[14:13] Hi everyone, I’m Ed Jowett, and it’s great to be back among you all once more!
[14:14] I’ve been here a few times, but today I have something a little different. This is the Battlecruiser Alamo RPG: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/battlecruiser-alamo-rpg-an-era-d10-game?ref=7u679z)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/battlecruiser-alamo-rpg-an-era-d10-game?ref=7u679z
[14:15] The Battlecruiser Alamo series of novels by Richard Tongue has been a favourite of quite a few members of our team for a while, and when the opportunity came up to license it, we jumped at the chance.
[14:15] So here it is, a book written by the writer of the novels, illustrated by the cover artist and all of the rules and character material written by me, for the Era d10 Rule Set!
[14:15] (should that be “author” of the novels?)
[14:16] It runs on the tried and tested system which has served Era: The Consortium so well, but has some really interesting tweaks!
[14:16] We’ve added something which is fairly unusual – there are actually 2 characters for each player in this game.
[14:17] One of them is an Officer of the ship you’re on, who engages in space combat, anyone from the Captain and Executive Officer to the Security Officer (responsible for hacking, not security personnel!) and the Engineer.
[14:18] The second character is an Espatier, a space marine who is sent into various unpleasant situation and, in the novels, has a fairly low survival rate.
[14:18] This series is actually very brutal when it comes to death, so unlike our other games where, if a player character dies, they are recommended to be knocked unconscious and bleed out slowly.
[14:19] We chose, therefore, to make it so that this no longer applies.
[14:20] If you are shot, you genuinely have a 30% chance of dying… or worse, depending on the weapon!
[14:21] I think that’s everything I have to say, so I’m happy to open the floor to questions.
[14:22] …anyone? XD
[14:22] Hi Ed. Does a player’s two characters ever interact?
[14:23] Hi FrankG!
[14:23] Thanks, Ed_Jowett. The floor is open to questions!
[14:23] That’s an interesting question. In principle, the answer is yes, it could happen.
[14:23] I haven’t read the novels, so I have nothing to base this on… though I did look at the kickstarter page today
[14:23] In that case, I’m guessing that people will have to be a little bit creative, having a conversation with themselves.
[14:24] So it sounds like, more often, the are two separate cogs in a massive machine? Each affecting the other
[14:24] Honestly, though, it’s a military society, the officers and the enlisted don’t really interact outside the chain of command very much.
[14:24] Yes, I think that’s fair. The Captain, Exec or Operations Officer might order Espatiers down to the planet, for example.
[14:24] Or, even they may be escorts for an officer potentially in danger.
[14:25] But I think, as a rule, they won’t interact much.
[14:25] cool. do the characters gain XP separately?
[14:25] I usually make the players play one or another at each moment.
[14:25] We don’t have a strict XP system in Era d10.
[14:25] We more level up as you complete objectives.
[14:25] While we recommend they don’t gain XP at the same time, I really left that very much up to the GM
[14:25] ok, dig
[14:26] Thanks very much for asking 🙂
[14:26] (Howdy, Kei! Drew was looking for you yesterday. 🙂 )
[14:26] Ed_Jowett: Can you say a bit more about the setting? What’s it about?
[14:27] The setting is an interesting one, and I’ll be honest, I’m not the best person to explain it (Richard wrote the setting material for the game), but I’ll do my best to summarise it.
[14:28] A lot of people left Earth, heading to a small number of planets in the solar system during a cataclysm.
[14:28] Mars, Callisto and Titan were all colonised.
[14:28] So was the Asteroid Belt, which was mined extensively.
[14:28] But Earth was rather politically controlling and, as a result, a war started.
[14:29] Earth and the three worlds went at it pretty hard for a while (meanwhile, the moon became the Lunar Republic, owned by what were the Chinese).
[14:29] In the end, the U.N. of Earth was defeated and the Triplanetary Confederation was formed.
[14:30] At that time, there were 6 Battlecruisers, long-ranged ships which could make a lot of hyperspace jumps between worlds compared to most ships, which were left in the hands of the Triplanetary Confederation.
[14:30] After the war, the UN took less time to rebuild than the Confederation, so the Lunar Republic and the UN started colonising other worlds.
[14:31] The Triplanetary Confederation is now ready to expand and is sending the Battlecruisers out to find what’s out there.
[14:31] Interestingly, there are lost Human colonies that no-one knows about, alien artifacts and even a mention of a faction called the “Cabal”, which we know very little about.
[14:31] This game is about exploring in the directions the books don’t cover, so it’s got something a little different, even for veteran fans.
[14:32] The thing is that the Triplanetary Confederation, especially the military, is very new, and not everyone agrees it’s a good idea.
[14:32] Previously, the three worlds all fought with their own forces – allied, but separate.
[14:33] Mutinies, betrayal to the Lunar republic and people trying to overthrow the Captain and take charge are all very common themes in the first 3 books, and we tried to capture that feel.
[14:33] I’d say the universe has a feeling of scientific realism for the most part – gravity is achieved by rotation, pretty much all technology can be hacked and repurposed if you’re good enough, even between ships (shut down the gravity and they are in trouble!)
[14:34] Does that cover most of the obvious questions?
[14:35] I should probably say at this stage, I read the books for this project, but I thoroughly enjoyed them and would recommend them!
[14:35] (Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DN8XKIK?tag=geolinker-21)https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DN8XKIK?tag=geolinker-21
[14:35] I think so… You mentioned alien artifacts. Are there actual aliens in the setting?
[14:35] There are. There are several “secrets of the setting” in the GM section, which does include details.
[14:36] sounds cool
[14:36] Mostly, it’s a bit of a mystery for now. They were clearly in the Solar System (remains are found in the second book), but no-one knows why or what they did…
[14:36] and mostly, the aliens alive now are completely unintelligable to Humans.
[14:36] There have been a few encounters, but it’s ended in both ships leaving without understanding the other at all.
[14:37] Huh. That’s an interesting twist. Not a fight, not friendship, just a shrug?
[14:37] It always makes me think of the Star Trek: TNG episode Darmok.
[14:38] They are just so totally conceptually different to each other, they can’t understand.
[14:38] Can you complete this Q&A completely with metaphors?
[14:39] Can I use similes?
[14:40] I’ll allow it
[14:40] I will do it as well as Darth Vader convinced Luke he was his father.
[14:40] * ~Dan chuckles
[14:40] Oh, that could have just been “Luke when Darth Vader says he’s his father”.
[14:41] So I’m not clear on something: Does the setting involve exploration outside the Solar System?
[14:41] Yes, it’s primarily outside the solar system.
[14:41] In this world, they use a thing called Hendecaspace, which allows transit between La Grange points.
[14:42] Of course, that renders parts of our solar system quite hard to access.
[14:43] So travel intersystem is faster than travel to Uranus.
[14:43] “Luke cries no under Bespin”
[14:43] As in, days versus weeks.
[14:44] “The millenium Falcon, with flashing ion drive!”
[14:44] Forgive my igorance, but remind me what La Grange points are? I know the term but can’t recall what it means.
[14:45] A Lagrange point is a location in space where the combined gravitational forces of two large bodies, such as Earth and the sun or Earth and the moon, equal the centrifugal force felt by a much smaller third body.
[14:45] It’s sort of a like a… “gravity neutral point”.
[14:45] in layman’s terms.
[14:45] Earth has 4.
[14:46] 5, sorry.
[14:46] So they’re harder to come by the more spread out the planets become?
[14:47] (Link: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Lagrange.jpg)https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Lagrange.jpg
[14:47] It’s related to the mass of the planet and its moons.
[14:48] If you have ever heard of the Trojans, a group of asteroids, those are in a Sun-Mars LaGrange point.
[14:48] Huh. Interesting.
[14:49] Well, those are the Mars trojans.
[14:49] There are also the Trojans, which are Jupiter…
[14:49] and Neptune trojans… etc.
[14:49] And there are LaGrange points between Jupiter and some of its moons.
[14:49] And Saturn, and Neptune… but not Uranus.
[14:50] So in this world, it’s faster, much faster, to get to Neptune than Uranus.
[14:50] So, going back to my earlier question, does that mean that there’s no extrasolar travel?
[14:50] No, there is.
[14:51] You can travel to a LaGrange point between an extrasolar star and a planet
[14:51] Oh! Gotcha.
[14:51] It’s faster to do that than to get to Uranus was the whole reason I went into that, haha.
[14:51] I see. 🙂
[14:52] So how much colonization has there been outside of the Solar System?
[14:53] No-one is entirely sure.
[14:53] Why’s that?
[14:53] THe UN has quite a lot of colonies, as do the Lunar Republic…
[14:53] Ah, lack of communication?
[14:53] but all these unknown colonies, who seem to have left and got impossibly far remain a serious mystery.
[14:53] Like, a Battlecruiser can only reach them by having a refuel along the way.
[14:56] Ed_Jowett: Query – does it matter which kind of Lagrange point you use?
[14:56] It seems not.
[14:57] I admit, I found that a little surprising in the setting, as someone with an astronomy background, but it appears that a Sun/planet Lagrange Point is as good as a Planet/Moon one.
[14:58] I meant more that some are stable and others unstable.
[14:58] Oh, that.
[14:59] Ed_Jowett: brb
[14:59] Yes, it seems that as long as it’s stable when you pass through it, you’re okay!
[14:59] Yah. You can orbit the stable ones – L4 & L5 – (which is hilarious) , but not the others.
[15:01] I assume the computers help you with that. Orbits are fairly predictable if you have enough information, after all.
[15:11] (Back, sorry.)
[15:11] (Howdy, Lord_of_Life!)
[15:11] Ed_Jowett: For those unfamiliar with your games, can you give us an overview of the system?
[15:12] It’s a multiple d10 dice pool system, which pairs an Attribute and a Skill to give number of dice to roll. There are no links between Attributes and Skills, so it’s entirely at the GM’s discretion.
[15:12] The threshold you need to achieve varies, based on difficulty.
[15:12] Do the dice add, or do you count successes on individual dice?
[15:13] You count successes on individual dice – wach one over the Threshold.
[15:13] I’m not a massive fan of excessive arithmetic!
[15:13] Heh. Likewise.
[15:13] * +Lord_of_Life is scouring the webz for a good FOSS map making software
[15:14] so I don’t have to start fromscratch of course
[15:14] So depending how many Successes you get, it’s a different level of success.
[15:14] * ~Dan nods
[15:14] 1 might give you a really basic success, 3 is more average, 5 is pretty good, 7 is excellent, 9 is exceptional.
[15:14] Do you have a character sheet you can link us to?
[15:14] In Combat, those translate into Hits and then you do a Wound roll to do damage.
[15:14] Yeah, 1 sec
[15:15] (Link: http://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/battlecruiser-alamo-rpg-character-sheet/)http://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/battlecruiser-alamo-rpg-character-sheet/
[15:15] You’ll notice the two characters both represented there.
[15:15] Looks like the skills are pretty broad.
[15:16] They are, although there are also rules for narrowing them.
[15:16] My experience with narrow skills is that you tend to have serious issues trying to use them all in a game.
[15:16] * ~Dan nods
[15:16] Personally, I find that frustrating in systems, where I have something I’m never going to use.
[15:16] I much prefer broad skills with room for specialization than highly specific skills.
[15:17] I agree, and that’s very much the route the Era d10 Rule Set in general takes.
[15:17] You may have noticed the boxes on the right for Specialities.
[15:18] Those allow you to boost the Skills you want to focus on, maybe your healing is doubled through Expert Field Medic, or maybe you’re awesome at dual-wielding weapons.
[15:18] * ~Dan nods
[15:18] Maybe you are a combat hacker, so you can condense a hacking attempt that would take anyone else minutes into seconds!
[15:20] Nice. 🙂
[15:20] Are there psionics in this setting?
[15:20] There are not at this stage.
[15:20] I should say, there are over 30 books in the series, and this is based on the first 3.
[15:20] What about cybernetics or genetic augmentations?
[15:20] 30 books? Wow. O.o
[15:21] I’ve honestly not read them all (only got to 5 before writing grabbed me!), so I am not sure what’s to come.
[15:21] Cybernetics exist, in fact medical tech is very advanced.
[15:21] If you don’t die, they can probably save you.
[15:21] There’s actually a main character in the books called Deadeye who has a… well… dead… eye.
[15:21] As in a cybernetic replacement.
[15:23] Are there any obvious “bad guys” in the setting?
[15:23] Yeah, the Lunar Repbulic are very much the “bad guys”.
[15:24] They are very manipulative and are trying to make the Triplanetary Confederation fail by allying with just one of the factions.
[15:24] it’s very much a theme of the first few books.
[15:24] * ~Dan nods
[15:24] The UN are also pretty nasty – they never forgave the colonies for breaking away.
[15:27] What is the state of military technology?
[15:27] Missiles are very common. So are fighters, a bit of a holdover from the war when that was all they could make. High-risk to fly a fighter.
[15:28] Laser cannons also exist, but are harder to maintain, although they do a lot of damage if they can be used.
[15:28] What about personal weaponry?
[15:29] Well, there aren’t lasers for personal weaponry, instead there are bullets or plasma. Now, you don’t want to go firing a plasma weapon inside a ship, because it will breach the hull, pretty much for sure.
[15:30] Is there powered armor?
[15:30] There are armoured spacesuits, which I guess count?
[15:30] But that’s the upper limit.
[15:30] * ~Dan nods
[15:30] There’s nothing like the things from Starship Troopers 3.
[15:31] Oh, did they finally introduce powered armor in that series?
[15:31] What was the inspiration for (or what made it necessary to have) two characters? Is the command/troop dichotomy a theme in the books?
[15:31] It’s not worth watching for that, though >.>
[15:31] * ~Dan chuckles
[15:31] Actually, FrankG, no, there isn’t really.
[15:32] (Howdy, WineDarkSea!)
[15:32] I added that because I realised that the Espatiers were going to die a lot, far away from where the space battles were going on, and Officers are basically never allowed to land into dangerous situations.
[15:32] So there was a very, very high likelihood that both lines of story would happen at the same time.
[15:33] Officers on the ship, fighting off an enemy ship, while people on the ground fight their battles (and die. A lot. I really can’t emphasise that enough. Everyone seems to die in every book!)
[15:33] Given the high mortality rate of the Espatiers, how long does it take to make a (replacement) character?
[15:34] You can get a new Espatier in place in 5 minutes.
[15:34] I do it in one of the videos on the Kickstarter.
[15:34] I like that
[15:34] Honestly, you could just say “yep, this guy… he’s just very similar”, erase the name and rewrite a new one!
[15:35] * ~Dan chuckles
[15:35] Fair enough. 🙂
[15:35] Thanks FrankG 🙂
[15:36] Replacing dead characters… is there an advancement loss? Or do you build the new guy at the same level as the old? I assume that latter per your “erase the name” comment
[15:37] Because of the frequency of this happening, we decided not to penalise people for dying.
[15:37] As I said near the start, it’s very hard to survive if you get hit.
[15:37] Cover and armour are your friends.
[15:37] just more jam for the war toast?
[15:37] Pretty much!
[15:38] Ed_Jowett: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[15:38] Not really! I think we’ve covered most of it.
[15:38] Okay then!
[15:38] I really think this game brings something a little bit new to the table, certainly nothing I’ve done before, and not something that’s super common either, so I’d really recommend you go have a look at the game in general.
[15:39] i’ve a question, incase its already been asked, the gaming system used by the game, its included with the players guide? or is something extra required?
[15:39] I’d like to thank everyone once more for having me back to talk about my games!
[15:39] I’ll just remind folks that gratuities are welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ , if you’re so inclined. 🙂
[15:39] It’s included with the Player’s Guide – the Player’s Guide doesn’t include much of the way of story/background, though
[15:39] aye, was looking at getting both
[15:39] I mean, there are 92k words of story in the rulebook, setting info, etc.
[15:40] Ah, right, the Player’s Guide is everything a player needs – brief intro, plus the character creation and rules.
[15:40] but very little to support the GM
[15:40] Thanks very much for joining us, Ed_Jowett!
[15:40] Thanks, Dan.
[15:40] thank you Ed_Jowett 🙂
[15:41] Give me just a minute here, and I’ll get the log posted. 🙂
[15:41] Thanks, Nunzy, FrankG 😀