[19:04] <+Terra-49> Hello everyone. 🙂 for those who were not present for our previous chats, my name is John and I’m a member of the development team for Terra-49. Which is a Table top RPG set in the future on the distant planet of Terra-49. The game has a heavy focus on survival, resource management, and teamwork
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[19:04] <+Terra-49> *done
[19:04] <~Dan> Thanks, Terra-49!
[19:04] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:05] <~Dan> Can you tell us more about the setting?
[19:06] <&Doctor> And then the setting’s done, I have the typical “3 questions”
[19:06] <+Terra-49> The game is set several years after a massive war that has devastated the planet of Terra-49 and left the rest of the system greatly weakened.
[19:07] <+Terra-49> While set in the future, much of the weapons are more barbaric, such as chainsaws and shotguns to help with the sort of rugged and dystonian feel of the planet.
[19:07] <&Silverlion> What is the system like?
[19:08] <+Terra-49> and much of the planet, and even the system as a whole, is run by ruthless factions and corporations that have taken advantage of the chaos brought on by the war.
[19:08] <+Terra-49> I’m sorry, Silverlion, could you be more specific?
[19:10] <&Doctor> First off I want to say that I love the new look and feel, I really think the game has an identity that it didn’t the last time around. I am hopeful that you’re seeing the results of this in your numbers. But now on to the questions, which begin with “What is your game _about_ ” in the thematic and conceptual sense? You mention survival, teamwork, and
[19:10] <&Doctor> mention survival, teamwork, and resource management, but I suppose what I am asking is “to what end?”
[19:12] <&Silverlion> Terra-49, well what are the mechanics? Give me an example of a character doing something in the game with your mechanics?
[19:12] <+Terra-49> Well we designed the game to be challenging, and we wanted players to feel a senses of apprehension when entering situations and even desperation at times.
[19:14] <+Terra-49> We did this because we felt that while the role playing aspect of the game was rewarding in itself, tension behind your actions added a bit more fun to the mix.
[19:18] <+Terra-49> @ Silverlion. As a basic example, I would say a players turn would might play out something like this. Your team mate has been hit and retreated to cover. You would might use an action to run from behind your own cover to his, use another to use a med pack and roll you medicine skill to heal some of the damage, and use your last action to reload your weapon.
[19:19] <~Dan> What’s the die mechanic?
[19:19] <&Doctor> Which, I suppose, dovetails nicely into “How does your game do this?” What are the mechanics used to ratchet up the tension?
[19:22] <+Terra-49> we use a D6 system where players roll dice equal to their skill in the action they are attempting to perform. 5’s and 6’s are counted as hits and the rest are discarded as misses.
[19:22] <+Terra-49> most actions will require players to achieve a certain number of ‘hits’ for success.
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[19:24] <+Terra-49> So if you were attempting to convince a guard you know the owner of the nightclub, and you have a Negotiation score of 5, you might need to pass a skill check of 3 (get 3 hits) in order to convince him.
[19:25] <+Terra-49> So you would roll 5 D6 and hope 3 of them land on 5’s or 6’s
[19:25] <~Dan> Can we see the character sheet?
[19:25] <+Terra-49> (Link: http://www.terra-49.com/cs.html)http://www.terra-49.com/cs.html
[19:27] <+Terra-49> we are still discussing the category of several skills, and if we even want categorys. but that should give you a basic idea of the skills you would be using.
[19:27] <~Dan> Yeah, I think we discussed that last time — in particular, Pilot being under Social.
[19:28] <~Dan> Remind me of the uses of the categories?
[19:29] <+Terra-49> You might also notice there is no ‘defense’ score listed. This is because with the exception of melee attacks (which defend with agility) players rely on cover to provide them a defense bonus. If you are out in the open, you don’t get a defense roll.
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[19:30] <~Dan> Even against something slow like a thrown weapon?
[19:30] <~Dan> (Howdy, Monochrome_Tide!)
[19:30] <+Terra-49> The original purpose of categorys was for certain class perks which allowed players to incur category specific penalties on their opponents. (all body skills are reduced by half for example)
[19:31] <+xyphoid> what do you do in this game – like what’s a defaul adventure look like
[19:31] <~Dan> Ah, right.
[19:32] <+Terra-49> As for the thrown weapon, that might be something where your GM could decide if it would be likely or feasible for you to attempt to dodge it, and allow you to use your agility to avoid it. but by default probably not.
[19:33] <+Terra-49> Their are some exceptions, such as grenades, which allow players the chance to use their agility to attempt to take half damage, or to shift out of range completely.
[19:34] <+Terra-49> For grenades you can make an agility check, and take half damage with 2 hits, or avoid it completely and shift out with 3 or more hits.
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[19:34] * ~Dan nods
[19:35] <~Dan> What races/species exist in the setting?
[19:36] <+Terra-49> We typically grade our challenge levels as (1 – easy) (2 – moderate) (3 – Hard) (4+ – your GM hates you) 😛
[19:37] <+Terra-49> Our playable races include the Ogshu. a four armed warrior race who are the native inhabitants of Terra-49. The Talch, who are a relatively humanoid race who excel at deception and manipulation.
[19:37] <+Terra-49> The Yig, who are a small 4 armed 4 legged, 8 eyed species of highly intelligent and curious alien beings.
[19:38] <+Terra-49> the Gothmi, who are hulking giants who build massive underground hives.
[19:39] <+Terra-49> and Humans, who sort of show up and throw gasoline on an already unstable system.
[19:40] <+Terra-49> There are also Xulo, who are a rather primitive race of hunters, who have been given/stolen ships by the other races and can be found roaming about.
[19:40] <~Dan> Oh, did you catch xyphoid’s earlier question about what a typical adventure looks like?
[19:40] <+Terra-49> The Lamrin, who are a nomadic race of pirates and merchants who can be found about.
[19:41] <+Terra-49> and the Del’ion, who are a sort of mysterious race of ethereal beings encased in metallic suits, and are believed to be somehow responsible for the sudden emergence of psychic powers
[19:42] <+Terra-49> I did, but I got distracted. 🙂 I’ll swing back to that now.
[19:43] <~Dan> No problem. 🙂
[19:44] <+Terra-49> So some of the adventures we’ve been working on so far include one where you would start out as part of a caravan that’s been surviving in the desert, and is now running out of food and supplies. Some are beginning to resort of cannibalism and you need to choose sides. After that, you need to try to make your way to another caravan or a city.
[19:44] <+Terra-49> Where you’ll need to then find a way of securing more resources. ether by stealing them, taking them forcefully, or attempting to make allies and find work.
[19:45] <+Terra-49> work you might find could include joining up with the black skull, and robbing a local MPO controlled bank.
[19:46] <+Terra-49> or rounding up black skull lackeys for the M.P.O. and becoming a local enforcer.
[19:47] <~Dan> MPO?
[19:47] <+Terra-49> Magnuig Peace Order. It’s one of the more predominant factions in our game.
[19:48] <+Terra-49> We’ve tried to create a number of various factions with different and often conflicting agendas to help both lead players into additional campaigns and missions, and to foster a sense of community among players who associate with one faction or another.
[19:50] <~Dan> Is there space travel in the setting, or is the action limited to Terra-49?
[19:52] <+Terra-49> We are already working on missions that take place in space, and you will be able theoretically travel between planets. However the original Handbook will focus mostly on Terra-49 and the factions/people found there.
[19:53] <~Dan> How much focus is there on vehicle combat?
[19:53] <+Terra-49> We plan to release other material later that will introduce additional space craft, and go into more detail on the factions/people of the other planets, and missions/campaigns you can play there.
[19:56] <+Terra-49> As of now, vehicles play almost more of a support role. Players wont start with them, and obtaining them (and then keeping them) wont typically be easy. And some of them wont even be combat oriented. More for transportation/escape.
[19:57] <+xyphoid> do you have mechanics around resource management?
[19:57] <+Terra-49> However we do plan to have a couple vehicles that are armed, and could provide an combat advantage in an open space.
[19:57] <~Dan> Hmm. Do PCs tend to rely on animal-based transport, then?
[19:58] <+Terra-49> PC’s rely mostly on walking. Unless they manage to obtain vehicle or are lent one by an employer.
[19:59] <+xyphoid> like, what does ‘a heavy emphasis on survival’ mean here – do you have mechanics around needing food/water, and do you cover stuff like cannibalism as a core thing? or is that up to the GM
[20:01] <+Terra-49> @ Xyphoid as for resource management, most things are pretty limited. Players are allowed to carry up to 3 cases of ammunition, and each ammunition case contains 6 rounds. Later on players can upgrade to carry up to 2 more, but selecting it as one of their 6 possible perks.
[20:01] <&Silverlion> Wow bullets are heavy…what kind of firearm is that?
[20:01] <&Silverlion> (a bazooka?)
[20:01] <+Terra-49> Players also only have 3 utility slots in which to carry things like Med Pacs, grenades, or extra weapons.
[20:02] <+xyphoid> so inventory’s pretty heavily abstracted? does food/water cut into that?
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[20:03] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[20:03] <+Terra-49> While food was a resource way back in our early development, we’ve since eliminated it for the sake of tracking and simplicity. we found it wasn’t a very fun mechanic.
[20:04] <+Terra-49> The particular campaign I mentioned before utilizes it specifically for that scenario, and would be largely a GM discretion thing.
[20:07] <+Terra-49> @ Silverlion. as for the bazooka, we considered that with our Rocket Launcher. 😛 However it’s pretty much the only weapon that has that issue, and we’ve attached a special to it that indicates it’s case only counts as 1
[20:08] <+Terra-49> *done
[20:08] <+Terra-49> Have I missed anything?
[20:08] <~Dan> I think so…
[20:08] <~Dan> What sorts of wildlife exist on Terra-49?
[20:11] <+Terra-49> We’ve only worked up a couple rough concepts for wildlife so far, and don’t intent to have very many ‘beasts’ on Terra-49 itself. Reason for this being that the planet has been devastated to the point that most native wildlife has become extinct (or very rare) and we didn’t want players essentally just going off into the wastes to kill bores. 😛
[20:11] <&Silverlion> Those are very SMALL ammunition “cases”
[20:12] <+Terra-49> We want the game to feel less like monster hunting, and more like surviving in a hostile environment where most of your threats are from other people.
[20:13] <&Silverlion> That makes sense.
[20:14] <+Terra-49> @ Silverlion. rocket launchers are one of the most devastating weapons. With characters having such low health pools, we wanted to avoid people simply loading up on rocket launchers and blowing up everything that moved. 😛 They can swing the tide of a fight, but you need to use them wisely.
[20:14] <&Silverlion> I was thinking more of other guns only have six shots in a “Case”
[20:17] <~Dan> Yeah, that does seem pretty low.
[20:17] <+Terra-49> Part of that again was to enforce a bit more strategy and resource management on players. You can shoot wildly and empty your gun every turn, but that’s not always the best option.
[20:18] <&Silverlion> Just kinda whacks versimillitude, somewhat hard.
[20:19] <~Dan> If I might make a suggestion, Terra-49…?
[20:19] <+Terra-49> With 3 full cases, plus a loaded weapon, its highly unlikely you’ll run out of ammunition in any given fight before you or your opponent are dead. But if you get into multiple engagements without picking up more ammo, you can run into trouble.
[20:19] <+Terra-49> of course Dan. 🙂
[20:20] <~Dan> Well, are you familiar at all with SLA Industries?
[20:20] <+Terra-49> I’m afraid I am not.
[20:21] <~Dan> No problem. Long story short, the PCs are violent troubleshooters who are filmed for entertainment. (more)
[20:22] <~Dan> Hand-to-hand combat gets higher ratings, so the company that sells them their ammo jacks up the prices.
[20:22] <~Dan> You might consider making ammo more expensive rather than having it take up an unrealistic amount of space.
[20:24] <+Terra-49> Pricing is something we considered as a restricting factor, but decided would be largely up to the GM.
[20:24] <+Terra-49> And we wanted players to salvage much of their ammunition from defeated NPC’s or granted as rewards by their employers after a job.
[20:26] <+Terra-49> I guess I cant deny that the numbers seem low. but we’ve tried to keep pretty much ALL of our numbers low and in play testing it hasn’t presented an issue so far.
[20:27] <+Terra-49> Since usually the things you are fighting have ammunition of them as well, and one of you is pretty much guaranteed to die before using it all. 😛
[20:28] <+Terra-49> *done
[20:29] <~Dan> Yeah, I understand your motivation. I’m just always leery about mechanics that have an impact on suspension of disbelief in the setting, if you see what I mean.
[20:30] <~Dan> In any case, can you talk us through combat?
[20:30] <+Terra-49> I certainly do. 🙂 Again, part of the reason we eliminated food. 😛
[20:30] <+Terra-49> On combat.
[20:32] <+Terra-49> Combat is pretty strait forward. Once a combat encounter begins, players each get 3 actions on their turn, starting with the player who initiates combat and then drafting turn order back and forth between teams until all characters are accounted for.
[20:33] <+Terra-49> Players roll D6 equal to their combat skills in the weapon they are using, and attempt to hit enemy characters. Characters within melee range of an attack can attempt to dodge with Agility, and ranged attacks cant be blocked except by cover.
[20:35] <+Terra-49> players gain cover by hiding out of line of sight, typically behind things, and the GM tells the players the level of cover they receive. (behind a wooden crate? cover 1 behind a steel crate? cover 3. ect)
[20:36] <+Terra-49> cover bonuses act as a static score opponents must surpass in order to deal damage. So if a player rolls 5 D6, and hits 3 times, but the opponent is behind cover 2, they only count as if they hit once.
[20:37] <+Terra-49> This can reduce or completely negate the damage a player would normally take. Which can be huge, as each weapon has on “on hit” and “per hit” damage.
[20:38] <&Doctor> Just got back, was away a second. With the ammo per slot so low, how do you propose the PCs carry their salvaged ammo?
[20:38] <~Dan> Ah, so better hits do more damage.
[20:38] <+Terra-49> So if a player rolls 3 hits with a weapon that deals 3 initial + 4on hit. they would deal 15 damage. (half of a players life total) but if they were behind cover 2, they would only sustain 7 damage.
[20:40] <~Dan> Hmm… I see that you incorporated the quality of cover, but do you deal with the degree of cover as well?
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[20:43] <+Terra-49> @Doctor – with a full weapon and ammo slots, players should have a total of 24 rounds. even if they only hit 50% of the time, and only hit for minimum damage with the lowest damage weapon, they would 72 damage. which is enough to kill 2 and 1/2 characters. 😛
[20:43] <&Doctor> Do do modifiers in the game affect difficulties? Dice pools? Neither? both?
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[20:43] <+Terra-49> @ Dan could you elaborate on degree of cover?
[20:46] <~Dan> Well, it sounds like the value of cover depends strictly upon the nature of the cover and not the degree to which the person is covered.
[20:46] <+Terra-49> @ Doctor – There are very few modifiers in the game really. Players who drop below 10 hp become ‘wounded’ and have all their skills reduced by half. ( so dice pool I guess) but other than that, I’m struggling to think of examples where your scores are modified. but yes. penalties and such would reduce your dice pool.
[20:46] <~Dan> For example, it sounds like a person would be better off 25% covered by concrete than 75% covered by wood.
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[20:49] <&Doctor> Right, I don’t doubt that, but lets say ammo not the only thing in my slots: I have a grenade, a knife, a medpac, and 6 rounds. I one-shot a mook, who carries 6 rounds. I walk over and pick up the bullets… what happens
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[20:49] <+Kei_Kenobi> yo
[20:49] <+Terra-49> @ Dan – ah. no, there is no real ‘wood gives this much vs concrete’ formula or anything. The example I gave was just a quick and easy hypothetical using the same object but with different substances. You most likely would also see a difference in cover being behind a crate vs behind a wall.
[20:50] <+Terra-49> But cover is something we feel comfortable leaving largely up to the GM.
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[20:50] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:51] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:52] <&Doctor> Also, Pilot is something that sits in social… I suppose this might make sense if it were Ride (Animal Whispering is an empathing thing) or like… Captaining, as you need to coordinate people. Did I miss the discussion of what kind of vehicles this system expects the pcs to encounter?
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[20:52] <+Terra-49> @ Doctor – Your Knife, medpac & grenade would take up your 3 utility slots. (assuming you have a 3rd weapon, your allowed to carry 2) If you only have 6 rounds, I’m assuming you have 3 open ammo slots. so if you pick up 6 rounds, you now have a full ammo case, and 5 rounds open for your gun.
[20:53] <+Terra-49> or if you have 3 full ammo cases, (with 6 rounds each) and used one of the 6 in your gun. I’m assuming you pick up 1 bullet off the monk, reload, and go on your merry way. 😛
[20:54] <+Terra-49> @ Dan, not that I can think of… I’m sure there was, but there’s always stuff to talk about. So I simply try to do my best to answer the questions people are actually curious about. 🙂
[20:55] <~Dan> Well, if anything else comes to mind, you know that you’re always welcome here. 🙂
[20:55] <+xyphoid> how much of the game’s written?
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[20:58] <+Terra-49> @ Xyphoid a good portion of the history for all the races and the universe (working out last minute details with the timeline) All game mechanics except for vehicle combat (so far we’ve only worked on transports) and details on some of the major NPC’s
[20:59] <+Terra-49> Honestly a lot of the work yet to be done simply involves compiling all of our documents into a single PDF. We’ve usually got multiple hands working on different sections at a time.
[21:00] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Terra-49!
[21:00] <+Terra-49> Thanks for Having me again. 🙂
[21:01] <~Dan> Give me just a moment, and I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂