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Ian Cooper

HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

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All,

Just to let you know the thrust of our announcements at UK Games Expo.

HeroQuest OGL and SRD

  • We are going to release the HeroQuest engine under an OGL
  • There will be an SRD soon (before end of July)
  • The OGL engine will have a different brand name, we will reserve HeroQuest for HeroQuest Glorantha.
    • It is a Gloranthan term, and by calling it HeroQuest Glorantha we avoid collision with the boardgame

"HeroQuest" Genre Packs

  • We want the ODL to make it easy for folks to produce 'genre packs' for "HeroQuest" either relying on our core rules, or including them as our Glorantha genre pack, HeroQuest Glorantha does
  • To show what we think it can do, we plan on releasing a number of genre packs
    • Ron Edwards is going to do a supers genre pack for us
    • We are in negotiations for a  pulp license
    • We want to do a SF genre pack
    • We want to do something the breaks new creative ground
  • We are very open to pitches for new genre packs
    • If you want to write of us, this is a good starting point.

 

 

 

 

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Greg used to run Hero Wars games where every player represented a community, in turn represented by a very limited number of abilities and a single score for each subunit of the community. There was some resource management involved, too.

I played a game at some incarnation of Tentacles where each played controlled one uz faction of the Blue Moon Plateau, with the overall challenge to provide the optimum food to the oldest Mistress Mother to give birth to the new form of Surface World uz, untainted by the Curse of Kin. In our game, we managed to locate the cap of one of the eight planetary sons of Yelm - actually the top tier of his ziggurat - and attempted to transport it to Blue Moon Plateau. We didn't consider that this Son of Yelm also was an incarnation of Sedenya, and were intercepted by forces of the Empire. The game ended there and then, but as a narrator I would have allowed a second game where an underworld ambush to retrieve that thing from Lunar safeguarding could have been staged.

I don't think there is anything like this published as an rpg. The concept is provably playable, although creating this as a genre pack might be kind of hard.

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1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

HeroQuest OGL and SRD

  • We are going to release the HeroQuest engine under an OGL
  • ...
  • We want the ODL to make it easy for folks to produce 'genre packs' for "HeroQuest" either relying on our core rules, or including them as our Glorantha genre pack, HeroQuest Glorantha does.

I cannot applaud this decision enough. I've long thought that HQ suffered in the mindshare space compared to Fate &  *World games in no small part due to their more open & well understood licenses.

1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

There will be an SRD soon (before end of July)

Allow me to humbly but emphatically suggest that Pendragon-style criticals on rolling your rating (with 20-rated abilities critting on 19 and regular-failing on 20) rather than critting on 1 join the official variant club in the SRD along side  the high vs low roller winning ties options. (More details here, and here.) I know the SRD is not the place for every GM's pet house-rule, but I feel strongly enough about this one's impact on ties & upsets intersecting with criticals (along with generally being more coherent with high-roller winning ties) that I feel compelled to bring it up. (And more selfishly, I'd love the way I'm usually teaching new people the game at cons to be an official option rather than a table rule. ;) )

1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

The OGL engine will have a different brand name, we will reserve HeroQuest for HeroQuest Glorantha.

  • It is a Gloranthan term, and by calling it HeroQuest Glorantha we avoid collision with the boardgame

While annoying, this is wise. The game I ran at the last Archon had fully half the people who signed up expecting to play the boardgame (no thanks to a terse description on the sign-up wall).

1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:
  • To show what we think it can do, we plan on releasing a number of genre packs
    • Ron Edwards is going to do a supers genre pack for us
    • We are in negotiations for a  pulp license
    • We want to do a SF genre pack
    • We want to do something the breaks new creative ground
  • We are very open to pitches for new genre packs
    • If you want to write of us, this is a good starting point.

I do not have enough thumbs to point up for this.

 

Edited by JonL
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21 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

All,

Just to let you know the thrust of our announcements at UK Games Expo.

HeroQuest OGL and SRD

  • We are going to release the HeroQuest engine under an OGL
  • There will be an SRD soon (before end of July)
  • The OGL engine will have a different brand name, we will reserve HeroQuest for HeroQuest Glorantha.
    • It is a Gloranthan term, and by calling it HeroQuest Glorantha we avoid collision with the boardgame

That is excellent news, long awaited. HQ, or whatever it will be called, needs the support that OGL will give it. At its core, HQ is a fine, elegant system. It slows down when too much is bolted on for no reason other than to complicate it.

21 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

"HeroQuest" Genre Packs

  • We want the ODL to make it easy for folks to produce 'genre packs' for "HeroQuest" either relying on our core rules, or including them as our Glorantha genre pack, HeroQuest Glorantha does
  • To show what we think it can do, we plan on releasing a number of genre packs
    • Ron Edwards is going to do a supers genre pack for us
    • We are in negotiations for a  pulp license
    • We want to do a SF genre pack
    • We want to do something the breaks new creative ground
  • We are very open to pitches for new genre packs
    • If you want to write of us, this is a good starting point.

This is what was discussed at EternalCon and presumably at UK Games Expo as well, glad it is out in the open.

As I have mentioned before, Superheroes is a genre that HeroQuest fits really well, straight out of the box. All it needs are examples of Character Creation and templates for Hero Types. 

SciFi would work as well, but that tends to be grittier and gritty doesn't work for HQ.

Any setting with very creative magic would work for HQ, as would Urban Fantasy. I can see the Magicians TV Series using HQ very easily, for example, as would The Tomorrow People.

 

 

 

 

Edited by soltakss

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

SciFi would work as well, but that tends to be grittier and gritty doesn't work for HQ.

SciFi RPGs tend to be grittier, but you could HQ the hell out of things with the feel of Star Trek, Star Wars, Foundation, Dr. Who, Gravity's Rainbow, etc. I'd say HQ could handle the pithy staff meetings, engaging with alien social problems, and climactic moral quandry aspects of Star Trek better than most Trek games published to date, and probably the handwavey technobabble better than a gritty game could too.

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8 minutes ago, JonL said:

SciFi RPGs tend to be grittier, but you could HQ the hell out of things with the feel of Star Trek, Star Wars, Foundation, Dr. Who, Gravity's Rainbow, etc. I'd say HQ could handle the pithy staff meetings, engaging with alien social problems, and climactic moral quandry aspects of Star Trek better than most Trek games published to date, and probably the handwavey technobabble better than a gritty game could too.

One of the finest HQ games I ever ran was a Star Wars game.

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10 minutes ago, Jeff said:

One of the finest HQ games I ever ran was a Star Wars game

I think it handled Jedi / Sith / and the Force in general pretty well in the one I ran. Wish I still had my notes on that campaign

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I think HQ handles space opera very well. It could also easily model something like The Expanse, which has more nuance than say Dark Matters or Killjoy (which I like btw). It could do Farscape. 

Who do we contact if we have ideas to discuss?

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12 minutes ago, Sean_RDP said:

I think HQ handles space opera very well. It could also easily model something like The Expanse, which has more nuance than say Dark Matters or Killjoy (which I like btw). It could do Farscape. 

Who do we contact if we have ideas to discuss?

Me. ian@chaosium.com

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36 minutes ago, JonL said:

SciFi RPGs tend to be grittier, but you could HQ the hell out of things with the feel of Star Trek, Star Wars, Foundation, Dr. Who, Gravity's Rainbow, etc. I'd say HQ could handle the pithy staff meetings, engaging with alien social problems, and climactic moral quandry aspects of Star Trek better than most Trek games published to date, and probably the handwavey technobabble better than a gritty game could too.

Indeed, we would tend to avoid settings that are get their kicks from gearheading and look toward what could be done with space opera or social SF more.

 

Garvity's Rainbow though. Pynchon?

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1 hour ago, Ian Cooper said:

Indeed, we would tend to avoid settings that are get their kicks from gearheading and look toward what could be done with space opera or social SF more.

I guess you'll want to avoid licensed IP for those SF settings?

I can easily outline dozens quite different premises to base a space opera game on, just by proposing different ways of traveling between planets and solar systems. Add another dimension of how variant you want mankind to become, how many and what kind of alien species you are looking for, how much "magic" (psionics, mysticism, Clarke-ian sufficiently advanced technology, actual magic) you want to allow, and whether you want to have the monolithic but too big for immediate communication empire, a more tribalist setting (imagine Glorantha as a galactic map), or a commonwealth of some sort, and there are more possible variations than anyone could publish. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Garvity's Rainbow though. Pynchon?

Right. I've yet to try it, but surreal postmodernism, magical realism, weird fiction, etc. strike me as genres where a game like HQ can shine. Really, you just need to have a shared handle on what "plausible" and "credibility" mean (or don't) in the context of your fictional world and go all-in on the pass/fail cycle & "ability ratings are just abstract measures of comparative problem-solving power" in order to get on board the train to crazy town. 

 

1 hour ago, Telen666gard said:

I believe HQ does gritty fine as long as everyone is on board with what gritty means to the campaign and results of contests. The same concept goes for horror.

If you swing to the other direction, this is very true as well. IMO, the other piece there besides dealing out gritty consequences (& accompanying realistic healing times) is leaning more towards credibility and less towards story flow when setting resistance. (Although horror swings back towards story-flow.)

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All this news makes me go "Sqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" :D

An expanded/revised "Ye Little Book of [insert new brand name of the narrative system formally known as HeroQuest] Fantasy" is on the cards, plus some other stuff that was nearing completion but never made it out the door, during my all to short period as a HeroQuest GateWay publisher :)

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

I guess you'll want to avoid licensed IP for those SF settings?

I can easily outline dozens quite different premises to base a space opera game on, just by proposing different ways of traveling between planets and solar systems. Add another dimension of how variant you want mankind to become, how many and what kind of alien species you are looking for, how much "magic" (psionics, mysticism, Clarke-ian sufficiently advanced technology, actual magic) you want to allow, and whether you want to have the monolithic but too big for immediate communication empire, a more tribalist setting (imagine Glorantha as a galactic map), or a commonwealth of some sort, and there are more possible variations than anyone could publish. 

 

 

Yeah, licensed IP would be beyond our budget right now I suspect. But if Dune shows up as available I know some folks are keen on us bidding

🙂

Edited by Ian Cooper
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On 6/4/2018 at 6:52 PM, Joerg said:

Greg used to run Hero Wars games where every player represented a community, in turn represented by a very limited number of abilities and a single score for each subunit of the community. There was some resource management involved, too.

I played a game at some incarnation of Tentacles where each played controlled one uz faction of the Blue Moon Plateau, with the overall challenge to provide the optimum food to the oldest Mistress Mother to give birth to the new form of Surface World uz, untainted by the Curse of Kin. In our game, we managed to locate the cap of one of the eight planetary sons of Yelm - actually the top tier of his ziggurat - and attempted to transport it to Blue Moon Plateau. We didn't consider that this Son of Yelm also was an incarnation of Sedenya, and were intercepted by forces of the Empire. The game ended there and then, but as a narrator I would have allowed a second game where an underworld ambush to retrieve that thing from Lunar safeguarding could have been staged.

I don't think there is anything like this published as an rpg. The concept is provably playable, although creating this as a genre pack might be kind of hard.

I'm very interested in this idea, as I've been planning to use Heroquest for community/larger scale stuff as an addition to my Runequest stuff. Currently at the raw idea stage, but I think it has merit. I'd love to hear more about this particular idea/execution if there is more to know!

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I have read but never run it. I feel like it is an incredible system. However, I am intimidated by the system. I don’t feel like I can communicate it well for someone who hasn’t read the book. I really really need to see someone else run it. Maybe a YouTube video of the authors playing yet?

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7 hours ago, Grievous said:

I'm very interested in this idea, as I've been planning to use Heroquest for community/larger scale stuff as an addition to my Runequest stuff. Currently at the raw idea stage, but I think it has merit. I'd love to hear more about this particular idea/execution if there is more to know!

Here is an example of a Community done up like a character, with breakouts under its resources representing specific assets. You could also put significant Ring members and such under there, and add some Flaws to represent curses or other impediments. If you zoom in to adventurer-level gameplay, you can apply lingering benefits and consequences from their deeds to Community resource challenges, or treat some aspect of the adventure as an extended contest to generate an augment for the Community on an upcoming challenge. You can zoom out to Community vs Community level contests to handle big picture conflict. Take scale mismatches into account via resistance, stretch penalties, or application of the multiple-opponents penalty as appropriate.

( @Ian Cooper, our followup posts in that thread re: "'Any Ability could become a Keyword if you hang an appropriate Breakout Ability from it.' is a natural outgrowth of using umbrella-style Keywords" point to another common game-as-commonly-played-but-not-explicitly-written thing that might be worth spelling out in the SRD, IMO. )

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6 hours ago, Sky River Titan said:

I have read but never run it. I feel like it is an incredible system. However, I am intimidated by the system. I don’t feel like I can communicate it well for someone who hasn’t read the book. I really really need to see someone else run it. Maybe a YouTube video of the authors playing yet?

This is one of the joys of it going OGL, someone can make either a short Guide to Newcomers, that explains HQ in plain English, or an entry-level game/adventure aimed squarely at beginners.

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1 hour ago, Dimbyd said:

Are there any gaming conventions close by to you? Playing Heroquest is the best way to understand it.

Continuum is squaring up to be a hot bed of HeroQuest action, both Gloranthan and non-Gloranthan, and I've not even thrown my hat in the ring yet. 

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39 minutes ago, Newt said:

Continuum is squaring up to be a hot bed of HeroQuest action, both Gloranthan and non-Gloranthan, and I've not even thrown my hat in the ring yet. 

Shoot, St. Louis -> Detroit is too far for me to pull a weekender without flying. I'll by running HQ at DieCon this weekend and Archon in the Fall. 

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