7:38 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Hi Guys. My name is Gavriel Quiroga. I am a 36 years old musician and salesman with a literature degree. I live both in Argentina in Spain. I have been GMing for 20 years and designing casually. NEUROCITY is my first published work right now available in Kickstarter.
7:40 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Neurocity is an RPG where you play as a citizen in a technological complex run by an artificial intelligence. All the population is highly neurotic and thus every character has a specific symptom which they need to keep at bay. The origins of the city itself are veiled to everyone and one of the main themes will be finding out the truth behind its
7:40 PM +GavrielQuiroga: foundation (there are 10 possibilities) The game plays out as a Tech-Noir, with intuitive rules and mechanics that leave space to the narrative flow .
7:41 PM +GavrielQuiroga: The manual is fully illustrated by uruguayan artist Nexus Redline and it will come with a 29 minute bone chilling soundtrack composed by the band Espejo Negro.
7:43 PM +GavrielQuiroga: The game also comes with a wide array of tables and resources. From character backgrounds and random events to plot hooks and live civic loyalty tests.
7:43 PM +GavrielQuiroga: done
7:44 PM ~Dan: Thanks, GavrielQuiroga! The floor is open to questions!
7:44 PM +GavrielQuiroga: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavrielquiroga/neurocity?lang=es)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavrielquiroga/neurocity?lang=es
7:44 PM ~Dan: What does “tech-noir” mean to you?
7:44 PM +GavrielQuiroga: here is the Kickstarter so you guys can check out
7:46 PM +GavrielQuiroga: For me it relates specifically to the Dark Noir literature and cinema genre. It has to do with suspense and mystery while at the same time having most of the characharacteristics of the Cyberpunk Genre with a tendency to black and white aesthethics. Bladerunner is probably an example.
7:47 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Sorry i fell. Did my answer went through?
7:47 PM ~Dan: It did, thanks!
7:47 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Great
7:47 PM ~Dan: Interesting. Can you describe the tech level? Is it basically cyberpunk?
7:49 PM +GavrielQuiroga: The tech level is mostly the 80s idea of the future. This is due to the fact that technology is suffering an involution from digital to analog in the setting because of lack of resources and constant recyclying of available components. Also some technological advances like internet and mobile communications are kept away from the population.
7:51 PM +GavrielQuiroga: So, yes. It is cyberpunk in its core for sure.
7:51 PM ~Dan: I see… So are there actual cybernetics?
7:53 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Cybernetics play a role in maintaining life. But its only for narrative purposes. Dying in Neurocity is almost impossible. The super computer has the technical capacity to repair most forms of tissue damage and can effectively bring you back from the dead indefinitely. The tragedy is that each time you are brought back part of your Personality is
7:53 PM +GavrielQuiroga: lost forever, thus individuals that have suffered too much life recycling will seem distant and some of them have lost the spark of life entirely being little more than living automats.
7:54 PM +Kiltedfiend: Is it like the cities from “A Boy and His Dog” or a Dark, Serious version of “Paranoia”?
7:54 PM ~Dan: So no super-strong cyberarms and the like?
7:56 PM +GavrielQuiroga: It can be stated its a dark version of Paranoia together with some elements of Kult and a strong emphasis on existential and psychological topics with an aesthetic taken from 80s comics like Metal Hurlant and Heavy Metal.
7:56 PM +Kiltedfiend: cool
7:57 PM +GavrielQuiroga: The possibilities that have to do with the origin of the city have sometimes to do with dimensional beings and metaphysical stuff.
7:58 PM +Kiltedfiend: That is cool
7:58 PM ~Dan: What sorts of resources do the PCs have?
7:58 PM +GavrielQuiroga: The game is intended to play as a trilogy with the last chapter being the revelation of the origins of Neurocity.
8:00 PM +Lee: I’m getting a bit of a “Dark City” vibe – is that part of your inspiration?
8:00 PM +Kiltedfiend: How are the metaphysics represented in the game rules…
8:01 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Players get to choose a number of resources that relate to their Civil Loyalty Index indicated by the supe computer. The gear they have with them at all times relate to their Technocracy skill and can be anything from cyberdecks, robot assistants, weapons, etc
8:02 PM ~Dan: (Howdy, TroyEndGameGaming!)
8:02 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Good evening, everyone!
8:03 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Lee. Yes. Dark City is one of the inspiration, it is mentioned in the Q&A in the Kickstarter. As well as other like Hellraiser, Event Horizon, Aeon Flux, Etc
8:03 PM ~Dan: Topic: (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavrielquiroga/neurocity?lang=es)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gavrielquiroga/neurocity?lang=es
8:03 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Heading to the link so that I can catch up with the conversation
8:04 PM +Lee: Actually it wasn’t in the QA list, hence the question. Thanks!
8:04 PM ~Dan: I’d be interested in hearing about the metaphysics as well, especially given the Hellraiser and Event Horizon inspirations.
8:06 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Kiltedfiend. Characters have a chance to show different typesof ESP extrasensorial perceptions, specially when they have abnormally high levels of stress. This ends up being a narrative opportunity to have hints of the main mystery of the game, the origins of the Neurocity.
8:06 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Wow. The storyline is very intriguing!
8:07 PM +GavrielQuiroga: You are correct Lee! I missed it. Thanks for pointing it out!
8:08 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: So, based on the inspirations, there is also an element of horror. Am I correct in that assumption?
8:08 PM +Kiltedfiend: Interesting…. so psychic phenomena is present… cool… What kind of ‘adventures’ or ‘stories’ do you want people to play with the system?
8:09 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Yes. Main inspiration is I have no mouth, and i must scream. The story from Harlan Ellison. Most horror elements come from the existential doom of living under the grip of the A.I
8:11 PM +Kiltedfiend: A tech version of “Johnny Got His Gun”
8:11 PM ~Dan: What sorts of weapons can the players obtain?
8:11 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Very cool
8:12 PM +GavrielQuiroga: As stated before the game is intended to play as a Trilogy. Starting of with more mundane elements, perhaps a mission directive from the super computer and then slowly building up to the realization of the more darker truths behind that sordid reality they have been used to.
8:13 PM +Kiltedfiend: Feels very much like the The Expanse, or Cthulhu in space…. I like the setting
8:14 PM +Motulev: why does this remind me of Paranoia…
8:15 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Dan. the RPG plays out a very in a very free form narrative in regards with most weapons and upgrades. Dice rolls are made only by players and difficulty is adjusted coherently by the Director. Firearms are limited to “Enforcers” by law, the equivalents of cops. So if you want to start with one you should aim to that function.
8:16 PM +GavrielQuiroga: sorry. For that function. English is my second language so bear with me guys 🙂
8:16 PM ~Dan: You’re doing just fine. 🙂
8:16 PM +Lee: Nice – that kind of reminds me of Over The Edge with the limited availability
8:16 PM * ~Dan nods
8:17 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Motulev. Paranoia is an inspiration of course. 1984 and Brave New World as well.
8:18 PM +Motulev: Brave New World, except it’s Event Horizon
8:18 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Motulev. Yes. One the possiblities behind the fundation of the city might have to do with that movie.
8:19 PM ~Dan: What are some of the adversaries the PCs face?
8:19 PM +Kiltedfiend: Almost has a demon city vibe, like something you’d expect if a bunch of psychologists started playing Warhammer 40k….
8:23 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Main adversary is dealing with the tension that builds up mechanically and starts bringing up your characters neurotic symptoms. Also the dissolution of the self that comes up with being revived endlessly by the A.I. There are of course several terrorist groups in the city as well and the political cloak & dagger between the city officials.
8:23 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Am I incorrectly assuming that there is also a dystopian “Big Brother is Watching You” vibe with Neurocity as well?
8:24 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Yes of course. 1984 is a main inspiration. The game is a mash up of lots of important sci-fi works.
8:26 PM ~Dan: Do you have a character sheet that we can see?
8:27 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Players can choose from several civilian functions. ENFORCER: Military. They enforce peace and order through violence. They report to Lictors, the city judges. They are the only with permission to wear guns.
8:27 PM +GavrielQuiroga: MONITORS: They deal with active vigilance and they are the only with access to Intranet, Neurocity’s network. They report to the Overseers, the city supervisors. Their function always remains anonymous.
8:27 PM +GavrielQuiroga: VECTORS: Transporters and handymen of the system. Every citizen in Neurocity is a possible Vector and might summoned for a specific task. A Vector is a possible solution to one of the city’s problems. CARDINALS: Members of the Church of Dogma. They are the moral authority of the city, in charge of the education agenda and propaganda. ISAC is
8:27 PM +GavrielQuiroga: their god. They usually don’t report, rather they are heavily conditioned by the computer. I.S.A.C is the name of the super computer Intelligent Singular Artificial Consciousness.
8:28 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Not yet Dan. That is currently a work in progress. But it will very minimal and of high impact.
8:28 PM ~Dan: No problem. That being the case, can you describe the elements that make up a character?
8:31 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Sure. Characters have the attributes LOGIC, INSTINCT, PERSONALITY, TECHNOCRACY and VIOLENCE. They have a function. A civilian Loyalty index that specifies their social degree. A tension meter. An axiom that relates to their persona and a type of Neurosis that provokes symptoms when under too much tension.
8:33 PM ~Dan: Are there skills?
8:33 PM +GavrielQuiroga: There is an example of the beta version of the character sheet in the spanish blog roldelos90. Unfortunately its in spanish. But you can check it out. (Link: http://roldelos90.blogspot.com/2018/07/neurocity-un-juego-inedito.html)http://roldelos90.blogspot.com/2018/07/neurocity-un-juego-inedito.html
8:35 PM +GavrielQuiroga: No there are not. All skills are taken care by the attributes. What determines which attribute corresponds to an action has to do with the manner in which the players describes the character doing something, in this way the same action might be performed with a different attribute check depending on the players description and Directors judgment.
8:36 PM ~Dan: How are the attributes rated?
8:36 PM +GavrielQuiroga: in a scale from 1 to 5
8:37 PM +TroyEndGameGaming: Gentlemen, take care. I have to run
8:37 PM +GavrielQuiroga: the system uses 2d6 dice for resolutions
8:38 PM ~Dan: Can you give us an example of task resolution?
8:42 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Basically when you want to do something your roll 2d6 and at least one of the dice need to have a result below the corresponding attribute number to be able to do it. Having two successes (two dice below the attribute number) is an over achievement. Getting a 1 is always an added minor or major complications depending if the other dice is
8:42 PM +GavrielQuiroga: successful or not. The director describes the complications, the player describes how it will try to proceed and the Director will consequently point out the corresponding attribute. That goes for all resolutions. Its a simple system that gives lots of space to narrative while at the same time promoting it coherently.
8:42 PM * ~Dan nods
8:43 PM ~Dan: Do the NPCs have attributes?
8:44 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Most obstacles have a Level that implicates the difficulty to face them. From an electronic lock to an enemy. The more levels, the more succesful resolutions a players needs to have.
8:45 PM ~Dan: How can a PC get more than two successful resolutions?
8:45 PM +GavrielQuiroga: and the higher chance for complications to arise
8:46 PM +Kiltedfiend: So, let’s say I have a LOGIC of 4 and I want to figure something out. The Director will set a medium difficulty say and I roll two dice, a 1 and a 4… what happens?
8:48 PM +GavrielQuiroga: 1 and 4 with a Logic of 4 is a success with a minor complication. The Director will describe what is the minor complication, the player will describe how it will be resolve it, the Director will point out the corresponding attribute and the player will roll 2d6.
8:49 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Dan. More resolutions need more actions and rolls. It is pertinent to more complex tasks of higher levels.
8:49 PM +Kiltedfiend: Cool, and if the roll had been, say a 3 and 6, it would have been one success?
8:49 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Correct.
8:50 PM +GavrielQuiroga: A regular success.
8:50 PM ~Dan: How does combat work?
8:50 PM +Kiltedfiend: Cool, and if it was say, a really hard logic situation, would it be more dice rolls than the initial two?
8:53 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Extremely hard tasks can be achieve with the roll of only one dice.
8:53 PM +Kiltedfiend: Ahhh, cool
8:53 PM +GavrielQuiroga: They are not complex tasks. Just plain difficult to do in one single shot.
8:55 PM +Kiltedfiend: cool
8:55 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Dan. Combat is narratively oriented with no initiative. Its free form and directed by the gm with primarily the Instinct and Violence attribute.
8:55 PM +Kiltedfiend: and combat? or opposed rolls?
8:55 PM +Kiltedfiend: cool on combat
8:56 PM ~Dan: How is damage determined?
8:58 PM +GavrielQuiroga: The only dice rolls come from the players. If there is opposed rolls between the players the success with the higher number wins the outcome. The higher a succesful number is always is an indicative of how the action was done, though two success (two dice results below the attribute) indicate an overachievement.
9:00 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Dan. The game uses Wounds. A character can take a number of wounds equal to his Violence stat before dying.
9:00 PM ~Dan: How is weapon damage rated?
9:00 PM +GavrielQuiroga: If they die, they come back with an increase in tension and a reduction of their personality.
9:02 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Damage can come in 3 levels according to their narrative coherence. Each level corresponds to one single wound.
9:03 PM +Kiltedfiend: What happens if an attribute reaches zero? Can it be increased above five?
9:05 PM +GavrielQuiroga: A zero attribute is a heavy impairment. In the case of Personality, if the attribute is taken to 0 the characters ceases to be played. But an instinct attribute of zero could equate to a character in vegetative state but still conscient.
9:07 PM ~Dan: Is this your first published game?
9:07 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Yes it is 🙂
9:08 PM ~Dan: Good for you!
9:08 PM ~Dan: Do you have plans beyond the core rulebook?
9:12 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Yes. I am already writing a supplement about two locations. One is called Limbo, an infinite technological junkyard that surrounds the city. And the other one will probably be called Down Below, its about a subterranean corridor labyrinth below the city that is a physical manifestation of the super computer unconsciousness and thus it is quite
9:12 PM +GavrielQuiroga: trippy and dangerous.
9:13 PM ~Dan: Very nice!
9:13 PM +GavrielQuiroga: i might be able to add one of them in stretch goals
9:13 PM ~Dan: Fingers crossed for you!
9:13 PM +Kiltedfiend: Is there a net-runner element to the game? Can you be a Decker?
9:16 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Yes. As a Monitor. But Intranet is highly vigilated and virtual reality is restricted only to higher hierarchies called Overseers. They use it have audiences with the A.I.
9:16 PM +GavrielQuiroga: *use it to have
9:16 PM +danhunsaker: You asked for it, so here it is: 15 minute warning question! What is your LEAST favorite thing about Neurocity?
9:17 PM ~Dan: Ah. I was just about to see if you were there, danhunsaker. 🙂
9:17 PM +Kiltedfiend: cool, and can players become an Overseer or a one of the other high raning officials?
9:17 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Yes. But the higher social scale you want to go the higher your Logic rating must be.
9:17 PM +Lee: I need to bow out, but GavrielQuiroga, you’ve definitely checked all the required boxes for me – I’ve backed your Kickstarter. Looking forward to seeing more from you! Dan, thanks as always!
9:17 PM ~Dan: Great, Lee!
9:18 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Good question Danhunsaker.
9:18 PM ~Dan: Talk to you later!
9:18 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Lee. Thank you very much for your support!
9:23 PM +GavrielQuiroga: I think that my least favorite thing is also what appeals me the most. You are playing in a super oppresive environment and you just dont have the luxury to relax or to do much wayfaring. That is very hard for some players and also to some GMs. In most cyberpunk RPGs you play out mostly as social outcasts, in this case you a civil servant with a
9:23 PM +GavrielQuiroga: camera stuck in your back and you dont even have much space for humour to crept in like Paranoia at least does. It really is an existential trip with its interesting questions within. At least most playtesters think it is so.
9:23 PM ~Dan: A very good answer!
9:24 PM +GavrielQuiroga: 🙂 Thank you guys for the patience and interest.
9:25 PM ~Dan: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
9:26 PM ~Dan: Usual 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 . Anything’s appreciated! 🙂
9:27 PM +GavrielQuiroga: I might add that in most regular session of Neurocity players start as servants of the system but some of them manage to slowly rebel against it once they start unveiling its reality. As said before the game plays like a Trilogy, and the third chapter mostly involves an act of rebelliousness that might be or not accepted by the player with all its
9:27 PM +GavrielQuiroga: risks involved.
9:28 PM +GavrielQuiroga: Thank you Dan again. Great to know this place.
9:28 PM +Kiltedfiend: very cool.. will check it out
9:28 PM ~Dan: You’re welcome, GavrielQuiroga! I hope you’ll hang out with us in the future!
9:28 PM ~Dan: And if you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you!