<+KSpencer> Hey all! I am Ken Spencer, owner and creative director of Why Not Games. Today I am here to talk about our smaller GenCon 2019 releases (last time I talked about Rocket Age (5e), our recently funded kickstarter and big release). This year we have Catopia Prime (Starfinder), Little Grey Aliens (5e), and Non-Stop to Jupiter (Rocket Age Classic)!
<+KSpencer> Which one should we start with?
<~Dan> Ah, ready for questions, then?
<+KSpencer> Fire away!
<~Dan> Thanks, KSpencer! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Let’s start with Catopia Prime.
<+KSpencer> Catopia Prime is our first Starfinder compatible product of our Weird Planets line. It offers an entire solar system, the Kätze system, as a place for adventure, the native species, the Caturday, new tech, monsters, and adventure hooks.
<~Dan> How do these Caturday relate to your fantasy version?
<+KSpencer> They are culturally and physically similar, but we started by saying, “How would the Caturday look, act, and play if they were part of a science-fantasy setting?” Thus, anthropomorphic space cats with a perchance for piracy.
<~Dan> What sorts of new tech do you introduce?
<+KSpencer> Two new ships, two new weapons (ex. claw sheaths so your Caturday can have flaming claws), and Caturday Androids as a playable race, beacuse robokitties.
* ~Dan chuckles
<+KSpencer> Caturday androids are more Caturday like than the regular Starfinder android, but still have trouble interacting with non-Caturday much like run of the mill androids have trouble with biological life.
<~Dan> What are Caturday ships like?
<+KSpencer> The adventurer-merchant is great for deep space exploration, speculative trade, and piracy. The Sh’lo pursuit vessel is designed for combat, but also bringing criminals back to stand trial.
<~Dan> Why do the Caturday have the proclivity for piracy?
<+KSpencer> Partially because they have a weak centralized government. Mostly it is because the current pop culture genre on Catopia Prime is their own golden age of piracy.
<~Dan> Do they target any species in particular?
<+Ken> Kicked off, internet has been wonky here do to storms.
<+Ken> Anyway, as we expand the line we will have more interactions between the various races of Weird Planets. The plan is to map out an entire sector of planets.
<~Dan> Was that in response to his?: <~Dan> Do they target any species in particular?
<+Ken> Yes, Catopia Prime is stand alone, but as we add to the line the Caturday will show up elsewhere. We see them as the gateway to the Osmar Reach. The other products will point back. This first product is to test the waters, can we sell Starfinder compatible products?
<+Ken> Other races include the Surial and Chitterlings, with their own systems as well. We want to have an entire sector that you can play in without having to reference the Pact Worlds setting, just the Starfinder scorebook.
<~Dan> Do I recall correctly that Starfinder includes magic?
<+Ken> Yes it does, it is firmly science-fantasy. We include that in Weird Planets. The big threat in the Kätze system is the necromancer Flaufie the Destroyer.
<~Dan> Flaufie? 🙂
* +eezo flerps and falls over
<~Dan> What’s his/her story?
<+Ken> She is terrifyingly adorable, at least for a lich.
<+eezo> hi, I’m eezo, and I’m the village idiot.
<+eezo> feel free to ignore me.
* ~Dan hugs eezo
<~Dan> An adorably lich? That’s innovative. 🙂
<~Dan> adorable, even
* +eezo hugs Dan
<+Ken> She was a priestess of Scraw’b, the death god who became an apostate and was drive from Catopia Prime. She has taken refuge on the dead world Scraw’b and hopes to take over all life in the Kätze system. Officially according to the government she has been defeated, but the truth is out there.
<~Dan> What sorts of creatures are found in this system?
<+Ken> Sh’lo is a jungle planet and home to Muck Huners. Catopa Prime itself has a lot of wilderness, the Caturday prefer to live in small urban strips, such as gem darter lizards and the crystalline life of the gemnoids. We also have Caturday pirates and hunters of Sh’lo (the priest-bounty hunters of the goddess of the hunt and law enforcement).
<~Dan> Cool. 🙂
<~Dan> What attribute mods and special abilities do these Caturday get?
<+Ken> Bonuses to Dex and Cha, penalty to Wis (which makes them a race of gullible smooth talkers), they have improved 3-D spatial sense and natural climbing abilities, claws, a few other things.
<~Dan> So they go around ripping each other off? 🙂
<+Ken> Or convincing each other of wild ideas. “We should skip work and get a beer.” “yeah sounds good.” “I can’t make it in today, I’m sick.” “Seems legit.”
* ~Dan chuckles
<~Dan> Is there anything else noteworthy about Catopia Prime, or should we move on to the Little Grey Aliens? 🙂
<+Ken> I think we covered it.
<~Dan> Okay! What’s the scoop on the LGAs? 🙂
<+Ken> Little Grey Aliens (5e) is the third Weird Races (5e) book. It looks at the Greys, aliens from another world who have come to your 5e campaign. Their culture is covered, but most of the book is dedicated to new backgrounds, new class subtypes, and sci-fi gear.
<~Dan> What is their culture like?
<+Ken> For the most part sterile. PC Greys are clones that are made to be different, not able to follow the highly planned and organized Grey culture. These are intended for the survey teams, Greys who have enough independence of thought to act far outside of the central command. Such as exploring and studying strange worlds of ‘elves’ and ‘humans’.
<~Dan> Sounds a bit like the “broken” Dwarves of Glorantha.
<+Ken> Survey team clones are the misfits of their culture, but they are made to be misfits. Plus, with LGA we get to offer some sci-fi for your campaign, be it a fantasy campaign or taking the new backgrounds (such as Science or Medicine division) and subclasses (such as commando or engineer) and put them in our campaign.
<+Ken> It is sort of a stealth mini-5e sci-fi book as well as a Weird Races book. You can play all Greys, mix them in to an existing campaign, or use it as the basis of your own creations.
<~Dan> Why did you create this race for D&D rather than for Starfinder?
<+Ken> Starfinder already has Greys as a race (they are in the Alien Archive).
<~Dan> Ah, I see.
<~Dan> How do your Greys differ from those Greys?
<+Ken> Theirs are more a spooky kidnapping X-Files type you probably don’t want to play. They have a few pages on them, we have a whole book. Ours are designed to be played as either the lost Grey as a fish out of water story, or all Grey so you can be the other side in your alien abduction story.
<+Ken> But in a fun way.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Le_Squide!)
<~Dan> Ken: Gotcha.
<~Dan> Can your Greys use magic, or do they rely on tech?
<+Ken> They consider this primitive ‘magic’ to be an extension of psychic abilities or misunderstood science. Being latently psychic themselves they embrace the idea, just believe that they have a more refined and scientific approach.
<+Ken> However, they have trouble with clerics, druids, and other divinity worshipping magic users. Lacking religion themselves they do not understand it. Thus the need to send survey teams to discover the truth.
<~Dan> What sorts of psychic powers do the Greys have?
<+Ken> Charm person and mage hand, though limited use of the former.
<+Ken> Psychic is offered as a new Sorcerer origin.
<~Dan> Do these work just like magic spells?
<+Ken> Yes, in a small book we can’t include a new system of psychic powers. Plus, we want anyone to be able to pick up LGA and integrate it in to their game, like our other Weird Races (5e) titles.
<~Dan> I see… I was thinking there were already psionics rules for 5e, though. Are they not in the core rules?
<+Ken> They are in Rocket Age (5e)!
<~Dan> Heh. Fair enough. 🙂
<~Dan> What sorts of tech do the LGAs have?
<+Ken> Beam weapons, force fields, scanners,thatsort of thing. Star Trek level of tech.
<+Ken> We provide guidance on its use and misuse in your game, as well as equipment packages for all the core classes in 5e.
<~Dan> Do they have flying saucers?
<+Ken> Yes but we do not include rules for them. I really do not like the 5e vehicle rules. Plus vehicle rules are not included in the SRD, so if you want to do much with vehicles in 5e you have to invent your own system, even if it is close to the one WotC uses.
<+Ken> That is a lot of pages, too many for a small book.
* ~Dan nods
<~Dan> How difficult is it to balance their access to high tech?
<+Ken> It requires the Advanced Technology proficiency plus proficiency in the item being used. This serves as a break on their misuse. Another is that nearly everything the Greys have requires charges (like from a battery), if the pocket beamer is out of juice it is a lump of plastic and metal. Like magic items the main brake is the GM.
<~Dan> What classes are available to the LGAs?
<+Ken> All, though barbarians, clerics, and druids are rare. There are subclasses for Fighter, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Wizard.
<~Dan> What classes are most common?
<+Ken> Rogue (engineer archetype), Sorcerer (psychic origin), and Wizard (technomancer). Though every survey teams needs a Fighter (officer) to lead them. The lack of divine magic is made up for with advanced medical tech.
<~Dan> What sorts of abilities does the technomancer have?
<+Ken> They can transform charges from advanced tech to spells and vice versa, as well as make spell devices that ‘store’ spells for a limited time or use.
<~Dan> I see. Cool.
<~Dan> Let’s see… In the time remaining, would you like to describe Non-Stop to Jupiter?)
<+Ken> Non-Stop to Jupiter is an adventure for Rocket Age Classic. It is a sequel to Rocket Racers and features an endurance race from Earth to Jupiter. This time there is not a ‘ghost racer’ attempting to sabotage the race, but your race rivals are just as deadly.
<+Ken> It is also our second color cover and pdf and print adventure for Rocket Age Classic. The cover and all interior art is by Andrea Alemanno, this is the first work we have done with her and are stunned by the result. It might our most beautiful adventure cover.
<+Ken> Fun fact, Non-Stop was written when I was still at Cubicle 7, but never published. Dom tended to commission more adventures than he actually needed.
<+Ken> His loss, our gain. We have a nice backlog of adventures waiting to be published.
<~Dan> What kind of rocket do the PCs get?
<+Ken> They get a stock racer that they have a limited amount of time to modify. The first reel of the adventure is all about finding parts and putting them on, with side missions to perform publicity for the race.
<~Dan> Do they need sponsors?
<+Ken> They have three sponsors to choose from each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Like all of our adventures the plot is driven by the choices the PCs make, choices with consequences.
<~Dan> Is it a non-stop race, or are the stops along the way
<+Ken> There are check points and places where you have to recover a RADIO beacon to go on with the race.
<~Dan> What sorts of challenges do they face?
<+Ken> First of all is the race, go fast as possible or prepare for dangers they may face? Then there are the rivals, they cheat.
<~Dan> Are the rockets armed?
<+Ken> Yes, but those can be taken off for more speed. Or upgraded if you want.
<~Dan> (Howdy, Eainix!)
<~Dan> Are these weapons allowed or clandestine?
<+Eainix> (is there a Q
<+Eainix> Q&A goin on?)
<+Ken> Allowed, there are dangers out there. Considering the ghost racer attacked ships last year, this year the Solar Cup is armed.
<+Ken> Their use on other races is prohibited though.
<~Dan> I see. Cool.
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+Ken> Catopia Prime and Non-Stop to Jupiter are available inpdf or POD from Drive-Thru (Catopia Prime POD is down right now but will be back up in POD in a few days). Little Grey Aliens will be available in pdf and POD August 5, we want to get it to our Rocket Age (5e) backers who added it on. All three will be available in print at GenCon, Studio 2 booth 1920.
<~Dan> Thanks very much for joining us, Ken!
<+Ken> When you buy from us at a convention you get the pdf for free. You can also get Little Grey Aliens in kackerkit as part of the Rocket Age (5e) kickstarter, but time is running out, it closes Monday.
<+Ken> Backerkit link: (Link: https://rocketage5e.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders)https://rocketage5e.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
<~Dan> Standard reminder: If you’ve enjoyed this Q&A and would like to treat me to a coffee or two, you can do so at (Link: https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://www.ko-fi.com/gmshoe 😀
<+Ken> Closes on the 22nd of July.
<+Ken> Thanks for having me on, as always it was a blast!
<~Dan> I’m glad!
<~Dan> If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!