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catty_big
11-06-2012, 03:51 PM
Had a discussion with Nijineko and AstroMcguffin earlier about different types of games, which started with Pathfinder and ended up with then Shadowrun. Then we ended up talking about games that merge fantasy with high tech (one of my fave genres). Nijineko mentioned Rifts- anyone played it? Any other suggestion for games within this genre?

nijineko
11-06-2012, 09:04 PM
i think i already mentioned this one too: dragonstar. and dragonmech comes to mind, as does good old original d&d. (a lot of the early adventures had high tech in them as artifacts.) i believe earthdawn took a terry brooks approach of long forgotten and now useless tech as backdrop of a fantasy world. i know there are others, but i'm not recalling them.

catty_big
11-07-2012, 08:04 AM
Yes, you did mention those games. I was just separating this discussion out because it looked as I if was de-railing AstroMacGuffin's thread.

I tend to prefer high tech now rather than old tech as backdrop, my ideal is something like Shadowrun, i.e.- I think I've got this correct- gnomes with lazguns hunting down dissidents etc. I would even give the mice from MG such tech. Perhaps war geese that are more like mechanical James Bond vehicle-style bald eagles say.

nijineko
11-07-2012, 12:33 PM
you would like rifts and dragonstar then. i have some of both, any questions?

catty_big
11-07-2012, 01:39 PM
Either or both would be welcome. Do you have anything in free downloadable pdf form (as mentioned before I'm pretty cash-strapped atm)? Or have you got any entry-level scenarios? Wouldn't publish of course- but would give you a mention on my blog when I finally get it cranked up, and of course would do you an AP report and solicit FB from players :).

nijineko
11-07-2012, 04:03 PM
all i have is stuff i have purchased. hmmmm, if you go over to the palladium site, you might be able to find some free downloads. there is not much out there for dragonstar at the moment.

QT Games
11-08-2012, 01:17 AM
Had a discussion with Nijineko and AstroMcguffin earlier about different types of games, which started with Pathfinder and ended up with then Shadowrun. Then we ended up talking about games that merge fantasy with high tech (one of my fave genres). Nijineko mentioned Rifts- anyone played it? Any other suggestion for games within this genre?

Another game? Most definitely. I started creating the Cosmothea RPG back in 1980 (the setting in '79), and it is a thoroughly blended-genre and multi-genre RPG. In the setting you can run mages in high tech society, run a dwarven space marine, elven star pilots and more exotic mixes and species, all without breaking the rich setting's backstories. Those that don't want to blend the genres can find more than one world that hasn't been touched by other genres, but most worlds are a blend of fantasy and science fiction, with some worlds also having superheroes (including fantasy worlds, though not traditional "in-tights" type. With the core rulebook, you can make a character for just about any genre, but it isn't a generic RPG. It's just that the setting storyline was designed to support it.

We've been playing regularly since the early 80's, and are currently on our 5th major revision and are preparing it for publication. We have some very beautiful art on the game so far - all of the major species and many of the career paths, some monsters and locations. More on the game at my site (http://qtgames.com/index.html).

I also put an overview of the setting HERE (http://www.qtgames.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=695&p=15643#p15643).
Of course the game is under construction, so the game books aren't available just yet, but we are always looking for playtesters as we revamp the latest version and prepare for publication and are always running PlaybyPost games in the setting. And of course playtesters get credit in the game book. Anyway, I'm well aware that for every one that loves a game, there's someone who hates it. I've heard both regarding Rifts, though I hear it's an interesting setting (and every game has those who love and those who hate it. No game will please all gamers, but my team and I will certainly do our best with our blended-genre game). Cheers!

nijineko
11-08-2012, 02:31 AM
nice read. i'll be interested to see more details, and rules.

QT Games
11-09-2012, 02:53 AM
Thanks, nijineko. My main focus is on the actual revamping of the rules, art, etc. but I definitely have plans to put more and more up on the site over time. In January, we started our latest revamp, so I actually took down some of the information on the site, as it was out of date, and the current version of the game is still under heavy construction, but it's playable and we're having fun Right now, I only have 1 PbP game running, I usually have more than that, but I'm hard at work designing.

I just recently added to the main page of the site, 3 areas and will start to flesh them out here and there. I just can't get enough blended-genre, so naturally I'm very excited about Cosmothea. When the movie, Avatar, came out, I was stoked!

In my gaming group, I still have one member who's been playing Cosmothea since the game's first year - 1980! The game wasn't all that hot back then. I'd like to think I've learned a great deal since those early days. We've played other games over the years too, of course, and I like reading game books, but I keep coming back to Cosmothea. Of course I'm biased, as I designed it to be exactly what I want to play. Only in recent years have I started to revise it, to make sure that it is also something that others outside of my group want to play, and that it is more professional. I spend a lot of time studying the market and what gamers say they like, and let that affect my choices. After all, I want lots of people to play it and enjoy it, not just my group. It's as blended as a group wants it to be, and the setting handles that notion just fine, since we're not talking about just a handful of worlds or a story that's being forced to handle multiple (i.e. pure genres kept separate, but in the same universe) and blended-genres (i.e. high tech adventurers exploring a magical world, a scientist who's figured out how to use magic as the new green energy to power appliances, starships, etc.), but was designed with blending in mind.

Oh, read your "What are you looking for" section on your profile. Very nice! I place a very high value on integrity and a person's character.

Cheers!
Bob

Skunkape
11-09-2012, 10:36 AM
I've played RIFTs in the past and it can be a lot of fun, but the problem I see with it is you're looking at a high powered campaign. So many of the things in RIFTs will kill most normal characters just because of how the game world is created.

But it does a pretty good job at mixing fantasy and scifi!

Soft Serve
11-11-2012, 05:18 AM
The Eberron campaign setting for D&D kind of accomplishes this with Warforged and mage-tech. Lightning Rails are essentially maglev trains, and floating airships with large flaming rings for stability (I think).

Most mage-tech is powered by trapped elementals of varying types, though the Warforged are built through some unexplained process involving bits of wood, magic, metal, and so on.

Probably not exactly what you're looking for, but it's as close as I've ever gotten to the topic with an official publication.

QT Games
11-12-2012, 01:47 AM
Hi Soft Serve,

I really like the Eberron Campaign Setting, but personally, I wouldn't call it blended genre. It's very cool, true, but it's firmly grounded in a magical environment and to me at least, blended genre is like what you see in the movie, Avatar, with futuristic marines going up against a primitive species, when you have a crashed alien space ship in a magical environment - something like Cowboys v. Aliens - that's blended genre, not just taking something futuristic and making magical equivalents with no crossover of societies from different genres. Just making a magic toaster or magical robot probably isn't enough. Again, cool, but not quite the same thing. Dragons attacking jumbo jets, that kind of stuff is blended-genre to me, even a hint of blending can be fun, to be sure though.

nijineko
11-13-2012, 01:51 AM
i'm personally seriously into psionics in my games, and as a player in others' games. out of curiosity, have you ever researched the history of blackmoor? it introduced more high tech into d&d than any other source. i recall one bit of history in that the clone spell was originally developed by a certain wizard and fighter who discovered the remains of a ancient crashed starship, and studied the writings and tech within, which is what enabled them to develop the new spell. Apparently the sick bay was quite informative for them, or something. ^^

Simetradon
11-13-2012, 03:38 AM
I happen to be a writer for the Chaos 6010 game line, which is fantasy + high tech.

QT Games
11-13-2012, 09:00 PM
Blackmoor. Ah, it's been a long time since I've heard that name and read on it. Yes, fun stuff. :)

As for psionics, I have something sort of like psionics in Cosmothea (I assume you mean psionics as in D&D's psionics). Our magic system is quite different than anything I've seen and very robust. It's one of our selling points, but if you like psionics, what you like about psionics might well be represented in the game - I can't say without hearing more, but I'm not trying to hijack this thread either. Cosmothea has never done magic like in D&D or other games. It's a very different animal, but it has some familiar things too, such as using a pool of points, rather than how D&D has done it in their various incarnations.

Hi Simetradon, looks like you've been up to some fun stuff yourself. :) From what I know of Chaos 6010, it's quite a different thing from Cosmothea. I'm not trying to hog space, my latest version of Cosmothea is still under construction, though I think it has a lot of promise. Chaos 6010 is already done, so let's here some about Chaos 6010's genre blend. :)

nijineko
11-14-2012, 01:11 AM
hmmm, not specifically d&d psionics, though the 3rd ed version is not bad as systems go. i was thinking more element of time or moon of three rings style psi, personally.

i too would like to hear more about the genre mix of chaos 6010.

QT Games
11-14-2012, 07:50 PM
Never heard of it. Wouldn't mind hearing more about the Moon of Three Rings too. :) I'll talk about Cosmothea later, don't want to take too much space on this thread for it.

nijineko
11-16-2012, 06:06 PM
Element of Time (http://www.amazon.com/Element-Time-Cathy-Livoni/dp/0152253696/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353107072&sr=8-1&keywords=element+of+time+cathy+livoni)

Moon of Three Rings (http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Three-Rings-Andre-Norton/dp/B0027LSA6G/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353107125&sr=1-2&keywords=moon+of+three+rings)

QT Games
11-17-2012, 12:12 AM
Thanks, nijineko, but those were pretty obscure references, heh. Had a hard time finding much info on either of them. Good to see you over at the RPG Design Alliance though. :) We've had some big setbacks over there, but are hoping to get things rolling in a bigger way soon.

nijineko
11-18-2012, 01:01 AM
hmmmm. i own one and usually can find the other in the library. probably going to buy it soon. sorry about that, maybe i should have hunted up a wiki reference or something. any luck? if not let me know and i'll do something.

oh, and hope i didn't offend anyone. =P

QT Games
11-20-2012, 01:13 AM
I found a little information, but nothing on Psionics. Cosmothea has always had a pool of points, but a maximum number of one's most powerful spells/miracles/powers available. One can also attempt more complicated versions of a power and customize them as well. Magic is handled way different than in D&D and likely most other games. It's probably Cosmothea's most unique feature. Playing anyone that uses magic in Cosmothea should feel very different than elsewhere. I also have a faith system in Cosmothea for players that want to incorporate faith, and it works with the magic system as well. And there are many different types of magic wielders in the game, but I think the system is pretty straight forward and you can decide how many bells and whistles to add.

So, since I know zip about the psionic system you are talking about in that novel. What is it that excites you so much about it or what excites you most about psionics in any game or magic for that matter, nijineko?

nijineko
11-20-2012, 05:45 PM
hmmmm. a good question.

let's see if i can summate concisely psionics in these novels.

element of time: psionics is defined as mental channels which can open and close, and can be twisted, kinked, tangled, and otherwise fuzzy and unclear. there is also an exhaustion factor involved. the story is told from the point of view of an untrained if talented user, and his struggles with a series of difficult events. to translate it into mechanics, it seems most likely that the presence or absence of a power-channel would be a selection type option, while the usage of powers would be a skill check, and there is a cost in a slowly renewable resource such as power points/endurance/fatigue, or something similar.

moon of three rings: presence or absence of power is more a racial thing, which also influences absolute power levels and limits, as evidenced by an event later in the series. however, there is also support for development via exposure. usage seems to be a matter of exercise of will and the ability to imagine it. cost is likewise taken out of the mental/physical resources somehow. mechanically it can be described pretty much the same as the other.

as for me personally... i like a system that has a strong well-defined bare-bones framework for defining how things happen or how much various degrees of effort cost, and i like being rewarded for being either powerful, skillful, or both. (but i really like being sneaky, creative, and clever with a high degree of skill over raw power, as my personal leaning. don't get me wrong, being able to bust out some seriously impressive display is a lot of fun, too.) i like having a lot of freedom in describing the exact manifestation of what it looks like and how it progresses, so long as i do not exceed the framework. and finally, i like having a generous enough amount of power points, fatigue, exhaustion or whatever the "fuel" mechanic is in order to play around and be creative, even if it is not necessarily world-altering amounts of power.

in d&d, each power costs a certain amount of power points, most can be augmented with additional effects for extra power points. there are some fun powers and combos. compared to the slotted vancian style system of both memorized and spontaneous casters there is much more freedom in its complexity, both of which i prize. i get really bugged by the magic system, especially without any in-game story and background justification for the hows and whys of the system. within the context of d&d, the psionics system offers the closest to what i prefer. not counting the beholder mage, which would be the next closest in hierarchy after psionics.

QT Games
11-20-2012, 07:17 PM
Nijineko, thanks much for the detailed description. You and I seem to have very similar tastes when it comes to magic/psionics. Except perhaps that I don't really distinguish between the two. It's all magic or all power to me. With your descriptions of what you like, and being that we seem largely on the same page, I think you'll like the magic system in Cosmothea. It's quite robust, the centerpiece of the game really, and seems to do what you really like. Yeah, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you ever look very deeply into the magic system for the game. Now, I'm sure the backstory for those and Cosmothea's is quite different, however. Fatigue is also an option in Cosmothea, not a core rule. It was a regular part of our Cosmothea 3.0 rules set, but was left out in 4.0 to keep things simpler, and then came back in Cosmothea 5.0 as an optional rule. We're revamping the game, so there's still a lot to do still, but as I said before, it's playable. Anyway, thanks again for the info. Now to hear more on the Chaos game. Oh, as for the Vancian system, I only use it when playing in a friend's D&D game. Can't stand the system myself, in any iteration.

nijineko
11-20-2012, 11:35 PM
Oh, as for the Vancian system, I only use it when playing in a friend's D&D game. Can't stand the system myself, in any iteration.

that's why i play psionic characters virtually every time i play d&d. ^^

catty_big
11-21-2012, 04:23 AM
Hi guys

Thanks for all your suggestions! I'll check 'em out when I've got a moment I can call my own. Sorry I've not replied earlier- I've been frantically busy with flat- and job-hunting, and now I'm having to fight my phone company and the Job Centre over appalling treatment, so looking into all the games mentioned might take another wee while. From a cursory read-through though it looks like Rifts and Dragon Age might be good places to start.

Bob, good to see you on this forum. I haven't been very active on Link Tin lately (see above).

Cheers
Leo

QT Games
11-24-2012, 01:58 PM
that's why i play psionic characters virtually every time i play d&d. ^^
Heh, that's why I play Cosmothea, which includes a wide variety of arcane, divine and technological power users to choose from.

QT Games
11-24-2012, 02:00 PM
Sorry for all the troubles, Leo. I've had some significant challenges of my own lately, but I wish you the best in sorting things out. Hopefully in 2013 we'll all see some nice improvements on various fronts.

Take care!
Bob

Soft Serve
11-25-2012, 02:08 AM
Hi Soft Serve,

I really like the Eberron Campaign Setting, but personally, I wouldn't call it blended genre. It's very cool, true, but it's firmly grounded in a magical environment and to me at least, blended genre is like what you see in the movie, Avatar, with futuristic marines going up against a primitive species, when you have a crashed alien space ship in a magical environment - something like Cowboys v. Aliens - that's blended genre, not just taking something futuristic and making magical equivalents with no crossover of societies from different genres. Just making a magic toaster or magical robot probably isn't enough. Again, cool, but not quite the same thing. Dragons attacking jumbo jets, that kind of stuff is blended-genre to me, even a hint of blending can be fun, to be sure though.

I completely agree, it's not a blended genre at all. Was just spitballing suggestions from my experience.

Simetradon
11-26-2012, 08:24 AM
Perhaps the best way to describe the cross-genre is a little recounting of an episode during a play test session.

Our cadre is paid to go recover a prototype energy pistol from a crashed transport ship on the moon of Io. We rock out there on a inter-system shuttle, and land not far from the crash site. We emerge from the shuttle, and detect a number of large, Yeti-looking creatures scrabbling through the wreckage. The dark elf assassin makes an attempt to skirt the creatures, while the ogre simply levels his massive Hellbringer energy cannon. Playing the wizard of the group, I begin unleashing lightning bolts and spells that rot the flesh of these creatures, while our armored Beza (think four-eyed space hobbit) launches into the fray with an orc-made jetpack (it's little more than a guided rocket with straps).

After laying these beasts low, we find that the crash site was on top of a hidden research facility, manned by kuthalans (insect-people). Venturing below, we encounter a number of these creatures, as well as a demon they had imprisoned within a force cage. Unfortunately, our party members destroyed the power generators, freeing the creature. The PC's began a fighting withdraw, as they realized they stood little chance against the might of the demon, that was resurrecting the slain kuthalans. As the rest of the party managed to flee the facility, I stayed back to give them the opportunity to escape. As the mighty demon roared down upon my PC, instead of fighting, he knelt and said, "I surrender to you, my master."

Needless to say, the next bit was unseen by the rest of the party, but suffice it to say that the next thing they see before lifting off from the moon, was the wizard, emerging from the wreckage, with an interesting parcel in hand. What followed after has been... interesting.

nijineko
11-26-2012, 09:07 AM
so did that make your pc evil, or were they already evil? i have a no-evil pc rule, which would have likely resulted in the wizard in question becoming an npc under dm control, and the player rolling up a new character. how does your group handle stuff like that?

i recall a rifts campaign where a great horned dragon overtook our party and was smacking some of us around. i was playing a mind melter who had managed to acquire a glitter boy and was using a few super-psi powers to comprehend the gb systems perfectly, to remotely operate it, to encase it in a telekinetic shield of force, and to have it wield a psi-sword sized to fit it. the gb managed to sneak up behind the dragon in the middle of combat and laid down on the ground. when the dragon later maneuvered and stepped over the gb, it aimed the signature boom gun 'where the sun don't shine'. (this was a long-ago campaign when we were much, much younger and less mature...) then activated a cloaking hologram and hid somewhere else, disguised as a big rock, iirc. that at least had the effect of abruptly ending the encounter, though later the dragon actually joined the party briefly for a share of any treasure... we suspected that it was in part also in order to find out more information on who performed said indignity and to later get suitable revenge.

Simetradon
11-26-2012, 05:14 PM
In Chaos, there's no real "Good and Evil" morality system, there is "Light" vs. "Darkness", and most of us play in various shades of gray. Light isn't always Good, as there's witch-hunting zealots that follow a Light path, and there's vigilantes that follow a Dark path.

There's no hard and fast rule at our table about "No Evil PC's", however, I've noticed that those that do things just because they are evil (ike setting fire to babies, and running over pedestrians) tend not to survive very long. When I play evil, it's more refined and Machiavellian, as the best villains commit their acts because of good intentions. In this case it was the only way to sacrifice himself to save his fellows, and not be killed outright.

nijineko
11-27-2012, 01:03 PM
i must disagree with the witch-hunting zealot being on a light path. it cannot happen. completely incompatible with light. what people claim, what others may claim they are, and what they actually are... completely different things. regardless if they are called "on the light path" by an organization, by society, by themselves... a zealot as traditionally defined is incompatible with a light path.

i have found that most game systems are incapable of defining what good is, though defining evil seems somewhat easier. partly this stems from the lack of intense study and contemplation to truly define what is moral, ethical, good, and wrong. also, there are a number of beliefs and systems out there, some find it hard to choose one. but if you are going to have entities that function in the position of god(s) in a system, then that system must address what is good, and what is evil, and what is moral, ethical, right, and wrong. even if addressing it is by a statement of non-guidance, and dumping the onus onto the gm.

d&d is notorious for ambiguity in this area.

Simetradon
11-27-2012, 02:46 PM
"Light" isn't "Good", although it may herald itself to be. It's more open and public. The main organization, the Church of Sol, is much like the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages. On the other side, the Disciples of Bhoda seek to mitigate the suffering of others.

On the other hand, "Dark" isn't bad, it is merely more secretive. Batman would fall under the "Dark". Numerous dark cults also worship horrid creatures that dwell in the darkness.

It's much more than "Good" vs. "Evil".

nijineko
11-27-2012, 08:16 PM
say rather, less.

when you broaden the focus, you diffuse the intensity. and consequently illuminate (or darken) less.

but i should preface myself... when one has had certain experiences in real life dealing with what others would call fable, myth, religious drivel, legend, superstition, nonsense, and various other labels... one finds oneself unable to ignore the reality of the actually sharply drawn lines and deceive oneself into thinking that there is such a thing as grey.


truly, there is nothing more than good or evil.

QT Games
11-27-2012, 08:50 PM
truly, there is nothing more than good or evil.

I couldn't agree more, nijineko. While the Cosmothea RPG does not force anyone to use our Moral Compass system, which delves into morality (of course), nor do we force them to use the faith system, both are provided for those who would like a bit more meat on their world's bones. In real life, faith and religion and the battle of good and evil are so intrinsically tied to our cultures that I felt that the same should be the case in the roleplaying game.

Too many games have watered down good and evil, and faith too, and I want those that care about such things to be able to incorporate them into their adventures if they want to. I've never cared for D&D's concepts of neutral, because everything I see, tells me that such a thing isn't truly possible, nor as innocent as it's made out to be. I know why many games have removed any clear distinctions of good and evil, but I made sure that it was at least available, and use the Moral Compass system in all my adventures, which my players have appreciated. Anyway, I could speak more on the matter of good and evil, but frankly it would hog too much space and takes us further out of the discussion of genre-blending, so I'll stop here.

Simetradon, not trying to give you a hard time about your game regardless. I do appreciate that you shared more about the game and it sounded interesting. I'm sure you've done a lot of neat stuff with it. Personally, I've enjoyed the huge 'verse of Cosmothea and its storyline as it has given me a lot of room to do some really cool stuff that happens to appeal to me in the blending of genres. But then, I made it so that it would. Hopefully I made it so that many others would like it too (that was my plan all along), and I'm sure you'll find a good number of people who like your brand of RPG as well. Good job getting published. :)

nijineko
11-28-2012, 12:12 PM
yeah, i tend to come across a bit strong about those issues, for various reasons. i too, am not trying to give a hard time, and the game does sound very interesting.

Simetradon
11-28-2012, 03:23 PM
At the play test session with the company last night, a newer player asked a similar question, and when it was being explained to hm, he made the comparison that the Light was a mix of the Jedi and the Catholic Church, and the Dark was a mix of the Sith and various secret societies. Some of us facepalmed, but only because we hadn't really thought of the comparison sooner.

nijineko
11-28-2012, 05:17 PM
heh. interesting. makes me want to play illuminati.