[19:35] <+AngusA> Hi, I’m Angus Abranson and I’m here today to chat about Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing which is currently on Kickstarter. I’m line developer of the WOIN Studios Presents line of games for EN Publishing, as well as one of the writers of Xenomorphs, along with Russell Morrissey and Darren Pearce. Xenomorphs uses the WOIN (What’s Old Is New) system.
[19:36] <+AngusA> In particular it uses the N.E.W, Science Fiction Roleplaying rulebook. A limited edition ‘XENO Edition’ version of the N.E.W. core rulebook is also available on the Kickstarter. It’s the same v1.2 edition of the rules you can buy elsewhere but with a different cover, exclusive to KS.
[19:38] <+AngusA> In past lives I was one of the co-founders of Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Chronicle City. I was also one of the owners of Nightfall Games (SLA Industries) and worked on a number of UK RPG magazines. I also worked in retail (Leisure Games in London, UK) for over 20 years and co-founded the Dragonmeet convention back in 1999 which is still going strong.
[19:39] <+AngusA> Indeed the next Dragonmeet is taking place this weekend in London. It’s now owned by Chris Birch (Modiphius Entertainment).
[19:39] <+AngusA> (done)
[19:39] <~Dan> Thanks, AngusA! The floor is open to questions!
[19:40] <~Dan> What is the game about?
[19:43] <+AngusA> Xenomorphs is a gritty survival horror sci-fi game. It’s set on the terraforming colony on Lethe, a moon many light years away run by the Chen Zau Corporation.
[19:44] <+AngusA> It takes place in Somerset Landing, the main population centre of Lethe. Really the *only* population centre apart from some engineering outposts at various Atnospheric Processing Units around the moon.
[19:46] <~Dan> Are the xenomorphs native to the moon?
[19:46] <+AngusA> The book is in three parts. The ‘Setting’ which decsribes an overview of the wider setting, player races and new careers, equipment/vehicles and some info on the xenomorphs.
[19:47] <+AngusA> ‘The Colony’ which looks at Somerset Landing itself. The idea here was to supply a colony that could be used in any sci-fi game… not only for the Xenomorphs adventure. I had great fun creating the colony 😉
[19:49] <+AngusA> The third part is the adventure itself, plus ten PC templates that can be used… or used as backup PCs if (when?) the main PCs bite the dust… we do have something called ‘hot swap’ in the book that allows replacement PCs to be brought in easily should PCs die in later stages of the game.
[19:50] <+AngusA> Many people may feel the setting is fairly familiar…
[19:51] <+AngusA> We have a whole back story on who WOIN Studios are.
[19:52] <+AngusA> And we called the ‘license’ with them the First Multi-Dimensional Licensing Agreement!
[19:52] <+AngusA> 😉
[19:52] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:52] <+AngusA> The Xenommorphs aren’t native to the moon. No one actually knows they are even there until they are disturbed.
[19:53] <+AngusA> Thus sparking the eventual, and quite quick, Fall of Somerset Landing.
[19:53] <+AngusA> (done)
[19:53] <+EggEmbry> This Kickstarter doesn’t have stretch goals. For Xenomorphs, how will that improve the backer’s experience?
[19:53] <~Dan> You mentioned races. Are alien PCs available?
[19:55] <+AngusA> Everything has been completed and is ready to be sent out as soon as the campaign finishes. PDFs should be with backers pretty much instantly with print copies being ordered and sent out as soon as the funds have cleared. Russ (EN Publishing Supremo) likes having everything ready ahead of launch these days so backers get an immediate turn around.
[19:55] <+AngusA> Not having stretch goals means that the campaign is finished and completed straight away, without having to worry about additional products being possibly delayed.
[19:56] <+AngusA> Backers get everything quickly = hopefully happy backers.
[19:57] <+AngusA> In Xenomorphs there are two main PC races…. Humans (of which there are a few types – Belters, Earthers, Clones, Jovians….) and Synthetics.
[19:58] <+AngusA> The N.E.W. Rulebook offers a variety of others that, whilst not part of the Xenomorphs setting, could easily be introduced if the GM and players wanted to do so.
[19:58] <+AngusA> There is no reason why you couldn;t use the Xenomorphs setting as a sandbox and tinker with it.
[19:58] * ~Dan nods
[19:59] <~Dan> Have alien life forms been encountered previously in this setting?
[20:00] <~Dan> (Howdy, DLB_Chuck!)
[20:00] <+DLB_Chuck> Hey Dan
[20:00] <+AngusA> We list a bunch of new careers that PCs could be, as well as the more common careers that are in the NEW rulebook that would be very suitable. Aain, there is nothing stopping anyone selecting careers not mentioned, but that appear in the NEW rulebook, if the GM is happy.
[20:00] <~Dan> (Angus, meet DLB_Chuck, author of horror game Don’t Look Back. 🙂 )
[20:01] <+AngusA> Hi DBL_Chuck… I have an old 90’s edition of that 🙂
[20:01] <+DLB_Chuck> Hi AngusA
[20:01] <+DLB_Chuck> Cool. New edition was just funded on Kickstarter
[20:02] <+AngusA> +Dan do you mind if I copy and paste some of the info about WOIN Studios Presents? It explains the backstory to the line which I think would be interesting here.
[20:02] <~Dan> I don’t mind, but beware the character limit.
[20:03] <+AngusA> I’ll do in it sections 😉 Thanks.
[20:03] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:03] <+AngusA> WOIN STUDIOS PRESENTS…. explores a parallel universe of film and television. Shows and movies that seem so familiar but, in our universe, never were: cult favourites, forgotten gems, award-winning blockbusters and special effects extravaganzas! WOIN Studios produced a vast catalogue of films and TV shows for screens big and small spanning decades.
[20:03] <+AngusA> From their inception in the sunny hills of 1920’s Bellemoor, which was fast becoming the center of the worlds motion picture industry, WOIN Studios soon became one of the “majors”, battling it out with the likes of TLP Pictures, Ascendant, Galactic Pictures, Brunswick Pictures and The Consolidated Players Group for the best scripts, best directors,
[20:03] <+AngusA> and best actors.
[20:04] <+AngusA> Almost uniquely among the ‘majors’ WOIN Studios never shied away from the so-called ‘B-Movies’ made popular by many of the Poverty Row studios. Indeed they actively courted these and, in later years, were responsible for buying up the back catalogues of many of the defunct Poverty Row labels such as Commonwealth Pictures, Falcon-Jaguar,
[20:04] <+AngusA> and the legendary Screwdriver Horror Films.
[20:04] <+AngusA> WOIN Studios started producing television programs in the late 1940’s, starting mainly with comedy series and moving on to spy dramas and westerns, thus establishing their presence on both the big and small screens, which continued for the next century or more.
[20:04] <+AngusA> Thanks to the first multi-dimensional partnership of its kind, EN Publishing has managed to license the entire catalog of WOIN Studios (past, present, and future) to introduce their range of fantastic titles to an entire new world of fans.
[20:04] <+AngusA> Not only will we be releasing some of WOIN Studios greatest films and TV series, but through our ‘Pilot’ series we’ll be introducing a number of their other celebrated TV serials to this brand new audience to decide if they would like more.
[20:04] <+AngusA> Did you enjoy the series about the High Schoolers fighting a plague of the undead? How about the Gadget heavy American Cold War Spy Thriller? What about the show starring the famous baseball player transported to another planet and a different time who has to team up with an army of giant eagle riding catfolk to fight the Reptilian Overlords?
[20:04] <+AngusA> See your favourite stars and shows return in further episodes for YOUR enjoyment!
[20:04] <+AngusA> Welcome to WOIN STUDIOS PRESENTS… bringing you the best of a parallel universe of film and television. Shows and movies that seem so familiar but, in our universe, never were.
[20:04] <+AngusA> (done)
[20:05] <~Dan> (Scrolling back here…)
[20:06] <+AngusA> Xenomorphs is ‘based’ around Xenomorph II – The Fall of Somerset Landing a blockbuster sequel to WOIN Studio’s award winning 1979 film Xenomorph.
[20:06] <+AngusA> The film sees a return to Lethe, one of three moons orbiting Melinos, an enormous gas giant, some 40 light years from Earth, which also featured in the first movie. Lethe’s main role in the first film was the site of the alien ship that the crew of the Viola discover when responding to a distress signal.
[20:06] <+AngusA> As we all remember well, deep within the bowels of this alien craft death and madness awaited the Viola crew.
[20:06] <+AngusA> Decades on, Lethe now boasts a small colony that is terraforming the planet to make it more habitable for mankind. The planet is still a harsh environment, wracked by freezing rain and relentless winds, but the air is at least now breathable and temperatures are slowly rising – now reaching just above zero Celsius around the equator and the main outpost
[20:07] <+AngusA> of Somerset Landing.
[20:07] <+DLB_Chuck> AngusA what is the name of the game?
[20:07] <+AngusA> Xenomorph II charts the events just prior to the colony’s loss of contact with the Chen Zua Corporation, the company behind the terraforming technology that oversees the United Planets Terraforming Contracts, and the events that take place during this black-out.
[20:07] <+AngusA> So welcome to Somerset Landing and hold on tight… as all hell is about to break loose!
[20:07] <+AngusA> (done)
[20:08] <+AngusA> The book on Kickstarter is called Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing. It’s an adventure/setting for the N.E.W. Science Fiction RPG by EN Publishing.
[20:08] <+DLB_Chuck> Got a KS link?
[20:08] <+AngusA> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/enworld/xenomorphs-the-fall-of-somerset-landing-tabletop-r)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/enworld/xenomorphs-the-fall-of-somerset-landing-tabletop-r
[20:09] <+AngusA> It’s in its last 48 hours now and has done very well.
[20:10] <+DLB_Chuck> Looks like you had a great campaign. Congrats
[20:11] <+AngusA> We are planning some other adventure/setting books under the WOIN Studios Presents banner, exploring some other iconic and genre defining concepts.
[20:11] <+AngusA> Thanks 🙂
[20:11] <+DLB_Chuck> It says Dec for delivery so are the books finished?
[20:12] <~Dan> What was the thinking behind making Xenomorph a self-contained game?
[20:12] <+AngusA> Yes. We have proofs of the finished books… both the Xenomorphs adventure/setting book and the KS exclusive ‘Xeno cover’ for the main rulebook.
[20:13] <+AngusA> PDFs will be sent out as soon as the campaign wraps, with the print copies getting order and dispatched (via DriveThru) as soon as the funds clear.
[20:14] <+AngusA> Each of the WOIN Studios Presents books will be a self contained setting and adventure.
[20:15] <+DLB_Chuck> Are you using print on demand for the physical books?
[20:15] <+AngusA> It allows us to explore a variety of ideas – allowing for a range of settings to be available for WOIN as well as showcasing the systems flexibility for covering a whole host of genres and styles.
[20:16] <+AngusA> Yes, the OBS fulfilment service. So Lightning Source in this instance.
[20:17] <+AngusA> We’ve used OBS to fulfil all the Kickstarters EN Publishing has done to date.
[20:17] <+DLB_Chuck> I’m using Lightning for the new DLB too
[20:18] <+AngusA> OBS makes so easy and Lightning Source is pretty good quality as a general rule. You can get regional deviations due to the localised printers – but that’s the same for any of the international POD companies.
[20:18] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest03!
[20:19] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet for Xenomorphs that we can see?
[20:19] <+DLB_Chuck> I havent worked with OBS before. This is my first KS
[20:21] <+AngusA> The character sheet is the same one that is the NEW rulebook. I don’t have one at hand unfortunately. You can download all of the pregenerated characters, that are included in the adventure book, here though…. (Link: http://www.enworld.org/woin/woin_xenos_pregens.pdf)http://www.enworld.org/woin/woin_xenos_pregens.pdf
[20:21] <+AngusA> Those are the printer friendly versions.
[20:22] <+AngusA> If you pop o our campaign page you can see the full colour version of one of them (Vadim Andreev)
[20:23] <~Dan> Can you describe the game’s system?
[20:23] <+AngusA> Lightning Source can be a “back and forth” getting the print files right. There are easier processes with some of their competitors, but OBS is on hand to help if needs be.
[20:24] <+AngusA> Hopefully you won’t have too much of a problem with them Chuck. Although I’d be surprised if you don’t have a few attempts before your print files are accepted… most companies still do even after using them forever!
[20:25] <+DLB_Chuck> I worked with them a few times with some non-rpg books so ive seen some of their quirks
[20:26] <+AngusA> The system is a d6 dice pool system that Russ designed. I’ve played it a bit playtesting the Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD RPG that we’re developing and really enjoyed it (thankfully!)
[20:27] <~Dan> Additive dice pools, or success-counting?
[20:27] <+AngusA> Character generation uses a Life Path system – which I always enjoy as it gives characters extra depth and can spring new ideas about them for you which you probably wouldn’t have thought of initially.
[20:27] <+DLB_Chuck> This will be my first color interior with them. Hopefully that doesnt add too many wrinkles
[20:30] <+DLB_Chuck> I liked life paths since the original Traveller. It really helps to link the background with the stats and skills. Helps with real role playing
[20:31] <+AngusA> Target numbers, and you add the results of your rolls.
[20:31] <~Dan> What is the significance of the attribute levels?
[20:31] <+DLB_Chuck> Gives the GM good opportunities to bring in connections from PCs past. Very cool
[20:31] <+AngusA> Dice pools are capped though, depending on your characters grade.
[20:32] <+DLB_Chuck> Do different races get different trait ranged?
[20:33] <+AngusA> The dice pool is made up from attribute + skill + equipment. You don;t get the *fistful of dice* issue though, due to the cap. If your dice pool is bigger than the cap allows, you still only roll the number of dice that you are capped to.
[20:33] <+DLB_Chuck> Ranges
[20:34] <+AngusA> Yes, races can differ in attribute ranges. Although that could potentially be countered by augmentation, if the setting your using allows it.
[20:35] <+AngusA> A characters Grade is equal to the number of career grades they have taken. Most characters start at Grade 4.
[20:35] <+AngusA> Grade 5 (sorry – finger slip on the keyboard)!
[20:38] <+AngusA> Attribute level informs you of your related dice pool. If you have an attribute at 1 or 2 (weak) you have a dice pool of 1d6 for that attribute. 3-5 (Average) gives you 2d6, 6-9 (Strong) is 3d6 and so on.
[20:39] <+DLB_Chuck> What significance do the years have for careers?
[20:40] <+AngusA> Your Reputation attribute helps inform you of how well known the character is… a score of 1 or 2 and they are pretty much unknown, 3 to 5 and they are known in their town or village, 6 to 9 they are known planet wide…. all the way to 21 to 27 where they’d be known across the entire galaxy!
[20:42] <+AngusA> Each career will increase a characters age by either a set or variable amount. Thus the character will age over the course of character generation. Depending on your characters age you may get some benefits and/or disadvantages.
[20:43] <+AngusA> Different races obviously have different ideas on what Young/Adult/Old is.
[20:44] <~Dan> Can you give us some idea of the tech level of the setting?
[20:45] <+AngusA> An Old Human (60+) will get the exploit *Old* which means once per day, when rolling a dice pool, they can declare it to be a careful dice pool. Any 1s rolled can be rerolled. Additionally they get a +2d6 bonus to their hook. However they will no longer be able to improve their physical attributes.
[20:45] <+AngusA> through career advancement or experience. They’d still be able to enhance them through other means though (cybernetics, etv)
[20:48] <+AngusA> The setting is what we call AL8. Faster Than Light travel exists. It’s not super fast….it can still take up to a couple of years to reach some of the furthest colonies out there… but generally the common speed is FTL-2…. allowing travel at 8 times the speed of light. Most long distance travel involves the use of cryogenic pods.
[20:48] <+AngusA> Androids exists,,, and are referred to as Synthetics in Xenomorphs (a playable race).
[20:49] <~Dan> Are there cybernetics and/or genemods?
[20:50] <+AngusA> No psionics. Or atleast no known psionics. No replicators or transporters or the like. Xenomorphs is quite a ‘hard’ sci-fi setting for the most part.
[20:50] <+AngusA> No cybernetics in the setting as written.
[20:51] <+AngusA> You do have clones, they are slightly better than regular humans.
[20:52] <+AngusA> But don’t excel in the same way humans could do.
[20:52] <~Dan> What’s state of the art in terms of weaponry?
[20:53] <+AngusA> Still ballistic weapons, no lasers.
[20:53] <+AngusA> We do have everyones favourite flamethrowers though 😉
[20:53] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:54] <+AngusA> Each colony has a United Marine presence on it, as well as the local Colony police/security team.
[20:54] <~Dan> Have humans encountered alien lifeforms previously?
[20:55] <+AngusA> Many of the colonies – including Somerset Landing – are only really used as part of a ‘Training Tour’ for the United Marines though. So they aren’t well equipped and are usually mainly pretty young recruits on their first tour.
[20:57] <+AngusA> Humans haven’t ‘as such’ encountered alien life as yet. Or atleast haven’t lived to tell the tale.
[20:57] <~Dan> Who are the United Marines trained to fight, then?
[20:58] <+AngusA> The Chen Zua Corporation may have an idea that it exists though.
[21:01] <+AngusA> Troubled hotspots, other nations are also expanding into space too and Earths geopolitical politics can still cause friction. Whilst the UMC is a branch of the NATO Allied Defense Command it will occasionally come into conflict with other militia.
[21:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords)
[21:02] <+AngusA> There are a number of ‘plot seeds’ in the book for United Marine Corps adventures.
[21:03] <~Dan> What can you say about the xenomorphs themselves?
[21:05] <+AngusA> Going back a bit… I should say that mankind has not found any sentient life as yet. They have discovered some semi-sentient life and flora on their travels.
[21:06] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[21:07] <+AngusA> There are a number of different types of Xenomorphs, which we describe in the book. They can take on a variety of roles…. Warrior, Worker, HIve Boss and of course the Matriarch.
[21:08] <+AngusA> The host that a Xenomorph inhabits during incubation seems to have some effect on the Xenomorphs abilities and standing in the Hive. Some traits seem to be inherited.
[21:10] <+AngusA> The Xenomorphs can also have Hive Wars, when two Matriarchs exist. Matriarchs don’t play well with others.
[21:12] <~Dan> What sorts of capabilities do the Xenomorphs have?
[21:12] <+AngusA> One Xenomorph is deadly…. a Hive of them is,er, well…
[21:15] <~Dan> Do they have acid for blood?
[21:15] <+AngusA> Taking the Xenomorph Warrior as an example… They are incredibly strong, agile, intelligent and hardy. Their chitinous hide gives them a good defense, and they are incredibly hard to kill. They can attack with their claws, bite, tailswipe or with acid spit.
[21:15] <+AngusA> They have a number of special abilities (exploits) such as Climber, Acid Blood, Poison, and Death From On High.
[21:16] <+AngusA> You really don;t want to run into one.
[21:16] <+AngusA> Which is a shame if you’re on Somerset Landing…
[21:17] <~Dan> How expandable is the setting beyond Somerset Landing?
[21:18] <+AngusA> You could expand it alot. Whilst the main detail has gone into Somerset Landing we do give some info on the universe at large and certainly a GM could take that and expand upon it to run a larger campaign… with or without Xenomorphs.
[21:19] <+AngusA> The plot seeds I mentioned above (for the United Marine Corps) all take place ‘elsewhere’ for instance, not in our titular terraforming colony.
[21:19] <~Dan> Can you give an example?
[21:20] <+AngusA> Of one of the plot seeds?
[21:20] * ~Dan nods
[21:21] <+AngusA> “Illegal Experiments” – Chen Zua has a secret base on Titan where they are researching psionics. The PCs are a group of psionic test subjects desperate for freedom. Can they break out of the facility and escape the corporation’s insidious grasp?
[21:21] <~Dan> Huh. Cool.
[21:22] <~Dan> Do any of the plots involve non-Xenomorph alien life forms?
[21:22] <+AngusA> We have a number of pieces which ‘hint’ at further areas/themes that you can explore in the wider universe that have nothing to do with Xenos.
[21:23] <+AngusA> In fact, the Xenomorphs only appear in one or two of the plot seeds listed…. of course they take on a starring role in the main adventure in the book!
[21:26] <+AngusA> I really like the Somerset Landing Colony and hope that people can use it in other sci-fi settings too. I really thought about what a colony would/should have when developing it. I actually have an Excel spreadsheet with names and jobs of pretty much the entire colony to help me work out population numbers and job responsibilities!
[21:26] <~Dan> Wow!
[21:26] <+AngusA> I had a great time developing that.
[21:26] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:29] <+AngusA> We have two more ‘WOIN Studios Presents’ books currently in development. Dave Chapman (Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space; Conspiracy X) is writing one of them and Richard Christopher August (Conan) is writing the other.
[21:29] <~Dan> What are the subjects?
[21:30] <+AngusA> We also have a further two on the slate. Russ and myself drew up a shortlist of titles we both wanted to explore… and then chose two each to play with for the next books.
[21:32] <+AngusA> Dave is writing one called Ghostbreakers – The Spirit of Manhattan and Richard is working on Legion: For We Are Many – a horror based outing.
[21:32] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[21:32] <+AngusA> It’s great working with Dave again. First time I’ve worked with Richard but I’ve been loving his ideas.
[21:33] <~Dan> Standard reminder: Those wishing to support my Q&A series can do so at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:33] <~Dan> Dave’s a great guy.
[21:33] <+AngusA> Thanks for having me Dan, it’s been a pleasure as always 🙂
[21:33] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, AngusA!
[21:34] <~Dan> And don’t be such a stranger! We’re always here. 🙂
[21:34] <+AngusA> Hope to be back soon as I have another KS launching in the next few weeks too ;p
[21:34] <~Dan> Excellent.
[21:34] <~Dan> And now, if you’ll hang out for just a minute more, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂
[21:34] <+AngusA> Thanks for all the support you give creators and campaigns.
[21:34] <~Dan> My pleasure!