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Steve Long

PS238 Roleplaying Game

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Distributors have decided, for whatever reason, that the Customer does not get to decide what they would like to purchase anymore.

 

You could play Distributors like you could play the stock market, buying Puts and Calls and speculating what new products they'll actually stock.

 

Generally they only order things when they think that they have enough interest in it to order enough to get a good discount from whomever they are buying it from. If they don't have it in stock they generally tell their customers (the stores) that it isn't available right now. Their customers will frequently assume that means that the distributer can't get it, rather than that they just don't have any and aren't willing to order just one.

 

While I certainly can't guarantee it (not being a Hero employee or anything) I'm pretty sure that Hero isn't out of stock on PS238. So if the distributer wanted more copies, they could get them. Or rather than paying the distributer to order it from Hero, the store in question could just order it directly from Hero themselves. Save a step and get it quicker. :)

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Generally they only order things when they think that they have enough interest in it to order enough to get a good discount from whomever they are buying it from. If they don't have it in stock they generally tell their customers (the stores) that it isn't available right now. Their customers will frequently assume that means that the distributer can't get it, rather than that they just don't have any and aren't willing to order just one.

 

While I certainly can't guarantee it (not being a Hero employee or anything) I'm pretty sure that Hero isn't out of stock on PS238. So if the distributer wanted more copies, they could get them. Or rather than paying the distributer to order it from Hero, the store in question could just order it directly from Hero themselves. Save a step and get it quicker. :)

 

The problem arises when the monkey in the store assumes that their distributor can't get it (read: isn't in the distributors warehouse RIGHT NOW) that it's out of print or similar. How many posts on the boards have we seen where someone goes "My FLGS says it's not in print but I saw a copy!" or the like.

 

And that's part of the problem, a complete breakdown in communication and the Distributors deciding what they think will sell, not going "this is in print, we do not stock copies, if you order it and enough other people order it or tell us to order it we will get it."

 

And no. some stores CAN'T order direct. Some stores have managed to back themselves into some kind of corner where they are only allowed to order from one source - Example: Mille High Comics can only order from Diamond. How do I know? I tried to get PS238 Vol.2 - they promptly told me it was out of print. I promptly found two places that had it (the publisher and amazon). Think they could contact the publisher for me and get some copies? Nope. "Sorry, we can only order from Diamond." He said, "And Diamond says it's out of print." (incidentally my wife tried the same thing with boxes to hold comic books, Diamond was out and listed them "not available" ... what'd the comic shop say? "They must make them in batches or something." ... She ordered them somewhere else.

 

I hate the LGS in this hobby. They are, in my experience, proving to be retarded beyond belief.

 

So as not to completely derail this poor thread... I'm writing the review of PS238 and Stronghold both this week - among others. I expect to start up my Review Barrage again shortly.

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

A note to Forums Members reguarding Distributors. Apparently the Distributors can tel the difference between an Published Online Comic and a RPG base on an Online Comic. My FLAGS made some inquiries and cleared the confussion up for the Distributor. Hero Games should be recieving more orders for PS238 soon.

 

 

Cheers

 

 

QM

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

So as not to completely derail this poor thread... I'm writing the review of PS238 and Stronghold both this week...

Looking forward to those. I'm hoping to take a look at the books at the UK Games Expo next weekend, although last year (the first year for the Con) I couldn't find a single HERO System book for sale :(

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

The Sidekick rules are of course deliberately simplified' date=' and the PS238 rules are an adaptation of them. They exclude the Coordinated Attack rules, so including the Teamwork Skill would be kinda pointless. ;) Tactics was excluded from PS238 as not being worth the space in a game focused on little kids who aren't that well-trained. While it's true that they're in training, I don't think we see enough of that being applied in the comic to justify including Tactics, and in any event the vague nature of the Skill would only complicate some PS238 games I think. If you want to add either back in, you're welcome to, but they're not a part of the official version. ;)[/quote']

 

Prospero (PS238-pg. 40) has Familiarity with Tactics.

Is that a glitch?

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

No; he's a soldier. He's not like the other kids; he has actual military training. You might say it's a glitch to the extent that Tactics isn't in the book, but Hero fans can figure it out. ;)

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Re: Distributors and retailers

 

A more accuarate description of what distributors and retailers do is - Guess how many they should order based on their pre-orders. When stores that pre-order from that distributor don't bother to pre-order than the distributors under-order and sell out. Then the few good shops that do sensible pre-orders get the products in, sell out of their pre-order in a month or two, go to re-order, and find out they can't because the distributor is out of stock.

 

With the consolidation among distributors the store often doesn't have another good source for ordering the product. With recent gas price increases shipping costs have also gone up a lot, making air freighting games economically unjustifable, and requiring slower ground shipments, making out of stock periods even longer.

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Back to actual discussion of PS 238 -

 

According to the PS238 character sheet (page 77, not page 75 as stated in the index) characteristics have a base value of 10, as in most HERO games. However the character write ups for all the kid characters show them as having starting characteristics of 5 (although write-ups for adults clearly base their characteristics on 10's)

 

Is the character sheet wrong, or are the write-ups wrong? I'd say kids should be based on 5, and that the sheet is wrong.

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Back to actual discussion of PS 238 -

 

According to the PS238 character sheet (page 77, not page 75 as stated in the index) characteristics have a base value of 10, as in most HERO games. However the character write ups for all the kid characters show them as having starting characteristics of 5 (although write-ups for adults clearly base their characteristics on 10's)

 

Is the character sheet wrong, or are the write-ups wrong? I'd say kids should be based on 5, and that the sheet is wrong.

 

Page 83. All characters start with a 5 in all Primary Characteristics, except COM, which is an 8. Adults have a 10 in all Primary Characteristics.

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

The Upside:

 

PS 238 is a Superheroic Setting based on the comic of the same name. The book includes information on the PS 238 school, and running a Champions game as a group of first graders. Though it should be noted that the comic, and therefore the approach of the book, is not aimed at kids. It's just about kids.

 

This is also the first Hero Setting Book to include the rules with the setting, making this an all-in-one book suitable for beginners to the system. The ruleset in the book is essentially the same rules in the Hero System Sidekick book, which is a slimmed down version of the full rules.

 

The book is divided into two main parts, Chapters One through Four focus on PS238, setting up and running games at the school. Chapters Five through Nine are the System Rules.

 

Chapter One - Welcome To PS238. This is a short introduction chapter introduces the school and world of the comic in brief. While it goes over all the major aspects of the world of PS238, the more familiar with the comic one is the better.

 

Chapter Two - Faculty And Staff. This chapter goes right in and provides full Character Sheet Write-Ups for all the major staff of the school, including backgrounds. A few of the minor staff are listed at the end of the chapter as well.

 

Chapter Three - The Student Body. The first part of this chapter is a very brief look at the rules and schedule of a PS238 Student. However, since this is supposed to be about superheroes and not classrooms, the schedule leaves a lot of time open to adventure in. After that it provides Character Sheets for all the main characters of the comics, and descriptions of all the minor characters that have appeared to date. The minor character's don't have full write-ups but they do have a short listing of some meta-capabilities along with them in case you want to use their powers in a game.

 

Chapter Four - Gamemastering PS238. This is one of the more useful chapters for actually using the setting in a game. Starting with setting up adventures that fit within the general theme of PS238, as well as just some general advice on good adventures for seven year old superheroes. Sixteen adventure ideas are presented right off the bat. Next is the GMs Section which provides some background information on the PS238 World. As well as Character Sheets for the comics main villains, and NPCs.

 

If you own the comics a lot of this first part of the book helps consolidate all them issues into a single decent source of information. If you're just interested in some general advice on setting up and running grade school level superheroes then the first part of Chapter Three and most of Chapter Four will be the most useful.

 

Chapter Five - An Introduction To The Hero System. The chapter introduces the Hero System, the underlying concepts and ideas behind the system and briefly covers all the elements of playing with the system itself.

 

Chapter Six - Character Creation. This chapter covers all the elements needed to create a Character using Hero. It is also the longest chapter in the book. Character Creation in Hero can be the most time consuming aspect of the system as a whole, but once you're done with that it helps to facilitate easy game play. Before the book gets into the mechanics of Hero it starts out with some solid advice on Character Origin. Starting with Archetype, it includes twelve types of characters (actually, eleven and advice on not using Archetypes at all). And then it goes into one of the biggest elements of the Genre - the Revealing Flaw, a personal difficulty the character has to face, deal with, or otherwise make sure isn't revealed to the wrong people. Character Points is PS238 specific, covering the basic block of a Hero Character - Points to buy abilities with. The rest of the Chapter covers all the same rules contained in the Sidekick Rulebook; Skills, Powers, Perks, Talents and other game elements. Before it gets into the Powers themselves, the book does provide a section of prebuilt Superpowers and Gadgets. Most of these are very simple mechanical builds that you can use to speed up character creation a great deal.

 

Chapter Seven - Combat And Adventuring. This section covers all the aspects of getting into Combat. For the most part this chapter is really the Rules For Playing using Hero. It covers all the major elements; Senses, how combat is organized, how damaged is dealt with, the different choices and elements of combat itself, and recovering from being hurt.

 

Chapter Eight - The Environment. This very short chapter of the book covers all the dangerous stuff that isn't combat oriented. Most notably the effects of interacting with dangerous elements (electricity, fire, etc) and how to break stuff.

 

Chapter Nine - Equipment. This final Rules Chapter covers how to create Vehicles, Weapons, and Armor in the Hero System. This is the most truncated aspect of the rules, leaving out several aspects of Equipment found in the main rules (notably Bases, Automatons and Computers).

 

One of the things about the book is it's hard to tell if the organization of the book is helpful. By starting out with the Setting, and presenting a large number of Character Sheets right at the start the experienced Hero Player will be able to jump right in. But a novice will find themselves starting with the middle of the book first. Since the book is aimed at new players by including the Rules instead of referencing the main rules like most supplements it might have been better to introduce the System first, then the Setting. As it stands, if you have no Hero experience half of the setting section is not immediately useful to you.

 

The Downside:

 

The Equipment section really should have included at least Computer and AI construction rules in them. The other missing elements aren't going to much of an issue in this type of game.

 

The Otherside:

 

The source book is about using the PS238 Universe as a game setting, to that extent it has very little information regarding genre conventions of mixing grade schoolers and superpowers. If you're a fan of the comics, and always wanted to run a game in that universe then this is going to be the book you want.

 

And if you aren't a regular hero Player, or are new to Hero, by including the rules it assures you don't have to pick up any other books to begin playing.

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Finally got my paws on this (buying the PDF from Hero because space for books is at a premium -- at best). I will say I am very favorably impressed.

 

One of my favorite things has nothing to do with the setting -- it's that Steve included a simple chart for calculating OCV vs DCV that reminded me of the charts in the old, classic DC Heroes. This is something I would like to see in 6th Edition, actually, to make it easier for new players to grasp this substantial and essential nuance of the Hero System.

 

I also love the character writeups. I'm curious about one thing, though:

 

 

What finally happens to Tyler? Does he ever come back to school?

 

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

I also love the character writeups. I'm curious about one thing, though:

 

 

What finally happens to Tyler? Does he ever come back to school?

 

 

As of the last issue I read, he was in a stasis chamber waiting for a cure to the plague.

 

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Re: PS238 Roleplaying Game

 

Hi,

 

The character was created by Mike. He used his experiences about characterization for C3, and he later allowed Aaron to use Revenant in PS238.I also was happy to see a lot of background tidbits on the characters.

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