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Friday, 16 February 2018

Transcript From my Lion & Dragon Q&A!

Here, courtesy of Dan Davenport's archive, is the complete transcript of my Live Q&A chat yesterday. Enjoy!

[19:33] <+RPGPundit> So, I’m the RPGPundit.
[19:34] <+RPGPundit> Do any of you really need more than that?  Ok, well, my latest game is the bestseller “Lion & Dragon: Medieval-Authentic OSR Roleplaying”, which is here: (Link:
[19:35] <+RPGPundit> I also saved D&D, and by extension the hobby, from itself, and I’ve been accused of being a sexist gatekeeper, by morons.
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> Now I just got to show everyone that they’ve never actually played “medieval fantasy” until Lion & Dragon.
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> (oh, I’m done).
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> Glad you like it, Catseye!
[19:36] <~Dan> Thanks, RPGPundit! The floor is open to questions!
[19:37] <~Dan> So I know the answer to this based upon your previous visit, but for the sake of our readers: What is the setting?
[19:38] <+RPGPundit> I’ve got one! Did you know that has apparently refused to publish a review of Lion & Dragon someone submitted! Wonder why?
[19:38] <+RPGPundit> Ok, Lion & Dragon technically doesn’t have a setting, though it’s IMPLICIT setting is Medieval Europe. One where the paradigm of actual historical medieval europeans was correct.
[19:38] <~Dan> Really? Wow…
[19:39] <+RPGPundit> That is to say, medieval europe with monsters and magic, but monsters and magic AS THE MEDIEVAL EUROPEANS UNDERSTOOD THEM
[19:39] <+Krimson> Question: Why did you go with Lion and Dragon instead of the much cooler sounding Hollow Crown? 
[19:40] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: more people voted for Lion & Dragon. And ultimately, getting to put the “&” on it probably makes it a better choice.
[19:40] <+Krimson> I certainly can’t argue against the use of the Ampersand.
[19:40] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yeah. A guy named Ulari posted on therpgsite that he submitted a review of L&D weeks and weeks ago and they’ve just not published it.
[19:41] <~Dan> Huh…
[19:41] <+RPGPundit> Also, Lion=Plantagenet, Dragon=Tudor.
[19:41] <+Krimson> Dan I saw the same post on TheRPGSite as well.
[19:41] <~Dan> (wb, Catseye)
[19:42] <+Catseye> (thanks))
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> It’s sure been fun watching some people flailing desperately at L&D’s unprecedented success.
[19:43] <+Krimson> I don’t think many of the critics followed your posts during development.
[19:43] <+RPGPundit> Like I’ve said before: You should buy Lion & Dragon because it’ll totally change the way you think about medieval-authentic gaming! That buying it will also piss off all the right people is just extra! (Link:
[19:43] <+Catseye> they aren’t critics when all they do is a hatchet-job.
[19:43] <~Dan> So how difficult was it to make OSR work for medieval-authentic?
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> Dan: hehe, good question. On the whole, not all that hard, in that most of the problem is a change of PERCEPTION among players, of playstyle, rather than mechanics.
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> But the one big mechanical exception that had to be overhauled is the magic system, of course.
[19:45] <+RPGPundit> So Lion & Dragon does not use the Vancian spellcasting system at all. Instead, it uses a series of magical lores & techniques that are actually drawn from REAL historical medieval grimoires.
[19:46] <~Dan> That’s something you’ve studied extensively, IIRC?
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> That’s for wizards, obviously. For Clerics, their magic is also non-vancian and based on some basic ‘common miracles’ and then at higher level direct communion with & intervention from God.
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> Dan: that’s correct. I’m an historian of the occult, and have studied it on a practical level for over 20 years now.
[19:47] <~Dan> Is wizardly magic largely ritualistic in the game?
[19:47] <+RPGPundit> So the magic that magisters (wizards) do in L&D is directly lifted from medieval magic-books. Meaning a lot more rituals and magical talismans and stuff like that, yes. There is some magic that wizards can just do directly.
[19:48] <+RPGPundit> Some of which is very funny. For example, when you read what wizards had to do to supposedly become Invisible.
[19:48] <~Dan> Oh? Do tell. 
[19:49] <+RPGPundit> Ok, so first, L&D magister techinques are divided into the following broad categories: Summoning, Astrology, Cures, ‘battle magic’ (the kind of impromptu magic), Banishing, Talismans and Alchemy
[19:49] * ~Dan nods
[19:50] <+RPGPundit> Each of these grant a number of specific techniques. In “battle magic” you have several spells that can be cast without doing any complex ritual work, the closest thing to typical ‘spells’. One of these is called “Unseen to Enemies”.
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> To cast “Unseen to Enemies”, the magician must take off his left shoe, circle it in the air above his head 7 times, and shake it in front of him 7 times, while calling out certain magical words.
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> I would strongly urge L&D GMs to force their wizard players to act it out every time they cast it.
[19:51] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:51] <+RPGPundit> And yes, this was directly taken from a magical grimoire
[19:52] <+Catseye> beautiful!
[19:53] <+Gust32> “most of the problem is a change of PERCEPTION among players, of playstyle, rather than mechanics.”…. Could you expand on this a bit more. Do you mean you are not playing in a “fantasy world where you can do almost anything and get away with it – ie Player 1: I’m bored, let’s go murder someone/thing” or something else?
[19:53] <+Krimson> I’m not sure I’d want a player removing a shoe during a game. 
[19:53] <~Dan> Are there any limits to spellcasting beyond the required rituals?
[19:53] <+RPGPundit> So in L&D, wizards have to prep beforehand, for the most part. They can be super-powerful if they have the right materials.
[19:53] <~Dan> Really? What can magic accomplish on the high end?
[19:53] <+RPGPundit> Gust32: That’s very right. In the L&D world, players need to get used to the standards of the medieval paradigm. To give an example…
[19:54] <+RPGPundit> …in most fantasy worlds, you’re really just playing in Medieval-fun-time Ren-faire with Portland/Seattle values (or OSR games, sometimes with Wisconsin values).  That is, that there’s almost no consideration to things like social class.
[19:54] <~Dan> Good point.
[19:54] <+RPGPundit> So you might have PCs who are “peasants” in greyhawk or faerun, but that just means “poor farmers”, most of the time.
[19:55] <+RPGPundit> And you might have some PCs who’s a “knight” but that just means “fighter who has platemail and a horse”
[19:55] <+RPGPundit> And you can have a group of PCs where they all vote to decide what they do and the peasant PC has the same vote as the Knight PC. And then when they meet a Lord, the peasant might be the one to tell the Lord what he thinks they should all do
[19:56] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Rithuan!)
[19:56] <+RPGPundit> None of that would happen in L&D.  Social Class is huge and really matters. It determines everything about who you are. Being from a knightly family is better than having an 18 str most times, because it means you can go around with a sword and the peasant with 18 str is stuck with a 1d4 dagger.
[19:57] <+RPGPundit> If  peasant tries to tell a Baron what he thinks they should all do, he’ll probably be beaten where he stands. On the other hand, if a Knight is trying to get information in the big city, he’s not going to get anywhere.
[19:57] <~Dan> (brb — please continue)
[19:58] <+RPGPundit> Also, religion is hugely important.  Never mind that most D&D worlds just strap on polytheism to the middle ages and pretend it fits (it doesn’t), but Clerics are also pretty much just whatever. Their alignment matters more than their god, really.
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> In L&D, religion matters to absolutely everyone. And if you’re a Cleric, one of God’s chosen, you get HUGE social-class respect for it (a very big advantage) but you also have to swear Poverty, Chastity and Obedience to the Order and the Pontifex.
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> No Clerics running around with 1 million gp.  Not that you’d ever find that in L&D.
[19:59] <+RPGPundit> Hope that answered your question  more or less, Gust32?
[20:00] <~Dan> (back)
[20:00] <+RPGPundit> Dan: The limits to spellcasting are what you can learn, first of all. You also need materials. For really powerful magic you will either have to be born rich, or get a powerful patron, who will likely make demands of you.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> You also asked about examples of really powerful magic: well, a mid-level magister specialised in Alchemy can make a flamethrower of Greek Fire.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> A high-level magister can try to make the Philosopher’s Stone or the Elixir of Immortality.
[20:01] <+Catseye> How I did it in AD&D 2nd Edition? If a Cleric went to town with that absurd amount of money, they would meet the tax man and then the temple tithe. They would be lucky to end up with a few gold pieces left. I was really brutal on treasure and its possibility of wrecking the kingdom’s economy.
[20:01] <+RPGPundit> Of course, a low-level magister could also try to summon the Demon Prince Asmodeus.. Though that probably wouldn’t go too well.
[20:02] <~Dan> So given its importance, how do you handle social class in character creation?
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: see, in L&D, the Cleric would just give ALL that money to the Clerical Order. Then the Order in turn gives the Clerics whatever they need for their given missions.
[20:03] <+Catseye> Fair enough 
[20:03] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Well, by default social class is randomly determined. GMs of course can have the option to not make it random, for example if they want to run a “Game of Thrones” style campaign where everyone is noble.
[20:03] <+RPGPundit> Or a London city gangs campaign where everyone is a “villain” (city-dweller)
[20:03] <~Dan> Does social class then limit what character classes are available?
[20:03] <+Krimson> And then there’s me who would run Black Adder.
[20:04] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: that would be great!
[20:04] <+Catseye> It sounds a bit more versitile than vanilla D&D.
[20:04] <+Krimson> Yeah, it would probably be pretty fun. It would take some preparation but the humor of that show was often historical.
[20:04] <+RPGPundit> Dan: no. Character classes each have (low) minimum ability score requirements. But social class doesn’t affect it. If you’re a peasant fighter, it means you’re probably a mercenary, if you’re a knightly fighter then you’re obviously on track to being a knight.
[20:05] <+RPGPundit> The exception are clerics, who are chosen as children to be trained in the Clerical Order. So if you play a cleric, regardless of which social class you were BORN into, you count as a Knightly social class character when you become invested as a cleric.
[20:05] <+Catseye> I like the idea of social standing being something to be earned
[20:05] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest09!)
[20:05] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: Blackadder was one of my direct inspirations for the Scots Men in Dark Albion
[20:06] <+RPGPundit> Dark Albion, by the way folks, is my awesome RPG setting, and is in some ways the natural setting book for Lion & Dragon. You don’t need one to play the other, but why wouldn’t you?
[20:06] <+Krimson> Oh neat. I’ll have to give that a read. I’m sure I bought the PDF a while back. Say, is L&D going to be on Lulu?
[20:06] <~Dan> Ah, yes. I was just about to bring that up. 
[20:06] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: Lion & Dragon is ALREADY on lulu! (Link:
[20:07] <~Dan> Nice!
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> Hardcover only, though. So if you want the SC or HC+PDF options you have to go with rpgnow.
[20:07] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[20:07] <~Dan> So I’m guessing that L&D is a humans-only game?
[20:07] <+Krimson> Thanks I’ll keep that in mind. I bought Dark Albion on OBS, so I probably won’t get a print copy because of shipping, but Lulu has a facility in Canada which makes purchases much more cost effective.
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Dan: correct. There are all kinds of monsters (and a monster chapter in the book), including things like Elves and Goblins, but these are seriously INHUMAN.
[20:08] * ~Dan nods
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Lion & Dragon/Dark Albion Elves will scare the shit out of your players. Encountering them is more like encountering some kind of creepy aliens than meeting legolas.
[20:09] <+RPGPundit> (sorry, language!)
[20:09] <~Dan> Are there hordes of goblins and their ilk? Or is that too un-creepy?
[20:10] <+Krimson> That sounds neat. My elves are usually more Melniboneans and less Keebler so I like that. I remember some of the Fae in some Slaine comics which I think were influenced by Cu Chulainn.
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> Dan: there are bands of goblins to encounter. But like all supernatural beings, these are encountered ‘over there’, far off in the lonely places, in the wilderlands or the frontier.
[20:11] <~Dan> So no invading armies of orcs or the like?
[20:11] <+Catseye> I’m thankful for that
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> It’s a standard of the medieval paradigm that everyone knows the living dead and goblins and elves and giants etc exist, but that most peasants will live their whole lives without ever seeing one, because they hide in the fringes of the human world.
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> Of course, that’s where adventurers go.
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> Dan: no, for armies it’s generally humans. Of course, Dark Albion has the Frogmen, but even they’re “over there”, as in over there on the Continent where everything goes.
[20:12] <~Dan> Actually, how do “adventurers” fit into the medieval paradigm?
[20:12] <+Seer> You mean the French?
[20:12] <+RPGPundit> Good question! What you can’t really have is just a group of ‘murderhobos’ running around doing whatever they like. Remember, this is a culture where literally wearing certain types of clothing outside your social class can be a crime.
[20:13] <+Catseye> I’ll be honest. I read Tolkien in high school and never could get through it. It just never clicked with me. So games based upon it always created a mental disconnect. So I prefer my fantasy based on just about anything else.
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> You can’t go into a city wearing armor and fully armed (or armed at all, unless you’re a noble or cleric).
[20:13] <+Krimson> Catseye, I made it halfway through the trilogy before I literally threw the book out a window. 
[20:14] <~Dan> (Clerics are allowed to be armed?)
[20:14] <+RPGPundit> So this means that adventurers have to be something: the closest thing to the murderhobo format would be if they were brigands or outlaws.
[20:14] <+RPGPundit> Other possibilities are that PCs could all be a group in the service of a noble (possibly one of the PCs, or some NPC). Or working for the Clerical Order. Or the Church, or the Crown, or a University.
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They could be a street gang in a big city (like London or York). They could be a merchant or mercenary company.
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They could be part of an army fighting in the Rose War.
[20:15] <+Catseye> Krimson: Fell asleep during the middle and woke up literally at the end of the school day. I still can’t believe I avoided detenbtion for it.
[20:15] <+RPGPundit> They have to fit into it somehow, though. And then work according to the place they fit into.
[20:15] <~Dan> On the face of it, the random social class thing would seem to make cohesive groups difficult. Am I missing something there?
[20:16] <+RPGPundit> And no, in the default concept, Clerics aren’t allowed to marry. (of course if you want you can always change that for your game)
[20:16] <+RPGPundit> Dan: not in my experience.  For example, if you get a group with varied social class, you could have them all be working as agents for a given Lord. Possibly, one of the PCs is the lord, or the lord is his dad.
[20:16] <+Krimson> Well you could try RPing the Reformation. 
[20:17] <~Dan> I see. Makes sense.
[20:17] <+RPGPundit> Or they could be a disparate group working as Inquisitors for the Clerical Order, backing up a PC (or NPC) Cleric.
[20:18] <~Dan> Does the game focus on any particular part of the Middle Ages?
[20:18] <+RPGPundit> Even if they were a group of outlaws, you could have the PCs who were of an aristocratic social-level be renegades, who were disinherited by their father, or committed some crime, or who’s family was attaindered (stripped of title) by the Crown.
[20:18] <+RPGPundit> Yes. Lion & Dragon by default is set up to run in the Late Middle Ages, from 1350-1500. You can set it earlier, with a bit of effort, or later into the Renaissance with a bit more effort.
[20:19] <~Dan> Does that mean that firearms are available?
[20:19] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: if you want some context as to how L&D plays, it’s very much NOT Tolkien. What you could see it as being closer to is Game of Thrones, or of course what GoT itself is based on: the War of the Roses plays by Shakespeare
[20:20] <+Krimson> The Renaissance has a range around the 14th to 18th centuries, so there is certainly a couple of centuries of overlap while staying firmly in the Medieval period.
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> Which was really just the original Game of Thrones. Shakespeare was the 16th Century’s George RR Martin, complete with killing off Falstaff, everyone’s favorite character.
[20:20] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: that’s right. Technically you’d be playing in the time of early Italian Renaissance, for example, and that would still be perfectly manageable by L&D.
[20:21] <+RPGPundit> Dan: Yes. There’s rules for firearms and cannons in L&D.
[20:21] <+Krimson> The Age of Exploration fits in there as well.
[20:21] <+Seer> Is alchemy considered a natural science or spirituality
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: the very early part of it.
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> Seer: there’s two different types of Alchemy. Three if you count the Apothecary/herbalism skill. Besides that one, there’s the “Alchemy Lore (“Puffery”)”, which is non-magical medieval chemistry, and then “True Alchemy” which is the magical skill.
[20:23] <+RPGPundit> With Alchemy Lore you can make stuff like asbestos, gunpowder, false gold, acids, and even some very unstable explosives.
[20:23] <+Seer> Is the philosopher’s stone self-multiplying?
[20:23] <~Dan> Would you say that this is a “gritty” take on OSR?
[20:24] <+RPGPundit> Seer: no, I based it on other medieval sources which suggest it is actually rather fragile (it dissolves in water, for example, so don’t get it wet!).
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes. L&D is VERY gritty, even by OSR standards.
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> In combat it’s possible to lose body parts.
[20:25] <~Dan> Hmm… How do you handle hit point inflation?
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> Dan: I did hit points a little differently. You start the game at 0-level, with 1d6hp, modified by CON. When you get to lv1 in your class, you roll a hit die. After that, you get a (very low) fixed amount of HP every time you level, but only roll for more hp on top of that if you get it as a random or chosen advancement bonus.
[20:26] <+Seer> Hermeticists were somewhat pantheists, and presumably some of the witches who practice magic the church wouldn’t call ‘natural’ would offend Catholic sensibilities as well.  How do you expect these differences to affect party dynamics?
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> There’s tables that you use to see how you level, so characters will all be different as they advance. You can roll twice on a table at random, or choose just once.
[20:27] <+Rithuan> What sources do you suggest for the War of the Roses? Was it complex to bring this material to RPG material? Thank you!
[20:28] <+RPGPundit> Seer: Lion & Dragon presume that you’re running the game in the late Medieval Period. At this time, everyone is monotheist, except for rare cultists or heretics. So “witches” were either servants of demons (evil), or they were just peasant ‘wise men/women’ who knew some of the ‘old ways’ but still identified as monotheists.
[20:29] <+RPGPundit> Middle and upper-class magic-users were “Magisters”, trained in the occult sciences and natural philosophy in the great universities (so they’re also loremasters, and have a lot of knowledge skills that are non-magical). They’re monotheists as well, unless they become heretics of some kind, or make pacts with (as opposed to dominating) demons.
[20:30] <+RPGPundit> Rithuan: it’s hard to suggest sources for the War of the Roses. Dark Albion is pretty complete in terms of the setting material it offers. But if a GM wanted to learn about the War of the Roses to improve his game, I’d suggest looking at fiction, starting with Shakespeare’s plays about it.
[20:31] <~Dan> Is the Church okay with dominating demons?
[20:31] <+Seer> I just think As Above, So Below would ruffle the feathers of the church
[20:32] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes. To a certain degree. You need to remember that in the medieval period, what we could call ‘high magic’ was seen as “natural philosophy” and (as long as it wasn’t either trickery or devil worship), it was understood to be totally acceptable for a learned man of faith to do.
[20:32] <+RPGPundit> In the earlier middle ages almost all the important magicians were monks!
[20:33] <+RPGPundit> In the renaissance, you had people like John Dee, who was a very prestigious Elizabethan intellectual and a trusted courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, and famous for his magical studies.
[20:34] <+RPGPundit> In Lion & Dragon, I even mention a historical story, about how Carolus Magnus made a brazen head (something else you can do in the game) and his apprentice accidentally broke it. His apprentice was Thomas Aquinas, considered by Catholics to be a saint and the greatest catholic theologian since the early Church fathers.
[20:35] <~Dan> Huh. I’ll be darned. 
[20:35] <+Guest60> Re: “they’re also loremasters, and have a lot of knowledge skills that are non-magical”, what’s the skill system like?
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> This is another issue with Medieval-Authentic gaming. People in the modern era have very inaccurate perceptions of what the Church was like in the middle ages. Its why in Dark Albion I just substituted “Jesus” for “the Unconquered Sun”, even though everything else is still basically the same.
[20:36] <~Dan> Is that a holdover from Solomon, re: holy magic?
[20:36] <+RPGPundit> I found that just by it not being the “christian” church, even though EVERYTHING ELSE WAS EXACTLY THE SAME, it solved a whole bunch of mental blocks gamers have with playing in a Medieval-Authentic setting.
[20:37] <+RPGPundit> Because non-religious gamers get all worked up about assuming the church was ‘bad’ in all kinds of ways it wasn’t, and religious gamers get worked up with a bunch of their own assumptions (depending on what denomination they are) that are also not really accurate.
[20:38] <+RPGPundit> Dan: exactly.  Almost all the medieval wizards claimed to be following in the tradition of Solomon. And in the grimoires, those lengthy rituals are usually full of prayers, fasting, more prayer, and reciting the psalms (the psalms were usually seen to be full of magical power, like a secret spellbook right inside the bible).
[20:39] <~Dan> Interesting.
[20:39] <+RPGPundit> Guest60: sorry, almost didn’t see your question!  The skill system in L&D is pretty simple. You get skills with bonuses, +1, +2, etc, and roll a D20+skill+ability-score-modifier, versus a DC.
[20:39] <~Dan> (Guest60: You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> Skills can be gotten through social class (what your family was trained in), through the random previous-events table of something that happened in your character’s past, or by class.
[20:40] <+Guest60> Few broad skills or numerous narrow ones?
[20:41] <+RPGPundit> Guest60: In following with the idea I had strongly pushed for 5e D&D, Lion & Dragon has no set “list” of skills. Most characters will only have a few skills (obviously with Thieves and Magisters being the most skill-heavy).  But the GM is free to make up more skills if he likes.
[20:42] <+RPGPundit> Currently Smoking: Ashton Old Church Rhodesian + C&D’s Crowley’s Best
[20:43] <~Dan> Are there any classes that are absent from or unique to L&D?
[20:44] <+Guest60> Free form then or not? Can you give a few examples? I assume there are specific examples in the rule book?
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> L&D has four core classes, and two optional classes. The core classes are Cleric, Fighter, Magister and Thief.  The two optional classes are Scots Man (which could be taken to be ‘barbarian’) and Cymri (which could be taken to be ‘gypsy’ or ‘roguish jack-of-all-trades’).
[20:45] <+RPGPundit> Guest60: well, most fighters will have Horsemanship.  If you were from a peasant family, you will probably start with “farming”, but maybe “herding” or “fishing”. If you were city-born poor you probably have “urban lore” (how to survive in a city).
[20:45] <+RPGPundit> But if you were city-born with a bit more wealth, your father might have been in a trade, so you might start with “draper” or “baker” or “saddler”.
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> If you’re a thief, at Level 1 you get ‘pick pockets’, ‘open lock’, “find/remove traps”, “sneak”, “listen” and “climb”. Later on, a thief might get Urban Lore or Wilderness Lore or Court Lore (depending where he hangs out); ‘appraisal’, or ‘forgery’, or ‘disguise’, or ‘artifact lore’.
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> -done-
[20:48] <~Dan> Do you use alignments?
[20:49] <+RPGPundit> Yes, just the three basic ones: Law, Neutral, Chaos. Clerics of course must be lawful, for everyone else it’s their choice.
[20:49] <~Dan> (wb, Rithuan)
[20:49] <+Catseye> I prefer that method
[20:50] <+Catseye> once you expand to 9 alignmnts, you get into trouple
[20:50] <+RPGPundit> I had considered using stats of some kind to simulate piety, or honor, but I decided all that stuff is better roleplayed.
[20:50] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest54!)
[20:50] <~Dan> (wb, Guest60!)
[20:51] <~Dan> How do Law, Chaos, and Neutrality manifest in ways particular to this setting?
[20:51] <~Dan> (If that makes sense.)
[20:52] <+RPGPundit> Also, just like almost everyone in the world is level-0, almost everyone is Neutral.  Lawful are people who are extremely law-and-order or extremely religious, while Chaos is for people who are seriously criminal or seriously looking to revolt against the established order of things. Everyone else is just neutral.
[20:53] <~Dan> Does the setting address good vs. evil at all? Are demons objectively evil, for example?
[20:53] <+RPGPundit> It is presumed that the monotheistic God (whether you use Jehova or the Unconquered Sun or whatever) is a god of Law. That’s how the medieval people saw Him. Meanwhile, Chaos as a metaphysical force is supernatural rebellion against God and hostile to Man. Most intelligent supernatural creatures are Chaotic (some nature spirits can be Neutral).
[20:55] <+RPGPundit> Without a doubt, demons are objectively ‘evil’ in the sense that they seek the oppression and destruction of humanity, and the ruin of those who seek their power. That’s why if you make a PACT with a demon (as opposed to a magister Dominating it by -you guessed it- invoking the name of God), you are then spiritually doomed.
[20:55] * ~Dan nods
[20:56] <+RPGPundit> On the other hand, all people are, by their nature, good and evil. So some Lawful character might be a complete bastard who is a cruel torturer in the name of the King and authority and whatever. Or someone Chaotic might be Robin Hood.
[20:57] <+RPGPundit> All Clerics, for example, are lawful, but Clerics can run the gamut from those who dedicate their lives to caring for the poor, to those who dedicate their lives to hunting down heretics or slaying the Turks.  All of those things are, by medieval standards “good”.
[20:57] <~Dan> I see… So there’s objective evil in the setting, but it doesn’t apply to humans.
[20:57] <+RPGPundit> That’s been my experience (in life and as an historian) of humans in general, yes.
[20:57] * ~Dan nods
[20:58] <+RPGPundit> Humans can DO things that are objectively evil. But a Goblin IS objectively evil.
[20:58] * ~Dan nods
[20:59] <~Dan> I’m always annoyed by the claim that creatures like goblins “can’t” be pure evil.
[20:59] <~Dan> As an aside here.
[20:59] <+RPGPundit> Well, then Lion & Dragon is the game for you!
[20:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:59] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[20:59] <~Dan> Good salesmanship, sir. 
[21:00] <~Dan> What are dragons like in the setting?
[21:00] <+RPGPundit> First, in the implied setting they’re super-rare.  The last one was seen hundreds of years ago. People think they might have gone extinct, at least in this part of the world. They are remembered as terrifying.
[21:01] * ~Dan nods
[21:01] <+RPGPundit> So you won’t be spotting any just wandering around at low level. In fact, at mid-level you’re more likely to go off on an expedition to look for some abandoned dragon lair in order to get “dragonstone” (solidified dragon poop) which is a key ingredient in Byzantine Dragonfire.
[21:02] <+RPGPundit> But of course, there are Stats for Dragons in the monster chapter, both small and large dragons. And they’re super deadly. Dragons are always intelligent, and can usually speak (if they want to) in multiple languages.
[21:02] <+RPGPundit> Sometimes they may shapeshift.
[21:03] <~Dan> Do they all breathe fire?
[21:03] <+RPGPundit> Even small dragons can cause fear in ordinary mortals (Elves can do that too).
[21:03] <+RPGPundit> Yes, they all breathe fire.
[21:03] <+Catseye> Pundit: I’ve encountered loudmouths on your forums that have always insisted and browbeat me over their believe that shades of grey in morality always have to be catered to in gaming. Morality and alignment I have always had problems with talking about there.
[21:04] <+Catseye> sorry, belief
[21:04] <+Catseye> and yes, I outed myself. I’m a member of your forums
[21:04] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: really? That’s strange because I would have bet that the majority of people on my forum tend to not be the ‘shades of grey’ types. 
[21:05] <~Dan> Heh. 
[21:05] <+RPGPundit> but we do have all kinds. We even have some full-blown Communists there!
[21:05] <+RPGPundit> Or WORSE… people who like White Wolf games.
[21:05] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:06] <+Catseye> You originally invited me to your forums on a visit years past here. In this very chatroom.
[21:06] <~Dan> (wb, Le_Squide)
[21:07] <+RPGPundit> But ‘loudmouths’ is probably super accurate. theRPGsite is definitely full of loudmouths. Its a free speech forum, meaning that people can say what they think (as long as it’s about gaming). So you have to be ready for a rowdier atmosphere, and some people flaming.
[21:07] <~Dan> You’ve touched on this, but can you say a bit more about elves in this game?
[21:07] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest84!)
[21:08] <+Catseye> Pundit: Then why do you have so many anti-free speech jerks there? The ones who want to bully and shut others down? And yes, I can give examples.
[21:08] <+RPGPundit> Sure. Elves are pretty much the same as I presented them in Dark Albion, and how they were elaborated upon in the Cults of Chaos book (which is an AWESOME book full of tables to create totally unique evil cults/heresies/witch-covens etc):
[21:09] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[21:09] <+RPGPundit> So the main inspiration for Elves are the darker legends and folklore, of the unseelie court, changelings, people vanishing in the woods, stone-circles, etc.
[21:10] <+Catseye> Pundit: I don’t mean anything personal against you. You have mostly been very fair to me.
[21:10] <+RPGPundit> Elves once lived in the material world, and ruled over men. But they became decadent, warred with each other, and then men with elvish blood (from elves cross-breeding with their human slaves) overthrew them with magic, and they had to flee to a place called the “twilight realm”.
[21:10] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest44!)
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> But they can still enter the material world in places where the veil between the worlds is weak. Some chaotic places, standing stones, stone circles, etc.
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> They are incredibly dangerous, causing fear in (and higher-HD elves can even enchant) low-level mortals. They sometimes take people away with them to the Twilight Realm.
[21:12] <+RPGPundit> in L&D you get stats for common elves, knight elves, elven lords, and elf maidens.  All of which are very dangerous opponents.
[21:12] <+RPGPundit> in a future RPGPundit Presents supplement, I’ll be providing more information on the fae realm of the elves.
[21:13] <~Dan> Do you cover other fae creatures as well?
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> Catseye: there’s anti-free-speech people on theRPGsite because it’s a free-speech site. Comes with the territory. There’s very few basic rules, and if they follow those they can think or say what they like. But one of the rules is against stalking, if you think you are being serially stalked by another user please let me know (though maybe by PM on theRPGsite
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> rather than here).
[21:15] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes, things like basilisks, black dogs, griffins, hippogriffs (elven knights’ favorite mounts), unicorns, giants, satyrs, and much more.
[21:16] <~Dan> Hmm… Maybe I should ask if you distinguish between “fae creature” and “magical creature”.
[21:16] <+RPGPundit> Here’s a link to the RPGPundit Presents series, by the way. It’s a weekly series of supplements, very inexpensive, that generally alternate between two themes: “gonzo” and “Medieval authentic” .The latter are for Lion & Dragon (though you can use them in other OSR games).
[21:16] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[21:17] <+Krimson> I think I reviewed Pundit’s firearms guide in that series.
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes. there’s non-fae magical creatures too. like the Undead, demons, chaos slimes, etc.
[21:17] <~Dan> Chaos slimes? Are such things authentically medieval?
[21:18] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: right, that one is a non-L&D supplement. But there’s lots of L&D-default supplements expanding the magical techniques, plus adventure scenarios, and future stuff to come (like more on Clerics).
[21:18] <+Krimson> And at least once Youkai in the form of Reynard der Fuchs. 
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> Dan: yes, to a certain extent. I took a bit of liberty with that. But in the middle ages “slimes” were associated with the sinister and evil and black magic.
[21:20] * ~Dan nods
[21:20] <~Dan> While we’re on the subject, how extensive is the game’s bestiary?
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> evil ‘slime’ was seen as a kind of material manifestation of Sin. Dante even brings it up.
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> Dan: NOT counting human statblocks for various npc templates (thugs, low/mid/high level fighters, cultists, etc), there’s 53 separate statblocks for types of non-human creatures.
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> So, not enormous, but decent.
[21:22] <~Dan> Very respectable!
[21:22] * ~Dan nods
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> Oh, that’s also not counting stats for Demons, which are found in the Summoning section.
[21:22] <+Krimson> You don’t need too much extensive in a world where you can kill people with pigs. 
[21:23] <+RPGPundit> True!
[21:23] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> Well, just that Lion & Dragon is a game that will likely change the way you think about ‘medieval fantasy’. Even if you don’t run it directly, it’s got tons of stuff that you’ll be able to port into any other OSR game.
[21:24] <~Dan> Oh, one last question from me: What’s the future of the game line?
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> It’s got all kinds of stuff on medieval economics, laws (including a system for resolving medieval-style trials, both secular and ecclesiastic), random treasure tables done in a medieval style, random tables for travel and encounters in the frontiers&wilderlands, and much more.
[21:25] <+Catseye> well to me, this is a good game. One that deserves judgment on its own merits
[21:25] <+RPGPundit> Dan: the future of the game line is strong. As a rule, I made most of my products as stand-alone. Arrows of Indra and Lords of Olympus have no supplements as such. Whereas with Lion & Dragon, if you get the main book and like it you ALREADY have a ton of extra stuff you can get:
[21:25] <+RPGPundit> Here’s a list: (Link:
[21:26] <+Krimson> The economics interests me. I’ve spend an inordinate of time on currency systems and trade.
[21:26] <~Dan> Very cool.
[21:26] <+RPGPundit> About half of all the RPGPundit Presents products will be focused on Medieval-Authentic OSR play and will be directly usable with Lion & Dragon. Most recently, I released a product that expands the Astrology technique making it have way more features than just basic prediction.
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> There’s also a number of already-published ‘adventure scenarios’ in the Pundit Presents series, and more to come.
[21:27] <~Dan> Speaking of promotion, I’d like to remind folks that those interested in supporting my Q&A series can do so at (Link: . 
[21:27] <+Krimson> By half me means you don’t get the Phased Plasma Rifle with the 40 Watt range.
[21:27] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Pundit!
[21:27] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: well, yeah, that’s another way L&D differs from any other D&D setting. It’s assumed that it’s a low-cash economy. A lot of characters might not be running around with 1000s of coins. Or even dozens of coins.
[21:28] <+Krimson> I still say Plasma weapons should be able to use multifire. 
[21:28] <~Dan> As usual, you’re more than welcome to hang out as long as you like.
[21:28] <+Krimson> Oh for sure. I like those old currency systems.
[21:28] <+RPGPundit> Krimson: so noted. BTW, did you check out the latest Pundit Presents #19: The Frantabulous Gonzo Robot Generator? It’s awesome.
[21:29] <+RPGPundit> (Link:
[21:29] <~Dan> Give me just a minute, and I’ll get the log posted and get you the link!
[21:29] <+Krimson> My own games usually assume a silver standard. I have not looked at the Robot book yet. Are these things ever going to get bound into one volume?
[21:29] <+RPGPundit> Thank you very much for having me, Dan.
[21:29] <~Dan> Absolutely!


  1. Right at the end of the interview you were asked whether you were looking to combine the various 'Pundit Presents' into one volume. Could you answer this please?

    1. Oh, yes. I actually did answer it, just after the transcript ended.
      There will DEFINITELY be compilations of the RPGPundit Presents material, in two parts: one "Medieval Authentic" compilation, and one "Gonzo" compilation.

      But these will be a long time coming still, probably another year or so at the earliest.