[19:45] <+SarahNewton> OK! Hi everyone, I’m Sarah Newton, author of RPGs like Mindjammer, Achtung Cthulhu, Monsters & Magic, and others, and I’m here this evening to talk about my new project, The Chronicles of Future Earth.
[19:45] <+SarahNewton> It’s a roleplaying game set in the far, far future of our own planet Earth – but one after we’ve risen to greatness, conquered the galaxy, and then collapsed into a new and extremely long dark age, filled with gods, demons, magic, lost technologies, and ancient secrets.
[19:46] <+SarahNewton> It’s a cosmic fantasy roleplaying game – it feels like fantasy in play, it’s gritty, perilous, with an ancient / mediaeval-world feel.
[19:47] <+SarahNewton> But in the background, there’s this massive mysterious history that somehow got us from 2018 to the year 100,000AD, when gods, demons, and monsters are real, ruins of ancient civilisations lie everywhere.
[19:47] <+SarahNewton> The game is subtitled “Cosmic Fantasy Roleplaying in the Post-Historical Age”
[19:47] <+SarahNewton> What does that mean?
[19:48] <+SarahNewton> Basically, that there’s been *so much* history in the past, that today feels like we’re at the end of history, that everything big has already happened, and many times, and that there’s nothing new under the sun. There’s almost a Dying Earth fell – except it’s more a “dying civilisation”, a decadent humankind.
[19:49] <+SarahNewton> People have fallen into a kind of post-historical funk, and are completely unprepared to face any kind of big problems or existential threats…
[19:49] <+SarahNewton> Which, coincidentally…
[19:49] <+SarahNewton> Is precisely what looks to be happening, right now.
[19:49] <+SarahNewton> The game is set in the Venerable Autocracy of Sakara, the oldest of the Springtide Civilisations.
[19:50] <+SarahNewton> The Autocracy is 15,000 years old.
[19:50] <+SarahNewton> Recently, in the north of the Autocracy, one of its great cities has exploded, killing thousands.
[19:50] <+SarahNewton> Horribly mutated chaos creatures not seen for thousands of years are overrunning settled lands.
[19:51] <+SarahNewton> The Autarch of the ruined city of Korudav has sent out a call for heroes to resist – but can people rise to the occasion? It doesn’t look like it – they’ve lost the habit, the energy to fight…
[19:51] <+SarahNewton> That’s where you come in.
[19:51] <+SarahNewton> You’re the people who are going to make a difference.
[19:52] <+SarahNewton> The ancient enemy is back, ready to sweep away humanity just when it’s weakest. Chaos gods, demons, monsters, deadly and incomprehensible weapons and technology, all threaten your world.
[19:52] <+SarahNewton> But you may be the ones who draw a line in the sand and stop them in their tracks.
[19:53] <+SarahNewton> It’s a complete standalone game, we’ve been kickstarting it for 12 days, we’ve funded, and now we’re unlocking stretch goals.
[19:53] <+SarahNewton> Currently there’s a very cool Chronicler Pack pledge with core book, screen, dice, tokens, map, adventure, player’s folio, feature cards, all for a really cool pledge level price.
[19:54] <+SarahNewton> The game uses basically the same system as Mindjammer – except heavily modified to produce that wild, dangerous, dimension-spanning feel of cosmic fantasy. 🙂
[19:54] <+SarahNewton> …. and I guess that’s enough to start with! 🙂
[19:54] <~Dan> Thanks, SarahNewton! The floor is open to questions!
[19:55] <~Dan> Is magic “real” in this setting, or is it “sufficiently advanced” science?
[19:55] <+SarahNewton> That’s one of the zillion dollar questions.
[19:56] <~Dan> Ah, so that’s an open question in the setting?
[19:56] <+SarahNewton> IMHO it’s real, in as much as it’s not the side effect of some scientific device. But, also IMHO, there’s probably some weird multidimensional explanation for how it’s possible. There are beings *vastly* more intelligent and capable than humans out there – people are worshipping some of them.
[19:57] <+SarahNewton> It’s an open question for players, sure.
[19:57] <~Dan> Oh, certainly. I meant in terms of the setting’s objective reality.
[19:57] <+SarahNewton> I think the people of Sakara and the Springtide Civilisations don’t question that the gods and sorcery are real. They see the effects all around.
[19:57] * ~Dan nods
[19:57] <~Dan> (wb, GrumpyFox! Meet SarahNewton, tonight’s guest!)
[19:58] <+SarahNewton> They also make the distinction between gods and sorcery on the one hand, and the ancient technological devices that are occasionally found on the other.
[19:58] <+SarahNewton> Hi GrumpyFox! 🙂
[19:58] <~Dan> How would you describe the baseline tech level of the setting?
[19:59] <+SarahNewton> It’s sort of ancient world going on renaissance.
[19:59] <+SarahNewton> The world is in an Ice Age, and the Venerable Autocracy occupies the western end of today’s Mediterranean, so what is today West Africa and the Iberian Peninsula (Spain / Portugal). The climate is cool in the north, subtropical in the south.
[19:59] <+GrumpyFox> Hi, folks! I’m Guest 58, actually 😉
[20:00] <~Dan> What’s the bleeding edge of “normal” tech?
[20:00] <~Dan> (Welcome to #randomworlds, JamesE!)
[20:00] <+JamesE> thank you Dan
[20:00] <+SarahNewton> People live kind of like they did in ancient Rome and Greece, but also have records and working knowledge of some scientific principles.
[20:00] <~Dan> (JamesE: here for the Q&A, or just a general visit? 🙂 )
[20:01] <+SarahNewton> But iron and steel are very scarce – the earth is exhausted, tapped out, and the only source of steel is the alien world of Ladabran, accessible by ancient “planing machine” beneath the Autocrator’s Palace.
[20:01] <+JamesE> The Q&A, I was sent a link to it on my Kickstater page
[20:01] <~Dan> (Great! It’s in progress, and the floor is open to questions! Please make yourself at home. 🙂 )
[20:01] <+JamesE> Thank you so much.
[20:02] <+GrumpyFox> Hi, Sarah. Big fan of Dying Earth here! Ice Age setting. So most of the world isnt lush or vibrant?
[20:02] <+SarahNewton> The bleeding edge of normal tech is something called “zoans”, which are basically living prostheses created by the “Spider Folk”, who are one of the “esteri” Not-Men of Earth – essentially an alien species that’s been adapted to Earth over millennia.
[20:02] <+SarahNewton> Hi GrumpyFox –
[20:02] <+SarahNewton> I’d say the lush and vibrant bits are more concentrated around the equator.
[20:03] <+SarahNewton> Modern-day Europe is cold – taiga, stretching to tundra and ice cap as you get to what’s modern-day France.
[20:03] <+SarahNewton> It’s called Yurasha, and is overrun by Chaos beasts adapted to the cold.
[20:03] * ~Dan had to look up “taiga”… 🙂
[20:04] <+GrumpyFox> Its to far in the future to tell, count or even matter, correct?
[20:04] <+SarahNewton> It’s the site of ancient Glasslands beneath the glaciers, and the fabled lost city of Jiva, home of the mythical Lords of the Commonality.
[20:04] <+SarahNewton> Basically, yes – maybe a hundred millennia from now.
[20:04] <+SarahNewton> The Armageddon of the Gods happened about maybe seventy millennia ago.
[20:05] <+SarahNewton> There’s been a *lot* of savage history since, as humankind has clawed its way back to a kind of civilisation.
[20:05] <~Dan> When you say “Chaos”, is it the sort of wild, corrupting force as seen in such games as RuneQuest and Warhammer?
[20:05] <+SarahNewton> But everyone follows the gods’ commandments so the Great Hegemonist and Reaver Gods don’t ruin the world again.
[20:05] <+SarahNewton> A little.
[20:06] <+SarahNewton> Basically, the existential Big Bad is the Great Hegemonist.
[20:06] <+SarahNewton> His schtick is “Domination”- the enslavement of human will, the cosmos, everything, subjugated to his own will and desires.
[20:06] <+SarahNewton> For millennia he crushed the Earth beneath his heel.
[20:06] <+SarahNewton> the other gods ganged up and, with humankind, overthrew him.
[20:07] <+SarahNewton> In a last ditch scorched earth attack, the Hegemonist unleashed the chaos of the Reaver Gods on the world.
[20:07] <+SarahNewton> Think of them more as living black holes, or the harbingers of black hole demons, rather than the mythological chaos force of RQ / WH.
[20:07] <~Dan> Heh. “All right, fine. F*** everybody!”
[20:07] <+SarahNewton> They’re the WMD of the Hegemonist. 🙂
[20:08] <+JamesE> When you say Domination, and the enslavement of the human will, are you talking like fanatical cults, brainwashed thralls, or something else entirely?
[20:09] <+SarahNewton> Partly that – the Hegemonist is banished Beyond the Veil, but even from there he can offer his powers of control and domination to people willing to sacrifice the future of the planet for temporal power today.
[20:09] <+SarahNewton> So he offers mind control, possession, puppetry of people’s wills and bodies.
[20:09] <+JamesE> gotcha
[20:09] <+SarahNewton> There are covens and cults of the Hegemonist, and insane followers of the Reaver Gods – Xados the Annihilator, the Goddess of the Torn Flesh, Gumazhdu the Mutator, and so on.
[20:09] <~Dan> So in a sense, the main threat isn’t Chaos, but Order.
[20:10] <+GrumpyFox> Pretty… ugly this hegemonist guy!
[20:10] <+SarahNewton> Yup. Totalitarian, sorcerously-enforced, order. The squeezing out of all light, life, hope and freedom from the Cosmos, into a rigid obeisance to an utterly uncaring Demiurge. 🙂
[20:10] <+SarahNewton> He’s the worst! :
[20:10] <+SarahNewton> 😀
[20:11] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:11] <~Dan> You mentioned aliens earlier. How many alien species exist on Earth, and are they all playable?
[20:11] <+SarahNewton> And he’s the one out there, he’s been waiting, and now it looks like the Reavers are trying again. And *no one* is even remotely ready to defend.
[20:12] <+SarahNewton> Well, for a given value of “playable”, yes. 🙂
[20:12] <+SarahNewton> There are two types of non-humans.
[20:13] <+SarahNewton> First, there are the “jeniri, or Cousins of Man. They’re essentially evolutionarily divergent hominids, and in some cases perhaps humanoids derived from uplifted animals (it’s unclear…). They’re more comprehensible, they often live within (or near to) human societies.
[20:14] <+SarahNewton> They include the blueskinned Virikki, who are kind of like artistic savants, kind of Mister Spock in cool clothes. They operate the Mirror Network of communications telepaths, and have psionic powers.
[20:14] <+SarahNewton> They also include the P’Tek Maggot Men, who are troglodytic humanoids who ride massive worms and have slick pallid skin and questionable hygiene. They’re not on friendly terms with the Autocracy, but there are places of detente.
[20:15] <&Silverlion> What system are you using? Fate again?
[20:15] <+SarahNewton> The second kind of non-humans are the “esteri”, or the Not-Men of Earth. These guys probably evolved on other worlds (or in other dimensions — the knowledge is lost), but have been adapted to life on Future Earth over millennia
[20:16] <+GrumpyFox> Dan made a very pertinent question. I would like to know if there are some “not so human” alien races to play? (eg Henson’s like critters)
[20:16] <+SarahNewton> They’re much more alien – some are absolutely inimical. But others, like the Tung Mai Mantis Men, are approachable enough to make meaningful… um… allies. 😉
[20:17] <+SarahNewton> Yes, we’re using something I’m calling “Chronicles Fate”. It’s the Fate Core we use in Mindjammer, but *heavily* modified to fit the cosmic fantasy genre. It actually feels very similar to BRP in play – Chronicles was first published 10 years ago as a BRP setting, and today’s game inherits a lot of its gameplay DNA. 🙂
[20:17] <~Dan> Jeez, has it really been 10 years? I’m gettin’ old… -_-
[20:18] <+SarahNewton> @GrumpyFox: Yep, you can absolutely play non-humans. The Kesh are elegant hollow-boned humanoids who fly dragon-like elenisor. Imagine elves riding wyverns and firing radium rifles. 🙂
[20:18] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[20:19] <+SarahNewton> I know, right! Yep, 10 years – although actually I think the official publication date was more like 2010. I wrote it in 2007/8.
[20:19] <+GrumpyFox> Seems nice, Sarah.
[20:19] <+JamesE> I agree, that sounds really cool.
[20:20] <+SarahNewton> Thanks, GrumpyFox. We’ve put a lot of work into it – we’re planning to “do a Mindjammer” on it, with a cool core book then a series of adventures and sourcebooks. It’s really my own dream project – I’ve been working on it actively since 1998.
[20:21] <+SarahNewton> Thank you, JamesE 🙂 BTW there’s a free quickstart and introductory adventure so you can take it out for a spin.
[20:21] <+SarahNewton> THE SWALLOWER OF SOULS – you can get to it from the Kickstarter page.
[20:21] <+JamesE> 🙂
[20:21] <+SarahNewton> Can I post the link, Dan?
[20:21] <~Dan> Absolutely!
[20:21] <+SarahNewton> Cool! It’s: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/328469751/the-chronicles-of-future-earth-roleplaying-game)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/328469751/the-chronicles-of-future-earth-roleplaying-game
[20:22] <+SarahNewton> For the KS campaign – there’s all kinds of stuff there. Jason Juta is doing some artwork which totally makes me squeal with fangirl delight 😀
[20:22] <~Dan> You mentioned psionics… Are they limited to that one species?
[20:22] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:22] <+SarahNewton> Not necessarily, but the Virikki are renowned for their psionics.
[20:23] <+SarahNewton> The core book provides guidelines for creating your own jeniri and esteri species, plus there’s always the possibly of hybrids, so psionics are possible for other characters.
[20:23] <+SarahNewton> Generally, though, most Sakari associated psionics with the Blueskins.
[20:23] * ~Dan nods
[20:24] <~Dan> (Howdy, Akyla!)
[20:24] <+SarahNewton> Hi Akyla! 🙂
[20:25] <~Dan> Can you describe the setting’s magic?
[20:25] <+SarahNewton> Sure – that’s something I’ve been putting a lot of time and thought into, as I wanted it to be just right.
[20:26] <+SarahNewton> It starts with some of the principles we used in Legends of Anglerre, back in 2011.
[20:26] <+SarahNewton> So there are a suite of “power skills”, which represent mystical principles of the cosmos – things like “Change by Fire”. “Death”, “the Realisation of the Will”, “Time”, “The Unification of Opposites”, etc.
[20:27] <&Akyla> (hiya)
[20:27] <+SarahNewton> Coincidentally (not coincidentally 😉 ), each of the twenty Gods of the Great Compact, *and* the Hegemonist, *and* the Reaver Gods, are each associated with a mystical principle, and therefore a power skill.
[20:27] <+GrumpyFox> Seems sort of absurd, bu your descriptions makes me remind of an oldie… phantasy star.
[20:28] <~Dan> Does this mean that magic is fundamentally theological in nature?
[20:28] <+JamesE> ooohhh your right, I adore the old Phantasy Star games, and I can totally see it,
[20:28] <+SarahNewton> Worshipping the gods gives you access to techniques to employ the mystical principles – to work a form of semi-improvised magic. It starts with minor cantrips, but goes right up to major miracles. Priests can even incarnate the mystical principle in their own bodies, becoming avatars of their deities. It can end up burning their minds and bodies,
[20:29] <+SarahNewton> but it gives awesome power.
[20:29] <+SarahNewton> @Dan: I wouldn’t say magic is theological in nature, no.
[20:29] <+GrumpyFox> Isnt that so!? JamesE?
[20:29] <+SarahNewton> I’d say more that the gods are associated with the fundamental forces of the cosmos which humans call sorcery.
[20:30] <+SarahNewton> Ooh – I don’t know Phantasy Star, but I’m going to have to check it out! 😀
[20:30] <+SarahNewton> There’s another form of magic, too – straight “sorcery”.
[20:30] <+SarahNewton> This is where people have made a scientific study of the mystical principles, and tried to “sidestep” or circumvent the gods and their temples, tap right into the power source direct.
[20:30] <+SarahNewton> It’s pretty dangerous.
[20:31] <+JamesE> PS was a series of RPGs back on the Sega Masters System and Genesis. I actually just bought the Genesis Collection for my Xbox one to replay them.
[20:31] <+SarahNewton> What you end up with are carefully codified practices with clearly defined effects, more limited than the improvisational divine stuff. Spells, in other words. 🙂
[20:31] <+GrumpyFox> You would say Reaver Gods in are unfathomable? Because the Hegemonist seems a pretty human-minded entity.
[20:31] <+SarahNewton> I’ll take a look, JamesE, sounds v cool. (y) 🙂
[20:31] <+JamesE> Not sure thats what you were going for tone wise, but from what Im hearing, you could run a very PS style game with this setting.
[20:32] <+SarahNewton> I think with the Hegemonist, we’re only seeing a tiny part of “him”. IMHO the Great Hegemonist is a force outside of our universe that wants to seize control of the whole of our universe – for unfathomable ends.
[20:32] <+GrumpyFox> I agree with JamesE.
[20:33] <+SarahNewton> But the “Domination aspect of that totally intersects with humankind’s less redeeming qualities. 😉
[20:33] <+SarahNewton> The Reavers OTOH are totally nuts – they really are WMDs, violent powers of annihilation and destruction. The stuff you do to a world out of total spite – if I can’t have this planet, then no one can, etc.
[20:34] <+JamesE> So, is it so big and beyond us that its thoughts, motives, and morality are completely alien to our fragile human minds Lovecraft style, or could you like…talk to it?
[20:34] <+GrumpyFox> Its a very enticing scenario, by the look of it.
[20:34] <+SarahNewton> They’re certainly more primitive, raw, basic.
[20:34] <+SarahNewton> I think you could talk to the Hegemonist, on the understanding that you’d be talking to a tiny part of it, and the domination aura would be so intense it’d probably stop your heart.
[20:35] <+SarahNewton> The Reavers, not so much. They’d eat your face off while you’re forming your first question. 🙂
[20:35] <~Dan> The Hegemonist, in that sense, seems like how I’ve often envisioned Nyarlathotep.
[20:35] <+JamesE> gotcha, very cool.
[20:35] <+GrumpyFox> is life unbearable brutal on your scenario, Sarah
[20:35] <+SarahNewton> Although there’s variation within the Reavers – the Goddess of the Torn Flesh is less howling-at-the-moon insane than, say, Xados the Annihilator or Gumazhdu the Mutator. Gumazhdu is almost just a force of nature – the Radiation God, etc.
[20:36] <+SarahNewton> I wouldn’t say it’s unbearably brutal, no.
[20:36] <+SarahNewton> In fact that’s part of the problem.
[20:36] <+GrumpyFox> (It was a question… Corrector is failing me horribly)
[20:36] <+SarahNewton> Life on Future Earth was harsh for millennia, but since the Doom of Nayarak and the start of the ice age 15000 years ago, the Venerable Autocracy has kept a kind of peace.
[20:36] <~Dan> SarahNewton: You mean it’s been so non-brutal that nobody is up to the task of brutality?
[20:37] <+SarahNewton> There have been chaos invasions, but the last was over a thousand years ago.
[20:37] <+SarahNewton> But, yes, people have kind of lost that chaos-fighting habit. It’s all been a bit slumberous.
[20:37] <+SarahNewton> There’s been political infighting, the occasional low-key war, battles with jeniri and esteri.
[20:38] <+JamesE> lulled into a false sense of security? As far as the comic threats are concerned at least?
[20:38] <+SarahNewton> There are monsters in the wilderness – the Springtide Civilisations are more like city states than a modern-day civilisation, so the lands between cities can be quite wild and woolly.
[20:38] <+SarahNewton> But it’s not been a living hell, though, no.
[20:38] <+SarahNewton> JamesE: That’s exactly it. People have *forgotten*. They’ve got complacent, thinking history was something that happened in the past.
[20:39] <~Dan> Well, that’s kind of true. 😀
[20:39] <+SarahNewton> 😀
[20:39] <+SarahNewton> It’s the “may you live in interesting times” curse.
[20:39] <+SarahNewton> “Oh no – do we have to?”
[20:40] <~Dan> 🙂
[20:40] <+SarahNewton> “I’d rather live in boring times and *study* the interesting times…”
[20:40] <+GrumpyFox> So even with harsh climate and environment, and some interwar… people live decent live?
[20:40] <+SarahNewton> Hegemonist minions: About that…
[20:40] <+SarahNewton> Not bad lives. The zoans of the Spider Folk and magical healing help a lot.
[20:41] <~Dan> (I think GrumpyFox wasn’t here when you explained what the zoans are.)
[20:41] <+SarahNewton> I’d say the feel is ancient world, the tech sometimes approaches renaissance, the quality of life is possibly “very good mediaeval”, with some dentistry and prosthetics… 😉
[20:42] <+SarahNewton> No probs: the zoans are basically living prosthetics “grown” by the Spider Folk (or “Hsun”), who are an esteri species (the Not-Men of Earth).
[20:42] <+GrumpyFox> Going to catch later, no problem, Sarah)
[20:42] <+SarahNewton> You can even get zoic eyes, which can give you IR or magnified vision, etc. 🙂
[20:42] <+SarahNewton> Cool1
[20:42] <+SarahNewton> Cool!
[20:43] <~Dan> Do I remember correctly from the first edition that the discarded exoskeletons of the Spider Folk are used in lieu of metal? Something like that?
[20:43] <~Dan> (Or am I thinking of a different setting altogether…)
[20:43] <+SarahNewton> It’s a bit like that.
[20:44] <+SarahNewton> Because iron and steel are so scarce, people use “alagin”, which is a kind of natural fiber glass grown by the Hsun Spider Folk.
[20:45] <+SarahNewton> It’s lightweight, and can be shaped and coloured. It’s even possible to get transparent alagin if the Hsun shaper is skilful enough, meaning you can get some mean-looking helm visors on your plate armour!
[20:45] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[20:45] <+SarahNewton> It doesn’t keep an edge long, and can break fairly easily, but it’s the main material for weapons and armour.
[20:45] <~Dan> So it’s about as effective as… bronze, maybe?
[20:45] <+SarahNewton> Unless you have a contact in the Legions who can get you Ladabran steel through a planing machine, or even a flamelance!
[20:46] <+SarahNewton> That’s the analogue, yes. It’s kind of the Future Earth bronze.
[20:46] <+GrumpyFox> Sarah, going to follow your efforts, sure thing. Scenario will be a pleasure to adventure in, in all certainty
[20:46] <~Dan> What is a flamelance?
[20:46] <~Dan> A laser weapon?
[20:47] <+SarahNewton> A flamelance is an ancient artefact.
[20:47] <+SarahNewton> The originals are *really* old, made out of aeternium, recharged by the “manatine” conduits found beneath some of the ancient cities.
[20:48] <+SarahNewton> But the temple of Khosht the Artificer has kind of worked out how to cobble together newer flamelances from recovered components (they have a cool “Reclaim Metal” divine power which is very useful in the Rust Deserts and other ruins).
[20:48] <+SarahNewton> They look like a lance, and fire a bolt of fiery energy.
[20:48] <+GrumpyFox> @Dan, thanks for the allow me into the chat. Time to get tp work. Give suport to Sarah and Dan, guys! G’ day/afternoon/night!
[20:48] <+SarahNewton> Thanks GrumpyFox – great talking to you! Have a good one! 🙂
[20:49] <~Dan> Take care, GrumpyFox!
[20:49] <~Dan> Don’t be a stranger!
[20:49] <+JamesE> night
[20:49] <+GrumpyFox> You can bet! Thanks again!
[20:50] <~Dan> Nice guy. This was his first visit. 🙂
[20:50] <+SarahNewton> Cool!
[20:50] <+SarahNewton> It’s good to spread the word. 🙂
[20:50] <~Dan> Indeed!
[20:51] <~Dan> You mentioned the “elves” with radium rifles… Are the latter artifacts as well?
[20:52] <+SarahNewton> Again, some are, some are the more modern variety produced by the Artificers. Khosht is the God of the Mystical Principle of the Realisation of the Will, so a lot of his worshippers are architects, engineers, and “artificers”
[20:52] <+SarahNewton> ie students of ancient technology
[20:53] * ~Dan nods
[20:53] <+SarahNewton> Some use a mix of divine magic, sorcery, and hacking about with old reclaimed stuff to create modern artifacts.
[20:53] <+SarahNewton> The radium rifles of the Kesh are something like that – the Kesh have their own take on things. 🙂
[20:53] <~Dan> Cool. 🙂
[20:54] <~Dan> Oh, I meant to ask earlier: Are the planing machines like planetary teleporters or something?
[20:54] <+SarahNewton> They’re kind of like diallable wormholes – stargates, essentially.
[20:55] <~Dan> So the game can go off-planet?
[20:55] <+SarahNewton> Except they may possibly connect to: other locations on Earth; other planets; or possibly even other dimensions and parallel universes. They’re poorly understood, few in number, and extremely valuable.
[20:55] <+SarahNewton> One of the few things the Autocracy will go to war over.
[20:56] <+SarahNewton> Yes, in theory you can go off planet. 🙂
[20:56] <+SarahNewton> We’ll be providing rules for planing machine destinations.
[20:56] <~Dan> Ah, that was my next question. 🙂
[20:56] <+SarahNewton> The moon of Future Earth is green, for example.
[20:56] <+SarahNewton> It’s known to be inhabited.
[20:56] <+SarahNewton> The sage Rathalos the Heretic, millennia ago, travelled there by planing machine.
[20:57] <~Dan> Green due to vegetation?
[20:57] <+SarahNewton> He went missing when trying to pilot a Flyer there from the city of Kados. 🙂
[20:57] <+SarahNewton> Yes, that’s the theory.
[20:57] <+SarahNewton> Pale green and blue.
[20:57] <~Dan> Well, it’s that or green cheese, so…
[20:57] <+SarahNewton> The moon is called “Yala”.
[20:57] <+SarahNewton> Actually it could be cheese… *nods*
[20:57] <+SarahNewton> 😉
[20:57] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:58] <+JamesE> lol
[20:58] <+SarahNewton> So the game is centered very much in the Springtide Civilisations, but the genre is cosmic fantasy – so dimensions, demons, other worlds and realities, etc, are all possible developments.
[20:58] <~Dan> So given the fact that interplanetary travel is possible, my next question is whether any and all alien civilizations out there are equally as messed up as Earth.
[20:59] <~Dan> And if not…. why don’t they just steamroll Earth and take over?
[20:59] <+SarahNewton> That is another zillion dollar question. 😀
[20:59] <+SarahNewton> If you take a look at the novel, “The Worm Within”, then there are… hints.
[21:00] <~Dan> Ah, I see… But the game won’t be answering that for now, I take it?
[21:00] <+SarahNewton> But, yes, something huge happened. Humankind got to the stars, and civilisation collapsed, disastrously, in a war of the gods that lasted ten millennia and nearly destroyed reality itself.
[21:00] <+SarahNewton> Perhaps exploring the question, yes.
[21:01] <+SarahNewton> It’s a possible game theme – it’s not what the game is about, per se, but it’s where you can take things if that’s your bag.
[21:01] * ~Dan nods
[21:01] <+SarahNewton> (Personally I’m fascinated to find out more!)
[21:02] <~Dan> (Well, you’re uniquely equipped to explore the subject… 😉 )
[21:02] <+SarahNewton> We can do it together! 😀
[21:02] <~Dan> 😀
[21:02] <~Dan> Does the game include a bestiary, and if so, how extensive?
[21:03] <+SarahNewton> Yes, there’s a bestiary section in the core book. It focusses on the province of Korudav and the north of the Autocracy, which is the default campaign area that’s presented in detail in the core book.
[21:03] <+SarahNewton> We’re hoping to unlock an Atlas of the Springtide Civilisations, and a bestiary to go with it, as part of the Kickstarter.
[21:04] <+SarahNewton> But the core book gives you plenty. 🙂
[21:04] <~Dan> About how many entries does it feature?
[21:04] <+SarahNewton> Gosh that’s a good question. Hang on!
[21:05] <+SarahNewton> 30 at the current count.
[21:05] <~Dan> Not bad at all.
[21:06] <+SarahNewton> That’s 30 discreet critters; some entries will have more than one stat block (kind of like how we did it in Legends of Anglerre).
[21:06] <+JamesE> yeah, that’s pretty good.
[21:06] <+SarahNewton> On top of that you have the dozen or so jeniri and esteri species, plus the half-dozen homelands in the core book.
[21:06] <+SarahNewton> Plus demons – there are a dozen or so of those.
[21:07] <+SarahNewton> Twenty temples of the Great Compact, plus the Hegemonist and Reaver Gods, whose followers are good adversaries.
[21:07] <+SarahNewton> There’s plenty of scope for generating beefy opponents in the core book.
[21:07] <~Dan> You mentioned Gumazhdu the Mutator… That implies mutants. Are there mutants? 🙂
[21:08] <+SarahNewton> Yes. Chaos is… special.
[21:08] <&Silverlion> Gah. It looks so awesome.
[21:08] <+SarahNewton> Here’s my take on it…
[21:08] * &Silverlion weeps at money
[21:08] <+SarahNewton> I think, somehow, that Chaos is actually the “bleeding over” of a parallel universe into ours.
[21:09] <+SarahNewton> Sometimes that universe is an empty waste – chaos annihilates.
[21:09] <+SarahNewton> Sometimes that universe has weird life in it – chaos swaps out part of your body with part of a body from another parallel universe or dimension, so suddenly you get this mad crab claw or baby head or poison gland or something.
[21:09] <+SarahNewton> There are other forms of chaos too.
[21:10] <+SarahNewton> That’s my take on it. I could quite possibly be wrong. 🙂
[21:10] <+SarahNewton> @Silverlion: Thank you, Silverlion! 😀
[21:10] <+SarahNewton> We’re really excited by the game over here. 🙂
[21:11] <+JamesE> kinda like the end of that movie “Annihilation” if you saw that one.
[21:11] <+SarahNewton> Yes!
[21:11] <+JamesE> ?
[21:11] <+JamesE> neat
[21:11] <+SarahNewton> Definitely something like that.
[21:11] <~Dan> If we can turn to the system for a moment, can you cover the basic task resolution for those unfamiliar with Fate?
[21:11] <+SarahNewton> Sure.
[21:12] <+SarahNewton> First, Chronicles uses a heavily modified version of the Fate Core system, tweaked and dialled to produce that “cosmic fantasy” feel. It’s gritty, dangerous, and tactical. It keeps Fate’s narrative features, but emphasises some of the more traditional sides of play you want from a “dangerous” game. 🙂
[21:13] <+SarahNewton> Task resolution uses a dice roll compared to a difficulty level.
[21:13] <+SarahNewton> You roll dice, add skill level and any other mods, compare to a difficulty.
[21:13] <+SarahNewton> If you roll lower, you fail; equal, you tie; above, you succeed.
[21:14] <+SarahNewton> The amount you succeed by is important; for example, in physical conflicts it can give you your base damage.
[21:14] <~Dan> And these are what kinds of dice?
[21:14] <+SarahNewton> The game uses “Chronicles dice”.
[21:14] <+SarahNewton> You *can* use conventional Fate dice, but we wanted a dice mechanic with more variability, and which allowed us some cool side effects and special features.
[21:15] <+SarahNewton> So, Chronicles dice uses at least two six-sided dice. One is your “Hero die”, usually a brave fiery orange colour; one is your “Doom die”, usually a somber diabolic purple hue.
[21:16] <+SarahNewton> You roll your Hero die, and subtract the value of your Doom die, producing a result between -5 and +5.
[21:16] <+SarahNewton> Skills range from +1 to +5 or more (+5 or more is exceptional – your starting character has one skill at +4, for example, and then several skills below that).
[21:17] <+SarahNewton> A standard “perilous difficulty” is +2. So, against that difficulty, roll 1D6 – 1D6, add your skill, try and get +3 or more to succeed.
[21:17] <+SarahNewton> Sometimes you may roll more than one Hero die or Doom die. That’s a big deal. If you’re incarnating a divine avatar, for example, you might roll two Hero dice: 2D6 – 1D6. That’s some powerful stuff right there.
[21:18] <+SarahNewton> There are critical successes and failures.
[21:19] <+SarahNewton> There are “stunts”, which are cool ways to break and bend the rules. If you’re a priest, your power skill can have cool power stunts, for example (that’s one of the ways to cast something like a fireball, for example).
[21:19] <+SarahNewton> Finally, in Fate, there are “aspects”, simple phrases like “I have a bad feeling about this” which express something important about your character.
[21:19] <+SarahNewton> You can use these aspects in play to get bonuses or reroll the dice or make other cool stuff happens.
[21:20] <&Silverlion> I want it badly, just too poor.
[21:20] <+SarahNewton> In Chronicles, you have a special kind of aspect called your “Doom”.
[21:20] <+SarahNewton> That’s something like “Rider at the Gates of Hell Who Takes No Prisoners!” or “Slayer of an Entire World!”
[21:21] <+JamesE> Well that got dark real quick lol
[21:21] <+SarahNewton> It’s something awesome. When you use your Doom in play, it causes you mental anguish, but you get to roll extra Hero dice. It’s your “Laughing in the Face of Death” spotlight moment. 🙂
[21:21] <+SarahNewton> Lol 😀
[21:21] <+SarahNewton> DOOM AND OBLIVION 😀
[21:21] <+SarahNewton> BLOOD AND SOULS FOR MY LORD XADOS
[21:21] <+SarahNewton> etc
[21:21] <~Dan> 😀
[21:22] <~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[21:22] <+SarahNewton> But that’s pretty much the core rules mechanic. The free downloadable quickstart and intro adventure actually includes the basic rules, so you can get a feel for the game. There are also 6 pregens, and a scenario of 1-2 sessions.
[21:23] <+SarahNewton> Well, Dan, first of all I’d like to say thanks for having me, everyone, and thanks for your questions!
[21:23] <~Dan> Absolutely! Thank you for joining us at what for you is such an unholy hour. 🙂
[21:23] <+SarahNewton> Please have a check out of the Kickstarter page – (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/328469751/the-chronicles-of-future-earth-roleplaying-game)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/328469751/the-chronicles-of-future-earth-roleplaying-game – and grab the quickstart too. Let us know what you think!
[21:24] <+SarahNewton> I know right – I love this middle of the night stuff! 😀
[21:24] <+SarahNewton> One of the really important things for me with Chronicles
[21:24] <~Dan> It’s appreciated. 🙂
[21:25] <+SarahNewton> is that it’s the big setting I’ve been working on for years. It gave birth to the Mindjammer setting. It’s been through several systems, and with Chronicles Fate I think we’ve got it into a really sweet place.
[21:25] <+SarahNewton> Even if you’re not normally a Fate fan, check it out.
[21:25] <~Dan> Usual reminder: Gratuities are always welcome at (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/ 🙂
[21:25] <+JamesE> It sounds like a really fascinating world to game in.
[21:26] <~Dan> SarahNewton: If you can manage to stay awake just a minute more, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂