Thursday, August 29, 2013

[Q&A] Jay Little (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd ed., et al)

[19:06] <+KingYnnen> I'm Jay Little, a game designer who has worked on dozens of projects over the years
[19:06] <+KingYnnen> I'm most well known for my roleplaying work with the current Star Wars Roleplay lines "Edge of the Empire" and "Age of Rebellion"
[19:07] <+Randy> have you ever worked for SJG?
[19:07] <+Abstruse> (Quick note: If you'd like to continue the various non-Q&A related discussion threads we've been on, type "/join #rpgnet2" to going the secondary channel without interrupting)
[19:07] <+KingYnnen> but I also designed Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition, and have done work on WFRP 2nd edition, Conspiracy X, and wrote a few dozen D&D modules during the 3.5 craze
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01[19:08] <+KJ> (Hi there jelliotStreeter!)
[19:08] <+KingYnnen> I have never worked for SJG, but Andrew Hackard is an awesome person -- and hopefully everyone has a chance to meet him at some point
[19:08] <+Beelzedude> ( :D ConX )
[19:08] <+KingYnnen> A lot of people also know my boardgame work -- particularly X-Wing Miniatures and Blood Bowl: Team Manager the card game
[19:09] <+xyphoid_> Oh hey I loved BBTM
[19:09] <+xyphoid_> s/loved/love/
[19:09] <+xyphoid_> mad props, as they say
[19:09] <+KingYnnen> I've done work with Eden Studios, Fantasy Flight Games, Goodman Games, WizKids, and some other freelance work
[19:09] <+KingYnnen> (thank you, I'm very proud of how BBTM has been received)
[19:10] <+KingYnnen> One of my coolest RPG moments -- I wrote the official module for Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising, called "The Mask of Death"
01[19:10] <+KJ> (Please remember folks to wait for questions and comments until Jay's finished with his introduction. Appreciate it!)
[19:10] <&Silverlion> Hrms
[19:10] <+KingYnnen> ...and... DONE
[19:10] <+KingYnnen> hehe
[19:10] <+Abstruse> (There's a massive multi-team BB league in the Houston area)
01[19:10] <+KJ> Alright then!
[19:10] <+Randy> ((Sorry))
[19:11] <+KingYnnen> That's a pretty good bird's eye view of what I've worked on across the various disciplines
01[19:11] <+KJ> No problem. So we're here today to mostly talk about Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion! So, first off: that's a heck of a license to design for, Jay.
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[19:11] <+KingYnnen> Currently, most folks are excited about and want to learn more about the narrative dice system that drives EotE and AoR
[19:11] <+Abstruse> KingYnnen: So I've got to get this out of the solved the "All Jedi or No Jedi" problem with the WEG/SAGA Star Wars games by...well...not having Jedi at all. Are we going to get Jedi in Age of Rebellion? And how are they going to balance?
[19:11] <+KingYnnen> muwahahaha!
[19:12] <+KingYnnen> First, Star Wars... Yes, amazing license to work on.
01[19:12] <+KJ> I've not actually heard about Age until today. Are the two systems interchangeable or are they sort of different tiers like the FFG 40k RPGs?
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[19:12] <+KingYnnen> A highlight of my career, obviously... have been a fan since a wee lad, and this was quite a privilege
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01[19:12] <+KJ> And, you know what, question pause.
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[19:12] <+KingYnnen> The Jedi question comes up frequently
01[19:12] <+KJ> (Hi there Snoof!)
[19:13] <+Abstruse> (All Jedi or No Jedi is a problem where one class type is vastly overpowered compared to others across the board, so you have to have a group of PCs that are of that class or have no PCs of that class in the game, coined by Spoony in his Counter Monkey webseries.)
[19:13] <+KingYnnen> I can only say so much about upcoming products, but I can kill a few birds with one stone
[19:13] <+KingYnnen> Answer 1a) Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, and Force & Destiny are separate game lines with their own support materials
[19:13] <+KingYnnen> But they are completely cross-compatible and use the same rules set
[19:14] <+KingYnnen> same mechanics, same dice, same skills, same weapon qualities... but each has a few novel features dedicated to exploring that line's concept and experience
01[19:14] <+KJ> Such as Obligation?
[19:14] <+KingYnnen> Answer 1b) In the movies, I don't think Han and Chewie get overshadowed by Luke, nor does Leia's involvment get over shadowed by anyone else, either
[19:15] <+KingYnnen> Will Jedi be powerful? Of course.
[19:15] <+KingYnnen> Will that invalidate your outer rim Smuggler or your hot shot Rebel Ace Pilot? Not at all
[19:15] <+KingYnnen> KJ - exactly.. Obligation really brings out the grit in Edge of the Empire
[19:16] <+KingYnnen> Age of Rebellion has "Duty" which is how the characters contribute to the Rebel cause
[19:16] <+KingYnnen> now that both EotE and AoR are out (former full book, latter beta) more and more players can see how these mechanics mesh together
[19:17] <+KingYnnen> And with that, hopefully appreciate how much work went into the design so all three game experiences can really hit their target
[19:17] <+KingYnnen> - done -
[19:17] <+Abstruse> That brings up something...I haven't looked too deeply at EotE because my current gaming group aren't Star Wars fans (Heretics!!) All I know is that it uses custom dice similar to the ones from X-Wing Miniatures. Can you give me a sort of Cliff's Notes on the system?
[19:17] <+Beelzedude> Am I correct in assuming that Force & Destiny will be the Jedi game?
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01[19:17] <+KJ> (Hi there jelliotStreeter!)
[19:17] <+KingYnnen> question break...
01[19:18] <+KJ> Sure! Question break.
[19:18] <+KingYnnen> Abstruse - the dice in X-Wing are very different than Edge or Age of Rebellion. There may be some confusion since both the roleplay dice and the X-Wing minis game share a dice app
[19:19] <+KingYnnen> The Star Wars Roleplay narrative dice system is a sort of... spiritual successor... to the system I designed for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition
[19:19] <+Abstruse> I just meant that they're the the sort of dice shapes we're used to (standard polyhedrals), but they have symbols rather than numbers.
[19:19] <+KingYnnen> In that regard, yes
[19:20] <+KingYnnen> (grabbing a link)
[19:20] <+Beelzedude> (hm...I must admit, that I didn't like WFRP3 very much.)
[19:20] <+Abstruse> (Also, great anti-piracy might be able to steal the PDF, but you still need to buy the dice!)
[19:20] <+KingYnnen> I was interviewed at GenCon by the great folks at RPGeek
[19:20] <+KingYnnen>
[19:20] <+KingYnnen> That showcases more about the narrative dice system, how the lines are compatible, etc
01[19:20] <+KJ> Perfect, thank you!
[19:21] <+KingYnnen> WFRP 3rd edition certainly ruffled some feathers, but I'm really pleased with how many people felt the stance system and dice lived up to the gritty experience
[19:21] <+KingYnnen> but when people ask about the narrative dice with the different colors and symbols, they ask "is there a learning curve?"
[19:22] <+KingYnnen> well... YES, absolutely, just like with any new game, system, or mechanic
[19:22] <+KingYnnen> however, I have heard dozens of anecdotes about people trying Edge of the Empire for the first time and having everything click once those first few dice rolls are made
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[19:22] <+KingYnnen> 2nd answer -- with Force and Destiny focus on Jedi?
[19:23] <+KingYnnen> Great question... since we've focused on scum and villainy, and the epic struggle between the rebels and the empire, one big key aspect of the overall Star Wars experience remains
[19:24] <+KingYnnen> so i am saying there's a pretty darn good chance that with a name like Force and Destiny, we'll be seeing that sorta' stuff :)
[19:24] <+KingYnnen> - done -
01[19:24] <+KJ> Heh. Alright.
[19:24] <+Abstruse> What exactly does the license cover? Obviously the OT, but can you also draw from the Heretic Trilogy or the Expanded Universe stuff? Will we see Knights of the Old Republic stuff?
[19:24] <+Beelzedude> groovy. I like me some force users.
[19:24] <+KingYnnen> Abstruse, unfortunately, i cannot comment on or speculate on any upcoming, unannounced products
[19:25] <+Beelzedude> understandable.
01[19:25] <+KJ> Fair enough! We'll keep it to Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion then.
[19:25] <+Abstruse> Not future products per se, but just the terms of the license...if you're able to comment.
[19:25] <+Abstruse> NDAs suck :p
[19:25] <+KingYnnen> however, for folks who play the X-Wing minis game, they'll note the Mouldy Crow is one of the Wave 3 ships, which does open the door for people to perhaps think of extended universe applications
[19:26] <+BlasterKyubey210> mmm, one question that bugged me for Star Wars stuff: Is it possible to run a Dark Side character in the Edge of the Empire engine?
[19:26] <+BlasterKyubey210> or rather Imperial characters for the matter?
[19:26] <+KingYnnen> from a high level, the license covers Card Games, Miniatures Games, and Roleplaying Games -- I just can't say any more than that
[19:26] <+BlasterKyubey210> Because I like fighting on the side of the Dark Side, to make them look like the good guys... or try to
[19:27] <+KingYnnen> Edge of the Empire is a murky grey area... you can play just about anything. To have a common ground, we assume players are in the Han & Chewie sort of vein
[19:27] <+KingYnnen> but that doesn't stop folks from straight up being IG-88, Bossk, Zuckuss, Boba Fett and all those "darker grey" characters
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[19:27] <+BlasterKyubey210> Yea... shame I can't find a group willing to run the same boat with me
[19:28] <+Abstruse> I posted on Twitter about the Q&A, but Enrique Bertran (designer of rpgKids and freelancer on Red Aegis) couldn't make it and wanted me to ask a question:
[19:28] <+Beelzedude> a question that goes in a similar direction: is there a mechanic similar to the dark side points from WEG's game?
[19:28] <+KingYnnen> Age of Rebellion assumes characters are actively working for the rebellion -- but a lot of that is fluff
[19:28] <+Abstruse> He's a major Star Wars fan and did a LOT of work on a reskin of 4e D&D for Star Wars.
[19:28] <+Abstruse> "Can you ask him if he's ever thought about a way to use the xwing system in Edge? Or plans to beef up space combat in Edge?"
01[19:28] <+KJ> (Question Pause)
[19:28] <+KingYnnen> However, the system is so flexible, I've had people tell me they've run tons of stuff using it... Firefly, 40k, Dresden, Marvel Supers, Cyberpunk...
[19:29] <+KingYnnen> X-Wing miniatures was designed from the start to deliver the quick squadron style dogfights we see in the movies. Some folks may use one game with the other
[19:29] <+Abstruse> (That answers a question I had...reskinning the game for other space opera systems ^_^)
[19:30] <+KingYnnen> but i focused on each separately to make sure it focused on its core imperative
[19:31] <+KingYnnen> Right now the best analog people can see for light / dark side force points are with the inclusion of the force die and the generation and use of destiny points
[19:31] <+KingYnnen> as well as specifically how force users (from exiles to emergents or what else may come) use force points generated by force dice to fuel their abilities
[19:31] <+KingYnnen> -done-
[19:32] <+Abstruse> You forgot Enrique's question :p
[19:32] <+Abstruse> "Can you ask him if he's ever thought about a way to use the xwing system in Edge? Or plans to beef up space combat in Edge?"
[19:32] <+KingYnnen> oops, sorry
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[19:33] <+KingYnnen> It was partially answered -- each game was built separately to deliver the best experiences possible. The more time spent on finding a way to combine two different concepts, the less time spent developing the best experience for that outlet
[19:33] <+Abstruse> No problem...easy to miss stuff in an environment like this.
[19:34] <+KingYnnen> As for space combat, the full rules in the massive Edge of the Empire core rulebook go into fairly detailed methods of resolving space combat, as well as customizing and kitting out ships
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[19:34] <+KingYnnen> Age of Rebellion does so, as well, with a slight tilt toward more military starships, as you'd expect
01[19:35] <+KJ> (Hi there TorgHacker!)
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[19:35] <+KingYnnen> random side comment -- one of the toughest decisions when developing Edge of the Empire...
[19:35] <+KingYnnen> which eight races to include!
[19:36] <+Beelzedude> only eight races? that's tough.
[19:36] <+KingYnnen> i think i've answered everything up to this point as best as i'm able
[19:37] <+Beelzedude> a follow-up: will using really nasty weaponry or doing other pretty evil-like stuff get you any closer to becoming dark side like in WEG's game? (It's the one SW game I have played and I really like it, so forgive me for bringing it up all the time. ^^)
[19:37] <+KingYnnen> for reasons above my pay grade, we had to limit the core rulebook to only eight...
[19:37] <+BlasterKyubey210> -_-
[19:37] <+BlasterKyubey210> However the story goes, it may feel silly, but it's... something
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[19:37] <+KingYnnen> well, a vibro-axe in the hands of an enraged Wookiee marauder is pretty nasty...
[19:37] <+BlasterKyubey210> I mean, Man, Droid, Wookie...
01[19:38] <+KJ> (Hiya mib_it87ft! Please set your name with the /nick command.)
[19:38] <+Beelzedude> also a question on the races: will there be rules to make your own?
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01[19:38] <+KJ> (Question pause.)
[19:38] <+Abstruse> If I can ask an...crap...
[19:38] <+KingYnnen> "morality" of sorts is murky in Edge of the Empire, where everything is a shade of grey
[19:38] <+Beelzedude> perhaps cruel would be a better term to get my meaning across.
[19:38] <+Beelzedude> (my very own question pause :D )
[19:39] <+KingYnnen> in Age of Rebellion, the default assumption is working for the Rebels... but Force and Destiny sounds like a product where balance, discipline, and the inner struggle between good and evil could be very important
[19:39] <+KingYnnen> in non-RAW guidelines...
[19:40] <+KingYnnen> when someone wants to perform something that seems morally questionable (based on their character) or something unreservedly cruel, or in response to anger or hatred
[19:40] <+Beelzedude> an example for the kind of weapons I mean would be the wrist mounted thing that shoots mono-filament cables into you opponent to make chunky salsa out of their innards. you got a dark side point for uising that in d6.
[19:40] <+KingYnnen> they often have to flip a light side destiny point over to a dark side destiny point -- they give into their anger, strengthening the dark side of the force temporarily
[19:41] <+KingYnnen> the ebb and flow of destiny is the perfect vehicle for that, until more detailed rules may come along that are more suited to what you're looking for
[19:42] <+KingYnnen> also, a quick plug for some friends of mine:
[19:42] <+KingYnnen> if you like the Star Wars Roleplay system -- check out the Order 66 Podcast
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[19:43] <+Beelzedude> I don't know if I'm looking for those specific things, I'm just comparing to what I know. ^^
[19:43] <+KingYnnen> they are the "unofficial official" podcast for the system... they've had just about everyone from the dev team, and folks from the art department and marketing on
[19:43] <+Beelzedude> I'll check them out, thanks.
[19:43] <+KingYnnen> yeah, i got nothin' else i can really add to that, Beelzedude
[19:44] <+KingYnnen> next?
[19:44] <+Snoof> My question: There's a whole pile of Free RPG Day sample characters on the FFG website. Is there going to be a quickstart adventure to go with them?
[19:44] <+Beelzedude> there was also my question about making new races. ;p
[19:44] <+KingYnnen> The Long Arm of the Hutt is a free downloadable adventure on the site
[19:44] <+Abstruse> Order 66 just had a successful Kickstarter to expand their podcast BTW. I believe they pre-date FFG getting the Star Wars license even...
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[19:44] <+Abstruse> If I can ask an X-Wing Miniatures of the statements from FFG early-on was that the system would not be "pay-to-win" which plagues so many miniature wargames. It was also stated that the focus would be solely on dogfighting combat between smaller ships.
01[19:44] <+KJ> (Hi there BPIJonathan!)
[19:44] <+Abstruse> Then GenCon comes around and you announce two capital ships, costing $70ish each (for a system that's already overpriced compared to its competitors in the plastic prepaint market). So...what's up with that?
01[19:45] <+KJ> (Question pause.)
[19:45] <+KingYnnen> quick question break
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[19:45] <+Abstruse> (Just in time!)
[19:45] <+KingYnnen> Sorry I missed the alien question -- there are thousands of aliens in the Star Wars setting
[19:45] <+KingYnnen> we can't possibly detail all of them
[19:45] <+KingYnnen> it sure would be neat if we provided a good range of races, and if we had supplements that might add more...
[19:45] <+Beelzedude> I know, that's why I want to make more than the eight in the book. ^^
[19:46] <+KingYnnen> but i can't talk about what may come down the road...
[19:46] <+KingYnnen> just "stay tuned"
[19:46] <+Beelzedude> kk
[19:46] <+Snoof> Oh, I see. It's in the Beginner Game section, not the Core Rules section. Neat. I've gotta run that.
[19:46] <+KingYnnen> Re: X-Wing -- the price point is a real interesting thing to talk about with fans
[19:46] <+KingYnnen> If you are a casual gamer, I can see feeling a bit of sticker shock
[19:47] <+KingYnnen> To my miniatures gaming friends, folks who play Warmachine or Warhammer 40k, they wonder how we can possibly make money without charging 2-3 times more per ship
[19:47] <+KingYnnen> The highest praise we've gotten came straight from LFL -- they have never seen more accurately detailed ships anywhere close to this scale
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[19:48] <+KingYnnen> So the pricepoint is one of those things that will always be a talking point based on players backgrounds and other games they are used to playig
[19:48] <+Abstruse> (It's high compared to plastic pre-paints, like Mage Knight, D&D Miniatures, Pathfinder Battles, HeroClix, etc...not high compared to the metal minis from Warhammer or Warmachine)
[19:49] <+KingYnnen> I think a lot of the "pay to win" mindset has to do with blind buy purchase structure -- everything with X-Wing is open buy -- you know what you're getting and what's included
[19:49] <+KingYnnen> Interesting sidenote: I was at the UK Games Expo a few weeks ago
[19:49] <+KingYnnen> there were 50 different squadron lists for their big X-Wing tournament
[19:50] <+KingYnnen> and there were only *two* duplicate lists -- every other list was different
[19:50] <+KingYnnen> Some only used basic ships from Wave 1
[19:50] <+xyphoid_> equating "expensive models" with "pay to win" seems pretty unfair, yeah
[19:50] <+Abstruse> (They're also under-priced compared to any sort of model you'd see at that level of detail...a non-gamer SW fan friend of mine at Space City Con bought Slave I and Millennium Falcon just because they looked awesome and he thought it was a bargin.)
[19:50] <+KingYnnen> as for the capitol ships... it's something that players and fans have been clamoring for
[19:51] <+KingYnnen> have you seen the tantive iv? it is amazing
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[19:51] <+KingYnnen> however, you absolutely do not need it to play
01[19:51] <+KJ> (Hi there DanielC!)
[19:51] <+KingYnnen> so i think the folks in marketing and production have done a wonderful job balancing a lot of factors: price points, selection, market wants, meeting supply needs, etc
[19:52] <+Abstruse> It looks amazing, no question. But it seems to go against the original mission statement of the game. If I were a bit more sober, I'd pull up the link where FFG said there would be no capital ships.
[19:52] <+KingYnnen> The core X-Wing miniatures game experience is still based on 50 and 100 point squadrons
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[19:52] <+Abstruse> I'm just wondering why the shift in philosophy in about a year.
[19:52] <+KingYnnen> this brings a new optional tier of play to the game
[19:53] <+Abstruse> (I'm press, I have to ask these sort of jerk questions ^_^;;_
[19:53] <+KingYnnen> that's for the marketing guys to worry about -- above my pay grade... sorry!
01[19:54] <+KJ> Alright, did we miss any questions so far?
[19:54] <+KingYnnen> although, i do think it shows that FFG is open to its fan base and listens to what they want. if it does indicate a change (not saying it does, I don't know the article you're referring to), then there was a reason behind it
01[19:54] <+KJ> Whoops
[19:55] <+KingYnnen> did i miss anything?
01[19:55] <+KJ> I don't think so, but did anybody ask a question that wasn't addressed?
01[19:55] <+KJ> If not I'll open the floor up to new questions.
[19:56] <+Abstruse> I've got one more "I'm press and I have to be the antagonist and ask the hard questions" question at the moment...There was a controversy involving the Star Wars Beginner's Box not getting any Ennies nominations. Did you guys submit it for review or was there something else going on there?
01[19:56] <+KJ> Silence means we're golden. Anybody else have new questions?
[19:56] <+KingYnnen> Great question. I don't know the answer to that. I do know I was personally disappointed to not see any of our products from the Star Wars Roleplay line receive any nominations
[19:57] <+KingYnnen> WFRP received several for system design, art, layout, etc
[19:57] <+KingYnnen> And many people seem to feel what we've done so far for Edge of the Empire blows away what we did for WFRP
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[19:58] <+KingYnnen> I would like to win an Ennie at some point
[19:58] <+GenoFoxx> what is WFRP?
[19:58] <+KingYnnen> Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
[19:58] <+GenoFoxx> thanks
01[19:58] <+KJ> Here's kinda a softer question without any hard answer, but: what scenarios do you feel your system really captures well? When does it really shine for you, personally?
[19:59] <+KingYnnen> Abstruse, what were you referring to in particular regarding "Controversy" ?
[19:59] <+Abstruse> The controversy is that supposedly one judge didn't like the "weird dice" and blocked it from getting a nomination. This came from a FORMER judge. All the current judges and Morrus himself stated that filibustering like that wasn't possible with the way judging worked.
[19:59] <+Abstruse> So the next explanation was that FFG (which is mostly known as a board/card game company and not for its RPG games) didn't know to submit copies for review.
[20:00] <+KingYnnen> i can't really comment on that -- i don't know what may or may not have happened. but i was disappointed we didn't receive any nominations -- that's really all i know
[20:00] <+Abstruse> Again, all of this is hearsay except the bits from Morrus and the current judge (can't remember which) explaining that one curmudgeon wouldn't be able to block a game from getting nominated on his/her own.
[20:00] <+KingYnnen> alright, to the scenario question... i really like political intrigue and investigation encounters
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01[20:01] <+KJ> (Hi there Dan-otw!)
[20:01] <+Abstruse> (Yay Dan!)
[20:01] <+KingYnnen> but i also tend to run a very narratively driven table... one of my personal approaches is "fewer dice rolls that mean more"
[20:02] <+KingYnnen> i think when you're looking at Edge of the Empire, it is very easy to see a way to run a Firefly type system, freelancers struggling to make ends meet and keep one step ahead of whoever wants to kill them this week
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[20:03] <+Dan-otw> I'm on the wy, guys
[20:03] <+Abstruse> How reskinnable do you think this system is? Could I buy the Edge of the Empire rulebook and use it with minimal fudging to do, say, a Star Trek or Ender's Game or Starship Troopers or Cowboy Bebop or some other space opera game?
[20:03] <+Abstruse> Dan-otw: Don't text while driving!!
[20:03] <+KingYnnen> yes, yes, yes, and yes
[20:03] <+KingYnnen> i mentioned upthread a bit that i often have fans tell me what other games they've used the system for
[20:04] <+Abstruse> I haven't had a chance to look at the system yet, but d20/SAGA and the WEG d6 game were pretty tied to the source material...can you expand on that a bit?
[20:04] <+KingYnnen> or, if not re-skinning everything, that they use Boost / Setback dice to replace all situational charts and tables, or adopt the free-form initiative system to other games
01[20:05] <+KJ> Sounds excellent. Now my group's one of those who love their map and minis, but I know that also doesn't work so well for other folks. How does EotE and AoR support/not support minis+map play?
[20:05] <+KingYnnen> well, the nature of the d20 chassis is built on supporting a variety of systems and settings
[20:05] <+Abstruse> 3/4 of my current gaming circle hasn't even seen Star Wars (they're kids, oldest is 22) and the other 1/4 are more Star Trek fans, so I can't justify spending the money on the book.
[20:06] <+Abstruse> *cough*d20wasahorribleideaforStarWarsinthefirstplacebecausethatsystemdoesn'tworkforthegenre*cough*
[20:06] <+KingYnnen> the beginner game is a great way to introduce the system -- and setting -- very affordably.... it retails for about $30 US, and has a set of dice, a ready to run adventure, pre-gens, the whole shebang
[20:06] <+KingYnnen> okay, let me get to the minis question
[20:06] <+BPIJonathan> I think it worked just fine for the genre, and is by far my favorite interpretation
01[20:06] <+KJ> (Let's keep D20 and WEG chat moreso to #rpgnet2 if it doesn't relate to the new games)
[20:06] <+KingYnnen> most of the time, i do not use minis
[20:07] <+KingYnnen> i prefer beads, tokens, and more abstract things to represent people, places, and things
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[20:07] <+KingYnnen> my reasoning is this... the more detail in the minis, the more the players are looking at those instead of imagining the action
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[20:08] <+KingYnnen> you certainly can use minis, and many people do. but i think the system works best when distances are abstracted and relative
[20:08] <+KingYnnen> in the middle of a fire fight, your smuggler probably doesn't pull out a table measure to see how many meters he is from a storm trooper
[20:09] <+KingYnnen> he's more concerned with "am i close enough to shoot?" or "can i dive behind that crate?" or other concepts of relative positioning, rather than specific positioning
01[20:09] <+KJ> So related question: how does the game handle ranged weaponry if it relies more on abstract distance?
01[20:10] <+KJ> It might be fairly easy, I'm just fairly inexperienced in games without a firm map.
[20:10] <+KingYnnen> very easily -- there's less number and math crunching. there are a few relative range bands... short range, medium range, long range, etc
[20:11] <+Beelzedude> also: Is the abstract distance thing comparable to WFRP3 with its cards and little cardboard thingies?
[20:11] <+KingYnnen> and encounters generally take place within one of these bands... or one hero may be within short range of the Rancor and his friends, but narratively it's been descried as the Rancor and his friends being on opposite sides of the cavern
[20:11] <+KingYnnen> it uses a similar range system as WFRP, but does not feature location cards or chits
[20:12] <+Beelzedude> hm.
[20:12] <+KingYnnen> Edge of the Empire is far more a traditional roleplaying game, supplemented by the custom narrative dice, and if desired, the cardboard destiny tokens
[20:12] <+Abstruse> What was your primary goal in designing Edge of the Empire to differentiate it from WEG and Saga?
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[20:12] <+KingYnnen> i ran several sessions at GenCon using spare change, random tokens, and other miscellany that was on hand
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[20:13] <+KingYnnen> I wanted to tailor each game in the line to delivering a very specific experience, rather than try to have one book encompass every facet of Star Wars
01[20:13] <+KJ> How does the game differentiate between human scale and spaceship scale? I know some games have very complicated rules, some have "if a human's hit by a spaceship laser he's gone," etc. Just wondered where these games fall on that spectrum.
[20:14] <+KingYnnen> i am very, very heavily influenced by Indie style games, and do think about the GNS approach to games
[20:14] <+KingYnnen> i wanted to deliver a narrative game with a strong foundation in the game elements people have come to expect and want from a Star Wars based roleplaying experience
[20:15] <+KingYnnen> KJ  without going into to much detail, ship to ship combat mirrors personal scale combat
[20:15] <+KingYnnen> ship to person comparisons are a bit different, but follow familiar rules and concepts
[20:16] <+KingYnnen> there are some special weapon qualities and damage scales that allow personal and vehicle combat interactions to work with (what I hope are) minor considerations
[20:16] <+KingYnnen> otherwise, it's a hard question to answer
01[20:17] <+KJ> That's perfect, thank you.
[20:17] <+KingYnnen> but it does lead to an interesting wrinkle in the game
[20:17] <+KingYnnen> the game is dangerous for PCs to galavant around recklessly
[20:17] <+KingYnnen> but it is not necessarily lethal
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[20:17] <+KingYnnen> PCs can get knocked around, carry their wounds around with them, and face potentially crippling critical injuries...
[20:18] <+KingYnnen> (heck, we know main characters are prone to lose limbs)
[20:18] <+KingYnnen> but things have to go very poorly, or the characters have to be extremely reckless, to die without having seen it coming
[20:18] <+Abstruse> Think this got lost in the shuffle: What was your primary goal in designing Edge of the Empire to differentiate it from WEG and Saga?
[20:19] <+KingYnnen> i touched on it, but got sidetracked
[20:19] <+Abstruse> (Sorry, I'm not exactly sober right now)
[20:19] <+KingYnnen> split the experience into three lines that could each get their full due and the attention they deserve
[20:19] <+KingYnnen> deliver a narrative experience that focuses on the stories these different slices of Star Wars has to tell
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[20:20] <+KingYnnen> focus on how to get the most out of the narrative dice system -- the dice mechanic alone distinguishes it from earlier editions of SW
01[20:20] <+KJ> (Hi there Melum!)
[20:20] <+KingYnnen> and, extreme flexibility in character creation and development
[20:21] <+KingYnnen> you can build virtually any type of character you want, if you're willing to pay the associated costs...
[20:21] <+KingYnnen> in fact, the entire game is built using resources the players have to do what they want, how they want... the XP system, the talent trees, the obligation mechanic, the destiny points...
[20:22] <+KingYnnen> they are all tools in the players' toolbox to build the characters -- and stories -- they want
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[20:22] <+KingYnnen> i like to think of Edge of the Empire as an indie theater production with a summer blockbuster budget.
[20:23] <+KingYnnen> -done-
01[20:23] <+KJ> Alright. And yeah, I like that line. :)
01[20:23] <+KJ> Anybody have any questions?
[20:23] <+Beelzedude> is the character advancement similar to the 40k games or something completely new?
[20:23] <+KingYnnen> hehe.... very, very different
[20:24] <+Abstruse> Why did you guys decide to go with the "weird dice" for such a marquee license?
01[20:24] <+KJ> Those are two very open ended questions, so question pause.
[20:24] <+KingYnnen> i really feel the dice system allows for opportunities other systems simply can't explore
[20:24] <+KingYnnen> there's this concept called Terminal Outcomes I like to talk about
[20:24] <+Abstruse> How so?
[20:24] <+KingYnnen> how many total outcomes a situation has
[20:25] <+KingYnnen> for a standard "task threshold" system, as with some d20 games, there are only 2 terminal outcomes -- pass / fail
[20:25] <+KingYnnen> it tells one axis of result
[20:25] <+KingYnnen> if you pass but the GM says "oh, yeah, but you also broke your leg" it seems counter-intuitive and arbitrary
[20:26] <+KingYnnen> it's not directly tied to any of the outcomes the situation created
[20:26] <+KingYnnen> with a standard eight die pool of the Edge of the Empire dice, one that reflects an average character attempting an average task....
[20:26] <+KingYnnen> there are more than 300 terminal outcomes
[20:27] <+KingYnnen> because it's measuring not one, but four different possible axes of outcome
01[20:27] <+KJ> Wow.
[20:27] <+KingYnnen> and each scales with its own measure of magnitude
[20:27] <+KingYnnen> success with a bonus but marred by critical failure
[20:27] <+Beelzedude> that's quite impressive.
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[20:27] <+KingYnnen> failure with a silver lining and a negative quirk
[20:27] <+KingYnnen> major success with complication, critical success, and significant setback
[20:28] <+KingYnnen> all that information is possible to pull out of the dice pool -- but it also doesn't get in the way
[20:28] <+Beelzedude> and all that without creating mutually exlusive results?
[20:28] <+KingYnnen> if folks want to use that, it's right there... if not, it doesn't get in the way
[20:28] <+Abstruse> Yes/Yes, but.../No/No, and furthermore...  ??
[20:29] <+KingYnnen> some results do counter each other, some are mutually exclusive, others are additive and inclusive
[20:29] <+Abstruse> Four axises of storytelling...
[20:29] <+KingYnnen> and each axes has its own levels of magnitude
[20:29] <+Beelzedude> [03:27] <+KingYnnen> success with a bonus but marred by critical failure| that sounds mutually exclusive to me.
[20:29] <+BlasterKyubey210> Well
01[20:29] <+KJ> Okay guys, let's give him some room to answer.
[20:30] <+Beelzedude> [03:29] <+Beelzedude> [03:27] <+KingYnnen> success with a bonus but marred by critical failure| that sounds mutually exclusive to me.
[20:30] <+KingYnnen> you can have success (i hit the stormtrooper) with a bonus (i open an opportunity for my ally to duck into cover) but a critical failure (my pistol overheats)
[20:30] <+Beelzedude> if that came out wonky.
[20:30] <+KingYnnen> but there's only one pass/fail part
[20:30] <+Beelzedude> ah, ok.
[20:30] <+Beelzedude> that makes more sense.
[20:30] <+KingYnnen> everything else is all the dressing -- all the other outcomes, side effects, triggers, and complications that can occur outside that one measure of success / failure
[20:31] <+KingYnnen> sorry, yeah, it's a lot easier to describe verbally
[20:31] <+Beelzedude> it usually is. ^^
[20:31] <+KingYnnen> hehe
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[20:31] <+BlasterKyubey210> -_- hey Han Solo, that's no Blaster Pistol, that's a Plasma Pistol
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[20:32] <+KingYnnen> the GenCon link i tagged upthread goes into that a bit and shows how a roll can have a variety of outcomes
[20:32] <+KingYnnen> well, my time is starting to run short
[20:32] <~Dan> (Here for real now, guys. :) )
01[20:32] <+KJ> Actually, now that Dan's here, that reminds me: how -does- the game handle gear? Lot of lists with wide variety of effects, or somthing else?
[20:32] <+KingYnnen> i can answer another question or so
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01[20:32] <+KJ> Oh, alright. Anybody have a last question?
[20:32] <+KingYnnen> gear has default profiles for the typical representative of that gear -- ie, blaster pistol
[20:33] <+KingYnnen> but gear also has options to customize it, personalizing it to your character
[20:33] <+KingYnnen> trying to make things more personal, and less "ooh, +2 blasters!"
01[20:33] <+KJ> (Speak now, or forever hold your peace! At least until some other point.)
[20:34] <+Abstruse> What comments can you give us on the future of either the RPG or the miniature game?
[20:35] <+KingYnnen> the development team did a great job fleshing out a system of customization for gear and starships -- adding personality and novelty to these parts of the game
[20:35] <+KingYnnen> Only -- yes, there are big plans
[20:35] <+KingYnnen> And no, I can't talk about them! :P
01[20:35] <+KJ> Alright, well thanks for stopping by Jay! It was wonderful having you, hopefully we weren't too rough on you. Anything you'd like to say before you jet?
[20:35] <~Dan> Yes, thanks for coming, Jay, and thanks for filling in, KJ!
[20:35] <+KingYnnen> Just that I really enjoy this system and think it will surprise people with how intuitive becomes
01[20:36] <+KJ> Excellent. Well, feel free to come back anytime to chat about it, and we'll keep an eye out for stuff on the horizon!
[20:36] <+KingYnnen> And even if it's not the game for someone (heck, you can make something everyone loves), then at least they appreciate that I poured a lot of heart and energy into the system
[20:36] <+KingYnnen> thanks for having me, everyone -- hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
01[20:37] <+KJ> We sure did, and thanks again!
01[20:37] <+KJ> Have a good night!
[20:37] <~Dan> Come by any time, Jay!
[20:37] <+Beelzedude> night
[20:37] <+Abstruse> Everyone thought FFG was insane for going for the Star Wars license.
[20:37] <+KingYnnen> over and out!

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