretty dreadful. Disregard my thoughts, lol
<+JoshuaSmith> I agree – I’m just unsure of what other word adequately communicates the position.
<~Dan> Would “Victim” be accurate?
<~Dan> Probably not…
<+JoshuaSmith> The Damsel character arc has two options: Harmless and Self-Motivated.
<+JoshuaSmith> Victim could be the first. Most players, I think, will choose that latter.
<+TStrauss> Can you share more about self-motivated damsels? That sounds intriguing.
<+JoshuaSmith> I like it.
<+JoshuaSmith> The first stage in the Damsel’s character arc has two possible ways to move forward.
<+JoshuaSmith> The first option (harmless) is available if the Damsel is threatened, does nothing, and is saved by another.
<+JoshuaSmith> The second option (self-motivated) becomes available if the Damsel is threatened and saves her/himself.
<+JoshuaSmith> Pursuing the first path gives you access to abilities like Animal Friends. Think Disney’s Snow White.
<+JoshuaSmith> Pursuing the second gives you access to abilities like Universal Conduit, where you can willfully move energy and redirect magic attacks.
<+JoshuaSmith> The requirements for advancing are slightly different on both paths. The Harmless route focuses on diplomacy, with Self-Motivated favoring violent action.
<+JoshuaSmith> They come together at the end, though.
<+JoshuaSmith> My favorite part of the Damsel, though, is their special ability: Special Snowflake.
<~Dan> What does that do?
<+JoshuaSmith> Once per chapter (or ‘scene’, or ‘location’), a Damsel can automatically add 3 successes to any roll taking place.
<+JoshuaSmith> It does not have to be their roll, or even involve them.
<+JoshuaSmith> All archetypes have similar abilties. Heroes can lower the number required for a success down to 2 rather than the usual 5.
<~Dan> Oh, quick question: Speaking of successes, do they affect damage in combat?
<+JoshuaSmith> Not directly. Melee Combat only determines WHETHER you hit, not how HARD you hit.
<+JoshuaSmith> For that, you want the Devastating Attack trait.
<+JoshuaSmith> Any other questions as the time draws to a close?
<~Dan> Oh, quick note:
<+TStrauss> I’m fascinated by your game. Are you planning to share a quickstart document with your backers who want to see it a little closer? (he says, noting he just backed. 😀 )
<~Dan> Shameless plug: If any of you have enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee, you can do so at (Link: https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe 🙂 Many thanks!
<+JoshuaSmith> I will be creating a quickstart and posting it as an update before the 5th.
<+JoshuaSmith> And thank you for the backing!
<+TStrauss> I’m looking forward to it, thank you!
<~Dan> Thank you for joining us, JoshuaSmith!
<+JoshuaSmith> Thanks to all of you for your attention, and to Dan and #randomworlds for hosting.
<+JoshuaSmith> Buy him coffee, people.
<+Akyla> Backing as well. Just deciding where
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂
<+JoshuaSmith> That’d be awesome