[20:27] <+GregSaunders> Hi all, I’m Greg Saunders. I’m a UK based gamer who’s been playing RPGs since the mid eighties I guess, faves being WHFRP, Traveller, Jorune, Talislanta… I’ve been writing games on and off for the last few years, including a game called Summerland and one called In Flames.
[20:28] <+GregSaunders> My current kickstarter is called Exilium and is a ‘re-imagining’ of In Flames. It’s a scifi game of post-human loss and redemption, centered on post-humans effectively kicked out of heaven. Anyway, glad to be here on this Q&A so please fire away! (done)
[20:28] <~Dan> Thanks, GregSaunders! The floor is open to questions!
[20:29] <~Dan> What does “heaven” mean in this context?
[20:29] <+GenoFoxx> so it’s the Ascended (Stargate francise) being jerks again?
[20:31] <+GregSaunders> It’s called ‘Elysium’, and effectively it’s the place the post-humans ascended (or sublimed if you like Culture novels) to. What it actually is like is revealed in play by the players themselves – as a result of certain actions they are allowed to ‘describe’ some aspect of Elysium (done).
[20:32] <~Dan> Huh. Interesting.
[20:32] <~Dan> What are these post-humans like? Is there one particular sort, or are we talking wildly transhuman?
[20:35] <+GregSaunders> One of the premises of the game is that the post-humans are effctively spirits in the material word, and can occupy the minds of normal humans (and uplifted creatures). They can then experience what they experience and to some extend drive them. So wildly transhuman. The player characeters are exiles who got sent down to material reality…
[20:36] <~Dan> Hmm. Is this supernatural, then? Or “just” sufficiently advanced technology?
[20:36] <+GregSaunders> … for a crime the committed. Characters can allow other post-humans in, and that’s what drives the descriptive elements of Elysium (and the crime the player committed to get kick out) to be described. But what they are actually like? That’s for players to describe (done)
[20:37] <+GregSaunders> You could take it either way. In Flames used terminology from Voodoo, but Exilium has replaced these with more universal terms.
[20:38] <~Dan> Are the characters defined in purely mental statistics, since their physical forms aren’t their own?
[20:38] <+GregSaunders> What player characters are actually doing in play is hunting ‘shadows’ – post humans obsessed with the material world who risk destabilising everything. As a reward they try to absolve the guilt of the crime that drove them from Elysium, and hence return. (done)
[20:40] <~Dan> And speaking of characters, do you have a character sheet we can see?
[20:43] <+GregSaunders> I don’t at the moment… but the system uses the D6 rules (the Mini Six variant). The only change is there’s no force-type skills, and each character has two scales – guilt and dislocation. When the former is zero, the character is able to re-enter Elysium. When the latter is zero, the character has suffered a mental collapse and is removed from play…
[20:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, Will!)
[20:44] <+GregSaunders> …as characters can be thought of as post-humans layered on top of a normal human mind, and can become dislocated when they are forced to confront their crimes.
[20:44] <+Will> (shuffles in and munches on popcorn)
[20:44] <+GregSaunders> Whoops, missed the (done) and can I have some popcorn?
[20:45] <~Dan> Did you see my question about mental stats, GregSaunders?
[20:47] <+GregSaunders> Oh no, just did. No, characters have mental and physical stats – physical for the body they are in, mental for that mind and the post-human. In the original In Flames, there was a clear divide as the post-human ‘over wrote’ the human mind…
[20:48] <+GregSaunders> …but that actually made the game slightly harder to grasp as the post-human knows nothing of the ‘material world’. in Exilium, characters slowly come to realise through dreams etc. they they are not normal people, and learn of Elysium as the reason for this happening. (done)
[20:48] * +Will always shares!
[20:49] <~Dan> I see… So is it the case that they’re attached to one physical body in particular and initially think that it’s their own body?
[20:51] <+GenoFoxx> So sort of like the TV show ‘Tracker’
[20:51] <+GregSaunders> Yep. They have lost the post-human ability to ‘Dream’, which is to shift from body to body and experience the world that way. What else they have lost and why is revealed during play, so the players create a collaborative description of what Elysium actually is (done).
[20:51] <+GenoFoxx> or the movie ‘the Hidden’
[20:52] <+GregSaunders> GenoFoxx, not seen that show or the film so I couldn’t say, but you could say the post-humans act a bit like the main chap from Qantum leap, but not with the eighties vibe 🙂 (done)
[20:53] <~Dan> Can you give us an idea of the scope of the bodies that they may occupy?
[20:54] <+GregSaunders> So we have normal humans, then humans with various augmentations (called Hacks and Loki), and finally a variety of Uplifted alien creatures, which offer some advantages in adisadvantages but are all harder to control than normal humans…
[20:55] <+GregSaunders> …and so effect the mechanics of play somewhat regarding the scales I mentioned earlier. (done)
[20:55] <~Dan> I get the impression that there are no sapient aliens in the setting. Am I correct?
[20:56] <~Dan> Non-uplifted, I mean.
[20:56] <+GregSaunders> Yes…as far as humanity is concerned that is correct (winks) (done)
[20:57] <~Dan> Aaaaah. Interesting.
[20:57] <+GregSaunders> 🙂
[20:57] <~Dan> But there is alien life?
[20:57] <~Dan> Alien flora and fauna, I mean.
[20:57] <+GregSaunders> Yes. Humanity is not native to the system the game takes place in, and there is native life on two of the worlds. (done)
[20:58] <~Dan> (Oh, by the way, you don’t have to use (done) after every statement unless you just want to. It’s mostly for after extended answers. 🙂 )
[20:59] <+GregSaunders> Oh Ok!
[20:59] <~Dan> What is the status of Earth in the game?
[21:01] <+GregSaunders> There is some collective memory of Earth, but that’s in the distant past and most people no nothing of it except as a name, although some names on kit for example still exisit as Unity, the controlling govenment, copies old designs.
[21:01] <~Dan> You said that there are only two life-bearing planets in the immediate setting?
[21:02] <+GregSaunders> Two that had life to start with (a planet and a moon), but there are four moons and two planets with sizable populations, and other population centres out there too.
[21:04] <~Dan> Ah, so they’ve been terraformed?
[21:04] <~Dan> Whoops.
[21:05] <~Dan> (wb, GregSaunders!)
[21:05] <+GregSaunders> Sorry, got booted off!
[21:05] <~Dan> No problem!
[21:05] <~Dan> Not sure if you saw my last comment… Have the populated planets and moons been terraformed?
[21:07] <+GregSaunders> To some extent, although that all happened so long ago to most of the citizens it’s not clear. The creation of new uplifts for example is still common however, as is the design of new puppets (robots) and simulcra (AI-based androids who can also be PCs I forgot to mention before).
[21:08] <~Dan> So the post-humans can occupy wholly artificial bodies?
[21:09] <+GregSaunders> Yes, if they are sufficiently human-like (the Uplifted aliens all have human-like intelligence for example). Simulcra have ‘fractal minds’, which are very similar to human levels of intelligence.
[21:11] <~Dan> How many types of uplifted aliens are available as PCs?
[21:13] <+GregSaunders> Iirc, correctly (it’s very late) around ten, if you look on the project page you’ll see two on the first page. They are quite alien, for example one is distinctly crab like. One of the benefits of the mini six system is it’s really easy to create more if you like.
[21:14] <+GenoFoxx> what’s the genral tech level?
[21:16] <+GregSaunders> Three levels – Ultratch is tech based on stuff from earth, so science based and not ‘far out’. Then there’s salveged technology may from bits and bobs of stolen tech, used by one fo the factions…
[21:18] <+GregSaunders> …and then Graintech, which is nanotechology, so nano machines that can form into any shape or machine. Then, partway between ultratech and graintech (which is quite unknown to most of humanity) is Glitter, which uses nanotech to create augmentations and some of the newer creations like the fractal minds i mentioned.
[21:19] <~Dan> What is state-of-the-art for personal weaponry?
[21:20] <+GregSaunders> Pulse weapons, lasers, plasma weapons are more run of the mill. SotA would be nano swarm generators etc., so stuff based on nanaotech.
[21:21] <~Dan> So slugthrowers are a thing of the past?
[21:22] <+GregSaunders> There are slugthrowers, I missed them off the list!
[21:23] <~Dan> Ah! No problem. 🙂
[21:23] <~Dan> How would you describe space travel in the setting? Is it FTL, for example?
[21:23] <+GregSaunders> There are also technologies associated with the Uplifted creatures, some of which have been around for a long time..
[21:25] <+GregSaunders> No, no FTL travel. The setting is based in a single solar system called the Flame Worlds, travel is by conventional ships (with a bit of handwavium so it’s more playable) with cold sleep on the journey.
[21:26] <~Dan> Interesting. Did humans get there via generation ships or the like?
[21:26] <+GenoFoxx> (g’night)
[21:26] <~Dan> (Sleep well!)
[21:27] <+GregSaunders> Yes, a ‘seedship’. Whether there are humans elsewhere isn’t known. The idea for Ultratech is that it’s exisitng tech push to the boundaries of what’s possible, whereas graintech is wonderous.
[21:27] <+GregSaunders> I might have to call it a night (morning) soon too… fading fast…
[21:28] <~Dan> No problem, GregSaunders! Just let me know when you want to call it a night. Or a morning, in your case. 🙂
[21:29] <~Dan> What made you choose D6 for your game?
[21:30] <+GregSaunders> I like the system, very easy and adaptable, and the mini six version is nice and rules lite (my preference). Also of course open these days. It means you have a complete game in the book, but if you want to add other stuff there’s loads available on the web (all the D6 books are freely availabel at no cost).
[21:30] * +Will cheers STL scifi. He also has a single system game percolating in his head…
[21:31] <+GregSaunders> 🙂 Will
[21:31] <~Dan> How are the PCs able to identify the enemy post-humans?
[21:33] <+GregSaunders> The Envoy is something that represents Elysium in the material world. it puts the characters onto the Shadows they need to hunt, and gives them pills that allow them to recognise these post-human controlled creatures on sight. What the Envoy actully is isn’t known, and it’s a secret from the main populace…
[21:33] <+Will> I may have missed it, but where are you along the lines of completion/kickstarter?
[21:34] <+GregSaunders> Less than a day to go and fully funded! The KS is to get Paul Bourne of the One Ring fame to do the layout, and some full colour art. Right guys sorry, going to have to go to bed!
[21:35] <~Dan> Okay, GregSaunders! Give me just a moment, and I’ll get the log posted and link you!