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What do you need to have in order to play the game?


Doc Shadow
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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

Yes for a generic game system like Hero, setting books are entirely optional. If people don't like the setting books, they don't need to buy them.

 

And another thing to consider is many GMs will use genre books from other lines for setting crossovers. Like suppose a Champions character uses a Time Travel or Dimension Travel power. They could wind up in a Pulp Hero or Star Hero setting. The GM may want to have the genre books handy for such events. Buying the entire line of sourcebooks for a 1-shot in a mostly unrelated campaign setting would be kind of pointless.

I guess to some situations, your statement makes a good point. Having the multiple genre books does give you some additional POV, from a game standpoint anyway.

 

I like having some of the other genre books, mostly for example and reading material.

 

I admit it, I have a problem... I am a gaming junkie, and I collect game systems. :help:

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

On another note. If I catch the premise of the OP - the idea that producing a Setting Book will help a line sell - is false.

 

Star Hero has 2 Setting books (I'll note only Champions has 1 setting to it's name), and the sales of it's non-genre book have been bad enough that future SH books have either been delayed, canceled or not even brought up. CyberHero is noted for being a StarHero sub-genre book (Steve has stated it would go under that line) and it was delayed so long it's now a 6E consideration only. Steve has repeatedly mentioned the research investment has made it untenable - and Cyber is one of the "classic" gamer genres.

 

That right there should tell us something.

 

Producing a Setting book is not a magic bullet to help a line out.

There is no formula to deviate from either. To paraphrase the Writers Rules:

 

"The are three rules to writing a perfect best selling novel. No one knows what they are."

 

 

I don't know: you can do things too well. I bought Turkainian Age for FH. It's a big book with a lot of information in it, ditto the Empire books for SH. I never got round to reading them properly and I recently gave them away with a whole lot of other RPG stuff I had no room for (or hadn't looked at in years).

 

On top of that they are not that cheap - especially if you do not now if you are going to like them.

 

One option might be to produce a small, cheap book (actually I take the 'cheap' bit back - You can get Terran Empire for $10 in the store at present!) - the point is though that you can get too much information. Sometimes you are better off evoking a setting than nailing down every detail. All the genre books are infromation rich, but possibly too much so?

 

What does sell well? I have no idea but I get the impression the character collections do alright. Perhaps the way to go might be to have a genre themed characters book, possibly with the characters linked into a loose scenario - that way if the genre or scenario are not to the buyer's liking they still have plenty of charcters they can use in their own games, and it might attract a wider audience.

 

Mind you in the current economic climate, selling anything is quite a trick. Having said that I'll be getting 6ed as soon as it comes out.

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

I don't know: you can do things too well. I bought Turkainian Age for FH. It's a big book with a lot of information in it, ditto the Empire books for SH. I never got round to reading them properly and I recently gave them away with a whole lot of other RPG stuff I had no room for (or hadn't looked at in years).

 

On top of that they are not that cheap - especially if you do not now if you are going to like them.

 

One option might be to produce a small, cheap book (actually I take the 'cheap' bit back - You can get Terran Empire for $10 in the store at present!) - the point is though that you can get too much information. Sometimes you are better off evoking a setting than nailing down every detail. All the genre books are infromation rich, but possibly too much so?

 

What does sell well? I have no idea but I get the impression the character collections do alright. Perhaps the way to go might be to have a genre themed characters book, possibly with the characters linked into a loose scenario - that way if the genre or scenario are not to the buyer's liking they still have plenty of charcters they can use in their own games, and it might attract a wider audience.

 

Mind you in the current economic climate, selling anything is quite a trick. Having said that I'll be getting 6ed as soon as it comes out.

 

You may have something there actually. Like you I have no real facts, but my impressions seem to mirror many I've read here on the board.

 

Really comprehensive settings books don't seem to sell well.

Adventures don't seem to sell well.

Character compilations seem to do OK.

None specific game support books (such as the Ultimate Series) seem to do fantastic.

 

So if I am following the idea correctly a lighter compilation might be the idea. As an example lets use a Mecha Book. Instead of a complete and detailed tome of the entire world have a 4 part book.

 

Part 1: A summary of the world and an overview of the starting city.

Part 2: An overview of Mecha describing briefly considerations in their game design and suggestions on running/playing with Mecha.

Part 3: Write up's for characters, NPC and Mecha for the setting with design notes.

Part 4: A outline or mini-adventure to give an example on how you would tie it all together plus plot seeds.

 

Make sure the entire book is short, say in the range of Teen Champs. If it sells the setting could be expanded on in a more detailed book.

 

Of course this idea may actually be an old one that failed. But I think it is a good one :D

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

You may have something there actually. Like you I have no real facts, but my impressions seem to mirror many I've read here on the board.

 

Really comprehensive settings books don't seem to sell well.

Adventures don't seem to sell well.

Character compilations seem to do OK.

None specific game support books (such as the Ultimate Series) seem to do fantastic.

 

So if I am following the idea correctly a lighter compilation might be the idea. As an example lets use a Mecha Book. Instead of a complete and detailed tome of the entire world have a 4 part book.

 

Part 1: A summary of the world and an overview of the starting city.

Part 2: An overview of Mecha describing briefly considerations in their game design and suggestions on running/playing with Mecha.

Part 3: Write up's for characters, NPC and Mecha for the setting with design notes.

Part 4: A outline or mini-adventure to give an example on how you would tie it all together plus plot seeds.

 

Make sure the entire book is short, say in the range of Teen Champs. If it sells the setting could be expanded on in a more detailed book.

 

Of course this idea may actually be an old one that failed. But I think it is a good one :D

 

That's exactly what I meant - and you could probably spice the mix with a few extra optional rules that are tailored to the genre, perhaps an alternative hit location system or somesuch. We're such rules completists that if you sprinkled optional rules through setting/character books you'd pick up extra sales - then again for the compilation editions (remember the Hero Almanack? Great book (s))

 

You could even expand the setting through adventure/character books - each one dealing either with a new setting int he genre or expanding on an existing one - rather than having a Millennium City book, you have a Champions team book with a good few villains and local personalities that are then woven into a mini-adventure or starting scenario outline which introduces (perhaps) some of the law enforcement agencies.

 

The second book could involve a plot to invade the Champions base, so we have base stats as well as a good few new villains and local personalities.

 

The third book focuses on a local villain organisation...and so on.

 

The setting builds up over a number of books (and in bite sized bits) but is not such a big bit of the books that it makes then not worth getting if you want your own setting.

 

I have no idea if it would work, but it sounds about right. In fact you could almost format the Champions ones like a comic: 'In This Issue...'

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

I can second that. I want to create my own settings. I just generally take an existing one and liberally modify it to my needs. I don't have the time or creative impetus to do wholesale creation anymore. Funny' date=' when I did have the time, I had no players and no reason. Now that I have players, and thus a reason, I have no time. Talk about frustrating.[/quote']

 

 

Thirded. My police procedural game is set in an approximation of Seattle called Harborview. I just had to come up with a campaign paradigm, some notes on tone and style, info on the police department, a few landmark notes, and directions for character design. I didn't need any setting materials, and truth be told, Dark Champions wasn't a huge help, either (beyond stats for weapons and equipment). I used the 5th Ed. Revised Rules, The Ultimate Martial Artist, and the Ultimate skill. Zehu (that's it).

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

For me, I mostly use the Core Rules and Ultimate Books. I like the Dark Champions and Pulp Hero books. They're solid for those specific genres, though I find they are geared to certain styles of those genres and not necessarily the games I run.

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

A couple of days ago in a Pulp Hero thread Steve said that although Pulp Hero itself had sold fairly well' date=' the other books in the Pulp Hero line had not. As such there would be no further support for the line beyond the occasional pdf, apparently he has mentioned this before but I guess I’d missed it.[/size']

This got me wondering why the genre book was selling but the source books weren’t, which in turn led me to wonder what a role-playing game really needs to provide to be playable right from the get go, and if perhaps the reason that the source books aren’t selling is because something’s missing from the equation.

 

The simple reason why the other books in the Pulp Hero line aren't selling well is because they're pulp.

 

Pulp is the media darling, market pariah of the gaming world. I don't have hard data at my fingertips, but I would bet that less than 10% of gamer hours are devoted to anything that could be solidly categorized as Pulp.

 

So - why did Pulp Hero do well? Well, it's a great GM resource. It was hyped pretty well. There was, previous to its publication, not much competition in its genre. I mean, how many years ago was Noir published? 12?

 

As for the larger question - what do you need? It's a context sensitive question. What one group needs is not the same as what another group needs. Experience plays a part, style plays a part, genre plays a part.

 

The more experienced a group is, the less handholding they need. An experienced group is more likely to be capable of creating from whole cloth without screwing up the feel, flow or balance of a game world.

 

A group who likes a style of play that is unsupported or undersupported by published materials has to, by necessity, learn to roll their own. Such groups are unfazed by the daunting task of creating game worlds from scratch, in fact they may enjoy it.

 

Some genres require more source materials than others. If you are playing in a genre that is not dramatically different from the real world, like an espionage game set in the current timeline, then you don't need a lot of game specific source material. A modern era superhero game needs just the things that are 'super' defined. A game set in the warring states era of China needs pretty much everything defined. (for those of us who aren't entirely familiar with that region's history)

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

A game set in the warring states era of China needs pretty much everything defined. (for those of us who aren't entirely familiar with that region's history)

 

The Warring States era? Hmm... I think it involved Jet Li versus the world. Or something like that.

 

I mean, 8 million kung fu flicks can't be wrong, right?

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

The Warring States era? Hmm... I think it involved Jet Li versus the world. Or something like that.

 

I mean, 8 million kung fu flicks can't be wrong, right?

 

If there wrong, then I don't want to be right.

 

La Rose

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Re: What do you need to have in order to play the game?

 

I liked and used quite extensively 'Hudson City Blues' for Dark Champions, which is an adventure with settings and characters that you can use to build up a better picture of the city. Obviously I changed the ending and quite a few of the encounters along the way, and the main villain and so on and so forth, but it worked for me because it gave me the right mix of background (which is not always that interesting to generate), plot ideas (from which I could head off tangentally) and it had the massive advantage that, having a genuine pre-written adventure in front of me, I could consult it on a regular basis to give myself thinking time to make the next bit up, so they never guessed (until afterwards when they read it).

 

What?

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