[7:34 PM] scrivthebard
: Hello hello folks! Thanks for having me here
I go by Scriv the Bard on most platforms. I’m a Cultural Psychologist in my 9-5 and a freelance writer/game designer every other spare minute of the day. I got my start doing D&D Storytelling Workshops for kids years ago, which snowballed into family-friendly campaigns, writing articles, designing original, all-ages content, and now…Kickstarting my own indie TTPRG system, Bard RPG! (done)
[7:34 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Thanks, @scrivthebard! The floor is open to questions!1
[7:34 PM] Dan the GMshoe: What is the premise of Bard RPG?
[7:36 PM] scrivthebard: Bard RPG is a genre-agnostic system designed with players of all ages in mind. The system mechanics themselves are inspired by concepts pulled from literature and psychology, and emphasize reflection, mindful action, and building collaborative storytelling skills.
[7:37 PM] scrivthebard: I took a lot of inspiration from those early Storytelling Workshops and working a lot with what I like to call a “multigenerational gaming table”. Fancy way of saying I had players as young as 6 and as old as 50 (ish), all exploring an adventure together. (edited)
[7:37 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Very nice! I love that.
[7:38 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Do you plan on coming out with any settings for Bard?
[7:38 PM] scrivthebard: (Amended the ages just in case, haha)
[7:38 PM] Miguel C.: I suppose my first question is: what is meant by pulling concepts from psychology? That is a tad broad and can mean anything from pulling on Jungian archetypes to having a sanity system a la Call of Cthulhu.
@Dan the GMshoeDo you plan on coming out with any settings for Bard?[7:39 PM] scrivthebard: Yes! If the Bard RPG Kickstarter and subsequent sales go well, I hope to eventually release the Iyastera Wanderer’s Guide, an original campaign setting I’ve used for our Twitch streamed game for a couple of years.
@Miguel C.I suppose my first question is: what is meant by pulling concepts from psychology? That is a tad broad and can mean anything from pulling on Jungian archetypes to having a sanity system a la Call of Cthulhu.[7:42 PM] scrivthebard: Great question! So I did indeed pull from Jungian Archetypes for the player character Archetypes within the game: including Will and Ability Subarchetypes. I suppose that would be the most obvious example. But the way character creation and advancement itself is designed, as well as specific gameplay elements (such as a post-chapter Reflection Period) is intended to emphasize that mindful action. Oftentimes in life, we tend to act first and think about it later. I wanted Bard RPG to emphasize the thinking first, to help build that collaborative and deliberate storytelling mindset.
[7:43 PM] scrivthebard: Certain aspects of gameplay are also intended to encourage interpersonal and intrapersonal skill building– valuable lessons for young adventurers.
[7:43 PM] scrivthebard: (done for now)
[7:44 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Can we see the character sheet?
[7:44 PM] scrivthebard: Absolutely!
[7:45 PM] scrivthebard: This is designed in conjunction with one of the artists on the team, Josh Somerville-Jacklin (@mythiccomicsart)
[7:45 PM] Dan the GMshoe: That’s a very pretty character sheet.
[7:45 PM] Miguel C.: Least favorite part of the process of making a new gaming system?
[7:45 PM] scrivthebard: Thank you! He took my original, basic format and made it absolutely beautiful haha
[7:46 PM] Dan the GMshoe: What do the symbols mean? I’m assuming those are attributes of some sort?
@Miguel C.Least favorite part of the process of making a new gaming system?[7:47 PM] scrivthebard: Ooh, I’d have to say the period of time right before you start playtesting, and the mental preparation for having the system torn open haha. Although once you get moving with the testing, it can also be one of the most exciting! Also: working out the mathematical aspects is a bit funky sometimes.
@Dan the GMshoeWhat do the symbols mean? I’m assuming those are attributes of some sort?[7:48 PM] scrivthebard: Yes! So each Archetype has access to the same four Action Domains: Supernatural, Social, Physical, and Technological (in the image, from left to right) The strengths of each domain are dependent on the Ability Sub-Archetype you choose.
[7:49 PM] scrivthebard: The Ability Sub-Archetype (SA going forward), will give you a Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Inferior arrangement in your Action Stack– this may sound familiar to the MBTI personality stacks for some other psychology nerds out there.
[7:50 PM] scrivthebard: The idea was to do away with having to memorize entire lists of abilities, skills, and spells, and instead focus in on the core actions that players can use to drive the story forward. I also wanted to offer players the opportunity to get creative with their actions, so we provide a referential Action Wheel:
[7:51 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Do you have a picture of that to share?
[7:51 PM] scrivthebard: I do, just trying to find the most recent version
[7:54 PM] scrivthebard: There we go. The symbols need to be updated, as you can see, but this is the basic version of our Action Wheel, used in our first playtests.
[7:55 PM] scrivthebard: Clockwise from top left: Social, Tech, Physical, and Supernatural.
[7:55 PM] scrivthebard: (done)
[7:55 PM] Dan the GMshoe: (The (done) is really just for the end of the intro. We used to use it for the whole chat, but it got tiresome. )
[7:56 PM] scrivthebard: Gotcha! Well I actually forgot to say that this wheel in particular is tailored for a fantasy setting
[7:56 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Can you describe task resolution?
[7:56 PM] scrivthebard: Yep! So we do use a dice-based system, in which players roll anywhere from 2 to 6d6 to perform their actions.
[7:57 PM] scrivthebard: Remember the Action Stack? That dictates how many d6s are rolled: Primary: 5d6 Secondary: 4d6 Tertiary: 3d6 Inferior: 2d6 (edited)
[7:58 PM] scrivthebard: Sometimes a player will be able to use Plot Points they collect to boost one of their rolls by 1d6, and tie it into either a Wish, Bond, or Story Thread.
[7:59 PM] scrivthebard: Dice are also used to execute Special Actions (tied to the Will SA) or to invoke a powerful Plot Twist, which is dependent on expending a larger number of the gathered Plot Points.
[8:00 PM] scrivthebard: (I’ll pause there for now before I start rambling, haha)
[8:00 PM] Dan the GMshoe: What are you rolling against?
[8:02 PM] scrivthebard: You roll against a specified Challenge Tier, which will represent the difficulty of the task at hand. So the total outcome of the d6 roll will need to fall within a certain range of numbers for Tier 1-6.
[8:02 PM] scrivthebard: For example:
[8:04 PM] scrivthebard: Tier 1: 2-6; Most people can achieve this without much difficulty. Tier 2: 7-12; It takes a basic level of proficiency to complete this Challenge Tier 3: 13-18; You must be skilled in your Actions to achieve this task. Tier 4: 19-24; You must be adept in your Actions to achieve this Challenge. Tier 5: 25-30; You must have mastery of your Actions to achieve this Challenge
[8:05 PM] scrivthebard: I wanted to provide a range for greater flexibility in determining the extent of success/failure.
[8:06 PM] scrivthebard: Some more complex challenges will use a Story Wheel approach, in which you need multiple “successes” to turn the wheel towards completion. BUT failed/mismatched actions may result in the imposition of Burdens and a “rewinding” of the Wheel.
[8:07 PM] Dan the GMshoe: I’m not clear on how the Wheel functions.
[8:09 PM] scrivthebard: It’s similar to a progressive clocks system, where you’ll have a wheel divided up into 4, 6, or 8 parts
[8:10 PM] scrivthebard: But we wanted to use the visual of turning a spoked wheel, as opposed to filling in sections of the clock, to also show that you can either progress or regress. This is used for more complex, sometimes climactic Challenges that require multiple steps to overcome. This can be an escape from an obstacle/trap, a timed puzzle, or a combat encounter. It depends on the style of encounter you want to create.
[8:11 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Can you give an example of the Story Wheel in use?
[8:12 PM] scrivthebard: Sure! So in one of our campaigns (Outpost 5 on Twitch/Youtube), the players had to sneakily infiltrate a warehouse to rescue a captured scientist. There were armed guards posted around the building, so it wasn’t going to be easy.
[8:14 PM] scrivthebard: They had to (1) Gain entrance to the locked and guarded warehouse, (2) Sneak in without alerting the guards, (3) Find the scientist, (4) Find how to release the scientist (5) Escape and (6) either avoid or succeed in combat when discovered.
[8:15 PM] scrivthebard: So we used a more moderate 6-spoke Story Wheel. With each succeeded step, the Wheel turned towards completion. Unfortunately, the players had some setbacks with the “sneaking in” stage, which ultimately alerted the guards and led to a gunfight.
[8:16 PM] scrivthebard: So they had to improvise. This led to only a partial success with the Story Wheel, as they only completed some of the steps successfully.
[8:17 PM] scrivthebard: As a result, they were able to rescue the scientist, but they retained injuries in the process and exposed their identities to the “big bad”
[8:17 PM] scrivthebard: I hope that helps illustrate it a little better!
[8:19 PM] scrivthebard: During gameplay, I have a visual representation of the Story Wheel for the players to see. Having that more tangible representation of a challenge also helps to build that sense of suspense and urgency for the players.
[8:19 PM] Dan the GMshoe: So it’s used to measure progress toward a goal requiring multiple steps?
[8:19 PM] scrivthebard: Yes!
[8:20 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Okay, that makes sense. I was thinking that it was involved in task resolution itself.1
[8:21 PM] scrivthebard: Not directly More the accumulation of multiple tasks, as you said before!
[8:22 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Got it.
[8:22 PM] Dan the GMshoe: So everything is based off of the attributes? There are no skills?
[8:24 PM] scrivthebard: That’s correct. It’s based on the Action Stack and the player’s ability to pair actions with their motivations/will, wishes, bonds, and Story Threads (which are key pieces of information or clues they discover over the course of their adventure).
[8:25 PM] scrivthebard: Bard RPG focuses on Character-Driven, vs. Plot Driven, storytelling. So every action needs to be narrated and connected to the player’s will and goals.
[8:26 PM] scrivthebard: The story won’t progress without action and engaging both aspects of your Archetype: Will and Ability. Here’s a snipped from the guide:
[8:27 PM] HOO (Biological Male): I think the story wheel is interesting
[8:27 PM] scrivthebard: Your unique Archetype represents the role you play within the story. It is comprised of two parts: your Will and your Ability. Will Archetypes: The ideals and wishes that motivate your actions— the “Why” behind your Character. These archetypes each have Special Actions (SA) that can be used when the Character’s core motivations are engaged, regardless of the Characters base Action Stack (on the next page). SAs can be evolved over the course of a story. Ability Archetypes represent the methods you employ when you interact with the world and progress the story— the “How” half of your overall Archetype. The Ability Archetype dictates your core Action Stack. While every Character can use Physical, Social, Magic, and Tech actions, your Action Stack determines the level of proficiency for each domain. (edited)
@HOO (Biological Male)I think the story wheel is interesting[8:28 PM] scrivthebard: Thank you! While the system is not built upon combat (no hit points or armour class), there is still a need to adjudicate more complex challenges.
[8:28 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Speaking of combat, how is that handled?
[8:31 PM] scrivthebard: Combat is handled through a combination of a Story Wheel, Tiered Difficulty, and Burdens. The Story Wheel will represent the overall difficulty of the combat encounter. Tiers will dictate the specific roles required for the Actions the players wish to use (across all four Action Domains) Burdens represent backfired Actions or Injuries accumulated during the encounter. This is tracked with a tally system and represent an increase in difficulty imposed upon certain Action Domains the players might use.
[8:31 PM] scrivthebard: For example, if a player is injured, it may be harder for them to use their Physical Actions.
[8:33 PM] scrivthebard: Each tally will increase the Tier associated with the Physical Domain, forcing them to either recover from those Burdens or use their other Domains. They can also rely on their team for help, through the use of Assisted Rolls.
[8:35 PM] scrivthebard: Here’s an example: Player 1 is injured, and needs to climb up a ladder to escape, gain a higher vantage point, etc. Because they are injured (Burdened), their Physical domain roll will be more difficult to attain. Player 2 can assist Player 1 with their own Physical Actions, or through another domain. Let’s say that they’ll both use Physical in this instance.
[8:37 PM] scrivthebard: Player 1 can roll 3d6 for Physical Domain, while Player 2 can roll 4d6. Player 1 can then substitute up to 2 of their dice with dice from Player 2’s hand.
[8:37 PM] scrivthebard: Hoping that Player 2 rolled high So a 3-2-3 hand could become a 3-5-6, depending on the rolls.
[8:39 PM] scrivthebard: (pausing there in case of questions)
[8:40 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Hmmm… Why 2 dice to substitute, specifically?
[8:40 PM] scrivthebard: That was a decision made after playtesting! Originally, the players could substitute any of their dice with the supporting player’s hand.
[8:40 PM] scrivthebard: But that turned out to be a bit overpowered haha
[8:41 PM] scrivthebard: In those first test combat scenarios, an assisted roll often meant an automatic success, and the players asked for a limitation on how many dice could be substituted.
[8:42 PM] scrivthebard: If a player is stronger in the Physical domain and can roll 4 or 5d6 (based on that Primary/Secondary position), then they can substitute up to 3.
[8:42 PM] scrivthebard: At least that’s how we’re adjudicating it at the moment. Further playtesting may yield an additional adjustment
[8:43 PM] Dan the GMshoe: How do weapons affect combat?
[8:44 PM] scrivthebard: Weapons themselves don’t affect combat, but rather how those weapons are connected to a domain. Depending on the genre and style of weapon, a player might use Physical or Tech to operate that weapon.
[8:45 PM] scrivthebard: It all comes down to the Action Domains. We purposefully did not want this system to be focused on combat as the primary type of encounter, so there are no specific weapon/spell stats.
[8:46 PM] scrivthebard: Something learned through exploring other systems, is that the inclusion of weapons, hit points, etc. created a mental predisposition towards combat as the main form of conflict resolution.
[8:47 PM] scrivthebard: Bard RPG widens the aperture for gameplay in a way that can include combat, but also includes a variety of other potential solutions depending on the type of Challenge faced, whether that’s an Encounter (combat or social), a Puzzle, an Obstacle, or an Investigation.
[8:49 PM] scrivthebard: This theory has been reinforced in my work with kids and families, in which the tools presented introduced bias in preferred problem solving method. It’s like the saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”1
[8:50 PM] Dan the GMshoe: How can characters die?
[8:50 PM] scrivthebard: With that being said, I’m pretty sure a laser gun would be more effective than a pocket knife in certain circumstances
@Dan the GMshoeHow can characters die?[8:51 PM] scrivthebard: There will be a cap on how many Burdens a character can manage. This is something we’re still managing through testing, but it is certainly possible for characters to die and/or be removed from the story.
[8:51 PM] scrivthebard: I take inspiration from the Dread RPG system in this instance.
[8:53 PM] scrivthebard: If you’re not familiar, Dread is a horror genre TTRPG in which the sole decision resolution tool is a jenga tower. I absolutely LOVE this game and have played/GMed it often haha In Dread, you pull blocks from the tower each time you take an action or try to prevent something from taking effect against you. If the tower becomes too unstable and falls, then the player which triggered that fall is removed from the game “somehow” (death, disappearance, etc)
[8:53 PM] scrivthebard: With Bard RPG, we use Burdens instead of a tower.
[8:54 PM] scrivthebard: Credit where credit is due: https://dreadthegame.wordpress.com/about-dread-the-game/DreadEpidiahAbout Dread the GameDread is a game of horror and hope. Those who play will participate in a mutual telling of an original macabre tale. The goal of Dread is to sustain the delicate atmosphere that invokes the hand qu…
[8:55 PM] scrivthebard: If you enjoy narrative playstyles and horror, do yourself a favour and try this game!
[8:55 PM] Dan the GMshoe: It would be a short game for me. A medication I’m on causes hand tremors.
[8:56 PM] scrivthebard: Oh no!! Jenga may be a challenge
[8:56 PM] Dan the GMshoe: How does magic work in this system?
@Dan the GMshoeHow does magic work in this system?[8:57 PM] scrivthebard: Magic actually gave me some struggles at first, since I grew up on the fantasy genre
[8:57 PM] scrivthebard: And the Supernatural Domain was originally called “Magic”, but I then realized that just the use of the term “Magic” was coded too strongly for fantasy.
[8:58 PM] scrivthebard: And since Bard RPG is designed to be genre-agnostic and able to be applied to any type of setting, I had to rename the domain. After discussions with the team, we eventually settled on Supernatural.
[8:59 PM] scrivthebard: So the use of spells or other supernatural abilities will fall under that domain.
[8:59 PM] scrivthebard: To refer back to that sample Action Wheel:
[9:00 PM] scrivthebard: This is the only thing that would need to change for your chosen genre, and there will be a section in the guidebook to cover this
[9:00 PM] scrivthebard: The rest of the system works regardless of the genre (fantasy, sci fi, western, etc.)
[9:01 PM] scrivthebard: But the Action Wheel itself can be populated with different sorts of actions, organised into the four Domains
[9:01 PM] scrivthebard: This is where spells, weapons, and different types of technology can come into play
[9:01 PM] Dan the GMshoe: I thought those were abstracted.
[9:02 PM] scrivthebard: The domains are. This wheel serves only as an example of the different things players can do.
[9:03 PM] scrivthebard: It was important to provide some examples to get players started, rather than keep it completely open to interpretation. There’s even a disclaimer stating as much in the book.
[9:03 PM] scrivthebard: When you’re working with young players, or people who are new to TTRPGs in general, it helps to at least provide some parameters. That way they can get inspiration from the examples and expand upon them how they see fit.
[9:04 PM] scrivthebard: If you give a completely blank sheet of paper to someone who’s completely new to TTRPGs , that is much more daunting. (edited)
[9:05 PM] Dan the GMshoe: True!
[9:05 PM] scrivthebard: I’m reminded of one of the early questions about Psychological concepts
[9:05 PM] Dan the GMshoe: So equipment does matter? Or is it just for show?
[9:06 PM] scrivthebard: this is another example of how we dig into psychological approaches to game design and how the book is presented
@Dan the GMshoeSo equipment does matter? Or is it just for show?[9:06 PM] scrivthebard: It does matter, but not in the same way that it matters in D&D, for example
[9:07 PM] scrivthebard: So if you have equipment which is well-suited for the task at hand, rather than adding dice or modifiers to your roll, it may lessen the Challenge Tier you have to overcome
[9:07 PM] scrivthebard: So if you need to pick a lock, a bobby pin or knife will pose more of a challenge compared to a purpose-built lockpicking tool.
[9:08 PM] Dan the GMshoe: I see.
[9:08 PM] Dan the GMshoe: But weapons don’t actually do anything in combat?
[9:08 PM] scrivthebard: They do in a narrative sense
[9:08 PM] scrivthebard: So in Outpost 5, players have laser and projectile weapons
[9:09 PM] scrivthebard: you can use improvised weapons based on what’s available in your surroundings
[9:10 PM] scrivthebard: Everything. The difference is that the use of these things is determined through the Action Domains and Challenge Tiers. That way, players can freely narratively describe what they’re trying to achieve and how, instead of being limited to specific stats and parameters listed on a stat block.
[9:11 PM] scrivthebard: The idea was to remove the “crunch” factor and introduce mechanics better suited for narration and creative problem solving. And I say that as someone who does enjoy a good crunchy system now and then
[9:11 PM] scrivthebard: It just isn’t the design goal of Bard RPG
[9:12 PM] scrivthebard: If I want that good crunch with weapons, combat stats, etc., I’ll go for D&D, Pathfinder, or Warhammer 40K
[9:12 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Fair enough.
[9:12 PM] scrivthebard: (I’m actually a player in a Warhammer 40K game at the moment haha)
[9:13 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Are there any genres for which you’d say this system wouldn’t work so well?
[9:14 PM] scrivthebard: Haven’t found one yet! Joking aside, I think it depends more on the desired playstyle than the genre itself. If you’re looking for monster hunting, combat simulation, etc. Bard RPG is not well suited for that style of play.
[9:15 PM] scrivthebard: Due to the mechanics themselves.
[9:15 PM] Dan the GMshoe: I was thinking of superheroes in particular, given Bard’s restrictive scale.
[9:16 PM] scrivthebard: Hmm, I haven’t thought about superheroes specifically, but let’s dive into that a bit!
[9:16 PM] scrivthebard: If I were to break down the key components of a superhero genre (separating genre and setting from game mechanics), what exactly would a Superhero Story need to include?
[9:17 PM] scrivthebard: It’s speculative fiction involving supernatural abilities, crime fighting, heroes and villians…
[9:17 PM] scrivthebard: What else am I missing?
[9:17 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Hmm…
[9:17 PM] scrivthebard: Again, thinking about the genre specifically.
[9:18 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Lots of over-the-top action.
[9:18 PM] scrivthebard: Bard may seem restrictive at first, but ultimately it is a streamlined system designed for use in any genre. I think you could absolutely have over the top action with this system
[9:19 PM] scrivthebard: You’d end up using the Story Wheel more often, and potentially leveraging things like the Plot Twist mechanic much more!
[9:19 PM] scrivthebard: So I realize now that this could be a good opportunity to talk about Plot Points, if you’d like?
[9:19 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Certainly!
[9:21 PM] scrivthebard: Plot Points are an expendable resource which are earned over the course of the story. They can be awarded through: – The generation of new Bonds (connections to other characters, NPCs, or organisations) – Overcoming significant Challenges – Discovery of Story Threads (which encourages exploration and engagement with the setting)
[9:21 PM] scrivthebard: and finally for the progression towards or completion of Wishes (your character’s ultimate goals) (edited)
[9:22 PM] scrivthebard: These Plot Points can be used for levelling up and evolving your Action Domains and Special Actions
[9:22 PM] scrivthebard: Gaining boosts to your rolls
[9:22 PM] scrivthebard: Or invoking a Plot Twist, a super-powered ability that allows the party to change the story in a significant way
[9:23 PM] scrivthebard: Plot Points, however, are a shared resource. So this means that the party needs to consent to using them. This emphasizes that collaborative storytelling and problem solving
[9:24 PM] scrivthebard: I think Plot Twists and evolving, in particular, could be really fun in a superhero genre.
[9:24 PM] scrivthebard: even reality-bending
[9:25 PM] scrivthebard: (For the record, I love that you brought up superhero stories. This is a fantastic exercise and test of the concept!)
[9:26 PM] Dan the GMshoe:
[9:26 PM] Dan the GMshoe: How would you handle super-attributes?
[9:27 PM] scrivthebard: Hmm…I think it would depend on the type of attribute and what it enhances.
[9:27 PM] scrivthebard: Super Strength would be an easy one, as that’s linked to the Physical Domain. But something like Scarlet Witch?
[9:28 PM] scrivthebard: It would probably be a combination of Supernatural and Social (which would include mental/cognitive effects)
[9:29 PM] scrivthebard: You could also lean into the Special Actions for this. Special Actions are linked to the Will Sub-Archetypes, and are stronger-than-normal, narrative-powered Actions you can use once per chapter
[9:29 PM] scrivthebard: HECK. I never gave you the Archetype Breakdown!
[9:30 PM] scrivthebard: Here’s the quick and dirty version for the Will Sub-Archetypes: – The Innocent: Always seeks happiness and sees the good in everything; Can be naïve. S.Actions: Purify/Resist – The Leader: Brings order to any situation, cool-headed and driven; Dislikes gray area. S.Actions: Inspire/Command – The Creator: Driven by a desire to transform things into something new; Clever and self-sufficient; Can over-complicate problems. S.Actions: Transform or Synthesize, Evolve/Dismantle – The Hero: Thrives on challenge and competition; a symbol of vitality and ambition; Dislikes losing. S.Actions Courage/Rally – The Rebel: Transgressor and provocateur who goes against the grain; challenges status-quo; Can be self-destructive. S.Actions: Provoke/Sabotage – The Nomad: Wanderer and self-reliant survivor; Believes that change is the only constant and balance to the world; Has difficulty building relationships with others. S.Actions: Trailblaze/Instinct (edited)
[9:31 PM] scrivthebard: (just giving the system away, y’all )
[9:31 PM] scrivthebard: 4am Scriv spills all the beans, haha
[9:32 PM] scrivthebard: There’s a different list for the Ability Sub-Archetypes
[9:38 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Given that no game is flawless, what is your least favorite thing about Bard RPG?
[9:38 PM] scrivthebard: Oof. Love that question. Also quite loaded given I’m Kickstarting it as we speak!
[9:38 PM] scrivthebard: Let me think.
[9:40 PM] scrivthebard: Perhaps not so much as a “least favourite” thing, but something I need to constantly remind myself of: I love diving deep into game mechanics. If there’s a type of story you want to tell, or “thing” you want to do, I want to make it happen.
[9:41 PM] scrivthebard: I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in designing Bard RPG, is that I need to keep it streamlined and easy to pickup with minimal prep.
[9:41 PM] scrivthebard: The guidebook is only going to be about 80 pages long, not including sample adventures (based on stretch goals).
[9:42 PM] scrivthebard: The core system itself can be covered in less than 20 pages, without extra content, scenarios, etc.
[9:42 PM] scrivthebard: Maybe more like 15.
[9:42 PM] scrivthebard: and I want to keep it that way, because it’s designed for all ages players and GMs
[9:43 PM] scrivthebard: so simultaneously my favourite thing and biggest struggle is keeping it engaging enough for older players to enjoy, but simple enough for anyone to learn.
[9:43 PM] scrivthebard: Complexity without Complication, if that makes sense.
[9:44 PM] scrivthebard: But as far as the mechanics go, I’m dang proud of this game and the work that has gone into it. It’s been 2-3 years in the making. Longer if you consider the Storytelling Workshops that fed into it.
[9:44 PM] scrivthebard: Everything from the specific mechanics themselves to the overarching design goals and concepts, and how the information itself is presented.
[9:45 PM] scrivthebard: How you teach a game can often be more impactful than the nitty gritty of the game itself1
[9:45 PM] Dan the GMshoe: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[9:49 PM] scrivthebard: Nothing specific, just that I want to thank you once again for your invitation!! I had a blast and I hope that others in the server enjoyed the conversation. If anyone is interested in learning more about the game, feel free to hit me up. ALSO, I would be horribly remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the creative team who are helping me bring Bard RPG to life: Artists: Kit, Jak, Kaz, Josh, and Jenn Editors: Jon, Riley, and Chris Fellow Psychologist/Consultant: Shauntelle
[9:49 PM] scrivthebard: Rich (HatchlingDM) has also been instrumental in helping with the Kickstarter and playtests (edited)
[9:50 PM] scrivthebard: and Jon Neimeister is the composer for that GORGEOUS theme song in the video
[9:50 PM] scrivthebard: Full creator bios are on the Kickstarter page Please show them some love!
[9:51 PM] scrivthebard: You can find them all on Twitter, too
[9:53 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Thanks very much for joining us, @scrivthebard!1
[9:53 PM] Dan the GMshoe: 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 https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe. Anything’s appreciated! Ko-fiBuy Dan Davenport a Coffee. ko-fi.com/gmshoeBecome a supporter of Dan Davenport today! ❤️ Ko-fi lets you support the creators you love with no fees on donations.
[9:53 PM] scrivthebard: Thank you for having me!
[9:53 PM] Dan the GMshoe: Now, if you’ll give me a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[9:53 PM] scrivthebard: Ah, excellent! I hope my grammar was ok haha