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GM Joe

HERO Member
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GM Joe last won the day on September 20

GM Joe had the most liked content!


About GM Joe

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    Fully HERO'd
  • Birthday 11/27/1968

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  • Interests
    I enjoy collecting and playing classic videogames and computer games (from the late 70s/early 80s). I'm also a theme park maven.
  • Biography
    I grew up in the SF Bay Area, graduated from CSU Hayward (now CSUEB) in 1992, and have since lived in Northeast Illinois. I'm married to a wonderful woman who shares my hobbies and passions. Back in the 90s, I did freelance work for Imperium Games as a member of the Core Group.
  • Occupation
    Corporate IT

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  1. GM Joe

    ‘New’ pdfs up at OBS

    Yeah, Western HERO is awesome! Wasn't it also the birthplace of hipshot and the minor wounds rules? I don't recall seeing them before that.
  2. GM Joe

    RIP Roy Clark

    I loved that guy (and Hee Haw) as a kid. RIP.
  3. I'm sure it's hard to be happy when the fun parts are over, and all that's left is doing the job.
  4. GM Joe

    New Bundle of Holding offering?

    I know that in the past poorer-quality PDFs have been replaced by higher-quality PDFs in Bundles of Holding. So, might be worth a try to offer up what you have to Jason if it's better quality.
  5. GM Joe

    New Bundle of Holding offering?

    I was so, so happy to receive the email about this. Awesome stuff! Now, there are just a few more bits and bobs to go (notably Western Hero, Horror Hero, and Cyber Hero), and we'll have it all. All, I tell you! Muhuhuahhahahaha!
  6. Something showing how the game is played (as opposed to how it's talked about on the Internet) would be very helpful, I agree. CSLs, Presence Attacks, reasonable Characteristic ranges for different types of campaigns, etc. And a GM's guide that explains how to support the feel of a campaign mechanically, with specific examples. A Campaign Recipe Book of sorts.
  7. Couple that with heavy, heavy penalties for companies that hire people who are in the country illegally, and we may solve the problem. In fact, I'm in favor of the corporate death penalty for any company that hires an illegal immigrant, knowing or not. Full liquidation of all company assets, owners/stockholders lose everything, and any proceeds go to pay down the national debt. I'll even be generous and go with a three strikes and you're out standard, so long as the strikes follow everyone involved (every shareholder, every member of the board, every member of the management team).
  8. You're right, of course. I typed Discord when I meant Fantasy Grounds (the GURPS Discord Server being a popular place for GURPS aficionados to hang out). Sorry for the confusion! (I blame my impending 50th birthday...)
  9. (For the record, I voted in early voting a couple of weeks ago.) Well, things seem to have turned out pretty much as expected. The House and a few more governorships went to the D column (including my home state of IL, as expected given Rauner's extreme unpopularity). And there were some Senate pickups for the R's. We'll see how it all plays out for 2020's Presidential election and census! In other news, I think it's good that 64% of the people of Florida voted in favor of an Amendment to the Florida Constitution allowing convicted felons to vote once they have served their time (if they aren't murderers or violent sex offenders).
  10. Yeah, it's a difficult situation. Changing consumer behavior like that would be quite an exciting and daunting undertaking! One of my "when I retire" dreams is to get everything on Discord. Someone did that for GURPS and ended up getting an official blessing for the rules on there. Unfortunately, finding the time for taking on a project like that is impossible with my work schedule.
  11. Yup. At the time, everyone involved (including backers like me) had such hope...
  12. Yeah, Discworld is more of a thing in the UK than in the US, for sure. Other recent GURPS hardcovers were supplements instead of full games: GURPS Zombies, GURPS Mars Attacks (another questionable licensed property). Neither seems to have sold very well. Their 16 to 32 page PDFs on smaller topics sell well enough to keep producing one per month, but it appears that at this time the only physical GURPS products it's worth producing are the formerly out-of-print softcovers and hardcovers which they're making available via POD. Sadly, the market for their long-running GURPS magazine, Pyramid, also seems to have dried up, as the run of the current, PDF-only volume, will end in December, leaving GURPS fans with just the monthly PDF supplement release. Regarding the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, your point is pretty much the conclusion they came to. SJ Games keeps trying different things with their various properties, and one of the things they tried for GURPS was a Kickstarter for a box set of a simplified version of the game, honed to the most popular RPG genre. Lots of folks say, "If only my favorite RPG was available in a box set" it would be more popular. Well, they tried it. The Kickstarter was successful, but the preorder retail response to the new product was not as great as they'd hoped, so they cut their factory order by 30% (meaning, they ordered enough for all the backers, plus a few months' worth more). SJ Games is very supportive of their distributors and retailers (with Munchkin being most of their sales and profits, physical stores are a big part of their strategy and success), but those folks just weren't very interested. Since that meant a lot of the original order would have sat in SJ Games' warehouse for years, selling a few a month through online channels, they cut the order significantly and called it a day. The really sad thing is, they did a lot to prime the pump for that game in traditional channels. They produced a little form you could turn in at your FLGS, ordering a boxed set. They advertised on popular gaming websites. They had a Kickstarter tier for retailers. And of course they showed the distributors and big retailers the product at trade shows, etc. It seems to have been a first class effort at producing a modern boxed RPG set, but it ultimately failed. That's not to say it couldn't be done better by someone else, but if an experienced company with strong distribution and retail relationships and long experience producing boxed product couldn't do it, the bar for making this sort of product a real success seems to be higher than many fans of old-school games like GURPS (and HERO) seem to assume.
  13. That seems like a good approach. Another one that works is nostalgia and/or collectors' objects. The ten-ton-book/giant-box-of-stuff type products seem to do well as one-time, Kickstarter projects often enough.
  14. Yeah, that's about it as far as I can tell as well. Steve Jackson games is pretty transparent as privately-held businesses go, and they've indicated repeatedly that the RPG market is almost entirely D&D and its clones. They've also repeatedly indicated that getting any tabletop game on game store shelves for more than the first few months of its life is only possible if it is a massive, massive hit. Long tails are almost entirely a thing of the past. The average game store isn't interested in carrying back-stock that sells in dribs and drabs. They want to stock something, have it sell through, and then replace it with the next new thing. Why? It's largely driven by what the gamers with a high monthly spend want: something new every month that they can learn quickly and play with their friends, then move on to the next new experience. They have far more money than time, and it doesn't make sense for them to spend their limited gaming hours learning something complicated...even if it will eventually pay off in not having to learn anything new for a long time, as would be the case with a toolkit RPG. As SJGames said in their latest Stakeholders Report, "The current market is more a periodicals business than one that encourages growing and nurturing single games." Like the HERO crew, the folks at SJ Games keep trying different things, including the Discworld RPG (a built-from-GURPS, single-book RPG using a licensed property) and the Dungeon Fantasy RPG (a boxed RPG, built from GURPS, with a ton of value that did very well in Kickstarter). Neither product was successful for the company. Now they're trying with The Fantasy Trip, which Steve Jackson recently regained his rights to. We'll see how it goes for that simple RPG. The Kickstarter did very well, but it's the long term that matters. Will it be something that disappears from shelves a few months after it's released, or will it be something that they can continue to support for the long term? Time will tell.
  15. I backed Champions Now and I hope it brings a renaissance. I appreciate that Jason & co. have been doing what they can to keep the game alive, including innovative ideas like the Character Creation Cards (which I also backed). Still, one can't help but be a little depressed about the state of tabletop RPGs and specifically our favorite RPG. Since 4e, HERO System has truly been the ultimate gamer's toolkit, doing things that other games can only dream of. But the small percentage of folks who look beyond D&D these days tend to want something simpler, not something more complex. And they mostly seem to want something focused, not general. In other words, they want a meal, not a well-stocked professional kitchen and a giant cookbook. Heck, they don't even want GURPS' giant buffet. Even so, I remain hopeful because the only constant is change. Some day, folks may come back around to seeing RPG toolkits as a good value for their entertainment time and money. And hopefully HERO System will manage to hang on until then...