Friday, January 31, 2014

[Q&A] Bob Whitely (Cosmothea)

[20:04] <+Bob> Hi all, my name is Bob Whitely. I formed QT Games LLC to publish creative projects, including my Cosmothea Blended-Genre Roleplaying Game, the Cosmoverse Campaign Setting, novels, anthologies, as well as a few board and card games, of which I’ve made many over the years.
[20:04] <+sync> Abstruse: Oh brill thanks mate......that helps a lot :)
[20:04] <+Bob> As for Cosmothea, it is multi-genre rpg (or blended-genre as I prefer to call it, since I feel it is more applicable). The game uses multiple resolution systems (2D10, 1D20 and a diceless system I devised), skill-based actions, including combat and social conflict systems.
[20:04] <+Bob> It is designed for heavy customization of race and career paths, provides an unusual and rich power system (1 system for all types of power/magic) and layers of optional complexity. I’m working on our 5th major overhaul.
[20:05] <+Bob> The game is playable while under construction and some parts are still under heavy construction, so when I answer questions about it, I’m always coming from the standpoint of where I’m heading, not just what has been set in stone as of this moment. (done)
[20:05] <~Dan> Thanks, Bob!
[20:05] <+Abstruse> When you say multiple resolution systems, what do you mean exactly?
[20:05] <~Dan> Any questions to start us off?
[20:05] <+Bob> It's a pleasure to be here.
[20:05] <+Bob> I'll take Abstruse...
[20:06] <+Yog_Sothoth> Did you feel it was necessary to spell out the genres it uses specifically? Why or why not?
[20:06] <+Abstruse> ("That's what she said!")
[20:06] <~Dan> (Those sound like they'll take a bit of answering, so we'll have a question pause there.)
[20:06] <+Abstruse> (I feel dirty making that joke...)
[20:06] <+Bob> By multiple resolution systems, I mean that you can play using diceless, 2D10 or 1D20. Done
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[20:07] <+Bob> Well, I think people sometimes dwell too much on the definitions of genres.
[20:08] <+Bob> Some might call Cosmothea a Science Fantasy game, but that really does not accurately describe it.
[20:09] <+Bob> There isn't just one world or one system, but the Cosmoverse is a vast area with single genre worlds (like LOTR), though that's more rare, and mult-genre worlds (like a civilization over here that's a colony from another world and uber high tech and a hidden civilization on another side of the same world that is magic/fantasy, and then worlds where they all
[20:09] <+Bob> live together. Done.
[20:09] <+Abstruse> Bob: So is it three different systems in one book, or can I mix-and-match between a group? Or does it vary based on situation? Because 2d10 has a bell curve while 1d20 doesn't and diceless...well...doesn't actually chart....
[20:10] <+Bob> Yes, you can mix and match the dice on the fly if the GM allows. If you are using 2D10, you might switch to 1D20 to increase your odds of a critical, but that also increases your odds of a fumble. I like the cinematic feel of crits and fumbles.
[20:11] <+Abstruse> would you consider the setting a "kitchen sink" setting, like say Rifts or TORG?
[20:11] <+Bob> Still experimenting with the diceless version and really like it so far, but not sure yet on switching. One player could use diceless while another uses dice with no problems at all, but I'm not sure you could cleanly switch between dice and diceless as cleanly.
[20:11] <+sync> I thought I read that some actions can effect other worlds....How do you work out the mechanics of that in the game.......Not sure if I asked that correctly but I hope you get my meaning
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[20:12] <+Bob> Probably wouldn't allow dice and cards to be swapped as there are nuances between them that might be more abusable, but certainly between encounters you probably could just fine. WIP.
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[20:12] <+technoshaman> hello
[20:13] <+Bob> Um... Kitchen sink... Hm ...
[20:13] <+technoshaman> Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor!?!?
[20:13] <~Dan> (tech: Q&A in progress. :) )
[20:13] <+Abstruse> (Q&A going on technoshaman...go to #rpgnet2 for general chat ^)^)
[20:13] <+Bob> It does include a lot of stuff, but it isn't a generic game nor generic setting. There are certain things I intentionally left out or handle a certain way. It's not like Rifts, though I'm sure you could simulate something like Rifts without a problem.
[20:13] <+Abstruse> (^_^)
[20:14] <+Bob> Did I miss any Q's?
[20:14] <+Abstruse> (I think sync had one...)
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[20:15] <+Bob> The setting's current date is 3057 AD. It's far future stuff, though there's a lot of post apoc and lots of problems. It's a dying universe. Major problems. Gods are scared. Dimensions have been ripped away.
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[20:16] <+Bob> While there is super advanced tech, those who were the most advanced, isolated themselves from the rest of the universe due to... problems, so there's a lot of tech that only a certain number of people can fix.
[20:16] <+Bob> Done.
[20:16] <+Bob> Sorry, sync?
[20:16] <+Bob> Ah, I see it!
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[20:17] <+Bob> Recently in a game, some characters accidentally sent a powerful artifact through a gateway that is going to cause all kinds of problems on another world.
[20:18] <+Bob> You can come across an ancient high tech machine on a world that's a terraformer, for example and it might cause problems. There's lots of powerful tech laying around. Lots of bad things going on that any character can get in the middle of.
[20:18] <+Bob> Done.
[20:18] <+Warp9> You say Cosmothea is not like Rifts, yet it seems like Rifts is pretty close to Cosmothea in some ways. Both are non-generic, blended genre, class/level based systems. What do you see as the major differences between the games?
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[20:19] <+Bob> Some characters at one point stumbled upon a trapped god and set him free, not knowing what was really going on. That caused lots of interesting things. The campaign is pretty epic, but lots of normal dungeon adventuring goes on too, and space exploration. Done.
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[20:19] <+Bob> Hi Warp9!
[20:20] <+Warp9> Hi :-)
[20:20] <~Dan> (Howdy, Schadmobile!)
[20:20] <+Bob> Very different settings. Every setting may have some similarities, of course.
[20:21] <+Bob> Extremely different settings IMO, but yeah, there are other non generic games out there that cover quite a bit of stuff, of course. Fall of Man for example.
[20:21] <+Bob> Done
[20:22] <+Bob> Oh, sorry. Just noticed the tail end of your Q.
[20:22] <~Dan> So do levels of technology and magic vary more between dimensions, or between worlds in the same dimensions?
[20:23] <+Abstruse> Is this game currently out or are you prepping a Kickstarter? Hard to tell sometimes with indie games ^_^;;
[20:23] <+Bob> Rifts has very different mechanics for everything from what I can tell, including their power escalation. too many differences to count. Done.
[20:24] <+Bob> Dan: Levels of technology vary wildly on many worlds, though worlds that are aligned with particular galactic kingdoms are closer and more stable due to trading and development.
[20:24] <+Bob> That goes on to some degree on other dimensions as well, though there are many gods controlling some of the dimensions and their tech levels and societies tend to be more similar in level. Done.
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[20:25] <+MonkofLords> Hello!
[20:25] <+Bob> Hi MonkofLords!
[20:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, MonkofLords!)
[20:25] <+Abstruse> (BTW, as a reporter I have to report...Arthur Rankin Jr. has passed away. He was the Rankin part of Rankin-Bass that brought us the original Hobbit cartoon amongst many holiday specials)
[20:26] <+Bob> :(
[20:26] <+MonkofLords> (that's a shame)
[20:26] <~Dan> Actually, in answering Abstruse's question, perhaps you'd like to link to and discuss your current Kickstarter?
[20:26] <~Dan> (Awwww. :( )
[20:27] <+Abstruse> (1924 - he led a full life with an amazing legacy.)
[20:27] <+Bob> Sorry to hear about Arthur.
[20:27] <+Bob> Um...
[20:28] <+Bob> I have a Kickstarter going. In fact, it's over in less than 53 hours. (Link:
[20:29] <+Yog_Sothoth> That is a shame
[20:29] <+Bob> It is for an anthology set in the Cosmoverse (my campaign setting) 2 books. The funding goal is for the first.
[20:29] <+Bob> 8 tales blending magic, mystery, advanced technology, exploration, superheroes & horror, set within the vast, blended-genre Cosmoverse.
[20:29] <+Bob> done
[20:29] <+Abstruse> (Sorry to interrupt with bad news. If you want to talk about the legacy of Rankin-Bass, you can join #rpgnet2 if you like)
[20:30] <+sync> is the game actually available at this time ?
[20:30] <+Bob> Thanks, Abstruse, and I am sorry about that situation, of course.
[20:30] <+Abstruse> What's the magic system like in your game?
[20:31] <+Bob> The game is available to play online (I'm rebooting a playtest in a week or so - as soon as the Kickstarter is behind me and I've had a full night's sleep). For those in Las Vegas, it's also available for face2face. Done.
[20:32] <+Bob> Great Question, Abstruse. (Link:
[20:32] <+Bob> That link will take you to 3 videos. 2 are on the magic system. It's probably the game's most unique aspect I suppose.
[20:32] <+Abstruse> Can you give us a Cliff's Notes?
[20:33] <+Bob> But I can go into a bit of detail here (dueling is still under construction) As I said earlier, I think, I'm on the 5th major iteration, so some things are changing and have been changed, since the last version.
[20:33] <+Abstruse> I mean Vancian (D&D), Mana Points (Many anime games), Drain (Shadowrun)?
[20:33] <+Bob> yep Abstruse.
[20:34] <+Bob> I've never liked Vancian. It has some things in common with a mana point system.
[20:35] <+Bob> You have a pool of power points and can spend them on spells/enchantments or miracles depending on your path. Every spell ranges from 1st level to 10th, even resurrection and teleporation. All of 'em. And there are simple and complex versions of every power.
[20:35] <+Bob> Complex spells are simply a more aggressive version of a simple spell. They are harder to cast, are more powerful, but on a fumble, carry a more significant cost potential.
[20:36] <+Bob> There is something called Entropy. It's basically magic static, like on your TV set. it is disruptive to spellcasting. So you have to do things to avoid it. Entropy most commonly appears when you are using much metal around a spell.
[20:37] <+Abstruse> Do you have anything like "at will" spells? Like little cantrips and spells that don't do much more damage than normal weapon attacks that can be used over and over with no additional cost?
[20:37] <+Bob> Like if you were in a metal cage trying to cast spells to escape, you'd have a hard time due to all the entropy. I could go on. There's a LOT to the system. There's also dueling, which is kind of like another magic system of sorts.
[20:37] <+Yog_Sothoth> This may be an obtuse question but, what do you think the constant generation of new roleplaying games and campaign settings is for?
[20:38] <+Bob> I have something called Maki. You can store that in your body (regular magic - quinitessence - is too dangerous to store in your body. There are no wands or spell books, though you could make them. Magic is poisonous.
[20:39] <+Bob> Using Maki, you can do various simple tricks, minor spells/enchantments/miracles/super powers. They all use the same system.
[20:39] <+Bob> You can use maki all day long.
[20:40] <+Bob> I'm pretty excited about dueling and the concept of power templates too (the videos really help as this whole power system is quite unlike other games).
[20:40] <+sync> how easy is the game for a complete beginner to get into ?
[20:40] <+Bob> But let's see now, Yog_Sothoth. Reading yours...
[20:41] <+Bob> Yog, I would rather discuss that question another time if it's all the same to you. It's not really related to Cosmothea directly. I will say that when I started designing Cosmothea and the Cosmoverse, there were very few RPG's on the market.
[20:42] <+Bob> We're talking almost 35 years.
[20:42] <+Bob> sync's Q..
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[20:43] <+HalG> Your Kickstarter is fiction, can you tell us more about that project?
[20:43] <+Bob> I'd say that if you've never played an RPG it is not currently as approachable as it is about the same complexity as, say Pathfinder. I do have planned some easier character creation systems (I have a few already). but will be reviewing all that.
[20:44] <+Bob> I'd love to, Hal. We have 8 stories in the works (Ed Greenwood, Allen Farr, Steven Schend, Robert Duran, Lee Hammock, Joseph Stirling and I'll be writing 2).
[20:45] <+Bob> The focus of Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology is to spotlight different worlds, cultures, races and concepts of the Cosmoverse.
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[20:46] <+Bob> So, there's a very wide selection of stories, each will be around 10-12,000 words each on average.
[20:46] <+Bob> Some will be longer and one or two might be a tad shorter.
[20:46] <~Dan> (Oh, hey, HalG! Didn't see you over there. :) )
[20:46] <+HalG> Are they all connected, or distinct and separate?
[20:46] <+HalG> Hi Dam, ya I am a ninja!
[20:46] <+HalG> grrr Dan
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[20:46] <+Bob> We've got some really great rewards including art prints by Jason Rainville, including an alternate cover variation that's Kickstarter Exclusive and the same for one of the art prints.
[20:47] <+Bob> The second anthology, Divine Synthesis includes Darrin Drader, Ed Greenwood and Steven Schend and others, and focuses on the dying universe - the godstorm that is wiping out dimensions and that's ruining my perfectly good universe.
[20:48] <+Bob> It is a Stretch Goal. There's lots of cool things going on, but not much time left to get on board: (Link: done.
[20:49] <~Dan> Do the gods have equal influence regardless of world and dimension, or does it vary based on, say, levels of magic?
[20:49] <+HalG> I have worked with (and still working with) a few of your authors and love their work so I am excited!
[20:49] <+Bob> If people want to mess with me or just have some fun, there's even a short story that's separate from the book, called Dead By Dawn, that's worth looking into. :)
[20:50] <+Bob> Great question, Dan!
[20:50] * ~Dan bows
[20:50] <~Dan> That's why I get the big bucks.
[20:50] <+Bob> The gods are currently in scramble for survival mode. :)
[20:51] <+Bob> See, every dimension has things called nodes or power nodes ... there's other names, but they keep the dimension stable and if you can control a node, you gain god-level power from it.
[20:51] <+sync> I think you missed one of HalG 's questions I was going to ask as well ...... Are the stories all connected, or distinct and separate?
[20:51] <+Bob> So the gods try to control these nodes.
[20:51] <+Bob> Oops, sorry. backing up for a moment!
[20:52] <+Bob> Um, no, the stories are not connected, save that you might see 2 of them take place in the same galactic kingdom. In some cases there could be some indirect overlap, and Steven Schend's story is continued into our next 2 anthologies.
[20:52] <+Bob> Divine Synthesis is likely going to have some overlap, but most of what's going on in Arcane Synthesis will not.
[20:53] <+Bob> Anything else I missed before going on to the gods?
[20:53] <~Dan> (That sounds like you're dying.)
[20:53] <+sync> LOL !!
[20:53] <+Bob> Oh, heh!
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[20:54] <+Bob> Um... any other Q's before I discuss not dying, but the gods?!
[20:54] <+Bob> K. Here goes...
[20:54] <~Dan> (Howdy, schadenfreude!)
[20:54] <+Bob> last chance?
[20:54] <+Bob> Hi schadenfreude!
[20:54] <+schadenfreude> Hi, Bob!
[20:54] <+schadenfreude> and Dan
[20:55] <+Bob> Ok, there used to be many, many more dimensions than there are now. A major storyline in the Cosmoverse (there are several storylines running in the background affecting everything in the universe, though not always noticably by most)
[20:56] <+Bob> anyway, the storyline is called the GodStorm. It was a major event that started the Cosmoverse to die. It started absorbing nodes, weakening and collapsing dimensions. Many gods died and as far as anyone knows, can't reform and come back.
[20:57] <+Bob> It is still out there and resurfaces at times, screwing with the way things work. it's created some magic dead zones, if you encounter it out in space, it can mess with your navigational controls, shut you down or worse.
[20:57] <~Dan> schadenfreude: We're talking to Bob Whitely about his blended-genre fiction and game setting, the Cosmoverse.
[20:57] <+Bob> It's got the gods scared and now many of the gods have had to live closer to other gods (and gods they don't like) at times as they scramble to control surviving power nodes.
[20:57] <+Bob> :)
[20:57] <+Bob> I'll stop there for Q's.
[20:57] <+Bob> Done
[20:58] <+schadenfreude> Is it Carl Sagan's Cosmoverse?
[20:58] <+Bob> I've written much about it all and will write tons more, so I could go on all night. Didn't know he had one too. Mine is almost 35 years old.
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[20:59] <+Bob> I don't think he uses that term.
[20:59] <+schadenfreude> I couldn't resist the pun, sorry.
[20:59] <+Bob> :)
[20:59] <~Dan> Bob: But to clarify, since nodes exist everywhere, gods (and their associated supernatural powers) exist even in otherwise non-supernatural worlds/dimensions?
[21:00] <+sync> Bob I bet that was tough keeping up :)
[21:01] <+Bob> Dan: Yes. Definitely. The gods live in both Mortalis (what we would call our universe in the real world) and in other dimensions. And lately, they are much more aggressive about walking the worlds of mortals, where once a High Council of the Gods would have stopped that.
[21:02] <+Bob> There's also the Architects, which are a group of god-like AI that are very influential, though less visible than the gods, usually. Done.
[21:02] <+sync> Bob you are now at $5878 with 52 hours to go.....Any help appreciated ..check it out  (Link:
[21:03] <+Bob> Thanks, sync. That's awesome!
[21:03] <~Dan> If metal disrupts magic, how do you have high magic/high tech settings?
[21:04] <+Bob> We have so many projects in the works and waiting on funding, and getting this Kickstarter off the ground is just the first step. We're just getting warmed up. Just need to get past this funding thing!
[21:04] <+Bob> Great question, Dan!
[21:04] * ~Dan bows :)
[21:05] <+Bob> One of the videos touches on that topic, but essentially, you have to either limit how much metal you are using (a mage in metal armor has penalties to perform magic, for example)
[21:06] <+Bob> You can use other materials (there's plenty out there) for your car, if you want to do a driveby spell or whatever. There's even organic vessels. Lots of options.
[21:06] <+Bob> Done. Next Q. reading...
[21:06] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet you could link us to?
[21:07] <+Bob> Metal does not make it impossible to use magic, just makes errors come easier (penalties to spellcasting skill checks) and fumbles sometimes more disastrous as nasty things can happen when entropy is about!
[21:08] <+sync> does this mean the person wearing armour will be more protected because of the armour...but is worse off using a spell ?
[21:08] <+Bob> Um... I don't, yet, but perhaps in a bit I could show one. Just remember that the game is still under construction, so things can change. Also I'm considering another version of the character sheet. This one includes some options you don't have to use.
[21:09] <+Bob> sync: Yes, unless they learn how to push away Entropy, which is a talent one can buy in the game. The better you are at the talent, the more entropy you can dismiss.
[21:09] <+Bob> Done.
[21:10] <+Bob> The game allows for heavy customization. Lots of options on how to do things. You can make any sort of character for any genre your group wants to play in, including a blending of genres (superhero in a primitive magic or post apocalyptic setting, street mage working for a megacorp, whatever), so long as you don’t leave the setting’s themes.
[21:10] <~Dan> (Captain Caveman!)
[21:10] <+Bob> Done.
[21:10] <+Bob> Heh.
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[21:11] <~Dan> Speaking of superheros, how do their powers work differently from magic? And are there any other power sources in the setting, like psionics, miracles, and mutations?
[21:11] <+Bob> A plumber that uses magic to unclog the drains. There's a lot you can do. But you can't do everything. I love the magic system too much to provide another. So magic works in 1 way, though there's tons of customization in it, and there's also dueling, which is quite different as well.
[21:11] <+sync> that must be so difficult to work out  the formulas for all the spells and defences
[21:13] <+Bob> There are talents. These are not the same thing as spells. I suppose you could say they are like feats in D&D/Pathfinder. There are no psionics, no, though a monster could have a psi talent, but no psionic system. there are, however, plenty of psi powers, so that's covered. Yes, there are other powers and mutations, but they are more like talents
[21:13] <+Bob> and templates (not power templates like you use to store magic so you don't contract the Withering and start to die), but templates like D&D and other games have.
[21:14] <+Bob> As for how their powers work differently...
[21:14] <+Bob> If you wanted to create a Doctor Strange character, you would not need to make a superhero. He's just a mage. He may be a superhero in theme, but not mechanically.
[21:14] * ~Dan nods
[21:15] <+Bob> If you wanted to make the Human Torch, or anything else, you would theme the spells to look like what he does. You can make modifications galore to theme things. And there are special talents available only to superheroes that are more "superhero" themed.
[21:16] <+sync> don't do a spiderman superhero...the film was could see the strings :)
[21:16] <+Bob> Every level a character can purchase racial talents, career talents, universal talents (these are open to everyone). It allows for lots of tweaks. And there are also growth plateaus where you can make more significant tweaks to get exactly what you want.
[21:16] <+Bob> Done
[21:17] <+Bob> :)
[21:17] <+Bob> Sync: let's see now... formulas?
[21:18] <+Bob> The powers are very simple and customizations are very easy. The power system is my favorite part of the game hands down.
[21:18] <+Bob> Done.
[21:18] <+Bob> Should I go into dueling or what would you guys like to know about?
[21:19] <~Dan> Did you see my question about a character sheet?
[21:19] <+Bob> I have a card game I'd like to make about dueling as the magic system lends itself well to a card game.
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[21:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, TQuid!)
[21:19] <+TQuid> Evening, folks
[21:19] <+Bob> Ah, yes. I answered - I'll be preparing a link in the background. Take a bit. :)
[21:20] <~Dan> Ah! Sorry, missed that. Sure, tell us about dueling. :)
[21:20] <+sync> how about a top trumps card game ...have you thought along those lines ?
[21:20] <+Bob> K. Does everyone know what templates are yet? Because they are crucial to magic dueling.
[21:21] <~Dan> I'm not sure what the word means in this context.
[21:21] <+Bob> top trumps? More info please?
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[21:22] <+Bob> Again, my videos are very helpful on all this, but quintessence (the state magic must be in to cast spells) can't be contained in the body, because it's poisonous. It causes the Withering.
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[21:22] <+Bob> So, a long time ago, mages ditched things like spell books and stopped storing magic in their bodies. they created a structure called a power template (lots of names - arcane, divine, Nexus forge...)
[21:23] <+Bob> and they store the magic in those repositories. They also store their notes, so to speak, runes, everything needed to shape magic.
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[21:24] <+Bob> The templates are very sturdy and float beside the mage. They can control them using another state of magic that they can store safely in their bodies - maki I mentioned earlier.
[21:24] <+Bob> A mage can assault another mage's template, do all kinds of crazy things to it, or try.
[21:24] <~Dan> Hmm... Sounds a bit like spell matrices in Earthdawn.
[21:25] <+sync> Top Trumps is quite a craze in the uk...lots of cards with the art and specs of the both have the same set shuffled....each person looks and uses the highest specs...IE...Gandolf magic 80% Player 2 may say ..Hobbit speed 90% he wins the card
[21:25] <+Bob> Mage's that are any good, can manifest guardians to protect his/her template and even manifest champions to fly off and assault an enemy's guardians or template.
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[21:26] <+Bob> sync: Ah, I see, well I've designed a few card games and have some ideas for this one, but I want to make sure it models the magic system well and is also fun, of course.
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[21:26] <&Therion> Allo Gemini
[21:26] <+Gemini> hello, Therion
[21:26] <+Gemini> Of Belial's Brood?
[21:27] <+Bob> Never played Earthdawn, though one of my authors, Allen Farr, is having a book published for it, likely later this year.
[21:27] <~Dan> (Howdy, Gemini!)
[21:27] <+Bob> Done.
[21:27] <+Bob> Hi Gemini!
[21:28] <~Dan> As a practical matter, how do you make an RPG that covers multiple entire universes?
[21:29] <+Bob> Just a few minutes on the character sheet (just bear in mind I may be doing a different one for starting players and may make changes since the game is in another revamp)
[21:29] <~Dan> (No worries. I was mainly hoping to see the attributes, skills, etc.)
[21:30] <+Bob> Heh. It's not easy, but then I'm not trying to make a generic RPG like GURPS to cover every concept. I'm not interested in every concept, just what is part of the Cosmoverse. (although that is a lot - there's even mechs).
[21:30] <+Bob> There is only 1 universe,  however. My time travel does not create parallel universes.
[21:30] <~Dan> Well, for example, how do you decide what races to include?
[21:30] <~Dan> Multiple dimensions, sorry.
[21:31] <+Bob> But of course I do have several dimensions, but then other games do too. Lord willing, I'll eventually cover a good amount with source books, if I get funding
[21:31] <+Bob> You can't publish anything like this all at once.
[21:32] * ~Dan nods
[21:32] <+Bob> Our publication schedule is: Foundation (core rule book), Encounters (our first creature book), Gear (our first gear book), Mind Shroud (a book that's 1 of 3 for a big adventure/setting), then we'll work our way out from there, but first we are trying to build a fan base with the anthologies.
[21:32] <~Dan> Are there some races that are spread out across the universe to a degree that it makes sense to cover them first?
[21:33] <+Bob> If we can't build a larger fan base, we might as well skip publishing RPG's. We're an unknown, but we're not new on the block, just don't have enough to fund yet.
[21:34] <~Dan> (In other words, I'm assuming that you wouldn't make a PC race that exists on only one continent on one planet in the universe.)
[21:35] <+Bob> Ever since 1979, the Cosmoverse has had tons of stargates, so races moved all over the place. There are a number of playable races in Foundation. I plan to make many of the critters in every Encounters book playable as well.
[21:35] <+Bob> In fact, the game used to be called Stargate, back in the early 80's. Then the Stargate franchise appeared, so we changed our name. races get around, and so do languages.
[21:35] <+Bob> Done.
[21:36] <+Bob> Ok, uploading a character sheet now...
[21:37] <+Bob> (Link:
[21:37] <+Bob> Hm...
[21:37] <+Bob> (Link:
[21:37] <+Bob> Is anyone seeing a link?
[21:38] <+Bob> It isn't displaying normally for some odd reason on my end.
[21:38] <+Bob> The link works though
[21:38] <~Dan> I can see it.
[21:38] <+Bob> Oh good. :) It's just showing up as an icon here. I see you can click it.
[21:38] <+sync> link works box with cross but as you say it works
[21:38] <+Bob> :)
[21:40] <+sync> wow that's a lot of customisation you can do there
[21:40] <+Bob> Boons are kind of like action points or Hero points. There's tons you can do with them, including alter storyline elements, not just numerical bonuses.
[21:40] <+Bob> Some of the stuff on that sheet is optional, but I like playing with it all. Some might want simpler. As I said before, there are layers of complexity.
[21:42] <~Dan> I believe we discussed this previously, but for the benefit of log readers: What is the attribute scale?
[21:42] <+Bob> Many concepts are pretty simple. For example, Personal Growth. I don't dole out experience points like pathfinder or D&D, but each significant event that you do, as well as quests and personal goals, can reward personal growth points. When you get 8, you level up.
[21:42] <+sync> Bob its been a great night with loads of new info but its 3:41 here in the uk and im struggling to stay awake......I will have to leave b4 I fall off the chair....cya tomorrow
[21:42] <+HalG> I need to go but ya all need to back the anthology so I can add it to my collection please :-)  Night all.
[21:43] <+Bob> The scale default is 0 and maxes out at 9 with some races going higher on certain attributes. You can penalize yourself and go below zero also. The attribute is the modifier to skill checks.
[21:43] <~Dan> Bye, Hal!
[21:43] <+Bob> Thanks Hal, on all fronts. Take care my friend!
[21:43] <+HalG> Take care my peeps!
[21:43] <~Dan> Sleep well, sync!
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[21:43] <+Bob> sync: Wow, so sorry to keep you up. But thanks for everything! Nite!
[21:43] <+sync> Bump !!!   Hits floor :(  cya guys
[21:44] <+sync> na its been great :)
[21:44] <+Bob> Ouch! Have a good sleep!
[21:44] <+Bob> glad to hear. :)
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[21:44] <+Bob> What next?
[21:44] <~Dan> What are some of the races? Are the fantasy "usual suspects" there, for example?
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[21:45] <+Bob> I wanted to make sure to include many of the fantasy races, though I always put a spin on them. Gnomes are quite different than D&D gnomes, for example. I actually trimmed many races out of the core rulebook - it was getting too big.
[21:46] <+Bob> I have axcii, draeva, dwarves, elves, gnomes, humans, klatu, nehi, orynii, sygman, taager and xeelotians as the "main" races. Players will also be able to use many, many others as characters from Encounters books.
[21:47] <~Dan> What did you say is the race of the augmented character pictured on your KS page?
[21:47] <+Bob> draeva wear an artificial body that's really quite odd in some ways. They were a dying race that the taager rescued. Most died before the taager transferred the survivors into new bodies. There was this high tech amusement park where they had mechanical bodies in storage. Some of them were
[21:48] <+Bob> celebrities, president look-alikes, etc. and they were donated to the government as storage vessels. More modern draeva use nano living metal bodies when they can get 'em
[21:48] <+Bob> the xeelotians are a rocky-like race in appearance. Most of these races appear in my videos.
[21:49] <+Bob> The axcii are cat-like, but were not an evolutionary thing. the gnomes used to be extremely high tech, but were cursed and lost all knowledge of their advanced tech. Even so, they are quite talented.
[21:50] <+Bob> The klatu and taager are quite unusual in many ways that will reveal themselves in storylines, mostly it is non visible. but the klatu are magical humanoids that have some power over propabilities.
[21:50] <+Bob> The nehi are a tiny race known for being great builders.
[21:51] <+Bob> The orynii are just... well they are just totally wild, small race. Robert Duran will introduce them in his story, Wisdom of the Shell (again, if we can get funding!)
[21:51] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[21:51] <+Bob> They are my favorite race with tons of fun potential. They live inside mobile shells, but I won't deny that they are odd and look a bit like little green men or green babies, sort of.
[21:52] <~Dan> (You do know that Nehi is the name of a soda, right? :) )
[21:52] <+Bob> The sygman are a bit like the borg, though they are into organics more so than the borg. Implants, attachments, etc. They are obsessed with self perfection, so one might cut off a perfectly good leg to put on one they think might work better.
[21:53] <+Bob> I know that they retroactively came after my invention, heh
[21:53] <+Bob> They were called nehi as an insult a mockery at first. People saw that they were roughly knee high in height and called them that forever. They have their own names for themselves and those that make fun of them,heh.
[21:54] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:54] <+Bob> The taager have extremely efficient brains and can learn lots of different skills and make inventions on the fly and such. Think MacGuyver or however you spell that old show.
[21:55] <+Bob> Done.
[21:55] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[21:55] <+Bob> I have some really great art for all of them (again on one or more of the 3 videos!)
[21:55] <~Dan> So it appears, based on the character sheet, that skills are fairly broad (e.g., Combat: Melee). Is that correct?
[21:56] <+Bob> Anyone that becomes a playtester (we start up again in a couple weeks roughly), will gain access to the core rulebooks (WIP) and if they stick around for a full adventure and provide some feedback, I'll make sure they get credit when this thing flies.
[21:57] <+Bob> If you have Combat skill, you can do melee and ranged combat with any weapons that you are trained how to use.
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[21:58] <+Bob> My skills cover a number of topics in many cases (such as athletics). Combat, spellcasting, everything is a skill check. However I have something called Positive and Negative environments that's pretty interesting. You don't always need to make a skill check for a skill, and if you are in a negative environment, it's harder to do your skill checks.
[21:58] <+Bob> Done.
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[21:59] <+Bob> My health system works interestingly as well.
[22:00] <+Bob> Things that you really can't get that good at (resisting poison, disease, poison, etc.) use a trait called Life Points. You can die of Life Points without any injuries from combat.
[22:00] <+Bob> Battle Points include your level and talents and include stamina and things like that. That number can get quite high and you can take on various conditions.
[22:01] <+Bob> Life Points don't go up unless your Constitution goes up. So, you might be more nervous around a poisonous snake or a disease belching demon, than something with a sword.
[22:01] <+Bob> Done
[22:02] <+Bob> I see the time is up. I'm happy to stick around for a little while, if it is desirable. Not trying to be bullyish. Whatever you guys want to do.
[22:03] <~Dan> Let's see... As always, you're welcome to continue to hang out with us and field questions, but as we're at the end of "regular time", I always like to ask if there's anything we haven't covered that you'd like to discuss.
[22:03] <~Dan> (And yes, it's certainly desirable. :) )
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[22:04] <+Bob> Well, I sure appreciate the floor to be able to discuss Cosmothea, the Cosmoverse, etc.. It is very kind of you. There are lots of other angles to the game, such as the faith system, and the setting, etc. but I'm very open.
[22:05] <+Warp9> Many (most) games are set inside larger universes, many with multiple universes/dimensions, but, in most cases, there is a tighter focus on the specific setting of the game. As I understand it, your game covers the whole universe and multiple dimensions. What was the main reason for this approach?
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[22:05] <~Dan> (wb, TQuid!)
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[22:07] <+Bob> Well, our Mind Shroud 3 book adventure/setting is part of the Cosmoverse and will be a single place that new players can, and may well want to focus on. In fact, I'm thinking that some will never want to leave that small corner of the Cosmoverse, but like other game companies, I'll be putting out one setting book at a time.
[22:07] <~Dan> (wb, Seht!
[22:07] <~Dan> )
[22:08] <+Bob> The thing is, you need to understand the basics of how a universe works (and I have overarching storylines), so it really is just one setting, though some GM's will stick to one world or another, depending on what they want to do.
[22:08] <+Seht> (odd keyboard issues, had to reboot!)
[22:08] <~Dan> By the way, what is the difference between the Cosmoverse and Cosmothea?
[22:08] <+Bob> It just made sense to me. You create outward, then move inward and go into more detail.
[22:09] <+Bob> The Cosmoverse was actually coined by Steven Schend as I was talking with him about needing a better way to distinguish the setting from the system.
[22:09] <+Bob> Cosmothea was coined as it is the name most people call one of the most important dimensions in the Cosmoverse setting. So Cosmothea is just the name of the game now.
[22:09] <+Bob> The game engine.
[22:10] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[22:10] <+Bob> So, you may still find some places where the name Cosmothea is used that refers to the setting, but it's now officially called the Cosmoverse to keep it easy to identify.
[22:10] <~Dan> Sorry if I got that mixed up in promoting the Q&A!
[22:11] <+Bob> Interestingly, it never really came up until recently. My gaming groups always knew what I was talking about. But the two are married. Designed for each other.
[22:11] <+Bob> Oh no. That is not at all a problem!
[22:11] <+Bob> I don't care if someone uses one term or another.
[22:11] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[22:11] <+Bob> So long as I understand what they are asking.
[22:12] <~Dan> You mentioned a faith system?
[22:13] <+Bob> Ah yes. I created a new system for Cosmothea 4.0 and it's under review for 5.0, but I don't think there will be many changes. Everyone has a faith rank, even if they are not playing a holy adept, paragon or whatever (those are 2 religious paths).
[22:13] <+Bob> when you perform significant actions according to your faith and goes down when you perform significant actions opposing your faith.
[22:13] <+Bob> You can invest ranks, performing miracles, whether you are a holy adept or not. Once invested, you don’t lose those ranks, but you don’t get ‘em back till next level.
[22:14] <+Bob> Also, certain items and events require a certain rank. Like a particular holy item may not be useable unless your rank is high enough.
[22:14] <+Bob> Your faith rank can affect your ability to heal and you can heal people of like faith easier and more effectively than those of no faith or opposed faith.
[22:14] <~Dan> That makes sense.
[22:14] <~Dan> re: using holy items, I mean.
[22:15] <+Bob> It worked out well in Cosmothea 4.0, in our playtests so far, which is why it won't go through many changes in 5.0. So, if you are just some warrior or whatever and you are religious and have been doing good deeds or whatever to get your faith rank to say 3, you would be able to invest your faith and do a power level 3 miracle. That sort of thing.
[22:15] <+Bob> There are other ways to use faith as well,.
[22:15] <+Bob> Dan: So you mean it doesn't make sense in other ways, heh?
[22:16] <~Dan> Does the potency of faith fluctuate with location like the power of magic?
[22:16] <~Dan> Bob: Well, no. I just meant that that bit is particularly clever. :)
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[22:16] <+Bob> Faith is an optional system. I also have an optional Moral compass system that includes taint, and some monsters and items reek with taint.
[22:16] <+Snoof> 'lo all
[22:16] <+Bob> I was just kiddin' :)
[22:16] <~Dan> I knwo. :)
[22:16] <~Dan> know
[22:17] <+Bob> heh
[22:17] <~Dan> (Howdy, Snoof!)
[22:17] <~Dan> It looks like you have an alignment system as well?
[22:17] <+Bob> The Moral Compass is an optional system and is as close as I get to an alignment system.
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[22:17] <+Bob> In a nutshell, you have a compass and you start the game with points in good or evil, law or chaos. The closer to “0” you are, the more neutral or indifferent you are. The
[22:18] <+Bob> closer to “0” you are, the more neutral or indifferent you are.
[22:18] <+Bob> The higher, the more aligned to that point of the compass.   Done.
[22:18] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[22:19] <+Bob> So, if you had Good/Evil 0 and Law/Chaos 0, that would be as close as you can get to neutral/indifferent.
[22:19] <+Bob> Also, it's much easier to be evil in the Cosmoverse, than good, as in the real world.
[22:20] <~Dan> Did you see my question about the power of faith as it relates to location?
[22:20] <+Bob> For example, it takes 2 significant good acts to remove the blemish on your soul that 1 evil act caused. So significant evil act causes you to lose a point. 2 significant good acts to gain a point.
[22:20] <~Dan> Ah, the temptations of the Dark Side of the Force.
[22:21] <+Bob> Players therefore can pretty easily control it by watching how they act. And I have an optional voting system, so it's not player v GM, but there are times where there is an anonymous voting on whether something should be considered 'significant'
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[22:22] <+Bob> I've never had a problem yet with it. But it's an optional system. We actually had a super exciting adventure awhile back became really nervous about their characters and were constantly checking to see what time it was because they were walking through a seriously evil tainted region and didn't want to get tainted.
[22:22] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest77!)
[22:22] <+Bob> Lots of potential there, if played maturely.
[22:22] <+Bob> But then all games dissolve if you don't.
[22:23] * ~Dan nods
[22:23] <~Dan> Does your system have any sort of "Fate Point" mechanic?
[22:24] <+Bob> The closest thing would have to be the Boon System. Every level you get 4 boons plus 1 super boon. You can use them for tons of stuff. All the stuff you hear about in games like Pathfinder, and also various reality changing things
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[22:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, jtbullet!)
[22:25] <+jtbullet> heydan
[22:25] <+jtbullet> hows thinga
[22:25] <+jtbullet> things
[22:25] <+Bob> Like you meet some guy in a bar and you can't spend a Boon to suddenly retroactively claim something like you're his brother, but you can claim to have seen him before and other small changes to the storyline.
[22:25] <+Bob> Heya jtbullet!
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[22:26] <~Dan> Going well, thanks. Discussing Bob Whitely's "Cosmoverse" setting. :)
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[22:26] <+Bob> I'm really excited about the diceless system as well, but I'm afraid I have to take off in 5 minutes. We still haven't had dinner yet and my wife is starting to eyeball me (friendly currently, but that could change!)
[22:26] * ~Dan chuckles
[22:27] <+Bob> :)
[22:27] <~Dan> No worries, Bob. We'll go ahead and wrap things up for logging purposes.
[22:27] <~Dan> Thanks again for coming by, and, as you know, you're always welcome to hang out with us. :)
[22:27] <~Dan> Oh, would you like to link to the QT Games site?
[22:27] <+Warp9> It has been nice to see you around Bob, and cool to hear more about your game. :-)
[22:29] <+Bob> Thanks so much for the invite, Dan. And thanks all for your time and questions/comments!
[22:29] <+maxmahem> Blog post is up: (Link:
[22:29] <~Dan> Absolutely!
[22:30] <+Bob> One more time and I hope I'm not being annoying, but my lifelong dream (phase 1 anyway), is 73% funded and only $2122 away from becoming a reality. Spread the word please. Thanks!
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[22:30] <+Bob> Ah, glad to see the post up, Maxmahem. Thanks again, Dan, all! See you tomorrow or the next. Take care and have a great weekend!
[22:30] <~Dan> You too!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan, Thanks again for the invite and for putting up the blog post. I had fun with you all, though in going back and reading the posts, I see that I missed a few questions during it all. Sorry about that! I wasn't dodging, just missed them among all the lines! I look forward to hanging out with you all in the next day or two. Take care and thanks again!