Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Basic Questions and Answers

Here are some questions from a perspicacious and entirely imaginary reader.

Q: Isn't this just Mutant Future?

A: Great question; thanks for asking. Mutant Future is a fantastic product, but this is something a bit different. The key here is that Hypernotus (if that is indeed it's name) is a setting idea for versions of Ye Old Game. To me, that means that Classes are absolutely required. Also, the basis of this project was to use the Psionics system as the the magic system. Mutant Future uses the Gamma World idea of mutations, which is rather different. Finally, Hypernotus will be a bit less gonzo than Gamma World or Mutant Future. No random mutations to produce a two-headed cat-man with laser beam eyes. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just not this project.

Q: Why do I need a whole setting for this? Can't I just play my favourite version of Ye Old Game and use the Psionics system?

A: Of course you can; no need to get so pushy. But the idea here is to take the implications of Psionics as the magic system and push them a bit further. Let's take that fantasy idea of the Duel Arcane. In most versions of YOG (Ye Old Game; I'm getting tired of typing this whole thing), wizards can toss spells at each other, but there is no formalized system for dueling. But the Psionics system does have this interesting mechanic in which two empowered combatants can choose Attack and Defense modes and see what happens. It is a oddly tactical system that really changes the dynamic of combat. Additionally, Psionics Attacks work differently against non-psionic individuals. That also changes the feel of things.

Here's another: magic items. The whole idea of enchanting items changes with the psionic system. What does a psionic-magic sword mean? Well, I have some thoughts here that do rather alter things (essentially, that powerful personalities can imprint themselves upon weapons they use OR weapons that kill them).

But here's what Hypernotus will not be: it will not be a detailed, fully-fleshed out setting with reams of information. It is, rather, to be a sketch of a setting that is there as much to give other Referees the ideas as much as it is to use.

Q: Why aren't you doing this for Swords of Fortune instead? That game is cool.

A: You are a man of taste and distinction. The idea behind Hypernotus could work very well in a purely Swords & Sorcery game. But that's not what I'm doing here right now. This is an old-school idea. It is not about Big Damn Heroes (in the Hellenic sense); it's about foolhardy adventurers who might someday become Big Damn Heroes. All the ideas of old-school play are at work here and a number of these are quite at odds with my feelings about a purely S&S game.

But thanks for asking.

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