[19:03] <+Brett> Hi. My name is Brett Bernstein. I run Precis Intermedia, which publishes games like Coyote Trail, Two-Fisted Tales, Lords of Olympus and Treasure Awaits!, as well Disposable Heroes paper miniatures and Disposable Tilescapes dungeon maps. done
[19:04] <~Dan> Thanks, Brett!
[19:04] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:04] <~Dan> So you mentioned a new version of HardNova?
[19:05] <+Geno> What is HardNova
[19:05] <@Silverlion> What mechanics does HardNova use?
[19:07] <+Brett> Yes, I am currently working on HardNova 2 Revised & Expanded. This recompiles all the material from the core book, both enhancement packs, miniseries alpha, Ruthdii book, some extra material on the website, plus a ton of world-based and space-borne creatures. I’m hoping to get it done in the next month or so, but I’m recovering from a computer crash.
[19:07] <+Brett> I lost a few bits here and there, but it’s not too bad.
[19:07] <~Dan> (Let’s have a question pause, as Geno’s and Sil’s questions are pretty fundamental. 🙂 )
[19:09] <+Brett> HardNova is a sci-fi game using our genreDiversion i rules, so it’s 2d6-based. It’s very flexible, with material able to be mixed with other genreDiversion i games (Coyote Trail, EarthAD.2, Mean Streets, and Ghostories).
[19:09] <+Brett> done
[19:10] <~Dan> Now, is this still the roll-under version?
[19:10] <+Brett> Yes, this is the roll-under version, but you can easily use with the genreDiversion 3E rules, which is roll-over.
[19:11] <+Geno> Does it have a fixed setting or is a sandlot?
[19:11] <+Geno> (sandbox)
[19:13] <+Brett> It has a setting framework in which you are pretty much open to do what you want. Characters generally belong to the United Sovereign Worlds, of which Earth and two other worlds are prime members, along with associate worlds. So the ruling body is sort of like the Federation in Star Trek. The rules are made to be tinkered with, so you can easily create your
[19:13] <~Dan> (Cut off at “create your”.)
[19:14] <+Brett> own aliens. Some species may do business within human space and there are, of course, invading species, which are part of the scenarios. It’s the scenarios that set part of the game’s ethos.
[19:14] <+Brett> done
[19:15] <~Dan> What manner of scifi would you say HardNova is?
[19:15] <~Dan> (As in hard scifi, science fantasy, etc.)
[19:15] <+Brett> I would say space opera.
[19:16] <~Dan> So epic stories, loads of aliens?
[19:16] <+Brett> But you can run it Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly style.
[19:16] <+Brett> I can be very epic, yes.
[19:16] <@Silverlion> What kind of aliens does it have?
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[19:17] <~Dan> (Howdy, Snoof!)
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[19:19] <+Brett> The primary player aliens in revised & expanded are Humans, Centaurians (telepathic human colonists), Digronians (ape-like), Kt’Sorii (insectoid), Migado (practically immobile without bioframes, as they are heavy due to many ancillary organs), X-ans (artificial sentients), Tarkosians (formerly enemies), Kinosians (formerly Tarkosian oppressed),
[19:20] <~Dan> What are Tarkosians and Kinosians like?
[19:21] <+Brett> Sligg (oil slicks), Ul-Marians (sloth-like), and Sikatai (gelatinous bankers). Then the bad guys are Ruthdii Komar (wormlike), Tsroth (insectoids), Dashi. There are others, but these are the primaries.
[19:22] <+Brett> Tarkosians are very much like humans. What sets them apart is their white hair and no fingers. After years of genetic manipulation, the current strains have lost fingers. They have bionic fingers for lack of a better explanation. They were originally the reason why Earth allied with the Dirgronians and Kt’Sorii, but about 50 years after the war, they joined
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[19:23] <~Dan> (Howdy, Janus!)
[19:23] <+Brett> the alliance. The Kinosians are of the same original stock, but have fingers as they never underwent genetic modification. They were oppressed by the Tarkosians with no education, but were freed when the Tarkosians joined the alliance.
[19:24] <+Brett> done
[19:24] <~Dan> How would you describe the tech level of the setting?
[19:25] <+Brett> Oh, here’s some pictures… (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2254)http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2254
[19:25] <~Dan> Very nice!
[19:26] <+Brett> There are no transporters, but there are hyperdrives, stargates, particle weapons. I’d probably put it at a fusion-level.
[19:26] <+Brett> done
[19:26] <~Dan> So are the standard firearms slugthrowers or energy weapons?
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[19:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, AeonMobile!)
[19:28] <+Brett> Blasters and EP (explosive projectile) sidearms are most common.
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[19:29] <+Brett> done
[19:29] <+AeonMobile> The feeling is mutual, DanTron
[19:29] <~Dan> How much does tech level vary by species?
[19:30] <~Dan> And manner of tech, for that matter (i.e., biotech, cybertech, etc.)?
[19:32] <+Brett> There isn’t much distinction. However, humans can get cybernetics and Centaurians can use mental powers, but the other species get their own racial extras.
[19:32] <~Dan> Are psionics unique to Centaurians?
[19:33] <+Brett> Yes and know – they get more variety, but it does occur on a smaller scale for some other species.
[19:34] <~Dan> What’s the scope and scale of psionic powers?
[19:36] <+Geno> is it subtle or earth shattering Akira levels?
[19:37] <+Brett> There are a number of them, from invading the subconscious to tapping into other people’s minds to gain knowledge to succeed at a task. Then there are powers like psychokinesis and telesense. Some powers require others. Some are very powerful. It’s really up to the GM to moderate them – he can limit what players choose. Ultimately, there shouldn’t be more
[19:38] <+Brett> than one PC with psionics.
[19:38] <+Brett> done
[19:39] <~Dan> How cinematic is space combat?
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[19:39] <~Dan> Are there dogfights, for example?
[19:39] <~Dan> (Howdy, nick3!)
[19:40] <+Brett> There’s fighters and larger ships, so you can do dogfights and you can do Star Trek-style battles.
[19:40] <~Dan> How much focus do you give ship-to-ship combat?
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[19:42] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonochromeTide!)
[19:43] <+Brett> Ships have abilities and gimmicks just like characters, and you can improve them with experience.
[19:43] <+Brett> done
[19:45] <~Dan> How much space is dedicated to alien flora and fauna?
[19:46] <+Brett> The bestiary in the new edition is pretty large. If you’ve seen the one in EarthAD.2 Expanded, I think it may be larger.
[19:46] <~Dan> Really? Yup, that’s pretty impressive!
[19:47] <+Brett> Yeah, I can’t take all the credit. It was mostly written by a long-time fan.
[19:48] <~Dan> Still, it’s cool that you’re dedicating that much attention to monsters, in my opinion. I’m a sucker for a good bestiary. 🙂
[19:48] <+Brett> done
[19:50] <~Dan> Let’s see… how would you describe the setting’s morality? Black and white? Shades of gray?
[19:50] <~Dan> Are there unambiguous bad guys?
[19:52] <+Brett> The overt message is black and white, but like anything in real life, some of the scenarios can be gray in nature. The primary bad guys are bad, but other bad guys in the scenarios border on the gray scale.
[19:52] <+Brett> done
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[19:55] <~Dan> Are there any groups for the PCs to join to facilitate adventuring?
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[19:57] <+Brett> Rangers, navy, or freelancers. These are born out in the scenarios.
[19:57] <+Brett> done
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[19:58] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:58] <~Dan> What are the rangers like?
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[20:00] <~Dan> (Howdy, Rasyr!)
[20:01] <+Brett> The Rangers are a special law enforcement agency that was created to patrol Sovereign space and take some of the burden off the Navy, so that they can focus defense. done
[20:03] <~Dan> That sounds like it has a lot of potential. Do they have much autonomy?
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[20:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, willows!)
[20:04] <+willows> hello
[20:04] <+Brett> It’s basically a hook for the players. They can go the route of being law enforcement agents, should that be what they want.
[20:05] * ~Dan nods
[20:05] <~Dan> So I know one of our regulars will never let me hear the end of it if I don’t ask you whether the setting includes mecha. 🙂
[20:06] <+Brett> No mecha. Sorry
[20:06] <~Dan> How about power armor?
[20:06] <+Brett> Not really, no 🙂
[20:07] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:08] <~Dan> You mentioned cybernetics earlier. How elaborate are they? And did you say that they’re only an option for humans?
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[20:10] <+Geno> 😦
[20:10] <+Brett> Some humans have them – they are applied as gimmicks, which are like advantages. All rules in the game are pretty simple, so they usually add bonuses to appropriate tasks. Everything is meant to be simple, so there’s not a lot of complicated rules or items.
[20:10] <+Brett> done
[20:12] <~Dan> Aside from psionics, what are some exotic alien abilities?
[20:16] <+Brett> Kt’Sorri have compound vision, and heightened touch/hearing. Digronians have claws and night vision. X-ans don’t tire, since they are machines. Sliggs are amorphous so they can’t be shot by bullets. done
[20:18] <~Dan> Can players be robots? Or is that synonymous with playing an X-an?
[20:19] <+Brett> Robots don’t have any sentience, just programming, so no. But the X-ans are actually sentient, so they are perfect for players. done.
[20:21] <~Dan> What’s the political status quo of the setting? Is there a war on, or the immediate threat of one, for example?
[20:23] <+Brett> In the upcoming edition, the are three eras in which to play: a) before the scenarios, b) during the scenarios in which new discoveries are made, new wars start, etc., or c) after the scenarios when there are ongoing threats and newly-discovered species. done
[20:25] <+Geno> how far into the future/ or past is the setting?
[20:26] <+Brett> There’s no set time – it’s Earth’s future. done
[20:27] <+Brett> Sorry – a few hundred years.
[20:28] <~Dan> How much territory does the setting cover? Clearly, it’s interstellar, but is it intergalactic?
[20:29] <+Brett> It’s not intergalactic. It’s relatively small. In terms of Star Trek, not that large. But you can add on the Intercosm supplement and you get an entirely different empire-like setting that is larger.
[20:29] <~Dan> Ah, so it’s all contained within the Milky Way?
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[20:30] <+Brett> Yes
[20:30] <~Dan> (Howdy, Blaster!)
[20:32] <~Dan> I seem to recall that the genreDiversion scale is relatively small. Does that hold true in HardNova, or is there a scaling mechanic as there is in genreDiversion 3?
[20:34] <+Brett> There’s just two scales in GDi: people and starships. You can also tack on smaller vehicles from EarthAD.2 though.
[20:36] <~Dan> How do you handle enormous creatures?
[20:37] <+Brett> They are treated like starships when in space – or get special gimmicks on the ground.
[20:38] <+Brett> … to account for size and toughness.
[20:39] <~Dan> In space, you say? There are creatures that can survive in space?
[20:39] <+Brett> Yes. There are a few space-based creatures in the new edition. You don’t want to run into them 🙂
[20:40] <~Dan> Space krakens? 🙂
[20:41] <+Brett> Release them…
[20:41] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:42] <~Dan> How cinematic do you consider the system in general and in HardNova in particular?
[20:43] <+Brett> Well, it’s cinematic in the sense that you can get into some exciting shootouts and escapades. The system itself can be pretty gritty, so take cover.
[20:43] <+Brett> There are options to lessen the grittiness though, so adjust as per your needs.
[20:44] <~Dan> How touch are the PCs by default?
[20:44] <~Dan> tough, rather
[20:45] <+Brett> Let’s just say that you need good armor if you intend to get into a firefight.
[20:46] <~Dan> You said no power armor… How advanced is armor?
[20:46] <+Brett> The health system is pretty realistic (well, as realistic as any game can get without worrying about penetration factors, muzzle velocities, etc 🙂
[20:46] <+Brett> armor is merely protective, from regular stuff to pressure suits.
[20:47] * ~Dan nods
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[20:48] <~Dan> Do you have any plans on doing a genreDiversion 3 edition of HardNova?
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[20:49] <~Dan> Or is there any point, with the ease of conversion?
[20:49] <+Brett> I have thought about it, but I wanted to update HN to an Expanded Edition first to bring up to the same softcover level as the other books in the line. This is the last of the original GDi games to get the final expanded treatment.
[20:50] <~Dan> So it’s all GD3 from here on out?
[20:50] <+Brett> Future genreDiversion games — and there are a bunch planned — will use the GD3E rules. These include Thousand Realms (a new edition of Maelstrom Storytelling), The Colonies 2.0, and an advanced version of Treasure Awaits!.
[20:51] <~Dan> Maelstrom is the one about the reality-warping storms, correct?
[20:53] <+Brett> Yes, that’s it. The cities you visit affect reality too. So magic and science are harder to use from one town to the next.
[20:54] <~Dan> And I know you told me at one point, but what is The Colonies?
[20:54] <+Brett> The original game is old. It’s about people from old earth colonies returning to earth to set it free from invasion.
[20:55] <+Brett> I’ve been working on a new edition for years.
[20:56] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:57] <~Dan> So while you are welcome to hang out and field questions as long as you like, is there anything we haven’t covered so far that you’d like to bring up in what remains of “regular” time?
[21:01] <+Brett> Well, I would mention that I have been working on a new supers RPG. This new system is the spiritual successor to Story Engine. It is completely adjective-based. If you’re accustomed to the exploits rules in genreDiversion 3E, this has a similar feature, so you can choose how your success manifests. The free basic rules will be available soon.
[21:02] <~Dan> That sounds interesting! How far along is it?
[21:04] <+Brett> I just created an early PDF for a few people to see. The supers part is played down a bit in this document for a more universal feel.
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[21:05] <~Dan> Do you see it as a potential replacement for genreDiversion?
[21:06] <+Geno> so when it’s done would it be possible to combine it with the more space oriented games and get a Legion of Superheroes or Green Lantern Corp type game?
[21:06] <+Brett> No. It’s a totally different style of play. This is more abstract like Story Engine – all relative gaming.
[21:06] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[21:07] <~Dan> It’s always nice to have more options. 🙂
[21:07] <+Brett> It does have a scale from mortal up to otherworldly, but it’s still be tested for those different ranges.
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:08] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:09] <~Dan> Well, I need to log out for the evening. Mind if I save the log there?
[21:10] <+Brett> Same here. Go ahead. Thanks.
[21:10] <~Dan> Cool. Give me just a moment and I’ll get you the link. Thanks for coming by, Brett!