[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!

[Aether Tuesday] The World and The Precursors

Hello again, Voyagers! You didn't forget what day it is did you? it's Aether Tuesday! Today we're going to be talking about the world the game is set on and the Precursors, a civilization that once inhabited it.

A precursor facility nestled into the mountains, a Voyager team preparing to enter.

A precursor facility nestled into the mountains, a Voyager team preparing to enter.

The world that the crew of the Albatross is stranded on is completely uncharted by man, with geographical features that seem to fly in the face of science. The primary land masses are actually floating islands, suspended in the air above a dense ocean of clouds that obscures the true surface of the world, if there even is one.

Each of these islands has the potential to have their own unique biome with their own unique flora and fauna. These biomes range from relatively normal, if oddly colored forests, grassy plains, mountains and deserts to those never seen on earth like dark swamps flowing with glowing water, forests with towering mushrooms in place of trees and Twinkling deserts of multi-color glass.

A brave Voyager wades through a luminescent swamp.

A brave Voyager wades through a luminescent swamp.

The islands float independently of each other, sinking or rising and moving around the surface at their own pace. Travel between the islands would be impossible without some sort of flying machine, and even then the wind currents and large creatures seen flying in the space between them would pose a significant challenge to overcome.

A feature common to many of these islands is the presence of strange and ancient structures. While they are all but abandoned by their original owners, they house technology that makes even the advanced human technology look primitive by comparison. Explorers have found devices that create Hard Light constructs, materials that are both incredibly light and durable, machines that defy the laws of gravity, but most importantly Nanotechnology. This nanotech allows the the user to manipulate nanoparticles and perform feats that may as well be fairy tale magic.

in the absence of their precursor masters, the defenses of these facilities still function. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes designed for specific tasks or environments. Many of the security robots roam the halls of these structures following the programming instilled within them, but others worn down by time have gone dangerously haywire. Some of them merely incapacitate while others will viciously kill without warning. Some may warn or even aid the explorers, but some still lurk in the shadows waiting to strike against the unaware. The sheer variety of these drones means that a Voyager can never truly know what to expect.

A variety of Precursor security drones.

A variety of Precursor security drones.

As if the security drones weren't bad enough, fulgori can sometimes be found skulking around the abandoned facilities, hoping to bring back some valuable prize to their leader. Luckily the security systems guard against fulgori scavengers just the same.

Not all of the technology hidden within these ruins is beneficial, however. Some facilities contain things better left alone. Rage viruses, insane AI and Toxic chemicals are only some of the dangers unearthed from these ruins. All the more reason to find them before the fulgori do.

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

[Aether Tuesday] Special Surprise!

Hello, again, Voyagers! It's Aether Tuesday and we've decided to give you a very special surprise today!

I'm sure you remember these stunning adventurers

I'm sure you remember these stunning adventurers

Today marks the release of our first official Aether Adrift adventure! This One Sheet adventure tasks your team with rescuing a human scientist from the Fulgori Empire before they can leverage his extensive knowledge of Precursor technology for some nefarious means!

We're also giving you 6 pre-made characters so that you can get a taste of some of the new things we're bringing to the table with Aether Adrift and two pages of printable character standees so you can easily play this on a tabletop!

You will need either a copy of Savage Worlds Deluxe, or the Savage Worlds Test Drive in order to play this. Savage Worlds Deluxe is only $10, and if you buy it, make sure you select physical copy. It's the same price and you get a free PDF!

I haven't personally read through the Test Drive, but I think it should be adequate. The character sheets have all of their Edges, Hindrances and abilities written out, you just need the core rules.

You can find download links for all of the pre-made characters, the Scientist Snatch adventure and the printable standees on our new Downloads page right now!

That's all for today, Voyagers! Have fun with that adventure and please feel free to send us feedback at demonskunkstudios[at]gmail.com or by leaving a comment here!

See you next Aether Tuesday!

[Aether Tuesday] Fulgori Rebels

Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! This week we're going to talk about the devious defectors from the Fulgori Military. the Fulgori Rebels!

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The Rebels, as their name might imply, oppose King Fulgor's regime. It takes a lot to get a Fulgori to leave the comfort of their old life; Being fed, clothed and housed for simply doing your job is a wonderful deal after all. So what happened to these Fulgori that caused them to leave the safety and security of their old regime?

It's different for each fulgori. Some of them found their lot in life unfair - dredging hours away in the mines only to be given the same as those who shuffle papers in the comfort of an office is unappealing to many. Some are criminals and leeches who would rather flee the regime than answer for their crimes and do an honest day's work, but far and away the most numerous and sinister cause for rebellion is The King's own suspicions and the consequences they bring forth.

Sometimes hard working citizens simply... Disappear with no explanation, no one knows where they go. Their disappearances are often blamed on the Rebels, claims that they were killed in a terror attack, or kidnapped to be tortured for their amusement. More disturbing, however, is when they say nothing at all; Superiors, workmates and sometimes even family members claiming that they never even existed. The fear of something like that happening to them or their family is enough to run some Fulgori out of their homes, to join the rebellion before some shadowy hand can whisk them off to an unknown fate.

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Despite their relative freedom from the regime, life in Rebel settlements and bases is far from pleasant. They have to scrape together a life from dirt and scrap metal. Because fulgori work one job for life, many don't have skills like construction and farming so they learn through painful trial and error. Made worse is the fact that all defectors are permanently marked enemies of the state with kill on sight orders should any of them be seen, so they have to hide their meager scrapings or see them all razed by the much better equipped military.

The only gear they have available to them is what they brought with them when they defected and what they manage to steal from dangerous raids on military facilities. The rare rebel base has a gunsmith or blacksmith, but most of the time they have to repair and maintain what they have through trial and error.

Despite the rebels' position at odds with Fulgor's empire, they are suspicious of Humans, and vice versa. Rarely, friendly mikwa will lend their knowledge to help rebel fulgori fend for themselves. Despite their suspicion, a number of rebel fulgori have joined with the Voyagers. Although they are slow to trust eachother the fulgori's natural urge to form small group bonds can lead to very tightly knit teams.

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

 

[Aether Tuesday] The Fulgori Empire

Hello, Voyagers, it's Aether Tuesday again, and today we're bringing you information on the Fulgori.

The Fulgori are another of the races on the island of Elisi, though it seems that they're not indigenous to it like the Mikwa are. Fulgori typically stand a little taller than humans, averaging over 6 feet (~2 meters) in height. They have digitigrade legs and thick tails, and their naturally glowing eyes and jagged upper jaw give them a sinister look.

Fulgori society is very regimented and strict, valuing efficiency over individuality. Compared to the Mikwa they live in much larger, more heavily populated cities. Children are typically enrolled in boarding schools at a young age, where they are given a formalized, uniform education. Employment is decided based on aptitude tests so that each citizen can contribute where they are most effective. Most fulgori will work one job for their entire life, unless circumstance renders them unable to effectively perform their job.

The government plays a big part in Fulgori life, providing food, shelter and work for all citizens, expecting that they work diligently in return. Fulgori that work hard are rewarded with extra food and luxuries. Fulgori that slack off and do a poor job are punished with reduced luxuries and looked down upon by society as a whole.

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Despite this large government influence, Fulgori home life is very private. They form tight bonds with very small groups. Personal things like displays of affection, parties, funerals and feelings are kept within these private groups, to the point where even as much as holding hands with another fulgori in public is considered taboo.

Fulgori are omnivores that subsist mostly on meat, with supplemental fruits and veggies. They prefer savory and bitter flavors. Sweets are a rarity to be enjoyed in small amounts.

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The way most Voyagers will interact with the Fulgori is through their military. The Fulgori have an excessive military presence on the island of Elisi, with numerous bases spread out over the island, each garrisoned with ample troops, vehicles and weapons. The military presence of the Fulgori seems only to serve to deal with the defenses of the Precursor ruins while they excavate the technological relics from inside; though it is possible there is some other threat on the island they are holding off against.

The excavation of these relics is the number one priority of their leader, Fulgor. Fulgor is a totalitarian leader, having near absolute control over everything in his empire. He claims to be the will of the people, acting in their best interest. In truth he is paranoid and selfish, throwing soldiers at Precursor ruins in order to excavage their contents, despite knowing the dangers lying within. There are rumors that he has secret police, only spoken of in whispers, that take away citizens that dare speak out against him.

 
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Next week, we'll talk about the fruits of his paranoia...
That's all for now, Voyagers! See you next Aether Tuesday!

 

 

[Aether Tuesday] Mikwa!

Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! This week we're going to talk about the most photogenic race in Aether Adrift, the Mikwa!

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The Mikwa are an indigenous people of the island of Elisi. Physically Mikwa are considerably shorter than humans and fulgori, standing around 3 feet (~1 meter) in height, with long, floppy ears that give them a distinctive silhouette.

Mikwa society is very peaceful and highly values creativity and individuality. Almost all Mikwa enjoy creating something, whether it be clothing, technology, art or even just strangely specific farming tools; no work is wasted if it goes toward creating something. Their communities tend to be very small and interconnected, and there isn't a clear divide between friends and family. Mikwa communities are most often lead by an elder that acts as a spiritual leader and arbiter for when decisions cannot be made completely democratically.

Mikwa are somewhat spiritual, believing that the spirits of their ancestors watch over and protect them. Because of this, items of significance are passed from generation to generation, either maintained or worked into new items as a sign of reverence. In lieu of grave yards, Mikwa remember their dead by placing their items of significance in a safe, communal place, that they can go to reminisce and remember their dearly departed.

Mikwa are omnivorous, with a diet that mostly consists of fruits, vegetables and roots, supplemented by fish and occasional meat. They are very knowledgeable about what plants can be used for food and medicine and which should be avoided.

Mikwa culture can be broken down into 2 distinct groups that we'll call Nomadic and Settled.

Nomadic mikwa live in smaller groups than settled mikwa, following herds of large mammals around and subsisting off of naturally growing vegetation. They tend to be much more adept at wilderlands survival, and for reasons currently unknown to mankind, their nomadic routes often cross over Precursor sites.

A small mikwa village.

A small mikwa village.

Settled mikwa tend toward larger groups with homes that all offer an outdoor socializing space. They have large communal gardens that serve as both farms and social spaces. They are much more adept with technology than their Nomadic counterparts, often re-purposing found technology into useful tools. Much of their technology is re-purposed Fulgori technology that has been maintained for generations, but some mikwa have shown considerable skill in adapting Precursor artifacts into their works.

Despite, or maybe because of, their peaceful nature and their inclination toward Precursor technology, they have attracted the attention of the Fulgori empire. This attention has lead to them being run out of their homes for being so close to Precursor structures or worse, their peaceful nature and lack of a formal leaving them at the mercy of the fulgori military.

This conflict lead the Mikwa to join with the Humans to form the Voyagers, to stop the Fulgori from disrupting mikwa life and gaining any more technology from the ruins that they could use to cause further harm.

2 Mikwa Voyagers and a nomadic Chief with peculiar ears

2 Mikwa Voyagers and a nomadic Chief with peculiar ears

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

 

[Aether Tuesday] Robots!

Hello, Voyagers - it's Min from Demonskunk studios, here for another Aether Tuesday.

Today we're going to be talking about Robots!

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While the Robots in Aether Adrift are a unique playable race, they are not a unique faction. Robots in AeAd were created by humans to serve and assist. All of the robots in Aether Adrift's world were built and loaded onto the Albatross with the human passengers and crew. While they are very advanced, they do not possess a full, unshackled AI. They have simulated personalities and can learn and adapt to different situations as required, but they are still bound by rules governing their behavior, and they are incapable of things like rebellion and mutiny.

Assuming nothing breaks.

from left to right: L1F7, 3012, C.H.A.D. and F1-X

from left to right: L1F7, 3012, C.H.A.D. and F1-X

Robots come in many shapes and sizes, each generally suited to the job they're intended to do. L1F7 and C.H.A.D. are lifter units, designed to move cargo around in the ship and heavy objects around on planet. 3012 is a recon unit, equipped with a grappling hook and retractable tow chain. F1-X is a repair unit, designed to keep the ship, human vehicles, and sometimes other robots operating properly.

Most robots are programmed with a simulated personality to make interacting with them a more pleasant experience for their human companions. For instance, C.H.A.D. has an amorous college frat boy personality; Eager to show off how much he can lift and always ready to lend a hand with heavy objects. F1-X has the personality of a telenovella character named "Francisco" who was widely known for his ability to fix anything, so he speaks with a latino accent and repeats many of the one-liners and catch phrases from the show when appropriate.

That isn't to say their programming is perfect, however. Being in operation for 10+ years without extensive maintenance has allowed some of their programming to develop their own strange quirks, like C.H.A.D.'s affection for squeezy hand workout devices.

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

[Aether Tuesday] The Albatross and Humanity

Happy Aether Tuesday, Voyagers! Today's article will be focusing on Humanity, what their home was like, why they're so far away from it, and what they're doing on Elisi.

Human History

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Humans in Aether Adrift came from the Sol system, the same Sol System you probably live in right now! By the year 2240, Humanity has colonized Venus, Mars and Earth's moon, Luna, under the banner of the United SOL Alliance, USOL.

All of the humans on Elisi - the island the core game focuses on - were colonists or crew on the USOL Albatross. The Albatross was a colony ship on a mission to establish a human presence on the distant world of Kapteyn B of the Kapteyn system.

At the halfway point of their journey, the Admiral of the ship put it in orbit around an uncharted planet to wake the crew to perform maintenance and assess the mission going forward. In the middle of their check an unknown catastrophe forced them to evacuate, launching passengers and crew to the uncharted world below.

The Albatross incident happened so suddenly that the crew were unable to properly launch their colonization equipment. The vast majority Prefabricated housing units, vehicles and inactive robots stored in the cargo areas of the Albatross were thrown to the planet's surface or left in the wreckage.

After crash landing, the Humans met with the Mikwa - a peaceful local race - and established a coalition called the Voyagers. The Voyagers' mission is to find and recover human survivors and supplies dropped from the damaged Albatross, delve into the advanced Precursor ruins dotting the island, and protect the Mikwa from the looming threat of Emperor Fulgor and his immense military force.

Human Society

Human society on Elisi is fairly comfortable, despite their predicament. The recovered prefabricated housing units allow them to live in climate controlled comfort. Each unit is independently powered and was packed with preserved food to ensure the occupants would be able to survive.

Knowing that the limited supplies in their prefab homes wouldn't last, the human colonists have learned from the Mikwa how to cultivate local crops and how to hunt the local wildlife. Despite coming from a life of luxury, most of the colonists aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.

In addition to prefab items, larger human structures have fabricators capable of manufacturing many simple items from raw metal, fabric and polymers brought with them on the Albatross, allowing them to make much of what they might need. Due to the accident supplies have become much more limited, leading to rationing in case of emergency.

Despite only having been on the island for a few months, the Mikwa and Humans have formed a very strong alliance. Humans most often trade them protection from the militant Fulgori in exchange for supplies and knowledge.

The most notable defensive structure is Voyager Base Odal, where the remaining leadership of the Albatross crew and security have pulled together volunteers from the Mikwa, Humans and even rebel Fulgori, assigning them missions ranging from simple patrols to delves into the Precursor ruins in hopes of finding useful technology. Frequently the Voyagers are dispatched to deal with possible Fulgori threats, and the Mikwa often turn to the Voyagers for protection because of their significantly more advanced weaponry.

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

(Haha, almost missed tuesday, >u>;;;)