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Q&A transcript about Red Moon Rising from #rpgnet chatroom

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21:31 <+PaoloGuccione> So, I willl start

21:32 <+PaoloGuccione> I have been making rpgs for almost… errr, no, it is already ten years. Ten full years.

21:33 <+PaoloGuccione> Started with Stupor Mundi in 2007, then in 2009 Peter Nash joined us with his fabulous Rome Life and Death of the Republic

21:33 <+PaoloGuccione> and we attracted the attention of Cubicle 7, and won one Ennie at GenCon 2010

21:33 <+PaoloGuccione> after which we have done various rpg books

21:34 <+PaoloGuccione> BRP Mecha and Revolution D100 are the ones we have already talked about here on #rpgnet

21:35 <+PaoloGuccione> we also publish in Italian and French

21:35 <+PaoloGuccione> Catthulhu being our most successful product in these languages

21:35 <+PaoloGuccione> with Red Moon RIsing we want to try cross-media interaction

21:36 <+PaoloGuccione> comics, fiction, games… all forms of entertainment helping one another

Red Moon Rising RPG project video thumbnail

21:36 <+PaoloGuccione> I think this is enough

21:36 <+PaoloGuccione> Rose, your turn

21:37 <+RoseL> Cheers, Paolo

21:37 <+RoseL> My name’s Rose Loughran, and I’m the creator of Red Moon Rising:

21:38 <+RoseL> It’s a webcomic that I’ve been writing and drawing for nearly as long as Paolo’s been creating RPGs, just over eight years now

21:38 <+RoseL> And I’m pretty damn thrilled to be turning the world and characters into an RPG now with his help

21:40 <&NM_Alan> (you can say done when you’re done)

21:40 <+RoseL> Ah, sorry, first time here

21:40 <&NM_Alan> no, I should have said so!

21:40 <&NM_Alan> Alright, the floor is open to questions!

21:40 <&NM_Alan> So, can you give me a high-level view of the world?

21:41 <+PaoloGuccione> Rose, you are the world creatior…

21:42 <+RoseL> Well, the initial idea behind the world was to take a high fantasy magic setting and push it forward into the industrial revolution

21:43 <+RoseL> I was interested to explore how technology, countries and so on would be changed if magic was this huge factor in day to day life

21:45 <+RoseL> The focus of the setting is a handful of countries with very different cultures, who have all used and been shaped by magic differently, and that are on a bit of a collision course

21:46 <+RoseL> Quite heavily inspired by classic fantasy and 20th century history, both things I’m pretty fascinated by!

21:47 <+RoseL> Does that about cover it?

21:48 <&NM_Alan> that sounds very cool

21:48 <+PaoloGuccione> No, you forgot to mention that the comic is aweaome

21:48 <+PaoloGuccione> awesome

21:48 <+RoseL> Haha, you flatterers

21:48 <&NM_Alan> Heh. So, this RPG: what ruleset does it use

21:49 <+RoseL> Tag out to Paolo

21:49 <+PaoloGuccione> our own Revolution D100

21:49 <+PaoloGuccione> discussed here in Oct 2015

21:50 <+PaoloGuccione> (ages ago…)

21:50 <&Nunzy> wanna run thru it for us newbies  just the basics overview of it

21:50 <&NM_Alan> since some of us werent’ here

21:50 <+PaoloGuccione> okayyyyy

21:51 <+PaoloGuccione> it is a percentile game in the tradition of… you know, RuneQuest, Cthulhu, Stormbringer and such

21:51 <&NM_Alan> BRP, ok

21:51 <&NM_Alan> d100 roll under?

21:51 <+PaoloGuccione> yep

21:52 <+PaoloGuccione> but we have added some elements that let you run it much akin to Fate or HeroQuest

21:52 <+PaoloGuccione> basically, non-combat conflicts where you have “hit points” based on one of your characteristics

21:53 <+PaoloGuccione> INT for riddles, CHA for social, DEX for jumping around, and so on

21:53 <+PaoloGuccione> first one to reduce opposition hit points to 0 wins

21:54 <&NM_Alan> Interesting.

21:54 <&NM_Alan> So do you make make modifications to the system for Red Moon Rising?

21:55 <+PaoloGuccione> Some, but not many

21:55 <+PaoloGuccione> the game has always been focused on steampunk

21:55 <+PaoloGuccione> (check the cover…)

21:55 <+PaoloGuccione> mainly because it is a good benchmark telling you if your game works well with both magic and technology

21:56 <&NM_Alan> Cool. So it’s the existing system married to a new setting in a large sense

21:56 <+PaoloGuccione> yep

21:56 <+RoseL> I’ll just chime in to say that I found the system very polished, and was one of the main reasons I was very happy to work with Paolo and co. on this – it suits Red Moon Rising very well

21:57 <&NM_Alan> Oh great! That’s good to hear

21:58 <&NM_Alan> so RoseL, what sort of stories to envision being told with this game?

21:58 <+Motulev> where would you place the game on the grimdark scale?

21:58 <+RoseL> So many questions!

21:59 <+PaoloGuccione> it does have some grim elements

21:59 <+PaoloGuccione> look at the comics, the characters are definitely under pressure and in desperate situations

22:00 <+PaoloGuccione> but you can see a sparkling of hope in their actions

22:00 <+Motulev> so things are bad, but might be better in the future

22:01 <+PaoloGuccione> I hope the Motivation system in RD100 can effectively reproduce the unique feeling of the comic

22:02 <+RoseL> I think it definitely does have the potential to lean quite grimdark. When I was writing the comic the idea was that every single character was behaving with purpose and doing what they thought was the right thing to do, but then intersecting with all the other characters doing the same and causing potentially escalating disasters

22:03 <+RoseL> I generally think people mean well but can do horrible things, and that’s one of the philosophical cornerstones of both the comic and setting

22:04 <+Motulev> I ask because usually steampunk means twofisted adventurers in a brightly coloured world

22:04 <+Motulev> the comic looks way too brown for that

22:05 <+RoseL> Haha, I’ll take that as a compliment

22:05 <+RoseL> But no, it’s not quite traditional steampunk

22:05 <+PaoloGuccione> well, this happens in other steampunk worlds

22:05 <+RoseL> I’ve been told the comic is more “whateverpunk” or “industrial fantasy” if that helps

22:05 <&NM_Alan> It sounds like you’re going for a “Great War” aesthetic more than pulp

22:06 <+RoseL> I think that’s fair, though I feel like there’s room for both in the context of the RPG setting, if not the actual comic itself

22:07 <&NM_Alan> sure, of course. I was just commenting on how I was reading the vibe of hte comic you were giving.

22:07 <&NM_Alan> So, RoseL, making the jump to RPG for your comic, what prompted this?

22:07 <&NM_Alan> do you have RPG experience? (as a player) or did Paolo approach you out of the blue?

22:08 <+RoseL> Basically, both! I’ve been playing RPGs for about fifteen years now

22:08 <+PaoloGuccione> No, out of the reading and appreciating of the web comic

22:09 <+RoseL> I started with DnD 3e, and currently my group is going through various Warhammer 40k campaigns

22:09 <&NM_Alan> Oh that’s awesome, very cool to hear!

[14:07] <+RoseL> Initially Paolo approached me to do some illustration work for d100 Revolution, and I found working with him to be a very positive experience

[14:07] * ~Dan is here!

[14:08] <&NM_Alan> (Dan, please take over

[14:08] <&NM_Alan> I suck at this)

[14:08] <+PaoloGuccione> Hi Dan,we started the party without you

[14:08] <+RoseL> So when he approached me again about potentially creating an RPG book for Red Moon Rising together I was very excited, to put it mildly

[14:08] <~Dan> No problem. Sorry about the delay!

[14:08] <&NM_Alan> That’s super cool!

[14:08] <&NM_Alan> Paolo, what drew you to the comic?

[14:08] <+RoseL> I thought you were doing fine, Alan

[14:09] <&NM_Alan> Haha, I’m just a lowly observer who got called up to the big leagues. Happy to let Dan do what he does best!

[14:09] <+Motulev> yeah, Dan is a professional question asker

[14:09] <+PaoloGuccione> I was looking for inspiration for another steampunk project, and got hooked on RMR

[14:10] <+PaoloGuccione> later on, I thought “why not do _this_ as an RPG project?”

[14:10] <+PaoloGuccione> I could find no reason not to do it

[14:11] <~Dan> How prevalent is steampunk technology in the setting?

[14:14] <+PaoloGuccione> Well, it is not your typical steampunk setting

[14:14] <~Dan> How so?

[14:15] <+RoseL> It varies pretty heavily within the setting itself, from country to country. The idea is that one of the nations, Ashul, has focused heavily on innovating and creating new tech to help fuek their war machine and that’s starting to trickle down throughout the continent and affect the power balance

[14:15] <+RoseL> *fuel

[14:16] <+RoseL> Other nations have little to no technology beyond what’s come from Ashul, but have larger populations, greater diplomatic ties, greater artistic achievements, and so on

[14:17] <+RoseL> I wanted to explore what would and wouldn’t be prioritised or innovated upon if one happened to have magical powers – I think the largest example is that Ashul never developed firearms

[14:18] <~Dan> No firearms in a steampunk setting? That’s different.

[14:18] <+RoseL> Because they can shoot fire out of their hands, and any kind of gunpowder would be a huge target on the battlefield for an enemy mage

[14:19] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Arilou!)

[14:19] <+PaoloGuccione> The Rishara Caanites have them, but only because they loathe mages

[14:19] <+RoseL> Well, there are firearms, just not developed by Ashul! There are insurgent factions within occupied countries who are looking for anti-mage weapons

[14:19] <~Dan> I guess the next obvious question would be: How common are mages?

[14:20] <+PaoloGuccione> You mean in general or among player characters ?

[14:21] <~Dan> The former.

[14:22] <+RoseL> Magic is completely hereditary, so generationally it’s become more and more common, and something of a caste system – mages are at the top of society and have better opportunities than non-mages

[14:23] <+GenoFoxx> so a manatocracy?

[14:23] <+RoseL> But for most of the countries, mages aren’t a majority but make up most of the ruling structures

[14:23] <+RoseL> Yeah, basically! That’s a good word

[14:24] <+GenoFoxx> are there clockwork golems?

[14:25] <+RoseL> Not in the comic, but I wouldn’t rule it out in the setting

[14:25] <+PaoloGuccione> the comic sports an a

[14:26] <+PaoloGuccione> Ashuli commander with prosthetics

[14:26] <+PaoloGuccione> so I would not rule them out, either

[14:27] <~Dan> What is the magic system?

[14:27] <+Motulev> trust GenoFoxx to ask about mecha

[14:27] <+GenoFoxx>

[14:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, Teylen!)

[14:28] <+GenoFoxx> has heavier than air flight been conquered?

[14:29] <+Motulev> has this been asked already? What do the PCs do in the game?

[14:30] <+PaoloGuccione> Time out for questions please!

[14:31] <+RoseL> Within the comic, the magic system is basically split into five elements (air/earth/water/fire/void) with mages being able to manipulate at least one of these elements, and potentially all five. Additionally mages can have secondary abilities keyed off the elements that are less offensively geared – manifesting shields, divining, weather manipulations, etc.

[14:32] <+RoseL> Heavier than air flight has definitely been conquered, airships are a big part of the setting

[14:32] <+RoseL> And I’ll leave the last one for Paolo

[14:32] <+GenoFoxx> yes!!!

[14:33] <&Nunzy> isnt that lighter than air flight?

[14:35] <+PaoloGuccione> Would you please provide us with an example of lighter than air metal?

[14:35] <+PaoloGuccione> As for what PCs do in game… well, what PCs usually do

[14:35] <&Nunzy> airships, assuming hotair/lighter than air gases

[14:35] <+PaoloGuccione> perform missions for bosses/employers

[14:36] <+PaoloGuccione> until this conflicts with personal goals

[14:36] <+PaoloGuccione> ….and then the really interestin part begins

[14:36] <+GenoFoxx> is there another nation that can oppose Ashul technologically?

[14:36] <+RoseL> I think there’s a lot of scope for various different roles for the PCs – there’s parts of the world that have been scarred by war and left to rot, so I could see a campaign focused on treasure hunting, or perhaps another campaign set entirely on an airship with a more militaristic focus

[14:37] <+RoseL> Not technologically, but the cold war that the setting’s pinned on is between Ashul and Imara, a less militaristic but more wealthy and accomplished nation

[14:38] <+GenoFoxx> ((bbl))

[14:39] <+GenoFoxx> ((goodluck with the kickstarter))

[14:39] <+RoseL> Imara’s this sunny, beautiful country with stunning architecture, while Ashul is kind of a cold rainy dump with little arable land, and they’re very at odds with each other

[14:39] <+RoseL> Thanks Geno

[14:41] <~Dan> How does Imara stand up to Ashul without equivalent technology? Is Imara more accomplished magically or something?

[14:41] <+RoseL> They have a huge population advantage

[14:41] <+RoseL> A larger population with about the same porportion of mages, so they have more firepower in that sense

[14:42] <+Motulev> so its a bit of magic vs. technology in that cold war?

[14:43] <+RoseL> Yeah, definitely! Ashul is pushing its magic towards technological development, which I think is something Imara as a whole finds quite distasteful

[14:45] <~Dan> Are there monsters in the setting?

[14:47] <+PaoloGuccione> What use are monsters when you have HUMANS?

[14:47] <+RoseL> No, not really – the comic is mostly about people vs. other people rather than vs. the “other”, so monsters never really came into it

[14:47] <+RoseL> Haha, well said Paolo

[14:47] <+RoseL> Man was the REAL monster all along!

[14:49] <+Motulev> so no one has made the traditional nazi cyber gorilla soldier yet?

[14:49] <+Motulev> if a PC wanted to, could they?

[14:50] <+RoseL> Well, I’d like to think so, what say you Paolo?

[14:51] <+PaoloGuccione> probably, but a really nasty mage could fry any gorilla in no time

[14:51] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of what tech and magic can accomplish at the high end of their respective scales?

[14:52] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, AntonioJavier!)

[14:52] <+PaoloGuccione> uhm,  a

[14:52] <+RoseL> For tech, I think the most accomplished parts of the setting are airships on one end, and communication technologies on the other

[14:53] <+RoseL> Some place in Ashul have televisions, and they can travel very easily within what is a massive city

[14:54] <+RoseL> For magic, I think it’s the ability to manipulate the weather, and that can be both to quell storms or cause them

[14:55] <+RoseL> It’s a major plot point of the comic currently, actually – there’s a huge sandstorm raging that’s clearly unnatural, and the various characters are dealing with the consequences and trying to figure out why it’s happening

[14:57] <~Dan> Does Ashul have electricity?

[14:59] <+RoseL> In a limited form – not all the time and not for everyone, basically.

[15:00] <+RoseL> It’s fundamentally based on magic rather than another fuel source, so they’re still limited in that sense

[15:01] <~Dan> Limited in what way?

[15:01] <+RoseL> By their individual manpower, the hard limit on magic is that it tires you out if you use too much

[15:02] <~Dan> Magic points?

[15:02] <+RoseL> So you can have mages funnelling power into this system, but it has to be rationed or they’d simply run out

[15:02] <+RoseL> Haha, sure

[15:02] <+RoseL> Though mechanically I think Paolo’s better suited to answer

[15:03] <~Dan> Well, I mean, does the magic system use magic points?

[15:03] <+RoseL> Ah, I see

[15:03] <+RoseL> Yeah, I’ll pass that over to Paolo

[15:05] <+RoseL> If he’s still here

[15:06] <+PaoloGuccione> yep, here

[15:06] <+PaoloGuccione> yes, there is a limit on magic points

[15:06] <+PaoloGuccione> but only during combat

[15:06] <+PaoloGuccione> outside combat, the system is slightly different

[15:07] <~Dan> Can you describe how the magic system works?

[15:07] <+PaoloGuccione> basically, in combat you do the usual flashbang effects: shooting fireballs, lightning, kinetic shields and so on

[15:08] <+PaoloGuccione> check the web comic for these, there are plenty

[15:08] <+PaoloGuccione> outside combat, magic is more… ritual

[15:08] <+PaoloGuccione> slower, with effects on the environment

[15:08] <+PaoloGuccione> and magic points are not the best way to limit it

[15:09] <+PaoloGuccione> basically, it works like all other out-of-combat interactions

[15:09] <+PaoloGuccione> fatigue is represented by “consequences” which are basically how many “hits” you took while performing the effects

[15:10] <+PaoloGuccione> more suited to the kind of weather / environmental magic described in the comic

[15:11] <+PaoloGuccione> (and yes, I took some inspiration from 13th Age)

[15:13] <~Dan> Like what?

[15:19] <~Dan> Still there?

[15:20] <+PaoloGuccione> yes

[15:21] <~Dan> What are some ways in which you took inspiration from 13th Age?

[15:21] <+PaoloGuccione> ritual magic

[15:21] <+PaoloGuccione> instead of having two spells, one for combat and one for non-combat

[15:22] <+PaoloGuccione> you have just one (a “trait” in Rd100 terms)

[15:22] <+PaoloGuccione> and it works differently in combat and outside combat

[15:22] <+PaoloGuccione> saves room on the character sheet

[15:22] <~Dan> Can you give an example?

[15:23] <+PaoloGuccione> in Red Moon Rising, you have for instance an “Air Mage” trait

[15:23] <+PaoloGuccione> in combat, you shoot lightning

[15:23] <+PaoloGuccione> in other situations, you control weather

[15:24] <+PaoloGuccione> or jump long distances

[15:24] <~Dan> I see.

[15:24] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?

[15:24] <+Motulev> at what scale does that weather control happen? local or country sized? how powerful is magic especially for PCs

[15:25] <+PaoloGuccione> it depends on how skilled the mage is

[15:25] <+PaoloGuccione> there is a specific table (the game has an SRD, you can check it)

[15:26] <+PaoloGuccione> if the mage applies range to the effect, he may extend it by dozens of kms

[15:26] <+PaoloGuccione> outside combat

[15:27] <+Motulev> no creating hurricanes

[15:27] <+PaoloGuccione> if you dare challenge a high difficulty, even hurricanes

[15:28] <~Dan> Thanks so much for joining use, PaoloGuccione and RoseL!

[15:28] <~Dan> Again, my tip jar is here (Link:,), if anyone is feeling generous.

[15:28] <+RoseL> Thanks Dan! I really appreciate you guys taking the time to have us here and talk about the project

[15:29] <~Dan> Once I get the part of the chat I missed, I’ll get the log uploaded and link you.

[15:29] <~Dan> Sorry again for running late. Work issues, unfortunately.

[15:30] <+RoseL> No worries, it all worked out

[15:30] <+PaoloGuccione> You were great as usual, Dan

[15:30] <+PaoloGuccione> thank you for this opportunity

[15:30] <~Dan> You’re very welcome.

[15:30] <+RoseL> Yes! Paolo and I are both quite passionate about the game in different ways, so it was nice to be able to chat about it here

[15:31] <~Dan> And as always, you’re welcome to hang out here as long as you like. I just have to end the official Q&A somewhere.

[15:34] <+RoseL> I think I need to grab some food since it’s past 9:30pm here, but I’ll most likely be back in future to lurk and ask other people questions, I didn’t know this chat was a thing before now!

[15:35] <+RoseL> Thanks again for the interesting questions!

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