Thursday, March 14, 2013

[Q&A] Chris "BASHMAN" Rutkowsky (BASH! Awesome Powers)

[19:08] <+BASHMAN> Hi, my name is Chris Rutkowsky, aka BASHMAN, and I am the creator of BASH! Ultimate Edition (a superheroes RPG system) and Honor + Intrigue (a swashbuckling adaption of Barbarians of Lemuria RPG)
[19:08] <+BASHMAN> We have begun a Kickstarter campaign to fund a product line for BASH! Ultimate Edition called "Awesome Powers"
[19:09] <+BASHMAN> Which you linked to above
[19:10] <+BASHMAN> One of the things that made BASH! UE a popular superhero RPG was that it was simple, and yet "you could do ANYTHING with it"
[19:10] <+BASHMAN> So the powers are all "effects based".  This means that the player buys "effects" for their character, like "Special Attack" and then works out with the GM (Narrator in BASH!) how tht power is represented in play
[19:11] <+BASHMAN> So the "Special Attack" power could be indestructible claws, eyebeams, lightning bolts, a katana, etc.
[19:12] <+BASHMAN> Each of these would vary slightly based on how the effect was "built" by the player; so range, area, Enhancements, Limitations, etc. could be added to powers to make them unique
[19:12] <+BASHMAN> Now on the plus side, this meant players were limited only by their imaginations (and Narrator approval) in building their characters
[19:13] <+BASHMAN> But some people WANTED powers that were already made; already fleshed out.
[19:13] <+BASHMAN> Where the range, area, Enhancements, Limitations, etc. are already spelled out; how that specific power works is specifically explained.  So a "Fireball" power and a "Heat Ray" power that are seperate from one another.
[19:14] <+BASHMAN> Each one does a specific thing;
[19:14] <+BASHMAN> Like "D&D Spells" as a friend described it.  All aspects of the power are pre-made.
[19:14] <+BASHMAN> The reason players might want something like this is because it is very "Plug and play"
[19:15] <+BASHMAN> You could literally copy and paste these powers into your character with very minimal figuring on your part regarding mechanics.
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[19:15] <+BASHMAN> A product like this, will have a number of powers organized by themes called "Power Suites"
[19:16] <+BASHMAN> And each has dozens of powers that fit that theme.
[19:16] <+BASHMAN> This can be useful for a few things.
[19:16] <+BASHMAN> One is if you need inspiration; you want an Ice character, but you don't know what powers to give him.
[19:16] <+BASHMAN> This product will have dozens of suggestions for you.
[19:17] <+BASHMAN> And I should mention that Volume #1 of Awesome Powers, which features "Elemental Power Suites" (Ice, Fire, Water, Wind, Electricity, Earth) is already released
[19:18] <+BASHMAN> So if you want that Ice character (or fire, etc) those options are already available
[19:18] <+BASHMAN> Another thing that this product will feature though, is random character generation
[19:18] <+BASHMAN> So you can now make random Ice, Fire, Wind, etc. characters
[19:19] <+BASHMAN> But as more volumes are released,
[19:19] <+BASHMAN> More options become available
[19:19] <+BASHMAN> One reason the powers are organized by Suites is so that your random characters can be random without being ecclectic, per se.
[19:19] <+BASHMAN> You can choose to randomly roll all your powers from the Fire table
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[19:20] <+BASHMAN> Or, you can be more random, and roll for which random power suite each power you take will come from.
[19:20] <+BASHMAN> And there are degrees in between
[19:20] <+BASHMAN> So each power suite has some "related suites"
[19:20] <+BASHMAN> that you might also want to add powers from
[19:21] <+BASHMAN> So that a theme develops
[19:21] <+BASHMAN> So Earth and Fire together => Lava theme
[19:22] * &Moxiane prefers power sweets.
[19:22] <+BASHMAN> Intersting you should say that
[19:23] <+BASHMAN> Because some of the backer awards allow you to make new powers, or entire power suites
[19:23] <+BASHMAN> that become part of the set
[19:24] <+BASHMAN> So if you want a "Sugar Powers" Suite, you could do that.
[19:26] <+BASHMAN> Backer rewards range from $1 "thank you" to the most popular $35 which includes every volume in pdf + the printed compilation
[19:26] <+BASHMAN> There is also a $30 option for people that want to get a full-color copy of BASH! UE
[19:26] <+BASHMAN> for those who missed it the first time around
[19:27] <+BASHMAN> And you are allowed to back it more than once; so if you bought at the $35 level, you can also back at the $10 "create a power" level
[19:28] <+BASHMAN> Right now, the Kickstarter is <$400 away from hitting its $3k Stretch Goal.
[19:28] <+BASHMAN> And there are just a few $35 slots remaining.
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[19:28] <+BASHMAN> At the 3k goal, we expand the set to 40 Power Suites, up from 35
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[19:30] <+BASHMAN> Does anybody have questions?
[19:30] <~Dan> I do have a question, yes:
[19:30] <~Dan> Are the powers all "hard-wired", or are they written to be tweaked?
[19:31] <+BASHMAN> There are dials on some of them
[19:32] <+BASHMAN> For example, a power might say it costs "Level+2 points" and in the power's description, it might say it does Mind+Level damage.
[19:32] <+BASHMAN> The player can set the level
[19:32] <+BASHMAN> Other powers would be specifically spelled out
[19:33] <+BASHMAN> Like, for example, a 1 point power like "Cold Immunity"
[19:33] <+BASHMAN> Some powers might also have specific variants that are spelled out
[19:33] <+BASHMAN> Also powers have a list of suggestions for alteration
[19:33] <+BASHMAN> and powers that would go well together
[19:34] <+BASHMAN> and likely enhancements and limitations to add to them
[19:34] <+BASHMAN> So for example, The Lightning Power has a number of options
[19:35] <+BASHMAN> Like an Arc Lightning, Ball Lightning, Lightning Bolt, etc.
[19:35] <~Dan> Cool.
[19:35] <+BASHMAN> A person who buys the power with teh "Variable" enhancement (which is suggested as a "likely enhancement") could use any of those
[19:36] <+BASHMAN> Each power also explains how it was built, or at least, what inspired it from the BASH! UE rules
[19:36] <+BASHMAN> Volume #1 also give advice on how to make your own brand new powers
[19:39] <~Dan> How (if at all) does the system handle magic?
[19:39] <+BASHMAN> Sorcery will be the last Power Suite released
[19:39] <+BASHMAN> And the reason it needs to be last, is it will build on the others
[19:40] <+BASHMAN> So for instance, Sorcery has its own powers that are specific to itself
[19:40] <+BASHMAN> Like "Arcane Bolts"
[19:40] <+BASHMAN> But it would also have spells that replicate effects from other Power Suites
[19:40] <+BASHMAN> Like a "Fireball Spell"
[19:41] <+BASHMAN> Each suite also has some suggestions for the character
[19:41] <+BASHMAN> Like "likely names" or "recommended Advantages / Disadvantages"
[19:41] <~Dan> Does the system have any built-in assumptions regarding spellcasting methodology?
[19:42] <+BASHMAN> The Sorcery Suite would suggest the character take the Versatile advantage,
[19:42] <+BASHMAN> It is up to the player in that regard.  You might need to wave your hands and say magic words to cast a spell
[19:42] <+BASHMAN> The "Casting" limitation reflects this
[19:42] <+BASHMAN> If you have that limitation on a power, and you are bound and gagged, or in a vacuum, you cannot cast the spell
[19:43] <+BASHMAN> But a more powerful mage, or one whose magic is second nature would not necessarily need that limitaiton
[19:43] <+BASHMAN> And could use the power at will
[19:44] <+BASHMAN> For that reason, the Casting Limitation is a suggestion, not a requirement
[19:44] <+BASHMAN> There are other alternatives to the "Casting" limitation that sorcery will address as well
[19:44] <+BASHMAN> Like if you have a wand or something
[19:44] <~Dan> (brb)
[19:44] <+BASHMAN> that you need to focus your magic
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[19:46] <+BASHMAN> There might be all sorts of other alternatives to how a character accesses their power, if it is not simply "at will".
[19:47] <+BASHMAN> They might build their character with a "Mana Reserve" for instance, utilizing the Energy limitation on their powers instead.
[19:48] <+BASHMAN> For really high-end "At Will" sorcerer supreme types, there will also be an option to add a sorcerous variant of the Omnipotence power.
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[19:52] <+BASHMAN> Arg
[19:53] <+BASHMAN> didn't mean for that to happen; did I miss a question?
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[19:56] <+BASHMAN> Hello
[19:56] <~Dan> Ah, there we go.
[19:56] <~Dan> Nope, didn't miss any questions.
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[19:56] <~Dan> You did, however, lead into a question that came to me during my absence...
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[19:57] <+BASHMAN> Okay
[19:57] <~Dan> Can you say a bit about Omnipotence? Is that what you'd use for the Silver Surfer's Power Cosmic, for example?
[19:57] <+BASHMAN> Yes
[19:58] <+BASHMAN> And for a sorcerer with the "I can do anything" power.
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[19:58] <~Dan> (Howdy, Squide!)
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[19:58] <&Le_Squide> (Hey Dan!)
[19:58] <+BASHMAN> Note that most PC sorcerers will not have something like "Omnipotence 40".  But they could have
[19:58] <+BASHMAN> Omnipotence 5, or even Omnipotence 10 reasonably enough
[19:59] <~Dan> Is that in Awesome Powers, or is that part of the core rules?
[19:59] <+BASHMAN> it is in the core rules
[20:00] <+BASHMAN> But as I said the Sorcery Suite will have stuff specifically tailored to sorcery
[20:00] <+BASHMAN> So it won't just be the generic 'omnipotence' power
[20:00] <+BASHMAN> It will be a sorcery specific one that is analogous to it
[20:01] <~Dan> Now, you mentioned a katana being a power in the core rules...
[20:01] <+BASHMAN> No
[20:01] <+BASHMAN> Special Attack is a power in the core rules
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[20:02] <~Dan> (Howdy, nick3!)
[20:02] <+BASHMAN> But a person could use special attack to build various things
[20:02] <~Dan> Well, let me rephrase, then...
[20:02] <~Dan> ...Does every weapon have to be written up as a power?
[20:02] <+BASHMAN> One of which might be  "Unobtainium Katana: Special Attack 5 (Extra Effect vs. Armor) <Limitation: Easily Taken>
[20:02] <+BASHMAN> No
[20:03] <+BASHMAN> There are "regular weapons"
[20:03] <+BASHMAN> And a Katana would be one of the options
[20:03] <+BASHMAN> There is also a power called "weapon technique" that you could use to do extra damage with a katana, all hand to hand, or all weapons period.
[20:04] <+BASHMAN> And that power only applies to "regular weapons"
[20:04] <+BASHMAN> When you buy a weapon as a power, it is a special unique weapon
[20:04] <+BASHMAN> Like Thor's hammer
[20:04] <~Dan> Gotcha.
[20:04] <~Dan> So does Awesome Powers address weapons at all?
[20:04] <+BASHMAN> Having "Weapon Technique: Katana" means yu could use that power with ANY Katana
[20:05] <+BASHMAN> Yes
[20:05] <+BASHMAN> One of the Suites coming down the line is Gadgets
[20:05] <+BASHMAN> There will be weapons a plenty there
[20:05] <+BASHMAN> There is also something we're working on, a booklet of WWII weapons
[20:06] <~Dan> Real-world WWII weapons, or WWII-themed gadgets?
[20:06] <+BASHMAN> As of right now, by the core rules, the "regular" weapons table is very generic.  This would get into specifics.
[20:06] <+BASHMAN> That is a seperate item, and it would be real world regular weapons
[20:06] <+BASHMAN> Awesome powers gadgets would be having a section on 'weapons as powers" type of weapns
[20:07] <+BASHMAN> So lightsaber-eque things, tonfas that can block bullets, etc.
[20:07] <+BASHMAN> It *will* have ideas on things that can enhance regular weapons though
[20:07] <+BASHMAN> So you can have for instance a shotgun that does extra damage to demons
[20:08] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:08] <+BASHMAN> It is a regular shotgun, but against demons, it is somehow really effective
[20:08] <~Dan> Will there be a martial arts suite?
[20:09] <+BASHMAN> Part of the Inner Strength / Intense Training volume will touch very heavily on martial arts
[20:09] <+BASHMAN> both of those suites have stuff for it
[20:10] <~Dan> brb
[20:10] <+BASHMAN> Inner Strength would be your Chi/Ki/The Force type mystic powers, Intense Training is just things an ordinary person could do (and by ordinary i mean of course, ordinary for a non-powered hero in a supers world, like Batman)
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[20:13] <+BASHMAN> Arg, accidentally locked my screen
[20:14] <+BASHMAN> Screen lock and delete keys are adjacent
[20:15] <+BASHMAN> did anybody want to ask anything about BASH! or Awesome Powers, or the Kickstarter?
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[20:18] <~Dan> wb, Chris!
[20:18] <+BASHMAN> Hi
[20:18] <+BASHMAN> so I asked if there were any more questions
[20:19] <~Dan> None so far. Would you like to continue discussing Awesome Powers, or would you like to turn to Legends of Steel?
[20:19] <+BASHMAN> Let's talk Awesome POwers; we can save Legends of Steel for another show
[20:20] <~Dan> Fair enough!
[20:21] <~Dan> So what do you think makes Awesome Powers stand out from similar pre-gen power systems?
[20:22] <+BASHMAN> It's the only one for BASH! Ultimate Edition, it arranges the powers by theme, but allows you to make random characters
[20:22] <+BASHMAN> without being ecclectic
[20:23] <~Dan> As opposed to, say, FASERIP?
[20:23] <+BASHMAN> So you don't have to come up with an explanation for having "Fish Control" "Ghost Form" and "Pyrokinesis" all together.
[20:24] <+BASHMAN> You could still turn the random dial all the way to 11 and roll your character that way if you *want* but you are not doing it by default
[20:25] <~Dan> How many volumes will there be?
[20:25] <+BASHMAN> Depends
[20:26] <+BASHMAN> Right now we are looking at 15 Volumes.  The Kickstarter started at 5 Volumes, and has expanded to 15 (35 Power Suites).  If our funding goal reaches $3,000 however, we will produce 17 Volumes, increasing the set to 40 Power Suites.
[20:27] <+BASHMAN> That's a bit under $400 away at this point.
[20:28] <~Dan> Now, are these all PDF, or print as well?
[20:28] <+BASHMAN> Oh, there are many different options for the Kickstarter backers; it is up to them what reward level they buy in
[20:29] <+BASHMAN> but each volume will be released in PDF, then after they are all released in PDF, they will be all put in a printed compilation
[20:29] <+BASHMAN> The $35 level you get the print compilation and each PDF as it is released.
[20:29] <+BASHMAN> it is the most popular one, and it is starting to run low
[20:30] <+BASHMAN> So we have a "Second Chance" option for $40 that is not limited in number once that runs out.
[20:30] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[20:31] <+BASHMAN> You can also get BASH UE in full color as part of this for $30 if you don't already have the second full color printing that Cubicle 7 produced
[20:31] <+BASHMAN> And there is a $65 bundle that includes both books, and all the pdfs
[20:31] <+BASHMAN> Shipping is included in the US, btw
[20:32] <+BASHMAN> Well, I'm getting my que that it is time to go, over here.  Thanks for having me on.
[20:33] <~Dan> Oh, need to run?
[20:33] <~Dan> No problem! Just let me know when you'd like to schedule a LoS Q&A!
[20:33] <+BASHMAN> Oh, you bet!
[20:33] <+BASHMAN> Looking forward to that one :)
[20:33] <~Dan> Have a great evening!
[20:33] <~Dan> Me too!
[20:34] <+BASHMAN> Thanks, you too

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