<+GKG_Alan> Hey! I’m Alan Bahr from Gallant Knight Games. We publish games such as Tiny Dungeon 2e, the rest of the TinyD6 line, For Coin & Blood and other! I’m here to talk today about Carrion Lands, our new ashcan for our dark fantasy sword & sorcery game.
<+GKG_Alan> You can find the PDF here: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition?affiliate_id=376034)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition?affiliate_id=376034 and more about Carrion Lands at (Link: http://www.carrion.land!)www.carrion.land!
<+GKG_Alan> I’ll also answer any questions regarding my eternal quest for good whiskey in Utah, my dogs, or more!
<+GKG_Alan> Fire away
<~Dan> Thanks, GKG_Alan! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> What can you tell us about the setting of the game?
<~Dan> (Howdy, BryanDonihue!)
<~Dan> (BryanDonihue: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition?affiliate_id=376034)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition?affiliate_id=376034 )
<+GKG_Alan> Sure! The setting is the afore mentioned Carrion Lands, a dark and hostile setting made up of extremes.
<+GKG_Alan> The world of the Carrion Lands is a world of extremes. Blazing, harsh, and dry deserts. Frozen, bitter, and sweeping tundra. Steep and staggering mountains. Fetid, thick, and choking jungles.
<+GKG_Alan> The enemies are many. Foul, degenerate Beastmen. Cunning and cruel empires of Ophidians. Other Exiles, ready to slay and spill blood for any small gain. Dark sorceries and distant gods.
<+GKG_Alan> You’re an Exile, who awoke, confused, naked and alone, doomed in the Carrion Lands. You don’t know how you got there. You don’t remember who you were. All you know is you’re here, with nothing but your wits, muscle and cunning to get you through.
<~Dan> Wow… So this is like Naked & Afraid, the Swords & Sorcery Edition?
<+GKG_Alan> uh, kinda, yeah
<~Dan> The PCs literally start with nothing?
<+GKG_Alan> buck naked
<+GKG_Alan> obviously the GM can make it easy or hard to find gear
<~Dan> Do they all arrive together?
<+GKG_Alan> not inherently
<+GKG_Alan> folks just continually wake up on the Carrion Lands
<+GKG_Alan> most die before they can learn to survive, sot he population is low
<~Dan> Given the hostility of the environment, seems like there’d be quite a high casualty rate among new PCs.
<+GKG_Alan> Yeah. 🙂
<+GKG_Alan> there is.
<~Dan> Do the PCs remember any skills they had before? Or is that gone as well?
<+GKG_Alan> they do start with skills they had yes, but any personal memories are gone
<+BryanDonihue> Is there a way back to [wherever they came from before]?
<+GKG_Alan> There is!
<+GKG_Alan> There’s a core “secret” tot he setting that I don’t want to give away here
<+GKG_Alan> but yes, it does have more to it than just “murder land”
<~Dan> Is it safe to assume that wherever they came from, it, too, was a fantasy world? Nobody has any computer skills or the like?
<+BryanDonihue> What mechanical system are you using?
<+GKG_Alan> Dan, that’s a safe assumption
<+GKG_Alan> Bryan, it’s a pretty extensive mod of the OGL’d BoL Hack
<+GKG_Alan> (Link: https://files.sitebuilder.name.com/2d/a7/2da7bdb7-bc0b-4d7a-8957-a9c8308b96cf.pdf)https://files.sitebuilder.name.com/2d/a7/2da7bdb7-bc0b-4d7a-8957-a9c8308b96cf.pdf
<+GKG_Alan> there’s a sample character sheet
<~Dan> Barbarians of Lemuria?
<+GKG_Alan> Its’ a d20 + Stat + Career (skill) vs TN system
<+GKG_Alan> yeah, it’s their d20 OGL hack
<~Dan> Huh. I didn’t know there was such a thing.
<~Dan> So the Careers are super-holistic skills?
<+GKG_Alan> your career is “Soldier” and you get +X where X is the amoutn of time you’ve been in that career to any tests related to “Soldiering”
<~Dan> One thing that always bugged me about BoL was the disconnect between obviously combat-related Careers and actual combat abilities, in the sense that combat-related Careers get kinda screwed over. Do you address that?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Trug!)
<~Dan> (Trug: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition?affiliate_id=376034)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition?affiliate_id=376034 )
<+GKG_Alan> That part is still “the same”
<+GKG_Alan> However, skills like Soldier are really valuable in the Carrion Lands
<+GKG_Alan> they’re how you can find a community, etc.
<+GKG_Alan> resisting fatigue on marches in such a harsh world is a pretty valuable talent
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> A fair point.
<~Dan> I’m guessing that all of the PCs are human?
<+GKG_Alan> Yup! Everyone is human
<~Dan> Can you describe how the Resources work?
<+GKG_Alan> So, rather than force players to track days of food, etc, resources are a variation on the Usage Die mechanic popularized by The Black Hack
<+GKG_Alan> every day when you wake up, you lose a “Step” (decreasing die size) of Food & Water.
<+GKG_Alan> If they go to 0 (less than d4), you start to die
<+GKG_Alan> you can also *challenge* resources for benefits
<~Dan> For those unfamiliar, can you tell us what the Black Hack is?
<+GKG_Alan> if you challenge Food, you roll your Food Die. If it’s a 1 or 2, the die decreases. If it’s anything higher it doesn’t. Either way, you eat some food you have and heal.
<+GKG_Alan> (hah! I was doing that right there.)
<+GKG_Alan> Resources like Blood is how you stay alive. If you take damage, you have to Challenge Blood. If your Blood Resource goes to 0, you die.
<+GKG_Alan> Silver is your ability to barter, trade, or do exchanges of good (not simply coin) and Doom is a decreasing resource that you can challenge for a bonus, but if it goes to 0, you’re on a timer to death
<~Dan> (Howdy, Akyla!)
<~Dan> If Blood tracks damage, what are Hit Points for?
<+GKG_Alan> theyr’e a buffer you have before you have to test blood
<+GKG_Alan> Hit Points are a resource you always know about.
<+GKG_Alan> but Blood can go up or down and it makes combat a risky proposition because you can’t count on it staying at it’s die size
<~Dan> Ah, I see. So it’s sort of like the Hit Points in Warhammer FRP.
<~Dan> What is magic like in this setting?
<+GKG_Alan> It’s deadly and dangerous. Magic users can be flexible and craft spells adhoc but there’s always a risk of drain or death
<~Dan> What’s the mechanic for it?
<+GKG_Alan> spellcasters have “Arcane Points” which they have to invest in spells. They can try to over or under invest and that carries it’s own risks. Once you know the effects of the spell, you simply make a Test and it goes off if successful.
<~Dan> What determines the number of Arcane Points required and the difficulty of the Test?
<+GKG_Alan> Spells have orders of magnitude (1st, 2nd, 3rd), and that’s how you determine the effect and the amoutn of investment required
<+GKG_Alan> It’s pretty straight forward and flexible, and it’s not altered much from the BoL system
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> So there are no pre-set spells?
<+GKG_Alan> I chose BoL because a lot of the core rules already did what I wanted and I could bolt on the new parts easier without having to start from scratch
<+GKG_Alan> There are examples in the book that casters can use.
<~Dan> What sorts of things can magic accomplish at the high end of the scale?
<+GKG_Alan> Summoning Demons, massive curses, weather effects
<+GKG_Alan> it’s very S&S in tone
<+GKG_Alan> fireball is less likely than a curse or a demon sent to kill you.
<~Dan> Makes sense.
<~Dan> Can you tell us more about the environments present in the Carrion Lands?
<+GKG_Alan> So Carrion Lands is a land of extremes. When there are mountains, they’re huge, craggy, daunting, and wind/snow swept.
<+GKG_Alan> Deserts are brutally harsh, almost dead
<+GKG_Alan> jungles are choking, full of poisonous predators
<+GKG_Alan> everything in the carrion lands is Deadly ramped up to 11 and wants players dead
<+GKG_Alan> in the Ashcan we don’t get into the setting as much, cuz our goal is to test out the mechanics, but in the full game, there’s a huge gazeteer.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
<+GKG_Alan> but if you just take a standard environment and make it Australia in deadliness, you’ll get the idea.
<~Dan> Heh. Cool. 🙂
<~Dan> You touched on this briefly earlier, but what are the natives like?
<+GKG_Alan> all the natives are descended from Exiles who survived
<+GKG_Alan> otherwise it’s all predators or creatures tied into the secrets of the Carrion Lands.
<+GKG_Alan> most folks can only trace their lineage back 2 or 3 generations.
<~Dan> You mentioned Beastmen and Ophidians?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Nick_Zachariasen!)
<~Dan> (GKG_Alan, meet Nick_Zachariasen, author of METAL WORLD.)
<+GKG_Alan> Yes! So some of the monsters are tribal and old, but they’re not “natives” to the Carrion Lands.
<+GKG_Alan> They’re deliberately placed there
<+GKG_Alan> the Carrion Lands serves a specific purpose and every piece of it was designed.
<~Dan> “The Carrion Lands: Crappy By Design”TM
<+GKG_Alan> something like that 🙂
<~Dan> So what are the Beastmen and the Ophidians?
<+GKG_Alan> the Beastmen are warped meldings of animal and human, driven by blood and cannibalism to hunt and feed near constantly
<+GKG_Alan> they can be any mammal in part, and human in the other part.
<+GKG_Alan> The Ophidians are cruel and dark culture that uses humans in sacrifices to the gods (again, by design.)
<~Dan> Are they humans themselves?
<+GKG_Alan> they tend to live underground or in damp/wet areas
<~Dan> What are they?
<+GKG_Alan> half snake / half [secret]
<+GKG_Alan> a lot of the Carrion Lands is driven by discovering it’s purpose as well as your purpose there
<+GKG_Alan> in a lot of ways it’s a proving ground
<~Dan> Sounds like its a gauntlet to run in order to produce badass heroes for some larger purpose.
<+GKG_Alan> WHAT NO DAN STOP IT DON’T GUESS
<~Dan> Does the book include a bestiary, and if so, how extensive?
<+GKG_Alan> it does, and it’s got everything from apex predators to dark monsters, to enemies you might meet in a settlement
<+GKG_Alan> the goal of the ashcan is to test hte game and get feedback,s o while it’s not complete, I believe it’s over 40 enenmies
<+GKG_Alan> including rules to craft your own
<+GKG_Alan> (geez my spelling is going downhill)
<~Dan> That’s pretty respectable for an ashcan edition.
<+GKG_Alan> It’s 80 pages, and has art, layout, and a full ruleset
<+GKG_Alan> it’s mostly just missing detailed setting bits and the rest of the bestiary
<+GKG_Alan> (and some environmental rules)
<~Dan> Can you give us some highlights from the bestiary? What sorts of monsters are there?
<+GKG_Alan> Oh, there’s dinosaurs, beastmen, undead, demons, ophidians
<+GKG_Alan> lots of those sorts of things (especially undead.)
<+GKG_Alan> there’s also bandits, guards, and more like that
<~Dan> I known I said this before privately, but it’s really cool that there are dinosaurs. 🙂
<+GKG_Alan> Dinosaurs are always pretty cool
<~Dan> Yeah. 🙂
<+Nick_Zachariasen> You can’t go wrong with dinosaurs. At least, not easily.
<~Dan> Are there dinosaurs in METAL WORLD, Nick_Zachariasen?
<+GKG_Alan> it’s true. They’re always the right choice.
<+Nick_Zachariasen> There are! There are normal dinosaurs and thunder lizards, which are dinosaurs that can breathe lightning.
<~Dan> Heh. Awesome.
<~Dan> So given the nature of the game, is there any way to “go easy” on the PCs at the start? Or is it expected that they’re going to run into, say, a T-rex while they’re still butt naked and unarmed?
<+GKG_Alan> that’s up to the GM
<+GKG_Alan> they don’t have to throw a T-Rex
<+GKG_Alan> they could easily start with beastmen or even just a giant spider
<~Dan> What is the technology level of the Carrion Lands overall? And who’s got the highest technology?
<+GKG_Alan> Stone Age to Bronze Age
<+GKG_Alan> uh, a few settlements can make some bronze age weaponry and gear, but that’s it
<+GKG_Alan> it takes an established foundry and village, and the carrion land has very few of those
<+GKG_Alan> The Ophidians have the most bronze weaponry
<~Dan> Sounds like many enemies in this game aren’t meant to be defeated. I have a hard time imagining heroes taking down demons or dinosaurs with Stone Age weapons.
<+GKG_Alan> it’s hard.
<+GKG_Alan> It *can* be done
<+GKG_Alan> but it’s hard
<+GKG_Alan> Carrion Lands was designed to feel desperate, frentic and difficult.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Carrion Lands sounds like Charlie Brown’s Halloween bag. “I got a rock.”
<+GKG_Alan> That’s a good win though
<+GKG_Alan> a solid rock can save your life!
<+GKG_Alan> bash a zombie head in
<~Dan> I’m sure!
<~Dan> Now, if the game had a theme song, would it be “Carrion My Wayward Son”?
<+BryanDonihue> so, is this a Paranoia-level of character grinder?
<+GKG_Alan> Dan, I will leave.
<+GKG_Alan> BryanDonihue – Kinda, but with a big setting level mystery and not nearly as comedic
<+GKG_Alan> it’s dark, grim and painful
<+GKG_Alan> on purpose
<~Dan> What games do you consider your direct competition for this one?
<+BryanDonihue> i know you are talking about the big setting-level reveal, but once the players find out the reveal, is it re-playable?
<+GKG_Alan> None? I don’t really consider any RPGs in competition really. It’s not like cell phones where you buy just one
<+GKG_Alan> BryanDonihue – Absolutely. The reveal doesn’t mean you’ve “Won” or something. It just ist he big setting secret, and a new character will have to start over. There’s no leg up
<~Dan> Well, let me rephrase, then. Fill in the blank: “If you love _______, you’ll love Carrion Lands!”
<+GKG_Alan> Ah. Conan probably
<+GKG_Alan> Barbarians of Lemuria maybe
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> If the ashcan version does well, do you see this as the beginning of a game line?
<+GKG_Alan> That’s the hope. I’d like the ashcan to do well enough to fund the full release of the game.
<~Dan> What was your thinking behind going that route vs. Kickstarter?
<+GKG_Alan> This way folks have an 80 page game they can immedately start with
<+GKG_Alan> and they can have a hand and investment in shaping the game with their feedback
<+GKG_Alan> it’s not a “I take your money and we wait a year”
<+GKG_Alan> you get something now
<~Dan> That makes sense. I’m almost surprised that more folks don’t do that. Or do they, and I just haven’t noticed?
<+GKG_Alan> it’s not super common
<+GKG_Alan> and it’s also a lot more work
<+GKG_Alan> I don’t get access to the free and built in Kickstarter marketing cycle
<+GKG_Alan> I functionally have to do all that legwork again
<~Dan> How’s the response been?
<+GKG_Alan> for our first try? I’d call it a “B”.
<+GKG_Alan> It’s good! could be better but we’re learning
<+GKG_Alan> Once this one is done we’ll probably try again
<~Dan> Now, assuming it does expand into a game line — and this might be spoilery — would you go into more detail regarding th eCarrion Lands themselves or… whatever the Big Secret is?
<+GKG_Alan> Yes. The corebook will actually go into it in full
<~Dan> Well, right, but I mean after the core.
<+GKG_Alan> but we’ll also do more and expand more if we do additional books
<+GKG_Alan> I’m writing it to be “stand alone” just in case
<+GKG_Alan> but there’s more to be said if the opportunity is there.
<~Dan> Is there a means for PCs to get their memories back, and if so, how does that work, given that the PCs belong to the players?
<+GKG_Alan> There is not
<+GKG_Alan> The Carrion Lands stands apart from your past life
<~Dan> I see.
<+GKG_Alan> A GM could absolutely pull that in
<+GKG_Alan> and that’s one of the things I’d explore in expansions
<~Dan> Seems like it would be difficult to pull off.
<~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Bronzetiger!)
<+GKG_Alan> IT would be
<+GKG_Alan> That’s why it’s expansion material!
<~Dan> I mean, the GM would basically have to tell the players who their PCs really are.
<+GKG_Alan> well you’d have some idea
<~Dan> (Bronzetiger: What brings you by today? 🙂 )
<+GKG_Alan> so the game has a Lifepath system that helps you start with at least 4 ranks of past Careers
<+GKG_Alan> you could use those to shape your history (and that’s what the expansion would do.
<+Bronzetiger> Heya Dan!
<+Bronzetiger> Heya Alan how goes it?
<~Dan> Bronzetiger, meet GKG_Alan, tonight’s Q&A guest. 🙂
<~Dan> Long story short, he’s telling us about his RPG in which you start out naked and fight demons and dinosaurs with rocks.
<+Bronzetiger> I am guessing the subject is one of my favorite RPGs?
<+Bronzetiger> Cool sounds like D&D basic
<+GKG_Alan> (Link: https://www.carrion.land/)https://www.carrion.land/
<+Bronzetiger> I have heard of it, my entire family is what you might call HEAVY into role playing (Tabletop)
<+Bronzetiger> Alan, have you been to Gary Con with it?
<+GKG_Alan> I have not!
<+GKG_Alan> We just released it this week
<+Bronzetiger> Methinks you should consider that come March.
<~Dan> That’s a good idea, though.
<+Bronzetiger> O I C
<+GKG_Alan> I’d love to go to GaryCon, but they sold out of vendor tables 🙂
<+Bronzetiger> I can ask my cousin Luke if they have anything available if you want/
<~Dan> Already? Wow!
<+Bronzetiger> Gary Con= Down to earth, from the heart RPGers.
<+GKG_Alan> That’d be great! I’d certainly be interested (we do a lot with OSR games)
<~Dan> So I’ve heard.
<~Dan> Re: Gary Con
<~Dan> Darnit, I had another question, and now I’ve forgotten it. Sheesh. Gettin’ old…
<+GKG_Alan> heh no worries
<~Dan> Oh, a different question, anyway: Does Carrion Lands have an “endgame” built in?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Lee!)
<+GKG_Alan> not really
<+GKG_Alan> the secret just moves the game into a new “phase” but only in a narrative sense
<~Dan> (You should feel honored, GKG_Alan. Lee here is putting off chores to come talk to you. 😀 )
<+GKG_Alan> hah! Thanks 🙂
<+Bronzetiger> Okay I sent him a message on FB, waiting for him to get back to me.
<~Dan> That was nice of you, Bronzetiger!
<+GKG_Alan> Thank you very much.
<+Bronzetiger> It helps to have a section of family that has the last name Gygax.
<~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
<~Dan> Heh. I’ll bet!
<~Dan> (DLB_Chuck: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286035/Carrion-Lands-Ashcan-Edition )
<+Bronzetiger> Yeah Gary, is/was my Cousin and all his kids are by extension.
<~Dan> Wow! I had no idea.
<~Dan> How is Ernie doing these days?
<+Bronzetiger> He’s ok he has changed his overall look after chemo, but he is doing well.
<~Dan> Glad to hear that. He seems like a good guy.
<+Bronzetiger> He is it’s a prequisite in the family lol
<~Dan> So kind of a random question, GKG_Alan: I’m a big fan of trolls, and I noted that Carrion Lands has them. What are they like?
<+GKG_Alan> they’re brutish and monstrous, and the full game has a whole variety separated by environmental types. They’re the apex predator in a lot of ways
<+GKG_Alan> anything bigger than them isn’t “natural”
<~Dan> Wow… They’re bigger than dinos?
<+GKG_Alan> in certain climes and terrain, yes!
<~Dan> Damn. Those are some serious trolls.
<+GKG_Alan> The one in the ashcan is the “base”
<~Dan> Are you a fan of the Norwegian (I think) move Troll?
<~Dan> movie, rather
<+DLB_Chuck> Troll Hunter?
<~Dan> Oh, right, Troll Hunter.
<+GKG_Alan> I am!
<+GKG_Alan> I’ve seen it several times
<~Dan> I’m not surprised. 😀
* +eezo meeps
<~Dan> (Howdy, eezo!)
<+GKG_Alan> it might have been an influence
<+Bronzetiger> Sounds like it
<~Dan> Man, I would pay to see a troll/dino fight.
<+GKG_Alan> That’d be pretty awesome
<~Dan> It would probably look very Harryhausen. Like the cyclops and the dragon in… Sinbad’s 7th Voyage, I think?
<+Bronzetiger> Well nice meeting you Alan, nice chatting with you again Dan. But am off to bed have a lot of stuff to do tomorrow early! Alan if Luke sends me a response I will send it to you in messenger.
<+GKG_Alan> Thanks BronzeTiger!
<~Dan> Take care, Bronzetiger! Thanks for stopping by! Come by any time!
<+GKG_Alan> Dan, I’m a big Harryhausen fan, so that’d work for me
<~Dan> Actually, aside from the initial nudity, I can imagine Carrion Lands looking very Harryhausen.
<+GKG_Alan> Yeah. If Harryhausen did Conan
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up in the time remaining?
<+GKG_Alan> nope, I think we hit all the notes!
<~Dan> Well, then! Tell us about your whiskey quest! 😀
<+GKG_Alan> HAH! It’s mostly defunct. Utah doesn’t get lots of variety, so I have to wait until I head out of state
<+GKG_Alan> (like LA this weekend.)
<~Dan> Ah, I see. That’s a shame.
<~Dan> What are you doing in LA this weekend?
<+GKG_Alan> Going to Gateway
<+GKG_Alan> (a game convention) and running games (including Carrion Lands!)
<~Dan> Ah, very cool.
<~Dan> And to take you up on your other offer earlier: How are your dogs doing? 🙂
<+Geno> Conan the Adventurer
<+GKG_Alan> They’re good! They’re finally adjusting to the new house, which is really nice
<+GKG_Alan> Calming down, less anxiety
<~Dan> Well, I suppose it’s time to remind folks that 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!
<~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!