Introduction to author's notes
The setting through fantastic stories
Hyperio and twists: highlights for game masters
Greetings and welcome to this First Contact update. We are happy to share publicly what we have built together with our community, thanks to which we dream of making First Contact a full-blown role-playing game.
As we anticipated in the previous notes, we worked to make First Contact a role-playing game in its own right in the sphere of the Diventi philosophy. With First Contact we want to put fun first, to push interpretation as a fundamental ingredient and to provide rigorously practical tools for game masters.
This year First Contact has reached a level of maturity suitable for the public eye, both for those of you who delight in the art of game master, and for those who have recently approached the world of role-playing games. If you are already part of our subscribers: thank you for your time! And if you came here out of curiosity: we hope to inspire you as much as Diventi is inspiring us!
Be brave and roll the dice.
Author, Diventi Team
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Davide, Author of First Contact
One of the founding principles of Diventi games is to build tools that are accessible for new players and scalable for more veteran players. The First Contact character sheet rests on one element only: the gifts. Gifts represent the peculiar qualities of player characters, and in fact they are what make them unique. Characters can configure their gifts by combining very specific elements that we describe below:
They are the source from which to draw the most disparate powers. There are many different sources, therefore flows, in First Contact. Some derive from force of nature, such as fire, water and air; others are completely artificial like atomic energy, metal and cybernetics; others come from other worlds, such as space-time, light and void. First Contact characters will be able to collect various flows in their adventures and will be able to use them as fuel to create or enhance their skills.
A word of power describes what the gift does. In First Contact the characters are not tied to a class or a set of preset skills, but players have the possibility to choose the combination of powers that most closely approximates their style and that most integrates with the team in which they are playing. The First Contact basic catalog includes 20 different powers, ranging from manifestation of forms, to healing effects and enhancement of senses. A power alone remains inactive, but if fueled with a flow it turns into fully featured gift, capable of manifesting itself in the world.
The cold steel fist
Game master: “Byte, despite your repeated blows, the crystal does not give signs of sagging. Its surface reminds you of the diamond...”
Byte: “Um, aren't pure force shots enough? Very well - protocol 2.0 is active. Game master? I invoke once again my gift 'steel punch', but I also load the flow of water.”
Game master: “You have been clever to let the water flow free, but invoking a gift with two flows will consume your entire turn, do you confirm? If yes, perform the attack check and describe how the steel fist also intercepts the cold power of water. The defense of the crystal is equal to 10.”
Byte [rolls an attack check and succeds]: “Of course, there is no time to waste. Now, I diverge my cooling systems directly on the palm. Closing it, my fist not only turns into a sphere of hard metal, but lets a light frost fall. I deal 2 points of damage from metal and 1 extra from cold. The second flow increases my gift intensity by 1, for a total of 15!”
Game master [rolls a defence check and fails]: “Your fist enters the crystal like a wrecking ball, breaking it into hundreds of pieces in a matter of seconds. The road is clear.”
A tool allows the gift to propagate in space. In First Contact gifts are manifested in close vicinity if the characters invoke them with bare hands, or at a distance if channeled through objects. Players' characters can choose to synchronize their gifts with their favorite tools and obtain even more effective effects. The difference between melee, area or long distance shots strictly depends on the tools the characters will collect in their adventures.
Is that all? Yes! And also no: 2 or 3 gifts are enough to create a fast, introductory and minimal character. However, we have reserved ample space for customization enthusiasts: origins, predispositions and relationships are all additional components useful for exploring the character in greater depth. You can use them all, some or none, the choice will be yours and your group's only.
If you want to learn more, sign up for the playtest on our landing page, we can't wait to hear about your experiences!
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Jacopo, Author of First Contact
The saga of First Contact
First Contact is a world like ours, in which a sensational event has disabled technology in almost a third of the planet, awakening what has been dozing since the beginning of time: magic. To describe the atmosphere we have not prepared a section of explanations, but a series of novels that live the story of women and men like us, suddenly shocked by a fortress fallen from the sky. Follow the links below to find out more and indulge yourself in the anti-tech bubble.
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Flavio, Author of First Contact
If you had the opportunity to read the First Contact stories you will have noticed that technology, the one we are all used to, exists. But it does not work. First Contact players' characters faced this shock recently. A researcher may have carried his satellite and a journalist may still have a smartphone in his pocket. The appearance of magic in our days gives us the opportunity to fully identify with this alternative reality and create the right atmosphere for the occurrence of exciting and fun twists. Think how you would react if your NNU marine, after several adventures in the wild jungle, surrounded and wounded by mysterious mutated creatures, suddenly felt his automatic rifle "click". It works! - But how?
In First Contact we introduce a special resource called hyperio: a sort of 119th element of the periodic table, discovered, coincidentally, very shortly before the appearance of the anti-technology bubble. This strange element seems to counteract the inhibitory powers of the bubble and has the property of reactivating technology for short moments. We believe that in First Contact the hyperio can be an ace in the hole for both players and game masters: skilled players could keep their tiny reserve of hyperio for the right moment, when things may go badly - while game masters could use the discovery of hyperio to emphasize a crucial moment of the story.
Hyperio is one of the most unique tools we have prepared for First Contact players and game masters. Situations, montages and combined actions are part of a richer set that we have developed and that we will deepen in the next editions of these notes.
That's all for today, see you soon and happy gaming!
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