Monday, January 13, 2014

[Q&A] Josh Harrison (Earthdawn 4th edition)

[19:05] <+JoshHarrison> Hi everybody, I'm Josh Harrison, line developer for Earthdawn 4th Edition.
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[19:05] <+JoshHarrison> I've been playing RPGs... for a very long time (my first game was the red box D&D). I've been playing Earthdawn just about since it came out.
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[19:06] <+Nahor> Hi Josh!
[19:06] <+JoshHarrison> I contributed to Second Editon, the RedBrick Classic Edition, and now I'm working on 4th. Earthdawn is a fantasy RPG, kind of a hopeful post apocalypic high-fantasy with tinges of lovecraftian nasty.
[19:06] <+Jetrauben> Hello Josh!
[19:07] <+JoshHarrison> It's set about a hundred years after the Scourge, when creatures from the depths of astral space called the Horrors crossed into the world and caused all sorts of pain and destruction.
[19:07] <+JoshHarrison> Players take the role of heroes, helping uncover the lost mysteris of the past, and building a new future.
[19:08] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[19:08] <+Dan> Thanks, Josh!
[19:08] <+Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:08] <+Dan> I'll start with a basic one: Can you give us an overview of what's new?
[19:09] <+etherial> Could you tell us more about the other developers and their experience with Earthdawn?
[19:09] <+Psychman> My first is - after the blogs and forum discussions, what are your plans for Durability?
[19:09] <+Dan> (Question pause.)
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[19:10] <+Nahor> Hi, I've been playing/collecting ED since being introduced to it in 1998. I've become very passionate about the game since then and am very happy it's still alive. So, first thanks for continuing with the license and coming out with new materials.
[19:10] <+Dan> (Welcome, Flowswithdrek!)
[19:10] <+JoshHarrison> Dan: A few things. Like with many new editons  there will be some polish and tweaking. The core dice sytem will be largely be unchanged.
[19:11] <+JoshHarrison> We're going through a lot of the mechanics, trying to simplify and make things more accessible to new players.
[19:11] <+JoshHarrison> Third Edition is good, and looks pretty, but can read like a tech manual at times.
[19:11] <+Nahor> My question relates to how you, and FASA Games will garner new players to this IP? I'm all for retaining the old fanbase, but truly, I'd like to know how the game will expand the player base in light of the trends within this industry.
[19:11] <+JoshHarrison> Probably the biggest thing I am excited about is advancing the timeline, which hasn't happened in many years.
[19:12] <&Silverlion> Will there be any chance for a freeform or semi-freeform magic system ?
[19:12] <+Dan> (Question pause, Nahor, Silverlion! :) )
[19:12] <&Silverlion> ((Kay. Oops missed it, as my dog was needing attention.))
[19:12] <+RafaelMeyer> Are you going to change the thread weaving powers and what a thread weaving can do?
[19:13] <+JoshHarrison> etherial: ED2 was with Living Room Games, a group of eager fans that got a license and tried to pick up after FASA closed up shop. They released a few supplements, but I think it got to be too much ofa job, and they eventually closed up.
[19:13] <+Dan> (Everyone, please hold your questions during the question pause. Thanks! :) )
[19:14] <+JoshHarrison> RedBrick did "Classic" which was originally intended as a compilation of the ED1 material into as many collected tomes as possible. There was some rules stuff that went into that, but it was largely a "here's where things were at the end of the FASA tenure"
[19:14] <+etherial> Sorry, Josh, I meant "who is on your team working on ED4?"
[19:14] <+JoshHarrison> ED3 was the follow-up to Classic, introducing a more flexible Discipline system, and produced some new material (Kratas, Cathay books).
[19:15] <+JoshHarrison> To put it mildly, there was a bit of a problem a couple of years ago, and ED3 for various reasons has been shelved. There was a "Revised" edition that only saw a player's guide and a reprint adventure/
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[19:16] <+JoshHarrison> So when I took over after GenCon last year, the decision had to be made to either go with a new edition or try and resurrect/maintin the fallow revised line.
[19:16] <+JoshHarrison> We opted to go with a new edition.
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[19:17] <+JoshHarrison> Psychman: At this point, nothing is finally decided for Durability. I have been following the debate, and I can appreciate the position that many fans of the game have.
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[19:18] <+Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Panda!)
[19:18] <+Telarus> :waves:
[19:18] * +AndrewRagland waves to TelarusKSC
[19:19] <+Psychman> Fair enough, relieved to hear its still being considered.
[19:19] <+JoshHarrison> It's being talked about, and there is certainly the possibility of a hybrid or optional rule allowing "classic" Durability to be in ED4.
[19:19] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[19:19] <+Dan> (Questions may resume!)
[19:19] <+Armitage> Are there any plans to add new spells in 4th edition?
[19:19] <+Abstruse> As a reporter, I have to ask the elephant in the room question...have you talked to Catalyst Game Labs to coordinate and re-link the Earthdawn and Shadowrun worlds?
[19:19] <+JoshHarrison> Well... let me get to some of the other questions...
[19:20] <+Dan> (Oh, sorry! Question re-pause.)
[19:20] <+Telarus> I liked the Kickstarter video Josh. I see your have other questions, so I'll hold off a bit (& decompress from work, lol)
[19:21] <+JoshHarrison> Nahor: One of the things we are looking at with regard to expanding the player base is actually getting books back in print that could be in local game stores (as opposed to the POD that has been the rule since RedBrick took over)
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[19:21] <+JoshHarrison> We're looking at getting a "demo team" kind of thng to help spread the word in local areas, with swag and the like to get people to bring the game to their local stores.
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[19:22] <+JoshHarrison> Silverlion: With regard to freeform magic, probably nothing like you have in, say, Mage or Ars Magica, but we are definately looking at ways of making spellcasting more dynamic
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[19:23] <+JoshHarrison> One idea being worked on (probably not in the core guides, but likely for the companion or advanced rulebook) is allowing casters to weave additional threads to boost the default aspects of the spells.
[19:24] <+JoshHarrison> Etherial: Oh, I misunderstood your question. A couple f the people I have working on ED4 with me are Morgan Weeks (of Panda Gaming Grove) and R.S. Tilton
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[19:25] <+JoshHarrison> RafaelMeyer: As of right now, we aren't looking at anyting beyond the normal stuff that thread weaving could do before.
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[19:25] <+Dan> (Howdy, Rasyr!)
[19:25] * +Rasyr waves
[19:26] <+JoshHarrison> Armitage: There is the possibility of new spells in 4e. In fact, spells in general are getting a pretty hefty look to try and bring a bit more differentiation and flavor to the different casting Disciplines.
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[19:27] <+Nahor> Will you link threadweaving to circle like you are durability/karma? It almost seems logical in a way; although, I see the merit, especially for casters, to keep it as a talent. If not, I'd almost want to see threadweaving get a more active role. It seems like it takes a back seat as it's 4th circle for most disciplines until a thread item or group pattern is
[19:27] <+Nahor> formed
[19:27] <+JoshHarrison> Nothing specific at the moment that is actually "new" but many of the familiar spells ay be getting a facelift. That is something I'll be talking about ina future developer post once theost have gotten a bit more work.
[19:27] <+JoshHarrison> Abstruse: As of right now, there is nothing in store for any kind of ED/SR crossover. That's always been kind of a mixed bag... some people loved it, some hated it.
[19:27] <+etherial> Are people sending private messages to Josh? It looks like he's answering questions I haven't seen.
[19:28] <+Dan> No, he's just trying to catch up. :)
[19:28] <+JoshHarrison> Nahor: As of right now, Thread Weaving is going to remain a traditional talent.
[19:28] <+JoshHarrison> (done) I think I'm caught  up...
[19:29] <+Dan> (Questions can resume!)
[19:29] <+etherial> What parts of Barsaive are you most looking forward to exploring?
[19:29] <+Abstruse> JoshHarrison: If you want, I can introduce you to some of the SR guys at CGL. Virtually, I mean...
[19:30] <+Nahor> Will you be expanding the kickstarter rewards? I noticed a mighty jump from 150.00 to 1200. Also what stretch goals (should you reach 10k) are you thinking of?.
[19:31] <+RafaelMeyer> And what are the stretching goals?
[19:31] <+JoshHarrison> Etherial: I'm looking forward to exploring areas that haven't really seen much more than a cursory look. Travar is going to be cool. I'm really looking forward to exploring (and expanding) the role of Questors in the game
[19:31] <&Silverlion> Awesome I'm glad to hear of some stuff...
[19:31] <+Telarus> Yay, expanded Questor content :)
[19:31] <+JoshHarrison> Getting into more detail for Iopos and the Denairastas
[19:32] <+JoshHarrison> Looking at ramifications from the Second Theran War.
[19:32] <+Gerrik_Vors> Any chance of getting Mini's or some new adventures to help busy GMs?
[19:32] <+Dan> (Question pause.)
[19:33] <+DocSmiley> I noted that you're combining talents to make them less redundant. What approach are you taking to talent knacks? Personally I loved them but thought the selections of them were somewhat limited (especially for certain disciplines)
[19:33] <+JoshHarrison> Nahor: As far as stretch goals, funding art/production costs for the next books in the pipe (Travar, ED Companion, Elven Nations, Questors). As far as expanding the rewards... I'm not so sure. The top tier was a kind of a "hey, if a group wants to chip in that much, what can we do?"
[19:33] <+Dan> (Question pause, DocSmiley. Please hold questions until you see a "(done)" from Josh. Thanks! :) )
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[19:34] <+JoshHarrison> Gerrik: New adventures, yeah. I think that while ED has largely been a game that has allowed GMs to do their own thing, there is an unserved market there for "adventure path" type stuff
[19:35] <+JoshHarrison> That wasn't something that was part of the market back in the ED1 days. But tmes have changed, and PDF/Electronic can make adventures a bit more profitable.
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[19:36] <+Dan> (Welcome, Guest11! Please set your name using the /nick command. Thanks!)
[19:36] <+JoshHarrison> DocSmiley: I'll be honest, talent knacks are something that I've been holding off on looking at. I've never been crazy about them, and don't tend to see them used at my table.
[19:37] <+JoshHarrison> That said, I understand they are a legacy, and I would like to find a place and purpose for them that doesn't feel kind of tacked on.
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[19:38] <+JoshHarrison> RThey will probably not make an appearance in the core books, likely for the companion
[19:38] <+JoshHarrison> Oh, and to get back to Minis: since FASAGames has a close relationship with Ral Partha Europe, and we have a number of tabltop minis games, we're looking at getting miniatres back out.
[19:39] <+Telarus> Oh, Josh, any thoughts on mass-combat or rules to speed combat with many characters who have essentially the same statblock? (Something I run into often at mid->high circles, so I made my own houseruels.)
[19:39] <+JoshHarrison> 3D printing and maker bot tech has made that an interesting place to explort
[19:39] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[19:39] <+Psychman> Any chance of re-exploring classic adventures and locations eg Parlainth, for those of us who missed them 1st time around?
[19:39] <+Dan> (Questions can resume!)
[19:40] <+Abstruse> Where did the FASA Games name come from? Did you buy the original Trademark or did it expire?
[19:40] <+Abstruse> Because I notice you've got the classic FASA Corporation logo on your Kickstarter
[19:40] <+Dan> (Question pause!)
[19:40] <+etherial> How much bog could a bog gob gob if a bog gob could gob bog?
[19:40] <+JoshHarrison> Psychman: Yes. We will probably be looking at some classic stuff -- I wold love to do a "Parlainth Revisited". By the same token, I want to avoid the "reprint" problem that was a big part of the Classic/ED3 era.
[19:41] <+JoshHarrison> We won't see a rehashed Throal book right away, but places that didn't see an ED3 reprint? Those are more on the table.
[19:43] <+Psychman> I look at Moon Design's early stuff, reprinting & updating classic material - the kind of thing that could be farmed out to a fan-run associated company - if such a thing exists.
[19:43] <+JoshHarrison> Abstruse: FASA Games is headed up by Ross Babcock, one of the original founders of FASA Corp along with Jordan Wiseman (sp?). FASA Corp still exists. I'm not 100% clear on the coprorate relationship, but it isn't just a case of us "buying a defunct name to try and get goodwill" as some people have suggested.
[19:43] <+Abstruse> Wiesman
[19:44] <+Abstruse> Weisman, sorry.
[19:44] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[19:44] <+Dan> (Questions can resume!)
[19:44] <+Armitage> Earthfell seems to be a new IP for Fasa Games, will it be related to Earthdawn in some capacity?
[19:44] <+Roth> modules be like old Ed modules or going more towards D&D style?
[19:44] <+Nahor> Will you consider making an anniversary edition of the book seeing ED has passed its 20th but maybe for the 25th? Yes I'm assuming you and this game will still be going strong in 4 years. :) Catalyst made a great SR anniversary color book.
[19:44] <+Dan> (Question pause!)
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[19:45] <+JoshHarrison> Armitage: Yes, though for the time being Earthfell is on hold. No concrete plans are in place for when that line will move forward.
[19:46] <+JoshHarrison> I don't know very much about it, to be honest.
[19:46] <+AndrewRagland> We'd like to leave questions about Earthfell for another session, if you don't mind.
[19:47] <+Armitage> Sure thing, sorry for the trouble
[19:48] <+JoshHarrison> Roth: Modules.... like prepared adventures. I'm not sure what D&D has been doing -- haven't really looked at D&D since the 3.5 days. I would like to see more than a simple adventure.
[19:48] <+JoshHarrison> One of the ideas being talked about is having a kind of "setting book" that perhaps has a story arc outlined in it, kind of like the individual sections of the old Prelude to War Epic?
[19:49] <+JoshHarrison> Using the adventure to outline and explore a particular area in more depth, or offer examples of the kind of stuff that can be done there.
[19:49] <+Dan> Something like Call of Cthulhu's "Return to Dunwich"?
[19:50] <+Dan> (As in, a sort of sandbox with a story weaving through it?)
[19:50] <+JoshHarrison> Yeah, kind of.
[19:50] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[19:50] <+Dan> (Questions can resume!)
[19:50] <+Abstruse> How much are you focusing on the metaplot for the new edition?
[19:50] <+Telarus> Have you considered game-aids like cards or Talent quick-reference sheets? Would you be comfortable posting limited content from the old-out-of-print books on the website, in order to remove them from core-book word-counts? (I think this may be attractive to gamers, especially things like Vasdjenas' (sp?) creature descriptions.)
[19:50] <+Psychman> Another blog item that got very mixed reactions - dropping armour-defeating hits in favor of increased effects.  there were concerns low damage disciplines would be disadvaged, particularly vs high armour creatures.  How do you respond to that concern?
[19:51] <+Dan> (Question pause!)
[19:51] <+Telarus> (sry about earlier, didn't note this was being moderated)
[19:51] <+Dan> (No problem, Telarus!)
[19:52] <+JoshHarrison> Abstruse: I'm not sure about what extent we'll be "focusing" on metaplot. There are a lot of things that will change in the wake of the timeline advancement, and I think there will be a lot of area to explore.
[19:52] <+JoshHarrison> That said, I would like to see the story of Barsaive and its people move forward.
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[19:53] <+JoshHarrison> Metaplot is a touchy thing.... some people like following the story, some people don't like it intruding on their personal games.
[19:53] <+JoshHarrison> It's a tough balance.
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[19:54] <+JoshHarrison> Telarus: Game aids are a possibility -- not something we have looked at really hard just yet, but who knows? Out of print stuff... if we dn't have a place for it in the core, could potentially see some use online.
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[19:55] <&Silverlion> Nice hard tokens/cardboard tokens might be nice.
[19:56] <+JoshHarrison> Psychman: The armor defeating hit thing is an interesting questions. I totally get the thrill of getting a good roll and ignoring armor. That's a great feeling -- like exploding your dice.
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[19:56] <+Telarus> Who wouldn't read a Dragon's blog about the tasty flora and fauna of Barsaive, eh? (Scribbles note about "Iron Chef Barsaive" in one of the next few games.)
[19:56] <+JoshHarrison> But outside of that for the most part, the success levels were not something that saw a *lot* of use outside of particular things.
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[19:57] <+Abstruse> (Let me know if you need help with that Telarus)
[19:57] <+Dan> (Welcome, Guest97! Please set your name with the /nick command. :) )
[19:57] <+Dan> (And welcome, MorganWeeks!)
[19:58] <+JoshHarrison> If we are going to simplify (and expand) the calculation of success levels, is there a way we could take advantage of that to make the levels that don't typically see much use a bit more intertesting?
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[19:58] <+JoshHarrison> The discussion that has gone on around this idea has been good, and we're looking at alternate implementations outside the simple "straight bonus".
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[19:59] <+Dan> Personally, I prefer to see success levels have a direct impact.
[19:59] <+Telarus> Yeah. The lookup time just didn't reward gameplay w/ the table, mostly in combat I found. I used the SL table quite a bit in freeform narrative.
[19:59] <+JoshHarrison> The tough thing is trying to balance cutting a certain amount of complexity in one place, wihtout adding a whole other level in another.
[19:59] <+JoshHarrison> The +5 success thing is pretty easy to figure, and maps pretty well to the original success progression.
[20:00] <+Psychman> RuneQuest 6 does some interesting things with varying success levels, at least in combat, with special effects.  Could be worth looking at?
[20:00] <+JoshHarrison> The +2 bonus per success... multiples of 2 are easy to figure on the fly. Not quite as easy to do with +3 per or +4 per, if you see what I mean?
[20:01] <+Nahor> ED1 and 2 had two source books and a little GM thing, for lack of a better word. What calls for the need to split the content into a Player's and GM's book as well as a Companion? What will be in the companion? (Also I love knacks, they really help flesh out an already fleshy discipline)
[20:01] <+AndrewRagland> If you don't mind me interjecting?
[20:02] <+Dan> Please do!
[20:02] <+JoshHarrison> That is probably the one asepct of ED4 design that is seeing the most examination. How do the staking of bonuses with talents like Spot Armor Flaw, or other stuff like that, change the end result of success levels on the primary attack?
[20:02] <+JoshHarrison> Please, Andrew
[20:02] <+JoshHarrison> (I'll get to your question next, Nahor)
[20:03] <+Nahor> thanks. :)
[20:03] <+Flowswithdrek> Do you realise the Earthdawn Kickstarter is almost 1/3 funded already :)
[20:04] <+JoshHarrison> Really? AWESOME
[20:04] <&Silverlion> I've a question: Do you think you'll cut back on some of the silly "visual" elements of some powers (I recall the Archer's putting what crosshairs? mark on their target being rather absurd.).
[20:04] <+Telarus> :)
[20:04] <+JoshHarrison> I've been busy typing haven't looked
[20:04] <+Dan> Well done, JoshHarrison!
[20:04] <+AndrewRagland> I'm the line developer for 1879, which uses the CoreStep mechanic, derived from Earthdawn. We're using the successes model to control what the skills accomplish. For example, you need one success to get access to an analytical engine, but two to get it to run code that's not in its base instruction set, and three or more to get it to run code that's contrary
[20:04] <+AndrewRagland> to its normal function
[20:05] <+Dan> A steampunk game, I take it?
[20:05] <+Telarus> Andrew, are you also using the +5/SL?
[20:05] <+AndrewRagland> Yes, kind of steampunk, but with a FASA flavor
[20:05] <+Jetrauben> Well done, Josh!
[20:05] <+Telarus> I like to think of 1879 as Science!punk.
[20:06] <+Dan> Cool! Please feel free to schedule a Q&A for that whenever you see fit. :)
[20:06] <+AndrewRagland> Telarus: Yes, we're using the +5 SL model. Every 5 points past the Target Number is an extra success.  I don't want to hijack Josh's chat here - just wanted to illustrate how the +5 SL model could work.
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[20:07] <+JoshHarrison> Nahor: The ED1 and ED2 books were rather light on the setting. My goal for the GM book is to give a bit more setting (updated to the new timeline status quo) and have a lot more advice and tricks for running the game
[20:07] <+Psychman> Maybe go with the +5/SL but offer different things to spend the levels on, so damage would be one, or spend 2 levels for "armour-defeating".  Something on those lines?
[20:08] <+JoshHarrison> Believe me, I have heard the cries of GMs in the wilderness to make things easier on them.
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[20:09] <+Nahor> awesome. that sounds great
[20:09] <+JoshHarrison> I think I'm caught up.
[20:09] <+JoshHarrison> so (done)
[20:09] <+Nahor> will all the creature/spell/etc creation rules be in the gm's guide? That was always fun, but a task, in ED1
[20:09] <+Henghyoke> Josh, are the new ED rulebooks going to be US Letter or Digest size? And color or black and white? (Will we finally see a full color Earthdawn?)
[20:09] <+etherial> What's your favorite Earthdawn race?
[20:09] <+Roth> Concerns low damage disciplines would be disadvantaged, particularly vs high armor creatures?
[20:09] <~Dan> (Question pause!)
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[20:10] <+Snoof> Afternoon all.
[20:11] <+JoshHarrison> Nahor: I don't know at this point if creature/spell/etc creation rules will be in the GM Core. Possibly. I've never been super happy with any edition's iteration of them.
[20:11] <+JoshHarrison> If we can come up with something good and usable, and there's room, it will be there.
[20:12] <~Dan> (Howdy, Snoof! Q&A in progress, #rpgnet2 open for general chat! :) )
[20:12] <+Nahor> Cool. As long as they come in at some point. While semi-difficult it is fun and for players especially to create spells for higher circles it was great craic.
[20:12] <+JoshHarrison> Henghyoke: The books are currently slated to be digest sized (like the Revised Edition). Black and white.
[20:13] <+JoshHarrison> Maybe see a full-color edition, if we end up being successful enough (the rate the kickstarter is going, may end up being more a possibility than I thought!)
[20:13] <+JoshHarrison> Etherial: My favorite race.... if you held a gun to my head, I would have to say t'skrang. Love me some vivacious lizard men!
[20:14] <~Dan> :)
[20:14] <+JoshHarrison> But I like all of them to one extent or another. Earthdawn really dida good job of putting an interesting twist on even the "stock" elves, dwarves, etc.
[20:15] * ~Dan agrees
[20:15] <+Nahor> yeah they did.
[20:15] <+Abstruse> *cough*IEs*cough*
[20:15] <+JoshHarrison> Roth: I've heard the concerns, and that is something that testing is looking at. We're hoping that support Disciplines (non combat primary) will have ways of contributing.
[20:15] <+Abstruse> Sorry, had some metaplot stuck in my throat
[20:15] <+Telarus> [Races] Agreed. Everyone I've introduced to ED says so.
[20:16] <+ToddBogenrief> Don't worry, when the books are ready to go to the printer I'm going to sneak in and give Windlings +5 steps to everything. :)
[20:16] <+JoshHarrison> But with the changes in mind for how armor works in relation to the new bonus mechanic.... having super-high armor ratings is not necessarily a requirement.
[20:17] <+JoshHarrison> It's being looked at.
[20:17] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[20:17] <+Telarus> (Dan, will the Earthdawn 4E Q&A Chatlog be available anywhere? If possible, a link should go on the Kickstarter page...)
[20:18] <~Dan> (Telarus: Yup. You can see a link to my blog in the topic line.)
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[20:18] <+Roth> Any reason for digest size?
[20:18] <+etherial> Onyx Path (the current producer of classic World of Darkness games) releases the .pdf of their Kickstarter books to the backers for proofreading and general obsessiveness. Any chance we'd see something similar for ED4?
[20:18] <+Psychman> Tell us something new that's being introduced - a spell, a talent, anything.  Not a adjustment or rebalancing, something completely new.
[20:19] <+JoshHarrison> Roth: It's what we're working with? That's a layout question.
[20:19] <+Telarus> (Thanks) Josh, do you consider Earthdawn to fall in the OSR game-space? Would that be a crowd to attract with later products (Somethings that says "This is how you do hexcrawls in Earthdawn"?)
[20:20] <+Roth> I haven't seen any 3eR books, don't know how thick they are, seems like a lot of information for the size.
[20:20] <+JoshHarrison> Etherial: It is a possibility. It depends on how quickly we get the books done. If there is time to get it out there for a once-over, we'll definitely keep it in mind.
[20:21] <+JoshHarrison> I have a deadline to meet so that we can get editing/layout/printing done for the summer.
[20:22] <+ToddBogenrief> re: Digest Size - as the guy in charge of final production, we've kind of inherited that size from our other projects and have received good feedback on it so far for the products released using it. Not saying things won't change in the future but we do want to stay consistent along a product line.
[20:22] <+Flowswithdrek> What are your thoughts on the new Earthdawn Logo?  I agree it might have needed updated, but I still prefer the old one to the new one
[20:22] <+JoshHarrison> Psychman: Something new? Beastmaster talent: Enhance Animal Companion. This allows a Beastmaster to give bonuses to the stats of an animal companion without resorting to blood magic.
[20:22] <&Silverlion> Anythought Re: Silly visual effects above?
[20:22] <+etherial> lists EDR as 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
[20:23] <+JoshHarrison> This allows an animal companion to continue to contribute and have its stats scale along with the rest of the group.
[20:23] <+etherial> That's not new! We saw that last week!
[20:23] <+JoshHarrison> Heh.
[20:23] <+Psychman> Too true etherial!
[20:24] <+ToddBogenrief> 6.14 x 9.21 - the other number will depend on how many pages Josh gives us. :)
[20:24] <+THAC0> haha man earthdawn
[20:24] <+THAC0> I remember that game
[20:24] <+Psychman> Try again, Josh, mate.  :-)
[20:24] <+JoshHarrison> Put me on the spot... I'll come back to that one if anything pops to mind.
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[20:24] <~Dan> I'm a sucker for a good bestiary and was impressed with Earthdawn's in previous editions. Will you keep up that tradition in 4e?
[20:24] <+THAC0> Isn't that the game with the lizard things that had the tail attack?
[20:25] <+Psychman> sure thing, we're patient.  :-)
[20:25] <+JoshHarrison> (Can we get a question pause, Dan?_
[20:25] <+Nahor> Will sections of the books be written in character like the ED1 books. Creatures of Barsaive is the perfect example and it and the Adept's Way book are basically what got me so damned hooked into ED. I've never read a RPG where you were getting the POV of characters in the world. This made it alive. To put it simply: I want that!
[20:25] <~Dan> (Oh, certainly, sorry.)
[20:25] <~Dan> (Question pause!)
[20:26] <+JoshHarrison> Silverlion: I kind of *like* the "silly" visual effects. I think they add a bit of flavor and "magic" to the game. The extent to which an individual group plays that up (or down) is largely a matter of taste.
[20:27] <+RafaelMeyer> I agree, content like hte ones on adept way and Denizens are welcome, but please, DON'T CUT AND PASTE THE OLD TEXTS
[20:27] <+AndrewRagland> Nahor: The POV thing has been made FASA standard. You'll see that in our other new properties as they emerge.
[20:28] <+Nahor> As Cartman says, "Super Sweet."
[20:28] <+JoshHarrison> Dan (and Nahor): I really like the in-person stuff. I certainly hope to continue that. I think that "Creatures" and "Horrors" from ED1 are probably the most enjoyable "monster manuals" to read.
[20:29] <~Dan> True, but I was thinking specifically in terms of scope, not style.
[20:29] <+Psychman> There's more than a few other games that have used the same approach since - WFRP, MRQ...
[20:29] <+JoshHarrison> I am hoping to cut back on the amount of the "reprinted" text. For example, there is no plan to include the old Adept's Way Discipline write-ups in the Companion
[20:30] <+JoshHarrison> There is a dearth of good mid-challenge creatures in Earthdawn. I would love to see a new bestiary that brings in some new critters for that C6-C10 range.
[20:30] <+JoshHarrison> Nothing specific in the pipe right this moment, but it is on the radar.
[20:31] <+JoshHarrison> I don't think I've missed any questions.... so (done)
[20:31] <+RafaelMeyer> And how about the actualized map with the sextant like the first ed had?
[20:31] <+Abstruse> As much as I love the Earthdawn world (probably because I'm the world's biggest Shadowrun fanboy), I've never gotten into it much because the system seemed so obtuse. Are you addressing that in the new edition?
[20:33] <+JoshHarrison> RafaelMeyer: I love the map from the ED1 Barsaive Boxed set (I had mine laminated and it's just out of reach of my desk here). I always felt the sextant, while flavorful, was unnecessarily fiddly.
[20:33] <+etherial> Do you plan to continue your development blog indefinitely?
[20:33] <~Dan> (Question pause!)
[20:33] <+JoshHarrison> I think the intention was to have it used to put stuff from later products, but it didn't really see use.
[20:33] <+RafaelMeyer> it helped me to get the riding and walking time distances
[20:33] <+JoshHarrison> Yeah, I just use a ruler. :)
[20:34] <+Abstruse> I tend to use string I've marked on for overland maps. Sort of a flexible ruler...
[20:34] <+RafaelMeyer> rulers don't give the climbing time measures, but it is okay
[20:35] <+JoshHarrison> Abstruse: One of my goals for ED4 is to try and make the game a bit easier to pick up. I want to have clearer examples of play.
[20:35] <+Abstruse> JoshHarrison: But you're staying with the same basic system, just overhauling it? Or are you starting from scratch?
[20:35] <+JoshHarrison> Same basic system. Still the "Step System"
[20:36] <+JoshHarrison> I think it's a shame that ED tends to be a game that needs to be taught by somebody who knows it, as opposed to one that can be picked up and "grokked".
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[20:37] <+JoshHarrison> So I'm looking at that -- I have a lot of experience introducing people to the game.
[20:37] <+AndrewRagland> the Master of the Hall of Records has arrived
[20:37] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Merrox!)
[20:38] <+JoshHarrison> Etherial: As long as I have stuff to post, I will probably continue the blog. I may slack off a little bit once we get ED4 out the door later this year, but I think I can find things to talk about.
[20:38] <+JoshHarrison> (done)
[20:38] <+Nahor> While I see the merit of forgoing reprinting old material in an effort to publish new material and push forward the metaplot, how will you reconcile not providing details on key places, characters, organizations, etc. that have been previously written about? I'm thinking more for new to the game customers.
[20:38] <+Roth> Any plans to add more 'styles' to certain creatures, like Cave Troll Shamans or Ogre Magi?
[20:38] <+Gerrik_Vors> Will we get sewn binding books instead of the cut and glue perfect bound that will fall apart after many hours of gaming? (Like the 3rd edition books instead of the revised books.)
[20:38] <~Dan> Are you sticking with all of the same races and disciplines?
[20:38] <+Telarus> Oh, I had a question about how Earthdawn relates to the new "OSR" movement (if you have an opinion)? Not sure if you were familiar with the term, so it may have slipped by you.
[20:38] <~Dan> (Question pause!)
[20:38] <+etherial> Telarus, can you explain it a little?
[20:39] <+JoshHarrison> Oh right, Telarus. I'll get you first.
[20:39] <+Abstruse> (BTW, you're over $4000 now on your Kickstarter already)
[20:39] <+AndrewRagland> (Yep, we're watching the ticker :) )
[20:40] <+Telarus> "Old School Renaissance" is a social-media event, where many people all developed parallel versions of Gygax's material (the first few with open licences, like Osric).
[20:40] <+JoshHarrison> I'm not super familiar with the borders of the "OSR" movement. If I understand it correctly, there may be some overlap there? One of the descriptions of Earthdawn I've always kind of gotten a kick out of is "D&D Done ight"
[20:40] <+JoshHarrison> er... "Done Right"
[20:40] <+etherial> :)
[20:42] <+JoshHarrison> Earthdawn was, in some ways, a '90s response to AD&D2. I can see a bit of the "old school" thinking in that, but Earthdawn adds on a lot of rich setting development that doesn't tyicaly show up in OSR stuff?
[20:42] <+Telarus> Same. Many of the OSR games, like Adventurer, Conqueror, King, try to stick to the gygaxian game cycle of "dungeon crawl until you can buy your self a castle at 9th level, then hexcrawl or wargame between dungeons"
[20:42] <+JoshHarrison> I don't know. That's an interesting question that I've not really thought about.
[20:42] <+Telarus> Others like Lamentations of the Flame Princess embrace all out weird very similar to Earthdawn.
[20:43] <~Dan> I think OSR games all stick to some variant of D&D rules, though.
[20:43] <&Silverlion> Well, some of them do James Bond, or other old games.
[20:43] <+JoshHarrison> Nahor: That is something we are looking at making sure is part of the GM Guide, which is going to be a bit more setting heavy.
[20:43] <+Nahor> Cool thanks. Quick follow up: What is the difference between the 125 and 150 dollar tiers on the KS? They look identical to me, but my eyes/reading comprehension could be going. :)
[20:44] <+Telarus> I think it's an possible audience of people, but they like things like "Random Encounter Tables" that ED just _almost_ supports. ;) I'd like to let the next question come up.
[20:44] <+JoshHarrison> They are identical -- the lower price one is a limited "early bird" special that gets you a discount
[20:44] <+Nahor> ahh
[20:45] <+Telarus> <Roth>: Any plans to add more 'styles' to certain creatures, like Cave Troll Shamans or Ogre Magi?
[20:45] <+JoshHarrison> Where was I.... Roth: I think there is space for that kind of thing. I recall an adventure (in the old Throal Adventures, I think?) that I think had a Cave Troll Eleentalist?
[20:46] <+JoshHarrison> I think there is definitely some design space there. Not really explored much in earlier editions.
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[20:47] <+JoshHarrison> Gerrik: The book binding thing is another production question, not really sure where we will end up with that when all is said and done.
[20:47] <+JoshHarrison> Dan: Same races and Disciplines, yes.
[20:47] <+JoshHarrison> Have I missed anything?
[20:48] <+JoshHarrison> Don't think so. (done)
[20:48] <+Gerrik_Vors> Will we see any more of the Savage Worlds books? I love the port for players to enjoy the world with rules they know, but wish it was a "Plot Point" book and would love to see one released some day.
[20:48] <+etherial> What is your favorite Discipline and why?
[20:48] <+ToddBogenrief> Book binding - The plan right now is for perfect-bound books.
[20:48] <+Armitage> Will you be adding additional disciplines in the player's guide originally released in supplements like the Horror Stalker?
[20:50] <+JoshHarrison> Gerrik: No plans right now for more Savage Worlds books. The response to that was... mixed, and I am not really up on Savage Worlds.
[20:50] <+JoshHarrison> However, the "plot point" idea is one we are looking at for ED4 adventure arcs/supplements
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[20:51] <+Roth> Haven't really looked, but is your timeline different from LRG timeline?
[20:51] <+Nahor> It's 5  years advanced. LRG was basically Prelude to War, then they advance to the war and right after.
[20:52] <+JoshHarrison> Etherial: That's like asking me to choose a favorite child. Top choices are... Swordmaster and Troubadour. Why? I have a flair for the dramatic, and both of those suit that well.
[20:53] <+JoshHarrison> Armitage: Right now, there are not plans to put the Horror Stalker (or Shaman, or any of the racial Disciplines) into the player's guide. There are already 15 Disciplines in there... it's crowded enough!
[20:53] <+JoshHarrison> Horror Stalker might be one that sees an early web supplement, though
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[20:54] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest83! Please set your name with the /nick command. :) )
[20:54] <+JoshHarrison> Roth: There will be some similarities between the events of the War as set out by LRG in "Barsaive at War" and the version we're putting together, but that is largely because we're both going off the same general outline, and the situation as it was was laid out up through the ED1 story.
[20:56] <+JoshHarrison> Big difference (not revealed before now!) is that Vivane will be heavily damaged, but rather than being a city of new undead (and possibly a kind of Parlainth-lite), it will have the tables turned with the members of the resistance in charge of things,
[20:56] <+JoshHarrison> and the kind of all too human darkness that can result when the oppressed suddenly find themselves in a position of power.
[20:57] <~Dan> Two quick notes, Josh...
[20:57] <~Dan> (1) In the time we have left in "regular time", is there anything you'd like to bring up that we haven't discussed?
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[20:57] <~Dan> (2) Before I forget: on 1/23, we're having an "All-Star Q&A". You're welcome to participate. :)
[20:58] <+Nahor> Is LouP's or any of the past talent that were intimately involved with the game of any version having their brains picked? I can see how this could be beneficial, but I also can see how going it alone could be good too.
[20:59] <+Flowswithdrek> Ok folks its 3am here - got to go - good luck with the kickstarter
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[20:59] <+JoshHarrison> (1) I am thrilled (and a touch daunted) to be doing this, and I appreciate that the concerns people are bringing up are largely driven by a love for the game. Believe me, I know where you are coming from. I appreciate and welcome feedback -- I can't guarantee that i will be able to satisfy everybody's concerns (that's impossible), but I will listen as long as
[20:59] <+JoshHarrison> you are constructive and polite.
[21:00] <+Nahor> Thank you for this Q&A and KS initiative.
[21:00] <+AndrewRagland> (If you'd like to send us feedback, the e-mail address is
[21:00] <+Armitage> Thank you for your time Josh and congrats for the kickstarter campaign! Looking forward to 4th ED!
[21:00] <+JoshHarrison> Thank you all for taking part!
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[21:00] <+JoshHarrison> Here's a link to the KS for those that missed it earler: (Link:
[21:01] <+JoshHarrison> We're almost halfway there already!
[21:01] <~Dan> Glad to hear it! :)
[21:01] <~Dan> As I mentioned earlier, please feel free to hang out with us as long as you like, Josh! I'll go ahead and log the chat here, though, if you're good with that.

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