<+MarcL> Hi folks, I’m Marc Langworthy – ENnie award-winner and creative lead at Red Scar
<+MarcL> I’m here to talk about Kings of War the Roleplaying Game, which we’re producing under license from Mantic Games
<+MarcL> Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter and oh so close to funding at 92%
<+MarcL> (Link: http://kck.st/2MGFEwK)http://kck.st/2MGFEwK
<+MarcL> Thanks for inviting me in to chat 🙂
<~Dan> Certainly. 🙂
<~Dan> (Ready for questions, or are you still typing? 🙂 )
<+MarcL> Definitely ready for questions
<~Dan> Thanks, MarcL! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> So, starting with the basics: What is Kings of War about?
<+MarcL> Kings of War is an epic fantasy setting that Mantic have grown slowly over the years
<+MarcL> It started as a backdrop for arank-and-file wargame, but has since grown enormously
<~Dan> What sort of fantasy would you call it?
<~Dan> (High, low, dark, etc.)
<+MarcL> It’s definitely towards the high end of the fantasy scale
<~Dan> What can you tell us about the setting?
<+MarcL> That said, though there is plenty of magic, things like magic items are rare and treasured as they’re hard to craft
<+MarcL> It’s set against the backdrop of an ancient war between the Shining Ones and Wicked Ones. Two beings that are polar opposite in nature, though they both descend from one single entity known as a Celestian
<~Dan> How many of each sort are there, and are they essentially gods?
<+MarcL> The Celestians were torn in two by the shattering of a relic and their halves have been fighting ever since.
<+MarcL> 37 Celestians survived the shattering of the mirror, though a number of Shining Ones and Wicked Ones have died since.
<+MarcL> This event and the following God War took place a few thousand years ago
<~Dan> What’s the state of the world now?
<+MarcL> It’s evolving all the time thanks to the narrative that Mantic have been building.
<+MarcL> Most recently, the good and neutral forces flooded the Abyss; a wound torn into the world that imprisons the remaining Wicked Ones.
<~Dan> Is it a medieval setting?
<+MarcL> Aye, definitely
<~Dan> Aside from the Celestians, how standard of a high fantasy setting is this? Are there elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.?
<+MarcL> There is a good spread of species. Dwarfs and their twisted Abyssal Dwarf cousins. Elves that have seperated into several Kindred. A diverse array of humans. Ogres. Salamanders. Orcs and Goblins. Even an undead nation buried under the sands of a desert.
<~Dan> What species are available to play?
<+MarcL> The Shining Ones and Wicked Ones are very much in the background now, but their history still shapes events now.
<+MarcL> We won’t be delving into undead as playable races just yet, but will be offering a wide array in the corebook. From Dwarfs through to Salamanders, and Naiads (merfolk) to Goblins.
<~Dan> What are the Salamanders?
<+MarcL> They’re a race of lizardfolk. You can play one straight away as part of our free quickstart available over on drivethru
<~Dan> You mentioned that magic is plentiful. What form(s) does it take, and how powerful can it be on the high end?
<+MarcL> Magic is accessible by spellcasters – druids, wizards, clerics, stone priests, etc.
<+MarcL> Every spellcaster will know a handful of common spells, plus gain some additional spells from their own speciality
<+BryanDonihue> What is the storyline for players? Any grandiose schemes?
<+MarcL> I like to give players and GMs options 🙂
<+MarcL> When we sat down to conceive the RPG, we wanted to follow that epic scope that the wargame engendered
<+MarcL> So the campaigns are intended to take the players from starting heroes through to the movers and shakers of their realm or region. The kings or queens, so to speak
<+MarcL> The intro adventure in the quickstart is actually a lead-in to one of the campaigns that pits the players against an ancient evil
<~Dan> What are stone priests?
<+MarcL> But there will be plenty of info in the corebook and campaigns for GMs to take games in their own directions
<+MarcL> Stone Priests are Dwarfen priests blessed with the ability to speak to the earth, summon elementals, and use earth magic
<~Dan> That’s cool. 🙂
<~Dan> I’ll bet they rock!
<+MarcL> There’s one of those in the quickstart too 🙂
<~Dan> Then again, their parishioners probably take them for granite…
<~Dan> (Okay, I’ll stop. 🙂 )
<+MarcL> They can be a bit stone-headed
<+BryanDonihue> I think you’ve reached rock bottom on the puns, Dan
<~Dan> Do the Elves have a counterpart to the Stone Priests?
<+MarcL> They have mages, who can have their own twist based on their kindred (sea kindred, twilight kindred, southern kindred)
<~Dan> I see.
<+MarcL> The elf mage in the quickstart is a Sea Kindred aeromancer
<~Dan> Speaking of Dwarfs and Elves, do you have any other unique twists about them?
<~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
<+MarcL> I think each species has plenty of familiarity with a twist. The dwarfs are also great engineers (akin to World of Warcraft dwarfs) and their females don’t have beards. There’s great diversity amongst the elves thanks to the Kindreds they’re separated into.
<+MarcL> There are even some frosty Ice Kindred from the northern reaches.
<~Dan> You mentioned great diversity among Humans as well. Can you give some examples?
<+MarcL> You have the Basileans, who follow the Shining Ones and include Paladins among their ranks. Though they’re perceived as ‘good’, they can be very dogmatic and inflexible
<+Templum_Bee> Sorry to intrude, but you a fan of the Byzies/Eastern Roman Empire, then? If so, that’s cool.
<+MarcL> The Ophidians, who use necromancy as a means to prop up their Persian-esque empire
<+Templum_Bee> Wait, this isn’t an Open Q&A.
<+Templum_Bee> I apologize.
<+MarcL> It’s cool. We’ve licensed the setting from Mantic, so it’s something they’ve included.
<~Dan> Templum_Bee: Sure it is! Anyone can ask questions. You’re fine. 🙂
<+MarcL> But aye, Basilea does have that feel to it 🙂
<+Templum_Bee> MarcL, that is so cool – Most people forget the ERE exists.
<~Dan> How are inter-species relations in this setting?
<+MarcL> As in half-elves and others? They’re there. Again, we have a half-elf in the quickstart who grew up in a happy home.
<~Dan> Heh. Well, I meant how well do the various species get along, but I suppose that’s a partial answer. 😉
<+MarcL> Ohhh. They ally, they fall out, they outright won’t work with some others.
<+MarcL> Elves, Dwarfs and most humans support each other, though there is plenty of mistrust dating back to the God War.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Trug!)
<+Trug> (Salut. Link to the game for tonight’s Q/A please?)
<~Dan> How common are monsters in this setting? How likely is the average peasant to have seen one?
<~Dan> (Trug: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1178384921/kings-of-war-the-roleplaying-game?ref=project_facebook&fbclid=IwAR1ti7GbFgpcZZ9IBhFjBzPI-ztM6VP_luhBL9Y1O28p1qqfELNfymLoxpU)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1178384921/kings-of-war-the-roleplaying-game?ref=project_facebook&fbclid=IwAR1ti7GbFgpcZZ9IBhFjBzPI-ztM6VP_luhBL9Y1O28p1qqfELNfymLoxpU )
<+MarcL> (Quickstart: (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/285601/Kings-of-War-the-Roleplaying-Game-Quickstart)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/285601/Kings-of-War-the-Roleplaying-Game-Quickstart)
<+MarcL> There are borders and kingdoms, with most being patrolled in order to be kept safe. Most folks in Basilea, for instance, won’t have ever seen an Abyssal or orc – unless they live on the north-eastern border.
<+MarcL> There are wilderness regions of course were encounters are more common.
<~Dan> Do there be dragons?
<+MarcL> There are indeed! Though they’re rare 🙂
<~Dan> What are they like?
<+MarcL> There are drakes, like lesser dragons. But the actual dragons were decimated in the God War so they’ve pretty much withdrawn from the world for now. They’re a match for a Celestian when working as a group.
<~Dan> That sounds pretty impressive.
<~Dan> Are they all fire-breathers?
<+MarcL> Not all of them, but they’re not split into a chromatic/metallic kind of thing
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Speaking of monsters, does the game come with a bestiary, and if so, how large is it?
<+MarcL> Currently we’re aiming to include 30 or so monsters with the Corebook, but that’ll hopefully grow with stretch goals
<~Dan> Let’s turn to the system for a bit. Before we do, do you have a character sheet available to view?
<+MarcL> I’m trying to remember if I have a link somewhere
<~Dan> If you don’t, it’s okay. It’s helpful but not vital.
<+MarcL> Nothing up on the website, sorry
<~Dan> No problem. Can you describe the elements that make up a character? (Attributes, skills, etc.)
<+MarcL> I could send a dropbox link if that helps?
<+MarcL> (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/w3ma25hp8bvvsgg/AACfBE9BuovEG6g1NyPMHAmWa?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/sh/w3ma25hp8bvvsgg/AACfBE9BuovEG6g1NyPMHAmWa?dl=0
<+MarcL> There’s your Salamander 🙂
<~Dan> Ah, and a corsair!
<+MarcL> Each character has an archetype and race. Archetype is akin to a character class.
<~Dan> I see that the Salamander is packing a pistol. Is that an indication that the setting is more Renaissance?
<+MarcL> Stats are broken into Body, Mind and Social. The 3 red dots on the sheet represent the core dice pool of 3d10. Each rank above the 3 grants something called a Keyword.
<+MarcL> Using a Keyword for a test adds a d10 to the dice pool.
<~Dan> Ah… So that’s how you distinguish the strong from the agile and so forth in regards to Body, for example?
<+MarcL> Indeed. You can only use 1 Keyword from each area on a test though. So 1 Keyword from Stats, 1 from Trades, 1 from Gear.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
<~Dan> Oh, did you see my pistol question?
<+MarcL> Trades (skills) also provide Keywords. Plus some gear will also have their own Keywords. We’ve found that they not only provide a mechanical benefit, but really help a player get into character and help shape their descriptions.
<+MarcL> Oh, gotcha! It range from medieval to Renaissance really.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> So looking at Obtess, she has a Social of 3 with 2 keyword dots. Does that mean that she rolls 5 dice when using a keyword?
<~Dan> wb, MarcL2!
<~Dan> <~Dan> So looking at Obtess, she has a Social of 3 with 2 keyword dots. Does that mean that she rolls 5 dice when using a keyword?
<+MarcL2> Sorry about that 😛
<~Dan> No worries!
<+MarcL2> No, always start with a base of 3d10. Then add 1 d10 for each Keyword you are able to apply. So Obtess drinking with the best in a rowdy bar and trying to impress would roll 5d10 (base 3, plus 1 for Infectious Spirit and 1 for Carouse).
<~Dan> Ah, I see.
<+MarcL2> You can only apply 1 Keyword from stats to a roll, 1 Keyword from trades, and 1 from gear. Meaning most rolls will have a natural cap of 6d10
<~Dan> Looking at Kiri’el Narak, he has a keyword under Body but not black dot. What does that mean?
<+MarcL2> That’s his racial bonus. So he didn’t gain a rank in the stat, but did get to choose a Keyword. Overall, he’ll end up with more Keywords there eventually, but any features derived from that stat won’t get boosted.
<~Dan> So what’s the point of the keyword if it has no effect?
<~Dan> (Sorry if I’m being a bit dense here…)
<+MarcL2> It will have an effect. It can be drawn on for a bonus d10 any time it can be applied 🙂
<+MarcL2> No worries!
<~Dan> Ah! I thought it had to have a black dot for that.
<+MarcL2> No, the black dots represent ranks for character creation and growth through experience. While each one does represent a Keyword, it’s the use of the Keyword that grants the bonus d10.
<+MarcL2> And bear with me also if I’m a little fuzzy, it’s 3am here 😉
<~Dan> Can you describe the task resolution mechanic? I get that it’s a pool of d10s, but how are they used? Is it an additive pool, for example, or a success-counting system?
<+MarcL2> It is a success counting system. So the GM will establish the difficulty and the player roll to beat that with a number of successes. Each die is read individually against a target number of 6.
<+MarcL2> It’s little more complicated than that, as a 6 is a fail-forward. It grants a success but also generates something called Payback. A 7 or more is a standard success. 10s explode, letting you grab an additional d10 and add the result if applicable.
<~Dan> And stats and skills (or Trades in this case) added together
<+MarcL2> base of 3d10. Plus 1d10 if you can apply a Keyword from a stat. Plus another d10 if you can apply a Keyword from a trade.
<~Dan> So it sounds like it’s a pretty narrow range.
<+MarcL2> Some effects or conditions might impose negative Keywords, which subtract a d10 from the pool.
<~Dan> How does combat work?
<+MarcL2> We’ve built in options for folks. There’s an action economy with attacks, movement and range (though we recommend using zones over grids). Make an attack roll against a target’s Defence rating and apply damage. But we also offer a lighter-weight, narrative focused system.
<~Dan> How is damage figured?
<+MarcL2> Each weapon or damaging spell has a static damage value, but each success over the target’s Defence rating on the attack roll adds extra damage. Some abilities and weapon qualities can also boost damage.
<~Dan> Good. I always prefer to have degree of success affect damage.
<~Dan> Does armor reduce damage?
<+MarcL2> It did initially, but we rolled it into Defence after playtesting feedback. Which reduced the math work. It’s a straight boost to Defence now.
<+MarcL2> It’s there as a seperate number because it can be reduced by weapon traits like piercing
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> How does spellcasting work?
<+MarcL2> In exactly the same manner as the rest of the system. Each spell has a difficulty to cast. Extra successes on a test can often boost a spell’s effects. Payback on a spellcasting test can start causing Stress, though, which represents physical and mental exhaustion.
<+MarcL2> A spellcaster will eventually wear themselves out to the point that they have to rest.
<+MarcL2> There’s no limit on the number of times a day you can cast spell, so long as you have enough Stress remaining
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+MarcL2> We briefly mentioned Payback, which is a karma effect really. Generating Payback on a test can invite creatures to use their Powers as an immediate effect. So a goblin might stick a dagger in your ribs for a point of damage, or a dragon catch you on the edge of its fiery breath.
<+MarcL2> We’re really very proud of the Keyword and Payback elements. They make they game feel very dynamic and less ‘swing, miss, swing’.
<~Dan> Cool. 🙂
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, MarcL2!
<+MarcL2> Thank you very much for having me on again, Dan 🙂
<~Dan> Shameless self-promotion: If any of you have 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!