Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Heroic Age

Though we played a lot of fantasy games (mostly AD&D) in my middle and high school years--probably more than anything else--our longest campaigns (defined as the same characters in the same setting/situation) were in superhero games. While we'd played with Villains & Vigilantes and with the first editions of TSR's Marvel Super Heroes and Mayfair's DC Heroes, our "Heroic Age" really got started in '86 after the release of the Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set.

Our first and longest running team was called the New Champions (taking the name from the L.A. based team of the Bronze Age and the idea of a new iteration from The New Defenders, which had just ended the year before). Our characters were street-level/near street-level characters, some of which were reformed villains. We picked the characters from the pages of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, for the most part, rather than going with well-known characters. I used Paladin, my brother, Puma, and our friend Al, Hobgoblin (the former Jack o' Lantern version). That was the core group of players and characters, but other players and other Bronze and early Modern C-listers joined the New Champions ranks at some point: White Tiger, Madcap, Shroud, and Unicorn, among others I've likely forgotten. The team had a West Coast era (borrowing from West Coast Avengers, which I had a subscription to), as well, and probably at least one "all-new, all different" period--but it was also part of the same continuity.

The second edition of DC Heroes, was probably our last gasp of superhero gaming. The Marvel games had mostly been over the summer and with a crew somewhat different than my usual gaming group, since none of us were able to drive yet and it was tough to get together when we weren't in school. By '89 though, that wasn't the case, so the DC group was largely the same as my Dungeons & Dragons and GURPS crowd. This time, we made up our own characters and our own super-hero universe. Lower key, more "realistic" superheroes were the order of the day. About half of the group (which was never named as a team, really) didn't wear costumes, and the villains were are somewhat quirky, and many of them didn't wear costumes either. I suspect the primary inspiration was the Wild Cards universe, but Thriller, the New Universe, and Doom Patrol might have been in there, too.

We played some 4th edition Champions after that and maybe some GURPS Supers, but neither of them had the ease of use of MSHRPG or DCH so they didn't last long. These two campaigns created some truly memorable characters--or at least memorable sessions.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Faeborn of Virid

I finally got a chance to look through the Elemental Evil Players Companion to see if there was anything that jumped out to me to add to my Land of Azurth campaign. I've already written about the Azurthite version of Aarakocraa, so I probably won't be using them as a PCs race. Deep gnomes are different, so they'll take a bit more adapting first. The Genasi work pretty well, we'll call them the Faeborn.

In the Land of Azurth, people with faerie ancestry are uncommon outside of the Country of Virid. Lady Desira, the Enchantress of Virid, is herself of fae descent. The most common sort of Faeborn folk are those who have ancestors among the elemental faerie who worked for Gob, the great craftsman, and Queen Azulina in fashioning the land of Azurth. Each of these types occupies various subkingdoms within Virid.

While they're variable as other folk, their personalities tend toward the humor associated with their element.

Each of the faeborn subkingdoms has a prince or princess and most of these are friends and/or former suitors of Lady Desira:  Parald, Ariel, Jin, Seraph, Gobe, Necksa and Nixi. They took part in the many adventures of her youth: ,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Shuttlecraft to Traffic Control..."

So, how about a peak at some new Strange Stars art? I had originally planned not to get any new art for the gamebooks, but the sales of Strange Stars have gone a little better than expected, so I felt better about outlaying a bit more money for (just a few) black and white images. The piece above is by Reno Maniquis. You can also expect to see stuff by David Lewis Johnson and Adam Moore, who did the well-received DMG/King Kong homage in Weird Adventures.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday Comics: Weirdworlds and Slayers

Marvel has release a couple of new collections of interest both to the Bronze Age comic fan and the tabletop rpg playing comics enthusiast.

I've covered Weirdworld here before. Inspired by the work of Tolkien, It was the creation of Doug Moench and initially brought to life by the art of Mike Ploog. This is the first time all of the Weirdworld stories have been collected in one place.

Skull the Slayer is a bit pulpier. It involves a Vietnam vet in a plane crash in the Bermuda Triangle, which you might thing is about as 70s concept you can get, except that the other survivors are other 70s stock characters (angry black man, rebellious rich kid, downtrodden young woman trying to get liberated), and the world they've found themselves mixes The Land That Time Forgot with Chariot of the Gods. It's no Warlord, but if you like Warlord, it's probably in your wheelhouse.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fate Strange Stars Page

Here's another page from the work-in-progress Strange Stars Fate gamebook. The text is by John Till, the picture by David Lewis Johnson, and the layout by Lester B. Portly.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

More Savage Worlds Strange Stars

Mike's latest efforts over at Wrathofzombie:

from the Vokun Empire, the Kuath, ibglibdishpan, voidgliders, and the Yantrans; and the nomadic Star Folk.

Check them out.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Azurth Monster Review

Yesterday's tigerpillar was only the beginning. Here's some other entries from the bestiary you might have missed:

Deodand, Hirsute and Gleimous varieties.
Dragonborn are a different thing in the deserts of Sang.
Manhound. "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
Moon Goon arrives in a lead balloon.
Super-Wizard ancient, ultra-powerful alien wizards.