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HeroQuest SRD and OGL, genre packs

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14 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

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?

Either way is fine, the great thing of a OGL game is that you can have multiple approaches to emulating a genre, just look at Fate and the dozens of iterations of the superhero genre. Having said that, I do beleive the size of the community is something to keep in mind, the smaller the community the smaller the market for alternatives. 

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54 minutes ago, Tanaka84 said:

Either way is fine, the great thing of a OGL game is that you can have multiple approaches to emulating a genre, just look at Fate and the dozens of iterations of the superhero genre. Having said that, I do beleive the size of the community is something to keep in mind, the smaller the community the smaller the market for alternatives. 

Well my understanding is that this is an attempt to expand that audience and to gauge what people like. My experience has shown that having an OGL / SRD / Insert community license here suddenly makes a game more attractive to people who might pass it by.  Even if they do not build their own game or setting, just the idea that someone could do that is enough to give the game a look over. I suspect this will be the case with HQ/Questworlds and what not. Many people will discover it for the first time. Many will re-discover it. With Chaosium's recent successes I suspect (and hope) there will be renewed interest.

While yes, the current community is small, there could be any number of reasons for that. A perception that HQ is a bit of 400 level RPG play, when it really is not. A perception that it is intrinsically tied to Glorantha the same way RQ kinda-sorta is. The name change and so on. I have no data to support these, just anecdotal stuff from conversations over the years. No reason that it won't get some growth. 

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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.

 

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On 8/5/2019 at 2:38 PM, Tanaka84 said:

Either way is fine, the great thing of a OGL game is that you can have multiple approaches to emulating a genre, just look at Fate and the dozens of iterations of the superhero genre. Having said that, I do beleive the size of the community is something to keep in mind, the smaller the community the smaller the market for alternatives. 

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.

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18 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Instead of fitting the new power into a list of pre-generated ones, [MSH] simply described the power and left it up to the Player or GM to make it work in play.

In my experience, that's pretty much been HQ/QW in a nutshell, and it's probably the reason why I've found it to be the best superhero RPG experience I've had.*

!i!

[*It also makes me lament that I dismissed Marvel Super Heroes out of hand when it first came out as "too simplistic".]

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On 8/7/2019 at 11:58 AM, Ian Absentia said:

In my experience, that's pretty much been HQ/QW in a nutshell, and it's probably the reason why I've found it to be the best superhero RPG experience I've had.*

!i!

[*It also makes me lament that I dismissed Marvel Super Heroes out of hand when it first came out as "too simplistic".]

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.

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On 8/7/2019 at 7:58 PM, Ian Absentia said:

In my experience, that's pretty much been HQ/QW in a nutshell, and it's probably the reason why I've found it to be the best superhero RPG experience I've had.*

!i!

[*It also makes me lament that I dismissed Marvel Super Heroes out of hand when it first came out as "too simplistic".]

Yes, for me, SuperHeroQuest works really well.

You narrate your powers, rather than having clunky power levels

It scales really well, especially with HQ2-style resistance values, so you can say that lifting a car is easier than lifting an oil tanker

You can have breakouts of powers for specialist powers

I have run SuperHeroQuest several times and it has worked each and every time.

Character Generation takes 5 minutes and produces Super Heroes that work really well.

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20 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

The bad thing is that I won't know whether I'm duplicating the other writer's work until I see it.

Have a look at my very old ideas about SuperHeroQuest.They were written for HQ1, but that fits SuperHeroQuest better, I think.

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38 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Yes, for me, SuperHeroQuest works really well.

You narrate your powers, rather than having clunky power levels

It passes the infamous Green Lantern Test* with flying colors.

!i!

[*c.f. The Doctor Strange Test, which is passes similarly, without resorting to structured rules for magic.]

Edited by Ian Absentia

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Have a look at my very old ideas about SuperHeroQuest.They were written for HQ1, but that fits SuperHeroQuest better, I think.

In a word: Super.

@Cultist of Sooty (I think?) had some similar ideas dating back to Hero Wars, which were my jumping-off-point.  I leaned into HQ1, as well, and found that HQ2 kind of sucked the oomph out of it.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia

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1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

In a word: Super.

@Cultist of Sooty (I think?) had some similar ideas dating back to Hero Wars, which were my jumping-off-point.  I leaned into HQ1, as well, and found that HQ2 kind of sucked the oomph out of it.

!i!

Yeah, that was me. I used Hero Wars and HQ1 for a few superhero games. HW/HQ were my "go to" system for a good few years. I used it for superheroes, spies, Doctor Who, Exalted, Mage: the Ascension, a game about rock bands, angels, and a whole bunch more that I can't remember now. 

But I'm not fond of the current edition of HQ at all so I've moved on to systems that I enjoy more.

We used Icons for our last long-runnning superhero game. That lasted about 4 years of weekly play. We'll likely go back to that system again sometime soon. We liked it a lot.

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On 6/22/2019 at 12:47 AM, rabindranath72 said:

Just yesterday I started re-reading the Silmarillion, with the idea of creating an HQ campaign. I have The One Ring, but the "tone" of the game isn't appropriate, and the rules themselves wouldn't support the theme. So the plan is to "HQ-ify" The One Ring, and take Cultures, Callings, Traits and Virtues, and transform them into Abilities. The Shadow-weakness would be the first Flaw of a character. The High-elves and Rangers would be the two main cultures.

I converted The One Ring rpg easily into Fate Core, so I see no reason why it wouldn't work well for HeroQuest either - both system mechanics are much better than that of The One Ring for portraying Middle Earth.

Cubicle 7 have been outstanding with the artwork, content , and flavour for their Middle Earth games. That will be still easy to work with HeroQuest, perhaps moreso.

Once you define how things work in the setting (ie:  Cultural & Racial Backgrounds, The Shadow, Hope, etc), then everything else will flow great.

Edited by Mankcam
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On 8/9/2019 at 11:51 AM, Cultist of Sooty said:

... I used Hero Wars and HQ1 for a few superhero games. HW/HQ were my "go to" system for a good few years ... 

But I'm not fond of the current edition of HQ at all so I've moved on to systems that I enjoy more...

See, here's a thing I hear (repeatedly) that I just don't get...  If a new edition of a favorite game comes out, and you find that you vastly prefer the older edition...  Why do you "move on to [another] system" instead of just staying with the one you already know and love?

Having disliked HQ2, why did you go looking for a new system, instead of settling to your familiar custom HW/HQ ruleset?

I hear a similar account often... people abandoning a line because the new edition moved in a direction they disliked.

But why?  Why not stick with what they already liked?

I also see people still playing AD&D 1&2, never having liked 3.x, PF, 4e or 5e.  Here on BRPC, someone reports they're still proudly playing RQ1e!  Etc...

So it goes both ways.

I confess I only understand one (revert to the favored edition) and hope someone who prefers the other one (switch for a whole new game line) can help me understand ... ?

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33 minutes ago, g33k said:

See, here's a thing I hear (repeatedly) that I just don't get...  If a new edition of a favorite game comes out, and you find that you vastly prefer the older edition...  Why do you "move on to [another] system" instead of just staying with the one you already know and love?

Having disliked HQ2, why did you go looking for a new system, instead of settling to your familiar custom HW/HQ ruleset?

I hear a similar account often... people abandoning a line because the new edition moved in a direction they disliked.

But why?  Why not stick with what they already liked?

I also see people still playing AD&D 1&2, never having liked 3.x, PF, 4e or 5e.  Here on BRPC, someone reports they're still proudly playing RQ1e!  Etc...

So it goes both ways.

I confess I only understand one (revert to the favored edition) and hope someone who prefers the other one (switch for a whole new game line) can help me understand ... ?

The main reason is a very simple one. It's harder to get new players interested in a game when you say "Let's play Game X, but not the version you can buy in the shops, the one that is out of print and unavailable". It's as simple as that.

The other reason is another game came out that looked interesting, I tried it, and I liked it, so I played that. I play more than one game system. I don't have an exclusive contract to play just one game always and forever.

But really I don't need to justify why I changed game systems to you or to anyone else. I stopped enjoying HeroQuest. It didn't feel like fun any more so I moved on to something that did feel like fun.

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8 hours ago, Cultist of Sooty said:

The main reason is a very simple one. It's harder to get new players interested in a game when you say "Let's play Game X, but not the version you can buy in the shops, the one that is out of print and unavailable". It's as simple as that.

Fair 'nuf!  I usually play with the same group.  If we want to play, say, ShadowRun, we've all got the 3e books for that and would play it.  Some have 4e, I know.  Don't know if anyone has 5 or 6 or 6/Anarchy.

But yeah, if one of us wanted to play an out of print game that not everyone has... There would be grumbling!

While we DO still buy new RPGs occasionally, mostly we play from our libraries of already-owned games.

 

8 hours ago, Cultist of Sooty said:

... The other reason is another game came out that looked interesting, I tried it, and I liked it, so I played that. I play more than one game system. I don't have an exclusive contract to play just one game always and forever...

Nope, nobody's locked in; and I didn't mean to suggest it!

9 hours ago, Cultist of Sooty said:

...

But really I don't need to justify why I changed game systems to you or to anyone else...

:(

Please accept my apologies.  In no way did I mean to accuse you of anything you had to "justify!"

I was just not understanding, and you were gracious enough to help me figure it out.

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On 8/12/2019 at 10:34 PM, Michael Hopcroft said:

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"?

The pre-release draft has been shared privately with a few designers who are already using QW as a foundation for publishing upcoming games. If you've got a concrete idea for a project you're wanting to build and release with QuestWorlds, you might reach out to @Ian Cooper re. being one of the vanguard titles.

Edited by JonL
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11 hours ago, JonL said:

The pre-release draft has been shared privately with a few designers who are already using QW as a foundation for publishing upcoming games. If you've got a concrete idea for a project you're wanting to build and release with QuestWorlds, you might reach out to @Ian Cooper re. being one of the vanguard titles.

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.

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20 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

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.

Same here, I have this idea burning in my mind and I'm waiting for the SRD to work on it :). I could cook a system for the game, but there is already wayyyyyy to much out there, and I want to help promote QW.

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On 8/15/2019 at 2:10 AM, Michael Hopcroft said:

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.

We have new resource on the layout. Hoping to meet this week to finalize what we need to do to get it out the door. @Michael Hopcroft feel free to mail me at ian@chaosium.com and I will do what I can to help.

Edited by Ian Cooper
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Thank you for the offer.

he problem I see is that many genres are variations on other genres, leading to the likelihood of multiple creators working on things that might be considered very similar. Like distinguishing between wuxia, anime-style fantasy, and the really over-the-top shonen series like the Dragonball franchise (I'm thinking about the style, not getting a license to make a Dragonball game). Tat's the problem I face when I inquire about something like that -- how do I know someone else isn't doing something so similar that we'll eat into each other's market?

 

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9 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Thank you for the offer.

he problem I see is that many genres are variations on other genres, leading to the likelihood of multiple creators working on things that might be considered very similar. Like distinguishing between wuxia, anime-style fantasy, and the really over-the-top shonen series like the Dragonball franchise (I'm thinking about the style, not getting a license to make a Dragonball game). Tat's the problem I face when I inquire about something like that -- how do I know someone else isn't doing something so similar that we'll eat into each other's market?

 

Speaking as a game developer, I'd caution against letting this concern you too much. If you're focusing on a specific fanbase (anime, in your example above), the question isn't "will they buy my game and not game x?" The question is "will they buy my game before they buy game x." The market can support more than one leader. If you're not one of those leaders, remember that a small slice of pie is better than none at all (assuming that buying it is in your budget, of course).

Edited by Shawn Carpenter
Corrected my pre-caffeinated spelling.
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10 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Thank you for the offer.

he problem I see is that many genres are variations on other genres, leading to the likelihood of multiple creators working on things that might be considered very similar. Like distinguishing between wuxia, anime-style fantasy, and the really over-the-top shonen series like the Dragonball franchise (I'm thinking about the style, not getting a license to make a Dragonball game). Tat's the problem I face when I inquire about something like that -- how do I know someone else isn't doing something so similar that we'll eat into each other's market?

 

Just do what you want how you want it. Let's say there isn't a single game in your target genre, would you stop work once you're halfway done if someone launched a game very similar to yours? Why would you let that stop you? People like variety, and the things that make a person like X over Y are esoteric. I like Coke and can't stand Pepsi, but seriously... they're basically the same thing.

If you feel the urge to be creative, then be creative. There's enough gate keeping in the world. Don't stand in your own way. You could make the next big thing, or you could make something that only your closest friends will play. But most people don't make anything at all. You have an editor at the company that makes the rules telling you he would like to help you. Your success helps their success.

Tabletop gaming is a supersaturated market. There exist so many games that it would be impossible for one person to try them all in a lifetime. Your genre has probably been done more than once. Accept that, and make your thing anyway. You got this.

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15 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

Thank you for the offer.

he problem I see is that many genres are variations on other genres, leading to the likelihood of multiple creators working on things that might be considered very similar. Like distinguishing between wuxia, anime-style fantasy, and the really over-the-top shonen series like the Dragonball franchise (I'm thinking about the style, not getting a license to make a Dragonball game). Tat's the problem I face when I inquire about something like that -- how do I know someone else isn't doing something so similar that we'll eat into each other's market?

 

I don't know what you're working on, but so far the only packs that have been actually mentioned are the three from the original post: Supers, Pulp, and Sci-Fi, and another thread which mentions some interest in Tékumel, but nothing solid. If you're looking at something outside those areas then the chance of overlap is minimal, and even those fields are pretty broad. Pulp alone can range from noir detectives to over-the-top adventures like the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is very different from space adventure.

What you should be asking yourself is whether you have a clear and consistent vision for your idea and if you can convey that vision effectively. Give Chaosium a vision to sell rather than just a generic genre pack. Just look at Glorantha compared to the generic pseudo-medieval settings found in so many games. Show off your vision, not just your genre.

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