[20:05] <+Adam> Hi, My name is Adam Waite, I’m the creator of a card based RPG from all the way over in Cambridge in the UK. It’s pretty late here!
[20:06] <+Adam> My game is called Neon Sanctum and it is currently on kickstarter. Neon Sanctum is set in a world that is a mix of post apocalypse and cyberpunk themes. Over two hundred years ago humanity was at the brink of extinction at the hands of an AI army they created. It’s at this point that a ragtag bunch of martyrs managed to perform a final strike and win the war
[20:07] <+Adam> in an instant. The victory came at a cost however, with humanity decimated and much of the world covered in dead zones, which as they sound were fatal to enter.
[20:09] <+Adam> Fast forward those two hundred years and humanity has not only survived but prospered, much of the game is set in Neon City, a dystopian cyberpunk metropolis where corporations tower over the people in skycrapers and gangs run the streets.
[20:10] <+Adam> The city is surrounded by overgrown wastelands filled with beasts, bandits and mutants.
[20:12] <+Adam> The game system is pretty different with players not having a character sheet but instead having a hand of skill cards. Each skill card is used in several ways, It is the players proficiency in an ability area (social, combat, medical etc) and a skill which is a subset of an ability
[20:12] <+Adam> for example a card might be combat>shooting or combat>melee
[20:12] <+Adam> each card has a level, the higher the level the better a bonus it provides when used.
[20:13] <+Vorthon> …Mind if I make a comparison setting-wise?
[20:13] <+Adam> thirdly each card is a unique power that can be used and finally the cards are used as the player’s health instead of hit points. This means that taking damage has a real impact on the choices a player has at their disposal.
[20:13] <+Adam> not at all
[20:13] <~Dan> (Please hold questions, Vorthon. 🙂 )
[20:14] <+Vorthon> (Sorry, seemed like he was done with the intro.)
[20:14] <~Dan> (He’ll let us know with a “(done)”.)
[20:15] <+Adam> The base skill check mechanic sees the GM provide the player with an ability and a skill and a target number. For example hacking a mainframe might be Enginering>hacking check with a target of 12
[20:16] <+Adam> the player can then play a card, and depending on how well the card matches add a modifier. They then roll 2d10, add the modifiers and if they equal or beat the target number they succeed. The more they beat it by the better they do, and the same with failure.
[20:17] <+Adam> The game is run in scenes, and when a card is used during a scene it cannot be used again until the start of the next scene. This means when creating a character there is a choice of broad knowledge (many low level cards) vs expertise (fewer high level cards)
[20:18] <+Adam> Character creation is a fairly simple points buy system. We have the skill cards, mutation cards, cybernetics cards, traits and flaws which can all be purchased with the points
[20:18] <+Adam> Finally the system also represents both Items and NPCs with cards, the later being very useful for GMs who like to “wing it” as they always have a deck of NPCs at hand.
[20:20] <+Adam> Combat is a fair bit more in depth but that’s a pretty long intro, the kickstarter page can be found here (Link: http://kck.st/1CvbIZw)http://kck.st/1CvbIZw and I will open the floor to questions! “(done)”
[20:20] <@Silverlion> You dont find playing cards+dice to be a bit slow in resolution?
[20:20] <~Dan> Thanks, Adam! The floor is open to questions!
[20:20] <~Dan> And you had an observation, Vorthon? 🙂
[20:21] <+Adam> We haven’t so far, it’s as quick as looking up a skill modifier. Players tend to have 10-15 cards and after a pretty short time they know what they have in their hand so it becomes second nature
[20:21] <+Vorthon> It kind of reminds me of a more technologically-oriented version of a series of stories submitted to Bogleech’s halloween writing contest a few years back.
[20:21] <+Adam> I would be interested to read those Vorthon, I’m not aware of that contest
[20:22] <+Adam> To add more to silverlion’s question, we also use colour on the cards which really helps players find the cards they need quickly.
[20:22] <+Vorthon> Ehhh, the stories in question were submitted in greentext format. But I still remember them being pretty good. Anyways, distracting from the Q&A, sorry.
[20:24] <~Dan> You’re fine, Vorthon!
[20:24] <~Dan> So each card is an ability, and you can only use a card once per scene?
[20:25] <+Adam> That’s a shame, it’s interesting to hear about similar tales. Our main purpose with the setting is to explore how humanity has rebuilt so quickly. We have lots of ideas for dark and immoral ways humanity can have built themselves back up
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[20:26] <+Adam> Hi Dan, once a card is used in a scene it goes into cooldown and can’t be used that scene yes. In combat things slow down and get a fair bit more complicated, the combat is pretty tactical with the easiest comparison being probably DND 4e. However I think we are faster and have more player choice than 4e
[20:27] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest94! Please set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
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[20:27] <+Adam> In combat players can get cards back from cooldown. Combat is based around cycling cards and resource management
[20:28] <+Vorthon> Any more role differentiation than in 4e? 😛
[20:28] <~Dan> How do you rationalize the one-use rule outside of combat? If you’re trying to bargain with someone, why are you only able to use a bargaining ability once, for example?
[20:29] <+Adam> Vorthon – So we don’t have classes at all, players can purchase any skill cards they wish. The kickstarter comes with 80 unique skill cards in 7 abilities. The only rule is that you can’t take a level 2 card in a skill you don’t have a level 1.
[20:30] <+Adam> Dan – So to clarify, players can use a card that is an exact match. So for an example let us use engineering>hacking again. An exact match allows the player to add the card’s level to the roll
[20:30] <~Dan> Right, I follow you there.
[20:30] <+Adam> if the player has a card in the ability (engineering) but not the skill they can roll with no modifiers
[20:32] <+Adam> if the player has no cards that match they can attempt the roll with a -2 penalty. If they fail this unskilled check, they cannot try the action in the same way (so if they come up with an interesting way to complete the same goal in a different way that is fine).
[20:33] <+Adam> As for justification for not being able to bargain any more, this is basically the character having reached the limits of their abilities, becoming frustrated or simply taking the scenes entire length to come to that result.
[20:34] <~Dan> So out of combat, rolls don’t cover individual actions?
[20:35] <+Adam> Not necessarily but if the players have for example used all their bargaining on one guy, when they meet the next it should most likely be a new scene.
[20:37] <~Dan> Hmm… I don’t think I’m following something here. Mind if I try another example?
[20:37] <+Adam> sure
[20:38] <~Dan> Okay. Is there some form of athletics skill?
[20:38] <+Adam> There is yes
[20:38] <~Dan> Okay. So let’s say my character is running an obstacle course.
[20:39] <~Dan> I come to the first obstacle. I want to use my athletics skill to overcome it.
[20:39] <~Dan> I do so.
[20:39] <~Dan> Now, can I no longer use athletics for the rest of the course?
[20:42] <+Adam> So in that particular circumstance yes, however it depends on the context. If the course is not dramatic to the story the GM could not ask you to roll at all, or as you mentioned before make one check for the entire course
[20:43] <~Dan> I see.
[20:43] <+Adam> Unless something is happening inbetween each obstacle then as GM I would only make you roll once
[20:44] <~Dan> How broad are the abilities, and do they cover what would be considered “attributes” in other games?
[20:44] <+Adam> So the abilities are: Social, Medical, Physical, Combat, Science and Survival
[20:44] <+Adam> oh
[20:44] <+Adam> and Engineering
[20:45] <+Adam> Each have roughly three skills
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[20:46] <~Dan> (Howdy, DrNate!)
[20:48] <+Adam> I should add that we are still working on the game, and will be for a little while after the KS so thoughts, feedback questions will all help to make it better
[20:49] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[20:49] <+Adam> Ok, so the game uses a system called action points. Typically a player has 6 points per turn.
[20:50] <+Adam> Each turn the player can spend these points to play cards, move, use items etc
[20:50] <+Adam> they also use any remaining points to get cards back from cooldown at the end of the turn
[20:50] <+Adam> each card is either offensive, defensive or a utility
[20:51] <+Adam> a player can play one offensive and defensive card a turn. Utility cards can be used in place of either defensive or offensive cards
[20:51] <+Adam> this (and movement) can be performed in any order
[20:51] <+Adam> as i said before, each card is a special power in combat
[20:52] <+Adam> so a medical card may perform healing, an engineering card may fix a broken item
[20:52] <+Adam> some cards can be sustained over more than one turn. These have an action point (AP) cost that the player must pay at the start of each turn to keep the power active
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[20:52] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
[20:53] <+Adam> for example a card that provides defence might be sustained each turn for 1AP
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[20:55] <+Adam> The action points and cooldown give the game a resource management mechanic that player’s find really engaging
[20:55] <~Dan> Are weapons something tha tmust be sustained?
[20:56] <+Adam> No, so some item cards are required when using skill cards, and basically supplement the skill card powers. Alternatively, item cards also have “powers” that the player can use in place of a skill card. Like a basic attack
[20:56] <+Adam> these aren’t as good as skill cards but give the players options
[20:58] <~Dan> So how would a gun work in this situation?
[20:58] <+Adam> so if you were using a combat>shooting card
[20:58] <+Adam> it may have a “Requires” field that states “Item>gun”
[20:59] <+Adam> you would then have to play a gun item with the skill card or you ca’t perform the action
[20:59] <+Adam> then we use iconography in areas where the player should refer to the item, for example with range and damage
[21:00] <+Adam> If using the gun by itself. The item’s power will have an AP cost, phase, modifiers, damage etc.
[21:01] <+Adam> Mechanically each power will state a difficulty and the player has to beat that on 2D10
[21:01] <+Adam> sometimes this difficulty may be the defence of the enemy +/- an amount
[21:01] <+Adam> so enemy def -2 for example
[21:02] <+Adam> equalling or beating the score on the 2D10 means the card is successfully activated and it’s effect comes into play
[21:02] <+Adam> some cards also have special rules, these are stated on the card. For example our quick shot card gives the player AP back
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[21:04] <~Dan> And how does damage work?
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[21:05] <+Adam> So when a player takes damage he places cards into a damage deck. The only way to get these back is through healing (and they actually go into cooldown, not back into the hand)
[21:05] <+Adam> Items have a set amount of damage recorded on them
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[21:08] <+Adam> I hope that all makes sense
[21:08] <~Dan> I think so.
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[21:09] <~Dan> So are NPCs also created by hands of cards?
[21:09] <+Adam> It probably sounds quite complicated on paper, but we have found people taken to it really quickly
[21:10] <+Adam> We have NPC cards that can be used to represent NPC’s. They have stats and powers on them. You can also make a character using skill cards but this is typically for the big villians
[21:10] <+Adam> However, the game is very flexible, so you can add an item, skill card, mutation etc to an NPC card and it makes them that little bit more powerful and interesting
[21:11] <~Dan> So a single NPC card is like its own hand of PC cards?
[21:12] <+Adam> they typically have 3-5 powers
[21:12] <+Adam> so they are a bit more limited, but they have more than enough to be interesting
[21:12] <+BlasterKyubey210> Makes the Execeptions a real concern
[21:13] <+Adam> Hi BlasterKyubey210 what do you mean
[21:13] <+BlasterKyubey210> That is, it sounds like if a NPC has 3-5 powers, those that fall outside must be major uh-ohs
[21:15] <+Adam> yeah, similarly if you decide to add a shotgun item to an NPC he goes from just a normal gunman to someone who can ruin your day
[21:15] <~Dan> If PCs take damage by losing cards, how do NPCs take damage?
[21:16] <+Adam> Adding a mutation or cybernetic also makes PCs or NPCs more interesting
[21:16] <+Adam> for example our troll mutant card has passive effects that make them more difficult to hurt
[21:16] <+Adam> higher defence and they can ignore some damage
[21:18] <+Adam> Sorry Dan, missed that at first. NPC damage is simplified a little. They have a health pool, but they also have action points
[21:18] <+Adam> damage goes through the health pool first and then through the AP
[21:19] <+Adam> as they lose AP they have less to spend each turn, so are a lessened threat
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[21:19] * ~Dan nods
[21:20] <+Adam> There are cards that allow players to ignore the health pool and hit the AP directly (often killing outright) and others that temporarily reduce the AP (i.e. less next turn). If an NPC has it’s AP temporarily reduced to 0 it becomes unconscious
[21:20] <+Adam> This can sometimes be quicker and more efficient that a full on gunfight.
[21:21] * ~Dan nods
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[21:21] <~Dan> Whoops.
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[21:21] <~Dan> wb, AdamWaite!
[21:21] <+AdamWaite> Sorry about that
[21:21] <~Dan> No problem!
[21:22] <~Dan> Aside from cybernetics, how advanced is technology?
[21:24] <+AdamWaite> So at the peaks inside the corporation hallways there are flying drones and robotic security
[21:24] <+AdamWaite> The videogames Deus Ex are a good example of that level
[21:25] <~Dan> Personal energy weapons?
[21:25] <+AdamWaite> Access to technology is however, very restricted. Many people struggle in the gang ruled tower blocks
[21:26] <+AdamWaite> All weaponry so far are normal ballistics
[21:26] <+AdamWaite> no lasers or lightsabers
[21:26] <+BlasterKyubey210> But are there Prototype Laser Weapons and such
[21:27] <+AdamWaite> We don’t have anything like that at the moment, but I also wouldn’t rule it out
[21:27] <+AdamWaite> That sort of thing would probably be ancient technology
[21:27] <+BlasterKyubey210> Oh
[21:27] <+AdamWaite> so players can go out into the wastelands and explore the ruins of the old world
[21:28] <+AdamWaite> looking for ancient technology
[21:28] <+AdamWaite> so you could certainly slot that kind of thing in there
[21:28] <~Dan> So tech was more advanced before the war?
[21:29] <+AdamWaite> yes, a big part of the economy involves “recycling” materials and technology from the old world.
[21:29] <+AdamWaite> It allows us to do some fun things like cyberpunk/scifi dungeon crawls through the ruins
[21:29] <+BlasterKyubey210> I see
[21:29] <+AdamWaite> if that is your kind of thing
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[21:30] <+BlasterKyubey210> So there’s no Prototypes persay
[21:30] <+BlasterKyubey210> Whoops,
[21:30] <+AdamWaite> if you prefer political wrangling, gang warfare etc you can do that in the cities
[21:30] <~Dan> Interesting… So the cyberpunk aspect of the setting is actually primitive, relatively speaking.
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[21:31] <+AdamWaite> BlasterKyubey210 – It’s not something that is part of the setting as written right now. But it would very very easily fit. A corporation could create one or one could be found in the wastes. Lots of story hooks there
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[21:32] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah, relativity hijinks, poi~
[21:32] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[21:32] <+AdamWaite> Dan – I would say it’s isolated, the cities are very much dystopian with corporations ruling the people and gangs running the streets
[21:32] <+AdamWaite> you could play a game entirely in Neon City and not touch the wastes and it would be a full cyberpunk experience
[21:33] <+AdamWaite> but the option of the wastes is there
[21:33] <~Dan> How wacky/gonzo are the mutations? Are they in the Gamma World zone?
[21:33] <+AdamWaite> I have found that having these megacorps competing over the ruins of the old world fits well with cyberpunk themes
[21:34] <+AdamWaite> Mutations aren’t wacky like gamma world
[21:35] <+AdamWaite> There are 5 mutation types right now, some give the player poisonous skin, others fragile wings
[21:35] <+AdamWaite> but mutants are also heavily discriminated against in society, and each one has it’s own weakness to go with it’s strength
[21:35] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah, so does each individual Mutation class has general problems as a weakness
[21:35] <+BlasterKyubey210> Then individual Mutations can make things worse?
[21:36] <+BlasterKyubey210> (example, a Skin-type mutation makes touching objects a real pain in general, with individual cases making things worse)
[21:36] <+AdamWaite> so each of the 5 mutation cards have three levels of mutation
[21:36] <+AdamWaite> each with level having a bonus and a penalty
[21:37] <&Le_Squide> (Heya!)
[21:37] <+AdamWaite> for example the troll is resistant to damage due to very hard rock like skin growths
[21:37] <+AdamWaite> but they are also a lot slower as a result
[21:39] * ~Dan nods
[21:39] <~Dan> Are there psychic mutations?
[21:39] <+AdamWaite> Not at the moment
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[21:39] <+AdamWaite> but we can add new things really easily
[21:40] <+AdamWaite> as even though it uses cards it all slots together and is modular
[21:40] <~Dan> What sorts of creatures exist in the wastes?
[21:41] <+AdamWaite> So we have beasts some are normal like wolves or bears. But we also have more fantastic beasts
[21:41] <+AdamWaite> for example we have what we call ogres
[21:41] <+AdamWaite> these are like huge silver furred gorillas that throw rocks and attack with their huge claws
[21:42] <+AdamWaite> again, if you want to make these more interesting you can just attach a mutation and they become a lot more frightening
[21:43] <+AdamWaite> or if you want to get more wacky, a cybernetically enhanced ogre might be pretty scary
[21:44] <~Dan> I’ll bet!
[21:45] <~Dan> How many creatures do you include in the core rules?
[21:45] <+BlasterKyubey210> or on that matter, the COre set deck
[21:46] <+AdamWaite> so at the moment each 36 card NPC deck has
[21:46] <+AdamWaite> 16 unique NPCs
[21:47] <+AdamWaite> it’s one of the big things we want to increase via stretch goals however
[21:47] * ~Dan nods
[21:47] <+AdamWaite> should state as well that the humans have been designed in a way that they are generic. So that the gunman card could be a corporate mercenary or a gangbanger
[21:48] <+AdamWaite> if that makes sense?
[21:48] <~Dan> It does, yup.
[21:49] <+AdamWaite> as i say, because you can modify them so much the core NPC card is like a base starting point
[21:49] <+AdamWaite> although a lot of the time if I need a quick combat they are more than sufficient
[21:51] <~Dan> In what remains of regular time, is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:51] <+AdamWaite> yeah a couple of things
[21:51] <+AdamWaite> we also have a willpower points system
[21:52] <+AdamWaite> that is similar to bennies
[21:52] <+AdamWaite> so you can earn those and use them to add +1 to a roll, damage etc
[21:52] <+AdamWaite> that’s used to reward roleplay, on certain rolls and it is used by our trait and flaw system
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[21:53] * ~Dan nods
[21:53] <+AdamWaite> for example if I triggered your flaw, as GM i would award you willpower for doing so
[21:53] <+AdamWaite> we also have a character builder app on iOS and Android with all the cards if you fancy a look
[21:54] <+AdamWaite> we have a free print and play version you can download from the kickstarter page
[21:54] <+AdamWaite> which we have also recreated as a free mod for the PC game tabletop simulator
[21:54] <+AdamWaite> that’s really fun to use, it’s great for online games
[21:54] <~Dan> That’s handy.
[21:54] <+AdamWaite> so much so we plan to use it to stream the game on twitch and record the videos for youtube
[21:55] <+AdamWaite> talking of youtube we have a couple of tutorial series of videos
[21:55] <+AdamWaite> so if you want to try parts of the game, there are a few ways to try
[21:56] <+AdamWaite> we have found that while it may sound complex via text, the game isn’t too hard to learn. I have had a lot of luck with board gamers who have not played RPGs before
[21:56] * ~Dan nods
[21:57] <+AdamWaite> I’m also on twitter @neonsanctum
[21:57] <+AdamWaite> and facebook
[21:57] <+AdamWaite> I would love any feedback people have
[21:58] <+AdamWaite> and if people would check out the kickstarter page that would really be great
[21:59] <~Dan> I forget… Did you post a link to the Kickstarter?
[21:59] <+AdamWaite> also sorry if I wasn’t the most coherrant. It’s rather late here 😀
[21:59] <+AdamWaite> (Link: http://kck.st/1CvbIZw)http://kck.st/1CvbIZw
[21:59] <+AdamWaite> theres the link again
[22:00] <+AdamWaite> thanks 😀
[22:00] <~Dan> No problem, AdamWaite! Thanks for staying up late with us!
[22:00] <~Dan> Can you hold out a couple of minutes longer while I get the log posted and get you the link? 🙂
[22:00] <+AdamWaite> of course
[22:00] <+AdamWaite> and if anyone has any more Qs
[22:01] <~Dan> Cool. One moment, please… 🙂