I also toyed with the idea of finding the right kind of miniatures to play it. Well, it turns out that there now is a Kickstarter campaign for official Low Life miniatures!!!
Check it out right HERE. :)
Andy Hopp is an illustrator, writer, web designer, graphic artist, art director, convention organizer, and game designer! He’s also the guy who created, illustrated and wrote that ‘Low Life: Rise of the Lowly’ book I keep talking about here on my blog!
I am pleased to welcome Andy Hopp for this interview!
‘Low Life: Rise of the Lowly’ is a very different RPG setting from what one usually sees. What were your intentions when you created it?
Well, originally, I thought of the name “Low Life” as a d20 book about slimes, molds, oozes and other lowly things back when I was doing the Wanderers Guild with Goodman Games. That never happened, so when Shane Hensley asked me to do a Savage Worlds book for him it came to mind. My first concept was about a bunch of critters that lived in your plumbing. Like a whole fantasy world centered on what was under the sink and in the pipes. That kind of evolved into a far-future post-post-post apocalyptic Earth (Mutha Oith) where humans are extinct and everything evolved from the dredges that survived. But, you know, in a funny way.
You’ve got the first ‘Low Life’ supplement in the works. Can you tell us a bit about it, along with some hints as to other future sourcebooks?
The Whole Hole are series of guidebooks that describe and expand the various realms of Oith. The first one is The Whole Hole: A Gadabout’s Guide to Mutha Oith, Volume 01: Keister Island. Or the just The Whole Hole: Keister Island if brevity is your thing. It’s a 224 page book that goes into a lot of detail about snazzy places on Keister Island, such as The Keister of Gawd, The Soul Patch, Stan’s Rug, and many more. From there it talks about the Garden of Smellemental Glee, the nature of smellcasting, and a bunch of other stuff. Then it’s off to the Bitchin’ City of Floom for a very in-depth look at a few hundred local businesses and the peeps who hang there. The next chapter covers twenty or so other burgs, followed by a bunch of appendices covering new PC races, new Edges and Hindrances, a glossary, new magics, new religions, and a 22 page bestiary. Also other stuff.
Next on the pipeline is Dementalism, a really fun Low Life themed card game. After that a book of Low Life adventures and a book called Holy Crap, which goes into depth about teh faiths and religions of Oith. Then, the next Whole Hole installment.
I just played with my daughter’s pet tarantula and now my fingers are going numb.
‘Low Life’ uses the ‘Savage Worlds’ rules system. Was there a specific reason for choosing those rules instead of another available system or creating a new one from scratch?
I really enjoy Savage Worlds, and I’m very excited to be a part of it, but the main reason the first Low Life book uses Savage Worlds is that it’s an official Savage Setting produced by PEG, Inc. They hired me.
Speaking of systems, you’ve mentioned online that your next supplement will eventually have a PDF to use the ‘Pathfinder’ rules for ‘Low Life’. How much of the main ‘Low Life’ book will those rules cover?
I plan to eventually release a deluxe version of the original Low Life book, with new artwork and updated rules. If anybody out there wants to help with a Pathfinder conversion (or any other system) I’m interested.
Could you imagine people bringing ‘Low Life’ races into regular Pathfinder games?
Some of them might work, but they are pretty specific to the setting. Low Life is a silly game, but it doesn’t know it’s silly, and that’s why it works.
When you think of the ‘Low Life’ game sessions people are running at home, how do you like to imagine them?
Low Life is all about attitude. It’s ridiculous, and the characters are absurd, but because they don’t realize how absurd they are they make it work. They aren’t silly for the sake of silly. They’re silly because of the context they’re in, which makes perfect sense to them. I hope other people feel this as well and it comes out in their games.
I’m curious, have you ever had someone run a ‘Low Life’ game where you were a player and not a game master? If so, does it feel weird to have someone else referee what happens in a setting you created?
I have, and it does feel weird. It’s sometimes challenging to fight the impulse to say “But that’s not how I imagined it” because everyone’s imagination is different and everyone interprets things differently. I love to see what other people grow from the seeds I sprinkle.
One thing I’ve noticed is that you encourage players and game masters to come up with their own crazy ideas for characters, their equipment, the locations of the setting and the monsters they can encounter, to the point where members of a same race/species in ‘Low Life’ can look very different from one another. Do you think this would have been more difficult to do in a more serious setting?
In Low Life, for example, you can make a weapon out of anything. A rubber chicken full of nails? Sure. A giant pair of barbecue tongs? Why not. I can’t really imagine a D&D paladin wielding a rubber chicken full of nails or a bowling ball on a chain or a giant turkey baster and a bucket of poison and still being taken seriously.
Any chance of someday seeing ‘Low Life’ novels published?
Anything’s possible. My issue at the moment is I have my hand in many cookie jars and I have trouble finding time to get everything done when I want to. I go for quality over speed, which is why this book took two years. I’d love to write novels, so we’ll see.
Would you like to see ‘Low Life’ miniatures in a hobby store in the future? Many tabletop roleplayers use maps and minis to manage combat scenarios.
Armorcast produces a couple of Low Life minis. I’m currently in talks with them and another mini company to produce a larger cast of characters. They’ve been the number one fan requested item for a long time.
Andy’s Kickstarter Project (Hurry if you want to participate, there’s less than a day left as I write this!)
To read more of my interviews, click HERE!
I spent last Wednesday and Thursday with some friends, just having fun and playing RPGs!
I ran a short game using the Cinematic Unisystem from the ‘Angel Roleplaying Game’. The game wasn’t set in the Buffyverse, but it was a ‘monster hunting’ type of story similar to shows like Buffy, Angel, Supernatural and others along those lines. We had so much fun that I’ll do more ‘episodes’ for them. Now that I tried it, I LOVE the Cinematic Unisystem, it’s perfect to tell a story, the rules are simple and intuitive… I can see myself using it for completely different sorts of games as long as they’re cinematic in style.
After that, I ran them a short game of ‘Low Life: Rise of the Lowly’, a comedic setting for ‘Savage Worlds’. Let me tell you, we laughed and smiled so much that at the end our facial muscles were hurting from all the smiling. I’m not even exaggerating!
Finally, one of my friends ran us a ‘Call of Cthulhu’ scripted adventure from Chaosium. I made a criminal/treasure hunter and I’m glad to say he survived the first game session! Let’s see if he can manage more adventures without dying or going insane…
Well, lately I’ve been spamming my blog with plenty of Low Life related posts, I figure why stop now???
I already mentioned what my character concept would be for a Low Life game, but the reality is that I’m not gonna find a Game Master for it anytime soon. Most likely I’ll prepare a game for some friends myself, and I already know what the adventure will be…
It’ll be set in That One Place With All the Sand. (Think a western-type setting. I’ll be using this map for combat.)
The heroes (or anti-heroes? We’ll see) will meet traveling circus folk who need help and are willing to pay well if anyone will do something for them. You see, their giant beasts, their main attractions at their traveling circus, have parasites infesting them from the inside! The heroes will have to go inside their bellies of these beasts to fight swarms of parasites that are harming them! For that, they’ll be covered with a special goo that glows in the dark and will protect them and their equipment from the stomach acid of the beasts. (Each beast will have its own map for combat against the parasites inside them. I’ll be using this product here for that.)
So that’s my idea for a first adventure/scenario! What I love about this Low Life setting is that it’s the perfect mix between cartoonish, outlandish, comical and yet epic. My imagination is all over the place with what I could do with this!
Well, since I got the ‘Low Life’ roleplaying book, I had a character idea in mind… Last night I went through the character creation process to flesh him out! He’s not for any upcoming game, but I kinda like my idea anyway and I wanted to get it out of my system, so here goes…
Oh and by the way, anyone who submits a drawing based on the character described in this post will have it shown in my blog along with a link to their own blog! The character will be a Croach, a humanoid cockroach. For those of you who wonder what that would look like, here’s a picture of a member of that species from the Low Life book!:
His Story: Born color-blind, he always wondered about these ‘colors’ everyone kept talking about… One day, a fast-talking merchant (actually a con-artist) sold him a liquid that would supposedly cure his eyes of his birth defect and allow him to see colors!
Unfortunately, it was a hoax. As soon as the poor croach got back to his place and put some drops in his right eye, the liquid melted it! With his wound barely tended to, he furiously sought out the so-called merchant and miracle worker, only to find he had left town! At first the croach was just going to ask for his money back, but after the merchant fled despite his ‘satisfaction guaranteed or you get your money back’ claim… Our now one-eyed croach decided this wouldn’t do! He would find this merchant, beat him up and get his money back! (And give a poor review of his products if anyone asked!)
And so our brave croach left home in a quest for justice… To give that liar a well-deserved smackdown and take his 10 clams back! [Clams are the monetary system in ‘Low Life’]
To cover his disfiguring wound, he did his best with what he had at hand, painting a wooden ball to kinda sorta look like an eye and then using a short metallic spring to hold it near the eye socket, since he couldn’t get the wooden ball to fit there by itself. This causes the fake eye to wobble around every time he moves, or even spring up and down from his eye socket if he’s riding, running, fighting or doing anything else that requires fast and furious movement.
He’s now been tracking that merchant for over a year, picking up some useful skills over time, taking side-jobs as an adventurer to keep the clams coming during his righteous quest!
Appearance: A young adult croach in his prime but with a missing eye, replaced by a spring with a fake wooden eye attached to it at the end. He wears an old brown fedora hat and a brown leather jacket with four sleeves, padded for protection around the torso. The jacket was made from different patches of brown leather so it gives it an inconsistent look, but the quality of it is not that bad, really. (I mean it, look in his equipment! It says ‘decent clothing’!)
(For those who are familiar with it, this game uses the Savage Worlds system)
Name: (To be decided later)
Attributes: Agility 1d8, Smarts 1d6, Spirit 1d6, Strength 1d6, Vigor 1d6
Skills: Fighting 1d8, Guts 1d12, Riding 1d4, Survival 1d4, Throwing 1d4, Tracking 1d4
Charisma: -1 (Due to his missing eye, if he covered it properly his Charisma would go up to +0)
Parry: 7 (Not counting the use of one or both of his shields)
Toughness: 6 (This includes a natural +1 to Toughness from a racial Edge)
Edges: Antennae, Crunchy Shell, Multiple Limbs, Gullet of Steel, Multidextrous
Hindrances: One Eye (Major. [This is the version from the main Savage Worlds book, not the Minor version from ‘Low Life’]), Vengeful (Minor), Color Blind (Minor)
Equipment: Throwing Axe (Str+1d6, Weight 2, Range 3/6/12), Decent Clothing, Crappy Shield (Two of them. +1 to Parry each, Weight 8 each.), Crappy Armor (+1, Torso only, Weight 5), Shortsword (Str+1d6, Weight 4), Waterskin (Worn in Backpack, Weight 1), Spring with poorly painted wooden ball made to look like an eye (Worn in empty eye socket). 124 Clams.
Earlier I posted that there were no ‘Low Life: Rise of the Lowly’ supplements in the works, and it turns out I was wrong! Doing a search for the Low Life RPG, I discovered this!!!
I really hope this project gets made! I can’t even imagine what new madness Andy Hopp will come up with next!