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I played some Spacemaster myself (Sci-fi junkie), and while character creation (we used to call it "Chartmaster") was a pain, and combat was a pain, it wasn't bad.  I enjoyed it for space opera type games.  However, I was a Traveller buff above all else: I liked the cleaner, simpler system. We didn't even do much in the Imperium-- every time we'd make characters, we'd head off into the Marches or other vast uncharted (or at least undocumented) areas and have adventures in a number of home-brewed settings.  It didn't hurt that Traveller was the first game I ever played, and, as far as I know, was the only space-oriented game to _not_ suffer from "lack of deck plans"  :D

 

 

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Hey! yes, I was. That was a really great discussion going on in that thread. I didn't end up responding there as it was already getting a bit heated and I didn't want to poke the fire.    I

Okay, folks--   for the two or three of you who were watching, I have started a new thread, primarily as a courtesy to those folks who kept seeing the "Fantasy HERO" section show new posts,

Woo-hoo!    Okay, folks, Jason has AC issues 1 & 2 now.  I'm just scanning them; I'm not doing any of the clean up or restoration, nor do I know who is.  I am scanning in 1200 DPI and se

19 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I played some Spacemaster myself (Sci-fi junkie), and while character creation (we used to call it "Chartmaster") was a pain, and combat was a pain, it wasn't bad.  I enjoyed it for space opera type games.  However, I was a Traveller buff above all else: I liked the cleaner, simpler system. We didn't even do much in the Imperium-- every time we'd make characters, we'd head off into the Marches or other vast uncharted (or at least undocumented) areas and have adventures in a number of home-brewed settings.  It didn't hurt that Traveller was the first game I ever played, and, as far as I know, was the only space-oriented game to _not_ suffer from "lack of deck plans"  :D

 

 

 

Traveller is the grand patriarch of the Scifi RPG IMO. 

But I'll be the first to say the primary reason I began to lose interest was the setting.  I absolutely love the game when each GM used the rules to create/generate the universe as they went.  But once they decided to establish an official setting their direction put me off and I lost interest.  I have enjoyed a few good games since then, but the thing that had primarily attracted me which was the exploration of the unknown had been scuttled.  

 

My preferred game is one where humanity has the stars but travel times are long, reminiscent of the Age of Sail making planets/colonies  distant and independent and starships operating alone and far from oversite.  This setting leaves aliens and alien technology as something to be discovered.  If I want to play something like Star Trek, Star Wars or Babylon 5.  Well, I'll play those games. 

 

If you ever read David Weber's "Stars at War" series, it featured a warp point method instead of FTL. 

I adapted a version of this to a Traveller game once with the Jump drives being necessary to initiate the Warp Point.  I had Warp Point classes defined by the class of drive needed with the easiest requiring Jump 1 and the most difficult Jump 6.  With things like Blind Warp Points and Closed Warp Points adding spice to the mix.  Of course at the beginning Jump 2 or 3 is that max available for anyone.  It was fun, plus there was none of the meta-gaming that has been standard where the players buy and read everything before play.  Part of the Murder Hobo syndrome. 

 

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Okay, scans are done up to #12.

 

Didn't get much time to work today; I had to travel three hours for a pair of tires for the Leviathan.

 

Oh; sorry: to explain:  

 

The Leviathan weighs roughly what any other one-ton truck weighs.  The problem is it's just over twenty-one feet from proudest point to proudest point (when the winch is installed).  And because it's a (relatively) modern vehicle, the steel gauges are light enough that the weight distribution is really, _really_ wonky when she's not loaded, and it's been a few years since she routinely carried the loads I bought her to carry (changed lines of work, but I liked the truck).  The upshot of that is that all the weight that she does have, she has _squarely_ on the front wheels.  Weirdly, this problem doesn't occur when she spends most of her time under a heavy load.  :/

 

 

She spends most of her time lightly loaded these days, and accordingly, she eats up some tires.  :lol:   Even LT tires and HT tires don't last more than eight months or so.   Many years ago, a tire guy (after my fourth set of tires in less than two years), this guy says "I've got a nutty idea....."

 

Have you folks ever seen one of those trucks-- popular with ice-cream vendors-- where they take a semi truck (truck only), pull off the fifth wheel, install a large cooler, and then put little undersized wheels and tires on it to bring it a bit lower to the ground?

 

We put on a set of those tires.  Holy crap they ain't cheap!  :rofl:   But I'll be hanged if it didn't work.  I got over four years out of that set of tires.  When it was time for more, I bought more.  It's been time for several weeks now, and I couldn't find them anywhere!  Seriously:  between the various Corona shut-downs and the rubber tariff, etc--  none can get them.   Freakishly, I found a place three hours from here that happened to have six in stock.  At two-fifty a pop, I only got the front ones.  The rears can wait another couple weeks, I think.  :lol:

 

They've rebranded them, but they are the same tire.  They've made the lettering freaky small, making the massive expanse of black rubber garish and unpleasant....  and cheap-looking, really.

 

Anyway, I got back _way_ late today (kind of made a day of it; I don't get that way as often as I used to), so not much scanning got done.  We're up to issue twelve completed.  unfortunately, this is the last of the quickies.  :(   The next one is a "double issue," and after that, the size of the pages steps up to the point that I will only be able to scan one page at a time as opposed to the entire leaf.   :(

 

Tomorrow I have to run out of town again (different direction; different reasons), so I don't expect to get much done then, either.  However, _something_ will get done; I promise.

 

 

Oh-- if you were wondering (and you probably weren't) about just how strong the tires are--  One of them has (had) two small holes all the way through the tread, about three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.  There is (sorry; was) _no_ air in the tire.  And I drove three hours on it.  Why not?  It wasn't flat.   :lol:  The new tires have the euro-standard load range, and call it a 145.  They have a weight rating of around 6800 pounds each and eighteen-ply sidewalls.  

 

And they ride like absolute _crap_ when the Leviathan isn't loaded.   :lol:
 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Oh-- if you were wondering (and you probably weren't) about just how strong the tires are--  One of them has (had) two small holes all the way through the tread, about three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.  There is (sorry; was) _no_ air in the tire.  And I drove three hours on it.  Why not?  It wasn't flat.   :lol:  The new tires have the euro-standard load range, and call it a 145.  They have a weight rating of around 6800 pounds each and eighteen-ply sidewalls.  

 

And they ride like absolute _crap_ when the Leviathan isn't loaded.   :lol:


I had some 12-ply tires on my Ram and they are almost indestructible, and boy do they ride rough! I say almost indestructible because I had to park the truck in a strange spot at work (when I was still working two jobs and doing construction) and had a two-inch puncture from who-knows-what?! Even those bad boys couldn’t withstand random shards of steel. Oh, and an emergency break stand on the highway to avoid a collision shaved one of the other tires flat on one side. So now I have everything arranged like you, only opposite: I rotated the two 12-plys to the rear, and two new normal tires up front.  

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Hello, HERO people!

 

I have had some spine problems today, making it impossible to sit down or stand up more than just a few minutes, and the constant up-and-down of the humidity with the rain trying and failing to come together isn't helping.  :(

 

At any rate, I have gotten #13 done, though it took about four times as long as it should have.  I'd like to say that it was "the last of the easy ones," but at one-hundred-plus pages, it wasn't particularly light-weight, either.  :lol:

 

At any rate, the magazine was reformatted after this one, and I can not lay a complete leaf upon my scanner (I really miss the Super Scanner....  :( ).  That means the rest will go a bit slower, as even de-bound, I will only be able to scan one page at a time.  I have no intention of cutting the leaves (I intend to put the books back together when this is all done), so there's going to be a minute or two of flipping, folding, and turning with each page.  :(  And of course, alignment will have to be one page at a time instead of two.

 

Stil, things are looking pretty good.  With one-through-thirteen done, _and_ #26 done, we _can_ say that one-half of the books are scanned!   Yay!

 

The rest will be slower, I'm afraid, but will be approached with the same level of tenacity that got this much done.  Then-- onto a flash drive and on to Jason!

 

 

:D

 

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Current update:

I'd wanted to get all six of the "that size" books done today, but I had yet-another company-oriented road trip today (you know: on my _vacation_! :D ) that hasn't left me with a whole lot of scanning time. Still, I'm plugging way, and I _will_ get this to Jason before his deadline.  After tonight, there aren't all that many left anyway.

#13 was a bit awkward. The book I was working from had been collated and folded more than a little off-center (pages only; cover was about right), resulting in pretty much every page after the centerfold being cut with _zero_ right hand margin. Still, everything remains intact, at least as far as what was printed.

#14 is the first of the "comic format" books. No; they're not laid out like comics, but the editor refers to the new size as "comic format." I think comics are a little larger than this, but I'm not really sure. Fortunately, the uptick in real estate per page and a step down in font size dramatically dropped the page count. It's not quite enough to balance out the time invested in the scanning, though, as each individual page has to be hand-aligned (with the smaller size, I could do the whole leaf at once, really helping speed things up).

On that-- page alignment. I am as meticulous as I can be, within reason. I have been informed that the deadline is closer than I thought (not that I'd been shirking, mind you), so I have allowed a bit more tolerance in page alignment.  I still work to get it as close as possible, but I have stopped fighting the diminishing returns of micro adjustments.  I'd like to explain what that means in this context.

I am not lining up the pages square with the scanning bed. Given that these books are machine printed, machine collated and bound, and machine cut, that would be ludicrous. In almost every case, the final leafs and pages (and covers, too, actually) aren't actually square anymore. This is due to tolerances and variables during all the mechanized processes. Were you to actually sit and measure the borders in books and magazines (particularly "Saddle Stitched," or staple-bound magazines), you will see that the print is almost never square with the page. It's so much the dominant normal that we don't even notice it anymore when we are reading-- the page is curled or rolled anyway, blah-blah-blah-- the brain says "Oh, why bother noticing anymore?" That doesn't work on a screen, as we are used to everything being places with electronic precision. We can square the text perfectly, but when the "page" it's on is crooked, we think "well this is a terrible scan!" without actually noticing why the decision was made.

I am not the guy doing the final clean-up and "restoration" of these scans; I don't know who is. Worse, I don't know what he or she has as a methodology. Without this information, I have decided to do the scans as if I were doing them for my own projects (and if the final product ends up like the 4e POD, I will probably end up doing my own project. ;) ). Anyway, I have defaulted to doing these as if I was going to be the finishing guy, which means getting the text and headers as squared up as possible. Why? Well frankly, it's the most important part of the content. Yes; it's nice to get drawn lines squared up, as they are the first things to show digital manipulation. However, they can also be redrawn from scratch in your image software, so....

Header graphics are nigh as important (that is, "almost equally" Ha!). The trouble is that most of these old magazines were laid out with the techniques at hand. Often that meant literally hand-laying various items to create a master from which copies would be made. What does that mean here? It means that it's entirely possible that the two columns of text aren't square with each other. It means that sometimes the art is off-kilter with relation to the text, of the text is "listing" to the right and the header is listing to the left. This is the sort of thing that necessitates digital manipulation.

Yes; it could _all_ be done through digital manipulation, but we are all by now familiar with the hallmark of that: pixelation, odd "jogs" in the outlines and graphics, etc. The closer you can manually position the image you want to scan, the less manipulation you will have to do digitally, meaning the less signs of such manipulation will be in your final product. In instances where more than one important thing is askew, I try to position the originals manually so that they are... well, for lack of a better term, "equally askew, both as close as possible without making the other worse."

The thing given the _least_ priority is the footer line and page number. Both of these are too easy to redraw from scratch, and I won't let them stand in the way of having the best-looking content I can create.

14 has a great example of why you _plan from the start_ when you do _anything_.  There is an add for Mystic Masters, featuring a _beautiful_ greyscale of that book, and after all these years, it _still_ looks fantastic.  Two pages later is an add for the then-current version of Traveller, which looks like nothing so much as my father's tattoo.  When I was a kid, it looked clean and crisp and was easy to recognize; even the tiny areas of color popped.   

Today, it's just a black blob, just like that Traveller add.  There wasn't any decent composition planning, and the bleeds were deep to get that "this is so black and space-like" look.  And over the last umpteen years, that ink has run and blurred and there's really nothing I can do about it.  Most of the Cyber Space adds are like this, too.  Just wanted that up there:  sometimes, there are things you just can't save, but it's not because you didn't try: it's because you have nothing to _start_ with.  I own some (a really, _really_ small portion) of the products in some of these "beyond repair" adds.  If I ever find time to do a version of these scans for myself, I will probably try to scan in the actual products, and insert them into the add.  It won't look the same (real always jars against drawn), but at least it will be recognizable.  I've considered doing the same for the various HERO books displayed throughout the magazine's run:  just slap in some colored covers!  HA!


#15: A surprisingly good long-game adventure.  Too long for a scenario, but a nice bit of background for a campaign.  If you don't have it, be sure to check it out:  No More Mr. Nice Guy


#16.  I won't lie to you; this one was _hard_ to tear apart.  Not physically-- it's just paper and a couple of rotten staples, after all.  But that _cover_....   Fortunately, I had two copies.  Unfortunately, I opted to scan the nicest one in the hopes of making less work for whoever is restoring these.  (I wish I had a better copy of #1, but that's the hardest issue there is to find, I'm afraid :(  ).  But when it came time to fold the cover backwards to scan the inside....   Oh, there should have been a service of some kind...  :D   There is only one issue that's going to be ever more difficult.  Any of you folks out there with a complete set care to make a guess?  ;)  At any rate, this issue contains three pages of errata for the BBB, so if you missed it twenty years ago and absolutely cannot use a search engine, here's your chance to find out what went wrong.    :)

#17: The Western HERO Special!  Sort of... 
When you guys look on page 2, I want you to know that what you're seeing is _not_ the fault of either myself or whoever the pro that Jason has lined up for cleaning these scans.  That image really is that washed out in the original (same with the NOTICE! poster on p 44).  It could be solved by someone who really wanted to take the time to maybe insert a greyscaled copy of the original product, so I am going to try to find the time to include one.  Keep in mind, folks, that this doesn't mean the pro has time to actually _do_ it, okay?  Remember that the goal here is the preservation of the game material; the vintage adds are just a nice tag-along.  

I do wish I had done this AC project before Western HERO, though.  There are a couple of pieces of art that I believe are repeated from there, and they are in much, _much_ better condition than the pieces I was working with.  I could have done a simple swap-out and saved _days_ of work....  :(

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Well, I promised Brian a surprise twist in the next update, and here it is!

When I went to pull the next batch from the bookshelf, I noticed something askew. Number 24 is _missing_! The one with suggestions on how to build a Swarm: character or obstacle. It is _gone_!

No doubt one of my players has it, but I don't know who, and I'm certainly not going to get it back in time for the deadline.
Don't worry: I've already shot a message to Jason (who has most of the issues already, but not all) letting him know he'll need to scan that one himself (or have his pro do it) from his stockpile.

But then there was another twist!

I knew the bulk of my day was going to be spent installing air conditioning for a coworker of the wife (and it was, in fact, the bulk of my day).

I came home sick. _Horribly_ sick. Fever, aches, stuffy head-- no; not Corona: there are some distinctly un-corona symptoms that I won't bother you with, but _sick_. Bad sick.

So I have managed to get _one_ book scanned this evening, and I just can't stay awake any more.

Tomorrow is going to be _tough_: Six books left to scan, and most of them the final "magazine size" format right before the magazine was cancelled.

Oh well. Challenge makes life worth living, I suppose. ;)

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Duke says: 

 

Okay, then. No guesses. Fair enough! Clearly the reluctance is a personal. Issue that I'll just have to work on. HA!

Current update:

Things are crawling. Had a thing yesterday that took longer than it should have, and I came back feeling ill. In an hour, I had as as sick as I've been in years. Finished #18 last night, but in the past few hours, I've barely made a dent in nineteen. Set a page, preview, go spend forty minutes selling Buicks. GOTO 10. I feel thinner at this point, and I've bruised some intercostals from the endless useage.

Scared I won't make the deadline like this.
Increase your character roster with #19! Before My Super Ex-Girlfriend I troduced us to G Girl, there was G Maid! Turn to page 47 and learn all about this fascinating and edgy new Sidekick!

Who is G Maid? Why has Heroic Publishing never made cheesecake from such a fertile source? The answers to these questions are in a vintage add that was so out of skew it took twenty minutes to straighten it enough to work with!

Are your players abusing your good nature and the Vehicle Building rules? Maybe you are without really realizing it. Step I've to page 32 to find out.


#20 steps the size up a bit beyond the "comic format" to begin a short-lived run of what I actually thought _was_ comic sized. But hey: I have never made a secret out of being relatively ignorant of all things comic book.

Dark Champions was a big hit, and the cover was recycled and cropped to use on AC 20. If that makes you think about an issue filled with Dark Champions-oriented ideas and articles, you are as wrong as I was. ;)

Unless Grond is part of your Dark Champions game. If so, Dean's got some ideas on the best way to throw him. Or maybe your DC game needs more membership for CLOWN. Issue 20 has you covered. ;) and don't forget: this is _the_ source for CyberHERO errata!

#21: quite possibly the most beautiful cover of any of the AC books. It appears to have been done by the same artist that did the 4e Fantasy HERO, but I don't want to take the time to look it up right now. Lots of FH material on this issue, and a Steve Long pulp-style adventure for Justice Inc. Seems even in 4e, they knew JI was still a winner. ;)

Going to try to get 22 done; I don't know if I will get that far or not. I am really, really tired (probably the fluid loss), and I just want to sleep. Problematically, the illness has put me behind schedule. I should have been scanning the last three today and enjoyed the rest of the day to myself.

Oh well!

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11 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Apologies to all for the terseness of my last response.  I fell at home and broke a rib over the weekend, and didn't have it in me to update you all on Duke's progress.  I'm still getting used to it.  I'll try to update you all later on.

 

Geez, take care of yourself. I've had serious head injuries that have hurt less than the times I've hurt my ribs.

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1 hour ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Yikes , into extreme sports? Or are you a chew toy for dinosaurs? 

 

More like I've had a lifetime of being massively unlucky in general and, ahem, am not particularly young. These days, I don't have much of a sense of balance and the floor being slightly unlevel or someone slightly brushing against me can send me reeling. Fortunately in public I visibly tremble uncontrollably and look like I'm about to fall over dead any moment so people either actively avoid me or ask if I'd like for them to get me some assistance. But I'd hurt my ribs and head repeatedly years before my balance went.

 

Like they say, you have to either laugh or cry.

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