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Hero Games Scaling Back

Tweet There’s an announcement on the Hero Games web page stating at Steven S. Long (line developer) and Darren Watts (president) are leaving the company. Jason Walters (general manager) will remain the only full-time employee. It’s difficult to avoid reading a lot into such an announcement. Does this mean the end of the Hero System? Probably not for a while, anyway. Certainly there are plenty of of folks out there who will continue to play and run Hero System games. And the company has stated that there will be an attractive third-party publisher option out there for those who which to support the system. There are also indications that Long and Watts will continue to support the system as freelancers or third-party developers. If this had happened fifteen years ago, I’d declare the Hero System … Read entire article »

Filed under: General Gaming, RPG Industry BS

One GM’s Perspective: What I Want from a PC Backstory

Tweet In the next episode of Happy Jacks RPG Podcast, we’re going to discuss PC backstories and the GMs who ignore them. As an adjunct to this discussion, I like to talk about my expectations and preferences for PC backstories. Obviously, since all GMs are different, have differing play styles, etc., this is my own list of things I like in backstories. It might not be a bad idea to get such a list from your own GM. Part One: Presentation Brevity. I prefer paragraphs to pages when it comes to backstory. Don’t write a novel — or even a novella or short story. Instead, give me a couple paragraphs I can breeze through. Even bullet points or number lists would be fine. General rather than Specific. The more general the information is in your backstory, the better chance … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure Design, Alternate Views

When PC Becomes Adversary

Tweet Intra-party conflict. I’ve read dozens of articles about how to avoid it. Players get called names for engaging in it. Why? Isn’t dissension amongst a group of travelers or adventurers a legitimate source of drama? You bet your ass it is. Let me give you one word from the fantasy RPG holy texts: Boromir. I have two general rules to govern intra-party dissension: The conflict must exist between the characters — not the players. When the conflict becomes intolerable for the either the characters or the players, it somehow ends decisively. Between the Characters — Not the Players I don’t even need to expand on this if you’re playing in a game with grown-ups. The conflict should exist between the characters. If it becomes a conflict between the players or it otherwise starts messing with players’ fun, it should … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alternate Views