[19:12] <+ClaireC> Hi there! I’m Claire, and my game is City of the Dead. COTD (if you’ll allow me an acronym or two) is a zombie survival horror roleplaying game, but it’s definitely got an emphasis on “survival.”
[19:14] <~Dan> (Reminder: Please give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂 )
[19:14] <+ClaireC> (should I keep going?)
[19:14] <~Dan> (You can say as much as you like. 🙂 )
[19:14] <~Dan> (Or you can go right to questions. Up to you. 🙂 )
[19:15] <+ClaireC> So what I mean by that is that there’s a lot to support survival—finding shelter, upgrading shelters, food and other supplies. A robust crafting system.
[19:15] <+GenoFoxx> ((hiya Dan, ClaireC))
[19:15] <+ClaireC> And maybe most importantly, there is a heavy emphasis on Communities. That is to say, there are two scales in the game: Survivor scale (your personal characters) and Community scale, which takes a “zoomed out” view that plays over the course of a season.
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[19:16] <+ClaireC> (Hihi, GenoFoxx!)
[19:17] <+ClaireC> So you can actually gather up your beleaguered Survivors, organize them into a real Community, and see what impact your actions on the personal scale have on the rebuilding efforts.
[19:17] <+ClaireC> Tied in with this is a lot of social abilities, and mental-based ones, that receive equal detail to the physical and combat stuff.
[19:17] <+ClaireC> Done. For the moment. Also nervous. 😛
[19:18] <@Silverlion> So can the crafting system do crazy stuff?
[19:18] <+ClaireC> Depends on what you mean by “crazy.” I mean, I’m a fan of the old classic “board with a nail in it,” but that is probably not top-tier zombie killing weaponry. BUT IT SHOULD BE!
[19:19] <+ClaireC> What kinds of “crazy” are ya thinking?
[19:19] <+Yalborap> Dead Rising stuff.
[19:19] <+Kei_Kenobi> *cough* chainsaw helicopter-pack
[19:20] <+Yalborap> I wanna stick nails through MMA gloves and make spikey zombie-punchers.
[19:20] <+ClaireC> ha!
[19:20] <+ClaireC> Well, I think you could do stuff like that. One of the things the system does is go “generic but detailed.”
[19:20] <+Yalborap> That’s a real thing in Dead Rising 2. You can combine MMA Gloves and Nails to make high-damage zombie-punchers.
[19:20] <+ClaireC> … not sure about the chainsaw helicopter-pack, but 😛 You’d be more of a danger to the other Survivors than the zombies!
[19:20] <+Kei_Kenobi> but seriously, how do you handle food?
[19:21] <+ClaireC> So what I mean by “generic but detailed” applies to all manner of resources and things.
[19:21] <+ClaireC> For example, Survivors need Food and Water. 3 Food and 2 Water a day, under normal conditions.
[19:22] <+ClaireC> Now, the game trait is simply “1 Food” for, say, a big can of chili or beef stew or something. Depending on where you’re searching, 1 Food could be a bunch of candy bars (you’ll spoil your dinner!) from a gas station, a can of food from the grocery store, or something else.
[19:23] <+ClaireC> Now, what you would do if you wanted to keep it specific is just write down on the character sheet (or the Location notes, if you’re the GM) “1 Food (beef stew)”
[19:23] <@Silverlion> I was thikning of a chain saw on a long pole…:D
[19:23] <+ClaireC> So you can actually go into detail like that, or for groups who don’t want to, you can just simply go with “1 Food.”
[19:23] <+ClaireC> Yeah, that should be doable.
[19:23] <@Silverlion> Ah. Cool.
[19:23] <@Silverlion> What is the base mechanic like?
[19:23] <+ClaireC> Crafting works based on Salvage, which is somewhat similar, although there are different types.
[19:24] <+ClaireC> The most basic mechanic is 2D6 + modifiers. The modifiers are generally from Attributes, Skills, equipment, conditional bonuses or penalties, that sort of thing.
[19:24] <@Silverlion> Interesting, so pretty simple.
[19:24] <+ClaireC> There’s a scaling set of Target Numbers, or some rolls are opposed and thus the TN is set by your opposition’s roll.
[19:24] <+ClaireC> Yes.
[19:24] <+ClaireC> But I wanted to build on that.
[19:24] <+ClaireC> So we use MoS points—that is, “margin of success.”
[19:25] <+ClaireC> The amount by which you beat the TN is your MoS, which you can actually spend on various bonus effects.
[19:25] <+ClaireC> Combat is an easy example: you could spend MoS on extra damage or inflicting a status like knockdown.
[19:26] <+ClaireC> If you roll really well, you can use multiple MoS options at once–like doing extra damage to that zombie AND knocking it to the ground.
[19:27] <+ClaireC> Outside of combat, you can use MoS points on things like finishing faster, using less resources (it might “refund” a point of Salvage or something), or providing some other bonus.
[19:27] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[19:27] <+ClaireC> I like to think so!
[19:27] <+Lin_Chong> What kind of experience is this supposed to give players?
[19:28] <+ClaireC> Also, while the game is not nearly as crunchy as D&D 4E, one cool thing that I wanted to do from the ground up was give those mental and social abilities equal detail.
[19:29] <+ClaireC> So your social characters might not be able to fight worth a damn, but when a bunch of half-starved, frightened Survivors are trying to actually remain Survivors, and you don’t want to kill each other, social-based characters are great. They restore Willpower (used to push your limits), they can provide teamwork bonuses and more.
[19:29] <+ClaireC> Lin_Chong, while the term gets used a lot, COTD is flexible enough to accommodate several different types of experiences.
[19:29] <~Dan> Nice touch.
[19:29] <+ClaireC> Maybe you want to just play through a handful of Survivors’ nightly struggles to find enough food and escape the hordes.
[19:29] <+ClaireC> But if you want to move into something like rebuilding, you can do that.
[19:30] <+ClaireC> So you get to a nice apartment building and you barricade the doors. You have enough supplies inside to last a while, and a fire escape to come and go.
[19:30] <+ClaireC> You gather supplies. You find other Survivors, and bring them into your little fortress. Pretty soon, you’re a Community. A small one, maybe, but with room to grow.
[19:31] <+ClaireC> And Communities can do things at a much larger scale than individual Survivors. So over the course of the season, your Community might, say, grow a bunch of crops, set up dew collectors or stills, or invent a bunch of new weapons for your Survivors.
[19:31] <+ClaireC> Then when you go back to Survivor scale, your characters get to benefit from these things. And can also take action to strengthen the Community.
[19:31] <+ClaireC> By gathering supplies, for instance, because if you want to upgrade your Location (they have three levels: Shelter, Safehouse, Stronghold), you need lots of supplies, right?
[19:31] <~Dan> Right!
[19:32] <+ClaireC> So one of the examples I like to use is a teacher.
[19:32] <+ClaireC> Doesn’t necessarily matter what grade.
[19:33] <+ClaireC> This teacher has zero combat ability. None. Never picked up a gun in her life. Maybe plays sports as part of a school thing, can swing a bat, but zero fighting experience.
[19:33] <@Silverlion> Are there different kinds of zombies? Or rules for building different kinds?
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[19:33] <+ClaireC> Yet, what is this teacher good at? Well, she’s good at organizing people, instructing them, keeping them focused and motivated.
[19:33] <~Dan> (Howdy, Vorthon!)
[19:33] <+ClaireC> Those sure sound like great skills to have in a zombie apocalypse!
[19:34] <+ClaireC> So she can provide bonuses through leadership and knowledge even in the midst of a fight.
[19:34] <+ClaireC> Yes, there are lots of zombies.
[19:34] <+ClaireC> There’s a zombie creation system so you can build all kinds. But the book will have a lot of prebuilt ones, too.
[19:34] <+ClaireC> From zombie swarms of small animals on up to a zombie elephant right in the core.
[19:35] <+ClaireC> And different types of once-human zombies, too. Slow ones, sprinters, and some hulking abomination types.
[19:35] <+Vorthon> Any rules for zombies that kind of… undergo amalgamation, so to speak? Like SCP… 610, IIRC, and the protomolecule victims from Leviathan’s Wake?
[19:35] <~Dan> How outlandish do your zombie powers get?
[19:36] <+ClaireC> Vorthon, you might have to elaborate a little. I’m not so familiar with those.
[19:36] <+ClaireC> Pretty outlandish, covering all the major aspects you see in various media, and a few fun ones.
[19:36] <+Vorthon> Basically , zombies that don’t really stay distinct entities, but kind of wind up fusing together into either structures or composite creatures.
[19:36] <~Dan> Like what, re: fun ones? 🙂
[19:37] <@Silverlion> Cool ClaireC.
[19:37] <+ClaireC> You have stuff like speed and strength, wall-crawling, leaping, long, whiplike tongues, acidic spit (or blood), to zombies that explode (ew), fly (most used for zombie animals, but some demonic winged human zombie would be awesome), distend their jaws like snakes, etc.
[19:37] <+ClaireC> Ah, yes, then there will be stuff like that, melding zombies, Vorthon.
[19:38] <~Dan> Very nice.
[19:38] <+ClaireC> Even aspects to cover taking on liquid form or that sort of thing. Maybe full-on incorporeal states (if it’s not in the core, I have a book in mind that would be perfect).
[19:39] <+ClaireC> This is a system that thrives on being able to skin it the way you want to.
[19:39] <~Dan> You mentioned it being able to create non-zombie creatures during a previous conversation, IIRC?
[19:40] <+ClaireC> Which isn’t to say you’ll have to do all the work. There are a lot of examples to help.
[19:40] <+Lin_Chong> What kind of choices should the players make during play?
[19:40] <+ClaireC> Yes. One of the Aspects makes the zombie a living thing. Because this has advantages and disadvantages, it costs nothing.
[19:40] <@Silverlion> Does the game have rules for radation or biological hazards.
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[19:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, Sam!)
[19:40] <+ClaireC> So you just give that to your creature, and now you can make all kinds of creatures with it. File off the serial numbers!
[19:41] * +Sam waves.
[19:41] <+Lin_Chong> Regarding story choices, advancement choices, actually all choices.
[19:41] <+ClaireC> You’d easily be able to build xenomorphs or Rage zombies from 28 Days Later, or use the system to make your own animals and stuff.
[19:41] <+ClaireC> Yes, all kinds of biological hazards and diseases. They’re important and dramatic at either scale of the game.
[19:42] <+ClaireC> Advancement I intend to make as transparent as possible.
[19:42] <+ClaireC> Things will have flat costs, and so there shouldn’t be any of that “Two players have the same points, but one effectively got more by winning at the minigame of character creation” stuff.
[19:42] <+ClaireC> Story choices, you could do all kinds of things.
[19:42] <+ClaireC> “When the chips are down….”
[19:43] <+ClaireC> Are you going to eat each other? Figuratively, but sometimes (ew) literally?
[19:43] <+ClaireC> Traditional zombie media holds that other Survivors are the real threat. That can certainly be the case here.
[19:43] <+ClaireC> But there’s plenty of support for people coming together, like they do in the real world during crises.
[19:43] <+ClaireC> And there’s gray area, great for dramatic tension!
[19:43] <+ClaireC> Maybe the amount of resources (Food, Salvage, etc.) in an area of The City is starting to dwindle. Your Community and another Community both want them.
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[19:44] <+ClaireC> Neither group is necessarily “evil,” or the bad guys. You both have the hard job of surviving a terrible new world. What do you do? Do you take it and leave them with nothing? War with them over it? Are you willing to kill others to survive, or will you find another way?
[19:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:44] <+ClaireC> I want groups to have lots of options. There’s always something new you can do with it.
[19:45] <~Dan> Do you make allowances for other settings? Other times?
[19:45] <~Dan> And if not, is that something you plan to develop?
[19:46] <+ClaireC> The core book mostly focuses on The City. That is, a highly detailed but intentionally nonspecific location that you can drop in anywhere. Want to use it as your home town? Apply the proper flavor and go. Or use it as a fictional one, or maybe even forget its name–the Survivors have bigger things to worry about. Now it’s just a city. THE City.
[19:47] <+ClaireC> Now, you could use it for other times, like historical games, because swords and armor and things are easy enough. Archaic vehicles are a thing, because sometimes it’s all you can do in the post-apocalyptic world.
[19:47] <+ClaireC> There isn’t a TON of stuff in the core book for it. Not a focus, at least, but yes, absolutely, I want to develop that.
[19:47] <+ClaireC> And I want to do similar things.
[19:47] <+ClaireC> Like, “The Island.” A highly detailed island location that you can flavor as you want.
[19:48] <+ClaireC> The Wilds. The Coast. The Kingdom. The Ship. etc. etc.
[19:49] <+ClaireC> Each with dozens of Locations (that have their own traits with which player characters can interact), lots of zombies appropriate to the setting, new Talents and the like.
[19:49] <~Dan> Do you see that as being your focus in growing the game line? Different locations?
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[19:50] <+ClaireC> Yes, that would be one of the major focuses. Adding new setting material that’s as easy to incorporate as The City originally was.
[19:50] * +Vorthon ‘d love to see a book on Canada. Wendigo-style zombies. 😛
[19:50] <+ClaireC> I do want to add new playable character types.
[19:50] <@Silverlion> Do you use classes? Or skills?
[19:50] <+ClaireC> Vorthon, I have some Canadian friends I would SO hire for that.
[19:50] <~Dan> The Great Wight North.
[19:50] <+ClaireC> No classes, but skills. Characters have Attributes, Skills (both rated on a 1-6 scale for humans), and Talents.
[19:51] <+ClaireC> HA!
[19:51] <+ClaireC> I wish I had thought of that.
[19:51] <~Dan> If you use it, I expect credit. 🙂
[19:51] <+ClaireC> Talents are fun things that cover all kinds of miscellaneous new abilities or expansions on skill abilities.
[19:51] <~Dan> While we’re on the subject, do you have a character sheet posted?
[19:51] <@Silverlion> Dan that’s awesome
[19:51] * ~Dan bows
[19:52] <+ClaireC> I don’t. I’m still working on formatting one, but I intend to have an example of play up soon. I’m hoping it’ll drum up some more interest in the Kickstarter!
[19:52] <~Dan> What are the attributes, and how specific are the skills?
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[19:52] <~Dan> (Howdy, Marleycat!)
[19:53] <@Silverlion> Allo MarleyCat!
[19:53] <+Marleycat> hi dan.
[19:53] <@Silverlion> Marleycat is from theRpgsite. A cool person.
[19:53] <+ClaireC> I do have the Attributes and Skills.
[19:53] <+Marleycat> hey SL
[19:54] <+ClaireC> Okay.
[19:55] <@Silverlion> We’re havint a Q&A about the “City of the Dead” RPG that ClaireC is making
[19:56] <+ClaireC> So we have Vitality (sort of a combination of strength and endurance), Mobility (agility and reflexes), Mind (general mental powers), Perception, Presence, and Grace (while presence is your raw force of presence and charisma, Grace is your ability to work the social game, your poise and bearing).
[19:56] <+ClaireC> And there are some derived Attributes, like Speed and Stamina and so on.
[19:58] <+ClaireC> Skills include Athletics, Craft (with several different types), Criminal, Deception, Gun (different types), Knowledge (different types), Leadership, Melee (types, again), Perform (ditto), Stealth, Survival.
[19:58] <~Dan> Are the types specializations, or separate skills?
[19:59] <+ClaireC> Separate Skills as it stands, though I have been considering changing that. Just folding them in together.
[19:59] <+ClaireC> Now, there are things called “Specialties,” which you get at ranks 2, 4, and 6.
[19:59] <+ClaireC> They might make your effective Skill level pass the cap of 6, or make MoS options 1 cheaper for that Skill use, etc.
[20:00] <~Dan> For what it’s worth, I’d prefer them lumped together. When it comes to something like guns, in my experience, a good shot tends to be a good shot.
[20:00] <+ClaireC> One thing I had considered doing (and is in the current draft) is that if you have, say, a Gun Skill, you can use ANY Gun with it.
[20:00] <+ClaireC> You know the fundamentals enough that you don’t suddenly forget how to shoot entirely.
[20:01] <+ClaireC> But you don’t get access to your Specialties if you’re using the wrong type of weapon.
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[20:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, JAZilla!)
[20:01] <+ClaireC> So you can still use it, but you’re not an expert with it like you would be with another gunt ype.
[20:01] <~Dan> ClaireC: Yeah, that’s what I’d do.
[20:02] <+ClaireC> Another options I had considered before was the idea of each Skill being comprised of several subskills you learn, which raises your overall rating.
[20:02] * ~Dan nods
[20:02] <+ClaireC> So if you have Guns (Pistols, Long Guns, Shotguns), your effective Skill level is 3.
[20:02] <+Marleycat> This a zombie game like Walking Dead?
[20:03] <+ClaireC> Survival might be comprised of stuff like “Shelters, Foraging, Navigation, Hunting.” You pick Hunting and Foraging during character creation, and your Survival Skill is 2, with those two abilities. Like above, you could do the other aspects of the Skill that you don’t have, but without as many options.
[20:03] <+ClaireC> It could certainly be like The Walking Dead.
[20:04] <+ClaireC> You can go grim and gritty or do something a bit more outlandish, like Left 4 Dead or Zombieland.
[20:05] <~Dan> Speaking of which, how tough are PCs by default?
[20:05] <+Kei_Kenobi> (spears aside, it always bothered me that games break hand weapon skills down so much. knives, swords and clubs can be used with more or less the same skillset. experience teaches you how to control range and the opponent better, regardless of weapon.)
[20:06] <+ClaireC> Yeah, Kei_Kenobi, I hear you. One of the things I don’t like is too much segregation like that.
[20:07] <+ClaireC> So even if I do separate types and don’t change it out (playtesting both options now), you still will at least be able to use the other types of weapons, just without access to your Specialties.
[20:07] <+ClaireC> Dan, PCs are fairly durable, but the system errs more on the lethal side than not.
[20:08] <+Kei_Kenobi> cool
[20:08] <+ClaireC> You don’t want to fight if you can avoid it. YOu risk getting infected (almost certainly a death sentence), or hurt and can’t get away.
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[20:08] <~Dan> Do you have any sort of failsafe like drama points?
[20:08] <+ClaireC> It wears you out. There aren’t gobs of hit points, so depending on the roll, a person might take a surprising amount of damage, or go down.
[20:09] <+Marleycat> Infected with what, to ask the obvious.
[20:09] <+ClaireC> The Plague. It’s also somewhat undefined in just how it operates–it behaves like a disease, but no normal disease can do that, of course.
[20:10] <+ClaireC> And in the book with supernatural options, there would be hints at the origins of it (but only an option; this is a toolbox game), like zombies sometimes uttering strange phrases in an alien-sounding language, etc.
[20:10] <+ClaireC> Yes, there are drama point-type things.
[20:10] <+ClaireC> I’m calling them “Life Points,” but the name may change.
[20:11] <~Dan> What sorts of things can they do?
[20:12] <+ClaireC> You can spend them for a sort of dramatic editing of the story–spend them if you have them to survive something that might otherwise have killed you, or to add a (highly beneficial) detail to a scene.
[20:12] <+ClaireC> I wouldn’t charge players anything for adding their own details to a scene. Marvel Heroic gave me a lot of freedom in that way, and I like that idea here. But if you want to, say, find a half-loaded gun beneath that car near where you tripped, well, spend a Life Points and make it so!
[20:13] <+Marleycat> Like fate points then.
[20:13] <@Silverlion> I love that stuff..
[20:13] <@Silverlion> Myself.
[20:13] <+ClaireC> Yeah.
[20:13] <+ClaireC> Because the game is lethal on the surface, players should have options.
[20:13] <+ClaireC> Now, a group may decide to limit the amount of “saving your ass” that LPs can do. That’s fine–these are the things groups should work out ahead of time.
[20:14] <+ClaireC> It’s not like you can do it all the time, but stuff like drawbacks or narrative consequences can award you with Life Points.
[20:14] <+Marleycat> Are there particular archetypes or templates expected?
[20:14] <+Kei_Kenobi> you should call the points life lines so that when the players decline your suggestion to spend them you can be like “is that your final answer?”
[20:15] <+ClaireC> HA!
[20:15] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:15] <+ClaireC> Marleycat, how do you mean? For Survivors, you mean?
[20:15] <+Marleycat> yes.
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[20:16] <+ClaireC> Well, you can certainly build them along various archetypes, but you can get unconventional with it, too, if you want.
[20:17] <+ClaireC> Of course, there will be lots of pregenerated characters that you can put some detail to and jump into the game.
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[20:18] <~Dan> Always handy.
[20:18] <+ClaireC> Yep. It’s one of the guiding design decisions of the game, really.
[20:18] <~Dan> Is there any sort of starting adventure?
[20:18] <+ClaireC> “Generic but detailed.” Or perhaps “nonspecific.”
[20:19] <+ClaireC> yes, there is. Basically, a journey of a few nights through The City to reach a small Community that you’ve been in contact with.
[20:19] <+ClaireC> It’ll show off a little of everything: finding resources, shelter, crafting, combat, social mechanics, etc.
[20:20] <~Dan> What sorts of zombies do you feature in that adventure?
[20:20] <+ClaireC> Human zombies, and a few animals ones, and one nasty bugger.
[20:20] <+ClaireC> I love animal zombies, myself.
[20:20] <+ClaireC> Just their inclusion keeps things fresh and terrifying.
[20:21] <+ClaireC> Zombie dogs are fast and vicious.
[20:21] <+ClaireC> Heaven forfend you meet something like a zombie bear or elephant!
[20:21] <~Dan> I’m not sure the term “fresh” applies to zombies.
[20:22] <+Kei_Kenobi> xD
[20:22] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:22] <+ClaireC> Good point. However, I’ll let you be the one to go tell them to take a shower ’cause they stink.
[20:22] <@Silverlion> In my zombie running days, I had a bunch of freakish things.
[20:22] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:22] <+Kei_Kenobi> speaking of, I’m not sure if anybody asked yet but do the zombies come in any wild varieties?
[20:22] <+Marleycat> So the African Savanah would not be a good plan then.;)
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[20:23] <+ClaireC> No. No it would not.
[20:23] <+ClaireC> Kei_Kenobi, they do. You can build your own that way, or there will be plenty of pregenerated ones in there.
[20:24] <+ClaireC> Humans (fast and slow), animals, and a few aberrations that devour the flesh of reason itself!
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[20:24] <~Dan> Do you have any built-in assumptions that apply to all of your zombies, like headshots to kill them?
[20:25] <+ClaireC> Most of the pregens will have that. But they can be built with different weaknesses, or none at all.
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[20:25] <+ClaireC> The default COTD zombies require headshots to kill. You could easily change that, though, if you wanted.
[20:25] <+Kei_Kenobi> the worst zombies I faced in an RPG were semi-intelligent alien parasites that spread through the bloodstream. in addition to mutating the host into the living dead and focing it to go after other living organisms, they would sometimes burst out in a shower of gore, infecting anyone who was sprayed with the parasite-infested blood.
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[20:26] <@Silverlion> I had a fungal zombie, on a space station, whose spores could infect you–and bodies, dead bodies grew them, while walkers could expell them from their mouths, or bite.
[20:26] <+ClaireC> Yeah, you can do that here. Heck, The Last of Us is one of my big inspirations.
[20:27] <+Kei_Kenobi> good times
[20:27] <+ClaireC> So was Aliens, for that matter–which makes sense when you’re creeping through a dark and eerie parking garage, wondering where the zombies are….
[20:28] <+ClaireC> Plus, it’s the most quotable movie of all time, so you would basically be able to communicate in-character entirely with Aliens quotes. 😛
[20:28] <+Kei_Kenobi> haha
[20:28] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:28] <+Marleycat> If I were to change the default it would be like 28 Days or similar. Fast, viscous with some intelligence easy to shoot, if slow and non intelligent head shots to kill.
[20:29] <+ClaireC> That would be very easy to do.
[20:29] <+ClaireC> Even taking the pregen zombies and swapping out vulnerabilities is simple enough.
[20:29] <+ClaireC> As I recall, the 28 Days zombies are actually alive, just berserkers.
[20:29] <+ClaireC> The “Living” Aspect doesn’t cost any points, and points are really only there to help GMs judge the power levels and balance on their zombies.
[20:30] <~Dan> Going back to the margin of success rule, is that the way you handle all special moves?
[20:30] <~Dan> Or to you get to declare your intent up front and take a penalty to the attempt?
[20:32] <+ClaireC> Most of them are done that way. At least by default. One thing I considered is the idea that you could take a penalty to your roll in order to get bonus MoS points for specific actions–so a called shot, basically.
[20:32] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:33] <+ClaireC> So, like your idea, you could declare your intent to try to knock your foe down, take a penalty, and if you succeed, you get free MoS points enough to cover that effect.
[20:33] * ~Dan nods
[20:34] <~Dan> How is weapon damage rated, and how does armor work?
[20:34] <+ClaireC> Locations have traits you can interact with (such as by barricading to increase Security), and Features, which are analogous to character Talents.
[20:35] <+ClaireC> Damage is rated as a bonus, instead of a die roll, and armor subtracts damage. You can go into hit locations if you wish, but it’s not always necessary to get super-detailed on it.
[20:35] <+ClaireC> Base damage for melee is based off of Vitality, and for ranged is based off of Perception.
[20:36] <+ClaireC> If we hit some of our stretch goals, I plan to include things in the core that might have otherwise been in later books–psychic powers and playable zombies, for starters.
[20:37] <+ClaireC> What if you have a Community of zombies? They’re not evil, but they can only survive by eating living flesh (animals or humans). Do you destroy them? Trade with them? Or if you’re playing as them, what do you do? Try to trade for livestock or something from living Communities? Go to war?
[20:37] <+ClaireC> Lots of fun options. 🙂
[20:37] <~Dan> Indeed!
[20:38] <~Dan> What sorts of psychic powers are you considering?
[20:39] <+ClaireC> The gamut from telepathy to telekinesis and other kinetic control powers (cryokinesis, electrokinesis–especially handy in the post-apocalyptic world), clairvoyance and precognition, postcognition.
[20:39] <+ClaireC> Of course, if that chapter makes it into the book, there will be psychic zombies as well!
[20:40] <+Aeolius> (which neatly explains a craving for brains)
[20:41] <+ClaireC> An intelligent psychic zombie would be absolutely terrifying.
[20:41] <+ClaireC> And yes, one that eats the brains of its victims to gain their memories and knowledge?
[20:41] <+ClaireC> Yikes.
[20:42] *** Le_AFK is now known as Le_Squide
[20:42] <@Silverlion> Izombie TV show here we come
[20:42] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[20:42] <@Silverlion> Allo Le_Squide
[20:42] <~Dan> ClaireC: Is this your first attempt to get a game published?
[20:42] <+ClaireC> Yes, it is.
[20:43] <+ClaireC> I have yet to watch iZombie, but I hear it’s fun.
[20:43] <~Dan> What is your personal gaming history like? And has it always included zombies?
[20:43] <+ClaireC> Now, I have worked in the industry for years, starting with Unhallowed Metroplis, including Iron Kingdoms, lots of Onxy Path Publishing work for the Worlds of Darkness.
[20:43] <+ClaireC> I started gaming when I was 7 years old, with my friend’s homebrewed-from-D&D X-Men game.
[20:44] <+ClaireC> I grew up enjoying zombie apocalypse stuff, and things like the earlier Resident Evil games, so zombies have been there for a while.
[20:44] <~Dan> Really? I reviewed Unhallowed Metropolis. 🙂
[20:44] <+ClaireC> I love it.
[20:44] <+ClaireC> A criminally underhyped game.
[20:45] * ~Dan nods
[20:45] <+ClaireC> I wonder if maybe some day I could license the setting to publish it with my system?
[20:45] <@Silverlion> That’s awesome ClairC
[20:45] <~Dan> Good idea!
[20:45] <@Silverlion> ClaireC is awesome if she worked on Iron Kingdoms.
[20:45] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:45] <+ClaireC> Well, I’d like to bring my game to light first, so I hope this KS succeeds–it’ll be what really helps that along.
[20:45] <+ClaireC> Haha, thanks.
[20:46] <+ClaireC> I brought back Five Fingers for that No Quarterly that featured it, and some other setting stuff. I love the guys at Privateer Press. They treated me really well.
[20:46] <@Silverlion> Still haven’t got to PLAY IK, but I’ve made several characters…
[20:46] <@Silverlion> Scheduling issues..suck.
[20:46] <+ClaireC> I’d love to play it sometime, too.
[20:46] <+Marleycat> Like the girl on I Zombie.
[20:47] <@Silverlion> Yeah…:D
[20:47] <+ClaireC> You could certainly do that.
[20:47] <+ClaireC> If we hit the stretch goal for it, I wanted to include the rules for playing a zombie right in the core book.
[20:47] <+ClaireC> So you could play a character like the one on the show, even.
[20:48] <~Dan> We discussed this previously, but do you have any plans to apply the system to other genres?
[20:48] <+Marleycat> cool. 🙂
[20:48] <+ClaireC> Yes, I do.
[20:48] <+ClaireC> In fact, there’s one on my mind.
[20:48] <~Dan> What would that be?
[20:48] <+ClaireC> I tentatively call it “Isolation: Deep Space.”
[20:48] <+ClaireC> Basically, a far future game that takes inspiration from things like Aliens, Mass Effect, and Metroid.
[20:49] <+ClaireC> In fact, those would be good examples of the three rough power levels I’d want to do for it. One is much more human level, more for “harder” sci-fi (like the Alien movies), the other would be big-time heroics with larger-scale powers and stuff (like Mass Effect), and then a full-blown superheroic level like Metroid.
[20:49] <+ClaireC> I’d like to do some prehistoric settings with it, too.
[20:50] <~Dan> Dinosaurs are cool. 🙂
[20:50] <+ClaireC> Modern occult (which you could easily mix in with COTD, and matches one of the books I want to do for COTD, which puts supernatural characters into it).
[20:50] <+ClaireC> Oh yes they are.
[20:50] <+ClaireC> I could even do some overlap, like “Mesozoic of the Dead,” with dinosaur zombies!
[20:50] <+ClaireC> Try headshotting a pachycephalosaurus!
[20:51] <+ClaireC> Better use a cannon! Hehe.
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[20:51] <~Dan> 😀
[20:52] <@Silverlion> Beware the man-eating Ankylosaurs
[20:52] <~Dan> So, are welcome to hang out with us and answer questions as long as you like, ClaireC.
[20:52] <+ClaireC> I freakin’ LOVE ankylosaurs.
[20:52] <~Dan> For that matter, you are always welcome here!
[20:52] <+ClaireC> Also, zombie Argentinosaurus, for 100 tons of zombie fun!
[20:52] <+ClaireC> Thanks, Dan. I’d be glad to hang out more.
[20:52] <~Dan> That said, in what remains of “regular time”, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:53] <+ClaireC> All this talk of brain-eating has made me distinctly aware that dinner is ready…
[20:53] <+ClaireC> We covered most of the major bases, I think.
[20:53] <+ClaireC> The game’s selling points are its modularity, and the emphasis on Community-scale stuff, rebuilding, the “survival” part of “survival horror.”
[20:54] <+ClaireC> It’s very much a toolbox that presents you with all the tools to do any kind of survival-based or post-apocalyptic game, whether zombie or otherwise.
[20:54] <+ClaireC> And lots of prebuilt toys to play with
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[20:55] <+ClaireC> You can make an entirely social-focused character with no combat ability and contribute meaningfully, both in and out of combat.
[20:55] <~Dan> Sounds like a very well-crafted game. I look forward to seeing the end product. 🙂
[20:55] <+ClaireC> Thank you! Here is the link to the KS, if anyone is interested: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1027237145/city-of-the-dead)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1027237145/city-of-the-dead
[20:56] <+ClaireC> I’d love to have this thing succeed and help me bring the game to shambling unlife all the sooner.
[20:56] <~Dan> Oh, yes! I should have asked for that earlier. My bad!
[20:56] <~Dan> Thanks so much for spending time with us this evening, ClaireC!
[20:56] <+ClaireC> I definitely am working to bring to this game things that all sorts of players like, and give you the options to be any kind of Survivor and still get cool things to do.
[20:57] <~Dan> I know you need to grab dinner, but can you hand on a sec while I get the log posted and get you the link?
[20:57] <+ClaireC> Groups can enjoy play at the Survivor scale and on the larger, seasonal Community scale and get a sense of rebuilding after the collapse of society.
[20:57] <+ClaireC> Absolutely!
[20:57] <~Dan> Cool. One moment, please…