Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Q&A] Lawrence Whitaker & Pete Nash (RuneQuest: Monster Island)

[19:02] <+Loz> We're the Design Mechanism, publishers of RQ6, and we're here to talk about our two latest releases: Book of Quests and Monster Island. I managed the former and Pete the latter. We're also happy to talk RQ generally and especially our Indiegogo
[19:03] <+Loz> Have any of you seen either Book of Quests (BoQ) or Monster Island (MI)?
[19:03] <~Dan> The latter, not the former.
[19:04] <+Loz> Okay.
[19:04] <+Loz> BoQ is seven linked scenarios. Standalone or a campaign, with a common background. Monster Island is a massive Swords and Sorcery sandbox setting stuffed silly with sinuous slithering... stuff.
[19:05] <+Pete> :)
[19:05] <+Loz> And kaiju.
[19:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> mmm
[19:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> Kaiju>
[19:05] <+BlasterKyubey210> No Pacific Rim shenanigans please
[19:05] <+Loz> Lots of kaiju.
[19:06] <+Loz> But lots of other monsters too. About 80, I believe.
[19:06] <~Dan> (Blaster: Please hold comments/questions until we get a "done" from Loz/Pete, please. Thanks!)
[19:06] <+Loz> And unless Pete wants to add anything, we're happy to answer questions or expand on either/both books.
[19:07] <~Dan> (Ready for questions?)
[19:07] <+Loz> I am
[19:08] <~Dan> Okay! The floor is open to questions. Would anyone like to start us off?
[19:08] <+TheButcher> The RQ6 core book has a really interesting beastiary. It has real-world animals, fantasy RPG staples like goblins and dragons, and interesting out-there stuff like the Australian bagini and the Greek acephali. What sort of beasties can we expect from Monster Island? Was there a "slithring themes and kaiju" theme or can we expect more variety?
[19:08] <+Pete> To be honest I'm suffering a combination of extreme tiredness and caffine OD, so I'm happy to take a back seat unless anyone posts me a direct question. (done)
[19:09] <~Dan> (Totally up to you, Pete. It's your "show". :) )
[19:09] <+Pete> The majority of the monsters in MI are primarily pacific folklore orientated.
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[19:10] <+Pete> With some additional folk monsters from more unusual parts of the world, plus some 'homage' creatures for a bit of humour and totally made up ones from my own imagination (done)
[19:10] <+Loz> The idea was to present a wide variety of flora and fauna from myth and legend. There's a very wide mix of things: dinosaurs, weird plants, spirits, humanoids and some really strange and scary monsters. Many haven't been done for RQ/BRP before and may not even have done for any RPG.
[19:10] <~Dan> When you say "kaiju", are we talking 300' tall types, or more like freaky dinosaur-sized critters?
[19:11] <+Pete> More the 10-12m sized versions, a la King Kong.
[19:11] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[19:11] <~Dan> Is that about the size of the giant baboons (which are a great idea, btw)?
[19:11] <+BlasterKyubey210> No Godzilla
[19:11] <+Pete> or Ray H. stop motion monsters.  Big enough to be almost unbeatable by human sized heroes. (done)
[19:13] <+Loz> In fact the whole book's special effects were done by Ray Harryhausen.
[19:13] <~Dan> You know, I've been wanting a Harryhausen-like Sinbad-style setting for years.
[19:13] <+Pete> Somewhat bigger than a giant baboon, but not so big as to squash an entire village under one foot. :)
[19:14] <+Pete> Monster Island could easily be used to run a Sinbad style campaign. (done)
[19:14] <~Dan> How do you handle guys with swords vs. kaiju? Happened all the time in Harryhausen's movies, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
[19:14] <~Dan> (e.g., they actually killed the roc in 7th Voyage, IIRC)
[19:14] <+Loz> MI will give you that setting. It has the whole 7th Voyage vibe going on.
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[19:15] <~Dan> Awesome.
[19:15] <~Dan> But does RuneQuest and/or MI have rules specifically designed to scaling issues like this?
[19:16] <+Pete> Single handed swords are pretty much ineffective against them. Siege weapons are probably more in order, or clever use of magic. To be honest, if one of these beasts awaken's the PCs will need to think outside the combat box to defeat them.
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[19:17] <+Loz> This is one of those situations, ala Valley of Gwangi, where you dig a big pit and coax the monster into it somehow. And yes, we have a Gwangi in there, too.
[19:17] <+Pete> You don't really need special rules for scaled up creatures. They just become tough by natural scale.
[19:17] <+Pete> Such things like this are built into the core RQ6 rules by default.
[19:18] <+Pete> Or, you awaken another kaiju to beat the first one up for you. :)
[19:18] <~Dan> Does RQ make it more difficult for large creatures to hit smaller creatures?
[19:19] <+Pete> No.  Its one of those things where loss of fine control is off-set by simple scale of the striking limb.
[19:20] <+Pete> I've never heard it was particularly difficult for an elephant to hit a lion for instance. ;)
[19:20] <~Dan> Heh.
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[19:20] <+Loz> Each weapon in RQ has a size rating which helps determine its base damage, but also how much damage it can absorb from other weapons. On massive monsters, natural weapons will be Huge or Colossal and very difficult to parry.
[19:21] <+Loz> Depending on the creatur type, it may have a high Athletics, Evade or even Acrobatics skill, which may help it get out of the way. But that isn't necessarily a function of the creature's size.
[19:21] <~Dan> Hmm.
[19:22] <+Loz> Looks like we've bored everyone else to death.
[19:22] <+Pete> Yep!
[19:22] <~Dan> Is MI a "lost world" full of dinosaurs that happens to have other critters on it, or are the dinos just one part of the big picture?
[19:23] <~Dan> (I never can tell whether these people are going to pay attention or not.)
[19:23] <+Pete> Just one part.  There are other, far weirder things roaming the island.
[19:23] <+RdS> I didn't know this was happening. What system is it about?
[19:23] <+Pete> RuneQuest
[19:23] <~Dan> RdS: We're talking about RuneQuest in general and Monster Island in particular, as well as the Book of Quests.
[19:24] <+RdS> I am unfamiliar with RuneQuest. What should I know? (I like asking teh big ones) >__>
[19:24] <+Loz> Its bloody brilliant.
[19:25] <+Loz> And we're running an Indiegogo campaign to launch a hardback, so there's no better time to get to know the system.
[19:25] <+RdS> Is it an OGL system, he does it use a system all ot's own, or something like FATE, etc.
[19:26] <~Dan> What sorts of twists on the fantasy standards are to be found on MI?
[19:26] <+Loz> No, its a % system. Its been around almost as long as D&D. Have you ever played Call of Cthulhu?
[19:27] <+RdS> Only briefly
[19:27] <+Loz> Okay - well the system is very similar. Cthulhu is based on RuneQuest. RQ came first in about 1978
[19:27] <+Pete> Well, its primarily based on the works of the original Sword and Sorcery authors, like CAS, REH and others. So its dark, amoral, full of mysteries and deadly dangers.
[19:28] <~Dan> Pete: Was that in answer to my question?
[19:28] <+Loz> RQ is very simple and intuitive to learn, but has great depth, terrific combat, and five superb (and very different) magic systems.
[19:29] <+Pete> Its not intended for the Tolkeinesque tropes of elves, dwarves and the like. Whilst it has 'dungeons' they are not the involved underground labrynths of D&D.
[19:29] <~Dan> (And yes, the magic systems are awesome and flavorful.)
[19:29] <+Pete> Oh, yes it was Dan
[19:29] <~Dan> Pete: Gotcha. Hmm... How hard would it be to drop MI into, say, Glorantha?
[19:30] <+Loz> Monster Island really does feel like Skull Island from King Kong.
[19:30] <~Dan> (And that is a good thing, Loz! :) )
[19:30] <+Pete> Magic is limited in availabilty, but very dark and powerful.  Worshiping gods for instance is more a question of placating them rather than seeking power from them.
[19:31] <+Loz> The great thing about Glorantha is that there are countless islands that could exist in their own little bubble where standard Gloranthan tropes don't apply as strongly. So very easy to plonk it into a Glorantha campaign (and we give some suggestions).
[19:31] <+Pete> Monster Island can stand in for Lorel Island off the coast of Pamaltela. Just substitute the Lizard folk and serpent people for Slarges and its as simple as that.
[19:32] <+Loz> One of our customers is using Monster Island as a 'hollow earth' location rather than as an island, which is a really cool thing to do.
[19:32] <~Dan> I'm trying to think of the best way to phrase this question... How much does MI suggest about the world into which it's added?
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[19:33] <~Dan> (Howdy, Squide!)
[19:33] <~Dan> For example, you mentioned the way magic works on MI. Is there any assumption built in that that's the way magic should work in the world as a whole?
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[19:35] <+Pete> Not much at all, its designed to be independent of the outside world.  There is one area (a human colony on the coast) which might need revision if your campaign has different gods for example, but overall it is intended to be as flexible as possible. In fact the base premise is that the island is connected to many worlds via one-way dimentional gate
[19:35] <+Pete> ways, so its easy enough to send a party of PCs there without needing to explain where this place is.
[19:36] <~Dan> Ah, now that's a nice touch. Is it a "Bermuda Triangle" sort of gate out in the ocean, or is it on the island itself?
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[19:37] <+Pete> We suggest may types of campaign you can slot MI into. 1930's pulp, golden age of sail, classical pre-history, WWII, or any of the old-style settings written by Howard, Moorcock, Smith, Burroughs etc
[19:37] <~Dan> (Welcome, Ranger_Dan! Here for the Q&A?)
[19:38] <+Ranger_Dan> Yep!
[19:38] <+Loz> Hey, Daniel!
[19:38] <+Pete> There are multiple gates accross the island, which drag things through from other times and places.
[19:38] <+RdS> How easy would it be to use MI as a sourcebook for a non-RuneQuest location?
[19:38] <~Dan> (Nice name, btw! :D )
[19:38] <+Ranger_Dan> Hello everyone
[19:38] <+GenoFoxx> *snrk*
[19:39] <+Pete> Do you mean non RQ rules set, or a setting not yet created for RQ
[19:39] <+Pete> ?
[19:39] <+RdS> non-RQ rukes. I've got a campaign running now that it would fit into but players are sort of set on usig a different system.
[19:40] <+Loz> Which system, RdS? There's a lot of background stuff that you can very easily lift because it doesn't rely on any system. Monsters may be a bit trickier to convert.
[19:41] <+RdS> Legend.
[19:41] <+Loz> Mongoose Legend?
[19:41] <+RdS> sorry, no, I forget there's two.
[19:41] <+TheButcher> ba-da dum
[19:41] <+Loz> :-)
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[19:42] <+RdS> Names are these irritating little things that flit around my brain trying to get me to remember them.
[19:42] <+Pete> Well, its chock-full of ideas, NPCs and places to explore... but you would of course need to convert over stats.  The monster section would be of less use, and assigning particular spells to cults would also be some work.
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[19:42] <+Loz> I'm not familiar with the *other* Legend, so couldn't say for certain. Is it a d20/OGL system?
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[19:43] <+Pete> However, just from the ideas, names, maps, scenario seeds etc, you'd gain an invaluable framework for a sandbox campaign.  Its maybe 60% system-free setting material.
[19:44] <~Dan> Speaking of the need for conversion, you mention the various settings into which MI could be introduced... How much RQ support is there currently for non-fantasy settings (like 1930s two-fisted pulp, for example)?
[19:45] <+RdS> it's loosely OGL based
[19:46] <+Pete> Currently none.  But I started my playtest team off as members of Captain Cook's fatal last voyage, used the core RQ6 char gen, added muskets from the free firearms rules and had them bundled through one of the gates after the first session.
[19:47] <+Pete> In fact I could have done the same with WWII GI's in the pacific, using the same Firearms rules, but just tweaking a skill or two on the default list.
[19:48] <+Loz> The Luther Arkwright book, coming out next year, will have contemporary and Steam Punk rules.
[19:48] <~Dan> Ah, that's right, re: the firearms rules... Those cover everything from flintlocks up to blasters, right?
[19:48] <+Pete> That does not mean to say we won't be releasing pulp, modern and sci-fi orientated settings in the future, but not quite yet
[19:49] <+Pete> Firearms? Yes
[19:49] <~Dan> Can you say some more about magic in MI? Which of the RQ magic systems does it feature?
[19:50] <+Pete> It focuses on Animism, Sorcery and Theism.
[19:50] <~Dan> Sorcery? Interesting. That's more the province of civilized folk, isn't it?
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[19:50] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Sevrin! Here for the Q&A?)
[19:50] <+Pete> All of them are grim, twisted and very potent, but only once you claw your way up the cult heirarchy
[19:51] <+AncientHistory> Ooh, Luther Arkwright. Do you get to reuse any of the art?
[19:51] <+Loz> Yes we do.
[19:51] <+AncientHistory> Nice.
[19:51] <+Loz> Sorry - that's for Ancient-History
[19:52] <+Pete> Sorcery does not necessarily need to be tied to a Civilised culture, but in this case its actually the fading remnants of one.
[19:52] <~Dan> Perhaps... decadent serpent people? (guessing)
[19:53] <+Pete> Animism concerns itself with the diverse spirits of the island (and keeping the kaiju asleep), Sorcery is the province of the decadent serpent people, and Theism is more about warding away the attention of the demons/gods
[19:54] <+Loz> Folks, I need to wrap at 9pm, and its incredibly late for Pete, so one, last question perhaps?
[19:54] <~Dan> <--- genius!
[19:54] <+Pete> Of the three cultures on MI the lizardmen are animists, Serpent People sorcerers (some of them) and the human colonists theists (if they dare to be)
[19:55] <~Dan> Hmm. Well, can you give us a quick overview of BoQ, Loz?
[19:55] <+Pete> Wow, I stayed awake better than I thought!
[19:55] <~Dan> Is it a Gloranthan adventure, or something else?
[19:56] <+Loz> 7 linked scenarios. The evil sorcerer Jedikiah and his serpent men (and yes, they can be related to the ones on Monster Island) are seeking to raise the Chaos Mother and conquer the Realm. The characters have to stop him.
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[19:57] <+Loz> Scenarios range from protecting a caravan, through rescuing a princess from a vile swamp, through to comjplex political intrigues and finally an assault on the sorcerer's lair, complete with horrid chaos broo and twisted mutants grown in vats.
[19:57] <~Dan> Ah... So it is Glorantha, re: broo?
[19:58] <+Pete> He should have said Chaos Hybrids... :)
[19:58] <+Loz> Not really. They're broo-like. The setting is generic but you could easily run this in Glorantha. Like MI we give some ideas for where to set it.
[19:58] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[19:58] <+Loz> broo - easier to type
[19:58] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[19:58] <+Pete> Oh and we should mention our Indiegogo project for printing RQ6 as a hardhack
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[19:58] <~Dan> Please do! And feel free to post links!
[19:59] <+Pete> Loz?
[19:59] <+Loz> (Link:
[19:59] <+Loz> We're almost to $8000 out of $10,000 needed...
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[20:00] <+Loz> Do support us - its a great offer and we really want the campaign to succeed.
[20:01] <~Dan> So you guys need to call it a night?
[20:01] <~Dan> (Or an early morning, as the case may be?)
[20:01] <+Pete> Its a simple IGG project, but we aim to produce a high quality book from it, one that will last years of use.
[20:01] * +Murazor yawns
[20:01] <+Loz> I have to duck-out now.
[20:01] <+Loz> But thank you all.
[20:01] <+Pete> Well its now 4am for me, so I'd like some sleep now! :)
[20:01] <~Dan> Okay! Thanks very much for coming by! I'll have the log posted shortly.
[20:02] <+Loz> Thanks Dan.
[20:02] <~Dan> I appreciate you staying up, Pete!
[20:02] <+Loz> Night, Pete!
[20:02] <+Pete> Yes, thanks for letting us promote our work once again!
[20:02] <~Dan> Any time!
[20:02] <+TheButcher> g'night, gents
[20:02] <~Dan> I look forward to Luther Arkwright, too!
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[20:02] <+Pete> Night, everyone!
[20:02] <+Pete> So do I!
[20:02] <+AncientHistory> Night!
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1 comment:

  1. [19:24] <+RdS> I am unfamiliar with RuneQuest. What should I know? (I like asking teh big ones) >__>
    [19:24] <+Loz> Its bloody brilliant.

    there you go:-)