[19:01] <+Caias> I’m Caias Ward, and you’re not. My game is Riders: a Game About Cheating Doomsday. You play a mortal servant of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse (or other interested parties) who have decided you don’t want the world to end.
[19:03] <+Caias> Ask questions, and I shall answer!
[19:03] <~Dan> Thanks, Caias!
[19:03] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:04] <~Dan> So the PCs are humans?
[19:05] <+warcabbit> Is this a… heist game, or a ‘manipulate nations’ game?
[19:06] <+Caias> Some are. The main character options are Riders of Conquest, War, Famine and Death. There are other options from Shepherds (your classic guardian angel), the Understudy (a demon who took the role of a mortal who died a secret death), Cambions and Nephilim (half-demons and half-angels) and True Chroniclers (a mortal found one of the Metatron’s notebooks
[19:06] <+Caias> and absorbed its power).
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[19:08] <@Silverlion> What do the character do in this game?
[19:08] <+Caias> The game is a very ‘personal’ one. Your actions can change the face of the world, but much of it is interacting with the people of the world an averting the signs of Doomsday. From stopping a killing to making one happen, to reconciling a family to anything else which can have a certain end….
[19:08] <+warcabbit> Okay, so we’re looking at something on the rough level of In Nomine?
[19:09] <+warcabbit> Sounds very interesting.
[19:09] <+Caias> Well, each character has been part of something called the Rite of Ea. It’s an ancient rite; share a meal together and wisdom comes to you. In this case, you get to see the signs of the Apocalypse before they happen. Interfere with the sign, make sure it doesn’t come to pass and the Metatron writes out what happens without noticing you.
[19:10] <+Caias> The Metatron is God’s scribe, btw. Do this enough, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse retreat from the world.
[19:10] <@Silverlion> So all the PC’s are fictions in a book? 😀 Essentially?
[19:10] <+Caias> Add in the fact that Heaven and Hell think you want the world to end (you serve the Horsemen, right) and you are very busy
[19:11] <+Caias> The Metatron is writing down the events of the world. The PCs get to edit what’s happening 🙂
[19:11] <~Dan> Neither Heaven nor Hell want the world to end?
[19:11] <+Caias> But yes, more ‘heist’ as in you play a character who has goals and who encounters opposition.
[19:12] <+Caias> But your actions are far-reaching.
[19:12] <+Caias> They don’t know who will ‘win’ yet.
[19:12] <+Caias> So they can’t risk it. Also, some of those who serve Heaven and Hell have forgotten why they are even fighting. There is just The War.
[19:14] <@Silverlion> Is it fundamentally a religious game, or just an action game with religious themes?
[19:14] <+xyphoid> so as a GM what do adventures look like for this? are you setting up particular situations that need to be fixed by the pcs to save the day?
[19:15] <+Caias> Silverlion, yes 🙂 The game is mostly about showing the world is worth saving. The religious framework is a useful tool for that, and there is plenty of action.
[19:16] <+Caias> But I’ve remained internally consistent in the presentation of the ‘mythology’.
[19:16] <@Silverlion> What is the system like?
[19:16] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
[19:17] <+Caias> Xyphoid’s question: Major events are a Sign of Doomsday. The Rite of Ea (represented by an in game diner run) shows you possible events in a cryptic fashion. From there, you need to figure out what to do to avert the Sign.
[19:18] <+Caias> And there’s lots of room between Signs to run into personal problems, The Host (angels) or The Fallen (demons) etc.
[19:19] <+xyphoid> so a little bit Good Omens-y?
[19:19] <+Caias> Doomsday cults which will actively seek to end you when they figure out you are trying to save the world. Somewhat, but a bit more serious at least in some playtests.
[19:21] <+Caias> Silverlion: it’s a success-based target number system. Hit a TN, addition numbers above the base generate successes. You have a base set of dice and modifier (2d6+x) and Element Dice, which you can spend to improve your roll. Decide if an action is important to the scene by spending them.
[19:21] <@Silverlion> So what does a sample character look like?
[19:21] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet we could see?
[19:22] <+Caias> One moment, will get a link to the PDF.
[19:22] <+Caias> (Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/63260237/Riders/RiderOfConquestCharacterSet.pdf)https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/63260237/Riders/RiderOfConquestCharacterSet.pdf The Rider of Conquest.
[19:24] <+Caias> Elements, btw, are the important parts of your character. What defines your character. Your profession, a dream or regret you had, a sin or virtue… they inform your actions. It’s not a matter of having the Firearms skill, but why or how are you doing something.
[19:24] <~Dan> Hmm… So fairly abstract traits, then?
[19:25] <+Caias> Yes. Your Pride can motivate you to gun down an angel or you could Regret Not Saving Your Friend From His Murder, and that leads you to protect others.
[19:27] <+Caias> (Link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/63260237/Riders/RidersTestLayout.pdf)https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/63260237/Riders/RidersTestLayout.pdf More on the mechanics here, as well as a layout sample
[19:30] <+Caias> Anything else?
[19:31] <+xyphoid> is there a fixed set of signs of doomsday or is that something that’s part of adventure design each time around?
[19:31] <+xyphoid> like is it open-ended, or do you expect a campaign to actually save the day
[19:33] <+Caias> there is an actual Doomsday Clock mechanic (which you can adjust for the length of campaign you want). Each Chapter ends with a metaphysical battle against the Clock. If you averted the Sign the battle is easier. If not… well, the battle is harder. 🙂 But you can push the clock away from Midnight if you are successful
[19:34] <+Caias> So yes, you can save the day. Or the world can end in blood and fire.
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[19:34] <~Dan> What sorts of powers do the Riders have?
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[19:37] <+warcabbit> Can you have a heavy metal concert at two minutes?
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[19:37] <+Caias> The Riders get an awesome motorcycle, for one 🙂 They also get a weapon appropriate to their Horseman (A bow, a sword, a chain, a scythe). And they have a choice of other abilities. Conquest, for example, can get people to accept them as an authority figure if there is not contravening evidence (no, really, I’m in charge here).
[19:37] <+warcabbit> … Riders with awesome motorcycles?
[19:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, Kage2020!)
[19:38] <+Kage2020> (Hi, Dan.)
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[19:38] <+Caias> Each character sets gets some set powers (Cambions can create Hellfire, Shepherds get a flaming sword, etc) and have a choice of others. They all can tap into Unearthly power to increase their die rolls, but that can actually hasten Doomsday if they aren’t careful.
[19:39] <+warcabbit> Okay, my mind just went somewhere awesome, mostly involving live action japanese TV shows.
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[19:39] <+warcabbit> Serious question. How long is a campaign supposed to be? What happens when Doomsday does or doesn’t happen?
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[19:39] <~Dan> Do they hasten Doomsday if normal folks witness their powers?
[19:40] <+warcabbit> Because that’s really interesting. You’re suggesting a campaign that is _not_ a one-shot, but _is_ limited in duration.
[19:40] <+Caias> Campaign length depends on the group. Some people may just want to do a few signs, others want 10 seasons of Supernatural 🙂 The game will accomodate both
[19:40] <+Caias> How you handle the pacing of the Doomsday Clock sets the pacing.
[19:41] <+Caias> Sets the length of the campaign.
[19:42] <+Caias> And it can go bad on both ends. Even as you push the Clock back, Doomsday cults realize what you are doing and will try to end you. Then it’s a race to push the Clock back enough as they strike out at you. Some people (Earthly and Unearthly) want to watch the world burn.
[19:43] <~Dan> Speaking of which, what’s the nature of the opposition?
[19:45] <+Caias> In playtests, PCs have faced gang members, angelic snipers, and the Sworn (humans who have sworn allegiance to the Unearthly in exchange for power). Some Signs can involve Unearthly (Angels and demons and such) antagonists, others can simply be human opposition.
[19:46] <~Dan> How powerful are angels and demons?
[19:46] <+Caias> For example, if you are familiar with Star Trek, I could easily convert City On the Edge of Forever into a Riders scenario.
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[19:47] <+Caias> Depends on the type and they are scalable. A group of PCs could take down one at start. Or get hammered. The PCs, even the ‘mortal’ ones (Riders) are pretty resilient. Character death can happen, but much more comes from the world ending.
[19:48] <+Caias> And putting the screws to the characters 🙂
[19:48] <~Dan> Are there any other supernatural forces at play beyond Heaven and Hell?
[19:49] <+warcabbit> Oooh, good one. How does Thor feel about this?
[19:49] <~Dan> He’s Thor about it, of course.
[19:50] <+Caias> Not in the setting as written, although there is lots of room to maneuver. And I have additional character sets planned focusing on other worldviews. I chose to focus on the classic Apocalypse because, hey, Horsemen and motorcycles 🙂
[19:53] <~Dan> Given the nature of the character traits, how do you figure out how much a PC can lift, for example?
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[19:53] <+Caias> How important is lifting something to the story? Set a TN based on that.
[19:55] <+Caias> Generally, unless an action is important to the story you don’t roll dice. And the players roll all the dice. The Game’s Metatron (GM, get it? 🙂 ) does not touch dice, and the PCs are actually rewarded with spendable Element dice if the GM goes to roll something.
[19:56] <~Dan> How are antagonists statted out, given that the GM doesn’t roll?
[19:57] <@Silverlion> Wait if he doesn’t roll dice, how do they get Element dice if he goes to roll something?
[20:01] <+Caias> They have set target numbers the players have to beat. And some GMs will try to ‘decide’ something by rolling. We explicitly disallow that. Part of how things work is that unless the characters intervene, the Clock ticks onward.
[20:02] <+Caias> If the PCs don’t involve themselves in X event, Y result *will* happen.
[20:03] <~Dan> Am I right in guessing that the game is morally gray?
[20:04] <+Caias> But as for antagonists, they have a TN for attacking (PCs roll to resist) and a TN for defending (PCs roll to attack). And I would say the message is an ultimately positive one; the world is worth saving. The character creation focuses on that, but building motivations into your Elements.
[20:04] <@Silverlion> Ah. So you’re punishing Gm’s who don’t want to make their own decisions
[20:05] <@Silverlion> Or Rewarding players if their GM waffles?
[20:05] <+Caias> Actually, rewarding players.
[20:06] <+Caias> The game conceit is that, barring the PCs, the world will tick towards the End of Days. This will happen. But the PCs get involved? All bets are off. They can save the world
[20:06] <~Dan> Oh, I get the saving the world bit… I thought I caught you mentioning something earlier about making sure certain things do or don’t happen to prevent a Sign, which could involve making sure something bad happens. Or did I misread that?
[20:07] <+Caias> Yes, that is an option. Someone may need to die to prevent a Sign. But that is up to the group.
[20:07] <+Caias> Some groups want heroics, others want to suffer. We make sure both can play and feel good about their play.
[20:08] <~Dan> How does the game address the question of God and what He actually wants to happen?
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[20:11] <+Caias> It doesn’t. The game is ultimately focused on the characters and their actions. Everything branches from there. Giving what God wanted to would be too much like metaplot for me. 🙂 As I said, there is lots of room for people to fill in the gaps as their group wants. Are their archangels, does holy water burn demons, etc, questions like that are in the hands
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[20:12] <+Caias> of the group.
[20:12] <+Caias> I give the framework so people can use what colors they want from the crayon box
[20:12] * ~Dan nods
[20:13] <+Caias> This game is ‘here is a setting and premise, we left you lots of room to play, go!’
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[20:13] <+Caias> With enough detail that you can run with it.
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[20:14] <+Caias> Anyone else? Not that don’t appreciate your questions, Dan.
[20:15] <~Dan> No worries. 🙂
[20:15] <+Caias> I think everyone else has run off 🙂
[20:16] <~Dan> Oh, they’re here. Just watching and/or lurking. 🙂
[20:16] <+Kage2020> I would, but I think that I missed too much of the beginning. I’m always a sucker for Christian mythology games.
[20:16] <~Dan> Ask away, Kage2020. Caias is a patient sort. 🙂
[20:17] <+Caias> Ask and I will answer.
[20:17] <+Kage2020> First let me ask the obvious so that I can inform myself quickly: Is there a URL that I can go to for quick catch-me-up?
[20:18] <+Kage2020> (Kickstarter, or product page.)
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[20:18] <~Dan> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caias/riders-a-game-about-cheating-doomsday?ref=nav_search)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caias/riders-a-game-about-cheating-doomsday?ref=nav_search
[20:19] <+Kage2020> Thank you, Dan.
[20:19] <~Dan> Certainly!
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[20:22] <+Caias> Had to step away for a second, but I’m back.
[20:23] <~Dan> wb!
[20:23] <+Caias> Be sure to read the updates because we’ve included some links like a sample character set.
[20:26] <+Kage2020> Sorry, it’s taking me a little while to read through with RL considerations.
[20:28] <~Dan> What games (if any) inspired you, either in terms of system or setting?
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[20:31] <+Caias> The character set/playbook style makes sense for this type of game. Although it’s used in the *World games, I first saw it many years ago in Run Out the Guns. Setting wise, In Nomine influenced me in part; I ultimately wanted a game about the world rather than all the supernatural stuff.
[20:31] <+Caias> The game is ultimately about the Earthly, and why is the world worth saving.
[20:32] <+Caias> Mechanically, 7th Sea’s roll and keep system is a big part of my influence.
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[20:34] <~Dan> (Oh, btw — I sent you a PM, Caias.)
[20:34] <+Caias> That covers much of the influence for Riders.
[20:35] <~Dan> On a gritty-to-cinematic scale of 1-10, how would you rate Riders?
[20:36] <+warcabbit> ooh, good one
[20:38] * ~Dan bows 😀
[20:38] <+Caias> I’d say an 8-9. Much of the game is based on intention and motivation and Element Dice let you influence action. You are also conduits of Unearthly power; this is not HERO System (which I do love, btw).
[20:38] * @Silverlion mourns for Caias briefly.
[20:39] <~Dan> So there’s lots of room to describe outlandish stunts?
[20:39] <+Caias> Why are you mourning for me?
[20:39] <@Silverlion> All those lost minutes of time…stolen by the Hero System’s complexity 😀
[20:39] <+Caias> First playtest had the Rider of Famine use his motorcycle as a weapon against an angel.
[20:39] <+Caias> It’s actually not that complex. It’s basic math. 😛
[20:40] <+Caias> And it’s a perfect example of divorcing mechanics from effect
[20:41] <+Caias> But Riders has lots of room to ‘negotiate’ while having a solid framework for figuring out what happens.
[20:43] <@Silverlion> Basic math can still be complex, but that’s not what I meant 😀 Anyway…more Riders less babbling 😀
[20:44] <+Caias> Riders math is not hard. If you can add up some D6s and count by 3s, you are good.
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[20:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, Oddsod!)
[20:45] <~Dan> How well hidden is the supernatural in the setting?
[20:46] <+Caias> People tend to not notice, but if the Doomsday Clock ticks forward, it gets more obvious. There’s not Delirium, so if you show up on camera shooting the Bow of Conquest it will raise questions. 🙂
[20:47] <+Oddsod> yo
[20:48] <+Caias> So you get to use your cool stuff, just don’t be obvious about it. 🙂
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[20:48] <+Caias> Welcome, Oddsod. Got a question?
[20:48] <+Oddsod> Frankly, no. I didn’t know there was an event going on.
[20:48] <+Oddsod> Sorry.
[20:48] <+Kage2020> As it is not in my chat log, could you briefly go over the Doomsday Clock once again? If that’s too much feel free to point me to the log when Dan makes it available.
[20:49] <~Dan> No problem, Oddsod. #rpgnet2 is open for general chat.
[20:49] <+Caias> We’re talking about my new game Riders, currently being Kickstarted.
[20:50] <+Caias> The Clock is a Real Thing. It ticks down as the world starts to end. The PCs can take actions to stop the Signs of the Apocalypse and actually enter a metaphysical battle with the Doomsday Clock at the end of a Chapter
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[20:51] <+MonkofLords> Yo
[20:51] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
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[20:52] <+Caias> Welcome! We’re currently talking about Riders: a Game About Cheating Doomsday.
[20:53] <~Dan> Caias: So while you’re welcome to hang out with us and answer questions as long as you like, is there anything you’d like to bring up that we haven’t covered in what remains of “regular time”?
[20:53] <+Kage2020> Caias: That sounds interesting. Did you go into more detail, perhaps with examples, earlier in the chat?
[20:55] <+Caias> There is some more detail earlier in the chat. If you have a good result in the chapter, the Clock will be easier to defeat. Not so good… a harder Clock to fight. Success means you push the Doomsday Clock back.
[20:56] <+Kage2020> Thank you. I’ll hold off on further questions for the moment then, but it does seem rather like an interesting potential. I also liked what I was reading about powers etc.
[20:56] <+Caias> We’ve got a pretty good project but we still need to fund. (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caias/riders-a-game-about-cheating-doomsday)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caias/riders-a-game-about-cheating-doomsday I’m running a set of playtests at Metatopia, the playtest convention in New Jersey. And I hope you all jump on board with us on this project.
[20:56] <+Caias> So share it with 500 of your closest friends
[20:59] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:03] <~Dan> Thanks very much for coming by, Caias!
[21:03] <~Dan> Mind if I take a moment to log the discussion?
[21:04] <+Caias> Go ahead!