[19:13] <+jnhorton1970> My name is Jason Horton the creator of the “Vasta Terra” tabletop role-playing game set in an altered post-apocalypse time.
[19:14] <~Dan> Thanks, Jason! The floor is open to questions!
[19:15] <~Dan> So this is an alternate-history game?
[19:16] <+jnhorton1970> That is correct. I have the timeline set were World War One or as some call it “The Great war” never ended, and that conflict carried over into the decades.
[19:17] <+jnhorton1970> Due to this the discovery of atomic energy was discovered earlier by Germany, Russia, and America which created a world wide atomic war.
[19:18] <~Dan> When does the atomic war break out?
[19:20] <+jnhorton1970> I have the Atomic wars set during the WW2 period but with slightly different outcomes that out history. The setting of the world after the Atomic wars is now filled with radiation and toxic zones. Most of the world was destroyed were millions were lost and the governments of the world are broken factions now.
[19:21] <~Dan> How gritty is the setting? Is this a gonzo post-apocalypse like Gamma World, for example?
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[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Sam!)
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[19:22] <~Dan> (Howdy, Abstruse!)
[19:22] <+Sam> (Hello. I won’t interrupt.)
[19:22] <~Dan> (Feel free to chime in with questions, though! 🙂 )
[19:24] <+jnhorton1970> I have rules within the game book to give the players more of a Mad Max environment, but with radiation and toxic chemicals to deal with. As an example: There are hunger, thirst, radiation, and poison points that a player has to keep track off. There is also rules for Cannibalism. “done”
[19:25] <~Dan> Are there mutants?
[19:26] <+jnhorton1970> My beta test group last week decided to hack up some crazies they encountered for human meat since they were starving. 🙂
[19:26] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:26] <~Dan> Well, it was quite professional of them to arrange a meating.
[19:28] <+jnhorton1970> Yes there are mutants. I have four races for the player to choose from: Human, Goliath, Outcast, and Steamatron. The Goliath is like a mindless hulk or mutant from the fallout video games and the Outcast is deformed and smaller that a human but with a hiher perception of what I call Kinesis powers. “done”
[19:28] <~Dan> Are there mutant creatures as well?
[19:31] <@Silverlion> (BBIAB)
[19:32] <+jnhorton1970> Yes, along with the 1st book which is the “Operators Handbook” and a few starting adventure modules, I have also started a “Encounter Manual” that is filled with mutated and over sized creatures from giant ants, wasps, etc to Goliaths and mutated humanoids with psychic powers which I call “done”Kinesis.
[19:32] <~Dan> Very nice. 🙂
[19:32] <~Dan> What are Steamatrons? Steam-powered robots?
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[19:35] <+jnhorton1970> That is correct sorta of 😉 A Steamatron is the robot with a human implanted brain for the AI core processor that has a mini nuclear power source within its chest. Originally I was thinking of steam power for more of a steampunk feel and then when another direction when I found an image of a metal diving suit from the late 1800s.
[19:35] <+jnhorton1970> The name Steamatron never got changed since the beta players liked the name. 🙂 “done”
[19:36] <~Dan> On a related note, what is the tech level like?
[19:38] <+jnhorton1970> Most weapons and technology is from the 1920s thru 1940’s with allot more primitive weapons, but I have also included what I call exotic weapons such as the steam powered rifle, the telsa gun, and the laser rifle, and the coil rifle. “done”
[19:38] <~Dan> How did the high-tech stuff come about?
[19:40] <+jnhorton1970> Due to the German Scientific research from the ongoing war, they had some break thru with tech weapons per the altered timeline. I have the Steamatron also a creation from the German Scientific Division. “done”
[19:41] <~Dan> Ah, the German mad scientist. The pulpy equivalent of “a wizard did it”. 🙂
[19:41] <+jnhorton1970> LOL, yeah 🙂
[19:42] <~Dan> So is the setting the equivalent of 2015? If not, how long ago was the atomic war?
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[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, MBLIG!)
[19:44] <+MBLIG> How’s it going!
[19:44] <~Dan> Good! We’re doing a Q&A with one of your fellow game designers. Meet Jason Horton. 🙂
[19:45] <+MBLIG> Hi Jason!
[19:45] <+jnhorton1970> Yes that is correct that the game takes place around now. I when back and forth and the time period since I was unsure if 60 years in the future was enough time for mutations, but then told myself that its just a game and, hey why not 60 years after the wars. 🙂 The Atomic wars lasted from 39 to 48.
[19:46] <~Dan> Jason, this is Wesley, game author and firefighter. 🙂
[19:46] <+jnhorton1970> Soon after there was ozone layer issues, volcanic eruptions, polar melting, sea level risings, and polar shifts. “done”
[19:46] <+jnhorton1970> Nice to meet you Wesley
[19:46] <~Dan> Dogs and cats… living together… MASS HYSTERIA.
[19:47] <+MBLIG> You too!
[19:48] <+jnhorton1970> Pure chaos for the next 60 years were now the world is a devastated watland.
[19:48] <+jnhorton1970> Sorry for poor typing and spelling with my words ;(
[19:48] <~Dan> I have to say, I like your take on the post-apocalypse genre. Almost seems like a pulp twist on the subject.
[19:48] <+jnhorton1970> Thank you
[19:48] <~Dan> Not to worry, Jason. We are a kind and understanding people.
[19:49] <+MBLIG> Jason what was your inspiration?
[19:51] <+jnhorton1970> To be honest, a combination between the Fallout video games, the news of a new Mad Mad movie, along with re-watching some older movies from my childhood again; such as Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, and yes even some 80’s movies like Steel Dawn. “done”
[19:53] <~Dan> Is this your first game?
[19:54] <+jnhorton1970> No, Back in the late 90’s I use to do Revwar Re-enacting and put together a Board Game called “Liberty or death” but back then I had no way of producing and marketing the game. The internet has greatly changed from then.
[19:55] <+jnhorton1970> I was sorta talked into a dare to see if I could create a Role-playing game and 1 year later and 3,000 hours later I have “Vasta Terra” almost ready to put out there for the public. “done”
[19:58] <~Dan> What is the core mechanic?
[19:58] <~Dan> And do you have a character sheet we could see?
[20:01] <+jnhorton1970> The core mechanic is based on using 2D10 for percentage rolls against one character’s 13 skills or against a difficulty rating. The rules also have D10 check against one of the 7 attributes. I attempted to make the rules simple for the players, but also allow for bonuses or penalties to a 2D10% skill check.
[20:02] <+jnhorton1970> An example would be a character attempting to shot an opponent that is in the shadows. If the character spend action points (AP) to take a kneeling postion, they are granted a bonus, but also receive a penalty due to the shadows.
[20:03] <+jnhorton1970> I also have Luck (LUC) set up to help the skill roll, but luck also players into a critical hot of fail.
[20:04] <+jnhorton1970> On the facebook “Vasta Terra” there is an older character sheet that is a 2 pager. I recently revised it so all vital info fits onto 1 pages both sides. “done”
[20:05] <~Dan> Do you have a link to the character shet?
[20:05] <~Dan> sheet
[20:06] <+jnhorton1970> (Link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1525431314338467&set=pb.100006148395122.-2207520000.1421374100.&type=3&theater)https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1525431314338467&set=pb.100006148395122.-2207520000.1421374100.&type=3&theater
[20:06] <+jnhorton1970> see if that works for you
[20:06] <~Dan> Hmm. Says it’s unavailable.
[20:07] <+jnhorton1970> mmm..if you were able to get into the facebook album for the logo artwork, then it should let you for all images? There are also images of characters and armor up there.
[20:08] <+jnhorton1970> (Link: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006148395122&sk=photos&collection_token=100006148395122%3A2305272732%3A69&set=a.1525431271005138.1073741828.100006148395122&type=3)https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006148395122&sk=photos&collection_token=100006148395122%3A2305272732%3A69&set=a.1525431271005138.1073741828.100006148395122&type=3
[20:08] <+jnhorton1970> try that one?
[20:08] <~Dan> Huh. That didn’t work either.
[20:09] <+jnhorton1970> Well that’s no good?
[20:09] <~Dan> I can see the Goliath, though: (Link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1552306608317604&set=a.1525432217671710.1073741829.100006148395122&type=3&theater)https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1552306608317604&set=a.1525432217671710.1073741829.100006148395122&type=3&theater
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[20:09] <+jnhorton1970> I can attempt to message you an image thru facebook?
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[20:09] <~Dan> (wb, MBLIG!)
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[20:09] <~Dan> Sure, re: FB
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[20:10] <~Dan> So let’s see… It appears that the attributes are Strength, Agility, Endurance, Charisma, Perception, Intelligence, and Luck?
[20:11] <+jnhorton1970> Yes, that is correct
[20:11] <~Dan> Ah, here we go, re: the character sheet: (Link: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006148395122&sk=photos&collection_token=100006148395122%3A2305272732%3A69&set=a.1525432217671710.1073741829.100006148395122&type=3)https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006148395122&sk=photos&collection_token=100006148395122%3A2305272732%3A69&set=a.1525432217671710.1073741829.100006148395122&type=3
[20:12] <+jnhorton1970> You found it then?
[20:12] <~Dan> That’s the URL to the one you sent me.
[20:12] <+jnhorton1970> Like I said though, that is an older one, but it give you a pretty good feel for the character sheet.
[20:12] * ~Dan nods
[20:13] <~Dan> (Actually, it looks like the link just takes you back to the FB page.)
[20:13] <~Dan> What is the relationship between the attributes and the skills?
[20:15] <+jnhorton1970> Every skill has one of the attributes associated with it that will will give positive or negative modifiers based on the attribute base number. Attribute numbers range from 1 to 10 with 5 as the average. So any number above 5 give a 2% bonus and below gives a -2%.
[20:15] <~Dan> Now, I’m assuming that’s the human range, right?
[20:16] <+jnhorton1970> So a PER of 10 would provide a bonus of 10% to lets say a Kinesis skill 2D10% roll.
[20:17] <+jnhorton1970> Correct, 1 to 10 is the human range were a other races have allowances for higher than 10, such as a STR for the Golaith.
[20:17] <+jnhorton1970> Any D10 checks against the attribute regardless of the base number is always a fail with a 0 roll.
[20:18] <+jnhorton1970> “done’
[20:19] <~Dan> I see that this is a class and level system. What are the classes?
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[20:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, DustinDePenning!)
[20:20] <+DustinDePenning> Hi 🙂
[20:20] <~Dan> (Jason, this is another of your fellow game authors. 🙂 )
[20:20] <+DustinDePenning> How’s it going?
[20:21] <+jnhorton1970> There are 8 classes for the player to pick from: The Clerge’, Doktor, Dweller, Scientist, Soldat, Tekhnik, Treyder, Vagabond.
[20:21] <+jnhorton1970> Nice to meet you Dustin
[20:21] <+jnhorton1970> All 8 classes level up equally “done”
[20:21] <+DustinDePenning> Nice to met you, John!
[20:21] <~Dan> What impact do the classes have?
[20:23] <+jnhorton1970> Each class has their own specialty that helps to aid a group party. Such as a Soldat would be your fighter, and the Doktor would be the healer. Depending on the adventure at hand for the players, they could be in a world of hurt without a well rounded group of classes.
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[20:24] <+jnhorton1970> All 8 classes have class talent trees that provided bonuses to those classes as they level up. “done”
[20:25] <+DustinDePenning> Hi John 🙂 is there a reason you decided to build the game with classes?
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[20:28] <+jnhorton1970> Good question, and its Jason :). Early in the beginning I was not going to do any classes and have it were the player was wide open on how to create their character. But after looking at other RP games, and talking with my beta testers I decided to go with classes with their own special abillties from talent trees. I became a flip of the coin in the end almos
[20:28] <+DustinDePenning> (sorry to get your name wrong, jason!)
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[20:28] <+jnhorton1970> No prob 🙂
[20:29] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Kerris!)
[20:29] <+DustinDePenning> So did your players find they had option paralysis or something like that with everything out in the open?
[20:32] <+jnhorton1970> I think they that yes, it became a difficult challenge on what direction they wanted to take their characters. Pending on how a previous adventure when they would try to adapt their skills in guessing on how the next adventure would go. In the end I think they needed and enjoyed having a pre-label for their character to help define it but still wanted some
[20:33] <+jnhorton1970> flexibilty for adjustments via the skills or their class talents. ‘done”
[20:33] <~Dan> You mentioned Kinesis. What does that involve?
[20:35] <+jnhorton1970> Oh yes the fun Kinesis or better known as psychic powers. 🙂 There are 13 different powers for a player with an above average perception (PER) to pick from. Some powers are defensive and others are offensive, but all require what I call concentration points(CP).
[20:36] <+jnhorton1970> theses are daily points based on the PER value plus 10% of their current skill level. “done”
[20:37] <+DustinDePenning> What’s the story behind how psychic powers are acquired?
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[20:38] <+jnhorton1970> Due to the radiated devastated lands from the atomic wars that caused genetic mutations in some. The outcast race is allowed a higher PER and is know for having Kinesis powers.
[20:39] <+jnhorton1970> It brings a fun element into the game, and my players love using them if they have em 🙂 “done”
[20:40] <~Dan> How competent are starting characters?
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[20:42] <+jnhorton1970> Another good question. At 1st level things are a bit harder for them on the 2D10% roll. But the classes have 3 assigned character skills that start with a base of 25% and the remaining non-class skills start with a low 10%. but have bonuses from attributes and (LUC) along with some gear to aid their roll.
[20:42] <+jnhorton1970> “done”
[20:43] <+DustinDePenning> Is there a reason you chose a percentile system? (was this already asked?)
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[20:46] <+jnhorton1970> As a teenager back in the 80’s I played games like Twilight 2000, Battletech, and others that used the D10 were I enojyed it. I guess I wanted to stay away from the typical D20 games like D&D. Also I think the 2D10% makes it difficult for the players on their chance for a success and I want everything in Vasta Terra besides hunger and thirst or radiation to
[20:47] <+jnhorton1970> difficult on the players. “done”
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[20:49] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide, kanobe!)
[20:50] <&Le_Squide> (Heya!)
[20:50] <~Dan> Looks like we have about 10 minutes left of “regular” time. While you’re welcome to chat with us as long as you like, is there anything we havent’ covered that you’d like to bring up?
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[20:52] <+jnhorton1970> Of the top of my head, the only other two items would be were I am currently working on rules to bring vehicles into the game, and that all weapons has a set number for damage dealt were no rolling for that damage is required.
[20:53] <+jnhorton1970> “done”
[20:53] <+DustinDePenning> vehicle rules can be fun and challenging to write 🙂
[20:54] <~Dan> Does margin of success affect damage?
[20:55] <+jnhorton1970> Definitely a challenge, but I think I have the mechanics worked out. Now it’s just coming up with vehicle stats.
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[20:56] <+jnhorton1970> No rules for margin of success. You either hit or miss on your roll. Though the crit hit for extra damage or the crit fail for weapon breakage is fun at times.
[20:57] <+jnhorton1970> I also have weapon and armor condition rating that have negative effects as those numbers drop low.
[20:57] <~Dan> Seems appropriate.
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[20:57] <+DustinDePenning> So is limiting the number of rolls made a goal of yours?
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[20:59] <+jnhorton1970> Yes, I though it would help speed up game play. If you have a large group of players at the table the GM needs to quickly get around the table or else players stray off to their cell phone or ipads during game.
[21:00] <+jnhorton1970> Though characters with high action points tend to still have multiple skill rolls at times. “done”
[21:00] <+DustinDePenning> How do characters earn action points?
[21:03] <+jnhorton1970> action points (AP) come directly from the character’s agility (AGI) base value, so the higher the AGI then the more AP a character has to spend per turn. But everything cost AP from movement to making a maneuver to an attack action.
[21:04] <+DustinDePenning> My rpg has a similar system actually 🙂
[21:04] <+DustinDePenning> Do you find issues with actions per turn scaling linearly with the agility attribute?
[21:05] <+jnhorton1970> I think they are the way to go during play. It helps define a character from another based on their attributes so every character is not the same. I have not ran into any problems now that I fixed my original AP numbers.
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[21:06] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Jason!
[21:06] <+DustinDePenning> What did you do to fix it? (sorry, I’m just very interested in people’s mechanics design process)
[21:07] <~Dan> No need to run off, but I should probably log the chat. 🙂
[21:08] <+jnhorton1970> You are very welcome, and thank you so much for having me online tonight. The time just flew by for me. I hope I answered all questions, and again sorry for poor typing skills on spelling. 😉
[21:08] <~Dan> No problem at all, and please feel free to continue the discussion. 🙂
[21:08] <+jnhorton1970> Dan for AP I just dropped the allowence per AGI.
[21:08] <~Dan> For that matter, I hope you’ll feel free to come by whenever you like. A number of game authors hang out with us on a regular basis. 🙂