Tuesday, May 28, 2013

[Q&A] Francis James Hogan (Adventure MAXIMUS!)

[19:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Hi Everyone I'm Francis James Hogan creator of Adventure MAXIMUS! the introductory RPG that Kids can run and adults can enjoy
[19:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> It's up on Kickstarter right now 6 days left
[19:07] <+FrancisJamesHogan> We've already hit our funded level and are about to go about 200%
[19:07] <+FrancisJamesHogan> which is so cool thanks Backers, you guys rock!
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> mmm
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> Unisystem
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[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> Yeash
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> I was wondering on the matter of it
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> Looks simple
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> Roll a d10, hope oyu roll a 10
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> Yeash
[19:08] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The game was designed with kids in mind
[19:08] <+FrancisJamesHogan> My kids to be specific
[19:08] <~Dan> (Blaster: Please hold comments and questions until we get a "(done)" from Francis. Thanks!)
[19:08] <+BlasterKyubey210> (Sorry)
[19:09] <+FrancisJamesHogan> they can create characters in about 2 minutes and get to playing right away, even run the games them selves
[19:10] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The game is card based with lots of dice to roll, an exploding dice mechanic and action point to keep the little munchkins from getting out of hand
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[19:11] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Kickstarter can be found at (Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1801360072/adventure-maximus)http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1801360072/adventure-maximus I think that's all, if any one has any questions I'd be glab to answer
[19:11] <+FrancisJamesHogan> glad
[19:12] <~Dan> Thanks, Francis!
[19:12] <~Dan> Would anyone like to start us off?
[19:12] <~Dan> Actually, I've got one: Can you describe the base mechanic?
[19:12] <+TheNabster> Are there Classes
[19:13] <+TheNabster> I love me some classes
[19:13] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Yes there were 10 in the original base set but that has swelled to 16
[19:13] <~Dan> (Question pause there while Francis catches up.)
[19:14] <+FrancisJamesHogan> thanks to our backers
[19:14] <+TheNabster> Is it the general sort of, Warrior, Mage, Bard, Thief, that sort of thing?
[19:15] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The usual Fantasy fare is covered along with some fun original classes like the Sparklemancer and the Goon
[19:15] <+FrancisJamesHogan> we have a Rocker class that uses the POWER OF ROCK to fuel his abilities
[19:16] <~Dan> Nice. :)
[19:16] <+FrancisJamesHogan> plus we're including some blank cards for the creation of their own classes
[19:17] <~Dan> What is the Goon? :)
[19:17] <+TheNabster> I would also like to know
[19:18] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The Goon is a bare fisted brawler that uses intimidation and knuckle sandwiches to get her way
[19:18] <+FrancisJamesHogan> literal sandwiches if she's a food-kin
[19:18] <~Dan> Awesome. Inspired by the Goon from teh comics, perchance?
[19:18] <+FrancisJamesHogan> :)
[19:19] <~Dan> So, the base mechanic? :)
[19:19] <+FrancisJamesHogan> More from my hockey games but I love me some Goon
[19:20] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The players have abilities, action powers, equipment and skills that all have number values they simply add the values and roll that number of Maximus dice
[19:20] <+Crazy-Cabal> Knife To The Eye!
[19:21] <~Dan> What type of dice?
[19:22] <+FrancisJamesHogan> the Maximus dice are custom dice 3 sides are blank, count as zero, one side has a single sword symbol counts as one, double sword counts as 2 and the MAXIMUS counts as 2 and they get to roll more dice for every Maximus that comes up.
[19:22] <+FrancisJamesHogan> they add the result and compare it to the value of what they are testing against, if they beat it they succeed.
[19:23] <+FrancisJamesHogan> easy peazey lemon squeezey
[19:23] <~Dan> Are the abilities attributes?
[19:25] <+FrancisJamesHogan> All abilities yes, attributes no, in order to streamline the game we had to cut one or the other, the system really hums along with out the kids having to stop to check modifiers.
[19:26] <+FrancisJamesHogan> just reducing it by one set of modifiers made a huge difference for the younger players
[19:26] <~Dan> So what are the abilities and action powers, and how broad are the skills?
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[19:28] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Characters have a racial ability on their race card, on the class card they have Close Attack, Far Attack, Class ability and 3 or four starting class skills. Spells and equipment are all on seperate cards
[19:29] <+FrancisJamesHogan> there are over 30 skills, charcters can choose new ones or improve old ones as they advance.
[19:30] <~Dan> Can PCs attempt actions for which they don't have skills?
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[19:32] *** Topic on #rpgnet is: #rpgnet welcomes Francis James Hogan (Adventure Maximus!) 5/28/2013 24:00 GMT! || Q&A schedule: (Link: http://​tinyurl.com/​cvr8p9y)http://​tinyurl.com/​cvr8p9y || Q&A logs: (Link: http://gmshoe.blogspot.com)http://gmshoe.blogspot.com
[19:32] *** Topic set by Dan (3 hours ago at 4:34 PM)
[19:32] *** ChanServ sets mode +qo Dan Dan
[19:32] <~Dan> (Whoops. That was odd.)
[19:32] <+FrancisJamesHogan> right, that way when they want to spend experience points they can sample some of the larger game
[19:33] <~Dan> (Did I miss part of Francis's response?)
[19:33] <+FrancisJamesHogan> did I do something Dan?
[19:33] <~Dan> (Nope. Just suddenly disconnected and reconnected.)
[19:33] <+FrancisJamesHogan> LOL chaos
[19:33] <~Dan> (Did you say something before "right, that way..."?)
[19:34] <+FrancisJamesHogan> <Silverlion>: Hrms, so this is a boxed set? <FrancisJamesHogan>: the secret is to give the kids a choice with out making it over whelming for them, for example there are 11 races but we just deal out 3 to each player and let them choose from those 3, keeps it simple <Silverlion>: Interesting. <Silverlion>: So lots of options but limited for each game play? <F
[19:34] <+TheNabster> There were some cards involved
[19:34] <+FrancisJamesHogan> does that catch you up?
[19:34] <+TheNabster> 162 cards
[19:34] <~Dan> I think so. What was the unskilled answer?
[19:35] <+FrancisJamesHogan> yes 162 unique cards no repeats no doubles
[19:35] <+FrancisJamesHogan> unskilled? not sure I saw that one?
[19:35] <~Dan> Oh, I asked whether PCs can attempt something for which they lack the skill.
[19:36] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The rulebook says they answer is always "Yes, and how is your character doing that?"
[19:36] <+FrancisJamesHogan> make them do the work I say
[19:37] <+FrancisJamesHogan> kids will always shock you with their creativity
[19:37] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[19:37] <~Dan> What was the answer to Silverlion's question about the boxed set?
[19:38] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Yes this all will be coming in a box, we are having it custom made, so it better fit in there:)
[19:38] <~Dan> Great. :)
[19:39] <+FrancisJamesHogan> about the size of a hardcover best seller
[19:40] <+Silverlion> Awesome
[19:40] <~Dan> Do you have a list somewhere of the races and classes? I'd love to hear what they are, but I don't want you to have to type them all out if possible. :)
[19:41] <+FrancisJamesHogan> the box will include 162 unique cards, rule book, dice, adventure sheets, tokens and character sheets
[19:42] <+FrancisJamesHogan> there is no list I can point you to yet but If you head over to adventuremaximus.com in the Art section there are images of most of the races.
[19:42] <+GeorgeV-EdenStudios> Races: Elf, Goblin, Dwarf, Dragom-lon, Food-kin, Minotaur, Human, Giant-kin, Tree-kin, Ghost-kin, Vampire-kin, Were-kin
[19:43] <+GeorgeV-EdenStudios> Dragon-kin
[19:43] <~Dan> (George to the rescue! :D )
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[19:44] <+FrancisJamesHogan> For classes there's the Rocker, Goon, Sparklemancer, officer, warrior, Gaurd, Archeologist, Cleric, Sawbones, Explorer, Wizard, and more
[19:44] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Thanks George!
[19:44] <+GeorgeV-EdenStudios> np
[19:45] <~Dan> Can you describe the setting?
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[19:47] <+Silverlion> Rocker?
[19:48] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Yes, Ex-Machina is a post apocalyptic world where fantasy and super science meet, where Mythological monsters and mutants walk and the ghosts of a long dead civilization plague the living. The world is divided into regions each with a unique character and card in the base set, the cards are used to generate adventures during game play.
[19:49] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Think Thundar meets Conan
[19:49] <+FrancisJamesHogan> if Conan was made of donuts
[19:49] <~Dan> Based on Food-kin, I'm guessing it's fairly tongue-in-cheek? :)
[19:50] <+FrancisJamesHogan> yes we like to keep it lite for the kids but they can really surprise you with how seriously they think about the game world.
[19:51] <+Crazy-Cabal> I am noticing an almost Low Life style setting. Was Adventure Time a big inspiration?
[19:51] <~Dan> I'm sensing some... yeah, what CC said. :)
[19:52] <+Silverlion> I don't think they surprise me much. Then again I've run games for my nephew/neice since they were 6 and 7 and now they're 17/15
[19:52] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I love Lowlife and AT but to tell you the truth the biggest influence was my own kids, I wanted to make a game that we could play together.
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[19:53] <~Dan> Could you describe how combat works?
[19:58] <+FrancisJamesHogan> attacker uses either his close or far attack depending on the distance to the creature, and selects any special action powers, equipment or abilities being used, so if I have a Goon with a Far Attack of +2 and a pair of brass knuckles +1 using her Knuckle sandwich class ability +2, I roll 5 dice,
[20:00] <~Dan> (You'd use Far Attack with brass knuckles?)
[20:00] <+FrancisJamesHogan> once the result is added up the Maximus Master compares it to the creatures armor and if they player beats the armor score a hit is made. One point of damage for every point above the armor score
[20:00] <+FrancisJamesHogan> sorry Close Attack with that one
[20:01] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Far attack for any ranged weapon
[20:01] <+FrancisJamesHogan> for far attacks the same process
[20:01] <~Dan> Hmm... So damage ratings are rolled into the chance to hit?
[20:01] <+FrancisJamesHogan> for spells that hit and cause damage same process, usually spells ignore armor.
[20:02] <+FrancisJamesHogan> yes keeps the game moving
[20:02] * ~Dan nods
[20:02] <+FrancisJamesHogan> vital for playing with younger players
[20:02] <~Dan> It's at this point that everyone expects me to trot out the Clumsy Giant.
[20:03] <~Dan> i.e.: Can the game handle a creature less likely to hit but likely to cause massive damage if it does?
[20:03] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Yes, poison and other specialized weapons are all a part of the game
[20:04] <+FrancisJamesHogan> they do have to hit first though :)
[20:05] <+FrancisJamesHogan> to keep the game balanced though we have those actions mitigated by action points
[20:05] <+FrancisJamesHogan> bigger actions require more action points so fewer actions every round.
[20:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I need to find my comma ke
[20:06] <~Dan> Bigger actions as in... more damaging attacks?
[20:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> key, there it is
[20:06] <+Silverlion> Cool
[20:06] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Yes this is especially evident in the magic system.
[20:08] <+FrancisJamesHogan> bigger more damage causing magics cn take upto 4 action points to cast, considering that players only regain 3 action points a round it helps keep everyone balanced.
[20:08] <~Dan> Nice.
[20:08] <~Dan> While we're on the subject, can you describe the magic system(s)?
[20:08] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The Giant isn't just a big club, they have the fanciest book clubs in all of Ex-Machina
[20:10] <+Silverlion> Heh
[20:11] <+FrancisJamesHogan> sure, spells can only be cast by classes that have spells as part of their class card. Spells are fueled by Action Points, for spells that can be resisted the player rolls a number of dice equal to the action point cost.
[20:12] <+FrancisJamesHogan> they count successes, they the resisting creature must roll a number of dice equal to it's willpower. Ties go to the spell caster. so if  player rolls no successes the spell still goes off, it's just easier to resist.
[20:13] <+FrancisJamesHogan> For damage causing spells the spell caster makes an attack just like any other attacking character.
[20:14] <~Dan> How whimsical are the spells?
[20:16] <+FrancisJamesHogan> the titles get pretty silly but the results are serious... not really. :) one of my favorites is called banana slips, it covers anarea with the slippery essence of a million bananas
[20:16] <~Dan> I can see the apeel of that.
[20:16] <+FrancisJamesHogan> giant size me is a fun one too
[20:17] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:17] <+FrancisJamesHogan> 26 spells in all in the base set fully illustrated cards
[20:18] <+FrancisJamesHogan> the art is very important in this game it sets the tone for everything that follows
[20:19] <~Dan> Do you have a bestiary, and if so, how large is it?
[20:21] <+FrancisJamesHogan> so far there are 30 fully illustrated creature cards but I'll have to see about a beastiray book for the young Maximus Masters.
[20:21] <+FrancisJamesHogan> whoops bestiary
[20:23] <+FrancisJamesHogan> When I made the game for my kids I was just making it for them and me so there are a ton of cards we have waiting in the wings to make expansions with or more KS goodies
[20:23] <~Dan> Based on the discussion so far, the setting seems pretty far into the fantasy camp. Can you describe some of the sci-fi aspects?
[20:25] <+FrancisJamesHogan> There are other worldly invaders, stink pistols, lightning guns, Mechanical constructs and of course steam powered airships.
[20:26] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The Bronzo Armium on the ships make them tough to bring down. :)
[20:27] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The game is really set up to cater to the Maximus Master and Player's tastes, if they want more Fantasy they can have it, if they want to try scifi there's that too,
[20:28] <+FrancisJamesHogan> we leave it all up to them.
[20:28] <~Dan> Speaking of airships, can you say a bit about the stretch goal that deals with them?
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[20:31] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Oh sure, that was a set named Peg-legs & Pilots, the 18K stretch goal so they are in the base set now. There are three main vehicles Steam powered Airship, Tug boat and Omni-cart. and the Pilot and Swashbuckler classes were also in that set.
[20:32] <+FrancisJamesHogan> those classes have special vehicle related abilities.
[20:32] <+FrancisJamesHogan> and each of them starts play with a random vehicle.
[20:33] <+FrancisJamesHogan> since E-Machina is interlaced with rivers and lakes I'll take the Tug Boat
[20:33] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Ex_Machina
[20:33] <~Dan> Ah... so that's not a separate setting, but part of the standard setting?
[20:34] <+FrancisJamesHogan> now it is :)
[20:35] <+FrancisJamesHogan> with every expanision we add a map card, all of the map cards can come together to make a big old super map of Ex-MAchina.
[20:35] <~Dan> Very nice.
[20:36] <+FrancisJamesHogan> we group the expansion sets according to themes in play and it all seems to work out wonderfully when figuring on new add-ons and stretch goals
[20:36] <~Dan> I'm guessing that, being designed for kids, the morality of the setting is rather black-and-white. Am I correct, and if so, are there any "Big Bad" groups?
[20:38] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The Creatures in Ex-Machina fall into 3 groups, Lackeys, Monsters, not necessarily evil but very agressive, and Bosses, the Bosses are the Big Bad guys bent on world domination.
[20:40] <+FrancisJamesHogan> the morality in these games get s fuzzy some times, I once had a group of playtesters that found an EVIL sword, instead of destroying it they fell under it's control.
[20:41] <+FrancisJamesHogan> another group same item got into a 30 minute debate about what to do with it, it was like watching the council of tiny elronds
[20:42] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:42] <+BlasterKyubey210> Ah
[20:42] <~Dan> And these were kids?
[20:42] <+FrancisJamesHogan> like I said the kids really bring their own things to the table and make each game their own.
[20:43] <+FrancisJamesHogan> yes both groups
[20:43] <~Dan> That's awesome. :)
[20:43] <+FrancisJamesHogan> ages 7-10 in group 1 and ages 6-8 in group 2
[20:44] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I love this game I want every one with a creative kid in their life to see what I've seen.
[20:44] <~Dan> How readily have kids taken to GMing the game?
[20:46] <+FrancisJamesHogan> very easily, the game comes with an adventure creation system for the inexperienced MM, just draw some cards and away you go.
[20:46] <~Dan> How often have you run (or seen it run) for adults, and how did they take to it?
[20:47] <+FrancisJamesHogan> there is a video on the KS and on our website of a first time MM running a game using the Adventure Creation System
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[20:49] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I used to run the game as a pick-up game for my regular group when we didn't have enough players but I've also been running it every holiday aand at BBQ's for the grown-ups. they want to have an easy to play game experience just like the kids do
[20:49] <+FrancisJamesHogan> it's very popular with all ages
[20:50] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[20:51] <~Dan> We have about 10 minutes left in regular time... Is there anything you'd like to bring up that we haven't discussed?
[20:51] <+FrancisJamesHogan> If anyone wants me to come out and runa game for them there is a pledge level for that on the KS page :)
[20:53] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Well I just want to thank all our play testers and backers on Kickstarter we are looking great but it's all because of these amazing people that have generously given their time and money to make this all happen.
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[20:55] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I can't think of anything, all the kids are in bed, Hey George did I forget anything?
[20:55] <~Dan> Do you have anything planned for future products?
[20:55] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Star MAXIMUS!
[20:55] <~Dan> Sweet!
[20:55] <~Dan> Will that be an expansion of the same setting, or something entirely separate?
[20:56] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Seriously we've got this one in the pipeline coming soon to a spaceport near you.
[20:58] <+FrancisJamesHogan> Completely compatible with Adventure MAXIMUS, Star MAXIMUS will have the same humor, new races, classes, powers, planets, equipment and creatures
[20:58] <~Dan> Silly psionics? :)
[20:58] <+FrancisJamesHogan> you bet your last quatloon on it
[20:59] <~Dan> Awesome.
[20:59] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I'm working up the boss card for our Star MAXIMUS preview pack.
[21:00] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[21:00] <+Silverlion> cOOL
[21:00] <+FrancisJamesHogan> you can find it in the add-ons section of the Kickstarter page
[21:00] <~Dan> I should mention that you're welcome to hang out as long as you like, Francis, and continue to field questions. Or just hang out. :)
[21:01] <+FrancisJamesHogan> I will do that, sir. Thanks Dan this was fun.
[21:02] <~Dan> You're very welcome!
[21:02] <~Dan> Also, please feel free to stop by any time. Game designers are always welcome to discuss their products here.
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[21:03] <+Snoof> 'lo all
[21:04] <~Dan> Oh, by the way, Francis: Do you reveal the source of the apocalypse?
[21:09] <+FrancisJamesHogan> There are theories, but the ones your kids will come up with will be your favorites.
[21:10] <~Dan> Heh. Good answer. :)
[21:10] <~Dan> I'll go ahead and log the chat there and get you the link. :)
[21:10] <+FrancisJamesHogan> The apoc happened on a night long ago called the Great Sundering, they also calling the Thousand Fires.
[21:11] <+FrancisJamesHogan> cool thanks!

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