7:35 PM +HDP_Dave: Hello, I’m T Dave Silva, game designer and owner of House Dok Productions, creators of Fractured Kingdom, Metahumans Rising, and most recently, The Burning Earth Arena, and Otherworlds expansion for Metahumans Rising.
7:36 PM +HDP_Dave: The Burning Earth uses the core rules from Metahumans Rising, but introduces a new post-apocalyptic setting.
7:37 PM +HDP_Dave: The setting also provides a new life path character creation method that helps to hook you into the setting.
7:39 PM +HDP_Dave: That’s the mile high view, but I can dive in anywhere you think is interesting.
7:40 PM ~Dan: (Just a reminder to give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂 )
7:40 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
7:40 PM ~Dan: Thanks, HDP_Dave! The floor is open to questions!
7:40 PM ~Dan: First, for those unfamiliar, can you say a bit about Metahumans Rising?
7:41 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Nick_Zachariasen! Meet HDP_Dave. 🙂 )
7:41 PM +Nick_Zachariasen: Evening!
7:41 PM ~Dan: (Nick_Zachariasen is the author of METAL WORLD, the heavy metal RPG. Highly recommended!)
7:44 PM +HDP_Dave: Metahumans Rising is our tribute to comics and the various genres of superheroes. It uses the Open Action System which allows players to combine aspects of their past, motivations, and practical knowledge to overcome challenges. The core book provides everything you need to get started and includes guidelines on creating a shared world.
7:44 PM +Nick_Zachariasen: Thanks, Dan!
7:45 PM +HDP_Dave: The Burning Earth Arena really came out of sheltering in place, and a need to write, so I used the rules from Metahumans Rising as a framework to hang the setting on.
7:45 PM +HDP_Dave: Done.
7:45 PM ~Dan: Is The Burning Earth Arena a self-contained game, or does it require Metahumans Rising?
7:47 PM +HDP_Dave: The Burning Earth Arena provides a setting, character generation, and a repeatable adventure framework. However you will need Metahumans Rising for the core rules.
7:47 PM ~Dan: Can you give us an overview of the setting?
7:50 PM +HDP_Dave: The game is set following the Last War. The remaining world powers have fled to orbital space stations tethered to the earth via space elevators. Those left behind work to feed the stations resources and are kept in line via various methods, depending on the region.
7:51 PM ~Dan: Sounds a bit like Battle Angel Alita.
7:52 PM +HDP_Dave: To keep the people placated and weed out decedent the Dogs serving Those Above conduct a series of games where champions from each region compete against one another to hunt down people in the wastelands.
7:52 PM +HDP_Dave: ..
7:53 PM ~Dan: Like The Running Man?
7:53 PM +HDP_Dave: This blood sport is televised around the world and the winner’s region is rewarded with additional food, or other benefits…
7:55 PM +HDP_Dave: The players take the role of Champions, and members of a secret resistance. This means that the characters have to balance hunting down other people, and trying to subvert the system they are slaves to.
7:56 PM +HDP_Dave: There’s a little bit of Battle Angel, a little bit of Running Man, and other sci-fi includes baked in.
7:56 PM +HDP_Dave: Done.
7:56 PM ~Dan: Are the Champions supers?
7:59 PM +HDP_Dave: About as much as Arnie is in the Running Man. The Champions are a cut above average people but in the default setting there are no super powers. That said, It’s designed for Low Powered Heroes and you can use the normal character creation process if you want to integrate those elements.
7:59 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:00 PM ~Dan: Interesting. What was your thinking process about using a superhero game for a no-supers game? Do you see Metahumans Rising as generic at its core?
8:05 PM +HDP_Dave: To answer the second question first, No and yes. Because we wanted to make sure that you could make any character you cold imagine in Metahumans Rising there is a generic element too it. However, the rules bend toward a more cinematic reality where someone doesn’t instantly die from being punched by someone as strong as the Hulk. As for my thinking
8:05 PM +HDP_Dave: process, there was a vision of what the setting should be like, characters would be born into a world that grinds people down, and someone they have survived, even prospered, so leaning into the more heroic rules didn’t feel too weird.
8:05 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:06 PM ~Dan: Aside from the orbital cities, how would you describe the tech level of the setting?
8:09 PM +HDP_Dave: Something more advanced than we have today, but most people don’t have access to high end tech. Scavenging and repurposed technology is a theme in the setting. One of the regions, Ardica has a kind of tech cult that controls what people are allowed to posses. Where as Pride simply has seen most of their advanced tech wiped out.
8:11 PM ~Dan: What is the situation on Earth? Is the whole place a bombed-out wasteland?
8:11 PM +HDP_Dave: If you want I can talk about some examples of repurposed tech, specialized gear based on their region.
8:12 PM ~Dan: Sure!
8:12 PM +HDP_Dave: Different regions have different levels of bombed out wasteland. Ardica is flooded creating toxic cesspools, while Sino is an island Region surrounded by the mud sea. Pride and Brokenback are more like desert wastes.
8:14 PM ~Dan: What sorts of flora and fauna are left, and are there mutants?
8:16 PM +HDP_Dave: Some sample gear would be ;like the Mudback used by Mudsea divers in Sino, it’s a board with four handholds that can be motorized or used as a kickboard. The Thresher is a rod that creates an arcing energy field like a scythe that was scavenged from a downed fighter plan from the last war.
8:19 PM +HDP_Dave: Some interesting Flora comes form Gravetos, it is an ever burning forest with trees that can grow twenty meters overnight only to be set ablaze again by the ever wandering fires. People living in this region forage from the trees before they can be set on fire again. For mutants, we go to Stead, there genetically engineered beasts run wild.
8:20 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, TroyEndGameGaming!)
8:20 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Good evening everyone!
8:21 PM ~Dan: Can you tell us more about these beasts?
8:21 PM +HDP_Dave: There is a sample area for Stead that includes a box canyon where the Champions shift away from hunting Exiles to hunting these monsters, with a bonus being awarded if you can capture them alive.
8:23 PM +HDP_Dave: There are six of seven, including the Razorback Lino, Thornhorn, and Monitor King which is a ten meter long, five meter tall acid spiting lizard.
8:23 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Can I get a link please to get up-to-speed?
8:24 PM ~Dan: drivethrurpg.com/product/315092/The-Burning-Earth-Arena
8:24 PM +HDP_Dave: (Link: http://housedok.com/burning-earth-arena/)http://housedok.com/burning-earth-arena/
8:25 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Thanks
Session Close (#randomworlds): Thu Jun 25 20:26:14 2020 -0500
Session Start (Dan:#randomworlds): Thu Jun 25 20:26:15 2020 -0500
8:26 PM HDP_Dave: Quick aside, all of the House Dok PDFs are PWYW on DTRPG right now. Mentioned this earlier, this came out of the shelter in place, and to help people out changed the prices.
Session Close (#randomworlds): Thu Jun 25 20:26:27 2020 -0500
Session Start (Dan:#randomworlds): Thu Jun 25 20:28:24 2020 -0500
8:28 PM +HDP_Dave: Welcome back.
8:28 PM ~Dan: There we go! Sorry about that.
8:28 PM ~Dan: Thanks!
8:29 PM +HDP_Dave: Should I post my last responses for you?
8:29 PM ~Dan: Might be a good idea.
8:29 PM +HDP_Dave: There are six of seven, including the Razorback Lino, Thornhorn, and Monitor King which is a ten meter long, five meter tall acid spiting lizard.
8:30 PM +HDP_Dave: Quick aside, all of the House Dok PDFs are PWYW on DTRPG right now. Mentioned this earlier, this came out of the shelter in place, and to help people out changed the prices.
8:30 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:30 PM ~Dan: Oh, that’s very cool of you!
8:30 PM ~Dan: So there are genetically altered animals… any altered humans?
8:31 PM +HDP_Dave: Thank you, I know it’s really small in the grand scheme of things but it’s something we could do.
8:32 PM +HDP_Dave: There are Humanals in stead which are advanced primates. If you run the Stead Arena you’re going to have some hard choices to make around what to do there.
8:32 PM ~Dan: (brb — please continue!)
8:40 PM +HDP_Dave: Welcome back
8:40 PM ~Dan: Sheesh. Sorry about that. Dunno what happened there.
8:40 PM +HDP_Dave: Burning Earth Arena’s life path character creation doesn’t give players options for things like genetic engineering or cybernetics. However, players could easily make these characters using the core book and not have an issue in out Otherworlds setting. If we do a Kickstarter to expand this setting, those would probably be the two big things I
8:40 PM +HDP_Dave: would want to include, if only to cover Total Recall, Waterworld, and Hardware as we tour the post apocalyptic cinema landscape.
8:40 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:40 PM ~Dan: Who is the quarry in these events?
8:44 PM +HDP_Dave: Typically Exiles, people who live outside the control of Those Above, and their Dog. However, Stead gets that exception for some big game monster hunting. Something that’s worth noting is that there is no distinction in the Arena being roving gangs, and people who are just trying to survive outside the control of Those Above. As part of the
8:44 PM +HDP_Dave: Resistance, PCs will have to decide how far they are willing to go to win. Oh, an important note, Champions from different regions can work together, but there’s a bonus if you kill another champion, so chose your alliances carefully.
8:44 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:46 PM ~Dan: What is a Dog in this context?
8:47 PM +HDP_Dave: Dogs are those who maintain the social order for Those Above, they can be government officials, or police anyone who is there to enforce thew rules.
8:47 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:49 PM ~Dan: What kinds of tech do Those Above have at their disposal?
8:53 PM +HDP_Dave: Unclear, but we know at least one of them is not above launching super accelerated projectiles at their own people to keep them in line. Does this mean they could wipe out any Exiles in their region, yes, yes it does, but they would rather use it too keep their own people in line. One piece of technology that we do explore is a Jumpcarrier large
8:53 PM +HDP_Dave: enough to carry a detachment of soldiers, it’s used to pick up Champions from each region, and the game’s host has access to one that’s been turned into a personal studio that tours the arena as he interviews the Champions pre-game.
8:54 PM +HDP_Dave: The Jumpcarrier is capable of sub-orbital flight, and this is where champions can actually see the orbiting palaces of Those Above.
8:54 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
8:57 PM ~Dan: How is it possible for the Champions to fight back against Those Above?
9:00 PM ~Dan: Howdy, GenoFoxx!
9:00 PM +HDP_Dave: This really depends on your goals as a game group. The book gives you a number of options from minor victories like delivering supplies to the Resistance living inside an Arena while the cameras are not on them, to destabilizing the whole system. Because each arena is designed to be different this can be played as a one shot adventure or short
9:00 PM +HDP_Dave: campaign. GMs should set stakes accordingly and we have section of the book that discussions options for your games.
9:00 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
9:01 PM ~Dan: Can you tell us a bit about the Metahumans Rising system?
9:02 PM +HDP_Dave: Sure, is there an area you wold like me to start?
9:03 PM ~Dan: Oh, maybe just basic task resolution?
9:04 PM +HDP_Dave: The system uses Base Attribute + other applicable characteristics + 2 (to 6) d6 against a Target, this can be a static number, an opposed roll, or series or rolls depending on the task.
9:05 PM ~Dan: What determines the number of d6?
9:06 PM +HDP_Dave: A character can attempt any action and if they have no characteristics that fit they simply roll their Attribute +2d6. For each additional type of characteristic that applies such as a Talent or Power add a d6.
9:06 PM +HDP_Dave: Lets say you wanted to jump across rooftops…
9:07 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Inky!)
9:08 PM +Inky: (Hello, hello!)
9:08 PM +HDP_Dave: You would roll Dexterity + 2d6. If you had a talent for Leaping or Acrobatics you cold add that in gaining an extra d6. So Dexterity + Acrobatics + 3d6, if you had both, you could get the static bonus but not the extra die. Someone with a fitting power like Super jump could add that as well for Dexterity + Acrobatics + Super Jump +4d6
9:09 PM ~Dan: Ah, yes, I recall that now.
9:09 PM +HDP_Dave: Each 6 you roll gives you a small bonus, so being able to pull in different types of characteristics provides extra rewards.
9:09 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
9:10 PM ~Dan: What was your rationale behind this system?
9:15 PM +HDP_Dave: When I was working on Fractured Kingdom, I wanted a system that would allow characters who were not as skilled to compete with experts because they had some other type of edge. So you could be attacked by a normal person who was extremely skilled, but you had a chance to avoid being hurt because of a supernatural edge. This allowed characters to
9:15 PM +HDP_Dave: have lower values across a more diverse pallet but still be able to compete with very specialized characters.
9:15 PM +HDP_Dave: …
9:16 PM +HDP_Dave: This laid the groundwork for Metahumans Rising and allowing Talents and Powers to work almost interchangeably with each having their own quirks.
9:16 PM +HDP_Dave: Done.
9:18 PM ~Dan: Cool!
9:19 PM ~Dan: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
9:19 PM +HDP_Dave: Oh yeah!
9:19 PM +HDP_Dave: The character creation life path.
9:20 PM ~Dan: Oh, right! Let’s hear about that.
9:22 PM +HDP_Dave: To create a character the player answers a few key questions: What region are they from? How were they raised? What was their occupation before becoming a Champion? When did they join the Underground? And, why? What secret have you kept from everyone?
9:23 PM +HDP_Dave: Each of these questions will impact the character’s starting Backgrounds, Attributes, Talents, Fighting Style, and Gear. Then at the end of character creation, you have a few points to tweak things to taste.
9:25 PM +HDP_Dave: Our character creation example is Happy Jack Runner, he’s from Pride, raised as an Exile, and worked on an Agro (Farm), they joined the Underground as an adult, because his brother was kidnapped by Dogs. His secret is that he was a scientist doing forced labor at the Agro.
9:26 PM +HDP_Dave: Done
9:26 PM ~Dan: Nice!
9:26 PM ~Dan: Oh, I suppose I should ask danhunsaker’s favorite question, since he doesn’t seem to be here at the moment…
9:27 PM +HDP_Dave: Thank you, I’m really happy the way the life path system worked out.
9:27 PM +HDP_Dave: Sure
9:27 PM ~Dan: What is your LEAST favorite aspect of The Burning Earth?
9:27 PM +HDP_Dave: There’s an easy answer and a hard answer for this.
9:29 PM ~Dan: Intriguing!
9:29 PM +HDP_Dave: The easy answer is the lack of art, because the project was self funded we don’t have that many images in the book, That said, I love the cover Jake put together featuring our master of ceremonies Don Steele-Daunn.
9:31 PM +Inky: Sorry for being so quiet, sounds like a definitely intriguing!
9:31 PM +HDP_Dave: The hard answer is the there are a lot of things I wanted to add but the page count was getting a bit too high. To go back to the idea of a full Kickstarter, we wold probably want to add options for mutations, cyberware, and other life path choices to expand character creation as well as add in additional sample arenas and of course more artwork.
9:32 PM * ~Dan nods
9:33 PM ~Dan: Good answers!
9:33 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! 🙂
9:33 PM ~Dan: Thanks very much for joining us, HDP_Dave!
9:33 PM +HDP_Dave: With so many people suffering globally right now we canceled out planned Kickstarter for this year, and put the Burning Earth Arena together.
9:33 PM ~Dan: Sounds like that might have been a good idea.
9:34 PM +HDP_Dave: One last thing I’d like to note before we wrap if I can.
9:35 PM ~Dan: Sure!
9:36 PM +HDP_Dave: Don Steele-Daunn is the host of the Arena, and is the face of the games. These even a TV commercial described in the adventure that features Don, and that’s what we’re seeing depicted on the cover.
9:36 PM +HDP_Dave: He was a blast to write, so I wanted to give a mention to the character.
9:36 PM +HDP_Dave: Done.
9:36 PM +Inky: I always like to offer when I see ttrpg projects that need art. 🙂 My style isn’t for everyone, but if ya need some doodles (free, I’m up for a challenge and fun), feel free to hit me up.
9:37 PM ~Dan: Oh, that’s cool!
9:37 PM ~Dan: If you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the log posted and link you!