[19:04] <+JasonOwenBlack> Alright, well my name is Jason Owen Black, I’m a freelance game designer based in Seattle, and I recently published vs. Moon Men with Fat Goblin Games.
[19:04] <+JasonOwenBlack> It’s an alternate history wherein aliens from the Moon invade the Earth after the Apollo 11 landing, because they felt it was pretty rude of us.
[19:05] <+JasonOwenBlack> It uses Philip J Reed’s vs. M Engine, which he originally developed for vs Monsters during a fevered 24 hour RPG design experiment in, I think, the ancient days of the 2003 or something.
[19:06] <+JasonOwenBlack> It was a blast to write, and I got to develop some vehicle rules for the engine, which I think is a first! Have to have flying saucers and tanks, after all.
[19:06] <+JasonOwenBlack> Okay done 🙂
[19:06] <~Dan> Thanks, JasonOwenBlack!
[19:06] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:07] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest31!)
[19:07] <~Dan> What are the Moon Men like?
[19:07] <+JasonOwenBlack> Welcome!
[19:07] <+KielHowell> Can you tell the audience about some of your sources for inspiration?
[19:07] <~Dan> Oh, and a general welcome to those of you who’ve shown up for the Q&A! Looks like we have a nice crowd this evening. 🙂
[19:08] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest32!)
[19:08] <+JasonOwenBlack> The Moon Men are shorter than the average human (by 1970 standards), with big eyes and greenish skin. They usually have some telepathic abilities, and they’re really militaristic, with advanced ray guns and the like.
[19:08] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest28!)
[19:09] <+JasonOwenBlack> KielHowell, the biggest inspiration was probably Mars Attacks! but also pulp sci-fi and b movies in general.
[19:09] <~Dan> (All you Guest## folks, please set your names with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[19:09] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Mum!)
[19:09] <+JasonOwenBlack> Surprisingly, I don’t think I listened to Tonight the Stars Revolt! by Powerman5000 at all while writing it, but I know that album pretty much by heart.
[19:09] <+Zaleramancer> So what are the objectives of the Moon Men?
[19:09] <~Dan> (Thanks, JeffS!)
[19:10] <+JasonOwenBlack> They’ve come to conquer us! They’re actually interested in taking over the Earth because it has a lot more in the way of resources than the Moon, which is both barren (on the surface) and a harsh mistress.
[19:10] <+JasonOwenBlack> Hello Mum and Kurt!
[19:10] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Kurt!)
[19:10] <+JasonOwenBlack> Also, JeffS
[19:10] <+JeffS> :_)
[19:11] <+Kurt> Hey Jason! Congrats btw
[19:11] <+JasonOwenBlack> Thanks!
[19:11] <+Jon> How do we puny humans stand a chance against the moon men in your game?
[19:11] <+JasonOwenBlack> Well Jon, primarily through good old fashioned not giving up.
[19:11] <+JGray> (And playing LOTS of X-Com)
[19:12] <+JasonOwenBlack> I took a lot of inspiration from World War 2, and some humans just refuse to roll over.
[19:12] <+KielHowell> Any help from Area 51?
[19:12] <+JasonOwenBlack> Earth weapons aren’t useless against the Moon Men, but they’re tech is superior.
[19:12] <~Dan> (Oh, hey, JGray! Didn’t see you there.)
[19:13] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Bobby!)
[19:13] <+JasonOwenBlack> Well, if sales are good and I get to write some adventure modules, Area 51 might come into play!
[19:13] <~Dan> You’re really packing’em in tonight, JasonOwenBlack. 🙂
[19:13] <+JasonOwenBlack> I plastered Facebook and Google+ with the link. Shameless promotion and all that. This is the Internet, after all.
[19:14] <~Dan> Do the Moon Men live beneath the surface of the moon, and if so, what is the environment there like?
[19:14] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, StMansur!)
[19:14] <+LucusPalosaari> Yes, thank you everyone for coming out!
[19:14] <+JasonOwenBlack> Hey bobby and also StMansur!
[19:14] <~Dan> JasonOwenBlack: Good man, re: promo. 🙂
[19:14] <+JasonOwenBlack> Well, having been around for the entire lifespan of the Internet (even before Youtube was a thing!) I guess i’ve learned a thing or two.
[19:15] <~Dan> For those just arriving, the floor is open to questions. Ask away! 🙂
[19:15] <+Kurt> the dark ages
[19:15] <~Dan> (Howdy, Frankto!)
[19:15] <+JasonOwenBlack> When videos loaded very slowly, if at all, and most humor was in Flash form.
[19:15] <+LucusPalosaari> For all the folks just joining: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst a blog about vs. Moon Men and this chat, Jason etc
[19:16] <+Kurt> so with the theme, are there a lot of like 20’s era Abbot and Costello vs monster of the week type encounters?
[19:17] <+StMansur> Hey J.B. what kind of research did you do to preb for writing this?
[19:17] <+JasonOwenBlack> There certainly can be! The game assumes sort of 1950s invasion cinema but set in 1970, all of which is my post-modern adaptation etc. etc. It’s a silly game that’s meant to be fun though, so A&C meet the Moon Men is totally possible.
[19:18] <+Kurt> Very nice! Thank you very much.
[19:18] <+JasonOwenBlack> Well, I watched Mars Attacks! for the firs time since the theatrical release, and then poked around the Internet, a lot! And LucusPalossari sent me a lot of links
[19:18] <+JasonOwenBlack> Man I cannot spell his name right. Which is embarassing, for both of us.
[19:19] <+JasonOwenBlack> But I also fell back on a lot of my training as a historian StMansur, because I read a lot about WW2 and years since then, etc.
[19:19] <~Dan> JasonOwenBlack: Did you see my question about the environment on the Moon?
[19:19] <+JGray> For the record, everytime I spell Luke’s name in the credits of a book I spell it wrong. Every. time.
[19:20] <+JasonOwenBlack> Nope, I missed that Dan!
[19:20] <+KielHowell> Would you plan on doing different time frames for invasions in future installments?
[19:20] <~Dan> No problem. I asked if the Moon Men live beneath the surface and what their environment is like.
[19:21] <+JasonOwenBlack> As to the Moon itself: so far, it’s what we know of it, though I’d love to develop it more in future supplements, like if we were to, for example, strike back and attack the Moon, we’d get to see how the MM live on their homeworld. I’m thinking underground though.
[19:22] <+LucusPalosaari> I know, my name is terrible. I’ve had to live with it my whole life. #ThanksMom
[19:23] <+Kurt> Are the Moon Men capable of surviving in vacuum? By the same token can they survive in an oxygen environment (Earth surface, etc)
[19:23] <+StMansur> A hollow moon, ala Truman Show. What ideas almost made the final release?
[19:23] <+JasonOwenBlack> They can survive in oxygen, though it’s not that comfortable and they prefer their spacesuits because… gases, or something.
[19:23] <+LucusPalosaari> A large part of the base setting is about “this happened to us” — were you invaded by outsiders, you may not even know why they did what they did etc let alone what they are like back home. You only know what they tell you or want you to know, and that’s a part of the 1970’s era feel very purposefully
[19:24] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yes
[19:24] <+Kurt> Gotcha- learn as you go type thing
[19:25] <+JasonOwenBlack> As to what didn’t make it, I have a ton of ideas, like the MM turning Washington D.C. into Luna City, and putting their offices at the top of the Washington Monument so that we have to go up that really log elevator ride to talk to them.
[19:25] <~Dan> Why the 1970s, aside from the Moon landing premise?
[19:25] <+JasonOwenBlack> In the end, we decided to focus more on getting a mechanical baseline with some hints at setting, so GMs can flesh it out as they wish. That’ll still be true as we develop the game more, just they’ll be more hints.
[19:26] <+JasonOwenBlack> Well, I thought it would be cool to have the MM invade really quickly, like they’ve just been sitting up there stewing.
[19:26] <+LucusPalosaari> There is a list, in this blog: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst toward the bottom of “ideas” for expansions to vs. Moon Men core book. If sales hit expectations, we’ll release a LOT more content.
[19:26] <+JasonOwenBlack> But also because I think the 1970s are pretty cool and love modern history.
[19:27] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Ted!)
[19:28] <+JasonOwenBlack> And, if you’re familiar with old sci-fi, it tends to assume radical amounts of tech development so that by 1999 it’s the Jetsons or whatever.
[19:28] <+LucusPalosaari> You also have a confluence of events — 1969 (the last normal year) was one with some of the biggest changes on a cultural level, though technologically you also have some both limitations and some ideas from the era that a more “modern” setting may ruin. Rayguns don’t get much airtime in 2016
[19:28] <+JasonOwenBlack> Part of the timeline is to get into some of that retro-futurism the kids are all about these days with their Fallouts and such
[19:28] <+Kurt> lots of aluminum clothing, ray guns, clunky robots, etc
[19:29] <+JasonOwenBlack> Oh man, 1969 was a doozie of a year.
[19:29] <+JasonOwenBlack> I was not alive, mind you, but I’ve read a lot of about it.
[19:29] <+JasonOwenBlack> Hello steve!
[19:29] <+JasonOwenBlack> Also Ted!
[19:30] <+Ted> Hey!
[19:30] <+steve> hi.
[19:30] <~Dan> To what degree do you play up the culture of the 1970s? Do you have hippy holdouts, disco dancers, jive talkers, etc.?
[19:31] <~Dan> wb, DA!
[19:31] <+Jon> You mentioned Mars attacks as an influence. Does that mean the game is kinda zany, or is it more gritty in tone?
[19:31] <+JasonOwenBlack> None of that stuff has made it in yet, but I have plans to pull on a lot of different stuff from the late 60s and early 70s in future content. Hippies will get in there, certianly.
[19:31] <+Kurt> Hippies! In! SPAAAAAAACEEEEEEE
[19:32] <+Ted> Airplane vibe would be great
[19:32] <+JasonOwenBlack> It defaults to the action heroic side Jon, so not grim-dark, but the actual zaniness quotient is up to the players.
[19:32] <+Kurt> And don’t call me Shirley
[19:32] <+Ted> Ha!
[19:32] <+LucusPalosaari> A few bits of that kind of 70’s feel made it into the basics, like the Gimmicks in the game (the things that make one character different from the others) all have names that are fitting for the time (I looked up a few in various dictionaries to be sure they were in fact time-correct)
[19:32] <+JasonOwenBlack> Personally, I’d be running it on the zanier side
[19:33] <+LucusPalosaari> The mechanics, which uses cards, also favors the kind zany/crazy side.
[19:33] <+Kurt> Were there any references that you wanted to put in as like Easter Eggs or something to that effect? Something that would get a “Ha! I understood that reference” types of things?
[19:33] <+JasonOwenBlack> I tried to fit in a lot of pop culture references as well, to a variety of things.
[19:34] <+JasonOwenBlack> Hopefully they’ll get laughs Kurt!
[19:34] <+Kurt> lol
[19:34] <+StMansur> Did the machanics ever get in the way of the story?
[19:34] <+JasonOwenBlack> Off the top of my head, I’ve got reference to Close Encounters and Scooby-Doo which are probably my favorites.
[19:34] <+Kurt> sweet
[19:34] <+JasonOwenBlack> Kid of deep cuts.
[19:35] <~Dan> You need Shaft in there as well.
[19:35] <+Kurt> unfortunately i need to get going- i’ve gotta be up and running at 4am, but thank you very much for putting this together
[19:35] <+Kurt> i’m going to try to strongarm some guys to get a game going when we can
[19:35] <~Dan> Who is the man // That would blow the living Hell out of a Moon Man? // Shaft!
[19:35] <+JasonOwenBlack> StMansur: Not so far. The vs. M engine is pretty narratively focused, with a lot of room for actio hijinks!
[19:35] <+JasonOwenBlack> Thanks for coming Kurt!
[19:35] <~Dan> TAke care, Kurt!
[19:36] <+Kurt> See you guys!
[19:36] <+JasonOwenBlack> I think the vs. M Engine works well for smaller scale, more personal stories, which this game has the potential to tell.
[19:36] <+JasonOwenBlack> I’d love to do an admittedly somewhat dark adventure about struggling to survive in a city destroyed by the Moon Men.
[19:37] <+JasonOwenBlack> And while you can get some pretty powerful draws, the system works in some serious cost-benefit analysis for actions as the deck gets smaller and smaller.
[19:37] <+JasonOwenBlack> It uses a standard deck of playing cards, for reference
[19:37] <+Guest> Am I in yet
[19:37] <~Dan> While we’re on the subject, can you describe the system?
[19:37] <+LucusPalosaari> can see you Guest
[19:38] <~Dan> Guest: Yup, you’re here! You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂
[19:39] <+JasonOwenBlack> Sure. So the vs. M Engine uses a deck of playing cards, and in order to perform an action, a player draws a number of cards equal to the attribute they’re using (say, Physical) and tries to draw at least oe card valued higher than the target number of the task.
[19:39] <+JasonOwenBlack> So if the difficulty of climbing a tree is set at, say 6, you need to roll a 6 or higher. Face cards are worth more.
[19:39] <~Dan> Is there a character sheet that we can see?
[19:39] <+JasonOwenBlack> That’s the core mechanic, and there are some more variations within that for combat and etc.
[19:40] <+JasonOwenBlack> That’s actually a good question, because I don’t know if we have one out there yet. We kind of all forgot about it in the original PDF release
[19:40] <+StMansur> 😀
[19:40] <+Guest> Cool, looks like I missed a lot 😕
[19:40] <+RHershey> Its on my list for tonight and will be added to the download file
[19:41] <+RHershey> character sheet and vehicle sheet
[19:41] <~Dan> What are the attributes?
[19:41] <+JasonOwenBlack> Well Guest, you can chkc out the transcript after th chat too!
[19:42] <+LucusPalosaari> If you’d like to hear some people playing vs. Ghosts, which uses the same mechanic but is in a ghost-busting setting (also by Fat Goblin Games) I recommend this PodCast: (Link: http://blumagik.com/steamsteelmurder/audio/VsGhosts10-28-16.mp3)http://blumagik.com/steamsteelmurder/audio/VsGhosts10-28-16.mp3
[19:42] <+JasonOwenBlack> The attributes are Offense, Defense, Mental, Physical, and Social. None of them are derived, so you cna be good at fighting or defending without having to have a good Physical.
[19:42] <+Ted> Sounds simple. Is it easy to learn? I’m an rpg noob and want something that’s a good intro to the genre.
[19:42] <+Guest> I have three names, only one is really me. I’m Bobby and DA
[19:42] <+LucusPalosaari> And for those joining: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst — a preview of vs. Moon Men, about Jason, etc
[19:43] <+JasonOwenBlack> It is a really simple system. The core of the system is explained over about 4 pages.
[19:43] <+LucusPalosaari> Ted — it has to be one of the simplest systems I’ve ever seen or worked with.
[19:43] <+Ted> Excellent
[19:44] <+JasonOwenBlack> Certainly easier to get a handle on than Pathfinder (which is my truest love).
[19:44] <~Dan> Ted: Welcome to the hobby! Please feel free to hang out here whenever you like if you’d like some more gaming tips. 🙂
[19:44] <+JasonOwenBlack> It’s easy to pick up and I think really well designed for oneshot games.
[19:44] <+LucusPalosaari> I want to say Arkham Horror, the board game, has more specific rules than vs. Moon Men (unless you get into corner cases and like the vehicle mechanics)
[19:44] <+steve> 😀
[19:45] <+JasonOwenBlack> Oh absolutely, Arkham Horror is one of my three favorite tabletop (non-RPG) games but it takes a few passes to make sense of the ~18 page rules
[19:45] <+Ted> Sounds good! I just got into “serious” board games about a year ago, and I’m all in. Looking to expand my gaming horizons.
[19:46] <+StMansur> Out of all the npcs’ in the game it’s there a fave? Any moon men who didn’t make it past central casting?
[19:46] <+Guest> So is this game one that none gamer like me would be able to understand and play and not make a fool of myself?
[19:47] <+JasonOwenBlack> We actually don’t have any named NPCs in the core book, though the Moon Men Commandant generic NPC is likely my favorite.
[19:47] <+JasonOwenBlack> I think so Guest!
[19:47] <~Dan> How much variety is there among the Moon Men?
[19:48] <+LucusPalosaari> Guest, I’ll answer that but JasonOwenBlack can too. I would absolutely say YES. The core mechanic, that decides 90% of things, is drawing cards.
[19:48] <+JasonOwenBlack> It’s pretty simple and I think we at Fat Goblin Games have settled on some pretty solid language for explaining.
[19:48] <~Dan> (wb, Ted)
[19:48] <+LucusPalosaari> From a standard poker deck you can buy for $1. There is no math or other complicate things, you only need one person to really understand what’s going on, and that’s the Moon Master i.e. the Game Master that referrees things. And 90% of the time, they can just say yes or no depending on what was drawn.
[19:49] <+LucusPalosaari> “New gamers” are definitely a target with our vs. M Engine games (vs. Stranger Stuff, vs. Ghosts, and vs. Moon Men)
[19:49] <+LucusPalosaari> So, if you struggle for any reason with it PLEASE let us know — I’ll need to refine it again!
[19:50] <~Dan> What is vs. Stranger Stuff?
[19:51] <+Gyrfalcon> So a philosophical question about the deck-drawing mechanic for task resolution.
[19:51] <+Gyrfalcon> (I’ll wait until Dan has resolved.)
[19:51] <+LucusPalosaari> (Link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/191506/vs-Stranger-Stuff?affiliate_id=520895)http://www.rpgnow.com/product/191506/vs-Stranger-Stuff?affiliate_id=520895
[19:51] <+KielHowell> Goodnight folks…thanks Jason!
[19:52] <~Dan> Take care, KielHowell! Come by any time!
[19:52] <+JasonOwenBlack> Later KielHowell!
[19:52] <+LucusPalosaari> Vs Stranger Stuff is a cheap intro game for vs. M Engine (available now for $1) that uses a slightly simpler set of attributes and is a direct ripoff of Stranger Things from Netflix
[19:52] <+Ted> Nice
[19:52] <+JasonOwenBlack> “Direct ripoff” sounds harsh, but yeah it’s kids dealing with strange stuff
[19:53] <+JasonOwenBlack> And it’s delightful
[19:53] <+Ted> Good series to ripoff
[19:53] <+LucusPalosaari> I almost wrote “cash grab” but for $1 its not really that 😉
[19:53] <~Dan> Indeed.
[19:53] <+JasonOwenBlack> Haha.
[19:53] <+LucusPalosaari> For that though, Ben Dowell has written some GREAT adventures
[19:53] <+GrimTheWanderer> tribute splatbook
[19:53] <+LucusPalosaari> So if you’re totally new, want something super simple and don’t want to invest a lot, for $5 I bet you can have a day’s worth of fun
[19:53] <+GrimTheWanderer> legally distinct tribute
[19:54] <+StMansur> Sell outs😊
[19:54] <+JasonOwenBlack> Indeed we are.
[19:54] <+LucusPalosaari> Yes, yes… I assume we’re speaking among friends here 😉 Also, we point out “Inspirations’ on basically page 1
[19:54] <+LucusPalosaari> Gyrfalcon — what was your question?
[19:54] <+JasonOwenBlack> That inspiations page in the books is really fun to write
[19:55] <+GrimTheWanderer> Inspirations pages can be helpful if you’re looking for genre works too
[19:55] <+GrimTheWanderer> always a couple obscure titles
[19:55] <+Ted> Again, noob question: how long will a game last? Is it something you can pause and revisit?
[19:56] <+JasonOwenBlack> Ted the length of a game can vary as with any role-playing game. Personally, when I run an RPG they tend to go around four or five hours and i most cases we come back to them later.
[19:56] <+Gyrfalcon> So a card-drawing mechanic, where increased skill lets you draw more cards rather than adding static bonuses, seems to suggest that there are some tasks that are just near-impossible. Call it ‘Ace’ difficulty. And that anyone could potentially accomplish them, be they a neophyte or having a lifetime of experience, or outright superhuman. Skill just raises the odds from 4/52 to something higher.
[19:57] <+JasonOwenBlack> It’s kind of up to the game master (or in this game, Moon Master) to determine length
[19:57] <+LucusPalosaari> Ted, this playtesting of vs. Ghosts by people we don’t know (we’re involved in creation I mean) play an entire game of vs. Ghosts in 189 mins (~3 hrs?) (Link: http://blumagik.com/steamsteelmurder/audio/VsGhosts10-28-16.mp3)http://blumagik.com/steamsteelmurder/audio/VsGhosts10-28-16.mp3 from character creation to completion. You can very much “pause the game” too whenever or wherever
[19:57] <+Gyrfalcon> Is this basically the setup? Is there any room for a “you CANNOT accomplish this unless you have some level of trained skill or specialness”?
[19:58] <+Ted> Thanks! Gotta go…Sarah wants to play a game!
[19:58] <~Dan> Bye, Ted!
[19:58] <~Dan> Come by any time!
[19:58] <+Ted> Thanks!
[19:58] <+LucusPalosaari> Gyrfalcon — Yes and no. It gets complicated. The genre that inspires vs. Moon Men is about the plucky adventurer sitting down behind the flying saucer or accurately using the raygun for the first time perfectly. So Yeah, Aces “win” every time, and no penalty can reduce you to less than a single draw
[19:59] <+LucusPalosaari> But keep in mind, the idea is you use a static deck that reshuffles once all cards are drawn. so on a “fresh” deck, lets say your’e getting 4 pulls. Your first card is 1 out of 52, next is 1 out of 51, next 1 out of 50, next 1 out of 49 etc
[19:59] <+JasonOwenBlack> Hey Da, welcome back!
[19:59] <+LucusPalosaari> Card counting, is called out as encouraged
[20:00] <+LucusPalosaari> But the Moon Master can just declare a thing “impossible” — so like ‘I want to lift the car” — No. I wont allow it. Then again, you’ve heard those “tales” of Mom’s that lift cars off children… sh drew an Ace
[20:00] <+GrimTheWanderer> lol, in before the first lawsuit resulting from some novice gambler but frequent vs rpg player gets into some kind of trouble counting cards in a casino
[20:00] <+LucusPalosaari> And really, the hope is you would allow for that.
[20:00] <+Guest> Thanks, I’m just reading all the chats. And watching big band
[20:01] <+Guest> That was bang not band
[20:01] <+LucusPalosaari> Does that answer your questions Gyfalcon, or would you like to reask?
[20:01] <+Gyrfalcon> Sort of. Are PCs the only actors who make skill checks?
[20:02] <+LucusPalosaari> Combat uses a slightly different thing, where after confirming hitting or not with high cards, you confirm damage with low — so Dueces and Tres aren’t always bad
[20:02] <+JasonOwenBlack> Over time, the deck gets thinned out, so it takes some careful consideration as to whether ot not an action is plausable to pull of.
[20:02] <+LucusPalosaari> Moon Master and Players draw from the same deck
[20:03] <+LucusPalosaari> Someone might also “sacrifice” an action to try to “draw down a deck” — its not explained in the book but I expect at the table people would know to do it
[20:03] <+LucusPalosaari> Like “oh there’s only 5 cards left, they’re likely all low — let me go first and I’ll use my Physical 6 to draw them all and then we reshuffle!”
[20:04] <~Dan> How diverse are the Moon Men?
[20:05] <+JasonOwenBlack> The Moon Men themselves aren’t very diverse, at least those who are on the Earth.
[20:05] <+JasonOwenBlack> In fact, nobody has reported any Moon Women yet, or Moon Children for that matter. And they have a pretty monolithic socieety it seems.
[20:05] <+LucusPalosaari> A few things too — there are your attributes, which range from 3-6, and then Gimmicks, which give usually situation specific bonuses. There are levels or anything, so no one is maxing out a skill and getting to draw 20 cards. At least not in the base model, “character advancement” accounts for some forms of getting better, but its bonus cards and new gimmick
[20:06] <+LucusPalosaari> There are 5 “types” of Moon Men in game
[20:07] <+LucusPalosaari> From a standard to a scout to a power suited soldier to a commander. And then what Jason called 9ers
[20:07] <+LucusPalosaari> But the 5 Moon Men all have a uniformity you’d expect from a military
[20:08] <~Dan> (wb, StMansur!)
[20:08] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yeah so far we’ve seen Moo Men military, whether there’s anything else up in space, remains to be seen.
[20:09] <+LucusPalosaari> You may also, as likely, be taking on Lunies — the humans that have turned traitor and are working with the Moon Men.
[20:09] <+LucusPalosaari> Or just dealing with normal people, going about their day in Occupied Earth
[20:09] <+JasonOwenBlack> Moonies and Lunies, not to be confused with Canadian currency 🙂
[20:09] <+GrimTheWanderer> heheh
[20:10] <+LucusPalosaari> Jason’s default setting in the back of the book is Anytown, USA. With a clear design for you to even apply it to your own hometown etc
[20:10] <~Dan> Given the lack of diversity, how do you keep up player interest?
[20:10] <+GrimTheWanderer> pseudo 1950s golden age setting?
[20:11] <+LucusPalosaari> GrimTheWanderer — yes, but we specifically call out that the 1960’s were also the era of the women’s liberation movement, Civil Rights Movement, the Stonewall rebellion, and widespread opposition to the Vietnam War.
[20:12] <+JasonOwenBlack> As for enemy diversity, I’ve always seen it as a game more focused on narrative and roleplaying than combat, but I want to introduce some more options and new things in supplements.
[20:12] <+LucusPalosaari> So you could easily be a former Vietnam vet, back in the states, living as a hippie commune when the Moon Men land
[20:13] <+JasonOwenBlack> As the occupation becomes more entrenched the Moonies will no doubt develop more ways to deal with us, as well as introducing new technology. I’d love to see some big robots in here eventually.
[20:13] <+LucusPalosaari> The Moon Men are also built-to-order, with suggested fall back builds, but by switching out a few gimmicks for a Moon Man and you get some diveristy. They have unique Gimmicks even, like Defective Telempathy
[20:13] <+GrimTheWanderer> insert lost in space and forbidden planet robots here
[20:13] <+LucusPalosaari> Indeed
[20:14] <+GrimTheWanderer> maybe even a GORT or two
[20:14] <+GrimTheWanderer> 😀
[20:14] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yeah, what we offered in the book are examples, common tropes for Moon Men antagonists, we also offered some for other humans too. But there are guidelines in tehre for building your own antagonists.
[20:14] <+LucusPalosaari> Also, IF there are “men on the moon” — what about the other planets and moons of our solar system? 😉
[20:14] <+steve> 😀
[20:14] <+GrimTheWanderer> vs Moon Men: Rise of the Venusians?
[20:14] <+JasonOwenBlack> That’s a good question LucusPalosaari
[20:16] <+JasonOwenBlack> I think it stands to reason that if, in this universe anyway, there is intelligent life on Earth and her Moon, there coudl easily be life on other planets in the solar system.
[20:16] <+LucusPalosaari> Jason and I have spitballed ideas that could be developed into at least a dozen+ supplements, including moving timeline forward as we beat back Moon Men, etc. or as it all crumbles. OR maybe the Juno of Jupitor come down and “save us” so they can enslave us
[20:16] <~Dan> What sort of technology do the Moon Men have other than rayguns and flying saucers?
[20:17] <+JasonOwenBlack> We have so many ideas.
[20:17] <+LucusPalosaari> BUT we needed to and wanted to start somewhere — so we chose 1970, default America, default we lost (because ray guns and flying saucers beat the time-appropriate fighter jets and firearms)
[20:18] <+LucusPalosaari> The Dreadnaught soldiers have genetically keyed into them power armor suits
[20:18] <+JasonOwenBlack> They also have telepathic powers, and Electrode Guns, which are kind of like stun guns but weirder
[20:18] <+GrimTheWanderer> Far sighted Plutonians irate over the future deplanitization of their beloved Dog Star?
[20:18] <+Guest> Good night all 😴 Bed time
[20:18] <+LucusPalosaari> Thanks for joining us
[20:18] <~Dan> Bye, Guest!
[20:18] <+JasonOwenBlack> Goodnight!
[20:19] <+Guest> Yeppers
[20:19] <+LucusPalosaari> Grim, I’d personally default to fungus from Pluto, but I’m not sure Jason loves the Mythos as much as I do 😉
[20:19] <+JasonOwenBlack> The core book also assumes that the invasion is still pretty fresh, so we have’t seen all the Moon Men have to threaten us with. As the occupatio goes on, and the resistace grows, they’ll bring more weaponary to bear against it.
[20:20] <+JasonOwenBlack> I love the Mythos, and I also love weird, non-humanoid aliens, so that sounds delightful. Also plant people in general.
[20:20] <+JasonOwenBlack> Team Myconid all the way
[20:20] <+LucusPalosaari> Much of the “day to day’ tech the Moon Men have isn’t something your average human has their hands on, or understands. So we didn’t include their tricorters and their healing-wands because human’s wouldn’t even know what that probe-shaped thing is let alone know how to use it
[20:20] <+GrimTheWanderer> Yuggothians are really good
[20:20] <+GrimTheWanderer> but I was going more for cheeseball than cosmic dread
[20:21] <~Dan> So vs. Moon Men assumes that the Moon Men have already defeated Earth’s militaries?
[20:21] <+LucusPalosaari> Migo, no you go!
[20:21] <+LucusPalosaari> Yes Dan
[20:21] <+LucusPalosaari> We lost
[20:21] <+LucusPalosaari> At least, as far as you, the player know
[20:21] <+JasonOwenBlack> Sentient fungus from an frozen ball of dirt.
[20:21] <+LucusPalosaari> The Moon Men tell you as much
[20:21] <+GrimTheWanderer> Who was on which subatance rewatching Mars Attacks when this was concocted?
[20:22] <+LucusPalosaari> Jason.
[20:22] <+LucusPalosaari> I just edited it and head the line.
[20:22] <+GrimTheWanderer> 😀
[20:22] <+LucusPalosaari> So all the crazy is his, I just make sure its ready for Rick to do layout
[20:22] <+JasonOwenBlack> Which I will hopefully get to explore more in a module about Hollywood or the BBC as a Big Brother kind of puppet operation of the Moonie propaanda machine!
[20:22] <+JasonOwenBlack> I think I had the idea very late at night.
[20:22] <+LucusPalosaari> Welcome scya
[20:22] <+GrimTheWanderer> best time for ideas like this
[20:23] <+GrimTheWanderer> they are more fertile in those lost hours of the late night
[20:23] <+LucusPalosaari> (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst A blog about vs. Moon Men, Jason, and tonights Q&A
[20:23] <+LucusPalosaari> Does anyone else have questions we either missed or they would like to ask?
[20:24] <+JasonOwenBlack> We had been tossing back and forth ideas for a sci-fi vs. M game after I spent about a week mainlining old school revival systems off DriveThruRPG
[20:24] <+LucusPalosaari> Sorry if we got off on a tangent there!
[20:24] <+GrimTheWanderer> Would this play well with an Iron Sky type addition?
[20:24] <+LucusPalosaari> Yeah, and I wanted us to do a vs. M Engine game that was NOT “paranormal” in the supernatural/præternatural sense
[20:25] <+LucusPalosaari> Is Iron Sky the Nazi’s in Space movie?
[20:25] <+JasonOwenBlack> I think it could! I loved Iron Sky!
[20:25] <+GrimTheWanderer> secret nazis from the dark side of the moon, yes
[20:25] <+JasonOwenBlack> It is, it was absurd
[20:25] <+LucusPalosaari> Ahh, that would play into this. If you wanted to play your Moon Men “dark” though, they could be essentially Nazi’s from the Moon. We leave that matter somewhat up to the Moon Master.
[20:26] <+LucusPalosaari> When describing Anytown, USA — you could go with the old 1980’s Red Dawn…. where the school’s been turned into to a “reeducation camp” for dissedents
[20:26] <+LucusPalosaari> And humans are being worked 20+ hrs a day in the Factory to make odd alloys for unknown projects
[20:27] <+GrimTheWanderer> I was thinking more absurdist again, a third chaotic element
[20:27] <+LucusPalosaari> OR you could have the Moon Men be much gentler and more relateable.
[20:27] <+JasonOwenBlack> I also wanted to stress in the core book, and will over any future supplements as well, that it isn’t just the USA that got invaded, but everywhere, and everybody is fighitng back in some ay or another.
[20:27] <+GrimTheWanderer> alien enemies make for strange allies
[20:28] <+LucusPalosaari> Yes, one of the first planned releases would be “Mother Russia” or a similar book.
[20:28] <~Dan> How extensively do you cover vehicles?
[20:28] <+LucusPalosaari> 1970 is/was also the HEIGHT of the Cold War.
[20:28] <+GrimTheWanderer> Red Menace against the Green Terror
[20:28] <+GrimTheWanderer> lol
[20:28] <+LucusPalosaari> America landing on the Moon was us finally “catching up” to the Cosmonauts, whom had bet us into space, etc
[20:29] <+JasonOwenBlack> I wrote up rules for using them and provided stats for a bunch of smaple vehicles, like civilian cars, light tanks, small yachts and so forth.
[20:29] <+JasonOwenBlack> Flying suacers too, of course.
[20:30] <+JasonOwenBlack> We tried to cover things that existed in 1969, and the PCs could concievably access, though I made anote that things like airliners and battleships work better as adventure locations than as vehicles.
[20:30] <+LucusPalosaari> In a 56 page book, the vehicles take up 7 pages, with examples of bicycles to watercraft, helicopters to flying saucers
[20:30] <+GrimTheWanderer> ooo the crazy expirimental vehicles of the old Popular Science covers would be stupendous
[20:30] <+JasonOwenBlack> But the rules fit inot vs. M pretty well I think, and they should be easy to adapt to other games using that engine, from FGG or otherwise
[20:30] <+JasonOwenBlack> I also included horses.
[20:30] <+LucusPalosaari> Those,a nd things like them, are likely to make it into future supplements — if we sell enough copies to warrant continuing things (so buy lots!)
[20:30] <+steve> i’m really liking the setting and the system.
[20:31] <+LucusPalosaari> Glad to hear it Steve!
[20:31] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yeah thanks!
[20:32] <+JasonOwenBlack> The core book drew heavily on b-movie invasion stuff, but there are so many other things out there to pull from, which I’m really looking forward to doing.
[20:32] <+LucusPalosaari> We’re hoping too, by setting it in 1970, Google and Wikipedia are your friend. A few minutes on the internet and you can get some pretty sweet pictures of the fighter jets : (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:United_States_fighter_aircraft_1970%E2%80%931979)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:United_States_fighter_aircraft_1970%E2%80%931979
[20:32] <~Dan> Is the Earth mostly devastated, or is it more intact but occupied?
[20:32] <+JasonOwenBlack> Sci-fi is many things to many people, and I love a lot of it.
[20:33] <+JasonOwenBlack> Mostly intact at this point, the Moon Men are here to rule, not destroy, which puts them in a different camp than the Mars Attacks! aliens.
[20:33] <+JasonOwenBlack> The Moon frankly sucks, so they took the invasion of Earth as a chance to have a much larger resource base for their nefarious schemes and such.
[20:34] <+LucusPalosaari> For the most part, occupation was swift. The military was beat badly — at lest when the Moon Men met resistance. If you compare stats, you’ll see a flying saucer is just a superior machine
[20:34] <+GrimTheWanderer> (Link: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/07/12/8a/07128a3d9f5a52f427d71d56348cf096.jpg)https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/07/12/8a/07128a3d9f5a52f427d71d56348cf096.jpg
[20:34] <+GrimTheWanderer> (Link: http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0204b.shtml)http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/q0204b.shtml
[20:34] <+LucusPalosaari> Also, welcome Guest16
[20:35] <+JasonOwenBlack> I also wanted to play up occupation instead of destruction because it allow for much more interesting stories and MM NPCs. Though they might be “evil” and “monsters,” I want them to have more depth than most invasion movie aliens.
[20:35] <+GrimTheWanderer> so many silly things that cost absurd amounts of money
[20:35] <+JasonOwenBlack> Or you can just blast them, it’s up to you!
[20:36] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:36] <+LucusPalosaari> In doing research, we came across The Fighter Mafia — (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_Mafia)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_Mafia — “The Fighter Mafia was a controversial group of U.S. Air Force officers and civilian defense analysts who, in the 1970s, advocated the use of John Boyd and Thomas P. Christie’s Energy-Maneuverability (E-M) theory as the sole driver in designing fighter aircra
[20:36] <+JasonOwenBlack> Luke loves him some Fighter Mafia
[20:36] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, aRealDead1!)
[20:36] <+LucusPalosaari> Which means a bunch of US AF “experimental aircraft” were being tested in these days…
[20:37] <+LucusPalosaari> Area 51 may not have a single piece of alien tech, but it could still be the savior of humanity 😉
[20:37] <+LucusPalosaari> Or not
[20:37] <+JasonOwenBlack> Which means players can get them
[20:38] <+LucusPalosaari> I think a Campaign Kit that assumes you’re some of the USAF test pilots, and were ordered to remain on the ground would be a great way to explore some of the more military angles of the game
[20:38] <~Dan> What does a typical adventure look like?
[20:38] <+LucusPalosaari> Also, at your Area 51 or Hanger 18 etc, you’d have world class engineers and scientists, with production equipment needed to fabricate tech and dissect a flying saucer etc.
[20:38] <+LucusPalosaari> The adventures basically write themselves
[20:39] <+JasonOwenBlack> I was just thinking about that!
[20:39] <+JasonOwenBlack> If sales go well and we can justify it, I’d like to do some campaign kits, which are basically outlines of a whole narrative arc, kind of like an adventure path on a smaller scale.
[20:40] <+LucusPalosaari> As of now, the default set up is you are in an occupied rural town
[20:40] <+LucusPalosaari> And are likely trying to resist the local Moon Men and their Lunie cooperators
[20:40] <+JasonOwenBlack> But we can also do shorter advenures, like those we’ve released for vs. Ghosts or vs. Stranger stuff, which generally follow a three act and a resolution model.
[20:41] <+LucusPalosaari> No “example adventure” was included, but Jason is working on the first Campaign Kit that will give some actual playable stuff.
[20:41] <+JasonOwenBlack> I’ve included a nunch of sample advenutre hooks in the book, where PCs might have to escape from a prison camp, track down a Moonie scout or Lunie collaborator, or simply travel the countryside, being a thorn in the Moon Men’s side
[20:41] <+LucusPalosaari> Or like Jason just said, we might try to drop some one-offs etc
[20:42] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:42] <+LucusPalosaari> “Go Wildcats” the first of the expansions listed on the blog: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst is at least partially a Red Dawn “Wolverines!” type reference
[20:43] <+LucusPalosaari> But there are a LOT of possibilities, we just didn’t want the first book to be spiraling in length.
[20:44] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yeh, Go Wildcats! is Anytown in the early days of the invasion, with th assumption that the players are high schoolers who decide to stand up for themselves.
[20:44] <+GrimTheWanderer> the suspiciously intelligent science teacher, the “could have been a drill sargent” coach
[20:45] <+GrimTheWanderer> the school nurse
[20:45] <+JasonOwenBlack> yup
[20:45] <+LucusPalosaari> precisely
[20:46] <+LucusPalosaari> The mechanics are meant to be a little wild. So that snot nosed kid COULD pick up a raygun for the first time and blast awhole in the side of a Moon Man head.
[20:46] <+JasonOwenBlack> B-movie heroics, basically!
[20:46] <+LucusPalosaari> Because living out a 70’s-80’s era action-adventure movie is a solid goal sometimes. No need for the grimdark or Mathfinder every game.
[20:46] <+GrimTheWanderer> the ham radio club nerds concocting microwave based weapons, style of thing
[20:47] <+JasonOwenBlack> Absolutely
[20:47] <+steve> that’s awesome!
[20:47] <+LucusPalosaari> Rick has put together a character sheet that will be available shortly elsewhere: (Link: https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15032191_1132407843502786_6171985309440712491_n.png?oh=be52f894c6624041f26d9b2a1e8e4928&oe=588C43DF)https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15032191_1132407843502786_6171985309440712491_n.png?oh=be52f894c6624041f26d9b2a1e8e4928&oe=588C43DF
[20:47] <+LucusPalosaari> (Link: https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15032191_1132407843502786_6171985309440712491_n.png?oh=be52f894c6624041f26d9b2a1e8e4928&oe=588C43DF)https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15032191_1132407843502786_6171985309440712491_n.png?oh=be52f894c6624041f26d9b2a1e8e4928&oe=588C43DF
[20:47] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yeah, this is a fun, action movie-esque game by default
[20:48] <+LucusPalosaari> Not sure if those worked, sorry
[20:48] <+JasonOwenBlack> (Link: https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15032191_1132407843502786_6171985309440712491_n.png?oh=be52f894c6624041f26d9b2a1e8e4928&oe=588C43DF)https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15032191_1132407843502786_6171985309440712491_n.png?oh=be52f894c6624041f26d9b2a1e8e4928&oe=588C43DF
[20:48] <+JasonOwenBlack> Nope mine failes too
[20:48] <+JasonOwenBlack> (Link: http://tinyurl.com/gwd6pcj)http://tinyurl.com/gwd6pcj
[20:48] <+LucusPalosaari> I am adding it to my blog: (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst
[20:48] <+JasonOwenBlack> There we go, that shoudl take you to the character sheet!
[20:49] <+LucusPalosaari> That worked Jason, thank you
[20:49] <+RHershey> the only thing I make that’s printer friendly
[20:49] <+JasonOwenBlack> Yeah, character sheets with lots of bits and bobs and background images can get messy
[20:50] <+JasonOwenBlack> Rick is that letter sized?
[20:50] <~Dan> (back, sorry)
[20:50] <+RHershey> yes
[20:50] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[20:50] <+JasonOwenBlack> Dan, there’s a character sheet now! (Link: http://tinyurl.com/gwd6pcj)http://tinyurl.com/gwd6pcj
[20:50] <+LucusPalosaari> Hello again Silverlion
[20:51] <~Dan> Oh, very nice!
[20:51] <&Silverlion> Allo all
[20:51] <+steve> sweet
[20:51] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:52] <+LucusPalosaari> (Link: https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst)https://fatgoblingames.com/blogs/vs-m-engine/jason-owen-black-rpg-net-q-a-life-tonight-7-pm-cst-9-pm-cst
[20:52] <+JasonOwenBlack> I can’t think of anything in particular.
[20:52] <+LucusPalosaari> Also available at end of blog now and will be on OBS sites soon
[20:52] <+JasonOwenBlack> You’ll be able to get the transcript from the blog post Luke just shared in a bit!
[20:52] <+LucusPalosaari> Just that we’ve planned out support for this vs. M Engine game and others for the next year, but sales are what decide how quickly we release things, so if this setting and game interest you, let us know with a purchase
[20:53] <+LucusPalosaari> And if/when you’ve picked up a copy — PLEASE REVIEW IT! Good, bad, or indifferent, we’d love to hear all opinions.
[20:53] <~Dan> As a reminder to folks, 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/ 🙂
[20:53] <+JasonOwenBlack> And leave comments when you do! We’d love to hear from people about what they think!
[20:53] <~Dan> Thanks so much for joining us this evening, guys!
[20:54] <+LucusPalosaari> Thank you for having us!
[20:54] <+JasonOwenBlack> Thanks for having us! It was really fun to talk about the game with people who hane’t been involved in it 🙂
[20:54] <+RHershey> Yes, thanks
[20:54] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and give you the link.
[20:55] <+LucusPalosaari> I think J and I are hoping to come back and talk about Shadows over Vathak sometime, if you’ll have us again!
[20:55] <~Dan> Of course!
[20:55] <+steve> thank you for the great information about the game and the system.
[20:55] <+LucusPalosaari> Thanks Dan
[20:55] <+JasonOwenBlack> There’s so much to say about Shadows over Vathak