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Ennie Award Winning Game Designers Johan Nohr and Pelle Nilsson – RPGBOT.Podcast S2E37

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast, we talk to Ennie Award Winning Game Designers Johan Nohr and Pelle Nilsson, famous for their work on Mörk Borg. We discuss the history of Mörk Borg, their success fostering a creative community, and how they encourage and support independent content creators. We also get a little peak at the upcoming CY_BORG.

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Materials Referenced in this Episode

Transcript

Randall  00:00

Welcome to the RPGBOT Podcast. I’m Randall James and with me is Tyler Kamstra.

Tyler  00:04

Hi, everybody.

Randall  00:04

And tonight we have a special guest with us, we have Johan Nohr.

Johan  00:07

Hi, I’m Joanna from the Stockton Kartel and I’m doing a bunch of art and design work for a bunch of role playing games.

Randall  00:15

And we also have with us Pelle Nilsson.

Pelle  00:17

Thanks for having me. I’m the writer of the role playing games. Most people know Masquerade or Mork Borg, I’m happy to be on.

Randall  00:25

I get the feeling we’re probably going to get into that.

Pelle  00:29

Yeah, maybe.

Randall  00:29

So I guess Speaking of which, Tyler, what’s happening, what are we doing tonight?

Tyler  00:32

So we want to talk about Mork Borg, we also want to talk about the Mork Borg Cult, the community. Longtime listeners in the show know that we’ve talked about this a couple different times. But I know Tyler and I are both really impressed with the quality of the content that’s being produced. And right, you’re getting like what’s the format that you tend to get that content brought to you in before you do the art before you do the layouts? Well, we’re going to talk a bit about Mork Borg and the Mork Borg Cult series. And we’re going to draw lessons from those products and talk about some things like managing community, third party publishing, and bringing homebrew and third party content into your games. Mork Borg has set a really, really good example for how to build a community.

Johan  01:19

Oh, if we’re talking about the cult, that was a thing that we unfortunately don’t really have time for right now to work on. But when we did that was pretty much directly after we released the book. We got people who were just inspired, I guess, from it and made stuff and sent it our way. And so we yeah, we wanted to help them out to be a part of it and sort of take it in and make it semi official in a way. So yeah.

Randall  01:50

So at this point, there’s been two supplements in that series. That’s right.

Pelle  01:53

Yeah, that’s right. Now that’s Feretory and Heratic scenes. Yeah, so that’s it.

Randall  01:58

Yeah.

Tyler  01:59

We’ve enjoyed those both a lot. We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from those and drag those things into other games. And yeah, like Randall was saying, just the quality on these things is excellent. The arts really good. The text is good. The content is novel and interesting. The adventures are terrifying and murderous. Which I’m hoping is the intent. Yeah, yeah. It so… it kind of surprises me to hear that it’s, it was so informal. So you, you publish the original Mork Borg core rules, and then you just received them informally from members of the community?

Johan  02:36

Yeah, I think the first one was actually before we released the game. There was like one of the backers because we opened the Discord during the Kickstarter process for the first game. And then one of the… one of the backers in there just not I was, yeah, they had just released they had, they had just received the books, just the backers. So it wasn’t out in stores yet. But the backers had received the books. And then they started working on things and posted it on our Discord. And so I was like, oh, I want to do something I want to like draw this, that you’ve done. And so we yeah, we collaborate, it was very informal. And it’s always been, all our work has been very informal. With the collaborators, and between me and Pelle, as well.

Randall  03:18

Out of all the content that was getting submitted to you on Discord, like how much curation did you have to go through to pick the things that finally made it into a product?

Johan  03:25

I think, at the beginning, yeah, I mean, it wasn’t, it was, it was much more manageable. And so we, we took, we took most of it, you know, the stuff that we thought was, that gave us something extra, and that did something that we hadn’t thought of, or something that you know, elevated what we had done into something different and better. But then, you know, once the floodgates started to open, and if we got more and more and more stuff sent to us that we had to really sort of pick what we thought was what’s going to be more valuable or like more different than the other stuff. And that was that’s the hard that’s hard, because the most of the stuff, I mean, pretty much all and it was really good. So you had to choose.

Pelle  04:15

That’s, that’s the reason, one of the reasons why we released the third party license, because we, we didn’t want to stop people and make them wait for us and get the green light. And it was becoming quite stressful. So yeah, that’s that’s one of the reasons why this with a third party license, not all the reasons we really wanted to do that anyway, but that was one of the reasons actually.

Randall  04:46

One of the reasons it happened sooner rather than later.

Johan  04:49

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Because we felt like we were like a bottleneck of creativity almost because like we wanted to collaborate with the people, but at the same time, we wanted people to get their stuff out there. So, yeah, that was that was, that was really nice moment to like, open up the license and just let people like you know what you don’t need. You don’t need us to do this, you can do this all by yourself and just really stuff.

Randall  05:10

So it’s interesting, I feel like what I’m hearing from you is that in the beginning, people in Discord were like, out of passion and love for what you would produced. They were submitted to you, you know, like, hey, look what you inspired. Here, here’s what you inspired me to make.

Johan  05:23

Pretty much.

Randall  05:23

And then once folks got the idea that like, and by the way, we might do layouts, we may do art, we might like bump this up at that point, everybody’s like, “Yeah, I’m gonna put all my good ideas in!”

Johan  05:33

Pretty much. This, this sort of circle of inspiration and creativity, you know, where we inspire someone that makes something and then that inspires us to like, oh, we want to be a part of that once you have done now. And so it was a back and forth. And kind of still is, you know, when we see people release their third party license stuff, like we get inspired from that we get energy from that. So it’s really a symbiotic relationship that we have.

Randall  05:58

Awesome.

Tyler  05:59

So with the third party license, it’s it’s very permissive. People can do a lot of things with your third party license, basically everything except use the official art. And I… like I see a bunch of really interesting looking products on Drive Thru RPG and then a couple of other places. Since you no longer have that, that tight control of being the ones who decide what doesn’t doesn’t get published, how do you feel about the quality of the third party content that people are creating for Mork Borg? Does it… does it still like live up to your standards? Does it still look like most things out there are really good? Or how do you feel about all that?

Johan  06:40

I think it’s, it’s very varied right now. And it kind of… in a kind of fun, like, d-i-y punky way. Like not everything has to be super polished, you know, you can get that sort of raw energy, raw, creative energy.

Pelle  06:58

I think most of us stuff are really good, actually. I think so.  So it’s also nice to see that lots of people start with Kickstarters, with a third party license, and everyone succeeds all the time. So that’s very nice. Actually, everyone is doing okay.

Johan  07:03

Yeah.

Pelle  07:21

That’s awesome.

Randall  07:22

Seeing seeing the game grow.

Pelle  07:23

Yeah.

Johan  07:24

Nobody bought, I mean, would like not to say that things are. So fun to say that not everything has to be so polished and takes so much time. Because that’s, that’s one thing that I’ve felt with some of the things that we’ve done, you know, lately that we’ve put so much care into it. So you can almost sort of lose that, yeah, that momentum and that energy that you can have when you don’t really care about other standards you have to meet or whatever, though you don’t have.

Randall  07:56

Yeah, I mean, it takes like half the time to produce 90% of the quality of the product, and then the remaining half the time to get that last 10% in.

Johan  08:03

Yeah.  Right.

Randall  08:03

And so if you just want to get it out there, like being able to use a third party license to go put that product out there. Yeah, sure. They spent half the time they got 90% of the way there. Or like, you know, it’s not art. It’s like connected scribbles. But it ultimately is still screaming at you how frantic this thing is supposed to make you feel. That was one of the big things that I took away from the layouts in the book. Like so often, you know, for me at least, it’s like, I almost feel like I’m interpreting something.  Because the layout isn’t meant to be perceived so easy. So it’s even distressing just to read. But in a way that makes I think the content a lot more exciting. I mean, it kind of fits with the setting, you know, the world is falling apart. So it’s the same thing. And yeah, same with the text really, like you have to interpret some of this stuff. Yeah, no, I think you nailed it. And then again, even that inspiration, then going to the folks that are producing third party content, I don’t know feels pretty powerful.

Johan  08:55

Yeah, no, it’s really fun to see. And it’s really fun to see this, like, tidal wave of just stuff that’s coming. Cool. And to see this many people like some of the people that I’ve never created anything for roleplay years before, who see this as an opportunity and as an inspiration to do that. That’s really nice.

Randall  09:11

So you talked about your Discord channel. Is there still a Mork Borg Discord channel or Stockholm Discord channel that folks can hop into?

Johan  09:20

Yeah, absolutely.

Randall  09:21

Awesome.

Johan  09:21

It’s very, it’s open and open for everyone.

Randall  09:23

Awesome. Alright, so we will grab it and we’ll put a link in the show notes. If folks want to take a look hop in and talk to folks. What are these? What are some of the conversations that are happening there?

Johan  09:30

It’s, it’s very varied. Like we have… we have… we have some channels where it’s just like random tables, people are crowdsourcing that, people are asking for inspiration for their game session or, you know, ways to interpret the setting. Right now there are discussions on where to buy real medieval flails. Yeah, it’s everything, everything in between.

Randall  09:57

Okay, no, actually I want to focus on this for a second. Any particular reason or they just want to do some wall decorations? What?

Johan  10:03

It was just someone who found a link to a website that sells you know, LARP stuff, but it’s really like actual weapons. I’m not sure about the legality of buying stuff, it’s for decoration.

Randall  10:14

Okay, I have to say I feel like Mork Borg would be like the most hardcore game to go LARPing.

Pelle  10:19

Yeah, maybe we add some weapons in some future Kickstarter or something.

Johan  10:23

Yeah, we just have to double check just the rules first, like selling weapons.

Randall  10:29

It’s like you got something, it appears to be a book and a javelin?

Tyler  10:41

So, so on that note the potential future Kickstarters. So the two the two existing Mork Borg Cult supplements were kick started. And the Feretory got a bunch of Ennies. And I believe, I believe Heretic is nominated for a bunch of Ennies this year. So I’m hoping for you guys that you’ll do well, again. Are you planning to do more of the cult supplements in the future? Or is that a maybe not sure?

Pelle  11:12

I don’t know. I think it’s kind of tricky. We have discussed that a little bit. But it’s like, we want to surprise ourselves and everyone else. It would be a little bit boring to release a third scene, and it would be quite easy to do that. It would also be a bit boring. Yeah. Maybe we need to do something else.

Randall  11:40

In there is something else that I want to talk about in a little bit. Maybe we’ll table but then we’ll come back in a second. To roll it back. So you said, you pointed out right. Mork Borg and supplements have won lots of Ennies. Can you describe for folks at home what the in the Ennies are? I don’t know if people in their everyday life are actually familiar with that award?

Pelle  11:59

I tried to tell my friends that are not into role playing games, but it’s like the Oscars for nerds.

Randall  12:09

We would all love an Oscar.

Tyler  12:14

That’s pretty perfect. Yeah. The Oscars for nerds. All right. Yeah.

Randall  12:17

All right. So the nerd tribune has given you several awards for layout, for design for the the core rulebook itself, like across the board. I mean, this this stuff is well praised. That’s awesome.

Johan  12:31

That’s fantasy. And well, very unexpected as well, from the beginning. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we did. So without mean, we never really intended for this book to be big. Like, it took us by surprise, I think I think we have understood by now how big it is almost. But it took a while to mentally, you know, transport yourself from this being sort of a print on demand thing. There wasn’t possibly from the beginning and to what it is now. But that’s something.

Randall  12:59

Yeah, something you just expect to see on shelves in game stores, like from here to eternity. It’s pretty exciting.

Pelle  13:06

I still tell you on but it seems like some people are playing our game enjoy it. Yeah, it’s very hard to comprehend.

Tyler  13:16

So how often do you guys actually get to play Mork Borg these days?

Johan  13:20

Next question.

Randall  13:26

I don’t know if you can see. So behind Tyler, there’s a whole bookshelf full of books. Ask him how often he touches those books.

Pelle  13:33

Yeah.

Johan  13:36

It’s the curse, curse of the game designer.

Tyler  13:39

It’s more often than you’d think, but mostly for research purposes.

Randall  13:44

We’re going to talk about something here.

Pelle  13:46

You have played quite a bit Johan. In the beginning, I think.

Johan  13:52

I’ve played a few times. But I mean, rarely get a time to play at all. But when it’s like a convention, I tried to run a game or two. Otherwise, it’s like, once or twice a year that I get to play. I don’t play this game. You know.

Randall  14:07

I think like one of the cool things of going through, I hope I’m asking, I guess, when you go through the play testing part when you’re like, Okay, how do we balance this? Is that a point in time where you do get an opportunity? Or even at that point Are you working with other folks to do the play testing?

Johan  14:22

We don’t really balance things though. We mentally sort of like gauge is, that’s how you pronounce it, how we would like, how we would be not balanced but like reasonable in the game setting because we’re not like really balancing it to the players because if they’re in the wrong place, then you know, they’re out of the league.

Randall  14:49

It’s, yeah, it’s their mistake.

Johan  14:52

And I think one of the… one of the fun things about like this old school gaming, like OSR is that you have to find different ways around obstacles. They’re not really balanced for you to, like, kill or you know, use your, your abilities to fight but you have to use your wits and like if you’re if you’re fighting a fair fight you’re fighting, you know badly. So you have to you have to do something you have to do something else. And so yeah.

Tyler  15:16

I feel like that’s actually [Johan: they spent too much time.] That’s actually nice for just playing Mork Borg.

Johan  15:21

Yeah, absolutely. You should never have a fair fight. Yeah, always do ambushes or like, do backstabbing and, you know, set up alliances and then break them. That kind of stuff.

Randall  15:31

100%. That makes sense to me. So you talk a little bit about Discord, the fact that folks are actually like, either running tables, or they’re seeking advice from maybe games or playing in games they’re running. I wanted to maybe come back and talk a little bit more about that. So if I’m a person sitting at home thinking, I really want to play Mork Borg for the first time. You know, I can’t get my group to go for it. Because we barely make time to play like our regular tabletop game. It sounds like hopping in the Discord. I ought to be able to use that to find the table?

Johan  15:58

Yeah, for sure. They’re still looking for a game. What’s it called? Channel? Yeah. There’s a bunch of people, like I think there’s some people actually playing in the Discord. So you’ll find the game.

Randall  16:13

Yeah, there’s pretty good rules for that these days. So yeah, if you’re sitting home, and I’ve just described you, you can play. I had a question about kind of the content of Mork Borg itself. So there’s, like the structure of it right the two, two  Basilisks, the ideas of the gods. Like a malevolent god that basically is looking, you know, is pain and suffering embodied? How much of the content in the core rulebook is inspired by regional mythology, folktales, this sort of thing?

Pelle  16:44

It’s a mix of lots of stuff. When I wrote a setting, and that was quite late in the process. Actually, when we did the core book, I didn’t plan for a setting in the first place. But we agreed on doing a setting. And it’s a mix of both Greek mythology, but also like, Eastern European mythology, and also historical stuff. Like [garbled]. Of course, the blood drinking Countess was, she is she is included in the book as well.

Randall  17:26

So I actually don’t know the historical allegory there.

Pelle  17:30

And also some, lots of European kingdoms, also historical from that, you know, the Baroque age, when they were eating a lot of food and getting fat. And the killing a lot of people and stuff like that, during the medieval age, that was important to include as well. And the dark forests of… the barbaric forests during the Roman Empire and stuff like that. And Nordic folklore was very important with the dark forests up in the north. And, of course, the short, the big, short, short, short, as well was very important.

Johan  18:14

I think you have like some of the creatures like the I think we call them weak heads in, in the English versions, but that’s, that’s originally in Swedish. It’s called the lyktgubbe, which means lantern man, which is like one of the folklore creature that we have here, kind of like will of the whisp, but it’s the more of a like a little being with a lantern that lures you out into swamps to drown you. So that’s, and this is like our take on that creature.

Randall  18:43

Okay.

Tyler  18:43

Yeah, they look terrifying in the book.

Pelle  18:49

We added some typical stuff from fantasy role playing games like goblins, some delicious rave, some other kinds, but whatever.

Tyler  19:00

Yeah, yeah, I really like Mork Borg’s twist on the Lich where, like, if I remember, right, it eats magic or something along those lines. Yeah. Yeah.

Johan  19:11

What if you have if you have a squirl of power among you, they will sort of take that power and use it against you. So you can’t use magic near it.

Randall  19:19

Yeah. I fought the lip. So I couldn’t use the magic either. I always failed.

Johan  19:27

It’s probably a lich nearby.

Randall  19:30

That’s actually what’s happening.

Johan  19:32

Now, so there’s, there’s a bit of folklore in there. And I think obviously, like, since we’re from Sweden, you know, you have the trolls in there, which is very typical. We see them every now and then here. Yeah. I think the setting is kind of Nordic in a way not intentionally, but sort of, because you wrote it Pelle and in our subconscious last year, I guess.

Pelle  19:57

Yeah, but it and it was very important for us. But everyone can use magic, you know, the power is, everyone can do that. But it’s, it’s not a very good thing to do if you are not too, you know, present in the moment. So if the focus presents ability, you often fail and end up very miserable. But so yeah, but everyone can use it if you want to, or try to use it. That was very important. We didn’t want to do you know, like a class like magic user, and then a fighter and stuff like that. Solve it that way.

Randall  20:34

I really liked the supplement in Heretic and this is something like when we did the review, something I really focused on. I liked the classless system. I liked not using the optional classes. Yeah, but I loved the feats….

Johan  20:48

Yeah, the feats are great.

Randall  20:50

…that were added, and being able to like I can kind of customize the archetype of the player that I want to play by leveraging that. And there were things were like, you know, what if I want to wear medium or heavy armor, but still be able to use scrolls of power, you know, having those feats available to allow me to do this? Yeah, I thought that was a really awesome thing to add to the ruleset. 100%.

Johan  21:10

Yeah, they’re great. I mean, they’re great because they also say something about, like, they’re almost like classes in a way, every feat. So you have like the Shield Breaker or the Reckless Tiger, sitting with the book right now. But then there’s also like this one, you know, called Likable, which is a very odd, so it’s a weird thing in this world. So it even says like, there’s something about you, your best described as approachable and it’s weird. Strange.

Tyler  21:42

Yeah, that just feels so out of place, which makes it that much more interesting.

Randall  21:47

Yeah, in a world where like, there’s no charisma ability score, because everybody’s Charisma is just minus three.

Pelle  21:54

It’s also, it was very important that it should be quite short, you know, each class is some one or two pages with the page. It was meant to be, you know, like, easy to create your own classes. And that what people have done, actually, especially in the beginning, that first year, or something, it was a new class coming up every week, I think, or something like that. That was really great.

Randall  22:23

So this leads me to a different question. So one of the things that I was really impressed by, is if you if you go to the site, pretty quickly, you can find a page that gets you to something to roll character, something to generate dungeon, something to give a random monster. How did those come about? Were those things that were created by the community? Was that something done kind of within your sphere?

Pelle  22:46

I think the generators are made by us.

Johan  22:51

I know actually, originally, yeah. The character generator, I think, because Karl Drud is the guy who has all of this

Pelle  22:59

It did video generator, the digital.

Johan  23:02

Yeah, he made the he made the character generator on his own accord, I think and like, let us know that, oh, hey, I made this thing. And so that’s not that’s not really a voice.

Randall  23:13

But it is now.

Johan  23:17

And then we, as we usually do, when people approached us for these things, we were like, Oh, hey, yeah, sure. We want to do we want to do this with you. We want to make this like an official thing. And so that’s how our collaboration started with with him. And since then, we’ve like, we’ve commissioned him to create generators from our tables that we have done the monsters and that dungeon…

Pelle  23:38

He built those digital stuff from, you know, Excels with lots of entries. I think of a dungeon generator, I think I did 500 entries or something like that. That’s really, you know, a Rain Man experience for me.

Tyler  23:59

Oh, we love a good random generator, the the seeds of a cult, like the first two pages of the heretic supplement. I just absolutely love that thing. Like every couple of days, I just pop that open and roll on it a couple of times and something crazy comes out. I absolutely love that. So you mentioned the community at least early in Mork Borg’s life. There were new classes coming out frequently. Have either of you gotten to play any classes that might not have made it into the cult supplements? Like, are you having fun playing other people’s homebrew content?

Randall  24:36

When you get to play?

Johan  24:37

Yeah, actually, yeah, I had a weekend when we, me and a couple of friends… not you Pelle sorry. We like rented a cabin and played Mork Borg for the weekend. And we went through so many character sheets because everyone died. But then I rolled on this massive list of just third party classes. And so I’ve actually tried quite a few of them. And there are like that I can’t remember the name of the class. But there’s one class that you have, you’re like, cursed to carry this huge sword with you that you can never lose. And you, you, oh, you can only attack with that sword. It’s kind of like the big knife that Pyramid Head has in Silent Hill, you know. That was really fun. And also another class that was like, like a plumber in a way that we didn’t realize it was really fun to have. But we didn’t realize until after a while, this is just a riff on Super Mario like this joke class. He carries with them? A reference to a Super Mario thing, but we didn’t catch those until very late.

Randall  25:45

Legends, people with a pipe wrench in his overalls.

Johan  25:55

There’s a bunch of good classes that, I’ve tried a few of them, and they’re really good.

Randall  26:00

I love that you said that you’ve basically just burned through a stack of character sheets, because we joke about that all the time. You know, so in the spirit of that, you got to play a lot of classes. What’s the longest one of them lasted? I get about 15 minutes into this first encounter just nothing.

Johan  26:18

I think one of my players had a character for several sessions, actually.

Tyler  26:25

Several sessions is wonderful.

Randall  26:29

That’s a good luck.

Johan  26:30

You have to remember that these players come to the table and they expect to die. Like that’s the mindset they have, like, how can I make this character stuff memorable and fun. So that’s…

Tyler  26:40

Now I play like the like the Seven Miseries. I like that campaigns have the, you know when the world is going to end. And that’s just the end of the game. And then you go burn your book, and you have to buy a new one.

Randall  26:57

By the way, way to sell books.

Tyler  27:00

Have either of you managed to run a game that went all the way to the end of the world?

Pelle  27:07

I have not. But I have not played the game as much as Johan has. Actually. I wrote the game and kind of took a step back. But you want us played a lot more than I have, actually. But yeah.

Johan  27:26

Thanks for that. You’re just dumping this into my knee. Actually, we’ve actually had, we’ve had one campaign in big air quotes, because it was a few sessions. But it actually it ended with the end of the world. Because we wanted it to, like we wanted to like push it down to that point. So we just said, we’re just chill here for a couple of weeks and days. And then we just rolled the dice to see how long the world would end.

Randall  28:06

You find a nice valley, little bit of water nearby. You look around and you say like just let’s stay here two weeks and see what happens.

Johan  28:13

It’s probably like the best that could happen in this world. Yeah, we do a nice little rally.

Randall  28:19

Do you think…

Johan  28:20

The only player was actually the only player characters was actually like imprisoned by the Inquisition for being heretics? So there wasn’t that nice. But it was still you know, he was alive.

Randall  28:29

So just putting in a prison. Do either you ever played D&D 5e?

Johan  28:35

I have. Yes.

Pelle  28:36

I played it as well. Okay, it with my kids?

Randall  28:40

Awesome.

Pelle  28:42

The perfect game around. No, no, but yeah, I like it. Lots of people are making fun. Especially lots of Mork Borg guys are making fun of me. I think every games you know, has its pros and cons. And I really enjoy 5e if you’re in Tibet, or in that mood. Great. If you want to be a little bit more of a superhero, maybe than in an encore.

Randall  29:15

Yeah, we always talked about like 5e, one of the best things about 5e compared to previous editions of D&D is how approachable it is. One of the things I observed with Mork Borg is that Mork Borg is even really more approachable. You might not survive the approach, but as far as approaching it, it’s very, it’s easy to get into a game. The reason I asked the question is Tyler and I are actually playing through an adventure and 5e. A published adventure Rhyme of the Frost Maiden. Rhyme of the Frost Maiden in this setting is a little similar in the fact that like, it’s a pretty miserable world and the sun never rises because in this case, there’s a magical being causing it. And that’s part of the campaign is, you know, potentially can you stop this. The whole reason that I took us down this long, long journey is that in Rhyme of the Frost Maiden the sun never rises, you get a Little bit of daylight, like with the sunlight coming up over the horizon. But there’s never truly a sunrise. And so I always joke anytime I have something that’s like, at dawn, this happens. And I have the same feeling when I was… when I was reading Mork Borg, it’s like, okay, the sun never rises. But at dawn I’ll roll, roll my dice, and potentially we’ll have a misery read and this sort of thing. That was probably the first time it was obvious to me that it isn’t super prescriptive, and there’s a lot of opportunity for a Game Master to kind of interpret what they will. I think that’s one of the fun things with how you wrote this core rulebook. So that’s a compliment. And now I’ll turn that into a question. The question is, like, what’s the most fun interpretation? Like, that was not what I meant. But I love that, and you should keep doing that, that you’ve seen the community come up with?

Johan  30:55

Good question. Do you have anything?

Tyler  30:57

You’re thinking? It was a very specific question.

Randall  31:03

That’s what I’m here for.

Johan  31:06

I mean, there are so many theories, and because it’s so intentionally vague, that you have to interpret it. So there are so many theories. And you can’t say if any one is right or not, because there isn’t the right answer. It’s just, it’s kind of like we asked the question when we wrote the book, and it’s up to you at the table to answer it.

Pelle  31:26

Yeah. And we’ve been asked, Is it possible to you know, stop the apocalypse, to intervene? Is it possible to do that? And we, you know, we don’t have that answer. It’s, it’s up to your game. It’s up to you. Yeah. So it’s, yeah, it might be possible to do that. If you want to.

Randall  31:48

In even that, right. Like in the book, it’s hinted at that maybe it isn’t set in stone, maybe it’s changeable. So there’s a lot of hooks, where if that’s the story that your game master, and your table wants to experience until you 100% can make it happen. Then you’re actually like, now the timer isn’t in the campaign, the timer is, can you give there before the campaign ends?

Johan  32:08

But these are all the small like, hooks and science that we leave in the books that like, there’s no answers, it’s just like, Okay, so here’s maybe something you can build on, that you can pick up and make your own interpretation and campaign off. So I think it’s important like you at the table, you own this world, we don’t. We just made this book that can only like, like, take you somewhere in your own direction. We are never going to show up at your table and say that you’re doing it wrong. It’s Your Game, and it’s not our game.

Randall  32:41

You’ve, you’ve ruined Mork Borg for the whole world.

Johan  32:45

There’s no game designers SWAT team.

Randall  32:52

If you could pull that off at least once that would be amazing.

Johan  32:57

Maybe as like a, like a Kickstarter stretch goal.

Randall  33:00

You heard it here first everybody, write that down. So we alluded to this earlier, but we didn’t actually name it. So one of the next big things, Johan, that you’re working on is Cyborg. The Kickstarter has already come out and closed. Pre- sales come out and closed. You’re expecting the books to make it out in late summer. Is that right?

Johan  33:23

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

Randall  33:24

Awesome. So what is Cyborg for the folks at home?

Johan  33:26

That sounds really awesome. So is it gonna be like, super survivable? And like, all happy go lucky and like, I’m not getting,,,no, not at all? So Cyborg is basically a spin off game to Mork Borg. That was written by Christiane Sahlen also from Stockholm Kartell. So it’s, it’s very simplified. It’s a cyberpunk version of Mork Borg with its own setting and rules based on Mork Borg, but a bit adjusted and changed for the cyberpunk setting. So yeah, it’s kind of like, if you know, what we did for, like doom and black metal with Mork Borg. This is us doing it with like synth wave and industrial and hip hop for Cyborg. It’s very much, very much a slightly exaggerated, like commentary on our contemporary life right now in our modern society. So it’s just our own like anxiety in terms of like ecological catastrophes and social media and you know, the commodification of personal data and everything like that. So it’s gonna be grim, but with a hint of humor as well, as we always do.

Randall  34:43

Yeah, it’s like your body has been hacked and taken over by some entity. The player character is actually that entity, the body who knows where we got this from?

Johan  34:53

Yeah. One thing that’s good, it’s kind of fun. Oh, sorry.

Randall  34:58

No, you’re good. You’re 100% That’s the problem with the sending this communication over the ocean. The marvel of modern times though. Yeah, one of the things I noticed in Mork Borg, not nearly enough electrocution.

Johan  35:12

Yeah, exactly. And there’s not much much like Cybertech and not nano powers. And there are some stuff but no, it’s fine. Like we’ve we’ve expanded upon Mork Borg a bit, but kept the simplicity and obviously change the setting and the tone a bit. It’s still got that like dark satire, humor, humor, but yeah, it’s slightly different.

Randall  35:40

Yeah, I can only say I am looking forward to it. And yeah, maybe in the late summer, we’ll have to reach out and see what’s going on.

Johan  35:46

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And there. I mean, if you go into our Discord, there’s a bunch of people talking about it. And you can get some sneak peeks in there as well.

Randall  35:55

Awesome. Alright, so we will have links in the show notes that so that folks can find that. So, Johan, Pelle. Thank you very much for joining us.

Johan  36:04

Thank you for having us.

Pelle  36:05

Thank you. It was really nice to be on your show.

Randall  36:08

Absolutely. No, thank you very much. All hail the Leisure Illuminati. I’m Randall James, you can find me @amateurjack.com and on Twitter and Instagram @JackAmateur.

Tyler  36:17

I’m Tyler Kamstra. You’ll find me at RPGBOT.net Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at RPGBOT D O T ne t and patreon.com/rpgbot.

Johan  36:28

And if Johan Nohr and you can find me at @JohanNoht on Twitter, and basically all of the social media stuff from Mark Borg.

Pelle  36:36

I’m Pelle Nielsen. You can’t find me. But…

Randall  36:43

It’s not a challenge to people. It’s not a challenge.

Pelle  36:45

I’m mostly talking to people on the talk Mork Borg get group on Facebook, if you want to reach out to me, and Discord.

Randall  36:54

Awesome. And we will have links in the show notes so folks can find these folks later. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please rate and review us on Apple podcast and rate us on Spotify or your favorite podcast app. It’s a quick free way to support the podcast and helps us to reach new listeners. You can find links in the show notes. You’ll find affiliate links for source books and other materials linked in the show notes as well as on RPGBOT.net. Following these links helps us to make the show happen every week. If your question should be the question of the week next week, please email podcast at RPGBOT.net or message us on Twitter at RPGBOT D O T N E T. Please also consider supporting us on Patreon where you’ll find early access to RPG bot dot content, polls for future content, and access to the RPG bot dot Discord. You can find us at patreon.com/rpgbot. Alright, thanks folks. All right now we sit in silence.  Pelle, is there anything that you’re working on that you want to talk about?

Pelle  37:46

It’s it’s a bit secret…

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