Alternity  

IRC Logs


-!- JDWiker [~jdwiker@*.sd.sd.cox.net] has joined #Alternity
<@apoc527> and I shall give him an ALternith PHB when he proves he can read
< lazarius> hello, JD.
<@Spicer> The man of the hour... :)
<@apoc527> man of the hour
< Kzinwarrior> Ah, much better *rubs his eyes*
<@apoc527> haha
<@Spicer> Welcome, JD.
<@LordKrath> Hello JD
< irdeggman> Hello JD
< Starbrat> Ah, hello there.
< Shadowvyce> Hello JD
< Jim_C> Hi JD
< JDWiker> Hello, everyone.
< Sidhain> Allo!
< Kzinwarrior> Greetings
< JDWiker> Nice turnout. Thanks for coming.
* RogueMorgan bows at the arrival of the guest of honor.
< kyuran> What up, homeslice?
< JDWiker> Who's the guest of honor?
<@Spicer> You can consider yourself the Gaming Guest of Honor tonight.
< JDWiker> Huh. Okay.
* Sidhain works the spotlights.
< Shadowvyce> ~Round of applause~
<@Spicer> We've got 18 different folks that came in for the session.
< Sidhain> Hehe.
< Botuu> Day late, dollar short. Welcome JD.
< RogueMorgan> You should the catering bill is coming to you.
< JDWiker> Happy to be here. Haven't talked Alternity for loooong time.
<@apoc527> heh
< JDWiker> Even then, I think it was Dark*Matter ...
< Jim_C> I see quite a few well-known folk here from A.Net, to be fair
<@Spicer> We've got some new arrivals, too, Jim.
-!- CarlZog [~CarlZog@*.ri.ri.cox.net] has joined #Alternity
<@Spicer> Advertising paid off on RPG.net and ENWorld.
<@LordKrath> and welcome Carl
< Sidhain> Yes I'd say it did.
<@Spicer> And there's another. Welcome, Carl. I hoped you would make it tonight.
< Starbrat> Hi Carl!
< Shadowvyce> Hi Carl!!!
< CarlZog> I just saw your post on EnWorld, Neil. Nice work today.
<@Spicer> Thanks.
<@Spicer> That was a last minute announcement, to be sure.
<@apoc527> are we in first place yet, Neil?
< Jim_C> Nicely done, I think there's a lot of goodwill for the game on ENWorld.
<@Spicer> Okay, if everyone can settle down, we'll get this thing started. JD has commited to an hour with us...or maybe longer, depending on how things go.
<@Spicer> (Not yet, Jake...but close)
< JDWiker> That's as long as I can stay sober ... ::grin::
<@apoc527> haha
<@Spicer> Welcome to Alternity Game Day and the hosted chat event here on www.alternity.net. Throughout the day, I've been gathering a list of questions from everyone that I'll be posing to our guests. If anyone would like to ask something else, please send me an instant message and I'll work it into the discussion for you.
* LordKrath nods and listens
<@Spicer> There's an off-chance that Richard Baker may be joining us tonight as well. According to Jake, it all depends on a bunch of girl scouts... :)
<@Spicer> But that's another story.
<@Spicer> Before we get started, I just want to remind everyone of a few ground rules. To keep things organized, we want to make sure that we keep side chatter down to a minimum. Follow-up questions are okay as well as the occasional comment, but try to give everyone a chance to participate and hold back on filling the chat stream with stuff that doesn't further the current question posed to our guests.
<@Spicer> Use the instant messaging feature between individuals to hold those types of discussions outside of the chatroom itself. Above all else, be courteous and be patient.
<@Spicer> In addition, please don't let the discussion degenerate into an Alternity vs. D20 debate. There's really no value in exploring that topic in this forum. Our guests are here primarily to reminisce about Alternity's roots and comment on its current longevity.
<@Spicer> This is your chance to ask them questions about how Alternity was designed and why things work the way they do within the system. You can also ask about specific campaign settings related to Alternity and their own experiences with the game we all enjoy playing.
< JDWiker> And please don't IM me during the chat: I have my hands full. If you want to contact me, email me at jdwiker@thegamemechanics.com.
< lazarius> I suggest we have a #alternity-sidechat for sidechatting, and to keep this to the Q/A.
<@Spicer> That's not a bad idea, Laz. Feel free to start such a room if necessary.
<@Spicer> So without any further ado...let's welcome JD Wiker...
<@Spicer> Thanks for coming, JD.
< JDWiker> Thanks for having me!
<@Spicer> First question for you...in no particular order...
<@Spicer> What made you decide to get involved in Alternity? Or how did that come about?
< JDWiker> I was working in Wizards Customer Service when I found out a job was open in RPG R&D. I applied, impressed them with my ability to design, and got offered one of three positions.
< JDWiker> I went for Alternity. (The other two were D&D and Marvel Super-Heroes.) /done
<@Spicer> Did you intentionally single out Alternity as the position you wanted...or was it just the one you were assigned or accepted for?
< JDWiker> It was first on my list. (They asked me what my preference was. My second choice was Marvel.)
< JDWiker> That went to Rich Redman. /done
< lazarius> Was alt already underway at that point?
< JDWiker> Yep.
<@Spicer> Next question: How did your work on the Alternity project influence your development as a game designer. The system and the campaigns seem to be well thought out. Did it help you "grow" in your profession?
< JDWiker> Oh, yes. I learned a lot about die averages and expected ranges, as well as how to design thorough rules systems.
< JDWiker> Particularly as relates to skills. /done
<@Spicer> How was the die mechanic developed for Alternity?
<@Spicer> Was it intentional to have the difficulty steps scale non-linearly? Or should a d20 really be "2d8" etc? Or was it because you wanted to use only single dice for step penalties?
<@Spicer> Any insight on that?
< JDWiker> That was a bit before my time; the mechanic was in place before I came along.
< JDWiker> Define "non-linearly" in this capacity.
<@Spicer> The progression of steps to denote increasing difficulty...as defined by random dice...each increasing in size...in a non-linear fashion. Any thoughts on the mechanic?
<@Spicer> Had you seen anything like the system Alternity uses?
< JDWiker> That was based, if I understand your question, on the need to have the die averages "step" up smoothly.
< JDWiker> I had not.
<@Spicer> Your impressions of it? Different? Weird? Best thing since sliced bread? :)
< JDWiker> I liked it. I favor simplicity, of course, but it wasn't difficult to grasp.
< Jim_C> I can see how Alternity's skill system would promote a good deal of thinking about skill mechanics - not that it's over-complicated but has a good number of dimensions that can be tweaked for a skill.
< JDWiker> I much favor "die + modifiers." But the Alternity system worked quite well, and wasn't too difficult to explain.
< JDWiker> Probably the biggest confusion was when people had to think "low is good." /done
< Jim_C> Have you looked at the Unearthed Arcana suggestion at all, to bolt on die step modifiers to d20?
<@Spicer> Common complaints about Alternity often gripe about the "roll under" system. Did anyone ever try a roll over variation (Stat base+D20+mod)?
< JDWiker> Jim: I'm aware of it, but I don't use it in my games. As I say, I favor simplicity.
< JDWiker> Not to my knowledge, Neil.
< JDWiker> Er, /done
<@Spicer> From what you recall of the system. Are there any mechanical tweaks you suspect would have eventually been applied to Alternity and why?
< JDWiker> The armor system was under scrutiny. Armor was too good, so we were discussing ways to make it less good.
< JDWiker> Nothing was resolved, though, before Alternity was canceled. /done
-!- Savoy [~Savoy@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
-!- Savoy [~Savoy@69.29.154.*] has quit [Quit: Alternity?.... YES!!]
<@Spicer> Were there any Alternity products you didn't get a chance to work on, that you wished you had? Either stuff that eventually got developed by someone else on the team...or after the line got dropped?
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
< JDWiker> Well, obviously I wanted to explore the world of Dark*Matter more. I had great plans for the Sandmen and the Etoile, as has been discussed elsewhere. /done
<@Spicer> What are you doing now? What kind of products are you developing? Anything slightly related setting-wise or genre-wise?
< JDWiker> Well, first, I'm the president of The Game Mechanics, a d20 System game-design studio. We work mainly on stuff designed to work with D&D and D20 Modern, though we've just released "Future Player's Companion," for use with d20 Future.
< JDWiker> Neil--yes, this Neil--actually wrote part of that book.
-!- PRGRM [~PRGRM@*.ed.shawcable.net] has joined #Alternity
< JDWiker> And, to pay the bills, I work at Upper Deck, designing flavor text for the Vs. System. /done
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<@Spicer> What are your own favorite SF genres, and did any of them influence the design of Alternity or your own work within the Alternity line?
< JDWiker> My overall favorite genre is near-future sci-fi, which I think shows in what I designed for Dark*Matter.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
< JDWiker> I'm not such a big fan of "hard" sci-fi, mainly because I don't have a background in physics.
< JDWiker> But I got quite an education working on Alternity, let me tell you.
< JDWiker> (All of that contributed to my work on d20 Future.)
< JDWiker> I think it's pretty clear, though, that shows like Star Trek and Babylon-5 had an influence on the Alternity designers. /done
<@Spicer> Do you have any thoughts regarding the inclusion of Star*Drive and Dark*Matter material into D20 Future?
-!- TresGeek [TresGeek@*.hsd1.va.comcast.net] has joined #Alternity
< JDWiker> I was happy to see it. I know that a lot of the fans hate the d20 System, but for those who didn't, it was a way to keep the settings, at least, alive. /done
<@Spicer> What would you do if you could design a new edition of a particular campaign setting that was associated with Alternity (e.g., Star*Drive, Dark.Matter, etc.), regardless of the underlying system?
<@Spicer> Any direction you'd like to have taken those settings?
<@Spicer> Particularly Dark*Matter since that's a favorite of yours...
< JDWiker> I'd do Dark*Matter again, and I'd probably use the Alternity system again, because that's what most of the fans seem to want. /done
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<@Spicer> A question from the gathering: Is Game Mechanics able to continue exploring the Dark*Matter setting through D20 Modern?
< JDWiker> Unfortunately, no. Dark*Matter is totally owned by Wizards, and isn't open content.
< JDWiker> I know that another company tried to buy the rights a few years ago, but that fell through. /done
< Jim_C> There's been considerable interest in a d20 Modern Dark.Matter as well, I think (a full sourcebook, though there have been bits and pieces republished).
< JDWiker> Actually, more: Still, that doesn't mean we haven't been able to do similar stuff. Look at our Bronze Head campaign.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
-!- mode/#alternity [+v JDWiker] by LordKrath
<+JDWiker> I'd been toying for quite a while with the idea of a d20 Modern horror/sci-fi setting, similar to "Twin Peaks."
<+JDWiker> A town out in the middle of the mountains, where weird things happen on a regular basis.
<@Spicer> Bronze Head is a series of linked adventures under D20 Modern, but very reminiscent of the conspiracy genre seen in Dark*Matter...
<+JDWiker> It's easy to see where the Bronze Head influence came from!
<@Spicer> Right on that! :)
<+JDWiker> If someone wants to do an Alternity conversion for them, I'd be happy to talk to you about it.
<@Spicer> So, do you still play Alternity at all?
<+JDWiker> Haven't played in years, I'm afraid.
<@Spicer> Have you kept tabs on the community, or occasionally visited A.net?
<+JDWiker> I actually haven't gamed since I moved from Seattle to San Diego.
<@Spicer> And that's been how long now?
<+JDWiker> From time to time.
<+JDWiker> I moved down here in early November.
<+JDWiker> So, four months now.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<+JDWiker> Plus a three-week stay in early October. /done
<@Spicer> Loaded question, but one that was offered up earlier: What are your feelings towards the Alternity community so many years after it has been discontinued?
<+JDWiker> Hm.
-!- Escalus [~Escalus@*.asm.bellsouth.net] has joined #Alternity
<+JDWiker> I think the fans are great, and I think it's really cool that they're still playing after all this time.
<+JDWiker> I'm a little disappointed when so many of them bash d20 for its part in the "death" of Alternity, which is why I don't visit Alternity.net very often. It's too negative for me.
<+JDWiker> I think both systems have advantages and disadvantages.
<+JDWiker> So, while I love the fans and respect their dedication, I also know that dedication can become monomania. /done
-!- Escalus [~Escalus@*.asm.bellsouth.net] has quit [Quit: Alternity?.... YES!!]
<@Spicer> Fair enough. For some folks Alternity getting cancelled seemed to coincide a lot with the acquisition of another sci-fi juggernaut: Star Wars. There seems to have been some upheaval in terms of the license for SW at WotC. Do you have any thoughts on that?
<@apoc527> heh, I think you might find that attitude shifting somewhat in recent times.
<@apoc527> but I know what you mean.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<+JDWiker> Wizards acquired SW at the same time that they were planning to switch to the d20 System, so it wasn't like they ever showed Alternity to Lucas Licensing.
<+JDWiker> They put their eggs into the winning basket, in their minds.
<+JDWiker> So to speak.
< Botuu> JD, not everyone engages in D20 bashing. My gaming group can alternate between the two systems rather seamlessly. Good role playing is good role playing, regardless of the system.
<+JDWiker> It would have been nice to see a sci-fi setting use a sci-fi ruleset, but that's water under the bridge.
<+JDWiker> As for SW these days, Lucas Licensing doesn't seem to understand what the RPGing fans want.
<+JDWiker> Botuu: You and your group seem to be an exception, based on what I've seen. But perhaps Apoc is right: Perhaps things have changed. /done
<@Spicer> The conspiracy theorists have often linked the two in true Dark*Matter fashion...so it's good to hear an analysis from someone who was directly involved with both D20 Star Wars and Alternity.
< Toa> What was your very first development decision for the gameline as Alternity developer? *curious*
<+JDWiker> Not sure how much closer to "the truth" I am, though. I was just a game design peon. The real dealings took place at a Brand level, where I had no ear, let alone a voice. /done
<+JDWiker> Toa: I actually wrote up a lot of robots for Wolf Baur's tech book.
< Jim_C> This is no doubt pretty speculative, but how large do you think the obstacles would be to publish new work for the Alternity system? I know it's not open content.
<+JDWiker> My first actual contribution to the line was a rule about Men in Black, for Dark*Matter. /done
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<+JDWiker> Jim: It depends on where you want to "publish." That word has a lot of meanings. If you mean widespread distribution, you'd run up against the Wizards lawyers, who have to defend the intellectual property to the death.
<+JDWiker> But if you quietly publish on fan websites, they don't seem to notice. /done
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<@Spicer> Something that a few of us have taken advantage of at A.net and TS.net... :)
< Kzinwarrior> I'm happy to hear that.
<@Spicer> Another question from the assembled ranks: In your opinion, what was the difference between the various genres going on at the time Alternity came to be (like X-files, Millenium, Farscape) as compared to Alternity.
<+JDWiker> Big question.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<+JDWiker> I think that every genre has its strengths and weaknesses, and that every genre has its audience.
<+JDWiker> You can do a genre in which the heroes are all intelligent peanuts, for example, and someone out there will eat it up.
<+JDWiker> You can also mix genres--like cowboys in space--and get most of a TV season out of it.
<+JDWiker> And a movie.
<@Spicer> So the next gaming product available for download from RPGNow or DriveThruRPG will be D20 Peanuts? ;)
<+JDWiker> Alternity handled most of those genres with few, if any, tweaks.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<+JDWiker> You heard it here first.
<@Spicer> Heh.
<+JDWiker> I'm not sure if that answers the question. Follow up?
<@Spicer> I'll leave it to the originator of the question to follow-up if he wishes...
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<@Spicer> If not...we'll continue...
< Shadowvyce> That was what I wanted to hear... thanks
<@Spicer> In play-testing or just general gaming history with Alternity, what funny stories or characters do you remember?
<+JDWiker> Okie-doke.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<+JDWiker> Heh.
<@Spicer> Did you have an "iconic" Alternity hero for playtesting or anything?
<+JDWiker> Before I was on the RPG team, I played in a playtest run by Wolf Baur. He was mixing the original Dark*Matter setting with his tech rules.
<+JDWiker> I played a robot--a big, hulking, "ABC Warrior" type, that got named "Shaft" by the other players.
<@LordKrath> on a side note, where did Jack Everstar come from? I've always suspected he was a playtesting character.
<+JDWiker> Shaft got reprogrammed to amusing effect sometimes. But I digress.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<+JDWiker> We were fighting some Aleerin, and I was core-programmed to attack them.
<+JDWiker> The rest of the group was trying to flee, but I was fighting rear-guard.
<+JDWiker> The Aleerin are swarming down the gangplank to our ship (that's how different Dark*Matter was in those days), and I was standing in the airlock.
<+JDWiker> Firing a BIG gun at them.
<+JDWiker> One of the other players hit the "Door Close" button, and as it was sliding shut, I was leaning over further and further to keep taking shots.
<+JDWiker> I must've killed two or three as the door was closing--then pulled my gun back just in time.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<+JDWiker> Literally, I had a half-inch to spare.
<+JDWiker> That was fun.
<+JDWiker> As for an iconic character--nope. Didn't have one. In fact, my first Dark*Matter character--a Weren--got killed by explosive decompression. (That's what I get for roleplaying.)
<+JDWiker> Jack Everstar ... no idea. But you're probably right. /done
<@Spicer> Well, what's the motto of Alternity? No limits. So there's no limit to the fun that a big robot can have with a BIG gun.
<@Spicer> :)
<+JDWiker> Heh. SO true.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<@Spicer> What can you tell us about any of your personal one-shot or Alternity campaigns that you ran while the game was still active?
<+JDWiker> I have lots of amusing Dark*Matter stories, but most of them take the form of explanations of quotes.
<+JDWiker> My Dark*Matter campaign was largely set up to playtest my adventures, so if you've read or played those, you know what we basically did.
<@Spicer> You're talking about "The Final Church"?
<+JDWiker> We started with the adventure that Chris Perkins wrote for the Dungeon Annual (the one set in the swamp), then went to Final Church, then to "A Head for Business."
<@Spicer> Anyone that's played those adventures have a question for JD about them?
<+JDWiker> I also did a one-shot involving a false lead on a haunting.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<+JDWiker> That was fun ... picture a little old lady who talks like Harvey Fierstein, complaining about ghosts in her basement.
<+JDWiker> "Did you call a plumber?"
<+JDWiker> "The plumbers come, but they don't fix anything. I still have ghosts in my basement."
<+JDWiker> I actually based her on an episode of "Cops."
* Starbrat thinks he's spoken to that lady
<+JDWiker> If you ever meet me at a con, ask me to do the imitation.
<@Spicer> Inspiration strikes in the oddest places...
<@Spicer> Hold him to it, folks! :)
<+JDWiker> Sure does. The entire group practically wet their pants when her voice suddenly changed to a much younger West Indian woman, who said something like "Dark times are a'comin'."
<+JDWiker> Then she couldn't remember having said it. /done
<@Spicer> Another follow-up question: Alternity has always seemed like a point/skill system with a class/level framework like a scaffold around it, easy to discard. Do you know if that was deliberate as part of the design?
<+JDWiker> I doubt it--not in the way you mean. I think that the designers were simply more comfortable with a class/level system.
<+JDWiker> It's unlikely that they expected players to just discard it. They never talked about that, anyway. /done
<@Spicer> Next: What about StarCraft? Do you know why it wasn't presented as a "full" game?
<+JDWiker> Probably because they were following the D&D model: core rules, followed by settings. /done
< Jim_C> There's a sidebar reference in the GMG to playing without levels. I don't think it would be so easy to remove professions.
<+JDWiker> Jim: That might have been Bill Slavicsek's touch on the game. He'd come from working on West End's Star Wars, after all.
<+JDWiker> Done.
<@Spicer> Do you prefer any particular game system over another? And where does Alternity rank in terms of playability, ease-of-use in your own opinion?
<+JDWiker> My personal favorite is the Ars Magica system. Very clean, though it's not geared toward combat (which is fine by me).
<+JDWiker> Then I'd say I like the d20 System. It's like an old familiar set of tools, with which I can build almost anything.
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit [Connection reset by peer]
<+JDWiker> (For example, I ran a months-long Firefly campaign using d20 Modern, d20 Future, and Sidewinder: Recoiled.)
<+JDWiker> After that, it's a toss-up between Alternity and Feng Shui. I like the thoroughness of Alternity, but, conversely, I like the freedom that Feng Shui gives me to interpret the die results however I like.
<+JDWiker> Then, the James Bond 007 RPG. Nice resolution system.
<+JDWiker> Then things get muddy. I like Pendragon for a few of its systems. Same goes for Champions/Hero System. /done
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has joined #Alternity
-!- mode/#alternity [+o Savoy] by Savoy
<@Spicer> Okay, folks. I've completely tapped out the stockpile of questions gathered before the chat session. Shall we open up the floor to general questions now?
-!- Savoy [~somemail@69.29.154.*] has quit []
<@apoc527> Ask him about the guns
< Sidhain> Sure. ;)
<@Spicer> We still have a couple of minutes.
<+JDWiker> Keep 'em simple. I'm kinda dumb.
<@apoc527> Well, I'm just curious, so I have to ask:
<@Spicer> Let's see.
<@Spicer> Jake wanted to ask: Why do rifles do only slightly more damage than pistols, especially at PL5?
<@apoc527> when you guys were coming up with damage codes for the Dark*Matter AEG, did you just go with "what felt right?"
<@apoc527> and that.
<+JDWiker> Jake's question first: I think it was a game-balance thing. People in RPGs tend to use their best weapon, regardless of range. If rifles did considerably more damage, then everyone would stand 10 feet from each other, firing sniper rifles.
<+JDWiker> It's also because they compared muzzle velocities and calibers and came up with a rough system for determining damage.
<@Spicer> Jake = Apoc...so you're good to take these in any order.
<@apoc527> that makes a lot of sense
<+JDWiker> The same, in general, goes for the DM AEG guns. Rich Redman wrote that section, though, since he's really the expert on guns, so I don't think I can totally explain his logic.
<@apoc527> (as an aside, the balance of weapons is one of the strong points of d20, especially D&D)
<@apoc527> heh, I'll have to ask him about it on Tuesday
<+JDWiker> But I think he and I talked about the muzzle velocity/caliber thing a few times. /done
< Kzinwarrior> I'm trying to design a cybertech supplement for Alternity. As the designer of Mindwalkers, could you offer any words of wisdom for me?
<@apoc527> (I'm the one externing at Wizards Legal)
<+JDWiker> Ah! You're *that* Jake. Yeah, tell him I said hello.
<+JDWiker> Don't do too much fluff. Heh.
<+JDWiker> I got lambasted for how much "theorizing" I put into that book.
<@apoc527> Will do.
<+JDWiker> When, really, people just wanted cool new psionic powers.
<@apoc527> well, frankly, I think it's one of the better psionic supplements out there
<@apoc527> so I applaud your "theorizing"
< Starbrat> -Sound advice (mind you, I actually liked the theorising, so at least one person enjoyed it)-
<+JDWiker> I just wasn't comfortable with creating "chronokinesis" and "clourokinesis" and "phobokinesis" and every other combination of Greek roots.
< Sidhain> I think its pretty good myself.
<@apoc527> (2)
<@LordKrath> You mentioned some changes to the armor system, could you key any of us in on some of the changes, some of my players have indicated that they disliked the armor system.
< PRGRM> I personally liked the theory input into several of the supplements, especially the Mindwalker and Tangents guides
<@LordKrath> And I am a huge fan of the Mindwalking source
<+JDWiker> (And have fun finding out what "clourokinesis" is.)
< Sidhain> I've got Gurps Psionics, Psi-World and others as well, but like Mindwalkers.
<+JDWiker> Krath: Well, as I said, armor was too good. They were talking about making armor just be the average roll, to make combats shorter.
<+JDWiker> I personally favored the idea of armor automatically reducing the damage type. /done
<@Spicer> So "Armor as Damage Reduction"?
<@Spicer> With set values?
<@apoc527> Damage type -- what do you mean by that? Like M-->W?
<+JDWiker> Glad you guys liked Mindwalkers. It was my first real sourcebook. I've improved since then, though.
<+JDWiker> Neil: Yep.
<@Spicer> You've often mentioned that you felt Mindwalking was one of your early efforts in game design...and something you would have liked to redo...what did you learn from designing Mindwalking?
< Starbrat> Hmm, sounds like an interesting idea; would make things quicker. Worth a playtest, perhaps.
<+JDWiker> Apoc: Exactly. If you think about it, that's really what armor does. It lessens the severity of the damage. /done
<@apoc527> Hmmm...ok, I'm gonna have to play with that idea because it totally makes sense.
<+JDWiker> Like I said, Neil: too much fluff for a 96-page book.
< irdeggman> Just got my hands on Future Tech - like what I've seen so far and it has Alternity references too
<+JDWiker> Note, though, that that system might have the opposite effect.
<@Spicer> Hmmm...I've heard a certain other game designer lament the "fluff" vs. "crunch" debate. :)
< Sidhain> Depends on the goals.
<@Spicer> "More crunchy!"
<@Spicer> "More fluff!"
<+JDWiker> Yep, it does. (I just got mine, too.) Note that Future Player's Companion, which is designed to work with d20 Future and Futuretech, is coming out soon in print. (It's already on RPGNow.)
<@Spicer> There seems to be two camps out there.
< Starbrat> Bah; you'll be lucky to please some of the people some of the time, so please yourself.
<+JDWiker> Neil: Heh. Yes, that debate will rage until RPGing dies.
<@Spicer> Ooh, yeah. Everyone rush out and pick up a copy! ;)
<@Spicer> Seriously.
<+JDWiker> Fluff is fine--but if a book is all fluff, it's not worth much as a *rulebook.*
<+JDWiker> It needs to have some crunch in it--otherwise, it's just prose.
<@Spicer> And rules are fine---but if it doesn't contain some fluff, it quickly gets far too dry and boring.
<+JDWiker> I could have gone on and on about psionics in society in Mindwalking, but I had to put *some* rules in there!
<+JDWiker> Exactly.
< Kzinwarrior> I have about 75 new bits of cybertech. Crunch has been taken care of.
<+JDWiker> Heh.
<+JDWiker> Cybertech is actually my least favorite aspect of sci-fi.
<+JDWiker> I used to *love* dark future, cyberpunk stuff.
<@Spicer> Care to elaborate on that statement?
<@Spicer> :)
< Kzinwarrior> Ha. I'm using your Mindwalkers as a framework.
-!- kyuran [~Alternity_Nameless@*.eburwd8.vic.optusnet.com.au] has quit [Quit: Alternity?.... YES!!]
<+JDWiker> But after seeing several "cyber catalogs" for Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0, I got annoyed by how silly it got.
<+JDWiker> Honestly, would you buy--let alone have installed--an electronic tattoo?
<+JDWiker> That's fairly normal stuff, even.
< Starbrat> I reckon CP2020 got a bit silly in general by the end.
<+JDWiker> Guns disguised as hands--that's getting downright weird.
<+JDWiker> Feet with tools in the toes. Come on!
< Sidhain> Well people install screw in whiskers and spikes now.
<+JDWiker> Exactly--which is why I always keep any cybertech I design to a minimum.
< lazarius> Cyberpunk v3 has people who turn into fishes. I wouldn't really trust that game line for the cybertechnology stuff ;)
< Kzinwarrior> I lean more towards Shadowrun, I agree with you about 2020.
<+JDWiker> I want to leave room for the GMs and players to create their own brand of silliness--not raise the silliness bar.
< Starbrat> That said, it had some good ideas for pl5 spaceflight.
<@apoc527> yea, CP2020 was fun to a point
<@apoc527> all I have to say is "Mr. Studd"
<+JDWiker> Heh.
<@Spicer> A new question coming in: Do you have an opinion about how Sean K. Reynolds interpreted vampires in the Vampire FX article, as it somewhat bridges Horror and SciFi?
<@Spicer> Are you familiar with that one?
<+JDWiker> Hm. I don't recall it. (The Ronnie Reagan defense.)
<@Spicer> Heh.
<@Spicer> Well, we invited Sean to this thing, too. That would have been a perfect question for him.
<+JDWiker> Yep.
<@Spicer> I'll pester him later about it. ;)
<+JDWiker> Good idea.
<@Spicer> Okay. JD had commited to giving us an hour of his time tonight. We went a little over that.
<@apoc527> looks like Rich got captured by the Girl Scouts
<+JDWiker> They work for the Bilderbergers.
< Botuu> Thanks for coming, JD.
<@Spicer> I know he has a sick girlfriend to care for...any last questions?
<+JDWiker> Thanks for having me!
< lazarius> thanks a lot for this, JD.
<@LordKrath> been great :)
<@apoc527> maybe they forced him to eat Trefoils until his pancreas went into shock
<+JDWiker> (She's watching my CSI DVDs right now.)
< Kzinwarrior> Much thanks.
< Starbrat> It was a pleasure, mate.
< irdeggman> Thaks JD
< Jim_C> Much appreciated
<@apoc527> thanks Jd!
<@apoc527> JD
< CarlZog> Thanks.
< PRGRM> Thanks for coming and talking to us
<@Spicer> I noticed the final count of chat participants climbed to 23 while we were going. That's easily the highest turnout we've ever had...or that I can ever recall.
<+JDWiker> It was good talking to you all again. Don't wait so long, next time!
<@Spicer> Everybody be sure to check out JD's website and message boards, too.
<@TerroX_ZZzz> thanks JD!
<@LordKrath> he lives!
<+JDWiker> Yep: www.jdwiker.com and www.thegamemechanics.com
<+JDWiker> Just drop by and say hello!
<@Spicer> Hopefully, he can occasionally venture towards A.net now and then as well. He's still the reigning visitor from the A-team to ever post to the forums.
<+JDWiker> Okay, gotta run. Thanks again for having me!
<@Spicer> Take care, JD. Thanks again. It was a pleasure having you.
< Shadowvyce> Thanks JD
<+JDWiker> Y'all have fun, and keep playing Alternity until your books fall apart! ::grin::
< lazarius> with PDFs that won't happen ;)
<@LordKrath> some of mine are getting close
<+JDWiker> ::smile::
< Kzinwarrior> Mine too.
-!- JDWiker [~jdwiker@*.sd.sd.cox.net] has left #Alternity []

Google+
you are not logged in
Username
Password
Register - Password Reminder

© Alternity.Net & AlternityRPG.Net 1999 to 2019. All Rights Reserved. Alternity™ owned by WotC.

Zoom In Zoom Out Reset Zoom