The Hardboiled GMshoe's Office

[Q&A] Alexander Lepera, Lee Pruitt, and Logan Decker (Vurt)

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[19:03] <+VurtAlexander> Hello, my name is Alexander Lepera, I am the company director of Ravendesk Games.

[19:04] <+VurtLee> I’m Lee Pruitt, Project Manager on Vurt the RPG

[19:04] <+VurtAlexander> Vurt is a new tabletop RPG based on the Vurt novels of Jeff Noon, award winning author and visionary sci-fi / speculative fiction master

[19:04] <+VurtLogan> I’m Logan Decker. I used to be the EIC of PC Gamer Magazine, and I’m managing the production and editing processes of Vurt: The RPG.

[19:05] <+VurtAlexander> The novels we are adapting are Vurt, Pollen, Nymphomation, Automated Alice and Pixel Juice

[19:06] <+VurtLee> I would just like to take this opportunity to say: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ravendesk/vurt-the-tabletop-roleplaying-game/description)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ravendesk/vurt-the-tabletop-roleplaying-game/description

[19:06] <+VurtAlexander> We’ve been going after this project for quite a while, and just in the last year were able to make enough headway with the licensing. Although as a fan of the books, I have been dreaming about getting a system in place for the material.

[19:08] <+VurtLee> Vurt the RPG is one of the first wave RPGs licensing the Cypher System by Monte Cook Games.. It’s a fantastic fit for Jeff Noon’s fiction.

[19:08] <+VurtAlexander> It was the system behind Numenera and The Strange

[19:09] <+VurtLee> There is a very natural marriage between the Vurt universe and MCG system, which we can talk about more later on.

[19:10] <+VurtLogan> When I was editing PC Gamer, it was at a time when our business shifted from majority print to majority digital. That was a transition we were happy to make, but I miss holding a fine piece of print work every month. Especially the special issues and one-offs that celebrated a particular game or genre.

[19:10] <+VurtAlexander> We also have the exciting challenge of reaching out to not only RPG fans , but Jeff Noon’s existing fans and fans of sci-fi in general

[19:10] <+VurtLogan> And what’s drawn me to work with Lee and Alex is the prospect of creating a really beautiful book.

[19:10] <+VurtLogan> The kind of book that’s at the heart of a good tabletop RPG.

[19:11] <+VurtLogan> You don’t have to have a physical book, of course, but you love it when you do. You love it just looking at it on the shelf. You can hear it singing to you as you sleep.

[19:11] <+VurtLogan> OK maybe that last part is just me, but you get the idea.

[19:11] <~Dan> 🙂

[19:11] <+VurtLee> lol

[19:12] <+VurtLee> Vurt the RPG takes place both in the real world, an alternate future which is similar to the cyberpunk genre, and the Vurt world, which is a paraspace, an alternate universe created and shaped by the dreams of people in the real world.

[19:13] <+VurtLee> All the things people look for in a cyberpunk game can be found in the real world, but it is also dramatically different in terms of atmosphere and culture.

[19:14] <+VurtLee> Players will transition into the Vurt dimension where an adventure can be a different from the real world as a person can imagine in their dreams, but also as deadly as real life.

[19:14] <+VurtAlexander> It’s a big part of Jeff Noon’s novels, and perfict for a RPG

[19:16] <+VurtAlexander> perfect for people like me at least- I’m fairly tired of the standard stuff over the last few decades, and getting some non-gamers to jump into a difficult game system wasn’t happening

[19:16] <+VurtLee> (done)

[19:17] <~Dan> Thanks, guys!

[19:17] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!

[19:17] <~Dan> First, I should mention that we can go into as much or as little detail as you’d like about Cypher itself.

[19:17] <~Dan> I did a Q&A with Monte Cook a while back, so we have a log of that info here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/qa-monte-cook-numenera/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/qa-monte-cook-numenera/

[19:18] <+Almaz> How does Cypher naturally fit together with Noon’s Vurt things?

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[19:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)

[19:18] <+Almaz> For note, I mostly have seen the Cypher system in the context of Numenera, I haven’t seen The Strange.

[19:18] <~Dan> (GenoFoxx: topic: (Link: http://www.vurt-rpg.com)www.vurt-rpg.com )

[19:19] <+VurtAlexander> The one-use items in Jeff Noon’s books such as vurt feathers, Jammer pills, tubes of Vaz, one time-engine boosts, etc… all of this is a great fit with Cypher, which hinges on one-use Cyphers and artifacts.

[19:20] <+VurtAlexander> We’re taking it even farther by really focusing more on the oddities (cyphers,artifacts,oddities) of the Cypher system

[19:20] <~Dan> Does the limit on the number one person can carry fit with his setting as well?

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[19:20] <+VurtAlexander> The novel Vurt revolves around an exchange, and taking one item and using it to get another, or get a one-use boost or weapon (likea fractal bullet or a yellow vurt featjer)

[19:21] <+melkore1> Will you be able to use anything from previous Cypher System books? I’m thinking the Fuses Flesh and Steel descriptor and Artificial Intelligence as a racial option as examples.

[19:21] <+VurtLee> Also, vurt takes place in wildly different environments as you play, in some you may not even be playing yourself but a different character.. This narrative focus in Cypher really lets the GM take the cart off the rails and explore this aspect of the game.

[19:21] <+VurtAlexander> Yes, the limit is fine because what we are counting as cyphers oddities and artifacts are the more special, deifficult to obtain things

[19:22] <+VurtAlexander> regular vurt feathers that do mundane things might not be cyphers, so the carry limit would still be okay

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[19:23] <+VurtLee> melkore1 we have fully licensed the Cypher System, so we have access to every aspect of MCGs system. We can and will be using everything that is a perfect fit, but it will be tweaked to be appropriate to the fiction.

[19:23] <+VurtAlexander> Fuses Flesh and Steel would also allow for MANY opportunities to get paid in the Real world of Vurt, you’d have skills highly in demand with so many cybernetic augmentations and robomen everywhere

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[19:23] <~Dan> (wb, Xenesis!)

[19:23] <+VurtAlexander> You’d be the most popular bloke in Manchester

[19:24] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about the tech level of the real world? What’s the bleeding edge of technology in various areas?

[19:24] <~Dan> (Medicine, weaponry, transporation, etc.)

[19:26] <+VurtAlexander> It’s set a few decades in the future, but totally colored by the Vurt, so while there are the large number of drones you’d expect, they are Blurbflies. MEchanical butterflies that use sonic warfare to drive people crazy with advertisments…

[19:26] <+VurtAlexander> Or…

[19:27] <+VurtAlexander> The medicines/pharmaceuticals explosion you’d expect from a few decades from now is centered around how to augment everything possible. Jammers make you faster, Choke makes you smarter (in your own mind), there are nanogerms and nanosurgeons

[19:28] <+VurtAlexander> there are ways to replace yourself, part by part until you go from roboman to robo

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[19:28] <+VurtAlexander> *takes breath

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[19:28] <~Dan> (wb, Janus!)

[19:28] <+VurtLee> One of the modes of being (similar to races) in the game are the Robos (and hybrids of) which are high-tech, synthetic skin and plastic boned androids, similar to replicants in *other* cyberpunk.

[19:29] <+VurtAlexander> But we have Shadow-tech!!!

[19:29] <+VurtAlexander> And Mathemagick!

[19:30] <+VurtAlexander> and ways to use math and physics to bend matter and/or manipulate certain things

[19:30] <+VurtLee> So, it’s very high tech, but what is interesting is that the people of the world have shifted their obsession away from the high-tech to the exploration and mastering of this other dimension.. that’s where people are addicted, and go to for everything.

[19:31] <+VurtAlexander> Just like here in the Real world, we stopped exploring outer space once we started exploring innerspace (the internet)

[19:32] <+VurtLee> People drive cars in vurt.. cars with rubber wheels.

[19:32] <~Dan> So what IS the story behind the Vurt? And is it common knowledge?

[19:32] <+melkore1> From the video it reminds me a bit of another cyberpunk tabletop RPG but with WAAAY less dice (which is a good thing). Their hook for me is the 4 part arc of each adventure. Getting the job, Planning, Executing, Getting paid. Is your narrative something along those lines for adventures or is it closer to what I’ve seen in other MCG adventures like The Devil’s Spine.

[19:33] <+VurtAlexander> You sound like you’re talking about Traveler

[19:33] <+VurtAlexander> Love that game

[19:33] <+VurtAlexander> Am I correct? Or was it something closer to Cyberpunk 2020?

[19:33] <+melkore1> More Shadowrun

[19:33] <+VurtAlexander> Gotcha

[19:33] <+melkore1> Wasn’t sure if we could name drop 🙂

[19:34] <+VurtAlexander> Huuuuuuge learning curve, I love the setting, and the adventures are great, but it si so difficult getting new players to get past what seems so daunting

[19:34] <+VurtAlexander> should I not name drop? Ooops

[19:34] <+VurtAlexander> This is my first rodeo

[19:34] <~Dan> Name drop all you like. 🙂

[19:35] <~Dan> I checked with the Boss. It’s okay. 😉

[19:35] <+VurtAlexander> Cool, I know Lee Pruitt and Logan Decker

[19:35] * ~Dan chuckles

[19:35] <+VurtLee> Dan the story behind the vurt is that it was created by Celia Hobart, a very special and significant character in the game. The entire universe is within her dream.. so, she must always sleep.

[19:36] <~Dan> Weird. 🙂

[19:36] <+VurtAlexander> The adventures we are going to be publishing are very user friendly, with a solid arc and plot points, but leaves a lot of room for elbows and sidetracks if wanted. Plus, all the additional concepts, items, characters, and short stories with each publication make it cool

[19:37] <+VurtAlexander> But at its core, it is very cyberpunk in feel

[19:37] <+VurtAlexander> but brighter, more exciting and fun

[19:37] <+VurtLee> In order to get out of our world and into the vurt, characters place special feathers in their mouths.. The feathers are a mixture of ultra high tech components and other-dimensional stuff, that cause your mind to detach and enter this shared dream space.. it can be done in a group.

[19:37] <~Dan> Why feathers?

[19:38] <+VurtLogan> (They’re hypo-allergenic)

[19:38] <+VurtLee> LOL

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[19:38] <~Dan> Heh. 😀

[19:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)

[19:38] <+VurtAlexander> Vurt feathers allow access to the addition of a REAL dream world that can be crossed and interacted with, it has colored “the future” real world

[19:39] <+VurtAlexander> It truly makes it science-fiction fantasy

[19:39] <~Dan> And your KS page mentions entities from the Vurt getting access to the real world…. How’s that work?

[19:40] <+VurtAlexander> Jeff Noon’s novels are very unique… The answer to “why feathers” is perhaps something only he knows, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work perfectly as both a novel and an RPG

[19:40] <+VurtLee> The Vurt and the real world lie on opposite sides of something we often call “the looking glass” or by other nicknames. The deeper you go into the dream, the higher the risk that you’ll be sucked across into the other universe.. This is done by “trading”

[19:40] <+VurtLogan> Oh, yeah, when I first read Vurt I remember that something coming from (or rather, exchanged with) the Vurt to the real world was my first big “wut” moment.

[19:41] <+VurtAlexander> Dragons and other mythical dream creatures are swapped out with people from the real world, or they find their way to the real world through feathers, much like a computer virus

[19:41] <+VurtAlexander> That is what makes this so different from other futuristic cyberpunk settings. It’s so unique

[19:42] <~Dan> Speaking of which, how fantastical are the Vurt worlds, and how diverse?

[19:42] <+VurtLee> When you go “down the rabbit hole” so to speak, your dreams become more and more deadly.. at some point, you are so deep that you cannot easily get out, back to the real world.. This is where you must “win” or never escape.. This is the highest stakes Vurt feather you can enter. Yellow Feathers.

[19:43] <~Dan> As in, are they all fantasy-themed? Are there scifi dimensions? etc.

[19:43] <+VurtAlexander> Some feathers lead to mazes and minotaur style confrontations, others lead to English Garden filled with snakes and riddles, others are more terrifying and nightmarish

[19:43] <+VurtAlexander> all of the above

[19:43] <+VurtAlexander> it’s less dimensions, and more “parts of the Vurt” like worlds within worlds

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[19:43] <~Dan> Would you say they are as diverse as the Recursions of The Strange?

[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Frankto!)

[19:44] <+VurtLee> They are literally anything you can dream.. Feathers are actually created using people’s dreams. This means that they can be anything from a kings and dragons fantasy to a distant world, or a boulder-fight on the bottom of the ocean..

[19:44] <+melkore1> Why would you want to delve too deep into the vurt? If show up in that minotaur maze and it’s not where you want to be can you “jack out” or do you have to find the way out?

[19:44] <+VurtLee> Because the deeper you go, the better the treasure..secrets and knowledge.

[19:45] <+VurtLee> that’s what you find in the vurt.

[19:45] <+VurtAlexander> Yes, but different in the way that everyone knows about it, everyone in the real world of the Vurt has access to these dreams, and the idea of group-dreaming is common. In some ways, it’s why there is no need for internet in the Vurt universe, they can connect mentally through a drug that the entire world is hooked on

[19:45] <+VurtAlexander> mature themes for sure

[19:45] <+VurtLee> Certain feathers let you “jerk out” but yellow feathers, the most deadly, do not. You must defeat the dream.

[19:46] <+VurtLee> Winning the dream could be anything.. the goal could be finding a secret, fighting a giant snake god, finding your long lost sister.. anything.

[19:46] <+VurtAlexander> Recursions in The Strange are more of an X-files kind of thing in my opinion. Valid, fun, but super different than Vurt

[19:46] <~Dan> Do people enter the Vurt as “themselves”, or do they take forms appropriate to the dream?

[19:46] <+VurtLee> oh yes.. I’ll answer that.

[19:48] <+VurtLee> Certain feathers, just like our dreams may cast you as someone other than you are in the real world.. Alternately, you can be yourself… You may play a feather in which you are a famous character playing out a famous event, but in this dream it can go differently.. The dream is crafted for you, but you can shape it with your actions.

[19:49] <+VurtLogan> This is a bit parenthetical, but do you remember the character Switch in The Matrix? The androgynous one? In the original script, Switch was male in the real world, but female in the Matrix.

[19:49] <+VurtLogan> I’d wish they’d kept the character that way, because it had a lot to say about how we express ourselves in different contexts.

[19:50] <+VurtLogan> And that’s something we want to tap into in Vurt: The RPG.

[19:50] <+melkore1> How much extra prep work would a GM have to do to create new characters for a group for each trip into the vurt? I haven’t played The Strange with their recursion system so I’m not sure how that would work.

[19:50] <+VurtLogan> Because it’s the kind of reality that everybody in the game experiences all the time – a concept of identity that’s much blurrier than what how we understand it today.

[19:52] <+VurtAlexander> No extra work as far as prep for the GM, you’ll go into the dream-feather with your fellow players and you’ll have your Cyphers, artifacts and oddities with you to trade for other cyphers, artifacts, and oddities

[19:52] <+VurtAlexander> The Real world of the Vurt is a very post-baggage one

[19:52] <+melkore1> So, think more Quantum Leap?

[19:53] <+VurtLee> This is also one of the areas where the Cypher System is a great match for Vurt.. You don’t need to create a different character, but when a GM invents a feather to play, they can just describe the character the way they perceive themselves (or viceversa) and proceed.

[19:53] <+VurtAlexander> Yes, very much in the fact that Sam had access to many weapons and other ways to defend himself or equip himself after jumping

[19:53] <+VurtLee> But it’s much more than just time travel

[19:53] <+VurtAlexander> but Sam couldn’t bring things in with him

[19:53] <+VurtLee> yes, I’m sorry, I see what you’re saying..

[19:53] <+VurtAlexander> to trade or use

[19:54] <+VurtAlexander> And couldn’t bring friends in with him on jumps

[19:54] <+VurtAlexander> and never had to face off with a mountain sized mythical dragon made of steel and smoke

[19:54] <+VurtAlexander> that I can recall at least

[19:54] <+melkore1> If they only had one more season…

[19:54] <+VurtAlexander> This!!!

[19:55] <~Dan> 🙂

[19:55] <+VurtAlexander> LOL

[19:55] <+VurtLee> there is another feature of Cypher that is fantastic..

[19:55] <+VurtLee> In the vurt, like in any dream, the player may be unaware that the dream is in fact real. In the Cypher System, there is Insight

[19:55] <+VurtLee> Insight is one of those natural features that melds with the universe of the game.

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[19:56] <+VurtLee> It allows a GM to reveal things about the environment.

[19:56] <+VurtLee> Realizing the dream can be terrifying or liberating…

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[19:56] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest80!)

[19:57] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)

[19:58] <+melkore1> It looks like there are more than humans running around in the real world, did they get there from trading their way through the vurt or was there some sort of world event?

[19:59] <+VurtAlexander> This is huge part of Jeff Noon’s novels, there was a genetic accident of sorts that allowed for interbreeding of not only species in the real world, but also 2 new species that come from the Vurt World side (shadow and Vurt alien)

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[19:59] <+VurtAlexander> That means that Robos and Shadows mate

[19:59] <+VurtAlexander> yes mate

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[19:59] <+VurtAlexander> ewwww…

[20:00] <+VurtAlexander> but their mommies love them

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[20:00] <+VurtLogan> I dont know, I think it sounds hot.

[20:00] <+melkore1> I guess you weren’t kidding about it being more adult

[20:00] <+VurtAlexander> HAhahaa

[20:00] <+VurtAlexander> You don’t even want to know how “Zombies” came into being…

[20:00] <+VurtAlexander> Honestly, you might not

[20:00] <~Dan> Why? Is it a dead issue?

[20:01] <+VurtLee> hahah

[20:01] <+VurtAlexander> no spoliers….

[20:01] <+VurtAlexander> *Spoilers

[20:01] <+VurtAlexander> But you can read the book Pollen to find out

[20:01] <+VurtAlexander> 🙂

[20:01] <+VurtLee> p.219

[20:01] <+VurtLee> 😀

[20:02] <+VurtAlexander> The different races (modes of being) are what make this so insane, part matrix, part tank girl, part trainspotting, part shadowrun

[20:02] <~Dan> So is the Vurt truly a dream if real beings come from it?

[20:02] <+VurtAlexander> I have a PC that is a robomanshad Admin

[20:02] <+VurtAlexander> The dream is real

[20:02] <+VurtAlexander> Sounds hippy-dippy, but it’s true

[20:03] <+VurtAlexander> It’s an actual place of dreams and myths

[20:03] <+VurtAlexander> and when they cross over, they are VERY real

[20:03] <+VurtLee> and nightmares and fantasies

[20:03] <+VurtLogan> That’s actually no doubt the defining ontological debate of the age. But we’ll leave that out of the Vurt because nobody wants to play an RPG with words like “ontology.”

[20:04] <+VurtAlexander> Takshaka the Naga kingsnake of mythology is head of the Manchester Police Force

[20:04] <+melkore1> There’s been a good bit of talking about the source material and I know backers on the kickstarter have been asking about getting ebooks of the source material since they aren’t available in the states. Is that something you are trying to offer to backers? (or did I miss that in an update?)

[20:04] <+VurtLee> A word on that.. there are Blue, Pink, Black, Silver and Yellow feathers.. they are all different.. some are purely recreational, like a relaxing float through a blue nebula.. you don’t get hurt, you can drop it at any time..

[20:05] <+VurtLee> Some feathers are not at all relaxing and you can’t pull uot.

[20:06] <+Lin_Chong> I like Takshaka.

[20:06] <+VurtLee> *out. People go into these worlds for different reasons.. just like people who take drugs in the real world.

[20:06] <+VurtLee> Some people are being recreational.. some are trying to ride the snake.

[20:06] <+VurtLogan> Yeah, it’s something we’d LOVE to offer! And so would Jeff Noon! We are actively pursuing that now. Now, knowing what I do about the complexity of licenses and especially international publishing contracts, at first I thought it was just not gonna happen.

[20:07] <+VurtLogan> But now, well, we’re pretty optimistic!

[20:07] <+VurtLee> re: the ebooks

[20:07] <+VurtAlexander> The shadowcops of Manchester are headed by Takshaka the king snake, who controls the most heavily armored police force on the planet

[20:07] <+VurtLee> I like Quetzacoatl…

[20:08] <+VurtLogan> And, of course, we will definitely confirm one way or another about offering the ebooks in a future update on Kickstarter.

[20:08] <+Lin_Chong> How big is Takshaka? Because his brother, Sesha, can be pretty damn huge.

[20:08] <+VurtLee> That would be amazing

[20:08] <~Dan> How would you describe the mood of the game?

[20:08] <+VurtAlexander> His brother runs the police force of London!!!!!

[20:08] <+VurtAlexander> No joke!

[20:09] <+VurtLee> Mountainous.

[20:09] <+VurtAlexander> nagaraja of the London Guard

[20:10] <+VurtAlexander> Commander Sesha

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[20:11] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!)

[20:11] <+VurtAlexander> The mood of the game..

[20:11] <~Dan> Yes. How gritty is it, or hopeful, or what have you. How morally ambiguous/objective is it?

[20:13] <+VurtAlexander> It’s not a dystopian future , it’s more a dark utopian future. There are laws, and there are a LOT of powerful police forces, private and otherwise…

[20:13] <+VurtLee> Also, as with any RPG the mood of your adventures can be what you want it to be.. That being said, the world is very, very gritty. There is this amazing place in Manchester, Bottletown where once a glass recycling center was in operation, but now it is defunct.. The glass kept being delivered and now there is this huge area of multi-colored broken glass..

[20:13] <+VurtAlexander> but the black market created by the entire worlds population being hooked on drugs makes it a smugglers paradise

[20:13] <+VurtAlexander> or a businesspersons paradise

[20:13] <+VurtAlexander> or a badass arse-kicker’s paradise

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[20:14] <+VurtLee> Dank tenement buildings filled with shady characters, addicts, gangsters etc.. But above, in the unreachable corporate skyline, things are different.. that’s a pretty standard trope, but the flavor of the Manchester streets is much more organic and biological

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[20:15] <~Dan> Are the Vurt worlds also gritty?

[20:15] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest69!)

[20:16] <+VurtLee> The cyberpunk we know and love is dark and noire-ish, but ultimately it’s very clean..

[20:17] <+VurtLee> Yeah, the dreams can be a horrible, filthy slasher flick, or a dark, grimy street..

[20:17] <+VurtAlexander> Some of the vurt worlds are gritty, but others are the stuff of fantasy. You might be in the real world one moment, then take a vurt-feather and find yourself in a world that resembles The Neverending Story or Krull

[20:17] <+VurtLee> alternatively, they can be an idyllic english garden, or a blue river with little electric fish.. depends on what your looking for.

[20:17] <~Dan> By the way: what happens to your body when you use a Vurt feather?

[20:18] <+VurtLee> The adventures, though, are likely geared toward dark, powerful secrets and the fear of going too deep..

[20:18] <+VurtAlexander> If you’ve ever seen a documentary about heroin users, it’s similar

[20:18] <+VurtAlexander> they nod off and slump stupidly to the floor

[20:18] <+VurtAlexander> it’s sad, but in the future, it’s what everyone does 🙂

[20:18] <~Dan> So how do beings physically swap places with something in the Vurt?

[20:19] <+VurtLee> There is an equation.. a balance of worth between the two universes… if you get too close to the mirror, you can get traded… you will disappear in the real world and somethign of equal worth from the vurt, will be in your place.

[20:19] <+VurtAlexander> Sometimes it’s chance… bad, BAaaaad luck

[20:19] <+VurtLogan> Keep in mind that inside the Vurt, you can share your experience of the world. Something that might be ugly and sleazy in one context (or to one person) might be quite beautiful as imagined – and shared – by another.

[20:20] <+VurtLogan> At PC Gamer when I was working with interns and new writers, one of the first things I’d tell them was that, as writers, they had an obligation to not just avoid cliches, but to make them irrelevant.

[20:20] <+melkore1> Are most adventures based around going into the vurt or is there quite a bit to do in the real world?   Thinking of the adventures in Shadowrun where you’re working with gangs and networking before a decker/technomancer goes into the matrix to go searching for digital goodies.

[20:20] <+VurtLogan> Sure, there are times you can get away with it, and figures of speech can be useful, but writing is thinking on paper, and cliches are bad thinking. They’re bad craft.

[20:20] <+VurtLee> Getting swapped can be something that you don’t want… but say you find something in a vurt and you need it.. you need to trade something to bring it back. That’s a place where cyphers and particularly oddities come into play

[20:20] <+VurtLogan> What makes Vurt such a perfect RPG for its time – QUOTE ME ON THAT – is that it doesn’t have any use for cliches except where it critiques them, it doesn’t have any use for all the character tropes we’ve become accustomed to in traditional RPGs.

[20:20] <+VurtLogan> It allows GMs in particular to break up these storytelling cliches, to be more creative, more in tune with players.

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[20:21] <+VurtLogan> OK I finished ranting and will now enjoy this effervescent beverage.

[20:21] <+VurtAlexander> @ melkore – You never have to touch a feather once to have an amazing life in the Vurt

[20:22] <+VurtAlexander> There are some people in the real world that cannot dream , in other words, they cannot take vurt feathers, they are a small % of the population, but they are there.

[20:22] <~Dan> If you are someone who hasn’t gone into the Vurt yet… does that make you a pre-Vurt?

[20:22] <+VurtAlexander> The Dodos

[20:22] <+VurtLee> What Logan just said is a really huge thing about this game.. on the surface it might be easily scanned over, but for a world of RPG gamers, all of whom like different flavors of role play.. this is huge.

[20:22] <+VurtLogan> Sucks to be them, man.

[20:22] <+VurtAlexander> Pre-Vurt? OOOOOOOuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

[20:22] <~Dan> 😀

[20:22] <+VurtLogan> OMG

[20:22] <+VurtLee> lol

[20:22] <+VurtLogan> YES

[20:22] <+VurtAlexander> Control yourself!

[20:22] <+VurtAlexander> 🙂

[20:22] <+VurtAlexander> I love it!

[20:22] <+VurtLee> *scribbles notes*

[20:23] * ~Dan snickers

[20:23] <+VurtLogan> hang on I’m printing t-shirts with “Pre-Vurt” on them

[20:23] <+VurtAlexander> Yes, the real world of the setting, there is more than enough to occupy a vurtdog’s time

[20:23] <+VurtLee> I’m printing t-shirts with a picture of logan printing t-shirts.

[20:23] <~Dan> 😀

[20:23] <+VurtAlexander> meta shirts

[20:23] <+VurtLee> omg …. what’s on his shirt???

[20:23] <+VurtLee> *more shirts*

[20:24] <+VurtAlexander> I went to the Vurt and all I got was this lousy I went into the Vurt and all I got was this lousy I went into the Vurt and all I got was …

[20:24] <+VurtAlexander> sorry

[20:24] <~Dan> Are there any “rules” to supernatural powers in the Vurt? Is there one sort of magic, or many, or is it all just freeform, for example?

[20:25] <+melkore1> That whole non-cliche thinking is what attracted me to Numenera and the MCG game and I was looking at doing cyberpunk in the Cypher System right before this Kickstarter began. I’m glad you are keeping that being weird mentality with Vurt

[20:25] <+VurtAlexander> The real world is controlled by corporations, like many futuristic settings

[20:25] <+VurtAlexander> but it’s weirder

[20:25] <+VurtAlexander> hahaha, just saw that

[20:25] <+VurtLogan> I’m wearing my Mass Effect N7 hoodie right now and I’m wondering if Shepard had to clean out the potato chip bits out of his keyboard every week like I do.

[20:26] <+VurtAlexander> I have played all the games out there it seems

[20:26] <+VurtAlexander> I love RPGs, we play them constantly

[20:26] <+VurtLee> Dan, the supernatural powers that you may have in a Vurt feather are like when you’re flying in a dream, or when you breathe underwater.. the substance of the dream world simply doesn’t conform to our world’s rules.

[20:26] <+VurtAlexander> but we got tired of the standard zombie/fantasy/sci-fi stuff

[20:26] <+VurtLee> i.e. it’s really a narrative feature. Still, the cyphers etc. in the feather actually give you powers.

[20:27] <+VurtLee> That could be something like a music track… You mixed the most badass, DNA bending track, or piece of sonic warfare and you fire it up in your dream…

[20:27] <+VurtLogan> Melkore1: Yeah, the Cypher System is an eerily perfect fit with Vurt. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nostradamus predicted it.

[20:27] <~Dan> Well, are there “wizards” in the Vurt, for example?

[20:28] <+VurtAlexander> Mathemagicans

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[20:28] <+VurtLee> Dan in the real world, mathemagic is like quantum physics… what do you mean particle-wave nature… what if you could create taht state when a car is about to run over you.. It becomes probable, and once it’s passed, it becomes concrete again… That’s an example of mathemagic..

[20:28] <+VurtAlexander> In the Vurt world, you can find yourself face to face with anything from dreams or nightmares that have been mixed in with the feather

[20:29] <+VurtAlexander> depends on who mixed it

[20:29] <~Dan> So you could run into a cackling, hex-tossing hag?

[20:29] <~Dan> (I love hags.)

[20:30] <+VurtAlexander> Hags are the best, everyone knows that

[20:30] <+melkore1> That might be riding a rocket powered flying motorcycle Lobo style

[20:30] <+VurtAlexander> Yes, some feathers can get downright D&Driffic if you want

[20:31] <+VurtLee> Our kickstarter banner is a concept character by Filip Dudek, a mathemagician

[20:31] <+VurtLee> I love that picture.

[20:31] <+melkore1> Is he doing much of the artwork in the book?

[20:31] <+VurtLogan> I’m really digging your style, Melkore1

[20:31] <+VurtLee> Yeah, you can play that.. Maybe you’d like to do something inspired by Jules Verne, or H.P. Lovecraft

[20:32] <+VurtLee> maybe you’d like to play one of the soldiers in the battle of the bulge..

[20:32] <+VurtLee> You can do any of these things.. because people are out there crafting feathers for people recreation.. The difference is, you change it when you’re in there, and it’s actually happening.

[20:32] <~Dan> Does time run parallel in the Vurt and real worlds?

[20:33] <~Dan> As in, do you risk dehydration/starvation if you spend too long in the Vurt?

[20:33] <+GenoFoxx> so is mathemagic like the infinite improbability drive only not for space travel?

[20:34] <+VurtLee> There are some secrets and discoveries regarding the way that time works between the worlds.. We’ll save some of those reveals for the campaing.. oh

[20:34] <+VurtLee> Just like in dreams, time does not work the same way.. You may be in a feather so long that you starve, or you may feel like you’re there for days, but it’s been minutes.. A

[20:35] <+VurtLee> All those options leave the GM material for crafting interesting adventures.

[20:35] <+melkore1> So I’m trying to picture an adventure in my head, would a megacorp hide secrets in a yellow feather for example to ward off people looking for that information? Would they produce multiple copies of the feather? If not, I could see making a heist adventure to retrieve the feather, then going in and finding the information in the feather

[20:35] <+VurtLee> Melkore, you’re right on it

[20:36] <+VurtLee> A feather within a feather.. a “meta-vurt” is a really advanced and dangerous way to go deep.. Like a dream within a dream. That’s where you find the darkest most powerful secrets, and it’s not easy to come back.

[20:36] <+VurtAlexander> guarded by the dreamsnakes of Garuda or Takshaka or one of the other heads of the Shadowcop Police force

[20:37] <+VurtAlexander> You can hide secrets in a feather

[20:37] <+VurtLogan> Actually, if I were, say, a megacorp, I might consider encoding secrets within physical objects in Vurt worlds, similar to steganography in pictures.

[20:37] <+VurtAlexander> or PEOPLE

[20:37] <+VurtAlexander> What?!>>!>!

[20:37] <+VurtLogan> But I’m not even a minicorp.

[20:37] <+VurtAlexander> Yep, you wanna take some dumb Robodog out?

[20:37] <+VurtLee> Yes a corporation would definitely hide secrets in a feather.. LOL Logan..

[20:37] <~Dan> Does Vurt use the standard “warrior, wizard, face/thief” class division seen in other Cypher games?

[20:37] <+VurtAlexander> Hide his ass in a Tapewormer feather and hold him ransom

[20:39] <+VurtLee> Dan all the features that define Cypher System, like the standard 3-archetype mechanic are present..

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[20:39] <+VurtLee> That being said, we also have this ‘modes of being” are you a dog, human, shadow, vurt alien, robo… that adds another layer of character customization

[20:40] <+VurtLee> *there are more than 3 types in Cypher, but I was referring to Numenera and The Strange

[20:40] <~Dan> Ah, I did hear that about the Cypher core book, yes.

[20:41] <+VurtAlexander> I really like the new Cypher Rule expansion of hte Character Descriptors and Foci

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[20:41] <~Dan> (Howdy, TQuid!)

[20:41] <+VurtAlexander> but we have plans to take it to the next level. and make it very, Vurt

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[20:41] <+TQuid> (Hi Dan!)

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[20:41] <~Dan> To what degree to you detail various worlds?

[20:41] <~Dan> (wb, faetog!)

[20:42] <+VurtAlexander> We will have very detailed descriptions of many of the Vurt worlds that people access…

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[20:42] <+VurtLee> “Quaid! Start the reactor!! Open your miiiiiind!”

[20:43] <~Dan> (wb, Almaz!)

[20:43] <~Dan> Does that include a bestiary of critters?

[20:43] <+VurtAlexander> And some players can even be a part of the Conquestors, who help map out the Vurt Worlds as a service to science and the Real World. Or maybe craft and sell the maps to help users who want to hack in and gain access

[20:44] <+VurtLee> Dan, a bestiary of Vurt flora and fauna is a definite addition that we want to make.. It will be amazing, and it’s a stretch goal that we plan to reveal when we start unlocking the existing ones.

[20:45] <+VurtAlexander> The critters that litter the vurt!

[20:45] <~Dan> 🙂

[20:45] <+VurtLee> We actually posted an update to the kickstarter today, revealing a new stretch goal..

[20:46] <+VurtAlexander> Hopefully they won’t follow you back (like the ghosts in Disneyland)

[20:46] <~Dan> Oh, speaking of which, I forgot to congratulate you guys on funding!

[20:46] <+VurtLee> The Vurt Crafting Companion will explain how feathers, pills, weapons, mathemagical calculations, vurt cartographics, vehicles all can be crafted

[20:47] <+VurtAlexander> Thanks!

[20:47] <+VurtLee> I always want my characters to craft in RPGs but often the mechanics are lite when it comes to this.. In vurt, there are so many amazing things that blend these weird features and fit with crafting..

[20:48] <+VurtLee> Imagine crafting bullets for a pistol (simple enough) but then combine that with a mathemagicans bizarre calculations.. you might get a Fractal Bullet..

[20:48] <+VurtAlexander> Mechanical bug crafting!

[20:48] <+VurtLee> Whatever it touches starts to break down mathematically into chaos..

[20:48] <+VurtAlexander> Use your creations to fight with other Blurbflies in the well known “bug fight” circuit

[20:49] <~Dan> Is there any built-in assumption regarding what PCs do in the setting?

[20:49] <+VurtLee> It gives you another layer of loot in the game.. while you’re smashing shadow snakes in a “Takshaka Yellow” you might try to bring some some of that shadowsap back with you, to help you craft a feather based on your experiences.

[20:50] <+VurtLogan> Thanks Dan! (Also, I forgot to say hi to you when I came in, which is sort of like walking around in your house with my shoes on. Sorry.)

[20:50] <+VurtLee> Not really.. You can play anything you want in either world.. Your party, your players will decide who they are, and what they do is up to them. The world, however will have it’s flavor

[20:51] <+VurtAlexander> You can make your money however you want in the real world, but occupations (legal or otherwise) can lead to upgrades and the ability to craft even more effectively

[20:51] <+VurtLee> Maybe you’re a detective on the case of a serial killer? Maybe you’re a dirty cop who wants to extort illegal feathers from dealers so you can find their secrets.. Maybe your looking for someone.. maybe you just want to take feathers..

[20:52] <~Dan> Addicts should be called “featherheads”.

[20:52] <+VurtAlexander> Or you have someone you care about (or want to get to for some reason) trapped in a feather

[20:52] <+VurtAlexander> they are, Dan

[20:52] <+VurtAlexander> they actually are called that in the book

[20:52] <+VurtAlexander> 🙂

[20:52] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂

[20:52] <+VurtLee> 2 more points for Dan

[20:52] <~Dan> Go me!

[20:52] <~Dan> \o/

[20:52] <+VurtLee> People don’t get feather-faced though.. we should add that.

[20:52] <+melkore1> It looks like there is an armored taxi in the concept art. Is that something players will need to aquire (transportation) to move around the real world? It’s an interesting role play mechanic I’ve read about in Shadowrun

[20:53] <+VurtAlexander> Give the man a blue feather!

[20:53] <+VurtAlexander> The NU-X cabs? Ah let me take that one…

[20:53] <+VurtLogan> A funny practical joke to play on them is to give them a down pillow and tell them one of the feathers is a Vurt one.

[20:53] <+VurtLee> lol, that sounds like the start of an adventure..

[20:53] <~Dan> You could give a friend a bunch of feathers when he’s feeling down.

[20:54] <+VurtLee> Absolutely!

[20:54] <+melkore1> lol placebo feathers

[20:54] <+VurtLee> haha nice Melkore1… people would be very displeased.

[20:54] <+VurtAlexander> You can do even more in the game when it comes to transportation. IT’s not just your A-B it’s your upgradable, survival shell that takes you through the worst neighborhoods and has built in defense systems, possibly AI, possibly even something more mysterious

[20:54] <~Dan> Is a big stash of feathers called “plumage”?

[20:54] <+FaerieGodfather> You have to watch the puns with Dan. He’s always looking to put another feather in his cap.

[20:54] <+VurtLogan> omg this is getting intense!

[20:55] <+VurtLee> This book and all of Jeff Noon’s books are heaven for a pun-lover.

[20:55] <+VurtAlexander> It’s Vurtually unbearable

[20:55] * ~Dan golfclaps

[20:55] <+VurtAlexander> Wordplay…

[20:55] <~Dan> Nicely done, sir. 😉

[20:55] <+VurtLee> I see what you did there.

[20:55] <+VurtAlexander> England has been remixed to Singland

[20:55] <+VurtAlexander> in the novels

[20:55] <+VurtLogan> Oh, a note about the overall campaign: Obviously, a huge component of any crowdfunding campaign is confidence and trust: Can these guys pull it off?

[20:55] <+VurtAlexander> so we are now living in Lost Angles, Amiracle

[20:55] <+VurtLogan> To that end, we’ve got a guy who’s been pursuing this license for over a decade, a guy who’s played pretty much every tabletop RPG made since Reagan was president, and a guy with fifteen years experience in publishing.

[20:56] <+VurtLogan> We’ve got the skills, discipline, and experience needed to pull this off on budget and on time, and what we showed to Jeff Noon convinced him to let us bring this game to RPG fans.

[20:56] <+VurtLee> You guys should really check out Vurt the novel, and Pollen next.. they are fantastic and a very unique flavor of sci-fi..

[20:56] <+VurtLogan> And ooooh that was a rush.

[20:56] <~Dan> I’d imagine so!

[20:56] <+VurtAlexander> Very Lewis Carroll

[20:56] <+VurtLogan> OH YES

[20:56] <+VurtAlexander> very Clockwork Orange

[20:56] <~Dan> So, a couple of quick notes:

[20:57] <+VurtLee> Also, for those of you who haven’t seen it.. please take a look at our Kickstarter.. we’re funded, but have lots of time left on the featherclock! (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ravendesk/vurt-the-tabletop-roleplaying-game)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ravendesk/vurt-the-tabletop-roleplaying-game

[20:57] <+xyphoid> aha, I knew this sounded familiar

[20:57] <~Dan> First, as I told Lee and Alexander earlier today, you guys are always welcome here, whether to discuss your work or to just hang out with us.

[20:57] <+VurtLee> *petalclock…. *shamed of self*

[20:57] * +xyphoid finally clicked that Vurt is what inspired petals in Eclipse Phase

[20:57] <+VurtAlexander> Love it, and thank you for that

[20:57] <~Dan> Accordingly, you’re also welcome to hang out here as long as you like and field questions.

[20:57] <+VurtLee> Yes, that is wonderful thank you Dan.. This is a great space.

[20:58] <~Dan> Thank you!

[20:58] <+VurtAlexander> xyphoid… YES!!!

[20:58] <+VurtAlexander> I just read that!!!

[20:58] <~Dan> That said, in what remains of “regular time”, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?

[20:58] <+VurtAlexander> Great RPG, that one

[20:58] <+VurtLogan> Yes, thanks so much for giving us the chance to talk about our RPG and also the puns.

[20:58] <+VurtLee> I am very happy with the way this went! Thank you all for the fantastic questions!

[20:58] <+VurtLee> and the puns.

[20:59] <~Dan> Puns: Just one more service we offer.

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> Hoping you all enjoy the game, and we’ll stop in from time to time

[20:59] <+VurtLogan> I guess we’re pundits

[20:59] <+VurtLogan> sorry

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[20:59] <~Dan> 😀

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> It’s catching??!?!?!/

[20:59] <+VurtLee> ….. >.<

[20:59] <~Dan> It’s a pundemic.

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> Run!!!!

[20:59] <+VurtLee> ! ! ! !

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> Dear me!!

[20:59] <+VurtLogan> OH LORD

[20:59] <+VurtLee> hahaha

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> We’re outta here!!!

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> I love it!

[20:59] <~Dan> Well, wait just a sec…

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> Thanks all!

[20:59] <+VurtAlexander> yes!

[21:00] <~Dan> If you give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and give you the link.

[21:00] <+VurtLee> Thank you so much, Dan, for this chance to chat.

[21:00] <+VurtAlexander> certainly

[21:00] <+VurtLee> Brilliant, thanks!

[21:00] <~Dan> You’re very welcome! Thank you for joining us!

[21:00] <~Dan> One moment, please…

[21:00] <+VurtLee> It’s been a pleasure, and you can be sure that we’ll be back to check in!

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