Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Five or So Questions with Ryan Schoon on Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance

Here is a link to the Kickstarter!

Tell me a little about your upcoming Kickstarter. What's exciting about it?

It is a follow up to the successful launch of Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance. This campaign companion delves even deeper into the world we created, offering more maps, adversaries, background and historic information, NPCs, and plot hooks so that GMs can bring their parties deeper into the world.

What did you do to develop this new material - what kind of preparation did it take?
Well it took a lot of work to develop, honestly.

We had to really study the cultures we wanted to base our world on. We worked with an Economist to figure out how money would work passing between nations in a world like ours. I teamed up with a latin and classical cultures major to fully flesh out the details of the culture, down to the histories, traditions, politics, and day to day lifestyle.

But mostly I studied the Renaissance. One of the biggest criticisms of the Core book is that it didn't dive fully into the Renaissance themes that are present in the world. I wanted to closely resemble the movement in Edara to that of Italy during the Renaissance so it required a lot of intense study and reading, and I learned more about Renaissance italy than I ever would have :)

Tell me a little about the plot hooks. What were you looking for in the plot hooks?
So this ties in a lot to the plot hooks. The biggest themes of our game are the conflict between science vs religion, renaissance vs steampunk, and the inherent racism that comes with a mult-racial fantasy world. In the corebook, we basically said here are the themes, you can build your games around these. But the plot hooks dig deeper into that. We focus on each realm individually (and some of the bigger realms are divided into regions, or even down to cities) in order to provide these hooks. They aren't fully fleshed out ideas or adventures, just hooks to help the GM build a campaign. The types of adventures that one might go on. For example, in the human kingdom of Kuria, which is broiled down in political disputes, the plot hooks have to do with one house playing the party against the others. There is also a racist movement inside the kingdom that might attempt to use the party to act out against the other races, which puts the party in a tough position as they have to decide what is more important to them: appeasing their employers or breaking the cycle of racism that has built up in the kingdom after years of war. Meanwhile, in the Dwarven kingdom, the plot hooks are more adventurous; exploring new tunnels and ruins to find lost dwarven treasures, or escorting merchants while they sell their wares above ground.

Tell me more about the cultures you based the world on. What kind of characters and cultures will we see?
Well we have several cultures spread across the world. The humans are actually based on medieval culture with Italian Renaissance flavors. Then we have the orc mountains which is based more on nomadic Mongolian aspects with a high focus on honor. The elves are rooted more in Tolkienesque fantasy and an almost pure socialist society. So there is a lot of variety!

Is this the last we'll see of Edara, or is there more to come? If there is more - what should we be excited for?
And no this is not the last! We plan on offering future books in this line focusing on parts of Edara that we haven't seen yet. There will be this same amount of focus and death on the areas beyond the mountains and forests, which we will talk about more as time goes on! This book will lead right into the future timelines of Edara.

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