I interviewed Ryan Schoon about Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance. It launched end of May!
Tell me a little about Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance. What has you excited about it?
The world that we have built! What we have done is taken a Tolkienesque world and fast forwarded the timeline and set it during the invention of steampunk. It's a chance to see the effects of a growing new technology on a fantasy world and it's an amazing place to explore.
What sort of influences did you have for the steampunk aesthetic?
I have been a fan of steampunk since I first watched Metropolis. Steamboy, Full Metal Alchemist, and more recently The Legend of Korra have all provided inspiration for the aesthetic of the game. We have put a twist on all of it but setting it during the Renaissance, (normally steampunk is a pre-WII Germany, Victorian England, or the Wild West) so while we were able to inform our aesthetic from our favorite shows and movies, we were allowed to organically originate our own ideas as well.
What do you think the benefits are of having a threshold system instead of target numbers?
It's more easily explained by comparing it to a system that does not use a threshold. Pathfinder for example. If two characters in Pathfinder are making a skill check and one is naturally better than the other. The better character may utterly destroy the target number while the other may barely scrape by. Yet the outcome for both characters is the same.
We wanted to do something different. Two characters may both be able to perform a skill, like running from rooftop to rooftop using Parkour, successfully. But the better character, the one who utterly surpassed the target number, flows from rooftop to rooftop like he was born there. He moves faster, jumps farther, and surpasses all obstacles. This better reflects our goals of better representing reality.
Tell me a little bit about the different bands. What makes each one unique?
Each Band reflects a different attribute and element of the world. This isn't just a surface reflection. The element to which they are tied is obvious in every ability they have. So the Red Band, linked to Fire, has this aggressive, fiery undercurrent to all of their abilities while the Green Band, linked to Nature, has abilities based around a deep connection to nature. So even when two Bands share certain abilities they are more deeply linked to their element.
What's up next for you? Expansions on Edara, or something new?
We definitely have expansions in the works. Deeper campaign settings and more information on the world. We do have one or two secret products in the works that we aren't quite ready to talk about yet, but there are exciting things happening for us!