Thursday, February 6, 2014

[Q&A] Andrew Ragland (1879)

[19:04] <+FASA-Andrew> My name is Andrew Ragland. I'm the line developer for 1879, from FASA Games Inc. 1879 includes both a roleplaying game and a miniatures wargame. While the two can be played separately, they're designed to interlock.
[19:04] <+FASA-Andrew> You can use the minis wargame for mass combat scenes in the roleplaying game, and the roleplaying game as an adjunct or framing story for the wargame.
[19:05] <+xyphoid_> Is this related to Space 1889?
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[19:05] <~Dan> (Please hold questions during the intro.)
[19:05] <+FASA-Andrew> We're describing the game world as steamweird, as it's not traditional steampunk (if there is such a thing). Using the dials metaphor, we have a STeampunk dial, a Pulp Adventure dial, and a Weirdness dial, and we're setting them all at 6.
[19:06] <+FASA-Andrew> 1879 takes place in an alternate history, where Prince Albert survived the coach crash due to Queen Victoria putting the royal treasury behind his treatment, offering vast sums and titles to anyone who could save her beloved husband.
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[19:06] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Sir_Wombat! The Q&A is just getting started.)
[19:07] <+FASA-Andrew> British technology takes a giant leap forward as a result. 25 years after the Crystal Exhibition, the Silver Exhibition opens. Professor Oswald Grosvenor, who history now regards as the first Weird Scientist, performs an experiment "to open a window in the world and show men the angels".
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[19:07] <~Dan> (Howdy, Seht!)
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[19:08] <+FASA-Andrew> What Grosvenor actually does is to open a portal to another planet. This world, known in memorial to the Professor as the Grosvenor World, is habitable, and is quickly colonized by the ever expanding British Empire.
[19:08] <~Dan> (Howdy, KJ!)
[19:08] <+FASA-Andrew> The Brits run into the locals, the Saurids, who look suspiciously familiar to Earthdawn players :). This goes passably well, the Brits having learned some lessons from their contact with the Native Americans in the past.
[19:09] <+FASA-Andrew> Then the Brits run into the Samsut, descendents of the Babylonians and Akkadians, who crossed into the Grosvenor World (the Gruv) thousands of years ago. The Samsut have Weird Science technology that lets them treat life as a form of energy.
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[19:09] <+FASA-Andrew> The Samsut raise their deceased low-caste workers with batteries and control modules, producing technological zombies that they use as front line troops and workers. This offends the British so much that a war starts.
[19:10] <+FASA-Andrew> From there, the game gets rolling. Players of the wargame can pit the Brits against the Samsut, the Samsut against the Saurids, and soon the Prussians wil enter the field and complicate things even more.
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[19:11] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, nickwedig! The Q&A is just getting started.)
[19:11] <+FASA-Andrew> Players of the roleplaying game can adventure in the Gruv or on Earth, playing adventurers, explorers, spies, soldiers, or a sort of steampunk shadowrunner we're calling the Dodgers.
[19:12] <+FASA-Andrew> We're using the Universal 18 ruleset for the wargame, and the CoreStep mechanic for the roleplaying game, derived from the Earthdawn Step System. Characters from 1879 should be able to transit to the ED world with very little mechanical adjustment.
[19:12] <+FASA-Andrew> (done)
[19:12] <~Dan> Thanks, Andrew!
[19:12] <~Dan> Any questions to start us off...?
[19:13] <+Kylarus> Are we looking to see any offshoots of the East Empire Trading Company?
[19:13] <+Kylarus> Or any similar merchant organizations as power-players?
[19:13] <+Lassek> how are Prussians treated in the setting?
[19:13] <+BrentNewhall> How much education (if any) do you include for players not familiar with that era of history?
[19:13] <~Dan> (Question pause.)
[19:14] <+FASA-Andrew> The East India Company got nationalized, when its charter was revoked during the rebellion that formed the Raj. However, great mercantile interests certainly do exist, which is why the Dodgers exist. With merchant empires arising, someone must do the work that requires plausible deniability.
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[19:15] <+FASA-Andrew> The Prussians developed into a sort fo anthill socialism, following von Bismarck's meetings with Lassalle, who survives his duel with the Wallachian count. The Prussians willhave advances in eletricity, but be behind the British in steam technology. Their military will operate like clockwork, with Prussian precision taken to its ultimate extreme.
[19:16] <+FASA-Andrew> We're doing a lot of education in the course of the Players and GMs Guides. We explain the course of history, and provide a lot of background material on the alt-history Victorian era, from dress styles to language to the Gentlemen's Code.
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[19:17] *** Topic on #rpgnet is: #rpgnet welcomes Andrew Ragland (1879) 02/06/2014 7:00 p.m. CST! || Q&A schedule: (Link: || Q&A logs: (Link:
[19:17] *** Topic set by Dan (Yesterday at 12:46 PM)
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[19:18] <~Dan> (Did I miss anything?)
[19:18] <+Kylarus> You mentioned Prussia getting more heavily in Electricity while GB has Steam. How does Prussia utilize their new power in relation to a very 'mechanical' society?
[19:18] <+FASA_Bogie> Think we're ready for more questions
[19:19] <+FASA-Andrew> The medical world is still trying to catch up. With the Boojums, you've got four new races whose anatomy and body chemistry has to be learned. Whups! Forgot to talk about them. If you're familiar with Shadowrun, you'll recognize the elves, darves, orks, and trolls, although we're calling the orks "snarks" as a Carroll reference.
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[19:20] <+FASA-Andrew> Medical science is advancing fast post Gruv portal, and starting to incorporate some Weird Science and magic along the way. The Queen's emphasis on medical research continues to be an important drive in British science.
[19:20] <+BrentNewhall> How powerful do weapons get? And how weird do they get?
[19:20] <+BrentNewhall> (oops, sorry; thought you were done)
[19:20] <+FASA-Andrew> We're also looking at powered prosthetics, new drugs made from the Gruv world plants, and other medical advances.
[19:20] <~Dan> Magic exists in the setting?
[19:21] <+FASA-Andrew> Prussia's mastery of electricity shows up in the S-bahn railway in Berlin, their adoption of alternating current, their fielding of lightning rifles, and their use of peizoelectric crystals in their all important clocks. We'll be exploring this a good deal more in the Prussian Forcebook for the minis game, which Steve Perrin is working on, and in the Prussian
[19:21] <+FASA-Andrew> Sourcebook for the roleplaying game.
[19:22] <+RKBrumbelow> So with the British, Prussians and Samsut we have Steam, Electricity and LIfe as power sources do the Saurids bring anything to the table?
[19:22] <+FASA-Andrew> The weaponry gets pretty strange. The Samsut have railguns, ranging from pistol sized up to city defense emplacements. The Prussians have lightning rifles. We're giving the Brits gyrojet ammunition. There's going to be some other Weird Science one-off stuff that will seriously blow minds. If you read the Line Developer's blog at, there's a four
[19:23] <+FASA-Andrew> part fiction piece currently running, that will show off one of those in a scene - don't remember when it posts but by the end of this month.
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[19:24] <~Dan> (wb, StevePerrin!)
[19:24] <+FASA-Andrew> Magic does exist in the setting. That's under the Weirdness dial. Basically, this is the same world as Earthdawn. Someone will ask about Shadowrun - I shuld address that now. Shadowrun is being handled quite well by the folks at Catalyst. We at FASA have no interest in pulling back their license. So we're redoing our timeline and cosmology.
[19:24] <+Kylarus> So, difference between timelines in each of the C&C Red Alert games?
[19:24] <+FASA-Andrew> In the new FASA timeline, Shadowrun doesn't happen. Instead, the Gruv portal opens to a higher magic world in 1878. Magic leaks across, and magic returns to Earth far too soon, upsetting everything.
[19:25] <~Dan> Interesting... That leads to my followup question: How "weird" is Earth aside from Weird Science?
[19:25] <+FASA-Andrew> Magic will be low level, not at Earthdawn levels. We have Mages, Priests, Shamans, and Weird Scientists, all doing some pretty odd stuff, but the Earth folks are still just starting to figure out how it works. The Saurids have shamans that have been doing magic for hundreds of years, and the Samsut are well versed
[19:26] <+FASA-Andrew> in Weird Science (but they don't allow spell use, as it causes problems with their technology).
[19:26] <+FASA-Andrew> I don't know the C&C Red Alert games. sorry.
[19:27] <+FASA-Andrew> Earth has diverged more and more since the survival of Albert. Some of it is alternate history, like Lassalle surviving and Prussia going socialist. Some of it is technological, like the British advances in steam technology. Some of it --
[19:27] <+FASA_Bogie> re: Red Alert - yes something like that :)
[19:27] <+Kylarus> Thanks Bogie
[19:27] <+StevePerrin> The C&C games were similar technology, different histories. In 1879, technology just goes off in another direction entirely.
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[19:28] <+FASA-Andrew> well. There's the Uluru Zone in Australia. Nobody really knows what's going on in there. If you're half or more Aborigine, you can go in, but nobody who goes in is seen again. If you're of European descent, you can't go in there. Atempts to use airships to ooverfly the ZOne and find out what's going on have failed. Could be big mojo. Nobody knows.
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[19:28] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Nahor!)
[19:28] <+Nahor> HI.
[19:29] <+GenoFoxx> so do the Prussians have electrocraft airships and the Brit's Steam powered airships?
[19:29] <+FASA-Andrew> We're trying to keep the dials down to 6, like I said. There's some technological advance, but all within the realm of possibility. There's some weirdness, but it doesn't take over the setting. There's some pulp flavor, but the heroes aren't guaranteed to vanquish the bad guys.
[19:29] <~Dan> Are there dinosaurs? :)
[19:30] <+StevePerrin> Of course.
[19:30] <~Dan> Excellent. Where? :)
[19:30] <+Kylarus> How will the divergent time lines impact the birth/existence/actions of famous people from during that time?
[19:30] <+FASA-Andrew> The Prussians are wrking on electric airships, but the batteries are still too heavy. Everybody uses microsteam powered Giffards, designed by the Confederacy. They're not zeppelins - they're flexible gasbags, no rigid structure, with an underslung gondola
[19:30] <+StevePerrin> If they were born before 1860, they are definitely there. Things get weird after that.
[19:31] <+FASA-Andrew> The dinosaurs show up in the Gruv almost immediately. The Saurids ride theropods and pterosaurs. There's a cute little insectivore called the Josisaur that the farmers domesticate and use for pest control.
[19:31] <~Dan> Heh. That is cool. :)
[19:31] <+Ashcat> "Are there dinosaurs?" "Of course." Best Q/A so far.
[19:31] <+StevePerrin> However we also have giant insectoids and Pleistocene mammals (if I have that era right.)
[19:31] <+Nahor> Sorry, I'm late, so forgive me if this has been asked already: How overtly will this game be tied to the Earthdawn game and then Earthfell?  Additionally, and this is more game specific, how much of a balance is there between RPG and Miniature gaming is there? And finally will there be a kickstarter?
[19:32] <+FASA-Andrew> The divergent timeline affects a lot of famous people. We're looking at what the most likely option would be in the divergent world. Nikola Tesla, for example, is working for the Prussian government. When he ambled away his tuition money, the goverment stepped in and told him, we will pay your tuition, you will stay in school, and you will work for the
[19:32] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Ashcat! :) )
[19:32] <+StevePerrin> Definite ties to Earthdawn.
[19:32] <+FASA-Andrew> government to pay the debt. He's the genius behind the Berlin S-bahn. Tesla will never go to America in our timeline, never meet Edison, which changes the course of electricity in the Union.
[19:33] <+FASA-Andrew> There are giant insectoids, yes, the Concamerata. They're not true insects. We've looked at biological explanations that would allow them to breathe and move at their size, and done some work to make them more believable.
[19:34] <+FASA-Andrew> There are also some giant mammals, like the Golden Sloth. We're dropping in creatures from a variety of eras, which will be explained to some extent, although that's a Deep Mystery.
[19:34] <~Dan> FASA-Andrew: I know that TORG dealt with the giant insect issue in the Living Land in some way.
[19:34] <+FASA-Andrew> We're deliberately leaving some things unexplained, as Deep Mysteries, so that the gamemaster can make up their own explanations and have room to develop the game world for their own campaign. We're also leaving room for future game world development for ourselves.
[19:35] <~Dan> Are there supernatural creatures on Earth or the Gruv?
[19:35] <+StevePerrin> As in vampires and such?
[19:35] <+FASA-Andrew> 1879 is directly tied to Earthdawn and Earthfell. It's the world in between the two. There's planned to be a careful balance between the RPG and the Minis, with the two product lines written to work together as expansion systems for each other. Yes, there will be a Kickstarter, but it's going to be a couple of months. We have to get the ED KS closed out and
[19:36] <~Dan> Sure, vampires, and fantasy monsters.
[19:36] <+Nahor> ty
[19:36] <+FASA-Andrew> the post kS work done for that lien before we try to roll out the 1879 KS. We've also got some things we're looking at doing differently with our next KS, but I can't talk about that much sorry.
[19:36] <+FASA-Andrew> There are no vampires in 1879.
[19:36] <+FASA-Andrew> There are supernatural creatures, astral entities, invae, gremlins, and some other annoyances.
[19:36] <+Nahor> how about some wolfmen? :)
[19:37] <+StevePerrin> The Samsut kind of take the place of vampires?
[19:37] <+StevePerrin> Oops, should not have been a question mark.
[19:37] <+Ashcat> The Samsut seem to be described more like necromancers
[19:37] <+FASA-Andrew> We're going or a somewhat different flavor. There's some evidence that an ancient race used the Gruv for bioweapons research a very lon time ago, so there's some creatures out there that aren't really possible to have evolved naturally. Big nasty things with far too much armor and teeth and claws and such.
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[19:37] <+Nahor> I know Jack the Ripper was closer to the close of the century, but will you be incorporating anything that really taps the consciousness like the white chapel murders?
[19:38] <+StevePerrin> The may be a new explanation for those.
[19:38] <+FASA-Andrew> The Samsut are another culture. They're not necessarily the bad guys. We're going to have a Samsut Sourcebook (which Nick Wedig, hiya, is working on), in which there will be rules for playing Samsut characters.
[19:38] <~Dan> So are the supernatural creatures more spiritual in nature rather than physical creatures (dragons, for example)?
[19:38] <+FASA-Andrew> Theyr'e nt bad people. They just have a ver different view on life and its value.
[19:39] <+Ashcat> So... enlightened necromancers
[19:39] <+FASA-Andrew> The supernatural in 1879 is to some extent derived from the supernatural in Earthdawn. Same world, after all. There may eventually be dragons, there will be ghosts and spirits and such.
[19:40] <+RKBrumbelow> 1860 onward was a time of enormous change in the attitudes of differences and equality between sexes. Can you go into some of the ways you have addressed the male female dichotomy in 1879?
[19:40] <+StevePerrin> Think of it as a lot of stuff sleeping, and suddenly something is prompting them to wake up.
[19:40] <+FASA-Andrew> We're looking at a lot of significant events in the era, not just Jack but some others. Ever hear of Spring Heeled Jack? Maybe he was a deranged Weird Scientist...
[19:40] <+Nahor> Will 1879's timeline kind of better explain and tell us how long ago Earthdawn was? I know over the years the time has anywhere been from 18,000 years to 47,000 years ago. Will there maybe be some "archeological finds" that serve as nuggets cluing us to the past?
[19:40] <+Nahor> Nope, not heard of Spring heeled Jack. :)
[19:41] * ~Dan has. :)
[19:41] <+FASA-Andrew> Gender Parity is something we;ve given a lot of thought to. We've come up with multiple explanations as to why women have acheived equality with men in our game world. In Britain, it was partly due to the medical research issue - a female doctor cured Albert the younger of a critial illness, and the Queen created a scolarship for women to study medicine in
[19:42] <+Ashcat> He was an imp, I tell you. A fiend!
[19:42] <+FASA-Andrew> gratitude for her son being saved. In the Union and Confederacy, the War of Secession killed so many men that the women took over, not a matriarchy, but a matter of acknowledging who was running the factories and the economy and such.
[19:42] <+FASA-Andrew> Can I get a question pause please?
[19:42] <~Dan> Oh, sorry!
[19:43] <~Dan> (Question pause!)
[19:44] <+FASA-Andrew> In Prussia, the gender issue ceased to have meaning once Prussian Socialism took hold. Gender is not considered as a job qualification unless reproductive safety is involved. With the Ottoman Empire resurging, and holding the caliphate, Islamic tradition does not adopt the Wahhabi cultural restrictions on women, and sticks to the Q'uran, which says that women
[19:45] <+FASA-Andrew> may hold property, run businesses, and generally be the equals of men. I've delved into this in some detail in a blog post on if you;d like to know more about the issue.
[19:46] <+RKBrumbelow> The FASA 1979 Developers blog may be found at: (Link:
[19:46] <+nickwedig> The Samsut have their own reasons for gender equality, as well, based on centuries old traditions and history.
[19:46] <+RKBrumbelow> err 1879
[19:46] <+FASA-Andrew> We're not nailing down exactly when the Ae of Legend for ED was, in terms of 1879, but we will have some indications. The Worlds are about 6000 years long, if I recall correctly. The Sixth World was supposed to begin in 2012, which puts the end of the Age of Legend around 4000 BCE.
[19:46] <+FASA-Andrew> Nick: Exactly. Would you like to discuss that a bit?
[19:47] <+Kasbak> 5,200 years between worlds IIRC
[19:47] <+FASA-Andrew> We're going to have some in game argument about Earth's magical past, and some wild theories flying around, but this is going to be a Deep Mystery, with room left for GMs to modify and invent as appropriate for their campaign.
[19:47] <+FASA-Andrew> (done)
[19:47] <+FASA-Andrew> Have I answered all the questions thus far to people's satisfaction?
[19:48] <~Dan> I certainly think so. :)
[19:48] <~Dan> (Questions may resume!)
[19:49] <~Dan> To what degree with the game cover Earth?
[19:49] <+FASA-Andrew> As an aside, Weird Science is handled mechanically as Enchanting, which is why Weird Science devices can't be made by people who aren't Weird Scientists. In game, Weird Science is not considered magic, but fringe science, gadgetry built by oddballs who somehow manage to make it work.
[19:49] <+nickwedig> Centuries ago, the Samsut nearly destroyed themselves in a great war over the life manipulation technology.  The war only came to an end when the individual city-states agreed to a compromise called the Balance, which governed the use of life manipulation.
[19:50] <+FASA-Andrew> The source material will explore both the Gruv and Earth, initially focusing more on the New World than the Old. We'll be doing sourcebooks on the nations of Earth, though, as well as sourcebooks on the Samsut, the Saurids, and other aspects of the Gruv.
[19:50] <+StevePerrin> Earth is mostly background to start with, but more and more about Earth will intrude as we go along and many adventures/sourcebooks will mostly be about Earth.
[19:51] <+FASA-Andrew> What Steve said :)
[19:51] <+RKBrumbelow> You have described religion getting its "teeth back" with the opening between the worlds occurring. Can you go more into detail as to the way it is being handled in game?
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[19:51] <+nickwedig> But the king or Ur refused to join the compromise, and the queen of Ur led a secret coup to take him out and join the peace.  She then declared that the city maintain gender parity henceforth, and would only give military aid to other cities that did likewise.
[19:51] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Taffer_!)
[19:52] <+StevePerrin> As usual, we are handling religion very gingerly.
[19:52] <+FASA-Andrew> Priests will be able to do more than just pray :). They'll be able to heal by laying on hands, cast out evil spirits, and all the classic stuff that priests have done or claimed to do or been said to do over the centuries. We're not going to adress the reality of their faith or any sort of underlying truth.
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[19:53] <+FASA-Andrew> Priests include followers of any organized religion, from Christianity to Hinduism.
[19:53] <+RKBrumbelow> So there is a resurgence in low level miracles across all lines then?
[19:54] <+StevePerrin> Of course, the fact that any devout priest/whatever of any religion can do essentially the same things is a statement in and of itself.
[19:54] <+FASA-Andrew> Yes, priests of all faiths will be able to perform miracles to some extent. Whether they're doing it themselves, or their deity or divine power is reaching through them, or whatever, is a question we're not going to answer.
[19:55] <+RKBrumbelow> How are you treating animals in the game. Previously some had access to extraordinary companions, now however things seem more prosaic. How does this affect animal companions?
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[19:55] <+FASA-Andrew> The Saurids have Shamans, who can speak with ancestral spirits and do some pretty amazing things themselves. We're drawing an artificial line between Priests and Shamans basically between the followers of an organized faith and the people who work wit the natural world and its spiritual essence.
[19:56] <+FASA-Andrew> Animal companions will be still important. We're actually extending that mechanic to mounts. If you roleplay an equestrian, such as an Aristocrat or cavalry Military Officer, you'll be required to make Equestrian rolls to take care of your mount, and deal with it. Mounts will have minds of their own, as will any other animal companion.
[19:57] <+FASA-Andrew> We're also including rules for spooking, and for other issues dealing with mounts having their own ideas as to what ought to be happening. Some of the more heavily magical abilities, like Blood Share, from Earthdawn, will not be included in 1879, but there will still be Animal Training, Animal Bond, and a host of others.
[19:57] <+RKBrumbelow> Even a garnickey?
[19:58] <+StevePerrin> Garnickeys have their own minds. They just have trouble finding them sometimes.
[19:58] <~Dan> What are they?
[19:58] <+FASA-Andrew> If you can make the Test to get through to a garnickey, you'll be doing better than most players :). I'd think about giving your character a bonus to Interaction tests just for beign able to handle such a recalcitrant animal.
[19:58] <+StevePerrin> Essentially ankylosaurs.
[19:59] <+FASA-Andrew> Some animals stood well back when brains were handed out. Garnickeys failed to queue up at all.
[19:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:59] <+FASA-Andrew> The name comes from lower class slang, and is pronounced Gar! Nickey! Basically meaning "Dear God, that's a stupid beast!"
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[20:01] <~Dan> (Welcome, Guest91!)
[20:01] <+FASA-Andrew> We're having a lot of fun with the Bestiary. It's all written in character by a long-suffering naturalist, Lady Jennings, who would much rather be tending roses in a garden in England than dealing with the Gruv, but Science Must Be Done. Christianne Benedict is doing the artwork for the creatures entries.
[20:01] <+StevePerrin> Will European conflicts slop over into the Gruv?
[20:02] <+FASA-Andrew> Steve: Very much so. Once the Brits start letting the other nations through the Portal, and they really couldn't say no without starting a war over the new world's resources, old enmities and grudges will surface in the new world.
[20:02] <+Nahor> When can we expect the first book to be released? Is it also going to be Digest size, any color plates within, or just black and white?
[20:02] <+FASA-Andrew> We're also going to see at least one renegade Confederate unit causing trouble for the Union in the Gruv.
[20:03] <+StevePerrin> For instance, the Franco-Prussian war still happened in 1870, and there is a lot of resentment still there.
[20:03] <+FASA-Andrew> Nahor: We're planning for a Gencon release. The interiors will be black and white, and the book will probably be digest sized, although that's still under discussion. Color plates will depend o how the Kickstarter goes.
[20:03] <+Nahor> k
[20:03] <+FASA-Andrew> Heh. yeah, the Prussians handed the French their collective hind ends, and the French are still smarting over that.
[20:04] <~Dan> Excellent. I'm bringing my wife to GenCon, and she loves steampunk. :)
[20:04] <+RKBrumbelow> So humans exist in multiple cultures in game plus the Boojums, How about the Saurids? Are they monolithic or are there various groups players will be able to draw from and interact with.
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[20:04] <+FASA-Andrew> The Saurids are not a monolithic culture. We've carefully avoided that fantasy trope. There are three major cultures in the Gruv, the Patriarchs, the Matriarchs, and the Egalitarians, with tribal cultural differences within those three major factions.
[20:05] <+StevePerrin> The Samsut cities have centuries of conflict to draw on for resentment and possible revenge. For most of the time it is something of a game, but European savagery may infect them
[20:05] <+FASA-Andrew> The Patriarch tribes divide into nomadic and land-based agricultural, down in the lowlands of the Gruv. The Matriarchs are generally found in the northern mountains. The Egalitarians mostly occupy the western forest. Each culture has its own religion, its own traditions, and its own way of looking at thins.
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[20:06] <+FASA-MarkStout> Hello folks
[20:06] <+FASA-Andrew> The idea here is to have a highly diverse game world with a lot of story possibilities, not only in physical conflict but in social as well.
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[20:07] <+FASA-Andrew> We're including some material designed specifically for social conflict, such as the Aristocrat character Concept. We've also got the Tribal Warrior, the Soldier, and the Cowboy variant known as the utlaw for those of you who want to kick some serious tuchus.
[20:07] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, FASA-MarkStout!)
[20:07] <+FASA-Andrew> heyo Mark
[20:07] <+FASA-MarkStout> Hi Andrew
[20:08] <+FASA-Andrew> Wow, FASA takeover :)
[20:08] <+FASA-Andrew> (done)
[20:08] <~Dan> Earthdawn has a bit of a learning curve associated with it. Have you addressed that issue in 1879?
[20:09] <+FASA-Andrew> The minis, by the way, are being produced by Ral Partha Europe. I've posted a few photos of them on the FASA FB and G+ pages. They're =sweet=
[20:09] <+FASA-MarkStout> Here for any system specific questions about the wargame system, Universal 18. FYI
[20:09] <~Dan> (Feel free to post any links you like, by the way, FASA-Andrew.)
[20:09] <+RKBrumbelow> How stable is the rift between worlds, are there any dangers crossing over and is that addressed in game? Further how many rifts are there and if there are multiple do they interact with each other?
[20:09] <+FASA-MarkStout> I second Andrew on the minis, the proofs look fantastic
[20:09] <+StevePerrin> As befits a less powerful magical environment, 1879 is a bit simpler and more basic.
[20:10] <+FASA-Andrew> The learning curve is less than it used to be. Earthdawn Fourth Edition has addressed some of that. 1879 is using the CoreStep mechanic, derived from the work done for ED4. There's still going to be a bit of a learning curve, but you have that with any mechanic tha you haven't played before. Even FATE has a learning curve :).
[20:10] <+StevePerrin> Having recently played a FATE game, I would say it has an intense learning curve for people used to crunchy mechanics.
[20:11] <+FASA-Andrew> The portal is relatively stable, but the passage is dangerous, Travel through it means exposure to the continuum between worlds, even with the iron tunnel the Brits built through it. It's risky. It's always going to be.
[20:11] <+FASA-Andrew> There have been at least two portals - the current British one and the old Samsut one that led from Babylon to the Gruv, closed some three thousand years ago. There's more material about portals in the GM's Guide.
[20:12] <+StevePerrin> So far, there is only the one "rift" in existence at this time.
[20:12] <+FASA-Andrew> Well, only one that the Earth folks know about :)
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[20:12] <+RKBrumbelow> StevePerrin :including inside of cows?
[20:13] <+Kasbak> Travel through the portal is another one of the places to dial up some of the weird factor.
[20:13] <+Kylarus> Does that leave the possibility for another 'rift' in Africa?
[20:13] <+Kylarus> Or even Australia?
[20:13] <+FASA-Andrew> That leaves the possibility for Portals anywhere the campaign wants to put them :)
[20:13] <+StevePerrin> I've always wondered about Ayers Rock.
[20:13] <+Kylarus> Fair enough
[20:13] <+FASA-Andrew> We're leaving the  Portals to some extent as a Deep Mystery, so that the GM can play with them.
[20:14] <+FASA-Andrew> There wasn't a rift inside the cow. The cow exploded because it walked into a portal carrying an Anunnaki artifact.
[20:14] <+StevePerrin> Traveling through the Rabbit Hole can have incredible effects. One definitely changed the course of European History in the early 1900s.
[20:15] <+FASA-Andrew> Ayers Rock is at the center of the Uluru Zone, which I talked about earlier. There's something major going on there, but we're saving that for a future sourcebook or adventure :)
[20:15] <~Dan> Do the Horrors play any role in 1879?
[20:16] <+StevePerrin> No. That's one reason why magic is simpler.
[20:16] <+FASA-Andrew> (Link:
[20:16] <+FASA-Andrew> The Horrors may eventually be seen, but not in the initial game. That comes wit the tie-in to Earthfell.
[20:17] <~Dan> And what is Earthfell, again?
[20:17] <+FASA-Andrew> Essentially, 1879 takes the place in the timeline where Shadowrun used to be, starting much earlier in history of course, but the events of the 1879 product line preclude the events in Shadowrun, which is no longer a part of the FASA cosmology.
[20:17] <+FASA-Andrew> Earthfell is another product line, still in development so I can't talk about it much.
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[20:17] <+RKBrumbelow> If I want to put players into large scale encounters how suited is the miniature side for such and how difficult will the transition be for PCs to both affect and effect large scale situations using miniature rules?
[20:18] <+FASA-Andrew> Basically, the timeline goes Earthdawn -> 1879 -> Earthfell
[20:18] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:19] <~Dan> (Howdy, Silverlion!)
[20:19] <+FASA-Andrew> Robert: We'll have a conversion table for CoreStep <-> U18 so that you can drop your player characters into the middle of a battle. Essentially, you use the U18 minis rules for the large scale combat, to play it out, and the RPG to play out individual character actions.
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[20:19] <+FASA-Andrew> Like I said earlier, Catalyst is doing great things with Shadowrun, and FASA is not interested in pulling back the license. We're developing a new timeline instead.
[20:21] <+FASA-Andrew> We're focusing on Earthdawn 4E right now, and 1879, and Fading Suns under license from Holistic. Once we have those product lines out and well established, then we'll be putting effort into some other new stuff.
[20:21] <&Silverlion> What is Earthfell?
[20:22] <+FASA-Andrew> Silverlion: You joined right after I talked about that :) It's another product line, a game that takes place after the 1879 era.
[20:22] <~Dan> (He said he couldn't talk about that just before... yeah. :) )
[20:22] <+FASA-Andrew> In the revised FASA cosmology, Shadowrun doesn't exist. We go from Earthdawn to 1879 to Earthfell.
[20:23] <&Silverlion> I see.
[20:23] <~Dan> I take it from your earlier statements that the South won the Civil War, or that it's still going on?
[20:23] <+FASA-Andrew> You won't see Earthfell this year. Hang in there, it's coming, but we want to make sure we stay focused on the ED4 and 1879 lines for now.
[20:24] <+RKBrumbelow> So is 1879 taking the place of the rumoured Earthdusk?
[20:24] <+StevePerrin> The Civil War ended in an armistice because the South banned slavery and the Brits and French came in on their side.
[20:24] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:24] <+FASA-Andrew> The Civil War ended in 1866, with an armistice. After Jefferson Davis died of a stroke, Alexander Stephens led the struggling Confederacy to do away with slavery, which won the Confederacy multiple new allies and did away with the Union's major cause for the War.
[20:24] <+FASA-Andrew> Earthdusk - no. 1879 takes the place of Shadowrun.
[20:24] <+Kasbak> Not so much a peaceful end as it just sort of ground to a halt.
[20:25] <+StevePerrin> Exactly
[20:25] <+FASA-Andrew> Yeah, pretty much. The Confederacy still exists, but it's a much different South than in our world.
[20:25] <+FASA-Andrew> The Confederates were the ones who made the Giffard airship practical.
[20:25] <~Dan> What's the tech level like in the Confederacy and the Union?
[20:26] <+StevePerrin> And they also perfected the submarine.
[20:26] <+FASA-Andrew> Don't forget Brazil. The Brazilians were itching to get into the War after the Union sailed into a Brazilian port and took a Confederate ship that was at dock.
[20:26] <+FASA-Andrew> The Confederacy has a higher tech level than the agricultural South o our world in the post war period. They survive partly by manufacturing war materiel.
[20:27] <+FASA-Andrew> The Union is exhausted, still trying to recover and manage a much larger territory geographically speaking.
[20:27] <+GenoFoxx> Americans perfect the 'wolf-pack'
[20:27] <+FASA-Andrew> The tech level in both is a bit higher than our world, the steampunk dial being turned up to 6.
[20:27] <+FASA-Andrew> Well, not the wolf pack so much as the harpoon torpedo
[20:27] <~Dan> Are the Indian nations more powerful with the return of magic?
[20:27] <+FASA-Andrew> The Hunley was successful i our game world
[20:28] <+FASA-Andrew> We'll be addressing the issue of the Indian nations in the Americas sourcebook.DOn't want to give it all away tonight :)
[20:28] <~Dan> Bah. Tell all! :)
[20:28] <+RKBrumbelow> if Earthdawn is 2nd world, Earthdusk is 6th World and Earthfell is 8th world, what world is 1879? Or had the cosmology/ timeline changed to throw that previous model out the window?
[20:28] <+FASA-Andrew> There is no Earthdusk.
[20:28] <~Dan> Only Zool.
[20:29] <+FASA-Andrew> Earthdawn is the Fourth World. 1879 is the 5th world leading into the 6th. Earthfell is the late 6th.
[20:29] <+RKBrumbelow> Dan :: Is there Gozer?
[20:29] <+GenoFoxx> and numenera is the 9th
[20:29] <+FASA-Andrew> The cosmology has changed a bit, yes. The opening of the Rabbit Hole (the portal thatleads to the Gruv) set everything out of whack.
[20:29] <+GenoFoxx> sorry
[20:29] <~Dan> RKBrumbelow: :D
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[20:30] <+FASA-Andrew> What I will say about the American West is that it's going to be quite a bit different.
[20:30] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:31] <+FASA-Andrew> If nothing else, Deseret got re-established. With a Mormon theocracy out where Utah would have been, the West is going to require some readjustment.
[20:31] <~Dan> But a happier place!
[20:31] <+FASA-Andrew> We're going to avoid redoing Dogs in the Vineyard, but the Desereti will have some major influence.
[20:31] <~Dan> The Mormon, the merrier.
[20:31] <+StevePerrin> Also. there was no Zulu war in SouthAfrica. The Zulus are British allies.
[20:31] <+FASA-Andrew> If nothing else, Deseret has the copper mines.
[20:32] <+FASA-Andrew> Oh yeah. It's better to have the Zulus on your side of the battlefield. No less terrifying, but better.
[20:32] <+Kasbak> The Zulus are another source of gender equality.  You simply do not tell a Zulu woman she cannot do a particular job.
[20:32] <+RKBrumbelow> It sounds as though you all have done a substantial amount of work with the world building. I for one am excited to see it play out.
[20:32] <+Kylarus> same here
[20:32] <+FASA-Andrew> Cetshwayo gets beheaded by his brother during the Zulu civil war, and never takes the throne
[20:32] <+RKBrumbelow> Kasbak :: not more than once anyway
[20:33] <+FASA-Andrew> Isandlwana still happens but it's a rogue action by a rebellious prince, not the Zulu Nation itself attacking
[20:33] <~Dan> So is there a chance for another world to be introduced, or is 1879 strictly Earth/Gruv?
[20:33] <+FASA-Andrew> Blog post on Isandlwana goes up on 2/18/14
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[20:33] <+RKBrumbelow> (Link:
[20:33] <+FASA-Andrew> We've got two worlds already. Once we et those both thoroughly documented, then we'll think about others. There will, however, be crossovers.
[20:34] <+FASA-Andrew> Thanks Robert
[20:34] <~Dan> Oh? Interesting.
[20:34] <+Ashcat> Crossovers?
[20:34] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[20:34] <+FASA-Andrew> Ever hear of Demonworld?
[20:34] <~Dan> The name sounds vaguely familiar... A fantasy game, isn't it?
[20:34] <+RKBrumbelow> FASA-Andrew :: every tiem I visited my inlaws
[20:34] <+FASA-Andrew> heh
[20:34] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:35] <+FASA-Andrew> Yes, Demonworld is a fantasy wargame from Germany. FASA has the English language rights for it. We're bringing out a roleplaying game for Demonworld, same basic premise as 1879, paired minis / rpg product line.
[20:35] <+RKBrumbelow> Sweet
[20:36] <+RKBrumbelow> Is FASA-Andrew doing the art for it?
[20:36] <+StevePerrin> And strangely, there is one race that is strangely similar to those in the other world.
[20:36] <+FASA-Andrew> How'd you like to take a high fantasy army from a world plagued by demons up against an army of Weird Science using Akkadians with technological undead that can't be turned by a priest and anti-gravity sky chariots?
[20:36] <+FASA-Andrew> Me/ Art? Heh. I can't draw stick people.
[20:36] <+FASA-Andrew> Oh yeah, we do love our lizard folk at FASA
[20:37] <+FASA-Andrew> Which hints at the question earlier about other portals
[20:37] <+FASA-Andrew> which is to some extent explained in the 1879 GM's Guide, but left to the GM as to how to implement it (if at all)
[20:38] <~Dan> Oh, yes! Demonworld is the setting in which dwarves can live on rocks, right?
[20:38] <+FASA-Andrew> Here's some pics of the 1879 minis on G+: (Link:
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[20:39] <+FASA-Andrew> Dan: Yeah, kind of like that. Demonworld's dwarves are more like the German fairy tale kobolds, people of the Earth, than the traditional Lord of the Rings dwarves
[20:39] <+FASA-Andrew> What have I not addressed?
[20:39] <+RKBrumbelow> Is there an intrinsic velocity to fundamental magic? Meaning how fast will someone's non 'natural' powers take to develop on a new world as the power from their own bleeds over? Or is magic ubiquitous enough that this would not be a problem?
[20:39] <+Nahor> Since Ral Partha is doing the minis, will they be the metal kind you paint and do up yourself, or will there be a release of pre-painted plastic/rubber minis like TSR/WOTC has done in the past?
[20:40] <~Dan> I did see Demonworld on your website, but I didn't see that you're doing an RPG. I thought it was just going to be an English-language version of the wargame. Cool.
[20:40] <+FASA-Andrew> That's a complicated one, Robert. Let's say this: Having power does not grant control over it. If someone gave you a Maserati, it would take you a while to learn to drive it safely at high speeds.
[20:40] <+FASA-Andrew> Nahor: They're metal, with metal bases.
[20:41] <+FASA-Andrew> We're thinking about doing a supplement to the 1879 minis game on priming and painting, a sort of newbie's guide to minis.
[20:41] <+StevePerrin> Initially, all a Victorian magician has is the magic rituals he has been using unsuccessfully until 1877.
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[20:42] <+FASA-Andrew> Some new magical traditions also appear. The Galvanic Order, for example, is the result of Victoria scientists examining what they consider to be a previously unknown natural force.
[20:42] <+Nahor> Will Crowley and all the victorian occultists be pulled into play in 1879? I know Gaiman used a few in the Sandman as did Hellblazer. I always found it cool.
[20:43] <+StevePerrin> They are, of course, available to the GM.
[20:43] <+FASA-Andrew> Nahor: We're already pulling in Helena Blavatsky. Some of the occultists associated with the Victorian era are a bit later than our period just yet. We will be advancing the gamemetaplot year by year just like FASA has done with Earthdawn.
[20:43] <+FASA-Andrew> We'll be adding more historical figures to the timeline and the game as they become available.
[20:43] <+Nahor> cool. :) Any mention of hte Boor wars too since IIRC that is about that time period too, might be after.
[20:44] <+FASA-Andrew> Some historical figures will not be available due to changes in the timeline.
[20:44] <+Nahor> Breaker Morant is one of my fav films. ;)
[20:44] <~Dan> When it comes to Big Bads, Earthdawn has the Horrors. Is there any objectively eeeeeevil force at play in 1879, or is it all morally gray?
[20:44] <+Nahor> Makes sense
[20:44] <+FASA-Andrew> Nahor: Oh yeah. The Boer Wars are just months away when the game begins. The Transvaal and the Orange Republic are both powderkegs just waiting for a spark.
[20:44] <+StevePerrin> Boer wars are 20 years in the future. Of course, the Brits and Boers were not on the best of terms in 1879, either.
[20:45] <+FASA-Andrew> Dan: There's nothing right off that is Absolutely Evil. Even the invae, from Earthdawn, aren't evil, they're just hungry.
[20:45] <+Nahor> Sweet. It's a great period since a lot of colonial turmoil in africa was going on.
[20:45] <+FASA-Andrew> Yeah, we're looking at touching off the Boer Wars maybe a little early, since the Zulus became a protectorate of the British Empire
[20:45] <+StevePerrin> And the colonial conflicts are going to be very different with the Brit concentration onthe Gruv.
[20:46] <+Nahor> @Steve there were 2 boer wars one in 1880-1881 and then 1899-1902. :)
[20:46] <+Nahor> Cool.
[20:46] <+FASA-Andrew> There's some very nasty people out there, and we've got a Secret Order Bent On World Domination
[20:46] <+FASA-Andrew> because the Pulp dial is set at 6, and we have to have a mustache twirler in there somewhere
[20:46] <~Dan> Excellent. :)
[20:46] <+RKBrumbelow> I think this has been answered previously, but what is the scale of the miniatures again?
[20:47] <+FASA-Andrew> If I recall correctly, they're 54mm. Mark or Steve, can you keep me honest here?
[20:48] <+FASA-Andrew> Sorry, I'm more of a world builder than a minis guy myself, and I have people on my team that know a lot more about minis than I do
[20:48] <~Dan> Do any real-world technologies like the water-cooled machinegun show up earlier in 1879, or is it all Weird Science?
[20:48] <+FASA-Andrew> Dan: The Gatling and a few others do show up. They're not widel adopted as of 1879 because of military policy and technological issues
[20:49] <+FASA-Andrew> Water cooled guns are touchy, cantankerous things to try and carry into a new world and a hostile environment
[20:49] <+FASA-MarkStout> They are 15mm scale
[20:49] <+FASA-MarkStout> 18mm technically
[20:49] <~Dan> Well, the Gatling was already around by then, IIRC. Are they steam Gatlings by 1879?
[20:49] <~Dan> Or electric?
[20:49] <+RKBrumbelow> "Heroic 15mm" ? ;)
[20:49] <+FASA-Andrew> Weird Science is the exception rather than the rule for the Earth folks. The Samsut use Weird Science as their primary technology because of their past.
[20:49] <+StevePerrin> Doctrine is mostly still that if you give soldiers rapid firing weapons they will waste ammunition.
[20:50] <+FASA-Andrew> You'll be seeing steam powered and electrically powered heavy guns both, actually. But what Steve said - military policy fought against automatic weaponry
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[20:50] <~Dan> (Howdy, Catseye!)
[20:50] <+FASA-Andrew> The Brits in our game world are more about making every shot count than spraying the enemy down
[20:50] <+StevePerrin> This is very true, actually. However, the plus side of getting a lot of metal out there eventually persuaded the Powers That Be that wasting ammunition was OK
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[20:50] <+Catseye> hi
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[20:51] <+FASA-Andrew> And then we have the Molecrab Gun. It comes with a bolt gun that's used for securing the main piece.
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[20:51] <~Dan> Are there massive dreadnought battleships?
[20:51] <+StevePerrin> Only on Earth. Hard to fit a dreadnaught through the Rabbit Hole.
[20:51] <+FASA-Andrew> There are massive battleships on Earth. There are no battleships on the Gruv, yet.
[20:52] <+FASA-Andrew> Also, deep water sailing on the Gruv is problematic. The aquatic Saurids regard it as a territorial violation.
[20:52] <+StevePerrin> And of course the dreadnaught was actually an early 1900s development.
[20:52] <+FASA-Andrew> Let me drop one bit here, as we're getting close to the our.
[20:52] <+FASA-Andrew> Hour.
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[20:52] <+StevePerrin> It's OK Andrew, once you get enough Saurids interested in sailor suits there won't be any problem...
[20:53] <~Dan> Sure. In fact, I was just about to ask you if there's anything you'd like to cover that we haven't already.
[20:53] <+FASA-Andrew> The Ottoman Empire will have a similar place in our game world that Japan had in the post WWII period in this world - good at taking other people's ideas, improving them, and putting them together in new ways.
[20:54] <+FASA-Andrew> When the Ottoman sourcebook comes out, you'll see what happens when the Ottomans take British micro steam technology, put it together with Prussian electrical power, and throw in some ex-Confederate engineers. What they came up with halted the Cossacks.
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[20:54] <+FASA-Andrew> And that, once it's out, should satisfy the people who want to see steampunk on the large scale.
[20:55] <+FASA-Andrew> Yeah, problem being with putting Saurids in the navy is that the land dwelling Saurids and the aquatics aren't on the best of terms...
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[20:55] <+FASA-Andrew> The land dwelling Saurids stick to the shallower waters when crossing the Straits of Darwin between the Grosvenor Land and their own continent.
[20:56] <+FASA-Andrew> Any last questions before the formal Q&A ends?
[20:57] <~Dan> Can you recap the scope of the bestiary? You've mentioned dinosaurs, giant insects, mammalian megafauna, and weird creations of the past, right?
[20:57] <+StevePerrin> Lots of plant monsters
[20:57] <+FASA-Andrew> The Bestiary chapter right now has 47 creatures in it.
[20:57] <~Dan> Not too shabby.
[20:57] <+RKBrumbelow> Cushaws?
[20:58] <+FASA-Andrew> What Steve said. We're making the plants more dangerous than the animals, and the day more dangerous than the night, which totally messes with human instinct.s
[20:58] <+FASA-Andrew> Heh. No cushaws yet. I may have to work in a joke about them.
[20:58] <+RKBrumbelow> Cushaws have 'tude' you taught me that
[20:58] <+FASA-Andrew> There's also some stuff in the Bestiary that Lady Jennings threw up her hands over and said "No Acceptable Taxonomy"
[20:58] <~Dan> Anyone else want to get a question "on the record" before I log the chat? :)
[20:59] <+RKBrumbelow> I would like to thank Andrew, the FASA enclave and for getting all this together
[20:59] <+FASA-Andrew> There is some evidecne that someone, long ago, may have been using the Gruv as an area for biological weapons development...
[20:59] <~Dan> (As I mentioned, you guys are more than welcome to continue to hang out with us. :) )
[20:59] <+Nahor> Thank you!
[20:59] <~Dan> (Well, technically, had nothing to do with this. #rpgnet is a separate animal these days. But thanks! :) )
[20:59] <+FASA-Andrew> and with that, thank you all for attending, and I hope that my team and I have been at least mildly entertaining
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[20:59] <~Dan> And yes, you guys have been great!
[20:59] <+Kylarus> Thanks for the info!
[20:59] <+StevePerrin> I think I smell dinner (I'm on the West Coast). Bye all.
[20:59] <~Dan> Bye, Steve!
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[21:00] <+FASA-Andrew> Thank you to Steve Perrin, Mark Stout, Nick Wedig, Brad Decker, and Todd Bogenrief especially
[21:00] <~Dan> Andrew, I'll go log the chat and get you the link.
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[21:00] <~Dan> And all of you who showed up for the Q&A, I hope you'll stick around and hang out with us in the future!
[21:00] <+Kasbak> Not a problem Andrew, happy to help where ever possible.
[21:00] <+FASA-Andrew> Thansk Dan. I'll post the link on FASA's G+, FB, and Twitter accounts in the morning

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