Monday, November 25, 2013

[Q&A] Dan Cross (Eldritch)

[19:04] <+EldritchMan> Ok, I am Dan Cross, a freelance author. My work includes several books with Troll Lord games, like Gary Gygax's World Builder (co-author), Insidiae (book of plots), fiction in the Crusader magazine, and development work on Lejendary Adventure RPG. Most recently, I co-authored the Eldritch RPG.
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[19:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ximni!)
[19:05] <+Abstruse> (Hello!)
[19:05] <+EldritchMan> The Eldritch RPG was my own take on the fantasy RPG, written specifically to suit the play style of myself and Randy Petras, my co-author for the game.
[19:06] <+EldritchMan> It is not a retro-clone (though I do like those too), nor is it D20. It is not entirely rules light, but aims to be "rules transparent".
[19:06] <+EldritchMan> Basically, Eldritch Role Playing (or ERP) is a tabletop fantasy game with rules that focus on action & story, revised to include new material and the campaign setting of Ainerêve!
[19:06] <+EldritchMan> done
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, EldritchMan!
[19:07] <~Dan> Would anyone like to start us off with a question?
[19:07] <~Dan> Then I shall do the honors!
[19:07] <~Dan> Can you describe the core mechanic?
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[19:09] <+EldritchMan> The core mechanic is based on ascending dice ranks. Target numbers tend to be randomized, but the combat mechanic is a roll representing "potential harm" versus one of several defense scores. These scores are hitpoint pools.
[19:11] <+EldritchMan> At it's most basic, it's as simple as it gets. If your skill is 1D4 in some skill, say Stealth, just roll that die. The opposing roll is either circumstantial or an opposing ability check.
[19:11] <+EldritchMan> done for now
[19:11] <~Dan> Hmm... Do you have a link to a character sheet?
[19:12] <+EldritchMan> Yes: (Link:
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[19:12] <~Dan> (wb, Sil!)
[19:13] <~Dan> So I see that you don't distinguish between "skills" and "attributes", correct?
[19:14] <+EldritchMan> An Ability represents either some broad-based skill or capacity
[19:14] <+EldritchMan> Most games have a first tier of listed attributes. We don't do that. All abilities are listed together. The only derived scores are combat related
[19:15] <~Dan> What is the scale for humans?
[19:15] <+EldritchMan> Abilities central to the danger of adventuring, like "Melee Weapons", or "Endurance", "Willpower", etc. are considered primary only in that context.
[19:15] <+EldritchMan> Human average begins at 1D4. Most abilities may be attempted at that level.
[19:16] <+EldritchMan> Some are restricted from default use, requiring greater training, such as Arcanum
[19:16] <~Dan> What's the human maximum? Or is there one?
[19:17] <+EldritchMan> Well, at the basic tier of skill, rolling only one die, it ranges from pititful (1) to extreme (1D20).
[19:17] <+EldritchMan> The jump from a 1D12 to a 1D20 is a big one, and reserved mainly for monsters.
[19:18] <+EldritchMan> But for any base ability, one can specialize. So if you possess a rank in Melee Weapons of 1D8, you may Specialize in Swords at 1D6.
[19:18] <~Dan> Is 1D20 a "hard cap" universally, or can the system handle higher scores?
[19:18] <+EldritchMan> So you'd roll a 1D8+1D6 to swing any sword.
[19:18] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:19] <+EldritchMan> Because each ability tree branches up to three dice deep, the maximum is 36 before modification.
[19:19] <+EldritchMan> Base > Specialization > Mastery
[19:19] <+EldritchMan> This allows for broad-base common abilities, but players and GMs can add as much fine detail as they wish. The book provides many examples, and descriptions of common usage.
[19:20] <+EldritchMan> done
[19:20] <~Dan> Would a Mastery be a specific kind of sword?
[19:20] <~Dan> (In your previous example.)
[19:21] <+EldritchMan> It would.
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[19:22] <+EldritchMan> Since combat is such a big part of adventure RPGs
[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy!)
[19:22] <+EldritchMan> ...I'll explain this mechanic a bit more
[19:22] <+EldritchMan> Most humanoid creatures have at minimum a D4 rank in Melee ability, because nearly anybody can pick up an object and swing it as a weapon,  whether a tree branch or a heavy sword.
[19:22] <+EldritchMan> higher rank in basic melee represents either increasing brute force or speed, or an admixture, the precise interpretation depending on the character concept or monster description. This is why there are no purely combat-oriented “strength” or “precision”  ability scores in the game
[19:22] <+EldritchMan> If a PC picks up a twohanded sword, he is strong enough to wield it. If the player makes his character a weakling who cannot wield a certain weapon, that is fine too. It may be that the PC prefers light, fast weapons, his Die-Ranks interpreted in terms of precision and  finesse. Rules never trump character concepts.
[19:22] <+EldritchMan> Specialization grants skill with an entire group of weaponry, allowing harm and initiative bonuses for specific types of weapons brought into play, and Mastery in single, specific weapons grants the warrior even greater damage potential and defensive  capabilities.
[19:22] <+EldritchMan> A higher Die-Rank in Specialization or Mastery represents increasing brute force, speed, precision, or some blending of the three. Use the Weapons table in the equipment section to help determine the breakdown of what defines a Specialization and Mastery.
[19:23] <+EldritchMan> [done]
[19:23] <~Dan> So here's my concern about "potential harm" mechanics...
[19:24] <~Dan> It would seem to make clumsy-but-powerful attacks impossible to simulate.
[19:24] <~Dan> To use an extreme example...
[19:24] <+EldritchMan> shoot
[19:24] <~Dan> ...let's say there's a huge boulder on a mountainside, just waiting for someone to give it a good nudge. It's got LOADS of potential to cause harm... but the chance of hitting something with it are relatively small.
[19:25] <~Dan> How would you handle that in Eldritch?
[19:25] <+EldritchMan> Does a giant push that boulder?
[19:25] <+EldritchMan> Does an earthquake set it loose?
[19:25] <~Dan> Well, let's be specific, then.
[19:25] <+EldritchMan> Gotta determine why it is a threat first. ;-)
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[19:26] <~Dan> A hero is waiting for a T-rex to wander by, at which point he's going to pry the boulder loose and send it rolling down the hill.
[19:26] <+MonkofLords> Oi
[19:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:26] <+MonkofLords> (Oh, did I interrupt something? Apologies...)
[19:27] <~Dan> (No problem, Monk! Q&A in progress, #rpgnet2 open as usual. :) )
[19:28] <+EldritchMan> Mechanically, the hero would roll his Feat of Strength ability, to try and push that boulder down the hill. There's no need to set a percentage chance of hitting with such potential harm, because abstract HPs serve.
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[19:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, Squide!)
[19:29] <&Le_Squide> (Hey! Q&A on?)
[19:29] <+EldritchMan> Heroes in Eldritch have various defense pools to choose from. Simple monsters, controlled by the GM, have one HP pool, representative of all the things we'd expect (which is to say, just about anything we please).
[19:29] <~Dan> (Yup!)
[19:29] <+EldritchMan> A T-Rex is not fast, and if the boulder was big enough, I'd rule the T-Rex was hit, depending on how well planned this was. Of course there's nothing in ERP preventing me from rolling percent dice, but I probably wouldn't bother with that.
[19:30] <+EldritchMan> I'd assign a Potential-Harm effect to the boulder and roll that, subtracting it from the T-Rex HP total.
[19:31] * ~Dan nods
[19:31] <+EldritchMan> Falling causes potential harm equal to 10 hit points for every 10’ fallen, and I might throw that in to if the rock was big enough (in addition to a roll of say 2D12 )
[19:32] <+EldritchMan> [done]
[19:33] <~Dan> How gritty would you say the system is?
[19:33] <+EldritchMan> It is epic fantasy. Heroes are tough, and there is a lot of what some designers call "swing" in random outcomes.
[19:35] <~Dan> So if you had to place it on a scale of 1-10, where 1 = totally gritty and 10 = totally cinematic?
[19:35] <+EldritchMan> The lone badguy in ERP, unprotected by lots of minions, is probably not going to last long. Very large or unusual monsters will have greater HP, as expected, but for the most part, strength is in numbers.
[19:35] <+EldritchMan> I'd put it on the scale of 8 or 9 toward cinematic, for certain. It can be made gritty and dangerous however, but simply changing how the defense pools are calculated, without reducing potential damage.
[19:36] * ~Dan nods
[19:36] <~Dan> What is magic like from a system standpoint?
[19:38] <+EldritchMan> Magic follows the same mechanic as all other ability checks. Arcanum > Power Source > School. So a elementalist would roll Arcanum > Primoridial > elemenalist school
[19:38] <+EldritchMan> Or just Arcanum > Primoridal if no mastery possessed.
[19:38] <+EldritchMan> The power sources are mystic, primordial, supernatural, and psychogenic.
[19:39] <+EldritchMan> All spells are created from twelve master Effects, the building blocks if you will.
[19:39] <+EldritchMan> The Effects common to all spells in the game are Augment, Conjure/Banish, Curse, Fortify, Harm, Influence, Obscure, Perceive, Protect, Restore, Transportation, and Transmute
[19:40] <+EldritchMan> [done for now]
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[19:41] <~Dan> What are the differences between the power sources?
[19:42] <+EldritchMan> There's the obvious literary and semantic differences, but in terms of game mechanics, it affects what dice a magic user can roll to cast. That in part determines effect size.
[19:42] <+EldritchMan> Spells of a certain school can only be understood and cast by one who understands the power source.
[19:43] <+EldritchMan> Those considerations affect magic items, detecting, dispelling, and all other manner of manipulation and control.
[19:43] <+EldritchMan> Any spell is made up of six components: the magic source (Specialization), the underlying magic effect (Effect), a specific school of magic (Mastery), the form or appearance of the effect (matter or energy), the range (single subject or area), and what the spell affects, whether a specific ability, Defense Pools, free will, physical form, and so on. Artificer
[19:43] <+EldritchMan> is one example of a caster who would cast spells on objects
[19:44] <+EldritchMan> Like the "Augment" effect, to create a temporary magic sword.
[19:44] <+EldritchMan> just an example.
[19:44] <~Dan> What does "psychogenic" mean?
[19:44] <+EldritchMan> The Effects can cover just about any spell type you can imagine. Some have subeffects, more powerful with each rank possessed in the power source.
[19:45] <+EldritchMan> Psychogenic is what is known as psionics in most games. Gary Gygax once told me that psionics refer to objects manipulated by by psychogenics, or objects which amplify such ability.
[19:45] <+EldritchMan> Being a fan of Gary, I adopted that definition.
[19:45] <~Dan> Heh. Cool. :)
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[19:46] <~Dan> In setting terms, are psychogenics distinct from "true" magic?
[19:48] <+EldritchMan> I once joked that Eldritch was designed by semantics. So, yes, it is distinct because it is a different power source. However, it is a branch of Arcanum, which in the context of the Eldritch world means pretty much any power source that is mysterious to the average human.
[19:49] <+EldritchMan> done
[19:50] <~Dan> So the various power sources are more distinct than just "different types of magic"?
[19:50] <+EldritchMan> Yes, but to a large degree that is setting dependant.
[19:51] <+EldritchMan> The basic mechanics are the same, which is by design. The narrative has a huge influence on how these power sources come into play. Mechanically, there many not be a huge difference between the evil wizard that drains ability with a Curse effect that manifests as a black enervation ray, and a psychogenic bad guy
[19:51] <+EldritchMan> who does the same with a mind blast, sapping will
[19:52] <+EldritchMan> But those powers will be very different in terms of NPC background, story, the kinds of objects used by both, and what kind of challenges heroes would face when dealing with such adversaries. A wizard would not be able to counter the attacks of a mentalist very easily,
[19:52] <+EldritchMan> while he would could get into a counterspelling dual with another wizard
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[19:53] * ~Dan nods
[19:53] <~Dan> I like that.
[19:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, Serami!)
[19:53] <+EldritchMan> Also, different Effects can be mitigated by different Defense Pools
[19:54] <+EldritchMan> For example, take the straight forward Harm Effect. A fireball cast by an elementalist...
[19:55] <+EldritchMan> can be evaded if the character's speed allows him to escape the radius of effect.
[19:56] <+EldritchMan> But a psychogenic mentalist master using the Influence Effect at a high rank (up to D12 for Power Source) could control the minds and bodies of enemies. This use is with opposed rolls
[19:56] <+EldritchMan> done
[19:57] <~Dan> Let's switch gears a bit... Is Eldritch tied to any one setting?
[19:57] <+EldritchMan> It is in a way. Ainereve is a setting conceived to be a Rosetta Stone of settings.
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[19:58] <+EldritchMan> It has detailed main areas of adventure, but the dreams of other populations serve to create settled lands, the outskirts of which lead to chaotic unsettled lands, where travel becomes more a matter of belief and expectation than distance.
[19:59] <+EldritchMan> So travel between "worlds" is very, very easy, both in theme and in subgenre.
[19:59] <~Dan> Are all of these worlds subgenres of fantasy?
[20:00] <+EldritchMan> Generally, but only because I have not expanded the rules to accommodate other genres. My co-author, Randy Petras has expressed interest in doing so at some point.
[20:01] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of how the various worlds differ?
[20:01] <+EldritchMan> For those reading this, the Kickstarter gives an overview of the setting too: (Link:
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[20:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, maxtmahem!)
[20:02] <+EldritchMan> Yes, he two nations of Maedoen and Piusarmorum, and the vast and mysterious Forest of Meath between them. These are the main areas of adventure featured in Ainerêve, involving three unique lands: the Forest of Meath, a place defined by the Celtic mythology and its eventual transformation into Celtic Christianity; Piusarmorum, defined by Christianity during th
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[20:03] <+EldritchMan> These are the main areas of adventure in the core rules. The difference between these and other dream worlds with populations coming from earth  is that these people do not remember their ancestors or lives on earth
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[20:05] <~Dan> (wb, EldritchMan!)
[20:05] <+EldritchMan> sorry
[20:05] <+EldritchMan> got booted
[20:05] <~Dan> No problem. Your setting cut off at " Piusarmorum, defined by Christianity during th"
[20:06] <+EldritchMan> So anyway, the ancestors of Maedoen and Piusarmorum were from earth. Humans crossed over centuries ago, mingled with the local creatures of Ainereve, and their cultures got warped into something no longer of earth.
[20:07] <+EldritchMan> For example, Piusarmorum has some trappings that remind one of roman Christianity, but it was actually a demon that moved in to take over the job of representing their god. It was easy enough to convince the people to follow it as a cruel imposter...
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[20:07] <~Dan> (wb, Squide!)
[20:07] <+EldritchMan> And the sidhe have a heavy influence over the lands of Maedoen. Those who were druids in name on earth became very, very powerful in Maedoen.
[20:08] <+EldritchMan> [done]
[20:09] <~Dan> Are the sidhe the main source of nonhuman PC races?
[20:10] <+EldritchMan> They predominate in Maedoen, but I wrote Eldritch to be at it's core a "generic" fantasy system, so the classic tropes will all be covered.
[20:10] <+EldritchMan> There will be a monster section in the book, with classic monsters, though written to fit them into the context of the default setting
[20:10] <~Dan> Elves/dwarves/halflings?
[20:11] <+EldritchMan> Yes. All things ever dreamt, of course.
[20:12] <+EldritchMan> But the classic FRPG races are represented.
[20:12] <~Dan> Do they have any setting-specific twists?
[20:14] <+EldritchMan> They are recognizable, rather than reinvented. When I think of a setting specific twist, I think of the cannibalistic halflings of Dark Sun, so I don't think I can claim that exactly. The races will make sense in the context of Ainereve's cosmology, history, and the realtionships between them and those humans that crossed over centuries ago into a realm where
[20:14] <+EldritchMan> other people's minds only go when dreaming at night.
[20:14] <+EldritchMan> I conceive of it (in D&D like terms) as if the Astral Plane merged with the prime material.
[20:14] <~Dan> That's a cool concept.
[20:15] <+EldritchMan> It's not put in those words though.I was inspired by Chronciles of Amber
[20:15] <+EldritchMan> and Banestorm
[20:15] <~Dan> So are there some more "out there" PC races as well?
[20:15] <+EldritchMan> But Banestorm attempt to keep real world cultures intact, and I wanted to avoid that
[20:16] <+EldritchMan> Oh yes, I'll give you an example.
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[20:17] <+EldritchMan> There is a vast magical forest between the two warring nations, called the Forest of Meath
[20:17] <+EldritchMan> In it are places called Fertile Glens, which are almost sentient.
[20:17] <+EldritchMan> Magical and otherworldly creatures can sometimes overtake these glens, and shape them as their own
[20:17] <+EldritchMan> they become pocket dimensions
[20:18] <+EldritchMan> So, in one case, as from the text: "glen’s two secret names at its disposal, the demon began the process of changing it. The demon shaped the glen into a city of torture, a city of the perfect terrible imprisonment, that no agonizing soul could ever escape. Its walls rose high, and each individual that the demon captured was thrown within them, until it conta
[20:18] <~Dan> (Cut off at "until it conta")
[20:18] <+EldritchMan> A glen as one or more secret names, which allows a magical creature to impose its will over the landscape
[20:18] <+EldritchMan> oh: "None know where it went, but more than a few suspect that the demon lives on, trapped within its own creation.  So Dis was free, mastered by none but itself. But it had been changed. It was no longer a carefree glen of the fairy realms. The demon, though no longer master of the glen, had produced lasting effects.
[20:19] <+EldritchMan> The city took pleasure in the cries of those within it. It held ill will for all mankind, wanting humans to suffer eternally and never perish. In short, Dis had become everything the demon had wanted of it, except controlled
[20:19] <+EldritchMan> Dis is a sentient demon that I find interesting. Peter Schaefer did a great job following my guidelines to write the setting material
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[20:20] <+EldritchMan> He has written for White Wolf as well as Wizards, so he was the perfect choice
[20:20] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[20:21] <+EldritchMan> Last bit about Dis: "Dis, the city itself, is a strange sort of creature. It is both the city and a creative malevolence designed (by the demon who once ruled it) to run the city. It is not, as one might suspect, either omniscient or omnipotent within its bounds. Dis can enact various effects of great power within the city’s walls..."
[20:21] <+EldritchMan> That's just one example.
[20:21] <+EldritchMan> There are many strange places in the forest.
[20:22] <+EldritchMan> (oh, yeah, are not all demons sentient? The fertile glens are not always, but always has a sort of consciousness to them)
[20:22] <~Dan> Given your desire for the setting to touch all the fantasy bases, are there, to coin a phrase, dungeons and dragons? :)
[20:24] <+EldritchMan> Oh yes. The primary abilities of Eldritch are focused on action, though narrative action is a design principle
[20:24] <+EldritchMan> [done]
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[20:25] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Eisenmann!)
[20:25] <~Dan> Now, when you say "narrative", how do you see that manifesting in the system?
[20:25] <+MonkofLords> (Huzzah)
[20:26] <+EldritchMan> I'd agree with one who said that narrative is a part of all role-playing game systems, if the Game Masters choose to make it a focus. However, some game mechanics make it easier to have such a focus.
[20:27] <+EldritchMan> The main example in eldritch is the combat system.
[20:27] <~Dan> So do you see "narrative" being a degree of abstraction?
[20:27] <+EldritchMan> Mechanics wise, yes.
[20:28] <+EldritchMan> The more abstract the rules, the heavier the place of interpretation.
[20:28] <~Dan> I ask because some see "narrative" as moving in the "storygame" direction. I don't get that sense from Eldritch, based on what you've told me.
[20:29] <~Dan> As in, it still seems "first person"/"full immersive"/whatever you want to call it.
[20:30] <+EldritchMan> Right. I sat down to play Eldritch RPG with one who preferred LARPs and she said "this uses dice?" with obvious distain.
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[20:30] <~Dan> wb!
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[20:31] <~Dan> (Howdy, Aincumis!)
[20:31] <+EldritchMan> ERP is gamist in that I love to use dice and encourage fine detail in character creation if so desired.
[20:31] <+EldritchMan> But it is narrative in that it leans heavily toward the abstract for action scenes.
[20:31] <~Dan> Well, let me be even more specific: To me, a game becomes more narrative as it begins to give narrative control to the players; i.e., becomes more "third person".
[20:32] <+EldritchMan> It is not a simulationist system as I understand the term.
[20:32] <~Dan> No, it certainly doesn't seem that way.
[20:32] <+EldritchMan> Ah, I see. No, it does not give the players that sort of control.
[20:32] <+EldritchMan> But it is focused on story outcomes more than tactical.
[20:32] <~Dan> But along those lines, is there any "hero point" mechanic?
[20:34] <+EldritchMan> The characters are powerful, they tend not to need such mechanics, but implementing such a thing would make a good optional rule.
[20:35] <~Dan> To what degree to characters fall along traditional class lines?
[20:35] <+EldritchMan> Only to the degree that players want to play characters that model themselves after those tropes.
[20:35] <+EldritchMan> The ability list itself limits to within the fantasy genre in the broadest terms.
[20:36] <~Dan> Is there anything in the system keeping players from playing an armored, sword-swinging wizard, for example?
[20:36] <+EldritchMan> No, not at all.
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[20:37] <+EldritchMan> My favorite battle mage example: Melee Weapons 1D12 > Swords 1D8 > (maybe mastery in Bastard Sword), then take Arcanum > Primordial > Elemenalist. Swing a sword, cast a lightning bolt.
[20:38] <~Dan> What limits are there to magic? Is it a magic point system, for example?
[20:38] <+EldritchMan> Those building blocks cost 2 character points per rank of the die, with the first tier free for basic unrestricted ability.
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[20:38] <+EldritchMan> There are magic points, called essence in the revised edition.
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[20:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, Schadmobile!)
[20:39] <+EldritchMan> When those are exhausted, the arcanist can tap into his or her own Resilience Defense Pool (another 'passive' hitpoint pool, one of two. The other is Toughness)
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[20:39] <+EldritchMan> (there are 'active' and 'passive' defense hitpoint pools in the action system, btw)
[20:39] <~Dan> Can you give some idea of the scale of magic? Are we talking army-blasting wizard?
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[20:40] <~Dan> wizards, rather
[20:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, Canageek!)
[20:41] <+Canageek> (Hey Dan; is it a Q&A?)
[20:41] <+EldritchMan> A wizard could learn or create an area effect spell that could certainly blow away a good number of foes. For example, creating a blast like area using a Harm Effect. The Potential Harm of such a blast would match the wizard's own ability branch.
[20:41] <~Dan> (Canageek: Yup! Eldritch. #rpgnet2 open for general chat!)
[20:44] <+EldritchMan> So a wizard with Arcanum 1D10 > Mystic 1D6 could cast an area Effect spell that makes everybody fall asleep (using the Influence Effect)
[20:44] <+EldritchMan> For area spells, the area-of-effect equals 5 × Max- Value of the relevant Power Source Specialization in diameter (add Mastery if applicable), with the point of origination at a distance of up to 10 × Max-Value of Power Source, in line of sight
[20:44] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about the cosmology of the setting? You mentioned one realm with Celtic mythology moving toward Celtic Christianity... How literally do you mean that, for example?
[20:44] <~Dan> (Sorry -- please continue)
[20:45] <+EldritchMan> that's ok...just saying mages can do some serious damage in ERP. There are powerful effects possible, with simple mechanics are unified throughout the game mechanics.
[20:45] * ~Dan nods
[20:45] <+EldritchMan> typo...ow.
[20:45] <+EldritchMan> Anyway, the cosmology:
[20:46] <+EldritchMan> Inhabitants come to Ainerêve from two places: dreams and beliefs, and Earth. The first is more common, as Victorian-age children dream a Jack-the-Ripper into existence or early American settlers have nightmares about the fiendish red Indians. Entire unsettled lands have been populated this way...
[20:46] <+EldritchMan> though the inhabitants generally fade over time and disappear unless reinforced with belief. People from Earth occasionally travel to the dream world through a form of unknown magic. (This magic remains unknown because, despite this setting’s connection to Earth, games are intended to be played completely in Ainerêve.)
[20:46] <+EldritchMan> Once there, most end up making their lives there and beginning a new society in whatever settled land they can find. Usually, people from Earth only find their way through to settled lands to which they are close – those based on beliefs similar to theirs...”
[20:47] <+EldritchMan> That's the basic cosmology...which is not at all like a D&D Great Wheel, or totally separate or coterminous planes.
[20:48] <+EldritchMan> I'll have to wrap it up in a min, get the kids to bed. ;-)
[20:48] <~Dan> So is reality completely relative? Or are there gods that literally exist independently, for example?
[20:49] <+EldritchMan> Reality is relative to the strength of belief, but there may be creatures, gods or other supernatual beings forgotten on earth that are strongly worshipped or feared in Ainerêve
[20:50] <+EldritchMan> So while the dreams of mankind form the building blocks of various realities, the settled lands create realities independent
[20:50] <~Dan> How would you describe the morality of the setting?
[20:50] <+EldritchMan> "real" versus "unreal" is like evolution in Ainereve, at least in settled lands. A slow process. In unsettled lands, reality is more fluid and dangerous.
[20:51] <~Dan> As in, do you see it as objective? Relative?
[20:51] <~Dan> Good vs. Evil?
[20:52] <+EldritchMan> There are hints of real world religions and myths from our own earth, but I wanted to distance the setting material from those. Thus, Good versus Evil, yes...but not dependent on an actual earth religion's viewpoint
[20:52] <+EldritchMan> There is more grey area. There are no strict alignments
[20:52] * ~Dan nods
[20:52] <~Dan> But there's room for Big Damn Heroes?
[20:53] <+EldritchMan> you mean damned heroes? Anti-heroes? Or just really big damn heroes?
[20:53] <+EldritchMan> lol
[20:53] <~Dan> Heh. Sorry -- a term from Firefly that I like. I mean true-blue, big time heroes.
[20:54] <+EldritchMan> Yes, Eldritch heroes feel strong. There is an optional level system, which helps with development milestones, but it is not always keyed to combat power.
[20:55] <+Bigby> Sorry if this was mentioned earlier and I missed it.  How is char gen handled?  Is it a point buy system or something else?
[20:55] <~Dan> Well, I don't mean combat power, really -- I mean characters who are true heroes rather than self-involved types.
[20:55] <+EldritchMan> It's a device for GMs and players, should they want structured advancement. You can just use the character point system too, which is part of the whole, and works pretty much on its own, especially if doing one-shot games
[20:56] <~Dan> Like, in some settings, a paladin would fit right in. In others, he'd look like a deluded buffoon.
[20:56] <+EldritchMan> Oh, yeah, these characters are adventurers. The whole game pushes that direction. Kill monsters, get treasure, become more powerful, have fun. The basics. I want a story focus, fast play, and all, but not "the narrative" trumping the game
[20:56] * ~Dan nods
[20:57] <+EldritchMan> A paladin would fit in, but whether he was a deluded buffoon would depend on whether the player wanted him to be such
[20:57] <+EldritchMan> Oh, and no battle grid.
[20:57] <~Dan> Oh, and no, Bigby, that hasn't been covered. Have time to touch on that, EldritchMan?
[20:57] <+EldritchMan> No minis required.
[20:57] <+EldritchMan> Character gen is point buy.
[20:57] <+EldritchMan> You start with 40 points. Each die-rank is 2 points.
[20:58] <+EldritchMan> But 1D4 rank is free in many abilities because anybody can, say, swing a sword.
[20:58] <+EldritchMan> So getting a 1D8 in Ranged Weapons would cost 4 points.
[20:58] <+Bigby> Sort of "everyman skills".  Cool.
[20:58] <+EldritchMan> But Arcanum of the same rank would be 6 points.
[20:59] <+EldritchMan> Because it is restricted to those who were taught the secrets.
[20:59] <+EldritchMan> I have time for a few more questions. My kids are not killing each other and they have off this week for the holiday.
[21:00] <~Dan> Well, let me ask you this: Is there anything we haven't covered that you'd like to bring up?
[21:00] <+EldritchMan> [done]
[21:00] <+EldritchMan> Yeah, making a quick monster is super simple.
[21:00] <~Dan> Oh? That's always handy.
[21:01] <+EldritchMan> Goblin: Threat dice: Choose 1D8. Bam, you have hitpoints. 8 points. Potential Harm 1-8. Armor is 1D6 for leather (random damage reduction simulating various vulnerability of armor). Resilience is half of the HP, so 4 in this case.
[21:01] <+EldritchMan> So Goblin: 1D8 / 8 HP / 4 RS (resilience vesus magic, etc), 1D6 armor. Considered "fodder"
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[21:02] <~Dan> So you'd use 1D8 for all abilities?
[21:02] <~Dan> (Howdy, Aldante_Fax!)
[21:02] <+EldritchMan> A chief might be 2D10 (assume specialization with bludgeons), 20 HP / 10 RS / 1D8 chain armor.
[21:03] <+EldritchMan> No. A basic gate gard 1D4 potential-harm (regardless of weapon...he is a pansy) / 4 HP / 2 RS / no armor.
[21:03] <+EldritchMan> Easy easy easy.
[21:03] <+EldritchMan> An extraordinary creature might have a threat rating of 3D20, modified for size or magical nature to increase HP, with extra attacks or special abilities.
[21:04] <+EldritchMan> It can get really nasty that way, but throwing together quick monsters from your head is easy.
[21:04] <+EldritchMan> I will have a monster section with flavor, and specific examples.
[21:04] <~Dan> Is the threat rating just for combat, or is it akin to the monster rating in Tunnels & Trolls?
[21:05] <+EldritchMan> Mainly for combat. If basic abilities come into play, then the GM can set them up, starting at 1D4, and if a full-fledged NPC is desired, just use a full character sheet.
[21:05] <~Dan> Cool.
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[21:06] <+EldritchMan> any other questions?
[21:06] <+EldritchMan> If not, I'll say goodnight.
[21:06] <~Dan> I think I'm good. Thanks for coming by, and please stop by any time!
[21:06] <~Dan> I'll have the log posted shortly and will send you the link.
[21:07] <+EldritchMan> thank you
[21:07] <~Dan> Have a great evening!

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