<+JustinKahler> Well, my name is Justin Kahler and the Game I’ve designed is Beamswords and Bazookas
<+JustinKahler> It’s a table top role playing game about mechs and the people that pilot them
<+JustinKahler> It aims to be a satisfying tactical game with lots of character option during character creation, but I also like to encourage role playing as mouch as possible
<+JustinKahler> And, there’s a default setting in which World War 3 seems to be oncoming, all of this being after humans defeated an alien invasion
<+JustinKahler> It’s my first major release so a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing over the last month has been a learning experience, but all of the non-game design aspects have gone pretty smooth thus far
<+JustinKahler> Excited to field any question people may have
<+JustinKahler> Also, excuse my bad spelling and typos lol
<~Dan> Thanks, JustinKahler! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Can you tell us more about the alien invasion?
<+JustinKahler> Sure, so giant monsters came from space and began to destroy major cities, we’re talking huge monsters that can take down a skyscraper single-handedly
<+JustinKahler> Humanity scrambled to build weapons capable of defeating them (mechs, obviously)
<+JustinKahler> And, humanity had to unite globally in order to coordinate the effort
<+JustinKahler> Earth barely managed to repel the invasion
<~Dan> How did the monsters get to Earth?
<+JustinKahler> They crashed into Earth in biological pods. Scientists have been baffled about exactly where they came from and who they are even though research has been ongoing ever since the invasion happened
<~Dan> Are the monsters all gone, or are they still a factor?
<+GenoFoxx> like Kamen Rider Kabuto’s worms only on a larger scale
<+JustinKahler> Characters start in Beamswords and Bazookas as the next generation of mech pilots and have to deal with a lot of the fallout. Ownership of alein biology and the dispersal of information related to the aliens is a hot issue
<+JustinKahler> Nothing has been heard of regarding the alien threat, but there may be some things to uncover as you play…(no spoilers)
<~Dan> So the main conflict is mech-vs-mech?
<+JustinKahler> Main conflict is mech vs. mech, yes
<~Dan> Are the factions the nations as they are now, or something different?
<+JustinKahler> After uniting for this great cause, nations are beginning to seek self-interests again and it’s causing a lot of conflicts around the world
<+GenoFoxx> so are we talking Pacific Rim type mechs big lumbering behemoths or agile fast movers like Mobile Suit Gundam?
<+JustinKahler> And, most nations have changed in some way or another, one of the funnest parts of playtesting was coming up with future versions of nations, deciding which ones split up, who formed allegiances
<+JustinKahler> There’s defaults for the shape they take in the campaign guide, but I hope people will make up their own as well
<+JustinKahler> I always default more towards Gundam
<+JustinKahler> There are lots of Traits that allow you to make very agile mechs, for sure, and they are more like 20-30 feet in size rather than 100-feet tall
<+JustinKahler> But, the rules are flexible on purpose when it comes to other mech sub-genres
<+GenoFoxx> what? no mobile armors?
<+JustinKahler> I have my default, but my hope if that people will use the system for which ever type of mech game they want to play the most
<~Dan> Have open hostilities broken out?
<+JustinKahler> All of the Ranges and Movement stats are given as relative numbers, so the game scales up or down well
<+GenoFoxx> any interesting new materials or esoterric power sources that also came down with the meteors?
<+JustinKahler> The *current* status of the world is that small conflicts are popping up globally at an alarming rate
<+JustinKahler> Pilots are shipped all over to deal with these conflicts, and things escalate
<+JustinKahler> And the alien biology itself has fueled a lot of research, specifically as it relates to beam weapons and energy usage
<+JustinKahler> And there are lots of things to uncover along the way, of course
<~Dan> Aside from mechs, what is the overall tech level of the setting?
<+JustinKahler> Near future, I always envision the existence of hover-cars and the like even if they aren’t common place, but I also have a love for cyberpunk stuff in general, so I throw in details related to that sort of stuff were I can
<+JustinKahler> Humans are very much terrestrial though, no space colonies (yet)
<~Dan> What year is it?
<+JustinKahler> 21XX, ‘natch lol
<~Dan> Heh. 🙂
<+JustinKahler> I play tested it last year at Metatopia, a playtest convention, and at the time it was just a generic “mech” game
<+JustinKahler> But a lot of feedback really pushed having a default setting, so I converted the home campaign we’ve been playing over
<+GenoFoxx> mecha is always better in SPAAAAACE!!!
<+JustinKahler> Haha, well I don’t disagree
<~Dan> What sorts of things do the PCs do when they aren’t piloting mecha?
<+JustinKahler> And, I’ve run a fait number of space games with the system
<+JustinKahler> It can definitely handle it
<~Dan> (Howdy, Blarghedy!)
<+JustinKahler> Well, pilots are agents of an international entity known as the Global Protectorate. They are free to do what they like in their off hours and the system actually encourages roleplaying slice of life scenes.
<+JustinKahler> But, there’s also lots of oppurtunities for out-of-mech action scenes
<~Dan> Oh? Like what?
<+JustinKahler> The systems slide in and out of the mech fairly easily
<+JustinKahler> High speed chases, assassination attempts, espionage missions
<~Dan> How cinematic is the system overall?
<+JustinKahler> Scouring the desert of New Texas looking for underground research facilities, you know, the ordinary stuff
<+JustinKahler> Hmm, that’s a really interesting questions, it definitely uses a grid for combat, but that combat if pretty high-octane and creates very cool cinematic moments
<+JustinKahler> The out-of-mech stuff can move a little faster and encourages scenes that can be resolved quickly and keep the pace moving, I tend to think of the games I run as an action movie
<~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
<+JustinKahler> Yeah, I do have a rough draft of one
<+JustinKahler> Hmm, is there an easy way to upload to the chat?
<~Dan> Well, if you have it posted somewhere, you can share the URL.
<~Dan> You could share it via Dropbox, I think.
<+JustinKahler> Ok, will do
<+GenoFoxx> are there any rules for mook mecha?
<+JustinKahler> Here you go: (Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qjae5vvfbk2bj24/Character%20Sheet%20-%20Beamsowrds%20and%20Bazookas.pdf?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/qjae5vvfbk2bj24/Character%20Sheet%20-%20Beamsowrds%20and%20Bazookas.pdf?dl=0
<+JustinKahler> I still have to do a final pass on the design, so feedback is welcome
<+GenoFoxx> or do the PC’s get the same units as everyone else and it’s their skills that make them outstanding in comparison
<+JustinKahler> Yeah, there are different classes of enemy mecha for sure
<+JustinKahler> No, you get to customize your mech and it will stand apart from most others you see
<~Dan> Looking it over here…
<+JustinKahler> You may occasionally run into especially tough mechs who are on your same level (boss fights)
<~Dan> Might you need space for personal weapons on the sheet?
<+JustinKahler> But you’re noticeably better equipped than the standard issue mech
<+JustinKahler> So, the Skill attributes at the bottom will be used to determine your Character Scale attacks. Specifically, your Soldier Attribute determines how goo your are with a sidearm or how tough you are in a fist fight
<+JustinKahler> Everyone is assumed to have personal weapons and equipment and a few Skill Traits allow for some specially features, but there are no specific Character Scale weapons
<~Dan> What is the basic task resolution mechanic?
<+JustinKahler> You’ll roll two of your attribute dice and if you get a 5 or higher on one of them, then you succeed
<~Dan> What kind of dice?
<+JustinKahler> The attribute dice you roll will be determined by the situation, Precision and Soldier, for example, if you wanted to shoot your character’s sidearm while on an out-of-mech adventure
<+JustinKahler> So, each Attribute is represented by a die
<+JustinKahler> So, you migh have a D10 for Precision and a D12 for Soldier, for example
<~Dan> (Howdy, FreeGamer!)
<+JustinKahler> You’ll distribute a D12, a D10, a D8, and a D6 among your Attributes (for each Attribute category)
<+JustinKahler> Character Attributes apply at both scales, Mech Attributes are for Mech Scale, and Skill Attributes are for Character Scale
<~Dan> How would you handle other sorts of vehicles?
<+JustinKahler> Your Technician Attribute applies to any non-mech Driving Skills
<+JustinKahler> Technician represents both you accumulated knowledge of specific fields of study (medicine, mechanics, computers) and your ability to quickly decipher them
<~Dan> How is combat resolved?
<+JustinKahler> At Mech Scale, your Weapons all have a Damage Rating. When you’re successful on your attack, your enemy will have to roll to attempt to defend against this Damage Rating (Hull and Toughness Attributes)
<+JustinKahler> This ddefense roll is the one roll in the game which allows you to add the dice together as a sum. If your defense roll is higher than the attack’s Damage Rating, then you avoid any damage
<~Dan> If it’s not higher, does it reduce the damage at all? Or is this an all-or-nothing deal?
<+JustinKahler> If you don’t successfully defend, then you may be Damaged or Rattled (more easily damage on the next attack)
<+JustinKahler> The degree to which you fail your roll definitely impacts how much damage you might take. If you fail by 5, you take Damage. And each increment of 5 thereafter adds another Damage.
<+JustinKahler> Damage takes out your Mech Attributes, so it starts to go downhill quickly
<+JustinKahler> but you have lots of ways to mitigate it
<~Dan> Can you give some examples?
<+JustinKahler> You can Push yourself to ignore Damage, but you’ll get 3 Stress insteead of the Damage
<+JustinKahler> So, it’s a balancing act between physical damage and mental strain
<+JustinKahler> If you ever go past you Stress Limit, you suffer a Psychosis effect and they tend to be very bad
<+JustinKahler> Also, each mech has Mech Armor which allows you to avoid 1 instance of Damage
<+JustinKahler> You can gain more Mech Armor of Energy Shields, which have a similar effect, through Traits
<~Dan> Can the system handle combat involving mecha and non-mecha vehicles?
<+JustinKahler> So tanks and helicopters are regularly involved in combats
<+JustinKahler> Infantry too
<+JustinKahler> But, if a character finds themselves outside of their mech during a Mech Encounter, they’ll be in a lot of danger. They are harder to hit, but any hit from a Mech Weapon will kill them.
<~Dan> How do you stat up a tank, for example?
<+JustinKahler> Tanks also have Attributes, but most enemy stats are simplified
<+JustinKahler> Tanks for example, just roll 2D6 for all of their actions
<+JustinKahler> And they have a gun that’s equal in strength to a weaker mech weapon
<~Dan> I see.
<+JustinKahler> Most enemy stats are simplified Attributes plus a weapon and a Move Rating. Some, obviously, have other features. But that’s the basic structure
<~Dan> This might be a spoiler, but how do you stat up monsters?
<+JustinKahler> And there’s no health pool to track for enemies, so it’s easy for the GM to feild big fights
<+JustinKahler> Well, if I were going to have monsters, I think I’d have separate body parts that almost acted as independent units. And all of those parts might need to be taken out to destroy such a thing…
<~Dan> What sorts of weapons do mecha carry?
<+JustinKahler> Yeah, there’s a wide variety of stats for enemies
<+JustinKahler> Oh man, there’s lots of options!
<+JustinKahler> Beam Cannons, Machien Guns
<+JustinKahler> Bazookas, Beam Swords, of course
<~Dan> Of course. 🙂
<+JustinKahler> Traditional melee weapons, 2-Handed Weapons of Beam and Non-Beam variety, Chain Guns, Particle Canons, Missial Pods
<+JustinKahler> You can carry a Sheild, a Rifle, a SMG, a Shotgun
<+JustinKahler> You mech’s weapon choice will be a defining choose, for sure
<+GenoFoxx> any independent remote weapons?
<+GenoFoxx> drones, funnels, bits?
<~Dan> Sorry. The wife’s got food poisoning, it seems.
<+JustinKahler> Sorry, aslo stepped away a moment
<+JustinKahler> Sorry to hear about your wife!
<+JustinKahler> And, yes, there are Traits that allows for some drone weapon shenanigans
<~Dan> Are the Traits for individuals or mecha?
<+JustinKahler> (I love the Gundam space fight scenes with funnels, always very fun)
<+JustinKahler> There are Traits for both
<+JustinKahler> Mech Traits represent equipment and upgrades, while Skill Traits represent training and personal gear
<+JustinKahler> I will say that the 08th MS Team was core inspiration for the game
<~Dan> What’s that?
<+JustinKahler> It was a very war-centric Gundam series
<+JustinKahler> Well, i guess most of them are war-centric, but it was much more realistic, lots of mechs trekking through the jungle or attempting to defend a bridge, kind of old-scholl war imagery mixed with mechs
<+JustinKahler> It’s fascinating how many sub-genres of mech media there are
<~Dan> What do you think makes this game stand out from other mecha games?
<+JustinKahler> Well, first of all there aren’t a ton of them out there, so it seems like an under served genre to me (there are Japanese ones, but fewer in English)
<+JustinKahler> The big one is Battletech, which feels very crunchy and overly complex to me
<~Dan> What are your thoughts on Heavy Gear?
<+GenoFoxx> 08th MS team is the Southeast Asia campaign sidestory of the original MS Gundam’s One Year war
<+JustinKahler> I suppose my game’s strengths are tactical combat that has layers but also moves quick and an emphasis on role-playing your character in-and-out o the mech
<~Dan> Did you say that this is your first published game?
<+JustinKahler> Haven’t played Heavy Gear. Worth checking it out?
<+JustinKahler> Yep, first game
<+JustinKahler> Yeah, 08th Team has really great visuals that very much inspired me
<~Dan> I’ve never played it, although I played a brief game of Jovian Chronicles.
<+GenoFoxx> Jovian Chronicles is Gundam while Heavy Gear is Votoms
<+JustinKahler> Yeah, the Mekton stuff I’ve never gotten a game together for, but I’ve been told it’s good stuff
<+GenoFoxx> both are produced by DreamPod 9
<+GenoFoxx> Mekton Zero collapsed
<~Dan> Is this the beginning of a game line for you?
<+JustinKahler> Yeah, it hasn’t seemed like much has come out recent;y from them
<+JustinKahler> And, yes, I’m already working on more games
<+JustinKahler> I just love fiddling with RPG systems
<~Dan> More games, or supplements for this game?
<+egyptian> DP9 was strong on settings, but weak on rules.
<+GenoFoxx> the concentrating more on their Cyperpunk 2077
<+JustinKahler> The mechanics in Beamswords and Bazookas are actually an evolution of a Star Wars RPG I played with friends, we all loved the system hack so much that I just knew it should have a life else where
<+JustinKahler> I want to develop this system for multiple genres, specifically underserved genres
<~Dan> Oh? Like what?
<+JustinKahler> Well, I’d really like to do a game about a ninja academy…that’s all I’ll say for now lol
<+JustinKahler> I’d like to branch out into other mechanical systems and possibly board and card games eventually too, that’s the goal
* ~Dan chuckles
<~Dan> I like a man with ambition. 🙂
<+JustinKahler> Haha, well we’ll see how it goes. It’s amazing to me how many resources there are out there to have things made these days, and I’d probably mess with this stuff even if I wasn’t publishing it, so it’s a good fit
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+JustinKahler> I think we’ve covered a lot, I can’t wait to finally publish it, I think the book itself looks really good right now and all but 1 of the illustration are completed, so I’m just excited for the next stages!
<+JustinKahler> Beamswords and Bazookas will be available on DriveThruRPG once released for anyone that missed the Kickstarter
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, JustinKahler!
<~Dan> If any of you have enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee, you can do so here: (Link: https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe . Thanks! 🙂
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂
<+JustinKahler> Thanks so much for having me!
<+JustinKahler> OK, sounds grat