[13:31] <+TimWesthaven> I’m Tim Westhaven, the co-creator of VANGUARD -Varmisk Fallen. A new sci-fi, space opera, rpg designed for the new and young gamer and old gamers alike.
[13:31] <+TimWesthaven> We like to describe it as Wind in the Willows meets Mass Effect
[13:31] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen
[13:32] <+TimWesthaven> We’ve been on kickstarter now for 27days and have surpassed our funding goal, which is amazing!
[13:32] <+Axiomatic> Very british country animals shooting up robots?
[13:32] <+TimWesthaven> We’ve got 3 days left and looking to make a stretch goal or two
[13:32] <~Dan> (Please hold questions until the end of the intro, Axiomatic. 🙂 )
[13:32] <+Axiomatic> k
[13:33] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂
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[13:34] <+TimWesthaven> It’s very in keeping with 80s style cartoons of the same genre – so Macross/Robotech, Starblazers and shows like Battlestar Gallactica and Star Trek
[13:34] <+TimWesthaven> The game is designed around the principles of being quick to learn, easy to play, consistent in mechanics and modular
[13:35] <+TimWesthaven> we’ve been in development for a little over a year now and that includes a pretty solid year of gametesting and convention modules both locally and overseas
[13:37] <+TimWesthaven> The basic premise of the setting is a world of anthropomorphic species has expanded out into their galaxy while still fighting social/cultural/political and economic issues on their home planet of Ashen. Then an alien race suddenly appear and cause havoc
[13:38] <+TimWesthaven> The characters can be a range of species all with their own history, special abilities and traits. And choose from 16 vocations which give the player access to special traits and equipment
[13:38] <+TimWesthaven> I’d better take questions before you all fall asleep 🙂
[13:38] <+TimWesthaven> Done
[13:39] <~Dan> Thanks, TimWesthaven!
[13:39] <~Dan> Now the floor is open to questions!
[13:39] <~Dan> So are the aliens anthropomorphic animals as well?
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[13:40] <+TimWesthaven> They’re much more insectoid in aspect so far – at leas the invading tanarii – there are other alien forms of life that are much less intelligent
[13:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, lucidfox!)
[13:40] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Alchta_01.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Alchta_01.jpg
[13:41] <~Dan> Are the PC races “uplifted” creatures? Or is that addressed?
[13:41] <+TimWesthaven> So, that’s a pic of one of the Alchta, a typical tanarii foot soldier if you like
[13:41] <+Axiomatic> I have to say, looking over the art in the kickstarter, my first thought wasn’t of Mass Effect, it was “holy shit, someone made STAR FOX: the RPG!”
[13:41] <~Dan> (Mind the language, please, Axiomatic. 🙂 )
[13:41] <+TimWesthaven> That’s an interesting question, and one I’m a little cagey about as it’s a bit of a spoiler
[13:42] <+Axiomatic> …dang.
[13:42] <+Axiomatic> Right.
[13:42] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: No problem, then. 🙂
[13:42] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂 @Axiom Yes, StarFox is up there with the influences
[13:42] <+etaoinshrdlu> oh hey Axiomatic \o long time no see
[13:43] <+Axiomatic> Hey, eta
[13:43] <~Dan> What sort of sci-fi would you consider this to be? Space opera? Hard sci-fi? etc.
[13:43] <+TimWesthaven> I think there are a number of similarities with MassEffect in the idea of the sort of technology level and the use of science-based psionics and an alien invasion that threatens the very galaxy
[13:44] <+willows> What would you say was the problem that your game design had to solve? The reason that you made a new game instead of using a game that already existed to overlay your setting on?
[13:44] <+TimWesthaven> Definitely space opera Dan, we’re trying to focus squarely on the adventure and fun, rather than any hard science
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[13:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, AnthonyHoltberg!)
[13:45] <+AnthonyHoltberg> How do.
[13:45] <+TimWesthaven> Great question Willows – the initial reason for the making of the game was my 7yr old son – he wanted to play a sci-fi game and they were all too complex
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[13:45] <+TimWesthaven> The character generation process too long and didn’t really give him enough he could work with
[13:45] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wooboy!)
[13:46] <+Wooboy> hey
[13:46] <+willows> I’m super happy to hear that answer, partly because I would like to play games with my kids and partly because it’s nice to hear from a designer who had really clear design goals for a change.
[13:46] <+TimWesthaven> So we built the game from the ground up, make the character creation process focused around seven attributes that had broad associations
[13:47] <+TimWesthaven> Our key design principles were quick creation, easy to learn and play and fun
[13:47] <+TimWesthaven> The modular aspect of the game was for my benefit – I wanted a game that I enjoyed as well, that didn’t feel like a kids game, and one that could easily grow in sophistication as my son’s understanding of RPG did
[13:48] <+TimWesthaven> I think we’ve done that. We haven’t tried to be experimental or create a whole new way of gaming – we’ve tried to create a gateway game that can grow
[13:49] <+TimWesthaven> Done
[13:50] <~Dan> Did you see my earlier question, TimWesthaven?
[13:50] <+TimWesthaven> Ah, maybe not LOL sorry Dan would you repeat it please?
[13:51] <~Dan> [13:43] <~Dan> What sort of sci-fi would you consider this to be? Space opera? Hard sci-fi? etc.
[13:53] <+TimWesthaven> Ah, yes I did see that one, I did answer it just got lost in the flow – definitely Space Opera, it is about the adventure and the fun, not whether or not the local planet has the right gases to refuel your starship
[13:53] <+TimWesthaven> That said we have tried to keep it ‘real’ in a sense of what we know of science and what could feasibly be achieved
[13:54] * ~Dan nods
[13:54] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet or example character we could see?
[13:54] <+TimWesthaven> Absolutely, just a sec
[13:54] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JuniorChtrLayout.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JuniorChtrLayout.jpg
[13:55] <+TimWesthaven> So this is an early example (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JuniorChtrLayout.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JuniorChtrLayout.jpg
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[13:56] <~Dan> It appers to be pretty detailed for a game meant to be accessible to kids. Can you help us understand what we’re looking at?
[13:56] <+TimWesthaven> The boxes around the outside are reference cards – the actual character sheet is just the middle top area
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[13:57] <+TimWesthaven> The reference cards are things like equipment and abilities – so not only does the player have only what they need in front of them, they have all the information to hand
[13:58] <+TimWesthaven> We use colour coding and icons (for colour blind people) to link associated aspects of the game
[13:59] <+TimWesthaven> The seven hexes in the top of the sheet are the seven attributes, the rest sort of falls into place from those
[13:59] <~Dan> What is the attribute scale?
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[13:59] <+TimWesthaven> The nanobreeder and ODIN area, just beneath the character portrait isn’t necessary, but is a bit of tech, similar to the MassEffect Onmitool
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[14:00] <+TimWesthaven> The attributes for characters range from 1-6, most statistics in the game remain in single digits
[14:01] <~Dan> Is that a hard universal cap, or just the limit for PCs?
[14:02] <+Axiomatic> Ohhh, now I see that all the various octagons scattered about the place with the strange names and the abundance of text are all individually copyrighted
[14:02] <+Axiomatic> So I gather that they are in fact documents separate from the character sheet?
[14:03] <+TimWesthaven> Neither really, a PC could achieve an attribute above 6 through cybernetics or some such but raw attributes for the PCs are 1-6. Aliens could go above this as well, but once again, we pretty much stick to single digits, or have so far
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[14:04] <+TimWesthaven> @Axiomatic, yes, they’re provided in the books for you to use if you want – otherwise you could do what most games do and just write down what you’re carrying and then refer to the book when you need to know about it. We used the cards to allow new and young gamers to have on hand what they needed to know, but also so they could get familiar with aspects
[14:04] <+TimWesthaven> of the game without getting lost in the books
[14:05] <+Acenoid> hi
[14:05] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Vanguard_Ch02-2.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Vanguard_Ch02-2.jpg
[14:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, Acenoid!)
[14:07] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: Does the game include skills, or are all actions based off of attributes?
[14:08] <+TimWesthaven> The cards are a great asset really, not only can the players keep hold of everything they need to know about their character, it speeds up character creation a whole lot and is also a great tool for quick NPC generation
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[14:08] <+Axiomatic> This is especially interesting since I was just wondering the other day about what it would be like for a species to reach the industrial revolution and even the space age if it wasn’t at the top of the food chain of its ecology.
[14:09] <+Axiomatic> ‘cuz humans have pretty much driven anything that could potentially prey on humans to extinction
[14:09] <+TimWesthaven> When we first created the game we did have a list of skills – these have really become the vocations of the game – everything else is based off the attributes
[14:09] <+Axiomatic> and made quite a good headway at exterminating any species that even preyed on our cattle.
[14:09] <@DrFunxiane> Axiomatic: We weren’t the top of the food chain – just the top of the mean chain.
[14:09] <~Dan> What is the core mechanic?
[14:10] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Excerpts_ActionRes-Combat.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Excerpts_ActionRes-Combat.jpg
[14:10] <+Axiomatic> DrFunxiane, those are pretty much the same thing, insofar as nothing dares eat the thing at the top of the mean chain.
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[14:11] <+Axiomatic> But my point is that the varmints in this game very much HAVEN’T managed that.
[14:11] <+TimWesthaven> The core mechanic works with dice pools of D6. With a difficulty check required for actions on a range of 1-5. If a DC is 3 then the character needs 3x 3+ successes
[14:11] <+TimWesthaven> Natural 1s are always a failure, natural 6s always a success
[14:12] <+Axiomatic> In fact, not only are the things whose eyes glint in the dark at the edge of the camp’s firelight still around
[14:12] <~Dan> So it’s impossible for a character to beat a DC higher than his attribute?
[14:12] <+Axiomatic> They now have guns and spaceships.
[14:12] <+TimWesthaven> Not at all – it just might take longer and require 6s
[14:13] <~Dan> Is that even possible in combat, though?
[14:13] <+TimWesthaven> There are also modifiers that can increase the natural rolled result – but once again, if it reaches 6 it is considered a success
[14:13] <+TimWesthaven> Combat is a different matter as it is an opposed task, in this instance the DC is vs. the target’s Action attribute
[14:13] <+Axiomatic> So the example of a Difficulty three is that you have to roll 3+ thrice
[14:14] <+TimWesthaven> Yes, precisely @Axiom
[14:14] <+Axiomatic> Does that mean that each difficulty has you rolling X times at Beat X to succeed?
[14:14] <+TimWesthaven> yes, unless it’s an opposed roll
[14:14] <+Axiomatic> In other words, a difficulty 5 would be 5 successes where only a 5 and 6 are a success?
[14:14] <+Axiomatic> That sounds like a VERY steep difficulty curve.
[14:14] <+TimWesthaven> That’s correct – but DC5 is considered an extreme action
[14:15] <+TimWesthaven> Not really, your standard action DC would be 2
[14:16] <+TimWesthaven> DC3=Complex, DC4=Difficult, DC5=Extreme
[14:17] <+Axiomatic> I guess I’ve just been spoiled by games where difficulty increases linearly rather than exponentially.
[14:17] <+TimWesthaven> Within the game there are also any number of BUFs (increased dice pool) so it’s really not as harsh as it sounds
[14:17] <+Axiomatic> Ahh.
[14:18] <~Dan> How is damage determined in combat?
[14:18] <+willows> What role does furry-ness play in the game? Could you play a non-furry game of Vanguard without a lot of hacking, or is it very important?
[14:18] <+TimWesthaven> The average dice pool (DP) is around 6 dice, so on average you’ll achieve a complex task 50% of the time
[14:19] <+TimWesthaven> Damage in combat is worked out on the number of successes the attacker achieves, the target then gets to SOAK this damage (based on their TOUGH attribute and any armour) to lower the amount of damage
[14:20] <~Dan> And how does weapon damage work?
[14:20] <+TimWesthaven> SOAK is rolled against the DAM value of the weapon. This means that the threat of the attack determines the worst possible outcome, while the DAM of the weapon determines how easy it is to avoid taking a wound
[14:21] <~Dan> Hmm. Yeah, that makes some sense.
[14:22] <+TimWesthaven> It’s a nice simple dynamic that is easy to modify to adapt to better weapons or even specialist ammunition
[14:23] <+TimWesthaven> It also means that skilled combatants have the advantage of achieving higher possible damage there’s a difference between the damage of a vegetable peeler and a plasma cannon in how easy it is to ignore the effects
[14:23] <~Dan> What sorts of nifty powers and abilities are available to PCs?
[14:24] <~Dan> Yeah, I like that, re: damage.
[14:26] <+TimWesthaven> All the available player species have their own unique abilities, Mausers (mice) can always find a place to hide – or even be ignored if they remain still, Nutwerks (Squirrels) can avoid capture on the run and are great at leaping and falling, but there are also special talents for each vocation and then you have a range (50+) talents that the players choose
[14:27] <+TimWesthaven> Things like dodging bullets, pulling incredible stunts that sort of thing
[14:27] <+TimWesthaven> These talents can usually only be used once per game session, so they remain special
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[14:28] <~Dan> Where would you put the game on a 1-10 gritty-to-cinematic scale?
[14:28] <+TimWesthaven> On top of that there is also the science of Esperence – a form of learnt psionics
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[14:29] <+TimWesthaven> I think that really comes down to the group play style – I’ve managed both with VANGUARD with relative ease. I think the nature of the game lends itself more to cinematic, but could easily fall into the HongKong school of cinema 🙂
[14:30] <+Axiomatic> Speaking of gritty…uh, I can’t help but notice that the bad guys who get art in the kickstarter are the sort of people who, well, eat people like the players.
[14:30] <+TimWesthaven> So 5?
[14:30] <+Axiomatic> So is that part of the setting background?
[14:30] <~Dan> What sorts of things can Esperence do?
[14:31] <+TimWesthaven> @Axiomatic – Absolutely! LOL The threat from the bad guys isn’t just from bullets or whatever but definitely the characters could be on the menu
[14:31] <+TimWesthaven> Esperence can do a whole lot of different things, from manipulating atomic structure of objects, to forming warp portals and even interfacing with computers telepathically
[14:32] <~Dan> That sounds pretty powerful.
[14:33] <+TimWesthaven> It can be, but the abilities are checked by the character’s ‘power’ level, which they get back through rest or meditation – and as power also acts as a defence against stress using up your power could leave you vulnerable
[14:33] <+TimWesthaven> That’s one of the advanced rules however
[14:34] <+TimWesthaven> That said I have seen espers actually melt an opponent…
[14:35] <~Dan> You mentioned cybernetics. How powerful are they?
[14:36] <+TimWesthaven> They can be pretty powerful. We do have full-body prosthetics – or full cyborgs so yeah pretty powerful. But in the most instance you’re looking at optic implants, neural interfaces for computers that sort of thing
[14:37] * ~Dan nods
[14:37] <+willows> Tim, did you miss my question about furry-ness?
[14:37] <+TimWesthaven> The range of cybernetics is pretty broad though – I’m a big fan of cyberpunk and there’s a lot of influence from Ghost in the Shell in VANGUARD
[14:37] <~Dan> Speaking of technology, can you give us some examples of the bleeding edge of tech in the setting in different areas, such as transportation, medicine, weaponry, etc.?
[14:37] <+TimWesthaven> Yes, sorry Willow, what was the question?
[14:38] <+willows> How important is the ‘furry’ concept to the game? Can you dial it back without a lot of work, or is it pretty integral?
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[14:40] <+TimWesthaven> It’s not important at all – or should I say it’s as important as you want it to be. The use of anthropomorphics wasn’t to make the game ‘furry’. And I’ve had people be abusive because they think I’m making a furry game. I know furries – they’re just people who like to dress in a certain way – how is that different to trekkies?
[14:40] <+Axiomatic> Oh, trekkies are much worse.
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[14:41] <+Axiomatic> Star Wars master race 4 life
[14:41] <+TimWesthaven> The game wasn’t made to be furry, it was made to be an easy to play sci-fi game. I chose anthropomorphs to do something different and because my son wanted them – he wanted to be a laser carbine totting badger
[14:41] * @DrFunxiane purges the heresy against the Machine God
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[14:41] <~Dan> So he badgered you into using anthros?
[14:42] <+TimWesthaven> LOL @Dan he sure did
[14:42] <@Moxiane> I knew Dan wouldn’t be outfoxed when it came to puns.
[14:42] * ~Dan golfclaps
[14:42] <@Moxiane> There was just no. Ducking. Way.
[14:42] * +willows nods
[14:42] <+TimWesthaven> I also liked the idea of taking the different species and drawing on their individual natures to make them unique
[14:42] <+TimWesthaven> So the badgers are tough, resilient but also loyal and ‘clan’ oriented
[14:43] <~Dan> So they’re Dwarves. 🙂
[14:43] <+TimWesthaven> The nutwerks (squirrels) are energetic, feisty, alert and love to leap around
[14:43] <+Axiomatic> Judging by the art, they’re dwarves the way Captain Carrot is a dwarf
[14:44] <+TimWesthaven> The mausers (mice) are overlooked but everywhere in the society and capable of achieving great things from obscurity
[14:44] <~Dan> So they’re Halflings. 😀
[14:44] <~Dan> (Sorry. Being silly. 🙂 )
[14:44] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂
[14:45] <+TimWesthaven> Honestly @Willows it never occurred to me that game would be considered furry until someone started shouting at me about it
[14:45] <+Axiomatic> and from this we may deduce that you do not frequent /tg/
[14:46] <~Dan> Someone gave you what fur?
[14:46] <+willows> I dunno whether the furry/anthro distinction is particularly widespread or not; they look like one category for me. not important, though. certainly not worth yelling at you for it.
[14:46] <+TimWesthaven> LOL @Dan
[14:47] <~Dan> Do you include rules for vehicle combat?
[14:47] <+TimWesthaven> All I can say is that I’ve enjoyed playing the game. And all the playtesting I’ve done, the conventions I’ve taking it too, it’s just been a lot of fun
[14:48] <+Axiomatic> And it’d better not be rules for driving the Mako, that’s all I’m saying.
[14:48] <+TimWesthaven> @Dan, yep, we’ve got vehicle rules, mech rules, starship rules, and cover design principles for each and combat – but like I mentioned in my speel – one of the key design philosophies of VANGUARD was to make it consistent
[14:48] <+TimWesthaven> So the mechanics across all these different aspects remain relatively the same
[14:49] <~Dan> Do you include a scaling mechanic to handle the difference between infantry, mechs, fighters, capital ships, etc.?
[14:49] <+TimWesthaven> That was important to me. I didn’t want new gamers or younger players having to learn a whole new set of rules to drive a starship or mech
[14:49] <+Axiomatic> Oh man, Dan, that one is always the bane of every system
[14:49] <+TimWesthaven> In a manner of speaking – the nature of the damage system has meant I don’t need to
[14:50] <+TimWesthaven> I always disliked the palladium damage system because it just became unwieldy in it’s scaling between infantry and mechs or vehicles
[14:50] <+TimWesthaven> well I’ve overcome that
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[14:52] <~Dan> I think I follow you, but can you give an example? Like, say a mech targeting a PC?
[14:54] <+TimWesthaven> I’ll try lol. If you have a mech, carrying a large particle cannon or such weapon which does 13DAM. If you remember back to our combat explanation the character needs to SOAK any successful hits against this DAM rating – so the only way to SOAK a point of 13DAM is to roll a 6
[14:54] <+Axiomatic> Ohhhh.
[14:54] <+TimWesthaven> As a natural 6 is always a success.
[14:55] <+Axiomatic> So after 6 it really doesn’t matter how large the damage is.
[14:55] <+TimWesthaven> to an infantry guy, no
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[14:55] <+TimWesthaven> but to a vehicle other mech or starship, yes
[14:57] <+TimWesthaven> vehicles, or structures that are made to endure have a DAM mod, this is like a cut off point at which anything below that point will just scratch the surface, while anything above it is modified by the value and then SOAK is rolled as normal
[14:57] <~Dan> But let’s say a starship is the target. If damage no longer matters after 6, how do you distinguish between an anti-starship weapon and a lone soldier with a missile launcher?
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[14:57] <+TimWesthaven> It might be easier if we look at it from the infantry soldiers point of view
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[14:57] <~Dan> Ah, okay…
[14:57] * ~Dan thinks
[14:58] <~Dan> When you say “modified”, do you mean that the damage is reduced by that amount before SOAK?
[14:58] <+TimWesthaven> Exactly
[14:58] <~Dan> Ah, okay. So essentially we’re talking about damage-reducing armor.
[14:59] <+TimWesthaven> so if the 13DAM particle cannon is shot at a starship with a damage mod of 8 then the relative damage of the particle cannon to the structure of the starship is 5
[14:59] <+TimWesthaven> Yes, in essence, it is about the size of the structure, the manufacture of the object, etc
[15:00] <~Dan> I see… Is power armor available, and if so, does it work in the same fashion regarding damage?
[15:00] <+TimWesthaven> Yes and yes 🙂
[15:00] <~Dan> Excellent. 🙂
[15:00] <~Dan> Too bad our local mech/power armor fans aren’t present…
[15:01] <~Dan> (Or, at least, not “awake”. You there, maxmahem…?)
[15:01] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂 it works so well it surprised even me LOL
[15:01] * ~Dan chuckles
[15:01] <+TimWesthaven> it’s simple and fast
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[15:02] <@Velociengineer_Bill> What about the other way, targeting?
[15:02] <+TimWesthaven> And means you can have combat involving vehicles and characters without altering the mechanics
[15:02] <@Velociengineer_Bill> What if a starship is aiming its spinal mount super mega blast cannon at a person, how does the scale difference affect that?
[15:03] <+Axiomatic> If movies and anime have taught me anything, the answer is that the resultant blast kicks up a lot of sight-obscuring dust
[15:03] <+Axiomatic> and doesn’t seriously harm the hero
[15:03] <+TimWesthaven> So in the reverse there is just no modifier to the damage – the person is just going to take the full brunt of the weapon
[15:03] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[15:04] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: Well, I think what Bill’s asking is whether it’s more difficult to hit a target smaller than what the weapon was designed to target.
[15:04] <@Velociengineer_Bill> So there’s no “The targets are so small they are evading our turbo-lasers” mechanic?
[15:04] <~Dan> Right, that.
[15:04] <+TimWesthaven> Ah, sorry, misunderstood – yes there are modifiers for size differences – but these are related to hitting the target not damaging the target
[15:05] <+Axiomatic> You do need those mechanics when you’re making that critical run on the exhaust port
[15:05] <~Dan> Right. Cool.
[15:05] <+Axiomatic> stay on target
[15:05] <+Axiomatic> STAY ON TARGET
[15:06] <+TimWesthaven> And there are some great, one-off, session talents that characters have to avoid those pesky ship to planet destructor-rays
[15:06] <+Axiomatic> actually, how dificult is it to come up with new species?
[15:06] <~Dan> Waht does the Enemy attribute do?
[15:06] <+TimWesthaven> it’s not that difficult @Axiom
[15:06] <~Dan> Or the Friend attribute, for that matter.
[15:06] <+Axiomatic> ’cause I was about to say “Don’t get cocky, kid” and immediately imagined a Rooster piloting the spaceship.
[15:07] * ~Dan snickers
[15:07] <+Axiomatic> Which led me to immediately want the opportunity to play one.
[15:07] <~Dan> You want to play chicken with someone?
[15:07] <+TimWesthaven> The ENEMY attribute, like all the attributes has a broad meaning, but it is about how BAD a person you can be – both in a social and physical sense
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[15:08] <+Axiomatic> oh my god, this game has a RENEGADE stat?
[15:08] <+Axiomatic> Game of the year.
[15:08] <+Axiomatic> calling it now.
[15:08] <~Dan> So is that the catch-all for all forms of combat?
[15:08] <+TimWesthaven> So, ENEMY is the attribute associate with combat – how much of a threat you are
[15:08] <+TimWesthaven> In essence yes – with some exceptions
[15:09] <+Axiomatic> Please tell me it’s the stat you roll for renegade interrupts.
[15:09] <~Dan> Does TOUGH cover strength, and if so, does it affect melee damage?
[15:10] <+TimWesthaven> Tough does cover strength but it doesn’t affect melee damage (in most instances). Just because your really strong doesn’t mean you’re any good at actually attacking – damage is a different kettle of fish
[15:11] <+TimWesthaven> There are a number of talents associated with melee attacking and damage
[15:11] <~Dan> Well, it doesn’t mean that you’re particularly good at attacking, but it does mean that you’d hit harder.
[15:11] <+TimWesthaven> yes, indeed
[15:12] <+TimWesthaven> it’s one of the few mechanics that we’ve moved back and forth on – does it, doesn’t it, both sides have been tried and neither has come out on top – yet LOL
[15:13] * ~Dan chuckles
[15:13] <~Dan> So stay tuned…?
[15:13] <+TimWesthaven> LOL well we’ve got about a month to make a final decision – so I can see there’s going to be a month of cage-wrestling simulations going on LOL
[15:13] * ~Dan chuckles
[15:14] <~Dan> What is the standard infantry weapon? Slugthrower? Energy weapon? Something else?
[15:15] <+TimWesthaven> Everything really, there are still slugthrowers and there are laser pistols and rifles and carbines, there are nanite weapons and warp-energy weapons, plasma cutlass and coil-field weapons
[15:16] <~Dan> Plasma cutlass!
[15:16] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[15:16] <+Axiomatic> Is there a default campaign premise or anything like that?
[15:16] <+TimWesthaven> There is a fully-fledged setting with the rules and two starter modules already complete – third in the works
[15:17] <+TimWesthaven> As for default campaign, not really, but the starter modules get the party working together and tell a story that puts them at the center stage of the tanarii invasion
[15:17] <+Axiomatic> Like, does the game assume that you’re all members of the Space Patrol Wot Get Sent On Missions, or You Have A Crummy Spaceship And Need Money To Keep It Running, or does it just throw the setting at you and tell you to figure out who you want to be in it?
[15:19] <+TimWesthaven> Not at all, but could do. In one of our play tests we had two criminal masterminds fleeing from the authorities who got thrown in with a group of government scientists and their confederation military handlers – hilarity and chaos ensued
[15:19] <+Axiomatic> Like in Eclipse Phase, sure you can be anyone and do anything, but the game throws you the “You are agents of Firewall and will be drip-fed missions concerning the extinction of the human race” premise that you can either accept, or decide to do something else instead
[15:20] <~Dan> How much of a bestiary do you include in the core book?
[15:20] <+TimWesthaven> Yes, it’s really a sandbox – you can do what you want. The driving premise of the rules suggest you are citizens of the Confederation – a group of nations standing against the pretador and reptyle species and colonising space
[15:21] <+Agamemnon2> As a CP2020 fan, I was made curious your mention of it as an inspiration. Which bit would you say is the most “2020” of the gam0?e 🙂
[15:21] <+TimWesthaven> The core book will have a number of alien life forms (SPACEWORMS!!!) as well as covering the Tanarii threat, space pirates and slavers and some generic templates for NPCs
[15:21] <+Axiomatic> …you’re telling me that in this game, I could be shot at by dinosaurs in spaceships.
[15:22] <+TimWesthaven> Easily the cybernetics – and yes, you could be shot at (or eaten) by dinosaurs in spaceships
[15:22] <+TimWesthaven> The hacking in VANGUARD is where we sort of broke the mould
[15:23] <~Dan> How so?
[15:23] <~Dan> (And I think Axiomatic may be blissing out…)
[15:24] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Spaceworm_01.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Spaceworm_01.jpg
[15:24] <~Dan> Very nice. 🙂
[15:24] <+TimWesthaven> Well, as I said I’m a huge fan of Ghost in the Shell, and CP2020 and Shadowrun. But I always hated how in CP2020 and Shadowrun the runners always had to take a side step to the solos or samurai
[15:25] <+TimWesthaven> There really was a disconnect between the two, the GM would have to look after the hacker then the combat, back to the hacker and it just fractured the game play
[15:25] <+Axiomatic> It’s just…you’ve basically recreated this Calvin&Hobbes strip
[15:25] <+Axiomatic> but in space
[15:25] <+Axiomatic> (Link: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/candh/images/4/4d/Tyrannosaurs_in_F-14s.png)http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/candh/images/4/4d/Tyrannosaurs_in_F-14s.png
[15:26] <+TimWesthaven> So we integrated it. Because the mechanics are consistent, hacking is now real-time alongside combat – you still move through computer nodes, steal data, overwrite cores or possess security bots (or even your enemy’s power armour!)
[15:27] <+Axiomatic> (Link: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/117/852/calvin-trex.jpg)http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/117/852/calvin-trex.jpg
[15:27] <~Dan> Very nice. 🙂
[15:28] <~Dan> In what remains of regular time, is there anything you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered?
[15:28] <+TimWesthaven> it was really important to me, as I love hacking and being able to use the technology of the setting in any way
[15:29] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂 Only that there is only 3 days left of the KS, we’re working towards our unique miniatures stretch goal which is pretty exciting and I cannot believe how great this game is looking, it’s been a real team effort on behalf of the VANGUARD community
[15:29] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: https://plus.google.com/communities/108132420691392284824)https://plus.google.com/communities/108132420691392284824
[15:30] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[15:30] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Mk6_c1.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Mk6_c1.jpg
[15:30] <~Dan> Thanks so much for spending time with us, TimWesthaven! You don’t need to run off, although I imagine that you need to? 🙂
[15:30] <~Dan> Err… okay, that made no sense.
[15:30] <+TimWesthaven> Hopefully we can get the miniatures made.
[15:30] <~Dan> You don’t need to run off on our account, I mean. 🙂
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[15:31] <+TimWesthaven> LOL I think I’m going to go and get some sleep if that’s ok LOL
[15:31] <~Dan> Certainly. If you’ll give me just a minute, though, I’ll get the chat log posted and get you the link. 🙂
[15:32] <+TimWesthaven> Thanks Dan, and thanks to everyone for your time and questions
[15:32] <~Dan> Certainly!
[Second session log begins here.]
[19:13] <+TimWesthaven> Ok, sure – So, my game is VANGUARD – Varmisk Fallen, it’s a sci-fi, space opera in the vein of Robotech/Macross, Battlestar Gallactica that sort of thing, dubbed Wind in the Willows meets MassEffect 🙂
[19:13] <+GenoFoxx> ((I would say here take my money ….but I already gave it to you :D))
[19:13] <+Vorthon> …Wait, continuation of old Q&A, or…?
[19:13] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen
[19:14] <~Dan> Vorthon: Of one on Monday, yes. I gave Tim this hour, since our regularly-scheduled guest wanted to start an hour later.
[19:14] <+TimWesthaven> @Vorthon, Dan was nice enough to give me another hour. @GenoFoxx – thanks, we couldn’t have done it without you 😉
[19:14] <+TimWesthaven> I think I missed one of your questions last time Dan regarding tech levels, would you like me to start there?
[19:15] <~Dan> Please!
[19:16] <+TimWesthaven> Great, so the tech level for most of the game and certainly the main playable species is pretty high, on a par with something like MassEffect. So you have energy weapons as well as ballistics, you’ve got powered armour, mechs, long distance space travel as well as taught psionics called esperence
[19:17] <+TimWesthaven> Nanotech is prevalent and 3D printing is used as replicators for most common items
[19:17] <+TimWesthaven> Cybernetics are commonplace and medtech is up to the stage of regeneration tanks
[19:18] <~Dan> Nanotech would seem to be a pretty advanced concept for a game targeted in part at small children. Any thoughts on the subject?
[19:18] <+TimWesthaven> There is a galaxy wide ‘www’ called the spectrum
[19:19] <+TimWesthaven> It’s an interesting point. I think kids are really open to new ideas and anything they can’t grasp immediately they just black box. It isn’t till you reach sort of 12+ that they need to know the details
[19:19] <+GenoFoxx> so with regen (bacta) tanks why would anyone use cybernetics?
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[19:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, Vincent!)
[19:19] <+Vorthon> I’d assume for abilities one can’t get with meat.
[19:19] <+TimWesthaven> The kids I’ve played the game with don’t really think about them as nanites, they just accept that they can click a button on their wrist and gain additional abilities or heal
[19:19] <+Vincent> (Hello Dan/everyone!)
[19:19] <+Vorthon> Full-spectrum vision, etc.
[19:20] <~Dan> What about genetic enhancements?
[19:20] <+TimWesthaven> @Genofoxx, mainly because they can gain added abilities, cyberbrains that sort of thing
[19:20] <+GenoFoxx> also how big are the mechs and are they of the walking tank type or more agile say like Gundam?…(one of the resident mecha fanatics Dan mentioned earlier :D)
[19:20] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:21] <+TimWesthaven> Yes, there is genetic enhancements but it’s almost taken for granted given the advanced state of the civilization
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[19:22] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Ogrebeef!)
[19:22] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂 Well the mechs range in size from large power-armour structures to more Battletech style walkers with multiple pilots
[19:22] <+TimWesthaven> But most of them are single pilot and stand about 12ft tall or so
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[19:23] <~Dan> What’s the state of robotics and A.I. tech?
[19:23] <+TimWesthaven> One of the great things about VANGUARD is given that all the game mechanics are consistent you get units of mechs fighting starships in space – very cool =D
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[19:24] <~Dan> Your mecha can fly, I take it?
[19:24] <+TimWesthaven> AI is pretty common, and there are the standard laws of robotics, but yes, there are also synthetic brains – so your more Data from Startrek sort of android as well
[19:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, GrimTheWanderer!)
[19:24] <+TimWesthaven> In space with jet attachments, yep 🙂
[19:24] <+GenoFoxx> so with genetic engineering so commonplace what safeguard are in place to prevent abuse and the creation of Khan Noonien Singhs?
[19:25] <~Dan> So do the androids look like anthros?
[19:25] * +Vorthon ‘s always found Data a fascinating character.
[19:25] <+Vorthon> Honestly, some of my favourite TNG episodes focused on him. >_>
[19:26] <+TimWesthaven> None, really Genofoxx – although those with the tech, are currently majority benevolent but there have been abuses in the past which led to the development of the Felin (feline) and Woofer (canine) species in the game
[19:26] <+TimWesthaven> @Dan, yes and no, some look more like droids from starwars
[19:27] <+Vorthon> Wait, how advanced is terraforming?
[19:27] <+GenoFoxx> so any variable fighters …tranformable mecha?
[19:27] <+Vorthon> Or does it even exist in the setting?
[19:28] <+TimWesthaven> Terraforming is an ongoing science, there are successes and failures in the setting
[19:28] <~Dan> (You there, Ogrebeef?)
[19:28] <~Dan> On a related note, are the worlds of the one-environment Star Wars variety?
[19:28] <+TimWesthaven> I haven’t really got around to thinking about transformable mechs, but it’s certainly a possibility for the future
[19:28] <~Dan> It would be a nice change.
[19:28] <+GenoFoxx> so I take there is no terrasort bombs…aka one shot genesis devices?
[19:29] <+maxmahem> quick question, is EXPLORER the right level to work with you to design a custom mech?
[19:29] <+Vorthon> Genesis-device-type setups take out the fun of exploring a world in the middle of terraforming. 😛
[19:29] <+TimWesthaven> (Link: http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Vanguard_C01_8.jpg)http://www.fatestorm.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Vanguard_C01_8.jpg
[19:29] <+TimWesthaven> The worlds are pretty varied, but it’s really left up to the GM to decide what sort of environments they want
[19:29] <+GenoFoxx> ((but make great terror weapons))
[19:30] <+TimWesthaven> No Terrasort bombs, no, terraforming usually involves large colony ships sitting in orbit, dropping generators and terraforming engines to the surface and then workers ferrying back and forth till a sustainable colony is set up planetside
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[19:31] <+Vorthon> ((Unlike planet busters in Star Ruler 2. Nothing as disappointing as that first time booting one up and throwing it at the enemy homeworld, only to find out that it’s slow as molasses at actual planet-busting :u))
[19:31] <~Dan> (wb, Aendrel!)
[19:31] <+Aendrel> Hey thanks!
[19:32] <+TimWesthaven> @Maxmahem, ah I think you’d be looking at ENGINEER level
[19:32] <+GenoFoxx> so it’s a long time effort; lasting at least decades?
[19:32] <~Dan> Do all of the species aside from the insectoid aliens original come from the same planet?
[19:32] <~Dan> Like the reptiles, for example?
[19:32] <~Dan> (Aendrel: Here for the Darkplane Q&A, perhaps?)
[19:32] <+TimWesthaven> @GenoFoxx, yes at least but they have been at it for almost a century now so some planets have been made habitable where before they weren’t
[19:33] <+TimWesthaven> @Dan, yes, they all originate from Ashen
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[19:33] <+TimWesthaven> It’s a bit of a melting pot 😉
[19:33] <~Dan> And the reptile people are dinosaurs?
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[19:34] <+Aendrel> Yes I am!
[19:34] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Wyrmling!)
[19:34] <+TimWesthaven> Well, they’re reptile – whether you want to look at them as dinosaurs or anthro-lizards
[19:34] <~Dan> (Aendrel: That will be starting at the top of the hour. 🙂 )
[19:34] <+Aendrel> Sweet! I figure I’d just hang out till then 🙂
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[19:35] <+TimWesthaven> We’ve got Brandon Fero, doing some nice fiction at the moment looking at the reptyles – its really opened up their culture talking to him about it
[19:35] <~Dan> (Aendrel: Certainly! In the meantime, we’re chatting with TimWesthaven about his game, Vanguard: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen?ref=nav_search)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen?ref=nav_search )
[19:35] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, GrahamWard!)
[19:36] <+Aendrel> Checking it out now
[19:36] <+GrahamWard> Thanks! Glad to be here.
[19:36] <~Dan> GrahamWard: FYI, until you’re up, we’re chatting a bit with TimWesthaven over there about his game, Vanguard: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen?ref=nav_search)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen?ref=nav_search . 🙂
[19:36] <+TimWesthaven> I think the other great thing is they’re whatever you want them to be
[19:37] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: Are there “normal” versions of the anthro species in the setting, and if so, do you address their relationship with the anthros?
[19:38] <+TimWesthaven> Good question – and the answer is yes and no. There are normal reptiles for example but these would be like comparing monkeys to humans so there’s clearly a resemblance and perhaps genetic relationship but it’s separated
[19:39] <+TimWesthaven> But there aren’t normal badgers or rabbits or squirrels etc.
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[19:39] <+TimWesthaven> And avians and aquatics are all the same
[19:39] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest17! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
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[19:40] <~Dan> (Thanks, CRKrueger!)
[19:40] <+CRKrueger> Hey Dan
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[19:42] <+Ogrebeef> Ok I’m back. 🙂
[19:42] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: You mentioned last time that you keep hackers involved in the flow of the action. Are you able to do the same when some characters are in mechs or other vehicles and others are not?
[19:42] <~Dan> (wb, Ogrebeef! Here for Darkplane? 🙂 )
[19:42] <+TimWesthaven> Yes absolutely
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[19:43] <+TimWesthaven> We’ve had hackers take over hostile mechs remotely from their pilots, we’ve had starship based hackers hack enemy craft it’s pretty flexible (and awesome lol)
[19:43] <+Ogrebeef> Hey Dan, I am here for Darkplane.
[19:44] <~Dan> Oh, sorry, I wasn’t clear… I meant, are you able to maintain the flow of action when, for example, some characters are in mechs and some aren’t.
[19:44] <~Dan> (Ogrebeef: Excellent. We’ll be switching over to GrahamWard at the top of the hour. 🙂 )
[19:45] <+TimWesthaven> Yes indeed. Hacking activities works alongside normal actions, so while say your ‘fighter’ type is firing away, your hacker can be undermining enemy droids, gun turrets, cyberbrains etc. We wanted hacking to be as fast and flexible as say, Ghost in the Shell
[19:46] <+TimWesthaven> So it’s very much a ‘in the moment’ activity alongside movement, combat and esperence
[19:46] <~Dan> Heh. No, sorry, I wasn’t talking about hackers. I get your point that hackers and non-hackers can work side-by-side easily. I’m wondering if, say, mech and non-mech characters can work alongside each other just as easily. 🙂
[19:46] <+CRKrueger> what game are.you guys talking about?
[19:46] <+TimWesthaven> Ah, just got your meaning – Yes, mecha and vehicles work on the same scale as characters
[19:47] <~Dan> CRKrueger: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen?ref=nav_search)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1200892680/vanguard-varmisk-fallen?ref=nav_search
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[19:47] <~Dan> (Howdy, FaerieGodfather!)
[19:47] <+TimWesthaven> That was really important, and why the game mechanics are consistent across characters, droids, mechs, vehicles and starships
[19:47] <~Dan> (CRKrueger: You’ve been here before, rigtht? Just been a while, maybe?)
[19:48] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: Cool. 🙂
[19:48] <+TimWesthaven> Obviously scale of speed etc makes a difference but you can run vehicle combat alongside character combat no problem
[19:48] * ~Dan nods
[19:48] <+CRKrueger> Yep it’s me Dan 🙂
[19:49] <+GenoFoxx> so how brilliant are the smart munitions in the setting?
[19:49] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: Since we do have another Q&A starting soon, do you mind if I ask for any final thoughts? 🙂
[19:49] <~Dan> (CRKrueger: Welcome back. 🙂 )
[19:49] <+GenoFoxx> aw 😦
[19:50] <+TimWesthaven> @Genofoxx, they’re pretty good. You can shoot a target with a laser guided bullet from 5km away
[19:50] <~Dan> (Don’t worry, GenoFoxx. Hopefully, TimWesthaven likes us and will hang out with us in the future. 🙂 )
[19:50] <+CRKrueger> Thanks
[19:50] <+TimWesthaven> 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be around
[19:51] <+Kei_Kenobi> vanguard looks interesting.
[19:51] <+TimWesthaven> Only that I’d like to thank all your readers, the KS backers and say that it’s been great 🙂
[19:51] <+Kei_Kenobi> what’s darkplane? is that coming up in a few minutes, Dan?
[19:51] <+TimWesthaven> 22Hrs left
[19:51] <+GrahamWard> Looks like a cool project, TimWesthaven! Congratulations on funding.
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[19:51] <+GenoFoxx> ((what level do I need to be to design a variable fighter…mech but only get the pdf’s?))
[19:51] <~Dan> Kei_Kenobi: Yup! New setting for D&D5e.
[19:51] <+TimWesthaven> Thanks Dan, Thanks Graham
[19:52] <~Dan> TimWesthaven: I’ll add this to the previous log, so the same link will still work. Thanks again for chatting with us!
[19:52] <+TimWesthaven> @Genofoxx, I think it’s still ENGINEER
[19:52] <+TimWesthaven> Thanks Dan