Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Inspiration: Filipino Superhero RPG campaigns 01

In my humble opinion, comic book campaigns are strongly influenced by art. How can they not? The very medium is part artwork!

In an attempt to have really easy posting material (and to showcase some talent) here are the first few pics that can inspire some Filipino superheroes in your own campaigns!

The first is from Ner Pedrina's deviantart page -Sanduguan!

The second comes from Iantoy's deviantart page, Ner Pedrina's Sandata done as a desktop wallpaper.

The third comes from Iantoy's deviantart page, with his own flag-bearing heroes: three Stars and the Sun!

Friday, May 30, 2008

SF Gaming: Blue Planet and Traveller

Blue Planet Lives

RedBrick Limited, the company behind the revitalization of both the Fading Suns and Earthdawn game lines, has recently announced that they've acquired the rights to develop a third long-languishing game line: Blue Planet!

Blue Planet, an incredibly detailed and well-researched Hard SF game set on the world of Poseidon, was nominated for Origin's 1997 Award for Best Role-Playing Game of the Year.

Check out the following links for more details:

Traveller - A New Edition

Mongoose Publishing is slated to release the newest incarnation of Traveller this month! Based on the Classic Traveller game system, but streamlined and updated, this new edition is apparently being position as a ruleset that "will provide everything you need to explore the universes of science fiction settings." They go on to list future settings that will be defined using this ruleset: "Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Starship Troopers and many more."

Mongoose Publishing handles many game lines - Runequest, Babylon 5, Elric of Melnibone, Hawkmoon, Paranoia, Conan, Lone Wolf - so it's assumed that they're quite serious about their goals.

Check out the following links for more details:

Traveller - Out of the Long Night

Of course, the announcements of Mongoose Publishing took the Companies of ComStar Games and Avenger Enterprises by surprise last year - because they were busy churning out a bunch of new Traveller material under license as well! Their material - dealing with The New Era - focuses on the Traveller universe struggling to recover from the disintegration of the Imperium. It disregards the GURPS Traveller alternative timeline (which itself disregarded the events of Dulinor).

Check out the following link for more details:

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.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More About the Diamond Grey Legion

In my prior post I mentioned the Diamond Legion.

To be precise, the current name is the Diamond Grey Legion. The prior incarnation - the Diamond Red Legion - fell to an assault by the forces of Chaos, known informally as the Blue (due to their apparent acquisition of control over the Blue from the Fey).

The ruling warders of the Diamond Grey Legion, like most members, are formally known by their shard names first, personal names second.

Therefore, a formal introduction of my character would be something like:
I am the Essential Savant of Bone, mounting Mantius
I am M. Mantius (M being short for Mount), mounted by the Essential Savant of Bone

The position of the ruling warders of Diamond Grey are as follows:
  • the Diamond Silver Sallet Warder (in charge of Oversight)
  • the Diamond Ash Gorget Warder (in charge of Strategy)
  • the Diamond Midnight Cloak Warder (in charge of Operations)
  • the Diamond Smoke Vambrace Warder (in charge of Communications)
  • the Diamond Shadow Bevor Warder (in charge of Intelligence)
  • the Diamond Coal Greave Warder (in charge of Recruitment and Training)
  • the Diamond Obsidian Couter Warder (in charge of Finance)
For each Warder's name, the Diamond comes from the name of the Legion, the color is meant to be a shade of the color of the legion (Grey in this case), and the accoutrement is related to the position's role.

The Diamond Legion is known for many things. It is known for its warders, whose ability seems to center around allowing, disallowing, or combining the abilities from various shards. It is known for Hazard shards. It is also known as the Legion handling Special Operations in the Shard Army
's war against the Blue.

Here are two more shards (drawn by Andrew Drilon as well) from the Diamond Grey Legion:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shards from "Isle: Imperium"

Up until recently, my wife and I were involved in Dean Alfar's RPG campaign titled Isle, now on its 9th "season". It's a very rich and complex universe involving generation-long plots and schemes, and tour de force exploration of unusual magical systems such as crafts and... as illustrated below... shards.

Shards are semi-cylindrical fragments of stone that impart ultra-normal abilities (and distinctive costumes) to those who can bear them. Using other semi-mystical shards called Brightlight, bearers can "purchase" abilities of the shard, unlocking more abilities and sometimes triggering changes in the shard's nature. Interestingly, it is possible (in general) for shard bearers to use abilities that they have from other shards provided they have sufficient attributes and "slots" in their ultra-normal forms to access them, leading to strange and sometimes powerful mixes of abilities and the occasional nasty surprise for those who tend to judge based on appearance.

What separates these shards from being mere tools of power is that there are sentiences behind the abilities. Hints of their leanings appear in dreams and sometimes emotional responses to events (or other shards). There are rivalries and allegiances between shards that sometimes color the way mounts perceive events. A few have been known to withhold abilities from mounts they did not like or trust. It is argued that the shards find ways to manipulate their bearers or further their own agendas.

Furthermore, each shard has a history in the long-standing war with chaos - most having sworn allegiance to one or more of the legions in the Army of Shards in their century-long careers. These histories are oftentimes associated with the bearers, resulting in prejudice, fear, or fondness from other shard-bearers (as well as from the enemies of the Legions - the Blue-infested Chaos Courts).

This is the Essential Savant of Bone, as worn by my character Mantius (a former slave and gladiator in the Roman-inspired Aeternum Empire).

Ossis Potior (the latin flavor text that accompanies the shard) was one of the earliest shards borne by our group. It was known then as Bone Collector, but after Mantius mastered the shard it became the Accomplished Bone Collector and then finally Ossis Potior Excelsis - the Essential Savant of Bone.

Mr. Potior (as he has become known to our group) has a reputation for being hunted by the mysterious Bone Legion, hated by one of Mantius' other favored shards (the Renegade Warder), and has been known to sacrifice greatly in order to safeguard the well-being of our group.

Mantius and Mr. Potior are currently working for the head of the Diamond Legion's intelligence operations.

Other shards currently in use by the group (all art done by Andrew Drilon, by the way) include: