<+BillR> My intention was to create a game where visualization and narration were aided by a concrete system that told the players
<+BillR> and the GM what had happened
<+BillR> I wanted to minimize abstraction that did not greatly ease learning or sped up play. I thought I could model what was happening without so much abstraction or conflating one thing with another.
<+BillR> . Just as important, I thought I could do this while not making the game difficult or slowing it down. For around forty years, players and GMs have thought I succeeded. (Done)
<~Dan> Thanks, BillR! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Does the game have a setting, stated or implied?
<+BillR> There is a setting on my website, the Black Mountain District, where the modules I am doing are set
<+BillR> It is in a dwarf kingdom with a large human population.
<~Dan> What’s the genre?
<+BillR> Fantasy. But I have run an SF setting years ago and an Old west campaign
<~Dan> Is the game designed with any genre in mind?
<+BillR> The Black Mountain District campaign involves factions in dwarf society
<+BillR> More sword and sorcery than Tolkienn
<+BillR> More Fafhrd and the Mouser than Connan
— ~Dan nods
<+BillR> There are rules for social interaction but we mostly roleplay talking to one another by talking to one anoother
<+BillR> But that’s a matter of style. The rules have been playtested, I just don’t use them.
<+Dan_> Sorry! Lost my connection.
<~Dan> Last thing I saw:
<~Dan> <+BillR> But that’s a matter of style. The rules have been playtested, I just don’t use them.
<+danhunsaker> You missed nothing.
<+BillR> The GM can tailor the magic system by either having lots of power-storage devices available or not.
<~Dan> So the Black Mountain District is dwarf-centric?
<+BillR> You run into more humans than dwarfs but lots of dwarfs
<+BillR> The Silk Road setting is human-only for player-characters, so fa
<~Dan> Ah, I see.
<~Dan> What is the Silk Road setting?
<+BillR> It is central Asia on the same “planet” as the District.
<+BillR> Lots of caravans and banditry
<+BillR> I ran in the District for a long time but my campaign is on the Silk Road now
<+BillR> The good thing about it, or one good thing, is that player characters can come from just abut all of Eurasia
<~Dan> Is it an alternate Earth, then?
<+BillR> Yes, the locals call the planet “rocks”
<~Dan> Heh. Nice. 🙂
<+danhunsaker> This planet rocks!
— ~Dan golfclaps
<+BillR> A little more pessimistic than “earth”
— ~Dan nods
<+BillR> An example of the concrete nature of the system:
<+BillR> When an attack against you fails, you know whether the attacker failed to make contact or whether they didn’t defeat your armor. One is a miss, the other is a hit without damage. Even if a player is only narrating to herself, this aids visualization.
<~Dan> Before we delve too deeply into the system itself, do you happen to have a character sheet that we can view?
<+BillR> Another: When you take damage, you are bruised or bleeding or burned. To invert a common phrase, HP are meat. This helps you know your character’s emotional reaction to events.
<+BillR> character sheet coming up
<~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)
<+GenoFoxx> (hiya Dan)
<+BillR> Uploaded file: https://uploads.kiwiirc.com/files/dee02e40e89788497fb2297ed6f09a35/pasted.txt
<+BillR> That’s the character sheet that is free on Drivethru. My players usually make their own
<~Dan> Looking it over here…
<~Dan> What is the attribute scale?
<+BillR> Attributes are rather large. 18 or so is about average for a player-character
<+BillR> Except for size, that varies by species and gender
<~Dan> What is Stability? Sanity?
<+BillR> Stability resists the power of the Undead. NPCs also use sanity for morale.
<+BillR> In some campaigns, player characters take morale rolls too, by agreement.
<+BillR> Talent is the ability to generate magical power.
<~Dan> That was my next question. 🙂
<+BillR> Charisma attracts the attention of the gods
<+BillR> Awareness is quick reactions to situations and events.
<+BillR> The motto “roll initiative” is often replaced by “roll Awareness”
<~Dan> I notice that you distinguish between Agility and Dexterity. Kudos on that.
<+BillR> Otherwise, Dex is too I’mportant.
— ~Dan nods
<+BillR> Also, size strength ration impacts agility but an old fat man like me can have quick hands
<~Dan> Heh. True enough. 🙂
<+BillR> although I don’t, to judge by the typoes
<~Dan> What does Size affect?
<+BillR> Bigger is easier to hit and has some problems with certain skills
<~Dan> Does it offer any positives?
<~Dan> (Bigger, I mean.)
<+BillR> For strength, the number rolled or assigned is averaged with the character’s size and a bonus for Constitution is added.
<+BillR> But being strong for your size is sometimes more important than raw strength
<+BillR> Also, bigger can intimidate smaller but my players never seem to fall for that.
<~Dan> Is this a class-based system?
<+BillR> Players can choose a Profession, which is a strict class, or two Occupations, which are more limited and looser.
<+BillR> Elves, damn them, can have two professions, because they live so long
<~Dan> Heh. Cool. 🙂
<~Dan> What is the mechanical effect of a Profession?
<+BillR> and a dwaf ‘can have a profession and an occupation.
<+BillR> An Elite Warrior is a person who trained since childhood. They are two steps ahead of an ordinary Figher, the equivalent Occupation
<+BillR> But a fighter can also have a mundane job or be a Half-Mage or Hedge-Priest or have a bunch of streetwiseskillls
<~Dan> Half-Mage and Hedge-Priest also being Occupations?
<+BillR> Elite Warriors are knighs, samurai, kyarchia in India, Dwarf Regula As and so forth.
<+BillR> Yes, those are occupations.
<+BillR> several steps behind Mages and Initiates, the Professions.
<~Dan> How many Professions and Occupations are there?
<+BillR> Adventuring Progessions are Elite Warrior, Initiate, Mage and specialist in an environment, like Ranger
<+BillR> for some outdoor environment, or some underground or city environmment
<+BillR> But you run into master smiths and others whose profession is not that of an adventurer
<+BillR> Adventuring occupations: Fighter, half-mage, hedge-priest, inhabitants of various environments. And lots of non-adventuiring
<~Dan> Do Professions and Occupations determine skill selection
<+BillR> They get automatic skills foor their profession or occupation but they can also get a la carte skills
<+BillR> I haven’t been saying (done)
<~Dan> That’s okay. It’s just a way to indicate that you’re done with an extended answer.
<~Dan> Looks like this is a level-based system as well?
<+BillR> I have run a level-less campaign and I discuss them in my GM guide but the base system has levels.
<~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
<~Dan> What effects do levels have?
<+BillR> Spell-casters get 4% increase every level on their base chance to do spells. They have more power and
<+BillR> they renew their power more quickly.
<+BillR> You have a base chance to do a spell and get a number of rolls #roll, to succeed. So a 4% increase is valuable.
<~Dan> (Welcome ot #randomworlds, kiwi_31! You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan)
<+BillR> When you reach 80% you get more rolls.
<+BillR> and don’t increase your base chance
<+BillR> Others get harder to hit and hit more often. No one gets more HP
<~Dan> Can you describe the system’s core mechanic?
<+BillR> Skills and spells: You have to roll under your % chance and get a number of rolls that reflects how difficult the task is
<+BillR> If it is really difficult, you may have to succed twice in two tries
<~Dan> Are Attributes the bases of Skills?
<+BillR> Yes, the attributes do a lot.
<+BillR> At high level, that 4% per level somewhat drowns them out.
— ~Dan nods
<+BillR> Combat is done with D20 rolls because too many things have to be resolved at once to use the skills system
<~Dan> How many rolls are required for an average-difficulty task?
<+BillR> three or four is average, more is a gimme and GMs often don’t reqire a roll
<+BillR> The combat roll is based on a number the player has on the character sheet that represents
<+BillR> the character’s skill, the difficulty of using the weapon and maybe a spell on the weapon.
<+BillR> You roll a D20, add that number and the GM adds a number representing how hard the target is to hit
<+BillR> 21 – 30 is a hit; 31 – 40 is a solid hit, and 41 + is a critical
<+kiwi_31> kiwi_31: What happens with a critical hit?
<~Dan> kiwi_31: Please set your name with the /nick command. Thanks! 🙂
<+BillR> Maximum damage, armor may be avoided, hit location and some terrible thing happens, according to the GMs
<+kiwi_31> I tried, but it says Nickname must not start with a number
<+BillR> And damage may increase above theoretical max
<~Dan> kiwi_31: What are you trying to make your nick?
<+kiwi_31> Bill E
<~Dan> Oh, hey, Bill!
<~Dan> Try typing /nick BillE
<~Dan> There you go. It doesn’t accept spaces.
<~Dan> (BillR, BillE is tomorrow’s Q&A guest. 🙂 )
<~Dan> (Glad to have you here, BillE!)
<+BillE> Sorry for interrupting the conversation. Onward!
<~Dan> No worries!
<~Dan> Is damage randomized?
<+BillR> Interrupting with a relevant question isn’t interrupting
<~Dan> Indeed so! ^
<+BillR> Yes. Tried not randomizing but players like rolling lots of dice.
<+BillR> Kids hwo hate math love rolling D4 + N squared foor lightning bolt damage
<+BillE> Can a fighter be insta-killed by a single blow?
<~Dan> Good question!
<+BillR> Anyone can be put below zero and wind up dying with a single blow but it is hard to die if your side
<+BillR> survives and helps you.
<+BillE> What type of fantasy subgenre do you feel your game best emulates?
<~Dan> So I take it that HP doesn’t increase with level?
<+BillR> Religious types and mages can heal and elves can hook you up to vegetation that heals you
<+BillR> HP = half of your size plus your whole con.
<+BillR> best emulates grey mouser/fafthrd and similar sword and sorcery
<+danhunsaker> Are there ways to boost Con, then?
<+BillR> Well, becoming a vampire is a bit extreme but that would do it.
<+BillR> A rigorous program of exercise and healthy fod has been propsed
<~Dan> You’ve have to be a con artist.
<+BillR> but the players rejected it as unrealistic
<+BillE> Magic in sword & sorcery stories often involves rituals and doesn’t emphasize offensive magic attacks. Does that describe your system as well?
<+BillR> not as much as I might like. The players like lightning bolt and flame strike and all that. Still, I try to keep the mages
<+BillR> power starved by not having storage devices common.
<~Dan> Did I miss BillR’s response re: offensive magic?
<+BillE> Is spellcasting fatiguing?
<+BillE> Dan, yes you did.
<+danhunsaker> (Dan: You’re gonna need to get a log from my end, I think. 😀 )
<+BillR> Runing out of power is the problem, not physical fatigue.
<~Dan> (Perhaps so!)
<+BillE> How do you run out of power?
<+danhunsaker> Or perhaps better, how do you get/recover power?
<+BillR> By casting spells and using it up. You have an amount of power determined by your Talent (an attribute) and your level
<+BillR> You recover power with a ritual at a set time each day
<+BillE> What types of magic are there?
<+BillR> If you have power-storage devices you can do more
<~Dan> And what can magic accomplish at the high end of the power scale?
<+BillR> long answer coming
<~Dan> (Let’s have a question pause with that in mind.)
<+BillR> all four elements, each a separate school, body magic, verbal (reading scrolls,command spells, power words, song spells
<+BillR> written (creating scrolls, signs, runes) sensory magic, illusions, magic directly interacting with Power
<+BillR> At the high end: earthquake, firestorm a few city blocks, tornado, lightning, the best power word is probably “ignore”
<+BillR> and then you have to do something while being ignored.
<+BillR> “I;m not here” is a really good song to learn
<+BillE> Cool. Do the various races use magic differently or have affinities with specific styles?
<+BillR> boringly enough, dwarfs and trolls have an affinity with earth magic, elves with living things. there is a schoolof forest
<+BillR> magic only available to elves
<+BillE> Affinities in extra spells & higher bonuses, or restricted to only those races?
<~Dan> Speaking of races, what races are available to play?
<+BillR> A few earth spells not known to others for dwarfs and a different set for trolls
<+BillR> humans, dwarfs, hobbits, elves are commonly played, goblins, and hobgoblins have been played
<+BillR> A giant was played once
<+BillR> No, he was a Titan
<+BillE> You probably already answered this, but is it a class & level system?
<+BillR> I played a troll once
<+BillR> It has restrictive classes called Professions and less restrictive classes called Occupations. Occupations can be combined
<+BillE> Such as?
<+BillR> Levels are the norm but I have run a campaign without them.
<~Dan> BillE: I’ll copy/paste that info for you via PM.
<+BillR> A fighter isn[‘t as good, starting out, as an Elite Warrior but can also be a half-mage while an elite warrior can’t
<+BillR> Because the ew has spent his entire youth training foor battle
<+BillR> or the fighter can have a mundane job to make a living but the ew can’t
<+danhunsaker> Some acronyms are a bit unfortunate…
— ~Dan chuckles
<+BillR> Elite Warrior is more intimidating than ew, I suppose
<+danhunsaker> How does character creation work? Is it point-buy, rolling dice, something else?
<+BillE> What are some of the inspirations for your game, as far as other RPGs are concerned, if any?
<+BillR> The campaigns running now are using roll and assign. There’s a point-buy system that was used for awhile and
<+BillR> is still good for creating tailored NPCs and straight dice rolls were what we started with.
<+BillR> Early D&D, where none of us, well one of us, ran rules as written. And RuneQuest and years of playing with C.J. Carella
<+BillE> Did anyone ever play early D&D by the RAW? Not our group!
<+BillR> in Unisystem and whatever he was playtesting at the time and he influenced my game, which he plays and runs.
<+BillR> My friend Simon came damn close to RaW D&D and it was a great campaign.
<~Dan> That’s high praise to me, as Unisystem is one of my favorite systems.
<~Dan> And CJC is an awesome guy.
<+BillR> Mine too, playtesting Buffy was a hoot.
<+BillE> Back to combat, how is weapon damage determined?
<+BillR> long answer coming
<+BillR> Impact weapons (staffs, clubs, that guy who was just standing there, improvised stuff)
<+BillR> Roll damage, subtract armor, apply damage
<+BillR> Chopping damage (axes, some polearms)
<+BillR> Roll damage, subtract armor, double the result, apply damage
<+BillR> Blunt weapons (maces, warhammers, some poearms)
<+BillR> Roll damage, subtract half the armor value, apply damage
<+BillR> cutting weapons (sword edges, knife edges)
<+BillR> Roll damage, subtract 1.5 the armor value, triple the result, apply damage
<+BillR> AP point: the same as blunt except for solids and criticals
<+BillR> stabbing point: Same as cutting except for solids and criticals
<+BillR> No looking up on charts needed
<+BillE> Are certain weapon types more/less effective against different types of armor? For example, blunt weapons being effective vs chainmail.
<+BillR> It works out that way
<~Dan> CJCarella sends his regrets, btw. He wishes he could be here this evening.
<+BillR> I may do a HEMA edition where I go into more detail but my players think this is enough
<+BillE> Kind of reminds me of Harnmaster, in a good way.
<+BillR> I figured he’d come if he could.
<+BillR> Historical European Martial Arts
<~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
<+BillR> Lots of great Youtube videos.
<+danhunsaker> (Oh yeah, most folks don’t have â on their keyboards to type Hârnmaster properly…)
<~Dan> (Well, no Hârn, no foul.)
<+BillR> I saw some of the setting for Harn but never saw the rules
<+danhunsaker> Time for my favorite question!
<+danhunsaker> What is your LEAST favorite part of Glory Road?
<+BillR> That I could never unify the two event-resolution methods. One guy who runs the game in Europe w
<~Dan> (Cut off at Europe w)
<+BillR> wanted everything to use the D% method but I could never get that to work
<+BillR> and getting everything to use D20 doesn’t appeal.
<+BillR> I really like setting the degree of difficulty with the #rolls
<~Dan> Where did you come up with that idea? I’m not sure that I’ve seen it before.
<+BillR> Of course, he couldn’t get the % method to work for several players and NPCs having to determine what happened
<+BillE> Just bought your game and am downloading it now…
<+BillR> Wow, thanks
<+BillR> I came up with task rolls gradually.
<+BillR> first it was a % roll with the degree of difficulty represented by subtracting from the chance
<+BillR> Then I hit upon the #rolls method
<+BillR> I discuss converting the number of rolls to one roll using a calculator but no one has ever bothered.
<+BillR> It is in the book that I discuss it.
— ~Dan nods
<~Dan> Does the game include a bestiary?
<+danhunsaker> (This one is Dan’s favorite question. 🙂 )
<+BillR> That’s a separate book, “Encounters.”
<~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+BillR> There is also a very short GM guide, which is a collection of essayus
<~Dan> (Howdy, Viktyr!)
<+BillR> and, so far, two adventures, each with an OSR version as well as the original Glory Road version
<+BillR> I will have another adventure, in two versions, up this week and then I am doing the memoirs of a Goblin player-charactr
<+BillR> named Kurnch Muskrat
<~Dan> Nice. 🙂
<~Dan> Usual reminder to folks: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Anything’s appreciated! 🙂
<+BillR> Well, I have a dog to walk and sleep to get. I will drop by soon, perhaps to ask Bill E some esstions tomorrow
<~Dan> Thanks for joining us, BillR!
<+BillE> Have a good night!
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!