Eloy Lasanta, a friend of Accessible Games and all-around good guy, is running a Kickstarter campaign for Part-Time Gods 2nd Edition (PTG2e). It is already successfully funded as of this article’s publication date, but he’s working on some fabulous stretch goals which will enhance the game.
When I first learned of PTG2e I was stoked. I am an enormous fan of the first edition, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for its future. Eloy described this as the game he always wanted to write but didn’t have the experience for, but now with dozens of books to his name he’s finally in a place where he can really make this setting ascend to greatness. As soon as I heard about the Kickstarter campaign I reached out to Eloy to do an interview, and what follows is a transcript.
Eloy is the owner of Third Eye Games, and partner in New Agenda Publishing, both companies going forward to change the landscape of the RPG industry in terms of games available, audience targeting, and industry standards. He is behind amazing games like Part-Time Gods, AMP: Year One, and The Ninja Crusade, and contributed to a number of projects like Orun (from New agenda Publishing), World of Darkness (Onyx Path), and the Firefly RPG (Margaret Weis Productions). He is an advocate for underrepresented voices and indie publishing endeavors, and can’t wait to talk about these things with anyone he encounters.
Accessible Games: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk about accessibility with us. For those of us who aren’t familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve published in the past?
Eloy Lasanta: I own Third Eye Games, and I’ve not only created a lot of my own worlds, like Apocalypse Prevention, Inc., The Ninja Crusade, Part-Time Gods (Kickstarter going now for its Second Edition), AMP: Year One, and Sins of the Father, but also several custom systems, like the Pip System, which powers Mermaid Adventures, Infestation, An RPG of Bugs and Heroes, and the upcoming A Kid’s Guide to Monster Hunting. I also somehow find time to contribute to other projects, like work with Onyx Path, Margaret Weis, and John Wick Presents.
AG: Wow! It’s no wonder you’ve been called “the busiest man in game design.”
You have a new project on Kickstarter for Part-Time Gods 2nd Edition. What’s this game about, and what sets it apart from your other work?
EL: Part-Time Gods Second Edition is about becoming a god and trying to integrate this new part of your life into your existing life. So, you have monsters to fight and a new divine world opened up to you with other gods and epic quests, but you still have family, friends, groups, places, and a job that you have to protect and keep going. That’s the biggest part that sets this game apart, imo. It’s not just a game about divine realms and amazing displays of power. Yes, it has those things, but it balances it with a simple mundaneness in the rest of the god’s life that makes the highs higher than other games.
I feel like this is the pinnacle of design work in my career. I wrote an article about this on my site if you want more (https://thirdeyegames.net/what-makes-part-time-gods-2nd-edition-is-special), but honestly, this is the game I wish I had the experience and knowledge to design years ago when I released 1st Edition.
AG: Part-Time Gods was my first introduction to Third Eye Games, and I immediately fell in love with the setting and the premise. What parts are you keeping, and what changes can we expect for this new edition?
EL: That’s a pretty easy answer. We’re keeping all the awesome bits of setting, themes and concepts, but we’re entirely changing the system from the DGS-Lite to the Chakra System, which powered the ENnie Award-winning The Ninja Crusade 2nd Edition. This amplifies everything cool about the game, but also allows for much easier personalization and immersion into the system, from both a mortal and divine angle.
AG: Part-Time Gods used the Dynamic Gaming System, which is ultra-flexible but a bit complex for some. What does PTG 2nd Edition do differently with the mechanics? Would you say the character sheet is more or less dense?
EL: I think it’s probably about the same complexity-wise. While the base system is simply enough, there are moving parts to tweak and effect throughout the game. It is mostly modular, so you can ignore certain parts without issue, but there are a few new mechanics that are integral to Part-Time Gods Second Edition that need to be there to help reinforce themes and moods. The biggest of these being the new Free Time and Wealth mechanics, that help structure scenes in a way never before seen in an RPG (at least not to my knowledge) and represent the struggles a god has when they want to do one thing, but their responsibilities and limitations tell them they may have to do another. It’s all amazing fun!
The thing about game design is that I’m not trying to make a game that “gets out of your way” like a lot of gamers claim they want. Part-Time Gods Second Edition is a game where the more you engage with the mechanics and the game aspect of the experience, the deeper you’ll get into the setting and the session. The mechanics make it a stronger game.
AG: I know you’re a champion of diversity within the RPG hobby. What is Part-Time Gods 2nd Edition doing to showcase that?
EL: I am a champion of diversity, but it’s not something I like to brag about. If you look at the covers to my books and you don’t get what I’m doing, then you may be willingly blinding yourself to progress. Take Part-Time Gods Second Edition, for instance, it is made up of six woman and two men fighting against terrifying monsters. They are ethnically diverse to reflect the world, and I love them for that.
Where I do make a hard stance is my hiring. The team of designers for Part-Time Gods Second Edition was split down the middle with men and woman and many of them are people of color or members of the LGBTQ community in some fashion. If you want to hear from diverse voices, you have to hire them. It can’t be a one-off “oh, we’re writing about Africa, so let’s get some black people” kind of thing. You should be bringing in people of different backgrounds on EVERY project, because having new takes on material can only enhance a project.
AG: How would you rate PTG2e in terms of accessibility? Are you doing anything specific to enable gamers with disabilities to easily access and play this game?
EL: Nothing specific right now, but I’m always open to feedback from gamers with disabilities on how I can make it easier for them to get into my games. Right now, though, it’s good old-fashioned dice and paper.
Editor’s Note: Since answering this question, Eloy has taken some feedback. He has hired Todd Crapper to do layout for PTG2e. If that name sounds familiar to you, it may be because I recently called Todd’s High Plains Samurai: Legends the most accessible PDF I’ve ever encountered. Todd has committed to making PTG2e just as accessible.
AG: Does the game use miniatures, battle maps, cards, specialized dice, or other props that may need to be adapted for people with disabilities?
EL: Minis and battle maps, no. Specialized dice, no. Props, no. The only thing right now that is an artifact on the table and may need adapting is the Territory Grid. Similar to a battle map, I guess, but it’s not for combat. Instead, it gives you an idea specially how far important locations are in the setting from each other.
AG: Can you describe your core dice mechanic in three sentences or less?
EL: Pick two skills, and roll a number of d10s equal to their combined levels in order to achieve successes to meet or beat a Difficulty. 7-9 is one success, while 10s count as 2.
Boom! 2 sentences. :)
AG: Are Kickstarter backers able to get a preview of the game, or do they have to wait for the big reveal?
EL: There is a preview available right now through DriveThruRPG or ThirdEyeGames.net. It is free, and here is a link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/241146/PartTime-Gods-Second-Edition-Preview?affiliate_id=236495
The preview includes characters to play, a summary of the rules and setting, and a sample adventure. All and all, about 25 pages and it’s really a lot of fun. I think it shows you the level of personalization and flexibility players have in the game.
AG: Fantastic. Where else can we find more information?
EL: The best information can be found on the Kickstarter page itself.
AG: Would you rather be the god of ninja, the god of mermaids, the god of insects, or the god of people who battle unspeakable horrors? Please explain.
EL: The god of insects has a LOT of possibilities, so I’d likely go for that. It’s likely not the most “powerful”, but it seems like it’d be the most fun to actually be. I could have little bug friends, turn into a swarm of bugs, crawl on walls… there’s a lot to explore there.
AG: Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
EL: Come give us a shot! I’m aware that Part-Time Gods Second Edition isn’t for every gamer, but if this if the kind of thing you’re into, then you won’t find a better representation of it anywhere else in the world of RPGs.
AG: Thanks again for your time!
Recently Eloy and Todd did a Q&A about Part-Time Gods 2nd Edition. It’s roughly one hour.
PTG2e Actual Play
You can also watch the first episode of a PTG2e Actual Play, which gives a lot of insight into character creation.