[20:32] <+JoshTJordan> I am the lead designer and publisher of The Imposters, which is on Kickstarter now (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1080999837/the-imposters)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1080999837/the-imposters
[20:33] <+JoshTJordan> he Imposters is a collection of seven conspiracy rpgs by seven different designers.
[20:33] <+JoshTJordan> If you’re interested in learning more about me, you can check out (Link: http://www.joshtjordan.com)www.joshtjordan.com or of course you can ask questions here.
[20:33] <+JoshTJordan> I’ve been designing games for a few years now. Almost all of them are available on drivethrurpg
[20:33] <+JoshTJordan> The Imposters is my fifth Kickstarter. All five of them have successfully funded. And we’ve always delivered the stuff we promised
[20:33] <+JoshTJordan> .That’s my basic introduction.
[20:34] <~Dan> Thanks, Josh! The floor is open to questions!
[20:34] <~Dan> Can you give us a quick overview of the included games?
[20:37] <+JoshTJordan> Of course! Let’s see here.
[20:38] <+JoshTJordan> The Way of All Flesh by Josh T. Jordan: a freeform supernatural rpg set at the funeral of a federal agent who investigated werewolves
[20:38] <+JoshTJordan> The Thought Police by James Mullen: a distopian rpg about psychic citizens in a police state that hunts them
[20:38] <+JoshTJordan> LOVEINT by Nick Wedig: a freeform rpg about a community of melodramatic NSA officers
[20:39] <+JoshTJordan> The Meet by Alex Carlson: a parlor larp about conspiracy theorists conducting secret meetings while surrounded by the public
[20:39] <+JoshTJordan> They’re Onto Me by Banana Chan: a solo game about paranoia and aliens, played over video apps like Youtube
[20:39] <+JoshTJordan> Field Notes 23 by Tim Hutchings: a psychogeography larp that incorporates sketching and journaling
[20:39] <+JoshTJordan> The Light of Day by Todd Crapper: a tabletop rpg about rebellious intelligence officers trying to leak information to the public
[20:40] <+JoshTJordan> And if we reach our stretch goals, we will add a couple more games to that list.
[20:41] <+JoshTJordan> Banana Chan has a bonus game where you play from the perspective of the alien invaders, instead of the humans
[20:41] <~Dan> For the freeform RPGs, how are they run?
[20:42] <+JoshTJordan> Yeah, freeform is kind of a mushy term.
[20:43] <+JoshTJordan> There are clear instructions for each game in the book.
[20:44] <+JoshTJordan> A couple of the games are GM-less, a couple are diceless, but I’d say they represent a range of rpg traditions in one book.
[20:44] <~Dan> So do they all include some form of task resolution mechanic?
[20:45] <+JoshTJordan> The Light of Day, The Thought Police, and The Way of All Flesh, for example, all have dice or cards plus a GM.
[20:46] <+JoshTJordan> So yes, they all have a task resolution system. The ones labeled larp are a little bit squishier, but what they lack in dice, they make up for in clear character goals and small group sizes.
[20:46] <+JoshTJordan> Ok, I need to switch computers. Bear with me. Feel free to ask questions in my brief absence.
[20:47] <~Dan> wb!
[20:47] <+JoshTJordan> Hello again.
[20:48] <~Dan> So if The Way of All Flesh has a mechanic, in what sense is it freeform?
[20:50] <+JoshTJordan> It is a part of a tradition of shorter, acting-heavy games that some peole call American Freeform
[20:51] <~Dan> (Whoops.)
[20:51] <~Dan> wb!
[20:51] <+JoshTJordan> You have a hand of cards. You reveal one whenever you are in a conflict.
[20:52] <+JoshTJordan> High card wins.
[20:52] <~Dan> Ah, so there aren’t really PC stats involved?
[20:53] <+JoshTJordan> Sort of. You start with two unique face cards, that tell the other PCs something about your character.
[20:53] <+JoshTJordan> Since the GM doesn’t get face cards, this also means you can auto win two PC/NPC conflicts.
[20:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!)
[20:54] <&egyptian> (hi!)
[20:55] <~Dan> When you say “unique” face cards, do you mean standard face cards that are unique to that PC, or do you mean face cards unique to the game?
[20:56] <+JoshTJordan> The former.
[20:56] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:57] <~Dan> How strictly is the action limited to the funeral?
[20:58] <+JoshTJordan> Then you have a game like They’re Onto Me, which is a solo game.
[20:59] <+JoshTJordan> You record a series of 1-2 minute videos about your suspicions that a coworker has been replaced by aliens.
[21:00] <+JoshTJordan> Like this (Link: https://youtu.be/weelxjBDcd0)https://youtu.be/weelxjBDcd0
[21:01] <+JoshTJordan> Shout out to my friend Ole Peder, the Norwegian journalist. That’s a link to his playthrough of TOM
[21:02] <+JoshTJordan> For TWOAF, it’s designed as a one-shot that takes place at the funeral. Each PC has a goal to accomplish at the funeral.
[21:02] <~Dan> Interesting. In what sense do you consider They’re Onto Me an RPG, though?
[21:03] <+JoshTJordan> Only the GM knows everyone’s goal in TWOAF.
[21:04] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest09! You can set your name with the /nick command. 🙂 )
[21:05] <+JoshTJordan> Well, TOM is arguably not a tabletop game, but it’s definitely roleplaying. And there’s more to the rules. There are ways you interact with other players in the Youtube comments for their messages.
[21:05] <+JoshTJordan> It’s arguably more of an ARG
[21:05] <~Dan> ARG?
[21:05] <+JoshTJordan> Alternate Reality Game
[21:06] <~Dan> Ah! I don’t think I’ve seen that acronym before.
[21:06] <+JoshTJordan> But to step back a minute, the book has seven different games as a $10 pdf.
[21:07] * ~Dan nods
[21:07] <+JoshTJordan> I suspect some people are backing it based on one or two of the game pitches. And if they happen to like all seven games, all the better.
[21:08] <~Dan> Certainly..
[21:08] <~Dan> What sort of RPG is The Thought Police?
[21:11] <+JoshTJordan> Imagine a dystopia where the government is hunting you because of your psychic abilities.
[21:13] <~Dan> Right, but how much of a “traditional” pen-and-paper is it>
[21:13] <~Dan> ?
[21:14] <+JoshTJordan> Good question. You have a character sheet. Some conflicts are resolved by GM fiat, some by coin tosses, and some by use of individual player powers.
[21:16] <+JoshTJordan> James does a good job including alternate psychic powers and other alternate rules so you can tweak the game to fit your vision of the dark future.
[21:18] <+JoshTJordan> Oh, I should also mention that we have hidden encrypted messages in the boom
[21:18] <+JoshTJordan> boom
[21:18] <+JoshTJordan> book.
[21:18] <+JoshTJordan> Darn fingers!
[21:20] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:21] <~Dan> What sorts of psychic powers are available?
[21:21] <+JoshTJordan> If you are a puzzle fan, I encourage you to find and decrypt the little messages. Each designer has included a way to contact him or her in the game text.
[21:22] <+JoshTJordan> Mind reading is the default.
[21:23] <+JoshTJordan> There’s also, 2-way telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyance, and psychic based body mastery that gives you super speed or strength.
[21:30] <~Dan> How is The Meet conducted?
[21:35] <+JoshTJordan> You meet in public. There are rules about how not to reveal yourself.
[21:36] <~Dan> (Howdy, ChadDubya!)
[21:36] <+JoshTJordan> You and the other players try to talk about your conspiracy theories.
[21:36] <~Dan> Are some of these games more akin to performance art?
[21:38] <+ChadDubya> (hey Dan)
[21:39] <+JoshTJordan> If you grew up on Palladium and TSR like I did, some of them will feel pretty theatrical.
[21:40] <+JoshTJordan> But if you asked your friend who runs weekend boffer larps, he’d say these are small group games closer to rpgs.
[21:44] <~Dan> What is the sketching mechanic in Field Notes 23?
[21:47] <+JoshTJordan> In his regular life, Tim is an artist and art professor, so he encourages to draw and take notes during the game.
[21:48] <+JoshTJordan> At the end of a session, he tells you how to gather everyone’s writing/drawings together into a journal, an artifact of your game.
[21:49] <+JoshTJordan> To observers, it looks like the PCs are walking around as a group, taking vigorous notes about something mysterious.
[21:50] <+JoshTJordan> To players, you are engaged in the story and are just recordingthings on paper as you go.
[21:52] <~Dan> So the drawings don’t actually impact the game mechanically?
[21:52] <+JoshTJordan> I encourage anyone who is interested to check out the artwork in the game as well.
[21:53] <+JoshTJordan> Tim illustrated his own game. And the rest of the book includes some dramatic photography.
[21:55] <+JoshTJordan> Let’s say that I’m being intentionally vague about the mechanics of Tim’s game. If it were a movie, I’d tell you not to watch the trailer.
[21:55] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[21:55] <~Dan> Is it fair to say that all of the games are one-offs?
[21:56] <+JoshTJordan> Surprises are part of the fun with a collection of conspiracy themed games.
[21:56] <~Dan> Heh. Fair point. 🙂
[21:56] <+JoshTJordan> One offs and short campaigns
[21:58] <+JoshTJordan> You could run The Light of Day or The Meet for multiple sessions
[21:59] <+JoshTJordan> I tend to run con games, so I honestly haven’t thought about which ones I’d run as campaigns if I got the chance.
[22:00] <+JoshTJordan> Mechanically, TWOAF would work, but you’d have to either play new characters at the same funeral or play the same characters at the funeral of another federal agent.
[22:02] <~Dan> Do any of the games include rules for combat?
[22:02] <~Dan> (brb)
[22:03] <+JoshTJordan> It’s also very possible to play the same characters using more than one of these games. For example, start with TOM, then The Light Of Day, then LOVEINT, then TWOAF, etc.
[22:04] <+Lin_Chong> quick thing: i’m trying to refine a joke where a character’s underworld name is their twitter handle and they are an assassin that cuts peoples’ heads off
[22:04] <+JoshTJordan> Yes, The Way of All Flesh, and to an extent The Thought Police do.
[22:04] <+Lin_Chong> i’ve got ACloseShave69 or OverzealousHaircut69
[22:06] <~Dan> (back)
[22:06] <+Lin_Chong> is there a better way to refine the joke?
[22:07] <~Dan> (HeadsUp69)
[22:07] <+Lin_Chong> (that’s good)
[22:07] <+Lin_Chong> (sorry i forgot you were doing a qna)
[22:07] <~Dan> (No worries.)
[22:08] <~Dan> Regarding Field Notes 23, what is psychogeography?
[22:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, Will!)
[22:12] <+Will> (hey hey sits down with popcorn)
[22:12] <+JoshTJordan> Psychogeography is a technical term coined in the 1950s for a movement of people
[22:13] <+JoshTJordan> You can read the history here (Link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogeography)https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogeography
[22:14] <+JoshTJordan> But to modern day participants, it’s a sort of contemplative hike, where you explore your surroundings in a meditative way.
[22:15] <+JoshTJordan> It’s not a religion or anything. Just a particular way to walk around and explore your neighborhood.
[22:16] <~Dan> Huh. Cool. I haven’t heard of that.
[22:17] <~Dan> It sounds like The Thought Police is the most traditional of the included RPGs. Fair statement?
[22:18] <+JoshTJordan> That or The Light of Day.
[22:19] * ~Dan nods
[22:19] <+JoshTJordan> I have a hard time judging. I love all my children 😉
[22:19] <~Dan> 🙂
[22:19] <~Dan> Nothing wrong with that.
[22:20] <+Will> heh
[22:20] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[22:22] <+JoshTJordan> I should mention that some of the other designers are award winners.
[22:22] <+JoshTJordan> Not every rpg fan cares about that sort of thing, but it may interest some folks to know
[22:23] <+JoshTJordan> We have Ennie, Golden Cobra, and 200WordRPG winners on the team.
[22:23] <~Dan> Nice!
[22:24] <+JoshTJordan> And I used to run Game Chef for a couple of years, so it’s fair to say I have experience putting teams of rpg designers together.
[22:25] <+Will> Oh, you hit your $5k mark, that’s good
[22:26] <+JoshTJordan> Our team consists of 7 designers, an editor, and a layout artist, all of whom are earning royalties. So if the Kickstarter does really well, the whole team gets paid well.
[22:26] <+JoshTJordan> Yes, we hit our initial goal. I’m very happy about that.
[22:27] <~Dan> Congratulations!
[22:27] <+JoshTJordan> Thanks! And thanks to the 280-some backers who have brought us this far.
[22:28] <~Dan> As usual, 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/
[22:28] <~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!