<+MutantLord> Hello folks, I am William McAusland, creator fo the Mutant Epoch rpg. I’m a Canadian author and illustrator living in Kamloops British Columbia, Canada
<+MutantLord> TME is an indie game using the Outland System game mechanic
<~Dan> Thanks, MutantLord! The floor is open to questions!
<+evilc> what is the Outland Game System
<~Dan> Can you give us an overview of TME’s setting?
<~Dan> (And since those are two big questions, perhaps we should have a question pause there. 🙂 )
<+MutantLord> Well, ts a traditional RPG, as opposed to an abstract story game….
<+MutantLord> it is quite similar to d20 system in many respects with a list of 8 traits….
<+MutantLord> but mainly uses d100 for generating those traits and combat resolution…
<+MutantLord> I’ve set up a dedicated page on our site for this hear for a more in-depth look (Link: http://www.outlandarts.com/TME-Outland-System-preview.htm)http://www.outlandarts.com/TME-Outland-System-preview.htm ….
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Muto-Harpy! 🙂 )
<+Muto-Harpy> Thanks! All hail the Mutant Lord!
<+MutantLord> but as the name implies its a post-apocalyptic adventure game where characters form up into small dig teams. These characters are excavators as a caste, but could Oslo start as gladiators, mercenaries, or slaves, etc.
<+MutantLord> Hi Muto-harpy and Evilc
<~Dan> So the PCs are artifact hunters by default?
<+smarttman> Is there an ETA on the Expansion book, or is it still whenever its done?
<+MutantLord> Well, that’s how they start out, just like how Han Solo was a smuggler but ended up as selfless hero. Done
<~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
<+MutantLord> Working daily on the Expansion Rules and aiming for a September release.. but… no wine before its time as they say and I won’t release it if there are suspected typos or anything like that. Done
<~Dan> (MutantLord, meet DLB_Chuck, author of Don’t Look Back, a horror/conspiracy RPG. 🙂 )
<+MutantLord> Hey man. Add a web link to your stuff, sir. I can check it out after the show here.
<+MutantLord> Oh, I mean DLB
<+DLB_Chuck> (Link: http://www.dlb3.com)www.dlb3.com
<+DLB_Chuck> I’ll PM with something so it’s easier to find later
<~Dan> Are the Expansion Rules supplementary, or are they a new version of the core rules?
<+MutantLord> That is a sweet looking cover, with the red and blue like that! Cool!
<+DLB_Chuck> Thanks. I’ll assume you found it. Lol
<+MutantLord> The Expansion Rules are sorta like Part Two of the Mutant Epoch Hub Rules and covers all the stuff I cut the first time around, and new stuff, with plenty of it from Danny Seedhouse and other contributors.
<~Dan> Can you give some examples?
<+MutantLord> Here is a link to the ongoing art gallery for the new Expansion Rules book: (Link: http://www.outlandarts.com/TME-Expansion-Rules-ArtGallery1.htm)http://www.outlandarts.com/TME-Expansion-Rules-ArtGallery1.htm
<+DLB_Chuck> Looks pretty cool. I was always a fan of post apocalyptic style games. How does the style differ from the old GW?
<+MutantLord> In teh new book there will be new character types, new mutations, new implants for cyborgs, and new relics to name just a little of the extras.
<+DLB_Chuck> I love the parasite pic
<~Dan> You do your own artwork, IIRC?
<+MutantLord> Besides the rule system, The Mutant Epoch differs in that its actually not so gonzo, and that small pockets of civilization have started to make a comeback in the form of factions.
<+MutantLord> I started out as a writer and then had the great idea that if I could illustrate my own novels and games that i could maybe have a better shot at publication… so yes, I am a professional illustrator as my day job.
<+Muto-Harpy> An awesome illustrator at that.
<+MutantLord> Although Now I am 80% Mutant epoch and 20% freelancer
<~Dan> Your artwork is amazing. You’ve got the prefect style for this.
<+MutantLord> With Goodman Games being pretty much my only client, other than a few excellent start up publishers
<+DLB_Chuck> It looks great
<~Dan> I’m curious about the “gonzo” observation, though… To me, TME looks gonzo as all get-out. 🙂
<+MutantLord> Thanks so much! I ink and draw every fricken day. Can I say fricken?
<~Dan> You can. 🙂
<+MutantLord> Here is the link to my fantasy illustration site, which shows some of the awesome projects that Joseph Goodman has given me: (Link: http://mcauslandstudios.com/main.htm)http://mcauslandstudios.com/main.htm
<~Dan> Very impressive!
<+MutantLord> Joseph, if you didn’t already know, is a great guy, and the best client I ever had
<+MutantLord> Has he been on this chat thingy?
<~Dan> That’s good to hear.
<~Dan> You know, I’m not positive offhand. Let me check…
<~Dan> Hmm. Doesn’t appear so. I’d be happy to have him, though!
<+MutantLord> I could mention it when I talk to him next.
<~Dan> Please do!
<+Motulev> just so that you know, I lost it at this: “NOTE: Because Game Masters will be asked this question….”
<~Dan> Heh. Didn’t know you were still up, Motulev. 🙂
<~Dan> Any thoughts on the “gonzo” subject, MutantLord?
<+MutantLord> Dungeon Crawl Classics and everything they do is really creative and has an old school vibe that I really enjoy. I predict his company will do great things.
<+MutantLord> Gonzo? lemme think
<~Dan> I mean, you have some pretty “out there” mutations, for example.
<~Dan> Dudes flinging all sorts of energy whatzis at each other and such.
<+MutantLord> I think it has its place, but can get darn silly. I mean laser beams from a mutant’s eyes is a bit out there but kinda expected in the PA RPG genre .
<+DLB_Chuck> I used to play the first edition or so of GW and it lacked a cohesive kindof world. It was anything goes
<+MutantLord> Yeah, its like superheros in the wasteland or fantasy wizards in the rubble, right.
<~Dan> (Howdy, AndyC!)
<~Dan> (Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
<+MutantLord> Oh, I played so much Gamma World that I wore the books out. Loved that..
<+DLB_Chuck> Me too
<~Dan> MutantLord: Has PA always spoken to you as a genre, then?
<+MutantLord> Actually, the Gamma World setting, mixed with Blade Runner and Conan kinda influenced the setting to of the Mutant Epoch, but as far as old school games go, it was the d10 mechanics of Star Frontiers that I loved and was so inspired by.
<+MutantLord> I grew up on D&D basic and AD&D and miniatures games… but something about the post-apocalyptic world intrigued me….
<+MutantLord> .. and I am working on a Fantasy RPG that uses the Outland System. I mean, my kids, wife and I watched the lord of eh rings movies every Christmas season and I ache to work on some setting and adventures for a fantasy game after watching that stuff!
<~Dan> As an aside, TME puts me in mind of the last segment of “Heavy Metal”.
<+MutantLord> That’s awesome! Man, I have a collection of old heavy metal comics in my studio. What inspiration!
<~Dan> Well, I meant the animated movie, but yeah. 🙂
<+MutantLord> Oh yes, the big battle with mix of weapons?
<+DLB_Chuck> I was just explaining Heavy Metal the movie to my son. We were watching Mandy (crazy movie) and they have these cut scenes in the HM movie style
<+MutantLord> I haven’t heard of ‘Mandy’.
<~Dan> Random question: Did you ever introduce damage reduction to your armor rules, MutantLord?
<+DLB_Chuck> It’s hard to explain but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Major bloodfest with Nick Cage being more Nick Cage than you can imagine
<+MutantLord> I’ll have to check that out.
<+MutantLord> I like the idea of damage reduction by armor, and of armor getting destroyed… but no, haven’t implemented it
<+MutantLord> … and it makes sense.
* ~Dan nods
<+Muto-Harpy> I don’t know if this has been brought up, but just out of curiosity: With the expansion rules, will there be an Imperial system friendly conversion? Quit making me work so hard with this metric stuff!
<+MutantLord> Could be added as an optional rule
<~Dan> Any chance of that making it into the Expansion Rules?
<+MutantLord> And the Expansion rules will cover a fair amount of optional rules… as well ads some truly horrific critical hits tables
<+MutantLord> I’ve been trying to work in more imperial measurements into the Monday Mutants we have been releasing.
<+MutantLord> I’ll try to add the Damage Reduction rules for armor in the Xrulz
<+Muto-Harpy> Saw those, greatly appreciate the Monday Mutants. It’s nice to see TME content.
<~Dan> MutantLord: Awesome!
<+MutantLord> We here in Canada switched to metric in the 1970s because the USA was going to switch, then the USA decided not to. It messed things up I’d say. Or that’s how I understand it.
<~Dan> Speaking of the Monday Mutants (in a roundabout way, anyway)… You’re amazingly prolific when it comes to TME. How successful has the game been?
<+MutantLord> Thanks Muto-Harpy, so glad you like them.
<~Dan> (And yes, down with metrics! America needs no foreign rulers!)
<+polyhedral> Dan: groooooooan
<+MutantLord> Y’know, it’s hard sometimes to tell if producing a free or pay what you want product is worth the time, but… it’s so easy to get forgotten in this I hobby if you don’t have frequent releases… and I love creating freaky mutant monsters!
* +Motulev looks for the yard stick but since he lives in an apartment he hasn’t got one
<~Dan> Yes, but you’ve churned out a load of books as well!
<~Dan> I guess I’m wondering if it’s a pure labor of love for you, or if you’ve found a high demand for TME products.
<+MutantLord> RE: metric… yes, its a hassle, and everybody in construction up here uses imperial. But science and I think the Military use metric, don’t they? I mean , look at a 9mm bullet. Or is that a British round originally?
<+MutantLord> Well, I’ve got 11 books on the market and a ton of pay what you want stuff, but also the Fantasy Clip Inks stock art line and Handcrafted Dungeons… and some sometime its not bad income, and very passive actually…
<+DLB_Chuck> Do most people actually pay for the “pay what you want” titles?
<+MutantLord> I just did a Bundle of Holding Deal with Allen and I cleared $6100cdn for my 67% share, with $700 going to Doctors without Borders, so money can come from unexpected corners
<+DLB_Chuck> To add to what Dan says, you really have been pushing out the material. Over how long did it take to write the 11 books in the series?
<+MutantLord> No, but probably 1 in 10 people pay a buck for an item, and drivethrurpg takes 40% of that so I get 60 cents
<+DLB_Chuck> Do you sell more through gumroad or Drivethru?
<~Dan> Kudos to you for the contribution to Doctors without Borders. That’s awesome.
<+MutantLord> To write those books took 11 years… but… but I’ve had to take 6 months off at times to work on the maps for the Isle of Dread update book for Goodman Games and other projects for them… I have 4 kids so I need to work long hours and sometimes set The Mutant Epoch aside for days at a time.
<~Dan> In any case, I really do admire your dedication to your game.
<+DLB_Chuck> You work your butt off for sure
<+MutantLord> I have been trying to get people to buy direct through gumroad .com were I keep 95% instead of 60%, but it’s so hard to get people to use that service. I guess I they don’t want to put their credit card info into an unfamiliar site… but they are great and pay every 2nd Friday of the month.
<+MutantLord> I do work long hours but I have a short commute down stairs, passed the coffee machine, to the studio.
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<~Dan> What new character types do you have planned for the Expansion?
<+MutantLord> An huge advantage I have ,besides my wife and her job that has medical and dental for our family, is that I moved from Vancouver to a city where I could afford to live and yet devote some time to my dreams.
<+MutantLord> Although people from the big city are moving up here to Kamloops and drove the housing prices way up.
<+MutantLord> New Character types: Mutorg Abomination Parasite Rebuilt NanoBorg Grafter Vat-Brain Digital Being Bestial Humans set two Android Plantoid Robot (Unique/Self Aware)
<+MutantLord> Had to copy paste that one so as not to leave anybody out!
<~Dan> What is a Mutorg? Part mutant, part cyborg?
<+MutantLord> Yes, a mutorg has half as many cybernetic implants as a regular cyborg or half as many mutations as a mutant character…
<+DLB_Chuck> do mutants have a harder time incorporating cybernetic implants since their physiology is different?
<+MutantLord> … normally cybernetics work only on a human physiology, but certain groups have uncovered implants that have a work-around
<+MutantLord> These were implants designed to enhance mutant soldiers back before the final collapse.
<~Dan> What are Abominations?
<+MutantLord> Mutorgs: organic warriors to face off against ‘the Mecha’ ( think terminator- androids)
<+MutantLord> Abominations are gross…
<+MutantLord> Mutant lifeforms so far from being human-based that they are their own disgusting collection of appendages and organs
<~Dan> And these guys are PCs? 🙂
<+MutantLord> There are some illustrated in the Expansion rules art gallery. Like blobs with eyes, ears, appendages, tentacles and arms form both human and animal DNA samples.
<+MutantLord> Yes, PCs, but should be introduced as NPC villains to show how dangerous and yucky they appear
<+MutantLord> What are Idlers?
<~Dan> People who haven’t said anything recently.
<+MutantLord> Ah, I see.
<+DLB_Chuck> Are they in private chats or do they just log on and go do other things?
<+MutantLord> like get wine
<~Dan> Hard to say. Some are likely there and just saying nothing. Others stay logged in all the time and aren’t really there.
<+MutantLord> I think I missed a few questions from earlier
<~Dan> Want a minute to scroll back?
<+MutantLord> Book length was one
<+MutantLord> The Hub Rules was 246 pages but because of a slight font size increase and larger art I predict the Expansion rules to be about 270 page, but who can say.
<+MutantLord> Lots of art is something I find essential in RPGs. Not just to illustrate what the text is saying, but as place holder when I am flipping about looking for some rule.
<+DLB_Chuck> You did all the art yourself?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Jack!)
<+Jack> Hey hey
<+MutantLord> There have been a few other artists , but I do nearly all of it.
<+MutantLord> I’d love to have the budget to hire 10 other artists, and I have that much work for them… but sometimes its quicker to do it yourself.
<~Dan> I think your books would be the worse for it, to be honest.
<+MutantLord> I confess that I became a writer and artist because of tabletop RPGs.
<~Dan> Your style gives them a distinct feel, IMHO.
<+MutantLord> Thanks, Dan.
<+MutantLord> I get emails every week form really talented artist from far away countries. and they do excellent work and need a break… and I’ve been there myself so wish I could give them some gigs.
<~Dan> Oh, sure. And that’s very good of you.
<~Dan> But I think for better or worse, you’ve given TME its own “look”. I’m not sure another artist’s work would look right.
<+MutantLord> Some of those painters in Russia are astounding
<+MutantLord> Yeah, I will probably do all the art going forward just because I love doing it… although having guest artists or showcasing an up and coming artist would be great.
* ~Dan nods
<+MutantLord> I am switching out of digital painting and doing acrylics but also setting up an oil painting studio.
<~Dan> Maybe you could do that for your giveaways sometime.
<+MutantLord> I want original art to have at the local conventions here in my home town… and to leave to my many descendants.
<~Dan> By the way, what is the nature of the apocalypse in TME? Do I recall correctly that it was a long-term process?
<+MutantLord> Yes, I’d love to do a giveaway.
<+MutantLord> Lets do one here when the new book comes out. .. and like 10 PDF copies of the new book or something.
<~Dan> Oh, wow! That would be great.
<+MutantLord> Did I mention that I went to GenCon50 the other year?
<~Dan> You did not!
<~Dan> Darnit, I was there.
<~Dan> Would have been nice to meet you!
<+MutantLord> Joseph Goodman put me and my writer-friend, Danny up at the hotel and everything. I sold copies of the Mutant Epoch at the Goodman Games booth and signed art for his fans.
<+MutantLord> Yeah, that would have been great.
<~Dan> That’s very cool, re: Joseph Goodman.
<+MutantLord> I was shocked at how many people were in that place… never seen so many humans.
<+MutantLord> I am not great with crowds. Kinda a country boy n some respect, Grew up hunting and fishing and walking down ravines where no human has probably ever ventured.
<~Dan> Oh, did you see my apocalypses question?
<+MutantLord> I will probably go to Gen con again and set up and Outland Arts booth – that’s my company name.
<+MutantLord> Apocalypse question? what? has it started?
<~Dan> Heh. No. I was trying to recall what you said about it in the setting. IIRC, it was a long process rather than one big disaster?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, DaveMcClelland!)
<+MutantLord> Sporadic, localized, and like they say, humanity went out with a whimper rather than a scream
<~Dan> MutantLord: What is the source of the mutations?
<+MutantLord> Mutagenic agents, genetic manipulation and some radiation.
* ~Dan nods
<+DLB_Chuck> Is there an apocalyptic event like wars, diseases etc.?
<+MutantLord> while radiation can cause mutations, it normally just causes cancer and kills the body. It would take hundreds of thousands of years for radiation to really cause useful mutations of even the most mundane sort depicted int his game.
<~Dan> (You there, DaveMcClelland? 🙂 )
<+MutantLord> Yes, wars plague, seismic activity and whatever else the game master wants to add to his or her particular setting a region. I tried to leave it open ended and mysterious so that people could customize the game to be the Walking Dead, Mad Max or along the lines of Gamma World.
<~Dan> What part of the world does it take place in?
<+MutantLord> The Crossroads Region, as well as the upcoming novel series, takes place over the former megalopolis of Greater Los Angeles after the ocean has receded..
<~Dan> Novels, you say?
<+MutantLord> Some GMs play it in Texas, however– where I’d move if I were to abandon Canada and move to the USA
* ~Dan waves a Texas flag
<+MutantLord> yes, the game is based on a three book novel series I wrote under a pen name– but never published– and have spent that last three years updating to a 17 book series.
<+MutantLord> Its going into edits as soon as the Expansion Rules are out.
<~Dan> Cool! I wish you great success with that.
<+MutantLord> Just need to find a very affordable editor and group of first readers.
<+DLB_Chuck> Are you planning to publish the novels yourself too?
<+MutantLord> Thanks. Its my main bucket list item – besides the RPG that is!
<+MutantLord> We are aiming for a 2020 release of the novels, one released each month. It a serial series so each is not stand alone.
<+MutantLord> well, its not self publishing in that I sure can’t do it all myself… and will need to hire professionals along the way. But yes, it will be under the Outland Arts umbrella of published works.
<~Dan> Very nice.
<+MutantLord> I set out to be a novelist
<~Dan> Well, you should take pride in already being a published author, even if you aren’t “officially” a novelist yet. 🙂
<+MutantLord> The series will take place in a region just north of the Crossroads Region, which is our main Gazetteer at this point, and features mutorgs and all sorts of the new character types.. and so that’s why the Expansion Rules have been so delayed
<+MutantLord> I used to work for book design service so have a lot of experience with book printing and promotion
<~Dan> What’s next for the RPG after the Expansion Rules?
<+MutantLord> Well, right after the Expansion Rules comes out we will be releasing three adventures…
<~Dan> Can I just say how glad I am that RPG authors started putting out adventures again, btw?
<+MutantLord> Devil’s Den (which features the Monday Mutant called the Lump-Devil), then two larger adventures called Blood Road and Nuke Tower
<+MutantLord> Was thinking of doing some 5th ed fantasy adventures and putting them at DMs Guild ,but heck, they only pay 50%!
<~Dan> Really? Huh.
<+MutantLord> I mean, with the loss of rpgnow.com, which I really miss, there is room for a new PDF distributor on the scene.
<~Dan> Didn’t RPGnow just roll into DriveThruRPG?
<+MutantLord> I think indie press revolution could be that contender… and should encourage them…
<+MutantLord> they did roll in, but they were focused on smaller companies at rpgnow
<~Dan> I didn’t realize that.
<+MutantLord> and you could get banner ads and such. My PDF sales were cut in half when rpgnow died.
<~Dan> Wow… That’s really a shame.
<+MutantLord> I love drivethrurpg and onebookshelf in general… adn so thankful they are there… but .. its hard to compete withe huge game companies on drivethru
<~Dan> Yeah, I can see that.
<+MutantLord> One reason I am doing the Monday Mutants is to appear on their front page a least once a week, and let people know we exist.
<~Dan> I suspected that might be the case. That’s a good idea.
<+DLB_Chuck> That is a good idea
<+MutantLord> Also, the Epochians need something to bring to the table while waiting for the Expansion Rules to come out.
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<~Dan> What’s your favorite character type in TME?
<+MutantLord> hmmm, in the old book it has always been mutants….
<+MutantLord> … but in the new books I am very excited by Plantoids ( mutant plant characters with some degree of human DNA) and parasites.
<~Dan> Are the Bestial Humans like anthropomorphic animals?
<+MutantLord> The digital beings are neat but holy heck, they’re complicated to work into the system and need some serious research.
<+MutantLord> Yes, bestial humans are like half human-half animal people. And yes, I’ve seen it said that they are furries!
<~Dan> Heh. Awesome. 🙂
<+MutantLord> There will be a ton of new bestial humans to add to the collection of 33 or so in the TME Hub Rules
<~Dan> Cool, even
<+BradMcDevitt> hi room
<~Dan> BradMcDevitt, I believe you know William Ausland? 🙂
<+MutantLord> Hey Brad!!!
<~Dan> McAusland, even
<+BradMcDevitt> Hey Bill, LTNS
<+MutantLord> Yeah, I know Brad!
<+BradMcDevitt> and as long as i keep paying him, he won’t share any of the pics of me he has 🙂
<~Dan> I saw him online in FB and thought he might want to say hello. 🙂
<+MutantLord> You going to Gen Con again this year?
<+BradMcDevitt> Oh yeah! No choice… you know who GG’s new customer rep person is?
<+MutantLord> Yeah, lots of pics of us all at various restaurants in Indy.
<+MutantLord> Oh really?
<+BradMcDevitt> my wife Jess
<+MutantLord> That’s splendid news!
<+BradMcDevitt> you comng by chance?
<+BradMcDevitt> yeah, Joe and Brett are REALLY happy with her
<+MutantLord> No. Still paying off the credit card from two years ago.
<+MutantLord> Yeah.. the airfare from Canada might as well have been from mars.
<+BradMcDevitt> but yeah, coming with originals and prints to sell
<~Dan> MutantLord: Before we wrap up, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up? 🙂
<+MutantLord> You do nice work. real nice
<~Dan> (And you guys are more than welcome to hang out here as long as you like, btw.)
<+BradMcDevitt> i seem to remmeber airfare was well into 4 digits?
<+BradMcDevitt> shudder. Well, if Gencon ever moves out west, we are screwed that way.. I can’t afford airfare… and the flights i could afford are like Air Sardine
<+MutantLord> Um, well, I’d like people to check out Monday Mutants (Link: http://www.outlandarts.com/mondaymutants.htm)http://www.outlandarts.com/mondaymutants.htm and maybe if they grab a copy and like what they see, to leave a review. Man, its so hard to get a review these days on anything.
<+BradMcDevitt> have you hit up RPGnet or Enworld?
<~Dan> I’ll get you a review out if you can send me a PDF! May be a while, as I’m pretty backlogged, though.
<+DLB_Chuck> Dan, how’s that DLB review coming? 😉
<+MutantLord> The next time I go to Gen Con I might have my own booth for The Mutant Epoch, but… it sure was fun to hang with Joseph and all you great guys. And I’d love to commission a few of your illustrations for TME!
<~Dan> It’s coming. 🙂
<+BradMcDevitt> Also, have you talked to Joe about maybe a review n the Goodman Gazetter, when they remember to put one out?
<+BradMcDevitt> Buzz me on FB.. it’s too hard to sort out stuff liek that in a chat like this
<+MutantLord> Brad, do they do reviews of other game systems?
<+BradMcDevitt> he might bend his rules for a company freelancers
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, MutantLord!
<+BradMcDevitt> You know joe, he geta real rigid on some stuff, and flexible as all get out on others
<+MutantLord> Thanks so much for having me, it was fun … and I haven’t even finished my glass of Malbec yet.
<~Dan> As a reminder to folks, if you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Anything’s appreciated! 🙂
<+MutantLord> I’ll get the link to this later and post it in our newsletter
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you!