8:31 PM +Owen: Hi! My name is Owen Martin, and I’m here with my brother Adam Martin, and our writing partner Doug. We’re the creators of the Savage Company Campaign Setting for Pathfinder and soon to be 5e.
8:31 PM +Owen: Savage Company is a genre blend military fantasy setting, placing guns and military style gear and equipment alongside the more traditional dungeons, dragons, swords, and sorcery.
8:31 PM +Owen: We have 8 published books so far, 4 of those are free to download. All of the books are evenly mixed with short stories and art along with rules and game content to provide a high entertainment value for readers apart from just using them as game rulebooks.
8:31 PM +Owen: We have one more free book launching this year, and we’re ramping up for a Kickstarter campaign in 2021 for our next huge book that will include stand-alone wargame rules and miniatures.
8:31 PM +Owen: You can find all our current works at (Link: http://wekillpeopleformoney.com/)http://wekillpeopleformoney.com/
8:31 PM +Owen: (done)
8:32 PM ~Dan: Thanks, guys! The floor is open to questions!
8:33 PM ~Dan: Can you describe the setting?
8:33 PM +Owen: The genre is hard to nail down. Essentially, we started with a standard swords and sorcery world and moved forward the technological development of military equipment in an area of low magic. So you have guns and other things ranging from roughly Wild West to Vietnam War era, in a world full of magic and swordplay. All of these things are in the same place,
8:34 PM +Owen: its a good mix of classic fantasy dungeon crawls in a stereotypical fantasy world with added guns and military
8:35 PM ~Dan: Is the full range of races available, and are there any unique to the setting?
8:35 PM +Owen: the main premise is a bunch of orcs set up shop in a low-magic desert (a place unwanted by the greater world) and start farming themselves out as mercenaries
8:35 PM +Adam: Also with a focus on the often-ignored monstrous races. Providing more options for these as player characters.
8:35 PM +Owen: this sets up a boomtown that gives us a central location to send mercenaries out on missions
8:35 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, Eric_E!)
8:35 PM +Eric_E: Hiya
8:36 PM +Owen: we have several of our “takes
8:36 PM +Owen: “takes” on classic or monstrous races, cousin races or different versions
8:37 PM +Doug: The full range of races is available and compatible. There are a few monsters we reimagined as well as some that are entirely new.
8:37 PM +Cortana: (Q&A time?)
8:37 PM ~Dan: (Yup!)
8:38 PM +Owen: its designed to be fully compatible with existing worlds, so anything that exists is fair game, but we have at current 11 new race options in our book
8:38 PM +Owen: *books
8:38 PM ~Dan: Wow, that’s pretty impressive.
8:38 PM ~Dan: Can you give us a few examples of these new race options?
8:39 PM +Owen: a lot of the greater world is pretty vague and undefined at this point, so you can plop down the main town in your own world and add the new elements to your existing games
8:39 PM +Owen: new races
8:40 PM +Owen: my favorite is the Baade, a nomadic race of “red hulks” giant muscled red skinned humanoids with black bones that have deep familial ties and traditions, and travel in great caravans trading and offering their craftsmanship
8:40 PM +Adam: Some of the more edge of reasonable new races include the Skeletals, non-undead magically living skeletons. they take some bonuses from the donor race but also get a few more, including DR for drinking milk.
8:40 PM ~Dan: Heh. 🙂
8:41 PM +Adam: and the Kemano, which are basically anime cat-girls as a race, but with different options for different mammal traits like wolves or bears.
8:41 PM +Owen: hide-able animal traits, like ears or tail, on an otherwise human body
8:41 PM +Doug: One example of a reimagined race of ours would be the Lobstross, an aquatic cousin of the Trox. They share the sheer size and brute strength of the Trox, but their bodies had adapted to the underwater lifestyle, leading them to have powerful swimming legs and arms. This strength also allows them to be just as capable on land as in water.
8:42 PM ~Dan: What is a Trox?
8:43 PM +Owen: trox is a pathfinder race that are essentially subterranean giant bug men, they fill a niche similar to an umber hulk but they are intelligent
8:43 PM +Adam: I’m also a fan of our playable race version of the classic bugbear. We tried to incorporate as alternate traits all the different monster subtypes for bugbears as well.
8:43 PM ~Dan: Ah, I see.
8:43 PM +Owen: so we have Large size lobster people, with everything that entails
8:43 PM ~Dan: Like deliciousness?
8:44 PM +Owen: and BIG CLAWS
8:44 PM +Doug: The Claw King variant is certainly something to see.
8:44 PM +Adam: and possibly cannibalism
8:44 PM +Owen: fast swimming
8:44 PM ~Dan: Is there an actual war (or wars) going on, or is this more mercenary action?
8:44 PM +Owen: they quickly became a fan favorite, even though we did not focus on the lobstross much
8:45 PM +Owen: lots of different scales of combat going on in various portions of the world, at least in our published adventures
8:46 PM +Owen: savage company (the mercenary group) is often hired to enter a combat zone and achieve specific objectives
8:46 PM +Owen: this allows for episodic adventures, where a short arc will take 1 to 2 sessions
8:46 PM +Adam: We are planning on writing a full adventure path that will cover a vast war vs unearthly forces of evil tentatively titled
8:46 PM +Adam: Green Hell
8:47 PM ~Dan: So the tech developed in this one magic-poor area?
8:47 PM +Owen: yes when we get to the AP it will be a global scale war that takes you all the way to 20th level
8:47 PM +Owen: yes
8:47 PM +Adam: which will showcase all the new rules, mechanics, and items we’ve brought into the setting.
8:48 PM ~Dan: How widespread is the tech now?
8:48 PM +Owen: as part of a vast low magic area with many hostile inhabitants, technology was allowed to advance out of necessity
8:48 PM +Owen: its not exclusive to the area, but it was influential
8:48 PM +Adam: a low magic zone in a magic rich world acted as a catalyst of innovation
8:49 PM +Adam: but independent inventors the world over would be concurrently catching up and making their own advancements
8:49 PM +Owen: tech can greatly vary from region to region, so finding guns and military equipment at a level from Wild West to Vietnam is not uncommon
8:50 PM +Doug: These advancements can be seen in the art and lore, lending to world building Savage Company as a company and their home base in the desolate area they reside in.
8:50 PM ~Dan: Is all of the tech military, or have there been civilian tech advancements as well? Are there cars, for example?
8:50 PM +Owen: Part of the core concept, is that none of the technological developments outshine the classic swords or magic. they are alternatives, but not eclipsing
8:50 PM +Adam: keep in mind this is for Pathfinder, which has barbarians riding mammoths a few borders away from downed alien spacecraft and lazer weapons
8:51 PM +Doug: So, yes. There are cars and trucks and motorcycles and more.
8:51 PM +Doug: But the focus in Savage Company is more military in nature, as we like to provide many fun and interesting options, such as chopper style motorcycles for players to use and fight from.
8:51 PM +Owen: as we expand the library of books, we will keep adding to what is revealed about the world, but yes there are places with cars, but I would not say those are common. more a regional development
8:51 PM +Adam: mostly invented by kooky greenskins for battle, but the applications would not be only for war
8:51 PM +Doug: Which can be upgraded with armor, guns, all kinds of fun stuff.
8:52 PM +Owen: and then used in our rolling road combat rules for mad max style battles
8:52 PM +Owen: One thing we are really fond of is providing new creative tools for DMs to keep things interesting, like adding rolling road combat, the mystery villain mechanic from the free Seasonal Special PDF, or rules for truly nonlinear adventures where encounters are not tied to an area but move about and change over time.
8:52 PM +Adam: trains were already a thing, so the world was poised for that next level of tech
8:53 PM +Owen: The next book we are bringing is titled Savage Company: Machines of War. The main focus is a standalone wargame that is fully scalable and compatible with Pathfinder and 5e.
8:53 PM +Owen: This is a complete game that is playable on its own, but will also integrate into hero scale tabletop and is suitable for large scale combat or mass combat alternatives.
8:53 PM +Owen: In addition to the wargame element the book is a full sequel to our first 250 page Campaign Setting book and will greatly expand on enemy factions, races, classes, feats, equipment, and other character options.
8:53 PM +Owen: To go along with this book we are launching a line of miniature figures that will be available as downloadable STL files initially, and eventually physical models that are ready to assemble and paint.
8:55 PM ~Dan: What keeps regions with magic and modern technology from steamrolling regions with only magic?
8:56 PM +Owen: Magic itself is real powerful, like I said before, the technology is an alternative but not necessarily better
8:57 PM +Owen: on the developer side, we’re really careful to present more options and not better options.
8:57 PM +Adam: magic and tech are largely balanced in power and economically, having both would split resources as much as spread power
8:58 PM ~Dan: How is technology produced? Are there factories with mass production?
8:59 PM +Owen: again a lot of the world itself is unwritten, its designed that you can plug our setting into any blank spot on your map and bring these things into your own homebrew world (or the standard settings for the game system, like Golarion)
8:59 PM +Owen: there are some factories, and a lot of crafstmen
9:00 PM +Doug: Savage Company itself also has vehicle maintenance and production facilities of their own, such as Speedy’s Workshop.
9:00 PM ~Dan: To what degree are individual monsters still a threat?
9:00 PM +Owen: Tombstone is our main town and its a bustling gold rush style boomtown with little to no planning and huge amounts of business and people rushing to cash in
9:01 PM +Adam: that really depends on teh monsters and the level of your party
9:01 PM +Owen: to players? the same as always. There are plenty of monsters to encounter, even though a lot of our pre-written adventures heavily feature enemy soldiers
9:01 PM ~Dan: How would a dragon match up against a tank?
9:01 PM +Adam: it’s still a level based advancement and even with guns things should be balanced with existing challenge mechanics
9:02 PM +Owen: a dragon would probably trash a tank with extreme prejudice
9:02 PM +Adam: depends on how much gold you got to supe up your tank 😉
9:03 PM +Owen: oh that too, all vehicles are modular with a full suite of customization options so you can build and upgrade them like legos
9:03 PM +Adam: there are tons of options for customizing vehicles, and if your whole party wants to pool resources to make a powerful vehicle, it can get very strong, but now you’re playing a tank crew instead of an adventuring party.
9:04 PM +Doug: My money is on the dragon against a stock tank. But like Adam and Owen have mentioned, if you’re got the coin, you can make some very formidable stuff with all the available upgrades.
9:05 PM +Owen: and then, the wargame in the next book will introduce war machines, Huge, Colossal, and Gargantuan sized walking tanks, which are on a whole nother level
9:07 PM +Neon_Lord: Is the wargame going to have monsters to vanquish in addition to an opponent? Like as two armies are duking it out can random monsters appear and fight both sides?
9:07 PM +Owen: well the wargame itself can be used standalone, which are balanced point values or scenarios.
9:07 PM +Owen: but
9:08 PM +Owen: when used as large scale combat, it fully integrates into your hero scale game, so whatever narrative the DM wants to bring in is fair game
9:08 PM +Adam: so giant warmachines fighting 60 ft. demons is on the table
9:09 PM +Owen: and you will be able to fluidly scale between hero scale (normal) and large scale (wargame) rules without doing a bunch of math
9:09 PM +Owen: so you can go back and forth, or use both at the same time
9:10 PM ~Dan: Do monsters take sides in the military conflicts?
9:10 PM +Owen: i think that is the biggest “selling point” about the wargame segment, it can be used as mass combat or large scale combat quickly and easily
9:10 PM +Neon_Lord: any skirmish rules? Like a kill team?
9:11 PM +Owen: do monsters take sides? it would depend on the monster I guess. unintelligent ones would probably flee
9:11 PM ~Dan: Well, again, I’m thinking in terms of creatures like dragons.
9:11 PM +Owen: Neon: yea, similar to 40k or battletech skirmishes
9:12 PM +Adam: strongly aligned creatures like devils would probably take sides, depending on who the combatants are
9:12 PM +Neon_Lord: dope dope
9:12 PM +Owen: well dragons are intelligent creatures with their own motivations and plans, so thats kinda up to the DM and the story really
9:12 PM +Doug: Monsters may or may not take sides, but our monsters like whoever is paying the most gold.
9:12 PM +Owen: ^
9:13 PM +Owen: Playing a game of Savage Company is a lot like being the star of an action movie starring orcs
9:13 PM +Doug: Or grenade launcher-wielding Kobolds
9:13 PM +Adam: we haven’t touched on classes at all and it makes me kinda sad
9:13 PM +Owen: ok adam, what are your favorite classes?
9:14 PM +Adam: my absolute favorite has to be the Infantryman
9:14 PM ~Dan: How many new classes are there?
9:15 PM +Doug: 19 classes and archetypes
9:15 PM +Adam: this alt-class of the gunslinger mostly came to me fully-formed in a dream and I feel I was the one to bring it to life as an RPG enthusiast and former infantryman myself.
9:16 PM +Owen: thats just in the main campaign setting book, we have also added 11 Infantryman archetypes in the Infantryman’s Handbook
9:16 PM +Doug: The Infantryman’s Handbook in particular greatly expanded on the Infantryman to give players the ability to form entire squads of specialized soldiers, as well. Some of those include designated marksmen, sapper types, and sabotage and subterfuge styles
9:17 PM +Adam: we wanted a class with military focus that was viable all the way to level 20
9:17 PM +Adam: and it was a big hit
9:17 PM +Owen: and then we expanded its roles with the additional archetypes so that all-infantry parties are extremely viable
9:17 PM +Doug: So, lots and lots of stuff for players to pick and choose from and really create characters that give them everything they want, rather than just a few fun things at a few levels here and there.
9:18 PM +Adam: In the Campaign Setting there were also archetypes for many other classes to give them more firearms focus
9:19 PM +Doug: There will also be some additional races, classes and archetypes with the next book as well.
9:19 PM +Doug: more equipment, as well. Lots of new stuff
9:19 PM +Neon_Lord: How crunchy are the wargame rules?
9:19 PM +Owen: along with 4 new mercenary factions to fight for and or against
9:19 PM +Owen: the wargame rules are very streamlined
9:20 PM +Owen: you will be able to learn and play in a single night
9:20 PM +Neon_Lord: nice
9:20 PM +Owen: where the game itself is designed for fast play
9:20 PM +Owen: the huge depth comes from customization
9:21 PM +Owen: we will have preconfigured war machines, but you will be able to build and customize nearly every aspect from the ground up
9:21 PM +Owen: and all of these things will translate into normal tabletop as well
9:22 PM +Owen: the basic quick start rules will fill a single sheet of paper, but the custom mech depth is huge for people who want to really dig in
9:23 PM +Owen: the play is fast paced, so combat doesn’t take many hours to resolve
9:26 PM +Owen: something that someone asked earlier before the Q&A started is “which version of Pathfinder?”
9:26 PM +Owen: We only write for Original Pathfinder, or 1e. Coming from decades of playing 3.5 and then Pathfinder, we don’t feel like we can write for other systems at a high level of quality like we can for the one system we know very well.
9:26 PM +Owen: We love Pathfinder and now that Paizo is no longer producing content for the system, we think it’s up to people like us to generate new material and keep the system we love alive.
9:26 PM +Owen: We do have content converted for 5e, but we have hired a team from Fat Goblin Games to handle that.
9:26 PM +Owen: We’ve only been producing game content for a year and by no means do we consider ourselves “professionals”
9:28 PM +Owen: We can write at a professional level for this one system, but that’s because we’ve been doing it for ourselves for decades. Beyond that we’re totally lost
9:29 PM +Owen: alright so Dan just went AFK, so I’ll ask ourselves the hardball question
9:29 PM +Owen: Dan: What’s the worst thing about your book?:
9:29 PM +Owen: We are well aware that writing for Pathfinder, and including “guns in fantasy” really pigeonholes us into a narrow market space. Not a lot of people are going to like our particular brand of gun-fueled high octane action, and the market for Original Pathfinder is already limited.
9:29 PM +Owen: Orcs with machine guns is a niche, but we will do our best to own it. The goal is to make quality products that will win readers over, even if it’s outside their normal comfort zone.
9:29 PM +Owen: Part of our strategy is to release a lot of free quality content. We have 4 titles that most people would sell as under $5 or PWYW.
9:29 PM +Owen: We’re hoping that giving away a lot of good content will bring in customers for our larger books, and we know there are a lot of price sensitive customers who may not be able to afford a $15 dollar book, this gives them something that can be played right away.
9:29 PM +Owen: Aside from being a very niche product, one main issue that some players may have is that the increased firepower comes with increased lethality. We try to balance this with GP costs, but not every table is going to use that, and not every table is going to want a more old school character death count.
9:30 PM +Owen: People are very sensitive to game balance and we try to keep everything at the same power level, but it’s easy for balance to go spiraling out of control.
9:30 PM +Owen: We have published a few adventures that help provide an example on how to balance all the elements and maintain a level playing field.
9:30 PM +Adam: mods asleep, post orcs with gunz
9:30 PM +Doug: [Ripper liked that\
9:32 PM +Owen: OK well I think that about wraps up this Q&A session for tonight!
9:32 PM +Owen: Thanks very much for joining us, guys!
9:32 PM +Owen: Usual reminder: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat Dan to a coffee or two, you can do so at (Link: (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)(Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Anything’s appreciated!
9:32 PM +Doug: Thanks for having us!
9:33 PM ~Dan: Thanks for joining us, guys!
9:33 PM +Owen: Thanks everyone, we’ve had a great time tonight, don’t forget to check out Savage Company and download some of those free books at (Link: http://wekillpeopleformoney.com/)http://wekillpeopleformoney.com/
9:33 PM ~Dan: If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
9:33 PM +Adam: :’) 9:33 PM +Owen: awe