[19:03] <+Macklin> Hi! I’m Ryan Macklin, and I’ve been making games for people other than my friends to enjoy since 2007. Folks tend to know me from stuff like Dresden Files, Fate Core, Leverage, my years at Paizo editing Pathfinder, and my own indie stuff. Plus little things here and there, like the recent Eclipse Phase Fate version and a contributor to Unknown Armies 3/e.
[19:04] <+Macklin> My wife and I have two cats. They are jerks in different ways. I’m on Twitter @RyanMacklin and I sometimes blog at (Link: http://ryanmacklin.com)http://ryanmacklin.com (though not as much since I started work on Katanas & Trenchcoats).
[19:05] <+Macklin> And I’m here because I have an undying dream of the ’90s, and apparently nothing short of staking me will kill that off. So I’m pouring a collective love of ’90s gaming culture and media into a game called Katanas & Trenchcoats.
[19:05] <+Macklin> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying
[19:05] <+xyphoid> so how much of this game is based on your day to day life?
[19:05] <~Dan> (Please hold questions until we get a (done) from our guest. Thanks! 🙂 )
[19:05] <+Macklin> My life? None. I am merely a chronicler of the secret immortals who show up in the darkest of night and tell me stories while raiding my scotch collection.
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[19:06] <+Macklin> (done)
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, Macklin! The floor is open to questions!
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[19:06] <~Dan> So what is the game about, really?
[19:06] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Clark!)
[19:07] <+Macklin> It’s about secret supernatural beings in a dark, hostile world dealing with each other in dramatic and often violent ways. Like what we’ve played for decades now, inspired by movies and TV.
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[19:08] <~Dan> What sorts of supernatural beings?
[19:08] <+Macklin> I’m melding a ’90s feel of both the meta-genre and system system with modern sensibilities in both regards.
[19:08] <+Macklin> There are three broad classifications of beings (four if you could mortals and junk):
[19:09] <+Macklin> The primary supernaturals—immortals, vampires, and werebeasts. They’re different sides of a, uh, three-sided coin.
[19:10] <+Macklin> The exceptional mortals—sorcerers, technomages, hunters, and car wizards. They’re mortals infused with the dark essence of Apeiron, but in a way that doesn’t extend their lives or alter their humanity.
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[19:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, netobvious!)
[19:10] <+Macklin> And the extraplanar beings: ghosts, fey-touched, angels, and demons.
[19:10] <+Macklin> (done)
[19:10] <+netobvious> Hello, I am supposed to be in bed, but “Katanas and Trenchcoats” have to come visit for a while.
[19:10] <+Lin_Chong> What’s Apeiron? The cousin to pig-iron?
[19:11] <+Lin_Chong> Also, so it’s more of a tone, homage sort of thing?
[19:11] <+Macklin> FYI, I’m listening to the So Many Katanas playlist on Spotify, if anyone wants to listen along: (Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/pblackcoat/playlist/5X7yKemeGFWbAMAl12aPOy)https://open.spotify.com/user/pblackcoat/playlist/5X7yKemeGFWbAMAl12aPOy
[19:11] <+Macklin> In our world, Apeiron is (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apeiron_(cosmology))https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apeiron_(cosmology)
[19:12] <+Macklin> That link is stupid and should feel bad.
[19:12] <+TheLastPaladin> So, how much of this is directly inspired by Highlander mixed with classic WoD?
[19:12] <~Dan> It worked for me.
[19:12] <+Lin_Chong> I can CTRL+C i.
[19:13] <+Macklin> And in the Darkest Cosmos, it’s the force that comes from the borders of the universe, seeping through cracks and infusing parts of the cosmos to a single end: create struggle.
[19:13] <+Macklin> Imagine if there was no Light Side of the Force. That’s the quickest way I tend to describe it.
[19:14] <+Lin_Chong> Speaking of “Darkest Cosmos,” would we be hearing from uh…”Grey Canine’s” legal department?
[19:14] <+Macklin> Every supernatural beings is some reflection of this, and it’s not just a fiction concept—it’s one of your five core attributes (or Essences) that you can roll when you need to do some action. When you’re desperate, cocky, or stupid (or all three), you can channel Apeiron to do anything.
[19:15] <+Motulev> are the immortals just humans who do not die, or something else entirely? what about vampires/weres, did they use to be mortals?
[19:15] <+Macklin> (I’m trying to keep track of the questions, and will attempt to answer them in order.)
[19:15] <~Dan> (No problem, Macklin!)
[19:15] <+Macklin> (but the waiting for me to say “done” would help)
[19:16] <~Dan> Actually, question pause after Motulev’s question.
[19:16] <+Macklin> Okay, so about the inspirations, like, I have a TON. And my dozens of writers have their own inspirations.
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[19:17] <+Macklin> I love Supernatural. I love Charmed. I love In Nomine. I love the Fast an the Furious movies. I love Hellblazer. I love Lucifer. I love all sorts of stuff.
[19:18] <~Dan> (Howdy, Maelthra_!)
[19:18] <+Macklin> I have writers channeling the ghost movies they love. I have writers coming from comic books I didn’t know about. And of course, I have a bunch of writers from the game lines that K&T is parodying.
[19:19] <+Macklin> I don’t answer legal questions in interviews. That’s just not smart.
[19:19] <+Macklin> And for Motulev’s question
[19:19] <+Macklin> Immortals are humans so infused with Apeiron that not only do they not die, but they become archons of violence and pride.
[19:20] <+Motulev> ok, so they used be humans at some point
[19:20] <+Macklin> They rage, duel, impose, and common some very focused sorcerous talents.
[19:20] <+Macklin> They’re still human, just not mortal.
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[19:21] <+Macklin> Vampires are more or less what you think, but they aren’t the apex predator. One-on-one, and immortal will kill a vampire. So vampires are _really_ good at collectiving.
[19:21] <+Macklin> collectivizing even
[19:21] <~Dan> (Howdy, BryceWhitacre!)
[19:22] <+BryceWhitacre> Hello
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[19:22] <+Macklin> And werebeasts are mutated humans that don’t have the status of immortals and vampires in the supernatural world, but are dangerous insurgents, independents rogues, or loyal retainers.
[19:23] <+Macklin> (done, I think)
[19:23] <+TheLastPaladin> super cool
[19:23] <~Dan> What are the Fey like in this setting?
[19:25] <+Macklin> There are two sides to the fey, more or less. They’re avatars of nature manifested. The fey-touched are humans who have, some time ago, stepped foot in the fey world and became corrupted by it. Or are descendants of them.
[19:26] <~Dan> And the angels and demons?
[19:27] <+Macklin> So, there’s true Fey, which are NPC forces, and there are the PC-scale fey-touched. In both cases, there’s a sense if diplomatic immunity, because the Sidhe Nobles have emissaries on earth. But, then it gets funky, because there’s a rite of passage that the fey-touched go through: spend time on Earth. Basically, elven rumspringa.
[19:28] <+Macklin> Angels and demons are the avatars of Heaven and Hell, two powerful realms of the dead that absolutely believe they’re top dog in the Cosmos.
[19:28] <+LuisMilan> Dibs on next question! (if that’s ok with the moderator, of course…)
[19:29] <+Macklin> Which makes it awkward when confronted with teh fey-touched, and with ghosts who come from other realms, or immortals who literally have no soul that departs elsewhere.
[19:29] <~Dan> (No problem, LuisMilan! 🙂 )
[19:29] <+Macklin> But, arrogance is part of what it means to be a badass supernatural being.
[19:29] <+LuisMilan> Thanks! (waiting for the “done” to ask mine)
[19:29] <+Macklin> Legends also speculate whether angels first made immortals, as there are similarities, but there are a lot of crackpot theories among the supernatural community.
[19:29] <+Macklin> (done)
[19:30] <+LuisMilan> I know K&T is going to be set in Darkest Vancouver (the game’s version of the actual city). Are there plans for describing other Darkest cities and places in the future?
[19:30] <+Macklin> That just got unlocked earlier this week!
[19:30] <+Macklin> So, yes 🙂
[19:30] <+Macklin> (done)
[19:31] <~Dan> I take it there are no real “good guys” in this setting?
[19:32] <+Macklin> That’s an individual thing.
[19:32] <~Dan> Well, let me rephrase…
[19:32] <+Macklin> A vampire wants to snack on your friend. You take umbrage to this and start hunting vampires.
[19:32] <+Lin_Chong> It’s the uh…Darkest Cosmos! If you’re good, you’re meat!
[19:32] <+Macklin> You and a bunch of your friends decide there’s safety in numbers. You form a cabal.
[19:32] <~Dan> Is it possible to use supernatural powers and still be a good guy, given the whole “only the Dark Side of the Force” aspect you mentioned?
[19:32] <+Macklin> You protect people. Good for you.
[19:33] <+Macklin> Then, like, you decide that maybe werebeasts are jerks too.
[19:33] <+Macklin> Oh, sure. Apeiron doesn’t want you to be evil. It just wants you to _use_ it.
[19:33] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:33] <+Macklin> So there’s struggle. There’s jerks versus well-intentioned jerks.
[19:33] <+Macklin> And everyone is the hero of their own story.
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[19:34] <+Macklin> That’s the philosophy I took when create the Syndicate source book for Mage: the Ascension. Like, personally I find them the second-most skeevy bunch of characters in that universe, but they’re the heroes of their own story, so I explored what that was.
[19:35] <~Dan> On the flipside, are there any outright bad guys?
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[19:35] <+Macklin> Oh yeah. Everyone loves a bad-to-everyone group.
[19:35] <+Motulev> on a superhero scale, between Batman and The Punisher, where would the PC’s sit?
[19:35] <+Macklin> There are doomsday cultists of all sorts. There are sorcerers who want to bring the full force of Apeiron to earth, and let it consume all things.
[19:36] <+Macklin> That’s a simple adventure concept to rally folks around.
[19:36] * ~Dan nods
[19:36] <+Macklin> And people love epic scale, so there’s that corner of the Cosmos just as much as there is the “we’re all in Darkest Vancouver plotting against each other” scale of things.
[19:37] <+Macklin> Also, from a setting design POV, having those things as potential interlopers when an interpersonal dynamic becomes locked is a useful tool.
[19:37] <+Macklin> or intergroup dynamic
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[19:37] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest26!)
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[19:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, Vikshade!)
[19:38] <~Dan> (For those of you just joining us, our guest tonight: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying?ref=discovery)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying?ref=discovery )
[19:38] <+LuisMilan> Me against my immortal brother, me and my brother against those nasty vampires, us and the vampires against the doomsday cultists…
[19:38] <+Macklin> Motulev: to my knowledge, neither Batman not the Punisher can come back from the dead, channel lightning, make swords of darkness appear at will, force technology to obey them, and ask the Darkest Cosmos directly for knowledge.
[19:38] <+Macklin> So I dunno how to answer that
[19:39] <~Dan> Were you talking more in the moral sense, Motulev?
[19:39] <+Macklin> LuisMilan Exactly!
[19:39] <+Motulev> I was thinking morality
[19:39] <+Macklin> That’s up to individuals.
[19:39] <+Guest26> Whens the next Master Plan coming?
[19:39] <+Macklin> The game doesn’t push morality like how, say, Vampire does.
[19:39] <+Macklin> Probably sometime next month.
[19:40] <~Dan> (Guest26: You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:40] <+Macklin> (done)
[19:40] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about how magic works in this setting and what it can accomplish?
[19:40] <+Macklin> It depends on who you are.
[19:40] <+Macklin> Immortals can basically do a trick.
[19:41] <+Macklin> Like channel lightning or speak to the dead.
[19:41] <~Dan> Sort of an innate superpower?
[19:41] <+Macklin> And if they can’t do that, at minimum they can sense the presence of magic and attempt to interfere, like magical grounding rods.
[19:41] <+Macklin> Yeah
[19:41] * ~Dan nods
[19:41] <+Motulev> and here’s my goto question, whats the core mechanic of the game? I hope that’s not from 90’s
[19:41] <+Macklin> (please stick to the “done” thing)
[19:42] <~Dan> (Question pause after Motulev’s question.)
[19:42] <+Motulev> (sowwy)
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[19:42] <~Dan> (Thanks, FredZoiberg! 🙂 )
[19:42] <+Macklin> Vampires can do what we’d think of as psychic manipulation, and some have learned how to do what humans think of as common vampiric traits.
[19:43] <+FredZoiberg> Hey, I was looking through Wraith, are you open to a shadow like optional rule?
[19:44] <~Dan> (Please hold questions until we get a (done) from our guest. Thanks!)
[19:45] <+Macklin> Sorcerers get weird. They’re spontaneous creators—they don’t have the the long life of immortals, with the principle that a brighter candle burns faster. But they can create strange effects of physics, mind, and the material world. I’ve been working with Dave Chalker—he and I have been playing with Mage and Ars Magica-inspired Fate builds for a couple years.
[19:46] <+Macklin> Technomages send their will into machines and hear the whispers of AIs.
[19:47] <+Macklin> They’re more like magical deckers/riggers than a variant of sorcery, though in this digital age that’s its own badass thing.
[19:47] <+Macklin> And car wizards have latent powers directly channeled from humanity’s reverence of action movies.
[19:47] <+Macklin> (done. please repeat questions you want answered)
[19:47] <+Motulev> and here’s my goto question, whats the core mechanic of the game? I hope that’s not from 90’s
[19:48] <+LuisMilan> Apeiron loves Vin Diesel 😛
[19:48] <+Lin_Chong> Can I lock in the next question, Dan?
[19:49] <+Macklin> I’ve discussed the “retromodern” style a few times in the campaign and elsewhere. The game takes its root from ’90s gaming, and then says “what did we learn in the last couple decades?”
[19:49] <~Dan> Lin_Chong: I think FredZoiberg has a question already in the queue, but you can be next. 🙂
[19:49] <+Macklin> So it’s “assemble a d10 dice pool” (from what I describe at (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying/posts/1540316)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying/posts/1540316)
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[19:50] <+Macklin> Then takes what me and my cohorts have learned makings game like Fate and Cortex Plus, and seeing what the Powered by the Apocalypse games have shed light on, and loads of other indie game thoughts.
[19:51] <+Macklin> I’m gonna talk more about elements—setting and system—on the updates I’m posting to the Kickstarter. I’m doing updates Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
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[19:51] <+Macklin> (done)
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[19:51] <~Dan> Want to restate your question, FredZoiberg?
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[19:52] <~Dan> (Guess not. Fire away, Lin_Chong. 🙂 )
[19:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, Geek2theRight!)
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[19:53] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, BlairThunderwood!)
[19:53] <+Geek2theRight> Please tell me the title is poking fun at the way 90s White Wolf stuff was played. Please please please.
[19:53] <+Lin_Chong> Macklin: What other divisions and distinctions can we expect from the creature types?
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[19:54] <+Macklin> Geek2theRight If that’s not obvious. 🙂 The origin of the title came from a tweet from Steve Kenson two years ago.
[19:54] <+Macklin> Lin_Chong You mean like the immortal Houses?
[19:55] <+Macklin> So, immortals are divided into Houses, that are loose alliances of immortals that are infused with a different strain (more or less) of Apeiron.
[19:55] <+BlairThunderwood> Did you ever play the Highlander RPG?
[19:56] <+Macklin> There are “rules” about attacking someone in your House, but depending on the House, the rule is enforced as “don’t get caught” or “if you have a good reason, cool” or “get permission”
[19:56] <~Dan> (BlairThunderwood: Please hold questions until we get a (done) from our guest. Thanks! 🙂 )
[19:57] <+Lin_Chong> Macklin: I mean like, can we expect a uh, “Sons of Jormangandr” from the weres or a “Draculas” from the vampires.
[19:57] <+Macklin> Vampires formed Guilds, as a response to threat from immortals. They’re stronger allegiances, at least as strong as a group of arrogant predators can be, but it’s grounded in philosophy than in metaphysics.
[19:58] <+Macklin> OH. You mean like crazy cabals that have overwrought names and think way to highly of themselves?
[19:58] <+Lin_Chong> Exactly, those.
[19:58] <+Macklin> My answer: This is called Katanas & Trenchcoats, not Subtlety & Sensibility 🙂
[19:58] <+Lin_Chong> Eeexxxxcceeellleeennnttttt
[19:58] <+Crazy-Cabal> (Hey!)
[19:59] <+Macklin> Roughly 30% of the submissions I got from writers last month were of such cabals.
[19:59] <+Macklin> (done, please repeat questions you want answered)
[19:59] <~Dan> (You’re up, BlairThunderwood!)
[20:00] <~Dan> Actually, here…
[20:00] <~Dan> [19:55] <+BlairThunderwood> Did you ever play the Highlander RPG?
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[20:01] <+Macklin> No. Read it a long time ago, but not since. My eternal bondmate Leonard Balsera I think has, and he also has an even stronger love of the Highlander TV show than I do.
[20:01] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, IanW!)
[20:01] <+Macklin> Which, incidentally, is weird to watch now, because of how I accidentally made a system that Duncan demonstrates.
[20:01] * +IanW waves to Ryan
[20:02] <+Geek2theRight> Can a katana in this game cut a tank in half?
[20:02] <+Macklin> Like, there’s a moment when Duncan is hacking into something and I just looked there agape, because his ability to make stuff in his shop also meant, in the system, he had that ability to hack.
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[20:02] * +Macklin infuses IanW in Darkest Light
[20:03] <+Macklin> Geek2theRight Let me treat that like the serious question it totally is, and branch off of it.
[20:03] <+Macklin> So, yes, if it’s an immortal’s sword.
[20:03] <+Macklin> Or an angel’s sword.
[20:03] <+Macklin> Also, a sai probably can too. I’m not the boss of you.
[20:04] <+Macklin> Or an immortal’s mace. You can have a mace or flail instead of a sword if you want. You’re your own immortal.
[20:04] <+Geek2theRight> It was a bit serious. I remember some conversations from way back and some of the weird claims that were made.
[20:04] <+Macklin> Also, a sword versus a gun: swords win, because 99% of guns are Lesser Weapons, because they aren’t as impressive to the Darkest Cosmos as an immortal’s katana.
[20:05] <+Macklin> Which gets to the metaphysics of the world: the system works this way because of the joke. The _world_ works this way because that’s the will of the Darkest Cosmos.
[20:05] <+Macklin> Also, like, as a game designer, guns suck to deal with unless you want to get all wargamey about it.
[20:05] <+Geek2theRight> Neat.
[20:05] <+IanW> Your immortal could probably do it from a distance if, say, you had some sort of chakram.
[20:05] <+Macklin> That said
[20:06] <+Macklin> Some car wizards can make a gun into a Greater Weapon. Like your Jason Statham types.
[20:06] <+Macklin> And hunters are all about finding ways to make any mundane object a Greater Weapon against some sort of badness.
[20:06] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:07] <~Dan> Speaking of Lesser and Greater Weapons, how does combat work?
[20:07] <+Macklin> FYI, IanW is one of my horde of writers.
[20:07] <+Motulev> that would make the supernatural brothers into car wizards, and hunters… it all makes sense now
[20:07] <~Dan> I suspected as much. 🙂 Glad to have you here, IanW!
[20:07] <+IanW> The Darkest Legion, a totally real term I just invented.
[20:07] <+Macklin> Motulev: They’re hunters who have a car wizard trick that didn’t make it into the car wizard supplement from last year.
[20:08] <+Macklin> IanW I’m using that now.
[20:08] <+Macklin> Dan I’m gonna get into that in detail in an upcoming post, so, I’ll type the quick version.
[20:08] <+Geek2theRight> Wait, you can use this for Supernatural?
[20:08] <+Macklin> Hunters, angels, demons.
[20:09] <+Macklin> I’m Team Dean.
[20:09] <+Macklin> Anyway, to the combat question, at least in brief
[20:10] <+Macklin> It’s ’90s at base. Succeed at hitting someone, you roll damage, and inflict that on your foe. This is a system where it’s possible to be knocked out and at mercy in a couple hits, so you have to be smart about the play and know when to pull out an Apeiron whammy.
[20:10] <~Dan> Sounds like a cocktail.
[20:10] <~Dan> “I’ll have an Apeiron Whammy.”
[20:11] <+Macklin> The piece I’m happiest with is integration with the idea of dueling enough to make the combat go faster: you can always choose to counterattack instead of defending. Ties mean you both hit each other. Speeds things up.
[20:12] <+Macklin> The piece that makes it sing in the story is that, when you’re hit, you describe how the person hits you. They don’t describe how you’re hit. Your job as a player is to be interesting, and that’s a time where you get to ham up your narration (or bodywork, if you like).
[20:12] <+Macklin> If you saw the original Episode 1, it more or less works like that. That part of the game was solid. We’re tweaking and building.
[20:12] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:13] <+Macklin> Oh, lemme follow up
[20:13] <~Dan> Is damage totally random, or does degree of success matter?
[20:13] <+Macklin> Healing takes two forms: shaking things off and dealing with Hardcore Wounds by engaging in drama appropriate to your character.
[20:14] <+Macklin> There’s no “it takes three weeks to heal from this” in the game. The Darkest Cosmos is uninterested in your bedrest.
[20:14] <+Macklin> So, in fact, it _doesn’t_ heal unless you engage.
[20:14] <+Macklin> But if there’s game downtime, we all assume you did.
[20:14] <+Macklin> Damage is semi-random with degrees of success.
[20:15] <+Macklin> If you weakly hit, you do a wound. If you critically hit, you do max damage. In between, you do 1 + die rating of your weapon, rolled and tallied like any die roll.
[20:15] <+Macklin> It’s enough to keep you unsure if the next hit will take you out once you’re down a little, but sure enough to be worried about a critical hit.
[20:16] <+Macklin> So do you run, knowing that? Do you double down? Do you get all sickhouse with some dark crap?
[20:16] <+Macklin> I don’t want that decision to only start happening twenty minutes into a combat scene.
[20:16] <+Macklin> Unless it’s a climatic battle, in which case the system has a provision for being drawn out.
[20:16] <+Lin_Chong> Probably wise.
[20:16] <+Macklin> If you like that sort of thing.
[20:16] * ~Dan nods
[20:17] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:17] <+Lin_Chong> What does defense look like?
[20:18] <+Macklin> Attack: I roll some Essence + Fight. Defense: depends on how. If you’re counterattacking, also rolling an Essence + Fight. Or use a different Domain if what you’d doing is truly defending—in which case critically succeeding puts you in a far advantageous position you can leverage.
[20:18] <+Macklin> This is a game where you’re always rolling dice.
[20:19] <+Macklin> The Story Master is also always rolling dice. There’s never a “that’s a difficulty 3 thing” for uncontested rolls, because there’s no such thing as an uncontested roll.
[20:19] <+Macklin> Let’s use some typically uninteresting scenario.
[20:19] <+Macklin> You want to climb some cliff, because dramatic reasons.
[20:19] <+Macklin> Often, it’s “well, that’s hard, so roll and get X to succeed”
[20:20] *** Le_Squide has joined #rpgnet
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[20:20] <+Macklin> In K&T, it’s “the Darkest Cosmos wants you to stuff, so describe what you’re doing to avoid it trying to make life hard on you. I’m gonna roll these dice. And if I win, this action is going to cost you.”
[20:20] <+Macklin> Because the Darkest Cosmos is an asshole.
[20:20] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:20] <+Vikshade> Considering your background in the industry, what drove your decision to create a system rather than use one of the many game engines already out there? Also, are there plans for any conversion notes for other systems, like Savage Worlds, Fate, Cortex, or d20/Pathfinder?
[20:21] <+Macklin> I’ll answer the second question first:
[20:21] <+Macklin> Leonard Balsera and I have notes about a Fate build that more or less takes Fate in a really weird, novel direction.
[20:21] <+Macklin> Then I’ll answer the first:
[20:22] <+Macklin> Partly boredom. I’ve done Fate to death. I love it, but there’s not much more _I_ can do. I have to leave that to the next generate of Fate designers to innovate and play.
[20:23] <+Vikshade> lol, I only mentioned other systems out of courtesy. Fate was all I was interested in 😉
[20:23] <+Macklin> Those other open games don’t feel especially ’90s to me enough to make me interested, and certainly I couldn’t do a lot of the stuff regarding making a book that constantly winks at the metagenre if I was limited to some ruleset with different vibes.
[20:24] <+Macklin> And to loop back to there maybe being a Fate version (if people play the Metagame hard enough), that’s because Lenny and I want to explore some really bizarre ideas that don’t fit in a Fate product elsewhere.
[20:24] <+Vikshade> this seems good though. Especially faster combat dueling. Thank you.
[20:24] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:24] <+BlairThunderwood> Does a Collectible Card Game version seem 90s enough?
[20:24] <~Dan> How well hidden is the supernatural from teh general public?
[20:25] <+Macklin> BlairThunderwood: If someone wants to give me a million dollars, I’ll make a horrible CCG 😀
[20:25] <+Lin_Chong> I’ve got a million dollars and I totally want to see a horrible CCG.
[20:26] <+Lin_Chong> I don’t even play those I just want to see it.
[20:26] <+Macklin> Dan: Hidden pretty well, by and large, most supernaturals don’t want to public to know about it. Knowledge makes one susceptible to infusion.
[20:26] <+Lin_Chong> (kiddin’, I’m poor)
[20:26] <+Macklin> Vampires can’t get sustenance from Apeiron-infused mortals.
[20:26] <+Macklin> Some technomages make good money deleting videos form YouTube
[20:27] <+Macklin> But that’s not something to overthink—the point of the game is to play in a secret world that occasionally risks containment breech, not to play a game where you’re constantly trying to do informational triage. (Unless that’s what you want to do.)
[20:28] <+Macklin> The metarules of the game will remind you of that. If you take the setting more seriously than a ’90s writers’ room, you’re putting your fun at risk.
[20:28] <+Macklin> Or not. Maybe some folks will like that.
[20:29] <+Macklin> But I’m not being rigorous here, because that starts to kill the joke. Not that the game is wall-to-wall joke; it should also be genuinely playable for itself. But not at the expense of the humor of just reading it and soaking in the vibe.
[20:29] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:29] <+Lin_Chong> Macklin: Going back to the combat question, what actions are you allowing in combat that aren’t “inflict damage” and
[20:29] <+Lin_Chong> “defend”?
[20:30] <+Macklin> If a game doesn’t support actions beyond those two in a fight, I’m not interested in it. Fate taught me that long ago.
[20:30] <+Vikshade> 🙂
[20:30] <+Macklin> You can create advantages, assault egos, and sow chaos to help or hinder.
[20:31] <+Macklin> The only real restriction is that if you’re attacked, your response choices are “defend” or “counterattack”. You can’t response with “and I try to talk you out of it.” But you can do that as your action on your turn.
[20:31] <+Lin_Chong> Thought as much, but just checking.
[20:31] <+Macklin> Design note: we tried to “I defend by humiliating you” rules. Bogged down play.
[20:32] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:32] <~Dan> Does the setting make packing a katana in public a practical thing to do?
[20:33] <+Macklin> Immortals can cause their awesome sword to appear and disappear at will
[20:34] <+Macklin> Watch how often Duncan is clearly not carrying a sword, then whips one out in the next shot.
[20:34] <+Macklin> I am simply chronicling the true history of immortality 😉
[20:34] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:34] <+IanW> Some highlanders wielded broadswords and there’s no way those things fit comfortably under a trenchcoat.
[20:34] <+Lin_Chong> Oh my God I was wondering what Immortals you were talking about this whole time.
[20:34] <+Lin_Chong> It was THOSE.
[20:34] <+Macklin> Not just, but 80% of the inspiration.
[20:35] <~Dan> Are there any totally inhuman threats in this setting?
[20:35] <+Vikshade> Igot the show / movie reference from the name. “Katanas & Trenchcoats”.
[20:35] <+Macklin> I talk more about that in the first update, about why the game’s focused on immortals
[20:35] <+Lin_Chong> What’s the other 20%, i you don’t mind me asking?
[20:35] <+Macklin> Or third update (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying/posts/1538157)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryanmacklin/katanas-and-trenchcoats-retromodern-roleplaying/posts/1538157
[20:36] <+Macklin> Vikshade: That’s also a reference to like half of all American larps in the 90s 🙂
[20:36] <+Macklin> Dan: There are cultists who totally worship dark beings, and there are monsters in the Umbric Realms, and other things that would fit a monster-of-the-week or apocalyptic-doom trope.
[20:37] <~Dan> Are any such things statted out in the rulebook?
[20:37] <+Vikshade> lol. perfect
[20:37] <+Macklin> Lin_Chong: I couldn’t tell you any one thing. Short stories I’ve read. Whatever inspiration other writers have.
[20:37] <+Lin_Chong> I understand.
[20:38] <+Macklin> Dan: No, but only because that part hasn’t been written yet. 🙂 However, there will be coverage on threats of all sorts—something that’s simple because as a GM, I want something I can grab onto quickly.
[20:38] * ~Dan nods
[20:38] <+Macklin> Where I have a framework to execute flavor without having to flip through a bunch of rules. Fate’s spoiled me in that regard, so that’s another aspect of “retromodern.”
[20:38] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:38] <+Macklin> (FYI, I’ve gotta be out of here in 10 minutes)
[20:39] <~Dan> That being the case, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:39] <+IanW> The powers I wrote for Year 1 were inspired by sources like Star Trek and Underworld.
[20:40] <+Macklin> I’m going to post on the Kickstarter more about the different supernatural beings, rules bits, my writers—
[20:40] <+Macklin> OMG, Underworld 😀
[20:40] <+Macklin> –the philosophy being being a Story Master, etc.
[20:41] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:41] <+Macklin> With that last bit, my approach at this point to being a GM is “how can I take the Powered by the Apocalypse framework and apply it to 90s games”
[20:42] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Macklin!
[20:42] <+Macklin> (done)
[20:42] <+Vikshade> apologies if this is addressed in the kickstarter, but will the material have adventure seeds throughout or is just assumed that a competent GM will be able to extract their own. Also are there plans for any “Adventure Modules” (very 90’s!)
[20:42] <+Macklin> Plenty of things to use, in the forms of:
[20:42] <+Macklin> a situation builder akin to City Creation in Dresden Files/Game Creation in Fate Core
[20:42] <+Vikshade> sweet
[20:43] <+Macklin> random generators like those shown in Year One
[20:43] <+Geek2theRight> Oh, this is pbta???
[20:43] <~Dan> Please know that you are always welcome to hang out with us any time you like. 🙂
[20:43] <+Macklin> tiny seeds peppered throughout the book like rumors and whispers
[20:43] <+Vikshade> nice
[20:43] <+Macklin> Geek2theRight: No.
[20:43] <+Vikshade> well again thank you for your time. have a good night sir.
[20:43] <~Dan> Also, if anyone is feeling generous, my virtual tip jar is here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[20:44] <+Macklin> Geek2theRight: There’s a find city-scale PbtA game called Urban Shadows.
[20:44] <+Macklin> Anyway, yeah, stuff like that. Follow the KS post for deets.
[20:44] <+Macklin> Thank you all for having me!
[20:44] <~Dan> Give me just a minute, and I’ll post the link to the chat log. 🙂