[19:34] <+JimMcClure> Hi everyone! My name is Jim McClure and I am a podcaster and game designer. Right now I have a ongoing kickstarter (well for another 2.5 hours) for a game called Satanic Panic. Satanic Panic is an RPG where you play government agents tasked with stopping the greatest threat known to mankind… tabletop
[19:35] <+JimMcClure> This is my 2nd kickstarter and thanks to a lot of support from the community, this is my 2nd successful kickstarter.
[19:36] <+JimMcClure> I will be happy to answer any questions related to Satanic Panic, the processing of kickstarter, game design, GM stuff, or whatever else you want to ask. I’m not picky
[19:36] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[19:36] <~Dan> Thanks, JimMcClure! The floor is open to questions!
[19:36] <~Dan> Can you say a bit more about the game’s setting?
[19:38] <+JimMcClure> Satanic Panic is set in a fictional verson of the 70’s and 80’s where eevrything they said about D&D back then was true. Playing tabletop actually turns people into horrible monsters and summons demons into the world
[19:39] <+JimMcClure> in the game you play as secret government agents tasked with containing controlling and eliminating tabletop. But you most do it without raising awareness about the “game”
[19:39] <+JimMcClure> (done, unless you want to start getting deep into the weeds of the setting)
[19:40] <~Dan> So you can’t really blow the whistle on the “true” nature of the game, because that would raise its profile?
[19:42] <+JimMcClure> Correct. Your job is to do the exact opposite, you want to keep a lid on the entire situation. In the setting tabletop books are things that are passed in secret from basement to basement. You cannot just go to a store and buy a tabletop book.
[19:43] <+xyphoid> what’s the overall tone you’re going for here – is this satire, black comedy, deadly bleakness?
[19:44] <+JimMcClure> You ask a very good question, as the answer is yes yes and yes in that order
[19:44] <+JimMcClure> The surface of the game is satire
[19:44] <+JimMcClure> It is poking fun at ourselves
[19:44] <+JimMcClure> sort of
[19:45] <+JimMcClure> there are things like the “TSR” in the game which is an organization that is bent on spreading tabletop
[19:45] <+JimMcClure> the TSR is lead by a group of four, A Fighter, A Wizard, A Paladin, and A Rouge
[19:46] <+JimMcClure> So you are fighting against an adventuring party, essentually
[19:46] <+JimMcClure> and there is fun stuff like there is a d20 that sits in the middle of the table, and all hell will break lose if it ever reaches 20
[19:46] <+JimMcClure> the meta-humor being you neevr want to roll the d20 and if you do the lower you roll the better
[19:47] <+SolipstryAlex> Heh. I like the style. So is it correct that you might be fihgting against monsters that used to be people, or trying to infiltrate a group of distributors? (Like are those both possible missions)
[19:47] <+JimMcClure> after you get past the satire there is some real black comedy
[19:47] <~Dan> How so?
[19:48] <+JimMcClure> If we are being honest, a very common thing that happens when people play this game is you shoot children.
[19:48] <~Dan> Holy crap. Yeah, that’s pretty dark.
[19:48] <+JimMcClure> Now you can always make every tabletop player an adult, that is your choice as the GM, but the nature of the game resultsin thigns like finding a standard family of four are tableto players
[19:49] <+JimMcClure> well that means they are horrible monsters
[19:49] <+JimMcClure> and as agents tasked with contianing controlling and eliminating tabletop… what do you do?
[19:49] <+JimMcClure> That is where it gets dark
[19:50] <+JimMcClure> but of course you can always keep it light by making them all old people with long beards and bad body odor
[19:50] <+JimMcClure> then you get to the great moral delema of the game
[19:51] <+JimMcClure> You see in the fiction of the game, there have been secret laws passed that say if someone is a “tabletopper” they no longer are considered a person, and you have the right to kill them of course.
[19:51] <~Dan> Wow.
[19:51] <+JimMcClure> someone becomes a tabletopper by rolling a 20-sided artifact
[19:52] <+JimMcClure> but there are no physical changes to someone when they roll a d20
[19:52] <+JimMcClure> they seem exactly the same
[19:52] <+xyphoid> so are you going a bit 3:16 with this? like does the game support the natural ‘actually we have become the monsters, let’s take down our organisation’ arc
[19:52] <+JimMcClure> but the law says they are monsters
[19:52] <+JimMcClure> The result of this is a moral delema that happens and the big underlying theme of the game.
[19:53] <+JimMcClure> How much do we demonize people just because they are different.
[19:53] <+JimMcClure> so those are are the three levels of tone in the game
[19:53] <~Dan> (Howdy, BPIJonathan!)
[19:53] <+JimMcClure> and players and GMs can go as deep as they like
[19:53] <+JimMcClure> now to answer those other questions that popped up
[19:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[19:54] <+JimMcClure> Yes you absolutely could play a game where you raise up and overthrow your own orginization
[19:55] <+xyphoid> but like, the ‘tabletoppers are actually dangerous monsters’ is a true fact in the fiction of the game?
[19:55] <+GenoFoxx> isn’t there a way to turn them back
[19:56] <+JimMcClure> There is no known way of turning someone back. And the question becomes what you define as “dangerous monster”
[19:57] <+JimMcClure> the law of the game defines one thing (anyone who has rolled a d20) but in the field the agents find out something else
[19:57] <+JimMcClure> some are summoning demons, some do have horrible powers
[19:57] <+JimMcClure> some are just rabbing broom handles and swining at people with guns that just ran down into thier basement
[19:57] <+JimMcClure> Grabbing
[19:59] <+JimMcClure> The fiction is designed to very much avoid definitive answers on what actually makes someone a tabletopper
[19:59] <+JimMcClure> the law of the fiction tells the agents one thing, everything else they encounter shows a lot more nuance on that definition.
[19:59] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[20:00] <~Dan> What sorts of supernatural powers do tabletoppers possess?
[20:00] <+JimMcClure> Some do not have any powers at all, other have fully on magic spells
[20:01] <+JimMcClure> casting fire balls, phasing through walls, reaching into your mind
[20:01] <+JimMcClure> if you wind it in a tabletop spell book they can probably do it
[20:02] <~Dan> Wow. That’s pretty scary, if it goes right up to Wish.
[20:02] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[20:03] <~Dan> Do you include a bestiary of summoned creatures?
[20:03] <+JimMcClure> Great question! I am super happy about how we are doing the beastiary
[20:03] <+JimMcClure> there is a standard bestiary in the book, like you would expect to find in most RPGs
[20:04] <+JimMcClure> but there is also a simple enemy generator
[20:04] <+JimMcClure> so you can pick a level of the enemy, and then pick from a quick list of special powers
[20:05] <+JimMcClure> that way you can plan out all the compabt encounters if you want, or just make them up on the spot in 10 seconds
[20:05] <+JimMcClure> this is designed to appeal to those different GM styles
[20:06] <~Dan> Does the game use its own system?
[20:07] <+JimMcClure> It does use its own system. I wanted something that really captured the feeling of what I wanted to portray
[20:07] <+SolipstryAlex> Can you elaborate on the d20 in the center? How do those mechanics work?
[20:08] <+JimMcClure> so the idea was that when you watch most movies from the 80’s 90’s and today you see that when the guys in black suits show up, they are going to wreck stuff
[20:08] <+JimMcClure> so I needed a system where the players are 80% of the time the most powerful force, but there still needed to be a challenge’
[20:09] <+JimMcClure> and I will get to the d20 with this answer
[20:09] <+JimMcClure> So developed my own system
[20:09] <+JimMcClure> There is something you have to know about this system which is going to seem very weird at first
[20:10] <+JimMcClure> There are no target numbers and no contested rolls
[20:10] <+JimMcClure> Yeah right? How do you do a tabletop game without those things?
[20:10] <+JimMcClure> Here is how it works, I call it a 4 spoke core mechanic
[20:10] <+JimMcClure> first: you roll dice to handle the threats infront of you
[20:11] <+JimMcClure> the equipment you have determines what you dice you roll
[20:11] <+JimMcClure> so the standrad thing is you have a gun and you shoot things with it
[20:11] <+JimMcClure> a gun might have stats like D8 damage and capacity 6
[20:12] <+JimMcClure> that means when you make an attack you can decide to roll anywhere from 1d8 to 6d8 damage
[20:12] <+JimMcClure> and anytime you atack you deal damage, there is no roll to it
[20:12] <+JimMcClure> What balances this out is part 2 of our 4 spoke system
[20:13] <+JimMcClure> Colateral damage
[20:13] <+JimMcClure> anytime you roll above a certain number (lets use 12 as a base number) you deal collateral damage.
[20:13] <+JimMcClure> so if you make an atatck and roll an 18 with all your dice, you deal 18 points of damage and 6 point of collateral damage
[20:14] <+JimMcClure> Collateral daamge affects part 3, team budget
[20:14] <+JimMcClure> Every mission you are given an allowance of collateral damage. That represents how important the mission is to your agency
[20:15] <+JimMcClure> let’s say you have 40 collateral damage for a mission
[20:15] <+JimMcClure> at the end of the mission if you have less collateral damage than that, your team budget increases, because you did a good job. If you go over that collateral damage, you team budge decreases, because you did a bad job
[20:16] <+JimMcClure> and budget is used for our 4th part
[20:16] <+JimMcClure> Requisitioning gear.
[20:17] <+JimMcClure> At the start of every mission the team requisitions a new set of gear (gear does not carry over from previous missions)
[20:17] <+JimMcClure> and their budget determines how much they can get
[20:17] <+JimMcClure> and gear is what determines how much and what size dice you roll
[20:17] <+JimMcClure> so it all feedsback into itself
[20:17] <+JimMcClure> that is the four spoke core mechainc
[20:18] <~Dan> What’s to prevent the opposition from just cutting loose, lacking the budget factor?
[20:18] <+JimMcClure> most times agents could go totally wind and just eliminate everything in front of them, but by doing so they would cause a ton of collateral damage
[20:19] <+JimMcClure> so players have to amke a choice with every attack: “how much am I worried about the threat right in front of me as compared to the long term groth of the team”
[20:19] <+JimMcClure> Interesting question. The oppostion has entirely differant mechanics in how they attack
[20:20] <+JimMcClure> when a bad guy attacks it is very standard taletop mechaincs (because they are tabletoppers after all!)
[20:20] <+SolipstryAlex> That sounds like a unique way to balance it all. I like it.
[20:20] <+JimMcClure> They make an attack, roll a d20 and if they meet or exceed your defense they hit
[20:20] <+JimMcClure> and the attacks deal damage and affects
[20:21] <+JimMcClure> as the for THE d20 that was asked about earlirt
[20:21] <+JimMcClure> players will never roll a d20 while playing the game except when dealing with THE d20
[20:22] <+JimMcClure> during gameplay a single d20 sits in the middle of the table
[20:22] <+JimMcClure> as play happens the d20 will tick up in numbers based on things that happen
[20:22] <+JimMcClure> typically when a tabletopper casts a spell or does some other kind of demonic attack it will raise the d20
[20:23] <+JimMcClure> so if they cast a spell that increases the d20 by 2, and the d20 was at 12, it ticks up to 14
[20:23] <+JimMcClure> if it ever hits 20, the GM is directed to throw a very ahrd encounter at the players
[20:24] <+JimMcClure> but teh players can pick up the d20 and roll it to reset it
[20:24] <+JimMcClure> at anytime they want
[20:24] <+JimMcClure> the risk is two fold
[20:24] <+JimMcClure> first, it could land on a nat 20, which is the worst possible thing to happen
[20:24] <+JimMcClure> but the players also have curruption numbers
[20:25] <+JimMcClure> at chaarcter creation the players choose 2 numbers from 1-20
[20:25] <+JimMcClure> if the d20 is rerolled and it lands on one of their corruption numbers, they gain a point of curruption
[20:26] <+JimMcClure> corruption then ties into the death and dieing mechanic.
[20:26] <+JimMcClure> the more corruption you have, the more likely you will not get back up after you are knocked down (0 HP)
[20:26] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[20:27] <~Dan> So the agents use one set of mechanics, the tabletoppers use another… What about things that are neither? Like, say, natural animals?
[20:29] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest57!)
[20:29] <+JimMcClure> It breaks down to the players use one mechanic and the GM uses another. The player mechanics are designed to give them a depth of play experience, where the GM mechanics are designed to be quick, easy to manage, and make obstacles for the players to overcome
[20:30] <+JimMcClure> so like if the GM wants to make a wild boar. Well that is not in the standard game, but it is really easy to do
[20:31] <+JimMcClure> choose HP based on the level scale, chose melee damage based on the same level scale, pick a special ability that seems like it would fit (when you deal damage knock target prone) and you have a boar
[20:31] <+JimMcClure> all that same stuff would apply to a weigh lifter
[20:32] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted?
[20:32] <+JimMcClure> I do, it is in the playtest packet
[20:33] <~Dan> Oh, so not one that we can see?
[20:33] <+JimMcClure> which if you go to the kickstarter, the very first update (which is open to everyone) you can downlaod it
[20:34] <+JimMcClure> my intention was honestly only the backers would get it during the kcikstarter, but I forgot to set that update to backer only and kickstarter does not let you eting an update after 30 minutes.. so everyone has it
[20:34] <+SolipstryAlex> (Link: http://thirdact.pub/downloads/assets/satanic-panic/play-test/02-27/02-27.zip)http://thirdact.pub/downloads/assets/satanic-panic/play-test/02-27/02-27.zip
[20:34] <~Dan> Welcome, Guest57!
[20:36] <~Dan> Hmm… So PCs don’t actually have stats?
[20:36] <~Dan> Just their equipment?
[20:37] <+JimMcClure> They is correct, is it a stat less game (for the most part)
[20:37] <+JimMcClure> Equipment and special abilities are what determines your power
[20:38] <~Dan> What makes up an NPC?
[20:40] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest39!)
[20:40] <+JimMcClure> Essentially they are a very basic stat block. They have HP, 1 or more attacks (which have damage, range and spread) and special abilities.
[20:41] <+JimMcClure> the special abilities are what is used to customize them
[20:42] <+JimMcClure> they are everything from increase THE d20 by 1 when you make an attack, to ‘this creature has two heads with separate HP. When one head is killed it will be revived by the other on the next tun.”
[20:46] <~Dan> How deadly is combat?
[20:47] <+JimMcClure> Interestingly, not very. Well it cam be deadly depending on circumstances
[20:48] <+JimMcClure> see the interesting thing about the mechanics is the GM has several “ways to attack” the team in a mechanical sense
[20:48] <+JimMcClure> so there is the obvious one, hurt the PCs
[20:49] <+JimMcClure> HP resotres very slowly in Satanic Panic, so over the course of multiple battles you can widdel down the HP of the team until they are weak and vonerable
[20:49] <+JimMcClure> next you can attack THE d20
[20:49] <+JimMcClure> enemies that ramp up THE d20 quickly will make the player have to continually reroll it and expose them to curruption
[20:50] <+Will> (shuffles in and sits down)
[20:50] <+JimMcClure> corruption NEVER goes away. This this is causing long term damage
[20:50] <+JimMcClure> *So this
[20:51] <+JimMcClure> and then there is collateral damage. By making the players fight stronger or a lot of enemies they will be force to roll higher and thus deal more damage
[20:52] <+JimMcClure> finally there are actually enemies that are stronger than the players. Demons and TSR agents are two of the main ones. If the players come acorss them, then a real fight is on
[20:53] <+JimMcClure> so the game actually gives a bunch of different avenues to make the game challenging with it not always being about the risk of death
[20:53] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[20:53] <~Dan> Do the PCs have any access to weird powers?
[20:55] <+JimMcClure> one class does…
[20:55] <+JimMcClure> The reformed tabletopper
[20:55] <+JimMcClure> The ultimate hippocracy, the government uses some tabletoppers to fight agaist their own kind
[20:56] <+JimMcClure> They get powers, but most of them increase THE d20 when used. Typically only GM actions will increase it
[20:57] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[21:00] <~Dan> Do the PCs have any allied organizations, or are tthey totally on their own.
[21:01] <+JimMcClure> They are part of an agency, but that is kept intentionally vague. The real Satanic Panic was not isolated to the US, it was worldwide. So I did not want to establish the game as if it was happening in the USA
[21:01] <+JimMcClure> so the agency stays vage
[21:01] <+JimMcClure> vague
[21:02] <+JimMcClure> but the team doe get some backup in they have a clean up crew
[21:03] <+JimMcClure> the clean up crew the team gets to call in after the action is done to remove bodies, whip down all the mess, and set things back to normal
[21:03] <+JimMcClure> but other than that, and of course the agency is the one providing them a budget and equipment, they are on thier own
[21:04] <+JimMcClure> (done)
[21:08] <~Dan> Do you plan on using this system for anything else, or is it pretty specific to this game?
[21:09] <+JimMcClure> It was designed specially for this game, but people have told me they want to see a ghostbusters game with the collateral damage and budget mechanic
[21:09] <+JimMcClure> but ultimately who knows
[21:10] <+JimMcClure> I have a bunch of other projects coming next
[21:10] <+JimMcClure> but I might re-visit the system for something like that.
[21:11] <~Dan> Is the game strictly a one-off, or do you have anything else planned for it?
[21:12] <+JimMcClure> at this poit based on the interest level I think it will be a one off
[21:12] <+JimMcClure> ultimately I am a person that has a lot of ideas for games and system, so I have no shortage of material to work from in the way of new ideas
[21:12] <+JimMcClure> I am very happy with the success of this kickstarter
[21:13] <+JimMcClure> totally overwhelmed by it
[21:13] <~Dan> That’s awesome. 🙂
[21:13] <+JimMcClure> but if the game would have done total gangbusters I would have probably done a little more with the system
[21:14] <+JimMcClure> but I am very happy sitting here with 44 minutes left
[21:14] <~Dan> What’s next for you?
[21:16] <+JimMcClure> I have a super secret BIG thing that I cannot talk about yet because it is a deal with another big player int eh RPG world, but there should be info about that in the next month
[21:17] <+JimMcClure> then there is a team of 3 women who are all new designers that I am working with to bring a magical girl RPG to the world
[21:17] <+JimMcClure> so that is the next directly Third Act Publishing game to come out
[21:18] <+JimMcClure> then we have a few other games in early stages of production
[21:19] <+JimMcClure> Reach of Titan is a design I am in LOVE with it is just a massive project
[21:19] <+JimMcClure> it is a game about fighting larger than life creatures
[21:20] <+JimMcClure> It si Shadow of the Colossus meets Monster Hunter, the tabletop RPG
[21:26] <+JimMcClure> Ok well I have had a lot of fun doing the Q&A!
[21:26] <+JimMcClure> I have some final update stuff to do
[21:26] <+Will> Exciting stuff. 😉
[21:26] <+JimMcClure> Dan thanks for having me
[21:26] <~Dan> Likewise!
[21:26] <~Dan> Thanks for joining us!
[21:26] <+Will> Good luck, Jim!
[21:26] <+JimMcClure> and thank you all for the questions
[21:26] <~Dan> If you can give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you.