Wednesday, August 29, 2012

[Q&A] Christian Conkle (Swords of Cydoria)

[19:11] <+Evilschemer> Okay. I'm Christian Conkle. I'm the author of Swords of Cydoria, Lightspeed, and two Dragonball Z sourcebooks. Swords of Cydoria is a monograph for Basic Roleplaying. It's a setting that takes inspiration from swords-and-sorcery, pulp, and science fiction.
[19:11] <+Evilschemer> I've described it as Swords and Blasters, Monsters and Aliens.
[19:11] <~Dan> (Welcome back, Canageek! Q&A beginning with Christian Conkle. #rpgnet2 open for general chat. :) )
[19:11] <+Evilschemer> done, I guess.
[19:11] <+Evilschemer> (done)
[19:12] <~Dan> Anyone have any questions so far, or shall I get things rolling?
[19:12] <~Dan> Okay then!
[19:12] <~Dan> Christian, what sets the setting apart from the "crowd", so to speak?
[19:14] <+Canageek> j0
[19:15] <+Evilschemer> Good question. Two things: I intentionally tried to keep it from feeling "steampunk", it's kind of like a planetary romance in style. Additionally, I wanted to create a book with lots of built-in campaign and story material. I give several options for "campaigns" right out of the gate. It's very obvious what the player characters are expected to do.
[19:15] <+Evilschemer> (Sorry, I have to remember to hit Enter more) (done)
[19:16] <~Dan> I saw that. Very helpful.
[19:16] <&Le_Squide> So, does your version of BRP add anything new? (Even if it's just stats for superfuture weapons, beasts, etc.) Or does it take anything particularly notable from other BRP implementations?
[19:16] <~Dan> I like the airship crew idea, in particular.
[19:17] <+Evilschemer> Hi, yes. I tried to make the book about half crunch/half fluff. There are some new power rules, some additions to old power rules.
[19:17] <+Evilschemer> There are alternate wealth rules.
[19:18] <+Evilschemer> There are rules for building and maintaining super-technology.
[19:18] <+Evilschemer> Plus there are several non-human races and about twenty or so new monsters.
[19:18] <+Evilschemer> (done)
[19:18] <&Le_Squide> Neat! Any particularly cool examples of the super tech?
[19:19] <~Dan> And on a related note, how do you keep the tech angle from overwhelming the swords and sorcery side?
[19:19] <~Dan> (Question pause while Christian catches up, please.)
[19:20] <+Evilschemer> Sure. The super-tech came out of my playtest. One of the players was playing an outlaw tech, a kind of mad-scientist inventor, so I needed to come up with player-based rules for him.
[19:21] <+Evilschemer> So I created a system that allowed him to keep track of resource points from various types of parts: electrical, pneumatic, mechanical, etc.
[19:21] <+Evilschemer> New devices require parts to build and time. The more complicated a device, the more time and parts.
[19:22] <+Evilschemer> In the game, he built portable breathing apparatuses for walking in a poisonous desert, and modified his air pistol to be a revolver.
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[19:25] <+Evilschemer> Tech is limited in the setting in three ways: 1) Most technology is controlled by the Octavium, a kind of religious order/trade guild that protects the secrets of technology.
[19:25] <+Evilschemer> 2) Advanced alien technology is hard to get to the surface because of a powerful force field that surrounds the world.
[19:26] <+Evilschemer> 3) Only those with Gate Keys can grant access through the force field. The Emperor of the evil Empire controls one of the gate keys. He limits access to technology to only his armies and his nobles.
[19:27] <+Evilschemer> The Octavium view the alien technology as taboo and evil, and that leads to friction between the Octavium and the Emperor who wants to use the technology to conquer the world.
[19:27] <+Evilschemer> (done)
[19:27] <~Dan> Hmm. Is there a mid-range between swords and armor and the alien tech? What's the "average" tech level?
[19:30] <+Evilschemer> The vast majority of civilians have access to horses, swords, spears, etc. The Octavium has allowed certain technologies to progress, but keep most of it secret and controlled.
[19:30] <+Evilschemer> So before the aliens came, there were air-powered rifles for the troops. But civilians were still pretty medieval.
[19:31] <~Dan> So kind of an early Renaissance?
[19:31] <+Evilschemer> Electricity is out-right taboo. There are energy beings in the setting that are drawn towards electricity and possess electric devices, so the Octavium intentionally kept that tech supressed.
[19:32] <+Evilschemer> Yeah, I guess you could call it late Renaissance to almost industrial revolution.
[19:32] <~Dan> But that's fallen apart post-invasion?
[19:32] <+Evilschemer> Lack of coal and oil in the setting (which was by design) supressed some technologies.
[19:33] <+Evilschemer> Well there's been no alien "invasion". The force field sees to that.
[19:33] <~Dan> Oh, right -- just alien-backed factions?
[19:34] <+Evilschemer> Right. It gets complicated. but I can explain if anyone is interested.
[19:34] <~Dan> Sure!
[19:35] <+Evilschemer> So, the setting tells the story of several City-States on the sub-continent called Cydoria.
[19:35] <+Evilschemer> The city-states were pretty much in status-quo equilibrium.
[19:36] <+Evilschemer> One day, an archaeologist discovers an ancient device that allows him to contact "aliens".
[19:36] <+Evilschemer> It turns out these aliens have been wanting to come to the world of Uruta but can't because it's protected by this force field called the Oudh
[19:37] <+Evilschemer> The archaeologist figures out a way to let one ship past the Oudh at a time. The King of Vrildar, where the archaeologist lives, then confiscated this device.
[19:38] <+Evilschemer> He made contact with the aliens and set up trade arrangements. The aliens can access Uruta for resources in exchange for fancy new weapons to conquer his neighbors.
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[19:39] <+Evilschemer> War starts and the city-states form two major factions: the Vrildarian Empire and the Federation of Timan.
[19:39] <+Evilschemer> Empire = bad guys. Federation = good guys.
[19:39] <+Evilschemer> The archaeologist feels bad about what he caused, so he goes to the Federation and says "Hey, look, I want to make this up to you."
[19:40] <+Evilschemer> "Here's how you contact the aliens."
[19:41] <+Evilschemer> As it turned out, there were these OTHER aliens that are at war with the first aliens. So the Federation made contact with them and got their own weapons.
[19:41] <+Evilschemer> So there was this big war with lasers and hovercraft on this world that was used to swords and spears.
[19:41] <+Evilschemer> The Federation's alien allies had to withdraw because their world was attacked, and the Federation lost the war.
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[19:43] <+Evilschemer> The game takes place 12 years later (as I recall). Most aliens on Uruta are Malusians, the bad guy aliens.
[19:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, GH! Q&A in progress! Subject: (Link:
[19:43] <+Evilschemer> But the rebels still have contact with the Phanosians, the good guy aliens. And pirates and criminals also have contact with some unaligned aliens who smuggle tech onto Uruta.
[19:44] <+GoldenH> hi dan, mmm q&a
[19:44] <+Evilschemer> But like I said, there are maybe 6 total gate keys in the world.
[19:44] <+Evilschemer> (done) phew!
[19:44] <~Dan> Thanks, Christian. :)
[19:45] <~Dan> Anyone have further questions before I continue?
[19:45] <+Dirian> what is your favorite color
[19:45] <~Dan> Cute. :p
[19:45] <+Evilschemer> Blue.
[19:45] <~Dan> So what powers are featured in the setting?
[19:46] <+Evilschemer> There's Psi Magic, which is a form of Psionics and builds on those rules in the BGB
[19:46] <+Evilschemer> There's Ta'Oudh which is like Jedi powers mixed with Kung Fu super-powers. It uses the Sorcery rules as a base.
[19:47] <+Evilschemer> There's Biomancers which can create potions to cause temporary mutations.
[19:47] <+Evilschemer> Using the mutation rules.
[19:47] <+Evilschemer> Plus a lot of races use mutations to simulate special abilities.
[19:48] * ~Dan nods
[19:48] <~Dan> Are there "human mutants"?
[19:49] <+Evilschemer> No, not in the post-apocalyptic sense. Though in retrospect I should have added more of that kind of thing.
[19:49] <~Dan> Would adding them throw off the setting? And if not, how would you incorporate them?
[19:49] <+Evilschemer> (done)
[19:50] <+Evilschemer> Not at all. 1500 years ago, there was this big apocalyptic war that wiped out an Atlantis/Rome style society.
[19:51] <+Evilschemer> That was used biological weapons and genetically modified creatures (created through permanent biomancy).
[19:51] <+Evilschemer> There are places in the setting where it is explicit that they cause mutations in the races that were "touched" by that war.
[19:52] <+Evilschemer> One could easily extend that to humans. Now I kind of wish I did.
[19:52] <~Dan> Yeah... based on my skimming, I saw the weirdly mutated 4-armed apes.
[19:52] <+Evilschemer> My other regret is not making more "crazy" chimera monsters ala D&D's owlbears or other fanciful beasts.
[19:53] <~Dan> Well, you've only got so much room, right? :)
[19:53] <+Evilschemer> They would all have resulted from the bio-war and its lingering effects.
[19:53] <+Evilschemer> I mean, I've got lots of mutant monsters that resulted from the bio-war and its lingering effects, I just kept myself reined in.
[19:53] <+Evilschemer> I should have gone crazy with the "a wizard made it" style of monster.
[19:54] <~Dan> Any chance of an online supplement with this sort of thing, maybe?
[19:54] <+Evilschemer> Absolutely. I had to cut a lot out of the book!
[19:54] <~Dan> Excellent.
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[19:55] <~Dan> Is that something that's in the offing, or just something you're considering?
[19:55] <+Evilschemer> Future online additions include: Techno-Wizards that imbue devices with the captured Aya spirits. The gods and cults of Cydoria. More technology that I had to cut.
[19:56] <+Evilschemer> It's written. I had to literally highlight and cut those chapters out. They're just MS Word documents right now.
[19:56] <+Canageek> Hey, Dan; Can you tell me a bit more about these Aliens?  Do they look like humans, or are they giant bugs or what?
[19:56] <+Evilschemer> And lots of useless detail.
[19:56] <~Dan> Oh, great!
[19:56] <+Evilschemer> Yes, the aliens. Here's the big secret of the setting. (drum roll)
[19:56] <+Evilschemer> I based the setting on the idea that it's our own world set 25 thousand years in the future.
[19:57] <+Evilschemer> The Malusians are bio-engineered descendants of those who terraformed Mars.
[19:57] <+Evilschemer> The Phanosians are bio-engineered descendants of those who terraformed Venus.
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[19:58] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:58] <&Le_Abject_Terror_Fleeing> Awesome!
[19:58] <+Evilschemer> Zhuvitans are descendants of those who built space habitats aroudn Jupiter. Zirisians = Ceres asteroid.
[19:58] <+Evilschemer> So Phanosians are basically humans.
[19:59] <+Evilschemer> Malusians are tall and slender, weak-boned, they can't take bright light. They must wear exoskeletal suits when walking around on Uruta.
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[19:59] <+Evilschemer> Didanians from Titan have long spider-like limbs.
[20:00] <+Evilschemer> But I kept it intentionally vague in the book. Are they planetary romance natives of those worlds or descendants of future terraformers?
[20:00] <+Crazy-Cabal> Jeeeeeezus. The new walking dead episode goes from dark to uncomfortable and had to take a break in like five minutes.
[20:01] <+Evilschemer> Oh, and the Deru are squat dwarf analogs from Mercury (but also Earth) who are like mole-men.
[20:01] <~Dan> (CC: Q&A in progress. #rpgnet2 is open for general chat. :) )
[20:01] <+Evilschemer> (done)
[20:01] <+Crazy-Cabal> (D'oh)
[20:01] <~Dan> (Cool book, though: (Link: )
[20:01] <~Dan> Hmm. So... does the setting really exist within a semi-hard sci-fi framework?
[20:02] <+Evilschemer> Yes. There's no FTL. Period. There might be human colonies on other worlds, but if there are, they went there the long way.
[20:02] <+Evilschemer> Psychic powers are actually people who can tweak the Oudh, the force field that protects Uruta.
[20:02] <+Evilschemer> Monsters are basically mutants.
[20:03] <+Evilschemer> I have an entire section about how sorcery=advanced science.
[20:03] <+GoldenH> for some reason i keep thinking your setting has cthulhu. And I'm like "Cthulhu obeys relativity?"
[20:03] <+Evilschemer> In fact, At one point I called the super-science "karak", which is an in-joke. It's a corruption of "Clarke" as in Arthur C. Clarke.
[20:04] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[20:05] <+Evilschemer> yeah, like Lightspeed, the book is filled with hidden easter egg in-jokes.
[20:05] <~Dan> How familiar are you with Chronicles of Future Earth, and assuming you are, was there any concern about overlap between that book and SoC?
[20:05] <+Evilschemer> The name of the aero-ship in Flight of the Tonbo is based on the Japanese word for "Dragonfly".
[20:06] <+Evilschemer> I'm very familiar with CoFE and had to re-write a lot of my ideas to avoid overlap.
[20:06] <+Evilschemer> It's an excellent setting BTW.
[20:06] <~Dan> What would you say are the main points of difference?
[20:07] <~Dan> At first glance, they both appear to be far-future swords-and-sorcery settings.
[20:07] <+Evilschemer> The biggest difference between CoFE and SoC is the tone. CoFE is "Weird Fantasy". It's Fantasy first, with magic and demons. Her setting feels ancient and decadent and impossibly old.
[20:08] <+Evilschemer> Cydoria is science fiction first, and more pulp. The cities are new. There's an energy, an animus to the empire that is not quite decadent.
[20:08] <+GoldenH> it still has that 'new empire smell'
[20:08] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[20:08] <+Evilschemer> Hah. yes.
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[20:09] <~Dan> As an aside, I think it's really cool that Chaosium would go with both settings.
[20:10] <+Evilschemer> Some of my earlier ideas for Cydoria were more planetary romance, with stargates connecting the worlds and ancient magic.
[20:10] <+Evilschemer> After reading Future Earth, I abandoned those plans.
[20:10] * ~Dan nods
[20:10] <~Dan> Speaking of overlap...
[20:11] <~Dan> you see much with the forthcoming Interplanetary?
[20:11] <+Evilschemer> Yes. The monograph system at Chaosium is very forgiving and I like it. It allows them to take a chance without making a huge investment.
[20:11] <+Evilschemer> No, unfortunately.
[20:11] <+Evilschemer> I was kind of hoping to piggy back on some of his stuff.
[20:11] <+GoldenH> so could you run cleopatra in space with this game?
[20:12] <+Evilschemer> (ponders) no real "in space" at all. The entire game takes place on Uruta.
[20:12] <+GoldenH> ah ok
[20:13] <~Dan> Could you say a bit about the prop-driven airships?
[20:14] <+Evilschemer> Yes. Like I said earlier, there's no fossil fuels on Uruta (a consequence of it being Earth in 25,000 years).
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[20:15] <+Evilschemer> But they do have this alien mineral called Zephyrium, the result of an interplanetary collision twelve thousand years ago.
[20:15] <+Evilschemer> Zephyrium is used to levitate airships, so no helium, helicopter blades, or lifting wing-shapes are required.
[20:15] <+GoldenH> woot
[20:15] <~Dan> Like that, GH? :)
[20:16] <+Evilschemer> Because there's no gasoline, there's no internal combustion engine.
[20:16] <+Cassie> Cassiemouse to the rescue!
[20:16] <+GoldenH> i have a thing for floating stuffs
[20:16] <+Evilschemer> So after the alien contact twenty years ago, they replaced the sails on their aero-ships with electric motors.
[20:16] <+GoldenH> now i have floating stuffs, i just need to put rockets on them, and find the last gas tank on earth
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[20:17] <+GoldenH> then blow it up
[20:17] <~Dan> Are areo-ships armed?
[20:17] <~Dan> (wb, Wondy!)
[20:17] <+Evilschemer> Yes, aero-ships are armed. And there are aero-ship battles. Though by the time of the game, it's been 12 years since the big war.
[20:18] <~Dan> What are they armed with?
[20:18] <+Evilschemer> Most battles are between frigates and pirates, or pirates and cargo haulers like the Tonbo.
[20:18] <+Evilschemer> Laser blasters, blaster cannons. The Cydorians never discovered gunpowder, so there are no cannons.
[20:19] <+Evilschemer> They did have air-powered rifles though. A real thing in history, BTW. Air-powered rifles were used in the 16th century and had the punch of a 45 handgun.
[20:19] <+Evilschemer> (gunpowder was controlled by the Octavium)
[20:19] <~Dan> I've heard of those! Pretty cool.
[20:20] <+Evilschemer> The Octavium is a perfect story device for explaining why there's no technology X.
[20:20] <~Dan> How aware are barbarian types in the setting with the existence (if not the source) of technology?
[20:21] <~Dan> Do they see an aero-ship and do the whole "What big bird with no wings do in sky?" bit?
[20:22] <+Evilschemer> Lasers and force fields are the equivalent of magic weapons and armor in a traditional fantasy setting. Everyone in D&D knows magic exists and isn't suprised bit it.
[20:22] <+Evilschemer> But it's still relatively rare.
[20:22] * ~Dan nods
[20:22] <+Evilschemer> The barbarians in the setting are more "Ooh. I want one of those."
[20:22] <~Dan> Heehee. :)
[20:23] <~Dan> So what sort of ordinance would the crew of the Tonbo be packing? Are we talking about sword-armed crew manning laser cannons?
[20:24] <~Dan> (And the visual of floating prop-driven airships trading laser broadsides is really cool, btw.)
[20:25] <+Evilschemer> The Tonbo itself is probably unarmed. Looking at the listed NPC crew of the Tonbo...
[20:26] <+Evilschemer> They've got air pistols and air rifles, maybe one or two illegal laser rifles (control of access to technology is a big part of the game), but mostly spears and crossbows.
[20:27] <+GoldenH> now im imagining little blocky airships with massive sculpted forcefields in the shape of dragons or angels that only appear when they get hit or pass through smoke and clouds
[20:27] <+GoldenH> and then, when they get close enough - LASER BROADSIED
[20:27] <+Evilschemer> Pirates will not attack the ship, they want it. They'll close for boarding, get above the Tonbo, and rappel down, shooting at people on deck with air-rifles and crossbows.
[20:28] <~Dan> So how common are air guns?
[20:28] <+Evilschemer> The airships are, indeed, blocky. There's little need for aerodynamics.
[20:28] <+Evilschemer> Air guns are fairly common as they were the primary weapon used in the big war 12 years ago.
[20:28] <~Dan> So would even barbarians have access to them?
[20:28] <+Evilschemer> The lasers and force fields were reserved for shock troops, elites. etc.
[20:29] <+Evilschemer> Yes, barbarians could totally have an air-pistol. A kahn might even have a laser pistol and reflec armor.
[20:29] <+Evilschemer> But you'd need an air-compressor to recharge it. Those are more rare.
[20:30] <~Dan> So a really weird Gamma World-like mix of tech, more or less?
[20:30] <+Evilschemer> Same with lasers. You can recharge them in the cities, which are powered by Tesla broadcast power.
[20:30] <~Dan> Awesome. :)
[20:30] <+Evilschemer> Yes, totally. A mix of primitive and super-tech.
[20:31] <~Dan> As to the eponymous swords, then... How practical are they in the setting?
[20:31] <+Evilschemer> But keep your alien tech under wraps will ya? If the city guard see you with that, they're going to ask to see your permits.
[20:31] <+GoldenH> just be careful not to make your sword out of alien metal, or else someone will try and surf on it
[20:32] <+Evilschemer> Well, when your laser pistol only has ten charges, and you have to get back to town to recharge, you tend to use it less.
[20:32] <~Dan> A fair point.
[20:33] <+Evilschemer> Oh, that reminds me. Like I said, control of access to technology is a big part of the game. As is being hassled by the Man.
[20:33] <+Evilschemer> Proper documentation is required for all your fancy technology. Or convincing forgeries.
[20:34] <+Evilschemer> So I wrote detailed but easy to use rules for creating and detecting forgeries.
[20:34] <+Evilschemer> (or purchasing forgeries)
[20:35] <+Evilschemer> (done)
[20:35] <~Dan> Did you create the setting specifically with BRP in mind?
[20:35] <+Evilschemer> Not originally.
[20:36] <+Evilschemer> ORIGINALLY, it was a setting that was based on the Muse video for "Knights of Cydonia".
[20:36] <~Dan> Heh. I've gotten a lot of questions about that. :)
[20:36] <+Evilschemer> I created it way back in 2004 and ran it using d20 Dragonstar.
[20:36] <+GoldenH> excellent
[20:37] <~Dan> How did it change based on the BRP frame work?
[20:37] <+Evilschemer> Back then, it was very explicitly cheesy 80's European Star Wars rip-off.
[20:38] <+Evilschemer> Well, I wanted to develop it into a setting. But I was ready to abandon d20.
[20:39] <+Evilschemer> I wanted a rule system that felt "old-school". Something that had room for science and robots and monsters.
[20:39] <+Evilschemer> Also, it needed an accessible license.
[20:40] <+Evilschemer> BRP was perfect on the rules-side. Chaosium's monograph model was perfect on the license side.
[20:40] * ~Dan nods
[20:41] <+Evilschemer> Since then, I have secured rights to also do a Savage Worlds version. I'd also like to do a version using the V6 engine which powers Atomic Highway, a system in which I have recently fallen in love.
[20:42] <~Dan> How much do you foresee the setting changing to fit the various systems?
[20:42] <+Evilschemer> I keep mulling around ideas for tweaks to the setting. I usually wind up dropping it because the setting is such a finely tuned machine.
[20:43] <+Evilschemer> If I remove one thing, it causes a different thing to not make sense any more.
[20:43] <+Evilschemer> So I have to be careful.
[20:43] <+Evilschemer> Mostly, I think it's going to change in look-and-feel.
[20:44] <+Evilschemer> More color artwork for the Savage Worlds version.
[20:44] <~Dan> Well, let me be more specific. Let's take mutations, for example. Right now, you're using BRP mutations. Would you convert each of those into SW terms? Or "start over"?
[20:44] <+Evilschemer> Ah, I'd make it native to the new system. Savage Worlds has its own powers rules, so I'd re-do all the mutations to fit their powers system.
[20:45] * ~Dan nods
[20:45] <+Evilschemer> I've already re-written the Ta'Oudh and Psi Magic rules to use Savage Worlds powers.
[20:46] <+Evilschemer> Savage Worlds also had air-ship rules and air-ship combat from Mars. I'd contact Gareth Michael-Skarka to ask permission to re-use some of those.
[20:46] <~Dan> Oh, that
[20:46] <~Dan> oops
[20:46] <~Dan> That's a good idea.
[20:46] <~Dan> (Well, other than having to deal with GMS, that is. ;) )
[20:47] <+Evilschemer> It's also because of Mars that I'm still on the fence about a Savage Worlds version. I love the Mars sourcebook, and it already does 90% of what Cydoria wants to do.
[20:47] <+Evilschemer> :-(
[20:47] <~Dan> Ah. Yeah, I can see that being problematic.
[20:47] <+Evilschemer> V6, however, is a fun system and I'd be making up more rules from scratch.
[20:47] <+Canageek> How did you handle the change in power level from d20 (High power) to BRP (Low power)?
[20:47] <+Canageek> Also, have you ever looked at GURPS?
[20:48] <+Evilschemer> By making the starting power level = Heroic.
[20:48] <+Evilschemer> I have looked at GURPS but not the 4th edition. It's also harder to license.
[20:50] <~Dan> What sort of craziness can you get up to with Ta'Oudh?
[20:51] <+Evilschemer> Ta'Oudh is mostly ninja/jedi powers. You can leap onto the roof, make yourself psychically invisible, and disable your opponent with a touch.
[20:51] <+Evilschemer> You can also heal wounds or draw impurities out of food or water.
[20:51] <+Evilschemer> or poisons/toxins out of bodies.
[20:51] <~Dan> And you said this is based on the Sorcery rules?
[20:51] <~Dan> So just "pay-and-play" in power point terms?
[20:51] <+Evilschemer> Yes, meaning it uses the same basic mechanics.
[20:52] <+Evilschemer> Correct.
[20:52] * ~Dan nods
[20:53] <~Dan> Do you prefer running the game with natives to the setting, or do you prefer taking the "John Carter" approach that you mention in the rules?
[20:53] <+Evilschemer> You know a certain number of powers based on yoru skill level and have a number of power points based on the campaign level.
[20:54] <+Evilschemer> Ooh, good question. I do provide the "stranger in a strange land" option in character creation. I haven't personally run any of those types of characters in my campaigns yet.
[20:54] <+Evilschemer> But if someone wanted to create one, I'd welcome it.
[20:54] <~Dan> Speaking of adventures, I see that the game includes one. Which premise does it use?
[20:55] <+Evilschemer> Hah. All of them.
[20:55] <~Dan> Even the Tonpa? :)
[20:55] <+Evilschemer> So for those that haven't read the book, the game comes with several built-in premises. Meaning- what do player characters do?
[20:55] <~Dan> Er, not Tonpa... that's one of our chatters.
[20:56] <~Dan> Tonbo, sorry. :)
[20:56] <+Evilschemer> For example: members of the rebellion (ala Star Wars), crew of an aero-ship (ala Firefly), explorers of the unknown (ala D&D), etc.
[20:57] <+Evilschemer> When I wrote the adventure, "The City in the Mirage", I provided story hooks for each premise. Then, throughout the adventure, NPCs will do different things or different events will happen dpending on which premise you're playing.
[20:58] <+Evilschemer> Yes, even the crew of the Tonbo, which is the aeroship that is chartered to escort the expedition out West.
[20:58] <~Dan> A clever approach!
[20:59] <+Evilschemer> My original adventure was much more ambitious and had different chapters telling a larger connected story. Each chapter would focus on a different premise.
[20:59] <+Evilschemer> I abandoned that idea because it would take like 100 pages.
[20:59] <~Dan> Well, our regular time is almost up, although you're more than welcome to hang out and answer questions in "regular" chat as long as you like, Christian. Does anyone have any more questions?
[21:00] <~Dan> And if not, is there anything you'd like to say about the setting that we haven't covered, Christian?
[21:00] <+GoldenH> souds cool to me. thinking where i could join a group of this
[21:01] <+Evilschemer> Thanks everyone for giving me the opportunity to talk about my game. Feel free to e-mail me at if you have other questions, or join the Cydoria yahoo group.

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