Thursday, February 21, 2008

Champions - the MMORPG!


It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Hero System, especially the Champions super-heroic setting.

Recently, there have been two announcements that promise to shake up the Hero System fandom:

  1. Hero Games is coming out with a 6th Edition set of its rules in 2009;
  2. Cryptic Studios is coming out with an MMORPG based on the Champions setting in 2009.
According to the Hero Games website, the reason they're coming out with the 6th Ed is to take advantage of the marketing opportunites that the MMORPG will provide them. They want to revise the rules to make it easier for fresh blood to jump onboard to the pen-and-paper RPG bandwagon (with the Hero System as the prime candidate for initial gameplay). It's also been mentioned that the Champions and Dark Champions intellectual property has been purchased by Cryptic Studios:

"Cryptic bought the Champions and Dark Champions intellectual property from us — the characters, places, events, and so on — and licensed back to us the right to produce Champions RPG books."

Interestingly, the RULES of the Hero System still belong to Hero Games.

To me this implies that if things go all crappy down the line, Hero Games doesn't own the settings that they created in these genres, but still retain copyright on the ruleset. It also means that Hero Games can technically use all that nice art in their 6th Edition books.

The Cryptic Studios website has a link to the Champions Online MMORPG website and there you'll find the general level of art that I hope to see in the Hero Games books come 2009.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Beginning Is The End

It's not often that you find a kick-ass web-marketing effort for a tabletop RPG. It's also rare that said marketing effort gets confused with a blockbuster film's viral marketing efforts.

Enter the Ethan Haas Was Right website. It was confused with the viral marketing effort for the movie Cloverfield (possibly because the date of release for the core book was also on Jan 18, 2008 - the same date that Cloverfield opened at the box office). It has a very Cthulhoid feel to it, and a number of puzzles to solve that are rewarded with a short video.

I was stunned to discover that the site was promoting the RPG known as AlphaOmega. It's an RPG concerned with the End Times, and the site itself is visually stunning and complex, with a respectable amount of content.

Who's behind this? I normally attribute this kind of marketing effort to WOTC or White Wolf RPG launches, or to Computer RPGs or MMORPGs.

Time to search a bit more on the 'net. Maybe next week, when work's not so hectic.

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