[19:03] <+RPGPundit> Well, I'm the RPGPundit; if you don't know me you probably don't spend a lot of time on any tabletop RPG forums. I run theRPGsite, one of the biggest general RPG discussion forums; I also have a long-running blog of some fame (or infamy).
[19:03] <+RPGPundit> I've also written several RPGs. The most recent is Arrows of Indra ( (Link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/112198/Arrows-of-Indra)http://www.rpgnow.com/product/112198/Arrows-of-Indra ) which I assume will be the main subject of discussion tonight.
[19:04] <+RPGPundit> But there's also Lords of Olympus, which is out relatively recently ( (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=113)http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=113 ), and we could also talk about.
[19:04] <+RPGPundit> I'm also a consultant on the upcoming edition of D&D.
[19:04] <+RPGPundit> Dan, anything you think I should add?
[19:05] <~Dan> Hmm... I can't think of anything offhand that we won't cover in the discussion.
[19:05] <+RPGPundit> Ok, then I guess I'm done.
[19:05] <~Dan> Okay! Does anyone have any questions to start us off, or shall I begin?
[19:05] <~Dan> (I'll give them a bit to type.)
[19:06] <~Dan> Okay, I shall begin! Can you tell us what drew you to create a game of Indian mythology?
[19:08] <+RPGPundit> Well, in the first place, there wasn't one. I thought it was noticeably absent in the D&D/OSR-sphere. There were games that imitated east asia, however crappy, and there had been attempts at the middle-east (Al-qadim), egypt, africa, etc. But India was all but untouched.
[19:09] * ~Dan nods
[19:09] <+RPGPundit> Beyond that, it was something I was personally qualified to write about, and something that I knew from my experience with Indian mythology that would make an incredible D&D-type setting.
[19:09] <+RPGPundit> Finally, I wanted to demonstrate how you could do a relatively accurate mythological/historical setting that was focused on adventure and didn't descend into the muck of what I call "Culturewank".
[19:09] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:10] <~Dan> Given the fact that you're dealing with aspects of a real-world "living" religion, have you gotten any positive or negative feedback from the faithful?
[19:10] *** PaperMonkey has joined #rpgnet
[19:10] *** ChanServ sets mode +v PaperMonkey
[19:11] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, PaperMonkey!)
[19:11] <+PaperMonkey> (hey-o!)
[19:11] <~Dan> (Here for the Q&A?)
[19:11] <+PaperMonkey> (Just to listen in :])
[19:11] <~Dan> (Okay. Feel free to chime in with any questions, though!)
[19:12] <+PaperMonkey> (Right!)
[19:12] <+RPGPundit> Well, technically what I'm dealing with here is a mythology that is embraced by a current "living" religion. The thing is, the ancient Vedic religion is NOT the same as modern hinduism (however much some Hindus would like to claim otherwise); its a radically different belief system that had several breaks and massive changes
[19:12] <+RPGPundit> over the thousands of years of timespan/differences. I made a conscious choice to focus on the ancient Vedic concepts, and leave out some of the later developments that are more definably Hindu.
[19:12] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:12] <+RPGPundit> So I was expecting some hindus to end up giving me flak, for reasons of dogma or what have you.
[19:12] *** XoYo has joined #rpgnet
[19:12] *** ChanServ sets mode +v XoYo
[19:13] <~Dan> (Welcome, XoYo! Q&A in progress! Grab a virtual "seat". :) )
[19:13] <+RPGPundit> Also, I end up treating some of the mythology very different from how modern Hindu dogma does it; particularly around things like Krishna with regard to the Vaishnavite sect.
[19:14] <+RPGPundit> In any case, I was really surprised when the feedback I'd gotten so far from actual Hindus has been entirely positive. I think they appreciated that despite my not necessarily following their points of modern dogma, the effort in the game was respectful and attempting to be an accurate depiction.
[19:14] <~Dan> You touched on this earlier, but I gather this has been a subject of study for you well before deciding to create the RPG?
[19:14] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:14] <+RPGPundit> Yes. I've engaged in personal and professional/academic study of Indian religion for quite some time now.
[19:15] <~Dan> Cool. So! Let's look at the game itself.
[19:15] <~Dan> I'd like to start with a rather broad question, and I'll let you drill down however you like.
[19:16] <+RPGPundit> (i would imagine, by the way, that really conservative Hindu fundamentalists, which can be every bit as reactionary as pat robertson, would not care for the game, of course.. but so far none have run into it, I suppose)
[19:16] <+RPGPundit> ok, go ahead.
[19:17] <+PaperMonkey> (I remember some complaints around movies like Sita Sings the Blues drawing from more conservative Indians, due to perceived misappropriation)
[19:17] <~Dan> When looking to created a D&D-based game with an Indian mythological setting, to what extent did you look for ways to fit D&D tropes into the setting versus finding setting tropes that happened to fit D&D-isms?
[19:17] <~Dan> For example...
[19:18] <~Dan> ...when it came to character classes, did you just know of certain character types in mythology that you wanted to include, or did you say, "Okay, I need a ranger type, now where can I find one in Indian mythology?"?
[19:18] <~Dan> (I hope that makes sense.)
[19:18] *** XoYo has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[19:18] <+RPGPundit> I think it does make sense, yes.
[19:19] <+RPGPundit> And really, I suppose it was more the latter than the former. I wanted the game to be very recognizable to D&D players. But the archetypes in Epic Indian sagas are not unlike those in European legends; it was more a question of tweaking and adjusting than anything else.
[19:20] <+RPGPundit> There are common fighters, rogues, priests (though these usually aren't the adventuring types) and magicians (siddhas or Sadhus; both good and evil).
[19:20] <+RPGPundit> There are holy warriors with codes (virakshatriya) which are very similar to the Paladin in many ways.
[19:20] <+RPGPundit> You have wild men in the wilderness (rangers, but without spells) which I made Scouts in the game.
[19:21] <+RPGPundit> There are assassins (the Thuggees, though these are a total anachronism for the period) and Yogis (though again, the notion that these would be adventurers is pretty anachronistic).
[19:21] <+RPGPundit> (Done)
[19:22] <+PaperMonkey> (I'd like to pose a question on some of the classes, if I may?)
[19:22] <~Dan> Can you touch on some of the setting specific tweaks you made to character creation? The castes, for example?
[19:22] <~Dan> (Sure, PaperMonkey!)
[19:22] <+PaperMonkey> (Well then!)
[19:23] <~Dan> (And I'll call for a question pause after PaperMonkey's question, as I suspect Pundit's answer to mine may be a bit involved.)
[19:23] *** WampusCountry has joined #rpgnet
[19:23] *** ChanServ sets mode +v WampusCountry
[19:24] <~Dan> (Welcome, WampusCountry! Here for the Q&A?)
[19:24] <+RPGPundit> In brief, the key changes to character creation: the addition of caste (randomly rolled) and clan; the alignments being different from standard, the introduction of background skills that are more elaborate than what you see in AD&D1e (without being like 3e's skills either).
[19:24] <+WampusCountry> (but of course, Dan)
[19:24] <+RPGPundit> The magic system is different; fighters have a bigger emphasis on archery; none of the classes are exactly the same as what you'd find in D&D, but all are recognizeable.
[19:24] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:25] <+PaperMonkey> I feel that some of the classes, particularly the Priest, Virakshatriya, and Yogi, aligned a bit too heavily with their D&D counterparts. The Priest's proscription to use only blunt weapons, the Virakshatriya's code and Lay on Hands Ability, and the Yogi's use of martial arts. Was that done in an effort to appeal to those who wanted a more familiar game?
[19:25] <+RPGPundit> (I'll elaborate on any of the above points if people want me to)
[19:26] <~Dan> (WampusCountry: Just FYI, there's a question pause on at the moment. Questions will resume after Pundit catches up with PaperMonkey's question.)
[19:26] *** Guest37 has joined #rpgnet
[19:26] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest37
[19:26] <+WampusCountry> (yep, I figured. This ain't my first time at the rodeo. ;) )
[19:26] <+RPGPundit> papermonkey: Yes, it was very much done for that reason. I did a posting to my blog and to the Arrows of Indra G+ group ( (Link: https://plus.google.com/communities/110774426412538801599)https://plus.google.com/communities/110774426412538801599 ) where I suggested how you could reduce the D&D influence.
[19:26] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest23! You can set your nick with the "/nick" command.)
[19:27] <+RPGPundit> This would include removing the Priest, Yogi, and optionally the Thugee from PC classes.
[19:27] <+RPGPundit> If you want to be more strictly accurate to the Mahabharata, priests and yogis have no business fighting; and Thugees (or indeed their patron goddess Kali, in any recognizeable form) didn't even exist yet.
[19:28] *** Guest37 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[19:28] <+RPGPundit> I'd keep virakshatriya the same, though; I think they do a good job of reflecting the "chosen holy warrior" archetype; they could have had different powers of course, but these are as good as any others.
[19:28] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:28] <~Dan> (Did you want to squeeze in a question before I continue with more of my own, WampusCountry?)
[19:29] <+PaperMonkey> (thank you!)
[19:29] <+WampusCountry> (nope, go ahead)
[19:29] <~Dan> (You're welcome to ask away at any time, PM!)
[19:30] <~Dan> RPGPundit: Can you go into more detail about the skill system? It looks like a very slick improvement over other variations I've seen in OSR games.
[19:30] *** Logomachist has joined #rpgnet
[19:30] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Logomachist
[19:30] <+RPGPundit> Thank you! The thing is, I wanted a skill system that really felt old-school, but wasn't too vague, and likewise was not a point-buy 3e-style skill system.
[19:31] * ~Dan nods
[19:31] <+RPGPundit> Also, I wanted to have skills that reflected Clan and Caste, which are hugely important parts of the setting; but I also wanted skills that reflected one's character class.
[19:32] <+RPGPundit> So I created two sets of skills: Background and Class Skills. Background skills are rolled randomly (optionally chosen, with GM approval) at character creation, based on your caste/background.
[19:33] <+RPGPundit> They're your more standard "career" skills like farming, butcher, rope-maker, merchant, scribe, smith, astronomer, doctor, religious dancer, etc.
[19:33] *** Le_Squide has joined #rpgnet
[19:33] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Le_Squide
[19:34] <~Dan> (Howdy, Logomachist, Le_Squide! Q&A in progress!)
[19:34] <+RPGPundit> Then there's the class skills, which are based on your class; each class has two tables (basic and advanced). You roll on the basic table for your class skills (you get two class skills at lv.1 if you're human, only 1 if you're not); and each level after that you can roll or choose from the basic list.
[19:34] <+RPGPundit> You can only get access to the advanced skill list if you roll a spot on the basic table that's already "full" (that you've maxed out the times that skill can be taken).
[19:35] *** NiTessine has quit IRC: Ping timeout
[19:35] <+RPGPundit> Class skills incorporate what in other games would be "weapon proficiencies", lower-level spells, or special abilities, most of them aren't actually "skills" in the 3e-sense.
[19:35] <+Le_Squide> (Heya!)
[19:36] <~Dan> Would you say they are more analagous to, say, WFRP 1e/2e skills?
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> For example, the fighter's basic class skills are archery, spear, mace, longsword, horsemanship and charioteering. His advanced skills are Chakram, Combat Maneuvers, Command, lesser weapon proficiencies, two-weapon fighting and wrestling.
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> Dan: In some ways, yes, you could say they're closer to WFRP's skills, though I didn't think of that when I was doing the game.
[19:36] * ~Dan nods
[19:37] <+RPGPundit> The siddhi (mage's) skill list are mostly spells, excepting a couple of skills like Astrology and Demonology.
[19:37] <+RPGPundit> Thieves get all kinds of cool skills: languages, literacy, poison lore, manipulation, kukri, urban survival, etc. (those are just the basic list!).
[19:37] *** Guest76 has joined #rpgnet
[19:37] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest76
[19:38] <+RPGPundit> (done, I suppose)
[19:38] <~Dan> You mentioned skills as spells... Do spells require a skill roll?
[19:38] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest76! You can set your nick with the "/nick" command.)
[19:38] <+RPGPundit> No, there's no roll involved for spells. Here's how it works for a Siddhi (magic user):
[19:39] <~Dan> (Actually, feel free to address magic in general, while we're on the subject.)
[19:39] <+RPGPundit> At 1st level, he gets two rolls (or one if non-human) on the Siddhi basic skill list; these include those above skills, plus four basic spells. So in theory, a 1st level siddhi might have lore but no spells.
[19:39] <+RPGPundit> If he does get a spell, the spell is 1 use/day.
[19:40] <+RPGPundit> At higher levels he keeps rolling on the class skill list; which may give him a new spell; or he might get one he already had before (which will either increase his uses by 1 more per day; or increase the potency of the spell; or, if he's "maxed out" the allowable times it can be taken, he'll roll on the advanced table for more powerful spells).
[19:41] *** GenoFoxx has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[19:41] <+RPGPundit> But besides that, from level 2 onward, the Siddhi (and priest) has a chance of getting "Enlightenment Powers"; these are spells that are generally speaking more powerful (they don't require verbal (Mantra) or gesture (Mudra) components, for starters, like the basic spells do)
[19:41] *** Guest92 has joined #rpgnet
[19:41] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest92
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> His chance of getting Enlightenment powers is based on a percentage roll from his level, modified by his prime attribute (INT for siddhis, WIS for priests).
[19:42] <+Guest76> What made you choose Mythic India? What did you learn about the subject writing Arrows?
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> So AoI spellcasters can theoretically start out a little weak (though rarely weaker than a 1st level oD&D wizard, anyways), but they as they level up they can end up becoming very powerful (having access to spells that are equivalent to much higher level D&D spells earlier than a D&D wizard would get them).
[19:43] *** Guest92 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[19:43] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:43] <~Dan> Guest76: Pundit actually already addressed the former. Would you like me to cut and paste his response and PM it to you?)
[19:43] <+RPGPundit> Guest76: that was kind of covered at the start of the Q&A (yeah, dan, go ahead and cut and paste)
[19:43] <+Guest76> In this chat? I apologize.
[19:43] <~Dan> RPGPundit: Enlightenment Powers almost sound like superpowers.
[19:44] <~Dan> Guest76: No worries! I'll cut/paste it to you via PM now.
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> As for what I learned; I certainly would say that it gave me a chance to look into the Mahabharata legends in far more detail than I had ever done before, just little details, mainly about what the world/setting of the legends was really like. It was eye-opening in some respects.
[19:44] *** WampusCountry has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> Dan: they kind of are like superpowers; though I guess so are high-level D&D spells.
[19:44] <~Dan> True.
[19:46] <~Dan> Again going back to the mythology-vs.-D&Dism thing, how closely did you try to mirror the mythology in spellcasting vs. trying to mimic "standard" D&D magic?
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> (sorry, done)
[19:46] <~Dan> (No problem.)
[19:46] <~Dan> The casting per day, for example.
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> The magic system is the most changed part of the game, but while technically not being "Vancian" its still very familiar to any D&D player.
[19:47] * ~Dan nods
[19:47] <~Dan> Can you describe the nonhuman PC races?
[19:47] <+RPGPundit> In the mythology, you have various treatments of things that are "magic powers". Many of them are just plain miracles, done by direct divine intervention (that's why I have Divine Intervention rules in the game too).
[19:47] <~Dan> (Oh, sorry -- please continue.)
[19:48] <+RPGPundit> Others are things that can only be done once or with great effort by a siddhi or sage; while others are things they do all the time.
[19:48] <+RPGPundit> I had to consider playability and my mission goal of keeping the game somewhat familiar to OSR-gamers. So I choose something that's a kind of hybrid between what you see in the mythology and what you see in D&D.
[19:49] <+RPGPundit> There are definitely a few spells that you'll see are very similar to D&D spells, but there are also a great deal of spells that are taken out of the mythology; the emphasis is different in many ways, there's lots of spells/enlightenment-powers that have to do with controlling people, with manipulating their energy fields,
[19:49] <+RPGPundit> even with directing how they reincarnate
[19:50] <+RPGPundit> There's no "fireball" as such; but instead there are some incredibly damaging spells that are more in following with the setting
[19:50] <~Dan> Cool.
[19:50] <+Guest76> I've seen that you are playing DCC or are at least familiar with the system. Given what you are saying about magic here, how difficult would it be to merge the two if one wanted to, say, have a Mythic India culture in a DCC campaign world?
[19:50] <+RPGPundit> The Bhairava Mudra, for example, is one of the Advanced Siddhi skills, the most powerful one arguably, which literally just disintegrates a person to atoms when you touch them.
[19:51] <~Dan> (Question pause after Guest76's question.)
[19:51] *** Bedrockbrendan has joined #rpgnet
[19:51] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Bedrockbrendan
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> There's lots of spells that affect your "prana" as well, and that drive you insane. Again, spellcasters will generally have less spells, but the spell power they have access to is bigger, sooner, than in D&D.
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:51] <~Dan> (Welcome, Brendan!)
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> Dan: do you want me to answer your question first?
[19:52] <~Dan> Yes, please, then Guest76's.
[19:53] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the nonhuman PCs races are: 1) the Gandharvas, which are the messengers of the gods; they're immortal, live in mountaintops and forests, musicians and dancers, their cities are powered by gold; they look like very attractive thin humans with featherlike hair.
[19:54] *** Bedrockbrendan has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[19:54] <+RPGPundit> 2) Yakshas: golden skinned dwarves, they also generally live on mountaintops, guarding the treasures of the gods. They're also immortal, and are great scholars and sages, but also passionate poets and prone to both depression and extreme fits of anger.
[19:55] <+RPGPundit> 3) Vanara: Monkey-men. They're basically intelligent monkeys, from the southern jungles. Very agile, quite clever but they have trouble with the diplomatic subtlety of human culture. They are excellent thieves but also good fighters, and serve Hanuman (the vanara god).
[19:56] <+RPGPundit> 4) Rakshasas: descendents of the mixture of humans and Asura-demons (in the same way that Gandharvas are probably descended from the mixing of humans and Devas); they're big dark-skinned red-eyed fanged humanoids, who make savage warriors and powerful siddhis. They are distrusted, but are also hired on as mercenaries (or sometimes wizards) by
[19:57] <+RPGPundit> Neutral or Unholy rulers.
[19:57] <+RPGPundit> 5) there's also the Bhil, who are humans but barbarians; and are often treated as not-quite-human by the civilized people of the Bharata kingdoms.
[19:57] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[19:57] <+RPGPundit> As for Guests' question:
[19:58] <+RPGPundit> I think that the biggest difficulty with merging AoI magic with DCC would be that you'd have to make the big DCC spell tables for all the various spells/enlightenment powers. Aside from that, I think it'd be doable.
[19:59] *** Seraioli has joined #rpgnet
[19:59] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Seraioli
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> (done, I guess, unless guest has a followup)
[20:00] <~Dan> How difficult was it for you to make this relatively unknown, exotic setting accessible to gamers? How steep of a learning curve is there in that regard?
[20:00] <+Guest76> No, must wanted to confirm there were no showstopping differences given the different kinds of spells/magic you were describing. thanks.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> Dan: I ended up being surprised by how easy it was. I had assumed, going in, that there'd be more difficulty than there was:
[20:01] *** Guest76 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[20:01] *** Guest88 has joined #rpgnet
[20:01] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest88
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> This is because I had first assumed that I'd need to fill in the setting a lot more, and that I'd have to work harder to give a PC group stuff to do...
[20:01] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest88! Are you Guest76 returning? :) )
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> But then as I went along, I discovered just how much of the D&D-tropes were in the Epic India setting; partly because these tropes come out of western myth, and western myth, if you go far enough back, comes out of Indian myth.
[20:02] <~Dan> Huh. Interesting.
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> Its the same "heroic culture".
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> So for example:
[20:03] <+RPGPundit> You have dungeons and caves in D&D... this has evolved into mega-dungeons or the "underdark"...
[20:03] <+Guest88> Hi Dan. No idea, first time i've used this so i'm a bit lost! It's OHT by the way
[20:04] <~Dan> (Oh! You can set your name with the /nick command, if you like.)
[20:04] <+RPGPundit> But the prototype for this was laid down thousands of years ago: the Patala Underworld. In Indian mythology, its a cave system that spans 40000km long, six levels deep, until it reaches down into Hell itself.
[20:04] <+RPGPundit> Its the Ur-Megadungeon.
[20:05] <~Dan> That's rather cool. :)
[20:05] <+RPGPundit> In D&D, you have adventurers going to clear out sections of wilderness. In the Mahabharata, that's precisely what happens too: the young King Yudisthira inherits a kingdom that has a big jungle in it full of Nagas and other monsters, so he goes in with his men to clear it out, pacify it, and then builds his new capital city there.
[20:06] *** Guest88 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[20:06] <+RPGPundit> In D&D you have "forgotten realms", great kingdoms that once existed but have now become ruins thousands of years old, filled with lost treasures.
[20:06] *** OHT has joined #rpgnet
[20:06] *** ChanServ sets mode +v OHT
[20:06] <~Dan> (Welcome back, OHT!)
[20:06] <+RPGPundit> In the world of Epic India, you have the same thing: There's the Desert of Thar, which was once a thriving kingdom until it was hit by a Celestial Weapon that turned the entire place into a lifeless wasteland
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> And you have the southern jungles, which is where there was once a great and might Asura Demon Kingdom, that the previous avatara Rama destroyed; so that the ruins of that kingdom litter the jungle.
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> Its a world made for all the ideas you see in D&D.
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[20:07] <~Dan> Yup, definitely sounds built for D&D.
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> And none of this was stuff I had to make up; its all in the Epic myth.
[20:08] * ~Dan nods
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> There's also a wealth of little human kingdoms
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> A big evil empire that's threatening to devour them
[20:08] <~Dan> You touched on the alignment system earlier. Care to elaborate on that?
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> and a bucketful of NPCs.
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Ok
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Unlike typical D&D; in AoI the alignments are neither L/N/C nor G/N/E.
[20:09] *** Guest54 has joined #rpgnet
[20:09] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest54
[20:09] <+RPGPundit> Instead, what you get is "Holy"/"Neutral"/"Unholy". These are neither a measure of your philosophical beliefs on law/chaos, nor whether you're a nice or nasty person.
[20:09] <+RPGPundit> Instead, what they measure is where you are at in relationship to the gods.
[20:09] *** Guest54 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> Someone who's Holy gets that way by performing correct ritual, and avoiding the taboo. In other words, doing what pleases the gods.
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> They're obeying caste, and generally avoiding the misconduct that the gods proscribe, but they're not necessarily nice people.
[20:11] *** MIndflayer has joined #rpgnet
[20:11] *** ChanServ sets mode +v MIndflayer
[20:11] *** Le_Squide is now known as Le_Showah_Powah
[20:11] <~Dan> (Welcome, Mindflayer! Q&A in progress! :) )
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> The aforementioned "evil Empire" (Magadha) is ruled by an Emperor who is extremely Holy, he is most-favored of the god Shiva, for example; and he plans to sacrifice 100 captured kings to Shiva in order to become ruler of the world forever.
[20:11] <+MIndflayer> Greetings All :)
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> In AoI, Alignment strongly affects a number of things: how magic items work for you, your likelihood of success at divine intervention, how supernatural beings relate to you, and how magic works on you.
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> I think its much better-used than in the standard D&D game.
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> (done, unless you have follow-ups)
[20:13] <~Dan> Actually, I do...
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> go on
[20:13] <~Dan> I'm assuming that there are (relatively) "good" and "evil" gods?
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> Not really.
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> There are the Gods, and then there's the Asuras (demons).
[20:14] <~Dan> Ah... Okay, that partly answers my question, then. I was just wondering how someone could be "Holy" as you describe it, with gods of opposing goals at play.
[20:14] <+RPGPundit> Now, the Asuras are definitely not nice guys; they once ruled the entire world until Avatara Shiva took down their three flying cities; then they continued to rule part of the world until the next Avatara Rama defeated the kingdom of Ravana like I mentioned earlier.
[20:14] <+RPGPundit> Now they're mostly stuck in little pockets and underground, lots of their best guys are prisoners in realms of the Patala Underworld.
[20:15] *** Clear_Runway has joined #rpgnet
[20:15] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Clear_Runway
[20:15] <+PaperMonkey> (the fun thing is that even demons can be benevolentish. For example, Ravana was a faithful devotee of Shiva, and his brothers were also fairly benign)
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They would, if they could, take over creation and serve their base desires, slaughtering and abusing humans forever. But Unholy men might serve them in exchange for power.
[20:15] <~Dan> (Howdy, Clear_Runway! Q&A in progress! You can join #rpgnet2 for general chat if you like.)
[20:16] <+RPGPundit> (Papermonkey: that's partly vaishnavite propagnda; mind you; you get "monsters serve Shiva" all the time.. from followers of Vishnu)
[20:17] <~Dan> RPGPundit: Hmm... Let me rephrase the question, then. Does "Holy" mean that you do what all the gods want, or just that you do what some of the gods want?
[20:18] <+RPGPundit> (partly, though, its true; there are some monsters that surrendered themselves to Shiva, or Vishnu, in exchange for their lives; there's even one genuinely Holy Asura, Prahlada)
[20:18] <+RPGPundit> Holy means that you obey the conditions of religious ritual, caste, and taboo. It means you fulfill the most basic requirements not to piss off the gods.
[20:18] <~Dan> Ah. So there's a baseline that appeases all of the gods?
[20:19] <+RPGPundit> Beyond that, you can end up developing specific relationships to the gods, becoming a favorite of them or a champion, and obtaining their divine intervention.
[20:19] <~Dan> Okay, I think I follow you now.
[20:19] <+RPGPundit> Yes. All the gods, whether Vaishnavite or Shaivite, or the old vedic gods (indra and the other elemental gods) agree on certain basic points of things you should do and should not do; or even ways you can "cheat the system".
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:20] *** CRKrueger has joined #rpgnet
[20:20] *** ChanServ sets mode +v CRKrueger
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> For example, there's a religious rite (the Kumbh Mela) at sacred rivers once every several years, where if you bathe in the river you immediately gain "Holy" alignment (though you can subsequently lose it pretty fast again if you choose).
[20:20] *** CRKrueger has quit IRC: Disintegrated: CRKrueger
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> You can also pay a Brahmin Priest enough Rupya to do a ritual that purifies you and makes you Holy.
[20:20] *** CRKrueger has joined #rpgnet
[20:20] *** ChanServ sets mode +v CRKrueger
[20:21] <+RPGPundit> On the other hand, worshiping the Asuras will make you instantly Unholy.
[20:21] * ~Dan nods
[20:21] <~Dan> (wb, CRKrueger!)
[20:21] <+CRKrueger> Thanks Dan
[20:21] <+RPGPundit> And of course, the vast majority of people are Neutral most of the time; not sinful enough to be Unholy, not pure enough to be Holy.
[20:21] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[20:23] <~Dan> I recall reading about Indian mythology some time ago, and it struck me as being Epic with a capital "E" -- the flying cities you mentioned, the cities destroyed by remarkably nuke-like weapons, etc.
[20:23] <~Dan> How do the PCs fit into that world? It almost seems more like Exalted than D&D.
[20:24] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the thing is that the Indian Epics cover different Eras. First, there was the Age of Shiva; that was the truly epic era, you had flying cities, all the heroes were gods, etc.
[20:24] *** OHT has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[20:24] <+RPGPundit> Shiva was the first Avatara, a perfect human with divine essence, destined for godhood, who incarnated to liberate the world from the Asuras.
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> Then you had the age of the Second Avatara, Rama (the period covered in the Ramayana). In this period, it was a little less epic, but still pretty freaking epic. You had monkey-god stealing the sun, arrows that cut the sea in half, all the heroes were mighty Kings. This is probably the "exalted" level
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> (whereas Shiva's age would probably be closer to "Lords of Olympus" level)
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> But the setting of AoI is in the age of the next Avatara, Krishna. In this time magic has somewhat reduced in the world; powerful artifacts are much more rare; humanity (not asura demons or other monsters) are the fully dominant regional species, and the heroes of this age are, well, Heroes.
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> (though a lot of them are also Kings)
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> (or at least princes)
[20:28] <+RPGPundit> But its a lower-power-level than the earlier epics. This is the period of the Mahabharata; which is a story of a war between men, with divine intervention.
[20:28] <+RPGPundit> Its like the difference between the Titanomachia (the war between the Titans and the Gods) and the Iliad. You could look at the former and say "well, you can't do Greek D&D, its just too high-powered"
[20:28] <~Dan> So, put in terms with which the typical gamer might be more familiar, Arrows of Indra is similar to the 3rd Age of Middle-earth, perhaps?
[20:29] <+RPGPundit> But if you look at the latter, you realize that it can definitely fit the D&D-mold. (albeit with the main characters all being very high-level dudes).
[20:29] <+RPGPundit> Arrows of Indra is similar to the period of the Iliad in Greek mythology, or the legends of King Arthur in the western european mythology. Very powerful but human/mortal dudes are the main heroes, and while gods and monsters are still common, the world belongs to men now.
[20:30] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:30] <~Dan> So let's turn to one of my favorite topics: Monsters.
[20:31] <+RPGPundit> Okay!
[20:31] <~Dan> I see that AoI has a nice-sized bestiary. Kudos on that, first off.
[20:32] <+RPGPundit> Thank you. I really wanted to have a full-sized bestiary and magic-item section, and not cheap out on that, because both are a big part of the "practical" setting.
[20:32] <~Dan> Now, looking at the offerings, I'm wondering about what percentage of creatures are straight out of Indian mythology, as opposed to monsters that you thought would just be cool to include? Are there actually giant bees in Indian mythology, for example?
[20:32] <~Dan> (And I'll brb -- please continue)
[20:32] *** Dan is now known as Dan-brb
[20:34] <~Dan-brb> (back)
[20:34] *** Dan-brb is now known as Dan
[20:34] *** Le_Showah_Powah is now known as Le_Squide
[20:35] <+RPGPundit> Sorry, back myself, had to light a pipe
[20:35] *** ChanServ sets mode +ao Le_Squide Le_Squide
[20:35] <+RPGPundit> Currently Smoking: Mastro de Paja Bent Billiard + Rattray's Marlin Flake
[20:36] *** Catseye has joined #rpgnet
[20:36] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Catseye
[20:36] <+Catseye> hi
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> Anyways, in Indian mythology there are giant insects and giant animals of all kinds, but yes, in a lot of cases the "Animal, Giant" type entries were things I chose to include for completeness in the bestiary and random encounters.
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> Most of the other creatures, that aren't just animals or giant animals, are directly from Indian Mythology, however, including things like Goblins and Succubi.
[20:37] <+RPGPundit> And obviously, the Undead, and the Asuras, and yeti, and witches, and maruts, and windhorses, and everything else...
[20:37] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[20:37] <~Dan> (It wouldn't be a chat with the Pundit if a pipe weren't involved. ;) )
[20:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye! Q&A in progress. :) )
[20:38] <+RPGPundit> (I only wasn't smoking earlier because I was eating supper: wiener schnitzel plus home-made fries for $5; got to love South American prices!)
[20:38] <~Dan> How is armor handled in the game? Seems like it would be less of a factor in such a tropical environment.
[20:38] <~Dan> (Nice!)
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Actually, armor was quite commonly warn in India in all periods, including the vedic period; of course, it was usually worn for warfare, and not so much for walking-around, but the same is true of Armor in western settings.
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> All the armor types in AoI are taken directly from historical Indian armor.
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> Wait
[20:39] * ~Dan waits
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> Actually, the thing is that most of the Bharata kingdoms are not actually "tropical".
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> They're in subtropical or temperate climates.
[20:40] <~Dan> Ah. Yeah, I was about to say: "I'm probably displaying my ignorance about India, here...")
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> So that might explain why
[20:40] * ~Dan nods
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> (now I'm done for real)
[20:40] <~Dan> Heh.
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> its the southern jungle areas that are tropical
[20:40] <~Dan> Okay, here's a general game design question for you...
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> ok
[20:41] *** Guest has joined #rpgnet
[20:41] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest
[20:41] <~Dan> From what I've seen, it seems like most OSR games literally try to make'em like they used to, instead of making'em like they could have made'em, so to speak. Having no skill system because AD&D1e didn't really have one, for example.
[20:42] <~Dan> You seem to have taken a different path in AoI.
[20:42] <~Dan> So, two questions...
[20:42] <+RPGPundit> yep
[20:42] <~Dan> (1) Any general thoughts on the subject? And...
[20:42] <~Dan> (2) To what extent do you see AoI as being a good choice for a more generic OSR game?
[20:43] <+RPGPundit> 1) Yes. I have always been a strong opponent of that part of OSR-thinking that wants to fetishize nostalgia, or do a time-freeze in 1978. I was against "clonemania". To me, the point of being an old-school gamer is to take the old-school boundaries and make NEW things with it, not just an endless nostalgia-party.
[20:44] * ~Dan nods
[20:44] <~Dan> My thoughts exactly.
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> So all my favorite OSR stuff has been products that do innovative things within the old-school mode: Majestic Wilderlands, Stars Without Number, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Dungeon Crawl Classics.
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> AoI is in that vein.
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> As for 2), I'm not quite sure what you mean... do you mean could AoI be used to run a non-indian game?
[20:45] <~Dan> Well, let me rephrase that... Let's say you were making a "generic" OSR game. Would you use AoI as the basis for it?
[20:45] *** Guest has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[20:45] *** Pete has joined #rpgnet
[20:45] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Pete
[20:45] <~Dan> (Welcome, Pete!)
[20:46] <~Dan> In terms of basic mechanics -- the skill system, for example.
[20:46] <+RPGPundit> I could start from AoI, sure; but I'd have to change things to make it less genre-specific.
[20:46] <+Pete> Thanks!
[20:46] * ~Dan nods
[20:46] <+RPGPundit> The concept behind the skill system could totally be reused for a non-indian game, but you'd want to change the particular skills to reflect whatever type of setting you were doing.
[20:46] * ~Dan nods
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> (sorry, done)
[20:47] <~Dan> A quick note: While our regular Q&A time ends at 9:00 my time, you're more than welcome to hang out and field questions as long as you like.
[20:48] <~Dan> That said, is there anything you'd like to bring up that we haven't covered as yet?
[20:48] <+RPGPundit> I'll be glad to do so, sure!
[20:48] <+RPGPundit> Well, just to mention that the PDF is already out, and the print edition of Arrows of Indra will be coming out very shortly; and I hope people check the game out, because I think they'd be quite pleased (and maybe surprised) by it.
[20:49] <+Pete> I've been reading AoI and really loving it. It feels like a wonderful departure from so many typical fantasy games. I just pitched it to my friends, though, and one of them flat out refused to play anything you wrote. I guess you're a divisive figure? Do you have any thoughts on that?
[20:50] <+RPGPundit> Well, I suppose I can be a divisive figure, its true. I have strong opinions about RPGs, and I don't hide my disdain for certain elements of the hobby.
[20:51] <+RPGPundit> And I could see, I guess, someone not wanting to buy something I wrote because I was once mean to them on the internet; but it seems stupid to me that someone wouldn't even want to PLAY something I wrote.
[20:51] <+RPGPundit> I mean seriously, what's he scared of? That he'll like it?
[20:52] <+Pete> Ha!
[20:52] <+RPGPundit> I mean if Vince Baker or Ron Edwards turned around tomorrow and actually wrote an RPG, and it was a good RPG, I wouldn't have a problem playing it.
[20:52] <+RPGPundit> (not that this is likely to ever happen, but yeah..)
[20:52] <~Dan> Mind if I chime in, Pundit?
[20:52] <+RPGPundit> I don't like most of what White Wolf did in the hobby, but that didn't stop me from buying products of theirs and even (gasp!) using them!
[20:53] <+RPGPundit> (like Pendragon, when they were publishing it; or even their 3e Ravenloft book)
[20:53] <+RPGPundit> Sure, dan.
[20:54] <~Dan> Pete: Honestly, there was a time when I might have felt the same way. But nowadays, that does seem like a silly attitude to me. I mean, let's assume that the game is something that they'd love, just for the sake of argument.
[20:54] <+RPGPundit> I just won't buy or play something that sucks; but your friend would have to read the book first to find out if he thinks AoI sucks or not. Saying "the pundit sucks so I will shoot myself in the foot by not even considering his game" is just mental.
[20:54] <+Pete> I told my friend that anything that leads to us having fun wasn't worth disdain. Maybe I'll win him over yet!
[20:54] <~Dan> Are they "winning" by denying themselves the pleasure of playing in order to "punish" the Pundit?
[20:54] <+RPGPundit> Pete: point out to him that I seem open-minded by comparison to him.
[20:54] <~Dan> Heh.
[20:55] <~Dan> Pete: If they happen to like my reviews, tell them that I'm very impressed by what I've read of AoI.
[20:55] <+Pete> But didn't you just say that you wouldn't play things by some guys unless they did what you want?
[20:55] <~Dan> And this is coming from someone who's (1) butted heads with the Pundit in the past and (2) isn't that big on D&D-based games, generally speaking.
[20:56] <+Pete> Good idea, Dan! Maybe you can win him over.
[20:56] <~Dan> I think he meant that they'd have to make what Pundit considers to be an actual RPG.
[20:57] <~Dan> Pete: Heck, send'em in here. I'll set'em straight. ;)
[20:57] <+RPGPundit> Pete: the point is, I don't avoid playing White Wolf products, or stuff by Ron Edwards, because its made by them; I actually look at what they wrote and see; if it sucks (like everything Ron Edwards has ever done) then I don't play it.
[20:57] <+RPGPundit> If its good (like the Pendragon books that WW published), I will buy and run them happily.
[21:05] <+PaperMonkey> One of the things I'd like to know about is: how do you handle members of different castes being in the same party? An Untouchable PC is always going to have a tough time of it, especially with a Brahmin in the group.
[21:06] <+RPGPundit> Papermonkey: Good question! The one really big problem is that one, with the Dalits (untouchables); as a result, I have made the Dalits an "optional" caste; the GM can choose to allow Dalit PCs, or not.
[21:06] <~Dan> Guest: You can set your name with the "/nick" command if you like. :)
[21:07] <+RPGPundit> When I ran the game, I didn't use Dalits as PCs; but some other GM that didn't want to follow the taboos of the default setting as strictly might have wanted to, so I included them in order that they might do so; but its very explicit in the rules that the GM is advised he could (and probably should) avoid them for PCs.
[21:09] <+PaperMonkey> I see.
[21:09] <~Dan> (I need to finish getting ready for bed real quick-like... Please continue.)
[21:10] <+RPGPundit> (well, I'm done answering that question, anyways)
[21:10] <+RPGPundit> (unless papermonkey has more to add?)
[21:10] <+PaperMonkey> No, I'm fine!
[21:10] <+J_Arcane> Hey a RPGPundit .
[21:10] *** Guest23 has joined #rpgnet
[21:10] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest23
[21:10] *** Guest23 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: Guest23
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> hello, J arcane!
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> any other AoI questions?
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> or any about Lords of Olympus?
[21:14] <+J_Arcane> RPGPundit: How does it feel to cave on the OSR thing? ;) We were both pretty outspoken skeptics of it, and yet both of us have now put out OSR games. ;)
[21:14] <+RPGPundit> J Arcane: I don't see it as "Caving", on the contrary, I see it as the OSR having finally come around to my way of thinking.
[21:15] <+RPGPundit> When I was a critic of the OSR it was at the height of "clonemania", when they seemed determine to engage in a fatwa against anything and everything that was not a precise nostalgic recreation of pre-1980 D&D.
[21:16] <+RPGPundit> But they've moved on, and have now started to use the OSR-framework to make innovative and interesting games (and they're all out of stuff to clone), and so they've finally caught up to me.
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> I mean a few years back, AoI would have been seen as far too innovative to pass the litmus test (it isn't just a reproduction of an old-edition game); whereas now its not even the most innovative OSR game around.
[21:17] <~Dan> Yeah, we were discussing that earlier.
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> (its about on-par with SWN in terms of innovation, and less radical than DCC).
[21:18] <~Dan> I'd be interested in "AD&D done 'right'". I don't care about "AD&D re-done".
[21:18] <+J_Arcane> Yeah. I see the OSR D&D stuff now as almost an evolution of the punk principle that the Forge desperately wanted to lay claim to but never really did.
[21:18] <+J_Arcane> "Here's 4 classes, here's a D20, make a roleplaying game."
[21:19] <+J_Arcane> It gives me a familiar shorthand to work from, while bending it to fit concept and put my own spin on it.
[21:19] <~Dan> Oh, another AoI question, speaking of AD&D-isms, Pundit: Are there any class/level limits on non-human PCs, and can PCs multi-class?
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> Well, its actually produced RPGs, so that's a start. And its produced stuff that's wildly more interesting because it does radical things within a strict framework; which is going to be far more awesome when done right than some bullshit using gimmicky mechanics with jenga tiles or what-have-you
[21:21] <+RPGPundit> Dan: In AoI there's no multiclassing of any kind. Nonhuman races do have class limits, and some classes have level limits (but not most); but both humans and nonhumans alike pick a single class and stick to it.
[21:21] <~Dan> Is that based on a setting issue?
[21:21] <+RPGPundit> This was largely because I thought it made more sense within the setting; its not a world where career-change is a common occurrence.
[21:21] <+RPGPundit> yup
[21:21] <~Dan> Ah. Makes sense.
[21:21] <+RPGPundit> Its a very rigid culture, after all.
[21:22] * ~Dan nods
[21:22] <~Dan> Speaking of which, are there any cultural issues that might be difficult for Western players to grasp? I guess this gets back to the "learning curve" thing.
[21:23] <~Dan> I know that Tekumel made my brain bleed in that regard.
[21:23] <+RPGPundit> Well, I try to make everything as approachable as possible; the book gives explanations of all the basic cultural aspects in a very straightforward and easy to understand fashion. You have to get certain things like the customs, traditions, legal codes, etc.
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> But I don't think that there's anything there that will be really hard to understand; the cultural rules are different in some cases, but they're not very "alien" or anything.
[21:25] <+RPGPundit> I think that in that sense, an authentic Indian setting is less difficult to grok than an authentic east asian or african setting might be; its a step more approachable in terms of cultural familiarity. You might say they're very conservative about some things, and have some cultural taboos we don't...
[21:25] <+RPGPundit> but if you know what these are, its not difficult to comprehend or anything.
[21:26] <~Dan> What about the objective morality of the setting, if there is one? Is there anything there that might turn off someone with a Western mindset?
[21:26] <+RPGPundit> Good question!
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> I set up the game setting to fit the morality of the times and the cultural values of the times. So there are certainly things that from a 21st century western-mindset seem troubling; the caste system, for example.
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> Slavery, for another.
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> Not to mention the status of women.
[21:27] * ~Dan nods
[21:28] <~Dan> Let me tweak that question a bit...
[21:28] *** RPGPundit has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[21:28] <~Dan> Or not...
[21:28] *** RPGPundit has joined #rpgnet
[21:28] *** ChanServ sets mode +v RPGPundit
[21:28] <~Dan> Welcome back!
[21:28] <+RPGPundit> Sorry, seem to have gotten momentarily booted there
[21:29] <~Dan> Okay, let me tweak that last question just a bit...
[21:29] <~Dan> (No problem!)
[21:29] <+RPGPundit> go ahead
[21:29] <~Dan> In AoI setting terms, is the caste system (as an example) objectively "good"? Or is it just what's culturally accepted?
[21:30] *** Guest has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[21:30] <+RPGPundit> Within the setting, its objectively accepted by the humans of the Bharata kingdoms. The barbarians and (notably) non-human kingdoms (even those closer to the gods, like the Gandharvas or Yakshas) do not have caste systems.
[21:30] <+RPGPundit> (of course, one could argue that in the latter cases its because all gandharvas or yakshas count as kshatriya or brahmins, the high castes)
[21:31] * ~Dan nods
[21:31] <+RPGPundit> It is seen as what is "normal" in the human kingdoms, and there's no one going around questioning it (that wouldn't happen until the Buddha, where he was seen as the freaking antichrist for suggesting that caste was a bunch of bullcrap)
[21:32] * ~Dan nods
[21:32] <+RPGPundit> The only "objective" elements of it is that it does affect your Holy status, for example, a Holy character who touches a Dalit needs to undergo purification or he loses his Holy alignment and becomes Neutral.
[21:32] <+RPGPundit> This is stuff I had to keep in to keep true to the setting, basically.
[21:32] <~Dan> But to be clear, again, "Holy" does not mean "Good".
[21:33] <+RPGPundit> No. It just means "favored by the gods".
[21:33] * ~Dan nods
[21:33] <+RPGPundit> Someone who is Holy won't be particularly nice, and someone who's Unholy won't necessarily be a mustache-twirling villain.
[21:34] <~Dan> I guess what I'm getting at is that a setting can have a cultural norm that's accepted but that isn't necessarily a metaphysical "good", if you follow me.
[21:34] <+RPGPundit> Yes, I do follow you and I would agree.
[21:35] <~Dan> It's the difference between saying, "In this setting, people believe that slavery is good," and saying, "In this setting, slavery is good."
[21:35] <+RPGPundit> But of course I could still see some people taking issue with the caste system not being questioned with a modern sensitivity in the game; of course, if I had, other people would have disliked that too.
[21:35] * ~Dan nods
[21:35] <+Catseye> ~Dan: Actually, if you look at teh new Iron Kingdoms RPG, the religions there, even though some are supposedly good, are full of questionable followers. And the churches themselves can seem quite dire from most people's perspectives
[21:35] <+RPGPundit> Yeah; well slavery gets even less slack; its purely an invention of human law; and theoretically someone of any caste could end up a slave.
[21:35] <~Dan> For what it's worth, I think you took the right approach.
[21:36] <+RPGPundit> Though there are different laws for how you are allowed to treat a Brahmin slave from, say, a Sudra slave.
[21:36] * ~Dan nods
[21:37] <~Dan> This is probably just a bugaboo of mine, but I have a hard time playing a game that says something I find offensive is objectively good.
[21:38] <+Aeolius> If anyone is looking for a chat-based game on Sunday nights (8pm-11pm Eastern) I am recruiting. PCs are roughly L11-12. PCs must have a natural swim speed and the ability to breathe underwater without the use of magic. No evil PCs, please. I run my games loosey-goosey, combat light and role-play heavy, with an emphasis on story over stats.
[21:38] <~Dan> It's something I brought up in my old Blue Planet review, in fact.
[21:38] *** Guest has joined #rpgnet
[21:38] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest
[21:38] <~Dan> Is that an issue for you at all, Pundit?
[21:39] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest! You can set you nick with the "/nick" command.)
[21:39] <&Bill> Aeolius, you forgot one important thing: What ruleset?
[21:39] *** Guest is now known as q
[21:39] <+RPGPundit> Dan: It can be, that depends on how they say it. But yeah, I intentionally wanted to avoid creating the simplicity of "holy=good" because its very clear that the Indian Myths themselves don't do that!
[21:40] * ~Dan nods
[21:40] *** Logomachist has quit IRC: Ping timeout
[21:41] *** Guest30 has joined #rpgnet
[21:41] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Guest30
[21:41] <~Dan> Any plans on doing an Indian-themed spinoff of Lords of Olympus, based upon your experiences with AoI?
[21:41] <~Dan> Welcome, Guest30!
[21:42] <&Le_Squide> On the subject of OSR games going further afield, have you read Spears of the Dawn?
[21:42] *** Guest30 has quit IRC: Disintegrated: (Link: http://www.mibbit.com)http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client
[21:42] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Actually, the fact that I made AoI makes it way less likely I'd do an indian-spinoff of LoO. I have considered doing a "different pantheon" sourcebook for LoO, but if I do that it would probably be someone else (the Norse gods, or the egyptians) rather than Indian gods, so that I don't end up repeating myself.
[21:43] <+RPGPundit> le squide: I'm afraid I haven't read spears of the dawn yet; I'd certainly like to!
[21:43] <~Dan> Makes sense.
[21:43] <~Dan> Le_Squide: What is that one about?
[21:43] <+RPGPundit> Its an African-themed OSR setting
[21:43] <+Aeolius> Bill - good point... 3.5e/d20
[21:43] <&Le_Squide> It's an africian inspired setting; uses similar mechanics to Stars Without Number.
[21:43] <~Dan> By the author of SWN, isn't it?
[21:43] <+RPGPundit> I'm very curious to see how it compares to AoI in terms of authenticity and approach.
[21:44] *** Logomachist has joined #rpgnet
[21:44] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Logomachist
[21:46] <&Le_Squide> Yup, Dan.
[21:47] <~Dan> RPGPundit: What is the rules-lightest game that you like?
[21:47] <+RPGPundit> has anyone here read it yet? AND AoI?
[21:47] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Haha, that'd probably be Gnomemurdered!
[21:47] <~Dan> :D
[21:47] <+RPGPundit> However, if games I wrote myself don't count; I'd probably say Amber, and Over The Edge.
[21:48] <~Dan> Ah, Over the Edge. A classic.
[21:48] *** Le_Squide has quit IRC: Disintegrated: ChatZilla 0.9.90 [Firefox 20.0.1/20130409194949]
[21:48] <+RPGPundit> amazing game.
[21:48] <~Dan> Hmm... Are you familiar with Heaven & Earth?
[21:48] *** Le_Squide has joined #rpgnet
[21:48] *** ChanServ sets mode +v Le_Squide
[21:48] *** ChanServ sets mode +ao Le_Squide Le_Squide
[21:48] <+RPGPundit> I'm not familiar with heaven and earth...
[21:49] <+Melum> I've always thought stat bidding was genius
[21:49] <~Dan> It's a game inspired by settings like Twin Peaks.
[21:50] <~Dan> It comes to mind because in a way, it combines the OtE trait system with a "standard" attribute/skill system.
[21:50] <+RPGPundit> I see. Nope, don't know it.
[21:51] <~Dan> So, you have your usual attributes -- Strength, Dexterity, what have you -- and a holistic profession, and then specific skills.
[21:51] <~Dan> It's a really nice mix of traditional and ultra-light, IMO.
[21:51] <+RPGPundit> sounds sensible
[21:51] <~Dan> Yeah. Only problem is that I can't imagine how I'd run the darn setting...
[21:52] <+Melum> Dream sequences.
[21:52] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[21:52] <+RPGPundit> yeah, can't help you there.
[21:52] <+RPGPundit> brb
[21:52] <~Dan> So what's the rules-heaviest game you'd play?
[21:54] <+J_Arcane> Le_Squide: Thanks! Iridium helped me some with the design and the font hunting. :)
[21:55] <+J_Arcane> Anyone wanna see the preview of my next Kickstarter? I could use some feedback, pointers on other questions to answer. (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jsberry/1027543814?token=efdacb6e)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jsberry/1027543814?token=efdacb6e
[21:56] <+RPGPundit> back
[21:56] <~Dan> wb!
[21:56] <~Dan> Did you see my question about the rules-heaviest game you'd play?
[21:56] <+RPGPundit> Dan: tough call. I'm not much of a fan of rules-heavy games; especially anything with point-buy chargen.
[21:57] * ~Dan nods
[21:57] <+RPGPundit> I've been able to play GURPS lite (3e) and enjoyed that at the time...
[21:57] <+RPGPundit> D20 games, of course...
[21:57] <+RPGPundit> That's about as heavy as I'd like to go
[21:58] <~Dan> I haven't tried GURPS Lite yet, although Hellboy is tempting.
[21:58] <~Dan> Well, I should probably turn in for the evening. You're welcome to hang out and chat as long as you'd like, though, Pundit!
[21:59] <+RPGPundit> yeah, GURPS lite was tolerable. Wouldn't say great.
[21:59] <+RPGPundit> Ok Dan, please send me the transcript (or a link to it) when you've got it done
[21:59] <~Dan> Will do. I'll have it ready tomorrow.
[21:59] <~Dan> Thanks again for coming by!