Thursday, October 24, 2013

[Q&A] Andy Hopp (Dementalism)

[19:04] <+andyhopp> Hello. I'm Andy Hopp, professional Danny DeVito impersonator and creator fo the Low Life RPG and Dementalism card game, among other jazz.
[19:04] <+andyhopp> also, I can't spell "of" correctly.
[19:04] <~Dan> (That's fo sho.)
[19:05] <+andyhopp> I run Mutha Oith Creations ((Link:
[19:05] <+andyhopp> done
[19:05] <~Dan> Thanks, andyhopp!
[19:05] <~Dan> So what's the overview of Dementalism?
[19:05] <+andyhopp> Oh, wait, I'm here to answer any questions anyone has about anything, but most specifically I am here to pimp the kickstarter for the new Dementalism project, which is several expansions to the game
[19:07] <+andyhopp> We (the players) work for the Primordial Soup Kitchen...
[19:07] <+andyhopp> We suck at our jobs and a bunch of clones have escaped (due to our drunken pillow fights)...
[19:07] <+andyhopp> they are wandering the countryside and we have to recapture them before we get fired ro fed to something
[19:08] <+andyhopp> it is similar to Memory or Concentration, but with a whole lot of twists that make it based more on strategy than luck
[19:08] <+andyhopp> you can see the kickstarter at (Link: and read the rules at (Link:
[19:09] <+andyhopp> done
[19:09] <+andyhopp> also, you don't have to have a great memory, because there are plenty of opportunities to peek at the cards
[19:09] <+andyhopp> done, for real
[19:10] <~Dan> Now, do I recall correctly that in Low Life terms, "Dementalism" refers to the psychic powers of the stranded aliens?
[19:10] <+andyhopp> That is correct. There are characters known as oofos. They are the descendants of ancient aliens stranded on Oith before the Time of the Flush.
[19:10] <+andyhopp> Dementalism is the name for their various psychic powers.
[19:11] <+andyhopp> The dude on the cover is an oofo.
[19:11] <+andyhopp> done
[19:11] <~Dan> Does that relate directly to the card game? Or is it just a fun name? :)
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[19:11] <~Dan> (As in, are all the players oofos, for example?)
[19:12] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, GamerBoy!)
[19:12] <~Dan> (You can set your name with the /nick command, if you like. :) )
[19:12] <~Dan> (Alternately, you can vanish without saying a word. But that would be sad.)
[19:12] <+andyhopp> The card game takes place in the same world as Low Life, and the term Dementalism is used in both, but the usage in teh card game refers more to the fact that you have to do a lot of thinking in the game and it might possible drive you insane (that's a selling point).
[19:13] *** GamerBoy is now known as NealT
[19:13] <~Dan> (Oh, good! Welcome, NealT! Here for the Q&A?)
[19:13] <+andyhopp> the players may or may not be oofos, it doesn't really matter in the context of the game, since the powers you develop are based on teh Denizens you collect rather than on the innate powers of the player
[19:13] <+andyhopp> Neal!
[19:13] <+NealT> Andy!
[19:13] <+andyhopp> Neal is my main man.
[19:14] <+NealT> One of many, I'm sure. :)
[19:14] <~Dan> Oh. I thought maybe you just liked yelling names.
[19:14] <+andyhopp> Dan!
[19:14] <~Dan> Andy!
[19:14] <~Dan> (Hey, this is fun!)
[19:14] <+andyhopp> I guess I kind of do, but I'm very happy to see Neal
[19:14] <+NealT> And indeed, I'm here for the chat.
[19:14] <+andyhopp> or his name, anyway
[19:14] <~Dan> Glad to have you here, NealT! How do you two know each other?
[19:15] <+andyhopp> Neal has played Dementalism. Perhaps he might have a word ro two on the subject?
[19:15] <+NealT> I had the pleasure of gaming with Andy at Gen Con.
[19:15] <~Dan> Cool! Sure, we'd love to hear your thoughts, NealT.
[19:15] <+NealT> Oh yes.  It's like Memory on steroids... and more evil.  And much, much fun.
[19:16] <+NealT> The characters are quite amusing as well.  Various entities from Low Life, all with their signature artwork.
[19:17] <~Dan> andyhopp's art is amazing.
[19:17] <+andyhopp> why thank you, sir
[19:17] <~Dan> So could you give us a rundown on how the game plays?
[19:17] <+andyhopp> sure thing...
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[19:18] <&egyptian> Howdy
[19:18] <+andyhopp> You start out with a stack of cards called The Spread (the draw pile). From the Spread you lay out a grid of cards on the table (8x8 works well, so does 6x6; it doesn't really make too much difference)...
[19:18] <+andyhopp> these cards are facedown.
[19:19] <+andyhopp> On your turn you flip two cards, trying to form matching sets...
[19:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian! Talking Dementalism with Andy Hopp!)
[19:19] <+andyhopp> this is probably familiar to peeps so far...
[19:19] <+andyhopp> but there are several gists to which I must hip you...
[19:19] <+andyhopp> First, there are three kinds of cards
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[19:20] <+andyhopp> Denizens, the green bottomed cards, are teh various clones we are trying to collect. There are many characters, but there are THREE of each one...
[19:20] <+andyhopp> Giggities have yellow bottoms, these are wild cards and can form matches with any Denizen.
[19:21] <+andyhopp> There are also Turmoil cards (blue bottoms), which are random events that influence the way the game is played. When you flip one of these you just do what it says.
[19:21] <+andyhopp> the idea is to create Stacks, which are collections of matching Denizens (and giggities)...
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[19:21] <+andyhopp> A Sneaky Stack is made up of a Giggity and a Denizen.
[19:22] <+andyhopp> A Stacked Stack is two of the same Denizen.
[19:22] <+andyhopp> And a Safe Stack is three of the same Denizen. Once you have a Safe Stack you gain access to a special power listed on the card.
[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, tech! I have some info for you in #rpgnet2.)
[19:23] <+andyhopp> Players may nab Stacks from each other. For example, if I flip over The Boss of Lunch, and I know Neal has a Sneaky or Stacked Stack in front of him (face down in his Store) that includes The Boss of Lunch, I can attempt to steal it from him.
[19:24] <+andyhopp> If I correctly identify which of his facedown Stacks it is, I nab it and combine it with the one I just flipped. If I am incorrect my turn ends and I lose my next turn.
[19:24] <+NealT> Not my Boss of Lunch!
[19:24] <~Dan> It sucks to lose your lunch.
[19:24] <+andyhopp> Turmoil cards and Denizen powers allow players to peak at cards or stacks, make players reveal stacks, flip extra cards, revcerse play order, etc...
[19:24] <+andyhopp> done
[19:25] *** Corinna is now known as Lioness
[19:25] <+andyhopp> Hello Lioness
[19:26] <+andyhopp> There are also some new card types introduced in the expansion decks we are unlocking with this kickstarter ((Link:
[19:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, 'nessie!)
[19:27] <+andyhopp> Beast cards have effects similar to Turmoil cards, but you hold onto them and play them once at your leisure then discard them (into the Keister of Gawd).
[19:27] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:27] <+andyhopp> Holy Rollers intercede with the gawds on your behalf, either doing you a solid or a snub at the whim of fate
[19:28] <+andyhopp> also there are new Digs cards, these are sort of liek environmental effects that affect all the players. Only one is operating at a time and it gets replaced when another is flipped.
[19:28] <+andyhopp> For example, a Digs card could say to flip three cards instead of two or to reverse play order any time a Giggity is flipped. That sort fo stuff
[19:29] <+andyhopp> done
[19:29] <+andyhopp> Without being too conceited, I can assure everyone it is a very fun game and I am quite proud of it.
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[19:30] <+NealT> I second that!
[19:30] <~Dan> Did your game with NealT include these additional card tyupes?
[19:30] <+NealT> It is very fun.
[19:30] <~Dan> types
[19:30] <+andyhopp> No, it did not.
[19:31] <+andyhopp> I printed a limited number of the first expansion, the one with Beast cards, and those sold out really quickly. Beast cards really add a great dimension to the game and give you ways to fight back against someone who lucks out and nabs a powerful denizen
[19:32] <+andyhopp> for example, there's the Lichenthrope, which you can attach to another player's Safe Stack, rendering that Denizen unable to use its Denizen Power.
[19:33] <+andyhopp> done
[19:33] <+andyhopp> Any questions from the assembled masses?
[19:34] <~Dan> It sounds like the more card types you add, the more "Low Life" the game feels.
[19:35] <+andyhopp> it's pretty Low Life to begin with, but yeah, the humor and flavor of Low Life really permeates the whole thing and gets even more saturated as the card types increase
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[19:36] <+andyhopp> done
[19:37] <~Dan> Had you always planned on doing a card game based on Low Life?
[19:38] <+andyhopp> Not really. I always wanted Low Life to be more than just an RPG, although I really love it as an RPG, but the more media we explore the more expansive the world becomes...
[19:38] <+andyhopp> Dementalism also works with the RPG in that the Boss (GM) or players can use Dementalism cards to represent their characters or creatures
[19:39] <~Dan> What other media do you have in mind?
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[19:39] <~Dan> And yes, I was just about to ask you about using the cards with the RPG.
[19:39] <+andyhopp> I optioned the rights as a cartoon series a couple of years ago. Nickelodeon was interested but ultimately declined.
[19:40] <+andyhopp> I have a screeenplay written for a feature film, and there has been some interest, but nothing concrete so far.
[19:40] <~Dan> I'd think it would be more like Adult Swim material.
[19:40] <+andyhopp> When we playtested the upcoming Low Life LARP, Playing Dirty, at GenCon last year we used Dementalism cards in our badge holders to show what our character looked like
[19:41] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[19:41] <+andyhopp> Actually, ti was Radical Axis who optioned it. They do Aqua Teen, Archer, Squidbillies, etc...
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[19:41] <+xyphoid> Low life LARP? Mua ha
[19:42] <+andyhopp> Hello Bigby
[19:42] <~Dan> Ah! Yeah, that would have been a great fit.
[19:42] <+Bigby> Hey
[19:42] <+xyphoid> when is that coming out
[19:42] <~Dan> Howdy, Bigby! We're talking Dementalism, the Low Life card game, with Andy Hopp.
[19:42] <+andyhopp> yes indeed. In fact, the LARP rules are going to be included (along with the minis rules) in the upcoming Low Life Redredged core rulebook that will be out next spring
[19:42] <+Bigby> "Low Life LARP" is the first thing I see entering the chat.  That it terrifying.
[19:42] <+xyphoid> is that the corebook that was kickstarted?
[19:43] <+andyhopp> yes it is
[19:43] <+xyphoid> pro
[19:43] <+andyhopp> I am 230 pages into that book, by the way. It's going to be a big one
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[19:43] <+andyhopp> welcome back, Diogenes
[19:43] <+xyphoid> so low life larp rules will magically appear in my email ready to be unleashed on my locals
[19:44] <+xyphoid> the costuming is going to be epic
[19:44] <+andyhopp> if you backed the kickstarter that is indeed the case
[19:44] <+andyhopp> Will Thrasher is helping me with the LARP rules. He runs Low Life and Cthulhu Live at various cons.
[19:44] <~Dan> Will it remain Savage Worlds?
[19:45] <+andyhopp> yes, although we are working on Fate and Pathfinder versions as well.
[19:45] <+NealT> I'm the one tackling the Fate conversion.
[19:45] <+andyhopp> those will be FREE pdfs for anybody who has the print version of the rulebook
[19:45] <+andyhopp> Yes indeed he is. Neal rules the world.
[19:45] <+NealT> Well, the Fate version of it, anyway.
[19:45] <+andyhopp> So, buy the print version of the Savage Worlds book, get the pdfs of Fate, Pathfinder, and SW free
[19:46] <+andyhopp> I try to give people their money's worth
[19:46] <+Bigby> Sounds like a deal.
[19:47] <+andyhopp> I think the book is going to end up around 300 pages
[19:47] <+andyhopp> the ponly thing left to write are the adventures
[19:48] <+andyhopp> there will also be crossovers and versions for other open source systems
[19:48] <+andyhopp> including a Fiasco storybook, or whatever they're called
[19:48] <~Dan> Can you mention any other crossovers?
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[19:49] <+xyphoid> will there be a steampunk-pulp-horror-bio-sf-cyber-fantasy-western crossover?
[19:49] <+xyphoid> because ignoring that genre would be a crime
[19:49] <+andyhopp> Well, in addition to the other game systems, there are more Low Life themed games in teh works, including a Jenga-like game called Slogpile, another card game called(tentatively) Giggity Gigging...
[19:49] <+andyhopp> Xyphoid is my new best friend
[19:50] <~Dan> :D
[19:50] <+andyhopp> also I've been considering a Low Life board game in the future, and of course the Low Life miniatures (which are taking forever to get sculpted).
[19:51] <+Bigby> Sorry for being late.  Have all the particulars of the card game already been covered?
[19:51] <+andyhopp> they have, but I'd be happy to reiterate
[19:51] <~Dan> Yup, go ahead if you like.
[19:52] <+andyhopp> Here's a link to the rulebook: (Link:
[19:52] <+Bigby> Awesome
[19:52] <+andyhopp> and a link to the kickstarter: (Link:
[19:53] <+andyhopp> the gist is this: It's a Memory (Concentration) based game in which players attempt to round o=up wandering clones who escaped from the Primordial Soup Kitchen due to the players' incompetence. There are three of each Denizen, as well as Giggities (wild cards) and Turmoil Cards (assorted effects; flip them and do what they say).
[19:55] <+andyhopp> You can nab stacks from other players if you flip a card that matches a Stack they already have. For example, if Bigby has a Stack containing two Mysterious One-eyed Croaches and I flip another Mysterious One-eyed Croach, I can attempt to steal his stack by correctly identifying it from the facedown stacks in his store (the area directly in front of him).
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[19:55] <+andyhopp> Turmoil cards and Denizen powers (which you gain when you have all three of the same Denizen) allow you special abilities, like the chance to peek at cards and stacks or to flip extra cards, etc...
[19:56] <+andyhopp> done
[19:57] <~Dan> Any other questions about game play, Bigby?
[19:57] <+andyhopp> or anyone else
[19:59] <~Dan> Let's see... not being a card game guy, generally speaking, I'm not quite sure what to ask next about Dementalism, to be honest. Would you like to cast the net wider to Low Life in general?
[19:59] <~Dan> Or is there any aspect of Dementalism that we haven't brought up?
[19:59] <+Bigby> Nope, that's good.
[20:00] <+andyhopp> I will answer any question about anything.
[20:00] <+andyhopp> Or attempt to, anyway
[20:01] <+andyhopp> I would consider it a real solid if everyone would take a few minutes to check out the kickstarter. If it's not for you, that's cool, but it would awesome if you could give it a "like" or maybe throw a dollar at it just to let your friends know you checked it out.
[20:03] <~Dan> How does the progress of the KS compare to your expectations?
[20:04] <+andyhopp> It started out very strongly, making the original goal on the first day, but it has slowed down considerably since then. I am very happy with it, but I would love to be able to reach that third expansion and bring the Digs card into the fray
[20:05] <+andyhopp> The frustrating thing is when you reach a goal and then minutes after you announce it to the backers someone drops out and the total goes down below the goal again.
[20:05] <~Dan> Has there been a lot of that?
[20:05] <+andyhopp> Peopel can do what they want with their money, and there are no hard feelings, but it can get pretty frstrating
[20:05] <+andyhopp> quite a bit.
[20:05] <+andyhopp> Usually it's when some uber-huge kickstarter opens up. Reaper Bones II opened and I lost like five backers
[20:06] <+NealT> Still surprising that it happens right after an update.  It's like people forget that they've backed the Kickstarter until the update comes.
[20:06] <+andyhopp> yeah, exactly
[20:06] <+andyhopp> Every time I send an update I prepare myself for it
[20:07] <+NealT> Have you thought about running shorter Kickstarters, to see if you get different results?
[20:07] <+andyhopp> I do know that sometimes people drop out by accident. That happened to me once, so I try to contact them to make sure it was intentional, but I don't want to seem too needy and bother them.
[20:08] <+andyhopp> the reason i ran this one as long as I am is that I wanted it to cover the time I was at Con on the Cob and also Oddmall, which is November 2.
[20:08] <+andyhopp> There is a long period of stagnation in the middle, but in this case I thought it would be worth it for the extra hype I can build at those two events
[20:08] <~Dan> What is the latter? I've seen you reference it on FB.
[20:09] <+andyhopp> Oddmall ((Link: is a snazzy art and craft show I run twice a year. My brother runs one in Seattle too. it's a celebration of strange and unusual art, craft, and culture
[20:09] <+andyhopp> next year we will probably have them in Portland and Louisville as well
[20:11] <~Dan> How big is it?
[20:12] <+andyhopp> the Seattle one had almost 3000 people and that was the first time it was done.
[20:12] <+andyhopp> the Ohio ones usually pull in about 1500
[20:12] <+andyhopp> I need a bigger venue.
[20:13] <~Dan> Not too shabby! How long have you been doing that, and how did you get it started?
[20:13] <+andyhopp> Unfortunately, I have to get going. Thanks again for letting me spill my beans.
[20:13] <+andyhopp> Oh, sorry. We've been doing two a year since May 2009.
[20:14] <~Dan> Oh, no problem! I'll have the log posted momentarily and will send you the link.
[20:14] <+NealT> Thanks for coming, Andy!
[20:14] <+andyhopp> I just sort of started it on a whim.
[20:14] <~Dan> Indeed, thanks, Andy! Please come by any time!
[20:14] <+andyhopp> Thank you, Neal. And thanks also to everyone else who read my dribble. Once again, please check out (Link:
[20:14] <+andyhopp> Goodnight friends!

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