Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[Q&A] F. Douglas Wall (Adventures in Oz)

[19:09] <+WizardofOzGuy> Hell everyone! I'm F. Douglas Wall, but you can call me Doug. I'm the designer and publisher of Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, the first English-language RPG set in the world of L. Frank Baum's Oz tales
[19:10] <+WizardofOzGuy> Ready for the first question
[19:10] <~Dan> (Heehee. "Hell everyone!")
[19:10] <~Dan> (Sorry, I'm easily amused.)
[19:10] <+WizardofOzGuy> Hello! Sorry about that
[19:10] <+etaoinshrdlu> ( Haha, Dan :P )
[19:10] <~Dan> (Anyone have any questions, or shall I get the ball rolling?)
[19:11] <~Dan> Okay! What can you tell us about the system used in AoO?
[19:12] <+WizardofOzGuy> It's a very simple system designed to be easy to pick up and play.
[19:12] <+Silverlion> What kind of dice/mechanics does it use?
[19:12] <+WizardofOzGuy> Characters are built using templates that represent the major character types of the Oz stories
[19:12] <+WizardofOzGuy> It uses 2d6 counted separately
[19:13] <+WizardofOzGuy> Characters have Basic Skills (somewhere between stats and skills) that are rated 1-5
[19:13] <+WizardofOzGuy> Each die is compared to the Basic Skill you are testing. If one of the two dice is equal to or below that number, it's a success
[19:14] <+WizardofOzGuy> If both dice come out below, it's a special (critical) success
[19:14] <+WizardofOzGuy> So if your Athletics skill is 3, you need at least one of your two dice to come out 3 or lower to be successful
[19:15] <+WizardofOzGuy> (done)
[19:16] <~Dan> Does that mean the skill level has a hard cap?
[19:16] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes. 5 is the top of the scale. A 6 on a die will never succeed
[19:16] <+WizardofOzGuy> (done)
[19:17] <+WampusCountry> (I have a couple of questions when the time is right, Dan)
[19:17] <~Dan> (Go ahead, Wampus!)
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[19:18] <+WampusCountry> Hi Doug.  I'm assuming the templates you're talking about are exactly what we'd expect to see in an Oz game
[19:18] <+WampusCountry> children, animals
[19:18] <+WampusCountry> constructed things
[19:18] <+WampusCountry> How do you balance 'standard rpg stuff' with 'Oz stuff'
[19:18] <+WampusCountry> Talking about magic and the like here, which Baum leaves in the realm of what we would typically see as NPCs.  (done)
[19:18] <+WizardofOzGuy> You've got a few of the templates there, Wampus
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[19:19] <+WizardofOzGuy> The system is broad enough that the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman can be built using the same Crafted Person template, rather than having to create a special Stuffed template and Plated template
[19:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> As for "standard RPG stuff", I do not specifically include it
[19:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> I tried first and foremost to create an Oz game, rather than a game that people will play that just happens to be set in Oz
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[19:21] <+WizardofOzGuy> On the subject of magic, I do suggest leaving it to NPCs, but I do also provide rules so that players can use magic if they want to.
[19:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> Did I answer your questions, Wampus?
[19:22] <+WampusCountry> Yup!  Thanks.
[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Brad, work_fax, G2tR!)
[19:22] <+VSCA-Brad> Evening, Dan
[19:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> If you would like more clarifications, Wampus, feel free to ask more questions
[19:23] <+phgaw> How much should a player know about Oz to pick up and play?
[19:23] <+WizardofOzGuy> (done)
[19:23] <+Geek2theRight> In your game do you portray Oz as fairly true to the books or do you put your own spin on the setting?
[19:23] <+WampusCountry> (np Doug, we'll circle around :) )
[19:23] <+WizardofOzGuy> Very little, phgaw
[19:23] <+WizardofOzGuy> In fact, most of the players I've run this with have mostly seen the movie, or had the books read to them as bedtime stories when they were quite young.
[19:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> nd everyone has had a lot of fun
[19:24] <+Geek2theRight> Frex I would kill for something with the feel of Tin Man only not sucktastic in execution.
[19:25] <~Dan> (Question pause while Wiz catches up.)
[19:25] <+WizardofOzGuy> Geek: I tried to stay as true to the books as I could, but the books aren't wholly consistent on some things, so I've had to make some judgement calles
[19:25] <~Dan> How do you cram everything from chickens to giants in a 5-point scale?
[19:25] <+WizardofOzGuy> Like I made the decision that everyone in Oz is immortal, even though there was killing and dying early in the stories
[19:26] <~Dan> (Whoops... Sorry. Should have waited for your "(done)", there)
[19:26] <+WizardofOzGuy> I haven't seen Tin Man, so I couldn't tell you how well it would work
[19:26] <+Geek2theRight> Must suck to be a china person after a few decades. Forever broken but unable to die.
[19:27] <+WizardofOzGuy> I've heard it's cool, but I've seen enough remakes and rehashes of Wizard of Oz that I'm not too keen on another one
[19:27] <+Geek2theRight> Yeah if true to the books it would be totally wrong for Tin Man
[19:27] <~Dan> Tin Man has the
[19:27] <~Dan> oops
[19:27] <+WizardofOzGuy> Dan: Chiclens on the bottom, Giants on the top
[19:27] <~Dan> Tin Man has the "real world" moved up to modern day and Oz moved up to 1930s tech, for one thing.
[19:28] <+WizardofOzGuy> Geek: Don't forget that China people can be glued back together.
[19:28] <+Geek2theRight> Tin Man has Zooey Deschanel and still manages to be almost totally unwatchable.
[19:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> I just think that there's enough other stuff in Oz that going back to that one story over and over again is boring
[19:29] <+Geek2theRight> Anyway back to the game.
[19:29] <~Dan> You mentioned a size factor, though?
[19:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes. Back to the game.
[19:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> I think I'm caught up on questions, thoguh
[19:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> Size factor, yes. Chickens at 1, Giants at 5
[19:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> Difference in Size creates a bonus or penalty depending on the circumstances
[19:30] <+Geek2theRight> I love the Nome King even if I find the idea that even Dorothy had trouble discerning green from gray laughable.
[19:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> So a Size 1 mouse gains a +2 bonus to Sneaking checks to avoid a Size 3 person
[19:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> I don't remember that bit, Geek
[19:31] <+Geek2theRight> Return to Oz.
[19:31] <~Dan> It was a gray area.
[19:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> Oh, right
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[19:32] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy! Adventures in Oz Q&A in progress!)
[19:32] <+WizardofOzGuy> Though of course in the books, she was trying to rescue the Royal Family of Ev and was looking for purple things
[19:32] <+WizardofOzGuy> Ozma of Oz, if you've read it
[19:32] <~Dan> How does combat work in such a whimsical setting?
[19:33] <+WizardofOzGuy> Rather differently, Dan
[19:33] <+Geek2theRight> Is Ev the royal family of Oz or is Ev another location altogether?
[19:33] <+WizardofOzGuy> Since characters cannot be killed, you have to set a different standard for when a fight is won or lost
[19:33] <+WampusCountry> (Ev is a 'bordering' nation across the desert, Geek)
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[19:34] <+WizardofOzGuy> Upon reading the books and looking at how fights played out in them, the metaphor I took away from that was that the heroes were giving the bad guys a spanking
[19:34] <+WizardofOzGuy> In the disciplinary sense
[19:36] <+WizardofOzGuy> So I decided that combat damage was more like pain and suffering
[19:36] <+WizardofOzGuy> And that when you lose a combat, it's not so much about you losing as it is about the other fellow winning
[19:37] <+WizardofOzGuy> Just as the heroes smacked around the bad guys until they promised to behave, the winner of a combat gets to make a demand of the losers'
[19:38] <+WizardofOzGuy> Depending on the circumstances, this could be a simple "Go Away!" or the winner could demand that you milk his Man-Eating Cow
[19:38] <+WizardofOzGuy> It also makes thing interesting if you win, too
[19:39] <+WizardofOzGuy> Because the villain doesn't simply fall over and let you loot his corpse
[19:39] <+WizardofOzGuy> He's still there
[19:39] <+WizardofOzGuy> Imagine an epic battle vs. a dragon. After much hard fighting, you triumph over your foe
[19:40] <+WizardofOzGuy> A which point he plops down on the cavern floor crying immense prehistoric crocodile tears
[19:40] <+WizardofOzGuy> (I think I'm done)
[19:40] <~Dan> What's the damage mechanic?
[19:41] <+WizardofOzGuy> A successful hit in combat inflicts 1 point of Wits damage
[19:41] <+WizardofOzGuy> Which acts as a penalty o the Wits skill
[19:42] <+WizardofOzGuy> Once you run out of Wits, you have no defense against anyone else's social influence
[19:43] <+WizardofOzGuy> And even if you're not all the way to 0, the Wits penalty will make you easier to manipulate
[19:43] <+WizardofOzGuy> Also some attacks can cause an enemy's limbs to be removed
[19:43] <+WizardofOzGuy> If you know the origin story of the Tin Woodman, this makes perfect sense
[19:44] <+WizardofOzGuy> Or how he used his ax to deadly effect in The Wizard of Oz
[19:44] <+WizardofOzGuy> He did lots of killing in that book
[19:44] <~Dan> Is there no way to do more than 1 point of Wits damage in a single attack?
[19:45] <+WizardofOzGuy> But the general idea is more like the Black Knight in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy GGrail
[19:45] <+WizardofOzGuy> Actually, there isn't
[19:46] <+WizardofOzGuy> Just a quirk of mine, but as a GM, I've always been kind of disappointed when my bad guys go down in one turn because someone got that lucky hit in
[19:46] <~Dan> So how do you make a giant swinging a tree as a club more scary?
[19:48] <+WizardofOzGuy> By the Jack and the Beanstalk method. "Fee Fi Fo Fum/ I smell the blood of an Englishman/ Be he alive or be he dead/ I'll grinds his bones to make my bread"
[19:49] <+diogenes> cover the giant in slime
[19:49] <+WizardofOzGuy> Intimidation can be (literally in this case) huge.
[19:50] <+WizardofOzGuy> Especially since I gave social attacks in combat a degree of weight
[19:50] <+WizardofOzGuy> The giant could win the fight without a blow struck
[19:51] <+WizardofOzGuy> Because it's not really a spanking without the exhortation to behave yourself mixed in
[19:51] <~Dan> Hmm.
[19:51] <~Dan> Interesting.
[19:51] <~Dan> I recall from my skimming seeing "deadly weapons". What can they do?
[19:51] <+WizardofOzGuy> You don't need to drive your opponent's Wits to 0 in order to win
[19:52] <+WizardofOzGuy> You just nee to soften them up for Impress attacks
[19:52] <+WizardofOzGuy> Deadly Weapons are what you use to hack limbs off of enemies
[19:52] <+WizardofOzGuy> The Tin Woodman's ax. The Cowardly Lion's claws
[19:53] <+WizardofOzGuy> I made it purchasable as a character Trait because, even when it's a separate object, it is still very much a part of that character
[19:54] <~Dan> On a related note... what is the tech level of Oz? I recall the Scarecrow (I think) packing a revolver in the movie.
[19:54] <+WizardofOzGuy> Oz is generally rather modern, as long as it's interesting
[19:55] <+WizardofOzGuy> One story had a living record player as a character
[19:56] <+WizardofOzGuy> One illustration even shows a telephone/telegraph line coming out of Jack Pumpkinhead's pumkin house
[19:56] <+WizardofOzGuy> Cars never really took off, though
[19:56] <~Dan> So in your game, is it "modern" as of the turn of the century?
[19:57] <+WizardofOzGuy> I don't touch much on technology
[19:57] <+Drakkar> why use a car when you have all sorts of crazy things to wander about
[19:57] <+Drakkar> using
[19:57] <+WizardofOzGuy> The stories are a but more about the characters and the story
[19:57] <+WizardofOzGuy> And since Oz doesn't use money, having a strict accounting of things didn't seem right
[19:58] <+WizardofOzGuy> So my official ruling on what the tech level is in Oz: Whatever makes for a fun story
[19:59] <+WizardofOzGuy> (done)
[19:59] <~Dan> What is the year in the "real world" by default?
[20:00] <+WizardofOzGuy> Modern. Whatever the players are comfortable with
[20:05] <+WizardofOzGuy> It's not really about making sure everything is "period" to any time frame
[20:05] * ~Dan nods
[20:05] <+phgaw> what happens to tech that crosses over? Would a cell still have a magical connection, for example?
[20:05] <~Dan> (brb)
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[20:06] <+WizardofOzGuy> Tech that crosses over would cross over such that it made sense
[20:06] <+WizardofOzGuy> So I think that a  celphone deprived of service would no longer work
[20:06] <+WizardofOzGuy> Though you could play Angry Birds until the battery ran down
[20:07] <+WizardofOzGuy> A car would keep going as long as you can feed it with gas
[20:08] <+WizardofOzGuy> One story actually did have a wireless telephone device, but it was probably magical rather than technological
[20:08] <+WizardofOzGuy> And then there's Tik-Tok the Mechanical Man
[20:09] <+WizardofOzGuy> Baum actually loved science and technology
[20:09] <+WizardofOzGuy> (done)
[20:10] <+phgaw> Speaking of: How did Baum's estate react to Adventures in Oz?
[20:10] <+WizardofOzGuy> Interesting Question
[20:10] <+phgaw> I hope so!
[20:10] <+WizardofOzGuy> I actually haven't had any complaints from them
[20:11] <+WizardofOzGuy> I'm pretty sure there's at least one Baum on the Facebook page for the game
[20:11] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes, an actual descendant
[20:12] <+phgaw> Cool!
[20:12] <+WizardofOzGuy> I did have some recent copyright trouble with Warner Brothers, the current rightsholder to the movie
[20:12] <+WampusCountry> (I believe most of the Baum books are public domain, though...)
[20:13] <+WizardofOzGuy> I had some t-shirt designs up on that used the cover art and logo for the game, so Warner Brothers sent them a copyright complaint
[20:13] <+WizardofOzGuy> They put the designs back up once I demonstrated to them that my work was derived from public domain sources rather than the copyrighted movie
[20:14] <+WizardofOzGuy> All of L. Frank Baum's work is in the public domain
[20:14] <+WizardofOzGuy> Some of the extended canon by other authors has made it to the public domain, but most of it is copyrighted
[20:15] <+WizardofOzGuy> I focused on the Baum Oz books for most of my design
[20:15] <~Dan-brb> (Back, sorry)
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[20:15] <+WizardofOzGuy> Even if it's not always factually consistent, it's generally consistent in tone
[20:16] <+WizardofOzGuy> Because it all came from one author
[20:16] <~Dan> What sort of a bestiary does the book have?
[20:16] <+WizardofOzGuy> Not much in terms of bestiary. There are very few actual monsters in the stories
[20:16] <+WizardofOzGuy> Pretty much just the Kalidahs
[20:17] <+WizardofOzGuy> And I did put in stats for those guys
[20:17] <~Dan> What are the Kalidahs?
[20:18] <+WizardofOzGuy> They're horrific beasts with the bodies of bears, the heads of tigers and claws like daggers
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[20:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, bubbles!)
[20:18] <+taurean82|bubbles> evening
[20:18] <~Dan> (Adventures in Oz Q&A in progress!)
[20:19] <+WizardofOzGuy> They appeared in Wizard, where they were trying to eat our heroes
[20:19] <~Dan> You mentioned magic earlier. What can magic do in the game?
[20:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> But most of the creatures that got screen time in the books were treated as characters, so I prefer to stick with that
[20:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> Magic can do an awful lot if you're creative
[20:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> The main thing it can't do is fireballs and other direct damage effects
[20:21] <~Dan> Awwww... No "Wanna play ball?" from the Wicked Witch?
[20:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> I do include a suggestion that magic be restricted to NPCs, so that you don't have to be bound by any real rules
[20:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> I'd be more likely to call that a Help/Hinder Effect to give her a bonus to Intimidation vs Scarecrows
[20:23] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[20:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> Sorcerers can use Help/Hinder. Apportation, Transmutation
[20:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> Which are very broad effects
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[20:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, Bill!)
[20:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> Which can look like whatever the player wants them to, really.
[20:25] <+WizardofOzGuy> If a character wants to do more than that, there are rules for making magic items
[20:26] <~Dan> Cool. Any examples?
[20:26] <+WizardofOzGuy> So a magic using character could theoretically make their own pair of Silver Shoes (the Ruby Slippers from the movie)
[20:27] <+WizardofOzGuy> Or a number of other things
[20:27] <+WizardofOzGuy> But items require exotic components that must be quested for
[20:28] <+WizardofOzGuy> The rules tell you how many, but it's up to the GM to decide exactly what those ingredients are
[20:28] * ~Dan nods
[20:28] <+WizardofOzGuy> ANd where the PCs have to go to find them
[20:29] <+phgaw> "The hare of th dog what bit you"?
[20:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> I did stat up a number of spells and items on my blog
[20:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> Perfectly valid ingredient
[20:29] * +phgaw nods.
[20:30] <~Dan> Speaking of which... how silly/whimsical is the literary Oz?
[20:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> There are lots of silly and funny things in the Oz stories, but it never devolved into lunacy
[20:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> The setting always made sense, even if it was its own kind of sene
[20:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> sense
[20:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> The characters were always respected
[20:32] <+WizardofOzGuy> I think the silliest part of Oz is Utensia
[20:32] <+WizardofOzGuy> It's a city occupied by living kitchen utensils
[20:32] <+taurean82|bubbles> not the puns again...
[20:32] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes! There must be PUNS!
[20:32] <+taurean82|bubbles> wc
[20:32] <+Melum> Puns for the pun god.
[20:32] <~Dan> Is it found at a fork in the road?
[20:33] <+WizardofOzGuy> Utensia is ruled by King Kleaver, but some say he's losing his edge
[20:33] <+phgaw> Order! Order!
[20:33] <~Dan> Heeheehee :)
[20:33] * +phgaw golfclaps WizardofOzGuy
[20:33] <+WizardofOzGuy> Their attorney is a corkscrew, because he's crooked and accustomed to appearing at the bar
[20:33] <~Dan> Awesome. :)
[20:34] <~Dan> So given the immortality of the characters, is the Deadly Desert deadly?
[20:34] <+WizardofOzGuy> After I playtested the game with my group, they would punish any bad pun I made be declaring me "banished to Utensia!"
[20:35] <~Dan> (Was that their way of saying "Fork you!"?)
[20:35] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes, Dan. It's hard to bounce back from physical dissolution
[20:35] <+phgaw> (That you every one for coming to the Q&A. Now the pun war... ^^ )
[20:35] <+phgaw> *Thank
[20:36] <+WizardofOzGuy> Thoguh soe say that even if an Ozian is rendered into dust, that dust will still be aline
[20:36] <+WizardofOzGuy> alive
[20:36] <+WizardofOzGuy> Though some say
[20:36] <+WizardofOzGuy> But it's pretty much the same thing as dead
[20:36] * ~Dan nods
[20:37] <~Dan> Do you address that in the game?
[20:37] <+WizardofOzGuy> The Desert has been crossed a number of times throughout the stories, though
[20:37] <+WizardofOzGuy> Not really.
[20:38] <+WizardofOzGuy> I mention the Deadly Desert, but I don't really say anything about crossing it or what happens if you do
[20:38] <~Dan> What character types are available?
[20:38] <+diogenes> a stirge variant: a flightless stirge that looks like a kiwi. :D
[20:38] <+WizardofOzGuy> I decided to focus on Oz and leave everything outside of Oz for a supplement
[20:39] <+diogenes> kiwi stirges are usually meddlesome and curious and snoop around people's campsites
[20:39] <+WizardofOzGuy> You can play a Child in Oz, a Large Animal, a Small Animal, a Crafted Person, a Scholar, a Noble, a Soldier, or a Wanderer
[20:40] <+diogenes> they prefer to feed on sleeping victims
[20:40] <+WizardofOzGuy> Kiwi Stirges would probably be built with the Small Animal template
[20:40] <~Dan> How customizable are the templates?
[20:40] <+WizardofOzGuy> I do also hide a Winged Monkey template in the setting section
[20:40] <+WizardofOzGuy> They're pretty customizeable
[20:40] <~Dan> I was going to say, there had better be winged monkies. :)
[20:41] <+diogenes> i don't know about templates, I'm going to use the stats for a normal stirge and change their behaviour
[20:41] <+WizardofOzGuy> And also, because the system is so coarse-grained, you can do a lot with just description
[20:41] <+diogenes> and number of appearance as well
[20:41] * ~Dan nods
[20:42] <~Dan> Is a Crafted Person someone who's a creation?
[20:42] <+diogenes> they'll hang around the adventures during the day being curious and friendly
[20:42] <+WizardofOzGuy> There is very little difference mechanically between the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger
[20:42] <+diogenes> adventurers will grow accustomed to them hanging around
[20:42] <+WizardofOzGuy> Even though they are rather different characters
[20:42] <+diogenes> then during the night...
[20:42] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes, Dan, Crafted characters are characters that have been built by someone
[20:43] <+WizardofOzGuy> You can also purchase a Crafted Trait if one of the other templates fit your concept better
[20:43] <~Dan> How would you distinguish between, say, Scarecrow and Tick-Tock?
[20:44] <+WizardofOzGuy> Like Bungle the Glass Cat would be built with the Small Animal template, but have purchased the Crafted Trait to represent her glass body
[20:44] <+WizardofOzGuy> With Weakness Traits
[20:44] <+WizardofOzGuy> Scarecrow is vulnerable to fire, while TikTok has to worry about his clockworks winding down
[20:45] <+diogenes> also, these stirges don't live in dungeons but on a small island
[20:45] <+WizardofOzGuy> The Nonestic Ocean is full of small islands
[20:45] <+WizardofOzGuy> (done)
[20:46] <+WizardofOzGuy> We're not really worrying about that (done) thing this time around, are we?
[20:46] <~Dan> Heh. No.
[20:46] <+WizardofOzGuy> I'm having fun.
[20:46] <~Dan> So given the lack of a bestiary, how easy is it to stat up critters on the fly?
[20:46] <~Dan> Good!
[20:46] <+WizardofOzGuy> Keep firing questions!
[20:47] <+WizardofOzGuy> Pretty easy
[20:47] <+WizardofOzGuy> The system doesn't have a lot of structure, so you don't have to worry about taking a lot of work or time to build a creature or NPC ahead of time
[20:48] <~Dan> Come to that, about how long does character creation take?
[20:48] <+WizardofOzGuy> If you were planning a roleplay scene, where the NPC is just a description, but then you need a number for a dice roll, you can just make one up
[20:49] <+WizardofOzGuy> Character creation is pretty quick. The hard part is choosing a characters starting Friend
[20:49] <+willows> Could you run Tin Man with it?
[20:49] <+WampusCountry> Question for Doug: I know you've posted that AiO is now in the 'long tail', but do you foresee any future releases for the game?  Maybe a holiday pdf with stuff from Baum's 'Life of Santa Claus' just for funsies?
[20:49] <~Dan> Doesn't sound like it, willows. Tin Man is relatively gritty.
[20:50] <+willows> yeah i made the mistake of turning it on when my three year old was in the room
[20:50] <+WizardofOzGuy> I'd like to do more, but it's really dependent upon money
[20:51] <+WizardofOzGuy> If you know I'm in the "Long Tail" than you should also know that I'm considering doing crowdfunding for future projects
[20:51] <+WizardofOzGuy> Like my Beyond the Deadly Desert supplement
[20:51] <~Dan> "Long Tail"?
[20:52] <+WizardofOzGuy> Or getting enough inventory that I can actually get into distribution and be in your FLGAS
[20:52] <+WizardofOzGuy> FLGS
[20:52] <+WampusCountry> Related: As a writer/publisher, how do you feel about how AiO has been received over the past few years?
[20:52] <+WampusCountry> (long tail = initial 'push' and publicity have faded, sales continue but at a reduced level, etc)
[20:53] <~Dan> (Ah, gotcha)
[20:53] <+WizardofOzGuy> Long Tail= visualize a comet with its tail. The head of the comet is the initial rush of sales. The tail of the comet narrows as sales drop off
[20:54] <+WizardofOzGuy> It's been received really very well, Wampus
[20:54] <+WizardofOzGuy> Just about every review has been strongly positive
[20:54] <+WizardofOzGuy> RPGnow gives me 4 out of 5 stars
[20:56] <~Dan> Looks like we're about out of time. Any final thoughts, Wiz? Or any final questions, folks?
[20:56] <+WampusCountry> (no more formal questions from me :) )
[20:56] <+WizardofOzGuy> I really wish that we had time to talk about the Friends List and Oz Points mechanic, because that's one of the things that really makes the game shine
[20:57] <~Dan> Well, actually, you're welcome to continue, Wiz.
[20:57] <+WampusCountry> (yes, please do)
[20:57] <+WizardofOzGuy> The focus on rewarding building friendships and relationships is something that not a lot of other games do
[20:57] <~Dan> Can you hang out longer?
[20:57] <+WizardofOzGuy> I've got plenty of time
[20:57] <~Dan> In that case, please do tell us about the Friends List and Oz Points. :)
[20:58] <+WizardofOzGuy> Along with choosing skill levels and other purely mechanical things, each character also has a Friends List
[20:58] <+WizardofOzGuy> Initially, this List consists of all other characters in the party
[20:58] <+Silverlion> Does that mean they have virtual magic facebook?
[20:58] <+WizardofOzGuy> As well as one special friend that they select (or create) themselves
[20:59] <+WampusCountry> (No, Tim, it's more like G+ ;) )
[20:59] <+WizardofOzGuy> Almost, Tim. But these friends can actually do things for you
[20:59] <+WizardofOzGuy> The number of friends on the Friends List sets your starting number of Oz Points
[21:00] <+WizardofOzGuy> You can earn more Oz Points by making new friends (and adding them to your list) or by helping people already on your list
[21:01] <+WampusCountry> So it's a reputation mechanic?
[21:01] <+WizardofOzGuy> You can spend Oz Points to add a bonus to a roll, but the really cool thing is using them to "call on a friend"
[21:01] <+WizardofOzGuy> It's kind of like "invoking for effect" in FATE
[21:01] <+WizardofOzGuy> But it's a friend instead of an Aspect
[21:02] <+WampusCountry> It immediately makes me think of "calling on the field mice" in the first book.
[21:02] <+WizardofOzGuy> Just that sort of thing, Wampus
[21:02] <+WizardofOzGuy> In fact, when I statted up the Tin Woodman, I put the Queen of the Field Mice on his Friends List
[21:03] *** Rania is now known as Lioness
[21:03] <+WampusCountry> This seems like a steal-able mechanic for a lot of genres.
[21:03] <+WizardofOzGuy> Though depending on the friend and their ability, you can call up some pretty powerful effects
[21:03] <+WizardofOzGuy> Glinda or Ozma would be very powerful friends to make,
[21:04] <+WizardofOzGuy> though as we've mentioned, even the field mouse is useful sometimes
[21:04] <+WampusCountry> So as-written, they're all equivalent.  It doesn't take "four favors" to earn Ozma as a buddy, for example.
[21:05] <+WizardofOzGuy> No, but if you want to earn Ozma as a friend, you've basically got to do something to help all of Oz
[21:06] <+Geek2theRight> Even then she gets kidnapped and loses precious magic stuff quite a bit.
[21:06] <+WizardofOzGuy> That only happened once, Geek
[21:06] <~Dan> You mentioned an included adventure?
[21:06] <+WizardofOzGuy> Oh, yes. The Jaded City of Oz
[21:07] <~Dan> What's the premise?
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[21:07] <+JA_Phone> Howdo folks?
[21:08] <+WizardofOzGuy> The premise (it's more of a framing story, really) is that the PCs are marching in the Melting Day parade that celebrates the defeat of the Wicked Witch of the West
[21:08] <+WizardofOzGuy> The route takes them on a tour through Oz
[21:08] <~Dan> Howdy, JA!
[21:09] <~Dan> JA: Going a little into overtime with a Q&A about Adventures in Oz.
[21:09] <+WizardofOzGuy> There's one scenario for each of the four countries of Oz that can be run through quickly, or expanded into full adventures in their own right
[21:09] <+WizardofOzGuy> The climax of the adventure is the Jaded City of Oz, a place so magical that its people have literally seen everything
[21:10] <~Dan> Heh. That's awesome.
[21:10] <+WizardofOzGuy> Your challenge there is to show them something new that they haven't seen before
[21:11] <+WizardofOzGuy> The last time I ran this, the players came up with a giant bubbleblowing mecha
[21:11] <+Shade> meh, the answer to that isn't anything magical, obviously.
[21:11] <+WizardofOzGuy> I was surprisingly epic
[21:11] <+WizardofOzGuy> It was
[21:12] <+Geek2theRight> Show them puppies. No matter what wonders I see a cute puppy is freaking amazing.
[21:12] <+WizardofOzGuy> Well, one of the characters I hand out as pregens when I do demoes is Toto
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[21:13] <+WizardofOzGuy> Yes, folks, Toto is totally playable as a PC
[21:13] <~Dan> Heh.
[21:13] <~Dan> Don't you mean "Totolly"?
[21:14] <+WizardofOzGuy> :)
[21:14] <+Geek2theRight> The puns. Oh the humanity.
[21:14] <~Dan> How hard was it to capture the whimsical feel of the setting?
[21:15] <+WizardofOzGuy> The big challenge was not thinking too hard
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[21:15] <+WizardofOzGuy> Every time I found myself worried about modeling some small detail of the stories, I just reminded my self to step back and not sweat the small stuff
[21:16] <+WizardofOzGuy> And it is vital to keep a sense of humor
[21:16] <~Dan> I'd imagine so, yup.
[21:17] <+Geek2theRight> I want to play Toto now.
[21:17] <~Dan> Did you draw on elements from the entire series of Oz books, and does the game take place at any particular point in their chronology?
[21:17] <~Dan> Sounds like it's post-Wizard of Oz, at least.
[21:18] <+WizardofOzGuy> After a certain point in the series, about 5-7 books in, there develops a sort of status quo that never really gets challenged after that
[21:18] <+WizardofOzGuy> Ozma rules Oz, the Wizard and Glinda help
[21:19] <+WizardofOzGuy> Dorothy moves to Oz and has adventures with her friends
[21:19] <+WizardofOzGuy> When Ozma got kidnapped in The Lost Princess of Oz, there was never a question about who's the next queen of Oz
[21:19] <+WizardofOzGuy> It was all about getting Ozma back and restoring the status quo
[21:19] <+WampusCountry> Do you include characters from the sort-of-Oz books, like Sky Island?  Oh wait, they show up in Oz proper later anyway, don't they...
[21:20] <~Dan> Sky Island?
[21:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> Sky Island was the second Trot and Cap'n Bill book
[21:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> First being the Sea Fairies
[21:20] <~Dan> Not familiar with those.
[21:20] <+WizardofOzGuy> Trot came to Oz in The Scarecrow of Oz
[21:20] <+WampusCountry> (Link:
[21:21] <+WampusCountry> It seems like every time Baum tried to do non-Oz, he got sucked back into Oz proper. :)
[21:21] <+phgaw> Annoyed him to no end, reportedly, too.
[21:21] <+WizardofOzGuy> At least some of that was intentional. In Road to Oz, Baum had a lot of familiar party guests at Ozma's birthday
[21:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> Because he wanted to end the series, so he included them as a "commercial" for his other stories
[21:22] <+WampusCountry> Interesting.
[21:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> Trot and Cap'n Bill in Oz was pure fan demand, though
[21:22] <~Dan> Wasn't Santa Claus there?
[21:22] <+WizardofOzGuy> He was indeed, Dan
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[21:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> So in terms of precisely when in the chronology I'm setting the game, it's actually kind of vaque
[21:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> vague
[21:24] <+WizardofOzGuy> Any other questions about the game?
[21:25] <+WizardofOzGuy> Oh, I didn't answer Wampus' question
[21:25] <~Dan> Not from me. I actually need to log off, although you're free to hang out as long as you like, Wiz.
[21:25] <+WampusCountry> heh
[21:25] <+WampusCountry> (thanks for organizing these, Dan)
[21:26] <+WizardofOzGuy> Characters from non-Oz works only appear when they enter Oz (such as the aforementioned Trot and Cap'n Bill)
[21:26] <~Dan> My pleasure! I hope you hang out further as well, Wampus!
[21:26] <+WizardofOzGuy> I'm trying to save all of the outside characters for my Beyond the Deadly Desert supplement once resources allow me to put it out
[21:26] <+WampusCountry> That makes sense.
[21:27] <+WizardofOzGuy> Because people love supplements
[21:27] <+WizardofOzGuy> And publishers love supplements because that lets you get more money out of the same customers
[21:27] <+WampusCountry> Absolutely.  So you're corralling resources to pay for art and printing and such, hence the crowdfunding talk?
[21:28] <+WizardofOzGuy> That sort of thing, yes
[21:28] <+WizardofOzGuy> And don;t forget to check out my blog
[21:28] <+WampusCountry> Yep.  Is no longer yours, or no longer redirecting to the blog, btw?
[21:29] <+Geek2theRight> To a degree yeah. But remember, while FFXIII sold 6 million copies, FFXIII-2 only sold 2.5 million.
[21:29] <+Geek2theRight> Sequels, supplements, same horse.
[21:29] <+WizardofOzGuy> is working just fine
[21:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> I just always go directly to the blog
[21:30] <+WampusCountry> (okay, must've been a glitch on my end earlier this evening then - good to know :) )
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[21:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> I've been blogging pretty steadily for about the last 4 years
[21:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> Mostly about Oz and gaming
[21:30] <+WizardofOzGuy> Lots of stuff there
[21:31] <~Dan> Speaking of blogs, I'll let you know when I have the chat log posted to mine, Wiz.
[21:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> Character stats, spells and magic items
[21:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> I'm looking forward to it Dan
[21:31] <+WizardofOzGuy> Thank you so much for having me
[21:31] <~Dan> Sure thing, Wiz! I hope you continue to stick around!
[21:32] <~Dan> And I'm out for the night. Have a good one, folks!
[21:32] <+etaoinshrdlu> Nite, Dan!
[21:32] <+WizardofOzGuy> Good night!

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