[20:32] <+Steven_Tipton> I am Steven Tipton, and i started a little (very little) company called SagaTales.
[20:32] <+Steven_Tipton> We, well really I, am making a game called Machina Dark.
[20:33] <+Steven_Tipton> After being a game for years and years, I decided to take the plunge and contribute with all the various ideas I have in my head.
[20:34] <+Steven_Tipton> The main focus of Machina Dark is the introduction of the Metaverse system, an underlying rule system that will cross throughout a series of games.
[20:35] <+Steven_Tipton> Machina Dark itself I believe fills a unique niche as it isn’t steampunk, isn’t dieselpunk, but rather somewhere in between.
[20:36] <+Steven_Tipton> I wanted it to be a lighter rule system, that moves faster to keep the narrative in motion rather than bogging down to a complex action resolution sequence
[20:36] <+Steven_Tipton> whew… i think that about covers the intro. How’d I do?
[20:37] <~Dan> Just fine! 🙂
[20:37] <+Hexeter> You appear to have stunned Dan into silence..
[20:37] <~Dan> Ready for questions?
[20:37] <+Hexeter> or not dammit
[20:37] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:37] <+Steven_Tipton> lol
[20:37] <+Steven_Tipton> sure thing
[20:37] <~Dan> Great! The floor is open to questions!
[20:38] <~Dan> What is the setting about?
[20:39] * +Hexeter falls in a Question on the floor, gets up, wipes the goo off and asks, “How ‘light’ is Light going to be? For instance, what Attributes will Characters have?”
[20:39] <~Dan> (Howdy, Jezibel1!)
[20:39] <+Steven_Tipton> The setting is an alternate timeline, where the Great War that started in 1914 never ended. The current year the game narrative begins in is 2020. The globe has been in a state of war for over 100 years.
[20:40] <+Steven_Tipton> The culture is developed from elements from the 1910’s, 20s, and 30s.
[20:40] <+Steven_Tipton> During the early onset of the alternate timeline, a new element is discovered that allows for the creation of mechanical “soldiers” called automatons, that have a bond with their Maker.
[20:41] <+Steven_Tipton> There are gadgets, guns, and mutants from the experiments with radium and aethyrium conducted in the desert.
[20:42] <+Steven_Tipton> @hexeter So, the attributes piece is one of the core aspects of the game. Attributes are in 4 categories: Physical, Mental, Persona, and Meta.
[20:42] <+Steven_Tipton> Physical are Strength and Agility.
[20:42] <+Steven_Tipton> Mental are Intelligence and Reason
[20:43] <+Steven_Tipton> Persona are Presence and Charm
[20:43] <+Steven_Tipton> Meta is where (to me) it gets interesting. In Machina Dark there are 5 Meta attributes but during character creation you select only 2.
[20:44] <+Steven_Tipton> In each of the settings, the 5 Meta stats will change to reflect the genre of the setting. For the premiere with Machina Dark they are Luck, Fury, Mecha, Inspiration, or Mettle.
[20:45] <~Dan> It would be hard to decide. I never Meta attribute I didn’t like.
[20:45] <+Steven_Tipton> minus xp for bad puns 😛
[20:46] <~Dan> 😀
[20:46] <+Steven_Tipton> Character creation is probably the most complex aspect of the game.
[20:46] <+Hexeter> What sort of Stat Range/Dice will the Game Run on?
[20:47] <~Dan> Can you describe those Meta attributes?
[20:47] <+Steven_Tipton> It ranges from 1 to 16, up to 20 with augmentations
[20:48] <+Steven_Tipton> So, for the attributes… Luck reflects a character natural affinity to always end up with a positive result on actions that rely on chance.
[20:49] <+Steven_Tipton> Fury is harness the internal primal rage that resides in people.
[20:49] <+Steven_Tipton> Mecha is a person’s natural connection to machines, and their ability to manipulate or create them. It also influences the bond between automaton and maker.
[20:50] <+Steven_Tipton> Inspiration is a widespread stat that is useful to many character concepts, but someone who favors creating gadgets probably utilize it the most. It is a measurement of the character’s imagination and seeing that vision come to life.
[20:51] <+Steven_Tipton> Mettle is a character’s raw grit. Their ability to survive against all odds and their resolve to see something through to the end, no matter the horrors.
[20:52] <+Steven_Tipton> @hexeter the dice actually vary depending on your attribute values.
[20:52] <+Steven_Tipton> Lower values use d4 or not even any dice at all, whereas higher attributes may use d10s or 12s.
[20:53] <+Steven_Tipton> The attribute score determines the number of dice you roll for the skill associated with them. Their are only four skill levels possible, Apprentice, Journeyman, Master, and Grandmaster for any skill.
[20:54] <+Steven_Tipton> Everyone can make a skill check of any skill using 1 attribute dice.
[20:55] <+Steven_Tipton> As you advance a skill, you add once dice per level, up to a max of 5 at the grandmaster level.
[20:55] <+Steven_Tipton> (Characters may only become a grandmaster in 1 skill throughout there career.)
[20:56] <~Dan> Can I stop you there for a moment?
[20:56] <+Steven_Tipton> Screeech
[20:56] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:57] <~Dan> I’m confused about the number of dice… Is it determined by the attribute or by the skill level?
[20:57] <+Steven_Tipton> Number of dice is determined by skill level, type of dice is determined by attribute
[20:58] <~Dan> Okay, got it. Please carry on. 🙂
[20:58] <+Steven_Tipton> So if your strength is 12, you roll d8s for any strength skill. If you have 2 ranks (journeyman) in the unarmed skill, you roll 3 d8s. 1 that everyone gets and 2 for your level.
[20:58] <+Steven_Tipton> cool
[20:59] <+Hexeter> How are you handling Experience?
[21:00] <+Steven_Tipton> It is a level based system with XP awarded by the GM in a traditional sense for overcoming objectives and roleplay as primary, and killing things as secondary worth a little less overall.
[21:00] <+Hexeter> And do you Rank up your Skills based on your Level?
[21:00] <~Dan> What made you decide to go with a level-based system?
[21:01] <+Steven_Tipton> The XP system is designed to be quick, equalling close to 1 level per 4 hours of play at the first few level, then expanding out through the mid ranges to one or two levels per session. levels range 1-40
[21:01] <+Steven_Tipton> @hexeter, throughout the level progress, you receive either attribute points, ability points, or skill points to raise your various charactistics.
[21:02] <+Hexeter> Ah so each level carries a different set of rewards, gotcha.
[21:02] <+Steven_Tipton> @dan I went back and forth a lot on whether or not to use a level system, but ultimately decided on it as levels are a good reward/goal for characters as well as an easy way for a GM to measure their progress
[21:03] <+Steven_Tipton> The flipside to using the level system is that Machina Dark is also a classless system.
[21:04] <+Steven_Tipton> Correct, each level offers 1 “perk” if you will.
[21:04] <~Dan> How broad are your skills?
[21:05] <~Dan> Can you give us one of your melee combat skills, for example?
[21:05] <+Steven_Tipton> Sure
[21:05] <+Steven_Tipton> Since the setting is wwi, lets talk guns
[21:05] <~Dan> Alrighty then.
[21:06] <+Steven_Tipton> To use a pistol class weapon well, you would want to take ranks in ranged, pistols. The other ranged skills are rifles, heavy, and bows.
[21:07] * ~Dan nods
[21:07] <+Steven_Tipton> By contrast, if you spent ranks in the education skill, there is a plethora of “sub-skills” you would select from such as physics or dentistry.
[21:08] <+Steven_Tipton> I attempted to make sure there is a balance of skills to associated attributes, so that there are not any “dump-stats”
[21:08] <+Hexeter> So if you needed someone to extract some Teeth and no one had the Dentistry SubSkill you would roll on your EDucation Stat instead I assume?
[21:08] <+Steven_Tipton> That is correct.
[21:09] <+Steven_Tipton> I should mention that no skills align to any of the Meta stats. Meta attributes come into play for your character’s abilities.
[21:09] <~Dan> (wb, TheDaftGazebo)
[21:09] <+Steven_Tipton> Since this is a classless system, as you create your character and advance them you wouldn’t have class abilities that open up as you gain levels.
[21:09] <&TheDaftGazebo> hey dan
[21:10] <+Steven_Tipton> Rather, you select your abilities as you go (special attacks, skill focuses, enhancing your gadgets, etc…)
[21:10] <+Hexeter> Do you have a specific List of Sub-Skills for each Stat or are Players free to dabble about as they like?
[21:10] <+Steven_Tipton> Both actually, lol
[21:10] <+Steven_Tipton> There is a list, but players and GMs are encourages to dabble.
[21:10] <+Steven_Tipton> *encouraged
[21:12] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see, by the way?
[21:12] <+Steven_Tipton> There are few instances of: this specific skill works by this mechanic added to this mechanic. There are targets and guidelines.
[21:12] <+Steven_Tipton> Sure. They are up on the website. Can I post files into the chat here?
[21:14] <~Dan> wb!
[21:14] <+Steven_Tipton> Oops, haha back button
[21:14] <~Dan> And no, but you can post links to files.
[21:15] <~Dan> wb!
[21:15] <+Steven_Tipton> Sadly, I am computer literate…. just a little nervous/excited to be here i guess
[21:15] <+Steven_Tipton> (Link: http://www.sagatales.com/downloads.html)http://www.sagatales.com/downloads.html
[21:16] <+Steven_Tipton> I am not a great web developer… thats part of the kickstarter 🙂
[21:16] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:17] <~Dan> What are Action Points?
[21:18] <+Steven_Tipton> Action points are how Machina Dark resolves action sequences/combat.
[21:18] <+Steven_Tipton> Every character has three action points to spend per turn. They may spend them all on their initiative or hold one or more in reserve to react to something someone else does.
[21:19] <+Steven_Tipton> Action points may never be permanently increased about 3, but there are abilities that will temporarily award an extra one.
[21:19] <+Steven_Tipton> Each action that a character takes has a action point cost associated with it.
[21:19] <+Steven_Tipton> A simple, basic attack costs 1 action point. Basic move also costs 1.
[21:20] <+Steven_Tipton> Special actions, such as the Overwatch action, can cost up to 3.
[21:21] <+Steven_Tipton> If you have action points available to you and an enemy does something like attack you, you can spend that action point to react, dodge, get up, etc…
[21:22] <+Steven_Tipton> The structure of the 3 action points really speeds up gameplay through the playtest sessions so far.
[21:23] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:24] <+Steven_Tipton> I did discover through the first test play, the sequence was a lot more lethal than originally intended, and melee weapons destroyed their opponents.
[21:24] <~Dan> Seems like I read that there’s a supernatural element to the setting?
[21:24] <+Steven_Tipton> So, after that i had to go make and make adjustments
[21:25] <+Steven_Tipton> So the supernatural element is there optionally right now, so that if gms want to explorer those themes they are there.
[21:25] <+Steven_Tipton> It also depends on your definition of supernatural, as there are some “monsters” taken from north and south american folk lore.
[21:26] <+Steven_Tipton> The standard supernatural elements of werewolves, undead, demons, etc… will be available but not canon to the default setting of MD. That might change though, as i am a gothic horror fan and have been on the fence with it.
[21:27] <+Steven_Tipton> It just felt that like it might be adding too much and crossing too many genres, but after putting together the primer book for Salt Lake Comic Con, I am second guessing that.
[21:28] <~Dan> Hmm…
[21:29] <~Dan> I notice you said North and South America… Is the game set there?
[21:31] <+Steven_Tipton> The Core Rulebook’s main setting backdrop is (whats left of) the North American mid-west. There is a high level primer of the current state of the world and the regions, and the goal is to release detailed supplements of those as we go. They will probably be digital and free, with compilations of them being printed and available for retail.
[21:33] <+Steven_Tipton> There are really two reasons for this approach… one is just a matter of space available in the book, and the other is that part of the underlying theme to SagaTales is games by gamers.
[21:33] <~Dan> What’s the status of the North American mid-west?
[21:33] <+Steven_Tipton> I really want the community to have input on characters, narratives, themes, and settings, so that they can help shape the direction of the game and world rather than have the publisher dictate it.
[21:34] <+Steven_Tipton> In the alternate timeline, the United States (as we know it) is never formed.
[21:35] <+Steven_Tipton> Going back to the Revolutionary War, the monarchy of Britain is force to flee to the Americas. Britain becomes the United British Isles, and the colonies of America become the Grand Kingdom of the Americas.
[21:37] <+Steven_Tipton> There is the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, the Republic of California, and terrible region known as Jornada del Muerto where the mutaniods were created by experiments.
[21:37] <+Steven_Tipton> The midwest was the unfortunate victim of many decades of war, and left in a shatter state.
[21:38] <+Steven_Tipton> Its a freeman’s region, with no central government.
[21:41] <~Dan> How did the war get all the way over to the Midwest? Did the Germans invade or something?
[21:43] <+Steven_Tipton> No, the factions of California waged war on Texas, Mexico invaded upwards, American Columbia invades southwards. The Germans actually play a less important roll in the war after its first few years. Industry and big business begin to drive the war for financial gain.
[21:43] <+Steven_Tipton> There are also secret societies pulling strings in the background.
[21:44] <+Steven_Tipton> Additionally, the element aethyrium, which is needed for the automatons and medicine, is found in the same regions as silver, thus the silver mines are the west are a target as well.
[21:47] <~Dan> And this war is still going on?
[21:47] <+Steven_Tipton> The current setting opens up at the beginning of a ten year ceasefire.
[21:47] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ryft_Darkmile!)
[21:49] <~Dan> Are there any default assumptions regarding what the PCs do in the game?
[21:50] <+Steven_Tipton> What do you mean?
[21:50] <~Dan> Well, the war’s paused, so they aren’t fighting that presumably… What sorts of adventures are to be had in the setting?
[21:51] <+Steven_Tipton> Ah, i see
[21:51] <+Steven_Tipton> Yes
[21:51] <+Ryft_Darkmile> hey
[21:52] <+Steven_Tipton> To start off with, there is a shadow war between two secret societies for global domination. Also, there are many wild lands still in existence for exploration. There are bandits, mutants, rogue nations, and
[21:52] <+Steven_Tipton> part of the clauses of the ten year treaty prevent nations from waging war but not corporations.
[21:53] <+Steven_Tipton> Depending on what style of game the players and GM want, they can go from a city mystery to exploring the new strange creatures appearing in the Amazon.
[21:55] <+Steven_Tipton> So, i guess to the short answer to your question is that the assumption is that the players are part of a squad (party) that is either part of a large mercenary unit, the employ of a greater faction, or just a small squad of mercs looking to make a fortune.
[21:55] <+Steven_Tipton> Hi Ryft_Darkmile
[21:56] <~Dan> Can the PCs be mutants?
[21:57] <+Steven_Tipton> Yes. The primer that released doesn’t include that option, but it has always been in scope for players to be “augs” (augmented humans).
[21:58] <+Steven_Tipton> Those rules be part of the Core Rulebook, but there are balance issues I am trying to resolve.
[21:59] <+Steven_Tipton> *are to be
[21:59] <+Steven_Tipton> wow, me type no so good
[21:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[22:00] <~Dan> What sorts of abilities are available to augs?
[22:02] <+Steven_Tipton> Augs are the result of various “super-soldier” that was actually conducted in the early to mid 1900s. They have one category of attributes that they excel within, and one that they don’t. So some have more mental acuity others more powerful physical attacks. They tend to be deformed in a manor that corresponds with their augmentation.
[22:05] <~Dan> Ah, so no “gonzo” mutations like lazer-beam eyes or the like?
[22:07] <+Steven_Tipton> lol, no nothing like that, at least not yet. If that is something that the community expresses interest in though, that may change. Although sharks with fricken laser beams would be cool.
[22:07] * ~Dan chuckles
[22:08] <+Steven_Tipton> Seriously though, if it makes since to expand on more mutated options in the setting and the players want it, it will be included.
[22:09] <~Dan> Do you include a bestiary?
[22:09] <+Steven_Tipton> The core rulebook will include some, and the Hive of Villainy (working title) is part of the stretch objectives of the kickstarter.
[22:10] <+Steven_Tipton> We will also be posting free content, villains, npcs, etc on the website.
[22:10] <~Dan> Speaking of villains, are there any obvious bad guys in the setting?
[22:13] <~Dan> wb, rpgresearch!
[22:14] <+rpgresearch> ty dan
[22:15] <+Steven_Tipton> Yes, there are a few. The primary villain is represented in the current ark-work by a shadow figure looming over the characters. There is a cult leader out of California who has seized control, a crime boss out of the now independent nation of chicago, a murderous group called the Smiling Sisters, and a large group of bandits called the Jack Dandies
[22:15] <+Steven_Tipton> the augs are also most seen as villains by most people.
[22:16] <+Steven_Tipton> Though it is not always true, just a stereotype.
[22:16] * ~Dan nods
[22:17] <~Dan> What sorts of mutated animals are there?
[22:19] <+Steven_Tipton> The one I reference the most are the archnimutes… that probably is because of my own personal fear of spiders. Also there are creatures knows as spidergoats, radiconda’s, chem’zoms, locustworms, and the king of mutant monsters Kaiju.
[22:19] <+Steven_Tipton> and so many more
[22:20] <+Steven_Tipton> there are folklore critters like the faceless, knackers, mngwa, and even snipes.
[22:21] <~Dan> Have they always been around?
[22:22] <+Steven_Tipton> The folklore critters, yes. The mutated beasts only since the mid 1900s.
[22:22] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[22:24] <+Steven_Tipton> I think we have covered a lot of the mechanics and touched on the setting. I wanted to just stress that i am very open to ideas, test players, feedback, and or just if people want to say hi.
[22:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, Drew-2!)
[22:25] <+Steven_Tipton> I have been a gamer for about 3 decades at this point, and I am not trying to re-invent the industry. I am hoping my games help give players new options and worlds to explore.
[22:26] <+Steven_Tipton> I’ve always been a story teller but the business side of the industry is a bit daunting, lol. so any advice navigating those waters is welcomed as well 🙂
[22:27] <~Dan> Well, you’re always welcome to hang out here and mine for ideas. 🙂
[22:27] <+Steven_Tipton> I absolutely will
[22:28] <+Steven_Tipton> And thank you for bringing me and sharing this with me
[22:28] <~Dan> Quick aside: Those interested in backing my Q&A efforts can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[22:29] <~Dan> And now, if you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂