12:58:17 <+AndrewV> Hi, I’m Andrew Valkauskas, president of Pendelhaven publishing and author and designer of the Fate of the Norns universe and games. We have a line of RPG books, novels, runes, and mythology books, with much more to come.
12:58:30 <+AndrewV> Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok is the flagship game with several books, sagas and expansions. It’s a Viking based RPG set in the 10th century historically, and during Ragnarok, mythically. It’s heavily researched and authentic, making historical sagas and the eddas canon in our world.
12:58:52 <+AndrewV> The RPG uses runes instead of dice, changing the game paradigm from “did the dice let me do it?” to “here are my options and let’s see *how* I want to do this”. The rune bag is customized to be your hit-points, powers, skills and lifepath. Symbols are tied to abilities and powers and a stat tells you how many runes you get in your rune bag, and another stat t
12:59:10 <+AndrewV> tells you how many runes you draw when you want to make a skill check or start a new round of combat. These stats are a point-buy and go up as you level up. Summary here: http://fateofthenorns.com/howtoplay/
12:59:30 <+AndrewV> We have a lot of videos on many of our games on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyDEGDHKZtkQR7MrBBPYMnw
12:59:58 <+AndrewV> We’ve run 12 kickstarters since 2012. Other games are a trick-taking card game called Gulveig, and a collaborative story-telling game called Vanagard. http://www.fateofthenorns.com/WP/
13:00:14 <+AndrewV> This year the Fate of the Norns universe expands beyond the Viking words and into the Celtic kingdoms. The Children of Eriu is this stand alone RPG that seamlessly integrates into the existing RPG network of books. The Kickstarter is down to the last 12 hours https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/avalkauskas/the-children-of-eriu
13:00:18 <+AndrewV> (done)
13:00:44 <~Dan> Thanks, AndrewV! The floor is open to questions!
13:01:14 <~Dan> How do you mesh the cosmologies of Norns and Eriu?
13:02:40 <+AndrewV> When you look at polytheistic belief throughout history, humanity has been constantly exposed to other gods and rituals via travel, conquest and simply the passage of time. In the FOTN universe characters and NPCs are all very open minded to other modes of belief, and many keep a rollodex of gods in their back piockets for certain needs
13:03:07 <+AndrewV> As a result, you can have more than a single death god/goddess and have multiple destinations for the soul after death
13:03:28 <~Dan> So the Celts acknowledge the Norse gods, and vice versa?
13:03:31 <+AndrewV> same with “cleric” classes, they do not represent a single deity, but can represent up to 4 different ones
13:03:59 <+AndrewV> yes there is an acknowledgement, but that doesn’t mean acceptance
13:04:24 <~Dan> Crap… brb. Can you take over, Cegorach?
13:04:40 <~Dan> (Sorry, the boss is calling me away. 😦 )
13:05:11 <+AndrewV> Even without another pantheon, just with norse you had seveal death deities (Hel, Odin, Freya, Ran) and several destinations (Niflheim, Valhalla, Folkvangar, etc)
13:05:13 <&Cegorach> danhunsaker: can you, I didn’t pay attention. 😀
13:05:23 <+danhunsaker> Cegorach: On it.
13:06:02 <+AndrewV> This makes for a very rich and diverse universe with some very interesting philosophical discussions happening on certain quests
13:06:38 <+AndrewV> Dan #2 does that answer the question?
13:06:47 <+danhunsaker> I think so, yeah. 🙂
13:08:04 <+danhunsaker> You mentioned that this is a standalone RPG that nonetheless slots in seamlessly with the rest of FotN. Is there any difference in the mechanics?
13:09:14 <+AndrewV> The Children of Eriu is RGS3, which is an evolution from RGS2 which was used from 2012 to 2019 (and RGS1 from circa 2006-2011). Each is backwards compatible with the previous editions, but each iteration adds streamlining to the game system
13:10:31 <+AndrewV> The big add in RGS3 are the social conflict mechanics that integrate with physical combat so you can have scenes like a zoro duel where you can taunt and mock your opponent in between blows. It also adds emotional conditions to characters, so you have a character that feels and their condition does have in game effects
13:10:34 <+danhunsaker> So the explanation in the How To Play you linked, above, should work for all three versions of the engine, then.
13:11:45 <+AndrewV> RGS2 added the Void rune, which is a rune that binds to your specialization, this wasn’t in RGS1. So you can play an RGS1 character at a table where everyone is using RGS3, everything works, but you just lack some of the bells and whistles of the newer system
13:12:37 <+AndrewV> that “How to Play” is RGS, since the fundamentals haven’t changed
13:13:12 <+danhunsaker> So what has changed between RGS2 and RGS3, then?
13:14:35 <+danhunsaker> Oh, you already answered that. Missed it somehow.
13:15:25 <+AndrewV> As I mentioned above, we added social combat and emotional conditions, we also streamlined combat to make it faster, but also presented combat for both theatre-of-the-mind and also using minis. In the previous Core Rulebook, we had rules for minis, and then added theatre of the mind with the first expansion book Denizens of the North
13:15:43 <+AndrewV> The Children of Eriu gives you both
13:15:49 <+AndrewV> right out of the gate
13:16:25 <+danhunsaker> *nod*
13:16:59 <+AndrewV> Power descriptions have also been refined to follow a more uniform approach, making things easier to remember and execute (polish the power descriptions that were a little rough around the edges)
13:17:25 <+danhunsaker> Can you describe the Celtic setting a bit, and how it differs from the Norn?
13:19:31 <+AndrewV> The 6 Celtic kingdoms are in the Western reaches of Midgard (realm of mankind). They have their own cultures, but they have been disrupted or in some cases married to 2 other dominant cultures: the Viking invaders and the Christian monks. With this strife, the gods have awakened (Tuatha de Danann) as have many dark creatures from the past ages (Fomorians etc)
13:20:21 <+AndrewV> So in the land of men, there is war, and in the Otherworld, the gods have renewed purpose and their new agendas
13:20:55 <+AndrewV> Faery folk play a large role, and the world has a pretty extensive bestiary
13:21:13 <+danhunsaker> Dan-brb will be happy to hear about that!
13:22:53 <+AndrewV> Some of the intro adventures give you a plethora of choices: do you unite the Hibernian clans to repel the Vikings? Do you join the Vikings in opposing the coming of the Christian White God from the south? Do you deal with the threat of the fomorians? Do you seek to walk the path of saints who seek the Grail?
13:23:11 <+AndrewV> Several heroes such as Queen Medb and King Arthur make a return from the dead, and rally many to their banners
13:23:43 <+AndrewV> The gods and faery folk also have their agendas that require the assistance of mortal heroes
13:25:40 <+danhunsaker> So lots of story seeds, then.
13:26:13 <+AndrewV> yes and many playable sagas as well
13:27:15 <+danhunsaker> Do you have a character sheet we could look at?
13:28:00 <+AndrewV> The one for Children of Eriu isn’t designed yet, but we have the Raganrok one on our website as a free download http://www.fateofthenorns.com/WP/
13:28:59 <+danhunsaker> Gimme a moment to pull that up.
13:29:37 <+AndrewV> more specifically http://www.fateofthenorns.com/WP/portfolio/downloads-2/
13:31:10 <+danhunsaker> Looks to be designed to emulate artwork of the era and region.
13:32:40 <+AndrewV> Yup, we take great care with the aesthetics of our books
13:33:00 <+AndrewV> sample :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A6ouWJRl9k
13:35:51 <+danhunsaker> kiwi_15: Did you have any questions?
13:37:17 <+danhunsaker> What’s DF and PF on the sheet?
13:37:39 <+AndrewV> damage factor and protection factor
13:37:59 <+danhunsaker> Ah, figured it would be obvious in hindsight.
13:39:13 <+danhunsaker> What’s the Metas section for?
13:39:28 <+AndrewV> For those who want to dip their toes into our RPG, “Fafnir’s Treasure” is (more than) a quickstart, with some lore, light rules, a main quest and a sandbox village containing side quests
13:39:46 <+AndrewV> meta tags, when you combine runes, how does the power change? See how to play webpage
13:40:15 <+danhunsaker> Ah. Missed that part, too. 😀
13:41:24 <+AndrewV> When you draw your runes, you have many options on how you will use them during your turn
13:41:25 <+LaggingDice> I have a silly question. I often evaluate games (video and tabletop) on a three-star rating system. Does it have elves? Does it have swords? Does it have pvp? You get a star for each answer that is a yes. How many stars does CoE get? 🙂
13:41:41 <+AndrewV> 3
13:42:26 <+LaggingDice> Good answer! Thank you Andrew.
13:43:01 <+AndrewV> Elves: they are called the Aos Si, Swords: both ancient relics like Caliburn to those made using the extansive crafting system, PvP: some philosophical discussions can devolve to violence 😉
13:44:10 <+LaggingDice> I get to craft swords? Ow, right in my wallet, Andrew, I thought you were cool.
13:44:43 <+AndrewV> There are schools of crafting, allowing specializations as well as collaboration between crafters
13:45:18 <+danhunsaker> The Kickstarter has a separate book for folks who just want the benefits of all your Celtic research. This information is also in the game book?
13:45:21 <+AndrewV> in most RPGs its an afterthought, but given the importance in the Viking sagas, we built this up with as much love as the magic systems
13:45:38 <+AndrewV> yes the game book includes the content in the Celtic Cyclopedia
13:46:04 <+danhunsaker> I imagine you’ve got a bibliography or similar in one or both?
13:47:01 <+AndrewV> yup, we will. Same depth as Creatures from Fairy-Tale and Myth (bibliography PER creature) and my Illuminated Edda (3 years of translation and research)
13:47:42 <+LaggingDice> Could you tell more about Aos Si? Are they playable? What kinds are there? What are they about?
13:48:10 <&Silverlion> Why does it come with Futhark runes, but not Druid wood ones?
13:49:00 <+AndrewV> The RGS system requires 24 unique symbols broken down into 3 coloured groups of 8. You can use Celtic Oghams instead so long as you follow that formula
13:49:23 <&Silverlion> Ah. Cool.
13:49:31 <+AndrewV> But since the Vikings went *everywhere* we can justify the re-use of the runes we’ve already manufactured for this and other Pantheon expansions
13:49:57 <+LaggingDice> So I could use the two bags of runes I have for Ragnarok to use with this game? Cool, cool.
13:50:59 <&Silverlion> I was curious, and yes the Vikings did.
13:51:50 <+AndrewV> The Aos Si are kith and kin to the Alfar (svart and lios). They have a similar tribal organization (light and dark) but don’t think romanticized courts. These are realms in the Otherworld from which they draw their power. As primordial beings, they cannot have their fate manipulated by anyone, not even the gods or Norns. Some rise up to demi-god status.
13:52:27 <+AndrewV> They are not a playable race at the moment, but will be in my next game called War of Shadow (2020 kickstarter)
13:52:55 <+AndrewV> War of Shadow explores the 3rd age of Ragnarok and is a Viking horror game
13:53:25 <+danhunsaker> So what are the playable races in CoE?
13:55:12 <+AndrewV> humans, but you can pair with mavens, fairies that become your otherworldy companions giving you added benefits. You can also unlock Aos Si blood in your ancestry. You get so many choices during character creation, that multiple races really isn’t necessary like in other RPGs.
13:55:52 <+AndrewV> The lifepath, archetype, powers, skills give you so much customization that you will forget there are other races 😉
13:56:01 <+danhunsaker> I suspected as much, or I would have asked sooner.
13:57:10 <+LaggingDice> War of Shadow sounds awesome.
13:58:06 <+AndrewV> War of Shadow is a game with it’s own sentient soul and has started to design itself with me as a horrified spectator
13:58:36 <+danhunsaker> Those are often the best kinds.
13:59:26 <+AndrewV> I suspect it will support GM’less play as well as classical play
14:00:09 <+danhunsaker> How many folks did you have on your research team? Or was it just yourself?
14:00:10 <+AndrewV> It’s been in design for 3 years and has seen quite the zerg-tech-level evolution
14:00:35 <+AndrewV> CoE was 2 super knowledgeable authors + myself
14:00:58 <+AndrewV> Ragnarok was mostly me, but the last few adventures and novels were by other game designers and authors
14:01:23 <+AndrewV> The Pendelhaven team has grown a lot
14:01:45 <+danhunsaker> What made you choose authenticity as a foundation for your games?
14:02:42 <+AndrewV> I found it lacking, a niche that hadn’t been filled by anyone else. I’m also super interested in history, mythology and anthropology, so it seemed like a natural fit. My bookshelves creak under many books on the subject matter
14:03:06 <+AndrewV> It has also opened the educational market for us, which is a nice addition
14:04:22 <+danhunsaker> Bit of a silly question, here. When _is_ it Keltic versus Seltic? 😀
14:06:03 <+AndrewV> Depends on the language being used, in French is Seltic and Gaelic and English it’s a hard “K”. I’m not an expert on linguistics and especially not pronunciation, so take my answer with a grain of salt. We did hire someone to create a Gaelic pronunciuation guide that will be in the book.
14:06:43 <+danhunsaker> Yeah, I’ve got to say the authenticity is a big draw for me, for largely the same reasons, though my bookshelf is virtual.
14:08:49 <+AndrewV> I will have to go, but I think we did a good pass in the last 90 minutes? If anyone has questions, you can drop by our forums (http://www.fateofthenorns.com/phpBB3/index.php) for general questions or drop a comment on the Kickstarter if it’s related to Children of Eriu. Thanks for the questions and moderation Dan!
14:09:03 <+danhunsaker> Of course!
14:09:26 <+danhunsaker> I did have one last question, if you can – what was your least favorite part of CoE?
14:09:51 <+AndrewV> lol proofreading, shoot me now
14:09:59 <+danhunsaker> Heh. Fair.
14:10:10 <+danhunsaker> Thanks for joining us, AndrewV!
14:10:19 <+danhunsaker> As always, tips are welcome at https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe
14:10:32 <+AndrewV> have a great day everyone!
14:10:55 <+danhunsaker> Now I’ll just get this log copied into an email to Dan so he can post it!