<+Stephen> OK, Im Stephen Turner, I started roleplaying in 1979 after a few years as a wargamer. Over the years played a number of different systems from AD&D to Savage Worlds. I cut my writing teeth on scenarios for UK Gencon and other UK cons (I wrote the Ravenloft open two years running). I was also the RPGA Regional Director for the West Midlands in the UK,
<~Dan> (cut off at “Midlands in the UK,”)
<+Stephen> This led to me organising and running a small con which grew to 3 days and 3000 delegates in 2002 (resurrected this year). In 1997 I formed Brittannia Game Designs Ltd to create supplements for Chivalry and Sorcery. (before you ask the spelling was to avoid clashing with another company)
<+Stephen> 12 months after we had released our first product Highlander Designs went bust and we acquired the entire IP for C&S. Since then we have released a number of products including 4th edition in 2000. After the con in 2002 we took a couple of years out.
<+Stephen> Then personal matters took over and its taken us a while to get back but we are proud to be in a position to launch the kickstarter for the 5th edition of Chivalry and Sorcery which funded in 16 hours. done
<~Dan> Thanks, Stephen! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Let’s start with the basics: What is C&S about?
<+Stephen> C&S is a role playing game based in the realities of a medieval world. If you want to play a campaign you need to know where your character comes from, the world he lives in. C&S has always believed that a character has a family somewhere.
<~Dan> Is it set in the real world’s medieval period?
<+Stephen> The game enables you to play in a game where combat is realistic, where there is a living world outside the window. The rules have guidelines for creating your own world , an extensive list of skills to choose from.
<+Stephen> The game is based around western europe from 1000 to 1500 with the addition of Magick based on what was believed at the time.
<~Dan> How would you describe this Magick, then?
<+Stephen> In the game you take on a vocation not a class, as your characters life develops you may find that their vocation changes.
<+Stephen> The magick system revolves around the mage having to learn spells and enchant raw materials to create items. When casting a spell the mage expends fatigue to power the spell. A mage can quickly burn out of fatigue and has to then take real physical damage as they power spells with thei own life essence.
<~Dan> I’m guessing that magick isn’t as flashy as it is in many other fantasy games? No fireballs and lightning bolts?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Moxiane!)
<+Stephen> Oh yes you can do fireballs but you have to build the spell up. You Create Fire, detach Fire and accelerate Fire. But do you choose normal fire, magick fire, salamander fire or dragon fire.
<~Dan> (Moxiane: Yup! Chivalry & Sorcery!)
<+Stephen> In other words you create a spell with those building blocks (create in the space in front you, detatch from that space and accelerate as a missile) and then call it fireball.
<~Dan> Is magic effects-based, then, or do you use pre-existing spells?
<+Stephen> There are pre existing spells but also the building blocks to create your own spells. They are grouped in different categories such as Plant, Command, Illusions. You also have the ability to link spells from different categories to create all sorts of wonderful combinations.
<~Dan> Are there distinct schools of magick? Different types?
<+Stephen> There are different vocations that you can follow such as Fire Elementalist, Diviner, Shaman, Druid to name a few.
<+Stephen> All Mage types can learn all the spells but some are better at certain spells (strangely a Fire Elementalist is the best at Fire Magick)
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<~Dan> Can anyone learn magick, or is it an inherent ability?
<+Stephen> Any character can choose to start as a Mage. Some may have the right birth stars. Other vocations may dabble but it will only ever be a hobby, such as a Knight may dabble but they will never be as good as someone who pursues a Mage Vocation.
<~Dan> How many vocations are there?
<+Stephen> Also your attributes may impact, all of the vocations have two favoured attributes and Mage vocations do differ
<+Stephen> There are 25 (11 of which can use magick)
<~Dan> Do I surmise correctly that all PCs are human?
<+Stephen> The rules are also there for a GM to create their own vocations to suit their own games. Although the Core Game is rooted in Western Europe the rules also allow for you to create your own worlds, from Low to High Fantasy.
<~Dan> Does the clergy have access to supernatural powers as well?
<+Stephen> The Core Rule book assumes that your standard character is human, but in the main book are the basic rules for Elves, Dwarves, Goblinoids (Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins), Trolls, Vampires and Lycanthropes as player characters. The Elves and Dwarves have already got expanded sourcebooks. The kickstarter aims to add expanded rules for the others.
<+Stephen> The Clergy can petition their Deity for aid bringing down Miracles and Acts of Faith all the way to Raising the Dead
<~Dan> How do the nonhuman characters you mentioned fit into C&S society?
<+Stephen> They actually have their own societies, Vampires and Lycanthropes live hidden amongst human society. Take Beowulf for example, Grendel had a mother and a home on the fringes of human society.
<~Dan> How (if at all) do your nonhumans differ from the standard fantasy versions?
<+Stephen> Well how do you fancy facing a Troll Witch casting elemental earth spells at you. Or a group of Orcs on horseback in mail and carrying lances
<~Dan> Nice. 🙂
<+Stephen> As Ed Simbalist wrote “Monsters are people too”. We believe every creature has a society of one form or another and they are not cannon fodder. A GM should really treat them as if they are their own characters.
<~Dan> Are your Dwarves and Elves the traditional mountain/forest people?
<+eezo> Nobody tosses a dwarf!
<+eezo> (sorry, had to)
<+Stephen> OH boy no. The supplements written by Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams were both written based on the old sagas. Elves can be really mean SOBs
<~Dan> Ah, more like Norse Elves, then?
<+Stephen> Dwarves are clan based and yes they are called farmers of the earth but they have a much more detailed society in the supplement. Think more Ragnar Lothbrok types than D&D
* ~Dan nods
<+Stephen> Haughty and arrogant
<~Dan> How common are monsters in this world?
<+Stephen> Depends on your monster. In a realistic campaign they should be rare, mind you a charging boar may make you wish you were facing an Orc. In a fantasy based campaign it is entirely down to the GM and the style of game they want to run. I would really avoid Dragons in combat though as thats a quick way to die.
<~Dan> How about magick? How likely is the average person to have seen it in action?
<+Stephen> In a realistic game, if you are not knights then how big a monster is a Guy of Gisbourne character.
<+Stephen> Again its down to the game that people want to play. In a historical game it may be rare as there could be consequences. For example is the GM running a game where the church really frowns upon magick
<+Stephen> It could be your average serf would cower just at the mere thought that you could cast spells.
<~Dan> Are there any major villains built into the settting?
<+Stephen> Not in the core book
<+Stephen> But if you run a historical game you can mine history, King John for example
* ~Dan nods
<+Stephen> In the Fantasy Campaign we publish we do mention some villains and give a few possible plot lines.
<~Dan> In terms of the setting, are there any major changes from previous editions?
<+Stephen> The big change we have made (which was missing from previous editions) is the appearance of Jewish characters. You cannot have a medieval Western European setting and ignore the fact that Jews were present.
<~Dan> Good point.
<+Stephen> We are also adding Judaism and Islam to stand alongside Christianity as the main religions of the setting, so the three faiths of the book are represented.
<~Dan> You mentioned that the game covers 1000-1500 AD, correct?
<~Dan> Does that mean that firearms make an appearance?
<+Stephen> We are looking at that. The arms and armour (which we thank the royal armouries in leeds for the weights and lengths) differ from period to period. You cant have plate armour in 1050 for example and a mail hauberk in 1480 would be unusual. There were firearms in 2nd edition so we may well include the odd devils weapon.
<~Dan> Let’s turn to the system for a bit… Earlier, you sent me a posted character sheet. Let’s have a look: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cns5/chivalry-and-sorcery-the-medieval-role-playing-game/posts/2569394)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cns5/chivalry-and-sorcery-the-medieval-role-playing-game/posts/2569394
<+Stephen> Yes this is a prototype listing the items we want to show.
<~Dan> What is the attribute scale for humans?
<+Stephen> There are three levels of play, Historic, Heroic and Mythical. In Historic the range for attributes is 2 to 20, Heroic is 4 to 22 and Mythical is 7 to 25
<~Dan> How do the attributes relate to the skills?
<+Stephen> Each skill has 2 related attributes
<~Dan> Actually, could you talk us through the column headers on the skill table?
<+Stephen> Each attribute on the character sheet has ATT (Attribute score), AR% (Attribute Roll, the % score you roll against) and PSF (Personal Skill Factor) bonus. The two related attributes add their PSF Bonus to that skill.
<+Stephen> On the skill table we have Skill Name, Type (Primary, Secondary (both dictated by vocation) and Hobby. Primary and Secondary can also me Mastered skills. Lvl is the Level in the skills you have acquired. BCS is the Base Chance of Success of the skill (lower if unskilled),
<~Dan> What is TSC?
<+Stephen> Then we have PSF which is made up of the level bonus (3 x Lvl), Attribute bonus, Other to make up the total PSF. (Primary and Mastered both add 10% and Hobby subtract 10%). Other Mods are such things as magick items. The TSC is the Total Skill Chance and is the BCS plus Total PSF plus other mods. This is the % that you make your skill rolls against
<~Dan> (Whoops, sorry)
<+Stephen> In the past C&S has gained a reputation as a complicated game. Yes character generation is involved but what we have aimed to do in 5th is front load all the math onto the character sheet so that it doesnt get in the way during play
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> What is the Min % and Max %?
<+Stephen> They are the parameters that a TSC can never exceed for skill rolls. If for example once you have added BCS, PSF and mods an have a TSC above the Max you get +1 to the crit die for every 20% above max
<~Dan> So clearly, this is a percentile system… What is the crit die?
<+Stephen> All skill and attribute rolls, in fact all rolls are carried out by rolling percentile dice. A third different coloured D10 is rolled called the Crit Die. This is the measure of success or failure, a 10 is huge and a 1 is minor. You could fail and rolled one on the crit die so you only just missed.
<~Dan> So crits are fully random until the TSC gets at least 20% above max?
<+Stephen> Not entirely, some weapons add modifiers to the crit die. A charging lance gets a big bonus as do the big hitting weapons. On the flip side though if you want to deal big damage they are equally likely to screw up big time.
<~Dan> Speaking of which, how does combat work?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Woo77!)
<+Stephen> As per the quickstart rules (available free from Drivethru) at the start of the combat round you roll a d10 and add this to BAP (Base Action Points) for current AP The GM then asks around the table for everyones current AP. Then in order of highest you declare your action (move, attack etc) up to a maximum of 10 APs (some attacks and spells will take more
<~Dan> Doesn’t that give slower combatants the advantage of learning what their faster enemies are going to do that round?
<+Stephen> than 10 APs) and carry out your action. (If you are using miniatures we recommend actions are declared in order of lowest AP to highest and acted upon by highest to lowest AP). Once all actions are carried out the cost of the action is deducted from Current AP’s. This is then repeated until All AP’s are expended or carried forward (only a maximum of 10 c
<+Stephen> can be carried over to the next round.
<~Dan> I see.
<+Stephen> We had thought about that 🙂
<+Stephen> If using theatre of the mind you may find skipping the reverse order for declaring actions quicker.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> How are attacks and defenses resolved?
<+Stephen> You make a skill roll against the relevant weapon skill. An opponent can choose to defend with a weapon parry , dodge or shield block. The opponents PSF for their defence skill is added to the dice roll. If the attack then misses the opponent has a combat advantage and can choose to riposte.
<~Dan> I see… So you don’t actually roll for defense?
<+Stephen> We may have that as an option but we were looking at a streamlined system that doesnt bog down the role play
<~Dan> How is damage determined?
<+Stephen> each weapon has a base level of damage to which is added a strength bonus and a PSF bonus. As you improve your skill with a weapon so you learn to do more damage. In addition you add the crit die as a random element. IF your modified crit die is 10 or more you do an extra D10 damage that ignores all armour and comes of Body and not Fatigue
<~Dan> Speaking of armor, how does it function? Damage reduction?
<+Stephen> Armour reduces the damage sustained but may not stop all of it. Each armour type has different defence values. You can also combine armour types such as a quilted jacket and a mail shirt to combine defence values. But a critical hit will reduce the armour values, hence armour gets damaged
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> You touched on this earlier, but how does spellcasting work, mechanically?
<+Stephen> The Mage decides on a spell to cast. If he has fully learnt the spell he casts it automatically. If he hasnt he can still try to cast it but with the risks that comes with it. He makes a skill roll against the Method such as Divnination Method, Illusion Method and hopes he succeeds.
<~Dan> And spells cost Fatigue, you said?
<+Stephen> Then if the spell is cast succesfully the mage has to target the spell. This is a skill roll against his Mode of Magick (ie Enchanter, Conjuror). The dice roll is modified by a targets magick resistance (enchanted beast) and in the case of missiles can be dodged so PSF is also added.
<+Stephen> The cost of casting is the spending of fatigue. Fatigue can be recovered quite quickly by having a short rest, but in combat a Mage can get tired very quickly
<~Dan> Does the game have a bestiary, and if so, how large?
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest51!)
<+Stephen> There will be roughly 26 pages of bestiary summary, ie one line of stats for most creatures. This is in effect a distilled version of the 3rd edition bestiary which was over 200 pages. It will have stats updated. A revised Bestiary is something in the future plans.
<~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+Stephen> Well if people wander over to the kickstarter we wont object lol. We have covered all of the basics but obviously in a 500 page rule book there will be so much more.
<~Dan> Oh, feel free to post the link to the Kickstarter, by the way!
<~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
<+Stephen> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cns5/chivalry-and-sorcery-the-medieval-role-playing-game)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cns5/chivalry-and-sorcery-the-medieval-role-playing-game
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Stephen!
<~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 🙂
<~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you!