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So, I've had an internal debate about starting this thread since the original was destroyed years ago when the HERO forums rebooted. Finally, I decided that I will restart the TGU thread from days of old. Mostly, because I miss the conversations and insight of you all here at HERO. I received some of the best ideas and most pertinent help right here. So, call me selfish. I'm starting over. I hope that there are a few things you can find here that are amusing or interesting and that our conversations can be helpful to everyone... Welcome to the EPIC UNIVERSE! As some of you may know, I play a rotating set of HERO games (Superheroes, Fantasy & Star Hero). We call this triad the Epic Universe, as each campaign is set within one glorious universe. It wasn't always that way, though. Originally, our space opera game was a stand alone game campaign based on the comic book ALIEN LEGION. We played characters in a suicide squadron, not unlike the Dirty Dozen, called NEMESIS SQUADRON. Nemesis Squadron was a fun, episodic, hack & slash, overpowered romp throughout the Tophan Galactic Union (see Alien Legion for more details) and we loved playing the baddest of the bad space criminals. But, as things do, Nemesis Squadron came to an end after years and years of play. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 when I restarted not only a space campaign, I built the entire Epic Universe (the Fantasy [9 Realms of Epoch] and Superhero [Epic City] games are for other forums). Since Nemesis Squadron had been so well received in the past I based my new episodic space opera on that foundation, simply calling the new game the TGU (Tophan Galactic Union). Gone was Nemesis Squadron (maybe), replaced by 3 galaxies full of as many space genre sources I could find. From Star Wars to Dune, MechWarrior to Hero’s own space races plus 40K, Halo, Firefly and much more, all could find a place in my game. Believe it or not, the crazy “anything goes” approach worked wonderfully. So, I’m going to start off this thread with the foundation: NEMESIS SQUADRON Here you will find the original space game played in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, as it was distributed to my players (complete with typos and misspellings). This game was never meant for distribution and takes from or pays homage to so many different licensed entities that I can’t even begin to list them. It was and is always intended for fun only! NOTE: Please keep posts on this thread focused on NEMESIS or the new TGU game. Thanks!
This February, the Wachowskis are poised to set trends once again with their first Space Opera epic; Jupiter Ascending. It looks fantastic. 3 trailers have been released so far. Check them out. It releases February 6th. I plan to catch this one at the theaters. I saw trailer #3 in front of The Battle of Five Armies and it was the most impressive thing I've seen on the big screen in a long time. (visually) On a side note: The Wachowskis are delving into subjects that drive conspiracy nuts crazy. With The Matrix it was about the nature of reality and humanities place in it. With Cloud Atlas it was reincarnation and the role of past lives and the transient nature of time. With this one giving yet more conspiracy fodder with earth being embroiled in a secret interplanetary war which is hidden from the population at large and includes large, winged reptoids who apparently can shapeshift. Oh yeah. This is going to drive the alien conspiracy crowd CRAZY.
It occurs to me that there is a jumble of ideas just rolling around in my head at any given moment. It also occurs to me that I haven't actually done anything towards running or designing a setting in a long time. I don't know if I can keep anything cohesive in my brain, but I really feel that it is time to start putting ideas out onto the table. I don't know where these ideas are going or what my end game, if I even truly have such a thing, is. All I know is that my brain, though active, has been stagnant with the lack of expression. So I am starting with Space Opera as a setting. It is always been my second favorite genre and my favorite genre to run. I tend towards Star Wars more than Star Trek in terms of character abilities. I have baseline assumptions about playable races from my time running Gemini Ascendant. I want to add more. I am also shifting the mechanics more towards superhero than heroic. Mostly, that is going to be for character generation. Characters will be built using points to buy their signature weapons and powers. To take an example from Star Wars, Luke would buy all of his Force powers and Lightsaber with points. Boba Fett would buy his Mandalorian Battle Armor. That sort of thing. Keep in mind that this is not Star Wars. I am pretty sure that Star Wars, Mass Effect, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek and a bunch more IPs will be inspiring me. They always do. I choose to post ideas here, instead of a blog, to elicit comment and feedback. I work better with constructive criticism than in a vacuum. Wish me luck.
Greetings fellow Herophiles! Recently I have been endeavoring to continue work on my Space Opera campaign setting. Back in the day before everybody committed information to computer disk, I had this notebook I affectionately called "The Notebook of Doom" that included writeups of various weapons, armor and scifi equipment. I consider it to be some of my finest work. That notebook was lost in one of my many moves over a decade ago and I lament it's loss to this day. So now I have begun the writeups anew. I have already finished with laser weaponry but before I move on to particle weapons ("Blasters") I have decided to take on combat armor. I use a variety of sources for my writeups, but the most influential is the Intergalactic Space Opera RPG Battlelords of the 23rd Century which has a weapons and equipment sourcebook called "Lock and Load" which includes a plethora of high tech gadgetry to convert. There are a couple of concepts utilized in Battlelords that i plant to port over for my campaign setting. The first is "Absorption Polymers" which is a layer of high tech polymers within the combat armor that is designed to absorb the kinetic energy of attacks that penetrate the armor. In Battlelords this is essentially additional "hit points" that the armor has that attacks must blow through before damage can be done to the wearer. I debated converting these over as additional Body but I decided against this. I decided to make the Absorption into extra Normal Defense (PD and ED) that helps absorb the Stun damage of attacks that penetrate the armor. This will help mitigate the massive amount of Stun damage that some of these high tech weapons will be capable of producing (for example, Particle Beam weapons have an inherent +1 Stun multiplier with an average of about 2 1/2D6k damage!) depending on the armor in question, this normal defense bonus can be from +2 to +20 (though higher than +10 is rare). How balanced do you think this particular approach will be? The next concept I am planning to port over, which I did in my original notebook of doom, is the concept of Armor Options. These are different equipment that can be added to a suit of armor to improve soldier effectiveness in battle (or adventuring). In Battlelords, each suit of armor are able to mount a specific number of options into each location (and may options can only be mounted in specific locations, like Jumpjets being mounted to the feet and calves of a suit of armor). How would you simulate this in Hero? I am not so concerned with point costs, as all of this will be considered equipment and bought with money, not character points. I'm not concerned with active point costs as everything will be balanced to be as effective as it is meant to be within the context of the setting. (some weapons will be overwhelming, but they will be prohibitively expensive. Some armor will be seemingly omnipotent but again, incredibly expensive) Just curious as to the method one would employ to reach the end result (combat armor with optional equipment one could equip on to armor regularly which can be changed out in a workshop if desired of course) Specific examples of armor options would be appreciated as well. I will be posting examples of armor that I design in here as well for critique and eventually I will post the entire document when i'm finished with it. For now I will post my Lasers document to give you an idea of the damage levels I'm working with. Keep in mind that Lasers are on the low end of the damage scale, with particle beam, plasma and pulse (focused force field projected out as pure kinetic energy weapon) doing considerably more damage (also, keep in mind when I say "considerable" that I support the damage model of +1DC = X2 energy, so +2 or +3 DC is rather considerable in my view) Dark_Universe_Laser_weapons-1.pdf