Monday, August 20, 2012

[Q&A] Jason Durall (Basic Roleplaying, Interplanetary)

[19:01] <+JasonDurall> I'm a 40ish game designer originally from the Pacific Northwest now living in the middle of Texas
[19:01] <+Silverlion> Middle? Wherabouts?
[19:01] <+JasonDurall> Austin
[19:01] <+JasonDurall> My day job is as creative lead for a MMO company
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[19:02] <+JasonDurall> and I have been pen-and-paper gaming since 1979 or so
[19:02] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy! Q&A with Jason Durall in progress!)
[19:02] <+etaoinshrdlu> (Link: << something for the finnpack
[19:03] <+JasonDurall> I've had the good fortune to be freelancing on and off for the past 18 years or so
[19:03] <+JasonDurall> In terms of what I've worked on...
[19:03] <~Dan> (eta: Q&A in progress. Please post general chat in #rpgnet2. Thanks!)
[19:03] <+JasonDurall> I started doing some fanzine stuff and some magazine articles for White Wolf way back in the day
[19:03] <+JasonDurall> and then did work for the Amber Diceless RPG
[19:04] <+JasonDurall> Then wrote for Chaosium on a variety of products... BRP being the most notable of them
[19:04] <+JasonDurall> and did side work playtesting and writing for Decipher (Lord of the Rings) and Mongoose (some Conan)
[19:04] <+JasonDurall> Lots of proofing and editing
[19:05] <+JasonDurall> And also worked for Margaret Weiss Productions on Serenity, BSG, and Supernatural
[19:05] <+JasonDurall> and for Cubicle 7 on The Laundry
[19:05] <+JasonDurall> More stuff I'm probably forgetting
[19:06] <+JasonDurall> But I am monopolizing the chat
[19:06] <+JasonDurall> I am here to answer questions!
[19:06] <~Dan> No worries. :)
[19:06] <~Dan> Okay! Anyone have any questions, or shall I get the ball rolling?
[19:08] <+Silverlion> What motivates you to write now?
[19:08] <~Dan> All right, then. Jason, before I pepper you with question about BRP, what other projects are you working on?
[19:08] <+JasonDurall> What motivates me?
[19:08] <+JasonDurall> Mostly writing things that I find fascinating.
[19:08] <+JasonDurall> Design challenges
[19:08] <+JasonDurall> Sometimes visiting popular IPs
[19:09] <+JasonDurall> I am kind of weird in that I like theoretical stuff... like figuring out high-concept game ideas
[19:09] <+JasonDurall> but do not mind writing crunchy gear stats and the like
[19:09] <+JasonDurall> And so I get calls from friends saying "Hey, can you write...?"
[19:09] <+Silverlion> Indeed.
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[19:09] <+JasonDurall> Other projects
[19:10] <+JasonDurall> I am finishing up Lords of Gossamer & Shadow
[19:10] <+JasonDurall> an original IP I've created based on the Amber Diceless Roleplaying rules set
[19:10] <+JasonDurall> After that, I finish up Interplanetary, the BRP sourcebook to planetary romance adventure
[19:10] <+JasonDurall> it is long overdue
[19:11] <~Dan> Ooooh, yes. I've ben anxious to see that.
[19:11] <+JasonDurall> I am working on some stuff for Magic World from Chaosium
[19:11] <~Dan> Planetary romance = swords and planets, or Victorian sci-fi?
[19:11] <+JasonDurall> I did a feedback pass on the MW rulebook and agreed to write some other stuff for it
[19:11] <+JasonDurall> sword-and-planet
[19:12] <+Silverlion> Nice to hear. Not a genre I could write without a lot more reading
[19:12] <+JasonDurall> Interplanetary has a weird history... I originally long ago was working on an Eternal Champion book for Chaosium
[19:12] <+JasonDurall> Like 10 or 11 years ago
[19:12] <+JasonDurall> It was going to be "How to run Eternal Champion games"
[19:12] <+JasonDurall> for Elric!
[19:12] <+JasonDurall> with stats of all the Eternal Champions from Moorcock's books
[19:13] <+JasonDurall> But relations between Moorcock and Chaosium soured
[19:13] <+JasonDurall> Chaosium then asked me to write BRP
[19:13] <+JasonDurall> and when I was done with that, they said "what do you want to write?"
[19:13] <+JasonDurall> One of the suggestions I pitched was Interplanetary
[19:14] <+JasonDurall> Little did I know how much life would intervene since I started
[19:14] <+JasonDurall> and how someone would actually greenlight a John Carter movie
[19:15] <+JasonDurall> So I dunno... I'm curious if Chaosium will still want to publish it based on how the JC movie tanked
[19:16] <+JasonDurall> Oh, and another thing I'm working on is Asgard Adventures
[19:16] <~Dan> What's that?
[19:16] <+JasonDurall> A game I started writing with a friend some 14 years ago
[19:16] <+JasonDurall> A game of Norse myth
[19:16] <+JasonDurall> where players are characters from one or more of the Nine Worlds of Norse myth
[19:17] <+JasonDurall> the system uses runes to handle everything
[19:17] <+JasonDurall> (or little rune cards if you don't have runes)
[19:17] <+JasonDurall> archetypes, traits, skills, etc. are all assigned rune values
[19:18] <+JasonDurall> I also wrote a Fiasco playset last week I need to finish up
[19:18] <~Dan> That's horrible, Jason.
[19:18] <+JasonDurall> It's like 90% laid out
[19:18] <+JasonDurall> Haha
[19:18] <~Dan> It sounds like you've just runed everything.
[19:18] <+JasonDurall> Gotta go1
[19:18] <+JasonDurall> I kid!
[19:18] <~Dan> :D
[19:18] <~Dan> Sorry, couldn't resist. Please continue. :)
[19:18] <+JasonDurall> The Fiasco playset is more-or-less related to Asgard
[19:19] <+JasonDurall> it's called "Mead and Blood" and is "Vikings snowed in for the winter months" as the setting
[19:20] <+WonderRat> Mead and Blood? I like it.
[19:20] <+JasonDurall> And somehow I'm shipping a new MMO and raising a 5-yr-old daughter
[19:21] <+JasonDurall> There are also a couple of other irons in the fire
[19:21] <+JasonDurall> a novel
[19:21] <+JasonDurall> some short fiction
[19:21] <~Dan> Who'll be publishing Asgard Adventures?
[19:21] <+JasonDurall> Dunno
[19:21] <+JasonDurall> Kickstarter?
[19:21] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[19:22] <~Dan> Okay, why don't we rewind a bit to BRP, then we'll look more closely at your forthcoming stuff. That work for everyone?
[19:22] <+JasonDurall> Good for me!
[19:23] <~Dan> Okay... Man, where to start... With all the BRP material out there, how did you decide what to include?
[19:23] <~Dan> Or exclude, for that matter?
[19:24] <+JasonDurall> Good question
[19:24] <+JasonDurall> I really tried to boil it down to "what is a core starting place?"
[19:25] <+JasonDurall> and decided to sort of cull stuff that seemed to be too far afield
[19:25] <+JasonDurall> I was working on a mass battle system
[19:25] <+JasonDurall> Charlie said "how necessary is this?"
[19:25] <+Silverlion> Cool stuff.
[19:25] <+JasonDurall> I did some work on a bigger vehicular combat system
[19:25] <~Dan> (Charlie being...?)
[19:25] <+JasonDurall> Charlie Krank, president of Chaosium
[19:26] <~Dan> (Ah, right.)
[19:26] <+JasonDurall> But I kept deciding "this isn't really what BRP is about at its core"
[19:26] <+JasonDurall> The cover image was actually something I came up with very early
[19:26] <+JasonDurall> and it was a ruler for em
[19:26] <+JasonDurall> er, me
[19:26] <+JasonDurall> everything was evaluated by the question of "How does this relate to the character?"
[19:26] <~Dan> (I love the cover, btw.)
[19:27] <+JasonDurall> Thanks1
[19:27] <+JasonDurall> They had commissioned another piece of work for it
[19:27] <+JasonDurall> A weirdly retro image of a red archer guy and a paramilitary woman standing on a Mesoamerican pyramid being shot at by a UFO
[19:27] <+JasonDurall> I disliked it intensely
[19:27] <+JasonDurall> And sent the sketch I had done of the Vitruvian guy
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> After it went to press and was on stands, a couple of people pointed out that they had done a Vitruvian man in the D&D 3E rulebook
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> and something similar for a game called JAGS.
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> Parallel thinking, I guess
[19:28] <~Dan> Probably so. :)
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> So anyway, for BRP, some of the more unusual stuff I had access to, like the wild Ringworld skills for immortal characters, etc.
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> were just too far removed from what a core rulebook needed
[19:28] * ~Dan nods
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> I do wish I'd been more savage with editing
[19:29] <+JasonDurall> My co-writer (who dropped out after doing the section on skills and sanity) had actually made those sections more complex
[19:29] <+JasonDurall> rather than more basic
[19:29] <+JasonDurall> So it was a blast to do The Laundry and simplify, simplify, simplify
[19:29] <+JasonDurall> BRP 2.0 would be, if I had my druthers, be called 'Even More Basic Roleplaying' and be half as long
[19:29] <~Dan> Heh.
[19:29] <~Dan> "Basicker Roleplaying"
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> Something like that.
[19:30] <~Dan> Is Magic in BRP the equivalent of "spirit magic" from RQ?
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> Sorcery
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> There is Sorcery and Magic
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> Sorcery is the system from Elric/Stormbringer
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> Magic is the system from Magic World
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> both cleaned up
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> I had originally done a "create your own powers" toolset
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> very much like GURPS or HERO
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[19:30] <+JasonDurall> but the playertesters wanted something simpler
[19:31] <+JasonDurall> and Charlie came back with "this is interesting, but it's not really basic"
[19:31] <~Dan> Yeah. I think that would have been a mistake.
[19:31] <+JasonDurall> yeah
[19:31] <~Dan> I'm confused, though... I thought Sorcery from Elric/Stormbringer was the magic in Magic World.
[19:31] <+JasonDurall> Nope
[19:31] <+JasonDurall> This is where it gets really confusing!
[19:32] <+JasonDurall> Magic World was one of three booklets in the old Chaosium boxed set Worlds of Wonder
[19:32] <+JasonDurall> Chaosium is re-using the name for a new product
[19:32] * ~Dan nods
[19:32] <+JasonDurall> that is basically Elric!/Stormbringer with the Moorcock IP stripped out
[19:32] <+JasonDurall> revised somewhat
[19:32] <+JasonDurall> with new material
[19:33] <+JasonDurall> So the BRP rulebook has Magic from Magic World and Sorcery from Elric/SB
[19:34] <+JasonDurall> Fortunately, the new Magic World calls the same system Sorcery
[19:34] <+JasonDurall> But it's not exactly the same
[19:34] <+JasonDurall> Same source material, though
[19:34] <+Omega> Chaosium was rather beside itself when Stormbringer and some other properties were taken over to Mongoose.
[19:35] <~Dan> So... Magic World does feature Elric Sorcery?
[19:35] <~Dan> The new Magic World, I mean.
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[19:36] <+JasonDurall> Um... I do not know if I am telling tales out of school
[19:36] <+etaoinshrdlu> ROAR!
[19:36] <+JasonDurall> But given how things had gone
[19:36] * +etaoinshrdlu tickles everyone!
[19:36] <+JasonDurall> Chaosium was happy to sell the Moorcock IP to Mongoose
[19:36] <~Dan> Oh... Sorry. We can back off of that topic if you like.
[19:36] * +WonderRat hides from etao
[19:36] <+JasonDurall> No, it's cool
[19:36] <~Dan> (eta, Q&A in progress. #rpgnet2 is open for general chat. Thanks!)
[19:37] <+JasonDurall> I just remember that Moorcock was pretty unhappy with them due to some issues he had no control over
[19:37] <+Silverlion> Ouch licensing is tough.
[19:37] <+JasonDurall> (he disliked the art, for example)
[19:37] <+JasonDurall> and he frequently grumbled about suing them
[19:37] <+JasonDurall> and they were claiming to be holding to the letter of their agreement
[19:38] <+Omega> Well I'm a CoC fan. I've never bought any of the IPs that were transsfered over to Mongoose as long as Mongoose had them.
[19:38] <+WonderRat> Sadly I have never played CoC always wanted to.
[19:38] <+Omega> Chaosium has always been good by me
[19:38] <+JasonDurall> At one point Chaosium got the rights to do a REH-based Cthulhu sourcebook
[19:38] <+JasonDurall> or standalone game
[19:39] <+JasonDurall> I can't remember
[19:39] <+JasonDurall> It was part of the deal with Mongoose
[19:39] <+JasonDurall> But I think it fell apart
[19:39] <~Dan> Huh. Interesting.
[19:39] <+WonderRat> Damn that would be sweet.
[19:39] <+JasonDurall> I enjoyed working for Mongoose when I was proofing and writing for them
[19:40] <~Dan> A somewhat specific question: were mental superpowers left out due to psionics?
[19:40] <+JasonDurall> The checks came on time
[19:40] <+JasonDurall> Somewhat, yes
[19:40] <+Omega> When they switched everything over to Runequest and Traveller, I walked away from Mongoose. I was a dedicated OGL Conan customer.
[19:40] <+JasonDurall> with the psychic/super power issue
[19:40] <+JasonDurall> I was trying not to duplicate powers much
[19:41] <+JasonDurall> and Superworld didn't have much in the way of psychic powers
[19:41] <~Dan> How well do the other powers scale compared to superpowers? Could a Magician or Sorcerer be Dr. Strange level, or would you need to simulate that with superpowers?
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> It was too bad when they lost the Conan license
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> I always dug the work Vincent Darlage did on the line
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> and wanted to see that big digest series come out
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> Superpowers are the most powerful
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> followed by Magic
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> then Sorcery
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> then Mutations
[19:42] <+Omega> Vincent was a great guy. He was always great to me.
[19:42] <+JasonDurall> then maybe Psychics tying for last
[19:43] <+JasonDurall> with some wobbly bits where one power might edge out another
[19:43] <+Omega> So BRP has separate systems for all of those things?
[19:43] <+JasonDurall> But they really can play side by side
[19:43] <+JasonDurall> They are distinct systems
[19:43] <+JasonDurall> the notion is "Pick one for the game you want"
[19:43] <+JasonDurall> But they are relatively easy to combine
[19:43] <+Omega> would you change that with BRP 2.0? Try and merge them into a unified system?
[19:43] <+JasonDurall> Um... maybe
[19:44] <+JasonDurall> But they play well enough together that a competent GM could have a magician, a sorcerer, a superhero, a psychic, and a mutant all on the same team
[19:44] <~Dan> I still think that would be a mistake. I like the "feel" of separate systems.
[19:44] <+JasonDurall> and be able to adjudicate most situations without problems
[19:44] <+JasonDurall> My ultimate preference would be a bit more overlap
[19:44] <+JasonDurall> but leaving them distinct
[19:45] <~Dan> Now, sorcery is just a spend-MPs-and-go system, right?
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> Yep
[19:45] <~Dan> And magic is skill-based?
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> Same with magic
[19:45] <+Omega> Just so you know: The hardcover of BRP is sitting in my Amazon shopping cart as we speak. It's always been my intention to buy it.
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> % skills and using power points
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> DO IT1
[19:45] <+Silverlion> Heh.
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> Bring it to Austin and I'll sign it!
[19:46] <~Dan> As I've told other authors: These sessions tend to sell books. ;)
[19:46] <+JasonDurall> I wish I had more current stuff to sell
[19:46] <+Silverlion> Only if you aren't obscure :D
[19:46] <~Dan> What makes magic more powerful than sorcery?
[19:46] <+Omega> I live in California.
[19:46] <+JasonDurall> Meetup at GenCon 2013!
[19:46] <+Omega> But Steve Perrin is in a local game group
[19:46] <+JasonDurall> Some of the magic spells are really powerful
[19:46] <+Silverlion> Is the different system thing a hold over from the various "world" versions or a recent thing?
[19:47] <+Omega> if I can make it to GenCon 2013, I'll bring it with me :)
[19:48] <~Dan> So in BRP, magic is from the original Magic World, correct?
[19:58] <+JasonDurall> yes
[19:58] <~Dan> Yay! I got it. :)
[19:58] <+JasonDurall> The superpowers are from the WoW boxed set and from the SW game
[19:59] * ~Dan nods
[19:59] <+JasonDurall> sort of a bastardized version
[19:59] <+JasonDurall> and the magic is from Magic World
[19:59] <~Dan> Are mutations new to the BRP book?
[19:59] <+JasonDurall> though cleaned up a bit and some more added
[19:59] <+JasonDurall> They are an evolution of those from Hawkmoon
[19:59] <+Omega> I also have all of the old Superworld books. But I was curious if there was an improvement of them in BRP
[19:59] <+JasonDurall> I am adding a slew of them for Interplanetary
[19:59] <+JasonDurall> The Superworld boxed game was kind of a mess
[20:00] <+JasonDurall> overcomplicated
[20:00] <~Dan> Are mutations the main power in Interplanetary?
[20:00] <+JasonDurall> and for some reason all of the edits got lost before it went to press
[20:00] <+JasonDurall> so the Superworld Companion had like a ton of errata
[20:00] <+Silverlion> Each
[20:00] <+Silverlion> Eeek rather
[20:00] <+JasonDurall> Mutations and Psychic powers
[20:00] <+JasonDurall> No others
[20:00] <~Dan> That seems right.
[20:00] <+JasonDurall> yeah... genre appropriate
[20:01] <~Dan> I assume "mutations" = "alien powers" in this setting?
[20:01] <+JasonDurall> or just mutations
[20:01] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:01] <~Dan> Did I mention that I'm looking forward to that one? :)
[20:01] <+JasonDurall> There is a lot of precedent for horrible mutant creatures on different planets
[20:01] <+JasonDurall> mad scientists, etc.
[20:01] * ~Dan nods
[20:01] <+JasonDurall> BRB... getting another Woodchuck cider
[20:02] <~Dan> No prob, Jason.
[20:02] <~Dan> Those are tasty. :)
[20:02] <+Omega> Well this has convinced me that getting the BRP hardcover is certainly a good idea.
[20:02] <~Dan> It's an awesome book.
[20:03] <+JasonDurall> Thanks!
[20:03] <~Dan> Certainly!
[20:03] <+JasonDurall> It is cool to see it spawning so many supplemental products
[20:03] <~Dan> I do have a question about it, though... and a weird question, at that...
[20:03] <+JasonDurall> From Alephtar, C7, etc.
[20:03] <+JasonDurall> Shoot!
[20:03] <~Dan> I have no idea how best to review it. Can you make any suggestions? Because I obviously don't want to recount every rule from every BRP game that's in there.
[20:03] <~Dan> What would you want people to know about it?
[20:04] <+Omega> yeah. Well I've had another personal falling out with the Hero System rules. So I'm looking for something that fills my needs, without the headache.
[20:04] <+JasonDurall> How to review it?
[20:04] <+JasonDurall> I have no idea
[20:04] <~Dan> No problem. I'll figure it out. :)
[20:04] <+JasonDurall> I think it's sort of a "How well does it do what you want it to?" product
[20:04] <~Dan> It's just like, every time I look at it, I'm all, "My God... It's full of stars..."
[20:04] <+JasonDurall> Think of a half-dozen weird ideas and see if you can run them with it
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> My ultimate goal was that anyone could go see a movie... almost any movie... and come back home and run it as an RPG session
[20:05] <~Dan> You know what personal test of mine it passes with flying colors?
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> X-Men? Check.
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> The Chronicles of Riddick? Check.
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> What test?
[20:05] <~Dan> The fact that it answers questions before I ask them.
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> I do not think it is as bulletproof as HERO games
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> Haha
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> Well, thanks!
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> A lot of back-and-forth went into it
[20:05] <~Dan> Like, "Okay, that's cool, but what about attribute modifi-... oh, wait, there they are."
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> Which is why it took so long
[20:05] <+JasonDurall> I am a painfully slow writer sometimes
[20:06] <+JasonDurall> because I write something and then think about it
[20:06] <~Dan> "Well, what about skills in excess of 100 perc-... nevermind, there it is."
[20:06] <+JasonDurall> then go back and address it again
[20:06] <+JasonDurall> and again
[20:06] <+jtbullet_> aloo
[20:06] <+JasonDurall> Hi!
[20:06] <~Dan> Howdy, jtbullet! We're talking BRP and other projects with Jason Durall!
[20:06] <+JasonDurall> I joke that if I were a chef, the meal would take two hours to prepare
[20:06] <~Dan> (See the topic if you don't believe me!)
[20:07] <+JasonDurall> but you would be able to eat for a week off the meal served
[20:07] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[20:07] <+JasonDurall> Much to the vexation of my editors
[20:07] <+jtbullet_> thats great! do you know if much of the brp that was not in the last coc, will make it into the core rules this time?
[20:07] <~Dan> Personally, I much prefer BRP's approach to HERO or GURPS.
[20:07] <~Dan> Mainly because I don't like having to break everything down into a power.
[20:08] <+etaoinshrdlu> mrargh -.-;
[20:08] <+Omega> BRP is looking more attractive to me by the moment.
[20:08] <+JasonDurall> There is a free quickstart on Chaosium's site
[20:08] <+JasonDurall> though I think you have to register to download it
[20:08] <+jtbullet_> is it going to be going through a new iteration at the same time that coc does?
[20:09] <+Omega> I'm already registered
[20:09] <+JasonDurall> (Link:
[20:09] <+JasonDurall> Um, I do not know
[20:09] <+JasonDurall> I have heard nothing about a new edition of BRP
[20:09] <+JasonDurall> But I am mildly out of the loop
[20:09] <+Silverlion> I just know that COC is altering a few things.
[20:09] <+JasonDurall> Yeah, though nothing is set in stone
[20:10] <~Dan> I forget... does BRP offer a "Hero Point" option?
[20:10] <+JasonDurall> Some of those changes seemed interesting
[20:10] <+JasonDurall> define "Hero Points"
[20:10] <+Omega> Hero Points are a sort of luck system
[20:10] <+Silverlion> A way to save the hero/let them be heroic/do heroic things when the dice screw them over?
[20:10] <~Dan> Well, points you can spend to improve your odds, reduce damage, assume limited narrative control, etc.
[20:10] <+JasonDurall> Yes, then
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[20:10] <~Dan> How do they work?
[20:11] <+JasonDurall> Looking it up...
[20:11] <+JasonDurall> p176
[20:11] <+JasonDurall> Fate Points
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> You can spend them to reroll
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> You can ignore a skill % and instead use Luck to roll
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> You can spend them to soak damage points
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> They use power points
[20:12] <~Dan> See what I mean? Awesome. :)
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> (magic points in CoC and previous BRP games)
[20:12] <+JasonDurall> (it didn't make sense to call them magic points for superpowers, mutations, psychic powers)
[20:13] <~Dan> I like the way they're apparently going to be used in Astounding Adventures.
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> There are also options for the GM to let you use them for shift a result
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> like a failure becomes a success
[20:13] <+Omega> sounds good to me
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> a success becomes a special success
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> etc.
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> you can also use them to inflict maximum damage with a weapon
[20:13] <+jtbullet_> so are you designing anything new on the side? Pardon my missing the previous answers if youve already gone there
[20:13] <~Dan> IIRC, you'll spend a point to roll Luck to see if you succeed.
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> I decided to use power points to give nonpowered players something to do with those points
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> Yeah... I am working on a lot of stuff
[20:13] <+JasonDurall> I'll see if I can cut-and-paste
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> Nope... too far gone for me
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[20:14] <+Silverlion> LAter all
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> In short, working on a diceless roleplaying game
[20:14] <~Dan> No problem. It'll be in the log I'll be posting right after this.
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> more BRP stuff
[20:14] <+Omega> see you, Silverlion
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[20:14] <+JasonDurall> a new game using runes for Viking adventures
[20:14] <~Dan> Howdy, nick3!
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> a Fiasco playset
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> and a weird indie RPG I think will appeal to no one but me
[20:15] <+JasonDurall> Haha
[20:15] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[20:15] <+jtbullet_> fiasco will appeal to lots of people!
[20:15] <+JasonDurall> It is called "Pack Rats"
[20:15] <~Dan> Okay, here's what passes for a "hardball" question from me, Jason...
[20:15] <+JasonDurall> Yes!
[20:15] <+JasonDurall> The Fiasco playset should be fun
[20:15] <+JasonDurall> I am ready
[20:15] <+jtbullet_> but do tell about the indie thats sufficiently niched as to have no people digging it but you...that would be odd in my mind
[20:16] <~Dan> ...If someone were wanting to play a fantasy game, for example, why should they get BRP rather than, say, RQ6e?
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> Hmmm...
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> I do not have RQ6
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> so I can't answer that fairly
[20:16] <+jtbullet_> cause you like how the author connects with people
[20:16] <+jtbullet_> that counts for something in my mind
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> I think BRP has a lot of stuff that is not necessary for a fantasy game
[20:16] <~Dan> No problem, Jason. That's fair.
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> I tend to think "use only what you need"
[20:17] <+jtbullet_> its basically a better gurps, isnt it? i mean not the mechanics, but the spirit
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> so I would likely suggest RQ6 if you wanted fantasy
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> Though if Magic World were out, I would say use that
[20:17] <~Dan> I have RQ6e and have skimmed it a bit.
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[20:17] <+JasonDurall> I'll eventually pick it up
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> In all fairness
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> the folks who did RQ6 are awesome writers and designers
[20:17] <~Dan> I think it has the advantage of multiple flavorful magic systems.
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> I just didn't follow MRQ
[20:17] <+JasonDurall> so I don't know much about it
[20:18] * ~Dan nods
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> OpenQuest is also good
[20:18] <~Dan> No problem.
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> and Age of Shadow kicks solid ass
[20:18] <+JasonDurall> Plus, free!
[20:18] <~Dan> Heh. True enough. :)
[20:18] <+jtbullet_> we talk about supers sometimes on here...but how to make a nonpowered character playable against what are ultimately, gods, is an elusive thing. how would you approach that if you were to write a supers rpg from scratch?
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[20:19] <+JasonDurall> The indie game I mentioned... it is based on a film genre that no one has ever covered
[20:19] <+Omega> JasonDurall: So much as Bestiary stuff and premade goones, how does the BRP rulebook deal with that?
[20:19] <+JasonDurall> and it uses a unique dice mechanic that no one has used
[20:19] <~Dan> (question pause while Jason catches up, please.)
[20:19] <+JasonDurall> Let me think... if I were writing a game for nonpowered characters to be on equal footing with gods
[20:19] <+JasonDurall> I would probably go diceless for that
[20:20] <+JasonDurall> I would absolutely love to write a diceless superhero game
[20:20] <+JasonDurall> with a bit of resource mechanic
[20:20] <+JasonDurall> not quite as much GM fiat as Amber
[20:20] <+JasonDurall> Omega... could you clarify your question?
[20:21] <+JasonDurall> Do you mean how would that apply to nonpowered vs. gods?
[20:21] <+Omega> premade antagonists. If there a book of them? Or do you have to make them up yourself?
[20:21] <+JasonDurall> Ultimately, I don't think BRP is an appropriate game for wildly different power levels in groups
[20:21] <+Omega> is not if
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> Oh... the BRP core book has around two dozen natural creatures
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> another couple dozen fantasy critters
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> 8-9 supernatural creatures
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> some sci-fi creatures
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> and a couple of dozen premade basic NPCs
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[20:22] <+JasonDurall> and I think that there'
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> is a Magic World bestiary in the works
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[20:23] <~Dan> I forget... Is there a supervillain type in BRP?
[20:23] <+JasonDurall> (by "I think" I am being coy... it was talked about in an interview I gave last week)
[20:23] <~Dan> (Heh. :) )
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> There are stats for a sample supervillain
[20:24] <~Dan> Excellent.
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> I used Doctor Dread, from the old Super-World boxed set
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> Updated for the core rulebook
[20:25] <~Dan> Are gadgets basically "powers" that you can lose?
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> Yep
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> You can create them with the superpower rules
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> they are cheaper than powers because they're vulnerable
[20:26] * ~Dan nods
[20:26] <+Omega> I have a set of superhero genre rulebooks in the works that I was considering licensing BRP for. Making a BRP version of those books. I wanted to see how feasable that was. But is there actually a true sup[erhero setting for BRP now?
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> Not currently
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> Unless there's a monograph
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> There have been talks of updating Superworld
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> But I do not know if anyone has done anything
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> and I've heard of rumors of someone doing it with OpenQuest
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> But haven
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> 't heard anything solid
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> I'd love to see more sci-fi with BRP, honestly
[20:28] <~Dan> How well do you think BRP core could handle pulp heroes?
[20:28] <+Omega> I've never seen OpenQuest
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> Incredibly well, Dan
[20:28] * ~Dan nods
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> Add the pulpy rules options from BRP and you have a solid base
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> I'm running Cthulhu Invictus now
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> but more action-oriented
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> with pulp rules
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> more sword-and-scutum
[20:29] <~Dan> I think the super-skill and... unarmed combat?... powers would be great for pulp, too.
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> sandal-and-spatha
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> something like that
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> Using higher HP makes ALL the difference
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> give heroes SIZ+CON in HP
[20:30] <+JasonDurall> rather than SIZ+CON divided by two
[20:30] <+JasonDurall> and give mooks regular HP
[20:30] <~Dan> Would you use a selections of superpowers and psychic powers to mimic pulp proto-superpowers?
[20:30] <+JasonDurall> I would probably use mutations and psychics
[20:30] <+JasonDurall> rather than superpowers
[20:30] * ~Dan nods
[20:31] <~Dan> Okay, any more BRP-specific questions before we move on to Jason's other projects?
[20:31] <+JasonDurall> What would you guys like to see with BRP?
[20:32] <~Dan> Well, I would say a pulp game, but that's already coming out. :)
[20:32] <~Dan> So I'll say a superhero game.
[20:32] <+JasonDurall> I would love to write a no-holds-barred sword-and-sorcery game
[20:32] <+Omega> How well does BRP do scifi?
[20:32] <+JasonDurall> I think pretty wlel
[20:32] <+JasonDurall> er, well
[20:33] <+Omega> It's been one of my big things. I haven't found a good universal scifi game
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> There is an older game I found when writing BRP... Worlds Beyond
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> I'd never heard of it
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> came out in the 80s
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> apparently they licensed BRP
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> it is quite cool and playable
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> Starship design rules
[20:33] <~Dan> What genre?
[20:33] <+JasonDurall> sci-fi
[20:33] <~Dan> Ah.
[20:34] <+Omega> is there a system of vehicle/starship design in BRP?
[20:35] <+JasonDurall> Not as such
[20:35] <+JasonDurall> Or there may be in one of the licensed products
[20:35] <+JasonDurall> I am unsure
[20:35] <+JasonDurall> someone did a kaiju game, if I recall
[20:35] <+Omega> You see, I'm looking for something just to play a fun game. I don't need or want an astrophysics degree to be able to handle that genre.
[20:35] <+Omega> Kaiju game I will be looking up
[20:36] <~Dan> Care to talk a bit about Interplanetary, Jason?
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> Sure!
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> It is basically a generic sourcebook for planetary romance games
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> with a lot of GM advice
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[20:37] <+JasonDurall> rules for space/air/ground combat
[20:37] <+Omega> That actually sounds pretty cool
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> more mutations, psychic powers, fencing rules
[20:37] <+JasonDurall> and a sample adventure campaign
[20:38] <+JasonDurall> and a guide to the planets of this solar system
[20:38] <+JasonDurall> as experienced in the early 1900s
[20:38] <+JasonDurall> with rules for "how to get up there"
[20:38] <~Dan> Hmm... Does vehicle combat factor into planetary romance that much?
[20:38] <+JasonDurall> Everything I've read it does
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> John Carter had huge airship battles
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> Michael Kane had some
[20:39] <~Dan> That's true.
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> and it figures into other sources
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> Klein, etc.
[20:39] <~Dan> Is it limited to our solar system?
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[20:39] <+JasonDurall> yes, but with some unexpected planets
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> like Planet X
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> and the Sun
[20:39] <+JasonDurall> as well as the asteroid belt
[20:40] <~Dan> "Unexpected Planets" would have been a great title, too. :)
[20:40] <+JasonDurall> True
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[20:40] <+JasonDurall> Maybe an expansion
[20:40] <~Dan> :D
[20:40] <~Dan> Can you tell us what the various planets are like in general?
[20:40] <+Omega> okay, I'm not sure Dan knows this. But I am a huge Pulp fan. My mother introduced me to it through her love of Burroughs. I can't get enough of the old style pulp scifi and adventure stuff/
[20:40] <~Dan> Like, is Venus a jungle planet, etc.?
[20:40] <+JasonDurall> Basically a fantasy treatment of each
[20:40] <+JasonDurall> If I remember, yes
[20:40] <+JasonDurall> stereotypes
[20:41] <~Dan> ...with dinosaurs...?
[20:41] <+JasonDurall> But trying to be distinct from Burroughs
[20:41] <+JasonDurall> Haha
[20:41] <+JasonDurall> No "red/green/blue men" on Mars
[20:41] * ~Dan nods
[20:41] <+JasonDurall> But definitely The Colossus of Mars will make an appearance
[20:42] <~Dan> Does every planet have spacefaring races?
[20:42] <+JasonDurall> That face on Mars? The body is buried beneath the sands.
[20:42] <+JasonDurall> Some stay close to home
[20:42] <~Dan> Awesome, re: the Colossus.
[20:42] <+JasonDurall> Thanks
[20:42] <+JasonDurall> Few of the planets are properly spacefaring
[20:43] <+JasonDurall> the Hollow Men of Jupiter aren't even technically civilized
[20:43] <~Dan> Oh... You mentioned the 1900s. Is this alternate past or alternate future?
[20:43] <+JasonDurall> But the Solar Tyrants (galactic overlords who live in the sun) keep most planets in thralldom
[20:44] <+JasonDurall> It is more the "this is when those stories flourished, so this is where they will launch from"
[20:44] <+JasonDurall> Before that, you had too little knowledge of the planets
[20:44] <+JasonDurall> and after that, too much
[20:44] <+JasonDurall> Not like Space: 1889 where everyone knows about life on Mars, etc.
[20:44] <~Dan> So it's an alternate 1900 with Earthly space travel?
[20:44] <+JasonDurall> No
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[20:44] <+JasonDurall> The means of getting off the planet are highly secret
[20:45] <~Dan> Ah...
[20:45] <+JasonDurall> Could be weird psychic stuff like John Carter's astral/physical projection
[20:45] * ~Dan nods
[20:45] <+JasonDurall> or something like the crystal box from CS Lewis' Planetary novels
[20:45] <~Dan> Or unique rockets like Flash Gordon's?
[20:45] <+JasonDurall> yes
[20:45] <+JasonDurall> Or even a bigass space-aimed railgun
[20:46] <+JasonDurall> But not the sort of thing anyone believes is possible
[20:46] <~Dan> What's the overall tech like in the setting? Obviously, there will be swordplay...
[20:46] <+JasonDurall> other than in science fiction
[20:46] <+JasonDurall> Differs world by world
[20:46] * ~Dan nods
[20:46] <~Dan> Ray guns?
[20:46] <+JasonDurall> but the Solar Tyrants try to keep everyone relatively primitive
[20:46] <+JasonDurall> and step in to destroy civilizations when they get too advanced
[20:47] <+JasonDurall> hence lots of ruins filled with cool tech
[20:47] <~Dan> Sweet.
[20:47] <+JasonDurall> Earth... I should mention... is getting dangerously close to such an intervention
[20:47] <+JasonDurall> in the setting
[20:47] <+Omega> In my own pulp/superhero setting, I have this mythical place called The Eye Of The World. It's actually the only stable wormhole on earth that takes people to another planet.
[20:47] <+JasonDurall> Players will discover that the Solar Tyrants are going to launch a war against Earth, bombing it to ruin
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> Nice!
[20:48] <~Dan> But it's just the "real world" 1900s Earth to all appearances?
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> Yes
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> 1920s
[20:48] <~Dan> The Solar Tyrants hate biplanes!
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> so if you wanted to use the CoC rulebook to run it, you could
[20:48] <+JasonDurall> They are abhorrent
[20:48] <~Dan> :D
[20:49] <+JasonDurall> It is more studies in radiation, radio waves, etc. that alarm them
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[20:49] <+JasonDurall> They have seen this whole cycle happen before
[20:49] <~Dan> Okay, sorry, just so I have this straight... Is it the "real" 1920s, or the 1920s as envisioned in the real 1900s?
[20:49] <+JasonDurall> and keep it in check through judicious use of massive solar bombs
[20:49] <+Omega> But here's the problem. "The Eye Of The World" is on a large island in the Bermuda Triangle. So it's not exactly safe or easy to get to.
[20:50] <+JasonDurall> It is the "real" world of the early 1900s
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[20:50] <+JasonDurall> No fixed time frame
[20:50] <+JasonDurall> The GM can pick the starting date
[20:50] <~Dan> Gotcha. Sorry to be dense about that.
[20:50] <+JasonDurall> a quick overview of what was happening in the world at the time
[20:50] <+JasonDurall> But basically the goal is to get players off-planet and among the stars ASAP
[20:51] <~Dan> Is there anything "weird" about the Earth itself that the general populace doesn't know?
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[20:52] <+JasonDurall> haha
[20:53] <+JasonDurall> I joked with Chaosium that the next book would be called "Intraplanetary" and would be about the Hollow Earth
[20:53] <~Dan> As well it should be. :)
[20:53] <+JasonDurall> or Innerplanetary
[20:54] <~Dan> I should mention at this point that I'm a HUGE fan of Hollow Earth Expedition. Not so much the system, but the setting is unbelievable.
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> Yeah... I picked it up a long time ago
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> But it unfortunately came out at the same time as Spirit of the Century
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> which I lived
[20:54] <+JasonDurall> er, loved
[20:55] <+JasonDurall> so I do not feel I gave it a proper chance
[20:55] <+JasonDurall> Need to get back to take a better look at  it
[20:55] <+JasonDurall> Time...
[20:55] <~Dan> Okay, our time is technically up, but we can continue as long as you like, Jason. Care to stick around and continue?
[20:55] <~Dan> (I spoke to the channel owner, and it's okay. ;) )
[20:55] <+JasonDurall> I can stick around for another 15 minutes or so
[20:55] <~Dan> What are the new fencing rules like?
[20:56] <+Omega> I like Hollow Earth as well.
[20:57] <+JasonDurall> The fencing rules are basically maneuvers you can do to modify your attack chances or evoke specific effects on a foe
[21:05] <~Dan> How are they purchased? Like skills?
[21:06] <+JasonDurall> You learn them with the Fencing skill
[21:06] <+JasonDurall> You get a few of them at each tier of skill
[21:06] <+JasonDurall> and you can learn fencing schools that teach special maneuvers
[21:06] <+JasonDurall> This is a sample one:
[21:06] <+JasonDurall> REMISE: A remise is an immediate repeat to a failed attack (missed, parried, or dodged) usually performed without withdrawing the sword-arm. The attacker must announce he or she will be attempting a remise if the initial attack is unsuccessful before making the initial attack. The remise must be identical to the attack previously attempted (same maneuver, sam
[21:06] <~Dan> Is this based on anything that's been done before, or is this new to Interplanetary?
[21:07] <+JasonDurall> same maneuver, same hand, same weapon, etc.). To attempt a remise, the attacker must make an immediate Difficult second attack of exactly the same type that previously failed. This takes an additional 5 DEX ranks, and any parry attempts against the remise are at +20% (cumulative with any previous penalties or bonuses). If the remise is successful, it does onl
[21:07] <+JasonDurall> If the attack roll for the remise is unsuccessful, any attacks made against the character by any other attacker involved in the combat are at a +20% bonus for the remainder of the combat round.
[21:07] <+JasonDurall> New
[21:07] <~Dan> Cool.
[21:07] <~Dan> Now, let's talk critters. I'm a huge sucker for a bestiary. How big of one will Interplanetary feature?
[21:08] <+JasonDurall> A handful of critters per world
[21:08] * ~Dan nods
[21:09] <~Dan> Will alien species be playable?
[21:09] <+JasonDurall> It's BRP
[21:09] <+JasonDurall> Yes
[21:09] <~Dan> Silly me. :)
[21:09] <+JasonDurall> There are some new alien-specific professions
[21:09] <+JasonDurall> and many others suitable to the genre
[21:10] <+JasonDurall> alien engineer, ambassador, astronaut
[21:10] <+JasonDurall> guide, inventor, missionary, nomad, pirate, slaver, treasure hunter
[21:11] <+JasonDurall> and some special rules for archetype concepts
[21:11] <+JasonDurall> mostly guides to roleplaying
[21:11] * ~Dan nods
[21:11] <+Omega> JasonDurall: You have totally sold me on BRP. :)
[21:11] <~Dan> When is Interplanetary due out?
[21:12] <+JasonDurall> Thanks, and "sometime after I finish it"
[21:12] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[21:13] <~Dan> Okay, looks like we're just about out of time... Any final thoughts, Jason?
[21:14] <+JasonDurall> Nothing specific
[21:14] <+JasonDurall> Just "thanks for playing games I've worked on"
[21:14] <~Dan> Anyone have any last questions?
[21:15] <+Omega> yes
[21:15] <+JasonDurall> Under the wire1
[21:15] <+JasonDurall> Shoot!
[21:15] <+Omega> Is there anything you consider missing from the BRP book? Is it is absolutely complete by itself?
[21:16] <+JasonDurall> I would have liked to have a sample adventure
[21:16] <+JasonDurall> as an example of how to build them
[21:17] <~Dan> Before you have to go, Jason...
[21:17] <+JasonDurall> and maybe proper gear creation rules
[21:17] <~Dan> ...I'd like to offer you the chance to come back to talk about your other projects, especially as they get closer to reality.
[21:17] <+JasonDurall> Happy to do so
[21:17] <+JasonDurall> Must go now
[21:17] <~Dan> Excellent. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us!
[21:18] <+JasonDurall> My wife is giving me that "pointing at watch she is not actually wearing" hand gesture
[21:18] <~Dan> I'll have the log of this posted shortly.
[21:18] <+JasonDurall> Good night!
[21:18] <~Dan> I know that gesture. Good night! :)
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