Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Five or So Questions with Brendan Conway on Masks

Tell me a little about Masks. What has you excited about it?

Masks is my Powered by the Apocalypse game of young supers, figuring out who they are when the world keeps telling them different things. You'll play a young superhero type person, someone who's capable already, but not at the peak of their ability. Somebody who's still learning about who they are, and the world they live in, and trying to figure out where they fit, even as adults and peers are shouting at them constantly, trying to tell them exactly where that is. You'll be part of a team of others like yourself, who are of course also nothing like yourself, and who are all struggling to find their own places. And you'll be telling them who they are even as they do the same to you. Oh, yeah, and of course amid all this drama, tons of super-heroic action. Cars flying through the air, ice beams, absurd acrobatics, that kind of thing.

The key mechanical innovation that I'm playing with to get this tone across (and the one that has me most excited) is Labels. Instead of Stats, which are used in most Powered by the Apocalypse games, you have Labels. Stats are sort of objective measures of who you are. If you have a +3 Hard, then you're a hard guy. If you have -2 Volatile, then you wouldn't hurt a puppy. Stats are objective measurements of subjective qualities. Labels, on the other hand, are explicitly about how you see yourself. So they fluctuate a lot. As people tell you who you are, their words have impact on your self-image, and your Labels will change. As you decide who you are, your Labels will change. As a result, the things that you're good at and the things that you're bad at are never quite set in stone. The consequence of being a young person who doesn't quite know who they are yet.

Beyond the fact that I'm psyched to explore that game mechanic, and that I've had great fun testing it so far, and that I just get a thrill putting pen to paper and writing up more ideas for it...I'm super excited by the potential to create a system that consistently produces stories like ones I love. I am enamored of RPGs that set themselves up as story-engines, capable of consistently producing particular kinds of stories that you might find in movies, books, comics, whatever. For Masks, I wanted to create an engine that could produce stories like those in Young Avengers, Runaways, Avengers Academy, Teen Titans, and certain iterations of the X-Men. In particular, I've been watching Young Justice, and every time I think about how Masks could be the system that creates Young Justice style stories at your table, I get chills. That's what I want -- to be able to create my own Young Justice stories with friends. If Masks gets anywhere close to that goal, I'll be pretty happy.

How do Labels work, mechanically?

The caveat is that they're still in development, but here's how the Label mechanics look right now. There are six different Labels: Hero, Danger, Freak, Star, Radical, and Mundane. Each one is ranked just like normal Powered by the Apocalypse stats, from -3 to +3. Each one has a single basic move attached to it, and when you make that move, you'll roll 2d6 + the appropriate Label. All of this is par for the course in Powered by the Apocalypse games.

The difference comes with the seventh basic move, "Tell someone who they are." This move has you rolling+Influence, which is the amount of sway your words have over someone, to adjust that person's Labels. You'll have a different amount of Influence over each other Mask (PC). So if I'm playing Robin, I might have 0 Influence over Superboy because he doesn't really have anything staked on my opinions of him. I'll be rolling+0, then, when I tell Superboy that if he keeps acting the way he has been, he's going to get someone hurt! I'm telling Superboy that he's a Danger. If I get a hit, then my words have sunk in, and Superboy's Danger Label will go up by 1. As a consequence, though, another of Superboy's Labels will go down by 1. That'll be Superboy's player's choice. If, on the other hand, I tell Superboy that he's endangering people and heroes don't do that, then I might actually be telling Superboy that he is not a Hero. In that case, on a hit I can decrease Superboy's Hero Label by 1, and then Superboy's player can increase another Label by 1.

That's the basic idea, but then I've got a lot of other accouterments I'm hanging on it. For example, every playbook has six unique moves, one for each Label. When you are at +1 in a particular Label, you'll get access to that move automatically, but you'll lose access if you drop below +1 in that Label. As you advance, you'll gain the opportunity to permanently unlock those moves. Other advancement opportunities include the ability to add +1 to a Label -- no, you can't be guaranteed that it will stay higher, but it means that on the whole, your Labels ecosystem will add up to one point higher than before. I think of that as having developed a stronger sense of self on the whole -- you're still figuring out who you are, but you're growing in the sense that you are somebody. Another advancement opportunity is the ability to lock your Labels in place at the time you take the advance, to solidify your self-image. You can lock your Hero in at a +3, for instance, ensuring that no one can tell you that you aren't a Hero anymore -- you know that you are. Or, you could lock your Hero in when it's a -3 -- you're not a Hero, and you never will be, no matter what they tell you.

Tell me a little about the Paragons. How do they work and how do they help shape the game?

Paragons in Masks are folks like Magneto and Xavier. They are NPCs, the big, most important highlighted people in the world of these young Masks. They might be anything from teachers to idols to feared criminals to hated enemies, but one way or another they are critically important to shaping the world that the Masks live in.

At the start of play, you'll create three Paragons as a group. Each Paragon embodies one Label, denies another Label, and has a particular type. For example, you might wind up with a Paragon who embodies Radical (he thinks he knows how to change the world, himself), denies Danger (he would never harm anyone if he can possibly avoid it), and be of the Teacher type (with the move: Highlight inexperience). The exact details would be up to your group to fill in, with the GM asking questions about the Paragon until you all have a clear idea of that character. In this case, that Paragon might be Professor Charles Xavier.

After making the three Paragons, each Mask picks one to label as the most important to them. The idea here is to have the Masks with strong feelings already toward the iconic characters in their setting, the way that Young Justice characters like Robin, Artemis, and Superboy have strong feelings about Batman, Sportsmaster, and Superman. Or the way that the young X-Men have strong feelings about either Xavier or Magneto. The Paragons would then give the GM the equivalent of Fronts for Masks, as well as giving the GM a means by which to actually affect the Masks' Labels -- if you deeply care what Xavier thinks and then Xavier tells you you aren't ready to go out there and fight to save lives, you can rest assured it's going to affect your Labels.

The Paragons are there to be pillars, to be the major forces that you can deny, or accept, or join with, or run from. If young people define themselves in contrast to or similarity with the important people in their lives, then Paragons are those important people.

What is the biggest change, tonally, from other Powered by the Apocalypse games and Masks?

Tough question! I don't think that, tonally speaking, the Powered by the Apocalypse games can be easily lumped together. If I had to answer on the whole, the biggest thing I'd call out is the difference in one of the fundamental principles for Masks. While I still see Masks as a "Play to find out" kind of game, I also keep rephrasing it in my head as "Play to find out who the Masks are". Less of a focus on events and actions, per se -- more of a focus on identity and personality. To answer a bit better though, I need to call out some of those games individually.

Monsterhearts is a wonderful game about being a teenager where adolescence is depicted through the lens of being a monster, and it pretty much says whatever I could think to say about adolescence from that perspective. Masks is about being a teenager or a young adult, but with much more focus on figuring out who the heck you are and how the voices of everybody around you can affect you. So beyond just the obvious horror versus superhero fiction difference, I see the difference being between your internal struggle with yourself and with control and understanding and growing up, and your external struggle to hear what other people are telling you about yourself and internalize that helpfully and healthily, without losing yourself to other people's opinions. Or something.

Dungeon World is a wonderful game about fantasy fiction, particularly of the D&D vein. It pretty much does what Masks tries to do in functioning as an engine that will consistently produce stories of a particular variety. A key difference, though, is that I'm working to make sure that Masks has a heavily emotional component, something that produces what I have heard experts describe as "the feels". I don't think that DW is really all that worried about producing said "feels" in the same way, but that's appropriate to the type of fiction that DW is designed to emulate. DW is very heavily focused on action and awesome and cinematic coolness, while Masks is trying to have some of that action, along with its scenes of people yelling at each other while tears slide down their faces.

Apocalypse World is a wonderful game about scarcity and violence and human struggle and right and wrong. Perhaps the most important tonal difference here is about the badassitude of characters. In AW, you're the baddest asses around. You're really, really great at what you do, and NPCs are chumps. Chumps with guns, sure, but in general no NPC is ever really your equal. In Masks, though, you're young supers. You have enormous amounts of potential, and you can still do some pretty awesome things, but it's an explicit element of the game that you're not there yet. You're Robin, not Batman. Someday, you'll be in the big leagues if that's what you want (though who knows what side you'll be on), but right now? You're still learning.

There are a couple of supers Powered by the Apocalypse games that I can think of -- Worlds in Peril is one of the most prominent examples, having just finished a successful Kickstarter. I haven't really delved deeply into Worlds in Peril's rules, so I don't know for sure how exactly it works, but my impression of it is that it's focusing on superheroes generally, with a tone that reminds me more of the Avengers movie, or superhero comics in general. Masks is designed to delve deeply into a particular style of superhero story, not into superhero stories in general, so that alone is a substantial divide. I'm also noticing that Worlds in Peril has mechanics that are meant to reflect the physics of superhero stories, while Masks has mechanics that all feed into the fundamental idea of Labels and figuring out who you actually are. Of course, all that's a very superficial analysis.

Another superhuman Powered by the Apocalypse game is Mutanthearts, which last I'd heard was being worked on by some great people, and which I had the pleasure of playtesting. It deals with similar setting ideas to Masks, focusing on young mutants, and the issues facing them. It was great! I think that this is one of those interesting cases where Masks and Mutanthearts may be playing in very similar sandboxes, but they're not doing the exact same thing, and that means that they're elucidating different ideas about the genre. Mutanthearts, from my perspective at least, is way more about being a mutant and telling X-Men stories in all their glory, and it's GREAT at that. Masks is much more about just plain being a young super person, dealing with growing up and becoming a full adult super person. That has some X-Men elements in it, but not every X-Men story would fit Masks. Mutanthearts' focus on the drama of being a mutant teenager aims it at a different tonal target than Masks, so really what I'm saying is that if both games ever fully exist you should buy both.

Do you have a timeline for Masks, and if so, when can we expect to see it out in the wild?

Right now, I think I have a very strong core for Masks, a set of ideas and baseline rules that are solid. But I think I have a lot of additional work to do, along with a lot of playtesting, before I feel comfortable bringing it to a finished form. My goal, my hope of all hopes, would be that a year from now, I can put together a Kickstarter to make it a real thing. But in the mean time, I'll be playtesting it and working on it and talking about it.

But, y'know, it helps to have people asking me about when it will exist. Because then I feel more obligated to make that actually happen, and think about things like timelines.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five or So Questions with Aaron Pirnack on Renaissance Adventures

Check out Renaissance Adventures at!

Tell me a little about Renaissance Adventures. What excites you about it?

We incorporate experiential education into a live-action roleplaying game in a way that kids can have a fantastic time outdoors while developing 21st century skills (such as critical thinking, teamwork, self-esteem, leadership, and so on). We've been doing this since 1995 and are excited that others are wanting to join in on our business and educational model.

What type of live-action games do you typically play?

​Our programs are usually fantasy themed with challenges that emphasize a myriad of skills sets. Yes, we do plenty of boffer combat, but each quest has a number of other physical, mental, social, emotional, and ethical challenges packed in. Furthermore, because this is a children's program, the game also develops 21st century skills of critical thinking, teamwork, ethical reasoning, self-esteem, fitness, and social awareness. I've actually found that our live-action games are unique. There is a single storyteller ("Quest Leader") that leads a small group of six or so "Questers." As a group, they adventure over the course of an entire week's day programming (30-40 hours of questing). Then, next time they play, the Questers are in a new group with a new Quest Leader to take them on a new adventure.

What do you think the positive side effects are of your teaching model?

​The children and teens are engaged and motivated to succeed in a dynamic story, and thereby have a passion overcoming its challenges. By couching real-world issues and skills development into the ​framework of a quest challenge, the participants easily intuit the lessons' importance, context, and self-initiation that is otherwise very difficult to teach in the classroom. Our emphasis is also in experiential education, so the participants reflect upon and redo many of the more difficult challenges. Finally, I believe that setting any lesson into a story means that it is more memorable. That includes historical events (imagine being at the Battle of Waterloo rather than being lectured about it), language arts (imagine writing a story about what your character did), and even mathematics (imagine solving a hexadecimal based puzzle-door that must be opened before the vampire lord's minions discover the heroes).

What work did you have to do to set up the organization and spread the word?

​I personally have been working for Renaissance Adventures since 2000. By then the company was five years old, but it was still fairly small - just a dozen of us "Quest Leaders" leading groups in Boulder. As word of our glorious adventures spread to more families, I transitioned to become the primary quest and resource writer. Then, in 2009, I become co-director and business manager to help maintain the momentum, help craft a business and marketing plan, and explore options of branching out to other locations.​ Now we have four major locations in Colorado and one in Washington. We have sold a license to utilize our business methods and program resources to a company called Lore Adventures in Michigan; they have been so successful that they are ready to expand into Texas. We are about ready to open the license to a larger pool of "beta licensees" that have a passion for education, youth development, and of course live-action roleplaying games.

How can people support Renaissance Adventures, and who benefits?

​Spread the word of what we do, and should someone want to open up their own Adventure Quest license in their area, we would love to start a conversation about what that looks like. We have spent nearly 20 years perfecting this program and creating resources so that those who want to do what we do can support themselves as a successful business owner without reinventing the wheel. In fact, our business model requires very little overhead cost from both our own pricing as well as equipment and administration costs that a business would have to incur. We truly believe that this could be a great renaissance in experiential education, summer programming, and live-action roleplaying.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Five or So Questions with Ryan Schoon on Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance

I interviewed Ryan Schoon about Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance. It launched end of May!

Tell me a little about Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance. What has you excited about it?

The world that we have built! What we have done is taken a Tolkienesque world and fast forwarded the timeline and set it during the invention of steampunk. It's a chance to see the effects of a growing new technology on a fantasy world and it's an amazing place to explore.

What sort of influences did you have for the steampunk aesthetic? 

I have been a fan of steampunk since I first watched Metropolis. Steamboy, Full Metal Alchemist, and more recently The Legend of Korra have all provided inspiration for the aesthetic of the game. We have put a twist on all of it but setting it during the Renaissance, (normally steampunk is a pre-WII Germany, Victorian England, or the Wild West) so while we were able to inform our aesthetic from our favorite shows and movies, we were allowed to organically originate our own ideas as well.

What do you think the benefits are of having a threshold system instead of target numbers?

It's more easily explained by comparing it to a system that does not use a threshold. Pathfinder for example. If two characters in Pathfinder are making a skill check and one is naturally better than the other. The better character may utterly destroy the target number while the other may barely scrape by. Yet the outcome for both characters is the same.

We wanted to do something different. Two characters may both be able to perform a skill, like running from rooftop to rooftop using Parkour, successfully. But the better character, the one who utterly surpassed the target number, flows from rooftop to rooftop like he was born there. He moves faster, jumps farther, and surpasses all obstacles. This better reflects our goals of better representing reality.

Tell me a little bit about the different bands. What makes each one unique?

Each Band reflects a different attribute and element of the world. This isn't just a surface reflection. The element to which they are tied is obvious in every ability they have. So the Red Band, linked to Fire, has this aggressive, fiery undercurrent to all of their abilities while the Green Band, linked to Nature, has abilities based around a deep connection to nature. So even when two Bands share certain abilities they are more deeply linked to their element.

What's up next for you? Expansions on Edara, or something new?

We definitely have expansions in the works. Deeper campaign settings and more information on the world. We do have one or two secret products in the works that we aren't quite ready to talk about yet, but there are exciting things happening for us!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Five or So Questions with Steve Radabaugh on Dungeon Marauders

Tell me a little about Dungeon Marauders. What's exciting about it?

Dungeon Marauders is a dungeon delving digital card game for iPhone. A deck of cards represents your hero, and you go through short dungeons that are represented by five cards. You also get to create your own dungeon that people go through.

What I find exciting about Dungeon Marauders is that it's trying to focus on people challenging each other face to face. The only way to go directly to another person's dungeon is to scan the QR code from their phone. I've also taken that a step further to have special dungeons that companies can post at their booth at conventions as a Booth Beast.

What did you do to test Dungeon Marauders?

I started out by printing up some physical cards on my home printer and bringing the concept with me to Metatopia. I did a fair amount of ninja-playtesting there (There weren't any official events, just a handful of games with various people at the bar). After Metatopia, I knew that I had a solid concept. During development, I had a group of 25 or so testers that I frequently sent builds out to and solicited feedback from.

What was your inspiration for Dungeon Marauders?
It started out with the concept of a game that could be played at conventions. I wanted to make Booth Beasts that were QR codes that companies could put at their booth for an exclusive something. I was working with some other projects with QR codes, and had them on the brain. So I had the meta game kind of planned out before I had any actual game mechanics thought up. As far as the card game part of it, I'm not sure that I had a direct inspiration.

What suggestions would you have for people new to the app design industry?
Create the things that you want to have for yourself, don't create things just because you think that they'll make you rich. Also, keep your day job until you are making enough money to support yourself.

What's up next for you?
I'm actually really excited about the game that I did for GameChef, so I'm probably going to start doing more playtesting and development on that. I'm also going to start figuring out Dungeon Marauders as a physical card game. I'm hoping to playtests of both of those things over the summer and see where that takes me. I have some contract work lined up both in the RPG realm and in the app realm. Maybe when things quiet down I'll start working on that SHMUP game I've been wanting to make for years.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Okult by Wilhelm Person and Asking Good Questions

Recently on G+ I put out a post saying how I wish I could just get copies of the games I interview people about. A few people sent me stuff, which was super cool! One of the things that got into my grabby hands was Wilhelm Person's Okult.

I've been watching Okult from afar for a while. I saw when it came out and was vaguely interested, and got a little more interested when I read a little about it. However, I'm both cheap and busy, so I hadn't put it on my urgent list yet. Getting it and reading it was a genuine pleasure. I loved the photography in the book and was excited to take a look at the game itself.

Okult is a horror game and photo book. First off, the game is mega simple. It is a storytelling game of a sort, and has a scale of the intensity of the horror in the game. There are no complicated mechanics. It's also GMless, which I dig.

What I like about it is that one, when you get to a point in a scene where you ask a question, someone else gets to answer it, and two, it's all about asking good questions. Questions about your Hometown, questions about your past, questions about what you can do in the game, questions about the secret of the town. So many questions!

Epidiah Ravachol said (In a post supporting me, no less!):
As a whole, game designers are only just starting to wake up to the fact that the single most effective mechanic is a question. That's going to change soon and over the next few years you're going to see a lot of hot new games built entirely around the questions players can ask and how they can be answered. When this happens, we're all going to appreciate just what it takes to craft a well-asked question.
I think that Okult has a decent handle on this.

When I think of asking questions, which I do, quite a lot of the time (in case you hadn't noticed), I think of how I want the responder to feel, how I want them to think, where I want their train of thought to go. I never like closed questions, so I always look for a why, or a what, and press for it.

I want to write a game about asking questions, but I think I'm just so wrapped up in the questions that I can't find my way to answers. I like that Okult doesn't give you the answers - it lets you explore them on your own. And it does so visually! It uses a map, a big map, and you also record facts on the map, answering the questions.

What's so great about questions? To me, I love questions. Questions often demand answers, and even when they don't, they invite thought. They lead to exploration. They guide us through the unknown by giving us a point to start and a reason to answer - the good ones, anyway. Plus, questions lead to interaction. Yes, you can ask yourself questions and answer them alone, but the most enjoyable way to explore questions is to share it with other people. To ask, and receive responses, and then ask more, continuing the discourse.

Vincent Baker says that games are a conversation.

What's a conversation without questions?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Games for New Hacks

Recently I had a discussion with +Stras Acimovic and +John Sheldon during our camping/gaming weekend about the prevalence of Powered by the Apocalypse games and similar hacks.

First thing: I don't think hacking is bad, nor do I think it's lesser than making new, original games, nor do I think that hacks lack innovation.

Here's the second thing, though.

I worry about stagnation. I see tons of games being made, but so many are from the same core. I want to see more games being made that are original, or that come from different things. While Powered by Apocalypse games are great, and it's awesome that +Vincent Baker made the system available to people to make more games, there are a few games that have come out recently that are simply flavor laid over the original system without new mechanics or innovation, and I worry we'll see that more and more. I also see games being created that use Powered by the Apocalypse, but lack the issue of scarcity. This is something Stras could talk about more than me, but if there is no real scarcity in a game, then the Apocalypse doesn't work as well. This is a case where system really does matter. I'm not saying that no one should make games Powered by the Apocalypse, I'm saying that not everyone needs to use it if they have the capacity to do otherwise.

What I'd like to see: designers who have the capacity (which is technically everyone, but potentially moreso experienced designers) creating new, original games and making them open source/Creative Commons. Not just because new games are awesome, but because new games enable future innovation. When we have more games that are original, we have more games to hack, so new designers who are trying to figure out the way games work can hack those original games, and it creates a cycle of creation and innovation, because people will add on mechanics of their own to those original games, or tweak them, and make new things once they know what they're doing.

I'm sure someone will see a flaw in this, but I admit I don't care much. That doesn't change the fact that we're seeing tons of games Powered by the Apocalypse, some of which don't make sense to be powered that way, and not seeing as many new and original things as I personally would like to see.

So, make new games. Hack those new games. Then make more new games. This is a fun cycle. It's exciting.

Let's do it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Brie Sheldon Interviews Julio Matos and Igor Toscano

This was such a fun interview! +Julio Matos and +Igor Toscano were fantastic to talk to, even though I butchered their names when I introduced them. 

The Brazilian scene is fascinating, and I'm looking forward to seeing more in the future!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Five or So Questions with Wade Dyer on Fragged Empire

Tell me a little about Fragged Empire. What excites you about it?
There is a lot about my project that excites me. But most of all, is the dream of having my book completed & being enjoyed by others. I have a real 'artisan' approach to my work, pouring all of my skill, time & passion into this project. But I long for it to be completed, for people to not only hold it & read it, but for it to be used. I want it to be sitting at peoples gaming tables, in their bookshelves & being discussed on obscure RPG forums.

Before we talk about the game - your website and art are bangin'! Tell me a little about the artist selection, art direction, and overall feel you were going for with the art.

Ha ha, love the word 'bangin'!

I'm a freelance graphic designer (who also dabbles in illustration) by trade, so I made the website myself & have a lot of experience working with other creatives.

I'm very passionate about working with emerging artists, you will intentionally see no big names in my books credits. I must have went through almost 200 hundred (no joke) different artists galleries. I then sent emails or DeviantArt notes to those who met my criteria. While I have artwork from almost a dozen different artists in my book, most of it will be done by 4 particular artists who demonstrated a passion for not only my project, but for their own trade. Clonerh Kimura, Fyodor Ananiev, Alexandrescu Paul & Niam. These guys & gal have been fantastic to work with, so full of passion & dedication, they really get what I'm trying to do.

I really want the art in my book to show 2 things. Firstly, it needs to convey the tone of the setting; beautiful, modern, detailed, subtle depth, but vibrant & fun. That mix of energy & grit. Secondly, it needs to convey the passionate craftsmanship that has gone into this book. Visual art is so easy & fast to consume, reading stories & non digital game mechanics can take a lot longer to grasp. Its my hope that people will look at the art & the website, & see that I & my team have really poured our passion & skill into this project, in every way.

On to the game! Tell me a little about the different character types in Fragged Empire. What makes them unique?
Characters in this setting are not defined by a class, they are a person. Able to draw their identity from anything they choose. Which could be as straight forward as their profession or weapon, or it could be through their relationships with other characters. Each choice they make, is also a choice to not be other things.

Each character will also carry a certain amount of baggage, primarily from their race & culture. Prejudice, regret & hope run deep through every race, but in dramatically different ways.

What kind of mechanics did you use to emphasize the game's aesthetic?
This is quite a big question, so I will focus on just two examples.

Cultural tension; when you choose a race, you automatically gain prejudice from at least one other playable race. By default, that race will be suspicious of you, possibly even violent towards you. Who you are, not just how good you roll, will often define how other characters respond to you. You will also have a number of game options (Traits) that will be opened to you, while others will be closed to you, simply because of your race & cultural upbringing. It is not possible for one person to completely overcome their racial baggage.

Post-apocalyptic; a lack of readily available civilized infrastructure & self reliance are two major themes of the setting. This is highlighted through a Spare Time Points system, where each character only has a certain amount of spare time to spend on their personal hobbies & side interests. Including: Research, Trading, Modifying their Weapon or exercising. How your character spends their spare time is important, as time is a valuable resource. Are you a practical or theoretical engineer? Do you spend all your time modifying, maintaining & upgrading equipment, or do you spend your time researching ancient mechanical artifacts & exploring theoretical ideas?

What players do you think would most enjoy Fragged Empire?
If you like long, sandbox games with miniatures, then this game system is ideal for you.
If you like culture & art (both visual & narrative), then you will enjoy this setting.
If you like science fiction, you will love this book.