[19:03] <+CBG_Cat> Okay! I’m Cat McDonald, of Cabal Games! Our current project is City Limits, the launch setting for our in-house universal game, and it’s currently on kickstarter right here: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/932667264/city-limits)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/932667264/city-limits
[19:03] <+Silverlion> (now tell us whay its awesome..)
[19:04] <+CBG_Cat> It’s an urban setting split into two perspectives, “As Above”, a game about government and military operatives in a world where magic has suddenly appeared and needs to be controlled, and “So Below”, an urban horror game about the everyday people who now live with daemons in their heads.
[19:06] <+CBG_Cat> The underlying game is structured around player-built spells, character builds, and combat techniques, so that players and GMs can have the game they want to play.
[19:06] <+CBG_Cat> (Done probably!)
[19:06] <+RavenMcCracken> possesion/ symbiosis or outright parisite
[19:06] <+CBG_Cat> Symbiosis
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, Cat! The floor is open to questions!
[19:07] <+Silverlion> What is the dice system like?
[19:07] <+CBG_Cat> Simple 3d6 roll-over.
[19:07] <+RavenMcCracken> sorry, Dan…
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[19:07] <~Dan> No, you’re fine, Raven. She gave us a (done). 🙂
[19:07] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, Dustin!
[19:07] <+Dustin> Thanks 🙂
[19:08] <~Dan> Actually, before we delve too deeply into the mechanics, you mentioned having a new character sheet posted, Cat?
[19:08] <+RavenMcCracken> so. 3d6 roll over… do you have hit location/
[19:08] <+RavenMcCracken> ?
[19:08] <+CBG_Cat> Gimme juuuust a second to get the link!
[19:08] <+Dustin> Ewwww, ugly emoji… Gonna have to get used to that since I’m one of those jerks who uses them all the time 😉
[19:09] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:09] <+Songtress> Are the Daemons in the “City Limits” can they ‘helpful/harmful/neutral’?
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[19:09] <+Dustin> We do have called shots with a lower chance of hitting and specific effects when you do connect yes.
[19:09] <~Dan> (Howdy, Rasyr!)
[19:10] <+CBG_Cat> Songstress, I’d say they’re largely helpful. They have demands called “Imperatives” which can sometimes be inconvenient, butn the tradeoff is magic powers.
[19:10] <+Dustin> Should you care to you can always try to shoot the kraken in the eye with a cannonball 🙂
[19:10] <+CBG_Cat> (It was a harpoon)
[19:10] <+JP> (PMs Dan)
[19:11] <~Dan> (answers)
[19:11] <+CBG_Cat> (Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46311439/Cat%27s%20Charsheet.pdf)https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46311439/Cat%27s%20Charsheet.pdf and (Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46311439/Dustin%27s%20Charsheet.pdf)https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46311439/Dustin%27s%20Charsheet.pdf are the charsheets we made!
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[19:11] <+RavenMcCracken> ouch…
[19:11] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ettin!)
[19:11] <+Songtress> oooh CBG_Cat, that’s great.
[19:12] <~Dan> What do the boxes represent beside the skills?
[19:12] <+Silverlion> That character sheet makes the game look complex….can you give us a quick example of play?
[19:12] <+RavenMcCracken> so.. youve daemons that boss one around inexchange for special abilities…
[19:12] <+CBG_Cat> haha, I hassled our artist into doing a sketch. The boxes beside the skills are for recording experience in
[19:12] <+Dustin> Oopsy, forgot my Code since I made mine on an old version of the character sheet from years gone by 😛
[19:13] <+Songtress> Well this looks good CBG_Cat you may have me interested
[19:15] <~Dan> (Question pause to give them a chance to answer Raven and Silverlion.)
[19:15] <+Dustin> A simple example of play might be the standard “I look for traps” rolled by myself, I would check out my skill Exmaine which I have 1 level in for a total of +6 with a 5 Int. I roll a 12 on the die for 18, the DT was set for 20 by the GM who then tells me that I don’t see anything out of the ordinary.
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[19:16] <+CBG_Cat> Haha, just when I give up, it starts working again
[19:17] <~Dan> Dustin: Does degree of success matter?
[19:17] <+CBG_Cat> Basically, everything is rolled on a skill.
[19:18] <+Dustin> I walk into the room and an arrow fires at me from a simple device made by someone that rolls to attack me it doesn’t do well rolling a 7 with let’s say a +5 from the trapbuilding skill of the creator and the weapon itself for 12. I launch myself out of the way rolling 10 for a total of 14 with my Dodge skill under combat skills. I pick myself up and dust mys
[19:18] <+CBG_Cat> Most skills, it doesn’t except for automatic failures on 3 and successes on 18
[19:18] <+Dustin> elf off saying “Ok, NOW it’s safe”
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[19:19] <+CBG_Cat> Damage is based on your raw roll, and Sense is based on your roll relative to the spell, but aside from that it’s largely a simple pass-fail matter
[19:19] <+Dustin> Some skills will have degree of success, Attacking gets you additional or fewer damage based on the hard roll of the die for example. Divination will tell you more information based on how well you did.
[19:20] <+Dustin> Some activities are pass/fail though such as jumping over a pit so any near misses or great successes would be described by the GM
[19:20] <~Dan> So the better the attack roll, the better the damage?
[19:20] <+CBG_Cat> Yep! Basically, the formula is your Strength, and the weapon’s damage, and the mount you rolled over 10.
[19:21] <+Silverlion> Cool.
[19:21] <+CBG_Cat> So if I were to roll 15 attacking Dustin with a playing card, I would deal 6 damage! But if I were to roll 9, he wouldn’t take any at all.
[19:21] <+Dustin> You may hit an opponent easily since you’re a swordsmaster but you roll a 4 on the dice and deal fewer damage because of it, or a really lucky shot from a chumo with a dagger could net you an additional 8
[19:21] <+CBG_Cat> Because playing cards are bad weapons.
[19:22] <~Dan> So I see that Brute Weapons use Strength and Finesse Weapons use Dexterity. They both use Strength for damage, though?
[19:22] <+CBG_Cat> Yep!
[19:22] <+Dustin> They do indeed
[19:22] <~Dan> (Note that I realize I’ve asked you some of these questions before. 😉 )
[19:22] <+CBG_Cat> (I’ve rehearsed~!)
[19:22] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:22] <+Dustin> I remember reading over Cat’s shoulder the other day and seeing these yes, only now she is powerless to stop me from responding. BWAAHAAHAAHAAHA!!!!!!
[19:23] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:23] <~Dan> How does damage work?
[19:23] <+Mike> I have a question! What’s a Gidim?
[19:23] <~Dan> Er, armor, sorry.
[19:23] <+CBG_Cat> It’s the name for the “classes” of daemons.
[19:23] <~Dan> Mike: That’s what the evil leader yells to his minions.
[19:24] <+Dustin> But the roll affecting damage also means that Dexterity based weapons can get some additional damage to mitigate the difference with Strength. Yes a guy with 5 Strength will on average do more than a thief with 0, but 5 points doesn’t make or break the game and can be gotten elsewhere such as from Techs or other boosts.
[19:24] <+Mike> *ignores Dan* Cool! What are some of the different classes?
[19:24] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:24] <+Mike> :p
[19:24] <+CBG_Cat> So, the Gidim Irkalla means Seshat is one of the Irkalla class of daemons. She’s still an individual who really wants me to use math
[19:25] <+CBG_Cat> Ah, the classes!
[19:25] <+Mike> Geeky demons, heheheh. Awesome!
[19:25] <~Dan> Dustin: Cool. Is there any kind of scaling mechanic?
[19:26] <+CBG_Cat> I’m very fond of the classes. They’re not classes in the strict ability-and-skill sense, but they have their own mechanics. We designed each around the play style of people we know, so we’d make something to encourage their favorite moments.
[19:26] <+Dustin> Dan: Armor when equipped will add to your Toughness, Resist and add high Toughness to your character. When you create a suit of armor, you check the size of it and it will come with some basic boosts and some bonus points to throw around. You can decide to make the armor out of a material that doesn’t conduct Magic to boost your Resistance and protect you.
[19:26] <+Ap_jeff2> !&A?
[19:26] <+Ap_jeff2> Q&A>
[19:26] <~Dan> Ap_jeff2: Yup!
[19:27] <+Ap_jeff2> kk
[19:27] <~Dan> Dustin: This being a modern setting, is there any disincentive to armoring up?
[19:27] <+Silverlion> So there are rules for building things?
[19:27] <+Ap_jeff2> crafting>
[19:27] <+Ap_jeff2> ?
[19:27] <+CBG_Cat> The Gidim are Enki (Inventory players with enchantments), Nergal (Huge anime combos with swords made of spirit energy), Nanshe (Physically transforming into the daemon in critical heroic moments), Irkalla (Fate manipulation), and Ishkur (Teamwork and strategy with psychic connections)
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[19:27] <+Dustin> Or you could just add some extra High Tough against specific damage types with insulation, material or what have you. You decide the look and material when you make it. But really heavey armor will slow you down so you have to balance out your capabilities with the defensive increase.
[19:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, Justin!)
[19:28] <+Justin> Hello
[19:28] <~Dan> Dustin: Cool.
[19:28] <+Dustin> Yes, we have rules for building armor, weapons, Techs, Spells…
[19:28] <+Mike> Awesome!
[19:28] <+Songtress> Can someone have more than one… Daemon?
[19:28] <+CBG_Cat> Songstress, it’s a one-to-one affair.
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[19:29] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, seriosuink!)
[19:29] <~Dan> Dustin: That’s interesting, re: building things. I wouldn’t have expected that for this particular game. Is that a nod to this eventually being a generic system?
[19:30] <+CBG_Cat> And, in As Above there are the “Mars” (High-risk melee casters), “Jupiter” (Master strategist/buff mage) “Mercury” (Oracles and trap-setters), “Pluto” (Magic-immune manipulators) and “Saturn” (Zealous punishers) types. I’ve made big writeups with sample spells on the blog, too!
[19:30] <+Dustin> Being a modern setting armor will be slightly different, Firefighters equipment being an example of heavy fire Resistant armor, or SWAT gear for heavy armor in more combat situations. Or maybe just a bulletproof vest for a gunfight. Walking around town or getting in and out of cars might be bothersome in a full suit however. And availability is up to the GM.
[19:31] <~Dan> CBG_Cat: Now, in As Above, those “classes” are based on the drugs they’ve been given?
[19:31] <+Dustin> Dan: The universal was made before this particular setting was, the modular “build it yourself” approach to everything made it quite easy to make a new setting while still keeping the same balance as the universal.
[19:31] <+CBG_Cat> Dan: Actually, they’re different reactions to a single drug. People have a variety of different reactions which have been classed and, in some cases, stabilized with different treatments.
[19:32] <+Dustin> We’ve done classic style RPG, modern day, I’m a massive Silent Hill nerd and made a setting based around that game series, adopting their game mechanics to make it survival horror.
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[19:32] <+CBG_Cat> (We are all to some degree or another Silent Hill nerds)
[19:32] <~Dan> Cool (to both of you). 🙂
[19:33] <~Dan> Can you tell us more about the vortices?
[19:33] <+CBG_Cat> Mmhm! They’re areas of the world contaminated by a reagent leak where things don’t work as they’re supposed to.
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[19:35] <+CBG_Cat> We’ve designed a couple of them, (like one in Chicago where magic doesn’t cost anything, or one in Siberia where the wind is always still), and stabilizing and controlling them is a really high priority in As Above, as they can shelter and even aid dangerous civilians or enemy forces. They can be very dramatic or very mundane, but the point is that they don’t work right.
[19:35] <+Dustin> Also sorry Dan, you mentioned something about scaling earlier? care to elaborate on the question?
[19:36] <+CBG_Cat> (Also, Mike, if you were curious about the classes: (Link: http://cabalgames.wordpress.com/)http://cabalgames.wordpress.com/ has more in-depth mechanical stuff)
[19:36] <~Dan> Sure, Dustin. I meant a mechanic to deal with combat between creatures of different sizes.
[19:36] <+Mike> Sweet, thank you!
[19:36] <~Dan> Or vehicles, or what have you.
[19:37] <+Dustin> That question has made Cat flip out, get a drink and limit me to 4 lines of text on penalty of death. I hope that this line doesn’t count >_>
[19:37] <+CBG_Cat> That right there is four lines on my screen
[19:37] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:39] <+Dustin> To try and keep it short, we do have rules for vehicles. I tried to get some stuff for futuristic and modern settings like guns, Plasma armor, Mech suits, lazors and the like. But it is mostly untested admittedly. We had naval combat in a campaign and I have vague recollection of doing something with cars specifically.
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[19:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonochromeTide!)
[19:41] <+Dustin> As for size difference in creatures, being big is huge. Without skill someone twice your size will end you, they have more strength, mobility, endurance, reach… But beating those huge guys is something to work towards with the right plan, spells, techs and planning.
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[19:41] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:42] <~Dan> Speaking of creatures, does City Limits feature them other than the Daemons?
[19:42] <+Silverlion> I was going to ask that
[19:43] <+CBG_Cat> Because there’s an “Anything goes” policy in the vortizes, there are definitely monsters.
[19:44] <+Dustin> And daemon often acts as a catch all term for anything “unnatural” that has appeared since the primary incident.
[19:44] <~Dan> Can you give us some examples of monsters in the setting?
[19:44] <+CBG_Cat> We’ve left the vortices as a place for the GM to mold into the ideal mission/campaign, so there’s definitely got to be the resources for a GM to say “Okay, so now the Sahara desert is populated by dragons, get on in there!”
[19:45] <+CBG_Cat> One of our sample missions has very Silent Hill twisted former-people that have been molded by the vortex into feral mutants
[19:45] <+CBG_Cat> (because Dustin wrote it)
[19:46] <+Dustin> I’m all about the body horror and odd mutations, RIP Geiger…
[19:46] <+etaoinshrdlu> Giger
[19:46] <+Mike> I really like Lovecraftian horror, and it sounds like the vortices could easily offer that kind of experience, too.
[19:46] <+CBG_Cat> (oh snap)
[19:46] <+Dustin> Obviously I suck and will blame the heat for that failure 😦
[19:47] <~Dan> And now he’s been referenced twice!
[19:47] <~Dan> (Sorry. I’m a Giger counter.)
[19:47] <+CBG_Cat> Mike, the Gidim are implied to be huge elder gods which send out their tendrils into people as individual Daemons.
[19:47] <+Mike> 😀 Cool!
[19:47] <+Dustin> Do I have the power to boot him from the channel for that pun?
[19:47] <+CBG_Cat> You do not
[19:47] <+Dustin> 😦
[19:47] <~Dan> 😀
[19:47] <+CBG_Cat> I know.
[19:48] <+Mike> Dan asks the most questions, but in return makes us suffer his puns. It comes out about even.
[19:48] <+CBG_Cat> Sounds about fair.
[19:48] <+Dustin> We wold have let him come back…
[19:48] * ~Dan snickers
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[19:49] <+CBG_Cat> Anyway, I like having an area where a GM can mold the reality of the situation without having to re-write or re-balance the source material, so we designed this (like the rest of the game), around letting players design what they want to do.
[19:49] <~Dan> So do you have a bestiary? Or just a monster-creation system?
[19:49] <+CBG_Cat> A monster-creation system, although we plan on including a lot of sample monsters
[19:50] <~Dan> Excellent.
[19:51] <+Dustin> The bestiary is currently whatever monsters we’ve used before in campaigns but for the most part we hope to have everything like that online for free. I’ll even go into the Forums and do requests to help out GMs and flesh it out.
[19:51] <~Dan> So in As Above, powers come from reactions to a drug, and in So Below, it’s from a Daemon symbiot. Are there other ways to gain powers?
[19:51] <+CBG_Cat> When you go the “make-your-own” route, it’s only fair to have samples!
[19:52] <+Silverlion> Examples are awesome.
[19:52] <+CBG_Cat> Dan, those are the ways you gain magic skills. But, characters aren’t limited to magic-only builds. It’s just as easy to build an intense martial-arts focused build or a dedicated gunner.
[19:53] <+Dustin> I may or may not have dozens of Silent-Hill-esque things of varying power to start us off with.
[19:53] <~Dan> How crippled would a totally non-magic group be?
[19:54] <+CBG_Cat> Dan, the short answer is “not really”.
[19:55] <+CBG_Cat> Magic can do a lot of cool things, especially in a utility scenario, but we want players to be free to choose their build, and that means making non-magic builds just as viable.
[19:55] <+Dustin> Shockingly not as much as you’d think. With Techs to give melee combatants and some ranged users options as well as some potions or explosives depending on the setting there are plenty of ways to be of use in combat for everyone.
[19:56] <~Dan> Regarding tech, is there any sort of high-tech gadgetry involved? Or is it strictly limited to real-world tech?
[19:57] <+CBG_Cat> As Above is more flexible in that regard, because the characters actually have military resources (which can include some advanced R&D stuff). So Below is more real-world, but there’s a definite Bond thing going on with As Above in places that means neat gadgets!
[19:58] <~Dan> Will there be examples of those as well, or would that be something to create with your equipment-building rules?
[19:59] <+CBG_Cat> Definitely examples.
[19:59] <+Dustin> If you’ve read up on DARPA real-world tech is pretty out there as it is as well 🙂 Of course with So Below, there would be ways of getting things, black market, going into deadly zones and finding military who’ve been taken out. Or even just army surplus.
[19:59] <~Dan> You guys are awesome.
[19:59] <+CBG_Cat> Anything the players make themselves (Spells, combat techniques, monsters, equipment, alignment), we plan to include a buncha samples just so we don’t leave anyone stranded
[20:00] <+CBG_Cat> Because the bigger the takeout menu, the harder it is to choose, right?
[20:00] <~Dan> Oh, yes — could you say a bit about alignment?
[20:00] <~Dan> Right!
[20:00] <+Dustin> And we can always be harassed to make more or to help people make them should there be any confusion
[20:00] <+Dustin> Om nom Code
[20:01] <+CBG_Cat> Ah! Alignment is a really simple system. If you check out the sample character sheets, you can see my “Code”, which starts about halfway down.
[20:01] * +Dustin Forgot to do his…
[20:01] <+CBG_Cat> As you can see, it’s a list of a person’s moral codes, relative to the static “will pursue own goals” and “will protect own life”. They’re all ranked from 1-3, with 1 being something you’ll go out of the way for, 2 being somemthing you’ll risk harm for, and 3 being something you’ll risk death for.
[20:02] <~Dan> Apparently, the sample character is against filling out Codes.
[20:03] <+CBG_Cat> We’d all kind of had bad experiences with GMs telling us what our own characters will or won’t do based on alignment. So, we wanted to make a system where the player is free to decide what the character believes. You can choose freely between codes of the same level.
[20:03] <+Dustin> You can be an “Evil” person with a high Code, or a “Good” person with a low Code. Also Cat will always fill out forgotten sections of the character sheets of others…
[20:03] <+Silverlion> *hides his PC sheet*
[20:03] <+CBG_Cat> Like if someone were like “Cat, Shawn needs you to steal a car for him!” I could choose either to help my friend or to not steal, because they’re both 2-point Codes.
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[20:04] <~Dan> (Welcome back, Warp9!)
[20:04] <+CBG_Cat> But if someone were like “Kersten’s doing every drugs, what do you do?”, then I’ve gotta stick by her, because my code about abiding the law is only 1 point.
[20:04] <+Warp9> Hi Dan!
[20:04] <+Mike> Neat!
[20:04] <~Dan> Interesting approach.
[20:05] <~Dan> Do you see that as being intrinsic to this system, or is it specific to City Limits?
[20:05] <~Dan> Oh, and what’s the name of the system, again?
[20:06] <+Dustin> Mechanically, our Prayer system which is in Mod and will be in new classes for AA and SB use Code to determine what prayers you can use as well as their strength, some being based on total rather than a specific Code. Also Charm spells work by creating a psuedo-Code of a certain level to effect your actions.
[20:06] <+CBG_Cat> We’ve got two classes that are specifically fuelled by Code – the MCS-12 “Saturn”, which has more effective spells against people with different Codes, and the Gidim Nanshe, which lets the character become much more powerful when facing death or injury for a high-value Code.
[20:06] <+Dustin> If you have a low Code, charm spells are more effective, while a high Code means that a Charm caster will have to be creative with their instructions and manipulation to get people to do what they want.
[20:06] <+CBG_Cat> Mod, by the way, is the name of the base game.
[20:07] <~Dan> Prayers being a way to invoke literal miracles?
[20:07] <+CBG_Cat> Yep! Right now they’re in the base game, not City Limits.
[20:08] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:08] <+CBG_Cat> But they’re based on your character’s moral connection to divinity. (Also we are working on some stretch-goal classes that will use Prayer and Summoning to more effect)
[20:08] <+Dustin> And thematically are based upon personal conviction rather than any specific Gods or Deities. you can be a paladin following the Law, your own Codes or even one of Chaos and dischord.
[20:09] <~Dan> What to spellcasters actually have to do in order to cast a spell? I’m speaking in-setting, not mechanically, here.
[20:11] <~Dan> (As in gestures, incantations, material components, etc.)
[20:12] <+CBG_Cat> For the most part, it just requires intense focus. But a lot of people find that gestures, mantras, or physical focus objects help, especially in AA where mantras are part of suppression training
[20:13] <~Dan> It almost sounds like psionics in that regard.
[20:14] <+Dustin> You may work with sigils and rituals as well, most real world magics or occult practices are quite personal in this regard as well. We made a Japanese magical girl anime setting where speeches and such were helpful limiters to boost spells even. But you could add them to your own for flair.
[20:15] <+CBG_Cat> (No “We” about that one. That was my horrible doing.)
[20:15] <+BlasterKyubey210> Yep… ESPECIALLY when well, lose Focus and all hell breaks loose?
[20:16] <+Dustin> In As Above, Mars designation might have their spells explode violently for failure, they are a very risky class to play around with at times.
[20:16] <~Dan> So getting into actual mechanics, is there any advantage to using occult practices? Or is it just for show?
[20:16] <+Dustin> Mostly though, loss of Focus leads to failure of the spell and no expenditure of Mana.
[20:17] <+CBG_Cat> Dan, in City Limits there’s not. You see a lot of occult symbolism and ritual in So Below, as people try to figure out who and what the daemons are, but the magic comes from within.
[20:17] * ~Dan nods
[20:18] <+CBG_Cat> That said, my daemon on the sample sheet, Seshat, is based on the ancient Egyptian goddess of math. Abraxas, the sample Enki demon, is named after an Ars Goetia demon believed to govern illicit knowledge. So, there’s a lot of room for someone like me who’s nuts about the occult to go hog wild with the flavor
[20:19] <~Dan> So would it be accurate to say that in City Limits, spellcasters are using their own powers rather than tapping into external powers, again in a manner vaguely like psionics? Or like magical “superpowers”?
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[20:19] <+CBG_Cat> Yep, that would definitely be fair to say
[20:20] <+CBG_Cat> In So Below it may not always seem that way, but it’s still an internal power.
[20:20] * ~Dan nods
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[20:20] <~Dan> What’s the scope of power for an individual magic “class”?
[20:21] <+Dustin> Scope of power? as in the limitations?
[20:21] <~Dan> Well… sort of. The kinds of things they can do.
[20:22] <+Dustin> In Mod we have a good number of parameters that can be done with magic ranging from stat or skill enhancement to status effects, damage or divination and illusions
[20:23] <+Dustin> In As Above and So Below, these were divvied up among the classes thematically so each has their own set of parameters, strengths and weaknesses in terms of what they can do or cannot magically
[20:23] <+CBG_Cat> Umm…I’ll grab a sample spell!
[20:23] <~Dan> Yes, an example here would be great. 🙂
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> Watchword (7)
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> Manifest 17
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> (If someone approaches my blind)
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> (If that person is not part of my unit)
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> Signal Flare
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> Add Bind
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> Add Fear 5
[20:24] <+CBG_Cat> 6 damage
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[20:25] <~Dan> So first off, what kind of caster can use that spell?
[20:25] <+CBG_Cat> That’s the sample spell for MCS-03 “Mercury”. Their spells are like traps, so they can set conditions in advance, write them on a face-down paper, and then activate them when the conditions are met. Signal Flare warns the caster that the spell was triggered, Bind prevents them from moving, Fear makes them unwilling to approach, and damage hurts man.
[20:28] <~Dan> Hmm. So is a “spell” in this context more like “this specific thing I learned to do with my powers”?
[20:28] <+CBG_Cat> Yes, you could say that. “Manifest 17” means it’s a difficulty 17 roll on the Manifest skill.
[20:28] <+CBG_Cat> Since spells are free-form like that, they’re all just applications of a skill.
[20:29] * ~Dan nods
[20:29] <~Dan> So can they be created on the fly? Or do they require learning beforehand?
[20:29] <+Dustin> Manifestation of powers, spells and magic, the names are mostly for flavor purposes but amount to the same things.
[20:30] <+Dustin> Mostly they are created on the fly though some classes like Mercury make theirs in advance. You can also take a spell as an ability which lets you use specific limiters to make the spell more effective and powerful.
[20:31] <+CBG_Cat> (For example, the spell on my character sheet is one I spent an ability on. The rest are cast on the fly)
[20:32] <~Dan> So a spell with specific limiters would be akin to a Rote in Mage, for example?
[20:32] <+Dustin> Gidim Ishkur can get some abilities wherein those they create a psychic connection with can use spells taken as abilities from one another.
[20:33] * +Dustin totally doesn’t start googling Mage to figure out how a Rote in it works…
[20:33] <+BlasterKyubey210> So many Modules though
[20:33] <+BlasterKyubey210> Putting up with the parts must be a challenge for those with the capablity
[20:34] <+CBG_Cat> The actual pieces are simple little pieces. “+1 damage” or “Push 1m”
[20:34] <~Dan> Well, IIRC, magic in Mage is fundamentally freeform, but you can learn specific spells with specific limitations.
[20:34] <+CBG_Cat> And since every magic type has its own shorter parameter list, someone casting in City Limits is only going to have to worry about ten parameters at the most.
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[20:35] <~Dan> You touched on this a bit earlier, but how powerful is magic in the setting? And also, how flashy, for that matter?
[20:37] <+Dustin> That depends on your personal power since the better you are at Manifesting the more powerful the magic becomes.
[20:37] <+CBG_Cat> It’s not super flashy as a matter of course but there are definitely explosions.
[20:37] <~Dan> Is the public aware of the supernatural?
[20:38] <+Dustin> At first level you can reasonably Focus and cast spells with a DT of 15-17 let’s say, but at a much higher level you can bump that up to 25 which means more effects, greater area, higher numbers for all!
[20:38] <+CBG_Cat> Yep! There’s conflicting interpretations and understandings of what exactly is going on, but everyone’s aware of it now.
[20:38] <~Dan> Cool. “Modern hidden supernatural” has been overdone, IMHO.
[20:39] <+Dustin> Hard to hide entire cities being wrecked up in the information age.
[20:39] <~Dan> Wow… As a result of voritices or magic use?
[20:39] <+CBG_Cat> Yeah. Our idea is sort of “apocalypse narrowly averted” – it’s a new world for everyone.
[20:39] <~Dan> (vortices, rather)
[20:39] <+CBG_Cat> Mostly the vortices, but some casters have definitely played a part in places. (Chicago)
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[20:40] <~Dan> So that gets back to my earlier question. Spells can get up to the city-flattening level?
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[20:40] <~Dan> (wb, Justin!)
[20:40] <+Dustin> Otherwise people are still trying to live out normal lives. Farming, beaurocracy, parties, just that some have new abilties and new dangers exist in the world that have to be dealt with.
[20:40] <+Justin> (crud…)
[20:41] <+CBG_Cat> Dan, not typically. Mechanically speaking, that would take a much higher difficulty than a player can manage until Level Huge.
[20:41] <+CBG_Cat> Like Level Way Huge
[20:41] * ~Dan nods
[20:41] <+Dustin> That would be extremely epic level for sure. I’d have to pull out a calculator to figure out the numbers required to cast something like that.
[20:42] <~Dan> Can magicians pool their efforts?
[20:42] <+CBG_Cat> (That said, if a party wants to build at Level Huge and destroy a city, then go for it!)
[20:43] <+Dustin> More than likely you’d have to get a group of casters working together to pool resources and Mana into something like that, and a huge number of them. Block destroying is far more likely than city
[20:43] * ~Dan nods
[20:43] <+Dustin> So yes, you can pool efforts, you can also work out Techs with someone else that work off of each other to boost them. Combo Techs that aren’t as powerful or even useable alone
[20:44] <~Dan> On a scale of 1-10, how cinematic is the action in City Limits?
[20:44] <+CBG_Cat> We deliberately made a class set at 10.
[20:45] <~Dan> So totally insane stunts and the like?
[20:45] <+CBG_Cat> The average is around 7? (Aside from Gidim Nergal), but the flavor and cinematic quality is something we like to sit back and watch players do.
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[20:46] <~Dan> Well, there’s “cinematic quality”, certainly, but then there’s “cinematic feasibility”. If a character wants to try pulling off a cinematic stunt, it won’t turn out so well if the system is grim n’ gritty. 🙂
[20:46] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[20:46] <+Dustin> The pieces are there but you could be entirely diplomatic and non combative if that’s the campaign you made, an investigative or thieving one where combat is avoided. It’s all in how it is used
[20:46] <+CBG_Cat> Oh, feasibility is 100% there.
[20:47] <~Dan> So crashing through skylights, both guns/spells blazing?
[20:47] <+CBG_Cat> Eeyep. Find the skylight.
[20:48] <~Dan> Awesome.
[20:48] <~Dan> Do you see other games using Mod being equally cinematic, then?
[20:48] <+CBG_Cat> Well, when we played Silent Hill there wasn’t much guns blazing. (I murdered the whole party, though)
[20:49] <+CBG_Cat> But the potential is always there; we just decided as a group to set it aside this time.
[20:49] <+Dustin> I’ve heard of other systems using “Hero” points to force cool things that would otherwise be impossible, we have Luck which can be used in similar fashion in case a player thinks of something really awesome that they just ahve to pull off.
[20:49] * ~Dan nods
[20:50] <+CBG_Cat> When designing City Limits, I wanted to make sure that players had mechanics that would reward their specific play styles and bring about the moments they liked.
[20:50] <~Dan> A noble goal, to my way of thinking.
[20:51] <+CBG_Cat> So, Gidim Nanshe is designed to bring about huge “Over my dead body!” moments of heroism, like I like. MCS-03 is designed to bring about “Heh, I knew you were going to do that!” moments like my friend Eric likes.
[20:51] <~Dan> I’m all about the Big Damn Heroes. 🙂
[20:51] <+CBG_Cat> Gidim Nergal is designed to bring about “I hit him and knock him back five meters and then my energy weapon turns into a bow and I shoot for extra damage~!!!!” like Alex likes.
[20:52] <~Dan> That’s awfully cool. 🙂
[20:53] <+Dustin> Then you’d prolly be a fan of Gidim Nanshe Dan, get all huge and beat dudes down until death or victory!
[20:53] <+CBG_Cat> Death or victory, Dan!
[20:53] <~Dan> 😀
[20:53] <+Dustin> And for the earlier pun we may have to vote for the former…
[20:53] <+CBG_Cat> Hush!
[20:53] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:54] <+CBG_Cat> So, we wanted to make a game where players never had to compromise. The base game is all about freedom to put the pieces together your own way, and the setting is all about encouraging your favorite moments, whatever they are. I guess that’s what Mod and City Limits are all about?
[20:54] <~Dan> So here’s the part where I tell you guys that you’re welcome to stay on as long as you like to field questions or to just hang out and to remind you that you’re always welcome here, but where I ask you if there’s anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[20:55] <+CBG_Cat> Umm…not especially! But, I did want to link to the magic breakdown, since it’s a good introduction to the spell system.
[20:55] <+CBG_Cat> (Link: http://cabalgames.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/mechanics-making-magic/)http://cabalgames.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/mechanics-making-magic/
[20:55] <+Dustin> A manifesto on the mechanics of creating monster that would drive Cat to kill me perhaps?
[20:55] * +Dustin flees from the room!
[20:56] <~Dan> Someone should have told Dustin that this chat exists in a very small spherical plane.
[20:56] <~Dan> He’ll be back shortly.
[20:57] <+CBG_Cat> ❤ It’s more fun when he thinks he can get away though
[20:57] <+Dustin> Quantum immortality says I can sort of get away with anything?
[20:57] <~Dan> 😀
[20:58] <~Dan> So we’re creeping up on 2 hours… Can you guys hang out with us longer, or do you need to hit the trail?
[20:58] <+CBG_Cat> This is why he put “Talkative” on the character sheet
[20:58] <+CBG_Cat> I’ll be here mostly! We’re having a teensy meeting maybe but whatever the meeting is at my place
[20:59] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂 Well, in that case, I will thank you both very much for visiting with us this evening and will pause a moment to get your chat log posted so that I can give you the link. Then we can continue to hang out. 🙂
[21:00] <+CBG_Cat> Been a pleasure! Thanks for having us!