<+Federica> All right! Hi everyone, my name is Federica and I am the English translator (or would-be so) of the Age of Uranus game
<+Federica> we are joined by Gianluca, the author of the game, and Pierluigi, the editor, although they are making me speak because they don’t trust their English
<+Federica> Age of Uranus is an urban fantasy game of mystery, intrigue and passion
<+Federica> so it’s set in our world and takes much from our mythology, but also from conspiracy theories, with secret societies and the like
<+Federica> characters are more than common humans – Gianluca calls them Hyper-humans – who will solve mysteries while part of a supernatural world of strict hierarchies
<+Federica> characters will also be driven by passions which define them, and the game has a heavy emphasis on art
<+Federica> to the point that an essential part of gameplay is the use of illustrations to give focus to characters and create drama
<+Federica> We had started a Kickstarter campaign to publish Age of Uranus on the 1st of September. Unfortunately the campaign was not attracting enough people and so yesterday we had to cancel it
<+Federica> but we still plan to make this game, so we decided to be here today despite canceling 🙂
<~Dan> Thanks, Federica! The floor is open to questions!
<~Dan> Can you tell us more about the Hyper-humans? What are they, where do they come from, and what makes them more than human?
<+Federica> the origin of Hyper-humans is shrouded in mystery, however there is this mysterious energy called Dogma that gives them powers
<+Federica> Dogma is a mystical energy that has a religious quality to it
<+Federica> humans can also become Hyper-humans, if they have a spark of Dogma within them
<+Federica> however this requires a special ritual to be performed and Hyper-humans are the only ones who know such rituals of initiation
<+Federica> so Hyper-humans have several factions which are much like secret societies and this transformation is much like an initiation ritual, so the characters will be affiliated to one of these societies and to some individuals in particular
<~Dan> What sorts of powers do they have?
<+Federica> So first of all they become long-lived and invulnerable (with limits)
<+Federica> There are two kinds of powers that they also get: heightened senses and a way to extend their skills achieving effects beyond what is commonly possible
<+Federica> Dogma is not like normal fantasy magic however, so there are no “fireballs”
<+Federica> the only way to use Dogma to fight is to manifest it in the form of a spiritual weapon with which a hyper-human can perform some special attacks
<+Federica> combat does not have a central role in Age of Uranus, but there is some.
<~Dan> Do Hyper-humans have superhuman attributes, like strength and agility?
<~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye!)
<+Federica> The system of Age of Uranus does not have traditional attributes and skills but rather aptitudes which are more abstract
<+Federica> the rules match each of these aptitudes to a number of actions that can be performed with them
<+Federica> even combat makes use of these aptitudes
<+Federica> as well as the above mentioned Dogma, that enables action that defy normal limits
<+Federica> having said all that Hyper-humans are more powerful than common humans
<+Federica> the least powerful hyper-human would still be like a super-soldier
<~Dan> Are there any other supernatural aspects to the setting beyond the Hyper-humans?
<+Federica> there are creatures, though they still have some connections with Hyper-humans
<+Federica> some of them were constructs made in ancient times (Drones), some are tied to the Dogma
<+Federica> it does not use our world’s mythological creatures (my bad above) but establishes its own
<+Federica> one supernatural creature that is used is ghosts – tied to the world of dreams which is very important in Age of Uranus
<+Federica> the world of dreams is tied to the Dogma and it is a sort of parallel reality
<~Dan> Can you give some other examples of creatures?
<+Federica> some truths have been hidden in the world of dreams and cannot be found anywhere else
<+Federica> ok so the main types of creatures are drones, Asakku (elemental spirits), Ninkilim (parasytes), and ghosts
<+Federica> the Asakku are tied to the Dogma, almost as if they were born of it; they are more ancient than Hyper-humans, they used to rule the world but the Hyper-humans have now taken over
<+Federica> the drones are constructs, servants of the Hyper-humans
<+Federica> the Ninkilim are parasytes living in the underworld
<~Dan> What are these creatures like?
<+Federica> they are almost all human-like
<+Federica> Asakkus have some animal elements to them as well as elemental elements, for instance you can have a sort of earthen gorilla
<+Federica> Drones are more human-like but they are constructs and they can have visible mechanisms
<+Federica> Ninkilims are insectoids; for instance Alus are women made of many tiny purple spiders
<+Federica> other examples are Rabisu, sort of scorpion-centaurs – but Alus are the apex of Ninkilim matriarchal society because they are tied to Tiamat the goddess who is said to be imprisoned at the centre of the Earth and that’s why Ninkilim live underground
<+Federica> the Ninkilim want to free her and they sometimes capture humans to use as slaves to this end
<~Dan> Do the Hyper-humans have organizations of any sort?
<+Federica> yes, there are 9 factions
<+Federica> they are sort of hyper-humans “political parties”
<+Federica> they are sometimes at odds, but they are tied by institutions such as the Tribunal
<+Federica> there are also lineages of Hyper-Humans called Genses (singular Gens)
<~Dan> What impact do the Genses have?
<+Federica> Genses are affiliated to the factions; there are several kinds, some are made of Hyper-humans and some are made of their mortal descendants called “Patricii”
<+Federica> Genses ultimately run the world through a network of companies and organisations and these Patricii are usually running this network
<+Federica> so they are mortals, but very powerful and influential individuals
<~Dan> Sorry — got pulled away there for a minute.
<+Federica> no problem!
<~Dan> Can you give us a brief overview of the factions?
<+Federica> we did a brief overview for the Kickstarter – would you be happy if I pasted that text in here?
<~Dan> If you can. Beware the character limit, though.
<+Federica> It’s not long, I think I can do it one by one
<+Federica> The Cross of Thorns is the most spiritual of all factions; its members consider themselves as the heralds of the end of the world, tend to act in the dark, are convinced that almost everything and everyone have been corrupted and need to be swept away in order to start over.
<+Federica> The Garden of Delights has strong relationships with the world of the plebs, its members act as advocates of vice, they take advantage of the world and its luxuries, and they exort other Kith to do so as well.
<+Federica> (The Kith is another name for the Hyper-Humans)
<+Federica> and its luxuries, and they exort other Kith to do so as well.
<+Federica> The Golden Crown is focused on a main philosophy: Order; to its members, righteousness and duty are key, and the faction’s moral code is their highest calling.
<+Federica> The Irkalla believe that deception is the best tool to acquire and keep one’s power. Its members prefer to manipulate adversaries rather than fighting them.
<+Federica> The Lemegeton once used to be a coven of plebeian magi, its members believe that in order to acquire true power one needs to develop a full understanding of magic and of the processes by which it interacts with the world.
<+Federica> The Dragon’s Lodge focuses on a main objective: Chaos; its members believe that their primary function is to be agents of change.
<+Federica> The Magna Curia dreams of one day being able to create a place where Kith and human beings can live together in peace, and prosper. Its members advance the cause of human beings and feel a great affinity for them.
<+Federica> The Order of Thule is made of mystics and fanatics; its members often follow cryptic teachings from exotic cultures, and are quick to assimilate new and different occult practices.
<+Federica> The Salem Priorate sees the use of power as the ultimate reason for existence. Its members shape the plebs’ world to its will, and create order and stability from chaos.
<+LaggingDice> Why the name? What is significance of Uranus in the setting?
<~Dan> You mentioned occult practices there. Do they actually work? Is there ritual magic in this setting?
<+Federica> Uranus is tied to the constellation of Aquarius and to Age of Uranus is a veiled reference to the Age of Aquarius
<+Federica> the author is aware that it is a bit of an unfortunate name in English but has decided to stick to it anyway because of this tie
<+Federica> so stating exactly why Uranus is important is a bit of a spoiler for the setting of the world but it is a very important figure
<+Federica> done with question 1
<+Federica> there is ritual magic in Age of Uranus and in theory anyone can use these rituals, but in practice it is hidden knowledge
<+Federica> so only some know how to perform such rituals
<+Federica> this knowledge is sometimes encoded within artworks
<+Federica> not just pictures, sculptures, but also plays, musical scores, or manuscripts
<~Dan> How powerful is ritual magic? What’s an example of something that it can accomplish on the upper end of the power scale?
<+Federica> so there are rituals that allow hyper-humans to hide their buioldings from the sight of common mortals and that is considered almost “common”
<+Federica> at the upper end there are theurgy rituals of different kinds: for example alchemy
<+Federica> a very powerful alchemy effect is the creation of a homunculus, a Drone-type of creature that can serve you
<+Federica> another example is Oniromancy in which you can “physically” enter the world of dreams with a few allies, to search for the secrets hidden there
<+Federica> these rituals are intended as a story-enhancing element for the players and Troubadour (GM)
<+Federica> because they allow to broaden the scope of the story a little
<~Dan> What is the world of dreams like?
<+Federica> the world of dreams is a shadow of the real world
<+Federica> however in this world past, present and future coexist
<+Federica> so those who go there mostly go there searching for answers
<+Federica> but because there is this overlapping it’s a bit like the memory of those who are not here anymore still lives
<+Federica> the world of dreams is important to Age of Uranus, but it is also supposed to be used sparingly so that it does not become overwhelming
<~Dan> How far into the past and the future does it go?
<+Federica> there are no strict limits; the world of dreams is not exactly time travel, it’s more like events that happens before you
<+Federica> it’s more a world of ideas than a real world
<+Federica> it’s like having a dream
* ~Dan nods
<+Federica> I hope this answers your question?
<~Dan> Well, I was just wondering if there could be, for example, sci-fi elements present in the world of dreams, since it stretches into the future.
<+Federica> yes, this is possible
<+Federica> but these sci-fi elements could be coming from the past!
<~Dan> Oh? How so?
<+Federica> because the real origins of the Hyper-humans are shrouded in mystery, it could be that they could be coming from far away in space and that things such as the Drones are in fact technology more advanced than ours, but ancient!
<+Federica> ancient, time-wise
<~Dan> Ah, I see. Interesting. 🙂
<~Dan> Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
<+Federica> yes, the character sheet is done
<+Federica> character sheets are called Action-Drives and you can see pictures of them on the Kickstarter page, but there is no downloadable version at the moment
<+Federica> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ageofuranus/age-of-uranus)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ageofuranus/age-of-uranus
<+Federica> you can see the pictures next to the Tome of Intrigue, they’re a bit small to read though
<+Federica> oh a good point – the character sheet exists in Italian only at this time
<~Dan> Well, that being the case, can you describe the elements that make up a character?
<+Federica> one of the reasons the goal was quite high is that the game needs to be translated into English
<+Federica> so the character is made of story elements and mechanical elements and the sheet has room for both
<+Federica> when you make a character, you start with a concept
<+Federica> then you choose a Principle (sort of a moral compass, a main ideal for the character to follow)
<+Federica> then you choose an Archetype (the profession they may have had when they were mortals)
<+Federica> then you define which faction they are affiliated with and which Gens they are part of
<+Federica> then you choose an Icon-Drive, an illustration
<+Federica> then you get to the more mechanical bits such as the Aptitudes, Dogma, some Traits (Advantages and Disadvantages), a few Special Abilities and a few Powers
<+Federica> sorry I’ve skipped one
<+Federica> every character has a Paradign as well as a Principle to define their ideals
<+Federica> the Paradigm is strongest and has a “shadow” variant attached (where the ideal becomes corrupted, in a way)
<+Federica> I’ll try to make an example
<+Federica> a character may select the Paradigm Trusting, which has a shadow of Utipia
<+Federica> a character who falls into Utopia starts to be in denial of problems
<+Federica> principles are a complement to paradigm and are more descriptive of personality (where paradigm is more of an ideal), so a principle might be cowardice, hope, greed, etc.
<~Dan> Sorry, darnit — got called away again.
<+Federica> no worries 🙂
<~Dan> We’re running a little over, here, but I owe you some more time anyway. 🙂
<~Dan> Can you describe the task resolution mechanic?
<+Federica> so there are several task resolution mechanics, but they are all based on one type of roll: 2d10, added together (0 is 10)
<+Federica> the Simple Test is roll + Aptitude (+ circumstance bonus, if any) compared to a number called Difficulty Value: if the result is equal or greater than the DV, the task is a success
<~Dan> (Howdy, Anzufvytar!)
<~Dan> Does degree of success matter?
<+Federica> not in the Simple Test, but there are other kinds of Tests
<+Federica> there is the Gradual test where the degree of success matters: if, say, you were called to make a Normal Test, but your roll exceeds a Hard Difficulty, you get a greater success
<+Federica> there is an Extended Test which is a series of Tests made over time for tasks that require more time
<+Federica> there is an Opposed Test for when your action is directly opposed by another’s
<+Federica> and finally there is the Reactive Test that is sort of a passive/defensive mechanism
<+Federica> you can find an overview of these Tests with an example of each in the first Update of the Kickstarter page
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up? 🙂
<+Federica> So we think that the biggest strength of Age of Uranus is its setting, the emphasis on art, and the importance given to NPCs – the Dramatis Personae – who get dedicated illustrationsjust like PCs do
<+Federica> Gianluca has lost connection but I think we have said pretty much everything 🙂
<~Dan> Great! Thanks very much for joining us, Federica!
<~Dan> Can I get the full names of the author and editor to credit them in the chat log?
<+Federica> we got Gianluca back – his last words is that he thinks that while there is nothing new under the sun, he thinks that Age of Uranus has a spark oforiginality that can be enjoyed by players and we hope to find a way to publish it soon
<+Federica> so the full names are:
<+Federica> Gianluca Dell’Osso – creator, and Pierluigi Cava – editorial director
<+Federica> thank you very much for having us!
<+Federica> I hope we weren’t too slow, translating things on the fly
<~Dan> No, you did great!
<~Dan> Quick reminder to folks: 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 🙂
<~Dan> Now, if you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂