Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[Q&A] RPGPundit (Arrows of Indra, Lords of Olympus)

[20:03] <+RPGPundit> I'm the RPGPundit.  If you haven't heard of me yet, you probably don't spend enough time on RPG forums to really be here, you must have wandered into this chatroom by accident or something.
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[20:03] <+RPGPundit> I'm the author of a highly-read RPG blog (I was doing RPG blogs before it got all cool); the owner and administrator of theRPGsite, one of the largest (tabletop) RPG forums on the internet, and author of various RPG books:
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[20:04] <+RPGPundit> "Forward... to Adventure!" (FtA!), the "Forward... to Adventure! Gamemaster's Notebook!" (FtA!GN!), Gnomemurdered (the most rules-lite game in the world), and the recently-released Lords of Olympus, as well as the upcoming old-school Indian game Arrows of Indra.
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[20:05] <+RPGPundit> Also, I won the war against the Forge Swine and am the only reason why you aren't all forced to play nothing but "My Life with Master" now.
[20:05] <+RPGPundit> I think that about covers it. Done.
[20:06] <~Dan> Okay! Any questions to get us started, or shall I do the honors?
[20:06] <+Snake_Eyes> I have several questions...
[20:06] <~Dan> Go ahead, Snake! One at a time, though, please.
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[20:06] <+Snake_Eyes> 2 parts
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[20:07] <+Snake_Eyes> What aspects of previous iterations of Dungeons and Dragons have rules you would have liked seen in 5e and you pushed for their inclusion? Are rules like RS1 Red Sonnja Unconquered's “Luck Points” or Wilderness Survival's “Injury Conditions” overlooked designs that should be included in modern core rules?
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> Ah, ok. That's one part of my introduction I missed, I guess. I'm also a paid consultant for WoTC's next edition of Dungeons and Dragons.  Mike Mearls has been reading my blog since about day one.
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> There are certain limitations to what I can say, because of my NDA, however:
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[20:08] <+RPGPundit> I would say that I have been trying to make it clear that I understand WoTC NEEDS to try to build bridges, and can't only cater to old-school gamers any more than it can afford to only cater to 4e fans or any other single group.
[20:08] <+Snake_Eyes> ah, okay :)
[20:09] <+SA_WinsonPaine> RPGPundit, question!  Marry, bang, kill: Mike Mearls, Robin Laws, Gary Gygax.  Assume Gygax is alive.
[20:09] <+RPGPundit> My feeling is that the best way to make this work is to have a core set of rules that are fundamentally old-school, and then a set of modules you can put on those rules to build up something different and more similar to later editions.
[20:09] <+willows> So you are a proponent of the "try to please all of the people all of the time" approach huh
[20:09] <+RPGPundit> This could even involve ultimately releasing two different full rules-sets that would be compatible.
[20:10] <~Dan> (Question pause while Pundit catches up.)
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[20:10] <+CRKrueger> and so it begins...
[20:10] <+SA_Dedman_Walkin> Define "fundamentally old-school" rules, please.
[20:11] <+Delgrim> Nity night all. Unfortunatelly it's 4am here and long day ahead :(
[20:11] <+Snake_Eyes> A basic light rules, and a codex of additional rules. Sounds like a nice way of keeping everyone happy. Thx for you answer RPGPundit.
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> Anyways, to answer your question: I've pushed hard in 5e for Fighters to be fundamentally fighters; for the inclusion of rules on Morale, for very rapid character-creation methods that don't involve having to make long choices from large lists, for random tables whenever they can be included, for very simple combat rules, and
[20:12] <+Esser-Z> What does "fundamentally fighters"? mean?
[20:12] <+SA_Dedman_Walkin> My first RPg experience were DnD 3.x and Deadlands Classic, so when I hear "old school rules" for the DnDs, I only can think of :randomly rolling stats, minor other stuff and don't name your dude until level three
[20:12] <~Dan> (Your answer cut off at "combat rules, and", Pundit)
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> for healing that is closer to old-school than new. I don't think we want to add more complexity from things like luck-points or injury conditions, to be honest, in the core. What we want is for the game to be as easily adaptable as possible for a GM to stack on the rules the GM would want!
[20:13] <+CRKrueger> and you can only think of those how exactly, since you by your own admission just now, never played any D&D before 3e?
[20:13] <+SA_Dedman_Walkin> So "Healing that is closer to old-school than new" would mean only Clerics and other classes can magically heal others?
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> Winston: I really don't know how to answer your question. I didn't figure out what you were asking until a couple of minutes of processing it in my head, now I wish I hadn't.
[20:13] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Fair enough!
[20:13] <~Dan> (Question pause, please, folks. Let Pundit catch up.)
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[20:14] <+RPGPundit> Dedman: For Fundamentally Old School, I don't want to say I'm thinking of any single edition of old-D&D; but rather the core of what all those editions had in common.
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[20:15] <+RPGPundit> esser: Fundamentally fighters means that you have Fighters first and foremost being better at hitting things and damaging things than any other class.  And that they don't have superhero-like powers or pseudo-magic to enhance them, but instead these basic combat abilities are sufficiently better to make that in itself desirable enough to get people..
[20:15] <+Snake_Eyes> I have a second question..
[20:15] <~Dan> (Hold it for a sec, please, Snake.)
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> want to take the class. Also, fighters should be able to perform great deeds of combat and daring, without needing to have bought the right "feats" or "powers" to do it.
[20:17] <+willows> ),:
[20:17] <+RPGPundit> Dedman: regarding healing: I've been a big advocate of having slow natural healing, though not quite as slow as 1hp/day (i recognize that's just not realistic to please everyone); but I also don't think ONLY clerics should heal. I think that you should have a low basic level of healing...
[20:17] <+RPGPundit> ..then top that up with things like non-magical things to aid healing (healing herbs, ointments, etc), and an actually useful "doctor" or "treat injury" skill.
[20:17] <+RPGPundit> Ok, I think I'm caught up?
[20:18] <~Dan> I think so.
[20:18] <~Dan> Snake, you had another question?
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[20:19] <~Dan> And Pundit, after Snake's question, why don't we focus for a bit on Lords of Olympus, then move on to Arrows of Indra?
[20:19] <+RPGPundit> I should add that the parts of my upcoming Arrows of Indra system that are not setting-specific are pretty much my own version of how I would see feel the "core" or "fundamental old school" game ought to look.
[20:19] <~Dan> Still there, Snake_Eyes?
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> Looks like he hung up!
[20:20] <+Snake_Eyes> What influence have early products for dungeons and dragons like Judges Guild, and alternate systems like Arduin or Pendragon had on creation of your own games? Are they a direct analogue of other game systems such as F!tA being a game derived from the d20 SRD, and LoO derived from Amber Dice-less RP?
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> Ah, there he is!
[20:20] <~Dan> :)
[20:20] <+Snake_Eyes> :) sry
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> FtA! had three serious influences: early-edition D&D, Tunnels and Trolls, and the Hack/Nethack computer game (and in a bigger sense, all the other Roguelikes).  I've played tons of Pendragon, but I don't think it ended up providing a serious direct influence on any of my work...
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[20:22] <+Snake_Eyes> :)
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> I do think that every game I've played has probably had some kind of influence on me as a game designer, though. You see bits of everything in what I end up writing; I think that's probably the case for most game designers these days whether they want to admit it or not.
[20:23] * ~Dan nods
[20:23] <+SA_WinsonPaine> I have another question!  You mentioned your defeat of the Forge, do you think that the Forge or Forgey ideas contributed to your recent designs at all?  Are there any silk purses that came out of that swine's ear, as it were?
[20:23] <+RPGPundit> Lords of Olympus is obviously directly inspired by Amber; but even there you might see little bits of other games in the influences.
[20:23] <~Dan> (Question pause, please.)
[20:23] <~Dan> (After Winson's question, I mean.)
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[20:24] <+RPGPundit> Winson: I really don't think so; you might say that the Forge influence for me was as cautionary example; the big lesson learned from the Forge is that the "theory" about the "ideal game" being made to cater to a single "type of playstyle" is absolutely WRONG.  Its nothing more than a recipe for producing one-third of a game, that loses two-thirds...
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> ...of your potential customer base.
[20:26] <~Dan> When you're ready, Pundit, why don't you say a bit more about Lords of Olympus -- maybe a quick overview of setting and system?
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> Ok!
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> LoO is a Diceless RPG that is inspired by the original Diceless RPG written over 20 years ago by Erick Wujcik.  However, its not a direct clone of those rules; its basically a game that has had 20 years of playtesting and allows for some tweaks that overcome a few of the very few pitfalls of that system.
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> The setting is completely different, though.
[20:28] <+RPGPundit> In it, the PCs are children of the Greek Pantheon of Gods; be they children of Olympians or Titans (or maybe even of Primordials).
[20:28] <~Dan> (Oh, and again, please give us a "(done)" when you're ready to resume with questions.)
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[20:28] <+RPGPundit> The setting is a Multiverse; Olympus is the center of power over an infinite number of universes; from the earthlike to the totally weird.
[20:29] <+RPGPundit> Its set up so that you can run political-type games with epic-level conflicts and schemes in the Olympian family, or adventure-type stuff in almost any possible kind of world, lots of high inter-planar action, and you can set the dial wherever you want on the scale of how close or far you want it to look from Greek Myth.
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[20:30] <+RPGPundit> So you can decide if what you want is the Titanomachia II, or the "Clash of the Titans", or Percy Jackson, or the Sandman comics, or something totally different; or if you want to run "I, Claudius" with Gods.
[20:30] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[20:30] <~Dan> Anyone have any LoO questions so far?
[20:31] <&Le_Squide> Does LoO use a similar stat bidding mechanic to Amber's?
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[20:31] <+RPGPundit> Squide: There are several character-creation mechanics offered in LoO; the default is the Bidding War, which would be familiar to any Amber player; however, about a half-dozen alternate methods of character creation are offered as options.
[20:32] <+CRKrueger> Being a comic fan yourself, do you think LoO would suit a Marvel Olympus/Valhalla/Eqptian Mythos campaign?
[20:32] <~Dan> (Question pause after CRK's question, please.)
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[20:33] <+Anaxim> 'lo
[20:33] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: It absolutely could; though you wouldn't be able to make direct use of the dozens and dozens of statted-out Greek Gods, you'd have to stat out your own Norse or Egyptian ones (until or unless a sourcebook gets written)!  Depending on what you wanted, you'd also have to tweak some of the powers.
[20:33] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Without putting to fine a point on it, how did you fix Amber?  I remember the rules as being pretty awkward when we tried it back in the day.  Is there any randomization?
[20:33] <~Dan> (Welcome, Anaxim! Q&A in progress!)
[20:33] <+Anaxim> (Ah. Back another time, I suppose. Thanks for the heads up, Dan.)
[20:34] <~Dan> Yes, for those of us unfamiliar with Amber, what's the core resolution mechanic for LoO?
[20:34] <~Dan> (Anaxim: #rpgnet2 is open for regular chatting.)
[20:34] <+Anduwaithe> Thanks Dan, that was gonna be my question
[20:34] <~Dan> :)
[20:34] <+RPGPundit> Winson: there is no randomization. The "fixes" are really more like clarifications; LoO has very concrete guidelines about just what the different powers level mean, just when a GM should judge the inclusion or exclusion of a particular ability score, how luck comes into play, etc.  All the power descriptions have less vague resolution elements too.
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[20:36] <+RPGPundit> Dan: The core resolution mechanic involves a comparison of stats.  So in a conflict, the player has to decide what action he'll take (LoO is extremely descriptive, saying "I hit him" only really cuts it if your sure you're way more powerful than the other guy), and then the GM compares your ability level to that of your opponent.
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> At its most basic, that's it. But then all kinds of other factors can move you up or down in your Class ranking, or do the same for your opponenet.
[20:37] <~Dan> Does that mean that it all boils down to GM fiat once you get past a straight comparison of the numbers?
[20:37] <+SA_Grogbot> Without a randomizing element to the resolution mechanic, how is a descriptive resolution mechanic not inherent to a story game?
[20:38] <~Dan> (Question pause. And let's try to avoid getting into an RPG-vs-storygame argument if possible.)
[20:38] <+RPGPundit> Dan: It does depend what you mean by "fiat". It doesn't boil down to the GM just choosing whatever he wants; there are specific guidelines about how things like terrain, injury and exhaustion, distraction, etc. can modify things, as well as stuff like being outnumbered; and there's rules on how the range of differences affects the result; and...
[20:38] <~Dan> (Pundit, I'll leave the answer to your discretion.)
[20:38] <+RPGPundit> ..based on that, how long people can go before they get tired; or how bad injuries are and what effects those cause.
[20:39] <~Dan> Pundit: Gotcha, thanks.
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[20:40] <+RPGPundit> Grogbot: Is Bridge or Chess a storygame? What I mean is, you don't need a randomizer to have a "randomizing element"; the randomizing element are the actions the PCs take, and which of their many resources they choose to try to use (and how they use them).
[20:42] <~Dan> How well does LoO scale? Is there a "hard ceiling", or can PCs potentially punch out Zeus, for example?
[20:42] <+RPGPundit> (by the way, I'm currently on the last bits of a very fine bowl of Rattray's Marlin Flake, smoked in a majestic Ashton Old Church Rhodesian)
[20:42] <~Dan> (Excellent. :) )
[20:43] <+RPGPundit> Dan: There's no "hard ceiling"; what you get are Class levels; the highest of which is "1st Class" (so 2nd is worse than 1st, 4th worse than 3rd, etc); however, 1st class only means you're the highest of all the PCs.... now..
[20:43] <+fantomx11> hey-o #rpgnet
[20:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, fant! Q&A in progress!)
[20:43] <+fantomx11> (ok)
[20:43] <~Dan> (#rpgnet2 open for chatting)
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> some NPCs will have ability scores that are listed as "low numbered class" or "high numbered class" which means that they are going to be equivalent to some of the PCs' levels; "low numbered" would mean somewhere in the lower half of the ranks, higher numbered in the higher half; but really powerful NPCs have "Above 1st Class" ranks.
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> So Heracles might have  Might ability score of "1st + 14"; meaning he's 14 ranks above 1st class.
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[20:45] <+CRKrueger> ?
[20:45] <+RPGPundit> Over time, in theory, if your campaign was long enough, a PC might get to where he could be as strong as Heracles; though that would be either a very long or a very monty-haul campaign.
[20:45] * ~Dan nods
[20:46] <~Dan> Is it assumed that the PCs are the gods of [insert whatever]?
[20:46] <~Dan> Or... you said they could be powerful heroes instead, right?
[20:46] <~Dan> I guess I'm wondering how they relate to the classic Greek pantheon by default.
[20:46] <+RPGPundit> Dan: I didn't want to force the idea of 'divine themes" into the game, nor did I want to leave it out; so I allowed for rules on that subject that let the GM set the level of how important a "divine theme" really is....
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> the lowest level, its basically meaningless, you might be the demigod of pipe smoking, but it doesn't do anything mechanically. Then at other levels, the bonuses it provides are more significant, so that it makes your particular theme a lot more important to you in action.
[20:48] <+RPGPundit> As for "powerful heroes", yes; there are actually two levels of play below being a straightforward godling:
[20:48] <~Dan> So at the risk of being reductionist, you can just play it up as "supernatural superheroes"?
[20:48] <~Dan> (Sorry, didn't mean to step on your reply.)
[20:48] <+RPGPundit> You could be a "bastard son" of a god, not yet immortal, and your goal in the campaign is to achieve immortality through quests or what-have-you...
[20:49] <+RPGPundit> and there is also the "heroic mortals" campaign, where the players are actually not of immortal blood at all; and its presumed they can never get there; so instead this becomes a much lower-powered game.
[20:50] * ~Dan nods
[20:50] <+RPGPundit> Dan: you certainly could play it up as "supernatural superheroes". In a couple of ways; for example, it could be assumed that the Classic Earth Greeks' understanding of the Olympians was just wrong, and this whole "Apollo is God of Music" thing just meant he liked to play the harp, and not that he had any special powers.  Its possible to see the "gods"..
[20:51] <+RPGPundit> LoO as just the most powerful (alien) beings in the multiverse, but not the real "Gods". Those would be the Primordials; after all, they're the ones who actually CREATED the universe.
[20:51] * ~Dan nods
[20:51] <+RPGPundit> And Primordials are nothing like us; very few of them are anthropomorphic, those that are act totally alien, and those that aren't often seem more like forces of nature than living things.
[20:52] <&Le_Squide> So, is the game more of a toolbox? You're making it sound like it doesn't really have a default setting beyond a few assumptions.
[20:52] <~Dan> Now, earlier you mentioned the plane-hopping aspect. Two questions on that point: is the earthly plane our modern-day by defualt, and how multi-genre does the game get?
[20:52] <~Dan> (You can probably answer my question and Squide's together, I'm guessing, Pundit.)
[20:52] <~Dan> (Question pause, please.)
[20:53] <+RPGPundit> Squide: All my games have strong "toolbox" elements, it something I like to do; however, LoO does have a "default" setting which is the core of the game. The "core" is that the PCs are full-blown immortal children of the Greek Pantheon, and the default sets "divine theme" on the lowest setting. But I always feel as a game designer that its better...
[20:54] <+RPGPundit> give the GM lots of room (and MATERIAL) to make tweaks so he can run the kind of game he wants to run.
[20:55] <+CRKrueger> which (connecting back to earlier questions) is a very "old school" design philosophy
[20:55] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the earthly plane is not our own by default; there's no strict "default" but the Earth that gets talked about the most in the rules is actually "Classical Earth"; an Earth that looks like "mythical" Greece. "Our" earth is only second-most-talked-about.
[20:55] <+RPGPundit> The game can be very multi-genre.
[20:56] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: I agree; I feel that adaptability and GM-empowerment is very much a hallmark of Old School.
[20:57] <~Dan> So does the game include rules for, say, sci-fi equipment?
[20:57] <+Anduwaithe> Like if we want Apollo to be living on Pollux IV?
[20:58] <+RPGPundit> Dan: not in the D&D-equipment-list sense, no.  Since the PCs are often able to find just about anything they want, specific lists of stuff seemed inappropriate. Instead, there are rules about creating "artefacts" (Items of real power), and also rules about what type of equipment will work where. Each world has its own set of "parameters"...
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[20:59] <&Le_Squide> Are the artefact rules comparatively genre-free? (IE, is there any issue with using them to make Kirby/marvel comic esque divine supertech)?
[20:59] <+RPGPundit> a "tech level", a "magic level", etc. as well as its own physical laws on things like combustion, ftl, etc.  These determine how likely something is to work in that universe if brought over from another universe.
[21:00] <+RPGPundit> Squide: You could TOTALLY use them to make Kirby supertech.   Hephaestus basically has some fairly kirby-esque automatons working for him in his workshop.
[21:00] <~Dan> The multi-planar aspect aside, are the Greek gods the only "real" pantheon in the setting? Or are they simply the focus?
[21:01] <+CRKrueger> Since you obviously have Indian Myth fresh in your mind from AoI, is there going to be an Indian Mythos expansion for LoO?
[21:01] <+RPGPundit> (sorry, took a sec there to switch pipes)
[21:02] <~Dan> (No problem.)
[21:02] <+SA_HiKaizer> What would you consider an ideal level of granularity in a rolepling system and does this apply only in terms of creating a system through which to resolve mechanical interactions of the player characters and the world simulated by the rules, or does it also extend into the way a setting is constructed and presented to both the GM and the players?
[21:02] <+RPGPundit> Dan: The default of the gamebook is that the Greek Gods are the only true pantheon in the multiverse; that wouldn't prevent there from being a universe in that multiverse where the Norse or Hindu gods were real, though; they'd just be lesser to the greeks. HOWEVER...
[21:03] <~Dan> (Question pause after HiKaizer, please)
[21:03] <+RPGPundit> One of the campaign setups in the GM section presents the idea of a campaign set around there being a crossover with another True Pantheon, in another multiverse.
[21:04] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:04] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: I think specifically because I did Arrows of Indra, the Indian Gods wouldn't be high on my list of potential expansions I personally would want to do for LoO.  I might someday feel like doing one for the Norse or the Egyptian gods.
[21:05] <+RPGPundit> Kaizer: could you elaborate on what you mean by "granularity"?
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[21:05] <~Dan> (Quick aside: As we're now just over an hour in, we'll switch gears shortly and discuss Arrows of Indra, then open things up to general questions.)
[21:06] <+RPGPundit> If you mean how much of a toolkit I would want an RPG to be; my feeling is that if you get a book that is nothing but tools, with nothing actually built, that's not a good thing. The ideal then, is a strong structure, but modular, where you can easily remove and add components...
[21:06] <+RPGPundit> so a game that is already fully made and playable if the GM wants to play it as-is, but very tweakable (and with support for that tweaking) if he wants to adapt it to suit particular tastes. And I'd say the same goes for settings.
[21:07] <+SA_HiKaizer> (Sorry; Granularity is the measurement of a system to be broken down into smaller components. Coarse systems have larger and fewer components, while fine systems have a greater amount of smaller components)
[21:09] <+RPGPundit> (I tend to think in terms of modularity, rather than granularity): I want the game to feel like a coherent whole, not a patchwork quilt. That's a guideline in how I make my toolkits.
[21:10] <~Dan> Okay, anyone have any more LoO questions before we move on to Arrows of Indra?
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> (btw, I thought you'd all like to know I've now started on a Lorenzetti Solitario Horn, smoking a delicious Samuel Gawith's Perfection.  That's a shoutout to any grognard.txt goons out there!
[21:11] <~Dan> :)
[21:11] <~Dan> Okay! Pundit, want to give us a quick setting/system tour of Arrows of Indra?
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[21:13] <+RPGPundit> Right. Arrows of Indra is an old-school RPG directly based on what I think the OSR likes to call "the original roleplaying game rules", but set in a world very closely modeled on the mythical "Epic India" of the Mahabharata period...
[21:14] <+RPGPundit> So its your familiar D&D-style fun and playability, in an exotic setting that has rarely been done before, and even more rarely done right. Its a complete game in one book, with neither additional rules nor Anthropology or Linguistics degrees required.
[21:14] <+RPGPundit> (done)
[21:15] <+RPGPundit> Oh, I'll mention Arrows of Indra isn't out yet, but will be published by Bedrock Games sometime around January 2013.
[21:15] <+CRKrueger> AC asc, or desc? HP different for classes? Iterative attacks like 1e or 3e? Feats? Skills? :)
[21:15] <+RPGPundit> Lords of Olympus IS out on both PDF and Print, and you get more info on it here: (Link:
[21:15] <+J_Arcane> It is the Pundit game I am most interested in.  :)
[21:15] <+CRKrueger> Hey J
[21:16] <+J_Arcane> I have desperately longed to see more cultures get done the D&D treatment, with respect, because there's a lot of gaming potential there that largely hasn't been touched since the days of AD&D2e.
[21:16] <+TQuid> What led you in reading or experience to include the '3rd gender' material?
[21:17] <~Dan> Question pause while Pundit answers CRK's question, then TQuid's.)
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: ascending AC. HP are different by class. The combat system is much more similar to 1e than anything else. No feats.
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> There is a skill system, but its nothing like any edition of D&D as such...
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[21:18] <+RPGPundit> what you get are first, class abilities as per usual. Second, you get "background skills", based not on class but on Caste; these are non-adventuring skills mostly that reflect what your clan did for a living..
[21:18] <+RPGPundit> third, there's "Class Skills" which are really things like spells for the spellcasting classes, proficiencies for the fighters, as well as certain lores and special abilities for each class, and of course the rogue gets the widest range of different things.
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> TQuid: There is a long tradition in India of a "third gender". In the modern era, they're called Hijra, but the ancient vedic society was very different, and back then they were known as "kliba". Since there are "kliba" characters in the Mahabharata itself, it seems quite relevant to include them in the game.
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[21:21] <+SA_RedMage> So whats the protocol for question asking, is it a casual meet and greet sort of thing, because if so I have questions about Gnomemurdered
[21:22] <~Dan> Pundit: I've heard India's national epic being compared to a sci-fi epic with spacecraft-like vessels and such. Is there some of that in the game?
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> (aren't all of you Red Mage?)
[21:22] <+Drakkar> i am nto
[21:22] <+Drakkar> not*
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> (seriously, though, fire away)
[21:22] <+CRKrueger> Is Arrows OGL?  If not, why not and have you and Brendan talked about licensing for 3PP modules, etc?
[21:22] <~Dan> RedMage: We're discussing Arrows of Indra at the moment, but if Pundit's up for it, you can throw in a Gnomemurdered question, sure.
[21:23] <+RPGPundit> Dan: The Mahabharata actually has far less flying vehicles than the Ramayana, the earlier epic.  The Ramayana takes place thousands of years earlier...
[21:23] <+SA_RedMage> I've heard the nutshell presentation of it, and I was wondering like what you learned by making it, to tie it back to arrows of indra, like what did making Gnomemureder teach you and what can you apply from it to other work
[21:23] <+MaliciousOnion> RPGPundit: does choosing to be a Hijra have any defined effect in the game?
[21:23] <+RPGPundit> so its like the golden age.  By the Mahabharata period, those things are still around but they're rare and wondrous artifacts ... you know, the sort of things that adventuring parties go on quests to find in ancient ruins.
[21:24] <~Dan> (Question pause until Pundit answers RedMage's question, then Onions.)
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: we're still talking about this with Brendan, but I can basically tell you that AoI will be some kind of Open source without a doubt.
[21:24] <~Dan> Pundit: Ah, that was the epic I was thinking of. Thanks.
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[21:26] <+RPGPundit> Redmage: Gnomemurdered 2e taught me a lot about the value of adding lots of setting-flavoring options (*which of course was ALL of Gnomemurdered outside of the one page of rules).
[21:27] <+SA_RedMage> RPGPundit: a followup once you answer onion, I had meant specifically the rules, a lot of designers talk about the advantages of simple rules and condensing the whole of a game's mechanics to one page and having a playable end result often teaches a lot
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> Onion: In AoI, it isn't really "hijra", that term is a modern term; its "kliba", and they have two slightly different connotations. But to answer your question; a "kliba" would have no specific mechanical limitations but they would have the social limitations of living as a third-gender and fitting to those social norms.
[21:29] <+SA_RedMage> what can you learn and apply from designing a very simple game to designing what is presumably a significantly more complex one
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[21:29] <+SA_RedMage> sorry that took so many lines
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[21:29] <+RPGPundit> Dan: I specifically chose to base AoI in the Mahabharata age, rather than the Ramayana, because it sets up all the massive lost empires of the Ramayana period as perfect adventuring fodder.
[21:30] <~Dan> Makes sense.
[21:30] <+MaliciousOnion> So is there any advantage to playing a kliba, then?
[21:30] <+RPGPundit> Redmage: I don't know that there was very much that Gnomemurdered taught me in that sense, except perhaps the value of having a very simple and solid core, and building on that.
[21:31] <~Dan> What are the classes in Arrows of Indra, and how do they differ from their D&D counterparts?
[21:31] <+SA_Gau> I apologies, but why is the broken URL in the Topic ?
[21:32] <+RPGPundit> Onion: There's no specific mechanical advantage or disadvantage to playing any of the three possible genders in the game.  There are social elements to each, however; women have greater societal restrictions (unless the GM chooses to change that in his version of the setting), as do Kliba, compared to men.  However..
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[21:32] <+RPGPundit> ...Kliba were historically thought of as tending to have magic power, so one could think they'd easily fit into the role of playing Siddhis (mages) in an adventuring party.
[21:33] <~Dan> SA_Gau: Works for me. Try this, though: (Link:
[21:33] <+SA_Gau> Thank you Dan
[21:33] <~Dan> Certainly!
[21:34] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the classes in AoI are Priest, Priest-Shaman (subclass), Fighter, Virakshatriya (subclass), Scout (subclass), Siddhi, Thief, Thugee (subclass) and Yogi...
[21:34] <+SA_Gau> What Mechanical effect have the Races?
[21:34] <+RPGPundit> Priests are temple priests; shamans their barbaric equivalents.  Virakshatriyas are the "paladins" of the setting, holy (and always of the nobility) warriors, they have special spiritual powers.
[21:35] <~Dan> (Question pause while Pundit answers my question, then SA_Gau's.)
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[21:35] <+RPGPundit> Scouts are wilderness "rangers" (without magic). Thugees are a completely anachronistic assassin cult. Siddhis are essentially the Magic-users of the setting, and Yogis are physical adepts.
[21:36] <~Dan> Vancian magic, or...?
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[21:36] <~Dan> (wb, RedMage!)
[21:36] <+RPGPundit> As you can see the classes fit most of the same niches as in AD&D but have some different elaborations.
[21:36] <+SA_RedMage> I am sorry a fuse blew
[21:36] <+SA_RedMage> could someone please copy/paste the response I missed?
[21:37] <+Squizzle> Whose translation of the Mahabharata are you using?
[21:37] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Pundit has that effect on a lot of people, I am given to understand.
[21:37] <~Dan> (Sure, just a sec, RedMage...)
[21:37] <+RPGPundit> Gau: There are several races in the game: Humans, both civilized (Bharata) and barbaric (Bhil), Gandharvas (immortal messengers of the gods), Yaksha (golden-skinned dwarves who live in cities in the mountains), Vanara (intelligent monkeys, descended from Hanuman the monkey-god), and Rakshasa (desdcended from the crossing of men with Asura demons)...
[21:38] <+RPGPundit> ..each race has class restrictions, and sometimes certain level restrictions, each class also gets specific bonuses and penalties, some get certain special abilities. Your race also determines how many starting background skills you get, and how many class skills.
[21:38] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the magic system is NOT vancian.
[21:39] <+RPGPundit> Squizzle: I am not using a specific translation of the Mahabharata; this isn't "Mahabharata: The RPG", though you can make your campaign play out the events of the Mahabharata war (the timeline of the setting starts at the time that the Pandavas are given half of the Kuru kingdom).
[21:39] <+SA_Gau> Very interesting, you would say the races choice is at least important as class. What defines between civilized or uncivilized? Can one both or switch?
[21:40] <+Anduwaithe> You mentioned anachronism when describing the character classes. Could you tell us what kind of tech level AoI has?
[21:40] <~Dan> (Question pause. Gau, then Andu.)
[21:41] <+Squizzle> But still, for the basis from which you're deriving the Mahabharata-ness--whose sources are you using?
[21:41] <+RPGPundit> Gau: I would say the balance between the importance of class and race is about the same as in AD&D 1e.  The difference between civilized and uncivilized is whether you're a citizen of one of the "civilized" Bharata kingdoms; advanced city-dwellers who share a common culture...
[21:42] <+RPGPundit> ..worship the gods, and have advanced technology like smelting; or if you don't, and instead live in a tribal society that doesn't follow the vedic laws and has none of those luxuries or common religion and language.
[21:44] <+RPGPundit> Andu: the tech level of AoI would be best described as "classical". The Kuru kingdoms rose to prominence a couple of thousand years ago when they brought with them the secret of making iron; and in some metropolises now you have rare steel weapons. But people still write mostly on wax-tablets. That sort of thing.
[21:44] <+SA_RedMage> So your new thing is hewing extremely close to D&D by the sound of it, what specifically are you doing to address Indian themes and concepts? For example D&D is very clearly influenced by the napoleanic wargames from which derive things like class and race, will the mechanics of your game provide an experience that is more descended from the culture and folklore you want in the setting?
[21:44] <+SA_RedMage> or just D&D with funny hats?
[21:44] <+CRKrueger> You mentioned the Thugee (an anachronism); do you link their cult to Kali (a Mahabharata deity)?
[21:45] <~Dan> (Question pause after CRK's question, please.)
[21:45] <+RPGPundit> Squizzle: I've read a lot of different versions/translations of the ancient indian epics, so I don't know that I'd say I'm using any single source.
[21:46] <+RPGPundit> Redmage: The big changes are in things like the skills and magic systems; someone hoping to find a totally different system from D&D will be disappointed; as will someone hoping to find an anthropology or linguistics culturewank a la tekumel. AoI is neither of those.
[21:46] <~Dan> Oh, while you're on that subject, what IS the magic system like?
[21:47] <+RPGPundit> Its meant to be a step up from, say, "that country in Mystara that was kinda indian" or what alqadim was for arabia or oriental adventures was for japano-china (they never could decide which they were trying to be)...
[21:47] <+Ettin> Is your game concerned with mechanical association or dissociation?
[21:47] <+Squizzle> The Mahabharata is an order of magnitude larger than the combined works of Homer. I'm impressed but admittedly dubious that you've read it in multiple translations.
[21:48] <+RPGPundit> ..but its not meant to be something where attention to cultural detail makes it stop being D&D, stop being old school, stop being playable, or stop being fun.
[21:49] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: Yes, the Thugee are linked to Kali in the game; I call them an anachronism because as far as we know, no such assassin cult existed in that period nor are they a feature of the ancient epics.  Its one good example of where I decided that "something cool for D&D" trumped historical or anthropological accuracy.
[21:49] <+SA_RedMage> RPGPundit: then I guess that begs the question why make it? If you aren't going to put the time or effort into the setting to rival Tekumel (which is assuredly old school) or the mechanics to rival what new games are bringing to the table why should anyone get it?
[21:50] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the magic system is based on two levels of magic; first you have what you could call "magic as skill"; Priests have skills called Arcana, which are magical rituals; while Siddhis have skills called Mantras or Mudras. These are all magical spells that can be learned and are class-specific and have requirements..
[21:51] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:51] <+RPGPundit> ..arcana require material components and take time, mantras requires verbal components, mudras somatic, some siddhi skills require both mantra and mudra.
[21:51] <+Squizzle> The anthro/culture wank parts are actually the most interesting to me. :( I'm an academic working in religious studies (and my undergrad minor was anthro, which I guess is something?) and over the past year bit the bullet and learned to read Sanskrit; a setting and mechanical framework that fairly authentically delivered some aspect of the epics would be sweet as hell to me.
[21:52] <+RPGPundit> Then you have the tier of what are called Enlightenment Powers. These are gained based on a chance to obtain them each level beyond 1st. There are three levels of Enlightenment powers, each mightier than the last.  These powers are meant to be spontaneous powers gained due to personal development in illumination, let's say.  They are generally more powerful..
[21:52] <+RPGPundit> ..than the "skill based" magic. Priests and Siddhis can both theoretically learn enlightenment powers, and both get them from the same list.
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[21:52] <+CRKrueger> So it sounds like "Priests" aren't drawing their power from the Gods?  Not big on Indian Myths, so unsure of what "Priests" do in the legends.
[21:52] <+Squizzle> But this is seeming increasingly like D&D in admittedly well-intentioned brownface, which flies a bit wide for me. Good luck with your target market, though, and all the best.
[21:53] <+RPGPundit> Ettin: not sure what you mean about mechanical association or dissociation?
[21:53] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Will the Yogi get some kind of bonus to steal picnic baskets, or will it be an XP/RP incentive?
[21:54] * +Anduwaithe sees what Winson did there
[21:56] <+SA_Kreoss> lol
[21:56] <+SA_Kreoss> I literally laughed out loud there
[21:56] <+RPGPundit> Redmage: Fortunately, the authors of the Mahabharata already made a setting that's WAY better than tekumel (however good you might consider tekumel to be) and has stood the test of time for thousands of years. That's the setting I decided to use. I'm also using the core mechanics of the most popular RPG ever made; modified to fit the aforementioned setting...
[21:56] <+Ettin> Mechanics that are disconnected from the game world/don't have an explanation in the game world vs ones that don't
[21:56] <~Dan> (Quick note: We're coming up on 2 hours, so let's let Pundit answer the remaining open questoins, then give him a chance to address any points that haven't been brought up.)
[21:56] <+Ettin> Like have you kept that whole debate in mind at all, basically
[21:56] <+RPGPundit> ..while still being playable and not turning into some kind of pseudo-intellectual exercise in futility. That's what I'm bringing to the table.
[21:58] <+SA_RedMage> [DELETED], thats not what you just said. You just said you didn't care abuot the cultural accuracy if it got in the way of being old school. You cannot have both an accurate adaptation of the Mahabharata and something that ignores culture to shoehorn into a mold made by a completely different culture
[21:58] <+RPGPundit> Squizzle: I did my Masters in Religious Studies; Sanskrit is hell. And I can understand why you'd like something like what you describe; unfortunately, you have to understand that you'd be one of very few people who would. What I want is something that can appeal to ANYONE who likes old-school without intimidating them, while still being much much more ...
[21:58] <+RPGPundit> ..authentic than the junk that has passed for "east indian rpg settings" until now
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[21:58] <~Dan> RedMage, please do not taunt our guest. Thanks.
[21:59] <+CRKrueger> Oop there it is
[21:59] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: Priests basically do in AoI what Krishna accuses them of doing in the Bhagavad Gita: they perform rituals while following strict taboos, as a mechanical way of obtaining favor from the gods.
[21:59] <+CRKrueger> Ok, gotcha
[22:00] <+TQuid> So it works, but it's an inferior sort of relating to the gods? Ha ha! That's cool.
[22:00] <~Dan> Okay! Pundit, is there anything else you'd like to cover in closing before we wrap up for the night?
[22:01] <+RPGPundit> Ettin: I tried as much as possible to associate all mechanics to the game world, within the landmarks already set by the original RPG system.
[22:01] <+RPGPundit> I seem to be making some of the SA goons mad. Failing to catch me with questions, they resort to taunts. Witness the goons in action!
[22:02] <+RPGPundit> Tquid: There's also a "divine intervention" mechanic I didn't mention until now; which allows high-=level characters to interact much more directly with the gods!
[22:03] <+SA_Kreoss> RPGPundit: Red_Mage is not representative of every goon. It's a big forum :)
[22:03] <&Le_Squide> Is it OK if I ask a general question?
[22:03] <+Ettin> Pleaes keep this professional as Dan requested
[22:03] <+SA_Kreoss> no need to go after all of us
[22:03] <+Ettin> Please*
[22:04] <~Dan> Go ahead, Squide.
[22:04] <+RPGPundit> Kreoss: actually, I agree. Sorry about that. I've always felt its kind of unfair that SA has such a godawful reputation in RPG forums based on the actions of a relatively tiny proportion of its membership that go on personal crusades via grognards.txt.
[22:04] <+RPGPundit> Go for it Squide.
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[22:04] <+Ettin> Unfortunately that is beyond the scope of this interview as set by Dan Davenport
[22:04] <+SA_WinsonPaine> RPGPundit since you opened the door, what IS the perception of SA on RPG Forums as you see it?
[22:05] <+CRKrueger> Although that is the first time I've heard that D&D classes like the obviously Tolkienian Ranger are actually based on Napoleonic ideas of Culture.
[22:05] <+RPGPundit> Ultimately, though, I love the Goons. They help make me famous. All my detractors do.
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[22:05] <&Le_Squide> What do you think of the trend towards a lot of kickstarter funding for RPGs? Flash in the pan, here to stay, niche thing...? I wouldn't bring this up, but Kevin Crawford just put Spears of the Dawn up for one, and he's never resorted to kickstarter before (and, in fact, has talked about why he hasn't used it.) So I was wondering if you ever considered it.
[22:05] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Some of them love you RPGPundit, they send me PMs asking to ban your many enemies.
[22:05] <+RPGPundit> Winson: that's very interesting to hear!
[22:05] * +Oddsod eyes BrainParasite. Get away from me, you grey-matter-eating amoeba.
[22:06] <+Ettin> Winson Pundit has a professional interview to conduct and some questions to answer
[22:06] <+RPGPundit> Squid: I have thought about that quite a bit Squide.  I'm a big fan of the notion that we have to be realistic in this age about copyright laws. The old ways of making money and keeping intellectual property just don't work anymore, and they never will again...
[22:06] <+SA_WinsonPaine> They make lists and cry out in the wilderness for justice, but on SA's TG forum there is no justice.  There is just me.  :(
[22:06] <+RPGPundit> we have to resort to new ideas.  Or rather, very very old ideas, like patronage, which was the standard way creative types made money for thousands of years.
[22:07] <+Drakkar> RPGPundit I'm actually curious how uhm, dark AoI will get. Its always been a kind of sticking point for me regarding RPGs honestly as some elements of darker RPGs make me uncomfortable.
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[22:07] <+RPGPundit> I see Kickstarter as one of the very first serious efforts to figure out just how we're going to make money off intellectual property in the future.  I don't think its the final answer, but I think its certainly proved itself as the first step.
[22:07] <+RPGPundit> I wouldn't be averse to someday doing a kickstarter if the situation presented itself.
[22:07] <+SA_Kreoss> SA_WinsonPaine: I'd be happy to help you :)
[22:08] <+RPGPundit> Winson: as an admin myself, I know what you're talking about. I think.
[22:08] <+RPGPundit> Drakkar: what do you mean by "dark"? What elements are you worried about seeing?
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[22:08] <+Newfork> RPGPundit, what sort of material do you think is most apt to be kickstarted, and what sort of steps would you take to insure success?
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[22:09] <+RPGPundit> I mean, the plan isn't for it to be 'grimdark' or something like that, it won't be "WH 40000BC" or something
[22:09] <+Drakkar> I'm gonna be honest, in general I'm not really a huge fan of oh yeah. You got exactly what I mean, thanks. :)
[22:09] * +Oddsod thinks Warhammer: Caveman would be awesome, though.
[22:09] <+Drakkar> meant*
[22:09] <~Dan> (How are you doing on time, Pundit? We're in overtime here, but I can hang if you can.)
[22:10] <+RPGPundit> Newfork: Not sure I'm any kind of an expert to judge that, but look at the type of things that have had very successful kickstarters, and how they did it; that's the model to follow.
[22:10] <+SA_Grogbot> Successful games like Last Stand?
[22:11] <+RPGPundit> Drakkar: Its epic India roleplaying in the "HEROIC age".  Its the third age; after the age of Gods and then of Holy Kings; in this age, mortal men are expected to go do deeds of great valor BUT still follow the holy strictures.
[22:11] <+RPGPundit> Dan: I've got all night. I know you don't, but no hurry on my account.
[22:12] <~Dan> Okay. I'll hang for about 15 more minutes, then.
[22:12] <+RPGPundit> Drakkar: not to say you can't play "unholy" characters, you certainly can, but that's not the assumption or anything.
[22:12] <+Drakkar> Alright cool, that sounds good to me.
[22:12] <+RPGPundit> grogbot: not familiar with that one. I'm thinking of a bunch of roleplaying games.
[22:13] <+CRKrueger> Are the Rakshasa inherently evil?
[22:13] <+Anduwaithe> Do they have backwards hands?
[22:13] <+SA_WinsonPaine> RPGPundit since we are over time are you a big P!nk fan, or are you more a Lady Gaga kind of guy?
[22:14] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: No, not all rakshasa are Unholy.  Note that I use "Holy", "Neutral" and "Unholy" as alignments, its different than either lawful/chaos or good/evil.
[22:14] <+SA_Grogbot> RPGPundit: Would you consider marketing a Kickstarter like the popular Indie kickstarter Last Stand, shown here following its successful funding? (Link:
[22:15] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Dan you could just let the freak flag fly after you go to bed
[22:15] <+RPGPundit> andu: no, rakshasa don't have backward hands in their description in AoI. There were lots of cases where I had to settle on certain descriptions for mythological beings or creatures that are often depicted radically different through time and sources.
[22:15] <~Dan> Winson: I could do that, yes...
[22:15] <+Drakkar> we are being fairly well behaved I think
[22:15] <+Ettin> No Dan don't, unbite that sandwich
[22:16] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Dan it would be as if this used to be a fun house, but now it's full of evil clowns.
[22:16] <+RPGPundit> grogbot: I'd consider marketing a kickstarter based on the techniques used by anyone who made money, and specifically the ones who made shi.. er, tons of money.
[22:16] <~Dan> Ettin: I said "could", not "will". ;)
[22:16] <+SA_WinsonPaine> well
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[22:17] * +Anduwaithe sees what Winson did there again.
[22:17] <+RPGPundit> Rakshasa in AoI look mostly human but with dark to nearly soot-black skin, reddish eyes, long hard nails, and teeth that look sharp like fangs.
[22:17] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Glad to meet another fan, Anduwaithe
[22:17] <+Anduwaithe> :)
[22:18] <+Anduwaithe> Pundit: Cool, thanks :)
[22:18] <~Dan> Okay, tell you what I'm going to do here, guys, if we can just pause for a moment...
[22:19] <+RPGPundit> BTW, as we get closer to the release date, I'll be doing more previews, interviews, and such about Arrows of Indra, so more information will be getting out there. I'll probably start up a Q&A thread on theRPGsite, like the one we currently have for Lords of Olympus, which any of you are welcome to write to: (Link:
[22:19] <~Dan> Pundit, all a Q&A means is that you, as our guest, have the floor to yourself; however, you (and all game designers) are always welcome to hang out here and discuss your games (or whatever you like).
[22:20] <~Dan> So, even as we wrap up the "formal" Q&A, you're welcome to field questions as long as you like, Pundit.
[22:20] <+MaliciousOnion> RPGPundit: Do you have plans for the next religious/historical setting you'll be appropriating next?
[22:20] <~Dan> I would like to make a couple of observations.
[22:20] <+RPGPundit> Thanks Dan, though to be honest I rarely have time to be hanging out on chatrooms. At least not ones with these many people actually admitting to not being sexy cheerleaders.
[22:20] <~Dan> Heh.
[22:20] <+RPGPundit> I'll stick around for a while, sure!
[22:21] <+TQuid> Busted! I"m actually Hayden Panetierre.
[22:21] <~Dan> Well, I'd just like to say that I appreciate you stopping by and answering questions tonight. You've been a great guest.
[22:21] <~Dan> I'd also like to thank all of you who showed up specifically for the Q&A.
[22:21] <+Anduwaithe> Tquid: Hayden Planetarium?
[22:22] <+RPGPundit> Onion: As of right now, I don't have any specific plans, but there are a few things I've considered doing. Don't expect anything else from me until at least after AoI is out and in print, for now I'm dedicating my time to getting it published.  There is also a "Pundit's Guide to GMing" book I already have written, that was sold to Precis Intermedia...
[22:22] <+RPGPundit> I don't know when they plan to publish that, though.
[22:22] <~Dan> I was worried that this whole thing would devolve into a chaotic mess of tomfoolery, but with one exception, you've all been great.
[22:22] <+RPGPundit> Thank you Dan!
[22:22] <+Drakkar> yeah red_mage is..well its how he is
[22:22] <+Ettin> Yeah there were a couple of outbursts at the end but this has been alright
[22:23] <+RPGPundit> I know you took quite the risk inviting me, though it also probably gave this place some publicity!
[22:23] <&Le_Squide> Now I have to get the mop. :|
[22:23] <+Ettin> Dan, I haven't been following these interviews, are you going to post logs or discussion on rpgnet?
[22:23] <~Dan> Nope, I post them on my blog.
[22:23] <+RPGPundit> Good question!
[22:23] <+Ettin> Is there going to be a thread I am going to have to watch for dudes to ban basically
[22:23] <~Dan> Pundit, I'll give you the link when I do.
[22:23] <+RPGPundit> Dan, you'll be sure to send me the link.. good.
[22:23] <&Le_Squide> Would you mind posting a link to your blog in here, Dan?
[22:23] <+Drakkar> i've never seen your blog, would yo-yeah
[22:23] <&Bill> (Link:
[22:23] <~Dan> Sure, just a sec.
[22:24] * &Bill wins.
[22:24] <&Le_Squide> Bill is fast on the draw
[22:24] <+SA_WinsonPaine> <+Ettin> Is there going to be a thread I am going to have to watch for dudes to ban basically
[22:24] <+SA_WinsonPaine> haha
[22:24] <+SA_WinsonPaine> when do you not
[22:24] <+SA_WinsonPaine> have to watch for dudes to ban
[22:24] <+SA_Grogbot> Constantly
[22:24] <~Dan> (Link:
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[22:25] <+Ettin> Winson literally as you said that a report for cross-board drama popped pu
[22:25] <+Ettin> If this is one of you guys you are so banned
[22:25] <+Ettin> Alright I just looked and you are safe
[22:25] <+Ettin> for now
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[22:26] <~Dan> Also, I hope all of you who showed up for the Q&A will feel welcome to return as well.
[22:26] <~Dan> I think this place is proving to be a nice "neutral zone" of sorts.
[22:26] <+RPGPundit> Like I said, I'll stick around for a while.
[22:26] <+SA_Grogbot> I'm never safe, Ettin
[22:27] <+RPGPundit> Dan: wouldn't get my hopes up, but this went well at least.
[22:27] <+Anduwaithe> Dan: constant tensions between the Romulans and the Federation, you mean?
[22:27] * ~Dan chuckles
[22:27] <+TQuid> Lots of feints, maneuvers, and conspiraces
[22:28] <+Anduwaithe> And a destroyed outpost that I think was connected to the Borg somehow
[22:28] <+SA_WinsonPaine> RPGPundit since we are off the clock as it were what was the WAR with Forge
[22:28] <+SA_WinsonPaine> and how do you win a war with a forum I guess
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[22:28] <~Dan> Howdy, GL!
[22:28] <+SA_WinsonPaine> I was not paying attention back then
[22:28] <+Anduwaithe> Winson: by using 4chan as your own personal army, of course
[22:28] <+SA_WinsonPaine> what
[22:28] <+TQuid> LOL
[22:28] <+SA_Grogbot> What
[22:29] <+SA_WinsonPaine> I am aware of the SA-4chan connection
[22:29] <+TQuid> If 4chan was involved they covered their tracks amazingly well.
[22:29] <+SA_WinsonPaine> not the Pundit-4chan one tho
[22:29] <+RPGPundit> Winson; Well, I was exaggerating a little in my introduction. I don't really believe "I" won the war. I just helped. And you win a war with a forum by that forum not being around anymore while you still are; and by that forum's theories being discarded as failures while the stuff you like has grown in epic leaps and bounds.
[22:29] <+TQuid> I'm pretty sure any actual service outages were down to the usual technical reasons.
[22:29] <+xyphoid> hey so I heard you considered Vampire the ur-storygame - what about Exalted
[22:29] <+SA_WinsonPaine> I dunno, there is a lot of forgey stuff continuing to extrude from the woodwork
[22:30] <+SA_WinsonPaine> see also the Apoc World stuff
[22:30] <+RPGPundit> xyphoid: I don't consider Vampire a storygame at all. Its an RPG.   It was promoted by WW as a "storytelling game" but as Ron Edwards could tell you, that doesn't make it a "storygame".
[22:31] <+SA_Grogbot> What
[22:31] <~Dan> Pundit: Do you agree with my definition of a storygame as one in which challenges are over narrative control?
[22:31] <+TQuid> RPGPundit: it seems as if your ferocious reputation tends to precede you, to the point that people are at least sometimes unwilling to hear whatever else you may have to say beyond the invectives like "swine". Aside from who wins or loses those ideological battles, how would you like to be understood, and dare I say, remembered?
[22:31] <+CRKrueger> White Wolf succeeded in bringing Ron and Pundit together on one thing: their condemnation of the Storytelling System as a StoryGame. :)
[22:32] <&Le_Squide> 'Storygame' is used for games that consciously take a more narrative stance in their mechanics as well as their presentation; they don't just talk about 'telling a story' through the game, they actually try to make the story work with the mechanics. Is that right, Pundy?
[22:32] <+RPGPundit> Winson: The big boy on the block (WoTC) is moving away from a game design that was seriously influenced by GNS theory to one that won't be at all. There are of course lots of Storygames still being made, but the mainstream of gaming has lost its taste for seeing them as the intellectual vanguard. The OSR has way more vitality and push now.
[22:32] <+SA_WinsonPaine> 4e was informed by GNS?
[22:32] <+SA_WinsonPaine> that is odd to me
[22:32] <&Le_Squide> Winson: There's an old blog post talking about it, actually.
[22:32] <&Le_Squide> (On the wizard's devblog.)
[22:33] <+Anduwaithe> what does OSR stand for?
[22:33] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Also you see the OSR as the intellectual vanguard of RPGs now?
[22:33] <+Newfork> Old School Rennaisance
[22:33] <+Anduwaithe> thanks :)
[22:33] <+CRKrueger> Yeah 4e is basically G, maybe Gn, textbook definition of the Forge concept of coherence.
[22:33] <+RPGPundit> Dan: to keep the definition of storygames really simple, let's say a storygame is one where "making story" takes precedence over all else, including emulation of setting, GM authority, immersion in characters, mechanical rules, etc.  So one feature of most storygames is that the mechanical "action" is about narrative control and "storyline resolution"...
[22:33] <+RPGPundit> ..rathre than task resolution and emulation, yes.
[22:34] * ~Dan nods
[22:34] <&Le_Squide> What are your favorite OSR games, anyway, Pundit?
[22:34] <+Ettin> So how do you feel about GNS theory in general anyway, does it seem useful or redundant
[22:34] <+SA_Grogbot> What about the critical success seen regarding Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Last Stand, Fiasco, Spirit of the Century, Dresden Files, and their like. Aren't we actually seeing the medium move towards a more shared narrative format, through these?
[22:34] <+Ettin> Quick Dan! Call a question pause!
[22:34] <+RPGPundit> Tquid: I'd like to be remembered as a guy who liked Regular RPGs.
[22:34] <+Anduwaithe> haha
[22:34] <+TQuid> AW is not shared narrative. It's actually quite traditional.
[22:35] <+TQuid> Fair enough RPGPundit. And thanks.
[22:35] <~Dan> Ettin: Now we're just chatting. Pundit's on his own. ;)
[22:35] <+J_Arcane> TQuid: It just has the whole sex-bartering thing ... ;)
[22:35] <+TQuid> Sure, but it's pretty traditional for all that it has "sex moves." It's racy, but not mechanically weird.
[22:35] <+Ettin> In that case let me get out my list of 100 Questions To Ask Pundit, available from drivethrurpg for only a dollar
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[22:35] <+RPGPundit> Krueger: there's no doubt that Edwards is right when he says that WoD games aren't about "story-making"; the difference is where he takes it from there ("so we must turn RPGs into something where you actually DO make story as a priority") and where I take it ("so RPGs obviously AREN'T ABOUT making story).
[22:35] <+TQuid> Heya Mike!
[22:35] <+SA_WinsonPaine> Yo Holmes
[22:36] <&Le_Squide> Weirdest thing about AW mechanically is that the players do all the rolling, I think.
[22:36] <+RPGPundit> le squide: that's about the gist of it yeah.
[22:36] <+Mike_Holmes> Hi
[22:36] <+TQuid> Yeah, but that just simplifies something that's always been there. Except for combat, it's very typical for only the player to roll dice against a static number.
[22:36] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, Mike_Holmes!
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[22:36] <+Mike_Holmes> Thanks, Dan
[22:37] <+RPGPundit> Winson: 4e was WoTC trying to make D&D the "gamist" game that the Forge always claimed it was supposed to be. The result was what I predicted: it lost 2/3rds of its customer base.
[22:37] <~Dan> What brings you by this evening?
[22:37] <&Le_Squide> I know, I was saying that AW wasn't really into weird mechanics, TQuid.
[22:37] <+Mike_Holmes> Heard about the talk
[22:37] <+RPGPundit> Winson: I guess I see the OSR as a mostly not-pretentious "intellectual vanguard" now.
[22:37] <+TQuid> Ah, sorry.
[22:37] <+Drakkar> Le_Squide its a little different
[22:37] <&Le_Squide> It's fine, just clarifying my thoughts.
[22:38] <+Drakkar> while yeah the players always roll
[22:38] <~Dan> Ah. Cool. Well, the "official" Q&A is over, but the Pundit has been kind enough to hang out and chat.
[22:38] <+Drakkar> its up to the gm to tell them what they roll
[22:38] <+Mike_Holmes> Cool
[22:38] <+SA_Grogbot> why is rpgsite's jilted ex club?
[22:38] <+Drakkar> you're not supposed to go 'i roll <x>'
[22:38] <&Le_Squide> I like Apocalypse World, and I am familiar with how it works.
[22:38] <+RPGPundit> Squide: My favorite OSR Games are Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Majestic Wilderlands, and Stars without Number. ACKS is pretty good too; I'm still waiting for my review copy of DCC, so I don't know what I'll think of that yet, though I've heard some good things.

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