8:30 PM +CraigCampbell: Hello all, I’m Craig Campbell, owner of NerdBurger Games.
8:31 PM +CraigCampbell: Good Strong Hands is a fantasy tabletop roleplaying game where you portray fantastic creatures and their newly arrived human allies working to save your home of Reverie from destruction by the faceless, malevolent force known only as the Void.
8:31 PM +CraigCampbell: The game draws inspiration from movies like The Neverending Story, Legend, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Willow. While Reverie is a land of the fantastical, filled with whimsy, it is also beset by this sinister, destructive force. Characters will be constantly tempted by the Void’s corruption, even as they seek to end it.
8:31 PM +CraigCampbell: The stories you tell will be those of friendship, teamwork, self-empowerment, overcoming harmful forces, and dealing with a world in crisis. You’ll do all of this…with your good, strong hands.
8:31 PM +CraigCampbell: Done.
8:32 PM ~Dan: Thanks, CraigCampbell! The floor is open to questions!
8:33 PM ~Dan: Can you tell us a bit more about the setting?
8:34 PM +CraigCampbell: The game is set in the world of Reverie. Only the basics are described in the game book. The game supposes that the players and GM will build the world together during play. Their are some basics about the different folk you can play and some geography, towns, etc. But mostly you build the world yourselves.
8:35 PM +CraigCampbell: The idea is that you’ll build “your Reverie” and then save it from the Void. You’re not saving a world I created for you. You’re saving a world you created for you and your friends.
8:35 PM ~Dan: Are there any givens for any setting?
8:35 PM +CraigCampbell: But all in all, it’s a fantastical world that is generally peaceful and lovely, except when the Void arrives.
8:36 PM ~Dan: What sorts of creatures can the PCs play?
8:37 PM +CraigCampbell: The folk available to play will, I hope, guide you in what kind of world it is. None of the following are described in the book: dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, drow, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, ogres. The hope is that the lack of those types of creatures will get players out of the more traditional fantasy world mindset that we’re all so
8:37 PM +CraigCampbell: familiar with from D&D and the like.
8:37 PM +CraigCampbell: You can play brownies, fauns, humans, imps, pixies, redcaps, stonekin, sylphs, wildkin, and woodkin. Two other folk are part of the current stretch goal: animants and paragons.
8:38 PM ~Dan: What are those last two
8:38 PM ~Dan: ?
8:38 PM +CraigCampbell: And there will be a blank form-fillable PDF character playbook and guidelines for creating your own folks. So you can populate your Reverie with whomever you want.
8:39 PM +CraigCampbell: Animants are inanimate objects given life by magic. Lumiere, from Beauty and the Beast, anyone? Paragons are unique, sapient members of a particular animal species, who act as guardians and emissaries for their species.
8:40 PM +Silverlion: Good Strong Hands?
8:40 PM +CraigCampbell: Yep.
8:40 PM +Silverlion: Cool. I message you over there…btw. About late support.
8:40 PM +CraigCampbell: Ah, gotcha.
8:40 PM ~Dan: How are paragons different from wildkin?
8:42 PM +CraigCampbell: Wildkin are anthropomorphci animals, so fox-people, badger-people, otter-people. They can transform into their animal form and speak with their animal type, plus other abilities they have. Paragons are more like actual animals that speak. Think Aslan from Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe, if he was simply the guardian of the Lions, as opposed to a Christ
8:42 PM +CraigCampbell: figure.
8:42 PM +CraigCampbell: Wildkin were inspired by Sir Didymus from Labyrinth.
8:42 PM ~Dan: Ah, I see.
8:43 PM * ~Dan nods
8:43 PM ~Dan: What are your redcaps like? To my understanding, those are murderous faeries.
8:44 PM +CraigCampbell: In the little bit of info that’s provided (again, the players will help develop what they’re like in your Reverie), they’re presented as perceived to have a violent side. But also described as having something to prove and being very loyal to those who earn their trust.
8:45 PM ~Dan: Is the Void the only adversary? Does it spawn its own creatures?
8:47 PM +CraigCampbell: The Void is the overriding force of entropy and destruction. It’s not really presented as a being to defeat directly. You can stop it…for now. But it’ll come back. Adversaries include those who the Void has lured and tempted to its side with promises of…whatever appeals to the person. There are also bestial creatures that become more ferocious
8:47 PM +CraigCampbell: when the Void is around. And the Void can send Void scions to Reverie. These are sort of “avatars” of the Void and are nastier.
8:48 PM ~Dan: What forms do those take?
8:49 PM +Eric_E: How similar/different are we talking to Changeling the X?
8:49 PM +CraigCampbell: Anything you can imagine. Some of the GM info presents malevolent spirit like beings, an evil crown, a horrible dragon.
8:50 PM +CraigCampbell: Eric – Quite different. Though I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of inspiration drawn from Changeling. I loved the original game.
8:51 PM +CraigCampbell: None of the action takes place on Earth. All in Reverie. Humans aren’t native to Reverie. So if you play a human, you’ve traveled to Reverie and are an outsider…a curiosity.
8:51 PM ~Dan: Are the humans from modern-day Earth?
8:52 PM +CraigCampbell: It’s not specified in the game. There’s no reason you couldn’t play the humans from any era or even an imagined future Earth. That said, it seems like most players have latched onto the idea of a modern day human in Reverie, if for no other reason than movies like Labyrinth and Neverending Story.
8:52 PM * ~Dan nods
8:53 PM +CraigCampbell: I look forward to someone telling me about a game where the human had a laser pistol.
8:53 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
8:53 PM ~Dan: What is a typical adventure like?
8:55 PM +CraigCampbell: The book presents a series of 2-page story schemes, which are essentially adventure outlines. Some background. A setup, what the story is about, and what the characters have to do. And then a bunch of inspiration. Questions the GM can ask the players to help flesh out the world. NPCs. Threats, Challenges. Monsters. Some things receive a bit more
8:55 PM +CraigCampbell: development, particularly those which might be part of the climax of the story.
8:55 PM +CraigCampbell: Stories might be…
8:57 PM +CraigCampbell: A straight up, slay the dragon. Rescue a village from terrible nightmares. Overthrow/spark rebellion in a town beset by corrupted leaders. Travel to a spirit realm to free the spirit of a great hero to help fight the Void.Fight a demon that creates an entire realm out of your characters’ mutated memories.
8:57 PM +CraigCampbell: Done.
8:58 PM ~Dan: How can the Void itself be opposed?
8:59 PM +CraigCampbell: Vanquishing its minions and scions. Getting others to join the fray. Working together. Anything that weakens the Void’s hold on the world. If you play a campaign, the GM can craft a big “end game” where some major push takes place that finally wrenches the Void free of Reverie for a couple centuries so peace settles again for a time. Until it
9:00 PM +CraigCampbell: returns, as it always does.
9:03 PM ~Dan: How similar is the Void to the Nothing from The Neverending Story?
9:04 PM +CraigCampbell: Essentially the same thing. 🙂
9:04 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Hi CraigCampbell sorry I am a bit late. HUGE fan of the 80’s tropes that inspired the game. Even the title’s homage to the Rock Bitter makes my heart twitter. I was just about to ask that Dan?
9:04 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: ! not ?
9:04 PM ~Dan: 🙂
9:04 PM ~Dan: Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
9:04 PM +CraigCampbell: Stonekin are a little bit inspired by Rockbiter. A little bit by Ludo from Labyrinth.
9:05 PM +CraigCampbell: The Wildkin playbook is on the Kickstarter page.
9:05 PM +CraigCampbell: Is there a way to post one here?
9:05 PM ~Dan: There is. Are you using the KiwiIRC page?
9:05 PM +CraigCampbell: Yep.
9:05 PM ~Dan: Okay, see the emoji symbol in the lower right-hand corner?
9:06 PM +CraigCampbell: Yep.
9:06 PM ~Dan: There’s an upload button right next to it. The little up-arrow icon.
9:06 PM +CraigCampbell: Uploaded file: (Link: https://uploads.kiwiirc.com/files/6e7065934cc9bafb6f7928478129252d/Example%20Playbook.png)https://uploads.kiwiirc.com/files/6e7065934cc9bafb6f7928478129252d/Example%20Playbook.png
9:07 PM +CraigCampbell: There have been some minor changes to what’s on the sheets since this iteration, but that’s 95% what it’ll look like.
9:07 PM * ~Dan nods
9:08 PM ~Dan: What is the task resolution mechanic?
9:08 PM +CraigCampbell: Characters have four Traits (Body, Mind, Charm, and Heart), each rated 1-4. When determining whether you succeed on a task that has consequences for failure, you’ll roll a number of six-sided dice equal to the rating of the Trait being used versus a target number between 4 and 6.
9:08 PM +CraigCampbell: Every time you make a Trait check, besides determining success or failure, you’ll earn a point in one of three tracks (Skill, Spirit, or Shadow).
9:08 PM +CraigCampbell: You spend Skill to advance your character. Spirit is spent to gain in-game advantages. Shadow describes how much the Void has taken notice of your hero.
9:09 PM +CraigCampbell: If you fail your check, the GM can introduce a Complication. And you mark 1 Skill.
9:10 PM +CraigCampbell: If you succeed with exactly one die hitting or exceeding your target number, you mark 1 Spirit.
9:10 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Great sheet 🙂 Would you describe the system as rules lite?
9:10 PM +CraigCampbell: If you succeed with more than one die hitting or exceeding the target number, you gain a Boon, and mark 1 Shadow.
9:11 PM +CraigCampbell: Definitely rules light. Four traits. Three tracks to manage. Some Talents and Corruptions. Your entire character is on those two pages.
9:11 PM +CraigCampbell: Every playbook has a different set of Talents and Corruptions themed for that type of folk.
9:11 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Very nice
9:11 PM +CraigCampbell: Done.
9:12 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: On the mechanics, what type of system? d20? d6? dNothing lol. Or something entirely different?
9:12 PM +CraigCampbell: All d6s. You roll apool of d6s equal to your score in the Trait, 1-4/
9:13 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Got it!
9:14 PM ~Dan: Is there a magic system?
9:14 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: What drove the decision to go rules lite and use a d6 system?
9:15 PM +CraigCampbell: AYP – I wanted it to be a game that relies on narrative more. Less rules fiddling. More storytelling and cooperative worldbuilding.
9:15 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: very nice
9:15 PM +CraigCampbell: Dan – Some Talents are defined as specifically being magic. Often, it’s noted what “realm” of magic it is, like “emotion” or “fire.” If you have a Talent with a keyword like that, you can also cast minor magics in the realms you have.
9:17 PM +CraigCampbell: Minor magic is a Heart Check. You can accomplish anything that you could normally accomplish with a Body, Mind, or Charm check, by describing how that realm of magic accomplishes it. It’s intended to be about imagination. Describe, for example, how “emotion” magic and distract someone (rather than making another type of check to distract someone).
9:17 PM +CraigCampbell: And roll.
9:17 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Have you ever read Dennis McKiernan CraigCampbell?
9:17 PM +CraigCampbell: AYP – Nope.
9:18 PM +CraigCampbell: How emotion magic MIGHT distract someone…
9:19 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: You definitely should. Your world is giving me his Hidden Ones vibe too. I love it 🙂 Start with Voyage of the Fox Rider.
9:19 PM +CraigCampbell: 🙂
9:19 PM ~Dan: How is combat handled?
9:19 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Sorry you may have answered this already. I thought I saw @dan mention something. How are the Humans involved?
9:20 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, FreeGamer!)
9:21 PM +CraigCampbell: Dan – The game handles all challenges with those four Traits. Some Talents and Corruptions are useful in a fight, but not all. It’s a matter of describing what you’re doing in the fight and making the appropriate check. If you succeed and it’s a minor foe, you kill or knock them unconscious or make them run away or whatever. Tougher foes might take
9:21 PM +CraigCampbell: more “hits.” If you get multiple successful dice, that Boon counts as an extra “hit.”
9:22 PM +CraigCampbell: Significant threats (like climactic challenges) might require eight or more “hits.” So it’s best if all the characters are involved. That said, one character could be striking blows. Another could be influencing the foe with words. All the successful checks go “in the same pot.”
9:22 PM +CraigCampbell: Done.
9:22 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: I like that it is based on the traits. Not enough games simply rely on the attributes to do things in the game without adding endless unnecessary mechanics… WHY DO I EVEN HAVE THE TRAITS THEN?? That is cool that you use the traits as the basis for actions.
9:22 PM +CraigCampbell: AYP – All humans come from Earth. There are no humans native to Reverie, so they are outsiders…curiosities.
9:23 PM ~Dan: How do weapons and armor function?
9:23 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: The the Folk of Reverie know where they came from? Do the humans know where they came from?
9:24 PM +CraigCampbell: I’ve run enjoyable combats that resolved in fifteen minutes against a big foe and a couple smaller ones. No analysis paralysis of combat options. Describe a cool thing your character does and make the appropriate check.
9:24 PM +CraigCampbell: Dan – Weapons and armor have no mechanics in the game. You want to fight with a fist? Or a sword? It’s all the same Body Check. Just describe what your fist or sword does.
9:25 PM +CraigCampbell: AYP – Everyone knows where they come from.
9:26 PM +CraigCampbell: Armor is unneeded in mechanics because the GM doesn’t roll dice. Your character suffers Conditions due to failing at Trait Checks. Or by failing to resist effects put into play by the GM. If you say your character has armor on, you might ask for advantage on your resistance check against something that armor would help against. It’s all very free
9:26 PM +CraigCampbell: flowing.
9:26 PM +CraigCampbell: Done.
9:27 PM ~Dan: So do NPCs have stats?
9:27 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: That’s neat (and appropriate to the game) that the rule system is “free flowing” “whimsical”
9:27 PM +CraigCampbell: The GM doesn’t manage any stat block. No monster or NPC stats.
9:28 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: I love when a games mechanics FEEL like the game itself
9:28 PM +CraigCampbell: The most a GM has to keep track of is how many hits (successful dice checks) it takes to overcome a monster/NPC/challenge. And there’s a mechanic for “milestones” in those big challenges. For example, every third hit against the challenge, the GM introduces some complication or the foe does something nasty.
9:29 PM +CraigCampbell: The game is built very much on a group of heroes helping each other and helping their world. The mechanics and cooperative worldbuilding are meant to reflect that.
9:30 PM +CraigCampbell: It’s also well suited to online play. Once you know the rules, players just need a two-page playbook and the GM needs a two-page story scheme. No managing maps and minis. No multiple sourcebooks to reference. No gigantic chapter of lore/setting to keep in mind. No stat blocks to prepare or memorize.
9:30 PM +CraigCampbell: Done.
9:32 PM ~Dan: How large is the book?
9:32 PM +CraigCampbell: If all goes well with the stretch goals, I foresee a 144 page hardcover.
9:32 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Dan keeps asking my questions lol
9:32 PM +CraigCampbell: 🙂
9:32 PM * ~Dan chuckles
9:32 PM ~Dan: Not my first rodeo. 😉
9:33 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: that is a good size book for rules lite. Is that because of the art/design direction/formatting style of the book?
9:34 PM +CraigCampbell: It’s 6×9. Also, there are a lot of story schemes for the GM to use. Enough to run a pretty long campaign.
9:35 PM ~Dan: Is this a one-shot or the start of a game line?
9:35 PM +CraigCampbell: Rules chapter should be 14 pages, including art and graphic stuff and some examples and sidebars.
9:35 PM +CraigCampbell: I expect this to be a one shot game book.
9:36 PM ~Dan: That being the case, what’s up next for you?
9:36 PM +CraigCampbell: Re: Rules, that’s the equivalent of maybe 6 total pages of 8-1/2×11 rules.
9:37 PM +CraigCampbell: I’m tinkering with two things right now. Another game using this system slightly modified, called Nowhereville. That’s a small town horror game a la Stephen King/Twin Peaks.
9:37 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: nice
9:37 PM +CraigCampbell: And a very short, zine-style game that’s super light on rules and very heavy on improv. Called Low Stakes. It’s basically What We Do in the Shadows, the RPG.
9:38 PM ~Dan: Cool!
9:38 PM ~Dan: What is your *least* favorite aspect of Good Strong Hands?
9:39 PM +CraigCampbell: That’s a mean question.
9:39 PM +CraigCampbell: 🙂
9:40 PM +CraigCampbell: I’m pretty happy with it. That said, I’m sure I’ll see a shortcoming or two in time and THAT will become my least favorite aspect of it.
9:40 PM ~Dan: Blame danhunsaker. It’s “his” question. I’ve just kept using it. 🙂
9:41 PM +CraigCampbell: Hah!
9:41 PM ~Dan: I’m afraid I’m a bit tapped out for questions at the moment… Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
9:44 PM +CraigCampbell: The Kickstarter is doing well and I’m pretty confident we’ll get to where I want to be. In addition to the monetary stretch goal for the final two playbooks, there’s a backer number stretch goal. When we hit 200 backers getting the hardcover, we upgrade from Print on Demand to a print run. Better quality. Sewn binding. Great color. And the limited
9:44 PM +CraigCampbell: edition hardcover becomes leatherette with a foil stamped alternate cover design.
9:44 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: I am gonna run @dan and CraigCampbell! My Kickstarter ends in 15 mins!! I can’t wait to check this game out Chris and thank you for sharing!!
9:44 PM +CraigCampbell: Thanks, AYP.
9:45 PM +AreYouPlanetbound: Where can we follow you? SM links?
9:45 PM +CraigCampbell: Oh, and the support materials will include form-fillable PDF character playbooks for all the character types. So that’s cool and very handy for online play.
9:45 PM ~Dan: Take care, AreYouPlanetbound!
9:46 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! 🙂
9:46 PM ~Dan: Thanks very much for joining us, CraigCampbell!
9:47 PM +CraigCampbell: You’re welcome. Thanks for reaching out, Dan.
9:47 PM +Akyla: you should join us on Discord AYP (Link: https://discord.gg/um53mb)https://discord.gg/um53mb
9:48 PM ~Dan: Certainly!
9:48 PM ~Dan: Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!