[20:46] <+DiasExMachina> My name is Chris Dias from Dias Ex Machina Games. I am the creator of the settings Amethyst, Apex, and NeuroSpasta, and also am the force behind Ultramodern4 and the newly released Ultramodern5.
[20:49] <~Dan> (As a reminder, please give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂 )
[20:49] <+DiasExMachina> (done) 🙂
[20:49] <~Dan> Thanks Chris! The floor is open to questions!
[20:50] <~Dan> What can you tell us about the setting of Amethyst?
[20:52] <+DiasExMachina> Amethyst started as a minor alteration to vanilla D&D, presenting traditional fantasy elements in a post-apocalyptic Earth. It evolved to become a setting where technology and magic cannot occupy the same space without disruption, leaving a world where magic has returned, and conflict ensues.
[20:53] <~Dan> What degree of technology causes a disruption?
[20:53] <+DiasExMachina> It technically breaks the first two rules of this page. It blatantly brings up politics and religion.
[20:53] <~Dan> You’re fine when talking in the context of a game setting. 🙂
[20:54] <+DiasExMachina> Technology does not create disruption of magic, only the other way around. This was because if technology could disrupt magic, there would be no magic, because technology is a lot easier to create in mass.
[20:54] <+DiasExMachina> In also creates the setting where magic rules the majority of the planet and technology fights to regain its foothold
[20:54] <+DiasExMachina> (done)
[20:55] <~Dan> What caused magic to return?
[20:58] <+DiasExMachina> Magic is not “really” magic by most people’s interpretations. It is what occurs when a breach in space-time opens up to another universe, and the spill-over of altered rules floods onto our normal universe. This is one theory–the other is that this gate is not a region of constant chaos, explaining why there is an antithesis gate of corruption and negativi
[20:58] <+DiasExMachina> negativity
[20:59] <+DiasExMachina> Magic returning is somewhat of a mystery–no one in the setting knows how magic returned after 65 million years
[20:59] <+DiasExMachina> (Done)
[20:59] <~Dan> How advanced is the technology?
[21:01] <+joewolz> When did the world end?
[21:02] <+DiasExMachina> Because techan cities in Amethyst are separated by disrupting magic, they develop independently, As such, no two look alike. Some are modern, like early 21st century, while others are hundreds of years ahead, mastering artificial gravity and advanced robotics (done),
[21:03] <+DiasExMachina> We don’t state when the world ended, only that the canon setting of the first book is about 500 years after it did. However, we have kept quiet on the date the sh$& hit the fan. HOWEVER, there are clues if you read some of the fiction. There are references to how bad global warming got, indicated it was still a few years from now. (done)
[21:04] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest37!)
[21:05] <~Dan> I really should have asked this earlier, but what system do you use?
[21:05] <+DiasExMachina> All of them. 🙂
[21:05] <+DiasExMachina> Amethyst supports…
[21:06] <+joewolz> That is a super cool setting. How closely tailored are the various systems to it? Which is the best in you opinion?
[21:06] <+DiasExMachina> 13th Age, Savage Worlds, 3.5, Paizo, 4th Edition, 5th Edition, and Fate Core
[21:07] <+DiasExMachina> I am always working on perfecting it, so I think the last one is always the best…so that being said, I think Amethyst Quintessence is the best edition
[21:07] <+Guest37> Any plans for designing your own system?
[21:07] <+AmyL> Do you have any writing samples regarding the background we can take a look at?
[21:07] <+DiasExMachina> And it does look the best–has the most color. But I will always have a soft spot for the 4th Edition. I didn’t write the SW or Fate editions, so I can’t comment on those
[21:08] <+Blarghedy> are you planning to add any supplements for the setting?
[21:08] <~Dan> Guest37: You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan. 🙂
[21:09] <+DiasExMachina> I am not a fan of developing my own system. Tried it…find it annoying. I prefer tweaking other systems. I also don’t think it would be as popular as I would hope. That being said, I think it would be cool to do a huge modified version of 4th Edition or 5th Edition, one that break a lot of rules
[21:10] <+AmyL> DiasExMachina: Also, how far in the future does this take place? Are the landmasses in the same place more or less?
[21:10] <+DiasExMachina> Yes, there is a supplement being worked on, the ultimate end of our kickstarter. Amethyst Factions should be out early next year.
[21:12] <+Guest37> What was the inspiration behind Amethyst?
[21:12] <+DiasExMachina> Amy, the map shows considerable geological changing, with mention that when magic returned, it wreaked havoc on the globe. However, the landmasses are still pretty much unchanged. You’ll notice the great lakes have merged, Florida has flooded. And so on
[21:13] <+Guest37> Well, that name changed didn’t work.
[21:14] <~Dan> Guest37: What do you want your name to be?
[21:14] <+Guest37> Gamemastertoolbox
[21:15] <+DiasExMachina> Amethyst grew naturally over the course of many years…so it doesn’t have one idea that inspired it. Originally, it was only dragons in a post-apocalyptic setting, so I guess it tracks back to the original Dragonslayer. I thought it would be cool to have Dragons destroying a world of technology. Then the movie Reign of Fire came out.
[21:15] <~Dan> Type “/nick Gamemastertoolbox” (no quotes).
[21:15] <+DiasExMachina> So that basically ended that line of thought. Then I was asked to run a game so I dusted the idea off
[21:15] <~Dan> There you go. 🙂
[21:16] <+DiasExMachina> Only this time, I dumped the rest of fantasy hallmarks into it as well. Disruption would not be introduced for two more years.
[21:16] <+Gamemastertoolbox> Thank you Dan.
[21:16] <+AmyL> Is the internal combustion engine still used or is it disrupted?
[21:17] <+DiasExMachina> Renaming the various races was another few. Flipping the chaos/law dynamic was the most recent inclusion before it finally went to print. The setting evolved so much, the original d20 edition from 2008 is no longer canon.
[21:19] <+DiasExMachina> I wanted to avoid any technomagic or steampunk elements, so disruption occurs all the way to even basic firearms, where magic prevents rapid combustion. However, the more primitive the tech, the better chance of it surviving.
[21:19] <+DiasExMachina> There are also shortcuts, like sealing your vehicle in fae iron, stuff like that. The point is you cannot enchant a gun or a car. They break down instantly.
[21:20] <+DiasExMachina> But the game does promote mixed parties, and all my games feature that (done)
[21:20] <+AmyL> When disasters struck, disruption did not occur? I am curious about some things regarding the foundations of cities
[21:20] <+AmyL> Not right away regarding the disruption that is
[21:21] <+Gamemastertoolbox> Is there anything about the setting that you would like to explore but have yet to have an opportunity?
[21:22] <+DiasExMachina> I have not revealed the status of the planet before the gate opened and disrupted flooded the globe. However, when it did, there was a massive surge of disruption, more than the current setting, which screwed up everybody. The planet underwent a huge geological upheaval, which killed a lot more people, forcing the remaining to rebuild.
[21:22] <+DiasExMachina> The bastions started as the original refugee areas, and when magic was not employed, these “dead zones” emerged where technology started to function. The bastions threw up walls and the rest is history.
[21:23] <~Dan> How does magic work in the setting? Are there the standard D&D-style wizards?
[21:24] <+DiasExMachina> I would like to finally attack the expansions. Remember, the core book only covered the first six months of my first campaign. I’ve been running Amethyst since 2001. There are four campaigns spread out over 65 million years in the setting. From the present, to the old age, to 10,000 years in the future. There is a lot to be told
[21:26] <+Gamemastertoolbox> Damn, I have to go, but before I do – I want my NeuroSpasta fix.
[21:26] <+DiasExMachina> Dan, we let the old rules stand, even though in canon, they are slightly different. For one, wizards are extremely rare. Second, wizards in the setting create living energies that accomplish what they created for. There are no “clerics” or “bards” in the setting, but we allowed them as variant spellcasters.
[21:28] <+AmyL> What are the things a wizard can accomplish in your setting? Are there various schools and sects for spellcasters?
[21:28] <+DiasExMachina> Also, Amethyst magic uses totems where power words are inscribed. The idea being that spellcraft came about because powerful creatures (dragons) created a language that can alter the world by speaking it, akin to God’s power of logos. Fae and humans have stolen that technique by attempting to leard said language.
[21:28] <+DiasExMachina> NeuroSpasta is coming. I decided to tackle APEX first. NS should be September
[21:29] <+DiasExMachina> In all the rule books, we have freed up the canon restrictions to allow wizards a full spell list, with exception of 8th and 9th level spells. These are called Foundation Spells, and they require the possession of an artifact in order to cast.
[21:30] <+AmyL> So there is no need for nonsense syllables repeated ad nauseam?
[21:30] <~Dan> You’ve touched on this a bit, but what sorts of fantasy creatures exist? Do you have any twists on the fantasy standards?
[21:31] <+DiasExMachina> Yeah, it’s a simple word, a made-up one, but no chanting.
[21:33] <+DiasExMachina> Although they began as twists on fantasy standards, I decided to go back to the source and twist them instead. So the dwarves became narros, the wood elves became chaparrans, and the high elves became damaskans. However, I didn’t follow the modern ideals–narros are not hairy, neither are they wort covered. Our subterranean elves are blind albinos.
[21:34] <~Dan> Howdy, kzar!
[21:34] <+AmyL> In the core books and any of your writings, is there anything we can read about the state of farming, arts, hunting, war, and other stuff?
[21:34] <~Dan> How much of a bestiary do you offer?
[21:34] <+DiasExMachina> So if a creature exists in mythology, it’s in Amethyst–the explanation being that their existence in the old age has inspired us through some ethereal influence passed through our genes. All the other creatures we allow as well, explained that they are mutations of magic. The exceptions are the new civilized races in D&D. They are not in Amethyst
[21:35] <+AmyL> Did farming regress back to Neolithic methods?
[21:36] <+AmyL> Or cattle still existed?
[21:36] <+AmyL> Bah, still exists
[21:36] <+DiasExMachina> Yeah, Amy, I go into a lot of detail regarding specifics like that. Amethyst has to make sense…it cannot be passed off as a standard fantasy setting which breaks apart under scrutiny. Everything has to make sense or it is changed. So all the inherited knowledge from mankind wasn’t forgotten. People still know how to build better houses.
[21:37] <+DiasExMachina> So even magical civilizations benefit from the knowledge of thousands of years of human trial and error.
[21:38] <+DiasExMachina> So technology regresses, but our practices didn’t have to. (Done)
[21:40] <~Dan> What is the cosmology of the setting? Do gods/angels/demons exist?
[21:40] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest26! You can set your name with the /nick command. 🙂 )
[21:41] <+DiasExMachina> Oh I was waiting for this one. Here is the thing: the setting is set in the “real world.” Meaning we have to acknowledge modern religions, so to do that, we CANNOT bring in gods, and angels, or demons, because it invalidates the beliefs of those that don’t subscribe to them.
[21:42] <+DiasExMachina> So it was important to keep proof of the divine out the setting entirely. By keeping all divine out, you don’t invalidate any of them, and they remain based in faith like they are today. Of course, people will see proof of their beliefs everywhere, but we were not going to validate them in the confines of the book
[21:43] * ~Dan nods
[21:44] <+DiasExMachina> I will also come clean and admit that I wrote Amethyst under a crisis of faith and that is reflected in the work. We still allow clerics as variant wizards, and a few natural magical beings, but keep proof of god/s out.
[21:44] <+AmyL> Why have your setting on Earth then if you are invalidating religions that have existed for a long period of years?
[21:44] <+DiasExMachina> This expanded into a larger idea by voiding out prophecies and “chosen one”s
[21:44] <+AmyL> This is more why go though all the effort if you take out most of the religions that people worship
[21:45] <+DiasExMachina> Well, all human religions are in the book…we go over them briefly, as well as all the new religions that have cropped up, both human, and fae, but we don’t say one of them as being “right”.
[21:46] <+Lin_Chong> But the religion that has the fae…/is/ right.
[21:46] <~Dan> Do you introduce any new classes?
[21:47] <+AmyL> Why have the setting on Earth instead of ‘somewhere else’?
[21:49] <+Lin_Chong> Aren’t fae just…kind of flaky deities? They have taboos, you speak their names cautiously, you leave them offerings…
[21:49] <+DiasExMachina> The fae religion is no more right or wrong than the others. The gate of magic exists with or without belief. There are many fae that don’t worship anyone. Damaskans for example are by a majority no religious.
[21:49] <+DiasExMachina> We don’t bother introducing magical classes…the core books of the respective games do that well enough. So we introduce the technology-based classes. In 5E, about 10 of them.
[21:51] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:51] <+DiasExMachina> No, fae in Amethyst are biological creatures just like humans, but requiring the modified rules of magic to exist. Many, like the damaskans, gimfen, and narros, are paranormal in presentation, but ultimately are flesh and blood creatures.
[21:52] <+DiasExMachina> Well, the big release was Ultramodern5, which has became our most successful launch in DEM history. All the technology rules from Amethyst carried over with enhancements. It’s only $10 and I have been shocked by the positive buzz surrounding it.
[21:52] <+Lin_Chong> Deities can’t be flesh and blood?
[21:54] <+DiasExMachina> In Amethyst, there are magical beings, many perhaps claiming a higher echelon in society, and there would be those you’d imagine that would flock around them…but the majority our current belief systems revolve around silent gods that require faith and prayer.
[21:54] <+DiasExMachina> Basically, religion exists in the setting, as does magic, but we don’t outright state that faith is the source of magic or vice-versa
[21:56] <~Dan> Oh, a quick note — for anyone feeling generous, my tip jar may be found here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:56] <+DiasExMachina> Who decides who gets to be called a deity? That’s rhetorical. We are not, because that would once again validate a faith.
[21:56] <+DiasExMachina> (Done)
[21:56] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Chris!
[21:56] <+DiasExMachina> My pleasure. I’ll still hang around for any further questions
[21:57] <~Dan> Yes, you’re more than welcome to do so.
[21:57] <~Dan> I’ll just log the chat and get you the link!