Friday, March 20, 2015

Kickstart Your Weekend: Elizabeth Chaipraditkul Interview

I want to spend some more time talking about WITCH today with the developer Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, +Liz C. 
WITCH is getting a lot more attention and I wanted learn more about the game.

To say I am looking forward to this is an understatement.

Tim Brannan/The Other Side:  Let’s start at the beginning,  who are you and what is Angry Hamster Publishing?
Elizabeth Chaipraditkul/Angry Hamster: My name is Liz and I am the co-founder of Angry Hamster publishing. I’ve written WITCH and it is our flagship game for Angry Hamster Publishing. I’ve written for the Living Forgotten realms before and I am currently working on a project for Onyx Path Publishing.

TB: How did you get into gaming?
Liz: I was a very solitary kid, the kind of girl who spent all her time in her room playing with her Barbies and making up stories, so the moment I found out about gaming I jumped on it. I thought it was fantastic that there were other people out there that wanted to make-pretend as much as I did. I started out with form rpgs when I was in middle school and then in highschool I was introduced to D&D 3.5 and it took off from there.

TB: What are some of your favorite games? Why?
Liz: TTRPG-wise I would have to say Vampire the Masquerade. I love how gritty it is, the romance and the tragedy of an immortal existence. I blame Anne Rice and Joss Whedon for this. I also love Numenera and Monster Hearts. Numenera because it is unique and wonderful, I love adventure and this game is pure adventure. Monster Hearts holds a special place in my heart, because it is a game that perfectly encapsulates all the angsty supernatural/teen TV shows I love.

TB: Now the good stuff.  What is “WITCH”?
Liz: WITCH is a dark, modern fantasy role play game where you play a member of the Fated a witch or warlock who has sold their soul to a demon for power. The game is set in our world, but then if we had all the cool stuff like magic and monsters. The game deals heavily with how characters will find a way to survive and triumph over their personal storylines and demons. This rather dark theme is set in a world that is utterly fantastical. The world of WITCH, unlike the lives of the Fated, is not dark at all. In fact is it wondrous, magical, and begging to be explored.

TB: What is here in WITCH to set it off from other Modern Supernatural games?
Liz: We place a large importance on character’s stories and their interactions with their personal demons. When I created this game I wanted the character’s lives to be as much a part of the main plot as whatever cool story the GM had cooked up. With the Fated constantly having to deal with their demons the game does that just that. In order for the Fated to gain more power they must summon their demon and make a new deal with them, demons are real characters who have wants and needs, and they will (probably) as the Fated to do something they are not comfortable with. How the Fated deal with their demons and how they still survive in their own lives is a unique feature in our game.



TB: Tell me more about the magic system in WITCH
Liz: Mechanics wise, our magic system is very unique. We don’t put a limit on how much magic players can use, they are able to use as much magic a day as they want, however, it comes at a price. Players can also do things such as Magic Alteration, changing the look and feel of their Spell, at will. This means that players can customise their characters without a penalty and each character’s magic will be unique.

TB:  What sort of games/stories do you expect that people will use this for?
Liz: I’d like to say the two themes I love most in games and that is - adventure and drama. There is nothing like your coven recovering an ancient artefact just for one of you to give it to your demon for power power is there? I love exploring places that beg to be explored and interacting with a world completely foreign to you. However, as a player I am also very selfish. I want a personal story and I want drama. I always hope my GM is going to pick apart my backstory and find something crazy to run with. I believe that is what WITCH allows GMs to do.

TB: Going on the drama bit for a second.  Would it be possible to do a Monster Hearts-like (a game I love) game with WITCH?
Liz: For sure! The setting isn’t limited to adventure, horror, etc. Often, in the WITCH games I run the player’s lives end up taking center stage, their relationships etc. The story I have in mind is always second and woven deeply into who the characters are. I also think that the Fated and their demons could have interesting relationships together. We have a story in the book of a woman named Mary, she was a Pagan and actually ended up married to her devil. I would not call their relationship love… actually the exact opposite, but how fantastic would that type of drama be in a story?

TB: Your Kickstarter is doing great.  You are funded and heading into stretch goals.  What what you like to do this with these funds?  (the Cape Town and Athens additions)
Liz: Well, our most recent stretch goal is one of my most beloved and that is the Devil’s Deck. The Devil’s Deck is an altered Major Arcana of a tarot deck that the fated use to divine the future. It features heavily in our game and if we get 100 more euros in our campaign we unlock it for our players! Each one of our backers will get the digital PNP files for the Devil’s Deck. The next stretch goal after that is getting all our backers (who have pledges for a physical copy of the book) a hard copy of the deck. I really hope we get there!

TB: Cool so a Tarot set to go along with the Witch board!  Any other goodies you would like to do?
Liz: Oh yeah! The next rewards is for sure going to be a GM screen or what I like to call - 4 page cardboard excuse to showcase the amazing art we have! I never use my GM screens as actual screens, but I love handy quick references and the art is always so amazing! Also, if the last two days go crazy I have also sourced custom dice, but we’ll see if we get there :D.

TB: What are your future plans for this game?
Liz: I have a companion that is half on paper and half in my mind. It will give players more options for higher Spell Levels and also introduce two new Fates. It will basically contain a lot of content that didn’t make it into the CRB. I am also working on a few adventures and I would love to get to write more about the Fates.

TB: Ok last question and this is for my own benefit. Who is your favorite wizard, witch or magic-user?
Liz: Argh! Just one? Okay, I am going to pick two - Tara (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Halaster . I love Tara, because she is perfect and wonderful in every way. I love Halaster, because he is crazy. Haha, I actually can’t describe him more than that.
TB: I absolutely LOVE Tara!  Would it be possible to play Willow and Tara in WITCH?
Liz: YES! Well, I want to say no, because we know where the relationship ends up - but yes! Also, dark Willow would make such a cool higher Spell Level witch. In our game when you get to higher Spell levels you get to focus your magic into either redemption or utter damnation (and more, but see my answer above about wanting to write more books ^^). I totally see a tragic dark Willow and redeemed Tara story. Ahhhhh!
TB: Well Tara is alive and well in my games, so I will have to try stating them up!
Liz: I want to see that ^^.

TB: And finally where can we find you on the internet?
Liz: You can find more about WITCH at angryhamsterpublishing.com and follow us on Twitter @angryhamsterrpg. I also have a personal blog, which is epicxcloth.blogspot.com

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In the process of talking to Liz I decided EXACTLY what my first WITCH game is going to be.
I am going to abandon the Fate version of my American Horror Story: Coven game I was playing around with and do it all under WITCH instead.

AND of course I need to stat up Willow and Tara as soon as I can.

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