<+Lupo> Well hello everyone I’m Lupo, author of Kisarta. Kisarta is our latest project, a dark fantasy setting for 5E that will bring your characters to an underworld filled with madness, despair and deep secrets.
<+Lupo> To bring this feeling into 5E we twisted the rules of the original game here and there: we introduced a level advancement system that revolves around discovering those secrets and completing goals that go deeper and deeper into the setting’s lore and introduced rules for madness and damnation.
<+Lupo> The setting itself is sort of a planar setting: the souls of the dead that arrive here awaken in Limbo and from there they start their journey that will bring them trough the Seven Dominions of Kisarta, ruled by powerful Guardians.
<+Lupo> If I had to sum it up I’d say that it is a heavily lore-oriented setting with a clear path towards the discovery of the deepest secrets of it and rules to support the atmosphere of dread and desperation around the table.
<~Dan> What are the undead like in the land of the dead?
<+Lupo> Basically we’ve rewritten the concept of the “undead” monster category. Here the undead are souls that have been destroyed so many times that only their hollow shell remains, roaming the lands in search for things to destroy and devour.
<+Lupo> On the other hand incorporeal undeads are the opposite: souls that have lost so much ether over time that they can’t keep a “solid” form any longer.
<+Lupo> The whole concept of undead revolves around the loss of humanity.
<~Dan> What about intelligent undead, like vampires and liches?
<+Lupo> Losing humanity not always means losing one’s mind. They simply are so detached from what they were that they no longer need to act like living things.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Maicol!)
<+Lupo> Being alive or dead in the otherworld is much more a conceptual thing than on a material plane. “Living” souls try to engage in life-like activities to remain sane, the “dead” have renounced to this part of their selves and embraced their new nature.
<~Dan> Are there any portals from Kisarta to other planes?
<+Lupo> No. There are only portals that connect the planes of Kisarta. Trying to open a portal to another plane won’t work and is even dangerous as it opens a door to the Void surrounding the planes of Kisarta.
<+Lupo> The nature of this Void is in itself one of the misteries the players can explore in their campaings. For example, there will be a new Circle for Druid characters that is devoted to study the Void and its powers.
<~Dan> What is the effect of spells like Ressurect and Reincarnate in Kisarta?
<+Lupo> These spells infuse a “lost” soul with new ether and/or reconnects it with its “living” part. It’s more about repairing a shattered soul than to bring it back from the dead.
<~Dan> I see.
<~Dan> You mentioned the planes of Kisarta being dangerous environments. Can you say a bit more about that?
<+Lupo> We’ve filled every plane of Kisarta with danger. Even the city of Limbo is full of dark areas populated by soul-devouring monsters. Other planes have dangerous environments like the Whispering Desert or the Crucible of the Damned.
<+Lupo> Others have more exotic kinds of dangers. The Nameless Abyss is like a bottomless cavern with a star filled sky beneath it. The Howling Forest is a labyrinth of trees extending endlessly in every direction filled with predators that seem to have spawned from ancestral nightmares.
<+Lupo> Other dangers come from many elements in the game that inspire a lovecraftian-like horror in the characters that can plunge them into madness.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Nonnogeppo! 🙂 )
<~Dan> Speaking of madness, you mentioned creating a game mechanic for that…?
<+Lupo> We adapted the existing rules for madness from the GM guide in order to bind them with the lore of our setting.
<~Dan> Do clerics have any issues with communing with their gods from Kisarta?
<+Lupo> Yes. Contacting gods from outside the planes of Kisarta is of course impossible. Divine magic still works though, but the energy needed to perform it comes from within the soul of the caster instead of being granted by an external entity.
<+Lupo> Clerics can still preach their religions and try to bring their ideals to the lands of Kisarta and use their faith as a focus to draw the power they need to perform magic, but it’s not necessary. Divine magic here is about how much your will enables you to use the radiance, the power within your soul to perform miracles.
<~Dan> Does the game feature a bestiary, and if so, how large is it?
<+Lupo> The game will include a bestiary, mostly focused on the native fiendish creatures of the planes (called Kisarthi). It will probably be around 20-25 pages as most of the book will be about setting, character options, new rules and guidelines for the GM.
<~Dan> What are the Kisarthi like?
<+Lupo> The concept of the Kisarthi revolves around them being creatures from a plane that stands outside reality and has no ties to human logic. They will therefore be rather alien in appearence (especially the most powerful ones) and many will trigger the madness rules when looked upon.
<~Dan> How many types are there?
<+Lupo> But they also form the ruling class in the planes of Kisarta and thus there’s much to say about how they behave, too.
<+Lupo> The way they interact with common souls will mostly depend on the plane they reside in and who their Guardian overlord is. In the Whispering Desert, with its bizantine culture, they behave like a decadent nobility, in the Crucible of the Damned they might just roam the land in search of things to kill.
<+Lupo> From a rules point of view they all fall under one category: Fiend (Kisarthi).
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Pickman!)
<~Dan> Are any other creatures of the lower planes to be found in this realm? Demons, devils, etc.?
<+Lupo> I really can’t see other creatures of this kind in the realms of Kisarta, but one can always adapt them and use them as Kisarthi fiends.
<~Dan> Are other traditional fantasy creatures to be found in Kisarta, like dragons?
<+Lupo> Yes. They can still awaken here if they die. In fact one of the Guardians, Mal-Val’ahm of the Whispering Desert, is a dragon who has destroyed and replaced the former Guardian of that plane and reshaped after her own desire.
<+Lupo> You can add any creature from the MM. The important thing to remember when you do so is to try and apply the logics of the setting to the creature when you introduce it to the players, especially if it has an important role in the story.
<~Dan> Are there any organizations of creatures from the living world, like tribes of orcs or kingdoms of humans?
<+Lupo> Of course. Organizations, society and culture are the lifeblood of any setting. They give players a context in which to move, factions to embrace, religions in which to believe and decisions to make and Kisarta makes no exception.
<+Lupo> The power structure of Kisarta, below the Kisarthi overlords, is made of souls that have risen to power in one way or another, the main two categories being the dinasties of nobility and the major religious cults.
<+Lupo> We also added an organization of explorers and researchers, one for merchants and there is still room for much more to be added.
<~Dan> Merchants, you say? What sort of monetary system (if any) does Kisarta use?
<+Lupo> In Kisartha there is money in the form of coins made of refined, pure ether (you can also see the faces of the dead on them sometimes!)
<~Dan> That’s nice and creepy. 🙂
<+Lupo> Yep. That’s Kisarta. Nice and creepy.
* ~Dan chuckles
<~Dan> So what goals tend to motivate the PCs, given that they’re already dead?
<+Lupo> That’s the main point of our goal-based advancement system. Characters are no simple souls that try to go on with a day-tod
<+Lupo> That’s the main point of our goal-based advancement system. Characters are no simple souls that try to go on with a day-to-day afterlife repeating endlessly the same actions to keep themselves from looking at the madness around them.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> I see.
<+Lupo> Characters are souls that have opened their eyes and, each for their own reason (that’s why each character has Personal Goals), have decided to go out and try to understand the misteries of Kisarta in order to use that knowledge and power for their own means (good or evil).
<~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<~Dan> (And I’ll brb, sorry)
<+Lupo> I think we have covered all the main points of the setting. There would be more to say if we had time and the means to discuss some minor details that connect the parts of the setting and interact with its rules, but that would take us another few hours at least I think… XD
<+Lupo> Yeah I think that’s one last thing I might add: expect a setting where every detail is meant to bring up questions, to see what’s the truth behind and where you will build a story on those answers, up and up until the greatest misteries (like the Pale Sun itslef) will be revealed.
<~Dan> Very cool. 🙂
<+Lupo> Aaaand with a set of rules designed to make it work this way.
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Lupo!
<+Lupo> Thank you for your time and for the good questions. Spot on!
<~Dan> As a reminder, tips can be made at (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Anything’s welcome!
<~Dan> You’re welcome!
<~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
<+Lupo> Can I add a link to the quickstart?
<+Lupo> Ok then, if you’re interested you can find the quickstart with everything you need to play your adventures here:https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/282006/Kisarta–Quickstart-11
<+Lupo> And if you like what we’ve discussed today and what you’ll find in the quickstart you can support us here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/isolaillyonedizioni/kisarta-a-5e-setting-of-damned-souls-and-unearthly-horrors/description