Monday, August 5, 2013

[Q&A] Nathaniel Torson (Barbarians of Heavy Metal)

[19:03] <+Nathaniel> My name is Nathaniel Torson, Co-Owner of Jabberwocky Productions, creator of Barbarians of the Aftermath,  and the writer of The Time Traveller's Companion, and a good chunk of the rest of the Doctor Who line (as well as a graphic desinger and layout artist fdor same line.)
[19:03] <+Nathaniel> Done.
[19:03] <+Nathaniel> :)
[19:04] <+Nathaniel> Oi, Darren!
[19:04] <~Dan> (Um... Did you want to introduce your game as well? :) )
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[19:05] <+Nathaniel> Sorry about that. Got dropped for some reason.
[19:05] <+Nathaniel> Did dsomebody ask something?
[19:05] <~Dan> No problem. I just asked if you wanted to introduce your game as well. :)
[19:06] <+Nathaniel> Ah, my game is Barbarians of Heavy Metal, the game of sonic warior wizards and giant robots in the 31st century.
[19:07] <+Nathaniel> (Link:
[19:07] <+Nathaniel> The video says it all.
[19:08] <+Nathaniel> <crickets>
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[19:08] <+Nathaniel> Oh, dear.
[19:08] <~Dan> (I think they're waiting for a (done). :)
[19:09] <+Nathaniel> Oh. DONE.
[19:09] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:09] <~Dan> Thanks, Nathaniel!
[19:09] <+Le_Squide> Do you mind a question about the kickstarter itself?
[19:09] <+Nathaniel> Shoot.
[19:09] <+Nathaniel> <ducks>
[19:09] <+Nathaniel> I shoulds never say that in Texas.
[19:10] <~Dan> :D
[19:10] <+Nathaniel> Was that the question? Whether I mind the question?
[19:11] <+KJ> Here's a question: I'm looking at your Kickstarter page and they mention the Eight Great Schools of Rock, but I seem to be missing a breakdown on that page. Any chance you could give a quick listing and rundown of the Eight Great Schools?
[19:11] <+Kzar> Is headbanging considered an art form?
[19:11] <+Nathaniel> Sure...
[19:11] <+Le_Squide> Ok. I'm a huge Barbarians of the Aftermath fan, loved Future Heresy (...that was you, right? If not, I apologize), and love this concept as well. However, the kickstarter...ain't doing so well at this point. Do you have plans for either the app or a more traditional book/.pdf release if the kickstarter fails?
[19:12] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
[19:12] <+Nathaniel> Sorry, a lot of material there.
[19:12] <+Nathaniel> Ok, here they come, in order...
[19:13] <+Nathaniel> Nazarite Patron Saint: The Archangel Michael, Archangel of the Axe White Metal bands, like Mortification, Stryper, and Seventh Angel
[19:13] <+Nathaniel> Grim Patron Saint: The Suicide Kings Alternative music from The Cure to Nirvana to Nick Cave.
[19:13] <+Nathaniel> Dedite - Patron Saint: The Cowboy from Hell Bands like early Metallica, Pantera and Morbid Angel. Mainly focusing on serious thrashing power metal.
[19:13] <+Nathaniel> Sabbathite -  Patron Saint: The Great & Powerful Oz AKA the Prince of Darkness Classic Sabbath style music, heavy on the tritones and detuning to create a heavy sound.
[19:13] <+Nathaniel> Galmling -  Patron Saint: The Four Fold One Hair Metal and Glam metal like Kiss, Motley Crue and Ratt.
[19:13] <+Nathaniel> Ledites - Patron Saint: The Hermetic Twins Blues infused rock music like Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd
[19:14] <+Nathaniel> Yngwie - Patron Saint: The Axe-master Neo-classical Metal of amazing virtuosity like Yngwie Malmsteen and some of Metallica's more Hammett-centric material.
[19:14] <+Nathaniel> Kzar - Yes, headbanging is an art form.
[19:15] <+Nathaniel> LeSquide - Yes, but it will be delayed. I've talked with Angus over at Chronicle City about picking up the line.
[19:15] <+Le_Squide> (And you did do future Heresy?)
[19:15] <+Nathaniel> But printing ques being what they are, if the KS doesn't make it, we'll try again in the spring. If that doesn't work, we'll go traditional.
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[19:16] <+Beelzedude> (hi)
[19:16] <+Nathaniel> Yep. Future Heresy is my baby.
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[19:16] <+BPIJonathan> (Sorry I am late, was thinking this started at 8pm for some reason)
[19:17] <+Nathaniel> My current plans, vis Kickstarter projects:
[19:17] <~Dan> (Angus is awesome. Just for the record.)
[19:17] <+Nathaniel> If BoHM doesn't start, then I'll immediately get the BoL Boardgame (which just needs final art) ready for a KS in September. THen I'll revisit BoHM in Feb-Mar.
[19:18] <+Nathaniel> As for why the KS is doing a bit languidly, that is a long story of the wacky voodoo that is crowd-soucing, but mainly revolves around a $900 backer having to step out for financial reasons and the resulting dip killing the momentum.
[19:19] <+Nathaniel> That is why I need folks to go out and spread the word.
[19:20] <+Nathaniel> If you like Rock & Roll and Giant Robot Combat, then this is the game for you.
[19:20] <+KJ> So what are some cool locations detailed in the book? Where can my friends and I duel with fellow Metalheads?
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[19:22] <+Nathaniel> There are various types of world, from the renaissance level civilized worlds to the barbarian worlds recently rediscovered by pathfinder fleets. There's 8 sections of space, each one dominated by one school of rock, and then there's the fringe, the outer darkness of unexplored space around the Metalsphere, where bizarre things lie.
[19:22] <+Beelzedude> If this goes for a second round, will you consider options for backing the game outside of kickstarter? like paypal for example.
[19:22] <+Nathaniel> You can find Redneck space on the periphery as well as the Choclate TRiangle.
[19:23] <+Nathaniel> KS provides one real adventuage that most people don't consider an advantage:
[19:23] <+BlasterQB210> If it goes wrong
[19:23] <+Nathaniel> If you don't fund it, you don't get hte money. This is a good thing because you don't end up having to do mass orders and work for like 10 people.
[19:24] <+Nathaniel> It is a good pulse for what the market wants and will bear.
[19:25] <+Nathaniel> A lot of KS porjects are treated like a fountain of money by project managers and pre-order services by customers. Niether is really true.
[19:25] <+Nathaniel> \Things cost money and doing things in small batches costs a LOT of money.
[19:25] <+Beelzedude> true. but there's also the problem of certain people lacking the right type of debit/credit card not being able to back the game through KS. I just found that one out a few hours ago myself.
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[19:26] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy! Now here is a game that is right up your alley!)
[19:26] <+Nathaniel> Better to set a gola, and meet it, with all the attendent costs and taxes and the like pre-figured, than to go the Indiegogo route and get $500 to produce a handful of books, caps, T-shirts, etc.
[19:27] <+Nathaniel> Beeezle. Ah, I see what you're asking. If I make th egoal, I'd be happy to help you with that.
[19:27] <+KJ> Sonic wizardry relies on you playing some music to rewrite reality; I was wondering how long it takes for someone to create a simple effect versus the higher end effects? Or, rephrased, if I'm in a Titan and a Sonic Wizard is whipping out some heavy duty mojo, how much time do I have to take him down before I get my face melted off?
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[19:28] <+Nathaniel> One round per effect, say if you're writing a sonic spell that uses multiple effects. But some of the individual effects can be very powerful if you have the right backing band. For instance, a level 11 effect, which is higher by far than any individual master can attain, is entirely within the realm of a master band, which can themn set an entire Titan hex o
[19:29] <+Nathaniel> on fire, hot enough to melt armor and incinerate everyone else.
[19:29] <~Dan> I take it this is quite distinct from Barbarians of Lemuria magic?
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[19:30] <+Nathaniel> Yes. The effects are set, not freeform, although you can combine effects from different styles into a more complex spell.
[19:30] <+Nathaniel> There are three levels of effect: 1-6, are attainable by an individual of the appropriate rank.
[19:30] <+Nathaniel> 7-112 are only obtainable by a band.
[19:31] <+Nathaniel> 12+ require orchestras and choirs.
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[19:31] <+Nathaniel> But then you're warping space, frying entire aerospaces hexes and the like.
[19:31] <+KJ> One last question before I step out to grab dinner: Are all the Eight Great Schools of Rock all hostile towards each other in a Free-for-All, or does the Metalsphere have it's own political alliances, treaties, etc?
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[19:32] <+Nathaniel> The only true enemies are the opposition schools. So Sabbthites and Nazarites are mortal enemies, as are the Punks and Ledites, Grims and Glamlings and the Dedites and Yngwie.
[19:33] <+Nathaniel> BUT, there is a lot of warfare in th metalsphere. Punk space, for instance, has very unstable borders due top their constant fighting with their neighbors and themselves.
[19:33] <+Nathaniel> The only stable border is a mathematically precise one between the Ledites and the Yngwie, who have a common interesdt in precisoin and science.
[19:34] <+Nathaniel> All the other ones fluctuate a bit.
[19:34] <+Nathaniel> Dojne.
[19:34] <+Dirian> So what are your main influences on the creation of the game? Shows like Metalocalypse? Bill and Ted? And if so on the latter, will there be time travel support in the rules to rock out with various historical leaders? :P
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[19:35] <+Nathaniel> Battletech (pre-clan), Heavy Metal Magazine, and Brutal Legend.
[19:36] <+Nathaniel> And a great deal of inspiration camefrom the Sword's Warp Riders.
[19:36] <+Nathaniel> I bought that album, looked at the cover, listened to the music and said 'There's a game in ther.'
[19:36] <~Dan> Can you describe the tech level of the setting?
[19:38] <+Nathaniel> Yes. 21st century at the high end of civilization, but the majority of planets are kind of Firely in their technological primitivism. You'll see peasants in a hovel using hand tools and beats of burden whip out a cell phone to talk to their family, for instance.
[19:39] <+Nathaniel> The AdTek, all the advanced technology lost during the Thousand Psychic Wars, is still around in places, but has to be salvaged and repaired. It can't be recreated.
[19:39] <+Nathaniel> Some worlds, cut off by the Sound or the Fury, have regressed to primitive barbarism.
[19:40] <~Dan> And that includes starships and Titans, re: AdTek?
[19:40] <+Nathaniel> So neo-feudilism, with patches of technolo9gy.
[19:41] <+Nathaniel> Yes, Adtek is anything post 21st century, at this point. So energy weapons border that, but Titans and harmonic resonators must be salvaged. As do starships.
[19:41] <~Dan> Does that mean it's hard to find power for, say, electric guitars?
[19:41] <+Nathaniel> And when I say 21st century, I'm including everything up to 2099
[19:43] <+Nathaniel> Depends on the where and who, really. Portable fusion is available, but not typically to your average peasant. All Sonic Superstring Manipulators are powered by Fusion cells, but the average electric guitar requires electricity.
[19:43] <~Dan> So how do bands manage?
[19:43] <+Nathaniel> A peasent on one world might have a small fusion mill in their hut, but on another world, they might have a deisal generator or wood.
[19:43] <+Nathaniel> Ah, good question Dan.
[19:44] * ~Dan bows
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[19:44] <~Dan> (Howdy, Kaijiu_Keiichi!)
[19:44] <+Nathaniel> Bands are not just musical groups in the future. They are military units made up of Metalheads: 31st century knights. All bands typically have a manager, which is the 31st century equivalent of a officer class.
[19:45] <+Nathaniel> Above Managers are Warlords, the grand strategists, and typically the Dukes, Barons, and so on, of the Metalsphere. They are usually heads of the great houses, like House Dio, House Nugent or House Biafra.
[19:46] <+Nathaniel> Above even Warlords are the Inquisitors, who keep the purity of their musical school in their space.
[19:46] <+Nathaniel> They are the 'High Priests' of rock.
[19:47] <+Nathaniel> Outside of Metalsphere society, are the keepers of knowledge, The Church. Their monks are the only ones capable of repairing fialed AdTek.
[19:48] <+Nathaniel> They are neutral in the affairs of the metalheads (for the most part) but have plans of their on.
[19:48] <+Nathaniel> Done.
[19:49] <+Nathaniel> Oh, the Church ius also responsible for training Titan Riders and Navigatrixes.
[19:49] <~Dan> So portalbe fusion generators are provided by the higher ups?
[19:49] <+Nathaniel> Yep. Its a feudal society overall, with a lot of hoarding of adtek or late 21st century tech by the nobolity.
[19:50] <+Nathaniel> Even a Metalhead Titan Rider can't just hop into a Metal Lord class Titan. They have to become really famous before they will be assigend one.
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[19:50] <~Dan> (Howdy, Acenoid!)
[19:50] <+Nathaniel> Fame, by the way, is one of the main 'goals' of the game. You want more of it.
[19:51] <+Acenoid> lo
[19:51] <+Acenoid> are you really there dna?:)
[19:51] <+Acenoid> dan
[19:51] <~Dan> So how well equipped are the PCs, generally speaking?
[19:51] <+Acenoid> so fast responses too be human :D
[19:52] <~Dan> (I am, Acenoid! Q&A in progress. #rpgnet2 open for general chat. :) )
[19:52] <+Nathaniel> They get a number of equipment points in three categories: personal equipment, career equipment and vehicles. So they can start out pretty well equipped, but a lot of their gear will be career dependent.
[19:52] <+Nathaniel> You can also buy titles and such, when you get the Sols.
[19:53] <+Nathaniel> Along with statues, album contracts and other things that increase fame.
[19:53] <~Dan> The Sols?
[19:54] <+Nathaniel> The offical currency of the Metalsphere (although each house has its own internal currenciy as well)..
[19:54] <~Dan> Ah, gotcha.
[19:55] <+Nathaniel> Don't take your Sabbathite money ot Nazarite space or vice versa, by the way. They won't take it and will probably kill you for trying.
[19:55] <~Dan> Speaking of careers, maybe you should give us a quick rundown on the setting?
[19:55] <+Nathaniel> Oh, that all? 28 careers?
[19:55] <+Nathaniel> : )
[19:56] <~Dan> Well, I meant the system in general. :)
[19:56] <+KJ> What are some of your favorite careers?
[19:56] <+Nathaniel> All of them tell you al ittle bit about the world, but I'll post a few of my favorites...
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[19:56] <+Kaijiu_Keiichi> I have a question
[19:57] <~Dan> Go ahead, Kaijiu_Keiichi!
[19:57] <+Nathaniel> Artisans are tradesman who specialize in one particular form of skilled labor. Any Roadie can build a stage or add armor to a Titan's head, but it takes an Artisan to carve the support beams into dragon entwined pillars or shape the head armor into a leering goblin face with a mirrored chrome finish that reflects the earth and sky.
[19:58] <+Kaijiu_Keiichi> Are mecha in the system constructed or are we given pre-made stats? Can we construct our own HEAVY METAL TITANS?
[19:58] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
[20:00] <+Nathaniel> Titans are given a series of chassis types, from the tiny nomads to the mighty Metal Lords, and these define a few operational parameters, but systems are entirely custom outfitted. There will be iconic Titans, like this one: (Link:
[20:01] <+Nathaniel> But you can make your own and have something like 27 systems to choose from.
[20:01] <+Nathaniel> Here's another favorite career...
[20:01] <+Nathaniel> Despite the availability of advanced technology across the Metalsphere, there is still a call for animals to serve as transport and beasts of burden on many worlds, especially resource poor ones where most technology is restricted to the nobility, fuel is in short supply, or the natural terrain is too rugged for motorized vehicles. The Beastmaster is a
[20:02] <+Nathaniel> 'combination of cowboy, veterinarian, and biologist who can raise, condition and maintain a large variety of livestock for these purposes.   Master Beastmasters (Rank 5) even understand enough genetic science to create mutants and crossbreeds for specific purposes with the right technology at their disposal and are often well paid to create 'familiars': custo
[20:02] <+Nathaniel> Police, in the 21st century sense of the word, do not exist in the Metalsphere as Metalheads are expected to enforce the laws of the local warlords and generally keep the peace. Occasionally, however, the need arises for an investigation into some crime or another and that is when the Inquisitors are called in.
[20:02] <+Nathaniel> Part Sherlock Holmes, part Torquemada, Inquisitors use a variety of deductive reasoning skills coupled with enforced interrogation techniques (known as torture by everyone else) to quickly gather clues and get to the truth of a situation. They have the authority to try, convict and execute sentences as they see fit, and not even the intervention of the local
[20:03] <+Nathaniel> A Warp Rider, also known as a Navigatrix (or in very, very rare cases where a male has the gift of sight, a Navigator), is absolutely essential for interstellar travel. These remarkable women, using the power of a Celestial Choirs and Orchestras and the power of a 'warp engine' made up of hundreds of synched Harmonic Resonators, create folds in space,
[20:03] <+Nathaniel> rip holes into them and then slip between the curves before sending the fold rippling across space-time at incredible speeds.
[20:03] <+Nathaniel> Warp Riders are strictly controlled by the Sisterhoods, special Monastic Orders dedicated to training, indoctrinating and controlling psychic activity in the Metalsphere, and their primary loyalty is to those Orders on pain of death. Renegade Warp Riders are rare (even Marauders prefer to pay the proper dues to obtain one) and, after the horror of the
[20:03] <+Nathaniel> Thousand Psychic Wars, all psychic activity is tightly controlled to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
[20:03] <+Nathaniel> ...
[20:04] <+Nathaniel> I should point out that in BoHM, each career has a General Use section, that describes when they might be used, a Combat Use section, if they have specific combat proficiencies or weapon skills, and special abilities and/or restrictions available only to those who possess the Career.
[20:05] <+Nathaniel> So they are a bit more laid out than standard BoL careers.
[20:05] <+Nathaniel> Done.
[20:05] <~Dan> And the use of careers in combat is something new to the system, correct?
[20:06] <+KJ> Besides the 8 Great Schools, are there any other important organizations in the Metalsphere?
[20:06] <+Nathaniel> Yes. I've added three elemnts to the roll instead of the standard two, and one of those can be a combat career. This really sets non-professional combatants apart from serious soldiers without hobbling them.
[20:07] <+Nathaniel> There's no reason a Artisan can't be good with a sword. They just will be less used to usign it on a battlefield or in an arena.
[20:09] <+Nathaniel> KJ, ther eis The Church, the last remnant of all the former churches from Earth, who are neutral academics for the most part and are the only ones with the knowledge to repair AdTek, implany Titan Rider's Fasa implants, and insert the control circuits into Navagatrixes.
[20:10] <+Nathaniel> They function as a brain trust for the universe and are tolerated by the metalheads for that reason.
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[20:10] <~Dan> I'm assuming there's no cyber?
[20:10] <+Nathaniel> They, of course, have their own agenda, and are constantly sending out monks to do the Good Work, by hiring themselves out as academic professionals and such to Warlords.
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[20:11] <+Nathaniel> Cybertech? Yes, in a way. Titan Riders can use their interfaces to hook into computers and try to control them, but its dangerous.
[20:12] <+Nathaniel> Anyone catch that Fasa implant refeernce, by the way? Lots of little homages like that in the game.
[20:12] <~Dan> Ah... But in terms of cyberlimbs and the like...?
[20:12] <~Dan> (And I was wondering, re: Fasa. :) )
[20:12] <+Nathaniel> Yes. That is AdTek and VERY expensive, though. And not nearly as efficient as flesh and blood for playing music.
[20:13] <+Nathaniel> Yes, Dan, and they all get their Fasa Implants at the Monasary of St. Laubenstein. : P
[20:13] <~Dan> What about mutations?
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[20:14] <+Nathaniel> Nope. But if you have a copy, of Barbarians of the Aftermath (and everyone who pledges $30 or more gets a free PDF of that) you can add those in easily.
[20:14] <~Dan> Good point. :)
[20:15] <~Dan> Speaking of mutations, could you describe the status of aliens and monsters in the setting?
[20:16] <+Nathaniel> No aliens, but the Beatmasters use genetic manipulation to create all sorts of monstrosities to use as pets and guards for important metalheads.
[20:17] <+Nathaniel> The Mothership Connection will introduce a race of creature/beings called Da Noz, who are the Funkmasters of the universe. But whether they are alien or an example of gentic manipulkation gone wrong is anyone's guess.
[20:18] <+Nathaniel> If you want to add aliens, by the way, there is always Barbarians of the Future.
[20:18] <+Nathaniel> Who knows what you'll find on the periphery of the Metalsphere?
[20:19] <~Dan> What's that, re: Barbarians of the Future?
[20:19] <+Nathaniel> A free expansion for Barbarians of the Aftermath I created some time ago.
[20:20] <+WonderRat> Cool
[20:20] <~Dan> I'm assuming that all of the PCs are musicians, so is one career always a musical one?
[20:20] <+Nathaniel> There's a link to it, but I can't seem to find it.
[20:21] <+Nathaniel> All PCs start out with 4 points in Musical Styles and 4 Points in In struments.
[20:21] <+Nathaniel> The default character assumption is that they are Metalheads, i.e. knights.
[20:21] <+Nathaniel> They all start out with some sort of Superstring anipulator.
[20:22] <~Dan> So the points in intruments are free?
[20:22] <+Nathaniel> 4 points, yes. Like starting Attributes and Careers and Combat Adds in BoL.
[20:22] <+WonderRat> Er sorry if I am asking something that has been asked, but I guess there is rivalry between the diffirent school correct? Are they at peace and work together fine. Or does a band have to all come from the same school.
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[20:23] <+Nathaniel> Opposition Schools are mortal enemies, all the other schools are allies or enemies based upon the current political/battlefield conditions.
[20:24] <+WonderRat> Hmmm
[20:24] <~Dan> So is it assumed that PC groups will all be a band from the same School?
[20:24] <+WonderRat> Trying to remember the diffirent schools and which ones hate each other.
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[20:26] <~Dan> I'll copy/paste that into a PM, Wondy.
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[20:26] <+Nathaniel> They could be, if they were a unit for their school of rock. They might equally be mercenaries and mixed, with even a Sabbathite and Nazarite serving together (assuming neither was an Inquisitor). There will be tensions, but it can happen if hte money is good enough. Then there are Marauders who have this special rule:
[20:26] <+WonderRat> not a big deal, Dan
[20:27] <+Nathaniel> SPECIAL ABILITIES - BREAKING THE LAW The Marauder doesn't give one whit about the laws and morals of common folk, especially the strictures of the Rocktagon. A Marauder will have a main school, just like every other headbanger in the Metalsphere, but they have no restrictions on playing in the Style of their Opposing School
[20:27] <+Nathaniel> (and rather enjoy mixing the two just to get up everyone's nose). They are considered to have a Style Rank in the Opposing School equal to their Marauder Rank. This, of course, makes them very unpopular with Inquisitors...
[20:27] <+WonderRat> Heh not sure which school I would fit into probebly the thrash or Sabbath one
[20:27] <+Nathaniel> So Marauder bands can be made of pretty much anything.
[20:28] <~Dan> Are there any "Big Bads" in the setting?
[20:28] <+Nathaniel> Just a niverse in tension, with constant low level warfare.
[20:29] <+Nathaniel> Very sandboxy.
[20:29] <~Dan> What sorts of missions might the PCs go on?
[20:30] <+Nathaniel> Now, the example campaign I want to write will include the Chronomancer from Warp Riders, but other than that, its on an adventure by adventure basis so I can leave it open for you guys to do what you want with.
[20:31] <+Nathaniel> Standard military types to travelling rock shows to pathfinding through the Silence and the Fury to find lost worlds to anything in between. There are even some careers that open up whole other types of game, like the secret society of the Hashashin.
[20:31] <+Beelzedude> (good night)
[20:31] <~Dan> (Bye, Beelz!)
[20:31] <+Nathaniel> Depends on your group, your MM (Metal Master) and what you want to do.
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[20:31] <+Nathaniel> Night beex.
[20:31] <+Silverlion> Really Hashashin?
[20:31] <+WonderRat> Kill the Orcs, Slay the Orcs, Destory the Orcs
[20:32] <+Nathaniel> Yes, really. There are a lot of 'classicval' cultures that are totally corrupted and remade in the metalsphere.
[20:32] <+AWOLJoe> I have to admit, even though I came into the description halfway through, I really like the sound of the Marauders
[20:33] <+Nathaniel> If you want Orcs, throw the Bugbears from Barbarians of the Future in there. Probably somewhere above Dedite space.
[20:33] <~Dan> Do you consider BoHM to be a comedy game, or at least tongue-in-cheek?
[20:33] <+Nathaniel> Here's the description:
[20:33] <+Nathaniel> Raiding and piracy, like prostitution, moved out into space almost immediately after the technology to traverse the stars became publicly available (and some say it began even before then). Modern pirates are called marauders and they live on the fringes of civilization,
[20:34] <+Nathaniel> flouting even the rather lax laws and social mores of the Metalsphere in their pursuit for fortune, infamy and total freedom.Marauders spend most of their time in space, preferring to live between the stars and only touching down on a planet to resupply or raid the locals. Most make due with a single ship,
[20:34] <+Nathaniel> but the most powerful Marauder Lords (who almost always have the Warlord career as well) have a fleet of ships and small Titan contingents as well.
[20:34] <+Nathaniel> Occasionally, a profitable war will draw their attention and they'll offer themselves up as guns-for-hire to one of the conflicting parties. They are incredibly mercenary, however, and will often change allegiance if they get a whiff of a better offer from the other side, so Warlords and Managers tend to use them sparingly and only in non-critical positions.
[20:35] <+Nathaniel> I consider BoHM to be a bit funny from a Meta perspective, but it should be played deadly serious from the Metalheads point of view. Which often leads to unintentional comedy anyway.
[20:36] <+Nathaniel> A lot of the references are there for purely the amusemnt of the reader of course, but that's just my writing style.
[20:36] * ~Dan nods
[20:37] <~Dan> I'd draw a comparison to Rocket Age in that respect. (I assume you know of that one?)
[20:38] <~Dan> For those who don't know, Rocket Age is a 1930s pulp sci-fi game. It features rocketships, flying saucers, and rayguns, but is totally serious within the context of the setting.
[20:38] <+Nathaniel> Groupies are a good example. They are really just prosittutes by any other name, but the name comes from the legendary rock gods and their harems ( a corrupted historical view of the followers and hangers on from the distant past which they take seriusly but we can all have a good chuckle at).
[20:38] * ~Dan nods
[20:38] <~Dan> Heh. :)
[20:39] <~Dan> Is there support for starship combat?
[20:39] <+Nathaniel> Oh yes! A whole scale of combat, Orbital, takes them into account.
[20:40] <~Dan> What's the nature of such combat in the setting? Is it of the cinematic, physics-defying sort with dogfighting starfighters, for example?
[20:40] <+Nathaniel> Starships are like battleships in space, with hundreds of large Harmonic Manipulator Forks in bays, orchestras and choirs to back up the Navagatrix and hulls made of vibranium to resonate space itself.
[20:41] <+Nathaniel> Think of the various levels of Battletech, then make it easier to use simultaneously. So there is the wargaming aspect of it. BUT, throw in sonic wizardry and you have guitarists flying through the air, and bands making the sky cry fire hot enough to melt titans, and there's your cinematic.
[20:43] <~Dan> Are there specific "spells" that certain instruments can create?
[20:44] <+Nathaniel> Each style of music has a specific set of effects based upon its natural harmonic resonance wiht the superstrings of the universe. So there are eight main styles, based on the four elemnts and four fundamental forces.
[20:44] <+Nathaniel> Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Electromagnetic, Gravity Strong Nuclear (Order) and WEak Nuclear (Chaos)
[20:44] <+Nathaniel> You can combine effects to create more variation.
[20:45] <+Nathaniel> But these more complicated soinc spells take more time.
[20:45] <+Nathaniel> Done.
[20:46] <~Dan> Hmm... Interesting.
[20:46] <+AWOLJoe> How do the different schools of the Rocktagon correspond to the different effects?
[20:48] <+Nathaniel> Nazarites: Electromagentic, Grim: Earth, Punk: Weak Nuclear (Chaos), Dedite: Fire, Sabbathite: Gravity, Glamling: Air, Ledite: Strong Nuclear (Order), and Yngwie: Water.
[20:49] <+AWOLJoe> Makes enough sense to me, from what little I know of the different schools :)
[20:49] <~Dan> And the Schools relate to specific sorts of actions as well, correct?
[20:49] <+Nathaniel> Funny that. THey all seemed to fall into place, like the Rocktagon was a truly natural thing. :)
[20:50] <+Nathaniel> Yes, Dan. Glamling make the best pilots, for instance, and Dedites have the Sonic Slayer Career that only they can take.
[20:51] <~Dan> But they're included in action rolls, aren't they?
[20:53] <+Nathaniel> Well, in the caase of specialist careers, yes. In some cases, these specialties show up in the Harmins and Discords of the school (what BoL might call Boons and Flaws, but only activated by the appropriate number of the school or its opposition on the Rocktyagon).
[20:53] <+Nathaniel> I meant to say Rocktohedron, the eight sided die used in all rolls.
[20:54] <+Nathaniel> The basic roll is Attribute or Combat Add+Style+Career+2D^+D8
[20:54] <+Nathaniel> That was meant to be 2D6+D8
[20:55] <+Nathaniel> THe range of difficulty levels is much higher now, which also gives characters more room to grow.
[20:56] <~Dan> That's a nice touch.
[20:56] <+Nathaniel> It is based on BoL, but is very much its own beast.
[20:56] * ~Dan nods
[20:57] <+Nathaniel> Well, got to wrap this up. Tons to do.
[20:57] <+Nathaniel> Any last questions?
[20:57] <~Dan> I think you've covered mine. Anyone else?
[20:58] <~Dan> Well, thanks very much for coming by this evening, Nathaniel!
[20:58] <+WonderRat> Was good hearing bout your game.
[20:58] <~Dan> The log will be posted shortly. :)
[20:58] <+Nathaniel> Thanks for having me over, Dan. Always a pleasure.
[20:58] <~Dan> Likewise!

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