Pyramid Chat 01/10/01: David L. Pulver and Sean PunchDavid L. Pulver and Sean Punch will discuss the significant changes that have been made in the GURPS Transhuman Space science fiction line. Also up: David talks about his role in future GURPS projects.
Ral say, "The log is now ON."
Ral say, "So behave."
Ral say, ":-)"
dlpulver cues theme
cd says, "noted."
Crysta says, "hooves (even unicorn hooves) are just specialty feet, Ral."
Martinl . o O ( riiiiiiight )
Ral [to Crysta]: Yes, but they're harder. ;-)
Crysta . o O ( and therefor hurt more. )
dlpulver says, "Hi everyone! This is the first Transhuman Space chat of the new millenium"
cd [to Crysta]: nails, actually.
Mickey says, "The time is 7:02 p.m."
JFZeigler . o O ( One wonders when the *last* one of the millennium will be. )
Chadu says, "Will we see the Transhuman Space versions of the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Monkees, or other flavor-of-the-month constructed (and I mean *constructed*!) celebrities?"
Anthony [to JFZeigler]: well, last one of last millennium is not hard
dlpulver says, "There have been a couple of changes in the series. I'm now working on it full time, having been hired as TS line editor"
SMarsh materializes out of thin air.
dlpulver says, "as well as full time writer..."
JFZeigler makes a mental note to go read _Idoru_.
Martinl says, "Will THS allow you to die during character creation?"
Chadu says, "Sorry! Had that Q prepped, and hit send a little too early. Mea culpa."
dlpulver says, "Which hopefully means the book won't be much later, unless I die while writing the character creation rules."
dlpulver says, "And yes, you can indeed die during character creation."
cd wonders idly whether the name "Transhuman Space" comes from Vinge's _The Blabber_
CapnQ says, "Kromm could fix that if it happened."
Martinl bows at the intrepid Pyramid editor
dlpulver says, "It doesn't."
Kromm says, "So could half a dozen forms of emortality."
cd [to dlpulver]: still a good story.
dlpulver says, "The other major change is that we've increased the number of books in the series from six to seven."
Anthony assumes that being a dead character is perfectly practical
cd says, "JOY!"
cd says, "more books!"
D has connected.
dlpulver says, "The new book will be GURPS Transhuman Space, and will be an overview of the series, much like GURPS Traveller."
Ral say, "Yippy!"
Kromm says, "Consider it a core book."
Martinl . o O ( Ghostcomps- Whoohoo! )
Kurt has connected.
D steps into the elevator.
Chadu [to Anthony]: Portable ghostcomp with a powered exoskeleton to move the corpse around?
Kromm says, "THE DEEP BEYOND will still exist, but it will cover the outer solar system and not be the core book."
Kromm says, "It will parallel IN THE WELL for the outer system, more or less."
daiv says, "what other Core books will be needed? I mean, basic 3e, comp 1 obviously...what else?"
Martinl . o O ( more books! whoo de hoody hoo! )
dlpulver says, "That means it will be covered in alot more detail, however."
Anthony [to daiv]: one for any large series, probably
dlpulver says, "For one thing, I'm planning to have India as a much greater presence there."
Kromm [to daiv]: There is an official answer to that -- give me a moment.
Anthony . o O ( oh, wrong interpretation of the quesiotn )
dlpulver says, "If people like, I can go through the new core book and tell you what's in it, right after Kromm's answer."
daiv [to Kromm]: take your time, I think I jumped the gun for questions...
Chadu says, "No takers on the build-to-order celebs question? My vibe is a sorta PKD from DADoES idea..."
Kromm [to daiv]: REQUIRED BOOKS: GURPS Basic Set 3/e Rev., GURPS Compendium I.
dlpulver says, "The core will be the first book released, of course. Hopefully it will be in playtest before the end of february."
Martinl sounds good to me.
Kromm [to daiv]: STRONGLY RECOMMENDED BOOKS: GURPS Bio-Tech, GURPS Space 3/e.
Kromm [to daiv]: OTHER RECOMMENDED BOOKS: GURPS Robots, GURPS Ultra-Tech 2/e Rev., GURPS Ultra-Tech 2, GURPS Vehicles 2/e.
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Please do!
dlpulver says, "Actually, I don't think we need to strongly recommend Space any more..."
daiv says, "i see...."
dlpulver says, "But heck, buy a copy of it anyway."
Ral . o O ( That reads like a college course's booklist. )
Chadu rubs hands together. "Transhuman Space Devil's Advocate, that's my job."
dlpulver says, "Okay, the book will be 176 pages with six chapters and four appendices, they having not been gengineered out yet."
Kurt says, "heh"
Kromm says, "In short, you will only NEED Basic Set and CI."
JFZeigler [to Ral]: Although you ought to be able to run the game with just the Basic and CI rules.
CapnQ says, "Gene-modded celebrity impersonators was suggested in the THS mailing list."
dlpulver says, "And that is going to be true. BioTech is the only one that might even be marginally useful, and Vehicles too. UT2, UT, and Robots, not so much."
Kromm says, "We plan to encapsulate the vital parts of Bio-Tech, Space, etc., in the series. However, those books will still give those who have them ideas, I am sure."
dlpulver says, "ESpecially if you want to go beyond the setting!"
Chadu [to CapnQ]: Not impersonators-- I mean celebs built-to-order, genegineered up out of DNA and memes owned by the studio or label.
CapnQ [to Chadu]: Your idea is cooler. :-)
Chadu says, "I'm taking a course on Intellectual Property right now in the intercession, so I have a very interesting angle to come at for some of teh TS ideas."
Kromm says, "David, how about a little outline review on the core book?"
dlpulver says, "Okay, chapter 1. This is the setting's history and timeline, from the first steps into manned spaceflight of China circa 2005, to the second oort cloud expedition in 2100, with interesting stops on the way like the creation of the first AI, LOGOS, and the Veldtkorp AIDS cure and numerous other interesting bits and pieces."
NVDaydreamer has connected.
dlpulver says, "It's an active, changing history, with lots of action. One important element is that people alive NOW can still be around then..."
griffin has connected.
Kromm says, "Yes."
Kurt waves to Bobarino.
NVDaydreamer reappears, contradicting his own intentions. As usual.
CraigR . o O ( Man, I misread that, and thought he said LEGOS... )
Chadu [to CraigR]: That's teh second Ai. :)
NVDaydreamer bows respectfully to The Guest Of Honor.. and shuts up.
Anthony [to dlpulver]: so are legos still made, and if so what new features? ;)
Kromm [to Anthony]: They are 1 micron or less per side.
JFZeigler frowns, and goes to riffle through his draft copy.
cd [to Anthony]: built-in AI?
Kromm [to Anthony]: And made out of carbon.
Kurt found some lego candy the other day.
dlpulver says, "The setting is mostly optimistic, but there was a nasty war in the pacific 20 years ago, and the losers are gearing up for maybe a second try, and this time it might end up as the first interplanetary war. There's social change everywhere, some good, some bad, and some just strange. There are no bad guys or good guys - but there are lots of causes to identify with."
Chadu [to Kromm]: Now *that's* comedy.
dlpulver says, "Kids play with little microbot sets..."
CapnQ . o O ( bioLEGOS, for budding young gengineers )
Kromm says, "We do in fact have plans for toys, celebrities, etc."
Kromm says, "We plan to construct a future history complete with a culture, not just weapons and things to shoot."
Kurt waves his hand respectfully.
dlpulver says, "Chapter 2 is the Solar System. "
Ral . o O ( Toy celebrities, there's a thought... )
cd [to CapnQ]: geneLEGO, maybe?
dlpulver says, "It's an overview of the entire system from Mercury to the Oort cloud, with about a page or so for each planet or major area, like the belt."
Chadu [to Kromm]: I'm interested in a thread on the .gurps board about giving setting/background-information on technology and crunchy bits/toys and how they were developed. Is this a possibility? (Noticing VeldKorp above, looks like it may...)
Ral . o O ( Lego: Building Blocks of Imagination combine with genes: building blocks of life. )
Martinl . o O ( weapons and things to shoot *are* culture - RPG culture! :) )
cd [to dlpulver]: anything on the Jovian Trojans?
cd has some ideas about a group based there...
Kurt [to Ral]: Only proble with that is that there's never a 4 x 4 block when you need it.
dlpulver says, "There are people living off Earth on Mercury, Venus, Mars, Titan, the Moon, Europa, Callisto, several asteroids, and various space stations."
Anthony doubts there's too much at 1 page per planet ;)
D steps out of the elevator.
JFZeigler . o O ( Aha. David isn't telepathic after all. )
Kromm says, "And it will treat the logosphere (net) much as though it were a place."
dlpulver says, "And in the Trojans"
Anthony ponders virtual lego
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Could the GURPS Space campaign setting from GURPS Robin Hood be adapted to work in the TS asteroid belt or Oort cloud?
Ral [to Anthony]: I think that has been done, sorta.
dlpulver says, "Although the biggest section on the logosphere will be left to Jon Zeigler's book on developed Earth, Fifth Wave"
Anthony [to Ral]: not too hard
cd [to Anthony]: 4+d-LEGO?
D bows to the noble Kromm.
dlpulver says, "I'm sure it could, but I haven't read it in years."
Anthony [to cd]: lego which is time-bounded on its existence?
CraigR . o O ( Wonder how many bordellos there are at the Trojan points... )
Martinl says, "Non Euclidian Cthuloid Lego? Need another tentacle here!"
Kromm [to cd]: No regularization.
Crysta . o O ( could we hold off on the legos for a bit... just until the chat is over, mind. )
D steps into the elevator.
cd [to Anthony]: perhaps. or just that you need to fit stuff in a fourth (or several higher) spatial dimensions...
dlpulver says, "Chapter 3 is where most of the cultural details and so on are added."
daiv [to Crysta]: So, in 0ther words leggo the Legos?
CapnQ ponders a THS-Cthulhupunk crossover, and shudders.
Crysta smacks her head, and sighs softly.
dlpulver says, "It's a very long chapter at 39 pages, and is the Encyclopedia of Transhuman Space."
Kromm [to Chadu]: To be honest, tie-ins to existing GURPS settings will be secondary. This setting is being cut from whole cloth to prevent oddities.
daiv [to Crysta]: sorry. could not resist.
Martinl . o O ( "lego-maniac is *not* just a catchphrase )
cd [to CapnQ]: BTDT - there's a suppressed transmission about that.
SMarsh raises his hand.
dlpulver says, "This will contain entries similar to the Library Data in GURPS Traveller on a wide range of organizations, memes (like religions and social issues), fashions, governments, and broad overviews of technologies shaping the setting. Unlike GURPS Traveller, however, it will be arranged thematically."
Chadu [to Kromm]: I meant, will the concept (Robin Hood/Space Piracy in an asteroid belt) be capable in the TS setting?
Martinl says, "The harder you try to avoid crossovers, the more bizzarre ones people will come up with on their own..."
dlpulver says, "SMarsh?"
Anthony ponderes a THS-technomancer cross
Kromm says, "Chapter 3 will be the heart of this book in many ways, and indeed the gospel of the series in many ways. In other words, while you will need later books for details, we will not be hiding things metaplot-fashion."
SMarsh says, "How much of the book will be rules/character creation? Will most of that be Basic/Comp I, or will the 'trans' part weigh heavily in the main book?"
Kromm [to SMarsh]: That is Chapter 4, and 24 pages out of 176.
dlpulver says, "There's about 70 pages of absolutely pure, not system mechanics background."
SMarsh says, "Ooohhh..."
VirtualPaul has connected.
dlpulver says, "However, things like the character creation chapter will contain large amounts of background as it includes racial templates which have their own importance and history for example."
Chadu wants a "Minty Fresh" advantage.
Kromm says, "I would like to emphasize that this really is a *background,* a campaign setting. There will be support. There will be details."
dlpulver says, "There's a fair bit of technology but while based on UT and Space, it is custom-fited to the setting."
Kromm [to Chadu]: Sanitized Metabolism, p. CI65.
cd . o O ( I wonder what version of Emacs is current in 2100... )
JFZeigler [to Chadu]: Symbiotic bacteria that live in your mouth and eat the gunk that gives you morning breath?
Parakeets scatter in all directions, as whatever was holding them together leaves.
NVDaydreamer raises his hand.
Kurt says, "So TS is basically just using GURPS as a framework, but in effect is a completely stand alone game, like the D20 thing? "
Chadu [to Kromm]: Does that include an actual "minty fresh" effect, or is it just odorless?
Anthony [to JFZeigler]: probably just replacements for normal mouth bacteria
Parakeets appear at all corners of the Pyramid Lobby and collect into one large, hovering flock.
dlpulver says, "One other issue is that I'm trying to reduce things like Vehicle Overkill in this setting, so that (for example) all robots will be designed as alien races. This is because they aare much more "organic" in this world."
dlpulver says, "Okay, on to chapter 4..."
Chadu says, "Will TS be able to support different playstyles or genres, or will it be hard-coded to a particular mindset?"
Ambient energy coalesces into the form of Dataweaver.
Ral [to Chadu]: I believe your looking for something in the pheremone enhancement line.
Dataweaver says, "Sorry I'm late..."
dlpulver says, "TS in many ways is about the competition of rival mindsets. So yes, I think it will support various playstyles. If it seems otherwise in the playtest, just let me know."
Chadu [to Ral]: Possibly...
Kromm [to Chadu]: Like all GURPS settings, it will be up to you how to play it. By virtue of being a transhuman setting, the choices will be mind-boggling.
dlpulver says, "It is naturally infused with mine, Seans, Jon Zeiglers and Jonathan W's own views."
dlpulver says, "But we try to be fair to everyone."
Chadu says, "fair enough."
Dataweaver says, "Quite an undertaking..."
Kromm [to Dataweaver]: This is why it is taking two years and at least a half-dozen authors and two line editors.
Anthony ponders the 'comic book cults' which create superheroes
CraigR says, "Chapter 4..."
JFZeigler says, "As an example, we're trying to be *very* internationalist."
dlpulver says, "Chapter 4... is character creation. It begins with general guidelines on point totals and so on and follows up with racial templates and character background suggests (not templates)."
NVDaydreamer withdraws his question until after the outline is slogged through.
Maximus has connected.
Chadu [to dlpulver]: No templates! Messiah!
dlpulver says, "A few of the racial templates will be drawn from Biotech, others will be new and include such things as Bush Robots and uplifted space-going octopus."
Dataweaver says, "Could someone fill me in privately as to what Chapters 1-3 were? "
Kromm says, "Templates would be too restrictive in a setting like this, where choice (of genes, memes, everything) is paramount. As well, we have too many cool professions to squeeze in to give stats for all of them."
Kurt says, "Ah. . . uplifted animals. . . "
dlpulver says, "As well as software entities. You have to be dead to fully encode yourself into software, though: it's a destructive process. So yes, you can die in character creation. "
NVDaydreamer . o O ( Cephalopods in space. Cool. )
Chadu says, "As I've stated previously on .gurps, templates are evil, wrong, bad, icky, and bad. Wait, I said that already."
Ral say, "Anyone giant space walruses with photon flippers? ;-)"
JFZeigler . o O ( There are those spacefaring squid again. . . )
Kromm [to Chadu]: Bad Chad. No biscuit. I invented them. They are my children.
Chadu says, "Talk to me of the memes."
dlpulver says, "Both AIs and "ghosts" can control cybershells - robot bodies. AIs can also occupy living organic bodies, i.e., biobots or meat puppets."
Anthony . o O ( why can't ghosts? )
dlpulver says, "Oh, they can as well."
Anthony . o O ( aside from being sorta redundant )
Chadu [to Kromm]: They are eveil and must be destroy. Your Iron Mantis kung-fu is no match for my Flying Monkey style.
Kromm says, "The body/mind division is fairly strong here."
cd [to dlpulver]: I want to be an upload to a bush robot. well, a utility fog, preferably, but a bush robot will do nicely until then.
dlpulver says, "Note, however, that you cannot "program" a living brain with a braintape. Not invented yet."
cd says, "or will utility fogs exist?"
Anthony recalls utility fog being too high tech
dlpulver says, "Utility fog not invented yet. (Insert plug for Centauri Knights.) "
Kromm [to cd]: This setting is 'mature micro, nascent nano' and not 'mature nano.'
JFZeigler [to cd]: That's the spirit :-).
cd says, "UFs and bush robots are Tres Cool."
dlpulver says, "However, you can program a small computer, and insert that computer in the living body..."
Kromm [to cd]: Nano is the cutting edge of the setting, the thing many PCs will want to investigate.
Anthony . o O ( can you play a living plastic nanomorph? )
dlpulver says, "Nano - in the sense of very smart engineered viruses - swims merrily through the body, though. "
Kromm says, "Yes."
Kromm says, "Bionano is happenin;'"
Ral . o O ( Sailing, sailing, over the bounding vein... )
Kurt says, "Well hurry up, then. I wanna live forever."
Anthony . o O ( shall we go on to chapter 5? )
Kromm had a nanotechnologist staying at his apartment over Christmas, and picked up some ideas, as well as some good scotch.
Kurt whaps Ral upside da' head.
dlpulver says, "And also, a lot of what has been portrayed as nano - is handled through microscopic robots. A swarm of dust-mite sized combat robots or surveillance machines or engineers can do an awful lot."
Kromm says, "MEMS are in fact pretty darn cool."
JFZeigler says, "Not to mention being more likely to work."
Kromm says, "Yes."
dlpulver says, "They even live inside spaceships. It's not quite living metal - but a guy on the outside won't notice as much of a difference. But have your maser or fly swatter or EMP bomb handy."
dlpulver says, "They wizz through houses, hunting flies..."
Chadu says, "Purely hypothetical question (yeah, right): I have an unreasoning, irrational hatred and distrust of hard science fiction and those people who are its fans. What is the appeal of TS for a gamer like me?"
Kromm [to Chadu]: A lesson in how your attitude is not wholly justified, we hope ;-)
dlpulver says, "Well, if you hate me, I can't help it (sniff)."
Chadu is a hard-sell.
Ral . o O ( Maybe there will be catgirls... :-) )
Kromm [to Chadu]: But seriously, we are not going to 'soften' our standards to add a few percent to our market share. That is one of the pillars of the project.
JFZeigler . o O ( Knowing David, there *will* be catgirls. )
dlpulver says, "Things like pirates and kung fu masters and knights and the Red Baron and so on exist in the real universe. Hopefully they'll be as much fun in 100 years, as well."
dlpulver says, "Catgirls are hard-coded into the setting. Jonathan also added some, but the Felicity is already in BioTech..."
Chadu [to Kromm]: That's the endpoint, sure, but if I see a bunch of techy-grognards drooling over it, I'll be repulsed. What fluffy, downy, story-based yum-yum can you wave in my phiz to distract me from gearhad drool?
Kromm [to Chadu]: People who want aliens, or psi, or FTL travel are out of luck . . . but imagine what a genemod kung fu master with the wuxia meme could do ;-)
CapnQ says, "I would imagine THS could support hugely cinematic campaigns."
NVDaydreamer hears echoes of the Doc Smith discussion from earlier.
CraigR cackles at Bob
cd likes the 'Orions Arm' setting. sorta 'far future of THS'.
Kromm [to Chadu]: As David said, robots complexity will be removed by using character-generation rules for 'bots. Vehicles will mostly be modular, not gearheaded. Emphasis will be on use, not construction.
Anthony gasps. Yes, TH might reach the equivalent of the first book of an ee doc smith novel ;)
Chadu [to Kromm]: Not talking about "softening", talking about marketing and appeal to freaks like me. (I do see some of it, but a lot of the discussion thus far has been drool over toys.) Give me a cool philosophical TS Big Question. :)
dlpulver says, "Well, there's a horde of privateers zipping around the trojan points, there's a war between mutated humans and strange critters and robots under the 50 km of ice beneath the moon Europa, there's great Chinese and Royal Navy and American space dreadnoughts, miles long, cruising through the belt, and there's prospectors hunting for tiny black holes that if slammed together are powerful enough to blow up the Earth. Two have already gone missing."
JFZeigler says, "Part of the idea is to present a "hard SF" setting (in the sense that the technological and sociological speculation is plausible) which still has a lot of Very Cool Plotlines going on. Not so. . .dry as the hard SF genre sometimes feels."
SMarsh . o O ( "Transhumans we are, lest transhumans we become"? )
Ral pummels SMarsh.
Anthony [to dlpulver]: you note that they now think europa, ganymede, and callisto all have water?
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Alright. That's cool. (And Kromm's gene fu master.)
cd [to SMarsh]: "Transhumans we are, 'cos it's Really Cool.", perhaps?
JFZeigler [to Chadu]: Okay. How about: "Who owns information and who should profit from it?"
dlpulver says, "There are bounty hunters who erase excess personalities, and AIs yearning to be free, and huddled masses seeking freedom off world, and space colonies collapsing into chaos, and south africans prospecting for diamonds in venus."
Martinl . o O ( Oy, those kids! Always Blow up the Earth this, or Blow up the Earth that... )
Kromm [to Chadu]: The point is that there is no overarching Big Question. Instead, you get lots of nifty plotlines. A single philosophical Big Question is about as repulsive to gearheads as too many tech-toys are to non-gearheads.
Anthony . o O ( a single philosophical big question is repulsive to a lot of non-gearheads as well. Particularly if its a bad question. )
dlpulver says, "Yep. Possibly also Encaladus. We added an extra colony on Calllisto, rewrote the Ganymede description, and I'm getting sick of having to update the number of moons around jupiter every other day."
Kromm [to Chadu]: Variety is the key, here. You can be WHO you want, WHAT you want, WHERE you want . . .
JFZeigler [to Chadu]: Or, "What does it mean to be human when people start taking on a million different forms?"
Anthony [to Martinl]: colliding two micro-black holes from the belt isn't quite enough to blow up the earth
Chadu [to Kromm]: Not asking for One. Asking for "what Big Questions exist in TS?" Have AIs gotten rights yet? Can/should total AI Van Neumann machines be allowed to reproduce?
dlpulver says, "AIs have rights in some places, not in others, and it's a Big Question."
dlpulver says, "In fact, it's a major theme."
Anthony [to Martinl]: wouuld prolly be enough to make it uninhabitable, tho ;)
NVDaydreamer . o O ( Should A.E. Newman machines be allowed... )
dlpulver says, "We have a list of these things, actually..."
VirtualPaul says, "Sounds like Chadu has answered his own question:)"
CraigR [to Anthony]: Unless you start them in the Belt, and intersect their paths with Earth. ;P
An indescribably horrible abomination carries CapnQ off screaming.
Chadu [to Kromm]: JFZ's question is good, as is "what does a personaility mean when they can be more or less tailored to fit?
JFZeigler [to Chadu]: Or, "Why should I be loyal to an ideal when I believe that all ideals are effectively psychological viruses which are trying to infect my mind?"
Anthony [to CraigR]: no, the black holes need to be a bit bigger before it unleashes enough energ ;)
Martinl says, "Pulver said 'blow up the Earth,' and he has tha Author meme..."
Kromm says, "And given the sheer level of disunity and factionization, there will be no central authority to control those who would answer those question definitively."
Chadu [to JFZeigler]: That's a good 'un.
dlpulver says, "Neo-slavery, preservationism, nanosocialism, biochauvinism, morphological freedom, colonization, cyberdemocracy..."
A bat-winged monstrosity unceremoniously dumps CapnQ on the floor.
Kromm says, "So the short answer is, if it is possible, then someone is doing it somewhere."
NVDaydreamer ponders that JamesM's Emissaries could be a precursor to TS.
JFZeigler says, "And someone else is campaigning vigorously to prevent them from doing it."
Anthony [to Kromm]: well, some things, while possible, are incompatible ;)
Chadu [to Kromm]: COol. I'm just asking that you guys pitch such things alongside teh kool toyz.
Kromm [to Chadu]: I think we have.
Anthony [to Kromm]: world government is probably possible, but probably not in TS ;)
Kromm [to Chadu]: The advertising and publicity to date has barely mentioned the tech-toys.
dlpulver says, "Though someone might want a viral meme for it..."
Kurt says, "Sounds more like UberBalkanization to me. The entire system is factionalized."
Chadu [to Kromm]: Maybe it's me, then, but the entire buzz I've gotten online is 'more toyz!'
Kromm [to Chadu]: From gamers, not from SJ Games. We cannot help if most of the online science-fiction fans are gearheads, hm?
Anthony nods UberBalkanization
Chadu [to Kromm]: Again, perhaps it's me, then. I totally admit this may be the case.
Anthony . o O ( hm...that's an ideal situation for a new Hitler ;) )
dlpulver says, "Factionalized, but there are groups who want to keep nations together. The EU is in there plugging away..."
Martinl says, "[to Chadu]: Wierd. My impression has been drooling over transhumanism...""
Kurt [to Chadu]: An a lot of people will play it like that. I shudder to think what the introduction of this stuff is going to do to my regular gaming group. Power gamers is putting it mildly.
JFZeigler shakes his head over gearheads. He writes for Traveller too.
dlpulver says, "There's a very nasty group - the TSA bio-weapons directorate - who tried to exploit the mind control aspects of this stuff. You can think of them as something like a "domination of the Draka" that didn't quite gel. They're now in exile and wanted, but they're out there, in the Trojans..."
cd puts on some apropriate music.
Kromm says, "Let us just say that the setting is in 'interesting times' and look at Chapters 5+."
Anthony cheers for Drakons
dlpulver says, "Chapter 5 is ... da da ... Equipment"
Crysta says, "so, basically everyone is cursed, eh? *Grins*"
NVDaydreamer . o O ( dun genes and drakons? )
Kurt [to dlpulver]: Now you've gone and done it.
dlpulver says, "Now, chapter 3 will have already set up the background technology and explained the broader picture."
cd says, "Wir Wollen Keine Menschen Sein"
Maximus has disconnected.
JFZeigler nerve-staples NVDaydreamer.
Kromm [to JFZeigler]: Wrong book!
Martinl says, "Atrocity! "
Martinl Sanctions JFZ
dlpulver says, "So this is basically toys. However, unlike some equipment lists, we are going to cover a full range of domestic goods as well as adventure gear."
Ral say, "Huzzah for the nerve-stapling!"
cd has disconnected.
NVDaydreamer [to JFZeigler]: Oh, thank you. :)
Anthony cheers for the household of the future
Maximus has connected.
JFZeigler [to Kromm]: Sorry. It just seemed appropriate.
Chadu says, "It's me. Interesting mind experiment: I just recompiled my brain with all the sense-impression of TS and search and replaced "science fiction/technology" with "fantasy/enchantment" and I had totally different experience of the concept. My apologies. It's just my biases shining thru."
Kurt says, "Refrigerators get their own page?"
Kromm says, "Note what David said: lots of *consumer goods,* not just adventurer-only gear."
dlpulver says, "So you'll get your household nanocleanser and your skullcat aswell your 5mm electromag pistol and gyroc carbine loaded with microbot defenstrator warheads."
VirtualPaul says, "Will the equipment sections have a primer for those of us who don't know our viral memes from our microbots?"
Kromm [to JFZeigler]: Whatever you say Sheng-ji
Anthony cheers for having a swarm of bots fly down, grab someone, and throw them out a window
cd has connected.
Parakeets say, "skullcat?"
Chadu [to Kromm]: Chia-SimLife Tamagochi/Pokemon Bloodsport Terrariums?
Martinl says, "RPGs of the 2100s?"
Anthony [to Martinl]: presumably just virtual settings
Kromm [to VirtualPaul]: Chapter 3 will be a mini-encyclopedia, and will explain tech, yes.
dlpulver says, "Basically, I look around my house and think: how could I improve this? A lot of this is programmable microbots, software agents. Personal software agents are being done actually more as character advantages, because they're so ubuquitous."
CraigR [to Chadu]: You forgot Creatures :)
Parakeets say, "skullcat = living toupee?"
Anthony ponders hacking attacks on houses.
Kurt says, "With the righ microbots, you'll never have to shower again."
dlpulver says, "Don't forget chia pants"
Chadu says, "Mem-porn."
Martinl says, "[to Anthony]: I bet they're still complaining about 4th ed in 2100 :)"
Ral say, "I'll take my skullcat in purple."
Anthony . o O ( with the wrong microbots, you'll never have to shower again )
Chadu [to dlpulver]: I must have Chia Pants. Make it so. Please.
Kurt [to Anthony]: True.
Kromm says, "And of course gene-bag chairs."
Kurt says, "Gah."
NVDaydreamer [to Martinl]: Do you think there will BE 4th Edition by then?
dlpulver says, "To set the stage properly, the opening vignette of the technology chapter is about a woman going shopping for some clothes to wear the CHinese embassy ball on Ceres."
CraigR gets back up from falling over laughing at chia pnts
Anthony says, "and lava lampts with real molten rock ;)"
dlpulver says, "sorry, equpment chapter"
Chadu [to Kromm]: I read that as "gene-bang chairs" probably due to the Meme-Porn thing.
An indescribably horrible abomination carries CapnQ off screaming.
Martinl says, "[to NVD]: Nope - thet's why they'll be complaining."
SJ's_Head_in_a_Jar says, "We're not yet ready to give up the 3rd ed. It's just not fiscally feasible at this point."
A bat-winged monstrosity unceremoniously dumps CapnQ on the floor.
dlpulver says, "Rugs that cuddle up."
Anthony . o O ( rugs that beg for scraps )
Martinl says, "LOL"
cd decides to log off, it's late and my connection seems doubtful
Anthony . o O ( and eat unwelcome guests )
Crysta begs for scraps... '
dlpulver says, "Well, they'd probably eat them to keep things clean. "
dlpulver says, "Bye CD"
CapnQ [to NVDaydreamer]: I think they'll be debating whether 5th+ edition is needed.
Chadu says, "Hey, can you buy other people's mem-bottled experiences or memories?"
cd says, "night, all."
Anthony hopes not.
Dataweaver's energy patterns suddenly disperse.
cd has disconnected.
Martinl says, "Night CD"
dlpulver says, "Basic computer interface is your set of data glasses/contacts with a few terabits of memory integrated into it, bone induction communicator, camera, full augmented reality..."
Ral [to Chadu]: That would take "Being John Malkovich" to a new level.
dlpulver says, "costs about $5"
JFZeigler [to Chadu]: Not quite that easily. Although the popularity of memetics means that psychotherapists are doing a booming business.
NVDaydreamer drifts away on a renegade train of thought.
Martinl says, "Will there be a Meme-Fu martial arts style?"
Ral say, " 'My parents didn't love me enough.' 'I can fix that.'"
Anthony ponders whether there's a sport of ghost mixing
Anthony says, "take two ghostcomps and see if you can merge them ;)"
bobzilla has connected.
Chadu [to JFZeigler]: The class-action suits and Jerry Springer shows must be great. MemeCorp's faulty memes made my a transvestite stripper!
dlpulver says, "To a degree you can buy memories... but remember, braintaping is not perfect, so they aren't very good. Accessing them would be a pain. You can probably acquire sensory experience."
JFZeigler . o O ( One wins by forcing one's opponent to feel self-doubt? )
Anthony . o O ( are there canals on mars? )
dlpulver says, "You can edit and merge to a degree. It's expensive enough that it's not really a sport."
D steps out of the elevator.
Martinl says, "Your advanced weapons are no match for my infectious puny intellect meme!"
CapnQ . o O ( Take two ghost comps and see if you can breed them? )
Kromm says, "And remember that memories and memes are not the same. A meme is a self-perpetuating concept, not a specific snapshot of an event."
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Neurochemical/physical disorders like autism, schizophrenia, etc. How treatable thru meme and micro-nano-bio technologies?
dlpulver says, "Back to equipment. Data encryption is fairly strong."
Ral . o O ( Pokememe: gotta think 'em all. )
Kurt . o O ( take two ghost comps and call me in the morning? )
dlpulver says, "Very treatable, Chadu."
Crysta laughs, baps Ral.
Martinl says, "How strong is it? \straightman OFF"
dlpulver says, "For those who can afford them, it's a theoretically saner population."
Anthony . o O ( quantum encryption? )
dlpulver says, "Yes"
Chadu [to Kromm]: Would the basic unit of a memeory then be called a mnem (NEEM)?
Chadu [to Kromm]: Or mneme?
Kromm says, "In every field with conflict, offense and defense take turns leading. TS is set in an era when defense leads in crypto. QC exists and has defeated all attempts to date to crack it."
dlpulver says, "Another thing. The setting does not use TLs internally."
Anthony would hope so, since pending changing the laws of physics it can't be
dlpulver says, "Only externally, in things like sidebars saying "how to use BioTech/Vehicles" with this."
Kromm [to Chadu]: Probably a 'bit' ;-)
Chadu [to Kromm]: Phooey.
Kromm [to Anthony]: Well, as a physicist, I suspect that a lot will in fact be revised in 100 years.
Anthony [to Kromm]: true
dlpulver says, "Basically, you crack things through human engineering and sneakiness. Sending your tiny flybot into his room to spy on him and see what he does..."
Kromm says, "If I outlive my peers, for instance, and become emortal, I will be in the history books as the inventor of all physics ;-)"
dlpulver says, "Meat is obsolete."
Anthony pelts Kromm with a spotted monkfish.
D steps into the elevator.
Martinl says, "But meat"
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Meat is really neat.
Kromm says, "What David said -- about spying -- is important."
Martinl says, "Sorry - But meat's still tasty!"
Ral sings, "Gamerra is really neat, Gamerra is filled with meat..."
dlpulver says, "Or rather, killing animals for meat is no longer necessary in the hyper-developed nations."
Kromm says, "Most data-related intrigues will involve physical spying on someone viewing the unencrypted data on an I/O device."
Kurt [to Ral]: How did I KNOW you were a fan . . .
Anthony says, "just like hunting"
Martinl says, "How possible is privacy in a world with cheap MEMS robots?"
dlpulver says, "Kromm's comment on this leads directly into Chapter 6."
Anthony says, "which as we see, has clearly ceased to exist"
Martinl says, "Isn't really necessary today, nu?"
dlpulver says, "This is campaigns. We present various ideas and adventure seeds, but mainly it's about how to handle the setting."
Anthony [to Martinl]: just set up defenses to kill said cheap MEMS
Anthony [to Martinl]: then they need to use expensive MEMS
Kromm says, "Chapter 6 will be the 'Campaigns' chapter. This is fairly important, given that transhuman campaigns have an unusual characters vs. technology balance and fluidity of character points."
dlpulver says, "We want the setting to be playable in such a way that you can' tjust cut lose your autonomous computeroids and sit back."
dlpulver says, "So, strong crypto, a lot of defenses against MEMS (like a curtain of other mems, or EMP), and so on."
Martinl says, "[to Ant]: I'd guess killing is much more expensive than sending."
Anthony [to Martinl]: I'd guess it probably isn't
dlpulver says, "We want technology to enable adventures. So, for instance, the big battleships use automation... and carry about six crew. "
Chadu says, "Okay, down to brass tacks-- what about the cheeses of the TS setting? (Glib, but I'm tlking about arte off-planet delicacies in-setting or economically unfeasible?)"
Kromm says, "GMs will really need the advice in Chapter 6. And we plan to deliver, to defuse the powergaming as much as possible by virtue of ubiquity as opposed to scarcity. Take away the spotlight by shining it on anyone who cares to stand in it, not just the super-characters."
dlpulver says, "There are odd mutant goats on Mars. I assume you can farm them."
dlpulver says, "I've given some thought to smart foods that actually adjust themselves to the eater.""
VirtualPaul says, "Speaking of fields of conflict, who's more advanced: weapondry or armor?"
Anthony [to dlpulver]: just add 10 moons to jupiter. No-one will know you're lying, and they'll probably find them eventually;)
Chadu [to Kromm]: "in a world where everybody is a supercharacter, what the big deal? " sort of a Top Ten sorta vibe?
Martinl says, "Home, home on the mutant goat farms of Mars..."
Kromm [to Chadu]: You got it.
Anthony has disconnected.
Chadu says, "Where the monkeys and chickens drive cars..."
dlpulver says, "And of course, home grown stuff would command premium prices for those who like it. The battle over GMO foods was won by the GMO foods - and India an dChina, which needed them."
Martinl says, "And never is heard"
CapnQ says, "an unecrypted word"
Kromm [to Chadu]: When anyone can have hard-wear with arbitrarily skilled expert systems, etc., being super-duper is not really a big deal. What matters is what you DO with it.
Martinl says, "and the skies are not purple all day."
Maximus has disconnected.
Martinl can't believe he just did that
CapnQ . o O ( unencrypted, that is )
dlpulver says, "The major setting is 2100. We will not be doing this as a dynamic, updated campaign. It's 2100 in all the core books, and it will be up to the GMs and players to make the world from then on. If we do a sequel, it will be set 100 years in the future (or so)."
Chadu [to Kromm]: Big Smarts vs. Big Guns? Actions vs. Intentions?
JFZeigler can't believe it either.
Kromm [to VirtualPaul]: Weaponry, I believe. Lots of new tech, and the destructive uses of new tech usually come about right away, while the constructive/defensive uses usually require some maturity. Thermodynamics at work.
NVDaydreamer finds his train of thought has brought him back here.
dlpulver says, "The skies are sort of yellowish on Venus."
SMarsh vanishes into nothingness.
Parakeets say, "Prime, unmod Black Angus, chromed up the old-fashioned way.""
NVDaydreamer raises his hand.
Martinl grins sheepishly at JFZ
Chadu says, "Okay, honest to god real question here: Why do you think this setting can support 7 books, when SJG already is pumping out books for the biggest sf rpg going?"
dlpulver says, "And soft orange on Titan"
Kurt has disconnected.
dlpulver says, "Because this series is the antithesis of Traveller."
Chadu says, "Total profit-loss business wise here. Not trying to besmirch your quality of art."
Kromm [to Chadu]: Look for topics such as Retaining the Human Element, Mutable Character Points, Intelligent Agents and Roleplaying, Character Survivability, and Sense of Wonder.
NVDaydreamer says, "Chad U is anticipating my question: What, if anything, does the hiring of new staff (with concomitant expense) for TS mean for GURPS Traveller, in-house?"
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Could you expand on the antithesis of Trav concept?
Chadu [to dlpulver]: I mean, strictly, the antithesis of G:Trav would be a single book, no? :)
Martinl says, "I'll bet the Traveller Grognards will still be arguing the details of Zhodani combat Battlesuits in 2100"
Kromm says, "I am not sure I understand the issue here -- science fiction is a massive genre. How could one game setting or even one-hundred game settings span the space?"
dlpulver says, "The Traveller line has stood apart from the GURPS line. "
JFZeigler says, "Traveller == Golden Age Space Opera. THS == Post-Cyberpunk Character Drama. Completely different sensibility."
Chadu says, "Not talking about that. SJG is putting out 7 books in this line. Why do you think you can sell them? Pure cost-benefit here."
dlpulver says, "Cost-wise, SJG wants TS to make money, not loose it. If it does so, it will be better for Traveller."
Kromm says, "People want supported settings. I answer a hundred letters a month begging for them."
Kromm says, "TS is a supported setting."
Kromm says, "And unlike Traveller, TS is a supported setting without a licensing fee."
NVDaydreamer murmurs "Yrth" under his breath.
Chadu [to Kromm]: Get JFZeigler to write the ad copy. He's selling me on the concept against my will.
Martinl says, "There are plenty of drooling fanboys for all the authors, at least on these boards..."
Acolyte has connected.
Kromm says, "Also unlike Traveller, TS is a *new* and *original* supported setting that people can get into on the ground floor. Traveller? You had to get in in 1979 . . ."
NVDaydreamer says, "Now that's sort of where I'm speculating. Is the licensed run of GURPS Traveller nearly done?"
dlpulver says, "No, Traveller appears to be expanding as well."
Kromm [to NVDaydreamer]: Hardly.
NVDaydreamer nods. "Very well. Thank you."
JFZeigler can say with some authority that GURPS Traveller has lots of room to keep going yet.
Kromm can say the same.
SJ materializes out of thin air.
Kromm cheated and looked at line plans, though :)
Ral say, "Yes, the Traveller grognards can often say, 'I was gaming while you were still in diapers.' and mean it."
Martinl cowers in awe
dlpulver says, "Hi Steve"
CraigR . o O ( Right after a policy announcement is made... )
NVDaydreamer wonders if that means that M. Miller hasn't collected enough licensing fees to do his T5 yet. ;-)
SJ waves to David. Going well?
NVDaydreamer bows again to SJ.
dlpulver says, "Until they started asking hard economic questions!"
SJ [to NVDaydreamer]: The limiting factor on that is Marc's time. He won't have any trouble finding a publisher. He doesn't have to look any farther than right here, if he so chooses :-)
dlpulver says, "Chapter 6 may be the campaigns chapter, but there are also four Appendices."
Chadu says, "Let me try to be clearer. Production of 7 books is a massive outlay of expense, and could ened up costing SJG buckets of money. What makes you think this is gonna break-even, much less pay off? (Not that I'm saying it won't.) What makes TS a good investment?"
SJ is hacking away right now on the Pleasure Planet edit, btw. Going to be a fun book.
Kromm says, "Anyhow, TS and Traveller are very different. TS has 1990s, 2000s values, is starting now, and encompasses an era that the players could actually live through. Traveller has 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s values, is established, and encompasses a far-future era. Very different markets, as far as I know."
SJ [to dlpulver]: should I take that?
NVDaydreamer says, "GT Pleasure Planets? Intriguing!"
dlpulver says, "Please"
Ral [to dlpulver]: I would think in an era of advanced biotech we'd have gotten rid of the appendix. ;-)
Martinl says, "Pleasure Planet?"
Parakeets say, "Will Pleasure Planet be Playtested?"
NVDaydreamer pronks upon Ral.
dlpulver says, "Go ahead Steve"
Martinl says, "Phooey"
DaveBrooks crawls out from beneath the carpet, warily looking for the housekeeper.
Crysta waves her hand, volunteering to playtest a pleasure planet. :)
griffin says, "'Above there was mention of discouraging powergaming"
Chadu [to Ral]: That's where they have to implant the wuxia gene.
dlpulver says, "I was going to make that joke, Ral..."
NVDaydreamer idles to wash his daughter's hair.
CraigR [to Crysta]: I'll buy that for a dollar. ;P
Martinl . o O ( Zooty zoot )
SJ says, "We all made that joke . . . "
daiv awaits the answer...oh, there it is..
Crysta thbbbbbbbbbbts at Craig.
griffin says, "Did I read that correctly? I think that was a big mistake made with Cyberworld. Not ultra-tech and fantastic enough"
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Isn't there a PJF stroy that the secret to life, the universe, and everything is encoded in the appendix?
SJ says, "No, this first Planetary Survey book is a staff project; we are planning to surprise EVERYONE. "
Chadu says, "Geez, I can't type worth crap anymore. Call me-- TypoBoy!"
Ral . o O ( Marc included: there will be nipples in the book. )
Kromm [to griffin]: You can have powerful characters without powergaming. Powergaming implies abuse, at any power level.
SJ [to griffin]: TS will be very ultra-tech.
dlpulver says, "We do not want to discourage power gaming. We only want to make it fun for characters to kill things themselves, without having their computers do it."
SJ laughs! Well formulated, David.
dlpulver says, "TS will allow you PC parties to command battleships. It's a personal sort of thing - like the Enterprise, but without the redshirts on board.."
Martinl abandons his plans to summon holo demons
Chadu [to SJ]: You and John Nephew are the two canniest businessmen in Gaming today, I'd think. Why do you think TS is gonna fly as a product line?
daiv says, "the Enterprise without the redshirts? whats the Point?"
dlpulver says, "The system will be complex enough to allow massive abuse by anyone who insists on doing so."
Chadu [to dlpulver]: You can have robotic drone redshirts, right?
Kromm [to daiv]: Captain Kirk did all the fun stuff, right? Well, TS lets everyone be Kirk. You can even talk like Shatner.
Acolyte says, ""Has the first book got a release date yet?""
daiv says, "redshirt = Mook.,"
JFZeigler . o O ( Although why anyone would want to is beyond me. )
Kromm [to daiv]: Or get pointy ears, if you prefer.
Chadu [to Kromm]: I can talk like Shatner now. :)
Kromm [to JFZeigler]: Avoid Trek cons.
griffin says, "OK as long as characters get to be rather powerful bio-teched out types that"
Martinl says, "Ah - I get it. Sgatner's hair is a headcat!"
dlpulver says, "Sure. You can even tele-operate them. However, robots are people too, and if they're smart enough to do a good job, they're smart enough that it would be mean to kill them."
daiv [to Chadu]: So... Can I .
Martinl says, "I mean, Shatners"
CapnQ [to Chadu]: Sure, but you'll get complaints from the Robot Rights AIs.
Chadu says, "Oh, Christ-- TS Trekkies."
dlpulver says, "I'm talking 500 points, but a recommendation that much of that go to biotech and other junk."
SJ [to Chadu]: Because there's nothing like it out there now, and because David is very good, and we're going to give him good support. I think people are ready for a more ultra-tech version of the future.
Chadu hurt his own brain.
JFZeigler considers year-2100 remakes of Original Series Star Trek and shudders.
Til_Eulenspiegel has connected.
griffin says, "OK, as long as PCs can be majorly bio-teched out and can pull off cinematic"
dlpulver says, "Less is applicable if you're playing a low key campaign whey're your a cyberpunk third worlder fighting the machine in the Andes, for example."
Kromm [to Chadu]: If the Trek property still had fans in 2100, there will be people altered to look like the cast, no doubt. And genemods to make you into a 'Vulcan' or a 'Bajoran.' You know it.
griffin says, "powermoves"
Chadu [to SJ]: Hard question: What's the difference here between TS and the intentions behind Technomancer?
Chadu [to Kromm]: Yeah, that's what scares me-- especially the neo-Trills.
dlpulver says, "Technomancer was written as satirical game of alternative-history, whereas Transhuman Space is intended to be the kind of setting I can believe in and want to play in."
NVDaydreamer returns, hands still dripping.
daiv says, "uh? Chadu? Technomancer has magic. TS doesn't. that makes a big differnce. "
SJ [to Chadu]: Easy question. Technomancer includes magic, and to a certain extent was and will be played for grins, even when it's gritty. There are just so many chances for subtle humor when you bring the fantasy tropes into the real world.
Chadu [to daiv]: I'm talking product line as product line, not on content.
SJ [to Chadu]: TS won't be arch.
daiv says, "In other words, No Commie Penguins!!!"
Kromm [to Chadu]: TS was conceived of as a line from the outset. Technomancer was a cool worldbook that we liked enough that we said, 'Hm, this could be a cool setting.' After the fact.
SJ says, "If we were starting Technomancer now, we might be planning it as a line."
fnordbear has connected.
Chadu [to Kromm]: Okay. That answers my question. I mean, form the outside, TM looked like a failed line-launch.
dlpulver says, "Technomancer is a homage to P:oul Anderson and Heinlein and Turtledove and Greg Costikyan and so on. It's designed to be fun to play, but it's playing the game "what if the real world behaved like the GURPS Magic System: what would happen?"
Kromm [to Chadu]: There were never any fewer than 6 books planned for TS. There was originally only one book planned for Technomancer.
Martinl says, "Commie Penguins would probably exisit in THS, they'd just be below the average person's radar."
Chadu [to Kromm]: Okay. That explains it.
Kromm [to Chadu]: And believe me, TS was planned. I have a hard drive full of line plans, product plans, outlines . . .
dlpulver says, "Another issue: SJ is getting me as a writer, not just as TS writer. I will be supporting Technomancer as well."
Ral [to Martinl]: Below their belts too.
Andurion has connected.
dlpulver says, "As much as they wish me to do so."
Chadu says, "Wait a minute-- TS won't be arch?"
daiv says, "Is your drive backed up?thinking back to SJs apple troubles...."
Kromm [to daiv]: I have 9 new CD-RWs here. My drive is about to be mapped to them.
Martinl says, "[to Ral] Belts are *so* 2090"
Chadu says, "There's something there that's bothering me... Will TS be able to be played for laughs?"
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( "A list for question set up?" )
dlpulver says, "It may have humor in it, but not to the point of, say, communist penguins, or the way the death of John Wayne was portrayed."
coyote6 steps out of Shadow.
daiv says, "everything is Playable for Laughs. "
coyote6 settles quietly in the back
bobzilla says, "Cool more Technomancer stuff from David!"
NVDaydreamer looks at the count and wows. Biggest crowd in quite some time.
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( "Kult for laughs?" )
dlpulver says, "I hope to write four or more books a year for SJG. "
Chadu says, "Something about the intent there. This will spin into a 'fantasy gets no respect vs. science fiction' rant, so I'll kill it now."
dlpulver says, "Technomancer is science fiction."
dlpulver says, "Well, science fantasy."
Crysta will brb. Its reboot time!
JFZeigler is reminded of his question. "So, what does your move to SJG mean for your relationship with GoO? Clearly you're not a line developer for them any more. . ."
Acolyte says, "[to dpulver]: Will TS have lots of new toys or will it all be setting? "
Crysta goes upstairs to her nice canopy bed, crawls in, and drifts off to sleep, pulling EDG in with her, if she can.
dlpulver says, "I am still anime line developer at GOO. I am no longer staff writer."
CraigR says, "Ah."
JFZeigler ahs, and dusts off Einstein Prime. . .
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Hey, any word on trying to score the CTHD license for GoO?
Chadu [to SJ]: Or CTHD license for GURPS?
coyote6 . o O ( CTHD? )
Kromm says, "CTHD = ????"
Chadu . o O ( Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon )
dlpulver says, "Basically, I look over submitted proposals, do first-run approval, maintain liason with the freelancers, and read final manuscripts. At SJG this is a full time job, with scores of freelancers. At GOO we have - I think - four."
dlpulver says, "My job, then, is to increase the number of freelancers at GOO to the point where they need to hire someone else to do my job (:"
JFZeigler still plans to add to that number at some point.
Kromm [to Chadu]: You mean WHZL (Wo hu zang long)
Chadu [to CapnQ]: I figured out earlier in the thread why I have an anti-TS bias. I think I've stopped bashing it; instead, I asked strictly-business questions, with no emotional freighting.
dlpulver says, "Okay, who wants to know what's in the apendices..."
Til_Eulenspiegel says, ""I do! I Do!""
Chadu [to Kromm]: WHZL = CTHD
daiv has disconnected.
dlpulver says, "Appendix A is similar to th eone in the back of Biotech. It covers enhancements and limitations necessary to, for example, build a robot using the Compendium I rules."
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Please tell me it extends the timeline to an interestingly high TL. Like say, Bear's Hexamon or Benford's calculator races."
Chadu [to CapnQ]: Strictly Cost-Benefit Analysis sorta stuff. Why is product X worth investment Y?
dlpulver says, "Appendix B gets the gearhead spaceship stuff out of the way. It's like GURPS Traveller or GURPS Space, but optimized for the TS space setting. New stuff like plasma sails and ships built of ice. And a few more realistic bits, like some more realistic laser and heat radiator rules Anthony helped me with."
Andurion has disconnected.
Acolyte has disconnected.
The housekeeper arrives to cart Crysta off to bed.
dlpulver says, "Appendix C is a set of ships and vehicles. A selection, from Utility Space Vehicles for prospecting the belt to giant Space Dominance Vehicles of the USAF and obsolete but elegant magsail and plasma sail craft. Also various ground, air and watercraft - want a submarine to explore Europa? "
coyote6 [to dlpulver]: I'll take two.
dlpulver says, "Appendix D is space combat. I hope to fit both an easy no-map and a hexgrid system in it, for both the rules heavy folks and everyone else. Space combat in TS is fairly close and in your face, due to limitations on laser and the quality of armor technology."
Kromm says, "Those who dislike gearhead rules should note that all of that is in the appendices, which are only 43 pages out of 176; i.e., less than 1/4 of the book."
dlpulver says, "And there you have it..."
Kromm says, "At the back, no less."
dlpulver says, "Oh, there's a bibliography and index"
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Space Combat in 2 or 3 dimensions?"
Chadu says, "I will admit, the economics questions are a direct result of spending the last two years in a business grad school.""
dlpulver says, "So, do you still have a deep antipathy toward the concept?"
VirtualPaul says, "What would TS minis look like, I wonder?:)"
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: Mostly abstract, not a minis system.
dlpulver says, "See concept art for some."
Crysta wanders in, a small tortoise-shell cat carrying a black kitten (with one white paw!) in her mouth.
NVDaydreamer scritchies little Alex a hello.
Crysta . o O ( is the chat still in progress? )
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Not so much. Once I realized if I swapped in "magic" for "science" I understood that I have no real problem with what's on the page. It's purely the gearheaded fan-focs and my misinterpretations that I've been hung up on.
dlpulver says, "A person walking down a street in 2100 on Earth might look fairly similar to one in 2000, just as someone in 2000 is not dissimilar to someone in 1900. But you might find miniatures useful for things like unique space-adapted octopoids, or four-armed spacers, or whatever."
NVDaydreamer [to Crysta]: Yep. Still at it.
Chadu [to dlpulver]: I *still* have deep questions on the business viability of the TS line, not based on anything in the concept, but purely on the ROI.
Kromm [to Chadu]: What kind of investment do you think we have made?
VirtualPaul says, "ROI?"
Chadu says, "Return On Investment"
Kromm [to Chadu]: These seven books cost as much as any other seven books. Same author rates, same writing contracts, same distribution deals . . .
dlpulver says, "I'm glad. As for the business end, if no one wants to buy the books, then we are up the creek without an ion drive. But otherwise, they're really just GURPS books, and don't cost much more than any other ones. I'm being hired to write things other than TS, as well. In fact, I'm probably doing a Trav book..."
Kromm [to Chadu]: It is not as though we are releasing them all on glossy paper with calfskin covers and gold leaf cover lettering.
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( Full Thrust: Transhuman Space )
Crysta [to Kromm]: oh, why not! *sniffle* I was so hoping. :P
Chadu [to Kromm]: Seven books planned. Two writers writing a manuscript for core book, at least one other writer (JFZ) writing another, and SJ writing bits of something... That's a sizable investment right there in terms of time, resources, and print contract money, no?
dlpulver says, "The cross-over utility of the books should be also helpful. For example, a fan of, say, Jovian Chronicles might want the Mars book for some ideas he or she can use in their JC mars setting."
Ral [to Kromm]: But now that you mention it...
Martinl says, "Free space adpated uplifted cephalopod with every purchase?"
coyote6 . o O ( memo to USEnet: GURPS Line Editor denies plans for glassy paper, calfskin covers, gold leaf lettering on new books )
Kromm [to Chadu]: But no more than for any 7 other GURPS books, see.
Kromm [to Chadu]: With the difference that these books are focused, while any 7 chosen at random would be all over the map.
Kromm [to Chadu]: And there are no guarantees that a shotgun approach is better . . .
Chadu [to Kromm]: Okay, but have the resources been pledged to all seven at once? Are there other books in the queue with am equal or higher ROI?
dlpulver says, "It might be nice to have the odd special item - map of the solar system, or whatever, if we can swing it. That's up to production. But this is no different from the extras you sometimes get in GTrav books, like those gold coyns. I wouldn't count on anything special like this. I would like to make it so you can use Triplanetary with TS, though..."
VirtualPaul says, "And these seven have three well known authors names attached..."
JFZeigler suspects that subject matter and author name recognition will make the core book sell, after which the quality will bring in more people for the later books. Especially since the later books will add lots more details *without* descending into metaplot or splatbookism.
CapnQ says, "That brings up the question then of how many other releases SJG expects to do besides THS over its lifetime?"
SJ [to Chadu]: Clearly we are failing to communicate somewhere. You keep asking the same question over and over, as though you did not believe the answer, which indicates that we are not answering the question you are asking. Why do you think that this is different from any other batch of books?
coyote6 says, "Besides, the real return on investment is that Mr. Pulver is going to be writing more GURPS books, period. :)"
dlpulver says, "TS also has a fringe benefit: it will be an original IP setting wholly owned by SJG. It's always nice to have a couple of these around, just in case.W"
coyote6 says, "That's the other reason I like the idea..."
JFZeigler [to dlpulver]: Which opens the gate for tie-in products if the original sells well.
Kromm says, "What David said is very important. A wholly owned, unlicensed property has far greater spin-off potential than a random bag o' books."
fnordbear says, "Has the possibility of a line of fiction in the TS setting been looked in to?"
Clayfoot has connected.
Chadu [to SJ]: I'm trying to phrase my question better. Please bear with me.
VirtualPaul says, "Movie Deal$:)"
Crysta says, "Line of toys!"
dlpulver says, "My guess is that TS may do the seven books. If it does well, we have an idea for another 1-3 books. Or we may let it rest, then springboard the setting a few years later in a 2200 setting with interstellar colonization."
JFZeigler is certainly hoping someone is looking into it :-).
Ral say, "Space adapted cephalopod breakfast cereal!"
DaveBrooks [to Ral]: Yummy!
Kromm [to Chadu]: I think part of the problem with the line of questioning is that you seem to have made the assumption that we have paid out the writing, art, and other fees in advance as part of our planning, and are dedicating internal employee hours to the project beyond what we are giving other projects.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Nuts to such paltry ideas. Copyright the likenesses of each genetic modification, and as they become possible, sue for royalties! Your grandkids will love you for it."
coyote6 . o O ( Just stay away from movie licenses w/Courtney Solomon )
Kromm [to Chadu]: In reality, we are paying writers and artists only as they create books, and if book one tanks, well, we are not really all that exposed.
CapnQ says, "Perhaps Chadu is concerned that THS is going to crowd out the rest of GURPS from the print queue? I remember people expressing that same concern when GURPS Traveller was annouced."
dlpulver says, "We also hope that TS - by embodying some assumptions that pro-space and transhumanist advocates appreciate - will have some cross-over appeal to that audience who might not otherwise buy a game book. I.E., maybe we could sell more at Worldcon or something. It's a gamble: Steve is letting me write the kind of game that matches the fiction I like to read. I hope it will appeal to other gamers, but if not, it's a good try."
dlpulver says, "and an honest one"
Chadu [to Kromm]: Pretty close. Perhaps my question is better-- how much SJG resources have been dedicated to TS as of now? And granted, hard numbers and precise details cannot be spoken.
Kromm [to Chadu]: And we are not putting more employee hours in, either -- we are just letting those people have more latitude. Phil is getting to be crazier than usual with art, I am getting to use my long-lost science skills, etc.
dlpulver says, "I've been paid $400 or so..."
Kromm [to Chadu]: But note that hiring David probably would have happened even without TS. We like David and we wanted a staff writer.
Chadu [to Kromm]: I think the point of my question is that it seems that multiple authors are already working on their books above and beyond their quesry letters, if TS core tanks, what's the financial impact on SJG?
Kromm [to Chadu]: So adding David's paycheck to the 'investment' is not really fair, either.
Kromm [to Chadu]: If the core tanks, we are out a few hundred bucks in advances.
SJ [to Chadu]: It won't tank. We know our market better than that. The worst it will do is "not take off."
Kromm [to Chadu]: And maybe that again in billable hours.
dlpulver says, "If the rest, the printing costs as the books come out. Same as any other series. "
Chadu [to Kromm]: I'm purely thinking in terms of resource-dedication to the product line.
dlpulver says, "A bunch of freelancers are contributing time on a mailing list, a web page and a few logos have been designed, and a few hours of contract negotiations."
VirtualPaul says, "Does it take more money/manhours to write 7 line books than 7 random books?"
coyote6 [to Chadu]: What GURPS books do you think won't be made because of TS?
Kromm [to Chadu]: There is lots of cash *budgeted* to pay writers, artists, printers, etc., as part of the product planning, of course. However, little of that is spent, and not much more than that is actually locked into deals we cannot get ou tof.
dlpulver says, "Because of TS, you'll probably get Technomancer II and maybe Black Magic (:"
CraigR [to VirtualPaul]: Ask again after all of TS is released. :)\
Chadu [to SJ]: Okay, that's what I'm getting at. Your understanding of the market,plus the name-recognbition of the authors, and the attraction of a company-owned IP add up to a positive ROI such that to dedicate (some) resources to further support in expectation of strong product acceptance?
Kromm [to Chadu]: You must be careful not to confuse the budget for the project with the sunk costs of the project. The latter is a very small number. We aren't stupid :)
dlpulver says, "But a number of Guardians of Order books won't be appearing with me as the author..."
dlpulver says, "And Mark will save a fair bit of staff cost."
dlpulver says, "But may hire more up-and-coming anime fans"
Chadu [to VirtualPaul]: 7 line books vs. 7 random books = that's what I'm asking.
JFZeigler says, "As far as us freelancers go. . .I don't think THS is pulling me away from other books I could be doing for SJG. Admittedly Loren Wiseman would rather I was writing Traveller right now, but there are only so many Traveller books I would *want* to write. Meanwhile I'm busier this year than I have been since starting work for SJG, and THS is only part of that."
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Do SJG books really ever come out in anything other than informal lines?"
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "It seems many GURPS books form logical sets."
Kromm says, "Seven books in a line costs *less* than seven random books, because there are huge economies of scale in the employee hours required to plan related things vs. unrelated things, because there is a single body of concept art and not seven sets of it, etc."
Crysta [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: well, but they don't /start/ that way, prolly.
Chadu says, "In all honesty, I'm *not* worried about TS crowding any GURPS books off the queue."
dlpulver says, "Ah. You did a good imitation of it."
JFZeigler smiles. Okay.
Chadu [to Kromm]: EXCELLENT. That's part of the answer I was looking for. Props to VirtualPaul.
Martinl says, "Getting late, got to get up early tomorrow. I shall leave you gentlebeings to your chat. "
dlpulver says, "TS is probably very production light compared to projects like Ogre, which involve things like miniatures and maps."
Chadu [to dlpulver]: I never said it. Somebody else did.
Kromm says, "As well, a line is substantial enough to attract fan and pro interest, so we get think tanks and brain trusts for FREE that we simply would not get for a few books chosen at random."
Martinl isn't here anymore. You're almost sure.
dlpulver says, "Right, that was Til. Sorry!"
SJ [to Chadu]: That's my motto!
CraigR wishes David would schedule a chat dealing with the old GURPSNETs he found in his closet (as he'd done in an informal chat a few months ago). It would give interesting insights into SJG. :)
dlpulver says, "I will if Steve wouldn't mind."
Chadu [to SJ]: What mottO?
Kromm [to Chadu]: I never said it. Somebody else did.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "How about High-Tech, Special Ops, and Espionage?"
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Compendium I, Compendium II, and Basic?"
Chadu [to Kromm]: Oh, okay.
Crysta smiles... SJ said that to her, once, too.
dlpulver says, "UltraTech and Ultra-Tech 2 - hey, they only came out eight years apart!"
VirtualPaul says, "I would think that DP, Dr.K, and JFZ would be more productive/creative on these books, since the material is near and dear to their hearts."
JFZeigler certainly jumped at the chance to get in on this one.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Exactly. Vehicles, Mecha, Robots, and Reign of Steel also form a logical line."
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: The time factor matters. Releasing seven books in two years very close together is a bit different from releasing three or four books with slightly related subject matter over 5-10 years.
Chadu says, "My apologies. I thoughT I had distanced my business-related questions away from my initial distaste of TS. Apparently not. I do feel much better about the line, but I was interested in the pure-business thoughts behind a game-line launch."
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: And the trade dress matters, too. The TS books will LOOK like a line.
SJ looks sternly at Crysta. It doesn't work. It never does.
dlpulver says, "I hope so - it is for me, and Sean and I have tried to ensure that authors get a lot of freedom to make these not just system splatbooks but a series of very personal worldbooks. Jonathans, for example, conveys a lot about the dream of pioneering, while Jon Z's is a chance to remake the globe (:"
Chadu says, "Apparently, my earlier comments colored my statements negatively. Mea culpa."
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Both good points. My argument is so weak that I could claim all GURPS books form a line because of essentially common rules."
SJ [to dlpulver]: Use your common sense. Those were intended as confidential communications to our creative freelancers, but I expect most of the secrets are very, very old by now.
JFZeigler says, "Oddly enough, I was working on my own 22nd Century setting, with a lot of inspiration from some of the same books David has been reading. Then I got this note from David. . ."
Kromm says, "Exactly. We provide topics to be covered, but we do not dictate the personal spin the authors use in their coverage."
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: The problem is that marketing is blakc magic. You know that, right?
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Do you plan a good bibliography for each book?"
Chadu [to Kromm]: What do you sacrifice for sales? (MKTNG as BM)
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: Timing (release schedule), ritual components (trade dress, posters), invocations (author names), etc.
dlpulver [to SJ]: It's mostly of interest for the Books Not Taken. I dunno whether we really want to go into "gee, whatever happened to Sword of the Dark One" anyway...
CapnQ [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: GURPS Time Travel ties all the istoricals into a line. :-)
Kromm [to Chadu]: Sleep. We sacrifice sleep.
Chadu [to Chadu]: Huka hey.
dlpulver says, "Might make a good auction donation, though, if you don't have any of yours left (:"
CapnQ says, "historicals"
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: Yes, there will be bibliographies.
Chadu says, "I do feel much better about TS, now that I've heard what everybody's had to say about minimizing tightly-bounding gearheadness and points-juggling."
Kromm [to Til_Eulenspiegel]: That is a personal fetish of mine. See GURPS Undead for the Most Biblio Entries On One Page Of GURPS Book ;-)
VirtualPaul says, "Hey, that would make a cool Warehouse 23 special: TS core book, and all the inspirational books:)"
Chadu says, "Indeed, some of the subjects brought up tonight have piqued my interest."
JFZeigler . o O ( That would be a *big* package. )
Crysta [to Kromm]: Did you get an award for that?
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "No, that would spawn arguments over what really influcened the work."
Kromm [to Crysta]: No, although some zombie fans at GenCon liked it :)
coyote6 says, "They gave him the heads of two of his enemies."
NVDaydreamer . o O ( zombie fan: blows undead air. )
Kromm . o O ( I have enemies? )
CapnQ . o O ( Kromm has enemies? Inconcievable! )
Kromm starts watching his back.
Chadu says, "And the insistence of the authors that the hot-bloodedness of human passion with wash over the cold charms of technology warms the cockles of my heart."
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( They all used to work for Hasbro. )
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( I hope they have pills for that by 2100. )
dlpulver says, "Speaking of which, there was one section I could use some input on. I'm doing a sidebar called Seven Wonders of the Solar System."
Kromm says, "We're nearing the two-hour mark of our chat. Any more on-topic questions?"
CraigR says, "Well, guys, this has been a really cool chat, but I need to go home and get some sleep (not to mention do a little grocery shopping). David, great chat! I'll catch the rest in the logs. Goodnight, everyone! :)"
dlpulver says, "Thanks..."
SJ [to dlpulver]: Yes, I do NOT really want to get constant questions about what happened to A, B, C . . . Z. Mostly because that's not the kind of fan question I can learn from :-\
CraigR waves, and pushes the button marked "Disassemble."
Chadu [to dlpulver]: I told you I was Stana. Now everybody reading the logs will hate me. :)
A great number of mechanical arms and waldoes extend from the walls and ceiling, quickly breaking CraigR into his constituent parts and removing them.
dlpulver says, "Which is why it's probably NOT a good idea. So... I think I'll skip it!"
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( What was the first human spacecraft to cross Pluto's orbit? )
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Stana = Satan.
VirtualPaul says, "Wonder #1= the Sun"
NVDaydreamer [to dlpulver]: Y'know, there's a planetarium show called Seven Wonders of the Solar System...
Chadu says, "Til: Wasn't that Appollo's Chariot?"
CapnQ [to dlpulver]: are you thinking natural or man-made Wonders?
coyote6 imagines mobs of angry gearheads, with carefully designed and detailed pitchforks and torches, gathering outside Chad's home.
SJ . o O ( The Ring of Saturn. Mons Olympus. The blue whale. )
dlpulver says, "Maybe io's volcanoes... I'd want to skip the really obvious, like Earth."
JFZeigler [to SJ]: The beanstalk.
Crysta . o O ( are we done, or are we getting off topic, again? )
Kromm says, "Charon?"
Chadu says, "Nemesis?"
Chadu says, "The asteroid made entirely of coal?"
Kromm says, "Nemesis! I like that thought."
dlpulver says, "I think we're on topic. Is charon very unusual, or just a captured asteroid? I don't think nemesis exists..."
CapnQ says, "That steel monolith in Seattle? ;-)"
coyote6 [to CapnQ]: Transported to Jupiter's orbit. :)
dlpulver says, "But I will be thinking about the p;ossibility of a brown dwarf object. I may leave that for TS: DB, though."
Chadu says, "I think there should be one. Coal asteroid. Just one, no fossils. Just a big lump of anthracite that's FREAKING EVERYBODY OUT!"
SJ says, "This one huge vacuum-adapted plant that covers a whole asteroid and has no biological connection to Earth life, and nobody has ever found another one, and this one has no known means of reproducing."
JFZeigler . o O ( Now *that's* carbonaceous. )
Kromm says, "Well, Charon is my vote. I am a poor, deprived physics student who took exactly zero astro* courses because I was more interested in things at the scales of 10^-9, 10^-10, 10^-15 . . ."
dlpulver says, "What's odd about Charon?"
Chadu [to SJ]: Oooh, shiny. I like.
Crysta [to SJ]: Hey! I wrote a story about that back in high school!
NVDaydreamer [to dlpulver]: It had the Cliffs of Miranda... The Great Red Spot.... Olympus Mons and Valles Marineris... the Rings, of course....
JFZeigler suddenly realizes that we had better come up with an answer for the Fermi Paradox.
SJ says, "Can't we just say "Everybody still wonders?""
dlpulver says, "The vac-plant may be fun. Some say it's spores from Mars... "
coyote6 [to SJ]: That's interesting; if there is a TS:2200, maybe it could be explored further...
Til_Eulenspiegel . o O ( The aliens haven't yet appeared because humanity hasn't (quite) speciated. )
dlpulver says, "I guess the mini black holes would count."
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Other's say it's a hoax.
SJ says, "Of course, in the Belt, it would occasionally be whacked by collisions and pieces broken off, which would be a logical way for it to spread. So why doesn't it? Or does it?"
coyote6 says, "And others, of course, say it's a sign. From Elvis."
JFZeigler [to SJ]: Maybe. It becomes more relevant in the context of an era-2200 sequel.
dlpulver says, "Yep. A few "sense of wonder" items can give GMs a lot of story hooks."
Kromm [to dlpulver]: You might end up with Seven Natural Wonders and Seven Man-made Wonders.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "There's a sidebar: Cryptoxenobiology."
dlpulver says, "Probably a good idea."
Ral say, "The fact that Mercury is really a giant, incubating egg... Oh wait, no one's supposed to know about that."
SJ . o O ( Omelet! )
dlpulver says, "I'm sure there are things people saw once, but never found again. Or the equivalent of UFOs. People would still belive in UFOs."
Kromm [to dlpulver]: I could see some massive solar array around Mercury being fairly wondrous. Ditto a beanstalk or fountain. Ditto a lot of things.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "You'd have the vacuum-plant, cloud-creatures on Jovian worlds, martian microbes, and of course, Nessie."
Chadu . o O ( Nah, probably hard-boiled. )
dlpulver says, "I like crypto-exobiology."
Kromm likes cryptogastronomy. What IS this stuff we're eating?
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "And lunar butterflies! Like Varley's Steel Beach."
JFZeigler [to Kromm]: Most people don't even know that *now*.
Chadu says, "Crypto-Exo-Xeno-Biology! Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious..."
Crysta . o O ( if they can't tell, I'm prolly the one who cooked it. )
SJ . o O ( a radio source which seems to be located on what passes for a surface on Jupiter. We have no idea how we can get a probe there to check it out. We can't tell whether it's artificial or not; there is no sign of intelligent modulation. )
dlpulver says, "I like finding ancient fossils on mars. Then you can have people scouring the planet looking for them. And a black market trade in them."
Chadu says, "Would a vacuum-adapted biological genemod window-washer be more economical than a robot drone to repair soloar panels?"
SJ says, "And it's pointed just a few degrees of Galactic North. Coincidence?"
Kromm [to JFZeigler]: True. I was at a resto not long ago and asked the waiter if there was some specific ingredient in the sauce, because I tasted it. He had no clue -- had to ask the chef. Chef was taken aback that anyone would notice.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "How would you keep the lowlifes from flooding the market with fakes?"
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "The Martian fossil market, that is."
CapnQ [to SJ]: I have vague memories of reading about exactly such a thing, but on Saturn.
dlpulver says, "Sure. They could have discovered it a few years ago."
JFZeigler [to CapnQ]: The novel was titled _Saturnalia_. Pretty good.
Ral say, "An ancient tag buried deep in Pluto with the words 'Made in Tau Ceti'."
Parakeets say, "Bah! This is no martian fossil! It's an Archaeopteryx egg! Bloody worthless!"
Crysta [to Kromm]: I'm not sure I want to know what the ingredient in question was.
Kromm [to Crysta]: An East Indian spice, IIRC. I forget at this point.
Chadu says, "Nah, graffitti on Pluto that says 'Palainians rule! Summer, 2dxf3'"
Crysta [to Kromm]: Oh, good. Ne'er mind, then. :)
JFZeigler must go. Children to tuck in, mindworms to set on fire.
Clayfoot has disconnected.
Chadu says, "Chimney sweeps. Gene mod chimney sweeps. I can't get them out of my head now."
dlpulver says, "Nothing too obvious. Given all the things we're discovering now, astronomy - once we have a telescope on lunar farside, for example - or at the Lagrange point behind the moon - will be finding all kinds of stuff. There's probably a habitable planet out there, exerting its pull... or all kinds of other strange things we can look at. A few slow light-sail or magsail star probes on the way, unmanned.g"
Kromm says, "A cue chalk the size of Pluto, and a big blue spot on one side of Uranus."
dlpulver says, "The great red spot suddenly turns yellow."
Kromm says, "A big red cue chalk the size of Pluto . . ."
dlpulver says, "okay, I'm taking notes..."
Chadu [to dlpulver]: Not green?
JFZeigler says, "Night, all. David, check your email for a Very Big File ;-)."
dlpulver says, "Nah, that would be obvious!"
dlpulver says, "Thanks JFZ! Good night!"
Ral say, "Are we winding down?"
Chadu [to dlpulver]: what if it stays red, but starts blinking?
bobzilla walks out the glass doors to the west.
The Scout yawns, nods politely to all, and wanders off.
bobzilla walks in from the Pyramid Plaza West.
Til_Eulenspiegel says, "Fake (?) Alien Ruins on <satellite of your choice>, complete with hucksters and con men and true believers in our benevolent space brothers."
coyote6 . o O ( Someone decides that the big red spot is *wrong* and tries to recolor it )
Kromm says, "Anyhow, this is getting from speculative fiction and into speculative, full stop. Given we have had two hours, I think I will officially close the chat and let people go mill around the refreshment table in the lobby."
EDG waves long-distance to David.]
Til_Eulenspiegel has disconnected.
Ral say, "Huzzah."