Saturday, August 24, 2013

Heroes of Terra

A number of years ago, I got turned on to the idea of a pulp action-adventure setting based on the Mario Brothers games. This idea was so pervasive that I started running it at conventions with Savage Worlds, under the title "Warriors of the Mushroom Kingdom." In time, this turned into a setting idea called "Warriors of the Mandragora Kingdom," which in turn became "Heroes of Terra" as the idea grew beyond Mario Brothers and into a wide world of Nintendo-themed pulp weirdness.

At long last, I can share that work with the world. Here, for the first time ever, is the wide-scale release of Heroes of Terra, the first book about the strange parallel world that exists alongside Earth. This book focuses on the continent of Lemuria, where the Mandragora Kingdom is locked in war with the Dragon Empire. Coming next is a plot point campaign, titled "Our Princess is in Another Castle," in which a mixed group of Terrans and Earthers work to rescue the Peach Princess, heiress to the Mandrake Throne. Eventually, I plan on doing supplements for the continents of Mu and Hyborea, but right now I'm focusing on getting the plot point campaign ready.

I've been running games in this setting at conventions for nearly five years now, so it seems strange to be sharing the setting with the wider world. Still, I can only hope that you all enjoy it.

As some notes: I did all the writing, editing, and layout work myself. The art is scavenged and found from various places on the web, so if anyone can tell me who the original artists are so that I can get their permission or at least credit them, I would appreciate it. If anyone wants to contribute art for a v2 release, I can offer only my gratitude. Goodness knows, I'd like to include art for each of the races and monsters, at least.

Edit (08/10/2015): In the time since I originally published this little fan-made setting, it got so much positive response that I petitioned Pinnacle for the license to make it into an official one. They approved! Heroes of Terra is now an officially licensed Savage Worlds product, available on DriveThruRPG! Thanks to everyone who made this possible! And watch for the full version of the main setting book, Heroes of Terra: The Mushroom War, coming later this year to Kickstarter!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bon Voyage, Marvel Heroic

We hardly knew ye.

After only a year of publication, Margaret Weis Productions announced this week that they're shutting down publication on their (amazingly good) Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. Powered by Cortex+, the game is an amazing piece of work if you like superheroes--but it's also great for hacking.

Personally, I've spent the last couple of months adapting it to run Exalted. While my current Mutants & Masterminds 3Exalted game has been a lot of fun, MHR is the system I probably would have run the game in if it had been available when I started. It feels odd to be recommending a game that you won't be able to buy after April 30, but I think anyone who has even the smallest amount of interest should go and grab the PDFs while they're still out there.

Or you could just hop over and read my CortExalted hack. I still recommend picking up the corebook, though, since a lot of the game won't make sense if you don't get it. Hopefully, we'll be seeing a generic version of Cortex+ Heroic at some point in the near future. It's too good a game to let it languish.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cooking and the Atlantean Fallacy

I'm snowed in at home today, so I thought I might take a moment to illustrate what I think of as "the Atlantean Fallacy," and how it can be demonstrated through the simple art of cooking.

Let me start off by saying that I love to cook. As time has gone on, I've discovered that cooking and writing are similar in that you feel happier about doing it if you can do it for someone other than just yourself. Like writing, you'll cook for yourself to stay alive--because for a writer, not writing is a fatal condition--but your big thrill comes from seeing other people enjoy what you've made.

Since I'm snowed in right now, I was cooking for myself alone. As I was standing over the stove, adding Italian seasoning to my handmade pizza rolls, I thought about how badly I screwed up the dish the first time I tried making it. I didn't enjoy cooking when I was younger, but that was mainly because I didn't know how. I just thought I could throw things together and make them hot, and magically they would become food. Learning to cook for myself was a terrible struggle--also like learning how to write. The talent was there, and the love of the material, but not the refined ability. In both cases, I knew somewhere in me was a person with ability, but the sheer frustration of trying and failing repeatedly was almost heartbreaking.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fate Core

A whole lot has gone on the world of gaming since I last posted, and one of the most important things was the stunning success of the Fate Core Kickstarter. A Kickstarter aimed at 3,000 dollars and wound up making over 400 grand would be impressive by itself, but the fact that Evil Hat has pledged to make the game system open to the Creative Commons License is just staggering. So many Fate Core projects have come out of the woodwork that I would almost feel embarrassed to do one of my own. It's always the worry of getting lost in the flood of great stuff. And great stuff there is! Just from the Kickstarter alone, there are several great settings coming down the pipe. The stunning Camelot Trigger, White Picket Witches, and Burn Shift are just three of the offerings coming out of the Kickstarter, and I've seen any number of great projects revving up for a release over the next few months. Still, in my perpetual quest to find a native system for Western Baronies or Chronicles of Steam and Brass (have I not mentioned that before?), I think that Fate Core might be closer than anything I've tried yet, except for Savage Worlds. While Pinnacle's flagship game is still my one true love in many ways, I think that the odds are tilted ever further in favor of trying to release under Fate Core. Hearing Fred Hicks say that Savage Worlds and Fate both came out of similar vectors in their creation makes me feel a little less crazy for associating them in my head all this time too. Watch this space for further updates!