[19:07] <+ToddDowning> So, I’m Todd Downing, owner of Deep7 Press, publisher of many games!
[19:08] <+ToddDowning> Arrowflight fantasy, Santa’s Soldiers (at once point) Red Dwarf, and our new title, Airship Daedalus. Among others… (done)
[19:08] <~Dan> Thanks, ToddDowning! The floor is open to questions!
[19:09] <~Dan> So what is the premise of Airship Daedalus?
[19:10] <+ToddDowning> At its core, it’s a retro pulp adventure. The trappings are a slightly alternate timeline to our own, 1920-1940, magic and horror factoring in with the two-fisted adventure.
[19:10] <+ToddDowning> (done)
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[19:11] <~Dan> How in the open is the weirdness?
[19:11] <+ToddDowning> (I should also mention it’s based on the comics and radio shows of the Airship Daedalus and AEGIS Tales universe.)
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[19:11] <~Dan> (wb, AnthonyHoltberg!)
[19:11] <+ToddDowning> Can you clarify how open is the weirdness?
[19:12] <~Dan> Well, I mean, does the average person know that the supernatural exists?
[19:13] <+ToddDowning> Ah! The general public has a basic (and ever increasing) knowledge of the occult factors in the setting, but not the full horror – that’s for player characters to deal with.
[19:13] <~Dan> I see…
[19:13] <~Dan> How far does the timeline diverge?
[19:14] <+ToddDowning> Not far… we remove some of the more racist, sexist leanings of vintage pulp but keep the adventure and derring do.
[19:14] <~Dan> Probably a good plan. What year is it by default?
[19:15] <+ToddDowning> And we talk about that in the rulebook.
[19:15] * ~Dan nods
[19:15] <+ToddDowning> The default period is between the world wars, roughly 1920-1940, although you can set it outside that timeframe as well.
[19:16] <~Dan> Ah, okay. I was thinking that it might have the actual time of the comic in place.
[19:16] <+ToddDowning> The comic is set in the mid 1920s
[19:16] * ~Dan nods
[19:17] <+ToddDowning> But the AEGIS Tales radio episodes push a little later.
[19:17] <+ToddDowning> And of course, technology is pushed ahead for sci-fi adventure purposes.
[19:17] <~Dan> What is the eponymous airship?
[19:19] <+ToddDowning> For those who haven’t read the comics or heard the radio episodes, it’s an experimental vehicle crewed by a team of adventurers to thwart the diabolical machinations of Aleister Crowley and the Astrum Argentum.
[19:20] <+ToddDowning> The Astrum Argentum, or Silver Star Society, is after items of mystical power to fuel the aspirations of Crowley.
[19:21] <+ToddDowning> A consortium of patriotic American industrialists (bear with me on this, it’s fiction) creates the American Enterprise Group for International Security, AEGIS.
[19:21] <~Dan> Cool name. 🙂
[19:22] <~Dan> How much weird science is involved?
[19:22] <+ToddDowning> They start to recruit adventurers to safeguard humanity’s legacy and keep occult power away from diabolical secret societies bent on world domination. Your basic pulp set up.
[19:22] * ~Dan nods
[19:23] <+ToddDowning> We push a lot of actual science pioneered during the period into practical use – including rotor craft, radar, 2-way radio communications, that kind of thing.
[19:23] <+ToddDowning> It’s pretty much Flash Gordon-esque.
[19:24] <~Dan> Ray guns? Jet packs?
[19:24] <+ToddDowning> There is a Tesla gun, gyro packs, jet packs, gas guns, stun rays…
[19:24] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[19:24] <+Crazy-Cabal> Any hidden dinosaur valleys in antartica?
[19:24] <+ToddDowning> But that stuff is not on the open market – it’s guarded technology.
[19:25] <+ToddDowning> Ha! Yes!
[19:25] <+ToddDowning> There are a bunch of locations mentioned in classic pulp literature.
[19:25] <~Dan> I would be disappointed if there were no dinosaurs.
[19:25] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of said locations?
[19:26] <+ToddDowning> Maple-White Land from The Lost World, Caprona from The Land that Time Forgot, Skull Island from King Kong…
[19:26] <~Dan> Sweet.
[19:26] <~Dan> Speaking of dinosaurs, how much of a bestiary do you offer?
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[19:26] <+ToddDowning> Anything where the original story was public domain and made sense…
[19:27] <+ToddDowning> We always like to include a good selection to begin with, and supplement it through later materials.
[19:27] <+WereMotulev> pulp and sense, I don’t think they belong in the same sentence
[19:27] <+ToddDowning> We have a broad range of wild animals, legendary creatures, and supernatural beasties
[19:28] * ~Dan nods
[19:28] <+Crazy-Cabal> So how do the ships fly? Unobtanium? L shaped metal bars?
[19:29] <+ToddDowning> Depends on the craft – most planes use regular internal combustion engines, but there’s more focus on electrical power, especially various dynamo/perpetual motion drives.
[19:29] <+ToddDowning> The Daedalus is powered by one such engine.
[19:30] <~Dan> For those unfamiliar with your house system, can you say a bit about the mechanics?
[19:30] <+ToddDowning> Doing historical research for the setting was fascinating. There was really a push toward solar and electric power for aircraft early on.
[19:30] <+ToddDowning> Sure!
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[19:31] <+ToddDowning> It’s a stacking Stat/Skill system with very familiar stats and skills. Add the skill rating to the stat for a target number, roll equal or less on 2D6 (although the 1d12 option has become much more popular in recent years).
[19:32] <+ToddDowning> The margin of success is also the basis for your damage in a combat situation, so the better you hit, the more damage you do – no random damage.
[19:33] <~Dan> Speaking from experience, starting characters in this system in other games seem to be a little on the weak side. Are Airship Daedalus characters buffed up a bit to make them pulp-worthy?
[19:33] <+ToddDowning> Over the years and many game settings, we’ve developed pretty fun and comprehensive personality and background tools for character generation.
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[19:34] <+ToddDowning> Totally. Especially if you use the d12. But yes. 30 starting points between 7 stats, and several extra skill points throughout character creation.
[19:35] <~Dan> How does that compare to, say, Arrowflight?
[19:36] <+ToddDowning> Don’t have AF in front of me, but IIRC it’s 30 between 8 stats. We only use one stat for all occult abilities in Daedalus.
[19:36] <~Dan> Speaking of which, what sorts of powers are available to PCs?
[19:37] <+ToddDowning> Occult powers are split between arcane, divine and psionic abilities.
[19:37] <+ToddDowning> Pretty typical for the genre.
[19:38] <+ToddDowning> (And yes, you can cloud men’s minds, like the Shadow.) 🙂
[19:38] <~Dan> Any other proto-superpowers, like that of the Avenger?
[19:39] <~Dan> Or the Black Bat?
[19:40] <~Dan> For that matter, are masked vigilante types a thing in the setting?
[19:40] <+ToddDowning> We didn’t want to pull too much into the superhero thing, although we talk in some detail about how modern superheroes often have pulp origins. So no “powers” per se, but the potential for amazing natural abilities and the occult powers.
[19:40] <+ToddDowning> Masked vigilantes are indeed a possible archetype.
[19:41] * ~Dan nods
[19:41] <+ToddDowning> In fact, the Gunshade and Scarlet Wraith are characters in the AEGIS Tales radio shows.
[19:41] <~Dan> Cool. What are their respect schticks?
[19:42] <+ToddDowning> (though to be fair Gunshade doesn’t wear a mask – he just terrifies the mob and harvests souls for his special bullets)
[19:43] <~Dan> Do you plan on expanding the line, or is this a one-off?
[19:44] <+ToddDowning> The Gunshade is the third person to hold the title, having inherited the skills and memories of his predecessors. He has some psychic abilities in the Astral focus, and the Arcane ability of transferring Essence.
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[19:45] <+ToddDowning> Scarlet Wraith is a good cop whose family and neighborhood are being crushed by a mob boss, so he dons a mask and cape and fights the bad gus with grit and psychological warfare.
[19:45] <+ToddDowning> In fact we are expanding the line. I have the AEGIS Field Manual in layout now.
[19:45] <~Dan> Nice! What will that include?
[19:46] <+ToddDowning> As the timeline progresses, you can add more organization to the AEGIS entity, with special training and gadgets and artifacts.
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[19:47] <+ToddDowning> And LOTS of NPCs
[19:47] <+ToddDowning> LOTS
[19:47] <~Dan> Nice!
[19:47] <~Dan> Any adventures in the works?
[19:47] <+ToddDowning> I know we have more than 50 in this book alone. Plus the canon characters from the Daedalus comic in the main book.
[19:48] <+ToddDowning> We include a bunch of mission seeds along with the Airship Daedalus Scenario Generator, a variant on the tables in Red Dwarf and Arrowflight.
[19:48] <+ToddDowning> There will be more missions in the AEGIS Field Manual.
[19:49] * ~Dan nods
[19:49] <~Dan> Great!
[19:50] <~Dan> Now, you have to run at the top of the hour, right?
[19:50] <+ToddDowning> Also, John Sullivan, an author who has worked on Deep7 material before (Bloode Island XPG, Red Dwarf) as well as The Book of Final Flesh for Eden Studios, is penning our first licensed pulp novel set in the Daedalus world.
[19:50] <~Dan> Cool!
[19:50] <+ToddDowning> Yes sir – I’m sorry to, but it’s dinner hour here on the left coast.
[19:50] <~Dan> No problem! That being the case, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[19:51] <+ToddDowning> The Airship Daedalus IP originated in game form in the late ’80s, and it’s taken a long time and various other media to finally share it with the gaming audience – it’s a labor of love and I’m pretty proud of the product.
[19:52] <+ToddDowning> If you love pulp in general and just want to check out the setting, go to (Link: http://www.airshipdaedalus.com)www.airshipdaedalus.com and you can read the comics and listen to the radio shows for free.
[19:53] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[19:53] <~Dan> I’m a sucker for pulp, as you may know, and this looks right up my alley.
[19:53] <+ToddDowning> There are more comics coming too – Brian Beardsley is hard at work on chapter four!
[19:54] <+ToddDowning> I will send you a review copy!
[19:54] <~Dan> Great, thanks!
[19:54] <+ToddDowning> Thank you for the Q&A!
[19:54] <~Dan> And thank you for joining us this evening, Todd! I hope you’ll feel free to stop by any time you like.
[19:54] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get you a link to the log. 🙂
[19:54] <+ToddDowning> Great! Thanks all!