Tuesday, August 20, 2013

[Q&A] T. Glenn Bane (Worlds of Pulp)

[19:04] <+TGlennBane> Hello every one. My name is T. Glenn Bane. I am the owner and creative director of Scaldcrow Games.
[19:04] <+TGlennBane> I have produced numerous games and game products in the past...
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[19:05] <+TGlennBane> including "The Dark Fantasy of Sundrag," Scaldcrow Generic Products and Little Buck's Fantastic Visions Artwork.
[19:06] <+TGlennBane> I am here today to discus, Bare Bones Beyond, Davey Beauchamp’s Amazing Pulp Adventures, and Rotwang City: City of Shadows
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[19:08] <+TGlennBane> The dice mechanic is based on 2 six sided dice, using basic convention of reroll doubles, double ones and double sixes always succeed.
[19:09] <+TGlennBane> APA is based on golden age heroes and pulp of the forties and fifties. Rotwang is based on pulp and noir set in the thirties.
[19:09] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:09] <~Dan> Thanks, Glenn!
[19:09] <+TGlennBane> whew
[19:09] <~Dan> Would anyone like to start us off with a question? :)
[19:10] <+Maelthra|Home> I have not heard of these games, can you give a brief primer as to what sets your games apart?
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[19:10] <~Dan> (wb, NiT!)
[19:12] <+TGlennBane> Sure. Bare Bone is a simple 2d6 system where the player, not the GM set the parametersdetrailing how some abilities work. Though there is a list of skills and abilities detailed in the books, players are encouraged to create original abilities within their game.
[19:12] <+TGlennBane> Also...
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[19:13] <+TGlennBane> Many games put math first, pushing the mechanic of the fiction. In the Worlds of Pilp (the entire collection) we push the players and the fiction forward and let the math take a back seat.
[19:13] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:14] <~Dan> Is Worlds of Pulp the first setting to use Bare Bones?
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[19:15] <~Dan> And, as a follow up, do you have any ideas of what's next for the system?
[19:16] <+TGlennBane> No. The first Bare Bones Setting were a number of worlds outlined in the book Bare Bones Multiverse. Bare Bones Beyond which is the advanced mechanic is what these games are set in. The Worlds of Pulp and B3 (Bare Bones Beyond) system are effectivly new.
[19:16] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:18] <~Dan> Now, both Rotwang City and Amazing Pulp Adventures include the full rules, correct?
[19:19] <+TGlennBane> Correct Dan, both books are complete RPGs. There is no need to purchase an additional ptoduct. B3: The Skinny will also be available, this is only a quick resource guide for players and is not necesary to play the game.
[19:19] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:20] <~Dan> That being the case, can you tell us of any tweaks to the rules as they apply to each setting to reinforce the different feels of "dark" and "light" pulp?
[19:24] <+TGlennBane> The biggest is in consequences. The rules protect pcharacters in APA, from incidental death. It gives bonuses to death saves, there by making it more likly that players would take dare devil risks (like jumping between the windows of two speeding cars) or threading the needle between two jets flying close together. APA also rewards heroic by giving rewards...
[19:25] <+TGlennBane> that affect future dice rolls for performing such heroics. In Rotwang....
[19:27] <+TGlennBane> Well rotwang is a vastly different setting. It uses film noir story telling conventions to create disquieting or unbalancing situations. There are no bonuses to death saves, so death is more likely...
[19:28] <+TGlennBane> Each setting has its own version of a table called The Cosmic Eye. It is a table that gives positive and negative results to simple questions. It also has good and bad result tables as well as a subject table to better define the answers...
[19:29] <+TGlennBane> The Cosmic Eye for APA is very different that the CE for Rotwang City, Rotwang City is all about trouble, so answers very often point to more, or different questions.
[19:29] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:30] <~Dan> What about in terms of powers? I would think that Rotwang City would be more low-key in that regard than APA, with its focus on Golden Age comics.
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[19:30] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!)
[19:32] <+TGlennBane> The powers in Rotwang City tend to be based on superstition or mysticism. You will find powers based on the Yoga sittis, hypnotism, voodoo, othe warrior meditations (particularly from cultures would have had exposure to in say...WWI). ...
[19:35] <+TGlennBane> APA reflects Golden Age ideas, powers can can from virtually anywhere: medical experimentation, chemical experimentation, alien technology, or fate of birth. Though there are many characters that are not power centric, there are easily as many who are. In APA, you might have a harder time making a Tough Detective fly than you would in Rotwang City.
[19:35] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:36] <+TGlennBane> If I may go on...
[19:36] <~Dan> I'd like to look at that more closely, but maybe we should back up a bit....
[19:36] <~Dan> (Oh, please do!)
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[19:36] *** KJ has quit IRC: Disintegrated: Peace!
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[19:38] <~Dan> (Howdy, Gemini!)
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[19:39] <~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)
[19:40] <+TGlennBane> APA and RC also target different gamers. APA has very clear right and wrong approach to heroics than does RW. In RW plots can be more convoluted, with grittier themes and and trickier ethics. Blurring the lines is one of the things that Noir does. I would recommend APA for the younger player. A good ending in RW is not always a happy ending. This is the...
[19:40] <+TGlennBane> biggest difference between the settings.
[19:40] <+TGlennBane> The dice are virtually the same. Its the settings that make the difference.
[19:40] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:41] <~Dan> Would it be correct to say that Rotwang City is the Shadow and APA is Doc Savage?
[19:41] <+TGlennBane> Yes. Very much so.
[19:42] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[19:42] <+TGlennBane> Hang on...
[19:42] <~Dan> So if we could back up a bit, could you explain what makes up a character? (And perhaps you'd like to post that link you gave me earlier to the Kickstarter with the video and character sheet?)
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[19:44] <~Dan> wb!
[19:44] <+TGlennBane> Thanks. Oops. Can I have that last question again?
[19:44] <~Dan> Sure, just a sec...
[19:45] <~Dan> [19:42] <~Dan> So if we could back up a bit, could you explain what makes up a character? (And perhaps you'd like to post that link you gave me earlier to the Kickstarter with the video and character sheet?)
[19:45] <~Dan> In particular, I'm curious about the predetermined vs. player-defined abilities.
[19:45] <+TGlennBane> Sure, I just picked an archetype to share. This will help people to understand what they would start out looking at.
[19:46] <~Dan> Excellent.
[19:46] <+TGlennBane> Shadow of Justice Conditions: Mysterious +8, No Face His Own +4, Secretive +4, Severe +8  Shadow of Justice Abilities: Impersonation +1, Intimidation +2, Marksman +2, Martial Arts +1, Master of Disguise +2, Stealth +2, Street Agents +1, Toughness +1
[19:47] <+TGlennBane> Conditions and abilities are different, let me break that up...
[19:47] <+TGlennBane> Shadow of Justice Conditions: Mysterious +8, No Face His Own +4, Secretive +4, Severe +8
[19:47] <+TGlennBane> Shadow of Justice Abilities: Impersonation +1, Intimidation +2, Marksman +2, Martial Arts +1, Master of Disguise +2, Stealth +2, Street Agents +1, Toughness +1
[19:48] <+TGlennBane> The player would then get to add 12 ranks of conditions and 6 ranks of abilities of their own choosing.
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[19:48] <+TGlennBane> I will give you a little of the description too...
[19:49] <+TGlennBane> Driven by rage and vengeance, these characters are vigilantes who enact a personal war with the criminal underworld, an unending game of blood.
[19:49] <+TGlennBane> There is a page more, but its a little much to share here. Obviously this is more of a Rotwang character.
[19:50] <+TGlennBane> A playtester once asked the question: What would you call this guy in APA? The Answer: A villain.
[19:50] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:51] <+TGlennBane> The APA equivalent would be a Grim Guardian of Justice.
[19:51] <+TGlennBane> His abilities look like...
[19:51] <+TGlennBane> Grim Guardian of Justice Conditions: Mysterious +8, Identity Crisis +4, Grim +4, Secretive +8
[19:51] <+TGlennBane> Grim Guardian of Justice Abilities: Intimidation +2, Investigation +2, Martial Arts +2, Stealth +2, Streetwise +2, Toughness +2
[19:52] <+TGlennBane> These are vigilantes who have seen the harsh and desperate face of crime. They are the enemies of gangsters, goons, and thugs. They look out for the common man, careful not to cross the line and become as bad as the criminals they pursue. Using cunning, tenacity, and keen investigative skills as well as their fists and the occasional gun play...
[19:52] <+TGlennBane> they get the job done—the job of making a difference.
[19:52] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:52] <~Dan> So... more of a Green Hornet type?
[19:53] <+TGlennBane> Yeah. Green hornet is a good exmple.
[19:53] <+GenoFoxx> I'm the Bat Hornet
[19:53] <+Gemini> … Don't give the bees any ideas!
[19:54] <~Dan> So those are the points you get straight from the archetypes that you listed, correct?
[19:55] <+TGlennBane> Yes. If you apply those to the video and character sheet sample I showed you earlier Dan, you can make these characters.
[19:55] <+TGlennBane> A nice thing about B3, is that you can make a character in a couple of minutes.
[19:55] <+GenoFoxx> Link please
[19:56] <+TGlennBane> Thje result will seem very simple, but the character will quickly become unique and irreplacable.
[19:56] <+TGlennBane> iieplacable? No.
[19:56] <+TGlennBane> irreplaceable.
[19:56] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:57] <~Dan> (Do you have that link handy, Glenn?)
[19:58] <+TGlennBane> Yes. Hang on...
[19:58] <+TGlennBane> (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1279968844/worlds-of-pulp-by-scaldcrow-games/posts?page=2)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1279968844/worlds-of-pulp-by-scaldcrow-games/posts?page=2
[19:58] <+TGlennBane> I wasn't sure about your protocol.
[19:59] <~Dan> Now, while we're on the subject, how do you handle the breadth of self-defined abilities, both normal and super?
[19:59] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[19:59] <~Dan> (No problem, Glenn! Links are more than welcome.)
[20:01] <+GenoFoxx> (But if we don't like them we get to skin you alive...;) )
[20:02] <+TGlennBane> Remember Dan, the goal of the game is fiction, not point efficiency. Some things are laid out specifically. For example: magic has specific abilities that it gives you. Beyond those initial abilities the players are encouraged to make their own abilities. The breadth and scope of the ability are determined by the player's ability to succinctly describe them..
[20:03] * ~Dan nods
[20:03] <~Dan> I gather that the core combat abilities are pre-defined?
[20:04] <+TGlennBane> An example of a power a player has used was the power to create magical portals. The player defined the ability as being able to manifest a gate in any preexisting frame like door jam, window or mirror. Later when the player tried to intercept a firebll by opening a gate in midair, the use was denied. It broke with the player's...
[20:05] <+TGlennBane> vision. No frame. No gate. The player didn't argue or complain at all because it was their vision to begin with.
[20:05] <~Dan> Makes sense.,
[20:06] <~Dan> Now, the core mechanic, as illustrated on the character sheet, doesn't involve rolling and adding your rank, but rather rolling to beat a target number based on your rank, correct?
[20:06] <+TGlennBane> Yes. Core combat is pre defined. There is also a substantial list of abilities defined in the rules. The game does not expect you to work from nothing. We only encourage a player to get outside the box, or er ...the book. (done)
[20:07] <+TGlennBane> Continuing,,,
[20:10] <+TGlennBane> A player once developed the ability "Inspire." This ability was designed to be stacked with other characters' abilities, thereby elevating their effectivness when that character was around. The GM nods and it enters the game. My favorite thing about this system is that it actually evolves at the table. Different GMs and campaigns become intrinsically...
[20:10] <+TGlennBane> different and unique.
[20:10] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:11] <~Dan> Speaking of stacking, can you explain how that works? One thing that interests me about the system is the way in which you place what would otherwise be "attributes" and "skills" together, yet they're still able to combine.
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[20:15] <+TGlennBane> Sure. First, the core concept of a B3 character is that a character is defined by what makes them different, not average. What is the point of writing down average skills or average attributes. By definition, they are unremarkable. In fiction a character is made interesting by the hurdeles that must be overcome, and that which makes them different. Describe..
[20:16] <~Dan> (brb -- please continue)
[20:16] <+TGlennBane> your favorite character in a movie or comic. Did you spend time describing what make that character average. No. Neither do we...
[20:18] <+TGlennBane> Lets think about a martial artist who has agility, martial arts, and meditative focus as abilities.
[20:20] <+TGlennBane> When the martial artist attacks a target they may use their agility to strike their target, but may gang up their martial arts and meditative focus to cause damage.
[20:20] <~Dan> (back)
[20:21] <+Gemini> (That's a cool perspective.)
[20:21] <+TGlennBane> When this is done, each ability is rolled individually, with successes added together. When one roll is failed, then no more an stack.
[20:21] <+TGlennBane> ...can stack.
[20:22] * ~Dan nods
[20:22] <~Dan> Is there a limit to how many abilities can stack?
[20:22] <+TGlennBane> This is one of the ways in which characters become unique. Its not just what abilities you have, but also how you the player visualize and execute using them.
[20:22] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:23] <~Dan> (Whoops... Didn't mean to step on your response, there.)
[20:24] <+TGlennBane> No there is no limit to how many stack, only that they must all be relevant to the cause, and that they are all successfully rolled. One failed roll, stops further stacking.
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[20:24] <~Dan> Huh. Cool. So that really gives an advantage to not just a skilled character, but also to a character who has the most relevant abilities.
[20:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, Ettin!)
[20:25] <+TGlennBane> Yes, You become better at playing your own character.
[20:25] <+TGlennBane> That is because, the character is not simply growing on paper but also inyour imagination.
[20:25] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:26] <~Dan> This is another thing we discussed earlier today, but can you describe how you handle superhuman ability levels and size scaling?
[20:29] <+TGlennBane> Yes. There are different catagories. Human abilities and attributes are all considered Cat-1. If a human throws a punch, it is a cat-1 punch. Lets say the punch is thrown against a tiger tank. The tank Armor and Toughness are Cat-3. When the tank rolls its defenses to resist the damage, it gets a bonus to its roll, equal to +10 per cat difference. Effectivly
[20:30] <+TGlennBane> the tank has tremendous bonuses to resist this damage. There are rules that effect catagorical scaling in the game.
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[20:31] <+TGlennBane> This is its own section in the book. Also, to get a better idea how the dice are rolled and what the bonuses mean, I'll try and break that down.
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[20:31] <~Dan> (Welcome, mib_9oteta! You can set your name with the /nick command. :) )
[20:31] <+Ettin> Hey
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[20:33] <+Matt> I was goofing on FB and seen this link, went to HS with Tim (as we called him then) just thought I would see what was up :)
[20:33] <+TGlennBane> Roll 2d6, add ogether, re-roll and add doubles. Doubles MUST be rerolled. If the first roll is double 1s, the roll fails. If the first roll is double 6s, the roll succeeds. Divide the final roll by the target number for the rank to gain number of successes.
[20:33] <~Dan> (Tim as in T. Glenn? :) )
[20:33] <+Matt> yup
[20:34] <~Dan> (Cool. Welcome to #rpgnet! :) )
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[20:34] <+TGlennBane> You can find the target numbers laid out on the character sheet.
[20:35] <+TGlennBane> Welcome in Matt.
[20:35] <+Matt> Whats up brother, don't let me bother ya just killing time
[20:36] <+TGlennBane> Hit me up on FB.
[20:36] <+Matt> will do, I use my wifes (heather seawell) I know, i'm still a lazy bastard...
[20:36] * ~Dan chuckles
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[20:37] <+TGlennBane> So it will be a good thing to check out that tutorial at that link as well. The sheet contains the target number table. By the way, if you use the...
[20:38] <+TGlennBane> Grim Guardian of Justice as well as Shadow of Justice characters I have put up here, you will learn very quickly how to make characters.
[20:38] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:39] <~Dan> So you described scaling... Can you describe how to handle characters with abilities beyond 10?
[20:41] <+TGlennBane> Yes. The ranking system, runs between rank 1 and rank 10. Abilities may move beyond 10 with experience. Every move above 10 is reflected by an ascending bonus to the roll. For example: If a character were to raise a r10 ability...
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[20:41] <+TGlennBane> three times, it would be written as r10 (+3). The bonus of three becomes a bonus to every use of this ability. (done)
[20:42] <+TGlennBane> There is no limit to how many times this can be done.
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[20:42] <~Dan> So he's still rolling to beat a 2, but he's getting 3 extra successes if he succeeds?
[20:43] <~Dan> Or is he adding 3 to his roll?
[20:44] <+TGlennBane> The bonus adds to the roll. Lets sa he rolls a 3 and adds 3, he would have a six. 6 divided by 2 is 3...so yes.
[20:44] <+TGlennBane> If he rolled a two he would have auto-failed.
[20:44] * ~Dan nods
[20:45] <~Dan> Now, you said you can exceed 10 with experience... Suppose I want to play the Black Terror. Is super-strength not possible for a starting character?
[20:45] <+TGlennBane> Lets say he rolled a 9. He adds 3 and results as a 12. 12 divided by 2 (the target number) is 6
[20:45] <~Dan> (And if you don't know who the Black Terror is, imagine "pirate Superman".)
[20:47] <+TGlennBane> Yes, I sent out a B3 version of the original Black Terror as a reward for a decoder wheel contest in the newsletter Citizen Crow. Yes he can have super strength. In some campaigns, GM option, super abilities may actually begain at higher catagories.
[20:48] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:48] <~Dan> Out of curiousity, how strong IS the Black Terror in Bare Bones terms?
[20:48] <~Dan> (If you happen to recall or have the numbers handy, that is.)
[20:51] <+TGlennBane> No problem. I though I had them handy but do not. He is r10 Cat-3. He has thrown airplanes off a runway.
[20:51] <+TGlennBane> Shazam is Cat-4. He has split battle ships in two.
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[20:52] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:52] <~Dan> Wow... So can you buy up Categories instead of just buying up ability levels one at a time?
[20:53] <+TGlennBane> Once you achieve a number of trains (experience points) your catagories may increase.
[20:53] <+TGlennBane> I give alot of free characters and advice in our newsletter as well. May I plug it really quick?
[20:53] <~Dan> Please do!
[20:56] <+TGlennBane> The newsletter is Citizen Crow. It goes out monthly. It has articles by myself and other contributers. It also gives a month to month nod to important days in pulp. "Rotwang City: 1933" is a comic in the newletter. There are games and such.
[20:56] <+TGlennBane> Join our newsletter, Citizen Crow by emailing BigPulp@scaldcrow.com, Subject Line “Join”
[20:58] <+TGlennBane> If you join and add to the subject line: RPGnet, I will also send you, The Black Terror.
[20:58] <+TGlennBane> (done)
[20:58] <~Dan> Awesome. I shall do so. :)
[20:58] <~Dan> Can you give us an idea of the scope of adversaries and beasties each game includes?
[21:01] <+TGlennBane> Dan, Unfortunatly I am out of time. I cannot stay, but I will be glad to send you a list so that you may share it on the board. ALso I am always available on FB. Please drop by and like Scaldcrow at 5)(Link: http://www.facebook.com/Scaldcrow)www.facebook.com/Scaldcrow .
[21:01] <~Dan> No problem, Glenn! Thanks so much for coming by! I'll have the log posted shortly and sent to you!
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[21:01] <+TGlennBane> Dan. I really fo have to go. This time I will not be a stranger. I look forward to seeing folks in RPGnet.
[21:02] <+TGlennBane> Great time. Until later everybody.
[21:02] <~Dan> Excellent. Talk to you soon!

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