[19:22] <+Gabe> Alright 😀 Hello everyone, my name is Gabe Hicks and I’m the Lead designer behind a tabletop game on Kickstarter called S0urce C0de
[19:23] <+Gabe> Well first lemme tell ya a bit about it though
[19:23] <+Gabe> S0urce C0de is a tabletop game with a sci-fi futuristic take, that was designed with a small team (4 of us) all college students who just A. Wanted a scifi tabletop that was easy to figure out and B. Wasn’t expensive.
[19:24] <+Gabe> We designed it with the idea of anyone who has ever played a roleplaying game of some sort, digital or not, could read through this handbook and make their character honestly pretty quickly. There might be some mechanics they don’t understand just yet but we wanted to make it, again, easy to pick up and learn.
[19:25] <+Gabe> The universe sense of S0urce Code (SC for short) is set to be opened ended, kinda like a world building tool, but it provides the tools to make that universe. Different races, character types, creatures, abilities, and the like.
[19:25] <+Gabe> There has been inspiration from mass effect, fallout, star wars, star trek, and a few other big sci-fi universes and you might see very subtle nods to those things but I also assure that, but we worked to make a balanced sense of familiarity with encountering something new.
[19:26] <+Gabe> We also tried to mix a fair bit of fantasy into it, like the inclusion of “magic” but making it more based on something that fits into science-fiction and so we started creating them based around the idea that everything in the SC universe has a Psionic Circuit, something that lets them tap into psionics but some character types can actually channel it
[19:26] <+Gabe> (Done)
[19:27] <~Dan> Thanks, Gabe! The floor is open to questions!
[19:27] <~Dan> Would it be easier to cover the setting or the system first, do you think?
[19:28] <+Gabe> Hmmm probably the setting I’d say
[19:28] <~Dan> Okay then. Can you give us a setting overview?
[19:28] <+Gabe> Absolutely.
[19:30] <+Gabe> So the base setting that we have is a distant future. Space travel, space stations, different races and planets. Like if you were able to make the world of fallout meet star wars in a way that was more open ended. We took that and then built up from there. Even with the base setting of futuristic world where different races exist
[19:30] <~Dan> What’s the Fallout aspect?
[19:30] <+Gabe> players could then still create them in a pretty wide variety. They could look through the base handbook and find things that relate only to a time period just like modern day. They could create a campaign focused purely on Fallout using weapons similar to those in the game for example.
[19:31] <+Gabe> There are so many games that exist that would be fun tabletops, but they don’t anything similar enough so we wanted to make it so players could make something like that. Haha basically if you wanted a fallout narrative tabletop, you could build it with sc
[19:32] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[19:32] <+Gabe> (Done)
[19:32] <~Dan> Hmm… So are you saying that a Fallout-like setting could fit in the SC setting, or do you mean that you could build a Fallout game using the SC rules?
[19:33] <+Gabe> More so that you can build a Fallout game using the SC rules. Haha good question
[19:33] <~Dan> Would you say that the setting is space opera by default?
[19:33] <+Gabe> But thankfully with the setting a futuristic time, and giving details about different worlds have different levels of technology, it all fits into place.
[19:33] <+Gabe> Yes definitely.
[19:34] <+Gabe> Excellent way to say it haha
[19:34] <~Dan> What can I say? Not my first rodeo. 😉
[19:35] <~Dan> Can you describe what technology is like on the high end of the scale, perhaps comparing it to a well-known sci-fi setting?
[19:36] <+Gabe> A high-end example would be, for sure, a mechanized suit of armor. If know any of the Gundam series, designed very similar to that. The suit is like a second skin of armor for the player itself, different designs and attachments. Different weapons and there are 8 different kinds designed, as well as the option for
[19:36] <+Gabe> players to create their own through a pretty simple crafting system
[19:37] <~Dan> Uh-oh… You hear that, GenoFoxx? 🙂
[19:37] <~Dan> (GenoFoxx is our local mecha nut. 🙂 )
[19:37] <+Gabe> Another thing being augmentations that each player can receive. Can exchange arms for something stronger. Replace eyes for ones that have built in night vision or thermal vision.
[19:38] <~Dan> Cybernetics, genetics, or both?
[19:38] <+Gabe> Haha limbs can be lost through combat so it gives a way to balance out the loss of one, or even just a player choice to try to “improve” them. Both actually.
[19:38] <+Gabe> A friend of mine who helped advise got their bachelor’s degree in nanotech and is a scifi nut so we have..a pretty interesting list haha
[19:38] <~Dan> Oh? What are some of the more exotic examples?
[19:40] <+Gabe> One of my personal favorites is a brain implant called the Cognition Network. It allows a player to have what is essentially a computer inside of their brain that can link up to different networks, allowing for hands free access of databases, use of the hacking skill, but also opens them up to a few dangers
[19:40] <+GenoFoxx> (yes yes I did)
[19:40] <+Gabe> EMP stunning or permanently damaging them, a shockwave could potentially scar them permanently haha. There’s always a give and take with the augmentations
[19:41] <+Gabe> And there’s even rules for if that augment itself is hacked 😉
[19:41] <+GenoFoxx> like a rogue AI jackin’ their body for a lark?
[19:41] <+Gabe> Haha exactly!
[19:41] <~Dan> Do you have some sort of overall limitation for augmentations? Cyberpsychosis or the like?
[19:42] <+Gabe> We do actually. So with taking augmentations the player would suffer a permanent penalty to their maximum health, there’s also the safe guard that with every bonus from augmentations there are things that could work not in your favor
[19:42] <+Gabe> Another example is with night vision implanted inside of eyes, if it is active and say.. a flashbang goes off, the player is stunned because of using something that enhances light.
[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, BPIJonathan!)
[19:43] <~Dan> (Gabe, BPIJonathan is one of our “resident” game authors.)
[19:43] <+Gabe> If ya look for it, there can be a work around for pretty much any advantage
[19:43] <+Gabe> Oh, Glad you stopped in!
[19:43] <+Gabe> (Done)
[19:44] <~Dan> How many alien species are available to play?
[19:45] <+Gabe> In the base handbook there are 8. Thanks to reaching a Kickstarter stretch goal there will be 4 more sent out, that are Beastmen races so there are total of at 12 right now.
[19:45] <~Dan> Can you give us an overview of the races?
[19:46] <+Gabe> For sure I’ll give a quick overview of the 8 and I’ll be posting about the beastmen later this week 😉
[19:47] <~Dan> Sounds good. 🙂
[19:47] <+Gabe> 1. Adma Nen: A race that was previously human but altered over centuries of adapting and honing their bodies to fully take advantage of their psionic circuit. Over the years the changes started to take physical changes, turning their hair a crimson red and giving their eyes an orange glow. Greatest strength is channeling energy.
[19:48] <+Gabe> 2. Astu: This race frequently speaks in a short, and callous tone but not because of irritation. Is due to not having much sarcasm or context in their culture. Patterns appear across their smooth skin, similar to that of snake skin, in different shapes. Their eyes are silver and frequently with hexagonal or pentagonal patterns on them. Frequently augmented
[19:49] <+Gabe> 3. Cymin: A robotic “race” They may also appear as one of the other playable races, indistinguishable from them on the outside, although underneath they are still entirely machine. Those who choose to appear as one of the other races have an artificially created layer of skin, fur, or whatever would be accurate for that race they are imitating.
[19:49] <+Gabe> 4. Human: Humans are a common race known for their development and sense of knowledge and discovery. Known to vary in size and shape, as well as augment themselves to better compete with other races in a variety of fields. They have a talent for adapting to situations and overcoming racial disadvantages that others may have.
[19:49] <+Gabe> 5. Meka: A humanoid, amphibious race. Sharp fines line their arms and sit on the top of their head. Black markings outline their body in varying patterns. Some are born with scales while others are born with skin that matches more of a rubber-like texture and to many who meet them, their speed underwater is unmatched.
[19:50] <+Gabe> 6: Quintessi: A pearl skinned race with silver or white hair and a usually proper or calm attitude towards most things. They are also extremely passionate. They are known to be intelligent, cunning, and sly. It is common to find them as assassins, politicians, or even working in trade. White or blue eyes, and gentle features.
[19:51] <+Gabe> 7. Vainus: Pale and almost identical to humans, visually. An extreme sensitivity to light goes along with their night vision. Their original creation was through genetic mutation and manipulation of humans. They have now become a race of their own, although very few know the secret to their origin and even fewer are willing to share it. Almost animalistic.
[19:51] <+Gabe> 8. Veisuva: Pitch black skin, large and retractable fangs, able to extend jaw twice as long as their own head and able to eat raw meats without worry of disease.Eyes a bright purple but resembling that of snake eyes and their hair can color anywhere from an onyx black to a dark grey. Their strength is in mind and brawn.
[19:51] <+Gabe> That’s all of them in the base handbook.
[19:52] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[19:52] <~Dan> So you mentioned magic-like psionics. What sorts of things can psionics accomplish in this setting?
[19:55] <+Gabe> So with psionics you are manipulating energy so you can manipulate energy to create constructs, physical things to interact with. They can create cell regeneration, alter another’s mind, and with one archetype, control technology to a point where it gives it “life”
[19:55] <+Gabe> That’s the Technomancer
[19:56] <+Gabe> Another way is creating an intense force and then shooting it out, using the constructs to form or enhance weaponry, and some of them even combine together.
[19:57] <+Gabe> (Done ^^ )
[19:58] <~Dan> Sounds almost like Green Lantern powers.
[19:58] <~Dan> (Howdy, Scya!)
[19:58] <+Gabe> Haha oh it could definitely work that way. I actually have plans to make an example character sheet for each of the major justice league players.
[19:59] <~Dan> Impressive. 🙂
[20:00] <~Dan> I’m assuming that FTL is a thing in the setting, but what form does it take?
[20:02] <+Gabe> Totally. So the way we worked in that is with the vehicles. Each of them have things that function on a recharge. Weapons, shields, etc. With FTL it is the same. There is a cooldown on FTL use but along with each ship having a base speed, FTL multiples that base speed by a varying number depending on the ship type for a certain amount of time
[20:03] <+BPIJonathan> So the ship cant just jump again right after it jumps into a system, it has to wait until the “recharge” is complete?
[20:03] <+Gabe> Exactly. There are enhancements to different pieces that can allow for multiple uses before needed a recharge but some of the smaller ship types don’t have that capability.
[20:04] <~Dan> (Howdy, JP!)
[20:04] <+Gabe> Also the give and take of, is bigger better or not. Less speed, more capability.
[20:04] <~Dan> On a related note, what is space combat like? Star Wars-style dogfights and capital ships?
[20:04] <+Gabe> And we put enough into the system that if players technically wanted to play their entire campaign in space, they are totally able haha.
[20:05] <+Gabe> Are you familiar with the x-wing tabletop game at all, Dan?
[20:05] <~Dan> Only that it exists.
[20:06] <+Gabe> Think more capital ship. Each ship has movement, potentially firing capabilities, a shield value, and then a ship health value.
[20:07] <+Gabe> Some of them have maneuvers that allow them to mix and match what they can do during their turn, but the smaller and faster ships would be acting quicker. A turn based way of doing it.
[20:07] <~Dan> Well, what I mean is, do you have “fighter” spacecraft, or is it more like Star Trek with all capital ships?
[20:08] <+Gabe> Goes back to the recharge, some weapons have no recharge time, but if firing a extremely large laser cannon then most likely there will be a delay. Although on larger ships weapons can be targeted as well.
[20:08] <+Gabe> Ohhh got it. Absolutely have fighter space crafts.
[20:08] <~Dan> And do said fighters “fly” through space like X-wings and the like?
[20:08] <+Gabe> We have a few categories. Light, Frigate, Freighter.
[20:08] <+GenoFoxx> so can the mecha do boarding actions and tear a starship apart from the inside out?
[20:08] <+Gabe> Mhmm exactly
[20:09] <+Gabe> Haha…I’m actually glad you asked. It could technically because they would fit into the size of the Light ships so they’d be small enough to get on and inside.
[20:10] <+Gabe> Interestingly enough I had a play tester do something pretty similar to that and it was interesting trying to recover from that haha, I can assure you that.
[20:11] <+Gabe> A Freighter for example
[20:11] <~Dan> (Howdy, Vorthon!)
[20:11] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lin_Chong!)
[20:12] <+Vorthon> (Hey. Not on for long, just forgot to close my IRC client.)
[20:12] <~Dan> So I take it that space combat is pretty cinematic?
[20:12] <+Gabe> Definitely. Another thing we set out with the idea of was making it so that everything could take place entirely in space.
[20:13] <+Gabe> Even with ship types we outline what different rooms would be available on certain types of ships. Whether it would just have a cockpit or it would include a docking bay, kitchen, crew quarters.
[20:14] <~Dan> What sorts of things do PCs do in the setting? Are there any obvious sorts of adventures?
[20:15] <+Gabe> That varies a lot depending on how…they build their character with skills. With character skills they can focus entirely on hacking, science, unarmed combat, or even just being extremely charismatic. An obvious adventure I would say would be retrieval of information. Something has been taken and players hunt it down. It could be on a ship
[20:16] <+Gabe> sent down to a planet, or even inside of a space station which can be huge.
[20:16] <~Dan> Are there any obvious “bad guys” built into the setting?
[20:17] <+Gabe> There are! Another thing is that because with a setting like this, morality can be black and white with different characters so instead of a morality system we built in factions
[20:18] <+Gabe> Certain factions function like a galactic police force, others are more rogues or mercenaries, and then there are always your bandits. One of factions is called the Sirens of the Nexus. They’re more of a Robin Hood sort of faction but depending on the view they could totally be the “bad guys”
[20:19] <+Gabe> There’s a random chance set up for the session runner for encounters like that and on the encounter the PCs could technically try to get in good with the faction, helping them and bringing goods to a group, but then becoming the “Bad guys” themselves.
[20:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, Acenoid!)
[20:19] <+Gabe> But then there are 3 different just plainly hostile factions that can pop up during random encounters who will try to take anything at any chance.
[20:20] <+Gabe> (Done)
[20:20] <~Dan> How realistic are you planets? Do you go the “one environment” route?
[20:23] <+Gabe> I would say on a scale of 1-10 for realistic… a 7. There are currently 8 different environments for planets. Some can have minor changes like low oxygen, non-hospitable, fully lush and green, or even entirely ocean.
[20:23] <+Gabe> *minor to major changes
[20:24] <+Vorthon> …What about carbon planets? Like, worlds where the ratio of silicon to carbon’s been flipped on its head?
[20:24] <~Dan> Well, to be more specific, does each planet have exactly one environment in the Star Wars mold, like swamp planets, ice planets, desert planets, etc.?
[20:26] <+Gabe> Ahhh I understand. Gotcha. Some of the planets are like that but no, not all of them, just so there’s a bit more variety. Those are also just the ones that have already been designed by us as well. Since the backer’s hit the stretch goal we created a whole system for planet creation and types in the GM handbook.
[20:27] <+Gabe> Yup, do have that Vorthon! Thanks to planets like that had to create different items for PC survival. That was a lot of fun haha
[20:27] <~Dan> How much space do you devote to alien flora and fauna?
[20:28] <+Gabe> Flora take up two full pages in the base handbook, the fauna ended up getting it’s own dedicated handbook. That is currently at 20 different types but that doesn’t include the variations in the fauna of size or subtype.
[20:29] <~Dan> Do you have specific creatures, or just creature types that can be adapted to fit a given world?
[20:29] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:30] <+Gabe> There are specific creatures and each of them can fit on particular planet types, which is where the planet type really comes into play. Same with the flora. They CAN survive on certain ones, but they thrive on specific planet types.
[20:31] <+Gabe> There is a creature that is similar to that of a house cat, although the face is shaped more like that of a closed rose. It thrives on planets with a greater amount of flora and hides in areas where they thrive, but through adapting and evolution has an ability to shoot out a stream of acidic fluid.
[20:31] <+Gabe> (Not a problem)
[20:35] <~Dan> (back, sorry)
[20:36] <~Dan> Mind if we pivot to the system for a bit?
[20:36] <~Dan> (wb, BPIJonathan)
[20:37] <+Gabe> Not a problem
[20:37] <+Gabe> Glad to talk about the system
[20:37] <~Dan> So first, let’s have a look at that character sheet. 🙂
[20:38] <+Gabe> Sounds good! Here it is (Link: http://tinyurl.com/hj9euku)http://tinyurl.com/hj9euku
[20:39] <~Dan> Let’s see here…
[20:39] <+BPIJonathan> (sorry, I am at a con and the hotel wifi is unstable)
[20:39] <~Dan> What does Archetype mean in this context?
[20:40] <+Gabe> (Oh I have been there. Hope the con has been a good time!)
[20:40] <~Dan> (Howdy, Crazy-Cabal!)
[20:41] <+Gabe> Archetype would be synonym with class. Reason we went with Archetype is because it is more an example of the person. A PC can be formed of multiple archetypes (No penalty for “multi-classing” although there is a limit of 3)
[20:41] <+Gabe> *synonymous
[20:41] <~Dan> What are the archetypes?
[20:42] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[20:42] <+Gabe> They are Technomancer, Spectre, Magus, Powerhouse, Vanguard, Quiver, and Longshot
[20:43] <&Le_Squide> (heya!)
[20:43] <~Dan> Can you tell us a bit about those?
[20:44] <+Gabe> Totally. So Technomancer I talked about a little bit before. They are the psionic type that uses their psionic abilities more for interaction and controlling different bits of technology in the SC universe. Looking at you GenoFoxx (higher levels have mech control)
[20:45] <+Gabe> The Spectre is more stealth. They are the infiltrator and the agent. They have a balance of stealth, melee, and diplomatic prowess. Their abilities focus on if something goes wrong, they can make the backup plan quick.
[20:46] <+Gabe> Magus: The psionic focused type. They will channel psionic energy into weapons, constructs (like mentioned before), different abilities or effects, and allows for things that science might not naturally allow on its own. They themself function as an amazing support character.
[20:47] <+Gabe> Powerhouse: The unarmed damage dealer. In a world of guns, that doesn’t mean that being an unarmed fighter makes you any less lethal. Abilities that allow for matching attacks to dodge, quicker movement, and quicker reactions. Even abilities focused purely on disarming an opponent.
[20:48] <+Gabe> Vanguard: The soldier. Well versed and knowledge in pretty much any weapon type out there and has the training to use it too. Lethal in ranged or close combat, and trained to take a hefty hit.
[20:49] <+Gabe> Quiver: If you’ve ever wanted a chance to be green arrow. This is it. The bow still has use in an age like this because it is silent and different things can be tied to arrows, to give them range and power. There is a crafting system built right into the quiver archetype for different arrow types.
[20:49] <+Gabe> Longshot: The sniper. damage from a distance, and a little bit of stealth to keep any opponent on their toes. A series of trickshot abilities and training similar to early levels of the Vanguard
[20:49] <+Gabe> And can’t believe I forgot..there’s finally the Hacker!
[20:50] <+Gabe> Hacker: As you can guess, they work with technology and find ways to take advantage of it, and even some situations complete control. Designed around the idea that to take out an enemy, it can be done in the shadows and not every fight has to take place on the front lines.
[20:51] <~Dan> (Howdy, Zond!)
[20:52] <~Dan> What is the game’s core mechanic?
[20:53] <+Gabe> The core mechanic of the system itself runs with the D20 system. Rolling for a value and then hitting the value or surpassing for a success so there is a sense of chance but the way you make you character can change your odds and improve them.
[20:54] <~Dan> Is it an attribute + skill system?
[20:54] <+Gabe> Yup. It is.
[20:55] <~Dan> Does degree of success matter?
[20:55] <+Gabe> Yes and no. In the base ruleset it doesn’t. One of the stretch goals was an advance ruleset that includes bleeding, variations of death, and degree of success on rolls.
[20:56] <+Gabe> That we’ll be releasing along with it.
[20:57] <~Dan> Can you walk us through combat?
[20:58] <+Gabe> Sure! I actually have a full example right here haha
[20:59] <+Gabe> You come across an enemy armed with a pistol. You are holding a rifle and there is a grenade on your back. Since both characters are aware of each other, you roll initiative to determine who goes first. oYou roll your d20 and get a 12 on the roll. Your initiative bonus is a 4 so your initiative total is 16. They roll a total of 18 and go first.
[21:00] <+Gabe> The enemy moves into a spot of cover and then takes a shot. They roll an attack with the d20 and roll a 12. The attack bonus they received to using a firearm is a 7 giving them a total attack bonus of 19. Your TD (Total Defense) is a 21 thus their attack misses you. By taking cover and firing they have used up their whole turn, switching to yours.
[21:01] <+Gabe> You move forward quickly and roll your attack. You roll a 13 and have an attack bonus of 7 with firearms for a total of 20. Your rifle allows for a second shot so you take a second shot and roll a 15, adding the bonus of 7 making it 22. They have a TD of 18 so both shots hit. Each shot deals 1d8 damage.
[21:01] <+Gabe> (d representing what sided die you use)
[21:02] <+Gabe> (you roll the first d8 and it lands on a 7. Then roll the second d8 and it lands on a 5. The total damage they take is 7+5 = 12. They take 12 damage and had a health of 10, reducing them to -2. At -2 HP they are unconscious (or dead depending on whether being lethal)
[21:03] <+Gabe> That is a pretty basic combat scenario, not including any extra abilities.
[21:03] <+Gabe> With firearms, they get a single attack action, but each firearm may fire a different number of shots in a single attack action.
[21:04] <~Dan> Does armor reduce damage, or does it affect the difficulty to hit?
[21:05] <+Gabe> The majority of them just affect difficulty to hit but some of them reduce damage, such as a ballistic vest.
[21:07] <~Dan> What went into your thinking there? Seems like using an AC system would present problems when dealing with high-tech weaponry.
[21:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[21:09] <+Gabe> Haha so it did at first but then it went into thinking how certain weapons work. For example, an RPG doesn’t necessarily have to hit the target itself to injure it. We started working around with weapons like that and are gonna do a bit more tweaking but that may be a rare circumstance where degree of success matters.
[21:10] <+Gabe> This makes it so that the explosion AREA still affects the target. Grenades are designed that way, they have a particular range and things caught inside of the range take a certain amount of damage.
[21:10] * ~Dan nods
[21:10] <+Gabe> Also things such as a flame thrower or shotgun, which would use a cone area would require more on the target’s end to avoid it, rather than actually a focused aim.
[21:11] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:11] <+Gabe> So against someone that is heavily armored, instead of just firing shots (against a high TD) you would rely on explosives and such instead which you know will be able to get around it a bit and even in certain circumstances take the armor out.
[21:12] <+Gabe> Uhhh, well I talked about price point earlier. We decided $10 for a PDF copy was a good call because in a world where everything is so readily available and certain things are insanely expensive, why not open up fun without having a high price point attached to it.
[21:12] <+Gabe> My brother in law was the perfect example.
[21:13] <+Gabe> College student, never played a tabletop rpg in his life. Sat down and ran a session of SC for him and he loved it. Then started asking about other games like it and different genres
[21:13] <+Gabe> I want to make SC, if nothing else, a fun gateway for new players to the genre 🙂
[21:13] <+Gabe> but also with enough interesting stuff to keep the veterans intrigued 😉
[21:14] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:14] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us this evening, Gabe!
[21:14] <~Dan> Oh, one quick question: What is Metz?
[21:15] <+Gabe> That is currency 😀
[21:15] <~Dan> Gotcha. 🙂
[21:15] <+Gabe> I’m glad you had me. This was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed getting a chance to talk about it.
[21:15] <+Gabe> I started this as an idea in the back of my head …geez.. 5 years ago and then everything just started coming together.
[21:16] <~Dan> As a reminder to everyone, my tip jar is here, for those so inclined: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:16] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and get you the link, Gabe!
[21:16] <+Gabe> Perfect!
[21:17] <+Gabe> Also, if anyone missed any of the stuff mentioned above or just wanted to see it there is a link to the kickstarter here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/altomvisual/s0urce-c0de-a-tabletop-roleplaying-game
[21:17] <+Gabe> Thanks again for having me, Dan. It was a great time!