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JonHook

Would there be interest in an updated Superworld?

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Sure, I'd love to see it, along with more BRP rulebooks for other genres and settings.  I suspect what held Superworld back originally was that it didn't have sufficiently evocative and distinctive background and lore, certainly not compared to the Marvel and D.C. superhero RPGs at the time, or even by the standards of Champions and Villains and Vigilantes.  If BRP Superworld were to be released—or even a HeroQuest version—it would need more of an overhaul for its canon than its rules.

Edited by Travern
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1 hour ago, MOB said:

While I would love to see a new version of Superworld based on BRP, I have come to the conclusion that HQ is a much better engine for Supers type play; much better range on playable characters in such genres. 

The exception to this opinion would be if Chaosium decided to do a WoW release... that would be Worlds of Wonder. Say three perfect bound games in a slip case? Small (-ish) books of 128p each... we could call them MagicWorld, Superworld, and FutureWorld.  😁

SDLeary

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4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

The exception to this opinion would be if Chaosium decided to do a WoW release... that would be Worlds of Wonder. Say three perfect bound games in a slip case? Small (-ish) books of 128p each... we could call them MagicWorld, Superworld, and FutureWorld.  😁

 

Absolute agreement from me.

I didn't realise when Gold Book BRP was being mooted, written and playtested; but what I actually wanted was a slightly update version of Worlds of Wonder. Gold Book BRP is a great work, and only in retrospect did I realise that the bits I didn't like were not because they were in any way bad or wrong themselves, it just wasn't the book that I wanted to buy!

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I would love A WoW boxed set as well, but I don't think they are interested in doing any tool kit type products anymore. I think the DIY market is too small to make it profitable. 

If we see a superworld game it will probably be with A complete campaign with a d100 system tooled to fit the world. I'm ok  with this since as a DIY'er I can hack it to suit my own game, 

just like every other game product I've ever bought.

 

Miles

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19 hours ago, SDLeary said:

While I would love to see a new version of Superworld based on BRP, I have come to the conclusion that HQ is a much better engine for Supers type play; much better range on playable characters in such genres.

I agree that HQ could probably handle a better range of superheroics, particularly Golden Age and Silver Age comics, but the BRP-based Superworld has the better toolset to drill down deep into worldbuilding.  As we've discussed in another thread, the big question is where to set it.  I'd argue that it does a better job of adapting modern superheroes, such as the CW's "Arrowverse", Alan Moore's Watchmenor, obviously, George R. R. Martin's Wildcards, than most competing systems.  (I was also interested to find that @Fergo113 had adapted it for the MMORPG City of Heroes.)  Moreover, a new edition of Superworld would need a serious expansion of lore to set it apart from its competitors, some of whom have had literally decades to work on their IP, and I suspect Chaosium would prefer to own its unique setting rather than license one.

Edited by Travern

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We at The Design Mechanism wholeheartedly agree that BRP can handle superheroes, which is why we released 'Agony & Ecstasy', a full-on superhero scenario. We're now taking things a step further and have initiated Project X which aims at producing a full book, complete with its own city setting.

There'll be more on the Mythras section of these boards in due course.

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I'm not a fan of CoC 7e, so... no.
But I am interested in seeing what The Design Mechanism comes up with. I'm hoping it retains some of the core grittiness of Mythras, doesn't go too far in trying to emulate comics and movies... pre-written mediums where characters wear thick capes of plot-immunity and powers are fluid to the writer's needs.
While I do enjoy Superworld my tastes these days run closer to the tone of Godlike/Wild Talents.

 

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:20 AM, Simlasa said:

I'm not a fan of CoC 7e, so... no.
But I am interested in seeing what The Design Mechanism comes up with. I'm hoping it retains some of the core grittiness of Mythras, doesn't go too far in trying to emulate comics and movies... pre-written mediums where characters wear thick capes of plot-immunity and powers are fluid to the writer's needs.
While I do enjoy Superworld my tastes these days run closer to the tone of Godlike/Wild Talents.

Have you looked at their already-released "Agony & Ecstasy" product?  It'll probably give you a VERY close appriximation of the final tone&feel...

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

Have you looked at their already-released "Agony & Ecstasy" product?

Yeah, have that and read it.
What I've heard so far about the upcoming game is quite promising actually... that it is fully compatible with Mythras and will allow for a variety tweaks to let people fit it to their tastes.

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I'm in, obviously from all my posts here.  But I agree with others that it can't be just another generic superhero game.  There are plenty of competing products from other companies that fill that niche well.  We don't want a revised Superworld to be merely Brand X with whatever branch of the BRP family's company name on it.  That was one of the problems with the original edition.  It didn't manage to stand out from a pack of perfectly serviceable competitors.

As mentioned in similar discussions nearby, we need to accomplish two things to successfully re-launch Superworld.  First, we need an exciting unique setting that sets us apart from the crowd and gives us some IP to make money with.  Second, since we no longer have to be generic we can afford to tailor the setting to BRP's unique strengths and weaknesses as a set of game mechanics.  System does something well?  Exploit it.  System doesn't handle these genre bits so good?  Avoid or mitigate it if you can.

As far as preferred game mechanics are concerned, I don't get loosey goosey make it up as you go rules sets like FATE or HeroQuest or BRP Mecha.  I need specific, consistent rules to hang my roleplaying hat on.  As a Champions player, I'm comfortable with toolkit systems.  I've loved dickering around with all the options in the Big Gold Book and seeing what I could come up with.  That said, too much information all at once is a bad thing. I was frankly overwhelmed by the sheer bulk of Runequest 6/Mythras no matter how wonderful the rules may actually be in play.

So my recommendation is to keep a new Superworld as specific and simple as you can make it and still make it work.  If you can somehow turn Mythras into OpenQuest, do it.  Don't require our new players to digest a goddamn phone book before they can start tossing around lightning bolts.  Remember that our current i-Phone generation are not the eager devout readers that you and Greg Stafford were.  They are often unwilling to do it even if they are still capable of doing it.

Next, price point.  Full color multiple hardbacks seem to be the in thing with game publishers these days.  But that means it costs $150 to begin to play Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition and $100 to begin to play Call of Cthulhu 7th edition.  That's a hell of a lot of buy in for a prospective newbie GM who isn't yet sure he likes or understands our shiny new product.  Honestly, as a working adult I just can't afford that.  Were it not for Charlie Krank's writing contests I would own none of your products.  I have to choose to feed my kids over stocking my book collection.  And I'm not the demographic you want to catch anyhow..  You want to attract the 11- to 17-year-olds so they can keep buying and playing your games for a long time.  They don't have jobs, and you can't guarantee that Grandma is going to pick up Pendragon for them for Christmas.  My recommendation is thus that if you can put out a quality Superworld for $30 or less, do it.  Make it as durable and pretty as you can, but make it affordable and therefore accessible.  Us old grognards won't be around to purchase special editions forever.

Edited by seneschal

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18 hours ago, prinz.slasar said:

Nope, no interest at all. There is a MYTHRAS supplement for supers in the making [working title "Destined"]. That's all I need for a game with D100-supers.
 

I'd be OK with a Mythras OR a Superworld/BRP game; but not my players, who have already bounced off Mythras.

But the way TDM keeps on cranking out great supplements for Mythras, and Chaosium keeps doing topnotch lines of BRP games... (and both seem to be succeeding!) I'm solidly behind the notion that there's probably enough market for both visions of a Supers RPG.

 

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And as role-playing fans and especially GMs, mo' material is mo' betta even if it wasn't written for the specific rules set you are playing at the time.  My beloved pulp adventure campaign borrowed elements and scenarios from multiple publishers' games.  It blended into one two-fisted smoothie.  Since BRP and Mythras are kissing cousins the mash-up is even easier.  I loved what TDM did with Agony & Ecstacy and look forward to whatever they come up with, even though I'd like to give Superworld another shot, too.  Which team dishes out the super-powered gold first?

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On 10/12/2019 at 3:10 AM, seneschal said:

Remember that our current i-Phone generation are not the eager devout readers that you and Greg Stafford were.  They are often unwilling to do it even if they are still capable of doing it.

If this is how you really feel, you're working with either the wrong medium or the wrong audience.  It's a broken pitch.

!i!

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29 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

If this is how you really feel, you're working with either the wrong medium or the wrong audience.  It's a broken pitch.

!i!

Just thinking out loud, friend.  Don't be offended.  Old marketing major here, trying to anticipate the needs of our potential new players.  i was a voracious reader as a teenager and young adult, and that had a direct effect on my capacity to appreciate and enjoy role-playing games -- many of which are based on specific literary genres (can you say "Pendragon"?).  As I look at my children and my siblings' children I don't see the same passion for reading.  They have so many more distractions than I had and often get their literary hits third-hand via television shows, movies and video games.  That has to influence the sorts of rules and settings they can enjoy.  It is a practical concern even if it may come off as condescending.  If our target audience struggles with Risk, how are we going to get them to play Battle At Gettysburg?

i want our new Superworld to be a success that makes Chaosium a lot of money and wins lots of fans.  So I'm throwing out ideas, some of them admittedly random, on what might enable that to happen.  If you have better ideas, let's hear them.  Our mutual goal is the same.

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46 minutes ago, seneschal said:

It is a practical concern even if it may come off as condescending.  If our target audience struggles with Risk, how are we going to get them to play Battle At Gettysburg?

I believe you're answering your own question, though perhaps laying blame at the wrong feet.

!i!

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1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

I believe you're answering your own question, though perhaps laying blame at the wrong feet.

!i!

I'll grab some paper towels and mop up that blame if you'll slap me with some of those better ideas.  😉

Taught my kids to read.  Read to them.  Made them read out the wazoo.  (Actual body part.). One kid checks out stacks of library books and condescends to role-play with crazy old Dad once in a blue moon. The other has no discernible reading material in his household more complex than a tube of toothpaste.  Neither reads fiction that would encourage gaming for pleasure.  Whatchagonnado?

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Yeah, I see it as school... the kids who love to read and the kids who hate it. Maybe it was always like that... but now the non-readers feel justified in their refusal, that reading is some 'old' skill that will be of no use in the future (as I've been told).

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On 10/14/2019 at 4:30 PM, seneschal said:

I'll grab some paper towels and mop up that blame if you'll slap me with some of those better ideas.  😉

Taught my kids to read.  Read to them.  Made them read out the wazoo.  (Actual body part.). One kid checks out stacks of library books and condescends to role-play with crazy old Dad once in a blue moon. The other has no discernible reading material in his household more complex than a tube of toothpaste.  Neither reads fiction that would encourage gaming for pleasure.  Whatchagonnado?

 
 

A significant part of the background reading for this topic will be in comics form. I am not a marketer but I think you could do worse than to comic-ize the rules (BRP rules are lightweight) and sell them in a trade-paperback graphic novel format. Dragon Warriors in the 1980s included some quite good explanatory comics (by Leo Hartas) for its rules. It was aimed at teens and came originally as cheap paperback books.

As for settings, Alan Moore's Watchmen is not the only superhero setting he's made. There's also Top Ten (everyone has super powers; this is just the cops) and Tom Strong. There's also Kurt Busiek's Astro City, where the supers have clubs and cliques, and many psychological problems. There's also the boardgame Sentinels of the Multiverse which has heroes, villains and weird settings on cards. Everyone likes to make their own settings so they don't offend the IP sensibilities of DC or Marvel.

I never played Superworld or any supers roleplaying. And I probably won't. But I do still read and enjoy some superhero comics.

Edited by Questbird
Cynicism

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Thanks for the kind words.  I, too, am a comics lover -- but not a fan of grim and gritty superheroes (which, based on BRP's game mechanics, seems to be the direction other posters are leaning).  I ultimately became a devout Champions fanatic -- not because Superworld wasn't a decent playable game but because Hero Games bothered to write a friendly letter in response to my inquiries (snail mail, people, this was waaaay before the internet).  Chaosium, in contrast, sent me a Superworld flier and a terse note, "Play what your friends play."  The problem is, they weren't playing any superhero game at the moment.  I was the early adopter willing to spend the money and GM a session.  And that simple lack of customer service cost Stafford, et. al., decades of my hard-earned hobby budget.  Are you listening, nuChaosium?

Anyway, I want a Superworld reboot to succeed even if the end product may not be to my personal taste.  Not everyone can appreciate Adam West and the Tick vs. the Legion of Doom.  And I think our consensus so far is that the next iteration must have a unique bankable setting rather than being just another generic supers run.  I already have Champions for that.

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