The livechat over the new directions for Hc Svnt Dracones 2.0 just wrapped up and is in general chatter mode now. The chat was hosted on RPGNET, Dan “Hardboiled GMShoe” Davenport’s IRC channel. I DID have to brush the spiderwebs off my IRC software to participate, but it was a lively little two-hour chat.

There were a number of “new to the game, general information” questions. A few that I found particularly interesting, paraphrasing a bit:

“Can we expect a simplification of the rules at some point?”
HSD 1 was an attempt to bridge rules-light and granular systems, a compromise that makes neither side particularly happy.” 

“Can you tell me more about the game’s supernatural angle?”
It’s based around a concept called transcendence, which essentially equates into reaching into nearby realities…which can lead to madness. These realities can be used as a tool, through special technology.  The lorebook introduces near-cuil realms, which are abstractions of reality that are close enough to our own that you can force your way into them, if conditions are right…”

“What are whispers and owls?”
“Whispers are transcendent entities that emerged about 100 years ago and are slowly making their way through Sol, and owls were one of the earliest recorded occurrences of unwilling transcendence, which resulted in them having to be destroyed.”

That last tidbit is particularly interesting! The idea of an unwilling transcendence hasn’t been explored…much. There’s hints that Transcendent Technologies, Inc. occasionally experiments with implants and unwiling hosts, but the idea of an entire breed being used as an experiment is a novel level of body-based horror. Particularly one as shadowy and stealthy as an owl, and frankly, as alien.

I have trouble with the idea of “crunch” and “rules-light” as a binary pair. They’re perhaps ends of a continuum, but not exclusive ideas. I’ve admired HSD’s mixture of crunch and indie style…but I guess you can’t please everybody!

Check the full coverage of the chat on Davenport’s blog, “The Hardboiled GMShoe’s Office!”