[19:01] <+WetInkBrandon> Good evening!
[19:01] <+WetInkMatt> Hello
[19:02] <+WetInkBrandon> I’m Brandon K. Aten and I’ve been working in gaming in some form or another for over a decade.
[19:02] <+WetInkBrandon> Everything from volunteering at conventions, running miniatures tournaments, doing internships at a gaming company and freelance writing since 2004.
[19:03] <+WetInkMatt> I’m Matthew Orr, I have ridden Brandon’s rising star a little bit and have a few industry credits now as well.
[19:04] <+WetInkBrandon> Matthew and I have known one another since middle school and have long been in the other’s nerdy circles.
[19:05] <+WetInkMatt> I first hung out with Brandon because I was promised TMNT. Instead he and his friends just messed around while I say around waiting for the games to start. It’s mostly been uphill since then.
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[19:06] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Mumah! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:07] <+Mumah> Just to observe. I’m one of the illustrators for this game.
[19:07] <~Dan> (Ah! Good to have you here. 🙂 )
[19:07] <+Mumah> Thank you.
[19:08] <+WetInkBrandon> He’s an ok guy
[19:08] <+Mumah> Don’t undersell it, Brandon. I’m swell.
[19:09] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:10] <+WetInkMatt> We’ve been playing together every week with some other folks for about 6 years. A couple years ago we cooked up an alternate-1930s Europe setting for use with a standard RPG and since then we’ve developed an original rule set to go with the setting. That’s the birth of Wild Skies
[19:10] <+Mumah> That game was a lot of fun.
[19:11] <+WetInkBrandon> So, Wild Skies has been a sort of passion project for us and has been on the back burner for a while as we completed other freelance responsibilities.
[19:13] <+WetInkBrandon> As Matt said, the game is set in 1930s Europe though there are some drastic differences
[19:14] <+WetInkBrandon> Humans don’t exist and have never existed in the setting. The players and NPCs are all anthropomorphic animals in the alternate history of our own Earth.
[19:14] <+GenoFoxx> :O
[19:15] <+WetInkBrandon> The history diverged in the tumult surrounding World War 1 and just went on from there. Many things were plausible looking at real history, but the setting took a slightly different direction.
[19:16] <+WetInkMatt> England ruled by a totalitarian state with Europe’s largest air navy. Widely known as The Hedge and basically ruled by a “Big Badger” with a toad for his mouthpiece.
[19:17] <~Dan> (So the masses do as they’re toad?)
[19:17] <+WetInkMatt> Russia is still engaged in a muti-direction civil war. All sides swear loyalty to, and derive legitimacy from the still-reigning Bear Tsar who rules from a flying wing named K-8.
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[19:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, BPIJonathan!)
[19:18] <+WetInkMatt> France had a brief civil war and emerged as two separate nations. The National Socialists rule from Paris in the north and the Republicans rule from Marseilles in the South. The Maginot line was built between them with Vichy as the only crossing-point.
[19:18] <+WetInkBrandon> The Great War never really ended since the major powers all continue to fight, but they also had to deal with rebellion at home. There were fractures in established states leading to other smaller nations, and even more distressing was the rise of mercenaries and piracy.
[19:18] <+WetInkBrandon> (Dan, you’re punny!)
[19:19] <+WetInkMatt> Germany is united under the Kaiser again after a brief and turbulent time as a democracy. The current Kaiser and Chancellor have built impressive land military strength as a means of deterrent, but young members of the nobility are pushing to actually use the army for something.
[19:19] <~Dan> ( 😉 )
[19:19] <+WetInkBrandon> Dan’s joke actually brings up a good point too.
[19:19] <+WetInkBrandon> Since the setting is just a bunch of animals, don’t think for a second that stupid animal jokes don’t factor into almost every game session we play.
[19:20] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:20] <+Mumah> I love the dynamic setting for all sorts of characters for players to make. What kind of animals can the players expect in the game?
[19:20] <~Dan> (Oh, please hold questions until we get a “(done)” from our guests, sorry. 🙂 )
[19:20] <+WetInkBrandon> hush, you.
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[19:21] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:21] <+WetInkMatt> Those are just the major players. From a warlord bison who rules part of Spain to hordes of barbarian rabbits, there’s a lot in the setting to turn into adventures. Luxembourg, Malta and Budapest are all major centers of mercenary recruiting and training.
[19:23] <+WetInkBrandon> The setting is full of airships and airplanes which make setting drastically different in a way other than just political.
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[19:25] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest60! You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan. 🙂 )
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[19:27] <+WetInkMatt> We’ve got some unique stuff on the mechanics side, too. Primarily, we’ve got a mechanic called the Moral Compass which serves as both the alignment system and the experience system. You pick one of sixteen motivations for your character and a stat/skill which levels up as you follow that motivation.
[19:27] <+WetInkMatt> Several of these pairs are arranged in a compass rose formation.
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[19:27] <~Dan> (Thanks, Jorel! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[19:27] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ettin!)
[19:28] <+WetInkMatt> You can move between the different motivations as you earn XP.
[19:28] <+Jorel> sure
[19:28] <+Jorel> not sure I have too many Qs. Lookin more for some As
[19:28] <+WetInkBrandon> (done)
[19:28] <~Dan> Thanks, guys!
[19:29] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:29] <+BPIJonathan> Are the animals all mundane, or are thing things like dinosaurs available to play?
[19:29] <+GenoFoxx> so it’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow by way of Wind in the Willows?
[19:30] <+WetInkBrandon> I’m going to let Matt field that first question and I’ll take Geno’s
[19:32] <+WetInkMatt> No Dinos or Unicorns in this first book. We have a long list of prehistoric creatures to cover in a future supplement.
[19:32] <+WetInkBrandon> So, as a HUGE fan of Sky Captain, I’m actually glad that you made that comparison. One of the things that I like about that movie is that it NAILED the feeling of pulp. Our elevator pitch is often Sky Captain smashed together with TaleSpin.
[19:32] <+Jorel> how many different races so far?
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[19:33] <+WetInkMatt> Wind in the Willows is on the list of inspiration as well, particularly for England.
[19:33] <+WetInkBrandon> There are 35 as it stands right now, but we have social stretch goals in the Kickstarter to bump that up to 50. We feel confident that these goals will be hit and the animals will be unlocked.
[19:34] <+Jorel> cool. thanks for the answer
[19:34] <+WetInkBrandon> That’s what we’re here for!
[19:34] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Caaarolyn!)
[19:35] <+Jorel> What types of sourcebooks or additional materials do you plan on doing?
[19:35] <+BPIJonathan> I too am a a SC fan.
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[19:35] <+WetInkBrandon> We feel that the list that we have is a pretty solid first run that will allow players to create a wide variety of characters, while also leaving room for future expansions.
[19:36] <+Jorel> like a book on airships or additional races or will that all just be combined in all the books
[19:36] <+GenoFoxx> what kind of superscience can we expect? ….how soon before jets show up?
[19:39] <+WetInkBrandon> The sky’s the limit in regards to sourcebooks. Right now there are four in the queue discussing different areas of the world: America, Antarctica and the Far East, as well as another (which is a stretch goal) which contains a TON of new pirate crews, mercenary groups and adventures to run with your own party.
[19:40] <+WetInkMatt> I don’t know if “superscience” should be expected. We are calling the tech “diesel punk” so everything is big engines, oily hoses and smoky rooms.
[19:40] <+GenoFoxx> so no lightning guns, or magnetic cannons?
[19:41] <+GenoFoxx> even in the experimental phases?
[19:41] <+WetInkBrandon> oh Geno…
[19:41] <+WetInkMatt> We do have a conceit in the game called vrillium – a metallic alloy which is still lighter than air. It’s what makes air battleships possible.
[19:41] <+WetInkBrandon> there will be lightning guns. Oh yes, there will be lightning guns
[19:42] <~Dan> Yes, I was wondering about the air navies.
[19:42] <~Dan> How long have they been a “thing” in the setting?
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[19:42] <+WetInkBrandon> I’ll discuss lightning guns and matt will address air navies
[19:43] <+GenoFoxx> ok, so Last Exile with Anthros?
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[19:43] <+WetInkMatt> In our setting the first air battleship was launched in 1906, sparking the arms race in the build up to the Great War.
[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Mr_Rage!)
[19:43] <+WetInkMatt> Sorry, don’t know Last Exile.
[19:44] <+WetInkBrandon> So, almost all of the technology is traditional DieselPunk, but the the Americas are powered almost exclusively by direct current electricity, so you can expect PLENTY of electricity-based technology and weapons.
[19:44] <+BPIJonathan> Love the Last Exile, and while I am not the designer of this game… from the material so far it seems that its similar.
[19:45] <+Almaz> So what percentage of this game is TaleSpin?
[19:45] <+WetInkMatt> Anthros are a yes, though. Also we have character creation rules for skipping the animal step and just playing the setting as human (if people want that).
[19:46] <+GenoFoxx> so setting wise is there a central ‘big bad’?
[19:47] <+GenoFoxx> and is there an African nation that can run with the European powers inspite of the years of colonialism?
[19:49] <+WetInkMatt> It’s anthro animals in airplanes. Other then that, nothing is taken from TaleSpin directly. It’s more inspired by the same pulp setting which inspired the creators of TaleSpin.
[19:49] <+WetInkBrandon> Geno, there is no “Big Bad” so to speak, but any of the main powers can play that role. Many of the players will be in the role of pirates or mercenaries themselves, pitted against these powerful nations.
[19:50] <+WetInkBrandon> Matt is fielding Africa.
[19:51] * +Almaz thumbs up.
[19:51] <+WetInkBrandon> Jonathan, I don’t know Last Exile, but wikipedia makes it look like something I need to watch immediately.
[19:51] <+GenoFoxx> Yes, You do
[19:51] <+WetInkBrandon> lol
[19:51] <+BPIJonathan> Brandon: You wont be disappointed
[19:52] <+GenoFoxx> so where do Atlantis, Mu, Lemuria and Shambala fall in this setting?
[19:53] <+WetInkMatt> We do want to cover Africa. Northern Africa certainly has deep connections with Europe and some of the animals in our game are African in origin (elephant, rhino). As to what the political situation exactly looks like we haven’t developed anything yet.
[19:55] <+GenoFoxx> I’m just wondering is the a Wakanda analog?
[19:55] <+GenoFoxx> there/
[19:55] <+WetInkMatt> We want to do our due diligence with such rich potential as all of Africa’s cultures and history.
[19:57] <~Dan> Aside from lighter-than-air metal and lighting guns… and, well, talking animals… are there any other “weird” aspects to the setting?
[19:57] <+WetInkBrandon> As far as Mu, Lemuria, Atlantis and Shambala along with many other mythical places, they have a HUGE place in pulp stories, so it wouldn’t be too far fetched to see them in some form (though not what you might typically expect from the genre).
[19:57] <+WetInkMatt> I think a rapidly modernized African nation (Victoria Falls for hyrdo-power, maybe) is a possibility.
[19:58] <+WetInkBrandon> The technology of each of the nations will have it’s own twists but aside from going with that general pulp/dieslepunk feel, it’s pretty light on the “weird”
[20:00] <+WetInkMatt> Mesmerism, witchcraft, pyschic combat, astral projection: none of those things are the focus of Wild Skies: Europa Tempest. Might they get in the setting somewhere down the line? We can’t rule it out.
[20:01] * ~Dan nods
[20:01] <~Dan> Mind if we pivot to the system for a moment?
[20:01] <+Jorel> sounds like you guys have put a lot of thought into this
[20:02] <+WetInkBrandon> more than my real job, that’s for certain.
[20:02] <+WetInkMatt> Thank you, I feel like we have.
[20:02] <+WetInkBrandon> Sure dan
[20:03] <~Dan> First, do you happen to have a character sheet we could see?
[20:05] <+WetInkBrandon> Not at the moment, Dan but that we have a character primer that will be available after the Kickstarter. I can give you some details about it.
[20:05] <~Dan> Sure.
[20:05] <+WetInkBrandon> The character primer will be a living document through the remainder of playtesting and is largely in place, but there could be some minor changes going forward.
[20:07] <+WetInkMatt> It’s a point-buy for character creation. There are 9 stats; three primary, each with two secondary. You choose your stats and they flow into HP and stamina and such. They also link to skills. You choose two career paths which give you access to certain skills from the start and assign skill dice to some the skills.
[20:08] <+WetInkMatt> kill Dice are another one of main mechanics. The skill role is D100, with a target range. Once you make your initial role you can adjust it up (or down) to hit the right mark. This adjustment is made with Skill Dice, which are D6. A barely-skilled character will have 1-6 percentage points to play with, while the most highly-trained can move their initial roll
[20:08] <+WetInkMatt> up to 30 with 5D6 (not likely to get a perfect role, but it’s still more wiggle room). Opposed roles work the same way with each character applying their dice one at a time trying to best the other.
[20:09] <~Dan> Hmm. I’m afraid you lost me there. Can you give an example of an action?
[20:10] <+WetInkBrandon> yeah hold on one second Dan. let me mention primary and secondary stats and then I’ll give an action exampl
[20:10] <+WetInkBrandon> There are three Primary Attributes: Brawn, Smarts and Guts. Primary Attributes affect certain aspects of the character such as Health or how smart a character may be. The value of each Primary Attribute can also be used once per session to modify a roll that is governed by that Attribute or one of the Secondary Attributes under that particular Primary Attribu
[20:11] <+WetInkBrandon> te.
[20:11] <+WetInkBrandon> Each Primary Attribute has two related Secondary Attributes. Strength and Fleetness for Brawn, Know-How and Moxie for Smarts, and Valor and Grit for Guts. These Attributes are more specific and are used for skill rolls requiring more finesse or a more specialized or targeted understanding.
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[20:12] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Karasu!)
[20:13] <+WetInkBrandon> When asked to make a Skill Roll, the Player will either be told what skill to roll by the G.M., be asked what skill they are using or may simply state what skill they are attempting to use to interact with a specific situation.
[20:14] <+WetInkBrandon> Skill Dice are D6 that are used as an additional modifier for particular skills in which a character is highly trained. These additional dice represent better training and proficiency in the skill, which allow the Player flexibility when trying to achieve their desired success level.
[20:15] <+WetInkBrandon> For example, if Otto is working on an engine to make it operational, a skill roll of D100 + Skill Dice is rolled, but if he is trying to enhance the capabilities of an engine by adding new and unique experimental parts, a skill roll of D100 + Know-How + Skill Dice would be used, but the target range is likely to be more narrow.
[20:16] <+WetInkBrandon> He has the Mechanics skill with two skill dice and a Smarts of 3. He needs a 66% to make the appropriate repairs. He rolls a 64%, just barely missing so the player elects to use the Primary Attribute bonus for Smarts for this session to adjust the roll to 67%, making it a success.
[20:17] <~Dan> Can I stop you for a sec?
[20:17] <+WetInkBrandon> yes
[20:17] <+Jorel> in the same way you might use skill dice to negatively affect the outcome of a dice roll…can you use your attributes to subtract from a roll?
[20:17] <~Dan> What determines whether a secondary attribute factors into the roll?
[20:18] <~Dan> (Sorry if you already mentioned that.)
[20:18] <+WetInkBrandon> The skill
[20:18] <+WetInkBrandon> each skill has a secondary attribute tied to it
[20:19] <~Dan> Right, but the first example you gave didn’t include the secondary attribute, unless I missed something.
[20:19] <~Dan> [20:15] <+WetInkBrandon> For example, if Otto is working on an engine to make it operational, a skill roll of D100 + Skill Dice is rolled, but if he is trying to enhance the capabilities of an engine by adding new and unique experimental parts, a skill roll of D100 + Know-How + Skill Dice would be used, but the target range is likely to be more narrow.
[20:20] <~Dan> Why not attribute with working on the engine?
[20:20] <~Dan> no attribute, rather
[20:21] <+WetInkBrandon> You’re correct. Sorry. I mistyped there.
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[20:21] <+WetInkBrandon> the know-how should still be added
[20:22] <~Dan> Ah, okay.
[20:22] <+WetInkBrandon> the skill range for the second would be more difficult or may require a different secondary attribute based on the situation.
[20:22] * ~Dan nods
[20:23] <~Dan> So the percentile score is actually a target number you’re trying to beat, correct?
[20:24] <+WetInkMatt> No, it’s a range you’re trying to fall within.
[20:24] <+WetInkMatt> Some tasks have wide ranges. Some have more narrow one.
[20:24] <+WetInkBrandon> And to Jorel’s earlier comment, any adjustment you can make to a roll as allowed by the rules can be made up or down.
[20:24] <+WetInkMatt> Yes
[20:24] <+WetInkBrandon> *whew*
[20:24] <+WetInkBrandon> lol
[20:26] <~Dan> How does combat work?
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[20:27] <+WetInkMatt> It’s a series of contested roles, using the same mechanics.
[20:28] <+Jorel> thanks sir
[20:29] <~Dan> How is damage determined?
[20:30] <+WetInkMatt> Harcourt (my French combat medic lynx) attacks a guy in the face. I roll D100 for attack, it falls within the 50-70% range for success.
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[20:32] <+WetInkMatt> This guardsman then rolls his melee skill dice to try and force my success out of success range. Say he has three, rolls average and gets a 12. Pushing me 12 points down might be enough to make Harcourt’s attack miss.
[20:33] <~Dan> Hmm.
[20:33] <+WetInkMatt> Harcourt can use his skill dice to push the number back into success range though (kinda like a perry-reposte situation).
[20:33] <~Dan> Now, what established the initial success range?
[20:34] <+WetInkBrandon> The initial success range is set by the type of action or the type of skill.
[20:34] <+WetInkMatt> Damage is based on weapon type and size of the character. We didn’t mention it before, but characters can be small, medium, large or huge and each has specific bonus/penalties.
[20:35] <+WetInkBrandon> there are Easy, Moderate and Difficult skills and/or actions, each with Critical Failure, failure, success and Resounding success ranges
[20:35] <+WetInkMatt> Most weapon damages are 1 to 3.
[20:36] <+WetInkBrandon> most vehicle weapons are 1D6 to 3D6 and larger weapons can have special damages or effects
[20:36] <~Dan> What would a 3 be?
[20:36] <+WetInkBrandon> being punched by an elephant with prass knuckes
[20:36] <+WetInkBrandon> brass
[20:37] <~Dan> So strength doesn’t affect damage? Just size?
[20:38] <+WetInkBrandon> strength does. That can add a bonus to damage but so can the weapon or animal ability used
[20:38] <+WetInkBrandon> just in general, MOST damage is 1-3
[20:39] * ~Dan nods
[20:40] <+WetInkBrandon> I will be back shortly. Matt is going to hold down this fort
[20:40] <~Dan> No problem!
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[20:41] <~Dan> So how do vehicle manufacturers in the setting account for different creature sizes?
[20:42] <+WetInkMatt> Brandon mentioned animal abilities and (again) we didn’t say it earlier, but each animal type six animal abilities to choose from. One is always unique to that type (like a Bat’s sonar) the other five will be a mix of common and rare abilites.
[20:43] <+WetInkMatt> All animals have at least one natural weapon, be it claws, teeth, horns or a beak.
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[20:44] <+WetInkMatt> Manufactures are well aware of the diverse needs of their clientèle and deliver products in various models to need those needs.
[20:46] <~Dan> In the setting, are there “normal” animals as well?
[20:47] <+WetInkMatt> In other words, we haven’t planned to limit players in that way. Those size differences could come into play in individual circumstances during a session though.
[20:48] * ~Dan nods
[20:48] <+WetInkMatt> Yes. Domestic and wild animals exist.
[20:48] <~Dan> So in conversation, how do people distinguish from an anthro badger and a normal badger, for example?
[20:49] <+WetInkMatt> There’s also no mechanics for specific feeding needs. Deer can enjoy venison if they want to.
[20:50] <+WetInkMatt> I guess because one is at the bar telling you a good story about how he got his plane fixed AT COST and the other one is the the ditch saying grrrrrrrr.
[20:52] <~Dan> LOL
[20:52] <~Dan> Well, I mean, do they say “Joe is a badger”, or is it more nuanced? 🙂
[20:53] <+WetInkMatt> Really, I guess it’s context. If you say you met a badger at the government office verses in the woods.
[20:53] <~Dan> And do anthro badgers consider themselves related to “normal” badgers?
[20:53] <+WetInkMatt> The different animal types are well aware they are different.
[20:53] <+Jorel> good questions
[20:54] * ~Dan bows 😉
[20:54] <+WetInkMatt> So, “Ask for Joe, he’s a badger” might be something people say.
[20:54] <~Dan> Sorry — I realize this sort of thing isn’t the focus of the game. Just the sort of thing I wonder about. 🙂
[20:54] <+WetInkMatt> I think a lot of it depends on how your group plays.
[20:55] <+WetInkMatt> It’s fine.
[20:56] <+WetInkMatt> In our play sessions we almost always used the animal nature of a PC or NPC to add extra punch or drama, not to identify them, it that makes sense.
[20:56] <~Dan> Now, you guys are more than welcome to hang out with us and chat as long as you like; however, in what remains of “regular” time, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[20:56] <~Dan> It does.
[20:58] <+WetInkMatt> For example, once our crew got a job from a museum curator who was an owl (of course he was!). But he didn’t say, “hey, I’m an owl so you know I’m a scholar.”
[20:58] * ~Dan nods
[21:00] <+WetInkMatt> To go back to a point I missed, Darwins and Huxleys of our story world have demonstrated the ancestral relationships, but it doesn’t play a part in most people’s lives.
[21:00] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[21:02] <+WetInkMatt> If a character wants to save the black-footed ferret because they are a ferret too, that’s all just part of the story of that character.
[21:02] * ~Dan nods
[21:02] <+WetInkMatt> We can hang a while yet.
[21:03] <~Dan> Alrighty then. I’ll go ahead and log the chat, though, just to get that out of the way.
[21:03] <+WetInkMatt> We have some great art that really captures the flavor of what we’re trying to do and you can see all of in out Kickstarter video and on the Kickstarter site.
[21:04] <~Dan> Oh, yes! Would you like to post the link to your KS?
[21:04] <+WetInkMatt> I want to promote it because it looks great, and because I it communicates the setting so well.
[21:05] <+WetInkMatt> I would.
[21:05] <+WetInkMatt> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2103068465/wild-skies-europa-tempest)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2103068465/wild-skies-europa-tempest
[21:05] <~Dan> Excellent.
[21:06] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us!
[21:06] <+Jorel> great session
[21:06] <+WetInkMatt> Our pleasure!