Tuesday, March 12, 2013

[Q&A] Jason L. Blair (Little Fears, Streets of Bedlam)

[19:05] <+JasonLBlair> My name is Jason L Blair, and I've been writing and designing games since 2001. My first release was LITTLE FEARS, which is still how most folks know me.
[19:05] <+JasonLBlair> I also released WYRD IS BOND back in 2004, worked on the brilliant-yet-canceled NORMAL, TEXAS, brought back my first game as LITTLE FEARS NIGHTMARE EDITION with a new system and setting back in 2009.
[19:05] <+JasonLBlair> Just last year, I released STREETS OF BEDLAM for the Savage Worlds system and am currently woefully behind on putting out its first supplement FIVE-STORY DROP.
[19:06] <+JasonLBlair> My day job is as a writer and narrative designer for video games, currently at Deep Silver Volition (developers of the Saints Row series).
[19:06] <+JasonLBlair> And I think that hits all the high points. (done)
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, Jason!
[19:06] <~Dan> Anyone have any questions to get us started?
[19:07] <~Dan> Okay, I shall begin then. :)
[19:08] <~Dan> Jason, what can you tell us about the setting of Streets of Bedlam?
[19:08] <+JasonLBlair> Streets of Bedlam is an ultraviolent neo-noir setting, in the vein of Sin City (graphic novels and film), The Boondock Saints, Reservoir Dogs.
[19:09] <+JasonLBlair> The players portray characters who have good intentions but live in a dark, violent world but where the only way to get things done is to play the Big Game.
[19:09] <+JasonLBlair> Bedlam is the colloquial name of the setting's two districts: Bedford and Lamrose.
[19:10] <+AeonPhoenix> Later on if anyone is interested I am gonna be livestream some work related to a neat illustration challenge im doing
[19:10] <+AeonPhoenix> Oh...
[19:10] <+AeonPhoenix> *backs off*
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[19:10] <+JasonLBlair> Bedford is the beautiful, well-kept part of the city. It's where the burgeoning entertainment industry is, and is the seat of Big Church, the Catholic Church's presence.
[19:10] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, nix!
[19:11] <+JasonLBlair> Lamrose is the older part of the city, the fallen Rust Belt part, that is full of crime and vice, empty warehouses, and is home to the Valkyries, who are Lamrose's vigilante protectors.
[19:11] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:11] <~Dan> What sorts of tweaks have you made to Savage Worlds for the game?
[19:12] <+JasonLBlair> I added a few new systems to better serve what you find in the source material. The first is drug rules to reflect addiction and quitting, the wear and tear certain substances take on your body.
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[19:13] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, edlima209!)
[19:13] <+JasonLBlair> I devised Interrogation rules for getting the information you need out of people through coercion, chemistry, or an old-fashioned beating.
[19:13] <+JasonLBlair> I also put in Investigation rules for creating and interpreting crime scenes.
[19:14] <+JasonLBlair> The system I'm most proud of though is the Archetype system for character generation, which helps you build characters with histories and depth.
[19:14] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:14] <~Dan> (For those of you who just joined us, the floor is open to questions! :) )
[19:15] <~Dan> I haven't read the Sin City stories, but I've seen the movie, for whatever that's worth. Some of the characters almost seem to have low-grade superpowers. Are there any nods to that in your game?
[19:16] <+JasonLBlair> Yes. The Savage Worlds system uses Edges and Hindrances to define characters beyond the basic stats. With the Archetypes, I created some that reflect what you see in media like Sin City.
[19:16] <+JasonLBlair> The Monsters are big bruisers who are hard to take down, for instance. Similar to Marv (Sin City) or even the Dark Knight Returns' version of Batman.
[19:17] <+JasonLBlair> The characters are over the top in their abilities even in their struggles and obstacles are rooted in the everyday.
[19:17] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:18] <~Dan> Sounds a bit like dark pulp. Of course, I guess that would be "noir", wouldn't it? :)
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[19:18] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, tonecapo! The floor's open to questions!)
[19:19] <+tonecapo> I remember play testing Little Fears in the pizza shop until about 6am-7am?
[19:19] <+JasonLBlair> Ha! Indeed. In fact, the Monsters have an edge called "Dramatic Entrance" wherein something cool always happen when they enter a scene. This is the crowd going quite, the piano player stopping, the record scratch.
[19:19] <+JasonLBlair> The game goes meta sometimes. ;)
[19:19] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:19] <~Dan> Nice. :)
[19:19] <+JasonLBlair> Indeed, tonecapo, I remember that too. ;)
[19:20] <~Dan> So how deadly is the game setting? Can you crash through windows, guns a-blazin', or is that suicide?
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[19:21] <+JasonLBlair> That actually reminds me of another system I put in the book! I put in optional Ultraviolences rules for damage. These allow characters to take a WHOLE BUNCH of cosmetic damage (snapped tendons, shredded skin, eyeballs popping out) but more actual in-the-system damage.
[19:22] <~Dan> Sweet. :)
[19:23] <+JasonLBlair> With those in play, you can crash through tons of windows and take a lot more bullets. And some of the Archetypes handle damage exceptionally well. The Bulldog--a detective who walks through hell to solve a case--can take punch after punch. That's his schtick. That, combined with the Ultraviolence rules...
[19:23] <+JasonLBlair> ...means you can break him over your knee and he'll still keep coming.
[19:23] <+JasonLBlair> (one)
[19:24] <~Dan> So would it be accurate to describe it as graphic Feng Shui?
[19:24] <+JasonLBlair> *LESS actual in-the-system damage, that should say. You take cosmetic/story hits in lieu of Wounds.
[19:24] <+JasonLBlair> Ha! That's a great comparison, yes.
[19:24] * ~Dan bows
[19:25] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:25] <~Dan> Come to that, are there martial arts involved, or is it all brute force street fightin' type stuff/
[19:25] <~Dan> ?
[19:26] <+JasonLBlair> This is beer-bottle and baseball bat type combat, when it comes to hand-to-hand. That's the design anyway.
[19:26] <~Dan> Ah. So like a get-together on my Dad's side of the family.
[19:27] <+JasonLBlair> You're not the first person to say something like that.
[19:27] <+JasonLBlair> Hrm.
[19:27] <+JasonLBlair> ;)
[19:27] <~Dan> :D
[19:27] <~Dan> In Sin City, the outer limit of weirdness would seem to be That Yellow Bastard. How weird does Streets get?
[19:28] <+JasonLBlair> In the corebook, it skews dark and violent over weird.
[19:29] <+JasonLBlair> I am considering some "alt-setting" books for folks who want to introduce strange elements into the setting though.
[19:29] <~Dan> In the corebook, you say... Any plans to up the weirdness factor in sourcebooks?
[19:30] <~Dan> (Whoops, sorry. :) )
[19:30] <+JasonLBlair> In case someone wants to run a bloody and battered version of Dresden Files.
[19:30] <+JasonLBlair> I've also considered porting Wyrd is Bond over to Bedlam.
[19:30] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:31] <+nix> Will there be options for in the supplements to create your own city, or modify existing cities?
[19:31] <~Dan> Speaking as a pulp fan, I think a modern, brutal take on 1930s two-fisted pulps would be fantastic. Like the Spirit movie. Except good. :)
[19:31] <+JasonLBlair> That's a great question. I hadn't considered it since Bedlam is such a part of the corebook. I could definitely see some viability in something like that though.
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[19:33] <+JasonLBlair> One of the great things about tying into the Savage Worlds system is that there are so many other books that mesh seamlessly with whatever you create.
[19:33] <+JasonLBlair> It seems pulp fans are well-served with the Thrilling Tales and Daring Tales of Adventure books. I'd love to see what folks did by combining that stuff with Streets of Bedlam.
[19:34] <+JasonLBlair> I'd really like to *play* Streets of Bedlam. I've only ever run it!
[19:34] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:34] <~Dan> That would be fantastic. A modern, ultraviolent take on the Shadow or the Spider? Oh, yeah.
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[19:35] <+JasonLBlair> That would be great!
[19:35] <+Rasyr> howdy all
[19:35] <~Dan> Howdy, Rasyr! Q&A with Jason Blair on progress!
[19:35] <+JasonLBlair> Take the Bulldog archetype, throw in some power to cloud men's minds, and you're set.
[19:35] <+JasonLBlair> Or the Shadow a Samaritan?
[19:35] <+Rasyr> these are not the droids you are looking for....
[19:35] <~Dan> (Rasyr is one of your fellow game authors, Jason. You may know him from such RPGs as HARP. :) )
[19:36] <+JasonLBlair> Nice! Good to meet you, Rasyr.
[19:36] <+Rasyr> :P blabbermouth...
[19:36] <~Dan> :D
[19:36] <+JasonLBlair> Thinking of it, porting over the Archetypes chargen system to a pure pulp setting could be a lot of fun.
[19:36] <~Dan> Sure sounds that way.
[19:36] <+JasonLBlair> I'm not the guy to write it but it's a book I'd like to read.
[19:36] * ~Dan nods
[19:37] <+Rasyr> howdy Jason -- my name is Tim Dugger and I am a write-aholic too... HARP as Dan mentioned, plus some Rolemaster, and  more recently Novus
[19:37] <+JasonLBlair> I'm really excited to see what Interface Zero 2.0 does with Archetypes.
[19:37] <~Dan> So is the beer bottles-and-baseball bats combat mostly cosmetic, or are there some special rules to simulate that? Ditto on gritty gun combat.
[19:38] <+Rasyr> game/rules under discussion? Little Fears, Streets of Bedlam, or something else?
[19:38] <~Dan> Streets of Bedlam at the moment, Rasyr.
[19:38] <~Dan> I'm planning on switching gears to LF in just a bit. :)
[19:39] <+JasonLBlair> Mostly cosmetic. The references in the rules and the setting are geared toward that. Actually bonuses, such as those in Edges, apply to wide categories such as a "blunt object" damage which meant "bar stool" when I wrote it but could be anything.
[19:40] <+Rasyr> one of these days, I am actually going to have to read Savage Worlds just to see what the system is like... :D
[19:40] <+JasonLBlair> I like Savage Worlds a lot. It took me too long to wrap my head around the damage rules but it does what it does really well.
[19:41] <+JasonLBlair> I'm afraid I've fallen into that "I don't have time to learn a unique system with every game" trap that grabs so many people.
[19:41] <~Dan> How do you handle armor? Presumably, you'd want to discourage its use, but do you do so mechanically?
[19:42] <+JasonLBlair> No, I don't add anything special for it. The setting limits your options contextually but I don't do anything to call armor out.
[19:42] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:43] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[19:43] <~Dan> Anyone have any more Streets questions before we turn to Little Fears for a bit?
[19:43] <+JasonLBlair> I'm working on Five-Story Drop, I promise! I'm inexcusably late with it but I am working on it.
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[19:44] <~Dan> Want to say a bit about what that will include, Jason?
[19:45] <+JasonLBlair> Five-Story Drop will be five standalone episodes. In it, you'll meet some key characters from the setting including some of the Kickstarter backers.
[19:46] <+JasonLBlair> It'll deal with suburban cannibals, the return of a serial killer, corrupt cops, rich kids with flashy cars and a lot to hide, as well as a man who seems to owe everybody in town coming back from the dead.
[19:46] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[19:46] <~Dan> Literally coming back from the dead? (Or is that a spoiler?)
[19:47] <+JasonLBlair> Depends on who you ask.
[19:47] <~Dan> Whether he really comes back from the dead, or whether answering is a spoiler? :)
[19:47] <+JasonLBlair> Ha! The first part. ;)
[19:47] <~Dan> :)
[19:48] <~Dan> Oh, speaking of Streets adventures, are they all expected to be of the "You win, but (insert downer)" sort as seen in Sin City?
[19:49] <+JasonLBlair> Not all but victories come with a price more often than not, yes.
[19:50] * ~Dan nods
[19:50] <~Dan> Is there any sort of "Bennies for depressing twists" economy at play?
[19:51] <+JasonLBlair> Hahaha. Well now there will be.
[19:51] <~Dan> :D
[19:52] <~Dan> Before we turn to Little Fears, I'd just like to say again that Normal, Texas was a work of genius, and it's a crime that it never got published.
[19:52] <+Melum> Thanks alot Dan.
[19:52] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:52] <+JasonLBlair> I agree. I love Normal, Texas. One of my favorite designs.
[19:53] <~Dan> I loved playing the Coach in your demo game back at... GenCon '05?
[19:53] <+JasonLBlair> Yeah, I think it was 05. Normal, Texas demos so well! I *loved* playing that game at conventions.
[19:54] <+JasonLBlair> "It's Deadsville, Baby" is my favorite scenario. I also start it the same and then sit back in awe at where players take it.
[19:54] <~Dan> I'll bet. :)
[19:54] <+JasonLBlair> The controlled insanity of the system led to wonderful scenarios.
[19:54] <~Dan> I know we've discussed this before, but is there any hope at all of resurrecting it?
[19:54] <~Dan> Maybe a Kickstarter?
[19:54] <+nix> this.. Normal, Texas sounds intriguing.. you should kickstarter it
[19:55] <+JasonLBlair> I've thought about bringing back the core ideas in a new book.
[19:55] * ~Dan high-fives nix!
[19:55] <+JasonLBlair> I don't own NT or I would've already published it. I'll see what I can do though.
[19:55] <~Dan> I guess since I brought it up, want to give a quick summary of the setting?
[19:55] * +nix high-fives back
[19:55] <+Rasyr> what system does it use?
[19:56] <+JasonLBlair> An original system, designed with a high level of cinematic emulation in mind. It's where the Role system found in Streets of Bedlam first appeared.
[19:56] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:56] <+Rasyr> hehe
[19:56] <~Dan> You need a T-shirt that says that.
[19:57] <+Rasyr> Before Jason --> Savage Worlds
[19:57] <+Rasyr> After Jason --> Savage Universes
[19:57] <+JasonLBlair> Haha!
[19:58] <+Rasyr> then you just get "Savege Worlds" printed on the front of a t-shirt and "Savage Universes" on the back
[19:58] <~Dan> How would you describe Normal, Texas, Jason? 1950s Twilight Zone by way of atomic horror in a small Texas town?
[19:58] <+JasonLBlair> Maybe I should port Little Fears over to Savage Worlds.
[19:58] <~Dan> Little Savages.
[19:58] <+Rasyr> thus, when you wear the t-shirt, W is before you and SU is after you (unless oyu are walking backwards...)
[19:59] <+JasonLBlair> Yep. Normal, Texas is the town where all those sci-fi B-movies of the 50s and 60s took place.
[19:59] <~Dan> And do I recall correctly that you'd planned on superhero and space supplements?
[19:59] <+Rasyr> gah! my motor skills seem to be deteriorating...
[20:00] <+Rasyr> It's a cookbook!!!!
[20:01] <~Dan> (brb)
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[20:01] <+JasonLBlair> Wow. Let me try to remember. A scenario book, a space book (which became Dinosaurs in Spaaace! by Greg Stolze), a monster supplement, and one where Normal is actually a Communist plot.
[20:02] <+Rasyr> sorry Jason, but sometimes, my mind skews off on tangents -- Dan said "space supplements" and that combined with the description of Normal, Texas, made me think of the story "To Serve man" and the final line...
[20:03] <+JasonLBlair> "To Serve Man" would make a great Normal, Texas scenario.
[20:03] <+Rasyr> Plan 9 from Outer Space!
[20:05] <~Dan> Okay, let's talk Little Fears. :)
[20:05] <+Rasyr> oh... one where Normal is actually an alien plot.... captured human in a "Potemkin village" sort of setting for them to test out invasion scenerios...
[20:05] <~Dan> Now, in a bit of a twist, I'd like to share my observations about the game's first edition so that Jason can contrast it with the second.
[20:05] <~Dan> Is that okay with you, Jason?
[20:06] <+JasonLBlair> I'm a little scared but okay. ;)
[20:06] <~Dan> Oh, don't worry. I'll be nice. :)
[20:06] <+Rasyr> don't worry Jason, it is only a little fear...
[20:06] <~Dan> I ran into two main snags when trying to run the first edition.
[20:07] <~Dan> The first was that the setting was just too squicky for me and my players, being more like parents' fears for their children than the fears of children themselves.
[20:07] <~Dan> And the second was that the monsters were pretty nebulous, mechanically.
[20:08] <~Dan> So when I ran it, I wasn't really using the full setting as written, and the monsters weren't really "there" mechanically. My players and I had a great time, but in retrospect, I was like, "Well... did I actually use the game?"
[20:08] <~Dan> Now, that said... it appears from what I've read that the game's Nightmare Edition has addressed both of those concerns quite well.
[20:09] <~Dan> Over to you, Jason. :)
[20:09] <+JasonLBlair> Those are both very fair points.
[20:09] * +Rasyr really needs to start reading more games outside his normal style/comfort zone....
[20:10] <+JasonLBlair> And two big things I wanted to change for Little Fears Nightmare Edition.
[20:10] <~Dan> Oh, before we get too far into discussing the game, perhaps you should describe the basic premise?
[20:10] <+JasonLBlair> Little Fears is a game about kids fighting monsters.
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[20:11] <+Pennywise> BEEP BEEP Richie! They ALL float down here. When you're down here with us, you'll float too!
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[20:11] <+JasonLBlair> You play children, aged 6 to 12, who confront the creatures of a place called Closetland. The most infamous of its residents being the Bogeyman.
[20:12] <+JasonLBlair> In the original Little Fears, Seven Kings lorded over Closetland and it was all very grimdark.
[20:12] <+Rasyr> The movie, It, was the first thing that came to mind when I was reading the game description on DriveThruRPG
[20:12] <+JasonLBlair> I didn't want to do a new edition if I didn't feel like I had something new to say with it. With LFNE, I opted for adventure-horror over psychological-horror.
[20:12] <+JasonLBlair> The tone lighted a bit as a result which was probably the best thing I could have possible done.
[20:12] * ~Dan agrees
[20:12] <+JasonLBlair> The moment I locked in the new tone, the floodgates opened and things started to fall into place.
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[20:13] <+JasonLBlair> I was able to make a better game, system-wise, than the original. Most importantly, I was able to lay down character creation--and MONSTER creation--rules that created interesting characters.
[20:14] <+JasonLBlair> It also inspired me to detail Closetland more. To make it more of an actual place than an ill-defined "where all the horrors live"-type place.
[20:15] <+JasonLBlair> Now, I love the original Little Fears for many reasons. One of them being that it addressed a lot of serious issues in a way that got folks talking. But LFNE is a better game and a more inspiring setting in my eyes.
[20:15] <+JasonLBlair> (For those interested, a tenth anniversary edition of Little Fears--called Happy Birthday, Little Fears!--is available.)
[20:15] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:16] <~Dan> See, it's almost like you remade LF into what I always hoped it would be.
[20:16] <+JasonLBlair> LFNE feels like the game folks thought LF was going to be.
[20:16] <~Dan> To me, the coolest parts of LF 1e was the imagery of actual childhood creepiness.
[20:16] <~Dan> The vampire perched on the chest of drawers.
[20:16] <+nix> how would you go about describing a game of Little Fears for a convention.. I've tried a few times without much success
[20:17] <~Dan> The zombie stumbling around in the benighted house.
[20:17] <+JasonLBlair> I describe Little Fears as "Children fighting monsters." It's probably the easiest pitch there is. Either folks dig it or they don't.
[20:18] <+JasonLBlair> I was amazed how many folks were intrigued by those three words back in 2001. I had no idea how that game was going to be received.
[20:18] <~Dan> How does the power of Belief work in the Nightmare Edition?
[20:18] <+JasonLBlair> LF is not a game for everyone, almost certainly because you play kids. That can be a really hard pitch.
[20:19] <+JasonLBlair> Belief in LFNE is a currency you either risk or spend in order to empower objects, give boosts to others, give boosts to yourself, or strip a monster of what makes it scary.
[20:19] <~Dan> So less of a freeform magic system as it was in 1e?
[20:20] <+JasonLBlair> The younger your character, the lower your Think, Feel, etc. but the more Belief you have. The older the character, the less Belief but higher stats you have.
[20:20] <+JasonLBlair> Yes, Belief is more codified than Innocence was in the original.
[20:20] <+JasonLBlair> Some aspects are still very freeform but within guidelines, instead of just me saying "whatever, go with it."
[20:21] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:21] <~Dan> Although, mind you, I had a lot of fun with that in the original. Or, rather, one of my players did, with his character's light-up He-Man sword and his talking pet rock sidekick. :)
[20:22] <+nix> I had one of those light up swords.. it was awesome
[20:22] <+Melum> How does the Happy Birthday version work in regards to the previous two?  Any significant revisions, or just a bit cleaned up?
[20:22] <~Dan> Could you describe the basic system, Jason?
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[20:22] <+JasonLBlair> More than anything, fans of the original seemed to love how their players would embody little kids. I'd hear stories of the guy who always played the barbarian/tough guy in other games would be the wide-eyed 7yo clutching his blankie. Fabulous.
[20:23] <+JasonLBlair> Hand-Me-Down and Stuff played into that well.
[20:24] <+JasonLBlair> Happy Birthday, Little Fears is the tenth anniversary edition of the original LF. The major changes are all-new art (by the fabulous grumbleputty), a text clean-up, and notes from me where I call myself out on omissions and stupid design decisions).
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[20:24] <+JasonLBlair> HBLF also includes everything ever officially released for the original LF>
[20:24] <+JasonLBlair> So you get a neat little snapshot of the original Little Fears with some extra polish.
[20:24] <+JasonLBlair> The basic system for LFNE?
[20:25] * ~Dan nods
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[20:27] <~Dan> (Howdy, Squide! Currently talking Little Fears with author Jason L. Blair. :) )
[20:27] <+JasonLBlair> LFNE uses the Top 3 System. You have basic attributes (Think, Move, Care, etc) and Qualities (things you're good at/things you're not good at). You grab a handful of d6s determined by your attributes and Qualities, roll them, and keep the top 3.
[20:28] <+JasonLBlair> You add the top 3 together and try to get over a target number.
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[20:28] <+JasonLBlair> Stuff, the things that matter to you, can give bonuses to this or special effects.
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[20:28] <+JasonLBlair> (Stuff is powered by Belief, which we discussed earlier.)
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[20:29] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, TadK and rickbliss!)
[20:29] <+TadK> Hi Jason I saw the post on LF
[20:30] <+JasonLBlair> Welcome, Tad!
[20:30] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:30] <+TadK> was that yesterday and I napped too long
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[20:30] <~Dan> (Oh, and were you still describing the system, Jason?)
[20:30] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:30] <+JasonLBlair> Sorry, no. ;)
[20:31] <+TadK> Chuckles
[20:31] <~Dan> How do the monsters work?
[20:32] <+JasonLBlair> The Monsters work a lot like the player characters, which I really like. They have attributes (Chase, Grab, Fight, Scare) and they have their Stuff (which is powered by Terror instead of Belief). They use their Stuff (glistening claws, hypnotic eyes, grabby tendrils, etc) like kids use their Stuff.
[20:33] <+JasonLBlair> You can destroy a monster temporarily by doing enough damage but to truly destroy a monster permanently you need to remove what makes it scary.
[20:34] <+JasonLBlair> So you have to use your Belief to lessen and then remove its hypnotic eyes and its grabby tendrils. It becomes a battle of wills.
[20:34] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:34] <~Dan> One thing I noted was that you can defeat a monster by meeting some need it has?
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[20:35] <+JasonLBlair> Right! Each monster has something it needs--what drives it to stalk the shadows, etc--and meeting that makes it go away.
[20:36] <+JasonLBlair> One monster might want a special dolly to add to its collection. Easy enough! Another might want to eat your family dog. Not so easy...
[20:36] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:36] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:38] <+JasonLBlair> Opposed tasks. What you're doing versus what I want to do. Sometimes this is You Want to Hit Me and I Want to Hit You. But it might be You Want to Hit Me and I Want to Run Away.
[20:38] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:38] <~Dan> And damage?
[20:40] <+JasonLBlair> Damage depends on what you're attacking with.
[20:41] <+JasonLBlair> For small weapons, you use the lowest die from the Top 3 plus any Passing Grades (determined by how much over the opposing number you are). Big weapons use the highest die from the Top 3 plus any Passing Grades.
[20:41] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:42] <~Dan> That's kinda slick. :)
[20:42] <+JasonLBlair> I really like the system. I could probably stand to streamline some aspects but it has some things that I really like.
[20:42] <~Dan> Is there any sort of magic system for witches and the like?
[20:44] <+JasonLBlair> Everything is through Belief for PCs and Terror for Monsters. Spells and that would be part of a witch's Stuff. She may have a Cauldron that has an Intoxicating Mist that drops a kid's Think by 2 (-2 Think) and be filled with Pungent Liquid that does 1 point of damage when drank.
[20:44] <+JasonLBlair> Anything a monster has must have the potential to be removed by Belief. Vice versa, kids lose abilities when overcome by a monster's Terror.
[20:44] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:46] <~Dan> What are some of the interesting aspects of Closetland?
[20:46] <+JasonLBlair> Terror has the ability to temporary remove a PC's Think, Move, Speak, etc.
[20:46] <+JasonLBlair> Closetland has a lot of interesting characters and features.
[20:46] <+JasonLBlair> My favorite is the Bogeyman. He's a great/crazy/obsessed monster.
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[20:47] <+JasonLBlair> I also like Titania, a queen kept alive by her dark fairy cohorts. And Baba Yaga is a lot of fun.
[20:47] <+JasonLBlair> Those are the returning cast from the original LF.
[20:48] <+JasonLBlair> Titania lives in the Enchanted Forest which connects to woodlands and forests in our world.
[20:48] <+JasonLBlair> The hospital-like Dollhouse has lots of creep potential as well.
[20:49] <+JasonLBlair> The School with its belligerent and boisterous Principal Higgins.
[20:49] <+JasonLBlair> And I absolutely adore Mother's House.
[20:49] <~Dan> LF 1e had a "friendly" monster in the form of Bigfoot/Sasquatch. Anything similar in Closetland 2.0?
[20:49] <+JasonLBlair> There are good and bad people in Closetland, I should note.
[20:50] <~Dan> Heh. See above. :)
[20:50] <+JasonLBlair> Mother is a good person though incredibly sad.
[20:50] <+JasonLBlair> Kendra and the Butterfly Knights work inside Closetland to help those who get lost in its world.
[20:50] <~Dan> You realize that sounds like the name of a Saturday morning cartoon for girls, right? ;)
[20:51] <+JasonLBlair> The first supplement, Among the Missing, adds even more good and bad as well as the In-Between which exists in between our world and Closetland.
[20:51] <+JasonLBlair> Ha!
[20:51] <+JasonLBlair> Kendra is a boy, actually, and the story about why his name is Kendra is included in his write-up.
[20:51] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[20:52] <+JasonLBlair> The Butterfly Knights are great. As is the Army of St. Nicholas which are grown-ups clued into the fight against Closetland.
[20:52] <+JasonLBlair> (done)
[20:52] <~Dan> Wow! Now THAT's a big change from 1e, re: clued-in adults.
[20:52] <+JasonLBlair> Yes! And it hints at the larger world, which is something LFNE allows that LF just didn't.
[20:52] * ~Dan nods
[20:53] <+JasonLBlair> Walter Highways, a homeless man from Among the Missing, is a member of St. Nick's.
[20:53] <+JasonLBlair> The Army faces a lot of challenges. When you're a fully grown man and you tell someone you're just trying to protect this strange kid from invisible monsters, they're not keen on believing you.
[20:54] <~Dan> In the "official" time we have left, is there anything else you'd like to bring up that we haven't already covered? (And again, you're more than welcome to hang out as long as you like.)
[20:54] <+JasonLBlair> Not that I can think of. It's been a long time since I had an outlet to talk about SoB and LFNE though, so thank you.
[20:54] <+JasonLBlair> (And the fact Streets of Bedlam shortens to SoB is just an added perk.)
[20:56] <~Dan> My pleasure!

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