Monday, November 11, 2013

[Q&A] Cynthia Celeste Miller (Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3)

[19:05] <~Dan> Hello, everyone!
[19:05] <~Dan> Ordinarily, this is where the author would introduce himself/herself.
[19:05] <+CynthiaCM> Hello there, Dan.
[19:05] <~Dan> However, I'd like to say a few words about our guest this evening.
[19:05] <~Dan> There was a time when it seemed like every RPG author and his dog was going the edgy, jerky "artist" route.
[19:06] <~Dan> Cynthia Celeste Miller was not one of those people.
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[19:06] <~Dan> She has never failed to treat her company like a business and her customers as, well, customers. Valued ones.
[19:07] <&Silverlion> Cynthia is a platinum standard.
[19:07] <+Barak> hear hear!
[19:07] <~Dan> So with that, I would like to introduce to you the Queen of Class, the Princess of Professionalism, Cynthia Celeste Miller!
[19:07] <+Catseye> Cynthia is good people. Always has been :)
[19:07] <+ChrisCoen> truth!
[19:07] <+laserstardragon> Yep Cynthia has been great!
[19:07] <+CynthiaCM> Thank you so much. I appreciate that immensely.
[19:08] <+CynthiaCM> I'm very honored.
[19:08] <+CynthiaCM> {done]
[19:09] <+CynthiaCM> Am I disconnected again?
[19:09] <~Dan> Nope, you're here. :)
[19:09] <+CynthiaCM> Just making sure.
[19:09] <~Dan> What can you tell us about your latest and greatest creation? :)
[19:10] <+CynthiaCM> Well, Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 is the third edition of our Origins-nominated RPG that emulates the 1980s action cartoons.
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[19:10] <+GenoFoxx> ((the other you logged out by the way))
[19:10] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest43! You can set your name with the /nick command.)
[19:11] <+CynthiaCM> (done)
[19:11] <+technoshaman> My 1st question is this: is the game system the same from earlier seasons or how much has it changed if any?
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[19:12] <~Dan> And as a follow-up to that: For those unfamiliar with the system at all, can you give a quick overview?
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[19:13] <+CynthiaCM> Season 2 was a redesign from Season 1. However, Season 3 is just the next step of the evolution of the system introduced in Season 2. It's sleeker, faster and more faithful to the retro-toon genre. So there are changes, sure, but it's still going to be familiar to fans of Season 2.
[19:13] <+CynthiaCM> Now, for the follow-up.
[19:14] <+CynthiaCM> [and by the way, Barak, feel free to jump in as well.]
[19:14] <+laserstardragon> I have to say that if you know season 2, 3 will be easy to use and conversions will be quick
[19:14] <+Barak> it still uses d12s!
[19:15] <+CynthiaCM> Traits are created by the players and can thus be modified by selecting Special Rules that change how they work in the syste,. At its symplest level, you roll a d12, add a rating to it and try to get a high result.
[19:15] <+Barak> It is indeed sleeker and faster!
[19:15] <+CynthiaCM> Yes, D12s are synonymous with CAH. I think we'd have riots if we changed that. [done]
[19:16] <+Barak> Qualities and Traits are two different things, and mesh together beautifully, allowing a character to be written up in such a way that a newbie player can look at them and say "oh, cool"
[19:17] <~Dan> Are Traits completely freeform, or are there standard attribute/skill-like Traits?
[19:17] <+Witness> Cynthia and the rest of the crew, the previews look awesome. Are the major changes in the previews or are there several more beyond  those?  (Hopefully, I didn't break any protocols for asking questions. My first itme here)
[19:17] <+GenoFoxx> (I'll hold you to that))
[19:17] <+GenoFoxx> what about us who are unfamiliar with any season of Cartoon Action Hour? how hard is the system to understand?
[19:17] <+Barak> I think the key really is, as with any Spectrum gmae, is if you love the genre, you will pick up the game quickly and be having fun in no time.
[19:17] <~Dan> (No problem, Witness! The floor's open to questions until I call for a question pause to let our guests catch up. :) )
[19:17] <+CynthiaCM> Exactly. Standard Qualities tend to be things like personality and background info that can be a help or a hindrance. Signature Qualities (of which each character has only one) are basically taglines that describe the character in a nutshell.
[19:17] <+Barak> the system is pretty darned simple all things told, no major subsystems, everything is handled the same way.
[19:18] <+laserstardragon> It really is simple system and the rule book is written to be easy to understand and use
[19:18] <+CynthiaCM> Dan: Traits are freeform, yes.
[19:19] <+CynthiaCM> Witness: There may be more changes from early previews, but not the ones we released last week.
[19:19] <+Barak> and to chime in, the secondary genre the system is emulating, not stated, but very apparent is action figures.
[19:19] <~Dan> Has that changed from Season 1? Seems like I remember some standards like "Strength" or something similar...
[19:20] <~Dan> (re: totally freeform Traits, I mean)
[19:20] <+MadWritter> What are you plans for "Transbots" and "Strikeforce Freedom"?
[19:20] <+CynthiaCM> @GenoFoxx: The others said it better than I could. The game is intended to be SUPER newbie friendly. A 26-page example of play proves that. ;)
[19:20] <+laserstardragon> Season one had all traits defined, now they are open ended
[19:20] <+laserstardragon> I playtested the rules and found them fast and easy to use
[19:20] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:21] <+CynthiaCM> Dan: Season 1 had a laudry list of Traits to choose from. It felt too stifling to such a wildly imagative genre. So in S2, we changed it and never looked back.
[19:21] <~Dan> I have a follow-up to that, but I'll let you take MadWritter's question first. :)
[19:22] <+CynthiaCM> MadWritter: There will be "mini" series books in the near future. If those are well-received, we could do something more extensive.
[19:22] <+Barak> S3 really streamlines the open ended nature of the traits, and if one wanted to have play be super simple, one could easily ignore some stuff and play would not suffer at all, for instance if one was playing with a bunch of kids, or total newbies to gaming.
[19:22] <+GenoFoxx> so can you the 'mecha' genre in Cartoon (Anime) Action Hour?
[19:22] <+GenoFoxx> do^
[19:22] <+Witness> Cynthia, that is cool.  The latest previews (whicch I was referring to)  do look more fast and friendly.
[19:22] <+CynthiaCM> Ohhhh, yes! Absolutely. We made sure of that. :)
[19:22] <+CynthiaCM> Thanks, Witness. :)
[19:23] <+laserstardragon> Yes you can do mecha, I am doing Going Japanese that will cover Americanized anime including mecha!
[19:23] <+CynthiaCM> Yes, Bryan's work will go into even more detail.
[19:23] <&Silverlion> Are there any settings in the core book?
[19:23] <+Barak> transforming and gestalts were a huge part of teh design process and something we wanted to make sure we addressed head-on!
[19:24] <+CynthiaCM> There are eight series seeds (7 of which are 1-page each and one of which is 2 pages in length). Plus another series in the "example of series creation" section.
[19:24] <+laserstardragon> Yah, I barely have to do much work with rules to cover mecha, more of just suggestions how handle story end of stuff
[19:24] <+Barak> And more are coming!
[19:24] <+CynthiaCM> To add to what Barak said, we actually delayed completion of the game to make those rules even smoother.
[19:25] <~Dan> CynthiaCM, do you perchance have a link to the character sheet?
[19:25] <+Witness> Cynthia, do you already know what the retail price will be for the print edition?
[19:25] <+laserstardragon> I have to say the transformation, vehicle and gesalt rules look great!
[19:25] <+Barak> We really wanted it to feel like the cartoons in question, to have some mechanical reasons to go along with the narrative.
[19:26] <+CynthiaCM> (Link: (character sheet)
[19:26] <+CynthiaCM> @Witness: Nothing is in stone, but we're looking at $30-$35 most likely.
[19:26] <+CynthiaCM> Thanks, Bryan. :)
[19:27] <+Barak> Personally, for me, I like coming up crazy new settings that feel totally out of the 80s. As much as I love some of the classic toons, I embraced the chances Cynthia threw at me to push and try new stuff. I ran a setting for Gencon that was best described as Mission Impossible meets Head of the Class.
[19:27] <+CynthiaCM> We've been getting SERIOUS love for the character sheet.
[19:27] <+CynthiaCM> It was crazy but fun stuff, Barak.
[19:27] <+laserstardragon> Just remember, 80's love crazy mash-ups with toy friendly bits added in!
[19:27] <+CynthiaCM> Righto!
[19:28] <+Barak> I had a whole backstory for the toys, it was very silly.
[19:28] <+laserstardragon> BAck story for toys is required, makes things cooler (and sillier)
[19:28] <~Dan> I love the proof of purchase, CynthiaCM. :)
[19:28] <+ChrisCoen> What additional products are you planning and what would the (understandably rough) timeline for them be?
[19:29] <+Barak> We will have a Very Special Holiday Supplement!
[19:29] <+Witness> I still want to do the D&D cartoon with CAH...
[19:29] <+CynthiaCM> Glad to hear that, Dan. They are used to change up your character between seasons (which is when toy lines came up with new versions of the characters which would spill into the following season).
[19:29] <+laserstardragon> (still writing going Japanese, might take a while becuase also working on a novel...)
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[19:30] <+laserstardragon> Yep CAH does D&D cartoon better then D&D does!
[19:30] <+CynthiaCM> @ChrisCoen: Most of our upcoming efforts will be in getting the series books out from the VIP authors (John Wick, Eddy Webb, Shane Hensley, etc.). As for timetables, we're working on that.
[19:30] <~Dan> So if all Traits are freeform, is there any defaulting? Like, how do you know how strong the average person is if there's no fixed "strength"-related Trait?
[19:31] <+CynthiaCM> And like Barak said, we have a Holiday Special coming out.
[19:31] <+Witness> Bryan, when do you  think you'll have going Japanese finished?
[19:31] <+laserstardragon> All traits start 0, anything less is defined as quality
[19:31] <+Barak> Cynthia was served with some legal papers today about one of the series in the book, and we may have an announcement ready with that soon. Allow me to tease this without getting in trouble with our Crack Legal Team. It looks like we might have stepped on some toes, and have to do something about it!
[19:31] <+CynthiaCM> Zero is the default. Roll the die and hope for the best. This mirrored the cartoons quite well, as untrained characters either wildly failed or got lucky.
[19:31] <+ChrisCoen> Is there any rule for specifically having a lowered trait?  I.e. if I have a character who is inept with weaponry
[19:32] <+laserstardragon> Most of it is writtten, just need finish rules and suggestions for different character types and updated the series, so hopefully somewhere in next two months.
[19:32] <+ChrisCoen> Barak- Now I'm desperately curious which series in the book is an issue
[19:32] <+darkpaladin45> Had stepped away, so just now seeing that character sheet. That is freaking awesome! I love the Proof of Purchase, too. Nice touch. :)
[19:32] <&Silverlion> What series?
[19:32] <~Dan> Welcome to #rpgnet, darkpaladin45. :)
[19:33] <+Barak> RE other supplements (and even the Holiday Special) we are really looking for feedback on what folks want to see, for the Holiday Special we went to the backers to ask what series they wanted a holiday special for.
[19:33] <+laserstardragon> Well the series is from the 80's....
[19:33] <&Silverlion> I probably could figure it out if I had the book..ah well...soon :
[19:33] <+CynthiaCM> @ChrisCoen: No. Dur to the always-optimistic/positive vibe in the retro-toons, we have limited "negative" mods severely. Bad Traits are best reflected as Qualities.
[19:33] <+Barak> Can's say which serioes (note my legal comment was but a joke, but meant in genre, and if iut comes to together will have folks both groaning and smiling).
[19:33] <+CynthiaCM> Thanks, Dark Paladin.
[19:34] <~Dan> Can Traits stack for a given action? Like, say, if a character has "Nimble" and "Swashbuckler"?
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[19:34] <+Barak> No series is really an issue, it was a ridiculously silly idea we had.
[19:34] <+Witness> Wondering if it Ghost Patrol.
[19:35] <+Barak> <whistling>
[19:35] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest74! You can set your name with the /nick command. :) )
[19:35] <+laserstardragon> Traits can be linked, with one trait getting full bonus the other trait provding a limited bonus
[19:35] <+CynthiaCM> You can normally "link" up to two Traits together for a check. If your Trait has the "Accessory" Special Rule, it can be added as a third.
[19:35] <+MadWritter> Sometime jokes can go a little tooo far, Barak.
[19:35] <+ChrisCoen> Ah. . . makes sense if Witness is right.  Sympathies to the team though
[19:35] <+Barak> <hanging my head>
[19:36] <+Barak> we are in no legal trouble.
[19:36] <+CynthiaCM> LOL! Barak was just being "meta", playing into our approach of pretending these shows were real.
[19:36] <+ChrisCoen> oops
[19:36] <&Silverlion> Barak played a joke :D
[19:36] <+Barak> Let me just say that there might be some sort of simian involved.
[19:36] <+Witness> lol
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[19:37] <~Dan> So if you were going to have an attribute-like Trait, would you want it to be an Accessory?
[19:37] <+ChrisCoen> Back to questions, are there any plans for further serieses?
[19:38] <+Barak> The Special Rules are really neat, and do a great job both mechanically and narratively defining Traits that have Special Rules, and give yoa  really good idea of the character.
[19:38] <+CynthiaCM> Generally, "Accessory" is reserved for weapons, gear... anything that can be dropped or that can malfunction. They are double edged swords that way, no pun intended.
[19:38] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:39] <+Barak> I think it is safe to say we would like to some more releases. We have some fun ideas brewing, and really, it is dependent on support.
[19:39] <+CynthiaCM> Yes, we have a TON of series that will see the light of day, two of which are created  by cartoon legends Flint Dille and Buxx Dixon.
[19:39] <~Dan> Can you talk us through how combat works?
[19:39] <+Witness> Buxx or Buzz?
[19:39] <+CynthiaCM> Barak is right. Early support is indicating that it will be profitable to release more stuff. :)
[19:39] <+Barak> oh yeah, there is all that stuff too.... The series coming out are done by some AMAZING folks, legends in toons and gaming, and are very, very cool.
[19:39] <+CynthiaCM> Gah! Buzz. ;)
[19:40] <+CynthiaCM> Sure thing, Dan. Give me a sec. Slow typer here.
[19:40] <~Dan> Yes. Let's have no more of that other name.
[19:40] <~Dan> The Buxx stops here.
[19:40] <+ChrisCoen> @Cynthia- is that a metric or other form of ton?
[19:40] <+Barak> combat works like anything, in that there is one system to resolve all actions. so, the brainy kid with the big backpack computer doesnt need to have any combat skills to be effective in combat.
[19:41] <+laserstardragon> Yep, damage is not really damage but setback tokens so it could represent being tricked or knocking out main villian with binocullars (did that during playtest)
[19:42] <~Dan> A binocular attack! I did not see that coming.
[19:42] <+Barak> womp wah!
[19:42] <+CynthiaCM> There is no "combat"... there are "action scenes". Combat in the retro-toons was never about inflicting piles of damage, so we followed suit. In an action scene, characters can accumulate Setback Tokens by all manner of means, trickery, confusion, being trapped or, yes, even physical damage. A character can safely have a number of Setback Tokens equal to thei
[19:42] <+Barak> Dan made a joke
[19:43] <+CynthiaCM> A binocular attack is totally possible in the right context.
[19:43] <+CynthiaCM> :D
[19:43] <+CynthiaCM> @ChrisCoen: Metric. ;)
[19:43] <+laserstardragon> Ha, they had not worked for seeing things so I used them bit differntly
[19:43] <~Dan> That sort of attack takes focus.
[19:44] <+CynthiaCM> Want an example of how binoculars might cause a Setback Token?
[19:44] <~Dan> Certainly!
[19:44] <+darkpaladin45> I see a new series on the horizon, "Binocular Warriors of Planet Zoom"
[19:44] <+MadWritter> LOL!
[19:45] <+Barak> It's all teenage boys who have a crush on Power Girl!
[19:45] <+CynthiaCM> The character with the binoculars is intently watching the bad guys via the binoculars. The villain takes notice and is so distracted by it that he runs smack into a building. Stars are buzzing around his head.
[19:45] <+laserstardragon> Well I just trough them at the guys head (rolled a boon... insta-defeat followed,,,)
[19:45] <+BlasterKyubey210> -_-
[19:45] <+ChrisCoen> Darkpaladin- And Astygmatism is the supervillain?
[19:45] <+CynthiaCM> Action scenes encourage that kind of wackiness and creativity.
[19:45] <+darkpaladin45> :)
[19:45] <+BlasterKyubey210> For some reason, I want to run a Top Gear-inspired show with CAH, dunno why
[19:45] <+CynthiaCM> Insta-Defeats are fun.
[19:46] <+CynthiaCM> Top Gear? LOL!
[19:46] <+BlasterKyubey210> Yep, take Clarkson and his friend's shenanigans
[19:46] <+laserstardragon> Top Gear could work, guys fight villians while building wacky vehicles...
[19:46] <+BlasterKyubey210> make it more cartoony
[19:46] <+BlasterKyubey210> Also spend time screwing each other up
[19:46] <+CynthiaCM> Absolutely.
[19:46] <+Barak> The way I describe it, in gaming terms I use, is that it is about what the characters CAN do and not what the CANNOT do.
[19:46] <+laserstardragon> and stig saves the day, while not talking
[19:46] <~Dan> CynthiaCM: I think this is something we discussed back in the day re: CAH Season 1, but I have a question about weapons.
[19:47] <~Dan> Specifically... in 80s toons, they got shot a lot but seldom actually hit anybody.
[19:47] <~Dan> How do you simulate that in CAH s3?
[19:49] <+CynthiaCM> Weapons are seamless in S3. Remember how I told you about "Accessories"? Well, there you have it. You can link it as a third Trait. We reward players for making indirect attacks as well (via Oomph rewards). So, for example if you shoot a tree branch and have it fall on top of the foe, you'll earn Oomph.
[19:49] <+Barak> Dan part of that is in the description and the players and GM. I don't think anyone who loves the 80s toons is going to insist that Snake Eyes disembowels Storm Shadow.
[19:49] <+Barak> Running away from gunfire is the same as getting hit.
[19:49] * ~Dan nods
[19:49] <+CynthiaCM> And death isn't possible anyway. Unless "The Movie" rules are used.
[19:50] <+CynthiaCM> Players can even be docked Oomph if they act in ways totally unfitting of the genre.
[19:50] <+Barak> And mind you, this is not to say that game fails or succeeds on the description, which some games do IMHO, it is all about the vibe.
[19:51] <~Dan> So if a GI Joe type is shooting at a Cobra type...
[19:51] <~Dan> ...the "damage" could represent the Cobra guy fleeing?
[19:51] <+laserstardragon> Yes, and the vibe is built into the rules
[19:51] <+Barak> a setback token could indeed represent fleeing.
[19:51] * ~Dan nods
[19:51] <+CynthiaCM> Yes or falling back.
[19:51] <+laserstardragon> Yes the damage would be them fleeing, or being triccked and running into a log and knocking themselves out
[19:52] <+WJWalton> One of the things I really liked about the earlier editions of CAH was how well they played with kids, especially how they could resolve combat situations nonviolently, so I'm happy to see that has been preserved.
[19:52] <+CynthiaCM> Yes, that element will always be a part of the game.
[19:52] <+Barak> But the really cool thing is, with the same system, you can have a breakdancing battle!
[19:52] <&Silverlion> Hehe..
[19:52] <~Dan> (Hey there, WJWalton! I was wondering if you were awake. :) )
[19:52] <+CynthiaCM> Yes. Or an attempt to outwit each other. Chase scenes work the same way.
[19:53] <+CynthiaCM> That's why we called them action scenes instead of "combat" because they can be so much more than a slugfest or shootout.
[19:53] <+laserstardragon> Yep this is one place where 3 season combine many rules from season 2!
[19:53] <+ChrisCoen> Cynthia-So a riddle contest would work as an action scene?
[19:53] <+Witness> Barak, why am I now picturing a  DC Nation short with  Vibe that played during Young Justice?
[19:53] <+Barak> and the gestalat rules could be used to simulate a Rock band, as well as big mechs.
[19:54] <+CynthiaCM> Without a doubt, Chris.
[19:54] <+Barak> Witness if you were at Gencon and at my CAH table you would've witnessed a breakdancing battle as the epic finale to ACE Agents.
[19:54] <+CynthiaCM> Barak is correct. That's something we discussed.
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[19:54] <+CynthiaCM> The game can be as literal or as absract as you like.
[19:54] <+Barak> Riddle contest, a timed bomb set to go off and blow up the city, anything really.
[19:55] <+Witness> Yet again, I am at the wrong side of the country!
[19:55] <+CynthiaCM> I hear ya, Witness.
[19:55] <+Barak> Where are located Witness?
[19:55] <+Witness> lol @ Cynthia
[19:55] <+ChrisCoen> Barak- Now I'm picturing Zoolander (done a little tamer) as a CAH game
[19:55] <+Witness> SoCal
[19:56] <+Barak> what about GenCon SoCal.... womp wah...
[19:56] <+Witness> Hasn't been GenCon SoCal for about 10 years
[19:56] <+Barak> One of teh players at my table works at comic/ game shop in San Diego and was a backer. Hunt him down!
[19:56] <+Barak> Witness- totally joking.
[19:57] <+ChrisCoen> I should run a game at my local comic shop. . . hmmmmm
[19:57] <~Dan> So what are some of the improvements in s3 over s2?
[19:57] <+CynthiaCM> BTW, I'd like to share a piece of art from the rulebook with you fine folks.
[19:57] <+CynthiaCM> (Link:
[19:57] <+Witness> lol. Barak. I know at least one person from Spectrum Games is in Germany. Was not sure where you are.
[19:58] <~Dan> CynthiaCM: Very impressive!
[19:58] <+CynthiaCM> Hmm. That didn't work. Anyway, I'll answer your question, Dan.
[19:58] <+ChrisCoen> Cynthia- Is that the setting that you'll be developing into an additional series?
[19:58] <+ChrisCoen> Because Uni-Bore was remarkably awesome
[19:58] <+Barak> Dan I think the simplicity and intuitive nature of the Qualities, Traits, and Special Rules, the speed of the system (not that S2 was slow),, the attention spent to gestalts, vehi9cles, etc.
[19:58] <+Witness> From the previews, I  think character generation is better and more intuitive.
[19:58] <+Barak> I am in New England.
[19:58] <&Silverlion> Awesome stuff...:D
[19:59] <+Barak> Witness agreed RE chargen.
[19:59] <+CynthiaCM> Streeamlining is the most important change from S2. We also rolled Factoids and Subplots into Qualities. We added linking, as mentioned previously. The vehicle/gestalt/transform rules are more intuitive.
[19:59] <+laserstardragon> Yes character creation is easier.  Traits still point buy, but special rules use easier rules and everything cost 1 point.
[19:59] <~Dan> What makes the system faster/
[20:00] <+CynthiaCM> @ChrisCoen: Yes, that's Uni-Bore in the middle, left.
[20:01] <+CynthiaCM> It;s easier to knock people out of action scenes now, for one thing. Insta-Defeats are easier, in keeping with the genre. Little things like that.
[20:01] * ~Dan nods
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[20:01] <+Barak> Action scenes are meant to be over quickly, in keeping with the genre.
[20:02] <+CynthiaCM> If you watch those old shows, you'll find that action scenes weren't terribly protracted. They were fast because they had 22 minutes to tell the whole story.
[20:02] <+Frankto> Hey, CynthiaCM. Would you mind terribly answering a question that's not directly related to game mechanics/the new version?
[20:02] <+CynthiaCM> Sure.
[20:02] <~Dan> One issue that I see in systems offering freeform traits is the breadth of said traits. For example, is there any mechanical reason to take "lightning zap" rather than "weather control"?
[20:03] <+Frankto> I was curious to know what your experience was a project lead working with the crowdsourcing aspect? I imagine it must be very different when you don't know what kind of budget you're going to end up looking like?
[20:03] <+Barak> Because Lightning Zap does different things, a character could maybe do some electrical hoo-ha with it.
[20:04] <+Frankto> I saw you met a vast majority of your stretch goals (congratulations, by the way! Must be very gratifying, yeah?) so that made me a bit curious, as a dabbler myself.
[20:04] <+Barak> Creative use of Traits is also part of the genre.
[20:04] <+CynthiaCM> @Dan: That's where Special Rules come in. You can take "Situational Modifier: +2 vs any defense involving metal armor" for electricity blast.
[20:04] <+CynthiaCM> On to Frankto's question...
[20:04] <+Yalborap> I've also got a not entirely mechanics related question. Are you guys doing any licensing, like CC or OGL, to allow for third-party supplements?
[20:05] <~Dan> Well, but I'm thinking that if the player visualizes "Weather Control" like that of the X-men's Storm, lightning zaps would be included.
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[20:05] <+CynthiaCM> You're right, Frankto. It was different. We had to work very tentatively throughout the whole process, but we leveled with all our freelancers on the matter.
[20:06] <+CynthiaCM> @Yalborap: Well will delve into that in the near future, yes.
[20:06] <+Barak> I will say this also RE additional supplements: the Spectrum Team has a ton of ideas, as well as the stretch goal series unlocked, stuff that covers the whole gamut of 80s stuff and maybe even ventures down some new roads (but in the 80s, that just means taking two things and mashing them up). So, if demand is there, we will keep putting stuff out!
[20:06] <&Silverlion> I wish I knew how to do that...:D
[20:06] <+CynthiaCM> To do what, Silverlion?
[20:06] <+Frankto> Interesting! Thanks for answering!
[20:06] <+CynthiaCM> You're welcome. :)
[20:07] <+Barak> Dan sure, maybe. But a lightning zap might allow for some stuff that weater control would not, say soldering.
[20:07] <+ChrisCoen> Have you considered fiction (novels, novellas, etc.) for any of your settings?
[20:07] <+MadWritter> What was your first opinion when you got facts on your new co-host, "Sarah Strongheart"?
[20:07] <+Barak> It's a tricky thing Dan, I will acknoweldge, as it is very tempting to have OMNIPOWERFUL as a Trait
[20:08] * ~Dan nods
[20:08] <+CynthiaCM> It's not anything we've considered up to this point. If one of the series is a breakaway hit and there's a demand for it, who knows?
[20:08] <~Dan> Yeah, to use an extreme example, is there anything other than GM fiat preventing an "Unlimited Wishes" Trait?
[20:09] <+Barak> Novels, lets dream bigger and hope taht some starving animator wants to work up a series! ;)
[20:09] <+laserstardragon> GM could requrie versitile special trait which would help imit such things.
[20:09] <+CynthiaCM> Ahhh, Sarah. She was created by one of our high-level backers, based on his daughter. I fell in love with the possibilities immediately. My mind began churning out interactions with her and Kargorr.
[20:09] <+Barak> GM shoudl ask player to go play Pathfinder.
[20:10] <+CynthiaCM> @Dan: That would have to be taken as a "Versatile" Trait, which is ridiculously expensive.
[20:10] <+Barak> But in all seriousness, if the Trait is UNLIMITED WISHES 4 it will add 4 to a roll.
[20:11] <+CynthiaCM> So, it's possible, but most GM's will put the kibosh on it quickly.
[20:11] <~Dan> By the way, I hope I'm not coming across as too skeptical, here. It's the reviewer in me. I just have to poke and prod at rules and see if something breaks. ;)
[20:11] <+CynthiaCM> No, no. I like that kind of challenge.
[20:11] <+CynthiaCM> I like showing the versatility of our games.
[20:11] <~Dan> Cool. :)
[20:12] <&Silverlion> Get a Kickstarter together?
[20:12] <+Barak> don't you mean the Versatile nature of the games.
[20:12] <+CynthiaCM> Ohhhh. Yeah, running a KS can be daunting, but well worth it.
[20:12] <+CynthiaCM> Haha! Nice, Barak.
[20:13] <+burbleflurp> @Dan I'd argue what breaks is the cooperative story telling (ducks for cover in case he's wrong)
[20:13] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:13] <+CynthiaCM> I'm not sure I follow, Burble.
[20:14] <+burbleflurp> Well would such a character be allowed in a series? Would anyone watch such a series, where this is the answer to every problem?
[20:15] <+Barak> Exactly.
[20:15] <+CynthiaCM> Ah, I got ya. :)
[20:15] <+Barak> CAH is not competitive. It shouldn't be.
[20:15] <+laserstardragon> Well just add special rule that makes it blow up in his face...
[20:15] <+Barak> D&D can be competitive.
[20:16] <~Dan> So like an anime or superhero game, it seems to me that an 80s cartoon game has to be able to run the gamut of genres, just covering them in a particular style.
[20:16] <~Dan> That being the case, how much tweaking would it take to use CAH s3 for, say, a "serious" game?
[20:16] <+CynthiaCM> CAH is so anti-competitive, it even allows characters to spend Oomph on OTHER characters. Teamwork was a common theme in the old cartoons.
[20:16] <+Witness> Wait ! wasn't the answer to everything in Voltron for the lions to form Voltron and use the sword?  People tuned in for that.  :P
[20:17] <+Barak> There are "Movie" rules, and serious toned stuff was discussed during creation of the game
[20:17] <+laserstardragon> Yep, it has to cover large amounts of action material with style!
[20:17] <+CynthiaCM> You would just employ "The Movie" optional rules to every episode, which allows for death and makes things more realiztic.
[20:17] <+Barak> The Gestalt rules hoipefully answer that question Witness. As well as the question of "why don't they just form Voltron right away?"
[20:18] <+Witness> Nice!
[20:18] <+MadWritter> How did you come up with the dials?
[20:18] <~Dan> The dials?
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[20:19] <+Witness> They list the dials with examples from TV shows (there is a preview of dials)
[20:19] <+Barak> And for folks who know CCVF Gestalt and Shared Traits are different, and CCVF covers both.
[20:19] <+Barak> CAH covers both, sorry.
[20:19] <+CynthiaCM> Dials are used to create a new series, allowing you to adjust those dials to suit the series. There are four Dials: Seriousness, Realism, Violence and Continuity. They help customize a series.
[20:20] <+CynthiaCM> Now to Mad Writter's question...
[20:21] <+CynthiaCM> I was wanting a very solid set of rules for series creation, not just hand-wavy stuff. So, I thought of something colorful to help with that... hence the Dials.
[20:21] <+MadWritter> I kind of like it.
[20:21] <+CynthiaCM> Cool. :)
[20:22] <+laserstardragon> Yes, the new rules really dialed into the problems of series creation
[20:22] <+CynthiaCM> *rimshot*
[20:22] <+Witness> I loved the dials!
[20:22] <+laserstardragon> (might sneak in another dial for how amercinaized anime series is in going japanese...)
[20:22] <+CynthiaCM> I wanted the character creation to simply be one step in the overall series creation process.
[20:22] <+Witness> Then again, I, really, liked the previews.
[20:23] <+CynthiaCM> Thanks. :)
[20:24] <+Barak> I think it is safe to say we had fun helping Cynthia write the game, many laughs, and brainstorming led to some awesome stuff.
[20:24] <+Witness> It did not hurt that you gave the full chargen in one of them.  It made it easier to make comparisons with Season 2.
[20:24] <+Witness> and doing that was awesome of you!
[20:24] <+CynthiaCM> Absolutely, Barak. I'll never forget our discussions about giving characters reason to spend time as Prince Adam instead of He-Man.
[20:25] <+CynthiaCM> Awww, you're too kind, Witness.
[20:25] <+Barak> Also, another really cool thing about CAH is how the players (customers) of the product have a real sense of ownership and how that is encouraged. With the KLickstarter, backer fingerprints are all over the thing, and IMHO that makes it even more cool.
[20:25] <+Barak> Brutaloids was a ton of fun to write up, and we laughed imagining the toys.
[20:25] <&Silverlion> Awesome...
[20:25] <~Dan> Can you give us a quick overview of the example settings (speaking of which)?
[20:25] <+CynthiaCM> Agreed. Our backers seem very happy with how we represented them.
[20:26] <+CynthiaCM> Sure thing. Gimme a sec here. :)
[20:26] <+laserstardragon> Yes, as backer I am happy!
[20:26] *** Corinna is now known as Lioness
[20:27] <+CynthiaCM> Ani-Bots -- robots that turn into animals to help free the human race from evil robots.
[20:27] <+Witness> My recommendation is for everyone that is curious to go to spectrum's website and check out the previews.  Full chargen, dials, some of the series from the book, and the basics!
[20:27] <+burbleflurp> As one of the backers, I'd like to compliment you all on how you've communicated with us. this was one of your strengths.
[20:27] <+Schadmobile> My friend just got back from ambercon and I'm totes jelly
[20:27] <+CynthiaCM> The Brutaloids: Huuuuge cosmic creatures invading.... and only the PCs can stop them.
[20:28] <+CynthiaCM> Thank you.
[20:28] <+CynthiaCM> Asgard 3000: Gestalt vehicles fighting menaces from beyond.
[20:28] <&Silverlion> Awesome..:D
[20:29] <+Barak> TBF Asgard 3000 is fighting against Gestalts.
[20:30] <+CynthiaCM> Ghost Patrol: Our take on The Real Ghostbusters... but with a set rogues gallery.
[20:30] <+CynthiaCM> Gak! That's what I meant to say. :)
[20:30] <+Barak> A Brutaloid toy would be over 8' tall scale
[20:30] <&Silverlion> Real or Original, I never recall which is which...:D
[20:30] <&Silverlion> Inhumanoids influence :D
[20:30] <+Barak> Real, which is not Original.
[20:31] <+CynthiaCM> Rift Warriors: Heroes searching to find parts of an artifact to close dimensional rifts.
[20:31] <+CynthiaCM> Skyfighters of Voltania: airship combat on a world beseiged by space pirates.
[20:32] <+CynthiaCM> SLAM: Spin-off of Strikeforce Freedom, with a wrestling theme.
[20:32] <+Barak> SLAM!
[20:32] <+CynthiaCM> And Tin Horns: Time-tossed old west lawmen in a dark future.
[20:32] <+burbleflurp> Have you thought of creating a list of tropes to allow quick creation of a new series using a few random rolls?
[20:33] <+Barak> SLAM was my attempt to pitch the craziest series ever!
[20:33] <+CynthiaCM> I plan to do a free PDF with all manner or randomness of that nature. :)
[20:33] <+Witness> But no take on Mr T  or Dungeons and Dragons :(     (just kidding about being disappointed about no Mr. T) :D
[20:33] <+CynthiaCM> SLAM has been praised as being so crazy it's cool.
[20:33] <~Dan> That's a cool set of settings. :)
[20:34] <+CynthiaCM> Rift Warriors has a D&D vibe.
[20:34] <+Barak> I used Mr T episodes for inspiration for my ACE Agents episode on the bus ride to GenCon.
[20:34] <+CynthiaCM> Thanks, Dan.
[20:34] <+Witness> @Cynthia  Sweet!
[20:34] <~Dan> Regarding Brutaloids... Does the game have any sort of scaling mechanic?
[20:35] <+Barak> Scaling mechanic?
[20:36] <+CynthiaCM> Size can be taken as a Standard Quality (thus making it an advantage (stave off damage) and a disadvantage (easy to hit). It can also be taken as a Trait. No scaling mechanic needed beyond high Strenth/Size type of Traits.
[20:36] <~Dan> Yes. As in, huge creatures vs. normal creatures, etc.
[20:36] <~Dan> Ah, and Cynthia answered it.
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[20:36] <~Dan> And then, she was gone.
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[20:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, Wondy!)
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[20:37] <~Dan> Welcome back, Cynthia!
[20:37] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I got logged out and probably missed some stuff. Apologies.
[20:37] <+Barak> We do have advice for how to make the Brutaloids truly terrifying.
[20:37] <~Dan> Nah, you didn't miss anything. :)
[20:37] <~Dan> Oh? How's that, Barak?
[20:38] <+laserstardragon> brutaloids turn characters into kargorr....
[20:39] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> LOL @ Bryan.
[20:39] <+Barak> By statting them up?
[20:40] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> By the way, here's a look at a couple of the series.
[20:40] <+Barak> LAVA EMISSION 10 (Action Feature; Advantage – can be combined with other Brutaloids’ powers to achieve cool effects), MONSTROUS SIZE AND STRENGTH 12, SCALEY SKIN 9, FIRE BREATH 8, MENTAL RESISTANCE 7, DEVIOUS LEADERSHIP 5
[20:40] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> (Link:
[20:41] <~Dan> Barak: What's the "human" scale, to give us an idea of what we're looking at there?
[20:41] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> 4 is maximum "normal" human.
[20:42] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> 9+ is cosmic in scope.
[20:42] <+Barak> In addition, the Brutaloids each have 4 Starpower.
[20:42] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Which means that it takes 5 Setback Tokens to Defeat them.
[20:42] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> That's a tall order.
[20:43] <+Barak> and PCs are made with 26 points, so even with Special Features, add up those numbers and your total is somehwere well over 26.
[20:43] <+Barak> I think it is safe to say we would not have come up with Brutaloids in house, but I really like it as an example of a series that would be pretty bleak and grim.
[20:43] <~Dan> Is there a "hard cap" on Traits, or can they go as high as you like?
[20:44] <+laserstardragon> Hard cap would be set by gm for each series, otherwise it is open
[20:44] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> It varies by the series. If the characters are basic humans, they can go up to 4 with Trait Points... but can go a bit higher during the upgrades step to reflect high-tech/magic stuff.
[20:45] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Each series has its own hard cap.
[20:45] <+burbleflurp> @Cynthia The kickstarter extras will take some time to complete (there seemed to be enough of them), are there plans for any non-kickstarter developments to run in parallel?
[20:45] <+Barak> Holiday Special!
[20:45] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> The Holiday Special.
[20:45] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Jinx! ;)
[20:45] <+Barak> As well as other stuff, depending what we can get done in house!
[20:46] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> We will release some other surprises from time to time.
[20:46] <+burbleflurp> Thanks
[20:46] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> You're welcome.
[20:46] <+schadenfreude> has there been talk of putting out more of a player's companion for CAH? That was the big hurdle with my group, character creation. They found it overwhelmingly freeform.
[20:47] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> One thing we're going to do is release a Galactic Heroes series "mini" book.
[20:47] <~Dan> How long does it generally take for newcomers to the game to create characters, to follow up on schadenfreude's question.
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[20:47] <+Barak> If there is something you (or anyone wants) drop us a line or a FB post and we will consider it. As mentioned, something like Brutaloids was backer made. So, inspire us. I can safely say although I am no Matt Foirbeck, I can write fairly quickly.
[20:48] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> @Schadenfreude: No talk yet. But we did provide a massive list of sample Traits for those wanting more structure.
[20:48] <+Barak> RE Players Handbook, do you mean with the current season?
[20:48] <+schadenfreude> I think I have up to season 2, so it would be to that point
[20:48] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> @Dan: If they know the basics of the game system (maybe 5 pages worth), it's reasonable to create a character in 10-15 minutes.
[20:49] <+Barak> Give Season 3 a try, I think you will find it a bit easier, and I think you can get a free preview...
[20:49] <+laserstardragon> Season two was easy and season 3 is even easier!
[20:50] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Yes, the entire character creation section is a free download: (Link:
[20:50] <~Dan> You guys are welcome to hang out with us as long as you like, but is there anything you'd like to cover in the last 10 minutes of "regular" time that we haven't brought up?
[20:50] <+Barak> BAM!
[20:51] <+Barak> I just want to reiterate that being part of S# has been awesome, because it really does have an almost open source feel, many people really seem to want to add stuff to it, and that makes it a ton of fun. Keep the ideas coming and we will keep producing!
[20:51] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Yes. I want to say that there's a few hours remaining in our Veterans Day sale, which takes $4 off the CAH:S3 PDF. You'll need to follow this link though: (Link:
[20:52] <+Barak> Truly, we ant to hear from you, what do you want to see. We want to put stuff out for S3, we just want it to be stuff that you want to see!
[20:52] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I also want to say that we have a LOT of fun stuff coming out for this in the future and to keep your eyes open.
[20:52] <+Barak> YUP!
[20:53] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> And lastly, I'd like to thank Dan for having us and all you kind folks for sticking around. :)
[20:53] <+laserstardragon> If you do not mind yahoo groups, here is link to cah fan group which has tone of stuff to playwith (still season 2 )(Link:
[20:53] <~Dan> You're entirely welcome, Cynthia. :)
[20:53] <+Witness> Cynthia, Barak, Bryan, and, if he is here, Norbert, thank you for answering my questions.  I'll see you all on the Yahoo Group or Facebook page. Dan, thank you for being kind enough to host this chat
[20:54] <+Barak> Thanks so much to all of you!
[20:54] <~Dan> Certainly, Witness!
[20:54] <~Dan> I do hope you'll all feel free to hang out here any time you like. :)
[20:54] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> You're welcome. :)
[20:54] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I can hang out for a bit. :)
[20:54] <+Barak> Same!
[20:54] <&Silverlion> Yay!
[20:54] <+laserstardragon> Yes thanks for hosting the chat!
[20:55] <&Silverlion> Anyway. I'm glad the game has made three editions :D
[20:55] <~Dan> Excellent. Want to go ahead and call the "official" chat for logging purposes here?
[20:55] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thanks, Silverlion. I never thought it would happen 10 years ago.
[20:55] <+Barak> Works for me. Nurse, check the time.
[20:55] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Sure. :)
[20:55] <~Dan> Excellent. Please continue, and I'll get the log set up and will get you the link.
[20:55] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Much appreciated.

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