Friday, September 13, 2013

[Q&A] Benjamin Rogers (Promised Sands)

[20:05] <+Ben> I'm Ben Rogers.  I'm part of Harsh Realities.  We just put out Sixcess Core (new generic system) and debuted it at Gen Con.  Our first gameworld for Sixcess Core is Promised Sands -- a propety HR acquired (and I was involved with 10 years ago).
[20:06] <+Ben> Promised Sands is a "dark desert fantasy" with strong post-apoc overtones. It had some really good reviews on the depth and breadth of the setting, with lousy reviews on the system -- and that's part of why HR acquired it and asked me to help out with it.
[20:06] <+Ben> We're currently kickstarting it and that's a good place to start...  (done)
[20:07] <~Dan> Thanks, Ben!
[20:07] <~Dan> Any questions to start us off?
[20:07] <~Dan> Or shall I begin? :)
[20:07] * +Alaren golfclaps for the puns inherent in the system and the setting
[20:07] <+Ben> Inside jokes make things more fun. ;)
[20:07] <~Dan> So, what can you tell us about the setting and how it's changed for the second edition?
[20:09] <+Ben> The original setting took itself a little too seriously. It was extremely immersive in terms of language and culture. And there were some "too realistic" elements that needed to be trimmed back.  It was also more "hide the post apoc" with some secrets even from the GMs.
[20:09] <+Ben> The new setting opens up the backstory, the real history, the secrets of the world to the GMs (and anyone who reads the book, really) as well as pulling out some of the more controversial elements.
[20:10] <+BlasterKyubey210> mmm, sounds like Adventure Time then...
[20:10] <+Ben> We also wanted to showcase more of the technology and really dig into the post apoc crowd -- so there's a lot more tech (or "otec") in version 2.0.
[20:10] <+Ben> (don3)
[20:10] <+Ben> Adventure Time? The cartoon?
[20:10] <+BlasterKyubey210> It's not really Post Apoc until the players start... well digging too much
[20:10] <+BlasterKyubey210> Yep
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[20:10] <+Ben> I've never watched it, though I've seen some of the artwork and cultural memes online.
[20:11] <+Ben> Interestingly, none of the development team had ever read any of Frank Herbert prior to the writing -- and there are some interesting parallels that popped up.
[20:11] <+locutus> Ben: i'm just wondering, what are some of the more controversial elements which where removed? (i dont know the original)
[20:11] <~Dan> How advanced is otec, and what is the "normal" tech level of the setting?
[20:11] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
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[20:12] <+Ben> Locutus, well, Dan actually helped bring one out in all it's glory in his first review of the world -- with a creature called the "Uzmek" -- and in the 2.0 version, there never was an Uzmek, it didn't exist, it never did exist, everyone in the world will look at you with a quizzical look on their face if you mention it.  ;)
[20:12] <~Dan> (Howdy, BPIJonathan!)
[20:13] <+BPIJonathan> (my apologies for being late)
[20:13] <+Ben> Otec is most commonly in the form of small items -- a gun, a preserved piece of electronics, a machine. When tech peaked, it was "near future earth" -- hover tech, advanced computers, perhaps some "rail gun" level technology.
[20:13] <+Ben> BPI, you know the rules, you show up late, you bring the chips. ;)
[20:14] <+Ben> Did I get all the questions?  (done)
[20:14] <+BPIJonathan> I did, and they are yummy
[20:14] <+Ben> (Virtual chips, on the other hand, not so much...) :(
[20:14] <+Ben> ;)
[20:15] <+BPIJonathan> This has probably already been asked, but is it its own system or an existing one?
[20:15] <+Ben> Ah, "normal level of the setting" -- pre-industrial, pre-firearms -- yet with the occasional "otec" firearm
[20:16] <+Ben> BPI, it is the first setting for Sixcess Core -- so it's a D6 dicepool system with some interesting style to it that helps solve some of the "problems" of typical dicepool systems.
[20:16] <+BPIJonathan> I have heard of it, also heard nothing but good things about it.
[20:17] <+Ben> The system is attribute + skill to get a pool then roll against a target on each die--counting successes -- but with a unique "Mark" and "Tick" style of successes that scales damage and effect very quickly.
[20:17] <+Ben> This is not a system where your character will survive by "chipping away at the enemy" with the "death of a thousand paper cuts"
[20:17] <+Ben> You'll find that taking cover is a *VERY* effective method of survival.
[20:18] <+Ben> The whole "stand in front of each other and chip away at each other's hit points until one of you finally keels over" is completely unlikely. (done)
[20:19] <+Ben> (Cool that you heard of it, btw.) :)
[20:19] <+BPIJonathan> Other than that I know nothing else about it this a system you own or licensing, and do you need the Sixcess core book to use the setting?
[20:20] <+Ben> Harsh Realities owns the system. I'm working out the writing of Promised Sands so that it's easy to convert to any other system -- and several fans have asked to post conversions on our website.
[20:20] <+Ben> However, the "native" system is Sixcess Core.
[20:21] <+Ben> That being said, however, as a "setting converter" myself from way back, it's very easy to take the system you prefer and use Promised Sands as the setting if you decide you don't like Sixcess Core.
[20:21] <+Ben> (done)
[20:22] <+BPIJonathan> Ah, $25 for a PDF is a bit steep IMO.
[20:22] <+Ben> We were originally in talks with Savage Worlds to license their system as a "dual stat" and Shane just asked me one day, "why do you want to dual stat? You have a strong system that is powerful in its own right.  You should consider going it alone."  He's been very encouraging every since.
[20:22] <~Dan> In the first edition, I recall an interesting mix of environments --- not just desert, but also arctic, with a narrow strip of forest in between. Is that still the case?
[20:23] <~Dan> (Shane's a cool guy.)
[20:26] <+Ben> BPI, I'll take your comment back to the "business people" -- what price do you think more "reasonalbe" for a 300 page PDF?
[20:26] <+Ben> Yes, the environment is not strictly desert.  It's just that there is a lot of desert.  Even in the deepest desert there is water (an ancient islamic proverb, btw).
[20:26] <+Ben> We have the glacial wastes, the Scorchlands, the Ouri corridor (the forested area mentioned) and there are many pockets of "life" throughout -- including some caverns that host quite a bit of life.
[20:26] <+Ben> It's certainly no "Tatooine".
[20:26] <+Ben> (done)
[20:28] <~Dan> Are there still a good number of playable races and racial cross-breeds?
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[20:29] <+Ben> We haven't reduced the number at all -- and we're trying hard not to increase it, either.  So, yes.  No changes.
[20:29] <+Ben> We have had a lot of other "permutations" suggested and if it's popular, we'll release them.  But, for now, it's the same group of races as in the first book.
[20:30] <+Ben> Since we're updating the artwork, however, moving to color, some of the presentation of the races and cultures are changing a little. (done)
[20:30] <+msogre> In this setting will there be use for a character that has computer skills?
[20:30] <~Dan> (Oh, welcome to #rpgnet, msogre!)
[20:31] <+msogre> thanks
[20:31] <~Dan> (And to you as well, minaithnir!)
[20:31] <+Ben> Msogre, indeed there will. Now, some of that depends on what your GM chooss as a "typical" adventuring scenario.  However, the Dry Denizens have technology (they just hide it) and they seek out the otec in the wastelands to bring it back to augment their own tech.
[20:31] <+Ben> Several of our adventures at Gen Con centered around retrieving this otec.
[20:32] <+Ben> And the character of "Culrain" who is one of the "voices" throughout the book is actually telling his tale by speaking into a "stylus" which is essentially a computerized recorder and storage device.
[20:32] <+Ben> (done)
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[20:34] <~Dan> I recall that culture was just as important as occupation in determining a PC's base stats. Is that still the case in this version?
[20:35] <+Ben> The premise of Promised Sands -- that remains unchanged -- is that your culture is just as important to who you are as your racial heritage and your selection of your career.
[20:35] <+Ben> Who you are as a person, the basic skill set of your youth, the mores you live with are all cultural and that defines everything from your social perspectives to your religious viewpoints.
[20:36] <+Ben> Not saying that you can't change those elements -- but the basis is what forms the person.
[20:37] <~Dan> Do all Sixcess games use that premise?
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[20:38] <+BenRogers> Sorry.  My daughter reset my router.
[20:38] <+BenRogers> Did my last message go through?
[20:40] <~Dan> If it was an answer to my question, no.
[20:40] <+BenRogers> You asked about culture?
[20:40] <+BenRogers> I had typed in three lines of detail -- apparently to thin air.  :)
[20:40] <~Dan> After that, I asked if all Sixcess games use that same premise.
[20:40] <+BenRogers> Yes, culture is still a big part of the world.
[20:40] <~Dan> (I got the culture/race answer. :) )
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[20:41] <+BenRogers> No, each gameworld focuses on different themes.  Extraordinarly Voyages, for instance, with it's strong social striation is centered around a primary culture with other cultures seen through their eyes.
[20:41] <+Beelzedude> (night)
[20:42] <+BenRogers> The social is strong -- but the Vektran culture is the lens and other cultures are viewed through their eyes.
[20:42] <+BenRogers> (done)
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[20:42] <+BenRogers> "Extraordinary Voyages" (without the typo...)
[20:42] <+minaithnir> I would like to say as an overly avid follower of Promised Sands for the past 10 years or so, this game is immensely fun and should definitely be given a try
[20:42] <+BenRogers> Ah!  Minaithnir!  :)  Thank you.  :)
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[20:44] <+BenRogers> When I was GMing a lot of divergent groups at three different FLGSs, I liked to bring out Promised Sands because these guys had "seen everything" and "played everything" and there was "nothing new" to them.  The could spot memes that other games stole from each other from way back.
[20:44] <+BenRogers> And they loved Promised Sands because it was not based or dirivative on anything in their gaming history.  And it still isn't.
[20:44] <~Dan> How closely do the Promised Sands races correspond to the "standard" fantasy races?
[20:44] <+BenRogers> It's a new, different, rich, deep setting.  :)  (done)
[20:45] <~Dan> I recall orc, dwarf, and elf counterparts, IIRC.
[20:45] <+BenRogers> Well, there are "elfy types" and "dwarfy types" and "orcy types" -- but that's about as close as it gets.  If you really feel a need to play the "typical" races, you can view the Syl/Troog, the Andw'ahr/Suv'ik and the Djezinti in those lights.
[20:45] <+BenRogers> However, they're actually quite different.  And intentionally so.
[20:45] <+BenRogers> And you've never seen a Numid anywhere else, before.
[20:46] <+BenRogers> So, we played on the tropes -- but made them uniquely our own.
[20:46] <+BenRogers> (done)
[20:46] <+BenRogers> Plus the mix of half-breeds really mixes things up.
[20:47] * ~Dan nods
[20:47] <+BenRogers> We also included two "otherworldly" races (who are, quite literally, from another world) -- the Loshad (horsefolk) and the Myrlihk (catfolk).
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[20:47] <+BenRogers> We're actually bringing both of those races into more of the limelight due to their popularity. (done)
[20:48] <~Dan> The Loshad are aliens?
[20:48] <+BenRogers> The Loshad are not of this Earth, that is correct.
[20:48] <~Dan> Huh... I thought they were neigh-tives.
[20:48] <+BenRogers> Neigh. ;)
[20:48] <~Dan> :D
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[20:49] <~Dan> Do they have their own tech?
[20:49] <+minaithnir> <groan> lol
[20:49] <~Dan> (wb, rocketlunatic!)
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[20:50] <+BenRogers> The backstory on them is rather convoluted.  The Myrlihk tried to conquer them and while bringing back slaves, they escaped and caused problems with the ship they were in, causing the ship to crash and the life-pods brought Loshad and Myrlihk to the western shores -- where they continue to hunt each other.
[20:50] <+BenRogers> (done)
[20:50] <+minaithnir> well thats the Loshads version of the story anyway hehe
[20:51] <+BenRogers> Potentially.  However, the ship crashed and that caused the Spire -- so if there is any tech, it's probably (wink) there.  Although the Loshad have some interesting, secret places -- and so the Myrlihk.  But, the cultures are very hard to penetrate. (done)
[20:51] <~Dan> The Loshad will tell that story to anyone who'll listen. And they'll yell themselves horse.
[20:52] <+BenRogers> minaithnir brings up a good point -- much of the history is perspective dependent.  We had some people review the book that didn't get that and said there was "contradictory" history.  And to them, I just had to say, "have you read ours?"  ;)
[20:52] <+BenRogers> (done)
[20:52] <+BenRogers> (Dan, you're just begging for me to toss you a Strike die, aren't you?) ;)
[20:52] <~Dan> (No. I'm just being me. Ask around. :) )
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[20:53] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about the supernatural powers that are available? And are those powers actually "sufficienly advanced" tech?
[20:53] <+BenRogers> In Sixcess, Strike dice are kinda like "karma points" where if you do something really cool, in character or break up the group in laughter, you can earn a die that can augment any roll.  There are some rules around it, but it's a fun way to garner a reward whilst having fun together.
[20:54] <+BenRogers> The "magic" and "psionics" are called Ido and Qai (respectively). They are tied together.  They are actually "a highly advanced form of technology".
[20:54] <+BenRogers> Empathy, however, is more of a natural ability that has developed as a response to the changes in the world.
[20:55] <+BenRogers> Marocs are "magic users" and Rusahni are "psions" and they don't get along (well, truth be told Marocs don't get along with each other, either...)
[20:55] <+BenRogers> We based the mentality of marocs on spiders -- who hunt, kill and eat their own kind just as much as they do other sources of food.
[20:55] <+BenRogers> And Marocs grow in power through the acquisition of maroc stones -- and who else has maroc stones than another Maroc?
[20:55] <+BenRogers> (done)
[20:56] <+BenRogers> Empathy was barely touched upon in the first version, but is expanded and detailed more fully in the new version.
[20:56] <+BenRogers> (done)
[20:57] <~Dan> How powerful are these powers?
[20:58] <+BenRogers> We temper the power level by implementing "changes" to the characters who become uber powerful. Marocs become "Maroc liches" and shed their flesh, as the maroc stones convert them to a crystalline entity.
[20:58] <+BenRogers> And Rusahni fall deeper into themselves as they study and learn the more esoteric elements of life.
[20:59] <+BenRogers> However, in general terms, a maroc can become a fairly high powered mage (compared to other systems), so, too, the Rusahni as psion.
[20:59] <~Dan> So high-powered magicians are really caught between maroc and a hard place?
[21:00] <+BenRogers> The empath, I'm still fiddling with the mechanics on them, so I'm not sure how "powerful" they'll become -- but their "power" is very subtle and passive, so it's hard to detect even when very strong.
[21:00] <+BenRogers> Indeed, Dan -- you set me up for that one, didn't you?
[21:00] <+BenRogers> ;)
[21:00] <~Dan> :D
[21:00] <~Dan> How extensive is the bestiary?
[21:01] <+BenRogers> It's pretty big -- and growing.  We have everything in there from mutated sea creatues (yes, in a desert world, there is an ocean, brimming with life and desert cultures are known for their skills at fishing).
[21:02] <+BenRogers> ...all the way to the "Iphs" -- which are varying types of golems.
[21:02] <+BenRogers> We have the kutul, that looks like  "floatie" in water and we have the "bruckbird" (it's a chicken!)
[21:02] <+BenRogers> (The Bruckbird was born of an adventure where it was used *as a weapon* against an anklebiter.)
[21:03] <+BenRogers> some of the Kickstarter options allow Backers to create new creatures -- and several have taken us up on that and are devising some wicked creatures.
[21:03] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:03] <~Dan> (As an aside, Ryan Span, the creator of some of those sea creatures, now lives about 10 minutes down the road from me. :) )
[21:04] <+BenRogers> Ryan!  Awesome! Please put him in touch with me! :)
[21:04] <+Bigby> Belated "mwahahaha" at Backers creating new creatures.  :)
[21:04] <~Dan> I'll PM you his FB info.
[21:05] <~Dan> Sent.
[21:05] <+BenRogers> Indeed.  :)  We've been offering Backers the right to create creatures if they hit "significant" points on the way to complete funding -- and most of those points end in "666" so that might tell youthe kind of beasts we're getting... ;)
[21:06] <~Dan> Interesting... If it's a science-as-fantasy setting, how do you account for supernatural creatures?
[21:06] <+Bigby> It's a Dire responsibility...
[21:06] * ~Dan golfclaps
[21:07] <+BenRogers> The cool thing are all the ideas I've been given based on the different ideas that have been floated my way...
[21:07] <+BenRogers> Giant wingless cow wasps...
[21:08] <+BenRogers> Oh... (done)
[21:08] <~Dan> (Did you see my question?)
[21:08] <+BenRogers> No....
[21:09] <+BenRogers> *scrolling*
[21:09] <+BenRogers> Ah...
[21:09] <+BenRogers> The backstory of the world explains the "supernatural" elements.
[21:09] <+BenRogers> Bottom line: it's all because a giant sentient computer is trying desperately to repair itself.
[21:10] <+BenRogers> Do you want the backstory here?
[21:10] <~Dan> Sure. I'll put a spoiler warning in the log.
[21:10] <+BenRogers> Okay...
[21:10] <~Dan> Actually, just a sec...
[21:10] <+BenRogers> ***SPOLERS****
[21:10] <+BenRogers> SPOILERS, even
[21:10] <~Dan> Oh, n/m. That works. :)
[21:10] <+BenRogers> So, here are the spoilers....
[21:11] <+BenRogers> A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far... wait... no...  Well, close...
[21:11] <+BenRogers> So, a giant trans solar asteroid comes crashing through our solar system and sideswipes Mars. Mars implodes, the asteroid implodes and Earth is "shotgunned" with the debris.
[21:12] <+BenRogers> On that asteroid was a giant, sentient computer made up of trillions upon trillions of nanobots which created a "networked consciousness".  Much like the cells in our brains make up our sentience.
[21:13] <+BenRogers> Big pieces and chunks of that computer were "sprayed" and "shotgunned" all over earth.  Each of the nanites is working hard -- and communicating with others nearby -- to recreate the computer.
[21:13] <+BenRogers> They have suffused everything on the planet and each group works to make changes to the creatures they find themselves within to be the "strongest and most survivable" creature.
[21:13] <+BenRogers> The whole point is to bring as many of the nanites together to a single point to recreate this computer.
[21:14] <+BenRogers> The problem is that the programming has been corrupted.
[21:14] <+BenRogers> And so very divergent lifeforms are made from the alterations.
[21:14] <+BenRogers> And they are able to tap into the brains of the some of the higher level beings (humans) -- which they have also genetically altered to be more "survivable".
[21:15] <+BenRogers> And some of those beings can "interface" with chunks (maroc stones / crystals) and make their will happen based on the ability of the nanites to network with all the other nanites in the world around them.
[21:15] <+BenRogers> That is the ebb and flow of "magic" and "psionics" or Ido and Qai.
[21:16] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:16] <~Dan> *****END SPOILERS****
[21:16] <+Maelthra> You may want to have a word with Monte Cook. I think he read your book.
[21:16] <~Dan> That's really cool... Was that the unspoken backstory of the 1st edition?
[21:17] <+BenRogers> Yeah, well, it happens. ;)  He just jammed his 999,996,500 years too late.
[21:17] <+BenRogers> Yes.
[21:18] <+BenRogers> I have MC's book -- but it's still in shrink wrap and I'm not planning to open it till I've completely finished Promised Sands 2.0.
[21:18] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:18] <~Dan> Are there any clear good guys/bad guys in the setting?
[21:18] <+Maelthra> You'll never have to, Ben. >__>
[21:18] <+BenRogers> Again, a lot is perspective.
[21:19] <+BenRogers> One theme is "who owns the legitimate claim to the Promised Sands?"
[21:19] <+BenRogers> So, 3500 years before, in the year 2150, when Earth was "shotgunned" the human race took to the seas to survive the impending climate changes.
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[21:19] <+BenRogers> The domed cities under the seas were supposed to last for 300 - 500 years.
[21:19] <+BenRogers> But they've been down there for nearly 10x their expected duration.
[21:20] <+BenRogers> And now they're starting to come to the surface to reclaim the land that they fled.
[21:20] <+BenRogers> But there's new people there -- who have been there for 3500 years.
[21:20] <+BenRogers> Who owns the claim?
[21:20] <+BenRogers> It has real world conundrums -- Israel / Palestine, for instance.
[21:21] <+BenRogers> So, are the Wet Denizens the bad guys? To the Trade Guild?  Yes.
[21:21] <+BenRogers> And the Trade Guild is enslaving people and making them work in the mines for their wealth.  Are they the bad guys? To the Skulae, yes.
[21:21] <+BenRogers> And so forth. (done)
[21:21] <+BenRogers> Everyone can be a bad guy to someone else.
[21:21] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:21] <~Dan> Speaking of the Wet Denizens, why haven't they advanced further technologically in all that time?
[21:22] <+BenRogers> The WDs have taken two courses...  One of them is a very fascist, dominating, controlling culture of "survival" -- where they pretty much stagnated.
[21:23] <+BenRogers> Another was to develop bio-tech that would allow them to "embrace the seas" -- those are the "Deep Denizens" and one of our future books is intended to detail life beneath the waves.  (We love the irony of a whole book devoted to live beneath the oceans in a "desert fantasy" world.) :)
[21:23] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:25] <~Dan> How grim-and-gritty is the setting, and to what extent did you tweak Sixcess to make it so?
[21:25] <+BenRogers> Oh, when the WDs come to the surface and face off against the Ch'ak, both have an eye-opening challenge ahead of themselves...
[21:26] <+BenRogers> It's pretty grim.  I'm actually trying to lighten it up a little.  There's cannibalism, slavery, etc. It's down and dirty survival.  As NPH said in Starship Troopers, "it's survival of the fittest and we're losing!" (or words to that effect)
[21:26] <+BenRogers> Some of the people who are squeamish about "spreading genetic material around" may want to skim the details of the Skulae.
[21:27] <+BenRogers> These are peoples and cultures who see the end not of their way of life -- but of their *kind* of life.  And they have been struggling to survive for thousands of years.
[21:27] <+BenRogers> Altering Sixcess to fit that has been mostly in the area of the Edges and Flaws. The basic mechanic is agnostic of such elements -- but the feel and the tone of the world is found in the roleplaying elements, which tie into the Edges and Flaws.
[21:27] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:29] <~Dan> Can you give some examples?
[21:29] <+BenRogers> One of the original developers used to complain to me about twisting every "nice and peaceful thing" into something "horrible and vicious" and one of the artists once asked me, "does *every* creature have horns?"
[21:30] <+BenRogers> Well, magic itself is predatory. So, where most of our edges in Sixcess about magic just involve basic power capatilibites -- Promised Sands includes WIL roles to avoid going after another maroc to steal his maroc stones -- and the more he has, the stronger the call.
[21:31] <+BenRogers> The creatures are vicious. The taking of people's water and rendering their bodies for the "elements of life" is pretty dark and twisted.
[21:31] <+BenRogers> The religions that center around death -- and how life is lived if you still have it -- are pretty dark.
[21:32] <+BenRogers> Yet, we did try to infuse some light and hope and life.  The nature of a newborn child is precious -- and the woman who bears a baby is almost deified. The calling to be a midwife is one of the most glorified.
[21:32] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:32] <+BenRogers> Oh, and we think Promised Sands fits very well in our stable of "wonky" games that are all "Harsh Realities".
[21:32] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:33] <~Dan> Do I recall you mentioning a crossover with another Sixcess setting?
[21:33] <+BenRogers> Yes. One of the "secrets" of Promised Sands are the "crystal teleporters" -- it's how the Renizant culture was able to span and control nearly the whole of the world while lacking any traditional technology.
[21:34] <+BenRogers> They are controlled through precisely codified *music*.
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[21:34] <+BenRogers> At one point, there was some "dissonance" in the song of a transport and a huge caravan was sent *somewhere else*
[21:34] <+BenRogers> They wound up on one of the worlds in the Extraordinary Voyages universe.
[21:35] <+BenRogers> So, we crossed over some Numid, some Andw'ahr and some creatures -- as well as a "death cult" from Promised Sands into Extraordinary Voyages.
[21:36] <+BenRogers> The Andw'ahr lost some of their tusks and became little more than "short, robust humans" reverting back to their previous nature without the continual influx of nanites.  And they fill the niche of "Irish" and "Scottish" in our pseudo-Victorian setting.
[21:36] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:37] <+BenRogers> (Extraordinary Voyages is the settings I'm enjoying creating the most, btw.  But, it's far too soon to talk about it.) ;)
[21:37] <~Dan> :)
[21:38] <~Dan> What are the largest civilizations in the setting?
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[21:39] <+BenRogers> In terms of size, the Trade Guild is probably the largest. In terms of might, the Ch'ak. In terms of technology the Dry/WetDenizens.  In terms of agricultural power, the Andw'ahr.
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[21:40] <+BenRogers> The Trade Guild are the remnant of the Renizant empire.  They have all the previous strength of that empire, though they are focused exclusively on the sheer power of their economics -- and that is their undoing.
[21:40] <+BenRogers> When the Wet Denizens come onto the scene, having little or no interest in their economics, the TG are finally challenged with an enemy they don't know how to deal with.
[21:41] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:41] <+BenRogers> I shouldn't neglect the two cultures of drachen-riders...  they're not to be trifled with, either.
[21:42] <+BenRogers> One of the things I like to point out is that this is still only one small portion of the world, too.  It's a big, big world out there. ;)
[21:42] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:43] <~Dan> How is anyone able to resist the Wet Denizens?
[21:44] <+BenRogers> That's pretty much the subject matter of the first major supplement.  What happens when the unstoppable force slams into the unmoveable object.
[21:44] <+BenRogers> When the Wet Denizens war against the Ch'ak.
[21:44] <+BenRogers> ... and both face a challenge neither of them expected. (done)
[21:45] <&Silverlion> Hi
[21:45] <+BenRogers> We're trying hard not to make a meta-game out of it -- but we'll include a "timeline" (if anyone wants to follow it) when the second book comes out.
[21:45] <&Silverlion> Still going on?
[21:45] <+BenRogers> Heya, Silverlion. :)
[21:45] <+Bigby> Hi Silver.
[21:45] <~Dan> Sil: Yup!
[21:45] <+BenRogers> Yeah, have we been going too long?  You wanna talk about something else? :)
[21:45] <~Dan> You're still within your alloted 2 hours. :)
[21:46] <&Silverlion> No problem, just surprised is all
[21:46] <+BenRogers> Cool, I didn't know I had two hours. :)
[21:46] <~Dan> We don't usually do Friday Q&As. :)
[21:46] <+BPIJonathan> Which was one of the reasons I was late :D
[21:46] <+BenRogers> Well, thank you for making a special case for me. :)
[21:46] <~Dan> Certainly. :)
[21:47] <+BenRogers> The kickstarter for Promised Sands is almost funded -- and we have a week to go.
[21:47] <~Dan> Great!
[21:47] <~Dan> Speaking of which, perhaps you should post a link to it?
[21:47] <+BenRogers> We've actually contracted for all the stretch goals mentioned -- but if we don't get them, we'll put them in a separate supplement.
[21:48] <~Dan> (brb)
[21:48] <+BenRogers> (Link:
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[21:48] <+Bigby> With the original Promised Sands the cultures, races, and jobs were all very detailed, but also all tied to the actual game mechanics.  With the career path you could excel to a master or fail and be sold into slavery before you even finished making the character (or so it seemed, I have only read it, not played it).
[21:48] <+Bigby> In the Sixcess version will most of that simply be background material to roleplay?
[21:48] <+BenRogers> We have less than $500 to go.  And, may I suggest looking at the $100 option for the "Gen Con Participant" special?  That option gives two hardback,color, books with kickstarter exclusive covers. It's a very good deal for the money.  :)
[21:50] <+BenRogers> A lot of the Promised Sands character creation elements will be there -- but it will be a little less detailed.  We're working on a "life path creation" process -- because our fans said it was an important element of the game for them.
[21:50] <+BenRogers> I don't think it'll make it into the basic Promised Sands book at this point -- but we'll have it for the future.
[21:50] <+BenRogers> However, part of the process of picking Race + Culture + Career will be an aspect of character creation, yes. (done)
[21:51] <+Bigby> Cool.  Having not played the original parts of it (particularly some of the career stuff) seemed...excessive.
[21:52] <+BenRogers> LOL  Yes, it could be seen that way.  It was actually a "game within a game" -- and we did it before Burning Wheel came out! ;)
[21:52] <~Dan> (back)
[21:52] <+BenRogers> Though, we can't claim the credit for the first game to have a means for your character to die in character creation -- that dubious distinction goes to Traveller. :)
[21:52] <+Bigby> Nice to know it will be an option at some point, but I think Sixcess Edges and Flaws and just roleplaying the fluff could cover most of it.
[21:53] <+BenRogers> That is certainly a big part of it, yes.
[21:53] <+Bigby> lol, yup.  I've heard more tales of character creation death than actual adventures from Traveller.
[21:54] <~Dan> With the caveat that you're welcome to chat with us as long as you like, is there anything you'd like to mention that we haven't discussed yet in the "regular" time remaining?
[21:54] <+BenRogers> It's actually kind a fun, if you get into character creation -- and certainly the "stuff of legends". Kinda like playing a character that dies in a (non-zombie) Gen Con event. :)
[21:55] <+BenRogers> It's really easy for me to tell you how cool Promised Sands is because I'm "selling" it -- but really, we just poured a lot of love into it and I can get kinda exuberant about something I love. :)  Rather than tell you how awesome it is, I'd just point you to the reviews that said how really cool the world is -- and ask you to remember:
[21:56] <+BenRogers> A) we have a new, better game system
[21:56] <+BenRogers> B) we have no uzmek
[21:56] <+BenRogers> C) we have fans from over a decade ago who have had ZERO support that are excitedly telling folks about the world and still playing it.
[21:57] <+BenRogers> It's not your typical world and I hope folks take a look at it who are looking for something new and different.
[21:57] <+BenRogers> And that's what Harsh Realities is trying to do -- break free of the tropes and create some new, interesting worlds. :)
[21:57] <+BenRogers> (done)
[21:57] <+msogre> I have been trying to think up of a character for promised sands and was wondering if a tech savy/rogue Myrlihk would fit.
[21:57] <+Bigby> Just so it's clear, the 2 books in the $100 backer level Ben mentioned includes Sixcess Core, the core rule/mechanics book that will be used with not only Promised Sands but with Extraordinary Voyage and the other great settings HR has planned.
[21:58] <+BenRogers> MsOgre, Now *that* is an interesting character -- because we wrote up a Myrlihk who hooked up with a Dry Denizen group and started studying their tech at one point... :)
[21:58] <+BenRogers> Bigby, good point. Only the cover of Sixcess Core in the package deal is unique to Promised Sands -- it's the generic mechanic that works with all the settings. :)
[21:59] <+minaithnir> of course you could always try trial and error with tech and pray for good rolls lol
[21:59] <+BenRogers> LOL Yes...  I seem to recall some fun with that... ;)
[22:00] <+BenRogers> I recall a crew at Gen Con who really got into the whole thing about me describing technology in terms that non-technological people would see it -- and then trying to figure out what it was.  The toilets were the most fun. ;)
[22:00] <+BenRogers> (done)
[22:00] <+msogre> hehe
[22:00] * ~Dan chuckles
[22:00] <+Bigby> Wish I would have caught that game.  Elfwood was fun though.
[22:01] <+msogre> that it was
[22:01] <+BenRogers> We have had several games,now, that the players all had no game scheduled afterwards and asked the GM to keep going with the adventure -- to the tune of 6 hours at one table!
[22:01] <~Dan> Wow!
[22:02] <+msogre> sweet wish i was in one of those
[22:02] <+BenRogers> I'm almost afraid of what we'd do if we had an advertising budget.  Nearly everyone who plays becomes a "fan" -- and extremely loyal!  We had four events at Gen Con bought out by last years' players.
[22:03] <+Bigby> Heck, I was in the last game of the night and was so impressed I just hung out and chatted for over an hour.
[22:03] <~Dan> Nice. :)
[22:03] <+BenRogers> We're planning other cons to visit -- Archon in St. Louis, Springfield Game in Springfield, MO, Scarab in SC...
[22:03] <+BenRogers> Micah, which night?
[22:04] <&Silverlion> Its awesome that its getting a deserved fandom.
[22:04] <+Bigby> Saturday.  I'm the fat, bearded ginger.
[22:04] <+BenRogers> Now I know who you are, you anal-retentive nutjob! LOL
[22:04] <+BenRogers> :)
[22:04] <+BenRogers> Said in all love and in GREAT appreciation! :)
[22:04] <+Bigby> That's how I overheard the ant/wasp Texas conversation, lol
[22:05] <+BenRogers> Thanks, Silverlion, I just hope we can continue to live up to it all and can keep the support going.  We're really having fun with people who seem to be hungry for something different.
[22:05] <&Silverlion> Indeed.
[22:05] <+BenRogers> Micah, your attention to detail has been exceedingly helpful and appreciated. :)
[22:05] <&Silverlion> <--Tim kirk :D
[22:06] <+BenRogers> OH!
[22:06] <+Bigby> Awe shucks.
[22:06] <+BenRogers> LOL
[22:06] <+BenRogers> Heya, Tim, my friend! :)
[22:07] <+Bigby> The artist?
[22:07] <~Dan> Not trying to run you off here, Ben, but I think I'll go ahead and call an end to the "official" part of the chat for logging purposes.
[22:07] <+BenRogers> Micah, Tim has written some material for us. And he's also written quite a bit of other stuff
[22:08] <+BenRogers> Okies. I'm fine with that.  Thanks for inviting me and running this on short notice.  Much appreciated to Dan and all the #RPGnet chatters.  :)
[22:08] <+BenRogers> Just one last plug....
[22:08] <+BenRogers> We'd really appreciate your backing if you can spare even a $1 for support.  :)
[22:08] <+BenRogers> (Link:
[22:09] <~Dan> Thanks for coming out, Ben!

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