Today we get the chance to grill the masterful Gentleman Gamer about his newest creation, They Came From Beneath The Sea! This game uses the Storypath System and is the fourth game to be deep in development by Onyx Path that uses that system. That said, this game is drastically different tonally than Scion 2nd Edition or Trinity Continuum, so we are looking forward to hearing from Matthew Dawkins himself about what makes They Came From Beneath The Sea! different than other games in the Storypath line. If you're unfamiliar with Mr. Dawkins, here are a few key links to learn about the guy. Facebook YouTube Onyx Path
1) Tell us a little about the setting and tone of the game, sir, if you could?
At first glance, the setting and tone of They Came from Beneath the Sea! is one of camp farce, humour, and rubbery costumes. In truth, it can go as harshly horrific as you like, or as ridiculous as you want. It has all the gravitas of a B-movie from the 1950s. The characters are utterly serious. The audiences... Not so much.
2) From what we've read so far, it seems like this is an excellent game for one-shots and single sessions. I'd like to know what sort of ways you expect people will play this as a campaign.
Good question! One of the best ways of running a lengthy campaign of They Came From is to delve into the alien societies. They may all wish to invade / destroy / enslave humanity, but they don't co-exist peacefully. With whom do you make an unholy pact, to drive back a third party? Start a campaign with a seaside invasion, take the fight to the aliens, go to the sea floor in a submarine, attack an alien base, find there's a manipulator behind it all, return to land to find another race of aliens has moved into your town... There's a lot of ways a campaign can go!
3) Why does Storypath work for this game? How have you adjusted the core system to fit with the themes and mood of the game more effectively?
Initially I was designing my own system for They Came From, but when I previewed Storypath I realised it was perfect. The character Paths are a wonderful way for constructing an archetypal character for this kind of game. Stunts are a lovely, spontaneous way of taking actions. Momentum (or in our case, Rewrites) are a fantastic mechanic for rewarding failures. I had to fold Quips, Cinematics, and Tropes into all that, and it was pretty seamless.
4) Using the basic set-up, is it possible we will see other B-Movie tropes in the book or in future supplements? Perhaps a kitschy Lost in Space type set-up?
Absolutely! Hijack a mad scientist's rocketship and go to the moon, where you'll find the true minds behind the brain-eater eels! As an example, anyway. This core book focuses on the aquatic threat, but can go anywhere from any B-movie medium.
5) What ways can the community get involved in this game?
Run actual plays! Give gaming reports! Do reviews of the early access document! Share and back the Kickstarter! The community has been so supportive of this brand new property and it's been truly heartening to see and experience. Please continue to do so into the new year, as it's important to me (and Onyx Path) that our properties like this do well and find their audience.
6) Let's digress a moment, tell our folks about the Onyx Pathcast and why they should be listening to it right now while reading this and backing They Came From Beneath The Sea!?
The Onyx Pathcast is great fun. Dixie Cochran, Eddy Webb, and myself chew the fat about the roleplaying industry, the construction of our books (from writing, to development, to editing, to art), and provide deep dives on many of our games. We have a great rapport you might enjoy and even get to interview industry guests every couple of episodes or so! And why back They Came from Beneath the Sea? It's the first game to explore this genre so well, and I've never playtested a game that's been so consistently fun to explore.
7) What else are you excited to see coming out from Onyx Path in the next, 6-10 months?
So many things.. Lunars is coming up for Exalted. Pirates of Pugmire is going to be fantastic. I'll be developing the stretch goals for V5 [Chicago By Night], and possibly further books for that line! Oh, and the Contagion Chronicle is coming, and you'll want to get infected...
We've got to thank Matthew for coming by and sharing his thoughts with us. Don't forget to back the Kickstarter and join up to fight the Crab Army! Every good American would! (*Should not be construed to exclude non-Americans from backing the Kickstarter. Capitalism will run roughshod across the back of the Communist Menace worldwide!)
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