7:35 PM +ShawnCarman: Okay, well… hello! I’m Shawn Carman. I’m a special education teacher who’s been working in the gaming industry as a second job since about… I want to say 1998
7:36 PM +ShawnCarman: I worked from 1998 until 2015 on the Legend of the Five Rings brand for AEG, first as a freelancer for the RPG, then eventually as the lead writer on the CCG and the producer on the RPG, so that was fun.
7:38 PM +ShawnCarman: I formed my own company in 2012 to publish the first version of Thunderscape, which had been published in the 1990s by West End Games.
7:38 PM +ShawnCarman: We ran a Kickstarter in 2013 and published our first version for Pathfinder, which was what I was playing the most at the time and the class mechanics synched up nicely with the world.
7:39 PM +ShawnCarman: We later had a second Kickstarter and published it for Savage Worlds due to popular demand. So with our current KS, I believe it’s the RPG with the most iterations, at least that I’m aware of. So that’s kinda weird. 🙂
7:40 PM ~Dan: 🙂
7:40 PM +ShawnCarman: Thunderscape is about the world of Aden, a high fantasy world that has undergone its Industrial Revolution and introduced all manner of steam-powered things to its cultures. Science and magic exist independently of one another but there’s also a hybrid of the two called mechamagic.
7:41 PM +ShawnCarman: A few years ago, the world nearly ended.
7:42 PM +ShawnCarman: There was a supernatural cataclysm called the Darkfall, an event that most people still don’t understand, that plunged the world into darkness for just a few short moments, but in that time, all manner of horrors came alive and went berserk.
7:42 PM +ShawnCarman: These creatures, called Nocturnals, killed millions and laid entire settlements to waste all across the Known Lands. One nation fell shortly thereafter due to a massive siege on its capital by a massed army of Nocturnals.
7:43 PM +ShawnCarman: Now, a decade later, the twelve nations of the Known Lands are still struggling to survive and fight back against the Darkfall. They still don’t understand it, but they know that there is some malevolent intelligence behind it and their first step is to try and determine what the Darkfall is so that they can defeat it once and for all.
7:44 PM +ShawnCarman: In the meantime, though, they have to save their settlements from Nocturnals, find enough food to survive, and hope that the once-peaceful nations of the Known Lands don’t go to war over resources that were once abundant.
7:45 PM +ShawnCarman: Our current Kickstarter campaign is about a new core for the game using the TinyD6 system licensed from Gallant Knight Games, publishers of Tiny Dungeons 2E, Tiny Frontiers, Tiny Wastelands, Tiny Supers, and all other kinds of amazing genre games.
7:46 PM +ShawnCarman: We’ve been having some great updates showcasing new mechanics available in the new game, and they’ve been very well received. They’re all public so anyone can have a look and see what they think. The new look for the brand is absolutely amazing thanks to our layout artist Mike Brodu… it’s just all coming together better than I had ever hoped.
7:46 PM +ShawnCarman: We’re already funded and about three quarters of the way to our first stretch goal with more than two weeks left to go.
7:47 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, GKG_Alan!)
7:47 PM +ShawnCarman: Hey there’s Alan!
7:47 PM +ShawnCarman: He owns and operate Gallant Knight Games, who I just mentioned.
7:47 PM +ShawnCarman: And!
7:47 PM +GKG_Alan: (hi)
7:47 PM +ShawnCarman: As part of our licensing agreement, he did the design work on the core mechanics, which I couldn’t be happier with.
7:48 PM +ShawnCarman: And… I think that was everything I needed to say in an introduction.
7:48 PM +ShawnCarman: (Talking about myself is weird.)
7:49 PM ~Dan: 🙂
7:49 PM ~Dan: Thanks, ShawnCarman! The floor is open to questions!
7:49 PM ~Dan: Can you give us an overview of the tech level of the setting?
7:49 PM +ShawnCarman: I’m happy to answer anything about our other game lines if someone has a yearning.
7:49 PM +ShawnCarman: Absolutely.
7:50 PM +ShawnCarman: The reason that science and magic developed independently of one another is that in the world of Aden, metal does not hold enchantments indefinitely.
7:50 PM +ShawnCarman: So while magic is a very pervasive force, not everyone can use it and some people looked for other ways to reduce their workload.
7:50 PM +ShawnCarman: Steam power and gunpowder were developed as a result.
7:51 PM +ShawnCarman: So steam engines, railroads, firearms and all that kind of thing are not at all uncommon.
7:51 PM +ShawnCarman: A couple of centuries ago, a rare mineral called manite was discovered, which CAN hold enchantments indefinitely.
7:51 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Eric_E!)
7:51 PM +Eric_E: (Hiya)
7:51 PM +ShawnCarman: That’s what allowed science and magic to first become blended together in the art of mechamagic, which is a whole ‘nother facet to the technology issue.
7:52 PM +ShawnCarman: In the game you of course have spellcasters who use magic.
7:52 PM +ShawnCarman: And mechamages who use a combination of science and magic.
7:52 PM +ShawnCarman: But you also have steamwrights, who use regular ol’ steampowered technology.
7:53 PM +ShawnCarman: Although they can do some pretty wild stuff with it, to be fair.
7:53 PM +ShawnCarman: Alan’s design work allows amazing individuality to all three branches. It’s pretty spectacular.
7:53 PM +GKG_Alan: *rolls eyes*
7:54 PM +ShawnCarman: I call it like I see it, Bahr!
7:54 PM +ShawnCarman: 8)
7:54 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
7:55 PM ~Dan: So what can be accomplished on the high ends of spellcasting, mechmagic, and “regular” steampowered technology?
7:56 PM +ShawnCarman: Well magic is infinitely variable, as you might expect from a high fantasy setting. Spellcasters can do a wide variety of things from what I guess you might call “traditional” magic, to more world-specific things like Entomancy or Thaumaturgy, among others.
7:57 PM +ShawnCarman: Entomancy, for example, is a branch of magic that’s highly specialized in summoning, communicating with, and controlling various types of insects, from regular ones to massive, mount-sized monstrosities.
7:57 PM +Eric_E: Spell lists or freeform magic?
7:57 PM ~Dan: Something about that magic bugs me
7:57 PM +Eric_E: (sorry if this was already answered, PC issues)
7:57 PM +ShawnCarman: The specialized branches, like the two I just mentioned, have a long list of (booooo, Dan) unique effects that players can choose to have their characters familiar with.
7:58 PM +ShawnCarman: General magic can take a number of different forms, but the easiest to deal with are in the forms of two Traits, Spell-Touched and Scroll Reader. If you already know the TinyD6 system, you’re familiar with those, but if not, they work sort of like this.
7:59 PM +ShawnCarman: People who are Spell-Touched have magic in their bloodline. They have a natural affinity that allows them to impact the world in different ways around them. They can light a candle by snapping their fingers, or purify water by touching it, or any of a host of different effects, up to and including offensive and defensive magic, limited only by the
7:59 PM +ShawnCarman: agreement of the player and the GM.
8:00 PM +ShawnCarman: TinyD6 is a very minimalist system so a character’s spells and capabilities are something that a player and GM agree on, and are unique to every character and every table.
8:00 PM ~Dan: (Just a sec — need to let the delivery driver in. Please continue!)
8:01 PM +ShawnCarman: So… to answer your question, I would describe it as freeform if you’re talking about general wizardry and whatnot, but the more specialized you get, the more specific your capabilities.
8:02 PM +ShawnCarman: So an Entomancer might not have the range of abilities a wizard might, but they can also summon a giant beetle to ride into battle, which a regular wizard might not quite be up to on the average day.
8:02 PM ~Dan: Actually… can you give me maybe 30 minutes to eat? I’m afraid my blood sugar’s dropping at this point.
8:02 PM +ShawnCarman: Sure!
8:02 PM ~Dan: I won’t short you on time.
8:02 PM +ShawnCarman: It’s all good!
8:02 PM ~Dan: Great, thanks! brb!
8:03 PM +GKG_Alan: So, Shawn
8:03 PM +GKG_Alan: I’ve got some questions.
8:03 PM +ShawnCarman: I have terror in my heart but I will persevere!
8:03 PM +GKG_Alan: 1.) Why do you feel so terrible about writing the fiction at AEG that killed Kakita Noritoshi like a chump?
8:03 PM +GKG_Alan: 2.) Why is your spirit animal a wombat?
8:03 PM +GKG_Alan: (this is what happens with Dan leaves…)
8:04 PM +ShawnCarman: 1.) Mostly because it could have been avoided if I hadn’t drawn that storyline out so long, but Jimen was a player avatar and it’s really hard to wrap those things up.
8:04 PM +ShawnCarman: 2.) Why isn’t EVERYONE’s spirit animal a wombat?
8:04 PM +ShawnCarman: (Actually one of my students told me my spirit animal was a penguin.)
8:04 PM +ShawnCarman: (I’m not sure how she would know that, but…)
8:05 PM +Eric_E: Ok, help me understand something on the kickstarter
8:05 PM +ShawnCarman: It’s funny because I got mad hate for the Goddesses storyline but if I could go back and change one thing it would probably literally be the Noritoshi / Jimen ending.
8:05 PM +ShawnCarman: Yes?
8:05 PM +Eric_E: and this may be something others have asked
8:06 PM +Eric_E: Ok, so the physical softcover says it will retail for $24.99
8:06 PM +ShawnCarman: Correct.
8:06 PM +Eric_E: The softcover pledge is $25, but still requires the at-cost printing.
8:07 PM +Eric_E: so >$25
8:07 PM +Eric_E: My expectation would be $35 all in, plus shipping
8:07 PM +ShawnCarman: That’s also correct. However, you’ll also get the PDF and the Starter Kit, which is an additional $20. So if you bought all of that at MSRP, you’d be looking at $45 plus shipping.
8:07 PM +Eric_E: Ahhh, ok.
8:08 PM +Akyla: can you link the KS?
8:08 PM +Eric_E: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1860935013/tiny-thunderscape-a-role-playing-game?ref=discovery&term=thunderscape)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1860935013/tiny-thunderscape-a-role-playing-game?ref=discovery&term=thunderscape
8:08 PM +ShawnCarman: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1860935013/tiny-thunderscape-a-role-playing-game?ref=creator_nav)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1860935013/tiny-thunderscape-a-role-playing-game?ref=creator_nav
8:08 PM +Eric_E: I’m already on the page
8:08 PM +Eric_E: lol
8:08 PM +ShawnCarman: So was I!
8:08 PM +ShawnCarman: Let me find another link or two for you, one sec…
8:09 PM +Akyla: steampunk is one of my big go to settings
8:09 PM +ShawnCarman: So here’s what the book’s page dress will look like: (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V1YCnZHQDOio7YWKWH97EezKN0kbSV_s)https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V1YCnZHQDOio7YWKWH97EezKN0kbSV_s
8:09 PM +Akyla: i usually run in Savage Worlds. How easy is tiny d6 to learn
8:10 PM &Silverlion: easier.
8:10 PM +ShawnCarman: Incredibly easy.
8:10 PM &Silverlion: a lot easier.
8:10 PM +ShawnCarman: I run games at my Middle School Game Club with all different types of TinyD6 and I can have 11-13 year olds up and running within ten minutes.
8:10 PM +ShawnCarman: I use the Tiny Dungeon Quickstart Characters to get them started even faster. Those were the inspiration for the Starter Kit that all backers are getting in the KS.
8:11 PM +Akyla: cool
8:11 PM +ShawnCarman: Those look like: (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uYA0Qj2K-9i_6gbAoonz3O6smgWoBoO0)https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uYA0Qj2K-9i_6gbAoonz3O6smgWoBoO0
8:12 PM +Akyla: also, it’s D&D type races in a steampunk setting. Is it like Eberron but not as confusing? (people keep trying to get me to play but there is just so much backlog to go through to understand the world)
8:12 PM +ShawnCarman: Honestly the reason I love TinyD6 so much is that there’s a ton of design space for new and fun things to let your characters do, but the rules are so simple that they never get in the way of the story you and the players are telling at the table.
8:12 PM +ShawnCarman: It’s funny, I just had this conversation on RPG.net the other day!
8:12 PM +ShawnCarman: Someone read TS once and contacted me and was like “I feel like you’re ripping off Eberron.”
8:13 PM +ShawnCarman: I pointed out that Thunderscape appeared in 1995 and Eberron in 2004.
8:13 PM +ShawnCarman: There was this long pause and he finally added “Well shame on you, Keith Baker” and logged off.
8:13 PM +Akyla: lol
8:13 PM +ShawnCarman: Please note that I do not think Eberron is in any way a ripoff. I just think that story’s funny.
8:14 PM &Silverlion: Thunderscape is a video game I played.
8:14 PM +ShawnCarman: Yep!
8:14 PM &Silverlion: or tried to in DOS.
8:14 PM +ShawnCarman: It started in 1995 as Thunderscape and then Entomorph!
8:14 PM &Silverlion: I got it to work with memload
8:14 PM &Silverlion: adjustments
8:14 PM +ShawnCarman: You can get them on GOG (Grand Old Games) now for like a dollar or two.
8:14 PM &Silverlion: I remember the book for some other system too…
8:15 PM +ShawnCarman: After the games came out in 1995 and there were three novels, West End Games published a core book for the setting using their D6 and Masterbook systems.
8:15 PM +ShawnCarman: There was one supplement, Campaign Chronicles, and then the line was cut.
8:16 PM +ShawnCarman: My company, Kyoudai Games, released Thunderscape for Pathfinder in early 2014 and Savage Worlds in… I think that was late 2015. I’d have to go check.
8:16 PM +ShawnCarman: I like both of those systems!
8:16 PM +ShawnCarman: But I personally do not find that I’m especially skilled at designing rules for them.
8:16 PM +ShawnCarman: So I have to outsource that, and that causes delays and other headaches.
8:17 PM +ShawnCarman: I love, love, love TinyD6 and I think I’m pretty decent at working in that framework, so when Alan approached me about doing a TinyD6 version I could not possibly have been more excited by the idea.
8:18 PM +ShawnCarman: Oh and because we hit a social media goal I have to include a vote in our update tomorrow to see which other two pre-gens from the Starter Kit will get spoiled this week.
8:23 PM +GKG_Alan: So can you give more details on the various Heritages in the game?
8:23 PM +GKG_Alan: Like, what can I play?
8:24 PM +ShawnCarman: I certainly can, sir!
8:25 PM +ShawnCarman: If you are looking for something comfortable and familiar for a fantasy game, then you’ll be pleased to find that the world of Aden is home to humans of all creeds, elves, and dwarves. There are some cultural differences that you might find a bit unusual but we think it’s for the betterment of character-building.
8:25 PM +ShawnCarman: Elves, for example, are fully integrated into the greater society of the Known Lands, rather than being stand-offish and xenophobic.
8:26 PM +ShawnCarman: Three other races that look somewhat familiar physically are the Faerkin, the Goreaux, and the Jurak.
8:26 PM +ShawnCarman: Like their name suggests, the Faerkin are related to the fey races and take on aspects of them. Some have a satyr-like appearance, while others might have pixie wings, that kind of thing.
8:27 PM +ShawnCarman: The Goreaux are an evolutionary offshoot of the goblinoid races. They look very much like goblins (but are very insulted if you mention this, so be careful), but are extremely intelligent and dedicate themselves to crafting or arcane pursuits with regularity. So some of the world’s greatest scholars are Goreaux.
8:28 PM +ShawnCarman: Likewise, the jurak are distant descendants of orcs, and are physically very powerful, but are more well known for their incredible adaptability. They can thrive in any environment and within a generation or so, their appearance can change accordingly. So jurak living in the polar regions, for example, might have fur, while those living in the
8:28 PM +ShawnCarman: desert would not.
8:29 PM ~Dan-afk: (Almost back.)
8:29 PM +ShawnCarman: One of the most populous and certainly the most varied races are the Ferrans. They were created through magical experimentation centuries ago, meant to be slaves, but threw off their oppressors and won their freedom. They are, in essence, mammalian creatures evolved to an intelligent, bipedal state.
8:30 PM +ShawnCarman: You can have all manner of them. In artwork already we have rhino ferrans, red panda ferrans, wolf ferrans, tiger ferrans, panda ferrans, badger ferrans… etc.
8:31 PM +ShawnCarman: The rapacians are desert-dwelling lizard-folk, although they have spread to all regions of the continent in the modern age. Teeth, tails, venom… the whole nine yards. They’re just a little bit less civilized, on average, than some of the other races and can have a bad reputation, but it’s largely undeserved!
8:32 PM +ShawnCarman: There are two that are pretty rare, but they’re included in the core book and need a little bit of backstory, so I hope you’ll indulge me!
8:32 PM +ShawnCarman: Somewhere in the Wall Mountains, there is an ancient and powerful insect being called the brood mother.
8:33 PM +ShawnCarman: She creates daughters, queens, and these queens create their own hives of drones, all of whom ultimately serve the brood mother.
8:33 PM +ShawnCarman: However! At some point one of the queens somehow became independent, and passed this trait on to her drones. And while the Brood Mother eventually reabsorbed this hive, some of them escaped and occasionally drones in other hives just randomly sort of… wake up, and realize that they are individuals.
8:34 PM +Eric_E: So what distinguishes a panda ferran from a rhino ferran?
8:34 PM +ShawnCarman: You can play as an ilithix exile! They have an even worse reputation than the rapacians and struggle with cultural ideas, but they’re still there.
8:34 PM +ShawnCarman: That is an excellent question!
8:34 PM +ShawnCarman: There are actually three different sets of Heritage Traits for the Ferrans to allow for differentiation.
8:35 PM +ShawnCarman: A Ferran Predator is a strong, combat-capable creature with claws or teeth. So if you want to be a wolf-ferran or a tiger-ferran, this is probably the way you want to go.
8:35 PM +ShawnCarman: A Ferran Brute is very large and physically powerful, but slower. Rhino-ferrans, elephant-ferrans, etc.
8:36 PM +ShawnCarman: And Ferran Sneaks are smaller animals with speed and agility on their side. Rabbit-ferrans, otter-ferrans, etc.
8:36 PM +ShawnCarman: I think I missed one of the Heritages…
8:36 PM +ShawnCarman: Oh! The Echoes!
8:37 PM +ShawnCarman: The Echoes are a secret, sort of. They were once spirits in another plane, and ended up in Aden completely by accident when a powerful spellcaster was trying to find a way to bring back all his lost loved ones from a terrible war.
8:38 PM +ShawnCarman: In their new physical bodies, the Echoes couldn’t freely change shape like they used to, but if they have a talisman from a dead person, perhaps a lock of hair or a finger bone, they can take that person’s shape exactly, which allows them to function in the world and remain hidden.
8:38 PM +ShawnCarman: They are tragic figures, but brilliant infiltrators and masters of disguise.
8:38 PM ~Dan: (Back. Just scrolling back to get caught up.)
8:39 PM +ShawnCarman: The art for our different Heritages is linked in the KS page, but for convenience, you can see them all here: (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1e8cDvONikTAvfgZWZeSX1i3FnoLsq1gY)https://drive.google.com/open?id=1e8cDvONikTAvfgZWZeSX1i3FnoLsq1gY
8:40 PM +GKG_Alan: ddaaaaang
8:40 PM +ShawnCarman: Kim Wong Lim is a god among men.
8:44 PM +ShawnCarman: afk one sec brb
8:44 PM ~Dan: (Whew! You guys have been busy!)
8:45 PM ~Dan: Thanks for keeping things rolling, guys. Dinner was a real debacle this evening.
8:47 PM +ShawnCarman: I want to throw in a “Ridin’ Nerdy” reference here but it just won’t gel.
8:48 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
8:48 PM ~Dan: So I know this is going to be redundant for many of our viewers/readers, but for those unfamiliar, can you give us a quick overview of Tiny D6?
8:49 PM +ShawnCarman: Of course.
8:49 PM +ShawnCarman: At its core, TinyD6 is an incredibly quick and easy task resolution system. You roll 2D6. If either die shows a 5 or 6, you have succeeded at the task in question.
8:50 PM +ShawnCarman: Based on your character, there will be things you’re very good at and you roll 3d6 (you have Advantage), or things you’re bad at and you only roll 1d6 (you have Disadvantage).
8:50 PM +ShawnCarman: Your Heritage (and possibly some of your Traits) determine your Health.
8:51 PM +ShawnCarman: Which averages around a 6.
8:51 PM +ShawnCarman: Your weapons or attacks will inflict 1 or 2 damage depending on the kind of weapon in question.
8:52 PM +ShawnCarman: There are a few other things but those are the basics.
8:52 PM * ~Dan nods
8:52 PM ~Dan: How (if at all) as the adaptation to Tiny D6 impacted the setting?
8:53 PM +ShawnCarman: The setting? I would say any changes to the setting have been minimal, if at all.
8:53 PM +ShawnCarman: The only significant change is that, with this book, we’re finally moving the timeline forward and starting to reveal some secrets to the GMs.
8:53 PM +ShawnCarman: Or players! Whoever reads it, I guess!
8:54 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
8:55 PM ~Dan: Have any of the systems you’ve used required any setting adjustments?
8:55 PM +ShawnCarman: Honestly, no. I think they’ve been liberating.
8:55 PM +ShawnCarman: In the past, there are certain aspects of the setting that seemed to mesh so completely with mechanical concepts that they were intrinsically linked.
8:56 PM +ShawnCarman: The knights of the Radiant Order, for example, were obviously Paladins in Pathfinder. And the lawmen who worked for the Church of All Saints were either Inquisitors or Arbiters. It was such a close association that it was hard to break away from in the eyes of some players.
8:56 PM +ShawnCarman: And sometimes even me!
8:57 PM +ShawnCarman: I feel like, with this system, when I’m designing a character or an adversary… everything’s on the table.
8:57 PM ~Dan: Cool. 🙂
8:58 PM ~Dan: So the Nocturnals are the “Big Bads” of the setting?
8:58 PM +ShawnCarman: They’re one of them, certainly.
8:58 PM +ShawnCarman: The Darkfall is the most pressing threat to the world of Aden.
8:58 PM ~Dan: Can you describe them?
8:59 PM +ShawnCarman: The Nocturnals?
8:59 PM ~Dan: Yes.
8:59 PM +ShawnCarman: Nocturnals take an almost infinite variety of forms. When they first manifested during the Darkfall, many took the shape of things that people were afraid of. Boogeymen and old legends, urban myths, etc.
8:59 PM * ~Dan nods
8:59 PM +ShawnCarman: Others looked like things no one had ever seen before.
9:00 PM +ShawnCarman: Parents used to tell their kids spooky stories to get them to be obedient. Now they’re afraid to, because anything that becomes too big of a concept in the minds of children can end up becoming real.
9:00 PM +ShawnCarman: There are many examples of different kinds in the core book’s bestiary, but GMs can make them be anything they want. Especially if their characters are afraid of specific things. 😉
9:01 PM ~Dan: Nice. 🙂
9:01 PM ~Dan: What sorts of monsters existed pre-Darkfall?
9:02 PM +ShawnCarman: Well it’s a high-fantasy world so one could argue that anything suitable for the genre existed. However, because the world was in its Industrial Revolution and the Known Lands had been largely pacified, a lot of threats that might be more common in other settings were absent. Notice I said WERE.
9:03 PM +ShawnCarman: When society retreats behind walls for safety, wilderness has a way of coming back.
9:03 PM * ~Dan nods
9:03 PM +ShawnCarman: But if you’re looking for dragons, orcs, giants, elementals… all those things are around in one form or another.
9:03 PM ~Dan: What are the dragons like in this setting?
9:04 PM +ShawnCarman: Oh that’s such a fun question.
9:05 PM +ShawnCarman: Okay. So. There are dragons as one might expect, right? Different colors, all intelligent, very powerful.
9:05 PM +ShawnCarman: However. They are not to the top of the food chain.
9:05 PM +Eric_E: o.O
9:05 PM +ShawnCarman: There are four dragons that are unique, called the True Dragons, and so much more powerful than regular dragons that they aren’t even in the same weight class.
9:06 PM +ShawnCarman: These four named creatures are known and their locations are roughly identified, but they remain hidden away for centuries at a time and no one, absolutely no one, goes and bothers them.
9:06 PM +ShawnCarman: However, during the Darkfall, there was a caravan of refugees desperate for somewhere to hide from the Nocturnals.
9:07 PM +ShawnCarman: They were wandering the Sundered Desert and their leader, a bandit named Al-Akan, led them to a huge plateau called Terrotaxus’s Tower, because the fearsome dragon Terrotaxus dwelled there.
9:07 PM +ShawnCarman: Most didn’t want to go. They would rather fight the Nocturnals, but the bandit lord was certain he could bargain for some kind of protection.
9:08 PM +ShawnCarman: So they make it there, and he flies up to the top on his sand drake. He’s gone for three days. They all think he’s dead.
9:08 PM +ShawnCarman: Then he comes back with a gigantic eyeball and claims to have killed Terrotaxus. No one believes him, but they create a settlement there because there is water, and the bandit builds a stronghold from the dragon’s bones.
9:08 PM +ShawnCarman: He becomes the Dust King and rules over the new nation of the Rhanate.
9:08 PM +ShawnCarman: To this day no one is sure what happened.
9:09 PM +Eric_E: so what is a ‘standard’ adventure like in the setting?
9:09 PM ~Dan: Is Terrortaxus one of the True Dragons?
9:09 PM +ShawnCarman: Anyway this is me gushing over the setting. Sorry. The short version is that there are three or four True Dragons that are like gods that exist in the physical world.
9:09 PM +ShawnCarman: It is, yes.
9:10 PM ~Dan: Oh, please, gush away! This is great stuff. 🙂
9:10 PM +ShawnCarman: Eric, that depends on what you want to focus on in terms of theme. There are many in Aden. However, as an example, I am writing an adventure for the Starter Kit called the Treasure of Sanctum.
9:10 PM +ShawnCarman: In this adventure, the characters are heading back to their home village for some reason (there are several choices an the GM/players get to decide the reason), which is named Sanctum.
9:11 PM +ShawnCarman: It was founded by a powerful former adventurer and he’s managed to lead the people and keep the village safe since the Darkfall.
9:11 PM +ShawnCarman: But when they arrive, they find that he has died and there are bandits besieging the village looking for some nebulous treasure. They’re desperate to take the village because there is a horde of Nocturnals moving in this direction.
9:12 PM +ShawnCarman: And the characters have a limited amount of time to determine how to handle the situation. Can they trust the bandits? Are the Nocturnals really heading this way? What is the “treasure” they keep talking about anyway?
9:12 PM +ShawnCarman: I personally have run campaigns that were about investigating the Darkfall, ones that were about stopping (or starting!) war between the nations, recovering artifacts and knowledge lost in the Darkfall, etc.
9:13 PM +ShawnCarman: I even ran a modified version of Kingmaker set in Aden once. That was fun.
9:14 PM ~Dan: What is Kingmaker?
9:14 PM +GKG_Alan: the Pathfinder campaign?
9:15 PM +ShawnCarman: yes, I’m sorry, it’s one of the more popular Pathfinder Adventure Paths, with lots of kingdom-building.
9:15 PM ~Dan: Ah, I see.
9:16 PM +ShawnCarman: Goremax, Bandit-Lord of the Rhanate, became a general in a new nation. As rhino-ferrans are wont to do, I suppose.
9:16 PM ~Dan: Can you say a bit about the cosmology of the setting?
9:18 PM +ShawnCarman: I certainly can.
9:18 PM +ShawnCarman: The cosmology is simple in that there are different planes, and that the people of Aden understand they exist. They common theory that most people in the setting espouse is that they live in one room of a house, and that there are many other rooms, the doors to which are locked.
9:19 PM +ShawnCarman: Some times people in those rooms have keys and can travel to other rooms, or powerful wizards can do the same. So they understand where elementals and things like that come from.
9:19 PM +ShawnCarman: One of the things that I found interesting about Aden when I first discovered it back in the 90s was that, while there are religions, there are no gods.
9:20 PM ~Dan: Interesting. How does that work?
9:20 PM +ShawnCarman: The Church of All Saints and the Radiant Path are two very prominent faiths in eastern and western Aden, respectively.
9:20 PM +ShawnCarman: The Church venerates the spirits of those who have passed on, whom they believe watch over them and help guide them.
9:20 PM +ShawnCarman: The Path believes in the twin tenets of Justice and Compassion, which all beings deserve.
9:21 PM +ShawnCarman: WHY there are no gods in Aden has always been something of a mystery. Historians understand that the people of Aden once worshipped gods but that those faiths fell by the wayside long ago and are now forgotten.
9:21 PM +ShawnCarman: We will be getting into that a bit in this book. If you’ve ever read something about Thunderscape and wondered why that might be the case? You’re going to want to check out the For the GM chapter.
9:22 PM * ~Dan nods
9:22 PM ~Dan: Are there demons, or do the Nocturnals fill that niche?
9:22 PM +ShawnCarman: There are creatures that people traditionally called demons, evil creatures from other planes that would come over when possible and cause mischief.
9:23 PM +ShawnCarman: Those creatures are all too happy to cooperate with the minions of the Darkfall to create more problems and gain increased influence in the world of Aden.
9:23 PM +ShawnCarman: It’s just one more way the Darkfall has totally sucked!
9:23 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
9:24 PM ~Dan: Okay, so before I ask the next question, I need to see if its originator is paying attention. You there, danhunsaker? 🙂
9:25 PM ~Dan: Okay! I will do the honors, then.
9:25 PM ~Dan: What is your LEAST favorite aspect of Tiny Thunderscape?
9:26 PM +ShawnCarman: Hmm.
9:26 PM +ShawnCarman: That I couldn’t make it a 300+ page book and include literally everything that’s in my head, but that would have been prohibitively expensive on every possible level.
9:27 PM * ~Dan nods
9:27 PM ~Dan: A good answer!
9:27 PM +ShawnCarman: I suppose saving some things for sourcebooks isn’t the worst that could happen.
9:27 PM * ~Dan nods
9:27 PM ~Dan: You mentioned the bestiary earlier. How large is it?
9:28 PM +ShawnCarman: I’d have to count the entries but there are a lot! Let me check the pagecount…
9:29 PM +ShawnCarman: In Word, with no art and no page-dress, it’s 13 pages with three to five creatures per page.
9:29 PM ~Dan: Not bad at all.
9:29 PM +Eric_E: Ok, so you do 1-2 damage per attack depending on weapon. 1) Is there a way to instakill someone? 2) Are enemies limited to same? 3) what kind of HP do bestiary range?
9:31 PM +ShawnCarman: There are special abilities that can conceivably increase damage beyond 2, but they’re not common.
9:31 PM +ShawnCarman: There are bestiary entries with 1 or 2 health tops, and there are some with 25 for truly epic level threats.
9:32 PM +ShawnCarman: So can you one-shot some kinds of enemies? Yes. A fellow adventurer? I’m not going to say that’s impossible but it’s quite difficult. I know a couple of gamers in my local group who, if it can be done, they will do it just to thwart me.
9:32 PM +ShawnCarman: Now.
9:32 PM +ShawnCarman: One of the new subsystems is for steam-powered vehicles such as those the Thunder Scouts use.
9:32 PM +ShawnCarman: There are rules for ramming and damaging other vehicles.
9:33 PM +ShawnCarman: If you do that to a dude… that dude’s probably going to be one-shotted, as you say.
9:33 PM +ShawnCarman: Enemies have variable range of damage due to their wide range of supernatural abilities. Generally speaking, most adventurer-equivalent foes are in the same 1-2 damage range.
9:34 PM +ShawnCarman: If you run afoul of the Town Guard or fight Orc Bandits, yes, you can expect parity.
9:34 PM +Eric_E: ok
9:34 PM ~Dan: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
9:34 PM +ShawnCarman: Man we’ve talked about a lot of stuff.
9:36 PM +ShawnCarman: I’d just say how grateful I was to Alan for this whole thing. I finally, finally feel like I am at the helm of my own setting. I can design mechanics without checking a formula sheet to see if I got the damage for a Gargantuan creature’s natural weapons wrong. I don’t have to worry about what die type this bad guy uses. I can focus on the themes
9:36 PM +ShawnCarman: and the stories with a system that is fun and exciting, and still know that the players have tons of options available to them to build the characters they want.
9:36 PM +ShawnCarman: I love to play Pathfinder!
9:36 PM +ShawnCarman: But man it’s hard to write.
9:36 PM +Eric_E: lol
9:37 PM +Eric_E: what about in-game healing?
9:37 PM ~Dan: Usual reminder: If you’ve 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! 🙂
9:37 PM +ShawnCarman: There are character abilities and items that help with that, as well as good old fashioned rest.
9:37 PM +Eric_E: if a party were fighting the 25 health creature you mentioned…1) what kind of damage are they taking per round 2) how do they heal it?
9:38 PM +ShawnCarman: Well if you send newly created characters up against a creature of that level, you are an absolute monster.
9:38 PM +Eric_E: (if it can be done, it will be done somewhere)
9:38 PM +ShawnCarman: However, as characters grow and gain some additional Traits and equipment, it becomes much more possible.
9:39 PM +Eric_E: ok. so HP increase as characters develop?
9:39 PM +ShawnCarman: I had a group of 7th graders who had been playing long enough to earn, I think two additional Traits per character, and they managed to take out a young dragon. Not quite 25 health but I think it was around 15 or 18.
9:39 PM +ShawnCarman: When you get to advance your character, there are absolutely choices that let you add more Health, yes.
9:39 PM +ShawnCarman: Nobody wants a TPK!
9:40 PM +ShawnCarman: Well… maybe the GM, sometimes.
9:40 PM +Eric_E: (agree, my group stopped Shadow of the Demon Lord because the players complained about the lethality – why I’m asking)
9:40 PM +ShawnCarman: I love that game!
9:40 PM +ShawnCarman: So dark, though.
9:41 PM ~Dan: Thanks very much for joining us, ShawnCarman and GKG_Alan!
9:41 PM +ShawnCarman: Thanks for having us, Dan! And thanks for coming, everyone!
9:41 PM ~Dan: If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂
9:41 PM +Eric_E: Thanks guys!