Today, we have the pleasure of bringing you a followup interview with Nicolas Nayaert, the creative lead of the new Seeds of Wars roleplaying game. We previously interviewed Nicolas in September of 2018 just as he and his team’s Kickstarter campaign was gaining momentum. The fulfillment of Seeds of Wars is nearly complete and feedback is starting to roll in; we’re forming our opinion of it as well. Look for our review in March. We thought we’d check in with Nicolas to see what more he could tell us and our readers about Seeds of Wars and the future of the product line.
RB: Congratulations on a successful Kickstarter. It’s been a little over a year since funding. Backers are taking delivery of their digital copies and we here at RollingBoxcars have received our review copy. What feedback have you received from backers thus far?
NN: Everybody is pretty excited to apply our rules to their settings, and quite a few have complimented us on the visual appeal of the book itself. People seem to be understanding not only the actual rules but some of the fundamental principles behind them, which is great because strategy roleplay can have a relatively high learning curve and we were trying to be as accessible as possible. A few people have suggested some additional subjects they’d like to see us expand on in the future, rules- and setting-wise.
RB: Seeds of Wars is not like other game products on the market. Can you give readers an overview of what it is and what it brings to the gaming community?
NN: Seeds of Wars fuses wargaming, role-play, and strategy sim into a single, complex experience more open-ended than a player can get with a video game and more streamlined than a game master can arrange with common tabletop systems. We’ve tried to keep it detailed enough to be engaging without letting the mechanics become tedious.
RB: It’s challenging fulfilling a Kickstarter, but you’ve found success. What lessons have you learned from this Kickstarter experience? If you could re-do this campaign with your new-found experiences, what would you do differently?
NN: The feedback and contributions from our backers throughout the process were a pleasant surprise and a great resource. We did underestimate the time it would take to playtest and review, and will endeavor not to do so again.
RB: Your campaign had a modest number of stretch goals that were not reached. Do you have plans to publish these additional books? If so, can we expect another Kickstarter campaign or something else?
NN: We intend to, though which and when obviously depend on feedback from our supporters. A Kickstarter campaign is a likely choice, but we wouldn’t rule out other forms of promotion.
RB: As we read back through the campaign’s updates we came across a video in which you stated a future campaign would launch to fund the development and delivery of the web-application and mobile app. What is the status of that project and what new capabilities for Seeds of Wars will it hold?
NN: We have started working on the design for our web app and the related Kickstarter campaign. We are hoping to provide online record keeping, maps that track conquest and county development, tools to assist GMs in running Seeds of Wars campaigns and even an optional AI for NPC realms.
RB: The web-application appears rather integral to Seeds of Wars. As it has not been developed yet, is Seeds of Wars hampered by not having it?
NN: Not really, the game was designed for tabletop use first and foremost. Some of the optional rules designed to expedite loyalty rolls and combat resolution are obviously more tempting to players without access to the web app.
RB: In our first interview (Managing Your Realm with Seeds of Wars) you stated that you and Bryce Whitacre both found inspiration in an old D&D setting from the 1990s. Now that Seeds of Wars is finished, how does it compare to this earlier setting?
NN: Seeds of Wars provides greater and more immersive detail than its direct predecessor and is more intuitive and therefore easier to play. We also tried to keep it strictly system-agnostic so it isn’t limited to a single subset of the larger RPG community.
RB: Seeds of Wars is so dynamically different, newcomers will not likely be familiar with this style of play. How would you suggest they best learn the rules to make the most of them?
NN: Try playing a few seasons with the recommended set up in and around Cadelania before opening up the rest of the continent or applying the system to another game world.
RB: What is your advice to new players to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the options, found in Seeds of Wars, especially when starting out?
NN: Run an adventure set in Ceres using an RPG system you already know before you move on to playing as its Leaders and Sovereigns, to familiarize yourself with the setting. If you’re applying Seeds of Wars rules to another setting, choose one you know very well and limit yourself to a small geographic area.
RB: Do you have any recommended RPG systems that Seeds of Wars works best with? Are there any that will be more challenging?
NN: Familiar, easy to run systems are best since Seeds of Wars automatically adds another level of complexity. Most editions of D&D and Pathfinder work well, as they already assume many of the fantasy tropes we included in Ceres, and their multiclassing rules work well with our Faction Skills. Many settings published for those games are ideal to adapt to Seeds of Wars. Warhammer Fantasy could play out nicely with a Rise to Power scenario, as presented in Chapter 7, and Lord of the Rings is certainly thematic. Games that already include some macro mechanics might require more fundamental adaptation.
RB: Aside from Seeds of Wars, what other projects do you have in the works? Care to give readers a little teaser?
NN: The web application and the other campaign settings (modern and sci-fi) are our priority. We have enough ideas regarding Seeds of Wars to keep us busy for the next few years. One thing we have in the back of our mind is a comic book series based on the Seeds of Wars universe and backstory.
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