<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Okay, My name is Kevin aul Tracy. I’ve been publishing fiction and non-fiction since I was a teenager. I’ve been playing RPGs since the OG redbox edition of D&D. I’ve played just about every mainstream RPG there is, and some of the lesser known ones.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> I’ve been designing games almost as long, including a scifi RPG and a tabletop war game simulation using regular toy soldiers.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Advanced Fantasy Role-Playing is my high fanatasy RPG. For the geeks, it’s a d100 dentric, modifier based RPG that is, as we say, unapologetically complex at a time when may RPGs are simpligying and streamlining. The game is all but done, we are working on soliciting artwork for our rulebooks, and then we’ll be ready for release.x
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> …centric, not dentric…
<~Dan> Heh. Thanks, Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Does your game have a setting, whether defined or implied?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> There is a world that is used for all of the examples in the rule books, and is fleshed out in the GM’s supplement, including 1 continent and a good portion of another, 13 gods, over 300 creatures and monsters (and more every day.) We didn’t want to complete the world because we want contributions from players to help do that, to share ownership of
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> the world. But it is also set up so a GM can center the game around his own world.
<~Dan> Is the setting any particular flavor of fantasy? High or low, for example?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> It is written with high fantasy in mind, but you can go anywhere you want with it: low, grimdark, Pandora (from Avatar), etc.
<~Dan> To what degree does it resemble “standard” fantasy — elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Entirely. Many of the creatures are based on actual legend, and then there are lots borrowed from other fantasy sources (for example we have a creature race called the Frenzy that bare a distinct resemblance to a certain race of big-eared aliens from DS9.
<~Dan> Speaking of races, how many are available to play?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> We have 6 different human types, 4 different elf types (including half-elf), 2 different dwarf types, 3 different halfling types (including goblins), and half-orcs.
<~Dan> That’s a pretty impressive assortment.
<~Dan> Is this a class-based system?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> So players select trades, which equate roughly to classes.
<~Dan> What are the trades?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Standard trades range from adventuring trades such as fighter, ranger, archer, thief, assassin, etc. to artisan and service trades, such as merchant, blacksmith, cook, statesman, etc. We usually recommend that new players start with an adventuring trade, as the others take a significant commitment to role-playing to bring them up to adventuring
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> level. Then there are 15+ magic-using trades like necromancers, mage, witch, wizard, etc. including 3-4 cleric trades such as oracle, druid, etc..
<~Dan> How much does spellcasting vary between the magic-using trades? Do they all use the same basic system with different spells, or is it more involved than that?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Same basic system, but they are limited by spell type – for example illusionists can only cast illusion-type spells, etc. Also, each catser has a different style of casting, described under their trade. There is a distinct difference in how magic-user racharge for spell casting and how cleric-types do it. There is also a distinction drawn between
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> spells (arcane) and miracles/cruses (divine.)
<~Dan> You said “recharge.” Is this something like a magic point system?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Yes. Each magic-user/cleric starts with a certain amount of mana, which goes up as theire magecraft/diecraft skill level goes up. Each spell has a mana cost, often variable depending on how the spell is being used. When thy run out of mana, they have to replenish it. Magic-users channel it out of the cosmos, cleric-type are granted it by the gods
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> during devotions, worship and prayer each night.
<~Dan> How powerful is magic in this system? Can you give some examples of what it can do on the high end of the power scale?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Some of the spells that have threatened to break the game (heheh) are the slow/speed time spell, the reverse time spell, the permanence spell (which makes any spell you can with it permanent…until broken or countered), things like that. We also have spell most magic users avoid (except for the very dark ones) such as the pains spell (like
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> cruciatus in HP) and the kill spell (like avada cadava.) I could go on and on.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Pardon my spelling, I’m trying to type fast…
<~Dan> No problem!
<~Dan> Are there any obvious big bad guys in your setting?
<+eezo> (Q&A going on?)
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Yes. The continent we start on is actually under the thumb of Lord Davuth Kwan, the biggest baddie. His patrols kill anyone found roaming the landoutside a city or village without papers, and once a month, the Demons of Doom fly over the land to remind everyone who’s in charge. On Flyover, the entir population is expected to stay inside all day as
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> the sky turns blood red and the demons fly over. ANyone caught outside is later found either mutilated or insane. Most players seek and acquire forged travel papers pretty early on. Oh and anyone doing magic must do so in secret, as anyone found doing magic is brought to Dungsrath Castle where their mana is drained, their magic items are
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> confiscated, and they or tortured and killed.
<~Dan> Wow. Sounds like a pretty bleak setting!
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> It’s really what the players make of it. It can be quite beautiful – the flyovers only occure on the 13th of each month, and in many cities the 14th is a holiday akin to Christmas. As GM I really only use patrol-encounters to sort of spur players on who are getting a little complacent, but another GM could go REALLY grimdark with it if he wanted.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> It’s all up to your GMing style.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Does the setting involve much dungeon-delving?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> It can. As a GM, I like to play a story, with city encounters, mountain passes, slum-mazes, ruined temples, etc. But it all amounts to the same thing. I don’t like the Monty Haul approach: delve a dungeon, pick door one or door two, kill the monster, collect the treasure, go to town to resupply – I prefer a more emersive story-based aventure. But
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> that’s me. Other GMs can take it anywhere their hearts and their player’s [refer.
<~Dan> Understood. Cool.
<~Dan> You mentioned magic items earlier. How common are they?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> The random treasure tables in the GM’s supplement include about 100 of them, with specific powers and backstories, some more powerful than others, and even one or two quite silly ones.. I’d say parties usually find one or two per adventure. And magic-users can create their own using the Enchant Item spell.
<~Dan> Do you have a character sheet we can view?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> I do. Let me look into showing it here (never uploaded a picture into a chat before.) Meanwhile go ahad and post your next question.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Uploaded file: (Link: https://uploads.kiwiirc.com/files/ce5e4be2401121e50c083345a678a5cf/FRP%20Char%20Sheet%20-%20Sample.jpg)https://uploads.kiwiirc.com/files/ce5e4be2401121e50c083345a678a5cf/FRP%20Char%20Sheet%20-%20Sample.jpg
<~Dan> Let me take a look here…
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> There it is. This is the front and back of the first Avatar Card ( as we call them.) The avatar card consisted of 4 5.5 x 8 cards covering stats, modifiers, skills, spelss, weapons, armor, equipment, etc.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Looking it over…
<~Dan> What is the relationship between the Primary and Secondary Attributes?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> The Primary attributes are the only rendomized stats. The secondary stats are then derived from them, and the tertiary stats are derived from the primary and scondary stats.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> There is a maximum of player control in creating their avatar, a minimum of randomised elements. Players really own their avatars, and develop them throughout the came in very personalized ways.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> How are the Secondary Attributes derived from the Primary ones?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Hmmm…that starts getting into the complex elements of the game and might be too involved to go into here. But in a very rudimentary summary, they are crossed-referenced against the primary stats. It is more involved than that, but that’s the closest I can explain it without going into a bible-length explanation.
<~Dan> Ah, I see. Fair enough.
<~Dan> What is the relationship between the attributes and the skills?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Once the attributes are established, they are set, unchangeable. They represent the character in their prime, but before any skill development. Still quite powerful in their own right – they are hero-stock after all, but still just naked. When they choose a Trade they are granted certain skills to start, and may acquire others outside their trade
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> at will. These skills give modifiers applied to the avatar’s stats to help her in skill tests and combat depending on level. Instead of having one level for the avatar, each skill has a level and is advanced independently, so even if two avatars have the same skill set, they will most certainly have advanced each through levels at different rates.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> There is endless variety. Plus, one’s race grants one modifiers and traits, and each avatar may choose a certain number of character traits, both positive and negative, to add further modifiers. As I said at the start, this is a very modifier-based system.
<~Dan> How are the attributes and skills rated? What’s the scale?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> If I understand the question, the attributes are on a scale of 0-100. Humans, for example, have a minimum Physique of 20 and a maximum of 80. At level 1 or 2 modifiers are quite minor: +2 or +3, but at upper levels they can go as high as +29 or higher. Also, I was misleading when I said the skill modifiers are applied to the stats, they aren’t not
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> directly. Every attempt, whether skill test or combat, is effort cross-referenced against challenge. For example, when attempting to picka lock, a thief’s Dexterity is crossed referenced against the challenge level of the lock itself. When attacking, the attacker’s to-hit is crossed against the defender’s defense stat (Combat stat vs. Combat stat).
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Anyway, this crossing results in a base chance to succeed. It is this base chance that the skills modifiers are applied to. Then the player must roll the chance to succeed or less on d%.
<~Dan> So I imagine that there’s a table involved?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> It’s called The Matrix, and it is used for skill tests and combat. It’s actually quit smooth once you get used to using it and keep notes so you don’t have to keep going back to it for every attempt.
<~Dan> How does combat work?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> It is based on the combat Exchanged, so named because it is based on an exchanged of blows – you swing at him, he swings at you. Your modified chance to hit a particular opponent is establish by the GM and told to you to write down. You use this as your chance to do damage each exchange until that opponent is defeated, the a new modified chance to
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> do damage is determined IF your new opponent is substantially different is stats and modifiers than the first. And so on.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> …exchange, not excnaged…
<~Dan> How is damage determined?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> I warned you it was complex…heheh.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Damage is straight – each weapon does a certain die or combination of dice each hit, modified by the attacker’s strength if melee, or range if a ranged weapon. Then th defender rolls the Abrob dice for his armor. Anything left over is applied to the defender himself. When damage exceeds Constituion, you must roll an unconsciousness saving throw,
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> failing that a death saving throw. This is simplified, of course. There are different rates of daage for strngling attacks, hand-to-hand combat, damage from falling, etc.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Absorb dice for armor. Sorry.
<~Dan> Does degree of success affect damage?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Not unless you roll a critical hit. There’s a whole table for that.
<~Dan> Ah… And how are criticals determined?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> A roll of 01 is a critical success, 00 is critical failure. The critical hit and critical miss tables ARE based on degree (the difference between your chance to hit and your actual roll.)
<~Dan> I’m not sure I follow you there… If a 01 is a critical, how does degree of success matter?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> A hit is just a hit, but a critical hit brings an added benefit for the attacker. It might be additional damage, but might also be something like a broken weapon or shield, knocking the defender down, etc. The degree of extra affect from the hit depends on just how decisive your critical hit was. At its most extreme, the defender can even be
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> dismembered or even decapitated.
<~Dan> (Howdy, FreeGamer!)
<~Dan> Ah, so the chance of a critical hit is flat, but the degree of the critical is variable?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Yes. We could have gone the other way, but we like the excitement a critical hit generates in the players, and we wantd the result of that to bring additional suspense.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Our thought wre always on the role-playing aspect, and not just the mechanics.
<~Dan> How deadly is combat in this game?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Well, that’s another reason we call it Advanced Fantasy Role-Playing. Without armor you’re pretty squishy at almost any level. Armor it pretty darn good, but it damaged every time it is hit. You will do minor damage to most armored opponents until you hack your way through their armor, breaking it by doing enough damage to do so. Then your opponent
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> gets mowed down pretty quickly. Of course all this presumes a flurry of blows. If you take an Exchange or to to aim, you can call your shot, meaning you can aim at and deliberately hit an unprotected part of the defender’s body But you can’t do anything – attack or defend – while aiming.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Hey, Geno!
<~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)
<~Dan> You’ve mentioned levels several times. Is this a level-based game?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Only so far as the skills. Each skill has a level and each is advanced through levels independently of the others. It’s really up to the player which skills he wants to spend his XP on to advance. It’s always a dilemma – do I want to up my swordmansip level so I can hit more often in combat, or do I want to increase my tracking skill so I can track
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> enemies more effectively. You rarely have enough XP at the end of an adventure to advance more than one skill more than 1 level.
<~Dan> Ah, I see. Sorry, I misunderstood you on that point.
<~Dan> What game systems, if any, particularly inspired your game design?
<+FreeGamer> Is all advancement based on your skills, or are there other things you can spend your XP on?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Well D&D, of course. Also, there was a James Bond 007 RPG that intriduced the concept of bidding a certain number of skill points in a contest against another player – whoever bid the most got the modifiers. This once started out similar, but we sinced pulled back a little on the whole bidding thing. I also liked certain aspects of Runequest, and
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Avalon Hill had a game call Powers and Perils which taught me not to shy away from complexity in a game. Not that it had anything to do with this game, but I was a BIG BIG fan of the old TSR Gamma World game because the system was so open to home spun modification and expansion. Those are some of my inspirations.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Lassek!)
<~Dan> Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP: Did you see FreeGamer’s question up there?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> FreeGamer – Not, just advancing skills.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> There are other modifiers, but only Skills can advance through levels.
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+FreeGamer> I assume you can be a spellcaster. How does that advance?
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Yes. Non-magic users also have mana. Theirs is considered a measure of luck, or favor of the god, or whatever you wish. On a failed roll, the player can asked the GM, “How much mana would I need to make that a siccess?” If the answer is within their mana rserve and the olayer want sto expend it, he may make the roll a success. Understanding of
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> coure=se that this can only be done until mana runs out and needs to be replenished again. This must be done judisciouly, because once you’re out of mana, not only can you no longer turn failure to success, but NONE OF YOUR MODIFIERS apply any nore until you replenish you mana to a minimum of 5.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Spell casters have a skill – Magecraft for magic-users and diecraft for cleric-types. As these skills are advanced their mana reserves increase and their overall spll-casting power and success increases (through modifiers again, of course.)
<+FreeGamer> Makes sense.
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> I also want to mention for everyone to keep an eye on Kickstarter. We will be starting a campaign there soon to raise money for artwork for our rule books. That’s the last step we need before release.!
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Thanks, Dan, for inviting me. I hope everyone had fun, learned a lot, and found interest in our games. (Even you lurkers out there…heheheh!)
<~Dan> Thanks for joining us, Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP!
<~Dan> Reminder: Tips are welcome at (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe ! Anything’s appreciated! 🙂
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> I’d like a transcript of this chat, if that’s okay. I might want to reprint parts of it in updates to our Kickstarter as it proceeds.
<~Dan> Sure! If you’ll give me just a minute, I”ll get the log posted and link you!
<+Kevin_Paul_Tracy_|_FRP> Cool! Thanks again, everyone! Bye!