[19:02] <+BPIJonathan> Hello all, you should all know me by now. I am Jonathan M. Thompson, head of Battlefield Press, Inc. Also one of the authors for the upcoming games/settings Pulp Fantastic and Warren Norwood’s Double Spiral War. Pulp Fantastic is our vortex system based (DWAITAS, Primeval) Pulp RPG, and Double Spiral War is a setting based on Warren Norwood Trilogy with …
[19:03] <+BPIJonathan> an imminent release for Savage Worlds, and one upcoming for Mongoose Traveller.
[19:03] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:03] <~Dan> Any questions to start us off?
[19:04] <~Dan> Okay then!
[19:04] <~Dan> What sort of pulp game is Pulp Fantastic?
[19:06] <+BPIJonathan> It has its roots in my favorite part of the pulps, the heroes. Meaning we attempted to emulate characters of the sort you would find like Doc Savage, the Phantom, Green Hornet, the Shadow. We mixed that in with a background that has these character types working for secret organizations in a secret war trying to determine what man is really meant to know.
[19:07] <+GenoFoxx> What no Buck Gordon or Flash Rogers?
[19:07] <+BPIJonathan> For example in a play we did, the martians invaded Earth in 1938 and Orson Wells was on the scene. The PCs group decided that the announcement was too dangerous and literally held a gun to the head of Orson Wells and made him claim it was a hoax
[19:07] <+BPIJonathan> More along the lines of Gordon or Rodgers would be the Rocket Rangers supplement, which is currently underway.
[19:08] <~Dan> Really? No worries of stepping on the toes of Rocket Age there?
[19:08] <+GenoFoxx> Defenders of the Earth…the RPG?
[19:08] <+BPIJonathan> No, none… our book predates theirs as its converted from a d20 modern book we did in 2005
[19:09] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:09] <~Dan> How far into the proto-supers realm does Pulp Fantastic go?
[19:10] <+BPIJonathan> Mostly the people are just peak humans that gained their abilities through training rather than anything out there, not really into the realm at all
[19:11] <~Dan> Really? How do you handle characters like the Shadow and Mandrake, then?
[19:12] <&Silverlion> Those who seemingly have super powers….
[19:13] <+BPIJonathan> Through a series of Traits… the Shadows mental powers are trained. He gained them when he was in Asia.
[19:13] <+BPIJonathan> So he can gain the appropriate traits.
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[19:14] <+BPIJonathan> Like in DWAITAS they are in the “special traits” category
[19:14] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:15] <~Dan> Seems like I saw Traits that allow humans to have bestial powers, some of which are paranormal?
[19:15] <+BPIJonathan> The way we view them is that they are technological.
[19:16] <&Silverlion> That seems odd…
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[19:17] <+BPIJonathan> Im looking at the latest version right now and I don’t see what you see.
[19:18] <+BPIJonathan> But anything bestial was seen as a leftover result of Moreaus genetic experimentation.
[19:19] <+BPIJonathan> Which had been continued by one or more of the secret societies.
[19:19] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:19] <&Silverlion> I was thinking of Tarzan’s control/command of animals
[19:21] <+BPIJonathan> In a case like that we sat around and made the decision that came about through training, he lived with animals and learned their languages as a result.
[19:21] <+BPIJonathan> So he treats them with respect and asks them to do things for him. They may or may not do depending on their mood.
[19:21] <+BPIJonathan> In the d20 version he got a diplomacy check.
[19:22] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:22] <&Silverlion> Ah. Cool.
[19:22] <+GenoFoxx> I guess that holds true for the Phantom as well
[19:22] <+BPIJonathan> Yes.
[19:23] <~Dan> Ah, here we go… Page 51, Creature Traits.
[19:23] <+BPIJonathan> We tried to get Conde Nast to allow us to include Doc Savage and co., into the book… but they wouldn’t give us permission.
[19:24] <+BPIJonathan> Creature traits are the result of genetic manipulation.
[19:24] <+BPIJonathan> or other non supernatural reasons.
[19:24] * ~Dan nods
[19:25] <+BPIJonathan> The idea was that there was nothing supernatural involved, now that doesn’t stop you from playing it that way. I don’t have any issues with that at all.
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[19:27] <+BPIJonathan> (welcome Hal)
[19:27] <+HalG> Hi bud
[19:28] <~Dan> Speaking of the supernatural, it appears that the book includes Lovecraftian critters. How do you handle magic in the setting?
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[19:31] <+BPIJonathan> We don’t. Everything can be defeated without it.
[19:32] <~Dan> No cultists with Lovecraftian science-as-magic?
[19:33] <+BPIJonathan> The rules present will allow you to make that if you want to have that in your game, we tried to include things that were outside of our scope in order to give people some leeway in their view of our setting.
[19:34] <~Dan> Can you give an example of that?
[19:37] <+BPIJonathan> Like the eldritch creatures. They were not present in our original draft, and added when we thought that we could use some elements from Lovecrafts SciFi stories for people that may want to include that in their game. For example a lovecraftian cult would just be a secret society (or part of an existing one).
[19:37] <+BPIJonathan> There is no reason why you cant make a character and say hes a member of the Thule Society or create a new society for your cultist.
[19:37] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:37] <+BPIJonathan> BRB.
[19:41] <+BPIJonathan> Returned
[19:41] <~Dan> wb!
[19:41] <+Tammy> wb
[19:42] <+BPIJonathan> TY had to deal with a personal issue. ]
[19:42] <~Dan> To clarify my previous question, though: Would the game as written allow for a cult to have access to Lovecraftian “magic” (i.e., science-as-magic, as seen in Eldtritch Skies)?
[19:43] <+BPIJonathan> I don’t see why not
[19:44] <+BPIJonathan> you give them the appropriate gadgets and it should work just fine
[19:44] <~Dan> Speaking of which, how do you handle gadgetry?
[19:46] <+BPIJonathan> Gadgetry is done here the same way its done in Doctor Who (for those familiar with it), for those not…gadgets are built with story points.
[19:46] <+BPIJonathan> They are generally specific to a character, of course they come in three levels Minor, major and special.
[19:48] <+BPIJonathan> Not sure if I answered your question.
[19:48] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:49] <~Dan> How powerful can gadgets get? Is it possible for PCs to create massive earthquake rays and the like?
[19:49] <~Dan> (Not that a PC would do that, but you get the idea.)
[19:50] <+BPIJonathan> Its possible, providing they have enough Story Points, but its really a situation where the GM needs to regulate the building of gadgets to fit his or her campaign.
[19:51] <+BPIJonathan> (done)
[19:51] <~Dan> Vortex PCs seem fairly fragile, with the system leading to a quick death-spiral. Have you mitigated that in any way for pulp?
[19:52] <+BPIJonathan> The core book is based off the Primeval RPG, in which the characters are a little tougher.
[19:53] <~Dan> How so?
[19:53] <+BPIJonathan> The game is mostly a military game, where they go out hunting for temporal anomalies and fight dinosaurs.
[19:53] <+BPIJonathan> Not that there are no civilian characters.
[19:54] <+BPIJonathan> We didn’t want a game where you jumped in front of a bullet because you had 85 hp left.
[19:54] <~Dan> Oh, certainly not. But do PF characters immediately take damage to their attributes?
[19:56] <+BPIJonathan> Yes.
[19:56] <~Dan> Hmm. So how are they tougher than, say, Doctor Who characters?
[19:57] <+BPIJonathan> Sorry, my mistake. I was thinking of something we dismissed. I had to go back and look it up. I do apologize.
[19:58] <~Dan> So they aren’t tougher?
[19:59] <+BPIJonathan> No, we had originally made them tougher and then backed down because we wanted the games to be compatible.
[19:59] <~Dan> How did you initially make them tougher?
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[20:02] <+BPIJonathan> We had fiddled with the difficulty chart.
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[20:03] <~Dan> Ah, I see. So they weren’t actually more robust?
[20:03] <+BPIJonathan> Its been over a year, so I cant be more specific without going back over notes that are archived.
[20:03] <~Dan> No problem.
[20:04] <~Dan> What’s the scope of the bestiary?
[20:04] <+BPIJonathan> No, we were just trying to make them appear to be on paper, and from what I remember it worked ok… but when we started mixing things up with DW and Primeval we eventually decided that we need to have our game appear just like theres.
[20:04] <+BPIJonathan> theirs
[20:04] <+BPIJonathan> (dang it)
[20:05] <+BPIJonathan> Mostly just creatures you will find all over the Earth. If you are in Egypt or in any museum you could come across a mummy, if you are in Eastern Europe you could hit a vampire, if you are in Texas you may see an armadillo.
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[20:06] <~Dan> How do you include creatures like mummies and vampires without the supernatural?
[20:09] <+BPIJonathan> They are included for those who want supernatural in their games, the mummy in ours wasn’t a mummy it was a robot with the mummy stuff, but one of the guys working on it decided that they should be included for those that wanted a more supernatural feel. I am still tempted to take them out.
[20:10] <~Dan> Are there dinosaurs?
[20:10] <+BPIJonathan> Yes, of course there are dinosaurs. Cant have a pulp game without them 😀
[20:11] <+Aeolius> cosmic radiation mummies? gamma ray vampires?
[20:11] * ~Dan knew that but had to ask for the sake of our log readers. 🙂
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[20:13] <+BPIJonathan> Aeolius: That could be a solution. We basically did them up ala Pyramids of Mars
[20:13] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
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[20:13] <~Dan> (Howdy, TwentySix!)
[20:14] <+BPIJonathan> (Howdy Monk, TwentySix)
[20:14] <~Dan> So what’s the latest on Double Spiral War?
[20:15] <+BPIJonathan> We are releasing the Savage Worlds version to the backers sometime in the next couple of weeks. We hit a snag with the Traveller Version (personal issues that I have talked to the backers about) and have been farming out parts to try to get it back on schedule.
[20:16] <+BPIJonathan> We have decided to do a starships book for DSW and then we are going to do a series of books talking about the various races.
[20:17] <+BPIJonathan> at a later date of course
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[20:17] <+BPIJonathan> Also as far as Pulp Fantastic goes, we hired a freelancer today to work on the third supplement (fourth book in the series).
[20:19] <~Dan> What books do you have planned for Pulp Fantastic other than Rocket Rangers?
[20:21] <+BPIJonathan> Baron Ace and his Legendary Flying Cavalry and a currently untitled Mars book.
[20:22] <+BPIJonathan> Baron Ace is about a global mercenary unit that tries to help out wherever it can (talked about some in the core book).
[20:22] <+BPIJonathan> It was inspired by the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
[20:23] <+BPIJonathan> And Mars is basically inspired by Wells (since the Martians and their war machines are in the core)
[20:23] <~Dan> Ah. So not sword-and-planet territory.
[20:23] <+BPIJonathan> Its not going to be called “Mars” in the end, just the working reference title right now.
[20:23] <+BPIJonathan> That will come probably with the Venus material we are currently brainstorming.
[20:24] <+BPIJonathan> And there is talk about something related to one of the outer planets, but no solid ideas on that yet.
[20:25] <~Dan> Will these all fit into the same setting?
[20:26] <+BPIJonathan> Yes, they will… they are being carefully written as to engage the existing setting not to go way out elsewhere.
[20:29] <~Dan> Some pulp games shy away from didn them?
[20:29] <~Dan> Whoops? Let me try that again.
[20:30] <~Dan> Okay, something weird’s happening here. Just a sec.
[20:31] <~Dan> Some pulp games avoid Nazis, the logic being that they didn’t appear in the real pulps. What’s PF’s take on them?
[20:33] <+BPIJonathan> We include them, mostly because the general public perceives they were in the pulps… especially with the popularity of movies like Indiana Jones.
[20:33] <~Dan> Fair enough.
[20:34] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:35] <+BPIJonathan> And as an alternate history we can fiddle a bit
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[20:42] <~Dan> (back)
[20:42] <~Dan> Oh? How alternate is the history?
[20:44] <+BPIJonathan> We have taking things from literature and said they really happened, but due to the workings of one or more of the secret societies, they have managed to convince the public they were works of fiction.
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[20:46] <~Dan> Can you give some examples?
[20:48] <+BPIJonathan> Martians really did invade the Earth and it was written in a report by HG Wells, and through the actions of the Invisible College people believe it was just a work of fiction.
[20:49] <+BPIJonathan> Challenger discovered dinosaurs on a hidden plateau in South America, its existence was believed to be made up by Doyle, a friend of Edward Malone.
[20:49] <~Dan> So Victorian sci-fi in general really happened?
[20:50] <+BPIJonathan> Yes.
[20:50] <~Dan> Cool. Was Sherlock real? 🙂
[20:51] <+BPIJonathan> He was indeed.
[20:51] <+GenoFoxx> so the Master of the World came this close to really being ‘master of the world’?
[20:52] <+BPIJonathan> Yes, but the fact was unknown to the general public….and they think of history as we know it to exist, rather than the secret history that really exists. As the organizations are out to preserve the illusion for humanity.
[20:53] <&Silverlion> Hrms
[20:55] <+BPIJonathan> In some books we discuss what happens if you decide not to hide the event from the public, so as a GM you will get the choice in some events.
[20:55] <+GenoFoxx> so HG Wells did actually marry Nadia and there were two Nautilus’ both actually spaceships (secret of Blue Water)
[20:55] <~Dan> Is there anything you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered?
[20:58] <+BPIJonathan> Pulp Fantastic will have a kickstarter that will launch around 1 April. The desire is that we get our stretch goals which are the publication of the first two PF supplements, if it succeeds backers will get the pdf immediately upon the KS finalizing. Also, we are releasing the PDF of Double Spiral War Savage Worlds to backers in the next couple of weeks, and
[20:58] <+BPIJonathan> will be made available via RPGnow/DTRPG at the same time for purchase.
[20:59] <+BPIJonathan> And that’s it folks 😀
[20:59] <~Dan> Great! Thanks, BPIJonathan!
[21:00] <+BPIJonathan> Thanks for having me on the show, I always enjoy being here.
[21:01] <~Dan> Heh. You’re very welcome. 🙂
[21:02] <~Dan> And thanks for joining us, Tammy. 🙂
[21:03] <+Tammy> ty
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[21:06] <+BPIJonathan> Well ladies and gentlemen, I must be off. I must get up early in the morning for a day of dealing with children who will not want to be at school because next week is Spring Break. I will chat with you soon 😀
[21:07] <~Dan> Sleep well! 🙂