Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ten Questions In Gaming With Eric Fabiaschi - Today's Interview Kevin Watson From Dark Naga Adventures

To Back This Project Go Here
Dark Naga Adventures is running a new Fifth Edition and OSR edition adventure Kickstarter ; called The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil. The premise is very promising  and could be used with a myriad of old school retroclones;" The small town of Boldon, and its surrounding villages, are afraid. Dozens of people are missing, some speculate lost to some nefarious purpose. Tales of an evil temple and the horrible things within circulate. The few who know the legends and history of the region are beginning to think the dark times have returned, not seen since the fall of the first age of man. People are beginning to feel the icy fingers of fear closing in. Upon arrival, the party encounters a broken man, a homeless drunkard prone to incessant rambling. This inspires an investigation into the stories of a lost temple. Has it been rediscovered by men seduced by its forgotten evil? The drunkard’s tale leads to others who might help the party discover more before they face The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil." 

We caught up with Kevin for 'Ten Questions In Gaming'
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us tonight and we’ve got ten questions for one of gaming’s guiding lights. So let’s get right to it shall we. 1. How did you get your start in the rpg hobby and how has it changed since then?
I started back in late 1980, playing with some school/Boy Scout friends. I was DM’ing in early 1982, probably at my birthday party. So many games have come and gone since then. The production values have skyrocketed, the new players in the market seem to double every few years. That’s as an end user.
As a writer, I have submitted probably 15 articles or adventures to magazines like Dragon. I think the last one was in 1992 or 1993. Usually no response, occasionally an encouraging rejection letter. No traction. So few outlets back then. Now, with crowdfunding, the OGL and other programs, the barriers to entry are pretty much gone, and people can share their voice and vision with the world.
2. Is table top role playing still one of your favorite past times? How often do you get together with players?
It is. Computer games just don’t have the same enjoyment for me that table top role playing does. I meet weekly, on Saturdays. Sometimes to playtest, sometimes to work on classics that I want to run again or always wanted to, but never did. Last year we played through the Volturnus series from Star Frontiers, and play tested “The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil” twice. Currently I am adapting T1-4, The Temple of Elemental Evil for 5e and seeing how well it holds up 35 years later.
3. I see that you’ve got a new adventure module Kickstarter happening. How is your Kickstarter different from those that players have seen in the past?
From a content perspective: I borrowed a concept from the Tactical Training world that they use in Force on Force classes. In those classes, you are run through a number of situations, some of which you should use lethal force to respond, some you should never even draw, and the balance have the outcome determined by the choices you make during the encounter. They can go either way. This is a critical tool in helping people learn to make the right choice quickly, particularly members of law enforcement.
I applied the idea to have some encounters favor combat, other favor role playing, and some able to go either way. All of them can be completed combat or RP. But the ones designed for RP are very tough combats and the ones designed for RP are very demanding on the RP side. My hope is that all playstyles will find enjoyment, and even try the other styles to complete the adventure.
From a project perspective: I launched the campaign with the adventure fully written and edited. Most of the art is delivered and the maps are in progress. It is more done than almost all of the projects I have backed. The goal was to remove the biggest issue I have seen over the years from the equation: the inability to write the content on a schedule. It seems to plague a lot of people, and upset a lot of backers. Things can still go wrong; not every risk can be mitigated. The single point of failure has been removed. The last thing I would want to do is miss a deadline for backers. The next to last thing I would want to do is replace an artist. As the only writer, I am a single point of failure. There are a lot of talented artists and cartographers that I could hire if some catastrophic even befell mine.
4. What systems are this adventure going to be for and what can players and dungeon masters expect from it?
It is written for 5e and the OSR compatible versions and dual stat’d. GM’s can convert it to any fantasy system. I think one of my backers mentioned interest in adapting for Call of Cthulhu as well. I’m looking forward to seeing how that one turns out.
5. How is this adventure going to stand out in today’s dynamic and changing table top rpg market?
It is non-linear. The intermediate quests are optional and can be done in any order. The art is great looking and plentiful. Alyssa Faden has always dazzled with her maps. Lovecraft themed adventures are the next big thing. Zombies are starting to get tired after 13 or so years. Everything I am seeing on the market has a single path A to B to C to D to Boss Fight. The hardest fight in the temple delve will surprise the players. Hint: it isn’t the BBEG at the end
6. What kinds of perks and levels are we going to see in your adventure and is there going to be continuing support for it after the Kickstarter ends?
In terms of stretch goals, adding to the art, adding player handouts and custom dice are planned.
In terms of support for the material, I am working on a website that will host a webstore, blog and a product catalog. It will also include forums to discuss adventures and a place for play testers to collaborate and discuss. There are sequels to this adventure planned.
7. Do you feel that as a writer and designer that Kickstarter has helped or hindered the table top rpg hobby in 2016?
I think it has helped more than it has hurt. It has given a lot of people a venue where they can get the capital needed to hire artist, cast miniatures, and put together some quality products with all the charm of something that wasn’t written by committee.
Personally, I think the failed projects have done the most harm to the independent gaming community. I know I have taken extra steps through Kickstarter and on my own to demonstrate the care I have taken to avoid ending as a failed project.
8. Where do as a designer fall in the spectrum of table top gaming? Are you an old school, new school, or some other facet of the hobby as a designer or writer of table top adventures?
I am mostly old school. I like the idea that the players may go too deep/far and get into an encounter that they may need to run from. I find the material from that era, take as a whole, better written and more fun. Every edition of the game has added something great to the game (even the editions I don’t like) and similarly every edition has changed how adventures are written. I think 5e is giving me the platform to publish the material I enjoy and am not seeing a lot of in the market without forcing players to be retro if they don’t care for retro gaming. This adventure has played well with B/X players and 5e players. I want all of them to do the same.

9. If this Kickstarter funds what other projects can we expect to see from you in the coming year? How does this define your expectations for this project?
I have 4 sequels to this one planned. I hope to run two more KS campaigns this year, and the balance next year. For the first project, my goal is to set myself apart from the pack by setting realistic goals, communicating like a champ and delivering on time. For the projects that follow, the goal will be to grow the audience while improving service, and schedules.
10. Where in 2017 would you like to see yourself and your place in the table top hobby?
I will finish the Hastur series of adventures and move into something larger in scale (14 parts). The next set of adventures includes 2-4 gazetteers and takes the party from level 1 to level 20. Dark Naga will be at GaryCon, NorthTexasRPGCon, andGenCon. However, I’m going, not as an Organized Play DM, but to promote Dark Naga.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today on Swords & Stitchery, this has been your host Eric Fabiachi.

Alright from where I'm sitting this adventure has the potent to be both useful and pretty damn slick. The Lovecraftian elements and old school vibe is there and it looks from here like Dark Naga Adventures has recruited some top talent for this. Will the Kickstarter come off? Well that's where you come in. Take a look and help to get this adventure off the ground and onto your gaming table.

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