[20:03] <+ChrisDean> Hi, I’m Christopher Dean; I am a one-man role-playing game design team; I do everything, bar the art and graphic design, which I get done by freelancers, and editing is done by volunteers. I quit my job last year to live off my savings and work full time to finish my RPG project.
[20:04] <+ChrisDean> The game is called I Love the Corps, and it is a military science fiction and horror game. The emphasis is on cinematic drama and story telling, and being the most gung-ho of horror games. I am just coming to my last week of Kickstarter after successfully acquiring funding after four days (an achievement I am very proud of.) (Done.)
[20:05] <+ChrisDean> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222832406/i-love-the-corps-an-action-horror-and-military-sci)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222832406/i-love-the-corps-an-action-horror-and-military-sci
[20:05] <~Dan> Thanks, ChrisDean!
[20:05] <+ChrisDean> (Done)
[20:05] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:05] <~Dan> What can you tell us about the setting?
[20:06] <+ChrisDean> It is 2450. The Earth was evacuated in the Exodus 250 years ago. What happened to the Earth? Well, that is up to the GM. The Classified Materials book has eight different options for background to pick, or you can create your own.
[20:07] <+ChrisDean> Player characters are all from the Colonial Dominion (at least usually), a gathering of a majority of human colonies. Humans are descended from the survivors of Earth, and so a lot advanced technology was lost and distrust among humanity is rife.
[20:08] <+ChrisDean> If a colony is not part of the Dominion, but they have something the Dominion can use in trade to remain so, they may be considered Independent. Some colonies used to be Dominion, and are now Separatist. Anybody else is a dirty rebel.
[20:09] <+ChrisDean> Player characters are usually marines in the United Colonial Marine Corps, the right-hand of the Dominion, but it is also easy to make civilians characters, mercs and even rebels, though the writing is focused on being marines.
[20:09] <+Abstruse> Are there aliens?
[20:10] <~Dan> (Oh, hey there, Abstruse! Didn’t realize that you were here. 🙂 )
[20:11] <+ChrisDean> There are indeed aliens, however, the Dominion only officially recognises the existence of one species, the Drogan, who are your deliberately tropey, mysterious encounter-suited individuals, who are responsible for trading plasma technology to humanity.
[20:11] <+ChrisDean> Otherwise, any other implication of other sentient aliens in existence is seen as LIES AND SLANDER, citizen.
[20:11] <+Abstruse> (I was distracted by someone posting payola accusations against EN World…of all the things to follow me from Ain’t It Cool News, I didn’t think it’d be the accusations of being a paid shill.)
[20:12] <+ChrisDean> The Classified Materials book as a range of Hostiles, from sentient aliens, animalistic aliens, psychics, mutants, crazed AI, rampaging mechanoids of alien design, and so on.
[20:13] <+ChrisDean> But a large part of the game is that these things are a prime threat, yet concealed from the average citizen and marine, in an attempt to keep society in a state of calm.
[20:13] <+ChrisDean> Propaganda and conspiracy is a large part of the game’s feel.
[20:13] <+ChrisDean> (Done.)
[20:14] <~Dan> Can you give us an overview of technology in various areas, such as weaponry, cybernetics, genetic engineering, and space travel?
[20:14] <+Abstruse> How big is “known space”? Are we talking a single system or a cluster? Is there faster than light travel?
[20:15] <+ChrisDean> Okay, so technology. In terms of weapons, its mostly very low-fi. Due to Earths collapse, a lot of the time since was spent travelling across the stars to new colonies, so development has not been massive, and most have come from trade with the Drogan.
[20:15] <+ChrisDean> So average marine equipment is very much assault rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles, however, they also have weaponry based on existing experimental weapons nowadays
[20:16] <+ChrisDean> So a standard character can be equipped with EMP rifle, laser rifle, plasma grenades, sonic suppressor (for non-lethal crowd control) and so on.
[20:17] <+ChrisDean> Characters can also spend Fortune Points (which you use to create characters) to have fancier gear, like some very advanced drones, Mechs or even the vaunted ‘Black Hole Gun’
[20:17] <+ChrisDean> Cybernetics are common: a marine with cybernetics is considered to be a big damn hero, because they survived horrible bloodshed and lost limbs and carried on in the fight
[20:18] <~Dan> (Pssst! GenoFoxx! He said “mechs”! 🙂 )
[20:18] <+ChrisDean> You can have limbs replaced, eyes replaced (and different vision modes), various kinds of weapon installations, and then there is even a stat to stick a bomb in you, if you want to go out in style.
[20:19] <+ChrisDean> Mech pilots are people with cybernetic nerve interface nodes wired into their body. This allows them to feel what their Mech feels, and therefore control it just as you would your own body.
[20:19] <+ChrisDean> These are essentially suits of Mechanised armour; smallest is 8ft high, biggest around 10ft high (think Power Loaders or Marauder suits, for inspiration)
[20:20] <+ChrisDean> Genetic engineering exists: any characters can have GeneMods, which are packets programmed into you to survive different environments more effectively.
[20:20] <+ChrisDean> Those with GeneMods are called Augmented Humans… or Augs for short
[20:21] <+ChrisDean> Augs types include Aquaworlders (more athletic, with gills, and possibly pressure/cold resistant), Astros (adapted for zero-g), collosal Highgravs and Ferals (people spliced with animal DNA), and there are more
[20:22] <+ChrisDean> GeneMods can be crossed over, so Highgrav/Ferals with bear DNA from a Russian-ethnic planet are entirely possible.
[20:23] <+ChrisDean> Mankind has spread into several systems. They do have wormhole technology to travel instantly between systems. However, it is not safe to hyperspace into a system any further than its edge, due to imprecision of the tech and the chance of striking spaceborne objects.
[20:23] <+Abstruse> Are there limits to cybernetic replacements? Like Shadowrun’s Essence?
[20:23] <+ChrisDean> So, once you get in-system, there is usually a few days, weeks or months of travelling at just under light speed via a combination of a ship’s nuclear power and plasma engines, before reaching a destination
[20:24] <+ChrisDean> So marines usually spend a lot of travel time in stasis until they are needed.
[20:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, Teller!)
[20:24] <+Teller> ((Shh! There’s a Q&A going on! :p ))
[20:25] <~Dan> ( 😀 )
[20:25] <+ChrisDean> Only limits to cybernetics are what you can afford with your Fortune Points and what other stats you want. You have points to spend on your core stats, Abilities, and Aspects, which are the stats that add flavour to your character. You can also spend points on additional Gear or upgrades, but everybody has a free Gear Load-Out selection.
[20:26] <+ChrisDean> Want to be an Aug? Just buy Augmentation Aspects. Cyborg? Cybernetic Aspects if what you need.
[20:26] <+ChrisDean> You can also be a MACHIIIINE if you wish to be… one of the Cybernetic Aspects is Dupe… think halfway between synthetic and terminator, and you have the right idea.
[20:27] <+ChrisDean> Some cyborgs are very subtle, with lots of upgrades underneath their skin, whilst others may be walking around with obviously cybernetic legs, skin plating and a shotgun for a right arm.
[20:27] <~Dan> I realize that the game is focused on the ground-pounders, but do you have rules for space combat?
[20:27] <+ChrisDean> (Done.)
[20:29] <+ChrisDean> All the rules of the game apply for whatever you want to do. The game is designed to be a case of always being 1. Create an Ability Total 2. Try and defeat a Target Number 3. Gain Success Levels to some degree, or negative Success Levels, or fail to get any and have a stalemate 4. Describe.
[20:29] <+Abstruse> So based on what you said, assuming I have the Fortune Points, I could theoretically replace my entire body with cybernetics? Do you have any transhumanist aspects, like uploading a brain into a computer or robot?
[20:29] <+ChrisDean> So space combat is as easy to do as anything else in the game. Characters can spend FP for vehicles, and there are some small scale aerospace vehicles available to players.
[20:30] <+ChrisDean> A marine can have an Interplanetary Insertion Craft, and use its plasma or laser cannons to hit very distant targets in space.
[20:32] <+ChrisDean> You can indeed be entirely cybernetic, either which flesh inside, or being entirely machine, if a Dupe. There is nothing specifically transhumanist; the cybernetics are about the Corps making use of their human resources as much as they can. However, it would be easy to come up with a transhumanist plot and storyline.
[20:32] <+ChrisDean> You could simply take the Dupe stats and say ‘my characters brain remote operates a machine body’, and that would be fine.
[20:33] <~Dan> You mentioned psychics as adversaries earlier. Can marines have psionics as well?
[20:33] <+ChrisDean> The game is allllll about cinematics and description to back up the rules, so people can play the kind of game they want to play, within the sub-gene.
[20:34] <+ChrisDean> Any Dominion citizen can develop Sensitive powers aka psychic sensitivity, and anyone can eventually become a full-blown psychic.
[20:34] <+ChrisDean> Players can only start off as Sensitives, via the purchase of Sensitives Aspects. There are four Sensitive disciplines:
[20:34] <~Dan> (Howdy, HDP_Dave!)
[20:36] <+ChrisDean> Low Grade Telepathy (reading and interpreting minds), Low Grade Empathy (reading and interpreting emotions), Low Grade Telekinesis (movement of matter, though movement of organic matter is highly difficult and price) and Necroseer, seeing a vision of someone’s death before it occurs
[20:36] <+ChrisDean> Sensitive powers are what the Dominion considers legally safe and controllable
[20:36] <+ChrisDean> Controlling minds with telepathy… well they’re psychic marine, take ’em down!
[20:36] <+ChrisDean> Any character with Sensitive aspects could become psychic in a game story.
[20:37] <~Dan> Other than mind control, what sorts of things can full-blown psychics do?
[20:37] <+ChrisDean> If you have the maximum level of a Sensitive aspect, and start getting creative… well the GM may just slap a Inhuman Aspect on you.
[20:37] <+ChrisDean> There are around about 100 Inhuman Aspects in Classified Materials, which you can’t choose, but can be given/forced on you in play, if story appropriate, and these can include psychic powers.
[20:38] <+GenoFoxx> so is it a nice transition and they remain themselves or do they go all ‘where no man has gone before’..Gary Mitchell?
[20:38] <+ChrisDean> Whereas a Sensitive empath can see emotions, a psychic can control them. Whereas a telekinetic would struggle to throw a person, a psychic could tear them in half. Necroseers can become Seers, who can predict the future, not just probable death.
[20:39] <+Abstruse> Have you talked about the rules system yet? Like how task resolution is handled?
[20:39] <+ChrisDean> There are also other psychic abilities just as brain-swapping and pyrokinesis… being a horror game, you are designed to be pretty tough if you want to be, but still the underdog, so these kinds of powers are designed to be in the hands of the enemy… at least to start with.
[20:40] * ~Dan nods
[20:41] <+ChrisDean> A person may not handle being a psychic well… it depends a lot on how the other marines respond. Those who are loyalist will probably want to terminate them, which may have a psychological effect. Also, the realisation of powers beyond their ken may also give that person psychological effect.
[20:42] <+ChrisDean> The game has eight Horrors, rules elements that tie into the descriptions. Realising you have powers you had no clue of could be First Contact, whilst hiding it from your allies could be Necessary Evils. Either of these Horrors could cause your psychological status to RIIIIIIISE… so yes, someone becoming psychic could go totally nuts upon the realisation/
[20:42] <+ChrisDean> Depends on the character, their stats, the story and the situation.
[20:42] <+ChrisDean> Okay, so onto the system itself.
[20:43] <+ChrisDean> Every character has eight abilities, and these are used to create ability totals, which is how the entire system is handled
[20:44] <+ChrisDean> Each Ability will have a score between 0 and 4. 0 means no skill (but you can try anything, marine!), 1 basic proficiency, 2 competence, 3 extraordinary and 4 expert. Aspects or Gear can give ability bonuses, which can boost a score to 5, but no further, so slightly superhuman.
[20:45] <+ChrisDean> Ability totals are used to defeat Target Numbers and accrue Success Levels (maximum TN to set is 10.) You have to ways to use your abilities, known as ability types, which are active and passive abilities
[20:45] <+ChrisDean> An active ability is simply roll 1D6 and add the score.
[20:46] <+ChrisDean> Passive ability is adding a static number to your score. The number you add depends on what scene you are in (which are handily written on character sheets)
[20:46] <+ChrisDean> (I’ll just get the sheet designs linked for you.)
[20:47] <+ChrisDean> (Link: https://www.facebook.com/ilovethecorps.uk/photos/?tab=album&album_id=989339877829879)https://www.facebook.com/ilovethecorps.uk/photos/?tab=album&album_id=989339877829879
[20:47] <+ChrisDean> Now, the game has two scene types: narrative scenes and action scenes
[20:47] <+ChrisDean> Scenes split into beats for rules purposes, and each beat allows you to use both ability types
[20:48] <+ChrisDean> So you can roll and one ability score, and use the static total for another, so always choosing to sue 2 out of 8 abilities.
[20:48] <+ChrisDean> In a narrative scene, you have a maximum of three beats, so that is six ability totals to make use of for dramatic actions.
[20:48] <+ChrisDean> Players choose when they want to use ability totals and when, and what they do frames the building of the scene and how the GM responds.
[20:49] <+ChrisDean> In a narrative scene, an ability total can be used for a multitude of actions
[20:49] <+ChrisDean> And you will only usually transfer to the next beat when a player wants to do something completely different, wants to swap ability types or wants to get a higher total.
[20:50] <+ChrisDean> Say beat 1 of a scene is encountering a downed alien shipwreck, and a character uses Freakin’ Ninja for stealth, and Sentry Duty to look for trouble
[20:51] <+ChrisDean> If they had a 3 or 4 score in Freakin’ Ninja, they have a passive total of seven (its score +3, the average of what you could roll), which would be good enough for most marines, as they are not in direct danger
[20:51] <+ChrisDean> In this case, they would then roll and add their Sentry Duty score to get their total.
[20:52] <+ChrisDean> Now, if their score is only 1, there’s a chance they’ll get a lower total than if they used it as a passive, so they might instead choose to roll and add Freakin’ Ninja is up to them.
[20:52] <+ChrisDean> The choice of when you want to roll a dice is up to you, but most players won’t finding themselves choosing to chuck dice at everything.
[20:53] <+ChrisDean> Dice rolls are generally reserved for clearly high Target Number tasks, for hacking into high-tech computer systems, pulling off insane feats etc, or they are used by those with no score, or a low score, who need some luck.
[20:54] <+ChrisDean> ILTC characters are specialised to be awesome at certain things, you won’t really be screwed by the dice unless you are in a situation you are not made for… which is where the horror can come in.
[20:54] <~Dan> How does that work?
[20:54] <+ChrisDean> What totals you choose and when can be very formative as to how the scene progresses and what happens in the next scene.
[20:54] <+ChrisDean> How does what work Dan? The horror?
[20:55] <~Dan> Right.
[20:55] <+ChrisDean> Okay. So, as I mentioned there are eight Horrors in the game. These each have a basic Target Number of 3. The more severe a horror description or character implication is, the higher the TN can be, up to 7.
[20:57] <+ChrisDean> So, seeing a marine walk forward with blood spewing from a wound in their neck, in between fingers, would be Blood and Gore TN 3 for experienced grunts, whilst seeing somebody’s spine slowly, slowly extracted from their body, leaving their skin behind, would be TN 7
[20:58] <+ChrisDean> The abilities to oppose Horrors are normally Chutzpah or Sentry Duty: you either psych yourself through horrible things, are inspiring yourself or others, cracking jokes or keeping your cool to use Chutzpah, whilst Sentry Duty represents an awareness of shit o get weird, or waiting for stuff to go wrong
[20:58] <+HDP_Dave> If i read correctly the highest TN is 10. If you don’t mind, why do horrors stop at 7?
[20:59] <+ChrisDean> If your total is higher than the TN, you take no psychological effect, meanwhile, if you are lower than the TN, the Negative Success Levels increase the Horror’s effect
[20:59] <+ChrisDean> If the Tn is 7, and you got 6, thats -1SL, so the effect goes to 4
[21:00] <+ChrisDean> You then minus your Stay Frosty score (usually based off highest of Chutzpah or Sentry Duty) and add it to your psychological status.
[21:00] <+ChrisDean> You have a non-lethal, lethal, psychological status, and these are begin at 0, and effects cause them to increase
[21:00] <+ChrisDean> If your psych status reaches the numeric value for Freaking Out, you take a -1 to all abilities for the scene or until calmed.
[21:01] <+ChrisDean> If you reach Losing It, then you get a temporary psychological trauma.
[21:02] <+ChrisDean> A trauma represents an irrational behavioural response; if a player follows the trauma, they still have -1s, if they take actions against the trauma (so players are not forced to do anything), they can, but get a -2.
[21:02] <+ChrisDean> So, in the previous example, say a marine’s telekinesis is used to tear a rebel in half for the first time.
[21:03] <+ChrisDean> In this case, both Necessary Evils, First Contact and Blood and Gore could come into play here, depending on character stances, role play and description.
[21:04] <+ChrisDean> If a character starts Losing It, it depends what horror triggers it as to what their trauma might be. If you choose Kill ‘Em All, you must hate psychics… players are encouraged to choose an appropriate trauma.
[21:05] * ~Dan nods
[21:05] <+ChrisDean> Max Horror TN is 7 because this means characters with high ability scores that are ready and prepared can usually ignore Horrors to start with, so a high Stay Frosty character suits that descriptively
[21:06] <+ChrisDean> However, when a situation starts going mental, and people are prioritising different abilities, those high Stay frosty characters may suffer later on
[21:06] <+ChrisDean> This differentiates your Hudsons from your Ripleys.
[21:06] <+ChrisDean> The whole ‘Game over, man, game over!’ scene is where my rules for trauma comes from.
[21:07] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:07] <~Dan> How does combat work?
[21:08] <+ChrisDean> So an ILTC squad that works together effectively to motivate each other and sweep an area will do quite well in their first scenes. Its when things start running screaming at them and their overwhelmed and focused on fighting that their psych statuses will suddenly rise.
[21:08] <+ChrisDean> Okay, so the second scene type is ACTION SCENES
[21:08] <+ChrisDean> In this case, a beat becomes a turn for a player.
[21:09] <+ChrisDean> Rather than spend lots of time working out initiative, since this is a cinematic game, an action scene begins with whoever it fits the description to do so ie; whose actions triggered the action scene.
[21:09] <+ChrisDean> And then you just go around the players, board game style, which speeds things up, and still means you get a variety of turn orders.
[21:10] <+ChrisDean> You still use two ability types, but passives reduce to 1 + score, as two things at once is harder to pull of in an action scene.
[21:10] <+ChrisDean> An action scene CAN be combat, but it can also be swinging across a dangerous ravine, escaping a fireball by running down a corridor etc
[21:11] <+ChrisDean> To fight Hostiles, you use ability totals against each other; the defender’s ability total becomes the effect Target Number
[21:11] <+ChrisDean> You can use a passive total to attack passive abilities, and actives can attack either.
[21:11] <+ChrisDean> How you are able to defend yourself depends on the ability totals you chose and how they work descriptively
[21:12] <+ChrisDean> So, say the character in the narrative scene searching the wreck went for passive Freakin’ Ninja 7, but rolled and added 1 and only got a 2 on Sentry Duty, these are the Hostile’s TNs to beat as the narrative scene becomes an action scene
[21:13] <+ChrisDean> The Hostile would have needed high Sentry Duty to see the sneaky marine, so would have used their active to get that high
[21:13] <+ChrisDean> Meaning they use their passive Powerhouse, lets say 4, to attack
[21:14] <+ChrisDean> In this case, the TN was 7, so the Hostile gets 3 negative SL… that become 3SL for the marine!
[21:14] <+ChrisDean> Because the marine was stealthing, they could use the SL for short range movement, and dive behind cover and get the hell out of the way as the Hostile attacks
[21:14] <+ChrisDean> And yes, its not even the marines go, and if the Hostile fails, they can still move.
[21:15] <+ChrisDean> Depending on what ability total you are defending with depends on how you can respond if you do successfully
[21:15] <+ChrisDean> And the ability totals you use on your beat continue until you next beat as defences
[21:16] <~Dan> How is damage determined?
[21:16] <+ChrisDean> So if you want to run and gun, you could passive Drop and Give Me Fifty, and active Collateral Damage, or vice versa. Say you got 5 on both. If a Hostile attacked you with 4, you could move or shoot it in response, depending on which total they attack.
[21:17] <+ChrisDean> Damage works the same psych effects, essentially. Every ‘attack’ in the game has a core effect. Punch somebody or shout at somebody, and the effect is 3SL. Weapons have effects of 6, 9, 12 or 15 max, and then you can use SL from beating enemy totals to increase that effect further
[21:18] <+ChrisDean> You work out the SL of the total effect, subtract the target’s Hardass (highest of Drop and Give Me Fifty or Powerhouse abilities) from the effect, and add that to the non-lethal or lethal status
[21:19] <+ChrisDean> Instead of Freaking Out and Losing It, the numeric values for lethal and non-lethal thresholds are Compromised and Neutralised
[21:19] <+ChrisDean> If Compromised, you take -2 penalties on all actions, and will either collapse, be dying or dead if the scene ends and you haven’t removed the penalty.
[21:20] <~Dan> (brb – please continue)
[21:21] <+ChrisDean> If you are non-resistant to an effect that Neutralises you, you’re either unconscious, dying or dead. If you are resistant, then you carry on fighting! You also then get a physical trauma… a severe injury which gives situational -4 penalties, like a losing an eye and getting -4 to shoot or spot, or losing your lower right leg and getting -4 to move.
[21:22] <+ChrisDean> A dying character loses their ability totals, so they can freely do non-dramatic stuff and role play, and then either die at the player’s dramatic choosing, or see if they can live to the end of the story, whereupon they can get to a Corps med facility and LIVE ON
[21:23] <+ChrisDean> Combat can be quick and brutal with high effect attacks and low thresholds, but you can also have brutal close combats that drag out impressively or fights against foes that take everyone and everything to take down.
[21:23] <+ChrisDean> (Done.)
[21:27] <~Dan> Back, sorry.
[21:27] <+ChrisDean> No problem, good sir.
[21:27] <+Yalborap> (Welcome back, Dan!)
[21:27] <~Dan> (Thanks!)
[21:27] <+ChrisDean> .. taking this breather to continue consuming food for energy, hehe
[21:27] <+Yalborap> (We’re currently having a Q&A, so sit back and enjoy.)
[21:28] <~Dan> Can you give us some highlights of the adversaries? And while we’re on the subject, how many are featured?
[21:31] <+ChrisDean> There are 36 different Field Notes entries for Friendlies and Hostiles, spread over 100 pages. These break down into sub-types for many of them, and also come with Background Options for further customising.
[21:31] <+ChrisDean> There split into four types: Human/Humanoid, Animal, Altered Being and Mechanoid
[21:32] <+ChrisDean> Animal can include horrid aliens or genetically enhanced monsters, altered being is a type of Hostile you can add to others, so you can make mutant animals, mutant aliens, mutant humans etc
[21:33] <+ChrisDean> My personal favourite Hostiles that I can talk about, since they have already featured in images or other promo, are Bonefreaks, Razor Ants and Converters, and each give you ideas of different flavours
[21:33] <+ChrisDean> Bonefreaks are an example of Hideous Experiment; Hideous Experiments are your classic of science +human experiment gone wrong.
[21:34] <+ChrisDean> Bonefreaks have had their calcium levels increased to improve bone density, and fats levels reduced
[21:34] <+ChrisDean> This alas has made for people with highly sensitive, breakable skin, immense hunger, and constant agony from bones growing out of them
[21:35] <+ChrisDean> So you can use them as insane super-soldiers or ravening hordes of death and an alternative to zombies
[21:35] <+ChrisDean> They can be reasoning underneath the pain, or just totally berserk
[21:35] <+ChrisDean> Razor Ants are something this game has to have… giant bugs
[21:36] <+ChrisDean> They come in many shapes and sizes, running, tunnelling, flying, screaming… there’s even one which sprays a chemical smoke in the air that blinds you whilst they leap on you and tear you pieces
[21:36] <+ChrisDean> And their razor hides will break melee weapons and rip your hands to pieces if you try and push them off
[21:37] <+ChrisDean> And then we have my probably most twisted idea, the Converter
[21:37] <+ChrisDean> this alien robotic arachnids burrow themselves into your body, release some wiring that bonds with your spine, and start controlling you
[21:37] <+ChrisDean> They release nanites into your body.
[21:37] <+ChrisDean> Which start turning you into a technorganic factory
[21:38] <+ChrisDean> You slowly die as your internal organs turn into gestating sacs
[21:38] <~Dan> Nasty.
[21:38] <+ChrisDean> And when they are ready, they burst out in horde out of the body they had commandeered and slowly killed, out of wounds and orifices.
[21:38] <+ChrisDean> That they are.
[21:39] <+ChrisDean> There is also a big concentration for me on encouraging people to build their own nasties
[21:39] <~Dan> Can you say anything about the capabilities of the sentient alien adversaries?
[21:39] <+ChrisDean> I believe if you want an effective horror side to the game, you need to encourage GMs to make their own unpredictable monstrosities
[21:39] <+ChrisDean> So before the 100 pages of Field Notes in Classified Materials, you get 100 pages of Hostile building stats and advice
[21:40] <+ChrisDean> A sentient alien that has been the bane of playtesters for years is the Shifthead
[21:40] <+ChrisDean> They can consume your brain, and if they do, can assume your appearance
[21:41] <+ChrisDean> They are already very smart and have their own technology too, and can naturally shapeshift their bodies to create natural weapons and armour
[21:41] <+ChrisDean> They are a horrid twist on the Roswell ‘grey’ alien, in physical design
[21:41] <+ChrisDean> And have a long history of manipulation of mankind and abduction.
[21:42] <~Dan> What is their technology like?
[21:42] <+ChrisDean> Not everything is designed to be bad though.. the Field Notes are not split up by Friendly or Hostile, because these definitions can often flip in a story
[21:44] <+ChrisDean> The Shiftheads mostly rely on their shapeshifting talents because they are usually found in human roles. However, the GM’s have a bunch of Restricted Gear they could use if Shiftheads were encountered ‘at home’ at it were. Such devices include forcefield generators, phase shifting devices and energy weapons that Corps marines don’t have access to.
[21:45] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:45] <+ChrisDean> This means there can be more advanced gear that players can acquire… if they can stop them from getting impounded in the armoury.
[21:45] <+ChrisDean> (Done)
[21:46] <~Dan> What sorts of mutations are possible?
[21:46] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[21:47] <+ChrisDean> Mutations depend on what GeneMods has gone awry. So an Aquaworlder goes from a human with gills and enhanced athletic build, and can from there grow gigantic teeth, tentacles, spines etc
[21:47] <+ChrisDean> Ferals can become far more like the animals they are derived from
[21:48] <+ChrisDean> Highgravs can become 12 high titans of sickening muscle
[21:48] <+ChrisDean> And GMs could go anywhere with it; there are 100 Inhuman Aspects, so if they wanted to mutate players, there are a hell of a lot of options beyond the specific mutants examples given
[21:49] <+ChrisDean> And that is how I see the rules; building blocks for people to build their own unique approachs to the game. It is more of a game grounded in tropes and concepts that lots of specifics, cos I feel a predictable sci-fi horror would not work.
[21:49] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:50] <+ChrisDean> Haven’t got into GLORY POINTS, so i will talk a little on them
[21:50] <~Dan> Please do!
[21:50] <+ChrisDean> Now, most RPGs have cinematic points you can earn to keep going and bend drama in your favour, I claim no originality there. However, they do work a little differently.
[21:51] <+ChrisDean> If a character plays well to their concept in a memorable manner, takes the story in an interesting direction or is just damn plain entertaining, they get a Glory point, which can be spent in many ways
[21:51] <+ChrisDean> Now, most RPers seem intent to chuck dice, but re-rolls are there to make less cool rolls look cool, they are not the best use.
[21:52] <+ChrisDean> The main use of GP is to BE GLORIOUS. Before rolling, spend a GP; then you pretend you rolled a 6, add score and bonuses as usual, and then roll your GLORY DICE and get a free 1-6 on top
[21:53] <+ChrisDean> What you roll can be the difference between guaranteed competence and ovewhelming awesome.
[21:53] <+ChrisDean> You can also use GP to re-roll to improve defences, gain extra beats and perform DRAMATIC EDITING
[21:54] <+ChrisDean> Don’t like the way the scene is going? Does it look like its about to be the death of everyone? Then you can spend a GP and END THE SCENE… you can’t kill Hostiles this way, but you can escape or forestall them.
[21:54] <~Dan> That’s pretty powerful.
[21:54] <+ChrisDean> Facing off against the big alien and losing? Then spend a GP, kick them off a cliff, get a breather, knowing they’ll be back later.
[21:55] <+ChrisDean> It means the players get to have weighty control over the story, but the GM’s drama isn’t ruined.
[21:55] <+ChrisDean> The other important factor is that the only way to earn Fortune Points, is to earn Glory Points.
[21:55] <+ChrisDean> And Fortune Points are how you advance the character.
[21:56] <+ChrisDean> This encourages players to embrace their concepts and really get into the role play and the story. And if they are not into the character side of it, you can still give them GP (and therefore FP) for coming up with cool ideas and pushing the story in interesting directions.
[21:57] <~Dan> Nice!
[21:57] <+ChrisDean> It allows you to get the best out of your players, without sitting at the end of a game and divvying about points. People get their rewards in the moment, rather than after the fact.
[21:57] * ~Dan nods
[21:57] <~Dan> I like that.
[21:58] <+ChrisDean> Finally, I spent eight hours video editing yesterday to get some intro videos and an entire episode of SHORT, CONTROLLED BURSTS, my new web series, to show the game in action before the Kickstarter ends,
[21:59] <+ChrisDean> So anybody who wants to see the game in action will be soon be able to see it ran around the table, hopefully by Monday. I’ll slap the videos onto my Youtube, facebook and Kickstarter updates.
[21:59] <~Dan> Great!
[21:59] <~Dan> Thanks very much for getting up at what I know is a ridiculous hour for you, ChrisDean. 🙂
[22:00] <+ChrisDean> I also ran a game on Encounter Roleplay last week. Not the perfect run, as I was running at this time and using Roll20 for the first time, but it shows some American players getting into the game and deciding to go FULL CHEESE on it and shows the rules basics.
[22:00] <+ChrisDean> (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_RIx_vP30)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1_RIx_vP30
[22:01] <+ChrisDean> Meanwhile, the first two episodes of Within are the game at its darkest and grittiest.
[22:01] <+ChrisDean> Thanks Dan for having me.
[22:01] <+ChrisDean> And thank you to everyone for the questions
[22:01] <+ChrisDean> I have really enjoyed it, despite the hour.
[22:01] <~Dan> As a reminder to anyone interested, my tip jar is here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[22:02] <~Dan> If you can hang on just a minute more, I’ll get the log posted and get you the link.’
[22:02] <+ChrisDean> And there’s me Kickstarter: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222832406/i-love-the-corps-an-action-horror-and-military-sci)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222832406/i-love-the-corps-an-action-horror-and-military-sci
[22:02] <+ChrisDean> Thanks Dan, I will need hang around.