[19:44] <+ColinPunk> My name is Colin Kyle, I’m the lead writer and designer of Axon Punk: Overdrive, which is live on Kickstarter right now (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1877971196/axon-punk-overdrive-0)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1877971196/axon-punk-overdrive-0
[19:45] <+ColinPunk> The game is a combination of classic cyberpunk and hip hop. Play feels like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, but set in the megacities of 2085.
[19:46] <+ColinPunk> When I say classic cyberpunk, I mean tech focused cyberpunk without any magic. All about plugging brains into computers, like in Neuromancer and the like.
[19:47] <~Dan> (Howdy, CaiasWard!)
[19:47] <+ColinPunk> For more details, you can check out our website (Link: https://www.axonpunk.com/)https://www.axonpunk.com/
[19:47] <+ColinPunk> Hi!
[19:48] <~Dan> (Just a quick reminder to give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂 )
[19:48] <+xyphoid> so we’re talking 90s cyberpunk and all the anxieties that came with it rather than today’s?
[19:48] <+ColinPunk> And I’ve also made a folder with character sheets and our rules demo packet if you want to check those out while we talk (Link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2GTlqVo13BwTlIzT3hzZS1aUWs)https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2GTlqVo13BwTlIzT3hzZS1aUWs
[19:48] <+ColinPunk> yeah, very 90’s cyberpunk. Evil megacorps.
[19:49] <+ColinPunk> (done)
[19:49] <~Dan> Thanks, ColinPunk! The floor is open to questions!
[19:49] <+ColinPunk> My pleasure!
[19:49] <+xyphoid> so what does hip hip bring to the mix?
[19:50] <+ColinPunk> Great question!
[19:51] <+CaiasWard> So in a sentence, give me a few hooks you think are stories that can be told with Axon Punk: Overdrive that you can’t get anywhere else.
[19:53] <+ColinPunk> xyphiod Hip hop and cyberpunk have a lot of the same themes – rabid incorporation of experimental technology, political and social activism, personal freedom. A lot of modern hip hop has explicit sci-fi and cyberpunk themes.
[19:54] <+ColinPunk> quick question, how do I properly tag people?
[19:54] <~Dan> You’re doing it right. I normally use their name. Some clients let you auto-fill the name.
[19:55] <~Dan> Some clients ping the person when you type their name; others don’t.
[19:55] <+ColinPunk> thanks! just wanted to check to avoid confusion. don’t want to miss people’s questions or blow people off
[19:55] <+Will> Colin: Amusingly, I just passed a TV with Rock That Body (Black eyed peas) playing, which is cyberpunky/mech/something
[19:56] <+Will> Also Jamiroquai… hmm. Hadn’t really thought of that
[19:56] <+ColinPunk> Yup, stuff like that! Though I go for the more political stuff
[19:57] <+ColinPunk> My 3 main influences are Janelle Monae, Saul Williams, and Deltron 3030
[19:58] <+ColinPunk> xyphoid To finish up, adding hip hop to cyberpunk re-enforces the musical roots of cyberpunk. Adds a new freshness to a beloved genre, that we hope to use to attract new people to tabletop gaming
[19:59] <+ColinPunk> And it was the music that I was listening to when I started writing the game, so we decided to lean into to and make it really explicit
[19:59] <+ColinPunk> think I’m (done) with that one xyphoid
[19:59] <+ColinPunk> if that’s a good start for you
[20:01] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest84!)
[20:02] <~Dan> xyphoid may have stepped away, ColinPunk. Maybe you should go ahead with CaiasWard’s answer?
[20:02] <+CaiasWard> here!
[20:02] <+ColinPunk> For sure!
[20:03] <~Dan> (CaiasWard is one of your fellow game authors, btw, and a Q&A vet himself. 🙂 )
[20:03] <+CaiasWard> It’s why I don’t ask mechanics questions. 🙂
[20:04] <+ColinPunk> It’s a great question! One sentence is tough though = D
[20:04] <+GenoFoxx> so instead of techno, synth and rock; you have hip hop?
[20:04] <+CaiasWard> it’s why I asked it. You can go one story per sentence if that works.
[20:05] <+ColinPunk> CaiasWard In Axon Punk, we focus heavily on community in the megacityin which the PCs live, which gives the game a very grassroots feel as the community evolves over time based on the choices made by the players.
[20:06] <+GenoFoxx> do you have mechanics/rules to simulate the consquences of becoming more machine if any?
[20:06] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[20:06] <+CaiasWard> So the community is a character mechanically as well?
[20:07] <+ColinPunk> CaiasWard In a way, more like an assembly of locations and NPCs. We have community creation and growth mechanics very inspired by Microscope and Kingdoms
[20:08] <+xyphoid> (yeah i had to go look at wireshark logs of image uploads from antarctica, which is cyperpunk enough I guess!)
[20:08] <+CaiasWard> Ah, there you go. That is what I was looking for. But yeah, give me that story example which can only be told in your game.
[20:09] <+xyphoid> sounds interesting anyway – the musical influence in cyberpunk has been on and off, it always disappointed me that Rocker went away as an archetype in SR for example
[20:09] <+ColinPunk> Thanks! Working on that story example, CaiasWard
[20:12] <+ColinPunk> “You have been contacted by the head priest of the United Church of Tupac, who needs your help to restock the Church’s store of medical supplies.”
[20:12] <+CaiasWard> hm
[20:13] <+GenoFoxx> so does that mean you have a bunch of Prince posers?
[20:14] <+ColinPunk> lol!
[20:14] <+CaiasWard> Was thinking more “AI made from murdered community leader takes over local kid’s drones to investigate his own death”; something like that?
[20:15] <+ColinPunk> That’s beautiful!
[20:15] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Douglas! Here for the Q&A? 🙂 )
[20:15] <+ColinPunk> AI made from scanned human minds are a huge part of the game.
[20:16] <+ColinPunk> Like the Dixie Flatline from Neuromancer
[20:16] <~Dan> ColinPunk: Did you already address the question regarding the negative effects of cyberware?
[20:17] <+ColinPunk> We have an AI class where you can play a scanned human consciousness that exists on the next
[20:17] <+CaiasWard> It’s like I’m a game designer or something. 🙂 But yeah, trying to get a feel for what stories can be told, and what tools can happen in it. CyberPunk 2020 and CyberSpace were my college years’ RPG playing at NJIT.
[20:17] <+ColinPunk> Net8
[20:17] <+ColinPunk> Cool! I dig it
[20:18] <+ColinPunk> Dan, yeah lets get back to the cyberware question.
[20:18] <+Douglas> Sure, thing Dan. Just working on some editing while I wait.
[20:19] <~Dan> (Douglas: Cool! The floor’s open to questions if you’re so inclined. 🙂 )
[20:19] <~Dan> (wb, Drew!)
[20:21] <+ColinPunk> Cyberware and body modification are a big part of the game. Characters have a “Soul” stat, that can be decreased by cyberware. Low Soul means you have trouble coming across as human. If any character gets too much cyberware (5 or more mods), they have to give up their Character Class and become a Cyberized character, which basically just has a ton of cyberwar
[20:22] <+ColinPunk> We like to play with the idea of a character changing classes. Like getting a ton of cyberware to become a Cyberized, or getting their brain scanned to ditch their body and become an AI
[20:23] <+ColinPunk> We’re still nailing down the fine points of that stuff (and possibly multiclassing)
[20:24] <~Dan> What led you to go with a class-based system?
[20:24] <+GenoFoxx> Is there space travel or mecha?
[20:24] <+ColinPunk> And the more machine you become, the more vulnerable you are to hacks and getting taken over by malicious AI
[20:24] <+ColinPunk> No space, but definitely neural-linked power suits and vehicles
[20:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, WineDarkSea!)
[20:25] <+ColinPunk> small stuff like Glitterboys from Rifts and Bubblegum Crisis
[20:26] <+ColinPunk> We’re interested in orbital stuff, but wanted to focus on megacities to start
[20:27] <+xyphoid> so, cyberpunk rpgs have often run into the Decker Problem – the hacker PC sits at home and does their own thing, while other PCs actually go places
[20:27] <+xyphoid> how do you do hacking/networking stuff?
[20:28] <+GenoFoxx> yes is it on the fly and onsite like in Ghost in the shell?
[20:28] <+ColinPunk> Dan We decided to use a class based system to keep things simple to start. 5 Classes (AI, Hacker, Cyberized, Engineer, StreetMerc). We run tons of one-shots and con games, and Classes are great for getting new players into the game. Very tropey and kind of limited, but we make up with cyberware and gear
[20:28] <+CaiasWard> A good side question to xyphoid’s: how much does Augmented Reality play in your setting?
[20:28] <+ColinPunk> Excellent question and exactly in line with xyphoid’s question!
[20:29] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[20:30] <+ColinPunk> xyphoid The Hacker Problem – we spent a lot of time chewing over this and haven’t exactly solved it, but have at least reduced it to a point where we are happy.
[20:32] <+Will> For what it’s worth, it seems to be related to a problem with ‘a bunch of people on a spaceship’ games and some folks have come up with interesting ideas on how to handle it
[20:32] <+Will> It also seems that nowadays someone present with the party ‘virtually’ is more… normal a concept than previously
[20:33] <+Douglas> As a side question to the Classes – since you’re looking at ways to switch classes, how much overlap do they have? How easy is it to switch, and can you ever move back or is it a one way path?
[20:33] <+Will> (if you don’t mind the random comments, heh)
[20:33] <+ColinPunk> The default way people access the Net is through a 3d interface that is a digital rendering of urban environments on the earth, a lot like Google Street View or digital Augmented Reality. People can layer the Net onto reality with glasses or the like, or jack in and walk around in the Net as an avatar.
[20:34] <+ColinPunk> Like a global version of the Street from Snowcrash, but explicitly paralleling reality.
[20:35] <+ColinPunk> That way, the digital world works almost like the spirit world in a fantasy setting. AI and hackers that are jacked in can communicate with the real world, but need special methods to manipulate it from the Net
[20:35] <+CaiasWard> So you can get the ‘surface’ Net (ie what we’d get on a browser, phone, etc) you can see as you walk around, or you can walk in that world as an Avatar from your house? So you could have yourself in two places as once (avatar and body) doing things.
[20:36] <+ColinPunk> Absolutely. And we even use the word “Surface” to describe it too.
[20:37] <+ColinPunk> You have the Surface, which is the public net and parallels reality.
[20:37] <+ColinPunk> Then you have the Deep, which is private servers and more like your Shadowrun style matrix which is twisted and crazy
[20:39] <+CaiasWard> Makes sense. btw, you have a PM.
[20:39] <+ColinPunk> And above all you have the Heavens, which is Corporate space. The Heavens cover the Surface like unending canvas of clouds. But these clouds are covered in giant corporate logos and advertisements.
[20:39] <~Dan> Heh. Cool. 🙂
[20:40] <~Dan> Can you describe the game’s core mechanic?
[20:40] <+ColinPunk> Thanks! Like the default toolbar on your browser with Yahoo, Amazon, and Google, but you can’t get rid of it
[20:41] <+ColinPunk> Dan Core mechanic, for sure!
[20:42] <~Dan> Based on the character sheet, it appears to be an attribute + skill + 1d100 system.
[20:42] <+ColinPunk> Yup! That’s the basic equation
[20:42] <+ColinPunk> Because cyberpunk and hip hop are all about doing innovative, unorthodox things, we built our core mechanic to be flexible and creative.
[20:43] <+ColinPunk> So players first say what they are hoping to achieve (for example, “I want to get through that door”)
[20:44] <+ColinPunk> Then they pick which Stat they are going to use, which works kind of like like Approaches in Fate
[20:45] <~Dan> So why do the Trainings have associated Stats?
[20:45] <+ColinPunk> As examples to help new players. They are now required or restricted
[20:46] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[20:47] <~Dan> I see Martial Arts but no ranged or armed combat skills. Am I missing something?
[20:48] <+ColinPunk> Nope, we try to ball that all up in one Training category. The “Martial” part is any kind of combat related training, not just classic martial arts
[20:49] <~Dan> Hmm. It strikes me a bit odd that someone would get better at shooting and HTH fighting simultaneously.
[20:49] <+ColinPunk> the plan is to allow players to define their own kind of martial art. If they want it associated with a particular weapon or style, go for it.
[20:49] <+ColinPunk> Yeah, we want it to be one or the other
[20:49] <~Dan> Ah, I see. Do the rules spell that out?
[20:50] <+CaiasWard> How do you avoid the ‘sameness’ of one type of skill covering physical combat?
[20:51] <+ColinPunk> I’ve got them written out more in the book. I’ll admit it is a little squishy, like any game that allows players to define their own skills/trainings/etc. But we want flexibility in the combat system to make it dynamic and narrative.
[20:52] <+CaiasWard> Understood.
[20:53] <+ColinPunk> CaiasWard Thanks! Sameness is big concern in physical combat for us, especially since combat is a bit part of the cyberpunk genre
[20:53] <+CaiasWard> My only concern is that when you make martial arts the only skill mechanically, even two thematically different people are going to have the same ‘crunch’.
[20:54] <~Dan> That might be solved by a specialization option.
[20:55] <+ColinPunk> Yup, that can definitely happen. To work on that, we have the players define their type of martial art and they must justify narratively why an attack is sufficiently different from a regular attack to gain the bonus.
[20:57] <+CaiasWard> And as people get the feel of the system, you can use different stats with different skills (Impact vs Soul vs Flow, for instance) to better differentiate their styles.
[20:57] <+ColinPunk> For example, someone with training in ninjutsu would have to tell everyone how sweet and ninja-like their attack was to gain the bonus.
[20:57] <+ColinPunk> Exactly!
[20:58] <~Dan> Can you tell us what the five Stats do?
[20:59] <+CaiasWard> and there may be circumstances where they have to use other attributes. Someone drugged may have to use Soul to will themselves to stay in the fight.
[20:59] <+ColinPunk> For sure! And we want to give the players the power to push those ideas
[21:01] <+ColinPunk> This will lead to people playing to their strengths, but that’s in the cyberpunk theme. You can shift around, mix things, and get creative.
[21:01] <+CaiasWard> Have to go. Colin, thank you, and backed! Will send an email.
[21:01] <+ColinPunk> It was great to chat, CaiasWard! Thanks so much
[21:01] <~Dan> Take care, CaiasWard!
[21:01] <+ColinPunk> I’ll look you for your email!
[21:02] <~Dan> Good guy. You should check out his KS as well, time permitting, ColinPunk.
[21:03] <+ColinPunk> Will do! Did he send the link? I must have missed it
[21:03] <~Dan> He didn’t, but I’ll grab it.
[21:03] <+ColinPunk> Awesome, thanks! Got to support each other
[21:04] <~Dan> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caias/dwarvs-military-sci-fi-in-a-fantasy-world-rpg?ref=nav_search)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/caias/dwarvs-military-sci-fi-in-a-fantasy-world-rpg?ref=nav_search
[21:05] <+ColinPunk> That’s great! Wow, no wonder he knows his cyberpunk!
[21:05] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:06] <~Dan> Oh, we were discussing the Stats?
[21:06] <+ColinPunk> I’m definitely going to remember the “tell me a story you can only tell in your world in one sentence” question
[21:06] * ~Dan nods
[21:06] <+ColinPunk> yeah, great question, dan
[21:06] <+ColinPunk> Dan As for stats, they parallel the classic stats in DnD, but we wanted to make them more open ended and flexible. Also in genre and flavorful
[21:07] * ~Dan nods
[21:07] <+ColinPunk> A big thing we wanted was for the stats to work inside and outside of the Net
[21:08] <+ColinPunk> We didn’t want to restrict Hackers and AI to only making Intelligence checks all day.
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:09] <~Dan> So Impact = Strength, I’m guessing…
[21:10] <+ColinPunk> Exactly! Impact is like your strength and forcefulness. Also works for hack checks to smash errors into someone else’s code
[21:10] <+ColinPunk> Flow is your speed, movement ability
[21:11] <+ColinPunk> Freestyle is your creativity and innovation. Used to come up with new ideas.
[21:12] <+ColinPunk> Data Bank is your recall. Used for knowledge stats, remembering pre-made designs, and first aid
[21:13] <+ColinPunk> You can split Hackers and Engineers between Freestyle and Data Bank, depending on if they make their own code/designs or modify other people’s stuff.
[21:14] <~Dan> Hmm. I see that Use Net defaults to Soul. Isn’t that a bit odd, since using the Training would (I assume) require Soul-lowering cyberware?
[21:14] <+ColinPunk> Soul is your social stat. It indicates how empathetic and human you come across.
[21:14] <+ColinPunk> That’s a great point!
[21:15] <+ColinPunk> In the world, brain jacks are so common and minor that they won’t affect your Soul.
[21:16] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[21:16] <+ColinPunk> And dry-ware headsets are common too, if people want to be totally organic but still use the Net.
[21:16] * ~Dan nods
[21:17] <+ColinPunk> We have some differences between wet-ware and dry-ware links. Tradeoffs for each.
[21:17] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:17] <~Dan> By the way, you mentioned AIs… Are there self-aware robots?
[21:18] <+ColinPunk> We want lots of tech, so you’ll have to get into pretty big cyberware to reduce your Soul. All cyberware, however, is vulnerable to hacks and AI attacks. That’s a big consequence of trading humanity for machine.
[21:19] <+ColinPunk> There are! AI’s are very important to the world of Axon Punk
[21:20] <~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
[21:20] <~Dan> So in the time remaining, is there anything we haven
[21:20] <~Dan> oops
[21:20] <+ColinPunk> They aren’t necessarily self-aware though. We want to play with that continuum of potential conciousness
[21:21] <~Dan> haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:22] <+ColinPunk> Well, for one, I have been mostly taking about this as “my” game, but really it’s been a group effort.,
[21:22] <+ColinPunk> I’m the lead, but I’ve had a lot of help.
[21:22] <+ColinPunk> This is more than, just a shout out to the team though.
[21:23] <+ColinPunk> And I have time to hangout after 9:30, btw
[21:23] <~Dan> Yes, please do!
[21:24] <+ColinPunk> Awesome!
[21:25] <~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/ 🙂
[21:25] <+ColinPunk> Thanks! This has been great!
[21:25] <~Dan> You’re very welcome! If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[21:25] <+Will> Good luck with it, Colin!
[21:26] <+ColinPunk> Thanks, Will!
[21:26] <+ColinPunk> I will ramble a bit more though. We touched on something earlier I wanted to elaborate on if that’s alright
[21:27] <+ColinPunk> With my last 2 minutes = D
[21:28] <+ColinPunk> I think it was actually this afternoon, but this point is still important.
[21:29] <~Dan> Here you go: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/qa-colin-kyle-axon-punk-overdrive/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/qa-colin-kyle-axon-punk-overdrive/
[21:29] <~Dan> Oh, go ahead, ColinPunk! You can stay as long as you like. 🙂
[21:29] <+ColinPunk> We talked about how hip hop has it’s own culture and it’s not necessarily familiar or a culture we are part of.
[21:30] <+ColinPunk> Thanks Dan! I’ll try to keep it short = D
[21:31] <~Dan> No need. 🙂
[21:31] <+MonkofLords> Heyo
[21:31] <+ColinPunk> hi!
[21:31] <+MonkofLords> How are you?
[21:31] <+Will> Though if we’re out of QA officialnessosity, there might be more general chatter, too
[21:32] <+ColinPunk> Good! Just wrapping up a Q&A about my game I’m Kickstarting
[21:32] <+MonkofLords> Coolio
[21:32] <+Will> There’s an interesting potential gloss on cyberware and AI as ‘magic,’ with some folks potentially seeing cyberware and such as HAVING soul, not lacking it.
[21:33] <+Will> And some vodoun stuff there. mmm.
[21:33] <+ColinPunk> Interesting! Like machine spirits on 40k almost
[21:33] <+ColinPunk> But, I just wanted to say a quick conclusion statement for the Q&A then we can go on to the regular chatter
[21:34] <+Will> Oh, sorry. 😉
[21:34] <+ColinPunk> No worries! Don’t want to stop the flow too much = )
[21:36] <+ColinPunk> I really appreciate everyone listening and want to thank everyone for their time and thoughts! I hope you check out the Kickstarter while it still lasts. Even if you don’t, I’m hoping to be around in the gaming scene so I hope to run into you in the future! One last statement about the game:
[21:40] <+ColinPunk> It’s be a labor of love to make it, but I understand it isn’t for everyone. If hip hop isn’t your thing, no worries at all. I do still encourage you to the check it out because you might discover something new and fun. We made it as a group project and all about collaboration. I love it and hope you check it out!
[21:40] <~Dan> Great attitude. 🙂
[21:41] <+ColinPunk> Thanks! I really try to stay positive and just roll with everything
[21:41] <~Dan> Thanks for joining us, ColinPunk!
[21:41] <+ColinPunk> Thanks again to everyone!!!
[21:41] <~Dan> Give me just a sec, and I’ll add this extra bit to the log.
[21:41] <+ColinPunk> Again our Kickstarter page is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1877971196/axon-punk-overdrive-0
[21:42] <+ColinPunk> if you want to follow up with me, shoot me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
[21:43] <+ColinPunk> I think that’s it from my end. General chatter commence!