Tuesday, November 27, 2012

[Q&A] Jonathan M. Thompson (Battlefield Press)

[19:07] <+JonathanMThompson> So, here we go. I am Jonathan M. Thompson, I am the director of Battlefield Press, Inc. based out of Shreveport, Louisiana. We are responsible for such titles as Kaisers Gate, Eldritch Skiers, Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood, Gaslight Victorian Fantasy. In the past we also published several d20 based games and our own system called Open Core.
[19:07] <+JonathanMThompson> donw
[19:07] <+JonathanMThompson> done
[19:07] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:07] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:07] <~Dan> Anyone care to ask any questions to get us started?
[19:07] <+Cargo_Culture> Eldritch Skies is very good, but I expect Eldritch Skiers is a great game too.
[19:08] <~Dan> Oh, and welcome to #rpgnet, Cargo_Culture. :)
[19:08] <+JonathanMThompson> I type too fast dang it :-)
[19:08] <+Silverlion> Can you give me a copy of Eldritch Skies? :D (Kidding) More interestingly, What is the premise of Gaslight Victorian Adventures?
[19:10] <+JonathanMThompson> Gaslight Victorian Fantasy is a setting set on our own world in the late 1800s (Victorian Period). I wanted to do it as a traditional fantasy (magic, weird creatures, non human races), but I didnt want to bring traditional races into it. So while developing the game we decided that the non humans would all have their origins in Victorian literature.
[19:10] <+Silverlion> Awesome! So Victorian Fey?
[19:10] <+Silverlion> Faeries?
[19:11] <+JonathanMThompson> So we created a world where Vampires (Dracula), Werewolves (misc locations), Beast Men (Dr. Moreau) and Wildlings (JM Barrie's lost boys) all exist with humans.
[19:11] <+Silverlion> Very nice
[19:11] <+JonathanMThompson> Faeries are not a player race, but they exist. They will be once we get caught up on our supplements. Fae as a player race appear in a future supplement.
[19:12] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:12] <~Dan> What is Kaisers Gate?
[19:14] <+JonathanMThompson> Kaisers Gate is an alternate history WWI setting, where after the Tunguska Event portals to other dimensions suddenly opened up. Through these came allies and enemies, the setting itself is set during the Great War
[19:14] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:14] <~Dan> What system?
[19:15] <+JonathanMThompson> It currently exists for Savage Worlds, if we see decent numbers then we may release it for other systems starting next year.
[19:15] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:17] <~Dan> Is Robin Hood SW as well?
[19:17] <+JonathanMThompson> It is, but also d20/OGL, we are currently working on a new edition that will use the system that powers Dr. Who / Primeval from C7.
[19:17] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:18] <~Dan> Really? Cool!
[19:18] <~Dan> Is it straight historical, or are there fantasy elements?
[19:19] <+Silverlion> Awesome.
[19:20] <+JonathanMThompson> It can be played either way, the idea was to have a Robin Hood game that could emulate the straight historical or something along the lines of the 1980s BBC series "Robin of Sherwood." The current versions are not quite there, but I feel that was because of limitations with the systems.
[19:20] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:20] <~Dan> What fantasy elements are presented?
[19:21] <+JonathanMThompson> Mostly things like conjurers as a class, and artifact level items. Its more what I call "mystical" rather than "fantasy."
[19:21] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:21] <~Dan> Ah, so no monsters and such?
[19:21] <+JonathanMThompson> There are a few of those as well. There is a limited bestiary in the current versions, but will be expanded upon in the 2e version.
[19:21] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:22] <~Dan> And 2e will be the Doctor Who (does that system have a name?) version?
[19:23] <+JonathanMThompson> Yes it will be, and so far it doesnt seem to have a name.
[19:23] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:24] <~Dan> Whoops... brb
[19:25] <+Silverlion> DWAITAS system?
[19:25] <~Dan> Back, sorry
[19:25] <+JonathanMThompson> WB Dan
[19:25] <~Dan> Thanks! Great to be here.
[19:26] <~Dan> What system does Gaslight use?
[19:26] <+JonathanMThompson> and I just call it DWAITAS, but officially our products read "System is Copyright © 2009 by Cubicle 7 and based on Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, DESIGNED AND WRITEN by David F. Chapman and used here with permission. "
[19:26] <+JonathanMThompson> Gaslight has two versions, a variant d20/OGL version and Savage Worlds.
[19:26] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:27] <~Dan> Oh, you already answered that, didn't you? Sorry about that.
[19:27] <+JonathanMThompson> Nope, you asked about Sherwood.
[19:29] <~Dan> Ah... I thought Sil had asked about Gaslight's system.
[19:29] <~Dan> ANYway.... :)
[19:29] <~Dan> What's coming down the pike for Eldritch Skies?
[19:30] <+JonathanMThompson> We have one book ready to release called "Distant Vistas" it was created originally for the Kickstarter Backers and contains bonus material. Its currently in review by Eden Studios. We are also planning a release of a book called the Order of St. Rachal which is a group empowered by the Vatican to hunt these mysterious aliens.
[19:30] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:32] <~Dan> What new goodies are in Distant Vistas?
[19:34] <+JonathanMThompson> A wide range of things, some planets, some essays on organizations, starship or two. Its mostly an anthology of different game material.
[19:35] <~Dan> Does it cover starship combat?
[19:35] <+JonathanMThompson> No. It uses material found in the core.
[19:35] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:36] <+Silverlion> Awesome.
[19:38] <~Dan> What new stuff will be in the Order book?
[19:38] <+JonathanMThompson> It gives new creatures, plus details the history and the role of the OSR.
[19:39] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:40] <~Dan> What new games do you have in the works?
[19:43] <+JonathanMThompson> We are releasing Double Spiral War for Savage Worlds in February (based off the trilogy by Warren Norwood), with plans to release a game for Stewart Cowley's Terran Trade Authority by June. Also added to that we are working on Pulp Fantastic 2e (DWAITAS), Sherwood 2e (DWAITAS), and the 10th anniversary release of our flagship setting Cityscape: City on the
[19:43] <~Dan> (Cut off at "City on the")
[19:43] <+JonathanMThompson> Nexus of the Omniverse (Pathfinder). Along with our new fantasy campaign setting called Marais
[19:43] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:44] <+JonathanMThompson> Was still typing.
[19:44] *** Intruder has quit IRC: Ping timeout
[19:46] <~Dan> I know we've discussed this ourselves, but for the benefit of the readers, what system will the TTA game use?
[19:46] <+JonathanMThompson> There was plans to do it for Savage Worlds, but that probably will not happen. So we are now in search of a new system to use for the setting.
[19:46] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:48] <~Dan> What is the mechanic behind Open Core?
[19:49] <+JonathanMThompson> Open Core is the pairing of Gold Rush Game's Action! System and Guardians of Order's Anime d20 (BESMd20), so if you go back far enough you have Fuzion, d20 and Tristat as its ancestors.
[19:50] <+JonathanMThompson> Its a Roll + Stat + Skill vs TN
[19:50] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:50] <+JonathanMThompson> Oh, all using 3d6
[19:50] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:52] <~Dan> What's the human stat scale?
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[19:53] <+JonathanMThompson> Stats range from 1 (weakling) to 8 (maximum human potential).
[19:53] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[19:56] <~Dan> And what are the stats themselves?
[20:00] <+JonathanMThompson> Core stats are things like Strength, Reflexes, Health, Presence, Intellect and Will. There are a few derived stats as well.
[20:00] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:00] <~Dan> (brb)
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[20:01] <+JonathanMThompson> This is the blurb from the back of the game: The Open Core System is derived from the best of today’s Open Gaming Content, creating a new, strong, coherent and flexible role-playing game system - it’s the house rules you’ve been waiting for. The Open Core System is effects-based to help you create that “perfect” character using attributes, skills, abilities,
[20:01] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:02] <+JonathanMThompson> (oops the rest of it)
[20:02] <+JonathanMThompson> and disabilities. The Open Core System is “classless,” a point-based system that can allow players and GMs to create a wide variety of characters and world. The Open Core System can handle a wide spectrum of genres “right out of the box,” from science fiction to super-heroes to anthropomorphics to classic fantasy. The Open Core System uses a simple, time-prov
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[20:03] <&Bill> ((Cut off at "time-prov"))
[20:03] <+JonathanMThompson> time-proven base mechanic: 3d6 + Attribute + Skill VS. Target Number. Variant rules for other dice (1d20, etc.) are included. It’s easy to convert characters and campaigns from other popular open gaming systems to the Open Core System. The Open Core System is fully extensible; Open Content from other systems can easily integrate into the Open Core System.
[20:03] <+JonathanMThompson> (I know, was continuing. :D)
[20:04] <~Dan> (back)
[20:05] <~Dan> Howdy, Snoof!
[20:05] <+JonathanMThompson> Sorry about that, I forget about the character count.
[20:05] <~Dan> No problem!
[20:06] <~Dan> Do I recall correctly that the game doesn't have success levels?
[20:06] <+JonathanMThompson> Oh, I forgot something upcoming. We are also releasing James Knevitt's City of Clocks at the end of December.
[20:06] *** Ximni has left #rpgnet
[20:06] <+JonathanMThompson> Open Core is a lot like d20 in its use of success.
[20:09] <~Dan> How high can it scale when it comes to supers?
[20:11] <+JonathanMThompson> In theory it can scale pretty high, we never ran a supers game around it.
[20:11] <+JonathanMThompson> We are planning to address some of that in the new edition
[20:11] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:13] <~Dan> Can it handle Superman, for example? Galactus?
[20:14] <+JonathanMThompson> In theory it should be able to do so, the only thing I ran with it was a Forgotten Realms campaign back. The other author ran a spy thriller, so none of the internal playtests ever got to that level of characters.
[20:15] <+JonathanMThompson> I have not heard anyone using it for that level of play.
[20:15] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:16] <+JonathanMThompson> (brb)
[20:17] <~Dan> What's the critical success mechanic? Is it just a flat chance, or is it skill-based?
[20:22] <+JonathanMThompson> Skill based, plus a critical success can increase the severity of the would level.
[20:22] <+JonathanMThompson> (done and back)
[20:23] <~Dan> What's the damage system?
[20:23] <+JonathanMThompson> The system is flexible enough that you can import your favorite mechanic from other systems without much hassle.
[20:24] <+JonathanMThompson> Weapons do variants of a d6 damage.
[20:24] <+JonathanMThompson> damage levels themselves can range from superficial to severe.
[20:26] <+JonathanMThompson> Its still like its ancestors and is still hit point based, but the amount of damage taken in a blow will determine damage level
[20:26] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:27] <~Dan> What governs the chance to hit in hand-to-hand: strength or coordination?
[20:28] <+JonathanMThompson> Reflexs plus skill
[20:28] <+JonathanMThompson> or strength depending on the weapon
[20:28] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:28] <~Dan> And strength adds to weapon damage?
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[20:28] <~Dan> (Howdy, Logo!)
[20:29] <+JonathanMThompson> No.
[20:29] <+JonathanMThompson> It is not added to damage.
[20:30] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:30] <~Dan> Really? Huh... So stronger characters don't do more damage?
[20:31] <+JonathanMThompson> There are strength requirements for the weapons.
[20:31] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:31] <~Dan> What about unarmed combat?
[20:33] <+JonathanMThompson> It uses the provided table.
[20:33] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:34] <~Dan> Do you have any plans for Open Core-based games?
[20:35] <+JonathanMThompson> We published one, Luftwaffe 1946 (based on the comic series). There are plans to publish more, but currently the revision of the core book has stalled. We did publish an anime toolkit (called Open Anime) using the OC core set.
[20:35] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:36] <~Dan> What sort of power system does it have?
[20:36] <~Dan> Cafeteria style? Effects-based?
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[20:36] <+JonathanMThompson> Its identical to Tri-Stat if you are familiar with that.
[20:37] <~Dan> It's been a while, but somewhat.
[20:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy!)
[20:38] <+JonathanMThompson> GoO made their ability system in tristat open content when they did BESM d20, we just borrowed it from there. :D
[20:38] <+WonderRat> (Howdy, Dan)
[20:38] <+JonathanMThompson> (Howdy WonderRat)
[20:40] *** -RPGServ@#rpgnet- <Roll for Dan [2d6]: 8>
[20:40] <~Dan> Whoops
[20:40] <+WonderRat> (Howdy, Jonathan)
[20:40] <~Dan> One thing I really like about Eldritch Skies is the descriptions of the various worlds. Any plan to expand on them?
[20:41] <+JonathanMThompson> If there is a demand, its something we may do. I was thinking about a book full of just worlds.
[20:41] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:42] <+WonderRat> Ah yes I remember Dan speaking about Eldritch Skies. It sounds intresting.
[20:42] <~Dan> That would be awesome.
[20:42] <~Dan> Any questions about it, Wondy?
[20:43] <+WonderRat> I honestly don't know enough about it to even ask a question. I mean I know the general idea of the game, but not much else. Well trying to remember some details ya gave me on it.
[20:45] <~Dan> Is John Snead responsible for the supplements?
[20:46] <+JonathanMThompson> Only those he wants to do.
[20:46] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:47] <~Dan> Let's see... In the time we have left, is there anything you'd like to cover that we haven't so far?
[20:49] <+JonathanMThompson> No, I cant think of anything. I am looking forward to releasing more stuff (and hoping people like it enough to purchase it). Our next games to release will be City of Clocks, Double Spiral War and Pulp Fantastic (all in the pipe).
[20:49] <~Dan> Oh, yes -- what's the scoop on City of Clocks?
[20:50] <+JonathanMThompson> Please rephrase the question
[20:51] <~Dan> Heh. Okay. What's the setting, and what's the system?
[20:52] <+JonathanMThompson> It is an industrial fantasy setting (not steampunk) The City of Clocks is a shining beacon of civilization in a world long left to the wild, once home to the ancient races known as the Luminaries and still studded with their bizarre and unknowable technology.
[20:53] <+JonathanMThompson> It is a systemless setting, with field guides to be released for various systems.
[20:53] <+JonathanMThompson> (done)
[20:55] <~Dan> Huh. Interesting.
[20:55] <+Silverlion> Cool.
[20:56] <+Silverlion> I like clockworks..:D
[20:56] <~Dan> So what is the tech level, if not steampunk?
[20:56] <+JonathanMThompson> Industrial Revolution.
[20:57] <+JonathanMThompson> Its industrial fantasy rather than steampunk fantasy.
[20:57] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:57] <~Dan> So the equivalent of the real-world Victorian period?
[20:58] <+JonathanMThompson> We dont use the word "steampunk." We actually dont publish anything that fits the defined term.
[20:59] <+JonathanMThompson> I have to be going now, thank you very much for the invite to the chat. I enjoyed it very much. I look forward to doing it again sometime soon.

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