Mark Plemmons, the creator of Corporia a Kickstarter entrepreneur was so kind as to give us an exclusive interview, telling us about his up and comming game, a mix of Camelot and Corporate. An exiting new mix with alot of new flavours. Mark tells us about his background, what drives the game and how to put a game with such different characteristics together in to something that looks amazing.
There is alot of us who would like to se the game in the stores, so go to kickstarter and preorder your copy of the game today.
1. What is your background in roleplaying?
Back in the 1990s, I sold role-playing games in a retail gaming and comic book store for several years. Then, in 2001, I was hired by Kenzer and Company to manage their Dungeons & Dragons comic book license.
From that time until 2011, I worked on pretty much every product they produced in one way or another. I’ve been an author, editor, art director, graphic designer, or project manager for hundreds of individual products.
I’m also proud to say I was a writer, editor, and art director on two Origins and ENnie award-winning role-playing games: HackMaster and Aces & Eights. I’m not working full-time in the gaming industry anymore, but I do stay active with editing or consulting work, and creating Corporia, my new urban fantasy rpg that’s now funding on Kickstarter.
2. How did you get the idea of combining Medieval roleplay game with corporate adventures?
Arthurian stories often feature a line about the King returning in the time of the people’s greatest need – in other words, when the people are oppressed and need a force for good to restore the Arthurian virtues of honor and chivalry. Putting this return in a near-future metropolis where mega-corporations rule over a wage-enslaved population just seemed like a natural way to blend the genres.
3. Can you short describe the basics of the game? Will there be classes like Dungeons and Dragons or Build point system like GURPS?
In brief, the players take on the roles of supernaturally-powered characters working for a corporate CEO who happens to be the reincarnated Sir Lancelot. In his position of power, Lancelot gathers together other reincarnated knights and other now supernaturally powered characters, forming his own special operations security team called the Knightwatch. The Knightwatch handle missions like corporate espionage, retrieving magic relics, and taking down dangerous monsters or mutated humans affected by the Chaos magics (aka ‘the Flux’) now leaking into the world.
Corporia uses a point-buy system to generate characters. Points are then spent on Core Values (Strength, Deftness, Mettle, Wits, Knowledge, and Magick), Skills (each associated with a Core Value, like Getting Medieval and Strength, or Spiritism and Magick), and Assets (special talents and abilities, such as spellcasting).
Actions are resolved by adding a Skill to a related Core Value (which may vary depending on the circumstances), and adding that total to the highest die result from a 2d6 roll. If the final total beats the Target Number, then the action succeeds.
There are 10 modern character archetypes (Badge, Hacker, Headhunter, Journo, Lister, Radical, Runner, Suit, Thinker, Zero) and three supernatural ones (Sorcerer, Witcher, and reincarnated Knight-Errant), and you can play a modern one by itself or mix it with a supernatural one.
Each character has three public and one private personality trait. When a situation occurs that makes this relevant, the player can barter with the game master (or vice versa) to exchange Flux Points for this trait coming into play. Flux Points can be spent to gain temporary die roll and other bonuses, and each of these transactions also earns points that can be used for permanent character improvements.
4. There is a lot of people that made their own roleplaygame or addons to major games. What made you take the extra step of publishing it using Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a great resource for creators who don’t want to give up creative control of their work to a publishing company. Using Kickstarter to fund Corporia also lets me interact directly with my audience, and gives the backers a voice and a stake in the production.
5. What is the favorite roleplaying game, the rolemodel you look up to when you make this game?
There were several different games that inspired Corporia in one way or another. Classic Deadlands was probably the main inspiration, since I like the genre-blending of Weird and Wild West as well as the mix of regular characters with supernatural ones. And of course, all the games that I’ve played over the years gave me experience in one way or another, like Cyberpunk 2020, Witchcraft, and the World of Darkness series.
6. CORPORIA looks like it is going to be a success. When it is published will you make a new game kind of like Monte Cook, or make expansions to the game like Wizards of the Coast
Once the Kickstarter is successfully funding and the backer rewards are all fulfilled, I want to spend more time producing supplements and other expansions for Corporia. I do have ideas for other games in my head, but I want to focus on Corporia first.
7. What is the part of the game you are most proud of?
I like the fact that the core mechanics are very streamlined but still work well within the different aspects of the game, like combat, hacking, and spellcasting. I’m also very proud of the graphic design, which features an eye-catching modern design that you don’t often see in role-playing games.
8. Most of the artwork on the kickstarter page is Photographs, where it is more common to use drawings, what is the reason for this decision?
When designing Corporia, I based the layout on modern graphic design, with a single-column layout and a roughly 6.5” by 10” page, rather than the typical two-column 8.5” x 11” design that’s been standard for most rpgs since the early days of Dungeons & Dragons.
I also designed several sections of Corporia to look like in-game magazine articles, corporate reports, tourist guides, advertisements, and so on. Even though I love illustrations, I needed to use photographic and digital art to maintain this particular aesthetic.
9. What is the major difference between this game and other “corporate games” like shadowrun and SLA industries ?
In most game with ruling mega-corporations, the city is a dystopia: dark, gray, and rainy. In Corporia, the setting, aka “The City”, outwardly appears to be a clean, orderly, and climate-controlled utopia – a bit of a ‘gilded cage’ for a wage-enslaved population ruled by the rich and powerful.
Of course, the main difference is the setting, which focuses on the effects caused by the return of the Knights of the Round Table: the Chaos magic and monsters now entering from another dimension.
Like SLA Industries and Shadowrun – and most other rpgs – the player characters have a variety of combat, espionage, and other missions to accomplish, but no other game has this unique combination of suits and swordplay, battling for justice in a world where corporate Order and magical Chaos wage a shadow war for ultimate domination of the human race.
Artwork is Copyright © Corporia, Used with permisison by Mark Plemmons