The Hardboiled GMshoe's Office

[Q&A] Luis Enrique Torres (Seven Worlds)

Advertisements

[19:27] <+LuisEnrique> My name is Luis Enrique Torres, I am the creator of a setting and campaign for Savage Worlds called Seven Worlds (we’ll talk about name confusions later, I’m sure) 🙂

[19:27] <+LuisEnrique> It’s a realistic/hardish science-fiction game

[19:27] <+LuisEnrique> with a focus on the campaign (without being a bad setting by itself, IMO).

[19:28] <+LuisEnrique> Regarding myself, I’ve been gaming since the 80’s (old!), have been a freelancer for several products for Savage Worlds.
[19:28] <+LuisEnrique> Such as Daring Tales of the Space Lanes, Sundered Skies, also some Pinnacle and Triple Ace Games one-sheet adventures
[19:28] <+LuisEnrique> and recently for Achtung! Cthulhu and SW stat editor for Mutant Chronicles.
[19:29] <+LuisEnrique> As I said before, I’m a computer engineer, and currently live in Seattle.
[19:29] <+LuisEnrique> Dan, any other specific piece of info your guests usually share?
[19:29] <~Dan> Not really! Just give us a (done) when you’re ready for questions. 🙂
[19:30] <+LuisEnrique> Ok, in that case, I’ll start by answering Xyphoid’s question and then go for the “(done)”
[19:30] <~Dan> Thanks, LuisEnrique! The floor is open to questions!
[19:30] <~Dan> (And welcome to #rpgnet, WesMarshall!)
[19:30] <+LuisEnrique> xyphoid, everything will be sold separately. The Setting Guide will be available as a PDF and printed (whether POD or offset print depends on where we get to in the KS).
[19:31] <+LuisEnrique> The campaign is divided into seven (obviously 🙂 ) modules, which will be sold in PDF format via DTRPG.
[19:31] <+LuisEnrique> And there will be a one-volume compilation of all seven modules called the “Campaign Book”, but it’s just all modules into a single PDF (or printed book)
[19:31] <+WesMarshall> How hard was it for you to do the 3-d star map for the setting? Any special difficulties?
[19:31] <+LuisEnrique> So yes, you should not have to pay for everything to see the adventures.
[19:32] <+LuisEnrique> Havign said that, maybe you can get answers to campaign questions today!
[19:32] <&GenoFoxx> is there mecha? if so are they the western style walking tanks or more along the lines of gundams …as agile as humans are?
[19:33] <+LuisEnrique> Ok. So for the WesMarshall question.
[19:34] <+LuisEnrique> Most games don’t have 3D starmaps, but rather 2D starmaps. I personally think that sucks, not only because space is 3D but also because there’s great adventure opportunities in 3D
[19:35] <+LuisEnrique> Not to get too geeky, but there’s a file format called “VRML” that allows you to create 3D representations of anything, so I used that to create a model and tested it in a PC and Mac
[19:35] <+LuisEnrique> the idea is that a player or GM can check the map on the PDF or the printed book, but also open a PC and “fly” around.
[19:36] <+LuisEnrique> For those who haven’t seen it, the 3D map for Seven Worlds is showcased in this video:
[19:36] <+TheDanielH> (That plus what you’ve posted about spaceflight and space combat /heat/ are two major points of interest for me.)
[19:36] <+LuisEnrique> (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyT4K1cOso8)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyT4K1cOso8
[19:36] <+LuisEnrique> (not necessary to see it now, umless you really want to 🙂 )
[19:37] <+TheDanielH> I have a somewhat long-winded question about the setting’s psionics. So as of late I’ve found myself leaning away from “soft” sci-fi toward the hard stuff. As an example, one of my favorite settings/games is Eclipse Phase, which for the most part bases its conjectures on extended versions of current science and tech, or at least tries for …
[19:37] <+TheDanielH> verisimilitude. However, even it includes “psionics” with a hand waving of “it’s mysterious and nooobody knows.” …
[19:37] <+LuisEnrique> Now, I hope everyone can see it, but PC and OS configurations change so much. I’ll try to support everyone here, of course.
[19:37] <+TheDanielH> Obviously psionics is a very core part of Seven Worlds. Can you speak to how you’ve set up psionics as to the how, where from, why, etc?
[19:37] <+LuisEnrique> Sure, TheDanielH. Before that let me answer GenoFoxx ‘s question.
[19:37] <+TheDanielH> Absolutely.
[19:39] <+LuisEnrique> GenoFoxx, there are no mecha in the setting per-se. Having said that, there’s no reason to include them. In fact, I can easily imagine scenarios towards the end of the campaign where they’d be useful.
[19:39] <+LuisEnrique> Give me a few secs and I’ll share a link to an image of the cover of one of the campaign modules, you’ll see something resembling a mecha in it 🙂
[19:39] <~Dan> (Howdy, DemonLordSpanky)
[19:39] <+DemonLordSpanky> Wut-up 🙂
[19:39] <+DemonLordSpanky> How’s everything going in here?
[19:40] <+LuisEnrique> Hi, DemonLordSpanky!
[19:40] <~Dan> (Going well! Just getting rolling on a Q&A. 🙂 )
[19:40] <+LuisEnrique> GenoFoxx, here’s the image cover for module 3: (Link: https://sevenworldsrpgfiles.blob.core.windows.net/images/Agricultural%20Greenhouse.jpg)https://sevenworldsrpgfiles.blob.core.windows.net/images/Agricultural%20Greenhouse.jpg
[19:40] <+DemonLordSpanky> Ah 🙂
[19:40] <+LuisEnrique> (Link: https://sevenworldsrpgfiles.blob.core.windows.net/images/Agricultural%20Greenhouse.jpg)https://sevenworldsrpgfiles.blob.core.windows.net/images/Agricultural%20Greenhouse.jpg
[19:41] <+DemonLordSpanky> Oh, that’s neat, I didn’t know you could link pictures in here.
[19:41] <+LuisEnrique> I just learned that myself 🙂
[19:41] <+DemonLordSpanky> Great artwork
[19:41] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, psionics.
[19:41] <+TheDanielH> That’s a fun art style.
[19:41] <+LuisEnrique> DemonLordSpanky, thanks! Chiara di Francia does awesome comics and she did a lot of the work.
[19:42] <+LuisEnrique> So, psionics.
[19:42] <+DemonLordSpanky> Ah, good choice for an artist. A comic illustrator. 🙂
[19:42] <+DemonLordSpanky> The kickstarter thing start in 20 minutes? Or is it already going?
[19:43] <+TheDanielH> (it’s now)
[19:43] <~Dan> (Already going.)
[19:43] <+DemonLordSpanky> Ah, cool.
[19:43] <+LuisEnrique> Let’s start with a hardish scientific fact: If two cultures (says humans and an alien race) meet and battle it out, just a few centuries worth of difference in development means one side is almost unsurmountable.
[19:43] <+DemonLordSpanky> *stare*
[19:43] <+LuisEnrique> Imagine our marines or SWAT teams fighting 15th century european armies.
[19:43] <+TheDanielH> Sure, like when my tanks in Civ attack someone with archers.
[19:44] <+LuisEnrique> Now imagine an alien culture hundreds of thousands, or millions of years more advanced. the “realistic” chances of beating it are practically zero.
[19:44] <+LuisEnrique> So if we want space battles and exciting combat (and that’s what people usually want in RPGs, including me) you either dispense with aliens and keep everything between humans (as in the early parts of the Expanse)
[19:45] <+LuisEnrique> or “cheat” to create a differentiator to balance things. I thus see psionics as a needed consequence of having to tell a cool story of man against impossible odds.
[19:45] <+LuisEnrique> Having said that, psionics is kept “mysterious”, just like with Eclipse Phase. There’s a plot reason for that and I won’t spoil it here.
[19:45] <+LuisEnrique> HOWEVER
[19:46] <+TheDanielH> So only humans have psionics in setting?
[19:46] <+LuisEnrique> the scientific underpinnings of ESP and other mind experiments are documented in a sidebar so you know where science stands here. And also some specific rules have been created to increase “reality”
[19:47] <+LuisEnrique> For example. Should the energy for a “mental manifestation” psionic power (reading a thought from your head) be the same as for opening a door or having an object float? The number of atoms in question is significantly different.
[19:47] <+LuisEnrique> So Seven Worlds has rules for “physical manifestations” and “mental manifestations” and the cost and effect of the powers are different depending on which one you’re trying to achieve.
[19:47] <+TheDanielH> Interesting.
[19:48] <+WesMarshall> An example of the disparite capabilities could be the Vorlons and Shadows vs everyone else in Babylon 5. The other races had to have help to stand a chance.
[19:48] <+LuisEnrique> My personal opinion is that you’ll feel that psionics are not just “free magic”. Psionics will still be mysterious and possibly not-entirely-scientific, but it’s not a magic missile in space.
[19:48] <+LuisEnrique> EXCELLENT EXAMPLE, WesMarshall. I will not hide that B5 was a HUGE influence in this setting.
[19:49] <+TheDanielH> I should watch that someday. 😀
[19:49] <+LuisEnrique> (and also a huge warning for what not to do: Aliens with ridges or spiky hair and humanoid bodies)
[19:49] <+LuisEnrique> In Seven Worlds you can only play humans.
[19:49] <~Dan> Are there aliens in the setting, though?
[19:50] <+TheDanielH> Thanks for the info. My main gripe with EP’s psionics is that even for their half-assed attempts at making it story based, it’s psionics are really just “errthing gotta have magic.”
[19:50] <+LuisEnrique> Aliens are WEIRD. Really WEIRD. A premise of the setting is that we just can’t understand them. Would you in reality expect anything different?
[19:50] <+LuisEnrique> No Darmok at Tanagra stuff 🙂
[19:50] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, I’ll also be very frank and tell you that during my playtests that was one of the first things players asked for: Where’s the psionics?
[19:51] <+LuisEnrique> Now, since we’re in the topic of psionics, let me tell you something cool I like: The Psionic Vow.
[19:51] <+LuisEnrique> So, if you’re a psion, you need to take this vow on how to use your powers appropriately in society.
[19:51] <+LuisEnrique> Which sucks, cause basically you can’t do anything inappropriate with them.
[19:52] <+TheDanielH> Makes sense. Shadowrun has that with its magicians.
[19:52] <+LuisEnrique> Obviously, if you play a psion “by the rules” you’ll get to use your powers very seldom. But if you use them the way you KNOW you want to use them, you’ll break a cardinal rule in your organization and society.
[19:52] <+LuisEnrique> So, what will you do?
[19:53] <+TheDanielH> Are there mechanico-social penalties built in?
[19:53] <+LuisEnrique> That element (represented as a Hindrance in Savage Worlds, by the way) adds a cool dimension to psions, and keeps you from just using psionic powers as a cantrip in D&D.
[19:53] <+LuisEnrique> (I’m sorry if I delay in replying, I’m reading backwards through the comments)
[19:53] <+TheDanielH> As in is there a mechanical way to represent that, or is it story?
[19:53] <+TheDanielH> (No worries, it’s a tough format haha)
[19:53] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, Babylon 5 is the best unwatchable show you’ll ever hate watching 🙂
[19:53] <+TheDanielH> hahaha
[19:54] <+LuisEnrique> Dan, there ARE aliens in the setting. They arrived when we discovered FTL space travel (coincidence that they arrived then? Could they have detected us?)
[19:54] <+TheDanielH> I just caught that your players were asking you for psionics. My friends and I have been leaning hard away from “spaaaaaaaaaaaace magic” as of late.
[19:55] <+LuisEnrique> and just GAVE us, as a GIFT, the coordinates to nearby star systems. In Seven Worlds there are specific locations in space where you need to be when you activate your FTL engines in order to travel to the next star. The thing is, space is big and you never know where those are.
[19:55] <+LuisEnrique> So these aliens arrive, very friendly, speak our language (whaaaat?!?!?!) and gift us a set of coordinates for us to explore space on our own.
[19:56] <+TheDanielH> So as far as the setting standing apart from the campaign, obviously you’re making efforts to make that the case. Can you speak at all to how robust the setting is if I just wanted to pick it up and “run games in the world?”
[19:56] <+TheDanielH> Obviously the whole “aliens showed up and gave us places to go” is there.
[19:56] <+LuisEnrique> At the start of the game, the aliens have been with us (living at an “embassy” on Earth, created by them) for more than a hundred years. They have not shown themselves to us (anyone read Childhood’s End?). They are mysterious but helpful.
[19:57] <+LuisEnrique> (that should make you go “hmmmmmm”)
[19:57] <+WesMarshall> Of course I’m interested in Seven Worlds, but I’m also wondering if I could create a fictional sector using VRML. Do you think that would take a lot of technical expertise?
[19:57] <+DemonLordSpanky> and maybe the x-com series too ^^
[19:57] <+LuisEnrique> Yep, “aliens showed up and gave us places to go” is there. But the “why?” is a big part of the campaign.
[19:58] <~Dan> So nobody’s seen these aliens?
[19:58] <+TheDanielH> Sure. I guess I’m asking if the setting has enough going on in it that I could ignore “the big campaign” and it still support games. Take Shadowrun or EP for examples, there’s so much going on that you can ignore “the big intended campaign” and do like…emergent gaming just from their settings.
[19:59] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, regarding mechanico-social penalties, mechanical ways to represent, etc, no. If you play a hindrance the GM has the opportunity to bring stuff on you, just like in plain SW. The organization that handles psions is detailed enough that the GM should know how to deal with a psion who breaks the vow (and they will)
[19:59] <+TheDanielH> Although as I make sure I see all of what you’ve said so far I’m guessing there is plenty of interest going on.
[19:59] <+TheDanielH> Okay, that both makes sense and fits with the SW way.
[19:59] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, regarding the question “how robust is the setting if I run games without the campaign”:
[20:00] <+LuisEnrique> The Seven Worlds are very well detailed. Both geographically and in terms of NPCs and their issues, so there’s material for playing there.
[20:00] <+TheDanielH> Awesome
[20:01] <+LuisEnrique> There’s a world where a civil war is about to start, there’s two other worlds supporting the sides there. There’s a new area of space to explore. There’s a planet that has just been colonized and is mostly deserted (or is it?)
[20:01] <+LuisEnrique> There’s intraworld politics.
[20:01] <+LuisEnrique> A lot of that is there to make the setting stand up by itself, it is not used in the campaign. The point was to make it useful for people who want to do their own thing.
[20:02] <+LuisEnrique> Additionally, each module has additional “adventure seeds” in case you need more suggestions
[20:02] <+TheDanielH> Sweet.
[20:03] <+LuisEnrique> I’d argue that the modules themselves are adventure ideas, you could ignore the main “plot” and use the module locations as sites for specific adventures.
[20:03] <+LuisEnrique> WesMarshall, regarding creating fictional sectors using VRML.
[20:03] <+LuisEnrique> That’s obviously out of the scope of the game 🙂
[20:04] <+LuisEnrique> Having said that, I’d be more than happy to share with you what tools I used, how I did them, what I learned, what works and what doesn’t work, etc.
[20:04] <+TheDanielH> Is there a price point in mind for the individual “episode pdfs” of the campaign if someone were to back at like “print player” now and pick those up later?
[20:04] <+WesMarshall> That would be awesome!
[20:04] <+LuisEnrique> My email address is luis@intellistories.com. Obviously if anyone else wants to chat or has more questions, just drop me a line there.
[20:05] <+LuisEnrique> In short, you CAN create anything in VRML, there’s some work to learning the markup language. There’s an AWESOME Tool called ASTROSYNTHESIS, which I used during this project, if you haven’t seen it, look it up (it costs, though(
[20:05] <&GenoFoxx> why are the starships ‘borg’ spheres?
[20:05] <+LuisEnrique> Ping me by email if you want nitty-gritty on creating VRML
[20:06] <+LuisEnrique> reading,… reading… hold on 🙂
[20:06] <~Dan> Need a question pause, LuisEnrique?
[20:07] <+LuisEnrique> Actually what I need is a show of hands from people who’ve asked questions without a response from me yet. I see GenoFoxx question on spheres. Is there any other question I’ve missed?
[20:07] <+LuisEnrique> Ok, GenoFoxx.
[20:07] <+TheDanielH> Price point of individual campaign module pdfs?
[20:07] <+LuisEnrique> That’s one of my favorite parts of the game 🙂
[20:08] <+LuisEnrique> I hope when you see the details of spaceship design you also think it’s cool 🙂 In short, we’re all agreed that ships don’t look like X-wing fighters, “down” is in the direction of the engines, etc.
[20:09] <+LuisEnrique> Even traveller has people walking in the Fat Trader in a PERPENDICULAR way to the engine, as if there were gravity plates.
[20:09] <+LuisEnrique> There are no gravity plates in Seven Worlds, no gravity magic here. If you want gravity you need acceleration or centrifugal force.
[20:10] <+TheDanielH> spin the habs! 😀
[20:10] <+LuisEnrique> So, what’s the best shape for a spaceship? We want it to have the largest possible inside space for the lowest possible outside surface (that way people have a lot of space inside but you give little outside skin for gamma rays, radiation and enemy attacks)
[20:10] <+LuisEnrique> That is the description of a sphere.
[20:11] <+LuisEnrique> Next: the “Bridge”, usually at the “top” of the ship with a big glass pane to look at the stars… nope! You want people to be at the CENTER of the ship so that 1) the rest of the ship will serve as shielding against radiation, and 2) so that when the ship turns the impact of the acceleration change on their bodies is minimal
[20:12] <+LuisEnrique> And that “glass pane” is actually a viewscreen that filters radiation, gamma rays, sunlight, and other things that might damage you. So the bridge is the center of the sphere, and the walls of that “inner sphere” are covered in panels and screens
[20:13] <+LuisEnrique> Next: The engines: The outside surface of the sphere is crisscrossed with dozens of “robot” thrusters and weapons. When you want to change direction, you actually direct the many “robotic” thingies on the ship surface to run in the appropriate direction and turn themselves on/fire, etc.
[20:13] <~Dan> (Howdy, HT_Black)
[20:13] <+LuisEnrique> Thus you can actually fire in any direction, or turn in any direction as well
[20:14] <+LuisEnrique> if you go to the atomic rockets page (which, by the way, gave Seven Worlds its “Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval for Scientific Accuracy”, very proud of that 🙂 )
[20:14] <+LuisEnrique> you’ll see an interior image of a sphere
[20:14] <+LuisEnrique> (Link: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/sealofapproval.php#sevenworlds)www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/sealofapproval.php#sevenworlds
[20:15] <+LuisEnrique> (Link: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/sealofapproval.php#sevenworlds)http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/sealofapproval.php#sevenworlds
[20:15] <+LuisEnrique> check out the “detail” and “deck plans” images they copied from the Seven Worlds book
[20:16] <+LuisEnrique> I could go on and on, there’s many other cool things that come as a result of the spherical design. but, GenoFoxx, tell me if this answers the question or not 🙂 In short, spherical ships make for cool combat situations, which make for a cool game 🙂
[20:16] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, price point of PDFs.
[20:17] <+LuisEnrique> I don’t know yet 🙂 Please don’t kill me if this changes, but I would expect each module to cost what a typical Triple Ace Games module costs today. That’s between $4-$7 per module, more or less. A module is between 40 to 60 pages long so there should be interesting stuff in there.
[20:17] <+WesMarshall> It sounds like almost all of the work has been completed for Seven Worlds. Do you have an idea of what you’d like to work on next? A prequel after the earlier war? A sequel? Something else completely?
[20:18] <+LuisEnrique> WesMarshall, almost all of the work is complete in the CONTENTS, but I still have to release the modules, then the campaign book, and fulfill the printed book pledges. So that’ll take a few months 🙂
[20:19] <+LuisEnrique> I also really hope I have to write that FATE conversion document, as I like FATE a lot.
[20:19] <+WesMarshall> Is there a minimum age for players that you’d recommend everyone be above due to either content or complexity?
[20:20] <+LuisEnrique> After that the options are open. No hard plans yet, but the options are: 1) A prequel adventure/setting (the campaign leaves room for that); 2) A book series (the setting is so detailed that most of the worldbuilding is done); 3) I’m also thinking about making a freelancer author call to publish adventures written by others within the Seven Worlds setting.
[20:20] <+LuisEnrique> WesMarshall, regarding age for players.
[20:20] <+LuisEnrique> That’s tough.
[20:21] <+LuisEnrique> First, just to make clear, there is no “inappropriate” content in this game. I would rate it a solid PG, maybe PG-13.
[20:21] <+LuisEnrique> Obviously there’s combat, so different types of weapons, RPG violence, etc, but no specific gore.
[20:22] <+LuisEnrique> As much as I like Eclipse Phase, I’ve seen some friends who have leafed through the book a bit repelled by the concepts and ideas presented there. I tried to avoid that huge shock for players.
[20:22] <+LuisEnrique> I’ll also share with you that I originally planned to make this a “family game” that parents could use to teach science to their kids. That’s why there’s so many dozens of scientific sidebars with funky/cool science facts in the book.
[20:23] <~Dan> That’s cool. 🙂
[20:23] <+WesMarshall> Sounds great. I’ve found that “mature” content really has to be home-brewed for each table’s unique needs. Mature content done commercially usually falls flat in my opinion.
[20:23] <+TheDanielH> I use EP to find out which of my friends are awesome. 😉
[20:23] <+LuisEnrique> But as the campaign story progressed I felt there came a point where younger players might feel lost in the “epicness”
[20:24] <+LuisEnrique> It’s a bit like asking if the plot in the Lord of The Rings books is for youngsters. I’d say it mostly is… but they’d probably disconnect or get bored before finishing the books…
[20:24] <+LuisEnrique> TheDanielH, that’s a great idea! 😀
[20:24] <+WesMarshall> Gotcha.
[20:24] <+TheDanielH> Well you’ve converted me from a “remind me” to a solid backer.
[20:25] <~Dan> How do you reconcile the high-octane action nature of Savage Worlds with the grittiness of your setting?
[20:25] <+LuisEnrique> Wow, TheDanielH, that’s great 🙂 thanks! I really hope you like it. And just to be clear, I share many of your concerns about psionics. In fact, I have a section in the book called “places where we broke science”
[20:25] <+TheDanielH> Haha, very good sir. One new Delta-grade officer on board.
[20:25] <+LuisEnrique> And I listed three main things: 1) psionics, 2) FTL, and 3) earthlike-planet frequency
[20:26] <+TheDanielH> Thanks for doing this!
[20:27] <+TheDanielH> thanks also to the mods for hosting, this was cool. I’ll keep an eye out for more of them.
[20:27] <+WesMarshall> Sounds like most of the colonies have united governments, except for the one colony warring with itself. Did the governments on earth remain separate, or have they also united?
[20:27] <+LuisEnrique> I included a link to the famous xkcd comic on Yoda’s energy requirements for The Force (pure psionics) : (Link: https://what-if.xkcd.com/3/)https://what-if.xkcd.com/3/
[20:27] <+LuisEnrique> Dan, question on reconciling nature of SW with grittiness.
[20:27] <~Dan> TheDanielH: You’re welcome! I hope you like the place and decide to hang out with us regularly. We’re always open for chatting. 🙂
[20:28] <+LuisEnrique> I may be wrong, but i personally think the setting is not “gritty”, actually it is very heroic. The science is real, true. but it’s just a trapping.
[20:28] <~Dan> Ah, my bad.
[20:28] <+LuisEnrique> Going back to B5, I wouldn’t call it gritty either, but they had some science things right, like the engines in their ships.
[20:29] <+LuisEnrique> So I’d say a heroic ruleset fits well. But that’s just my opinion 🙂
[20:29] <~Dan> Understood. 🙂
[20:29] <+LuisEnrique> What I had was something similar to what TheDanielH had: The Last Parsec looks like a great setting but there’s so many science loopholes that I could not keep my sense of disbelief off for long enough
[20:30] <~Dan> Oh, I do think a question of mine was missed earlier… Did you say that the aliens have never been seen?
[20:30] <+LuisEnrique> WesMarshall, colonies question.
[20:30] <+LuisEnrique> I normally don’t like the idea of planets with hundreds of countries suddenly becoming a single government.
[20:31] <+LuisEnrique> I think it’s great to have but not necessarily very realistic.
[20:31] <+LuisEnrique> In the case of Earth, however, there IS one uber-government.
[20:31] <+LuisEnrique> About a century before the game a comet crashed against Earth, creating an almost-extinction-level event.
[20:32] <+LuisEnrique> The book goes in detail on how we survived it, and leaves dangling the question of how exactly we did not notice a comet until it was too late.
[20:32] <+LuisEnrique> (hmmmmm)
[20:33] <~Dan> That IS rather odd.
[20:33] <+WesMarshall> Sounds like we’re the rabbits getting flushed out of the brush to be eaten by the wolves.
[20:33] <+LuisEnrique> the current structure of Earth is a result of the rebuilding of the world. the way the story is built, it makes more sense if we have a federal earth model once we have had to join ’cause there was no option.
[20:33] <+LuisEnrique> By the way, that event is what accelerates the expansion into the seven worlds.
[20:33] <+TheDanielH> That has traces of EP’s “Fall” event.
[20:33] <+LuisEnrique> Yes, the Fall event.
[20:34] <+TheDanielH> (not a dig btw, love that concept)
[20:34] <+LuisEnrique> I personally think this event is somewhat more mundane than the Fall, though.
[20:34] <+TheDanielH> neat
[20:34] <+LuisEnrique> but htat’s an opinion
[20:34] <+TheDanielH> Haha, The Fall was…not mundane, that’s for certain. 😀
[20:34] <+LuisEnrique> and actually reflects something that could conceivably happen to Earth. We could get hit again, you know.
[20:34] <+LuisEnrique> WesMarshall, continuing the answer:
[20:35] <+LuisEnrique> there may be single planet governments in the worlds, or there may be government consortiums, but in the end trade and other details force planets to work together.
[20:35] <+LuisEnrique> At least that’s one of the premises in the setting. There are exceptions, of course.
[20:36] <+LuisEnrique> Funny fact about that comet that hit Earth in the game:
[20:36] <+LuisEnrique> I mean, fun fact.
[20:37] <+LuisEnrique> The other worlds obviously sent support and emergency crews to help Earth during the disaster. But someone in one of the planets thought that having a comet fall on you and destroy your entire society would be a great premise… for a video game.
[20:37] <+LuisEnrique> The book includes a “press release” covering the scandal brought by a company creating a video game of Earth being destroyed, and how the game became a runaway success.
[20:38] <+LuisEnrique> Because we’re human beings, and things like that, that’s what we do.
[20:39] <+LuisEnrique> Anyway 🙂 have I missed any questions?
[20:39] <+WesMarshall> That’s a nice touch.
[20:39] <~Dan> I don’t think you answered my earlier question, LuisEnrique.
[20:40] <+LuisEnrique> Guys, I appreciate the questions and our patience, and hanging around for the conversation. I apologize if I talked too much 🙂
[20:41] <~Dan> You’re doing just fine, LuisEnrique. 🙂
[20:41] <+LuisEnrique> You obviously know a lot about role-playing and science-fiction, so it’s great that we’re able to share a bit of that with you. Now if *I* may ask
[20:41] <+LuisEnrique> what are the latest science-fiction games you’ve been playing?
[20:41] <~Dan> Hmm…
[20:42] <~Dan> I think the last one I played was a homebrew.
[20:43] <~Dan> I don’t play scifi games all that often, to be honeset.
[20:43] <~Dan> honest
[20:43] <+LuisEnrique> and any recent Savage Worlds games?
[20:44] <~Dan> You know, Savage Worlds is one of several games that I wish I liked more.
[20:44] <~Dan> I tried running it, and it never really grabbed me.
[20:44] <+LuisEnrique> You don’t like it? Not judging at all, but definitely would like to know more, if you don’t mind.
[20:44] <&GenoFoxx> Star trek homebrew with GURPS….also I have a tendency to collect sci-fi rpgs
[20:44] <+LuisEnrique> What game grabs you?
[20:45] <~Dan> Well, for a long time, my fall-back game was Cinematic Uniystem (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, et al).
[20:45] <+LuisEnrique> GenoFoxx, GURPS Space is one of the best space books I’ve ever read. Small secret: The Seven Worlds were modeled scientifically using GURPS Space.
[20:46] <+LuisEnrique> Dan, I remember Cinematic System, never played it but it caught my attention at the time.
[20:47] <~Dan> To be clear, I don’t have anything against SW. It just doesn’t quite do it for me.
[20:47] <+LuisEnrique> There’s a glut of Science-fiction right now. the star trek RPG by modiphius is breaking it, from what I’ve heard.
[20:47] <+LuisEnrique> Traveller just released a “beginner’s box”
[20:47] <+LuisEnrique> And there’s ALWAYS Star wars 🙂
[20:48] <&GenoFoxx> I grew up with Traveller and Star Frontiers
[20:48] <+LuisEnrique> Ah, the two opposites of SF RPGs 🙂
[20:49] <&GenoFoxx> played CyberPunk:2020 and Robotech in college
[20:49] <&Akyla> For sci-fi I’ve mostly only been playing Star Wars but I have played a couple sessions of SW Fear Agent
[20:49] <+LuisEnrique> And how’s Fear Agent?
[20:50] <~Dan> Oh, I did play Star Wars: Edge of Empire a while back…
[20:50] <~Dan> (wb, WesMarshall)
[20:50] <~Dan> Fear Agent really makes me want to give SW another try. That and The Goon. 🙂
[20:50] <&Akyla> It’s only been a couple one shots so I haven’t quite gotten the feel of it yet. It was fun
[20:51] <+DemonLordSpanky> I’m making a steampunk wizard game about demons 🙂
[20:51] <+LuisEnrique> I find it ironic that Savage Worlds is going to host a hardish SF game like Seven Worlds… and Flash Gordon as well 🙂
[20:51] <+DemonLordSpanky> But for sci-fi my most exciting prospects recently have been video games.
[20:51] <&Akyla> ooh Flash Gordon, I forgot that one. That was awesome
[20:51] <+DemonLordSpanky> The New EDF might be coming out soon eventually.
[20:52] <+DemonLordSpanky> (Earth Defense Force)
[20:52] <&Akyla> we have a Savage World’s monthly one shot day here
[20:52] <+xyphoid> as far as SF go I’ve run Eclipse Phase a bunch of times and for a long campaign, and played a bunch of Mongoose Travellr
[20:53] <+xyphoid> I’m reading Farflung and considering that, and also there as an interesting focused game from a Q&A here called Odin’s EYe which i’m pondering
[20:54] <+LuisEnrique> Eclipse Phase is a beautiful book
[20:54] <+LuisEnrique> That game’s amazing.
[20:54] <+LuisEnrique> I always had trouble finding players willing to play, transhuman concepts were too far-out for most of my friends
[20:55] <+LuisEnrique> but hey, they like to be half-orc barbarians and bash things 🙂
[20:55] <~Dan> Are there any transhuman elements in Seven Worlds?
[20:55] <+LuisEnrique> No.
[20:55] <~Dan> Any cybernetics?
[20:55] <+LuisEnrique> There is a big network called V-World (for Virtual World) and people can spend a lot of time connected there with their virtual avatars
[20:56] <+xyphoid> haha we switched from Dark Sun to Eclipse Phase
[20:56] <+xyphoid> CLOSE ENOUGH
[20:56] <+LuisEnrique> but they can’t become “data AIs”
[20:56] <+xyphoid> spent a lot of sessions just chatting and playing around in the setting and discussing the implications more than actual plot
[20:56] <+LuisEnrique> Cybernetics: There’s DNA enhancements, and small cyberenhancements, but one of the goals is to keep humans human.
[20:57] <+xyphoid> I wasn’t a huge fan of the system overall – too many skills and the cyberwear / implant focus really detracted from teh game premise of bodyswapping
[20:57] <+LuisEnrique> From Dark Sun to Eclipse Phase… that’s a change! 🙂
[20:57] <+xyphoid> why did you have to make 3 checks and look up 5 tables to switch bodies, eurgh
[20:57] <+LuisEnrique> Did you try the FATE conversion of Eclipse Phase?
[20:57] <+xyphoid> the setting’s amazing though and makes up for it all
[20:57] <+LuisEnrique> I haven’t, but that one fills me with curiousity. I like FATE.
[20:57] <+xyphoid> we actually ended up just mostly freeforming the game
[20:58] <+LuisEnrique> Although I have a friend who says it’s so squishy soft that “it’s the RPG they played in Woodstock” 🙂
[20:58] <+xyphoid> suddenly realised halfway through a knifefight that oh yeah this game has combat rules
[20:58] <&GenoFoxx> Have looked at Mindjammer?
[20:58] <+xyphoid> and you know, I like combat rules normally!
[20:58] <&GenoFoxx> you^
[20:59] <+LuisEnrique> Mindjammer is a monumental game… with a monumental book! 🙂
[20:59] <+LuisEnrique> I enjoyed reading that book a lot.
[21:00] <~Dan> What do the typical PCs do in the game?
[21:00] <&GenoFoxx> don’t take this the wrong way have looked and any of the ‘anthro’ scifi games?
[21:01] <+LuisEnrique> Dan, in what game do you mean, Mindjammer, or Eclipse Phase?
[21:02] <+LuisEnrique> GenoFoxx, what’s an anthro scifi game?
[21:02] <~Dan> In Seven Worlds, I mean.
[21:02] <&GenoFoxx> Albedo, HC SVNC Dragones, Varminsk
[21:04] <+LuisEnrique> Oh, if you use Seven Worlds as a setting, then they can do anything: freedom fighters in one of the sides in the civil war in one of the planets, police (or criminals) in a corrupt world, politicians in a planet that is very dictatorial, etc.
[21:04] <&GenoFoxx> where instead of humans you play as anthropomorphized animals
[21:04] <+LuisEnrique> In the Campaign: There is this organization called “the Circle”, kinda like a mix between Starfleet and the UN Green Corps
[21:04] <+WesMarshall> Regarding cybernetics, I once started stating up some Savage Worlds space marines, and they became nearly unstoppable killings machines. If you allow to much of cybernetics I found that those with resources (the rich, governments) wind up with cybernetically enhanced members that are practically demi-gods.
[21:04] <+LuisEnrique> And they try to help keep peace between countries and planets.
[21:05] <&GenoFoxx> so the ‘Blue Helmets’?
[21:05] <+LuisEnrique> GenoFoxx, to be frank, I’ve never tried those, maybe they never caught my attention… have you tried them?
[21:06] <+LuisEnrique> Yeah, the Blue Helmets, don’t know where Green corps came from 🙂
[21:06] <&GenoFoxx> they’re in my collection
[21:07] <&GenoFoxx> Albedo is based on a comic
[21:07] <+LuisEnrique> A game must have a mechanism for the players to have access to basic resources, to be able to go looking for adventure when they want to, and for them to receive “missions” when they don’t know what to do. The Circle fills all those needs in the game.
[21:08] <&GenoFoxx> so they’re StarFleet around the time of the Romulan War
[21:08] <+LuisEnrique> Looking at Albedo on the net. Interesting… I didn’t really know those existed.
[21:08] <&GenoFoxx> no phasers, no photon torpedos
[21:08] <+LuisEnrique> I’m sorry I mentioned Starfleet, I won’t fall for a Star Trek comparison 🙂
[21:09] <+LuisEnrique> You know, Star Trek is such a strange beast.
[21:09] <+LuisEnrique> It’s not unapologetically fantasy-scifi like Star Wars.
[21:09] <+LuisEnrique> It’s not realistic Science Fiction either.
[21:09] <+LuisEnrique> It’s quasi-military but then it isn’t.
[21:10] <+LuisEnrique> It’s science is curious, there are no money, resourcing, or energy issues.
[21:10] <+LuisEnrique> Except when the dilithium crystals crack, of course.
[21:10] <+LuisEnrique> I always find it so hard to compare star trek to anything.
[21:10] <+LuisEnrique> maybe it’s just me.
[21:10] <+LuisEnrique> Or maybe I just haven’t watched Discovery yet!
[21:11] <&GenoFoxx> dilithuim a naturally occurring crystal that just happens to be able to survive interaction with antimatter?
[21:13] <+LuisEnrique> That’s why Star Trek stands alone in the science-fiction pantheon 🙂
[21:13] <+LuisEnrique> And yet… it works!
[21:14] <+WesMarshall> Just my opinion, but I’m finding The Orville to be more like Star Trek than Discovery. In Discovery they’re
[21:14] <&egyptian> I haven’t seen Discovery or Orville yet
[21:14] <&egyptian> I think I’m slipping
[21:15] <+WesMarshall> meaning Star Fleet officers commit war crimes without batting an eye.
[21:15] <&GenoFoxx> the Orville is StarTrek the Next Original Series
[21:16] <+LuisEnrique> But I thought the Orville was more of a comedic thing
[21:16] <+WesMarshall> @GenoFoxx: I agree.
[21:17] <&GenoFoxx> it has comedic elements
[21:17] <+WesMarshall> They do less and less of it as the show goes on. And the jokes aren’t that funny, but the story writing by episode 3 starts to get good.
[21:17] <&GenoFoxx> it’s star trek with more comedy not the Family Guy in space
[21:18] <+LuisEnrique> ok, now there’s TWO shows I have to watch. ST:D and The Orville.
[21:19] <+WesMarshall> I think Fox wanted to do a “Star Trek” genre show, but not get sued. So they call it a parody and throw in a few lame jokes, but it’s really just a different brand of Star Trek.
[21:19] <+LuisEnrique> Anyway, gotta go. Dan, thank you very much for inviting me for a chat! Guys, it’s been great to talk to you, see you soon! My email is luis@intellistories.com if anyone needs to contact me outside the chat.
[21:19] <&GenoFoxx> Star Trek the C-team
[21:20] <+WesMarshall> Thank you for your time!
[21:20] <&GenoFoxx> don’t be a stranger
[21:21] <~Dan> Thanks for joining us, LuisEnrique
[21:21] <~Dan> 1
[21:21] <~Dan> !
[21:21] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂

Advertisements