Showing posts with label Melior Via. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melior Via. Show all posts

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Dorkland Interview: The Melior Via Crew Talk About The Accursed RPG

Melior Via's Accursed is a dark fantasy RPG for Savage Worlds that is currently being Kickstarted. The kickstarter is working its way through stretch goals as of this post, so if you're interested in joining the monster mash -- now is a good time.

For the real bloody meat of this post, though, we sat down in Dorkland's plush offices for an interview with the guys behind Accursed:

DL: First off, congratulations on surpassing your initial goal and breaking through some stretch goals! How has the Kickstarter experience been for you so far? Any problems? Anything awesome?

MV: Thank you very much! We’ve been very pleased with the response to the Kickstarter so far, and we’re extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the gaming community. So far, the Kickstarter experience has been a wild ride! We’ve all been watching the progress of the Kickstarter closely, and one of the best things so far has been interacting with the backers through the comments section. We’re gathering quite a bit of playtest information from the 100-page playtest player’s guide that all backers (regardless of level) get immediate access to, and the feedback from the fans is helping us make some improvements for the final product.

DL: When planning for Accursed, did you look into using any other systems? Have any future plans for porting the setting over to a different system? What made you decide on Savage Worlds?

MV: The three of us (Ross Watson, John Dunn, and Jason Marker) discussed what game system would be best for Accursed in the early stages of development. We checked out many of the existing systems in the RPG industry, and we found that Savage Worlds provided the best fit. The Fast, Furious, Fun approach of Savage Worlds is a good match for the heroic actions we wanted to portray for the Accursed’s struggle against the Witches. There are some stretch goals we’ve got lined up for the Kickstarter that involve translating Accursed into some other, very well known and popular RPG systems as well, but we’re going to keep those details under wraps until we get a bit closer to those stretch goals.

DL: How did Accursed come about? What started it all?

MV: I was trying to think of a new twist on the “dark fantasy” genre of RPGs, when I started considering some of my favorite touchstones of that concept were actually films like Hellboy and the Monster Squad, comic books like the Creature Commandos, or literature like Solomon Kane. I thought that having a setting where the heroes are monsters teaming up together to fight evil would be a really cool twist on a fantasy RPG, and combining it with some of the tropes I loved from Castlevania and Ravenloft helped firmly cement the idea in my mind.

DL: What are some of the influences behind the Accursed setting?

MV: Well, as I mentioned above, some of the biggest and most prominent influences are Hellboy and Solomon Kane. Castlevania and Ravenloft also have their part in the genesis of Accursed, and the three creators all found some excellent real-world mythology and faerie tales to draw upon as well. Accursed is a setting where all the faerie tales went horribly wrong, so the Brothers Grimm helped us flesh out several pieces of the setting as well.

DL: What were your design philosophies (personal and/or as a company) when planning and working on Accursed?

MV: One thing that was very important to us during the design of the Accursed setting was to take the main theme of the setting—dealing with the curse afflicting your character—and make sure to weave that theme throughout every part of the book. The mechanics, the character options, the sidebars, the GM advice, everything. Another really important element was to ground Accursed in tropes and ideas that people can relate to. For example, all of the Witchbreeds resemble classic monsters from movies and legends, and all the nations of Morden have a link to nations that are in the real world. I think we really brought out the key things that make Accursed unique, especially with how each player’s personal choices of how to deal with his character’s curse affect the story he can tell in Accursed.

DL: What do you have planned for the future of Accursed?

MV: Honestly, a lot of that depends on how well the Kickstarter ends up! We have tons of ideas for areas of Accursed to further develop, from producing more books about the setting (from the Discordian Sea to the forbidding Darkwall Mountains), more books about the Witches and their Banes, books focusing on the individual Witchbreeds, adventures and campaign books, and more. If the gaming community wants more Accursed, we can absolutely provide it!

DL: Our group had a chance to check out a creature from Accursed (the Leech-man). It seemed to be pretty Hardy for a minion. Is this a theme with Accursed creatures? What other differences might players find from their “average” horror/dark fantasy campaigns and settings?

MV: One thing we wanted to give people in the Accursed setting are some truly horrific monsters, creatures that are just disturbing in their very nature. One of the best examples of that are the bloated, slimy leech-men! That being said, there are a lot of nasty creatures in Accursed – these are the Banes, monsters crafted by the Witches to act as soldiers, servants, and slaves. Some of them are quite potent in battle whilst others (such as the murder-doll Manikins) are more frightening than tough.

DL: What is Melior Via going to do next? More Accursed? Have other projects?

MV: Well, as we’ve mentioned before, that has a lot to do with how well the Kickstarter does in the end! If Accursed does really well, we’ve got a lot of plans for more Accursed products down the line. Of course, Melior Via has other projects as well (such as the Hope Preparatory School series for Icons/Mutants and Masterminds), so it is fair to say that you’ll be seeing more from Melior Via in the future!

DL: What is your favorite part of Accursed and why?

MV: I think that all three of us have our own personal favorite piece of the setting, but for me (Ross Watson), I’d have to say that my favorite bit are the guidelines for how a character can develop and grow down the “fate track.” This section of the book discusses what happens when one of the Accursed begins to either embrace his curse and grow more monstrous (but also gaining more vulnerabilities associated with that monstrous form), or deny his curse and attempt to break it (possibly restoring his lost humanity, but also weakening some of his existing monstrous abilities). There are solid reasons, both role-playing and mechanical, for going down either path.

DL: Finally, the most important question: Have you created any strong min/max’d Accursed characters and, if so, what were they? (Need some tips!)

MV: I’ve made quite a few characters for the setting, both for demos of the game in my local area and also for my at-home game of Accursed that I run on a weekly schedule. So far one combination that I’ve found to be quite effective is a melee-focused Vargr with the Strength of the Motherland Edge. In bestial form, the Vargr can be quite a warrior!

We'd like to thank Melior Via for the time and wish them the best with their ongoing Kickstarter!