<+GKG_Alan> I’m Alan Bahr! I operate Gallant Knight Games alongside my wife and our awesome freelancers! I’m here to talk about FROM HELL’S HEART, our new GMless storygame about braving the cruel sea!
<+GKG_Alan> (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/303794/From-Hells-Heart?src=newest)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/303794/From-Hells-Heart?src=newest
<+GKG_Alan> (Link: https://gallant-knight-games.myshopify.com/products/from-hells-heart)https://gallant-knight-games.myshopify.com/products/from-hells-heart
<+GKG_Alan> PDF at both DTRPG and the GKG Webstore, as well as print preorder at the GKG webstore!
<+GKG_Alan> I will answer nearly any question about From Hell’s Heart, GKG, or why I’m drinking whiskey like it’s water tonight!
<+GKG_Alan> Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.
<~Dan> Thanks, GKG_Alan! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> What is the game about?
<+GKG_Alan> it’s a game about a crew of a sailing ship, taking on a terrible voyage and trying to overcome the sea!
<+GKG_Alan> the sea is a relentless foe and you have to work as a team against it
<~Dan> What era?
<+GKG_Alan> It’s inspired by media like Master & Commander, Moby Dick, Mutiny Aboard the HMS Bounty, etc.
<+GKG_Alan> late Age of Sail
<~Dan> Do the PCs serve any nation by default?
<+GKG_Alan> Nope, the ship can sail under any or no flag
<+GKG_Alan> The game is only 40 pages and it’s very narrative.
<~Dan> How does the game work without a GM?
<+GKG_Alan> so there’s a token mechanic, which represents the strength of the surging sea.
<+GKG_Alan> As you resolve tasks and vie for narrative control, complications add to the sea
<+GKG_Alan> and there’s a tipping point (based on the number of players) where the sea overtakes your ship and you all go down to Davy Jones.
<+GKG_Alan> so as you attempt to resolve complications the tokens flow back and forth between the sea and the ship (represented by the players)
<~Dan> Hmm. Can you give us an example of that taking place?
<+GKG_Alan> sure. So the basic resolution is a d6 pool
<+GKG_Alan> if you suffer a complication (based on die results), you have to narrate what went wrong and then the players lose a Story Point and it becomes a point of Ruin in the Sea’s Token Bowl (I’m using overall terms here obviously)
<+GKG_Alan> So you might be rolling after a scene where you climb the rigging to attempt to secure some mainsails, and you roll to determine who gets to control the outcome
<+GKG_Alan> if The Sea Takes Control, then, for each Ruin token in the Ruin bowl, roll a d6.
<+GKG_Alan> Each 6 forces you to reduce one of your Ship’s attributes by -1. The players will choose together which attributes to reduce.
<+GKG_Alan> and you would narrate how you failed to secure the mainlines and so a sail was damaged
<+GKG_Alan> and this impacted one of your ships attributes
<+GKG_Alan> does that make sene?
<+GKG_Alan> Sorry. New computer as of yesterday, and I am still getting used to it!
<+Akyla> I think so
<~Dan> I think so… How was it determined that someone needed to climb the rigging in the first place?
<+GKG_Alan> Ah, so a few ones – One – there’s a scene where that action is a natural outcome.
<+GKG_Alan> Scenes follow a cinematic flow in a lot of ways. If X, than Y
<+GKG_Alan> If you have a scene that ends badly, and the riggling is flapping around loss, the next player might decide that their scene is them climbing to fix that
<+GKG_Alan> the group works together to create scenes that flow and feel natural to the story
<+Akyla> Does it have replayability?
<+GKG_Alan> I mean, I certainly think so. The basic scenario is always the same (a ship vs. the sea) but the sort of threat is up to the playres
<+GKG_Alan> in playtesting, we did everything from storms, to doldrums, to massive sea monsters
<+GKG_Alan> The mechanics for the threat are always the same, but it’s “vector” or appearance can change
* +Akyla pictures the cabin fever scene from muppet treasure island at doldrums
<+GKG_Alan> You could absolutely emulate that.
<+GKG_Alan> the rules are a skeleton framework to provide enough resolution that it’s not just telling a story telephone style, but I intend for them to be pretty lightweight and get outta the way
<~Dan> So the group “loses” if the ship sinks. Is there a victory condition?
<+GKG_Alan> Yeah. Once there’s been a set amount of scenes, there’s a resolution where you roll against the sea
<+GKG_Alan> if you win, you overcome it and safely resolve the danger
<+GKG_Alan> be that, making harbor, finding food, what have you
<~Dan> What elements make up a character?
<+GKG_Alan> You have 6 Virtues that determine how many dice you roll
<+GKG_Alan> You can get bonus dice from equipment or situations
<+GKG_Alan> or by expendign your story point
<+GKG_Alan> but it’s always a d6 pool
<+GKG_Alan> (sorry for all the typos. Seems like I’m going to have to switch keyboards)
<~Dan> How is equipment determined?
<+GKG_Alan> narratively. You have what is deemed reasonable and can spend a story point to ensure you have it for the rest of the game
<+GKG_Alan> For one scene I might say I have a knife! And at the end of the scene I lose it unless I spend a story point
<+GKG_Alan> the game is pretty unstructured in many ways, as the story is king
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> I take it that the NPCs don’t actually have stats?
<+GKG_Alan> Not really. If someone needs to play them, you stat them up real quick and it becomes a member of the crew
<+GKG_Alan> and anyone can play them
<~Dan> How long does a typical game take?
<+GKG_Alan> 1.5 to 3 hours depending how long you wanna stretch out the scenes
<+GKG_Alan> I wrote it for one-shots when the full group can’t make it
<+GKG_Alan> there’s no campaign play
<+Akyla> So something people are concerned about right now. Would you say it can be played online?
<+GKG_Alan> The tokens would be a bit of a trick, but it’s literally just numbers
<+GKG_Alan> so you could share a spreadsheet or have one player track it
<+GKG_Alan> whatever you wanted
<+Akyla> zoom has the white board option would could work
<+GKG_Alan> Any of those solutions would be fine
<~Dan> So why are you drinking whiskey like water? (I think I know why, but I should ask.)
<+GKG_Alan> heh, oh the ACD/Alliance shutdown + all the other crap
<+GKG_Alan> it’s a bit of a small business nightmare
<~Dan> What is ACD/Alliance?
<+GKG_Alan> Game Distributor
<+GKG_Alan> the biggest (if I recall) in the US
<+GKG_Alan> they are stopping distribution EOD tomorrow
<~Dan> How will that affect the industry?
<+GKG_Alan> well basically, it means folks like me CAN’T get our books to stores that would do mail order or similar
<+GKG_Alan> they’re in a warehouse
<+GKG_Alan> and some folks (who might have big pallets of new releases ready to drop) are locked in there too
<+GKG_Alan> so everything just kinda…
<+GKG_Alan> board games, rpgs, etc.
<+GKG_Alan> ACD/Alliance is the big kid on the block and they account for *a lot* of the games you see in game stores
<+Akyla> except pdfs
<+GKG_Alan> except PDFs
<+Akyla> all the game stores here are already closed
<+GKG_Alan> which is an advantage RPGs have over board games right now
<+Akyla> DTRPG thankfully had mostly work from home people
<+GKG_Alan> but ACD accounts for 75% of my monthly retail sales
<+GKG_Alan> so that money is just…gone for a while.
<~Dan> No other company could step up?
<+GKG_Alan> it’s not a death knell, but it certainly hurts
<+Akyla> I’m sure
<+GKG_Alan> You’d have to get stores that might be open to switch to a new distributor, and hope that new distributor doesn’t just close too
<+GKG_Alan> that’s kinda the issue. Anyone who steps up might just have to stop any day
<+GKG_Alan> It’s not ACD’s fault at all obviously
* ~Dan nods
<+GKG_Alan> they have to do what’s best for their staff
<+GKG_Alan> it’s gonna put the hurt on a lot of small to midlevel publishers
<+GKG_Alan> between Utah’s earthquake last week, the new work at home stuff here and this, it’s been a long 5 days
<~Dan> Do you think that a lot of publishers will go electronic-only?
<+Akyla> It’s been a very long year this month
<+GKG_Alan> @Akyla – Truth.
<+GKG_Alan> and Dan – I think it’s the only option over the next few months
<+GKG_Alan> but even as people end up out of work, that won’t be enough.
<+GKG_Alan> it’s gonna be a rough ride is all
* ~Dan nods
<+GKG_Alan> we’ll all do our best! Just hard to feel optimistic tonight, heh.
<~Dan> I understand.
<+Akyla> hopefully gamers come together and anyone who can will continue to buy.
<+Akyla> I picked up this one a couple days ago
<+GKG_Alan> Ah, thanks!
<+GKG_Alan> I’m pretty proud of it
<+Akyla> I’ll try to get it on the “table” soon and maybe they’ll buy copies
<+GKG_Alan> it’s my first committed push into story games. I’m sure I could improve it, but I’m happy with it as a first attempt
<+Akyla> Sad ocean stories is one my players wheelhouse so I got it
<+GKG_Alan> sad ocean stories is an awesome, yet underserved genre
<+Akyla> I also have Alas the Awful Sea
<+GKG_Alan> I haven’t tried that but it’s high on my list!
<~Dan> Can the game handle something as complex as a sea battle? Would that be resolved with multiple actions, or just one roll?
<+GKG_Alan> you’d generally make that the structure of the whole session
<+GKG_Alan> and it’d play out over several rolls
<&Silverlion> Rough though.
<&Silverlion> Oops sorry I was behind 😀
<+GKG_Alan> Ok I was getting confused
<&Silverlion> I was thinking of the distributor issue.
<~Dan> I’m a bit tapped for questions… Is there an aspect of the game that we haven’t covered?
<+GKG_Alan> I mean, it’s only a 40 page game 😛
<+GKG_Alan> with a very focused topic
<+GKG_Alan> + my Q&As always seem to run short. I’m not super engaging I guess!
<+Akyla> I think you type a lot faster than most
<~Dan> Heh. I don’t think that’s it. 🙂
<~Dan> Would you like me to go ahead and log the chat, then?
<+Akyla> time for danhunsaker’s question?
<+danhunsaker> It can be!
<+GKG_Alan> Go ahead Dan
<+danhunsaker> What’s your LEAST favorite thing about From Hell’s Heart?
<+GKG_Alan> The layout
<+GKG_Alan> I did it myself because I’m learning layout
<+GKG_Alan> and it’s serviceable
<+GKG_Alan> but it doesn’t do the game/artwork justice
<~Dan> Fair enough!
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, GKG_Alan!
<+GKG_Alan> I was ready for you this time Danhunsaker!
<+GKG_Alan> It was my plasure
<~Dan> Just a minute, and I’ll get the log posted!