This set of questions was compiled by Shadowblack.

Interview starts below the line. Questions are in Bold, answers and other comments from the GM are unformatted.

Inside a crowded tavern somewhere in the North Broadlands a lone adventurer looks up from the scroll he's reading and sees the figure standing next to his table* Oh, hello, friend. Don't just stand there, sit down, sit down. *calls over one of the serving girls* Please, order anything you want and as much as you want. Don't worry about the money – it's all on me. *waits until his guest's order is delivered* Now then, I have a number of questions for you, and I look forward to your answers. I wrote them down 'cause I'm too lazy (not to mention busy slaying jadefang ants) to memorize them.

Let's start with a couple of 'age' questions (it's not what you might think): Spencer wants to know if there are any future plans to end the current "age" and move on to the next? I think he's getting a bit ahead of himself because my quick use of Divination revealed that the current age won't end in the foreseeable future. But my magic abilities are not the most reliable in the world so I decided to ask you – just in case.

There are no plans to end the current age, as there is lots more to be done!

Shalokgul also has a question about 'ages': If you have Shadow Magic that means you don't age at the same rate as others, correct? So in the future will people (eg: your fellow Silver Crest members) be dying off as you don't age? I sure hope they won't be dying any time soon. They make such wonderful living shields… er, I mean 'such reliable companions'… yeah, that's what I mean…

Magic of all types on Sryth slows the aging process for the person who wields it, though the exact extent of the slowdown varies from person to person. Shadow Magic slows down the aging process even more than regular magic, though its side effects are noticeably worse as time goes on.

Ever the competitor, Carior wants to know: We have rankings lists for individual skills and powers, but are we going to see the overall list of people's positions and the scores by which they are calculated like there used to be?

An excellent point. I will be adding overall lists to the Hall of Champions, as well as a list for the newest skill -- Weaponry: Lances.

Elendil has a few very good questions: 1) Will the number count on the hand of the Crimson-helmed Rider have any gameplay significance in the near future?

Yes, the number count will have significance in the near future in a couple of different ways -- one way involving a prize and the other way involving an adventure.

When can we expect a shrewder "fence" to offer better prices for items in the game? I would love to deal with a goblin fence offering up to 7500 gold pieces (or 75% of value) for items. A few unmatched plate items are burdening my residences.

A fence that would pay higher prices than most merchants is something on the long list of things to be added in the near future. A character would likely need a high level of mastery in Thievery and/or Diplomacy to be able to access such a person and command a fair price for his or her unwanted treasures.

Would your GM'ness be kind enough to give an explanation of how the random rewards work? Sometimes I feel like a yo-yo fluctuating between streaks of 64-8 and others of 192-48 in Tanonwood and Axepath. And I'm still at loss as to how the shard experience reward is determined.

The random rewards are just random, with the highest rewards having a somewhat smaller chance of appearing than the lower rewards. Experience rewards for the shards functions in much the same way.

Now for one of my favorite topics: familiars. Taleria would like to know: Will there be ridable ones, and will familiars in general require any kind of maintenance like feeding or training? Which brings me to my first question: Arkrol the Familiar Keeper told us about the trouble with the Summoner's Stone. Why do I have the feeling that we will be the ones 'fixing' the problem? And is there a connection between Arkrol's troubles and the arrival of that demoness (Ghor-Tiln)? Or was it just a coincidence that she arrived at roughly the same time as when his problems began? I don't believe in coincidences whenever demons are involved, but you can never be sure…

Familiars will be different that mounts. Familiars will be able to help characters in combat and in certain special game situations. They will require maintenance and will be "levelable", increasing their effectiveness with each new level. Their levels will be increased by spending Experience to increase them. Familiars will be closely tied to particular skills and powers, and will derive a portion of their abilities/effectiveness from the level of mastery their master possesses in the skill or power they are connected to.

Mmm, I wouldn't mind getting a bit more 'familiar' with that pretty serving girl… What, is something on my face? …I say that out loud? Sorry, I was just thinking aloud. Forget I said anything!

* cough* Anyway, moving on. Myrkyt has some more alignment questions:

* Are there going to be more opportunities to impact our Alignment through our actions? I have the SSL, and every time I run into, say, one of those rugged bands of highwaymen, I dither about about what choice is saintliest: Subduing the thieves-- which keeps blood off my hands but leaves them to return to their trade? Or killing them dead and ensuring that these particular minions don't assault another traveler? I'd love to see more concrete results from those kinds of choices. And I'd love to see the SSL require me to stay saintly to be effective-- losing/gaining MR or becoming unwieldable as my alignment shifts.

I agree. The alignment system needs to be adjusted to provide benefits/penalties for breaking away from an alignment that a character chooses. Items like the Shimmering Silver weapons (and Iakor's weapons) need to be wieldable, or have their greatest effect, in the hands of a character that meets their alignment.

And speaking of the highwaymen, what's up with those guys? There seems to be an endless supply of them. Is this the impact of the Age of Igtheon on the economy of Tysa? I mean, if the farming, craft, adventuring and magic sectors were growing properly, would there be so many young men and women turning to a life of brigandage? And given their ubiquity, is there someone higher up on the Tysian criminal food-chain that's getting a piece of their (frequently short-lived) action? And, most importantly, will we ever get to hunt down their ever-escaping leader?

The highwaymen you meet while wandering around the kingdom were the first random encounter test for the random encounter piece to the travel system -- and they have certainly overstayed their welcome! More encounters will be on their way, to make travel a bit more interesting, and of course just a bit more perilous!

Yes, sadly, despite the relative wealth of the kingdom, and the numerous opportunities for its citizenry, there are still those who choose to embark on less-than-scrupulous endeavours -- of course, one meeting with any one of Sryth's illustrious adventurers is more than enough incentive for many of these misdirected folk to turn their lives around!

Good question. I'll be more than happy to bring the leader (or what's left of him once I'm done practicing my Bashing skill on his body) to the authorities. A small reward for my troubles of, say… 1000 Adventurer Tokens… wouldn't hurt either… Yeah, I guess that's a bit too much. But hey, a guy can dream, right? * That brings us to daishii's questions. He is wondering if anyone's taking notice of the dozens of Border Rangers that are... met with 'unfortunate accidents'… when he explores the realms? I think he might be getting a bit greedy because he also asks: Are we going to get to explore the Neverness? Maybe acquire a nevernal dwelling or take over a demon's realm?

The short answer is yes. Exploration of some of the many Nevernal Realms is something that the game's overall storyline will require.

A demon's realm? I wouldn't mind one of those myself, to be honest…

* Next are a few questions about people we have all met. Rain Edge and I (and probably many other people) were wondering about a few of them, in particular: Thofyra, Captain Rolekst and Brother Kol all keep telling us they will have some work for us, or will need our help soon, or something like that. Will any of them have something new for us to do relatively soon? Then there's Varess from "The Long Tooth Inn". She keeps telling us about "a man who told her about a strange wolf-like beast he encountered in the forest outside the city". Any chance we would get to meet the man, or the best, or both?

The wolf-like beast in the forest is something that pertains to Fogbough Forest, which is the next major expansion area to follow Saarngard Isle. All three of the people you mentioned will figure into your adventures at some point -- though with regard to Captain Rolekst you might be very sorry that that's the case!

Speaking of new stuff, do you have any plans for new additions to Tarkhald Crypt and The Old North Wood (yes, I know the latter is new)? Adrimar seems like someone who might have more stuff for us to do, and I doubt anyone would mind getting another one of his potions…

Adrimar will soon be offering some of his more potent concoctions to adventurers willing to purchase them. There will be a limit to the number of his potions that can be carried, and a limit to how many can be purchased in a given time frame. After all, at his age it takes him quite a while to gather the necessary (and secret) ingredients.

Mentioning the (perhaps) cursed wood reminded me: During our adventures involving Stoneback Hill we received an Onyx Skull Amulet which turned out to be cursed and could not be taken off once put on. Will there be more such items in the future, and if yes, will they be limited to quests only?

There will likely be more cursed items, and in fact, some characters may already be carrying one or more of them. Not all items bearing a curse are immediately identifiable as such. Actually if anyone is carrying the...

One last question from me: Why is Jodd such a popular name? I've met at least three people named Jodd…

Jodd is a popular male name on Sryth.

Badstench has a few questions about the game and its development: 1) Is the game of Sryth growing in popularity at the rate you envisioned when taking it on full time?

Sryth is growing at a nice rate. My goal is to continue to provide the type of game that players have come to expect, while attempting to introduce new content at a faster rate, without sacrificing quality and playability.

Is there any way we (avid players) can help (aside from the obvious; telling friends, etc)?

Detailed reports of bugs/typos, and feedback on the game are a great help. Always be sure to include the section number (if applicable) in any report, as well as your username and the character you were using.

You have stated that an increased number of emails may result in longer reply times. Is there a point at which you will "outsource" staff requirements?

Yes, at some point the number of emails could easily be too much to effectively contend with, though thankfully I believe the forum and the wiki are a great, great resource for new players. I think both the forum and the wiki go a long way toward helping to reduce the number of questions that new and established players are likely to have.

And finally, a couple of personal question from Lyfebane: 1) Given the GMs respectful mention of the passing of Gary Gygax, I am wondering if he has ever rolled real dice around a table? (Surely he has!)

Yes, I played Dungeons and Dragons with friends for several years, and it is in those sessions that some portions of the world of Sryth took form.

And if so, his favourite played character (I reckon he has a guilty pleasure for reprehensible rogues) and any memorable campaigns moments?

I was almost always in the role of the Dungeon Master in our sessions, but by far the character (NPC) that was the most fun for me to play (and who inspired the most fear in the others around the table) was Captain Jodd Rolekst. There were numerous memorable moments in our campaigns, but the most memorable was probably the ending of the final campaign.

Well, that would be all the questions for today. Now I, the renowned Shadowblack, one of the richest people in all of the North Broadlands, will go pay the tab so you take your time and write down the answers, my friend. *gets up and "mistakenly" heads towards the exit, but gets intercepted by one of the serving girls before he can reach it.* The tab? My friend will take care of it. …What do you mean 'what friend'? The one I was talking to until now, the one right over… there… *sees that his table is empty and there's no sign of his "guest"* What the… An illusion! Oh, darn it!... Yes, yes, I'm sure I was talking to myself the whole time. *sigh* Yes, I'll pay, don't worry. *pays and leaves the tavern, grumbling something about sneaky GMs and their legendary skills in Illusion, Storytelling, and so on*

Very cleverly-posed questions as usual! I hope I was able to answer them all, and I apologize for not having gotten to them sooner!

As always, I wish everyone well, and the best of luck on your adventures!

All the best!

Questions for the GM
2007 December
2008 January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December
2009 January · February · March · April · May

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