I just setup a website for my new Fantasy Hero campaign called Spirit Storm.? There is not a lot of content yet but more stuff will get added in the next month or so.? If I do a major update of the Spirit Storm site I will post it here.?
Archive for February, 2009
I thought I would give my editorial take on the upcoming 2009 and 2010 products currently on the slate for Hero Games. If I don’t have a comment I won’t make one. (These are in rough chronological order.)
- Urban Fantasy Hero – Think Shadowrun or Dresden Files. Just released. Looks nice. Not sure how useful it will be to me.
- Book of Dragons – Master villains for FH. Just released. This one might be nice.
- Adventures Of Darkness – Lovecraft meets superheroes. Just released. Not an interest although I love Ken Hite’s stuff.
- Book Of The Machine – Mechanon and company. Full color and hard back! Wow.
- Lucha Libre Hero – Masked wrestlers. This is Darren and Jason’s love child. They are so passionate for this sucker that I will have to pick it up.
- Ultimate Base – This models kingdoms and empires in stats and allows them to interact with players. Might be nice for my FH campaign.
- Hero 6th Edition – Yup a new rev. This is the big GenCon release for Hero Games this year. Split into two full color, hard back books. One is for Characters and the other is for Combat. You will be able to get both for roughly $70 total. This one will certainly be on preorder.
- Pulp Adventures – This is sort of a filler. No interest from me.
- Hero System Basic Edition – Sidekick for 6th ed. No interest but might be for some of my players.
- Champions 6th Edition – Champions updated to 6th ed. Probably no interest as I am not running supers.
- Hero System Martial Artist – 6th edition redo. I’ll have to get this one of course.
- Champions Online RPG – Stand alone product to help bridge Champions Online MMO players into the RPG. Won’t buy.
- Hero System Bestiary – Creatures and monsters for Hero. Probably my most used Hero 5th Edition book so this is a must buy.
- Champions Universe – The Champions Universe updated. Will be hard cover and color. No plan to buy.
- Equipment Guide – I might get this one…not sure I will need it if the Hero System 6th edition book is detailed enough.
- Champions Villains – Hard cover and color. Split into three books for Masterminds, Teams, and Solos. Probably won’t buy these.
- Fantasy Hero 6th Edition – Where have you been all my life!?! A definite buy.
- Champions Powers – Think super power database. Probably will not buy.
- Fantasy Hero Grimoire – Spells for FH. May or may not by depending on the content.
- Champions Beyond – Alien super threats. Pass.
- Golden Age Of Champions – This is another love of Darren’s so it will rock. I’ll get this for sure. (This one does not currently have a date for release.)
The What’s Cool seminar is a soapbox where Ken Hite (RPG Luminary) and Darren Watts (Hero Games CEO) get to talk about some RPG product from the last year that they felt were particularly “cool”. From past experience with this seminar I can tell you that these two really understand “cool” as it relates to role-playing products. Here are some products that each mentioned with some editorial comments from me. I’m sorry if the facts for some of these are not 100% accurate…I am not familiar with some of these products.
- Sweet Agatha – Both Ken AND Darren had this at the #1 spot on their list. They admired the production values and loved how the game changed each time it was played.
- Urban Fantasy Hero – This was tagged as Ken’s best suppliment of the year. It can be used for Dresden to Buffy to Shadowrun.
- Hunter : The Vigil – Ken thought this was the best retread of the year. He mentioned that the book really hits the right spot when it comes to hunting all those angst ridden goth types presented in other White Wolf Products.
- Mysteries Of Candlewick Manor – According to Ken this is answers the question as to what people are supposed to do with Monsters and Other Childish Things.
- Zombie Cinema – Movie zombie game that comes in a VHS box. Really neat marketing ploy. The game has a token mechanic that might be found in a board game. Really captures the feel of zombie movies.
- Mutant City Blues – On my prompting Ken and Darren talked about Mutant City Blues. This is a new product from Pelgrane that was sold out in about an hour at DunDraCon. Mutant City Blues is a Justice League meats Homicide setting based on the Gumshoe engine.
- Sweet Agatha – Ditto.
- A Dirty World – Darren listed this as his pick for the most creative mechanic. I’ll try to quickly explain the concept…it is really neat. Characteristics of the PC are grouped into diametric pairs. For example, Compassion and Wrath. (I’m not sure if these are the real stat names but I’ll try and explain usnig these terms.) Each stat pair has a sliding scale of 5 dots. If Compassion is 3 then Wrath is 2. If your Wrath goes up then it makes it easier to take out your agressions on someone but harder to be compassionate. These can slide during a session to reflect how a noir hero changes through the course of the adventure. Really neat idea.
- Mouse Guard – Darren listed this as his pick for the best adaptation of a property. The Mouse Guard RPG is written by Luke Crain of Burning Wheel fame. This is a beautiful hard cover book with art from the Mouse Guard creator/artist. It will not surprise anyone to learn that the mechanics are a simplified version of Burning Wheel.
- Summerland – Darren thought the background for Summerland was very evocative although he did not particularly care for the mechanics. At a high level the setting is post-apocalyptic. Plants overgrow the world then begin to draw in people. The PC can resist the call because they do not fit into the world for some reason…what happens when they begin to fit?
- Tour de Lovecraft – This is Ken’s companion to Lovecraft stories. It is full of insight and great Ken Hite mojo.
Chapter 8 – Death In Luxor – Session #16
Date At Start Of Game: 1/10/1894
[Author's Note: This episode is the sixteenth session. Note that the order of the events in this record may not be the exact order that they occurred in the session.]
- A week after the last adventure the PC receive two missives. One is a NAG report from Professor Singh. He is asking for help with a dig in Luxor, Egypt. The brief letter states that they have made a discovery that requires particular attention from the PC. The other missive is a letter and photo addressed to Senemut. The letter is from a friend of his named Rose Bollacher. She is the wife of Professor Aaron Bollacher who is leading the dig in Luxor.
- Rain is pouring and lighting is flashing in the evening sky when the PC arrive in Luxor on a riverboat. After being met by local police the PC head to the Chicago House which is used as a base of operations for explorers and adventures. To the surprise of the PC they only see a candle in one room of the building but the rest of the lights are off. When the PC knock there is no answer. Burton unlocks the door and the PC enter. In the main study a flash of lightning reveals a body hanging from the rafters?it is Professor Bollacher. Below the body is a pool of urine and blood. His clothes and shoes are stained with blood. In his pocket is a large kitchen knife and a bottle of scented oil. Senemut lowers the body and says that his neck was snapped by the cord. It appears to be a suicide.
- As the PC search the Chicago house in detail they find that most of the help has fled. Further searching reveals the following clues:
- A large stone slab with ruins. The ruins refer to holding back the great ?Hapi?.
- A photo of the dig team.
- All of Rose’s clothes are missing.
- A map with a pin hole marking the first dig site.
- Professor Jameson’s journal which reveals that he had an affair with Rose. This was found in Professor Bollacher’s desk.
- A letter from Rose hinting of her affections for Professor Jameson. She begs him to meet her at a bar called Ali Baba. The time for the meeting is about 10 minutes before the PC read the letter.
- Professor Jameson’s body is in the library. He has been stabbed in the back. His fingers have been removed and used to paint on the walls. The writing on the walls is in a cipher that Burton decodes. The text says that old ones are awakening with the rising water.
- In a darkroom the PC find an undeveloped roll of film. The old photo that is not exposed is developed by Tredge. It is of a strange tomb with six sarcophagus.
- Professor’s Singh’s body is stabbed in his bed. In a hidden compartment the PC find a note that details Professor Singh’s fear that Professor Bollacher has become obsessed with the dig and very paranoid that Professor Jameson may act without him.
- The PC leave Chicago House to try and catch Rose at Ali Baba’s. They find her sitting in a booth very drunk. She recognized Senemut but does not seem overly excited to see him. After speaking with the PC they discover that she has an idol that they found at the first tomb. The idol is a symbol of Y’Golonac with a hand that contains an eyes that is flaming. There are also some strange symbols on the bottom. Rose also speaks of writing that Aaron found in the first tomb that leads to a second tomb. At this time the PC notice that other patrons at the bar are watching them. As the PC move to leave the bar Burton pockets the idol and take Rose’s suitcase. The thugs approach asking for the suitcase. Carefully the PC drop the bag then flea the bar. At this point the PC decide to visit the dig site which is in town.
- At the site the PC see tents setup. The tents surround a fire where men are dancing in the storm in a very tribal fashion. After Abdul steals some lanterns the PC head into the tomb. As they descend a very strange staircase they see the writing mentioned by Rose. The ruins consists of hieroglyphics and ancient occult text that Tredge has seen on other items. This reveals a story. At the bottom of the stairway is a landing and two small statues of tentacles. By examining the statues the PC are able to make a glowing map appear on the wall. These are directions to the second tomb. Tredge takes a picture of the map. At this point the PC hear the stone doorway at the top of the stairs being moved into place. They are trapped in the tomb!
- After that the PC decide to continue exploring. Below the landing is a room with a jet of water that the PC surmise must be from the Nile. The hole is in the shape of the stone found in the Chicago House study. The next room is an inverted ziggurat filled with sarcophagus. From the bottom most level strange fish creatures are creeping. The PC recognize them as Deep Ones! There are at least 10 of the strange creatures so the PC decide to back up the staircase. Burton then places a stick of dynamite on the stairs to slow down the Deep Ones. The explosion not only puts a hole in the stairway but it starts a cave in! The PC run up the staircase and Burton uses his last stick of dynamite to knock over the massive stone door. When the PC climb out they are surrounded by men with rifles?
Date At End Of Game: 1/11/1894
Chapter 7 – The Menace From Sumatra – Session #15
Date At Start Of Game: 1/4/1894
[Author's Note: This episode is the fifteenth session. Note that the order of the events in this record may not be the exact order that they occurred in the session.]
- Burton and Singh wait at Professor Granger’s office while Senemut and Abdul look up Alfred Windebank’s office. After about an hour, as night falls, Granger leaves his office. He locks the door hurriedly then goes to the campus office. At the office Burton and Singh observe Granger meeting with another man. At the end of the conversation the other man seems a bit disappointed. Granger hands the man a letter then leaves. After leaving Granger gets a cab. Singh follows Granger by jumping on the back of the cab. Burton goes into the office with a book and a blank sheet of paper. The man is a campus dean. Barton sets the book and paper on the desk over the letter. After talking to the dean for a minute or so Burton takes his leave. He grabs the book and the letter from Granger in a deft act of slight of hand. The letter is a resignation letter from Granger. According to the letter he is asking for an indefinite leave for a research expedition.
- Abdul and Senemut find that Alfred’s office is in London. They decide to wait until the next morning to visit. While they wait Senemut coughs up blue saliva. Burton joins them.
- Singh tracks Professor Granger to a library where he checks out a book. Singh takes a paper from a note stack then rushes out after him. From the library he goes to the docks. As the darkness and fog are heavy Singh loses Granger in the crowds. Singh then starts asking around for the well dressed Professor. Singh eventually finds a vagrant who says that he saw Granger near a building belonging to the Java Coffee Company. The man also warns Singh to look out for the ?White Slasher?. Supposedly the White Slasher is a woman in white with a knife who has been seen in the area. As Singh sneaks up to the building he hears a woman sobbing. Singh spies a dark haired woman in a solid white dress who looks like Susan Windebank! At this point Singh quickly sends a note to the other PC to have them join him.
- The other PC arrive quickly. Singh and Burton watch the building while Abdul and Senemut speak with Susan. When the two NAGs approach she rushes Senemut in a crazed fashion claiming that he is Granger! Singh subdues her. After sedating her Senemut hypnotizes her and starts asking questions. This allows her to vividly recall events. She backs up Alfred’s diary claiming that Granger made improper advances. See also reveals that she was actually inside the building where she saw a horrific lab and Batak natives.
- With this information the PC decide to search the warehouse especially since they believe a cure to the fungus might be with Granger inside. As the sneak up Burton hears some noises downstairs that sounds like metal instruments hitting a metal tray. After entering the building Singh is heard when he attempts to lock a gate on a freight elevator. As Granger goes out of the door he is wearing a blood stained apron and has a scalpel in his hand. Singh slams him into the door starting a running melee with Batak tribesman! Blowgun and machete wielding men are quickly cut down by Singh as the other PC drag Granger to the main floor of the warehouse. After the initial rush there is a stalemate. This allows the PC to briefly question Granger. He tells that only he has a cure. Eventually the natives rush again. This time they are cut down by gunfire from Abdul, some shots from Burton, and Singh’s deadly knives. After all the natives fall the PC investigate the lab and inner chambers.
- First the PC find a mad scientist’s lab. On an operating table is an eviscerated naked man. Infected organs from the man are being placed in jars with preserving fluid. In a nearby cabinet the PC find many other organs which have been stored. They take one jar which hold a set of pulsating blue lungs. In a nearby boarded up room the PC hear a LOT of rats. In the next room the PC see a horrendous site. The large room is occupied by a towering rate like creature with three glowing blue eyes and tentacles. It is inside of a pentagram which is drawn in the floor. Also on the floor is a pool of blue liquid and blue stones that appear to be extruded from the creature. If the PC blink the creature moves in the circle like it is teleporting from place to place. Singh and Barton see it first. Neither wants to stay in the building after seeing the creature. Senemut is able to stand the site of the creature and records the circle carefully. The book that Professor Granger got the from the library is on tropical diseases. It mentions the fungus and describes that blue stones also found at the site seem to abate its progress. It can be cured by turning the stones into a fine ground paste. In Granger’s notebook the PC find information about the creature. It is called Vibur. It is described as a minion of Y’Golanac. According to the notebook is oozes the goo and stones. When the infestation gets severe enough the afflicted person has horrific hallucinations that seem to feed Vibur allowing it to enter our realm. The PC reason that Granger planned to infect the rats then let them loose on London. The only way to destroy Vibur is to burn it. With that Burton sets up barrels of kerosene to burn the creature and the rats.
- After lighting fire to the Java Coffee Company the PC leave in their wagon with the unconscious form of Professor Granger. As they leave his mouth turns into a razor sharp maw and he utters in a cold voice, ?You may have stopped my creation but our destinies are intertwined??
Date At End Of Game: 1/5/1894