[19:30] <+BrettBernstein> I am Brett Bernstein of Precis Intermedia, publisher of Bloodshadows, Shatterzone, Lords of Olympus, Two-Fisted Tales, Supergame, and more…
[19:31] <+BrettBernstein> Done
[19:31] <~Dan> Thanks, BrettBernstein! The floor is open to questions!
[19:32] <+Motulev> for someone who does not know, what are these games about?
[19:32] <~Dan> So tonight, we’ll be discussing Two-Fisted Tales 2e and Supergame 3e. Let’s start with the former.
[19:33] <+BrettBernstein> Two-Fisted Tales is all about classic 30s and 40s pulp roleplaying. Designed by Matthew Stevens, it’s built from the ground up to that end.
[19:33] <+BrettBernstein> done
[19:34] <~Dan> Can you describe the game’s system?
[19:36] <~Dan> (Howdy, Brendan!)
[19:36] <+BrettBernstein> It’s a simple system of D10 + ability (+concentration bonus or specialty bonus) – D10 vs a target number. Extra bonus or penalty dice may also be applied to the roll. That’s basics, with finer detail for combat and the use of certain gimmick (martial arts and super-powers).
[19:36] <+BrettBernstein> done
[19:37] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
[19:37] <+Brendan> Hey there.
[19:38] <+BrettBernstein> I am still working on the layout and some editing for the new second edition, so I don’t have the new character sheet just yet. The new edition is also different enough for the character sheet to also be a bit different, so that’s a no.
[19:38] <~Dan> No problem. Can you describe the elements that make up a character?
[19:38] <+BrettBernstein> This blog entry shows a sample character template, however: (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2625)http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2625
[19:39] <~Dan> (Brendan: Here’s what we’re discussing at the moment: (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=46)http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=46 )
[19:39] <+Brendan> I’m checking it out.
[19:40] <+Brendan> Dan, is there a typical format of discussion here when you have guests?
[19:41] <+BrettBernstein> Characters consist of Abilities (attributes), Concentrations (areas of training or talent), Specialties (exceptional training or talent), and Gimmicks (martial arts moves, hypnotic powers, magic spells, and super-powers).
[19:41] <~Dan> (Brendan: The floor is open to questions unless I call for a temporary question pause to allow a guest to catch up, so if you have any questions, fire away! 🙂 )
[19:41] <+BrettBernstein> done
[19:42] <~Dan> What is the scale for Abilities?
[19:44] <+BrettBernstein> Abilities are Brains, Luck, Mind, Muscle, Reflexes, Savvy, Status, and Wealth — they also determine certain bonuses and capacities, like damage, carrying capacity, movement, etc. Ratings of 1 to 8 are poor, 10-12 about average, 14+ is superior. 20 is about max for humans, but this could be greater for monsters and certain campaigns (like supers).
[19:44] <+BrettBernstein> done
[19:45] <+BrettBernstein> Sorry – forgot one ability: Weird.
[19:45] <+Brendan> Don’t forget weird. 🙂
[19:45] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:45] <+BrettBernstein> I’m having brain farts tonight.
[19:45] <~Dan> No worries. We have mental air freshener.
[19:46] <+Brendan> This is my first time seeing this. What would you say are the top features of your system?
[19:49] <+BrettBernstein> It’s fast, easy to run, and I think covers just about every facet of classic pulp, including gadgets, campaign assistance for various genres, and random tables to help create a pulp scenario.
[19:49] <+BrettBernstein> done
[19:49] <~Dan> (Howdy, JamesGillen!)
[19:49] <+JamesGillen> how DEE
[19:50] <~Dan> What’s new with the second edition?
[19:53] <+Brendan> (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php)http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php
[19:53] <+Brendan> he has some info there
[19:53] <+Brendan> scroll down a bit
[19:53] <+JamesGillen> ooh you have Shatterzone, I forgot about that
[19:54] <+BrettBernstein> More consistent ability bonuses, like damage and resistance; character creation is a little faster and easier; Specialties are now called Concentrations, while Masteries are called Specialties; new or altered templates; Schticks are now called Gimmicks; weapon damage is a bit different; some tasks now have random target numbers; experience has been overhauled
[19:54] <+BrettBernstein> (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2628)http://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2628
[19:54] <+BrettBernstein> done
[19:55] <~Dan> 1e characters had a bit of a glass jaw. Is that still the case?
[19:58] <&SIlverlion> Nancy drew is a pulp character?/
[19:58] <+BrettBernstein> Characters get a bit more resistance – but it also depends on how well the roll succeeds.
[19:59] * ~Dan nods
[19:59] <+JamesGillen> It says damage scale is roughly doubled
[19:59] <~Dan> I see that characters can make their own gadgets now. That’s a big improvement over 1e! Can you say a bit about how gadget creation works?
[19:59] <+BrettBernstein> Nancy Drew and Miss Marple are closer to Noir and Murder Mysteries, but fit the pulp mold quite well – Juvenile heroes are very apt.
[20:00] <+BrettBernstein> Damage scale is a bit different — the damage is distributed differently (between muscle and the actual weapon damage).
[20:03] <+Brendan> I was talking to Dan recently about game design and how it is often a lot of work for the money you make. Do you make any decent money on these projects or is it more a labor of love?
[20:03] <+BrettBernstein> The gadget rules are an update and expansion of this article (you can create weapons, armor, vehicles, and robots: (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/articles.php?page=302)http://www.pigames.net/store/articles.php?page=302 | Several factors determine the necessary ability, hero point cost, expense, and difficulty.
[20:03] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:04] <+BrettBernstein> Brendan, it’s both. Most of this a labor of love, but the money is a good thing too.
[20:04] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:04] <~Dan> I see that you’ve added superpowers in this edition. How extensive is the selection, and can you give some examples?
[20:06] <+BrettBernstein> Lots of powers for Golden Age Heroes, which also explains a lot of the revisions to the abilities to handle greater ratings in a more consistent manner. Examples include clinging, dimension travel, emotional control, energy field, extra limbs, growth, super-speed.
[20:06] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, crypto!)
[20:08] <+crypto> (Greetings, Dan)
[20:08] <~Dan> Very nice!
[20:09] <~Dan> So would you say that Two-Fisted Tales can serve as a full-blown supers game now?
[20:10] <+BrettBernstein> Yes, with the caveat that it is geared more for Golden Age Heroes.
[20:10] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:11] <~Dan> Do you still include a bestiary?
[20:13] <~Dan> (crypto: Current topic: (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=46)http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=46 )
[20:13] <+BrettBernstein> Yes, it includes various animals, dinosaurs, hordes, swarms, kraken, etc.
[20:13] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:14] <~Dan> Cool. Larger than the one in 1e?
[20:17] <+BrettBernstein> It is large, also encompassing part of the villains section, which has a Vampire template, for example.
[20:17] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:17] <+JamesGillen> vampires!
[20:17] <~Dan> Excellent.
[20:17] <~Dan> Do I recall cards being used in some fashion?
[20:17] <+BrettBernstein> that should be “larger”
[20:18] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:18] <+BrettBernstein> Yes, standard playing cards can be used to add bonuses or protect against damage.
[20:18] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:18] <~Dan> Are they necessary, or just an option?
[20:20] <+BrettBernstein> I can see playing without the cards, but they just add a lot more excitement, so I would say necessary. They are pretty simple to manage though.
[20:20] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:21] <~Dan> (wb, Mordrid)
[20:21] <~Dan> You mentioned some tweaks to the system for combat. How does combat work?
[20:25] <+BrettBernstein> The basic system has both sides making a roll. The greater roll hits. If the roll is 10 greater, he does extra damage; a tie means half damage. Subtract resistance from damage to determine number of wounds taken. Some cards can reduce damage. The Advanced system adds more options like initiative and special rules for certain actions (like defending, cover…
[20:26] <+BrettBernstein> grappling, reloading, hypnotizing, magic rituals, etc.).
[20:26] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:26] <~Dan> Gotcha. Cool.
[20:27] <~Dan> So let’s turn to Supergame 3e. Can you give us an overview of that game?
[20:28] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Bubbles!)
[20:28] <+BrettBernstein> The original Supergame was published in 1980, followed by a second edition in 1982. It was the third supers RPG out there (after Superhero 2044 and Villains and Vigilantes), but the first one to allow players to allocate points to create characters with the abilities and powers they wanted.
[20:29] <~Dan> What was the original’s system like?
[20:29] <+BrettBernstein> I acquired the rights to this and brought it back as a classic reprint, bundling both editions and two supplements into a single book. An all-new third edition is slated for release next week in PDF form and with a Softcover pre-order.
[20:30] <+BrettBernstein> (Link: http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=135)http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=135
[20:30] <+BrettBernstein> The new edition is streamlined and easy to play. Even faster than Two-Fisted Tales. In fact, characters can fit on an index card.
[20:30] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:31] <~Dan> Really? Do you have a character sheet and/or sample character that we can see?
[20:35] <+BrettBernstein> I am actually not creating a character sheet for this one, because I really mean it about using index cards. Of course, I’m sure people will complain, so there will likely be one to download on the site. I just posted some samples here: (Link: http://www.pigames.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=109&t=2641)http://www.pigames.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=109&t=2641
[20:35] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:37] <~Dan> Interesting. What’s the system like?
[20:39] <+BrettBernstein> You can use one of three different dice: either fudge/fate, D6-D6, or 2D10 with a table. The basic mechanic is ability/power + roll (-4 to +4) vs difficulty or opposing ability/power. The result determines the amount of damage inflicted or the degree of success: 1, 2, 3, or 4+. Pretty simple and fast.
[20:40] <+BrettBernstein> Initiative is determined once for the entire scene, but hero points can be spent to re-roll and try to get a better position in line. This re-roll is also possible for other things like to hit or escaping grapples.
[20:40] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:42] <~Dan> What is the skill system like?
[20:44] <+BrettBernstein> This may sound like heresy, but you either have a skill or you don’t, and they are for use outside of combat. In other words, your raw ability or a power is used during combat (although combat knacks are optional). Skill either lets you perform a particular task or avoids a penalty.
[20:44] <+BrettBernstein> Note that the super-science skill is the only one that lets you create gadgets.
[20:44] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:45] <+Bubbles> Also the damage system doesn’t have traditional hit points does it? (Hi Brett, Bruce here)
[20:45] <~Dan> I see. So a bit like Warhammer 1e and 2e skills.
[20:47] <+BrettBernstein> As far as damage goes, everyone can take four wounds before being out of the fight, unless possessing the super endurance power (which gives more). That said, your resistance is more important, as are hero points.
[20:47] <+BrettBernstein> There are also a number of optional rules, like taking more levels as stress, pain and impairment modifiers, and losing consciousness.
[20:47] * ~Dan nods
[20:48] <+BrettBernstein> I don’t remember how Warhammer works.
[20:48] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:48] <+JamesGillen> Depends on the edition of WH
[20:48] <~Dan> How do you design powers in this game?
[20:48] <+BrettBernstein> Still stuck on 2FT. No resistance in Supergame – that would be toughness.
[20:49] <~Dan> Let’s take a tough one: Weather Control.
[20:52] <+BrettBernstein> It depends on how you want to control the weather. If you simply want to make lightning bolts appear from the clouds, you would use the physical strike power. If you want to change the weather, you could use the affect environment power.
[20:52] <~Dan> I see.
[20:53] <~Dan> Which attribute corresponds to strength?
[20:53] <+BrettBernstein> It’s not so much a specific power focusing on the weather that you want to look at necessarily, but the effect. All powers in the game use expressions. This means that you detail how the power is fueled, how it looks, and what it does within the framework of the rules. In other words, you describe how it is expressed.
[20:54] * ~Dan nods
[20:54] <+BrettBernstein> There are two prime abilities: fitness and insight. So strength is covered under fitness – but a power may replace it. There are also two resistance abilities: toughness and willpower.
[20:54] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:55] <~Dan> What covers dexterity?
[20:56] <+BrettBernstein> That’s also fitness. Again, a power can overrule or supplement it. This is a little different from your typical RPG, say something like Mutants and Masterminds. It’s designed to be a lot easier to play.
[20:56] <+BrettBernstein> done
[20:56] * ~Dan nods
[20:57] <~Dan> So let’s look at Steel Tiger. (Link: http://www.pigames.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=109&t=2641)http://www.pigames.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=109&t=2641
[20:57] <~Dan> What does Brute Powers (10) mean?
[20:57] <+JamesGillen> Any relation to Steel Panther?
[20:58] <+BrettBernstein> So powers are grouped into clusters. The cluster rating is the rating for all powers governed by it. You then pay a much lower cost just to add powers. You can also add modifiers (like extending range or duration) and drawbacks.
[20:59] <+JamesGillen> Sounds a bit like the old Champions Elemental Control
[21:00] <+BrettBernstein> So all of his Brute powers have a rating of 10. A normal person has a fitness rating of 2. In the case of physical strike, half the brute rating is added to a fitness roll when attacking — this means he adds 5+5 to his roll, for an effective ability of 10.
[21:00] <+BrettBernstein> I remember having a conversation with someone about Steel Panther, but no 🙂
[21:01] <+BrettBernstein> done
[21:03] <+BrettBernstein> I should also mention that there is also a benchmark table, so this could calculate distances, masses, times, and other aspects based on a power’s rating. For those familiar with Shatterzone, Torg, and MasterBook, it is a simpler version of the Value System.
[21:03] <+JamesGillen> mm
[21:04] <+Bubbles> There are about 12 different clusters, each cluster containing between 3 to 12 individual powers
[21:05] <+BrettBernstein> Another example would be Fly. Notice how it has (-1) after it. The player decided to fine tune the powers in that cluster, adding 1 to jumping and reducing one from fly. A fly of 8 means he can fly 500 meter per turn.
[21:06] <+BrettBernstein> Oh yeah, hi Bruce. That’s about right.
[21:06] <+BrettBernstein> done
[21:07] <~Dan> Does Supergame have a setting?
[21:09] <+BrettBernstein> I was going to include the Heroes of Poseidonis setting from the classic version, but the art costs for that were prohibiting me from making the book available at a low price. I decided to make that a separate book. The Core Rules will be $4.95 in PDF and $19.95 for PDF+Softcover, but I’ll be doing a reduced price for softcover pre-orders.
[21:09] <+JamesGillen> cool
[21:09] <~Dan> Makes sense.
[21:10] <+BrettBernstein> Poseidonis is a relatively new island in the South Pacific that becomes the new head go the UN. It’s got a team of heroes based there, plus some independents, and is a target for villains. Scarab is one of the Knights of Poseidonis.
[21:10] <+BrettBernstein> done
[21:11] <~Dan> How well does Supergame 3e scale? Can it go from street level to cosmic?
[21:12] <+BrettBernstein> There are 6 scales: local, regional, national, global, cosmic, and transcendental. While you can mix scales, obvious advantages play out. The original version fits in about the local/regional level.
[21:12] <+BrettBernstein> done
[21:15] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered about Two-Fisted Tales or Supergame that you’d like to bring up?
[21:16] <~Dan> Oh, and when does Two-Fisted Tales 2e come out?
[21:17] <+BrettBernstein> Two-Fisted Tales 2E should be available early 2018. It’s taking a little longer that I had planned, so we can get it done right.
[21:17] * ~Dan nods
[21:18] <+Bubbles> Do you see Supergame directed at shorter games or can it also sustain longer term play?
[21:19] <+BrettBernstein> Supergame 3E should be available next week in PDF format and Softcover pre-order. This new edition is how I truly envision supers games playing out. One rules I made sure went in there was that if it take you more than 2 minutes to figure out what to do, just wing it – don’t slow down the game.
[21:21] <+BrettBernstein> Supergame 3E is great for extended play. There is an option for regular RPG experience-type development, but the default method is for a hero’s scale to increase after a certain number of games, so he gets more points to allocate to powers and knacks, based on past exploits.
[21:21] <+BrettBernstein> Of course, it’s also great for one-shots, because making new heroes is easy.
[21:21] <+BrettBernstein> The same goes for Two-Fisted Tales.
[21:21] <+JamesGillen> cool
[21:23] <+BrettBernstein> done
[21:24] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, BrettBernstein!
[21:24] <+JamesGillen> [applause]
[21:24] <+BrettBernstein> Thank you all very much.
[21:25] <~Dan> Usual reminder: Those wishing to back my Q&As can do so at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[21:25] <~Dan> Now if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!