[19:34] <+Ray> I’m Ray Machuga, owner of Higher Grounds Publishing. The game is Modern Adventures, a Pathfinder compatible game set in a modern Earth mirror-world of urban fantasy!
[19:36] <+Ray> Modern Adventures is basically Earth if magic existed. All the elves, gnomes, goblins and flaming swords combined with magical shotguns and +3 Kevlar armor.
[19:36] <+Ray> (Done!)
[19:36] <~Dan> Thanks, Ray! The floor is open to questions!
[19:37] <~Dan> Magic exists in the open?
[19:37] <+JamesGillen> Well, if magic exists, when did that start?
[19:38] <+Ray> Thanks, JamesGillen! Excellent question. In the mythology of my setting, magic has always been around. It isn’t like Shadowrun where there is an acclimation period where magic kind of “woke up.” Instead, magic has existed since the beginning, just like Pathfinder or Starfinder.
[19:39] <+Ray> Magic was given birth when the first creatures crawled out of the Earth. Those creatures were Dragons and Demons during the Hadean period. Those creatures instinctively used magic. Since then, its use, philosophy and methods have evolved, but it’s basically the same as it ever was.
[19:41] <+JamesGillen> How has that affected the history?
[19:45] <+Ray> Excellent question. I’ve actually taken to contacting a historian at the University of North Texas to help me keep things realistic. So, history is basically written by human behavior and the presence of magic would not necessarily change core human behavior. The internet, for example, allows for fast exchange of knowledge, speeds up communication but it has
[19:46] <+Ray> not changed politics, law, finance, love, hate.. it’s all basically the same regardless of technology. So communities exist as they always have, defined by the things they are tied to: religion, language, culture, ethnic and national identity, professions, philosophy, politics, etc. Anti-magic hate-groups, for example, are simply expressing a long-standing
[19:48] <+Ray> human behavior. A magical cult would still follow the same recruiting and retention techniques and tactics of other mundane cults in the real world. What magic DID was change perceived motivation and intent and the consequences of historical events. For example,
[19:49] <~Dan> Howdy, Lin_Chong! Welcome, Guest!
[19:49] <~Dan> Howdy, BPIJonathan!
[19:49] <+BPIJonathan> Howdy Dan, Was just reading your GC50 recap
[19:50] <+Ray> the official reason that so much cash and energy was spent to be the first nation to reach the moon was “because of the cold war, and the winner will be perceived by the world as somehow the most dominant nation” In this world, with magic, the motivations are slightly different. We wanted to be the most dominant nation, but (without giving away spoilers) we w
[19:50] <+Lin_Chong> darlin
[19:50] <+Ray> chasing something entirely different. In the real world, we stopped racing to the moon once we arrived. In Modern Adventures, we stopped because we found what we were searching for.
[19:50] <+Viktyr_1> Heh. I just thought of another stupid human trick in Crusaders of the Lost Idols.
[19:50] <+Viktyr_1> (Sorry!)
[19:51] <+Ray> So in the end, it fits neatly into the world. The events remain, but the motivations and intents change. (done!)
[19:51] <+BPIJonathan> (sorry, didnt realize it was time)
[19:51] <~Dan> Has magic affected the development of technology?
[19:51] <~Dan> (No worries, BPIJonathan!)
[19:53] <+Ray> Magic is much older, but they essentially evolved alongside one another. They are difficult to combine, and as such you won’t find a ton of “magi-tech”, but essentially they have given boosts to one another and evolved alongside one another and neither has affected or changed the other overmuch. (done
[19:54] <~Dan> Can you enchant technology? You mentioned magic Kevlar, for example.
[19:56] <+Ray> Dan: Absolutely, you can! I’ve been running wild with some of the effects you can use on technology. Especially magical materials and ammunition and armor, for example. Adamantine backed kevlar, as I mentioned before. Also, things like cold iron, silver and even gold have some great effects on equipment in the right hands.
[19:56] <+Ray> (done)
[19:58] <~Dan> How integrated are the various fantasy species?
[20:00] <+Ray> The other races are entirely enmeshed in the setting. Humans are the “newbies” to the world with some other races, such as elves, having been around since the days of Pangaea. There are things that are older as well. Civilization as we know it finds Elves, gnomes, orcs, dwarves, goblins and other races as normal parts of every day life. Dragons are rare, but
[20:00] <+JamesGillen> How does the game system work?
[20:01] <+Ray> they are known to come around every now and again. Almost everything you’d find in a Pathfinder game is something you would find in a game of Modern Adventures. There are also new races that have come around as well, such as the Ratkin, which are rat and mouse-like humanoids, and the Acaroi which are insect-like and based on the acarids. I’m especially
[20:02] <+xyphoid> is this it? (Link: http://paizo.com/products/btpy951i?Modern-Adventures)http://paizo.com/products/btpy951i?Modern-Adventures
[20:02] <+Ray> excited about the Half-Bloods race guide, which will bring new combinations and “what-ifs” such as “What would happen if an elf and a dwarf had a baby?” Half-gnomes are in the core book, but those will be in the race guide. (done)
[20:03] <+Ray> Xyphoid: No. This is it: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/highergrounds/modern-adventures-tabletop-rpg)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/highergrounds/modern-adventures-tabletop-rpg
[20:06] <+Ray> JamesGillen: The system itself is Pathfinder compatible, but it resembles Starfinder in a number of ways. One of the ways is the Resolve and Stamina feature, which is being modifier for other creatures in future supplements. Those stats for example, in a vampire player character , become “Blood”. On the whole, however, the system is d20 Pathfinder.
[20:07] <+JamesGillen> ok
[20:08] <+xyphoid> half-gnomes? why that in particular?
[20:08] <+Ray> Thanks for the question, JamesGillen. It was a toss up about whether I wanted to use Pathfinder or D&D 5th Edition rules. In the end, I decided on Pathfinder as the foundation, but it’s been asked of me to port it to 5th Edition. I’m considering it. (done)
[20:09] <+JamesGillen> One could make a case for either but that’s another debate
[20:11] <~Dan> Are there any differences in the geopolitical makeup of the world?
[20:11] <+Ray> Exactly, JamesGillen. It was a tough decision that in the end broke basically even. Both have their merit and I do enjoy both.
[20:12] <+Ray> Dan: Do you mean borders, nations and such?
[20:13] * ~Dan nods
[20:17] <+Ray> The geopolitical nature of the world is essentially the same with a few differences. There are new hate grops and terrorist groups, for example. The elves, being of a secular nature, along with a few other select groups have carved out their own natures and areas
[20:18] <+Ray> of the world for their own. Certain world leaders have been different races, and certain current leaders still are.
[20:19] <+xyphoid> wait, real historical figures?
[20:20] <+Ray> Yes, real historical figures in the Modern Adventures book may wind up being of a different race than human.
[20:20] <+xyphoid> can you give some examples?
[20:24] <+Ray> Sure! British royalty is nominally elven. Atilla the Hun was a Half-Orc, and Betty Boop was a Halfling.
[20:24] <~Dan> …A cartoon character was real in this setting?
[20:25] <~Dan> Or do you mean that she was a cartoon Halfling?
[20:25] <+Ray> Haha, no. cartoon halfling.
[20:25] <~Dan> That’s amusing. 🙂
[20:25] <+JamesGillen> Does that mean that Toons are a race?
[20:26] <+Ray> Cartoons are not a race. I was just using it as an example.
[20:26] <+JamesGillen> Aw
[20:27] <+Ray> Hahaha, sorry.
[20:27] <~Dan> How common are monsters in this world?
[20:27] <+xyphoid> half-orc? so the goblinoids are all still around?
[20:27] <+xyphoid> are they still monsters?
[20:29] <+Ray> The goblinoids are most certainly still around. Some even find their way into citizenships. See, the thing about “monsters” that I’ve always had an issue with is the idea that there is some sort of dividing line between “intelligent monsters” and “not monsters.” In general, goblins are still very chaotic and violent, so it’s
[20:29] <+xyphoid> wait there are non-citizen intelligent humanoids? how does that work in a modern setting?
[20:30] <+Ray> difficult for them to truly acclimate to a civilized society. They do, however, congregate into slums and projects and form into gangs and such. They’re typically a pest, but there are examples of goblinoids with high intelligence that wind up becoming “productive members of society.”
[20:30] <+JamesGillen> There’s plenty of people in the real world who are not citizens of the places where they wind up, and that causes problems
[20:31] <+Ray> Xyphoid: It works exactly as it does in any other part of the world.
[20:31] <+Ray> Exactly, JamesGillen.
[20:31] <+xyphoid> so goblins here are like refugees
[20:32] <+Ray> Xyphoid: No, they aren’t fleeing from another country seeking refuge.
[20:32] <+Ray> Not typically, anyway.
[20:32] <+JamesGillen> Well that raises the question of whether they had a homeland or whether they were just underground
[20:32] <+xyphoid> like, can goblins vote
[20:32] <+xyphoid> or is that only the integrated ones with high intelligence
[20:33] <+Ray> JamesGillen: That’s all going to be a part of the adventure paths involving them, as well as the core fluff. 🙂
[20:34] <+Ray> Xyphoid: Think about it in terms of realism. Based on what I said, there are likely only one to five goblins with citizenship in a country worldwide. Of those, if a citizen of that nation would be able to legally vote, there would be nothing stopping them from voting.
[20:34] <+JamesGillen> ok
[20:35] <+xyphoid> do humans require an intelligence test to be citizens too?
[20:35] <+Ray> Xyphoid: If a citizen in the real world would be required to give an intelligence test to become a citizen, then a goblin would require an intelligence test in order to become a citizen of that country as well.
[20:36] <+Ray> For a goblin to become an American, for example, they’d have to pass a nturalization test, english test and civics test just like anyone else would.
[20:36] <~Dan> Aside from the aforementioned humanoids, are there monsters running around the cities and/or the countryside?
[20:36] <+xyphoid> but being born in the USA doesn’t count?
[20:39] <+Ray> Dan: Yes, absolutely. Monsters exist. A big part of the game is that cities offer a relative amount of safety for the people of the world. Military and police have special task forces to deal with incursions. Thats partly why adventuring is a thing in the world, because going into places that aren’t
[20:39] <+Ray> actively patrolled is exceedingly dangerous and you never know what kind of beast has taken up residence under that old bridge outside of town, in the ghost town a few miles north or the abandoned canning factory downtown that police won’t patrol. .
[20:40] <+JamesGillen> So the world is less settled than it would be otherwise
[20:40] <+Ray> A big thing about Modern Adventures is that in order to be an adventurer, you leave the safety of the city behind. The financial stability and security is abandoned when you leave the city to go tomb-chasing.
[20:41] <+Ray> JamesGillen: No. It’s not less settled. It’s more dangerous, certainly, but it’s not less settled. It has the same amount of cities and towns as the real world does, but the presence of magic creates a bit more danger in the form of traps, undead, monsters, etc.
[20:41] <+xyphoid> is property law not a thing outside of cities? like i can just get together with some buddies and drive out into the country and burgle a graveyard?
[20:42] <~Dan> So if the land outside of the cities isn’t safe, where do people safely grow crops?
[20:42] <+Ray> Sometimes, the monsters can and do get into the cities but these are the particularly insidious ones like vampires, shapeshifters, mimics and the like.
[20:42] * ~Dan nods
[20:43] <+Ray> People still grow crops. They can still exist outside the cities. The world isn’t overrun with baddies any more than, for example, Golarion. It’s not that people can’t escape the cities, or that they’ll be devoured while taking a road trip. It’s a similar danger level as going and walking in the Rockies. You could get eaten by a bear, chased by wolves, bitten
[20:43] <+Ray> by a rattlesnake. Is it likely? Somewhat. But most people still do, and most even survive.
[20:44] <+Ray> The dangers are somewhat heightened, but not to the extent that it’s too different from the real world. The dangers are slightly heightened, but mostly because they’re different.
[20:45] <+Ray> The true dangers come from adveturing. Finding those abandoned places and going inside. Choosing to come face to face with evil ad fight it. To try to steal the cash that those goblin gangbangers stole from the city for “protection services”, or entering the tomb in that old abandoned cemetary by Route 34 and going three levels in to try to find the Lich’s wa
[20:45] <+Ray> *wand.
[20:46] <~Dan> What is the cosmology of the setting? Do gods literally exist alongside demons and the like?
[20:48] <+Ray> Yes, and no. The gods are literal beings that exist, but they’re not so common as to show themselves. The last known sighting of a god was about 750 years ago. Avoiding spoilers in the meta-story, they’re busy doing their own thing. That’s why divine magic and classes have been phased out for the most part. Demons are some of the first creatures to exist and
[20:49] <+Ray> emerged during the Hadean period of earth. Some are newly created but the old ones are certainly on par, if not stronger than some gods. The gods of the world are analogous to the gods of Earth. Ishtar, Inanna, Isis, Ra, Thor, Odin. All real.
[20:50] <+xyphoid> Jesus?
[20:50] <+JamesGillen> How does stuff like healing work then?
[20:50] <+Ray> Xyphoid: Not sure what you’re asking.
[20:51] <+xyphoid> Is Jesus a literal being that exists in the setting?
[20:51] <+Ray> JamesGillen: Healing works like it does in Starfinder, but potions also exist as does healing magic. Spirits can also assist the healing process if the right one is summoned in order to do so.
[20:51] <+Ray> Xyphoid: Jesus was not a god.
[20:51] <+xyphoid> Okay, is the Christian god a literal one in the setting?
[20:52] <+Ray> As for healing magic, the Mage class can cast healing spells. As can shamans. Psychics have the ability to heal similarly to a Paladin in power level.
[20:53] <+Ray> Xyphoid: Yes. The gods in Modern Adventures are real. However, the judeo-Christian God stemmed from an older “face” by the name Yaweh, who was a god of war.
[20:53] <+JamesGillen> I always thought that having only “divines” cast healing was a bit odd, but class division has been part of d20 from the start
[20:54] <+Ray> JamesGillen: Then you’ll love this game, if for nothing else but that! 😀
[20:55] <~Dan> Speaking of classes, do you have any setting-specific ones?
[20:56] <+JamesGillen> indeed
[20:57] <+eezo> (QA?)
[20:57] <~Dan> (Yep)
[20:57] <+eezo> (thank you!)
[20:58] <+BPIJonathan> (sorry, having some connection issues)
[20:59] <+Ray> Dan: Absolutely. The classes so far are warrior, operative, mage, shaman, psychic, technomancer, face and engineer.
[21:00] <+JamesGillen> ooh
[21:00] <~Dan> There’s a technomancer class? But didn’t you say that technology and magic are hard to combine?
[21:01] <+Ray> Dan: I did say that. And they are. Technomancers are a fairly new, are occurrence. They’re valuable because they represent the ability to fuse magic and technology more efficiently.
[21:02] <+JamesGillen> makes sense
[21:02] <+Ray> *rare occurrence, rather
[21:02] <~Dan> Can you give an example of what they can accomplish?
[21:07] <+Ray> Sure! “Brian Keltzer had been made. What should have been a simple in-and-out turned out to be a clusterf*** of dust and squeeling tires as he made his hasty retreat from the warehouse into his blue ’67 Mustang. The roads were slick with the recently fallen rain. As the feds gave chase, he swerved in and out of traffic at reckless speeds in an attempt to
[21:08] <+Ray> ditch his persuers. Up ahead, a red light. His attention focused, his will exerted and the light gave a slight, glitching flash. All three lights, red yellow and green at the same time, and then finally, green. Bryan
[21:08] <+Ray> cleared the intersection, checking his rear-view as a confused drive at the intersection strikes the fed’s black vehicle, spinning them into a curb nearby.”
[21:09] <+Ray> Basically, technomancers have magical control of technology, and can fuse technology with their own magic. Using hard drives to store spells, causing technology to malfunction, calls to be lost or misdirected and even all the digitally encoded locks in a warehouse to open all at once. They’re basically gods of the machine.
[21:10] <~Dan> Gotcha. Cool.
[21:10] <~Dan> Are there licenses involved in spellcasting?
[21:11] <+Ray> Government issued? Yes. All awakened residing in countries with such laws (which is the vast majority) have to register with their local bureau and receieved an identification card that connects to a database. Most of these databases in allied countries are international.
[21:12] <+Ray> Technomancers typically forge their own, because their kind are known to disappear.
[21:14] <~Dan> How common are magic items? Can they be purchased on Amazon? 🙂
[21:15] <+Ray> For a few hundred grand, sure. They’re not cheap, but they’re not so uncommon that you can’t find them.
[21:16] * ~Dan nods
[21:18] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:18] <+Ray> Mages can create them, but the strongest ones are the older ones. Technomancers create really interesting ones. In general, they’re fairly common. If you can afford to drive an Audi, it’s likely that you’ve got a magical item somewhere. A tie-clip of luck, or an FBI agent with a +1 ring or protection.
[21:19] <+Ray> Ah, one thing that I haven’t seen brought up! I mentioned spirits. Spirits are a thing that coincide with magic. The world is animistic. Most people never deal with spirits, but mages and shamans (especially) do. Mages & Shamans can summon, control and bind them and they’re very useful, so long as you don’t mess up summoning and binding them.
[21:19] <+JamesGillen> ah
[21:21] <+Ray> The animism connects a lot of the magic to the world, and connects a lot of supernatural creatures to mages and shamans as well. Werewolves especially deal with them, as well.
[21:22] <+Ray> I think that’s it. 🙂
[21:22] <~Dan> Alrighty then!
[21:22] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Ray!
[21:22] <+Ray> Thanks, Dan!
[21:23] <~Dan> As per usual, anyone interesting in supporting my Q&As and reviews can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:23] <+JamesGillen> Okay
[21:23] <~Dan> And now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!