[20:29] <+Juliet> Hi everyone, my name is Juliet and I am the creator of Dimensions Roleplaying System. Dimensions RPG is a pen and paper RPG that is non-setting specific and all genre inclusive. It is designed so that it can be used in any type or setting of campaign you want. It has a level based advancement system to keep a traditional RPG feel but also uses…
[20:30] <+Juliet> …an ability buy mechanic to give it the flexibility of a point buy system.
[20:31] <+Juliet> I began creating this game almost 15 years ago as a creative outlet for my spare time but also because me and my friends at the time needed a gaming system that combined magic and technology and none of us liked the books on the market at the time. And after many years of revisions, testing, editing, it is nearing fruition.
[20:32] <+Juliet> I think that’s about all I have for an opening remark, so if you’d like to open the floor to questions?
[20:32] <~Dan> Yup, the floor is open to questions!
[20:32] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest01!)
[20:33] <~Dan> So this is a completely setting-free system?
[20:34] <+Juliet> The core book is designed without a setting in mind at all. It just gives the rules needed to build and play the game. there is however sections detailing other information needed to play specific settings.
[20:35] * ~Dan nods
[20:35] <~Dan> What is the game’s mechanic?
[20:35] <+Juliet> There will also be a campaign setting invluded in the book that utilizes facets of post-apoclypse, zombies, sci-fi, and high fantasy in order to give players a way to utilize all the parts of the book together
[20:36] <~Dan> Now that’s an intriguing combination!
[20:37] <+Juliet> The game is a 3d6 skill system. I used 3d6 to give it a nice bell curve allowing your skill checks to be more averaged out instead of as random as using a d20. The game uses Penalty and Benefit Dice to reflect positive and negative circumstances by allowing you to roll extra d6’s and add or subtract them to your roll.
[20:38] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[20:38] <+Juliet> For critical successes and failures, if at any time two of the dice show 6’s then the third dice is changed to a 6 and you use an 18 for your roll. If you roll three 6’s naturally then you have an Epic Success which has extra added benefits or in the case of an attack will kill NPC’s immeditaly
[20:39] <+Juliet> I unfortantely don’t have a finished sheet because right now we are still trying to get funding to finish out the layout design and graphic art
[20:40] <+Juliet> I can show you an unfinished one that we use for playtesting though…
[20:40] <~Dan> Sure, that would be fine.
[20:40] <+SolipstryAlex> Can an Epic Success allow for “impossible” tasks, or is that up to GM discretion?
[20:41] <+Juliet> It would still have to be within reason for the laws of nature. You couldn’t use an Epic Success to jump 100 ft across a chasm for instance, but yes, that kind of stuff is generally always up to the GM to have final say
[20:42] <~Dan> (Quick aside: SolipstryAlex is one of our “resident” game authors, and a past Q&A guest himself.)
[20:42] <+SolipstryAlex> Sure 🙂 You mentioned combining quite a few genres. Have you done anything with superheroes?
[20:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Drew!)
[20:43] <+Juliet> I did do one with superheroes and it was, personally, my favorite of all my playtesting campaigns. I think Dimensions works extremely fluidly in a superhero settings
[20:44] <+SolipstryAlex> Makes sense. I find superheroes to be an excellent, familiar way to show off the flexibility of universe independent settings.
[20:44] <+SolipstryAlex> systems* not settings.
[20:45] <~Dan> Is this an attribute + skill system?
[20:45] <+Juliet> I have incorporated rules for allowing players to use “magic” as mutant or alient powers, and how to handle situations like having equipment based powers such as power rings, armor suits, etc
[20:46] <+Juliet> Attributes are the characters stats (strength, dexterity, intelligence, etc)… there are 9 in all, 3 physical, 3 mental, and 3 social. The attributes are then used to modify skills, however skills also still have their own levels in the same way Dungeons and Dragons works.
[20:47] * ~Dan nods
[20:47] <~Dan> How specific are skills?
[20:48] <+SolipstryAlex> Do you find that having a bell curve (which leans towards average results, rather than extremes) retains enough randomness? In other words, are there enough Epic Successes and critical failures to remain interesting from a dice perspective?
[20:49] <+Juliet> Skills are not too broad. We have I beleive 20 general skills (sleight, stealth, awareness, etc), 4 combat skills (ranged, melee, thrown, unarmed/grappling), 6 magic skills, 3 defense skills, and 4 social skills
[20:50] <+Juliet> Yes, we do find that it retains enough randomness to be fun, but it allows the players to rely more on their skill levels than randomness. We also use opposing Attack and Defense rolls so while 1 person rolls an attack, another person is rolling a defense skill which adds tot he randomness as well.
[20:50] <~Dan> Does degree of success matter?
[20:51] <+SolipstryAlex> Having attacks and defense as skills is really interesting. What would an example attack look like?
[20:52] <+Juliet> If I understand what you mean, then only in certain situations. If you have Attack vs Defense then its going to just be pass/fail basis, but many skills are what I call Fluid Checks in which how much you pass the check by determines what you get (e.g. using Seduction on a countess for information would be a Fluid Check)
[20:52] <+Juliet> Would you be more specific on what you mean by what an attack would look like?
[20:53] <+SolipstryAlex> Sure!
[20:53] <+SolipstryAlex> Like if I wanted to attack Bob, would I roll Melee, and he would roll… one of the defenses, and we compare results?
[20:54] <+Juliet> Everything in the rules says what defense can be used but most of them are the same. Defenses are Dodge, Parry, and Block. Each one has certain advantages, different attributes, and different abilities that canbe purchased based on what level you have in those skills. So if you rolled Melee against Bob, melee can be defended with any of those choices.
[20:55] <+Juliet> If you used a ranged or AoE attack, Parry is not an option
[20:55] <+SolipstryAlex> Sure, sure.
[20:55] <+SolipstryAlex> Characters rely more on skill than luck. How often are skills increased?
[20:55] <~Dan> How does Parry differ from Block?
[20:57] <+Juliet> Skill Levels are capped at 5 + 1/2 level, but you can further gain bonuses and such on top of that. At every level you gain an additional 4 points to assing amongst your skills and also you can spend your abilities you gain every level to gain extra skills if you choose also
[20:58] <+SolipstryAlex> To be clear, you get 4 points each level, and you have 37 skills to choose from?
[20:58] <+Juliet> Parry differs from Block in that Parry is Dex based and Block is Str based. Parry requires a weapon and Block requires a shield. Block can defend against AoE and Ranged but Parry can’t. But the biggest difference is the abilites that you can purchase (e.g. Reflective Parry is not available for shield users, but Shield Bash is not available for parryers)
[20:59] <+Juliet> Yes, but also 20 skill points to start with at 1st level
[20:59] <+SolipstryAlex> Oh wow, okay.
[21:00] <+SolipstryAlex> Do abilities represent magic, feats, and enchanted equipment in D&D? Or are there other parallels to any of those?
[21:00] <+Juliet> It makes choosing skills more difficult, but the way the system is built, even a few skill points in something can make a difference. Maybe your survival isn’t maxed out, but having 3 points in it means you can navigate a forest. The enemies and combat also are genereally built to assume you won’t necessarily have your chosen skills maxed out.
[21:01] <+SolipstryAlex> I like the potency of a skill point.
[21:02] <~Dan> You touched on this earlier, but can you say a bit more about why you chose a level system?
[21:02] <+Juliet> Abilities are feats, magic, special attacks, etc. Enchanted equipment is purchased similar to D&D 3rd edition where each enchantment has a bonus and bonuses exponentially increase cost.
[21:04] <+Juliet> To me having a level system was very important to maintain that traditional feel of an RPG. To me an RPG just isn’t an RPG without them. but I wanted to make a very fluid based character building system. So I spent a lot of time making sure we a level based system with the flexibility of a point buy.
[21:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide, LW!)
[21:07] <~Dan> I gather that your magic system is skill-based?
[21:08] <&Le_Squide> (Heya!)
[21:08] <+Juliet> In the same way that martial combat skills are. Your skill is what you use for your attacks and effects, and also what you need as prerequisites for more powerful spells and upgrades to spells, but your actual spells that you can use are Abilities.
[21:09] <~Dan> Are Abilities powers?
[21:10] <+Juliet> Abilities are everything from passive upgrades to spells to feats to special attacks etc. WHen you level up you get 2 things, you get skills and you get abilities
[21:10] <~Dan> And you use magic to serve as mutations, superpowers, etc.?
[21:11] <+Juliet> In the case of those types of campaigns you would substitute Inherent Power Skill for Magic and treat it as mastery of your natural abilities or superpowers
[21:12] <+Juliet> Which is covered both in the magic section and in the Superhero campaign section
[21:12] <+Juliet> to make sure you can always find it
[21:14] <~Dan> Do you distinguish between magic and other powers in other ways as well?
[21:15] <+Juliet> Only in their function and flavor
[21:15] * ~Dan nods
[21:16] <+Juliet> Using Magic you have access to many things that other areas, such as martial abilities, don’t
[21:17] <+Juliet> but as far as distinguishing between arcane fire spells and a superhero with fire abilities, no, they are essentially the same
[21:17] * ~Dan nods
[21:17] <+Juliet> I wouldn’t mind taking a moment to talk about the Vitality system which is one of my favorite features of the game. I have created a Vitality system that combines HP, mana, energy, etc. It is a unified pool to show your characters entire being. So as you take damage it comes from your vitality pool, as you cast spells it comes from your vitality pool…
[21:18] <+Juliet> for every hour you spend in travel it saps your vitality, as you take psyche or stress damage it hurts your vitality.
[21:18] <+Juliet> Using htis unified system is somehting that is very unique to Dimensions but has garnered a lot of positive feedback from playtesters
[21:20] <~Dan> Hmm. Does that mean that you can be embarrassed to death, so to speak?
[21:22] <+Juliet> kind of. Psyche damage is unique from Physical or Energy damage in that it cannot drop you below 1 Vitality, so you can’t be knocked unconsious or die from it… but if you take enough mental stress from embarassemnt you can be near brought to your knees
[21:22] * ~Dan nods
[21:23] <~Dan> Does Vitality loss come with any “wound penalties”?
[21:24] <+Juliet> which also allows you to make very viable social based characters. We even had a playtester make a social based hero that never drew a weapon but could send a brutish orc running in fear
[21:24] <+Juliet> I had playtested with a type of wound penalty system but we quikcly found that the realism and depth it added was not near worth the complexity of having to calculate and remember adding them, etc
[21:26] <~Dan> I see.
[21:26] <~Dan> Reasonable enough.
[21:27] <~Dan> How is weapon damage rated?
[21:29] <+Juliet> weapons are assigned damage and then priced according to how much damage they do. regular unarmed damage is 1d4, daggers are 1d6, longsword is 2d6, greatsword is 2d10, etc
[21:29] <~Dan> Does strength affect melee damage?
[21:30] <+Juliet> It is effected by Strength or Dexterity, however whichever attribute you use to attack with is what you must apply to damage. Some weapons are Strength only, some are Dex only, and some allow a choice
[21:31] <~Dan> Hmm. Interesting.
[21:32] <~Dan> What sorts of high tech weapons do you include?
[21:34] <+Juliet> A general assortment of laser guns, laser swords, energy shields. Tech based equipment is fairly generic but there is a whole section of rules detailing how to create and price your own created weapons
[21:34] <+Juliet> Since its not setting specific, I tried not to get too carried away with creating specific technologies and tried to stick to generalities
[21:34] <~Dan> Do you cover a whole range of technology, or do you go straight from fantasy to sci-fi?
[21:36] <+Juliet> No, we mark every peice of equipment from Tech Level 1-6, the levels respectively being Barbaric, Steel, Blackpowder, Steam, Modern, Future
[21:36] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[21:36] <+Juliet> So you kno what equipment should be available based on your campaigns Tech Level
[21:37] * ~Dan nods
[21:38] <~Dan> In terms of superpowers, do you cover abilities that don’t generally correspond to magic powers, like super-attributes and super-speed?
[21:39] <+Juliet> Yes, actually. In my attempts to be very inclusive of superpowers I even went down the list of superheroes and said “if I’m building this hero with this system, what abilities would I use?” which led me to “What abilities do I need to add to create this superhero?”
[21:39] <+Juliet> So I can nearly assure you there is not a superhero around that you can’t find abilities in the game to make them with
[21:40] <~Dan> Really? That’s a bold statement. 🙂
[21:41] <+Juliet> I really did go through a massive list of superheroes making sure that any one of them could be built with the system
[21:41] <~Dan> Hmm. Green Lantern?
[21:43] <+Juliet> Yes, between Telekinesis and Create he’s very doable. In fact in our superhero playtest campaign we had a player actually play a Green Lantern
[21:44] <~Dan> Nice!
[21:44] <~Dan> Can the system handle super-skilled heroes like Green Arrow or Batman?
[21:45] <+Juliet> Yes, yes it can. All you have to do is just load up on skills, Skill Abilities, and Martial Abilities
[21:46] <+Juliet> And I have incorporated a rule for granting certain non equipment using superheores extra Abilities to make up for the fact that they don’t use weapons, armor, and such
[21:47] <+Juliet> So your characters all stayed balance
[21:47] <~Dan> How does armor work in your system, while we’re on the subject?
[21:48] <+Juliet> Armor grants Physical Damage Reduction and requires Abilities to gain proficiency to use
[21:49] <+Juliet> They give penalties to a slew of abilities otherwise, and even if you have proficiency they still give penalties to swimming, acrobatics, and stealth
[21:49] * ~Dan nods
[21:51] <~Dan> On a scale of 1-10, how cinematic would you say your game is?
[21:51] <+Juliet> That I think is entirely up to the GM and players
[21:52] <+Juliet> I make a note on that in the beginning of the book, a little aside about cinema versus reality in the game world. I favor a very cinematic type game but I also know GM’s who like ti keep things realistic and grounded
[21:52] <~Dan> To some extent, sure, but I find that the system, as the physics of the setting, affects what’s possible and likely.
[21:52] <+Juliet> I’d say probably close to an 8 or 9
[21:53] <~Dan> Really? Huh… So are heroes generally pretty robust by default?
[21:53] <+SolipstryAlex> One of the ways I like to try to quantify that: how long does a “typical” combat take?
[21:53] <+Juliet> we have a lot of flash in our abilities. Just for example Fa Jin Strike, also known as the one inch punch, is an unarmed special ability that can be used which sends your enemy reeling back several squares on the battlefield
[21:55] <+Juliet> At low levels like 1-10, you’re looking at 30 minute combat sessions, then up to around hour long ones at level 20 or so. The game also tends to have a high lethality. Damages come high and it can be very non-forgiving.
[21:56] <+Juliet> There are also a lot of instances where you will be able to take down weaker enemies in just a hit or two, but it keeps the game feeling fast and action packed
[21:56] * ~Dan nods
[21:57] <~Dan> Can you say a bit more about that sample multi-genre setting that you mentioned?
[21:59] <+Juliet> It is called Heroes of Terrestia. The setting is set in a world that was once high fantasy (much magic, many races) had a rennesaince and quickly advanced into space travel. There was reforming of planets and space stations. Then war. So you have an entire solar system to explore, but with typical species, magic..
[22:00] <+Juliet> A lot of swords and plate mail and occasionally guns and laser weapons. It is a highly survival based setting as creatures known as The Muted wander in hoards outside of civilizations, attracted to remnants of society so they make homes in abandoned houses and bombed out cities
[22:01] <~Dan> Why swords and plate mail?
[22:02] <+Juliet> In a good post apocylypse setting technology and ammo becomes harder to find, so people again begin resorting to the basics for survival and defense
[22:02] <+Juliet> So guns and tech armor does exist, but its not the only thing used
[22:02] <~Dan> Ah, I see. If the setting is that backward, though, how do you explore other worlds in the solar system?
[22:03] <+Juliet> We use a system for Heroes of Terrestia where the skill of Engineering is required to use higher tech levels of equipment. So a character that has no Engineering skill is assumed to have no familiarity with technology and thus can’t use it.
[22:05] <+Juliet> There is technology still out there, and there are factions with more access to it. The game revolves around two main antogonist factions: The Atonian Slavers and Trusty Co. Both are still highly organized and have much access to technology, which is why you still see spaceships and androids, and laser weapons. Because there are still people out there…
[22:05] <+Juliet> …who know how to make it, fix it, and use it.
[22:05] <~Dan> What fantasy species are playable in the setting?
[22:06] <+Juliet> every fantasy species in the book has been given a description to fit into the setting. This includes not only the traditional fantasy creatures like elves and dwarves but even the other ones like the Kitsune and the Merfolk
[22:08] <~Dan> Do you have sci-fi races as well?
[22:08] <+Juliet> Our most recent playtest in that setting had a party with an Android spellsword, a Kitsune Bloodmage, a pixie druid, and a cybornetic elf sniper. Its all there.
[22:08] <+Juliet> Yes, we have Androids, mutants, and 4 unique alien races
[22:08] <~Dan> Aliens, you say? What are they like?
[22:12] <+Juliet> The Ferai, a quick tempered race of mountain dwellers who have based their entire society on maintining tranquility. A race of large jungle dwellers who see in infrared and have a “strongest warrior is leader” mentality. A species of subterranean insect humanoids. And species of pink aliens that becasue of their ability to read minds and energies, have…
[22:12] <+Juliet> …lost capability to show emotion as a species
[22:13] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[22:13] <~Dan> Do these aliens use magic?
[22:14] <+Juliet> depends on the setting, but in Heroes of Terrestia I generally say that they can be taught to use any type of magic, however Divine magic is rare to find in them as they don’t tend to follow the Terrestian religions
[22:15] * ~Dan nods
[22:15] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[22:15] <&Silverlion> (Allo Dan)
[22:16] <~Dan> (Howdy, Maelthra_!)
[22:17] <~Dan> What are your plans for the game after the core rules?
[22:18] <+Juliet> This game has about everything it can offer. Our plans were to create a space online where players can submit their own abilities, equipment, and NPC’s/Monsters and maybe someday down the road create a book with those things in it. But otherwise our plans are to move on to other projects as Dimensions really has no need for expansion
[22:20] <+Juliet> We do have Dimensions Kids on the backburner though, which is a watered down version aimed at children 7-12.
[22:20] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention?
[22:20] <+Juliet> No, I feel like the highlights of the system have really been touched on
[22:22] <~Dan> Alrighty then! Thanks very much for joining us, Juliet!
[22:23] <~Dan> Usual reminder: My tip jar is at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ , for anyone so inclined!
[22:23] <+Juliet> Thank you very much for having me
[22:23] <~Dan> Now if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!
[22:23] <+Juliet> It was a pleasure to be here