[19:06] <+ETG|Mik> My name is Mikaela Barree. I’m the Co-Owner/Creator and Art Director of End Transmission Games. So far we’ve released 9 products in the few years we’ve been around. I’m going to let Devon take point on introducing Psionics for the sake of minimizing redundancy.
[19:07] <+ETG|Devon> I’m Devon Oratz, I’m the other team captain of End Transmission Games. We’ve been enormous gaming nerds since forever, and have been releasing our own creator-owned-and-published Indie RPGs since 2012. I’ve also done a fair bit of freelancing for Shadowrun.
[19:08] <+ETG|Devon> Right now we have a live Kickstarter for Psionics, one of my oldest game ideas. ((Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/endtransmissiongames/psionics)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/endtransmissiongames/psionics) We just nailed the Stretch Goal for having a full color book, and we’ve got more than two weeks left to grow more awesome stretch goals. (done)
[19:08] <~Dan> Thanks, guys!
[19:09] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:09] <~Dan> What can you tell us about the system? And on a related note, do you have a character sheet posted?
[19:11] <+ETG|Mik> To answer your second question first, the Character Sheet is coming, but not extant right now. However, we do have a character sheet for the DicePunk system in our free download, Phantasm (2010) (which you can find here: (Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/108942/Phantasm-2010)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/108942/Phantasm-2010). It was done in a bit of a time crunch so I can promise that…
[19:12] <+EdaraRyan> What is the defining characteristic of the world of Psionics?
[19:12] <+ETG|Mik> …the Psionics one will be much prettier. (done)
[19:12] <+ETG|Devon> Generally speaking, Psionics is rules medium. So I’m speaking in abstract terms but you should expect about the same crunch level as something like Savage Worlds, not FATE or (on the other end of the spectrum) HERO System. More specifically, the core resolution mechanic is pretty much dirt simple.
[19:14] <+ETG|Devon> You roll 2d6 and you want to roll equal to or under your character’s attribute (usually ranging from 4 to 10) plus relevant skill bonus (usually ranging from +1 to +4). When you attack, you’re still rolling 2d6, but this time you add your skill bonus to the total, and you want to get equal to or over the target’s Defense (usually ranges from 7 to 12).
[19:14] <+ETG|Devon> That’s the basics, and the same core system is used in our ENnie award nominated PWYW RPG Phantasm (2010). (done)
[19:14] <+ETG|Mik> Ryan: The defining characteristic… that is a good question. The “world” of Psionics is much like our own. I’d say with a somewhat cynical eye, of course. But the defining characteristic of the game, to me, is Punk. Disenfranchised young people vs. The Man. (done)
[19:15] <+ETG|Devon> Question 2: the DEFINING characteristic of the world of Psionics is that it’s the real world. The one outside your window. The DIFFERENTIATING characteristic is you, the PCs. Young people with real world problems who one day manifest enormous psionic abilities. Where the world of Psionics branches off from the real world is with the question “what do you do?”
[19:15] <+ETG|Devon> (done)
[19:15] <~Dan> What is the source of psionic powers?
[19:16] <+ETG|Devon> by the way I’m definitely going more ‘concise’ than ‘complete’ on these so if you feel I have not completely answered your question…you may very well be right, and feel free to call me on that. I probably have more to say, I’m just loathe to vomit out too many lines of text at once.
[19:17] <+ETG|Mik> Dan, your question may be spoilery? I know the answer but I’m gonna let Devon decide what to give away here.
[19:17] <~Dan> Don’t worry. If you don’t answer questions fully, we will merely rise as one against you in a sea of rage.
[19:17] <+ETG|Mik> 😀
[19:17] <~Dan> 😉
[19:18] <+Damiar_the_Wolf> in the stories you are emulating there is typically only 1-2 psychic protagonists. is the typical RPG party structure used in this game? how is that handled? is there expected to be a lot of inter-party conflict or is it more Marvel Team-up?
[19:19] <+ETG|Devon> That’s actually a great question. And the answer is, to a large extent, up to the GM. I don’t necessarily that our GM Advice or best practices chapter would necessarily recommend one approach over the other, besides contriving whatever plot device you need to to get the PCs in the same place in the first place.
[19:20] <+ETG|Mik> Damiar, that really depends on the way the group is structured. In the games we’ve played, it’s generally been more of a “team up,” but less Marvel and more a gang of ruffians wreaking havoc. It gets interesting if some PCs are swayed by the various conspiracies trying to recruit the players, and some aren’t. That’s my experience with it.
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[19:20] <+ETG|Devon> In our experience of actual play, we found that what happened was that when the various Conspiracies could not reliably capture (alive) and control the PCs by force or coercion, they tried to manipulate them more with persuasion, charismatic figureheads, and appeals to ideology. Now different PCs responded in different ways to the appeals and manipulations of
[19:20] <+Damiar_the_Wolf> so sort of along those lines, how do stress/psychic overload work, assuming such things are present?
[19:21] <+Damiar_the_Wolf> (sorry for asking another question so quickly ;P)
[19:21] <+ETG|Devon> different conspiracy “faces” in different ways, and in our experience, that caused some very interesting intraparty interpersonal conflict along ideological lines.
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[19:21] <+ETG|Devon> I love building worlds where the good actors don’t necessarily have an easy choice of what is the “least of all evils”, and that is kind of my jam.
[19:21] <+ETG|Devon> (No problem.)
[19:21] <~Dan> (Howdy, DrNate, MonkofLords!)
[19:22] <~Dan> Are psionics a recent development in the setting?
[19:22] <+ETG|Devon> So in our experience of actual play, the PCs weren’t quite actively pitted against each other, but there was a definite continuum between one PC who “really believed” in the CIA-C’s ”Murica” line, and other PCs who were going along more or less because they had no choice,
[19:22] <+ETG|Devon> or more accurately because the other choices seemed worse (done).
[19:23] <+ETG|Mik> Yes, those things are definitely present. In GENERAL terms, using psionic powers causes people to a) use up their psionic reserves, b) take some hurting, and c) fill up their overflow gauge. When an overflow gauge fills, it’s bad news for everyone. People begin to express their psionics indiscriminately around them, at innocent bystanders and themselves.
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[19:23] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, otokonoko! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
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[19:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ettin!)
[19:24] <+ETG|Mik> The right drugs can cause an overflow gauge to empty or fill. If an overflow isn’t stopped, it is lethal to the person experiencing it. (done)
[19:24] <+ETG|Mik> (OTO WHAT)
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[19:24] <+otokonoko> (lol)
[19:24] <+Warp9> So what is the balance of power between the PCs and “the Man” ?
[19:25] <+ETG|Devon> Stress and psychic overload are one of the game’s key features. I’ve explained this mechanic a few time in a few places, but I’m not getting tired of it. The basic idea is that every time you use Psionics, you spend Psi Points, you take a little subdual damage, and your Overflow Gauge fills by a few Overflow Points.
[19:25] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
[19:25] <+otokonoko> (Dan, I’m old friends with Devon (and I suppose by extension Mik) and just wanted to see how long it’d take one of them to react if I just dropped in since we haven’t actually talked in ages)
[19:26] <+ETG|Devon> Now if you stop flexing your psychic muscle for a while, that Overflow Gauge sort of empties out safely and with no ill effect. But if you need to keep pushing it, for instance if you’re in a stressful situation, then that gauge might fill, and then you’re in trouble. If you’ve ever played the PS1 RPG Galerians, you know exactly what happens at this point.
[19:26] <+ETG|Devon> But I’ll gladly spell it out.
[19:26] <~Dan> (Ah! Well, glad to have you here. 🙂 )
[19:26] <+ETG|Mik> Dan: Psionics is a relatively new phenomenon. Certain government agents have known about it since the cold war, but most humans know as much about its existence as any random Joe on the street today. The expression of Psionics is new enough that the powers that be have been able to cover it up completely.
[19:26] <+ETG|Devon> Basically speaking, you lose control of your character and start reeling around in a daze, gradually destroying yourself and MUCH LESS GRADUALLY destroying everything around you.
[19:27] <+Damiar_the_Wolf> I wanted to mention Galerians at some point, because I thought I was the only one who remembered it ;P
[19:27] <+ETG|Devon> The game mechanical constructs that describe what is happening are called your “Obliteradius” which describes the area in which you are continuously inflicting “Omega Damage” to give you an idea of the scale.
[19:27] <~Dan> Obliteradius is an awesome word.
[19:28] <+Damiar_the_Wolf> indeed
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[19:28] <+ETG|Devon> At that point, basically, your only hope is that you lose consciousness before your head pops, or that someone injects you with one of the rare drugs that will switch your Overload rampage “off”. Otherwise, you’re a goner. But not before everyone in your general area. (done)
[19:28] <+ETG|Devon> HI WES (Oto) !!!
[19:28] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, squidheadjax! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:28] <+squidheadjax> (yes)
[19:28] <~Dan> (Glad to have you here! The floor is open to questions!)
[19:29] <+ETG|Mik> Warp9: I’m going to let Devon field that. The question is again, for viewers at home, what’s the balance of power between PCs and “The Man”?
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[19:30] <~Dan> Howdy, Le_Squide!
[19:30] <+ETG|Devon> Psionics are a relatively recent development in the setting. The very few people who are aware of them being real have been aware of them (increasingly) for about a century. But the “emergence rate” is escalating exponentially. Even once the PCs and those like them “manifest”, however, the Conspiracies will do everything in their considerable power to hide
[19:30] <+ETG|Devon> Psionics from the world. At least, most of the conspiracies. One is an exception. (done)
[19:32] <+ETG|Devon> On the balance of power between the Conspiracies and the PCs, it’s a complicated question. In terms of individual personal power, even a starting PC is scarier, more dangerous, and capable of more extreme reality feats than even the most elite operatives of any Conspiracy. However…
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[19:33] <~Dan> Howdy, SmittyB!
[19:33] <+ETG|Devon> from day one you are hopelessly outnumbered. The sheer number of mooks–including local law enforcement–that can be turned against you is going to make running and hiding often an advisable choice. Basically, you control a superhero…but they control every thug with a badge and a gun in the world. (done)
[19:34] <+BlasterKyubey210> Sounds like Dark Reign
[19:34] <+ETG|Mik> Devon, do you want to speak to the origin of Psionics or is that too secret?
[19:34] <+SmittyB> ‘lo Dan
[19:35] <+ETG|Devon> Mik, did someone ask about that or are you just asking about it? I think I missed a thing or two.
[19:35] <+ETG|Mik> Dan asked it a while back
[19:35] <+ETG|Mik> In the flurry
[19:36] <+ETG|Devon> I saw ‘Are Psionics a recent development?” which I thought I answered…or was it a different question.
[19:36] <~Dan> Different question.
[19:36] <+ETG|Devon> Oh ok I see it now, way up there.
[19:37] <+ETG|Devon> This is not something that is a “secret” because it’s a “secret” in the setting, it’s just something I can’t tell you because no one in the game world decisively knows, and with my approach to writing, that means strictly speaking, neither do I.
[19:37] <+ETG|Devon> The Zodiac Order and the Institute agree that psi-power is innate to the human mind, but they’d probably put very different trappings on it. (done)
[19:38] <+ETG|Mik> Are we caught up or are there any we missed?
[19:38] <~Dan> Understood! No problem. I was just wondering if it was some kind of event-based thing.
[19:38] <~Dan> I think you’re caught up.
[19:38] <+BlasterKyubey210> Hmm, Zodiac Order and the Institute… other Major players in this crazy Metropolis?
[19:38] <+BlasterKyubey210> or crazy planet (kinda wasn’t sure if this is Street or Global level)
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[19:39] <~Dan> (Howdy, Canageek!)
[19:39] <+ETG|Devon> Zodiac Order and The Institute are working titles for two of the conspiracies. There will be at least two, and maybe as many as four other Conspiracies, but I don’t have even tentative names for them yet. (done)
[19:40] <~Dan> What is the scope of psionic powers, and their degree of power?
[19:40] <+ETG|Devon> The events of Psionics unfold on a global scale, but the average man on the street has no idea about them, because the mainstream media is under the control of various Conspiracies, and so reports of psi ability are being suppressed or distorted. (done)
[19:42] <+ETG|Devon> The scope and degree of psionic power depend on the power, and are not always related in a linear manner. For instance, the scope of Psychokinesis is a single human mind…but it’s one of, if not the, most powerful abilities in the setting. Imagine if the mind you took control of was the President of the United States, for instance. For other major talents…
[19:42] <+ETG|Mik> The scope of psionic powers range from very subtle (causing fires with the aid of a match, lifting coins, reading minds) to riotous (crushing and flinging cars, exploding people, dominating minds). That all depends on how many points you put into different domains, and how much you “practice” those abilities.
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[19:43] <~Dan> Well, to be more precise, by “scope”, I was referring to the sorts of powers that exist.
[19:43] <+ETG|Devon> at their lowest levels Pyrokinesis basically just lets you use your finger like a lighter and Telekinesis just lets you levitate a coin or bend a spoon. at their highest levels, though, Pyrokinesis lets you mentally direct a psionic napalm blast that puts a D&D fireball to shame, and Telekinesis let’s you pick up and throw around a city bus with your brain.
[19:44] <+ETG|Devon> Psionic Talents are ranked with a Level from 1 to 6, typically. Some secondary talents may only go up to Level 4 or Level 5. (done)
[19:44] <+ETG|Devon> Ah ok, cool.
[19:44] <+squidheadjax> Is character advancement designed to focus entirely on tracking the character’s growing psionic powers, or will there be system hooks to branch off into things like learning how to manufacture the psy-drugs, growing your own mook (or lesser psion) power base, that sort of thing?
[19:45] <+ETG|Devon> Basically, the limit of Psionic power broadly speaking is that it can “act on matter”. That’s a pretty broad scope. But broadly speaking, Psionic powers DO adhere to the basic physical laws of conservation of mass and conservation of energy. So you cannot create something out of nothing.
[19:46] <+ETG|Devon> (done)
[19:47] <+ETG|Mik> Dan, Psionics are generally fairly focused into: Pyrokinetics, Psychokinetics, Tekekinetics, Entropy, Somakinesis, Biofeedback, Necrokinesis, Magnekinesis, and Technokinesis… if I’m missing any, Devon, let me know. But you can have multiple domains so it’s pretty customizable. (done)
[19:47] <~Dan> How exotic do they get? Do they get into superpower-like abilities, such as energy blasts, weather control, and super-strength?
[19:47] <+ETG|Devon> Characters can advance in terms of both Psionic Talents, skills and attributes. Manufacturing PPECs would require the Chemistry skill at Expert or Master level, among other things. Right now the plan is for acquisition of followers and acquisition of goods to be handled organically through roleplaying rather than systematically.
[19:48] <+ETG|Mik> Magnekinesis is weather control, somakinesis can result in super strength. TK is probably where energy blasts come from. One or both of us can go into detail on the different “domains” if you like. (done)
[19:48] <+ETG|Devon> What I mean by that, is that if you steal stuff, your character has that stuff until it’s stolen from you. If you convince someone to help you, or “convince” someone to help you with psychokinesis (three cheers for “assisted consent”), you have that person’s help within their limitations until the situation changes.
[19:49] <+ETG|Devon> But you do not, for instance, spend Build Points/Experience Points/what-have-you to gain followers or equipment. All of that stuff is handled “organically” in-game. If you manage to use Telekinesis to rob a bank, and you pull it off, then you have the money that was in that bank, regardless of how “imbalancing” that might be…of course, you’re also wanted by
[19:49] <+ETG|Devon> police, etcetera. (done)
[19:50] <+GenoFoxx> what’s the difference between psychokinesis and tekekinesis?
[19:50] <+ETG|Devon> So basically…most superpowers you can think of exist in Psionics, but they all have a “psionic” rationale behind them because it is not, at its heart, a supers game. So for instance, you mentioned super strength. That exists in game, and it’s called “Somakinesis”. The idea is that you use a sub-discipline of Telekinesis to psionically “exercise” your
[19:51] <+ETG|Mik> Psychokinesis is what we’re calling manipulation of other peoples’ minds. Reading thoughts, sending telepathic messages, controlling thoughts and actions are under the auspice of psychokinetics. Moving physical objects around is under the auspice of TK.
[19:51] <+ETG|Devon> musculoskeletal system under effectively increased gravity until you develop super strength and speed. Basically, as long as it can be “reasoned” back to Telekinesis, Pyrokinesis, or Psychokinesis (moving matter, accelerating the movement of matter, or manipulating electrical signals in synapse) it can be done.
[19:51] <+ETG|Mik> (done)
[19:51] <+ETG|Devon> (done)
[19:52] <~Dan> How “super” can such super-strength get?
[19:52] <+ETG|Devon> Genofoxx: we use Psychokinesis to refer to all mental manipulation of a living human being’s psyche, whereas Telekinesis is all “hands-off” remote manipulation of matter. This differs from some of the classification used in the parapsychology community, and that’s acknowledged in game. (done)
[19:52] <~Dan> (For the record, I still think you guys should go with “Neurokinesis”. 🙂 )
[19:52] <+ETG|Devon> Dan: I’m going to leave that one to ETG|Mik. She played a somakineticist in a playtest campaign of an earlier edition of the game.
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[19:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
[19:53] <+ETG|Mik> My PC Elena (former high school jock), I THINK could throw cars, punch through walls, etc. She was also very fast as well. Not the Flash fast, but maybe Spiderman fast.
[19:54] <~Dan> How could she punch through walls without breaking her fist?
[19:54] <+ETG|Mik> I don’t think demolishing buildings was in the cards though. (done)
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[19:54] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, D3v0! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:54] <+D3v0> Yep!
[19:55] <~Dan> (In progress! The floor is currently open to questions!)
[19:55] <+ETG|Mik> If you’ve seen Chronicle, that movie handles that VERY well in my opinion. Part of the force behind her feats of strength were augmented by careful use of TK, so it was partly her, and partly her mental manipulation of matter, that resulted in inhuman feats of strength. (done)
[19:55] <+GenoFoxx> so is Entropy, probability manipulation?
[19:56] <+D3v0> How about something like Lucy?
[19:56] <+ETG|Devon> No, probability manipulation is called Synchronicity.
[19:56] <+ETG|Mik> Oh crap, I forgot probability manipulation. That’s a seperate thing – it makes you luckier. (done)
[19:56] <+ETG|Mik> I have not seen Lucy yet! Gen Con has been eating my life. (done)
[19:56] <+ETG|Devon> I haven’t seen Lucy yet! I hope it’s still in theaters actually. Obviously it’s relevant to my interests.
[19:57] <+ETG|Devon> I don’t think that Elena’s fist was the same density as a normal human fist. I also very much doubt she was aware of that or ever thought of it. There was another psionicist NPC in that campaign who went by “The Locomotive Espada”. He had Somakinesis dialed up to 11, and used his shortsword to jump-cut an SUV in half at one point. He died later on,
[19:57] <+ETG|Devon> can’t recall how.
[19:57] <+ETG|Mik> I think I killed him.
[19:57] <+ETG|Devon> Entropy is causing the molecular bonds of an object (or person) to disintegrate.
[19:57] <+D3v0> Because I am late here: If you have dots in the root psionics, do you also have dots in the branch psionics? If you have dots in PyroKinesis, do you also have dots in Synchronicity?
[19:58] <+ETG|Mik> You can spend dots in those branches if you have enough dots in their root powers. I think Elena started with TK 3, Soma 1, IIRC.
[19:58] <+ETG|Mik> (done)
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[19:59] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[20:00] <+ETG|Devon> Dots is definitely an apt word to use (more dots! more dots!). I am pretty sure that back at age 14 when I first conceived of the system it was Vampire: The Masquerade (second ed?) I had in mind.
[20:00] <+ETG|Devon> Obviously it’s changed a lot from then, but the level structure remained pretty similar.
[20:00] <~Dan> Is the weirdness in the setting limited to psionics, or is there anything else involved? Any weird science, monsters, ghosts, etc.?
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[20:01] <@Silverlion> (Allo dan)
[20:02] <+ETG|Devon> That *stuff* is “super secret” IN THE GAME WORLD but I’ve come around to the opinion that doesn’t need to mean it’s super secret in a “meta” or OOG sense. Yes, there is some of that. Some for-instances: The Institution’s “tech level” is well beyond anything we *think* we have today, and they have cybernetics and personal weapolasers. Both of which are treated
[20:03] <+ETG|Devon> in a very gritty and down to earth way, not “realistic” certainly, but also emphatically not “pulpy”.
[20:03] <+ETG|Devon> Meanwhile another of the conspiracies–one I haven’t officially named yet–has genetically engineered Psionic monsters that are weird, scary, and dangerous. For the most part, they’re safely confined to research labs.
[20:03] <+ETG|Devon> They’re not being actively used for anything yet but…accidents and “accidents” have both been known to happen. (done)
[20:04] <+ETG|Devon> Excuse me, I meant to say” The Institute” which is the proper ominously generic proper noun, not “The Institution”.
[20:04] <~Dan> Very cool. And I think you made the right call there in revealing that, as it has a huge impact on the scope of the game.
[20:04] <~Dan> I know my interest in it just shot up several ticks, for example.
[20:05] <~Dan> Not that there would have been anything “wrong” with a setting that “just” involved the psionics. But I’m a weirdness junkie. 😉
[20:05] <+D3v0> (uh oh, storm is coming in. bye!)
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[20:05] <+ETG|Devon> But yes, “monsters” (and for that matter, cyborgs with laser pistols) aren’t something the PCs encounter every day, or even in any campaign. A run in with either should certainly be a “OMG WHAT THE *BEEP* WAS THAT?” moment for any group of PCs.
[20:05] * ~Dan nods
[20:05] <+ETG|Devon> The scariest thing you’ll “ordinarily” encounter is another esper who is not on your side.
[20:05] <~Dan> Certainly.
[20:07] <+ETG|Devon> One of the reasons–nobody asked, I’m just saying–we wanted to present the setting as recognizably close to the real world as we could is so that the things that happened there might have just a touch more emotional impact on the real people at the table. I’m actually a big fan of weirdness to, and one of our other games, SPLINTER, is chock full of every
[20:07] <+ETG|Devon> weird thing I could think of, and then some. : )
[20:07] <+ETG|Devon> *too
[20:08] <+ETG|Mik> I’m not idle, just letting Devon take these.
[20:10] <+Warp9> follow up to the balance of power question: the PCs may be super-heroes, but supers vary (there is a difference between Spider-Man and Dr. Manhattan). About how many “elite” conspiracy agents could a starting character take on?
[20:11] <+ETG|Mik> That certainly depends on fighting smart. Using your surroundings, and sometimes, knowing when to regroup. (done)
[20:11] <+ETG|Mik> (Devon’s gonna be more detailed here)
[20:11] <+ETG|Devon> Solid question, but I’ll go with full honesty here. Not having statted said agents yet (part of the 45-55% I’m still working on) I don’t have the data to answer that.
[20:11] <+ETG|Devon> As far as what we’re working towards, though? If you’re *fresh*…maybe two. Maybe. Any more than that and you’re gonna want to run.
[20:12] <+ETG|Devon> However the power level of a GROUP of espers (i.e. a group of PCs) should explode almost exponentially. Because then you get synergies and combos. Your team gets to set one guy on fire and throw him into all his friends, while you mentally dominate a sniper you spotted and put him on your “side”. (done)
[20:15] <+Warp9> How big a difference is there between starting and experienced characters?
[20:15] <+ETG|Mik> Moar questions?
[20:15] <~Dan> On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being four-color superheroics, how cinematic would you rate the system?
[20:15] <+ETG|Mik> Oh sweet simultaneous posting.
[20:16] <+ETG|Mik> Warp9, There’s a pretty big difference. While we’re on likert scales, I’d put a starting character at about a 3-4 on the awesome scale, and an experienced character on the 9-10. (done)
[20:17] <+ETG|Mik> Dan, to me? Well, I guess it’s harder to quantify that, so I’ma qualify that. I consider “chronicle” very cinematic (or “push”, also a good one), but in a different way than a spidey movie or guardians of the galaxy. I’d say there’s a lot of really awesome moments and imagery that can happen in Psionics, but it’s probably not going to be a pulpy experience.
[20:17] <+ETG|Mik> (done)
[20:18] <+ETG|Devon> Warp9: I’m gonna go ahead and disagree with Mikaela here. I’d say a starting character is probably 60% as badass as they will be over the course of their lifetime. It’s not D&D 3.X where you go from a peasant to a demigod, but it’s also not SR4 where meaningfully you can be as awesome at your starting shtick at chargen as you ever will be. (done)
[20:19] <~Dan> Do you see this as an ongoing game line, and if so, what might be next?
[20:19] <+ETG|Devon> Dan, can you give me some more point son that scale, in your opinion?
[20:20] <+ETG|Mik> Dan, in terms of the DicePunk game system, or in terms of Psionics as an IP?
[20:20] <+ETG|Mik> Haha, the tables have turned in this Q&A!
[20:20] <~Dan> Well, I’d say a “1” would be totally gritty and realistic. Maybe something like… RuneQuest, in terms of combat?
[20:20] * ~Dan chuckles 🙂
[20:21] <~Dan> Whereas 10 might be more like Feng Shui.
[20:21] <+ETG|Devon> Hmm…I want to say probably around a 4 on the scale from gritty to cinematic.
[20:22] <+ETG|Devon> I mean your capability to ruin *stuff* is much more cinematic than your capacity to not get *your* *stuff* ruined. (I subbed in “stuff” for a word with less letters and more color.)
[20:22] <+ETG|Devon> To various degrees, every Psionics PC is a glass cannon, at least somewhat.
[20:23] <+ETG|Devon> So you can accomplish things that four-color superheroes can, but you can’t expect for a second to survive the punishment you’d take.
[20:23] <+ETG|Mik> In terms of Psionics as an IP, we are planning to release many adventures for this line, and supplements as the desire for them arises (too early to say there, since we’re hoping to give people what they need in the core book). Actually, one of our stretch goals is the first in that adventure line, and I’ll be posting more about that on the morrow…
[20:23] <+ETG|Devon> I can say that for sure, if you’ve seen the movie “Chronicle” or the movie “Firestarter” ,wherever you might put those on the scale, that’s where I’d like to be, and I think that’s around a 4 but your mileage might vary. (done)
[20:24] <+ETG|Devon> Psionics as an ongoing game line: yes. To what degree will depend on how awesome this KS does in its final weeks and on how the game sells. I can’t tell you everything we’re planning yet, but I can tell you something we’re definitely NOT planning. What we’re *not* planning on doing is “crunch-oriented splats” introducing more character options and powers.
[20:24] <+ETG|Devon> I wouldn’t go as far as saying that that’s a bad model in general, but we’re aiming away from it with this game line.
[20:25] <+ETG|Mik> In terms of DicePunk as a game system, for now I think we’re planning on focusing on tending to our existing lines (SPLINTER, Singularity, and Psionics) before we release more IPs. But I could be off base here. We tend to create a LOT of things compulsively. Also I promised my dad that I’d release his old game sometime in the future. (done)
[20:25] <+ETG|Devon> One thing we do have in the works is going to be a very epic series of very kickass published adventures that will gradually advance the “metaplot”. And this is way down the road, but I have started to think tentatively about producing miniatures. (done)
[20:25] <~Dan> That sounds about right. I wouldn’t necessarily equate PC power levels with cinematic prowess. I mean, PCs can be really powerful in Godlike, but you really, really don’t want to get shot in that game.
[20:25] <+maxmahem> How much of the manuscript is complete?
[20:25] <+ETG|Devon> maxmayhem: right around 50%.
[20:25] <+maxmahem> (no y!)
[20:26] <+ETG|Mik> (sorry :o)
[20:26] <+ETG|Devon> Character creation, introduction, and core rules are done, things that still need to be done include the flavor fiction, character advancement, NPC stats and GM advice chapter.
[20:27] <+ETG|Mik> And of course we’re waiting on making archetypes until the kickstarter is done, since a few tiers get a say in that.
[20:27] <+ETG|Mik> (done)
[20:27] <+ETG|Devon> To use a rough analogy, we’ve got all the PHB stuff done, but much of the “DMG/Monster Manual” stuff left to do. It’s not a great analogy because a) we’re not releasing the game in three books and b) we’re closer to half done than 1/3rd. (done)
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[20:28] <~Dan> What sorts of adventures do you see taking place in the game setting?
[20:28] <~Dan> (wb, Squide!)
[20:30] <+ETG|Mik> I can answer this in terms of the longer campaign we ran, since that’s what’s the most fresh in my mind. The game started out with our characters finding out that they could do weird stuff, finding out that each other could do weird stuf… and then the Man finding out about it too. They went on the run from the law, lost all their resources, had to break…
[20:30] <+ETG|Mik> …into homes to get clothes and finances, had to make some moral decisions regarding what to do in that instance, and then eventually being courted by the varying factions.
[20:31] <+ETG|Mik> From that point, it’s a case of what the PCs want to do – strike back at the people who are screwing with you, join them (and get missions according to faction), maybe just become punk criminals and rob banks, or street vigilantes
[20:32] <+ETG|Mik> I can just as much imagine a “kick a**” scenario as a crazy psionic heist scenario, as much as a black-bag operation for the government or recruiting other espers…
[20:32] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah, so it doesn’t have to be Dark Reign
[20:32] <+BlasterKyubey210> YOu can do other Comic-styles
[20:32] <+ETG|Mik> No, it can be kind of anything you want it to be.,
[20:32] <+BlasterKyubey210> Dark Reign, pull things out of Millar’s book and such
[20:32] <+BlasterKyubey210> Those two are off the top of my head
[20:33] <+ETG|Mik> But as a caveat, vigilantism has the same… problems… as it would in life
[20:33] <~Dan> It seems as though it would be difficult to write a pregen adventure for this setting, with the ball so firmly in the PCs’ court.
[20:33] <+ETG|Mik> So if you want to go superhero, I’d strongly encourage “kick a**” or “watchmen” as your guide, instead of superman
[20:33] <+ETG|Mik> Well, we are going to do a living campaign
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[20:34] <+ETG|Mik> We’ll release the first adventure, and by PC consensus, that will take us to the next one, and influence what happens in the metaplot (kind of like SR Missions)
[20:34] <+ETG|Mik> (done)
[20:35] <+ETG|Devon> So in any campaign, the PCs should to some degree start as “reacting” more than “actors”, at least…once a conspiracy gets wind of your psionic awakening/manifestation.
[20:35] * ~Dan nods
[20:35] <+ETG|Devon> “What are your PCs doing?” will vary from table to table almost as much as in D&D but one common thread from campaign to campaign should be “running from the Conspiracies”….
[20:36] <+ETG|Devon> until the point you stop running, and either join up, and fight back.
[20:36] <+ETG|Devon> And honestly, probably cycle between those options a few times.
[20:36] <+ETG|Devon> That’s the joining thread.
[20:38] <~Dan> Are characters able to pool their efforts in power usage?
[20:38] <+ETG|Mik> Can you define the question a bit?
[20:39] <~Dan> Sure. Could two pyrokinetics work to create a hotter inferno, for example? Or two telekinetics work together to lift a heavy object?
[20:40] <+ETG|Devon> There aren’t rules for this yet, nor are there rules against it for that matter. That’s not to say that I’m opposed to it, just that no rules currently exist. Which is why public forums like this are awesome when a game is actively in development. Right now, the rules for increasing the temperature of an object or a person with Pyrokinesis totally support
[20:40] <+ETG|Devon> this, and off the top of my head, none of the other rules do. This is purely a matter of coincidence, not of design.
[20:41] <+ETG|Devon> So in closing: yeah, I am probably going to make a note to write some rules for that. : ) (done)
[20:41] <~Dan> Cool. Always glad to be of service. 😉
[20:41] <~Dan> Would you like to mention some of your other games?
[20:42] <+ETG|Mik> Sure! I’ll start with Splinter, since it’s the first one we released.
[20:42] <+squidheadjax> I’d definitely like to see support for strong coordination, including across powers. Do you think you’d also include some potential drawbacks to that? (Introducing issues of trust and such into it)
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[20:43] <+ETG|Devon> I’m going to let Mik go ahead and paraphrase my pitch for SPLINTER as the weirdest game ever, and go ahead and answer squidheadjax’s question myself.
[20:43] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest36!)
[20:43] <+ETG|Devon> One cool drawback I can think of is if cooperating with another esper increased the Overflow Points that each of you accumulated, due to a kind of “feedback loop” forming between your minds. (done)
[20:44] <+ETG|Mik> SPLINTER is best described as the Running Man meets dungeon crawl meets extreme weirdness. On the first layer, you play a Player, who has either been conscripted or has chosen to play in the Splinter. The Splinter is the only entertainment, controlled by the powers that be as a bread and circuses. Player consciousness is ported into “avatars,” chosen at…
[20:45] <+squidheadjax> That’s exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of 😀 (moar headsplosions!)
[20:46] <+ETG|Mik> …random. In the Splinter, which is an ever-changing dyson sphere virtual reality dungeon, more real than real, avatars generally need to fight to the death against each other or the many monsters that inhabit it.
[20:46] <+ETG|Mik> The avatars themselves are shapechanging demigods with the power to change the splinter itself.
[20:46] <+ETG|Mik> I think that’s about the “short” version
[20:47] <+ETG|Mik> I’m going to see if there’s anything Devon wants to add to that.
[20:47] <+ETG|Devon> Yeah, which leaves out a lot. All PC Avatars are shape-changing demigods, and not your traditional “were-wolf/were-bear” shapechangers, you can be things like a were-lich or a were-golem.
[20:47] <+Canageek> I’ve got to ask: Wasn’t Golarians a fairly bad game? Game Informer did a super replay of it, and well, their impression was it was a pretty terrible game. What inspired you to turn it into an RPG?
[20:48] <+ETG|Mik> I think that Devon was a big fan when he was a tyke. (done)
[20:48] <+ETG|Devon> Every level of technology from stone age to inscrutably advanced fifty thousand years in the future weird science and everything in between exists, and is completely randomized between “strata” or levels of the Splinter.
[20:48] <+ETG|Devon> Additionally every PC has the ability to alter reality through will alone or to “tune” to some degree or another…exactly like in the movie Dark City. (done w/ SPLINTER summary)
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[20:49] <+ETG|Devon> Canageek: yeah it’s a pretty bad game. Not terrible, though! Anyway it’s clearly inspired by a lot of media I think is not just not-bad, but awesome. And while I like to reference Galerians because of its very obscurity, Psionics takes away more from Firestarter, Akira, Scanners, etc.
[20:49] <+ETG|Devon> All of the stuff that Galerians was clearly playing off of. (done)
[20:50] <+Warp9> I’ve always thought the movie Chronicle would be a great basis for an RPG (I even tried to pitch that concept to my last gaming group), so I’m glad you’re making this Psionics game. 🙂
[20:50] <+Canageek> ETG|Devon: Ah! So it doesn’t use the same items and isn’t set in the same world?
[20:50] <+ETG|Mik> Warp9, when we saw Chronicle, we were like, HOLY CRAP IT’S PSIONICS. And we were THRILLED. It’s such a good movie. (done)
[20:51] <+ETG|Devon> Canageek: oh heck no. It’s set in the real world, not five hundred years in the future. There is no Mother Computer, no Dorothy, and for that matter no Galerians. Actually, our Systems Malfunction campaign setting for Singularity System has more in common with the Galerians setting than Psionics does:
[20:51] <+ETG|Devon> (Link: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/131338/Systems-Malfunction-Singularity-System-Setting-and-Campaign)http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/131338/Systems-Malfunction-Singularity-System-Setting-and-Campaign
[20:51] <+Canageek> Cool, thank you
[20:51] <+ETG|Devon> I’m not being anywhere near that literal when I say Psionics is based on Galerians, although the names of the drugs are a direct homage.
[20:52] <+ETG|Devon> (done)
[20:53] <+ETG|Devon> Yeah, when I saw Chronicle I was basically like… “oh, they read my brain and made this movie based on Psionics”. Chronicle is way more similar to Psionics than Galerians, but as Psionics existed (albeit unpublished) 12 years before Chronicle did I can’t say Y is based on X. (done)
[20:53] <~Dan> As you know, guys, you are welcome to hang out with us as long as you like. That said, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention in what remains of “regular” time?
[20:54] <+ETG|Mik> I guess I just want to thank everyone for coming tonight and for supporting Psionics. I’m completely thrilled about this project, and it’s awesome to hear other people getting excited about it too.
[20:55] <+ETG|Devon> Yeah, likewise, thanks a lot for your interest and for listening to us ramble.
[20:55] <+ETG|Devon> So we’re running low on time and while we aren’t going anywhere and I don’t anticipate an urgent mass exodus of y’all, I just want to say directly that if anything we said tickled your fancy even a little, you should totes pledge to the Psionics KS sometime.
[20:56] <+ETG|Mik> Unless you already have. In which case – you rock.
[20:56] <+ETG|Devon> Our recent trip to GenCon reinforced our understanding that making an indie RPG that’s not PbtA or FATE Based is a rough business nowadays, and definitely made us understand that we need every bit of help we can get from the community.
[20:56] <~Dan> Want to post a link to the KS?
[20:56] <+ETG|Devon> Sure.
[20:56] <+ETG|Mik> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/endtransmissiongames/psionics)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/endtransmissiongames/psionics
[20:56] <+ETG|Devon> That name again is Mr. Plow: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/endtransmissiongames/psionics)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/endtransmissiongames/psionics
[20:56] <+ETG|Mik> Bam
[20:56] <+ETG|Mik> Oh no double post
[20:56] <~Dan> Nowyadunnit!!
[20:56] <+ETG|Mik> Then the world imploded.
[20:57] <+ETG|Devon> that said yeah i’ma hang around for a while, I’ll gladly field any more questions or shoot the sh-uh…crap…about anything from Galerians to whatever
[20:57] * ~Dan chuckls
[20:57] * ~Dan chuckles, even
[20:57] <+MonkofLords> I prefer the first version
[20:57] <~Dan> Well, thanks so much for coming out, guys! I’ll go ahead and get the log posted and get you the link.
[20:58] <+ETG|Mik> Thank you so much for having us!