[19:33] <+KenS> I am Ken Spencer, Co-Owner and creative director of Why Not Games, creator of Rocket Age the RPG of a 1938 that never was and a Solar System that should have been!
[19:34] <+KenS> You have no idea how many times I have said that last bit over GenCon.
[19:35] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:36] <+KenS> We are running a kickstarter to fund the next Rocket Age sourcebook, Imperial Jupiter ((Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whynotgames/imperial-jupiter-a-planet-sourcebook-for-rocket-ag/description)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whynotgames/imperial-jupiter-a-planet-sourcebook-for-rocket-ag/description)
[19:37] <+KenS> Which should we cover first, the kickstarter or the book? I think a walk through of the chapters might be in order, with questions following.
[19:38] <~Dan> Sounds good.
[19:40] <+KenS> The kickstarter is over half way funded with 22 days to go. We are looking for $2750 to cover art and printing costs. The book is written, 90% of art is in, and we will begin layout by the end of the month. We are looking at an October fulfillment.
[19:41] <+KenS> There are 4 tiers, $1, $5 for pdf reward, $20 for print+pdf reward, and the two long shots. <done>
[19:41] <~Dan> Thanks, KenS! The floor is open to questions!
[19:41] <~Dan> So you mentioned a walk through the chapters?
[19:43] <+KenS> Sure, right off the bat we begin at the center of the Jovian System, the gas giant Jupiter itself. Sky islands float lazily in the clouds and strange creatures that defy classification, and sometimes explanation, roam the wild skies. There are secret bases and strange things in those clouds, dangers and risks in abundance.
[19:43] <+KenS> From there we look at the major moons. In Rocket Age we refer to the Jovian System as the gas giant and its moons make up a mini-solar system.
[19:44] <+KenS> We move rapidly on to Europa, well, not actually on to the surface of that moon, but just above it at Demarcation Point One and below into the Europans’ hidden cities. While DMP-1 is a place of interest, and the plots of the Europans and the visiting diplomats are a high stakes game that should draw our heroes in, the true mystery is the Europans themselves.
[19:45] <+KenS> This chapter deals a lot more with the Europans than Europa and I think folks will be very interested in why the Europans are the way they are, as well as what those sneaky aliens are up to across the Solar System.
[19:45] <+KenS> We move quickly on from Europa to the Europans’ ‘mercy’, the blasted moon of Io. Skirting past the blockade, or maybe acquiring a license from Demarcation Point One, we find ourselves on a moon where even the air and water are poison, the native life is horribly mutated, and the locals might just eat you. Fun times, but the artifacts of the ruined cities of t
[19:45] <+KenS> The Ioites get some love, but Io is a site for adventure like none other. Just getting there means risking the Europan blockade.
[19:46] <+KenS> The Great Forest of the moon Ganymede is our next stop. The war between the native Ganymedians and the intruding alien miners is heating up, and the fate of the moon is in the balance. Beyond this conflict, Ganymede offers bizarre plants and fungi that behave more like animals than terrestrial plants, or Martian plants for that matter. On Ganymede the forests
[19:46] <~Dan> (cut off at “the forests”)
[19:47] <+KenS> On Ganymede the forests move.
[19:47] <+KenS> The forest warfare of the French and Indian War and earlier conflicts heavily influenced the feel of Ganymede.
[19:47] <+KenS> Your home away from home in the clouds of Jupiter, the Docks are a small growing city that provides a launching point for adventure. Here our heroes can resupply, seek new jobs and contacts, and return for more. From the soaring Jovian Towers to the ramshackle Lower End, the Docks are a city of adventure in the sky.
[19:48] <+KenS> The Air Docks began as a chapter in the Jupiter section and I loved it so much I made it the central place for Jovian campaigns.
[19:49] <+KenS> Next is Jovian Ecology: All the strange creatures you might want to find are here, from crab tortoises, to Shoulder Mounted Interactive Companions, to the mighty Ancient Ganymedians. On Io we have the death worms, available in three sizes and colors. Ganymede has hunting fungi and migratory groves of gem trees. Then there is Jupiter, where the lifeforms are e
[19:49] <+KenS> The art for this section is simply stunning. We recruited a local artist who has great talent, really, she deserves more than we can afford to pay her.
[19:50] <~Dan> “where the lifeforms are e”
[19:50] <+KenS> If they are lifeforms, sometimes it is hard to tell what Jupiter’s ecosystem is composed of. Finally, there are the few life forms native to Europa that have managed to get out, or be carried out, into the Solar System.
[19:50] <+KenS> I will slow down.
[19:51] <+KenS> The US Rocket Rangers are not your only elite military out there amomg the planets. Meet the Royal Marine Rocket Brigades and the Royal Rocket Navy. The military is not the only ones plying the space lanes, and Planetary Shipping and Transport hauls cargo and passengers from world to world.
[19:51] <~Dan> No need to slow down. Just beware the character limit. 🙂
[19:51] <+KenS> I keep writing past that limit. Like most writers I type fast 🙂
[19:52] <+KenS> You will need a crew, and if you want the best crew available, look no further than the members of the Fellowship of Rocket Engineers, Mechanics, and Crewmen.
[19:53] <+KenS> After the organizations chapter we look at new equipment, most of it not of Earthling make. There are new toys for the Jovians, several ‘items’ for the Ganymedians, and more. <done>
[19:53] <~Dan> Wow. That’s a lot of goodness.
[19:54] <~Dan> Let’s see here…
[19:54] <+KenS> We decided to leave out an adventure and concentrate on setting info and character traits.
[19:54] <&Le_Squide> Do you think that Jupiter and its surrounding space is a good place for a group’s first game/introduction to the setting?
[19:55] <+KenS> Certainly, it is a fine place to start in the Rocket Age. You have a lot of variety and adventure within a short flight, small issues to deal with and the Great Powers plus the Europans moving their pieces on the board.
[19:55] <~Dan> Do I recall correctly that the floating islands tend to fall apart?
[19:57] <+KenS> They are highly unstable accretions of matter. There area few in the Jupiter chapter that are more stable, but only due to outside interference. Jovian cities, Earthlings colonies, and of course Nazis.
[19:58] <~Dan> How are the islands stabilized?
[19:59] <+KenS> Jovians use their repulsion float technology to create a field that holds them together. Earthlings use a variety of means to create a more stable platform for the material to accrete on to.
[20:00] <~Dan> How difficult is it for Earthlings to get the rights to such bases from the Europans?
[20:02] <+KenS> The Europans don’t have the power to patrol all of Jupiter, and the Jovians don’t get along well with the Europans. It is less a case of granting permission as not being able to enforce it. Adding to this the Europan government is riven by factional strife. <done>
[20:03] <~Dan> Now that’s interesting…. Up until now, the Europans have been presented as a united front. We get to delve into their politics?
[20:05] <+KenS> Yes, as well as their history. There have been hints that things are not as they seem. The Emissary Corps seems to be fairly friendly if inept. Yet their military is arrogant and powerful. Those two groups are sponsored by different factions.
[20:05] <&Le_Squide> Is this the first book in the game line to really talk about the Europans?
[20:05] <+KenS> The Science Council and the the High Command for Military Conquest, respectively.
[20:06] <~Dan> The High Command for Military Conquest. They pretty much lay it all out on the table, don’t they? 🙂
[20:06] <+KenS> The Europans have been in Rocket Age since the corebook, but their background has been left vague. Emissaries have their memories wiped before entering service, plus the bodies dissolve upon death.
[20:07] <+KenS> Europans are not subtle.
[20:08] <~Dan> With their superior technology, what keeps them from overrunning the Solar System? Internal strife?
[20:09] <+KenS> Yes, there is also the Committee for Organization and Advancement, The Coalition for External Relations, and The Unaligned Consortium. Those are the main factions, but there are hundreds of smaller ones.
[20:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[20:11] <~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest06! You can set your name with the /nick command; e.g., /nick Dan 🙂 )
[20:12] <~Dan> (Thanks, Dave!)
[20:13] <~Dan> Now, IIRC, the core rules state that the only critters on Io are pretty small. Am I misremembering that? Are there great big mutants there?
[20:14] <+KenS> The only known animals, Io has several large and deadly creatures but they are difficult to spot Death worms live underground, creatures of glass look like statues until they move, and the crab-tortoise resembles a rock or small hill.
[20:14] <~Dan> (Dave: Here for the Q&A, or just a general visit? 🙂 )
[20:15] <~Dan> A small hill? Wow…
[20:15] <+KenS> The females at least, the males are smaller and somewhat parasitic.
[20:16] <~Dan> What reasons would draw adventurers to Io?
[20:17] <+KenS> The Ioites once had an advanced technology and their ruins can be looted. It also provides examples of the weapons Europans use, though these are unexploded biological, radiological, and mutagenic ordinances.
[20:17] <+Dave> Here for teh Q&A, big Rocket Age fan
[20:18] <+KenS> Welcome!
[20:19] <~Dan> (Dave: Excellent! Feel free to ask any questions you may have! 🙂 )
[20:19] <+Dave> Looting ruins on Io sounds fun. Post-apocalypse Rocket Age style? I like the diversity of worlds
[20:20] <+KenS> Some of the Ioites on the plains have managed to reinvent the car, mind you they are made from scrap and crewed by speed mad mutant nomads.
[20:20] <~Dan> That sounds awesome. 🙂
[20:20] <&Le_Squide> What’s your favorite location from the new book?
[20:20] <+Dave> Oh, that sounds really fun.
[20:21] <+KenS> I love the Anglo-American Air Docks, but the entire book is very special to me. Council 7 was going to end the product line with Imperial Jupiter and the first draft was written as a farewell. To be able to take it and rewrite as
[20:22] <+KenS> the first sourcebook after taking over the IP and going by own way has been a true joy. <done>
[20:22] <+KenS> *Cubicle 7* not Council 7.
[20:22] <~Dan> I was wondering. 🙂
[20:23] <+Dave> I am glad the game will continue beyond Imperial Jupiter
[20:24] <+KenS> We have plans for more books down the road, a big book of aliens, foes, and allies is still in the outline stage.
[20:26] <~Dan> Are all the creatures on Ganymede plants of some sort?
[20:27] <+KenS> Plant and fungus based. We also cover the Ancients, Ganymedians who have grown old and rooted themselves as guardians of their descendants’ sacred groves.
[20:27] <~Dan> What are they like?
[20:27] <+Dave> I am curious to learn more about the sky islands of Jupiter, the Jovians from Heroes of the Solar system really got me interested
[20:28] <+Dave> but tell us more about Ganymede first
[20:29] <+KenS> One fo the creatures on Ganymede is also one of the terrain features. The Rath are gains fungal colonies that form concentric rings that prevent the Great Forest from growing in an area. These nasties are inspired by the Galieo Regio and the weird rings there.
[20:31] <+KenS> The rings send out small parts that are mobile and like to buzzsaw through things as they feed.
[20:31] <+KenS> Then there are the gem trees that form forest herds and might get up and move away in the middle of the night. <done>
[20:35] <~Dan> Gem trees?
[20:36] <~Dan> Do they actually grow gems?
[20:37] <+KenS> The trees change the chlorophyll in their leaves during the long Ganymedian day to take advantage of the changing light on Ganymede. I like to add something beautiful in there every now and then that doesn’t kill you.
[20:37] <+KenS> At last until they panic and stampede.
[20:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye!)
[20:37] <+Catseye> hi
[20:38] <+Dave> is everything on Ganymede motile?
[20:38] <~Dan> A stampeding forest? I feel like there should be a pun there, but I’m drawing a blank. 🙂
[20:38] <+Dave> It seems to blur the lines between animal plant in some interesting ways
[20:38] <+KenS> Not all the trees, but the ones that are more interesting are. A firefight can send the underbrush scurrying to safety. Maybe not quickly, but certainly moving away a little.
[20:39] <~Dan> “Hey, where’d my cover go??”
[20:39] <+Dave> Sounds like an easy place to get lost, a landscape that moves around, where did the path go?
[20:40] <~Dan> Remind me of what’s being mined on Ganymede?
[20:40] <+KenS> Exactly, and the locals are not very friendly. There is a major war going on in the Great Forest and it is drawing in mercenaries, arms dealers, and fanatics on all sides.
[20:45] <~Dan> What are the sides?
[20:47] <+KenS> The Ganymedians on one side, but not all of them as they have no central government or much of an organization beyond nomadic band vs. Earthling mining interests. Naturally the Europans, Soviets, Nazis, and others are backing one or both sides.
[20:48] <~Dan> What would motivate someone to back the Ganymedians? What do they have to offer?
[20:49] <+KenS> IF the American or British mining companies fail, the Soviets might be able to come in, or the Nazis. Either way it draws resources into a quagmire. The Europans are working on a peace beam with their usual mixed results.
[20:50] <~Dan> A peace beam?
[20:51] <+Dave> I suppose some might be inclined to back the Ganymedians as it is easier to extract wealth from allies than enemies, and the Ganymedians could then be turned to fighting rival companies
[20:52] <~Dan> Is a peace beam a ray gun that pacifies people?
[20:52] <+KenS> Yes, the Europan Peace RAY, based on pain baton designs. In the new equipment we give the a pain baton that can be adjusted to induce different sensations.
[20:54] <~Dan> What is it that’s being mined on Ganymede, again?
[20:54] <+KenS> Radium, gold, precious gems
[20:54] * ~Dan nods
[20:54] <+Dave> that peace RAY sounds very Europan. I can some interesting scenarios arising from not getting the settings quite right and inducing a non-desired emotion
[20:55] <+KenS> That and the focus groups the Coalition for External Relations have kidnapped.
[20:56] <+Dave> I don’t think I want to join those focus groups
[20:57] <+KenS> The Venusians who have been kidnapped and forced to listen to long lectures on Ganymedian-Earthling relations certainly don’t.
[20:57] <~Dan> Probably drives them apey.
[20:57] <+KenS> Booo!
[20:58] <+Dave> Bananas!
[20:58] <+KenS> That does show what I have been going for with the Europans, and explain the reasons why in Imperial Jupiter. They are both horrific and comedic. They kidnap people out of their homes, the classic alien abduction, and then
[20:59] <+KenS> ask their opinions on issues that don’t involve the victims.
[21:00] <+Dave> The Europans seem scary because they are so alien, never quite know what they are really up to
[21:01] <+KenS> Indeed, and there is a reason why, but you will just have to back the kickstarter to find out.I can’t give out all the secrets here…
[21:02] <+Dave> Oh, I back the Kickstarter, been waiting for Imperial Jupiter for quite a while
[21:02] <~Dan> What is Europa itself like? I can’t recall if it was described at all previously.
[21:03] <+KenS> A watery moon with scattered islands and small land masses. Or at least that is what the Europans want others to see…
[21:07] <~Dan> Do you add any more details about Callisto?
[21:09] <+KenS> No, in the end we had to limit the scope in order to hit the retail price point of $30. We also did not cover Metis. This moons are pretty minor compared to the likes of Europa, Ganymede, and Io.
[21:09] <~Dan> Understandable. As you say, you were covering a mini-solar system as it was.
[21:10] <~Dan> What’s the scoop on Metis, though?
[21:10] <~Dan> I don’t recall that moon being mentioned before.
[21:10] <+KenS> That was part of the decision to not include an adventure. We have an adventure set on Jupiter we might publish later.
[21:10] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[21:11] <+KenS> Metis is theme to the Metisians, a Europan client species.
[21:11] <+KenS> *home* not theme.
[21:12] <+Dave> Do we get more information on the ecosystem of Jupiter itself? The sky-islands and the Jovians?
[21:13] <+KenS> Yes, Jovian clans and attack craft, various nasty creatures like sail maws (flying shark/ whale), and other life, as well as some of the Jovian cities.
[21:14] <~Dan> What are the Metisians like?
[21:14] <+Dave> good, thanks
[21:14] <+KenS> They are in Heroes of the Solar System, germaphobic cephalopods with a strong warrior culture.
[21:15] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[21:16] <~Dan> What is it you love about the Anglo-American Air Docks?
[21:17] <+KenS> You have this mixture of species and cultures, military and civilian, floating at the edge of the habitable portion of the atmosphere, rockets coming and going, expeditions leaving for the depths of the planet, and a very Casasblanca inspired city of adventure and intrigue <done>
[21:19] <+Dave> Does a guy named Rick run a cafe there?
[21:20] <+KenS> No, but there should be. It would be the best use of the Friends trait ever and worth the Story Points.
[21:21] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:23] <+Dave> I’d like to thank Ken. This has wet my appetite even more.
[21:23] <~Dan> Glad to hear it, Dave! I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit and will hang out with us in the future. 🙂
[21:23] <+KenS> Just that we are throwing it all in on this kickstarter. We are looking at how it proceeds and how it spreads word about Rocket Age, the number of people we talked to at GenCon who thought the line was dead was staggering. The project won’t break us, but support of any kind goes a long way to help make Imperial Jupiter
[21:24] <+KenS> and the next Rocket Age book a reality. We ask all that even if you do not back the kickstarter that you spread the word.
[21:25] <+KenS> For more information about Rocket Age and Why Not Games, visit (Link: http://www.whynotgames.com.)http://www.whynotgames.com.
[21:26] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, KenS!
[21:26] <+KenS> Thanks for having me on!
[21:27] <~Dan> As a reminder to folks, gratuities are welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:27] <~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute here, I’ll get the transcript posted and link you. 🙂