[20:02] <+SolutionCat> My name is Matthew Lucas and my game is Starship Adventure
[20:03] <+SolutionCat> Starship Adventure is a space science fiction game with a loose semi-generic setting
[20:04] <+SolutionCat> giving the players and game master the ability to customize the universe to the stories that they want to tell
[20:04] <+SolutionCat> done
[20:04] <~Dan> Thanks, Matthew!
[20:04] <~Dan> (btw, you may want to switch to your real name for the Q&A. 🙂 )
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[20:05] <+MatthewLucas> changed
[20:05] <~Dan> Thanks. 🙂
[20:05] <~Dan> the floor is open to questions!
[20:06] <~Dan> So you say the setting is semi-generic… What are the non-generic aspects?
[20:06] <+Mischif> Hi Matthew. Do you have any alien races already, or are you creating tools for GMs to make their own?
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[20:07] <+MatthewLucas> Good questions, the species are the biggest non-generic aspect of the game
[20:07] <+MatthewLucas> There are 6, playable species
[20:07] <+MatthewLucas> Garoon, an imperialistic warlike empire
[20:08] <@Silverlion> Gadroon? Like..oh no Garoon..ok 😀
[20:08] <+MatthewLucas> Tarren, the humans that remind on Earth and survived a cataclysmic event known as The Fracture and formed the Earth Federation
[20:08] <+MatthewLucas> lol
[20:09] <+MatthewLucas> *I think the name garoon has popped up in other games, but that happens*
[20:10] <+MatthewLucas> Human, the humans who left earth and colonized the stars. Humans are highly diverse and have several different governments
[20:11] <+MatthewLucas> Quadrellian, a ridged warrior culture of 4 armed aliens who are also part of the Earth Federation
[20:11] <~Dan> (back in a sec — please proceed)
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[20:11] <@Silverlion> Tell us about the plants…:D
[20:11] <+MatthewLucas> Oid, a sentient plant like people, known for being brawny and powerful but lacking in skill and knowledge
[20:11] <+MatthewLucas> lol
[20:12] <+Mischif> I am Groot
[20:12] <+MatthewLucas> Oid where a lot of fun, I wanted to include an “ork like” species in the game, but they gained a life of their own
[20:13] <+MatthewLucas> I combined spider plants, orchids and fly traps to design their culture
[20:14] <+MatthewLucas> for the most part they reproduce by having a “bud” which is basically a face in a shoulder, back, thigh etc
[20:14] <@Silverlion> Eeew.
[20:15] <+MatthewLucas> which grows over time until it forms a small oid who falls off and then furthers to reach maturity
[20:15] <@Silverlion> So how do the aliens differ from humans mechanically, if at all? What do you measure humans as, stat wise?
[20:15] <+MatthewLucas> each species has a special feature, and is particularly good at some classes and bad at others
[20:16] <+MatthewLucas> each species has stat and skill maximums
[20:17] <+MatthewLucas> Skoogl, and Tarrens are good scientists, and high skill maximums
[20:17] <+MatthewLucas> however, their stats maxes are lower
[20:17] <+MatthewLucas> (skoogl are a slug like people)
[20:18] <+MatthewLucas> Oid on the other hand, high high physical stats, but they do not have very high skill maximums
[20:18] <+MatthewLucas> have high*
[20:18] <+Gazoo> You’ve said that the game is to be generic to facilitate GMs creating their own universes: Will there be rules to assist GMs in creating their own races and equipment? Say I want a super special magical realm featuring pterosaur people with guns that fire quantum drills would such a silly concept be produce-able?
[20:19] <+MatthewLucas> Gazoo, you make a good point, I think including rules like that would make people happy
[20:19] <+MatthewLucas> everything in the game has some form of background math
[20:20] <+Mischif> you mentioned classes, what kind of classes do you have?
[20:20] <+MatthewLucas> I have done my best to use reoccurring numbers to maintain system consistency/stability
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[20:20] <+MatthewLucas> classes are a little weird
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[20:21] <+MatthewLucas> the entire game is point buy, and classes are how people access special abilities called talents
[20:21] <+MatthewLucas> so, players have the option to take levels in classes in any combo that they wish
[20:21] <+MatthewLucas> let me know if that is confusing
[20:22] <+Mischif> Can you give us a for instance?
[20:22] <+MatthewLucas> the class martial
[20:22] <+Gazoo> Essentially (correct me if I’m wrong) players can invest in skills without taking levels in a class, but say they want special abilities to go with said skills (talents) they have to invest in classes?
[20:23] <+MatthewLucas> Gazoo got that perfectly
[20:23] <+MatthewLucas> I will give an example
[20:23] <+MatthewLucas> there is a talent in the kinisthetics class (level 2) called advanced athletics
[20:24] <+MatthewLucas> this changes your skill fundamental athletics, to the skill advanced athletics.
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[20:24] <+MatthewLucas> you can use advanced athletics to do anything you would need to do with fundamental athletics, additionally it does not take your action to use this skill
[20:25] <+MatthewLucas> so this player now has the ability to duck and weave through a dangerous situation and continue to do other things, such as pilot a ship or fight people
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[20:26] <+MatthewLucas> back to the 6 classes
[20:27] <+MatthewLucas> Martial, kinesthetics, science, leadership, cybernetics, supernatural
[20:27] <@Silverlion> Supernatural? In Sci Fi?
[20:28] <+MatthewLucas> Silverlion of course, I wanted things like ESP and abilities like the force to exist within the game
[20:29] <@Silverlion> I see. So those are considered supernatural, not natural but unusual?
[20:29] <+MatthewLucas> of course the game is flexible if a GM loves the system but hates that feature, it is easily cut from the game
[20:29] <+MatthewLucas> Silverlion, I think because of their unique and mystical nature calling them supernatural makes sense to people.
[20:30] <@Silverlion> *nods*
[20:30] <@Silverlion> Just curious
[20:30] <+MatthewLucas> of course, it is a good question
[20:30] <~Dan> When we previously discussed the game, you mentioned the Force-like “space magic” you had planned as well as psionics. Can you say a bit about how you distinguish between them?
[20:30] <+MatthewLucas> even a show like star trek which is consider pretty grounded in science has large amounts of super natural being and effects
[20:30] <@Silverlion> Do you think you could give us an example of mechanics working in play? Like say a character jumping over a ravine? or something
[20:30] <+MatthewLucas> Ill grab Dan’s question then get yours
[20:31] <+MatthewLucas> Dan, I am grappling with a distinction that I will be happy with
[20:31] <+MatthewLucas> for me the inclusion of space magic needs to have a mystical feel to it
[20:32] <+MatthewLucas> psionics need a more pseudo science feel to them
[20:32] <+MatthewLucas> at the very least they will have different skills associate with them
[20:33] * ~Dan nods
[20:33] <+MatthewLucas> I MIGHT include a descriptor on those abilities
[20:33] <+MatthewLucas> but they would be the ONLY powers with descriptors, so that seems like the wrong path
[20:34] <+MatthewLucas> so mechanics in play
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[20:34] <+MatthewLucas> the system is intended to be played out as scenes.
[20:35] <+MatthewLucas> scenes are as short as a combat turn
[20:35] <+MatthewLucas> they can be much longer
[20:35] <+MatthewLucas> I will use the ravine example
[20:35] <+MatthewLucas> The players are hostile alien world with a ravine they must get over
[20:36] <+MatthewLucas> lets say there’s only a couple ways past, jump over it climb down and back up
[20:37] <+MatthewLucas> however as a GM I have decided that a crystal spider lives inside the ravine
[20:37] <+MatthewLucas> you as a player decide what you would like to do
[20:38] <+MatthewLucas> jump or climb. you roll your fundamental athletics, which is linked to the might skill
[20:38] <+MatthewLucas> edit* Might pool
[20:38] <+MatthewLucas> you may spend dice from your might pool to roll extra dice for this test if you want
[20:38] <+MatthewLucas> however, if you do those dice are spent until the scene resolves
[20:39] <+MatthewLucas> so if you recklessly use all of your might to climb down, without seeing the spider you will not have those dice to fight with (your tired)
[20:40] <+MatthewLucas> (I picked the hard part first)
[20:40] <@Silverlion> Do you not roll the dice?
[20:40] <+MatthewLucas> the easy part is you roll a number of dice you have in the skill
[20:40] <+MatthewLucas> 4+ on a d6 is a success
[20:41] <@Silverlion> Is there a minimum you roll?
[20:41] <+MatthewLucas> minimum number of dice?
[20:42] <@Silverlion> Well yeah, if you spend dice from you’re pool those are gone temporarily, so how do you resolve actions when you’ve spent them all?
[20:42] <+MatthewLucas> oh
[20:42] <+MatthewLucas> gotcha
[20:42] <+MatthewLucas> yes, you roll a minimum number of dice equal to your ranks in the skill
[20:43] <+MatthewLucas> everyone has 1 rank in any skill they can use
[20:43] <+MatthewLucas> so you can always roll a die
[20:44] <+MatthewLucas> however if you roll all 1s, you get a critical failure… so don’t use a phase blade untrained
[20:44] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet available?
[20:44] <+MatthewLucas> it is plain text
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[20:44] <@Silverlion> Ah alright.
[20:45] <@Silverlion> Thanks for the explanation (I’m headed off for now.)
[20:45] <+MatthewLucas> Np, hope it made sense
[20:45] <+MatthewLucas> dan would you like a link to the plain text?
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[20:45] <~Dan> Sure, couldn’t hurt.
[20:46] <+MatthewLucas> digging out the best direct link
[20:47] <+MatthewLucas> (Link: http://solutioncat.tumblr.com/post/105639908665/starship-adventure-sample-character)http://solutioncat.tumblr.com/post/105639908665/starship-adventure-sample-character
[20:47] <+MatthewLucas> that is a little easier then just linking the module
[20:47] * ~Dan nods
[20:48] <+MatthewLucas> speaking of, (Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FQumdXSRJZ5HpNAZKk7RUCWNDuQzuYTFzahPB8-j9yA/edit)https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FQumdXSRJZ5HpNAZKk7RUCWNDuQzuYTFzahPB8-j9yA/edit
[20:48] <~Dan> Hmm. So how do the attributes relate to the skills?
[20:48] <+MatthewLucas> that is a link to the core rules and a playable module
[20:49] <+MatthewLucas> 6 attributes, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Presence
[20:49] <+MatthewLucas> strength + constitution /2 make your might pool
[20:50] <+MatthewLucas> intelligence+dexterity/2 quickness pool, wisdom + presence/2 willpower pool
[20:50] <+MatthewLucas> each skill is linked to a pool
[20:51] <+MatthewLucas> example energy weapons is linked to quickness
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[20:52] <+MatthewLucas> so when you shoot a laser you roll your energy weapon skill, and may add quickness (if you want)
[20:53] <+Gazoo> How would you describe the default “flavor” of your basic setting: Ultra science starfleet cadets with phasers and ships that look like apple products? Scummy normals in beat up and repaired junkers firing lasers and gauss guns? Bubble helmeted space heroes with brass ships, vacuum tubes, and ray guns?
[20:53] <~Dan> What do the attributes do on their own?
[20:54] <+MatthewLucas> for example, strength increases the damage when hit people with melee weapons, gives you the ability to use more sweet tech gear at once
[20:55] <~Dan> I see. Cool.
[20:55] <+MatthewLucas> dexterity comes up rarely outside of the quickness, but only because quickness is a very powerful dice pool
[20:55] <+Canageek> Sorry I came in late and I’ve been skimming to catch up. I hope I didn’t miss this: I have a lot of science fiction games, ones I love (GURPS, Eclipse Phase, Alternity/Star Drive). What makes yours stand out? What is the selling point that seperates you out from the crowd?
[20:55] <+MatthewLucas> intelligence has a lot to do with leadership
[20:55] <~Dan> (Question pause after Canageek’s question, please.)
[20:56] <+MatthewLucas> your intelligence serves as a number of targets you can effect
[20:56] <+MatthewLucas> constitution is hit points
[20:57] <+MatthewLucas> presence is for leadership and supernatural powers
[20:57] <+MatthewLucas> wisdom and intelligence for science talents
[20:58] <+MatthewLucas> that is one of the best features of the surface things like attributes do not do a lot, but if a player chooses to invest in special talents they unlock all of these different effects
[20:58] <+MatthewLucas> it lets each player make the game as complicated for them as they want
[20:59] <+MatthewLucas> did that answer your question Dan?
[20:59] <~Dan> It did, thanks!
[20:59] <+MatthewLucas> Gazoo, default flavor. Something I really wanted to do was set up 3 different play styles.
[21:00] <+MatthewLucas> to aid in giving a GM a solid footing
[21:00] <+MatthewLucas> I think Earth Federation officers, Garoon/Skoogl Mercenaries, and Frontier explorers
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[21:01] <+MatthewLucas> Earth federation officers would give you a star trek flavor of game
[21:01] <+MatthewLucas> Mercenaries would be more of a space shadowrun
[21:01] <+MatthewLucas> frontier explorers would be more of a Firefly, D&D (in space), Star Trek the original series feel to it
[21:02] <+MatthewLucas> any follow up Gazoo?
[21:02] <+Gazoo> I’m more or less satisfied
[21:02] <+MatthewLucas> Canageek, this is a really solid question, I get asked it a lot
[21:03] <+MatthewLucas> would you like me to hit game mechanics or flavor?
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[21:03] <+MatthewLucas> woops!
[21:03] <+MatthewLucas> hickup
[21:04] <+MatthewLucas> back though I might have missed that question
[21:04] <~Dan> You didn’t.
[21:04] <+Canageek> MatthewLucas: Sorry, flavour
[21:05] <+Canageek> If need be I’ll gut the mechanics and use GURPS, flavour is the imporant part.
[21:05] <+MatthewLucas> that is a tough question
[21:06] <+MatthewLucas> lets see, the flavor is adventure, and action
[21:06] <+MatthewLucas> a lot of logistics are just hand waved chalked up to technology
[21:07] <+Canageek> Let me rephrase it then: What is the hook I can use to sell people on this game? What is going to make them want to learn a new system, and get into a new setting? How do I sell them on it?
[21:07] <+MatthewLucas> ah gotcha
[21:08] <+MatthewLucas> the initial learning curve smooth, but lets people make it more in depth quickly as the game progresses
[21:09] <+MatthewLucas> The setting is loose to let people fill in the blanks with things they like
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[21:09] <+MatthewLucas> Humans have diverged in a way that has created two distinct species
[21:10] <+MatthewLucas> Earth survived a planet killing event
[21:10] <+MatthewLucas> ah
[21:10] <+MatthewLucas> I know, artificial intelligence is special
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[21:11] <+MatthewLucas> AIs are actual entities and not just copies of information, therefor are confined to their machinery,
[21:11] <+MatthewLucas> as to apply “soul” to artificial intelligence
[21:13] <+MatthewLucas> Canageek, you have hit on the biggest weakness of the pitch, GURPS and Starship Adventure have nearly identical flavors to them.
[21:13] <+MatthewLucas> but the games completely different
[21:14] <+MatthewLucas> games are*
[21:15] <~Dan> Are there any big antagonists built into the setting?
[21:16] <+Canageek> MatthewLucas: Intresting, thank you
[21:16] <+MatthewLucas> I will venture to say Starship Adventure is more new user friendly
[21:17] <+Canageek> WHere does it fall on the Hard Science/Space Opera curve?
[21:17] <+MatthewLucas> slightly closer to space opera
[21:18] <+MatthewLucas> I used a considerable amount of science in the game
[21:18] <+MatthewLucas> but, at the same time I want people to have to ability to say “I use basic gadgets to turn my hand laser into a power tool”
[21:19] <+MatthewLucas> without them knowing anything out of game about physics or engineering
[21:19] <+MatthewLucas> Missed your question Dan
[21:19] <+MatthewLucas> Yes, there is currently one
[21:20] <+MatthewLucas> Christopher Maxos
[21:20] <+MatthewLucas> (Link: http://static.wixstatic.com/media/01dabf_fb8ad6e7bf9744268131ae8a6afecd61.png_srz_p_452_601_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz)http://static.wixstatic.com/media/01dabf_fb8ad6e7bf9744268131ae8a6afecd61.png_srz_p_452_601_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz
[21:21] <+MatthewLucas> he will be featured in the book Threats and Adversaries
[21:21] <~Dan> Who/what is he?
[21:22] <+MatthewLucas> he is a bad tarren
[21:22] <+MatthewLucas> most tarrens work to make the universe/society a better place
[21:23] <+MatthewLucas> he is greedy, grasping and little paranoid
[21:23] <+MatthewLucas> he has managed to steal considerable amounts of federation weapons and technology, which is considered the best in the sector
[21:23] <+MatthewLucas> but hard to use and maintain
[21:24] <+MatthewLucas> Maxos (aka Deimos) was a trained federation engineer
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[21:25] <+MatthewLucas> his ultimate goal is to take over Earth, and he fuels rumors that The Fracture was actually an act of planetary eugenics
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[21:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ximni!)
[21:26] <+MatthewLucas> hi Ximni
[21:27] <+MatthewLucas> he is my first premier antagonist, I definately want to include a nice handful of them in Threats and Adversaries
[21:27] <~Dan> Are there any generally hostile races?
[21:28] <+MatthewLucas> as far as playable species, Garoon and Oid are pretty hostile
[21:28] <+MatthewLucas> they make good plot device badguys
[21:29] <+MatthewLucas> there of course are space boogymen and xenomorphe style and hostile bug species
[21:30] <~Dan> Are there such things in the core book, or will that have to wait for Threats and Adversaries?
[21:31] <+MatthewLucas> the Core book will have design rules for making bad guys, Threats and Adversaries is a big book of premade badguys
[21:32] <+MatthewLucas> I intend to do a release of both at the same time
[21:32] <+Gazoo> What is the scale of space combat? I figure that most ships that matter to players are operable by 1-4 people but are said ships roughly van sized? Roughly trailer sized? House sized? 17kilomiter battle cathedrals? Will space combat take place at knife fighting range or kilometers away or thousands of k away?
[21:32] <+MatthewLucas> the nice part of the kickstarter rewards is that all but the lowest tier include PDFs of both books
[21:34] <+MatthewLucas> Gazoo, the system is designed to deal with 17km battle cathedrals, but I imagine the “most fun” to play ships will be the 1-8 man crew the size of a home
[21:35] <+MatthewLucas> CURRENTLY space combat is at 200 meter per hex unit, I am thinking about extending that to 2km per hex
[21:35] <~Dan> How cinematic is space combat? Do fighters “fly” through space like airplanes, as they do in, say, Star Wars?
[21:35] <+MatthewLucas> problem is that makes ships go from pretty fast combat speed to absurdly fast
[21:36] <+MatthewLucas> Dan, VERY cinemtic
[21:36] <+MatthewLucas> the entire game is about crewing a ship in highly cinematic combat
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[21:37] <+MatthewLucas> being the pilot of the ship is one of the most mentally taxing (in a good way) of all the ship rolls
[21:37] <+Gazoo> so do ships “bank” when they turn? Or can a ship say maintain its current direction and heading while pulling off a full pivot to fire on someone behind them?
[21:37] <+MatthewLucas> positioning and maneuvering, firing arch, avoiding crashes
[21:39] <+MatthewLucas> Gazoo, they sort of bank
[21:39] <+MatthewLucas> a really good pilot can pull tumble manuvers
[21:39] <+MatthewLucas> but bad pilots do standard move 1 turn 1 move 1 turn 1
[21:40] <+MatthewLucas> which looks like banking, but it’s space so lots not call it that 😉
[21:41] <+MatthewLucas> a ship will maintain its minimum movement in straight lines unless acted on
[21:41] <+MatthewLucas> so a ship with a movement of 5 will move 5 hexes unless the pilot changes the direction
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[21:42] <~Dan> You mentioned earlier that cybernetics is a class. Does that mean that you have to have that class to get cyberwear, and if so, how is that supported in the setting?
[21:42] <+MatthewLucas> did that answer your question Gazoo?
[21:42] <+Gazoo> yes
[21:43] <+MatthewLucas> cybernetics class makes your cyberware better
[21:43] <+MatthewLucas> so if you get a cyberbrain implanted but never learn how to use it correctly it stays pretty lack luster
[21:44] <+MatthewLucas> the cybernetic class means you have put training and effort to getting the most out of your pieces of cyberware
[21:45] <+MatthewLucas> that class was a bit of a tough nut to crack but I am finally happy with the way it works
[21:46] <+MatthewLucas> cybernetic, limbs, reflex enhancements, armor all work similarly
[21:46] <+MatthewLucas> some cyberware is a little generic and the class makes it cool
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[21:49] <+MatthewLucas> internet hickup
[21:50] <+MatthewLucas> but lets say Dan also gets a cyberbrain Mk5 in order to take tier 2 datalink 2 tier cyberbrain attunement and a tier of restless
[21:50] <+MatthewLucas> you both got the same cyberbrain, but then you each learned how to use it differently
[21:52] <+MatthewLucas> but if neither of you bothered to learn how to use your cyberbrain you would just have 1 automatic success to initiative
[21:52] <~Dan> I see. Cool.
[21:53] <+MatthewLucas> that is a bit like playing pong on a supercomputer
[21:53] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[21:53] <+MatthewLucas> or just never putting software on it
[21:53] <~Dan> In what’s left of regular time, is there anything you’d like to bring up that we haven’t covered?
[21:54] <+MatthewLucas> I want to hit the GURPs question, a bit better
[21:55] <+MatthewLucas> Starship Adventure has the advantage of being specifically designed to let all players be a functional and effective member of a ships crew
[21:56] <+MatthewLucas> everyone can easily fit into the roles that they have picked themselves without any change or modification to the games system of introduction of extra books or house rules
[21:57] <+MatthewLucas> Thanks for the QA Dan, look for the return of the Starship Adventure to kickstarter in August
[21:57] <+MatthewLucas> I have had a lot of people reach out to me through kickstarter excited about then game and wanting me to develop it more and relaunch
[21:57] <~Dan> Great! Thanks for coming by, MatthewLucas!