Haste – Episode 25: Pathfinder MMO, HERO System Layoffs, Fourthcore Alphabet

Play
Intro: “Prelude” ~ LukHash
Outro: “Stande Alone” ~ LukHash

Announcements

New campaign of the month is here, and a new comic so check them out!

Topics

Paizo Announces Pathfinder MMO

big announcement over at Paizo recently shocked the RPG masses with their announcement of creating a Pathfinder MMORPG. The project is very early in development and appears to be by a company by the name of Goblinworks which is also headed by Paizo folk as well. No release date yet, so check the FAQ. Micah and I discuss and keep our fingers crossed for them!

HERO System Layoffs

Some sad news has come from the home front of HERO games, in that the three guys who have made up the company for the past 30 years are leaving the company. While they did not say it was certianly the end, it does sound like it. Their game system is known far and wide, this is a sad thing to see happen. We wish them the best.

The Fourthcore Alphabet

A really cool gaming aide for any game master called the Fourthcore Alphabet has recently been released, it was created by fourthcore founder Sersa Victory with artwork by Brian Patterson. Its a great tool for any GM, not just those who play 4e D&D, it isvery mechanically light and almost completely system neutral. The book is a goldmine for evocative and dark content generation for your games, it can be picked up in PDF or print at lulu.com and comes highly recommended by the OP crew.

Tip Corner

You can “gift” a character to another player (as the GM). This way, if you have a player who just refuses to put their character on the site, you can create it yourself and then give it to them. Just go to the edit character screen and scroll all the way to the bottom. From there you can choose who to give it to.

Twitter Question

@Poorly_Designed How often do you take story and encounter ideas and suggestions from your players?

Listen to find out!

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  1. Hero Games/DOJ has changed hands a few times over the years, and was previously connected to ‘Heroic Publishing’ which actually published a comic book line.

    A fairly good summary of the company history can be found on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_Games

    The current staff (ala 2001 onward) were not part of the company previously.

    Details from Wikipedia:

    “In 1981, George MacDonald and Steve Peterson, from San Mateo, California, printed 1000 copies of a 64 page rulebook for Champions, their super-hero role-playing game, to take to a Bay Area gaming convention. It sold very strongly, enough to form a company, Hero Games. Later, the pair recruited Ray Greer as their sales and marketing partner.

    In the following years, the company published two more editions of Champions, two dozen adventures, and several self-contained role-playing games using the Champions core rules as a universal role-playing system: Danger International, Justice, Inc., Robot Warriors, Fantasy Hero and Star Hero. The games were very compatible, but each differed slightly, using new rules or costs. Hero Games used the term Hero System to describe them all.

    But ongoing production and financial troubles plagued the company, and in January 1986, Hero Games made an arrangement with Iron Crown Enterprises, publishers of Rolemaster and MERP. Initially this was only to handle the game production and distribution, leaving creative tasks to Hero Games, but in 1987 ICE also took over editorial. During this period the company was led by Rob Bell, followed by Monte Cook, and finally by Bruce Harlick.

    The original partners found new interests: Greer worked for Steve Jackson Games, and later he joined a Los Angeles movie special effects company run by Mark Williams, Hero Games’ original artist. MacDonald became Senior Game Developer at the software company Strategic Simulations, Inc.. Peterson went to work for Electronic Arts, and then became a freelance marketing consultant and technical writer, but remained most connected with Hero Games of the original three.

    On August 25, 1996, ICE’s role handling publishing and distribution was taken over by R. Talsorian Games, just before Iron Crown itself suffered financial difficulties in 1997. During this period, Bruce Harlick, who had been the first official hire of Hero Games in 1982, continued in his role as Line Developer. This collaboration also resulted in the Fuzion system, which was successful in itself, but an attempt to publish the Champions game under the new system as Champions: The New Millennium met mixed reviews.

    In 2000, Hero Games was bought by Cybergames.com, a gaming portal site which Steve Peterson was working for. Cybergames.com retained Bruce Harlick as president of their Hero Games subsidiary, but eventually decided to leave the publishing market in 2001. In December 2001, a new company called DOJ, Inc. acquired all rights to Hero Games, keeping none of the remaining original staff. DOJ, Inc., consisted of Steven S. Long (Line Developer), Darren Watts (President), and various support staff. It was formed specifically to acquire Hero Games. The title came from “Defenders of Justice”, Watts’s Champions campaign.”

  2. In reference to tabletop based MMOs, I used to love playing Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 from BioWare/Atari. It was basically D&D 3.5 rules converted to video game form, but with a traditional video game interface w/ avatars and cool areas instead of minis and graph paper. The rules even showed your dice rolls. The game was free to play online and anyone could set up their own server with custom worlds. You could basically play D&D online as there was GM feature for them to log in and run the bad guys. You also had access to the world design and script tools used by the developers. Such a great game. If Paizo could do something like that it would be incredible.