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Perceptions of the game change

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6 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

But as the OP was hunting ideas on changing the notions outsiders have about the game, I'm not going to go too deeply into my opinions there. ;)

 

OK, I'll try to be good :whistle:

But to be fair this has been beaten to death.  In order to change the perception of the game people need to play it.  In order to play it, they need a adventures and a campaign to be played.  

 

6 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Anybody got a spare unique villain or two they want to donate to the fan-bult adventures idea?  (my 2e write ups will likely not cut the mustard. ;)  )

 

And this actually highlights why the death spiral of Hero is accelerating.  It is 2019 and prospective players discover that not only are the only adventures available fan-built, but none of the Champions Universe Heroes or Villains are in them.   You can play Champions as long as it is not in the Champions Universe.

 

Read this

https://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217520927-Ownership-and-License-OGL-Questions

 

And especially this:

https://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217029298-Content-and-Format-Questions


One quote that just stands out:

Quote

 

Can I copy any information from the 5E core rulebooks in my DMs Guild title?

 

You can include information like summary stat blocks of monsters from the Monster Manual in your adventure. Similarly, you can include spell effects and other useful information as needed to make running your adventure an easy and streamlined experience. Please note that sometimes it’s just as easy to refer the Dungeon Master to the Monster Manual or other core rulebook instead.

In short, avoid copying large sections of Wizards titles. Stick to summary information needed and not easily referenced.

 

 

Right now the DM's Guild has 3088 fan generated Adventures and Adventure support titles.  According to another section authors receive a 50% royalty for each sale.  Which means that the other 50% is split by One Book Shelf and WotC. 

 

If Hero set up a similar outlet, they could take advantage without expending their own resources.  Now as to the question of amateur products versus professional writers/quality.  The appearance of the DM Guild has not slowed the production of D&D's Adventure books, nor are most of the adventures anywhere near the quality of a professional product.  But what they are is AVAILABLE, allows the use of actual official D&D material and THEY ARE EASILY AVAILABLE!!!!:coach:

 

Instead of asking "Anybody got a spare unique villain or two they want to donate to the fan-built adventures idea?", you should be able to take a look at Champions Villains Volume X (or Conquerers, Killers and Crooks :angel:) and pick a suitable villain(s). 

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2 minutes ago, Spence said:

And this actually highlights why the death spiral of Hero is accelerating.  It is 2019 and prospective players discover that not only are the only adventures available fan-built, but none of the Champions Universe Heroes or Villains are in them.   You can play Champions as long as it is not in the Champions Universe.

 

Read this

https://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217520927-Ownership-and-License-OGL-Questions

 

And especially this:

https://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217029298-Content-and-Format-Questions

 

I will; I promise.  But not tonight.  I should have been in bed two hours ago, and am headed there now.

 

 

2 minutes ago, Spence said:

One quote that just stands out:

 

Right now the DM's Guild has 3088 fan generated Adventures and Adventure support titles.  According to another section authors receive a 50% royalty for each sale.  Which means that the other 50% is split by One Book Shelf and WotC. 

 

If Hero set up a similar outlet, they could take advantage without expending their own resources.  Now as to the question of amateur products versus professional writers/quality.

 

By strictest definition, anyone who gets paid for it is a professional.

 

Doesn't mean they're particularly _good_, though.  I won't point out any author in particular (I really don't care to insult a happy fan for no real reason; just seems silly), but I'll suggest that you run through your mental list of books that got turned into movies, if that helps.  :lol:

 

 

 

2 minutes ago, Spence said:

 

The appearance of the DM Guild has not slowed the production of D&D's Adventure books, nor are most of the adventures anywhere near the quality of a professional product.  But what they are is AVAILABLE, allows the use of actual official D&D material and THEY ARE EASILY AVAILABLE!!!!:coach:

 

Therein lies that problem:  

 

There is _no_ official HERO material.  The old stuff (sparse as it was) belongs to Heroic Publishing.  The newer stuff belongs to Cryptic Studios.

 

I understand that decisions are made in the heat of the moment, and HERO's least cash-strapped period was during the ICE age, but _still_...   Selling the rights to a vital part of your creation (twice!) is _bad_, Man.

 

Oddly, I don't know if any of the 4e characters and mythos are sold, though.  (Maybe they were offered to Talisorian?  Nah; considering that CNE didn't do so well, I doubt it was tempting.

 

 

2 minutes ago, Spence said:

 

Instead of asking "Anybody got a spare unique villain or two they want to donate to the fan-built adventures idea?", you should be able to take a look at Champions Villains Volume X (or Conquerers, Killers and Crooks :angel:) and pick a suitable villain(s). 

 

I _should_ be able to, but there are two problems there:

 

I have no idea who belongs to HERO, and who belongs to Cryptic.

 

Further, unless someone has a 4e and prior write-up, I don't even know what /#()@^! their abilities are.  Seriously.  By the time I stumble through the modern-era powers write-up, I still have to look at their picture and freakin' _guess_ what the hell they can do.

 

 

 

At any rate, this has been fun, but I've _really_ got to turn in.

 

Y'all enjoy yourselves. :D
 

 

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Who owns what is not exactly cut and dry.

 

Heroic Publishing owns every character Dennis Mahoney created. Which includes a scattershot of villains from the pre 4th edition Enemies books, plus characters created by other people which he got permission from. Some, like Foxbat, Marksman, Rose, and Doctor Destroyer were later taken back legally by the owner. Others, like Terror Incorporated, we're added later (which is why the team was destroyed in 5th edition in the official universe). Again, remember I am a layman, and I don't have assess to facts and legalize.

 

Cryptic is easier. Everything published in 5th edition to 6th edition before the "collapse". Except, who owns Cryptic/Champions Online this month? And they don't really care about us pen and dice people.

 

That leaves just a generic superhero universe (with no barring on anything), or "Strike Force", which is controlled by the estate of Aaron Allison. Or write in the Cryptic Universe and hope to get the ok from both Hero Games and Cryptic.

 

Perhaps a universe can be agreed upon for "Hero Pool" Adventures. Generic universe, a universe where 4th edition never ended but still uses 6th edition rules, or a limited Cryptic/Champions Online universe.

 

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7 minutes ago, steriaca said:

Perhaps a universe can be agreed upon for "Hero Pool" Adventures.

 

This might be the the best way. 

 

I have absolutely no real knowledge of exactly what is what.  But I was under the impression based on what I have read in the past, that Hero retained the original Champs stuff for TTRPG.  But impressions are like opinions and all that.

 

But to be frank, some kind of unified direction as far as the setting universe is needed or they should just hang up the towel. 

It is 2019 and the prime method of the successful games are driven by published campaigns and adventures.  It is the way that the shared universe that people play games in are established.   No shared universe and supporting products and you get current Hero where 99% of the gaming population thinks they have been out of business for 10 years.

 

Third party worlds will just not do the trick.  Modern gamers expect an "official" world supported by "official" product. 

That means campaigns and adventures with an official Hero Games logo or sub-logo using official Hero characters. 

If they no longer have the rights to their own stable, then it is time to re-boot their universe. 

Put out some guidelines and start with "Hero Pool" type stuff and like D&D, reserve the right to be able to buy the good stuff for official incorporation into the "official" setting.  There are some talented writers that have put out some well designed adventures handicapped by not being able to plug directly into the Champs universe.  If they were given guidelines to be able to directly tie into the "official" setting, they could tailor their projects to plug right in. 

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9 hours ago, Spence said:

#1 Absolutely.  Hero has far few players to afford to immediately push out a big campaign book.  That is why a DMs Guild or Miskatonic Repository type of outlet is critical to getting  Hero back out into the world.

 

A Content Creator program on DTRPG would be awesome. I would be all over that.

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5 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

But as the OP was hunting ideas on changing the notions outsiders have about the game, I'm not going to go too deeply into my opinions there. ;)

 

Speaking as a close personal friend of the OP I can say with some confidence that he was just sharing something he found interesting 😊

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Settings of note.

 

Champions 6ed/Champions Online shared universe.

Dark Champions universe, which all we have right now are 5th edition and 6ed bones, and a full 4th edition.

Strike Force universe.

San Angelo universe.

A mythical Champions Universe where the 4th edition background never ended.

Generic superhero.

And...Heroic Publishing universe.

 

That makes 6 separate universes (more if you consider each generic it's own thing). We can probably add Tiger Paw Press (Tiger's imprint) as his own universe which touches all editions of Champions. I guess you could write for it once you get Tiger's ok and allow him to publish the end result.

 

And, if anyone wants to write for it, the Fusion Champions Universe (from Champions: TNM). Which increases the universes to 8.

 

There are a lot of universes out there. But...

Hero/Cryptic won't let anyone but official writers play with there Champions universe.

 

Dark Champions is exclusive to Steve Long, and even then Hero/Cryptic is just as strict as they are with Champions.

 

Strike Force exists, but that is it. You would have to contact the estate of Aaron Alison to do anything with it.

 

San Angelo is your best bet, but you have to have permission from them and have them publish it.

 

The 4th edition never ended background might be doable and free, but...how many of us would be confused by it?

 

Heroic Publishing seems doable. All you need is Denise Mahoney's permission, and the permission of the owners of the characters used which belong to the owners.. 

 

Tiger? He is on the bulletin board. I don't think he is looking to publish others works at this time...but you never know.

 

Does R.Tasorian own C:TNM?

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8 hours ago, Spence said:

But to be frank, some kind of unified direction as far as the setting universe is needed or they should just hang up the towel. 

It is 2019 and the prime method of the successful games are driven by published campaigns and adventures.  It is the way that the shared universe that people play games in are established.   No shared universe and supporting products and you get current Hero where 99% of the gaming population thinks they have been out of business for 10 years.

 

Starting fresh has a certain appeal.  It burns for us, the grognards, but does the target market care about whether Terror Inc. is in or out, or what legacy Dr. Destroyer still holds?

 

Starting from whole cloth would also permit setting new benchmarks.  A 23-26 DEX, 5-6 SPD could be legendary, not the standard for a Super.  Street level characters could have 8 - 9 DC, CVs of 4-7 and SPDs of 2-4, like the bare bones three in my mock combat.  Characters need not follow the legacy of most CVs being 1/3 of DEX or EGO, or having equal OCVs and DCVs.

 

We can even set different benchmarks for different campaigns/adventure paths.  These Galactic Champions are selected from the best thousands of star systems have to offer, and have much higher standard abilities to match - a truly high powered AP not intended to cross over with those street level characters, or even Avengers-class characters.

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8 hours ago, Spence said:

Third party worlds will just not do the trick.  Modern gamers expect an "official" world supported by "official" product.

 

This is where someone typically throws out the "licensing" theory.  This should be avoided, IMO. 

 

It comes with the benefits of immediate recognition (depending on the grandeur of the license, anyway) but also marked restrictions, and the risk that the license gets pulled.  Ask Dark Horse how thrilled they were when Disney acquired both Marvel and Star Wars.  Ask Decipher how their Star Wars CCG is doing.

 

That's not to say licensing for one off products would be bad, even built to standards allowing it to integrate with the rest of the HeroVerse, but don't tie the line to a license.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

This is where someone typically throws out the "licensing" theory.  This should be avoided, IMO. 

 

It comes with the benefits of immediate recognition (depending on the grandeur of the license, anyway) but also marked restrictions, and the risk that the license gets pulled.  Ask Dark Horse how thrilled they were when Disney acquired both Marvel and Star Wars.  Ask Decipher how their Star Wars CCG is doing.

 

That's not to say licensing for one off products would be bad, even built to standards allowing it to integrate with the rest of the HeroVerse, but don't tie the line to a license.

 

 

Your right except for one thing. It should be a license they control.

 

Oh shoot. They sold the rights away to Cryptic for quick cash. There is your problem.

 

Anyone got a time machine or two to spare?

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5 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

This is where someone typically throws out the "licensing" theory. 

 

Well, some people throw out the "traditional license".  For high quality production value the traditional license is the way to go. 

 

But in the here and now where Hero doesn't have the organic resources to do it inhouse to produce the kind of product needed, I believe (as in my opinion) that they need to take advantage of the new ePublishing concept. 

 

As to defining exactly what properties Hero actually owns.  If, I say if because I am not privy to the real info, Hero no longer controls the Champions Universe, then we need to recognize the the game is dead as an TTRPG. 

 

If that is the case they need to move on and set up a new unniverse that they can support.  Otherwise this is all a waste of time.

 

 

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People are talking about intro adventures. Why not just use Mob Rule? Providing of course we had permission. And if possible, use the old 4th ed characters. Btw for sample characters, I would say to keep them around 300 CP.-which is now pretty much how they translate to in 6th. I feel they are much easier to manage.

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Guys, the comment was originally something of a fantasy, but I am getting sort of excited about it. 

 

The only problem is writers are everywhere; some of us do it just because we can't not do it. 

 

Art, however, is much harder to come by.  :(

 

The more I think about it, the more I think we, as a fan base, could easily create a whole new world for this game (we all do it individually, after all). 

 

As for making it the "new official," though....  I would have no idea how to about that, unless we could get Jason et al to make it an "official" alternate universe or something....  Maybe some place where the 4e characters are still the Champions...  Except Defender.  I think he belongs to Cryptic now. 

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7 hours ago, steriaca said:

Your right except for one thing. It should be a license they control.

 

Oh shoot. They sold the rights away to Cryptic for quick cash. There is your problem.

 

Anyone got a time machine or two to spare?

 

Except that part of the terms of the license deal was that they would license back to Hero Games, in perpetuity, the right to publish materials based on the Champions Universe IP.  

 

That part keeps getting left out. 

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I will re-copy my post from here

 

------------------------------------

 

The original thread wherein Steve Long announced that Cryptic was buying the rights to the Champions Universe is here.  

 

Some highlights from posts by Steve to the thread: 

 

From Cryptic's press release:

 

Quote

Cryptic Studios also announced today that it has acquired the Champions intellectual property (IP) from Hero Games. First published in 1981, the Champions role-playing game is one of the first RPGs to forgo the traditional dice-rolling system of character generation in favor of a point-based system. Cryptic Studios has licensed back to Hero Games the rights to produce Champions RPG books, and the sixth edition of the HERO System and Champions, set to release in 2009, will include rules on how to recreate Champions Online characters and scenarios.

 

From Steve directly:

 

Quote

1. What’s happened here is that Cryptic has bought the Champions and Dark Champions intellectual property — the characters, setting, history, events, and so on.

 

...

 

4. Under the terms of our agreement, Cryptic has licensed back to DOJ the right to produce Champions RPG supplements, though it has the right to approve those supplements. As part of the deal we get to use their artwork. This makes at least a few color books possible going forward, though when we implement a change like that has not yet been decided.

 

And in a later post on the thread from Steve: 

 

Quote

Cryptic has no interest in licensing an IP or answering to anyone else, and I don't blame them one bit. They want to own whatever they're working on outright and in full to avoid all the hassles that come from not doing so. It's totally logical.

 

Licensing it back to us was a mandatory part of the deal, though. We certainly wouldn't have sold them the IP outright with no ability to produce RPGs for it -- or at least not for the same amount of money. Thus it works out well for both of us.

 

In short: Hero Games can produce all of the Champions they want, as long as they get approval from Cryptic.  

 

---------------------------

 

Following up my own posting.  Steve says here

 

Quote

... One of the major provisions of the deal for us was that Cryptic licensed back to us, for free, the perpetual right to produce roleplaying game supplements for Champions, including the use of Cryptic's art. That was an important point for us, since we couldn't afford to lose the ongoing revenue from the Champions RPG. And access to free high-quality art would give us the opportunity to do something Hero Games had never been able to do in its nearly thirty-year history: publish full-colour books.

 

Boldface mine.

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Because people seem to keep missing or forgetting it...  Steve said: 

 

One of the major provisions of the deal for us was that Cryptic licensed back to us, for free, the perpetual right to produce roleplaying game supplements for Champions, including the use of Cryptic's art. That was an important point for us, since we couldn't afford to lose the ongoing revenue from the Champions RPG. And access to free high-quality art would give us the opportunity to do something Hero Games had never been able to do in its nearly thirty-year history: publish full-colour books.

 

(edited to dial it back a bit)

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21 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Anybody got a spare unique villain or two they want to donate to the fan-built adventures idea?  (my 2e write ups will likely not cut the mustard. ;)  )

 

Honestly, the easiest thing to do is just create your own universe. Work out a quick timeline, buy a few stock art portfolios off Drive Thru RPG (Storn's are great), and write something up. That way the only thing you may have to worry about is licensing the system.

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1 hour ago, Sketchpad said:

 

Honestly, the easiest thing to do is just create your own universe. Work out a quick timeline, buy a few stock art portfolios off Drive Thru RPG (Storn's are great), and write something up. That way the only thing you may have to worry about is licensing the system.

 

I would be willing to setup a shared superhero world for HERO 6e, on World Anvil (I have a paid account - I can add other admins...). I would also be willing to donate up to ten pieces of my Dreamstime subscription for (non-exclusive) artwork. I speak Photoshop to trim assets for online display. To start, if we create a significantly detailed world on World Anvil, we can just point the principles at the existing work (you know, to show how awesome it is and convince someone to grant us a license...). Makes it easier to show the quality... In addition, I have InDesign and can layout (or help...) and create a PDF / POD for sale on DTRPG (if we can get a license) - so those looking for PDF or physical books could get something in their preferred format. If we get to this point, we can re-invest funds into yet MORE artwork... perpetuating new cycles of content creation.

 

Also, there are PILES of cheap art resources in stock art on DTRPG. 

 

I'm suggesting that interested people can collaborate on a shared setting and then point people to this resource as a good intro to HERO. If we can recruit say a dozen contributors over time, there will be a constant stream of new material...

 

Unless Cryptic + HERO is interested in supporting a similar effort online for Champions... getting approvals is usually slow and painful. We would likely have WAY more fun starting from scratch. By fans for fans. If we stay persistent and involved, this could start a nice buzz for the game.

 

Edited by Trechriron10
Missing whole words... sheesh.

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

Man, I miss the days of $3 adventures, $8-10 dollar supplements, and $20 rules books.

 

These can still be feasible prices depending on how much a company wants to make, and how big of a book you expect to buy. I make villains for another system under my Sketchpad Studio company and sell most of them for only 99¢ per copy. These are typically 3 pages with a full background, stats, and a color illustration. I don't make a ton off them, but it's enough to buy a new book here and there. 

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