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Michael Hopcroft

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Everything posted by Michael Hopcroft

  1. And now there are three days left before the Kickstarter funds. I have the money it will take for just putting out the book, but I still have a great desire to get it out and start my new company on the right foot. So if you want to back the KS, time is limited -- and marching. Onward. Ever onward. Moving up and down again. There's no discharge from the war!
  2. And I now have a Print reward based on my eligibility for Print-on-Demand services though Drive-Thru. Pledge $10 and you will get a "free" PDF and will be able to buy a print copy at cost -- you pay only printing and shipping, neither of which should be expensive on a small book. Should I inquire with Kickstarter over international pledges? I have one pledge from Bahrain and am hoping to get pledges from the large UK/Europe contingent here. The more the merrier, and the more I get the more likely it is that I get everything I need done taken care of timely (I find that layout people and other creatives prefer to get paid for their work -- I mean, who wouldn't?)
  3. Thank you. Don't know what Chaosium would call "solid" though. And I need more of a track record, I believe. That's one reason I'm tearing my hair out over the Kickstarter.
  4. Since I don't know that I can change the name of a topic, here I am. If you wish to chastise me, go ahead. I am going to be releasing a new adventure for OpenQuest and other d100 system games called "The Mirror Tells Her Lies", about saving a village and its leader from a force of "Pure Sin" centered in a haunted church. The project is in Kickstarter mode now and has already reached its funding threshold, but with seven days to go this is a chance to get your hands on it before anyone else does (like if you're a GM who doesn't want your players to know what happens before you do) or if you simply want to encourage people to support d100. Here's the URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mhpress/the-mirror-tells-her-lies As of right now, seven days remain to back the KS -- a bargain at $3 US for a copy in preorder. I also have a reward level that puts your name in the book as a Patron, which includes yo0ur copy. Unfortunately, the NPC reward is sold out.
  5. Have there been any further announcements on a release date for the SRD, so we can finally get our hands on "the tools to make the tools"?
  6. I will be very interested to see the "first" take on superheroes. I remember when D&D 3.0 and the first OGL SRD came out and I recall four different D20 takes on superheroes, I read two of them. Foundation was unremittingly awful while the Silver Age Sentinels d20 edition was serviceable but lacked something the Tri-Stat version had in abundance -- a lack of ability to scale well, or at all. Green Ronin, of course, outdid everybody, using just enough d20 to be recognizable but importing their own core mechanic for things like powers -- becoming much more scalable and, at the same time, a great deal more like the comics they were emulating. That game, of course, was Mutant and Masterminds and was the biggest commercial success of the lot. It also worked: I was playing their Superman-pastiche at DunDraCon right after it came out and reveled in the fact that I could actually do basic Superman stuff like smash into a giant robot and pop out on the other side leaving a me0sized whole in between. The bad thing is that I won't know whether I'm duplicating the other writer's work until I see it. The main scalability problem with MHS is that they never did adequately define what an "area" was as a unit of measurement as opposed to the spaces on a map. Perhaps they simply loved to sell maps. I don't know if I was the only one who saw the scaling problems that resulted.
  7. I had to bump this because I don't know if anyone from the OQ community has seen this Kickstarter, modest though it is. With 11 full days left, the KS stands at 80%. Mind you, that's only $80US, but it means I'm well short of the goal. It would also be great to know how you think I could have done better on marketing this campaign. This time my needs are small and easily met, but this is for a 12-16 page module. The next project will probably be just as small -- maybe a little larger, but I'm working on more than just the text. There are many other things I will be working on as well, not just writing the modules. This module and this Kickstarter is the start. Hopefully, it will lead to a long and interesting journey.
  8. That gives me an idea -- a setting with a Late Medival social environment with powerful guilds, universities, rapidly centralizing governments, and merchants starting to eclipse the power of landed nobility. Adding sorcery and demihumans to that setting would lead to some interesting mixes, with rival nobles, guilds, or individual guild leaders hiring mercenary mages to settle disputes, crime is organized to a degree (organizations like "the mob" are starting to form whose main income is from loansharking -- they will give you money for any venture, however shady, but you'd better pay them back...But something apocalyptic may be on the horizon -- maybe there is a social ground of dragons nearby facing a crisis of their own that might cause them to lay towns and even cities to waste, or maybe the city is in the path of a massive Orcish invasion of the civilized world (and who organizes Orcs quite that effectively?). This looks like it might be a potential book... the question is whether I have the knowledge to write it! (At the workshop I attended last month, it was suggested writers keep a "candy jar" for ideas they can't use right away -- because eventually, it might be time to use that idea. I have a very large candy jar already.)
  9. I wonder if QW would support user-created powers -- powers that are initially described when designing the character has its capabilities explained, It's one of the ways the '80s Marvel Super Heroes game from TSR accommodated the scores upon scores of Marvel characters; define what each character did and give each ability its own Intensity ratings. Instead of fitting the new power into a list of pre-generated ones, it simply described the power and left it up to the Player or GM to make it work in play. Sure, the power level wasn't balanced, but neither are the comics. Genre emulation in action. I wouldn't try to do that with BRP, but it just might work in Questworlds.
  10. The DC Animated Universe had to be careful with lethality and built that into the characters as well. Superman always managed his actions to never hit anyone at his full strength. The famous "World of Cardboard" quote was from the DCAU. It is an interesting comment that provides insight into playing Superworld. Characters who don't want to kill anybody, ever (whether out of deep conviction or fear of negative consequences if they do) will have to cautiously assess their moves and keep up their self-control. If a hero like Superman or the Flash doesn't have razor-sharp focus and perfect self-control, the result is death and destruction on a massive scale (Flash should, logically, be killing dozens of people every time he runs at full speed, which suggests he is always toning it down or has found some way to reduce the side-effects in the environment.) That could be part of the point of the campaign, actually. The superheroes are either super-careful and occasionally forced into situations where they MUST take off the kid gloves, or they don't care and become a threat to everybody they can reach (the plot of The Boys seems to center around this concept, where government-sponsored heroes must be stopped, and possibly even killed off, before their powers destroy the world).
  11. I think one reason is the system's ongoing identity crisis. which is beginning to be relieved -- HQ Glorantha is such a superb product that people who would not otherwise bother with the system are looking at it with fresh eyes. Chaosium is on a huge roll in terms of fan acclaim and commercial success.
  12. It looks like most of the genres that require specialized rules (supers, mecha, etc.) seem to be taken. So if I were to go in cold and write something for QuestWorlds, would I have to wait to do some things until I know what I would have to become compatible with? Or would I be able to go in on my own, knowing rules will contradict someone else's more popular rules set?
  13. I'm trying to map out an adventure set in a capital or good-sized city of some monarchy. There's a bit of mutual social-class resentment going on, and some of the students at the local university occupy a middle ground where they must eventually choose sides. There is a tavern frequented by these students to which a hotel serving mainly middle-class lawyers, accountants, salesmen, etc. is uncomfortably close. So sometimes the two will meet, with the usual result that the kids moon the notables and laugh mockingly -- not seeming to recognize that someday that will be them. Or will it? I don't imagine officers of the state or the courts especially enjoy it when they get the ***** of drunken college kids thrust into their faces. The question is what sort of action they will take, and how PCs become involved. Now, this will be a somewhat different setting, as most OQ campaigns are not civilized enough to have universities -- it's hard enough just teaching people to read. I want to create a situation where the PCs may be called upon to take sides and act before the students get totally out of hand. (of course, there's some question that they will -- "We can't overthrow the state this week! Have you forgotten our midterms?"). But ideally, violence will be prevented because the students have no chance against the veteran soldiers of the City Watch when it comes to a fight. In a fantasy world, what is the typical punishment for showing grievous public disrespect to someone ahead of you on the totem pole?
  14. You can find -- and back -- the Kickstarter here. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mhpress/the-mirror-tells-her-lies I am already halfway to my goal of $100. But if I fall short of it, the KS doesn't get me a penny.
  15. And now I've started a Kickstarter for it. Where, if anywhere, is a permissible point to post a link to it, or is that sort of activity not allowed anywhere on this site? I'm actually hoping one of the admins notices and reads this because I need their guidance and don't know who I can ask directly. And I have enough respect for this community that I don't want to foul things up for anyone.
  16. I was hoping the GM would use it for a well-established campaign where players have a history of actions, of which the GM has noted. The sort of campaign where characters may well enjoy that type of challenge. Still, it's obviously not for everyone, and pregens if you are running it as convention game would be needed.
  17. One of the things I noticed when writing my current module (which will be on "coming soon" status once I finish playtesting and art direction, on which I am open to input), is that I found that I was dealing with an adversary that loved wounding and punishing people mentally rather than just killing them. Almost everyone who approaches it has their mental applecarts upset. This isn't so much due to "loss of Sanity" per se, although many have their minds broken dealing with it and can't face reality anymore. Rather, it tends to expose everyone's moral weaknesses that they wish to hide from themselves, with destructive intent. Now I don't want to add a mechanic. That isn't at all worth doing in a 12-page module. And I don't want to make such a mechanic anyway -- because this is the sort of thing that doesn't really need a mechanic. A mechanic would never know quite what weaknesses to exploit, and I want to avoid mind control or any excessive restrictions on player agency. So if an evil force is playing with your brain, how do you handle it in your own games? I find that the players will mainly enjoy it if they are into the roleplaying experience. The sort of thing you literally could not fit into a module or ruleset. Or can you?
  18. I was able to download the SRD (or at least an SRD) a couple of times last week while I was working on my module. Open games are crawling out of the woodwork these days There are so darn many of them. Still, this page could use a good update.
  19. I need to get a playtest done for a module for the current edition of OQ that I am going to publish in August. I'm hoping for an experienced group and an experienced GM who can give good in-play feedback. If you want to use a different flavor of d100, that should be fine -- the license forbids me from naming any of the others in the module, but I have no reason to believe it won't work with other rulesets that use the basic mechanic. The adventure is more about mood and character than combat anyway. If you are interested, drop me a PM.
  20. I wonder how this affects the timing of the adventure I am working on now. If I'm going to release in mid-to-late August or early September, will I need notes on OQ3 compsatibi8lit (particularly with the new magic system)? I want it to be playable "out of the box" for anyone familiar with d100 (in any form). The new rules sound intriguing as potential for future work, though. Social Combat, in particular, might be especially helpful in any adventure involving interpersonal intrigue, whether in a guild hall or the court of the Scarlet Emperor of Rhye.
  21. And I must say it was very kind of you to respond in the way you did. I will not go into what was said privately, except to say that I was very grateful to read it and grateful for the time he took out of his day to answer my inquiry. Kudos to you!
  22. How much content from the SRD would be needed in theory to build a d100 campaign supplement using Revolution rules? If it is to be understood by all d100/BRP players, is there any rules material from Revolution that would need to be reproduced?
  23. I actually picked up a copy of Chaosium's ElfQuest RPG (the second edition, I believe -- one softcover volume) at Gamestorm this year. It had been untouched as a prize for a game lab for a few years. I was stunned when I saw it and reminded the guy in charge of the prize pool what he had. He ended up selling it to me for $30. (The game lab was for boardgames, so it should be less surprising that there was little interest in an older RPG. Still, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a copy of this in the wild?) The guy manning Chaosium's booth at the con was equally impressed at my find. He gave me a bag to carry it in. By then, he had completely sold out of the new RuneQuest books. Looks like a pretty good purchase.
  24. I'm looking at including sword-canes in something I'm writing (no surprises yet). I'm pretty sure about the damage numbers (I was thinking it would be like a rapier with a somewhat shorter reach) but I want to do some specific adaptations based on these assumptions: 1. The handle of the cane is what you use to hold the sword in combat. For someone used to a regular sword, it can be an awkward enough distinction that you have to practice to get it right before you dare take the weapon into an actual fight. So, should Sword-Cane be its own weapon skill or variant on the Rapier or Smallsword skills? 2. One major difference that might have to be adjusted for is that a sword-cane has no hilt or pommels. Compared to a regular blade, the hand is relatively unprotected. It is nearly impossible to hold onto the weapon if the hand is actually cut. Am I doing this right or wrong? How do other people in Victorian-style campaigns use sword-canes? In what I'm working on, it's a weapon many gentlemen carry because it is discreet but reliable and always on hand with the press of a small button (to unlock the sheath from the handle and draw the sword).
  25. All sorts of intriguing psychological and philosophical questions are posed when an alien race (of any kind) is done well. I, too, dislike the use of race in this context, because race is a human concept applied to itself that is nonsense in terms of any meaningful context in biology or psychology. A lot of aliens in the media are not done well, and it's hard to do in an RPG where you, as a writer, must rely on individual GMs and Players you will never meet to do with your work what they will. It's hard to do something completely alien like the Hivers as a GM. If a creature is almost inexplicable by human terms, how do you use it? One could do a felinoid in any number of ways, as we have explored here. If you want to take the route of the housecat-like personality (because that obviously how most of us experience "cat"), we can get creatures that are simultaneously curious, independent-minded, and "chummy". They would enjoy the company of other creatures -- but only within a limit they set (and they frequently will not tell you what that limit is until you unintentionally cross it). In some circumstances, they enjoy non-sexual physical contact with species they have no other interest in. In others, any sort of touch could be viewed as hostile or threatening. (That in itself raises uncomfortable issues for humans, who tend to view touch much more sexually than the felinoids would). In terms of RPG stats, fantasy-world felinoids would be much more dependent on their physical weapons (like their claws) than they would in a setting where better weapons are readily available and ranged combat is more prevalent. Which may not help much, but I wanted to explore the thought. Carry on.
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