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Re-entering the hardbound, store-centric model

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7 hours ago, Spence said:

I'm in the process setting up a introduction Champions game using Crime Spree and pregens at my FLGS.  The problem is ruleset.

 

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like a pretty big mistake to teach an old rule set to new players. If you’re just playing, without the books for reference, it wouldn’t make much difference I suppose. But if the goal is to teach new players the game, it would behoove us as a community to teach the current rules, even if boiled down to their basics. Champions Complete is the current edition, and is readily available to order if people are interested. 

 

To teach a game to someone new and then tell them that it’s actually an old edition that is only available as a PDF seems like a complete non-starter to me. Of course, I say this with no real evidence that it wouldn’t work. But it would really turn me off if I went to a game shop to learn D&D and they pulled out the 3rd edition books to teach me.

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It's tricky because if you aim for the most popular RPG genre, which is fantasy, then you have to compete with D&D and Pathfinder, which already puts you into a deep, deep hole in terms of mindshare and market share (and frankly, I'm not convinced that Turakian Age is up to the task). The superhero genre seems like a no-brainer given the history of the system, but if a licensed Marvel RPG can't explode with popularity in the MCU Age then what chance does the Champions Universe (or any original superhero universe) have? That leaves going into a genre which lacks a dominant alpha brand to compete against, like science fiction perhaps, but that also means having to convince potential new players to try something other than fantasy for once in their lives, which might be a tough sell.

 

Honestly, I don't see anyway out of the darkness for the Hero System. Even if it had Elon Musk investing in the effort, I'm not sure there is a winning direction to take.

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11 hours ago, zslane said:

It's tricky because if you aim for the most popular RPG genre, which is fantasy, then you have to compete with D&D and Pathfinder, which already puts you into a deep, deep hole in terms of mindshare and market share (and frankly, I'm not convinced that Turakian Age is up to the task). The superhero genre seems like a no-brainer given the history of the system, but if a licensed Marvel RPG can't explode with popularity in the MCU Age then what chance does the Champions Universe (or any original superhero universe) have? That leaves going into a genre which lacks a dominant alpha brand to compete against, like science fiction perhaps, but that also means having to convince potential new players to try something other than fantasy for once in their lives, which might be a tough sell.

 

Honestly, I don't see anyway out of the darkness for the Hero System. Even if it had Elon Musk investing in the effort, I'm not sure there is a winning direction to take.

 

I look at TA and see a diamond in the rough, it's in need of some polishing and TLC and I think it would be great.  Regardless, I think fantasy would be a rough go for the reasons you've outlined...which I agree with 100%.  

 

I don't know what game you're referring to for Marvel, the only Marvel RPG I'm familiar with is the old one from the 80s(?).  I still would put my money on the superhero genre for HERO over Sci-Fi though.

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12 hours ago, zslane said:

It's tricky because if you aim for the most popular RPG genre, which is fantasy, then you have to compete with D&D and Pathfinder, which already puts you into a deep, deep hole in terms of mindshare and market share (and frankly, I'm not convinced that Turakian Age is up to the task). The superhero genre seems like a no-brainer given the history of the system, but if a licensed Marvel RPG can't explode with popularity in the MCU Age then what chance does the Champions Universe (or any original superhero universe) have? That leaves going into a genre which lacks a dominant alpha brand to compete against, like science fiction perhaps, but that also means having to convince potential new players to try something other than fantasy for once in their lives, which might be a tough sell.

 

Honestly, I don't see anyway out of the darkness for the Hero System. Even if it had Elon Musk investing in the effort, I'm not sure there is a winning direction to take.

 

55 minutes ago, sentry0 said:

 

I look at TA and see a diamond in the rough, it's in need of some polishing and TLC and I think it would be great.  Regardless, I think fantasy would be a rough go for the reasons you've outlined...which I agree with 100%.  

 

I don't know what game you're referring to for Marvel, the only Marvel RPG I'm familiar with is the old one from the 80s(?).  I still would put my money on the superhero genre for HERO over Sci-Fi though.

 

If we had Elon Musk working on this project, he'd already have Marvel tied up in an IP agreement with HERO so we could release official MCU products and make millions of dollars off of the cross-marketing. Unfortunately, it takes crazy amounts of money and vision to make something like that happen, and HERO has neither right now. Harry Potter could have been tied in twenty years ago, and a whole new generation of kids would be playing something other than D&D now. Anyway, enough of that pipe dream.

 

There does seem to be a new interest in old pulp/sci-fi themes. It's like the steampunk kids have grown up and finally reached the 20th century. It seems like Pulp HERO could use this sort of momentum if they could get ahead of the curve, and potentially push it. But again, that takes money and vision.

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One problem with TA is the cost -especially for new players. Perhaps I’m wrong but you needed Fantasy Hero for 5th to use TA. So that meant you needed 3 books for the new GM. That’s 3 books total at roughly $50 a book on a game you may not like.

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The Marvel RPG license has gone through several different hands through the decades and has resulted in numerous different game systems, none of which lasted very long, with the exception of the original FASERIP system. The fact that nobody, not even Marvel, has seen fit to reintroduce a Marvel RPG into the market during the MCU era is rather telling.

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2 hours ago, zslane said:

The Marvel RPG license has gone through several different hands through the decades and has resulted in numerous different game systems, none of which lasted very long, with the exception of the original FASERIP system. The fact that nobody, not even Marvel, has seen fit to reintroduce a Marvel RPG into the market during the MCU era is rather telling.

Maybe and maybe not. Savage Worlds jumped into Supers with Nessecery Evil and that seems to doing good.

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I guess "doing good" would be considered a big step up for the Hero System, but I'd like to see it do a whole lot better than that. Necessary Evil is an awfully low bar to set, IMO.

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On 1/25/2019 at 7:35 PM, Brian Stanfield said:

 

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like a pretty big mistake to teach an old rule set to new players.

 

 

While I'd love to promote an in production Champs game, a game I've been talking up and promoting since the 80's.  The reality is that it has moved from an "in print and available to brick & morter" game to an "pdf online game". 

 

My gaming mostly happens in FLGS's or at cons.  Public gaming.  Being able to put hardcopies on the shelf and in the hands of players is a requirement.  CC cannot do that.

 

Since I am playing a "dead" game, I might as well run the version I most enjoyed and that I have sufficient copies in hand. 

 

And it is also how the books are received by the players.  5th and 6th are met with glazed eyes and indifference. 4th on the other hand, even with it being black and white and "feels" much more Super.  The people I have shown the 4th ed book never have the glazed look. 

 

5th & 6th are great textbooks.

3rd and 4th are great games.

 

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This is exactly the situation for the Solar system game. I have 6 players that are completely unfamiliar with the Hero System. as such we are using Espionage-Danger international to learn the system, because it is simple, and complete enough to run a heroic level game. 

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On 1/26/2019 at 10:08 AM, sentry0 said:

 

I look at TA and see a diamond in the rough, it's in need of some polishing and TLC and I think it would be great.  Regardless, I think fantasy would be a rough go for the reasons you've outlined...which I agree with 100%.  

 

I don't know what game you're referring to for Marvel, the only Marvel RPG I'm familiar with is the old one from the 80s(?).  I still would put my money on the superhero genre for HERO over Sci-Fi though.

 

I've found the best way to get a Fantasy Hero table going (I have 2 weekly now) is to DM D&D 5th Edition (so popular right now) for an extended period and then offer your D&D players the chance to try out a new system.

 

Both of my tables flipped on the 1st offer we're a couple months in now and the primary take aways are:

1-  HERO is ultra-flexible and you can make any character you dream up.

2-  HERO is more number crunchy and you'll need the DM's help more often.

3-  HERO combat is more tactical and more fun than D&D combat

 

If you develop a good rapport with your players they'll trust you enough to follow you into a new gaming system.

 

All that being said we're using Pathfinder material because the players have explored almost all of the D&D material and the pathfinder modules are GOOD.

 

I think the real challenge for getting back into the market in a meaningful way is the lack of adventure combat and the rules bloat.  Condense the rule set back down to something that players can absorb and provided content they can play.  A lot of us veteran GMs from the 80s/90s don't have the time for fully home brewed worlds and adventures.

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18 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

I've found the best way to get a Fantasy Hero table going (I have 2 weekly now) is to DM <whatever version of D&D is locally popular> for an extended period and then offer your D&D players the chance to try out a new system.

 

That's how I usually did it as well when I was building a new FH group. 

 

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I would have to agree to this, as this mirrors my (limited) experience as well. I've gamed with a Pathfinder Group on Roll20.net for about 2 years now.  With the wrap of "The Mummy's Mask" I suggested that I could run and give our GM a well deserved break to play. I offered them three campaigns, but I would run Herosystem.  They picked the near future solar system campaign.  To make it easy for them we are using Espionage/Danger International rules, as there are no powers, but it has a good skill and weapons framework, for doing something that is vaguely "The Expanse" flavored.  Haven't started running it yet, because I am a homebrew campaign snob,   and I need someone tohelp configure Roll20 for Hero as I do not have the ability to do it myself, but the players seem enthusiastic to play. (A lot of them have never heard of the Herosystem, that's how young they are).

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5 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

I would have to agree to this, as this mirrors my (limited) experience as well. I've gamed with a Pathfinder Group on Roll20.net for about 2 years now.  With the wrap of "The Mummy's Mask" I suggested that I could run and give our GM a well deserved break to play. I offered them three campaigns, but I would run Herosystem.  They picked the near future solar system campaign.  To make it easy for them we are using Espionage/Danger International rules, as there are no powers, but it has a good skill and weapons framework, for doing something that is vaguely "The Expanse" flavored.  Haven't started running it yet, because I am a homebrew campaign snob,   and I need someone tohelp configure Roll20 for Hero as I do not have the ability to do it myself, but the players seem enthusiastic to play. (A lot of them have never heard of the Herosystem, that's how young they are).

 

Have you seen the Traveller HERO PDFs that are available now? They can give you a bunch of good technology for a near future game. 

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3 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

I have not!

 

You can buy the books individually through the HERO shop under 5e Star HERO. The complete set is also available from the original producers of the game (sort of—it’s a long and convoluted history) at https://www.farfuture.net/FFE-CDROMs.html. I got the CD-Rom a while back, and it is packed full of more stuff than you’ll ever use, including unpublished notes! And for $35 it’s a steal. 

 

There is also a thread in the Star HERO forum about the CD-ROM here. There is an updated file you can get for one of the ships. 

 

I hope you at least check it out, but I suspect you won’t be able to resist getting it. 

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