Posts Tagged ‘Farscape’

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Pulp Nocturne 1930 Plays at Flat Land Games in Wixom, MI Sundays

November 24, 2014

PN 1930 FG Flyer 112414

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Pulp Nocturne 1930 at Flat Land Games in Wixom

July 16, 2014

PN 1930 web final

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Pulp Nocturne 1930 at Gen Con 2013

May 22, 2013

PN1930 web posting 052213

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Capes and Calamity This Sunday August, 21st at Pandemonium Games

August 17, 2011

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DETAILS ABOUT CAPES AND CALAMITY

August 9, 2011

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PUBLIC DOMAIN SUPER HEROES

July 28, 2011

GREETINGS FOLKS!

During one of the recent gaming sessions of the pulp supers role playing game Capes and Calamity I had mentioned this website:  Public Domain Super Heroes.

Public Domain Super Heroes is a collaborative website about comic book, film, literary, or pulp characters in the public domain that have appeared in comics or fit in a common comic book genre such as the masked vigilante, caped crusader, or jungle lord.

In the early days of comics, publishing companies came and went with great frequency. Most of the defunct companies never bothered to renew their Copyrights. Many were bought out by other companies that also failed to do so. For instance, DC bought out Quality, but evidently made the same mistake as many other companies: confusing the actual possession of the original property with legal ownership of the characters and stories depicted therein. Hence, while they owned all the remaining prints and plates of hundreds of comics, they failed to renew the Copyright on most of the original printed material.

The Copyright laws in the United States have changed several times over the past century. The changes made in 1960s, 1970s and 1990s significantly extended copyright terms for the works which were still in copyright at that point. While they will probably lapse into public domain in some point, it won’t happen for quite a while. For our purposes, much of what was created in the 60s and beyond will be unusable for quite some time.

The Public Domain consists of works and ideas that nobody may claim as their own. The wheel can’t be Trademarked, the King James Bible can’t be Copyrighted, and the Waterbed cannot be patented. Improvements and variations CAN be protected; Firestone and Michelin are Trademarked wheels, Bibles with the words of Jesus printed in red or having maps of the Holy Land added can be Copyrighted, and a specific design of Waterbed can be patented. In terms of print media, the Public Domain consists of works that existed before Copyright law (Don Quixote or the Illiad), those that are too old to be protected any more (Frankenstein and Dracula), and those whose Copyrights have run out and weren’t renewed (like the characters here). Finally, real-life historical figures are, by definition, in public domain.

Public Domain is a legal issue, so by its very nature, it can be confusing. The standard for trademark infringement is called “confusingly similar.” The standard for copyright infringement is called “substantially similar.”

Cartoon characters can be protected under both copyright and trademark law. Copyright of literary characters was originally based on the written works, but cartoon characters, and by extension, comic book characters have a visual representation.

To complicate matters further, some “public domain” works may actually be “orphan works”. “Orphan works” as the term is understood in the trade means works that may still be protected by copyright, but which have been abandoned by their copyright owners, or for which no copyright owner remains in existence.

~Horror Master Noire AKA Alan

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SAVAGE WORLDS DELUXE REVIEW

July 14, 2011

Savage Worlds Deluxe
by Pinnacle Entertainment
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=92743&it=1&SRC=newsletter
Price: $19.99

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (from Keith (Savage Troll) Athey)

Review
A Deluxe treatment of the Savage Worlds Core rules brings a few new elements without alienating the throngs of Savages that hold their SW Explorer’s Editions as the best RPG they’ve ever bough t. Or, at least the best value and definitively lives up to it’s Fast, Furious, and Fun pulpy play goodness.

This review is really about a first glance. A first blush of what the SWD (as I’m sure it’s going to be referred to) will really have to prove itself over time as game adventures accommodate the new elements. After listening to several podcasts with some good hints dropped, it seems to be a ‘take it or leave it’ addition that works with the SWEX audience instead of trying to replace it. I’ve heard they will have a downloadable pdf for the SW:EX folks that has the additional rules that will function as a SWEX addendum of sorts. Obviously they’ll leave all the additional non-rule material as an incentive to get the SWD, but lets confirm that.

Those that have the original Savage Worlds Hardbound will notice that we’re seeing the evolution of a game system that has gone from the 146 page hardbound that was a fun alternative to d20 (d20 conversion guide included), to the 160 page (and famously $10) Explorers Edition and now back to a hardbound Deluxe Edition. I believe everyone can admit that the SW:EX form factor took SW from established indie/fringe to something every gamer and podcast has talked about for the past few years. I grinned and chuckled to myself as I made my weekly game store visit many months ago and saw the DnD 4e “Essentials” format books. I thought “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!” In a way, it’s one of the nicest compliments Pinnacle could have received. WOTC’s 4e Gamma World rules were also in SWEX sized format but proved that the right size with crap rules is still a poor combination. That’s another rant for another time. Recently, I’ve seen Troll Lord’s 3 book, smaller than SWEX, Castles and Cr usades “Digest” set that has gone a bit too far. But, you get the point, the market has changed and Pinnacle was a driver to a new and better way.

The covers of the 3 SW editions tell an evolving story. We see it visually. Originally SW is carved in stone and with the Deluxe Edition’s SW logo – it’s embossed gold. But for those of us who loved DnD in it’s primitive days have learned, really great art doesn’t a great system make, but it helps.

First Blush:
– Great Art. Cover: newish logo with multiple genres telling the story. Full page ads for Pinnacle settings between the Intro and Chapt 1: Character Creation that capture the different genres nicely. The Ripper’s ad with it’s hunter sporting wolverine-like claws confronting a Promethean monstrosity rocks! Lots of full page great looking art sprinkled throughout.
– Design Notes – as you could guess, it’s a paragraph that focuses on an aspect of the game that the designers want to emphasize. Good insight from the creators!
– GUTS are gone! – out of the core rules and into setting rules that need it. Makes sense.
– Dramatic Tasks – adds a mechanic for when a hero is in a dramatic situation and needs to perform a task to save the day under a tight time restriction. This mechanic or element adds to the feel of the pressure.
– New Setting Rules – ie “Blood & Guts: Characters can spend Bennies on damage rolls! Use this rule when you really want to up the carnage.” Also, Born A Hero, Critical Failures, Fanatics, and Gritty Damage…. are some other examples. Gritty Damage sounds ALOT like the styles found in Reality Blurs: Realms of Cthulhu. Interesting! There are quite a few new ideas here that can really add a new feel to the very same adventures you’ve played.
– Interludes – essentially using character down-time to add to character development. A simple mechanic that involves the GM picking a character and that player picks a card (Clubs-tragedy, Spades-Victory, Hearts-Love, and Diamonds-Desire). The player then tells the tale of the type chosen (tragedy, love, etc..). Assuming a moving or entertaining tale is told, a reward is given of a Benny or Adventure Card chosen by the player.
– GM section – The Countdown – (a Design Note) put a limit or sense of urgency to limit those that are taking too long to make decision of what to do next. Not to be overused.
Fun new One-Sheet adventures

While not exhaustive, I think you’ll agree there’s quite a bit of good new stuff to add to our Savage Worlds adventures. I didn’t get the feeling that the system suddenly changed but just had some additional mechanics that can add to the fun…and some stress! I think I’ll go start prepping some stories for an interlude.

Here’s a much longer list of features culled from the Pinnacle forums:

CHANGES

– Guts skill removed from core rules (but mentioned as a possible setting rule)
– Driving is now a free action unless the character is performing a maneuver
– Leadership Edges can be used on Wild Cards
– Background Edges can be taken after character creation
– Double Barrel Shotgun slightly tweaked in how it works
– A Shaken while on Hold loses Hold Status
– Shaken results now merely limit the character to free actions (instead of no actions) and do not halve the character’s Pace
– new Incapacitation table (including some “Bleeding Out” rules)
– Healing can now only be attempted on each individual’s fresh wounds once in the “Golden Hour.” (Plus an attempt to revive if the target is Incapacitated.) They can’t cause an additional wound through rolling a 1 or less however.
– area effect attacks now get an extra 1d6 damage for a raise (like most attacks)
– prone defenders may no longer rise to defend themselves automatically (it requires an action and takes 2″ of movement)
– new Chase rules (also, the Climb stat for aircraft works differently in this context)
– tweaks to some powers (e.g., the Bolt power can be used for multiple bolts, or one increased damage bolt, but not both at once)

ADDITIONS

– designer notes (explanations and reflections on the rules by the PEG folks)
– archetypes (character templates that let you create NPCs easily on the fly, or allow new players to jump right in)
– example Races (e.g., elf, dwarf, android, etc.)
– race creation rules (similar to those found in the Fantasy Companion or Slipstream)
– clarified rules on common knowledge v. specific knowledge
– Knowledge: Language rules
– about 20 new Edges (including some new combat and leadership edges)
– many more vehicles included in the gear section (more similar to the old hardback SW rules than SW:EX)
– some notes for playing without miniatures, including how to approximate area templates without a battle map
– rules for Improvised Weapons
– rules for Push (which can be used to push, shield bash, or knock someone prone)
– rules for Rapid Attack (basically three attacks in one round, all at a penalty)
– rules for Firing Blind
– rules for Social Conflicts
– rules for Dramatic Tasks (basically performing tasks with a time limit – e.g., diffusing a bomb)
– rules for Interludes (sort of like little “flashback” scenarios for in between major parts of the plot)
– a section on common Setting Rules (e.g., the Guts skill, gritty damage, etc.)
– inclusion of a bunch of new powers (including many from from the Fantasy Companion)
– inclusion of power trapping rules
– Combat Ratings (notes on balancing and scaling combat encounters)
– several one-sheet adventures
– a character sheet

To find even more, go to: Pinnacle Forum SWEX to SWD