[Aether Thursday] Kickstarter Delay, Aether Tuesday Hiatus

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Hey, again, Voyagers! I know I'm really late with this Aether Tuesday, but it's for a good reason. Lately we struggle to come up with something to post about every Tuesday for this update. We've already posted the basic information about each race, the basic information about the setting, a decent amount of art.

We can't say too much more about the setting without giving everything away. We've been playtesting, but most of the playtest sessions are relatively mundane. There's been a lot of testing on the terrain generation system and really basic combat and roleplaying encounters. There isn't much going on there that would make for worthwhile stories, and I don't want to write about the rules for terrain generation because they're still a work in progress, and we don't want to just give that system away right now.

The next playtest is going to be going into a precursor structure for a short 'dungeon', and I'll be exposing the players to the weapon modification system, so that will probably be fun. If it goes alright, it could even be a good one sheet adventure.

Our plan was to have launched the Kickstarter for Aether Adrift by the end of April, but the quotes we got back from printers are much higher than we had anticipated, so we're having to reevaluate the direction to go with funding, what things should be part of the basic kickstarter goal and what should be stretch goals, what the different support tiers should be priced at, etc.

When the Kickstarter goes live, it'll be a perfect time to bring Aether Tuesday back in force. We can share more freely and more confidently with the campaign running, but as it stands, Aether Tuesday is just taking up time that can be better used elsewhere.

I hope you've enjoyed what we've posted here so far! If you haven't already, you should go back and reread our first entries talking about the setting! They're linked below for your convenience.

The Albatross & Humanity
Robots
Mikwa
The Fulgori Empire
Fulgori Rebels
The World & Precursors

And once you've read through those, you can tells us what you think about it on our Reader Feedback Form.

You can also come hang out with us, and maybe even participate in our playtests on our Discord Server!

Thanks for reading, Voyagers! We'll be seeing you again soon, even if it might not be Aether Tuesday!

[Aether Tuesday]Busy Busy

Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! Testing is going relatively smoothly, and we've been making some very small adjustments and additions to the rules.

The testing has been focusing on the Terrain Generation rules. Terrain Generation works, but needs a lot more tweaking. Currently there's no weight placed on what type of biome can appear next to what, so we can have situations where a hot desert is right next to a cold tundra. I've been puzzling over trying to fix that without making the system hundreds of tables.

In the next coming playtests I'll be messing with the Item Modification rules and seeing how those go. Item Creation rules are going to come some time later; I'm sure you can understand how complicated it is to write rules that can be used for the creation of basically anything.

So, for now, have a silly sketch of 4 of the premade Aether Adrift characters miming the Demon Days album cover.

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That's all for now, Voyagers! If you'd like to participate in our playtests, or just hang out, you can join our Discord Server here: https://discord.gg/3CgnUJ3

[Aether Tuesday]Teddy Roosevelt Robot

Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! We've been focusing on adjusting and testing the game as per usual, and last sunday we had a... curious character in our playtest that might just become an in-setting legend.

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The Hostile Environment Recon and Scavenging Unit (H.E.R.S.U.) Mk. 1 'Teddy'

He was the prototype of an experimental model of robots that was built on earth before the Albatross launched. His line was originally intended as a sturdy and reliable recon unit that would be capable of surveying hostile land and hunting for food and resources. Only this one prototype managed to make it into the cargo of the ship.

Imagine the face above, but one of the eyes is horribly scarred and half-melted from some unknown attack or accident. He carries a custom wood-panel laser rifle that he calls 'The Winchester' and a sword that has the words 'Big Stick' engraved into it. He almost exclusively communicates through Theodore Roosevelt quotes and he emits an eerie, how radio hum at all times.

Our test was pushed forward due to a family event on my end, so we only began with two players, a jolly rotund Mikwa and Teddy. Right out of the gates of the base they find themselves attacked in a crystal clear swamp, waylaid by bandits wanting to steal their meager supplies. Teddy is ready.

"No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it." Teddy lets out after the Mikwa expresses that they barely have any supplies as it is. The Bandit leader cocks his head at his men and tells them they'll be taking their supplies the hard way.

One of the Bandits tries to stab Teddy in the back during the fighting, but deals no damage. He turns back at him, his normally green eyes flick yellow and he says "The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly." then his eyes flick red and he turns to one of the other bandits that had gone to take cover with his pistol and shoots him dead in the chest and takes him out in one go.

Later they ended up back out in the swamp and stumbled upon a heavily injured Fulgori rebel. He told them that he was attacked by some kind of huge creature and pointed into a thick wooded area he had come from. The Mikwa tries to convince him that it's too dangerous, but he just turns to him and belts out "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." and waits patiently for the Mikwa to give in.

They went into the forest after that. The forest canopy was so thick that it blocked out the daylight, and the only light was given by glowing plants near the forest floor. They tracked the Fulgori's foot prints back to where they saw another set of tracks split off from his. They followed THAT and eventually figured out that they had been stalked by some creature that was leaping between trees and had attacked and half-eaten the other Fulgori.

They didn't find it, so they went back to the swamp, tried to patch the Fulgori up but neither of them were really trained in medicine. Luckily a third player joined in around then, a Fulgori doctor.

They proceeded further in the swamp and stumbled on an Albatross Escape Pod, but the human that should have been inside was absent, and the door showed signs of having been torn open. They proceeded further south into some sparse jungle and found him in the bushes, seizing up and foaming at the mouth.

They figured they would take him back to their base in hopes of fixing him up, and remembered that he escape pods have supplies in them that they could use, but as they turned to leave they were attacked by a large flying predator with a poison tipped tail; a Miyu'moko'chi.

 
 It's much cuter here than in person. It's about twice as tall as a man.

It's much cuter here than in person. It's about twice as tall as a man.

 

The Fulgori Doctor froze up when he saw it, and the Mikwa bolted in terror. Once everyone got their bearings, The fight dragged on for a few turns with the PCs managing to avoid any significant harm and the beast's agility and resilient hide letting it shrug off most of their attacks. Teddy backed off to get a better firing position, leaving the doctor to fend for himself.

When the doctor tried to get some space it whipped around and stabbed him right in the back with its poison stinger, then grabbed the dropped human and flew off. Teddy managed to shoot and injure it as it flew off, but not badly enough for it to drop the man.

The doctor almost succumbed to the poison, but the strange healing properties of the swamp, and their quick thinking let them get to the pod just in time to administer antitoxin. He'll probably out of commission for a few days, though.

As for Teddy? Some say he's still hunting the beast through the wilderness. After all,

"Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering."

If you want to have the chance to tell your own wild stories, you should consider joining our Discord and participating in our weekly Playtests!

That's all for now, Voyagers! See you next Aether Tuesday!

 

 

[Aether Wednesday] Happy Easter!

AAAAAHHHHH HECK, It's aether WEDNESDAY, Voyagers!

Sorry, I was too wrapped up in things and I completely forgot about Aether Tuesday!

Oh well.

We hope you all had a wonderful easter, if you celebrated it. If you didn't celebrate it, I'm sure you had lots of fun trying to figure out what was an April Fools day prank and what was real. Hopefully none of you got an Easter Fools rotten egg!

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We had our second playtest on sunday and it went exceedingly well. The terrain generation worked alright, but we'll need to figure out some way to make sure you don't get weird things like Deserts right next to Tundras.

Though... We could just blame that on some precursor facility, I suppose.

Outside of that weirdness, we don't have quite enough events on the random event table yet. I'd like to get to 100, but we've only managed to get 30 or so together so far.

If you're interested in helping us test, or just hanging out and chatting about things, you can join our Discord Server!

See you (hopefully on time) next Aether Tuesday, Voyagers!

[Aether Tuesday] Progress Report

Greetings, Voyagers! it’s Aether Tuesday once again, and we’ve been busy!

Last sunday we had our first public playtest. We’re happy to report that there was a lot of interest in it, which means we’ll have plenty of players going forward.

Hopefully you’ll come over to our Discord server and join us for next week’s playtest! 

My apologies for the short length of this Aether Tuesday update, but we’ve been very busy tightening up the rules for the playtest. In particular we had things like 10’ of future rope weighing 10 pounds, and a 2 pound cell phone.

So I’ll leave you all with a small glimpse into Fulgori government television. 

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Always give thanks to King Fulgor, and we’ll see you next Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! 

[Aether Tuesday] Discord and Playtesting

Greetings Voyagers! It’s Aether Tuesday again and we have some big news!

First of all, we’re opening our Discord server up to the public! Now you can come, hang out and talk tabletop with us! In addition to just hanging out, we use our Discord to make announcements, hold surveys and more importantly, we’re going to be using it for our playtests!

Click the Discord icon to join!

 

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Yes, you did read correctly, we're going to be starting weekly playtests to test and refine our new mechanics. If you're familiar with Savage Worlds already then the rules will be easy to learn, but if you haven't played Savage Worlds, or even a Tabletop RPG, before that's fine too - as long as you're patient and willing to learn!

If you want to join us in our play tests, join us at our Discord and post about your interest in the #Playtest channel

That's all for now, Voyagers! See you on Discord! (And next Aether Tuesday!)

[Aether Tuesday] Poster Concepts + Kickstarter Prep

Hello again, Voyagers! It’s Aether Tuesday again, but we’re sadly still really busy with Kickstarter preparations and planning.

We’re currently going over what way would be best to handle printing and kickstarter fulfilment. We’ve gotten a quote back from one of the printers, and it’s a little higher than we were hoping, but probably doable if need be. We’re also looking into both DriveThruRPG and Studio2 publishing.

Both DriveThruRPG and Studio2 Publishing do on-demand printing and can help handle backer reward fulfilment, which would be a great boon to us, since we don’t exactly have a distribution network of our own.

In the meantime, I’ll share another piece of concept art with you.

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This is a sheet of concept thumbnails for Aether Adrift’s cover art or promotional posters. We’re both pretty fond of a lot of these designs, but we decided that Design #4 would make for the best cover.

I have a WIP of design 13 in the works for use as some spot art or a poster. Would you like to own any of these as posters? Let us know in the comments below!

That’s all for now, Voyagers! See you next Aether Tuesday!

[Aether Tuesday] Preparing for the Kickstarter Launch

It's Aether Tuesday again, Voyagers! and I'm slightly ashamed to say we almost missed it!

But for good reason - We've been focusing a lot of our attention on preparations for the launch of Aether Adrift's Kickstarter campaign next month. We've been gathering estimates and quotes for printing costs, figuring out what kind of accessories we can realistically include and trying to figure out what our final stretch goals should be.

So to make up for it, here's a look at a WIP Voyagers recruitment poster.

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That's all for now. See you next Aether Tuesday, Voyagers!

[Aether Tuesday] The Things You Wanted To See More Of!

Hello again, Voyagers! It's Aether Tuesday again, and today I've gathered up all of your feedback to answer your questions and comments.

Let's start from the top. Out of the people kind enough to leave feedback, what is the fan favorite character race?

Favorite Player Races

It seems like the Fulgori are our current fan favorites! Voyagers can't seem to get enough of their thick tails and authoritarian charm!

Let's move on to some reader questions and comments.

Ian Asked: "Can you give an estimate of percentage of how far you are along?"

I don't think I could give a percentage, but I can tell you that we've been working on this for over 2 years now, and we have a lot of the groundwork laid. We have the broad strokes of the setting, the factions in place, the big ideas.

Mechanically the game is a lot earlier. I'd say we're about 10 - 20% done with rules. We have basic weaponry for each culture and a list of ideas for the Precursor gear, but nothing is set in stone yet. We also have the basics for the terrain generation and gear modification written, but it will need tweaking and adjustments that we can't make until we do some serious testing.

Nehm Asked: "What's the main thing that help keeps you focused on making the game?"

Min: Seeing how much interested people are when I show them the concept work and tell them about the setting and races really keeps me pushing. I love building worlds and I've been wanting to make a game since high school, so this is also just a massive passion project for me.

Sam: Having played RPGs all my life, I want to for once make something instead. Having a sense of accomplishment where I can say "I made that" and have made something others will enjoy.

Nehm also asked to hear about more Robot History

Robot history in the Aether Adrift universe is just a continuation of our own robot history from the real world. They've been advancing more and more so that they could continue to do jobs too dangerous or specialized for humans, and to be able to support humans in other jobs. On the colony ship Albatross, the Robots were charged with maintaining the ship and monitoring crew safety while most of the human crew were in cryo sleep.

Robots are only supposed to have simulated personalities, though being active for 20+ years without regular human maintenance has allowed some to develop quirks and personalities beyond their original programming to some degree.

Casca Commented: "I'd really be interested in seeing the kind of gear voyagers utilize"

I will dedicate a full post to this later, but I'll give you a little taste of some of their non-combat tech.

The standard Voyager Uniform is a survival suit designed to keep its wearer warm in cold climates and cool in hot climates. It can keep you comfortable in a 90 ºf summer day or a 20 ºf Winter afternoon,  but you'll need extra protection for extremes.

Their armor is made of sturdy polymer plates that can normally be easily 'printed' if they have materials, but their situation has them in short supply.

They carry E-canteens and E-rations (The E stands for Electronic) that can heat or cool their contents, and because they're electronic they don't require disposable chemical elements.

Every Human Voyager has a PoCom. It stands for Pocket Computer, and it's basically a super powered cellphone. They can call each other (though range is limited because they don't have a satellite system), record pictures/audio, store data, everything a cellphone can, but they have much more storate capacity and they have attachments for specific functions like medical scanning, and forensic analysis.

Lynx asked about: "The interaction of the Fulgori and the Mikwa. what the Fulgori rebels feel about the Mikwa."

The Fulgori and the Mikwa have conflicting ideals. Mikwa believe that hand craftsmanship and individuality is the most important thing, whereas Fulgori strive for mass production and conformity for the sake of efficiency. The Mikwa and Fulgori seem to have had some sort of friendship or alliance in the past, because many Mikwa firearms and vehicles are retooled Fulgori equipment that has been in maintained or repurposed for over 100 years.

Currently the Fulgori see the Mikwa as a nuisance that stands between them and their goals, often pushing into Mikwa land to gain access to Precursor ruins that their settlements have sprung up around.

Fulgori Rebels' opinions about the Mikwa vary. Mikwa are sometimes distrustful of the rebels and they are rarely seen working together, though there have been cases of Mikwa teaching the rebels how to provide for themselves, whether it be out of pity or genuine kindness.

Neko wants to see: more about the landscape/animals and technology they create or piece together.

I think there might be enough information there to do a full Aether Tuesday post, so I'll have to get back to this later.

Iygua wants to see: "more in the way of big-boss type enemies. The kind that you fight at the end of the campaign."

Check out our free one sheet adventure 'Scientist Snatch' for a look at an up coming 'big boss'. Beyond that, here's a concept for what could be a pretty scary boss.

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That's all for now, Voyagers!

If you'd like to have your questions answered, tell us what you'd like to see more of, or just give us your thoughts, please don't hesitate to fill out our Reader Feedback Form! We're always eager to hear back from you!

See you next Aether Tuesday!

[Aether Tuesday] Reader Feedback + Art

Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! This week we want to get some feedback and see what you think of what we have going on here. Then after that, I want to show off some concept art and ideas for things we want to put in the game.

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The form below has some simple questions that will give us an idea of where to go with Aether Tuesday content, so we can give you more of what you want to see; We'd greatly appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to fill it out for us!

What is a: Mikwa, Fulgori(Rebel), Robot, Human

Name *
Name
Your name. Feel free to use a pseudonym if you're uncomfortable sharing your real name.
Favorite Races *
What are your favorite Aether Adrift races?
Why do you find them the most interesting?
Is there anything about Aether Adrift that you would like to know more of?
Any questions or comments you have about us, the company, or the game.

Alright, now that you've filled out and submitted the questionnaire (and definitely haven't simply skipped the form to look at the art) we can look at the art!

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Here we have a bishounen swordsman (So sugoi!). A very elegant swordsman that wields a giga blade with grace and finesse. He's a candidate for one of the iconic human characters.

More importantly, however, is the Admiral next to him. That is the Admiral of the Albatross. I was sort of thinking of Jet from Cowboy Bebop while drawing him, and I'm pretty sure that's noticeable. He's not fully fleshed out yet, but he's a seasoned ship admiral, very experienced in taking ships between planets in the Sol system.

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These are some quick robot sketches to show off some of the unique features they can get during character creation. From left to right we have a Collapsible Arm Cannon, a Collapsible Arm Blade, 'Mobility Mode' Which lets them move faster with collapsible wheels in their feet or legs, and the Tow Hook which can be used to climb or to drag and lift things.

The two pictures at the bottom are just a couple of faces. trying to get a feel for how robots should look, because it's been a little inconsistent.

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And, the last image for today, we have what we're calling a mimic slime. They're little gooey boys that seem to like to mimic the shape of other creatures and thinks they can see. Here we have a mimic slime impersonating a fulgori scientist while he takes notes.

That's all for today, Voyagers! I can't wait to see what you all have to say!
See you next Aether Tuesday!