[19:33] <+MikeShannon> Hello. I’m Michael Shannon, and I have begun publishing through Gathen Games. My first work was a fantasy world super-hero setting called Trident City.. My newest endeavors is a set of rules I made a long time ago, called Ani-Action, based around fast, anime-style play.
[19:34] <+MikeShannon> (done)
[19:35] <~Dan> Thanks, MikeShannon! The floor is open to questions!
[19:35] <~Dan> How many games have you produced using Ani-Action?
[19:38] <+MikeShannon> Aside from the basic rules, I have started doing what i call Campaign Hooks. These are settings written up on a basic level, with major info, characters and PC suggestions. The one I current;y have out is Devil School Jyusenkai, where High School students with powers fight off an alien invasion.
[19:39] <+MikeShannon> There is also the playtest setting on an ancient-China type world, which I have with the basic rules. My next one is a action detective agency setting in a dieselpunk world.
[19:39] <~Dan> That sounds promising!
[19:39] <+MikeShannon> (done)
[19:40] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted that we can see?
[19:40] <+MikeShannon> Yeah, I like how it’s coming out so far, although I’m not as used to drawing vehicles, so that’s taking some getting used to.
[19:40] <+MikeShannon> For any of the settings?
[19:40] <~Dan> Whichever you have available.
[19:41] <+MikeShannon> Not as yet, but I can make one available.
[19:42] <~Dan> Would that be much trouble? It’s no big deal — I just find that a character sheet helps with system discussion.
[19:42] <+MikeShannon> OK. Can I link it here?
[19:42] <~Dan> Sure! Just post the URL.
[19:43] <+MikeShannon> OK, lets see what I can do.
[19:45] <+MikeShannon> Hmm. I’m sorry, I don’t think i have it online right now, except on DriveThru as part of the rules.
[19:46] <~Dan> That’s okay!
[19:46] <~Dan> Can you explain the elements of a character in the system?
[19:48] <+MikeShannon> So, the system is based on 5 Attributes, Wits, Quick, Brains, Bod, and Spirit, as well as 10 broad skills, like Pilot, Stealth, and Martial Arts. Actions are performed by using an Attribute plus a Skill plus a roll of d8. There are also Powers whose levels are based off the Attribute they use.
[19:49] <~Dan> What is the attribute scale for normal humans?
[19:49] <+MikeShannon> There are Hit Points, as well as Spirit Points, which can be used to boost action rolls.
[19:50] <+MikeShannon> The scale is from 1 to 10, with 4 being average. It doesn’t seem like a wide range, but I’ve found that a couple points in Attributes and Skills can make a huge difference.
[19:51] <~Dan> Now, to be clear, is that a universal range, or just the human range?
[19:52] <+MikeShannon> Universal. The individual settings have their own suggested range for characters. For Skilled Normals, for example, 6 is the upper limit, but for higher-powered settings, they can go to 8 or 9.
[19:53] <+MikeShannon> And that is before any powers are taking into account. A physical attack, for example, can add to the Bod attribute, adding from 1 to 5, depending on the power’s strength.
[19:53] <~Dan> Would cosmic entities like, say, Galactus “break” the system?
[19:56] <+MikeShannon> Potentially, yes. Each system has its breaking point. Conceivably, you could go higher than 10, but, depending on the stats of the PCs, it could be too much.. I do have a secondary system called Ultra-levels, however, which boost the Hit Points,and such. These are mainly for large vehicles, but could be used for cosmic characters. (cont.)
[19:57] <+MikeShannon> You could, therefore, give the NPC very high, but still “touchable” stats, but give it Ultra-level Hit Points, making it tough to bring down easily. (done)
[19:57] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[19:58] <~Dan> What made you choose a d8-based mechanic?
[19:59] <+MikeShannon> d8 was a good balance. In playtesting, we tried d6, but the range was too narrow and so rolls became too predictable. Conversely, d10 created too much variability, so we kept using d8 and it worked well.
[19:59] * ~Dan nods
[20:00] <+MikeShannon> It provided a good balance between the importance of the die roll and the stats.
[20:01] <~Dan> Do the basic rules come with any power systems?
[20:02] <+MikeShannon> Yes, there are rules for creating powers through a generic, Attribute-based system. Each power is based on the Attribute it affects. And there are two types, Blast, a short duration effect, like an attack, and Manipulate, a broader, longer duration effect (cont)
[20:04] <+MikeShannon> A physical attack affects Bod, so something like a gun or fireball would be a Bod Blast, and Shapechange would be Bod Manipulate. Wits is perception, so a blinding flash would be a Wits Blast. The power would reduce the Stat by the effect rolled. Except for damage, which is in Hit Points. (cont)
[20:05] <+MikeShannon> Powers are bought as +1 to +5 (or higher) added to that stat.. There are also rules, however, for magic and psionics, so that they all base off of Spirit or Brains.
[20:05] <+MikeShannon> (done)
[20:07] <~Dan> So powers work in the same way as skills, mechanically?
[20:10] <+MikeShannon> For the most part, yes.. An attack power, for example, would use the Attribute+Skill roll, with the Power’s level being the effect value, as opposed to just the Attribute. For example, if you just punched someone, it would be Quick+Martial Arts with your Bod as the effect value, but if you used a sword with a Bod+2 level, then it would use that.
[20:12] <+MikeShannon> Some powers, like the aformentioned Shapeshifting, however, might not need a roll and the effect is based on the power’s level. Many Manipulates are up to interpreattion between the GM and player as to how they work. I wanted it to be a reativelly loose system so that it could emulate anything. (cont)
[20:12] <+MikeShannon> Shapeshift, for example, lets you rearrange a number of your Attribute points equal to the Power’s level.
[20:12] <+MikeShannon> (done)
[20:13] <~Dan> How do you distinguish between magic and psionics?
[20:15] <+MikeShannon> There are some Advantages that characters can buy. One is Sorcerer, which allows you to base all your Powers off of Spirit. Psionic allows you to base them off of Brains. Powers can also have Bonuses and flaws. One Bonus allows them to use Mental Combat rules, which are combat rules based on Brains and Wits instead of Quick and Bod.
[20:16] <+MikeShannon> Sorry, the advantage is Psychic, not Psionic.
[20:16] <~Dan> Are powers effects-based, or are they purchased pre-built?
[20:18] <+MikeShannon> They are effects-based. Each powers affects its relative stat. The exact effect is created when the Power is bought. There are a number of suggestions for Powers in the rules, though.
[20:19] <+MikeShannon> In settings with just non-powered characters, powers can be used to create equipment. So, if the M made all the equipment, then that would be a form of pre-built, though.
[20:19] <+MikeShannon> GM, I meant
[20:19] * ~Dan nods
[20:20] <~Dan> Do you normally treat equipment as “powers”?
[20:20] <+MikeShannon> Powers can be used to create vehicles and mecha, too. They are done by totaling the costs of the Powers and then applying a discount, as the PC would not have direct access to them, depending on the situation.
[20:22] <+MikeShannon> Yes, equipment is made using the Powers rules. Guns are a form of Bod Blast, for example. Jet Packs are Flight. Flashbangs are Wits Blasts. etc
[20:24] <~Dan> In terms of power level, how would you compare the most powerful characters in your settings to, say, well-known Marvel superheroes?
[20:25] <~Dan> Like, how strong is 10 Bod?
[20:27] <+MikeShannon> Hmm… difficult to compare directly, but, I would say lesser Avengers, maybe. Not Thor-level, but stronger than say, Spiderman, who is really an agile Brick.
[20:28] * ~Dan nods
[20:28] <~Dan> How much could such a character lift?
[20:30] <+MikeShannon> I didn’t make rules for weight limits. I figured it would be up to the GM. Anime physics are pretty loose, so, aside from movement rates and suggested power distance ranges, I left it open.
[20:30] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:31] <~Dan> Speaking of anime physics, what would you say is inherently anime about the system?
[20:32] <+MikeShannon> It may seem to leave a lot unsaid, but that was kind of the point. When I originally wrote the game up, ages ago, it was when rules were becoming more complex, it seemed. Like they were trying to cover alsmot too many bases in the rules. So, I made these as loose as I could while providing a solid mechanical base.
[20:35] <+MikeShannon> Hmm… I’d say the quickness and broadness of what characters can do. Actions are quickly handled and, depending on what you want to do, you can add any Attribute to any Skill to do whatever it is. Most anime I’ve seen tends to have the character be able to do a broad range of things within their venue.,(cont)
[20:36] <+MikeShannon> Like the physics scientist who seems to know everything else, too. Or the fighter who can pick up any weapon and use it.
[20:36] <+MikeShannon> (done)
[20:37] <~Dan> Sounds like the system would work well for a pulp setting.
[20:39] <+MikeShannon> It could. I focused on anime, as it was what i originally made it for, but it’s a generic enough system that you could use it for a number of genres. Of course, anime itself has tons of genres within it. It’s just animation, but with a certain style. Pulp, supers, swashbuckling, or anything generally cincematic, could all be done using it.
[20:39] * ~Dan nods
[20:40] <~Dan> So what can you tell us about Devil School Jyusenkai?
[20:42] <+MikeShannon> Devil School Jyusenkai is a setting where, fifteen years ago, there was a demon invasion where Kyoto was sent into a pocket dimension between Earth and Hell. It was stopped, but children born during that time are now developing magic/demonic type powers (cont)\
[20:42] <~Dan> (brb — please continue)
[20:44] <+MikeShannon> Fifteen years later, aliens called the Tiamat have invaded Japan and now, with the military not able to deal with them, the government has to rely on the magically-powered kids to fight them. Jyusenkai high School was converted to train them in their powers, hence its nickname Devil School Jyusenkai.
[20:45] <+MikeShannon> The setting has major NPCs from the organization, Geburah, who heads the school, as well as example characters of students.
[20:46] <+MikeShannon> It also has new rules for Ritual Magic, letting characters with the Sorcerer Advantage use magical Powers spontaneously without buying them, at a cost of needing a long time to cast.
[20:48] <+MikeShannon> The Tiamat are aliens who believe their DNA is superior, so they invade worlds to force their genetics into the world’s life forms, so they use mutated animals, as well as their own psionic powers to fight.
[20:49] <+MikeShannon> (done)
[20:49] <+Gimmick> What’s the intended tone and genre of DSJ? Where does it range on a scale from Evangelion to Super Sentai?
[20:50] <+Gimmick> where does it fit*, my bad 😛
[20:50] <+MikeShannon> I would say the scale in in line with Blue Exorcist, Toji no Miko, and similar series. More sentai-level, I’d say.
[20:51] <+MikeShannon> No prob. I would never go after anyone for typos 😉
[20:51] <~Dan-brb> 🙂
[20:52] <~Dan> (Whoops… forgot to take down my brb there.)
[20:52] <+MikeShannon> The tone is more light-hearted than say, Attack on Titan, but not fully comedic. I suppose along the lines of My Hero Academia
[20:53] <~Dan> How do the alien’s psionics interact with the humans’ magic?
[20:53] <+MikeShannon> Of course, the GM can take it as dark ot light as they want, but my intent is more light-hearted.
[20:54] <+MikeShannon> They don’t generally interact in that they merge or work compatibly. They are more polar opposites clashing with each other.
[20:55] <+MikeShannon> Against each other, they are comparable in power, although the Tiamat as individually stronger than the students.
[20:55] <+MikeShannon> are*
[20:55] <~Dan> How are the two powers polar opposites?
[20:57] <+MikeShannon> Well, the Tiamat’s powers are based on their scientific biological manipulation, while the students’ powers come from their mystical, demonic heritage.
[20:58] <~Dan> Can you describe some of the mutations the Tiamat can create in animals?
[20:58] <+MikeShannon> Usually, a series is based either in magic or science/psionics, so I thought it would be interesting to combine them.
[21:01] <+MikeShannon> They will manipulate the animal’s DNA to be more Tiamat-like (Tiamat-ish?), causing them to take on thei physical traits and appearance, and possibly giving them some limited psionic ability. A dog,, for example, would grow larger, its jaw would change to the more tendril-like head of the Tiamat, and it might have a psionic “roar” that can stun people.
[21:01] * ~Dan nods
[21:01] <~Dan> Speaking of which, what do the Tiamat look like?
[21:01] <~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
[21:03] <+MikeShannon> Tall, lean, with chalk white skin. Large glowing green eyes, as well as large gaps in their skin which also glow green. And tendrilled Chthulu/Predator heads.
[21:04] <+MikeShannon> They have ships/bases made of living crystal which expand and begin to cover the surrounding area when they land.
[21:06] <~Dan> Can you tell us more about their technology?
[21:08] <+MikeShannon> They don’t have machines like Earth does. It’s all based on a combination of their mental powers and genetic manipulation. Their vessels are only to take them from one world to another. Once they get there, they begin using the world’s natural flora and fauna to take over.
[21:08] <~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest17!)
[21:10] <+Guest17> Thanks! This is Trond.
[21:10] <+Guest17> I keep forgetting how to change my nickname
[21:10] <~Dan> (“/nick Trond” 🙂 )
[21:11] <+Trond> Thanks!
[21:11] <+MikeShannon> Aw, you beat me to it.
[21:11] <~Dan> (Certainly! Meet MikeShannon, tonight’s Q&A guest. 🙂 )
[21:11] <+Gimmick> Is there any relation between the Tiamat and the demonic invasion in the backstory or is the mythologically inspired name a coincidence?
[21:11] <+MikeShannon> Hello, Trond.
[21:12] <+Trond> Helo Mike. Just curious; where (approximately) are you guys located? I’m in LA
[21:12] <+MikeShannon> Nope. Just a coincidence. I thought I’d use mythological terminology in the naming conventions, is all.
[21:12] <+MikeShannon> I’m in MA
[21:13] <+MikeShannon> I did think that Tiamat fit, as a force of mutable chaos, thouh.
[21:14] <+MikeShannon> The demonic invasion was begun by a secret cult of humans, who are also still around and mucking up the fight against the aliens with their own agenda.
[21:16] <~Dan> Are they opposed to the aliens or allied with them?
[21:16] <~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, Guest24!)
[21:17] <+Guest24> Ouch. My connection is bad again.
[21:17] <+Guest24> This is Trond (can’t change my nickname now apparently)
[21:17] <+MikeShannon> They are opposed in that they don’t want them to take over before they can, but they have been collecting D-Children (the term for the kids affected by the demonic energy) and are working to try and use the aliens for themselves somehow.
[21:19] <+MikeShannon> Whether they can control the aliens, or their mutates, or somehow use thier genetic manipulation for themselves is up to the GM, but there are a number of possibilities.
[21:19] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:20] <+MikeShannon> I don’t think so. I think I’ve covered the basics as well as I can. I would just ask people to check out the system, and also Trident City, my other work. And please look out for my future settings for Ani-Action.
[21:21] <~Dan> Would you like to post links to your work?
[21:21] <~Dan> (Guest24: You should be able to switch back to Trond now.)
[21:21] <+MikeShannon> Sure. They can be found at DriveThruRPG. (one sec while I get the links)
[21:23] <+MikeShannon> (Link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/12503/Gathen-Games)https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/12503/Gathen-Games
[21:23] <+MikeShannon> Here is the link to my publisher page on the site.
[21:25] <~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, MikeShannon!
[21:25] <+MikeShannon> Thank you for having me!
[21:26] <~Dan> Usual reminder to readers: Gratuities are welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:26] <~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂
[21:26] <+MikeShannon> Okie dokie.