[19:06] <+DaveMattingly> I’m Dave Mattingly, president of BlackWyrm Games.
[19:06] <+DaveMattingly> We publish gaming supplements and settings, plus other stuff.
[19:06] <+DaveMattingly> At the moment, we’re kickstarting Michael Surbrook’s Larger Than Life.
[19:07] <+DaveMattingly> I’ll let Michael talk about the book, then Jason talk about the kickstarter.
[19:07] <+DaveMattingly> (done)
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[19:07] <+DaveMattingly> Take it, Michael.
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[19:07] <+MichaelSurbrook> Hello, everyone, I’m Michael Surbrook, part-time game designer and developer.
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[19:08] <+MichaelSurbrook> Larger Than Life is a look at American folklore and tall tales heroes, from 1700 to 1900.
[19:09] <+MichaelSurbrook> It includes many of the classic tall tales heroes, such as Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan, but also a number of more obscure characters, such as Febold Feboldsoc and Joe Magarac.
[19:09] <+MichaelSurbrook> Originally written for Champions/HERO System it is also available for Mutants and Masterminds and Savage Worlds.
[19:09] <+MichaelSurbrook> (done)
[19:09] <~Dan> Thanks, guys!
[19:10] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:10] <+DaveMattingly> Also, it includes some actual historical figures like Nikola Tesla and Davy Crockett.
[19:10] <+JasonWalters> Hello all. I’m Jason Walters… er, (done) one supposes.
[19:10] <+DaveMattingly> Before questions, let’s have Jason intro.
[19:10] <~Dan> Whoops! Sorry — please proceed.
[19:10] <+MichaelSurbrook> As well as Blackbeard and Peter Francisco.
[19:10] <~Dan> (My bad. *sheepish*)
[19:11] <~Dan> (Go ahead, JasonWalters. Sorry about that.)
[19:11] <+JasonWalters> NP. I’m Jason Walters, Vice President of Blackwyrm Publishing. But some of you know me as the general manager of Hero Games and Indie Press Revolution. Which is/are my day job.
[19:12] <+JasonWalters> But when I want to publish something myself, Blackwyrm is the vehicle I use to do that.
[19:12] <+JasonWalters> We
[19:12] <+JasonWalters> We’re currently running a Kickstarter for Larger Than Life with an eye to releasing three editions: one for Hero, Savage Worlds, and Mutants & Mastermind.
[19:13] <+DaveMattingly> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/larger-than-life-tall-tale-adventures)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/larger-than-life-tall-tale-adventures
[19:13] <+JasonWalters> Along with electronic packages for Hero Designer (Hero) and Hero Labs (M&M and Savage Worlds).
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[19:14] <+JasonWalters> It’s going pretty well. We’re at 61% with 10 days left. So, while it’s coming along nicely, more support would be appreciated.
[19:15] <+JasonWalters> Also, when I mean three editions, I mean specifically three separate books with different layouts customized to their fan bases: not one book with three stat blocks or the like.
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[19:16] <+JasonWalters> Should this project work out as I hope, it will serve as a model for fund raising for future projects.
[19:16] <+JasonWalters> Including a new version of Aaron Allston’s Strike Force. Though Aaron has sadly passed away, I’ve reached an agreement with his family to release a new edition of this classic work.
[19:16] <+JasonWalters> (done)
[19:17] <~Dan> (Was that everyone? 🙂 )
[19:17] <+MichaelSurbrook> I think so.
[19:17] <~Dan> (Okay!)
[19:18] <~Dan> Thanks, guys! Now the floor is open to questions! 🙂
[19:18] <+Blarghedy> I’m not at all familiar with HERO or Mutans and Masterminds, but I’ve at least seen Savage Worlds (and I think I funded a kickstarter campaign for a post-apocalyptic savage worlds game of some sort). Out of the 3 systems, which do you think really fits the setting best?
[19:18] <+Blarghedy> (typed that during the first break for questions)
[19:18] * ~Dan chuckles
[19:19] <+MichaelSurbrook> Well, I’ll admit to being biased to the answer….
[19:19] <+DaveMattingly> Interesting question, Dan. Since each of the versions will have stats appropriate to its system, the characters could be used with any of them without trouble.
[19:19] <+JasonWalters> Yeah, me too. I would guess Hero, since that’s what Michael wrote the book for originally
[19:19] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yeah, I have to say Hero.
[19:19] <+JasonWalters> …or we could go with Dave’s answer!
[19:20] <+DaveMattingly> That said, it’s hard to pick a favorite, although each system offers its own strengths.
[19:20] <+Blarghedy> So I guess in that case, what about HERO makes you say it fits? Like I said, I’m utterly unfamiliar with it. Pretty sure this is the first I’ve even heard of the system
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[19:20] <+DaveMattingly> A) Hero’s system of Complications hard-wires the psychology and backgrounds into the character sheet.
[19:20] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!)
[19:20] <+MichaelSurbrook> HERO allows me to put a lot of detail into the character sheets.
[19:21] <+DaveMattingly> B) M&M’s mechanics of one d20 roll for everything makes the characters very adaptable to other campaigns.
[19:21] <+DaveMattingly> and C) Savage World’s system of roleplaying bonuses make any of them a blast to play.
[19:21] <+Blarghedy> haha, now you’re making me want all 3
[19:21] <+MichaelSurbrook> With HERO I can create characters with a detailed brush, with Savage Worlds, you use much broader strokes.
[19:21] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:21] <+MichaelSurbrook> That options is part of the Kickstarter!
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[19:23] <~Dan> On a related note, I’m curious how you reconcile the level of fine detail present in HERO and (to a lesser extent) M&M with the outlandish and seemingly boundless abilities of folkloric heroes.
[19:23] <+DaveMattingly> In the past, we’ve published books for all three of the systems, and we have an existing fanbase for each of them. We’ll see how the fans respond once it’s all said and done.
[19:23] <+DaveMattingly> That’s a question for you, Mike…
[19:23] <@Silverlion> Seems to me Fate should have been an option–its “aspects” fit the feel of Tall Tale bragging a bit…
[19:24] <~Dan> Yeah, I’m not a big Fate fan, but it would seem ideal for this sort of thing. 🙂
[19:24] <+MichaelSurbrook> I’m not a Fate fan either, so I know I couldn’t do it justice.
[19:24] <+MichaelSurbrook> As for Dan’s question….
[19:24] <+MichaelSurbrook> When I created the HERO characters, I tried to amass a much information about each character as I could.
[19:25] <+DaveMattingly> Silverlion and Dan, we considered Fate, but we’re not yet a licensor of their system, and doing three systems at once is enough of a challenge. For future projects, it’s something to think about.
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[19:25] <~Dan> (Howdy, Abstruse!)
[19:25] <+Abstruse> (Hi, recording got cancelled so I’m here!)
[19:25] <+MichaelSurbrook> For people like Davey Crockett or Paul Bunyan, I ended up settling for a Variable Power Pool to allow them to perform additional feats not specifically part of the character sheet.
[19:25] <~Dan> (Feel free to introduce yourself to the fine folks, Abstruse. 🙂 )
[19:25] <+JasonWalters> Actually, as a fan of the Fate System, you guys make an excellent point. However IMO…
[19:26] <+MichaelSurbrook> So, there is a trade-off between detail and flexibility.
[19:26] <+Abstruse> (Michael’s been on the show a few times. But for those who aren’t aware, I’m the owner/producer of the Gamer’s Tavern Podcast Network and the tabletop gaming columnist for Ain’t It Cool News)
[19:26] <+MichaelSurbrook> *waves to Daryyl*
[19:26] * +Abstruse waves
[19:27] <+JasonWalters> … what Michael was aiming for with this book was to create a supplement that would allow GMs to use these characters like superheroes in superhero settings. So “tactically,” if you will, rather than “narratively.”
[19:27] <+JasonWalters> (Though Michael should feel free to correct me on this)
[19:27] <~Dan> MichaelSurbrook: Yeah, I think I follow your approach… My concern, especially with HERO, is that the stats would be a bit… reductionist, maybe? As in, the characters are only capable of those things which we know they’ve accomplished. It sounds like you’ve found a way around that, though.
[19:28] <+DaveMattingly> And, since each of the characters includes biographies of many similar characters, you can use the given character as a template to get much more use out of the book.
[19:28] <@Silverlion> …
[19:28] <@Silverlion> That’s a whole other discussion, heh.
[19:28] <+MichaelSurbrook> I actually mention how you can use the characters are more than supers. For example, Paul Bunyan makes a great forest god in a fantasy sheeting. Wild Bill Hickok could fit right into a space setting as sort of “space marshal”
[19:29] * +MichaelSurbrook test
[19:29] <+MichaelSurbrook> aha
[19:29] <~Dan> 🙂
[19:29] <+JasonWalters> However, the idea of using Fate Core or Fate Accelerated to make a game like Baron Von M. or Sagas of the Icelanders sounds kind of great. Another project perhaps.
[19:29] <~Dan> Actually, can I give you a specific example to see how you handled it?
[19:29] <+MichaelSurbrook> Me? Sure.
[19:29] <+DaveMattingly> Dan, some of the characters also have (in Hero) a “Bragging” or “Tall Tales” Power Pool to let them do other amazing things.
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[19:30] <~Dan> Okay, so we know that Pecos Bill can ride a tornado… Is this ability reflected as something specific like “Ride a Tornado”, or is it written as a more general ability that he can use to ride a tornado?
[19:31] <+MichaelSurbrook> In HERO his lariat can affect despoiled targets, which I specifically state is there to allow him to lasso tornadoes. He also has the Riding Skill and such.
[19:31] <+JasonWalters> (I’ll let Michael answer this. But Hero is an effects based system. So you would buy something like Flight, then modify it in various ways.)
[19:32] * +MichaelSurbrook is now going to look at the character sheet
[19:32] <+warcabbit> I do like that. I had a character once that was their kid.
[19:32] <+MichaelSurbrook> Actually,,, I messed up.
[19:32] <~Dan> Oh. Oh dear…
[19:33] <+JasonWalters> I think he meant “desolidified” targets or the like.
[19:34] <~Dan> I was wondering about that… 🙂
[19:34] <+MichaelSurbrook> Dang it… I didn’t notice the autocorrect
[19:34] <+MichaelSurbrook> Okay, here is how you do Pecos Bill: Bill has the standard Variable Power Pool that allows folk heroes like himself to augment his already impressive physical powers. For example, in order to ride a tornado, Bill could use his VPP to add Affects Desolid to his Lariat so he could first lasso the tornado, as well as buy some extra STR (only with his Lariat) in
[19:34] <+MichaelSurbrook> order to ride it.
[19:35] <+warcabbit> Hm. How do you simulate Odd Effects? Like things being cold enough to freeze the words coming right out of your mouth?
[19:35] <~Dan> Hmm. Interesting. How easy is it to pull together effects like that on the fly in HERO?
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[19:36] <+JasonWalters> You know, Michael, I *totally* wouldn’t have built it that way. But that’s kind of the glory of the HERO System: there’s generally three or four ways to engineer any effect.
[19:36] <~Dan> (Howdy, SolutionCat!)
[19:36] <+SolutionCat> Good evening Dan
[19:36] <+DaveMattingly> There’s a skill called Power Skill, which makes a lot of that easy.
[19:36] <+MichaelSurbrook> Warcabbit — That’s an environmental effect, so that’s more of a GM’s call. None of the PCs have that “power”.
[19:37] <+MichaelSurbrook> The Power Of A Culture Hero: Power: Roping Tricks And Stunts 18-
[19:37] <+warcabbit> My experience says it’s pretty easy, once you get into the habit. (though I’m pre-FRED for Hero) M&M and Hero share the general concept of being effect-based systems. If you can describe an event, you can simulate it.
[19:37] * ~Dan nods
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[19:37] <+JasonWalters> Dan, it’s actually pretty easy to build powers on the fly using a VPP using Hero once you get the hang of it. When I’ve played characters with VPPs I typically create a dozen or so in advance, then wing it during the adventure depending on what happens.
[19:37] <~Dan> (Howdy, Lassekk!)
[19:38] <+MichaelSurbrook> That’s a good way to do it.
[19:38] <~Dan> Now, with Savage Worlds, it would seem like you would have to build such powers from scratch?
[19:39] <+DaveMattingly> If you just used the Core Book, yes. But there’s a Super Power Companion that does a lot of the work ahead of time.
[19:39] <+MichaelSurbrook> I’ll have to defer on that question as I’m not that familiar with building things in Savage Worlds. Jason? Dave?
[19:40] <+DaveMattingly> We’ve worked a lot with Savage Worlds in the past.
[19:40] <+JasonWalters> I’ll let Dave take M&M and SW questions. I can “think” in Hero, Fate, and a bunch of other systems. But I’m not so great in those.
[19:40] <+MichaelSurbrook> Ditto.
[19:40] <+Blarghedy> Which edition of M&M are you guys using?
[19:41] <+DaveMattingly> Our Savage Line developer for this book, Greg Elkins, knows what he’s doing. And our layout designer, Ruben Smith-Zempel, is also a huge Savage Worlds fan, and can spot-check all of Greg’s work easily.
[19:41] <+DaveMattingly> For M&M, we’re using 3E — the latest one.
[19:41] <+Blarghedy> alright, cool.
[19:41] <+DaveMattingly> We just came out with a couple of Algernon Files books in 3E last fall, so it’s still fresh in our minds.
[19:42] <+warcabbit> Oh, you’re Algernon Files? Goodness, didn’t realize they were still going. Still have the first one tucked away somewhere. First Superlink product, as I recall.
[19:43] <+DaveMattingly> It was, yes. The hardcover.
[19:43] <+DaveMattingly> This new set is full color, low page count, splat-book style.
[19:43] <+warcabbit> Tell me, do you have any backstories for Tall Tales, for purposes of working into other campaigns? A discussion of World as Myth, or even a suggestion of an American Gods campaign?
[19:44] <+JasonWalters> And inexpensive. Don’t forget Inexpensive Dave.
[19:44] <+DaveMattingly> Ye gods, are they inexpensive!
[19:44] <+DaveMattingly> Michael, tell them about Ken Hite’s intro. And Fearsome Critters.
[19:45] <~Dan> Ooooo… Is there a Hodag? Please tell me there’s a Hodag.
[19:45] <+warcabbit> Mr. Hite is one of my four or six favorite authors, ever since his SJ Games columns.
[19:45] <+MichaelSurbrook> The book is primarily a character book, much like the old Hero Games allies and enemies books. That said, I do reference Ken Hite’s discussion on folk heroes from his SJG column. I also talk about how to use each character is various settings.
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[19:46] <+MichaelSurbrook> So, as for an American Gods game… that’s not in the book, sorry.
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[19:47] <+MichaelSurbrook> Now, Fearsome Critters is my planned treatment of American folklore, urban legend, and cryptid creatures. And yes, there will be a Hodag.
[19:47] <~Dan> Huzzah!
[19:47] <+warcabbit> Is Mike Fink there?
[19:47] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yes, he’s the King of the Riverboat men, after all.
[19:47] <+warcabbit> do come back to mention Fearsome Critters. I can always use critters. (Did you know the Hoop Snake shows up in Australia too?)
[19:48] <+MichaelSurbrook> Fearsome Critters is still in planning and research
[19:49] <~Dan> You touched on this a bit already, but do you have a “default” use in mind for this supplement? As in, do you see players playing the folkloric characters? Encountering them as NPCs?
[19:49] <+MichaelSurbrook> I hope to have a lot of 19th century lumberjack legends, but also 20th century stuff — like Bigfoot, Chessie, Mothman, Momo, Caddy, skunk apes, and so on.
[19:50] <+MichaelSurbrook> I my mind, the default use for the book is to allow GMs to fill their super hero settings with pre-20th Century supers. PCs can encounter them via time travel and whatnot, or enterprising GMs could create period adventures.
[19:50] <+MichaelSurbrook> For example, my friend Robert Dorf told me, after reading the entry on Joe Magarac, that Joe would now feature in *all* of his supers settings.
[19:51] <+MichaelSurbrook> He’s also working on a Larger Than Life con game.
[19:51] <+DaveMattingly> Robert Dorf runs amazing convention games.
[19:51] <+warcabbit> Joe is really an awesome culture hero.
[19:52] <~Dan> Who is Joe Magarac?
[19:52] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yup. I was able to play Bill Bixby as the Hulk this weekend.
[19:52] <+warcabbit> The Man of Steel!
[19:52] <+warcabbit> Croatian, if I recall?
[19:52] <+MichaelSurbrook> Joe Magarac is a seven-foot man of living metal, who can lift a 50-ton crucible, stand unharmed in liquid steel, and form cannonballs with his bare hands. His potential uses in a Champions campaign should be obvious.
[19:52] <+MichaelSurbrook> Serb-Croatian
[19:53] <+warcabbit> He can squeeze out railroad rails between his fingers!
[19:53] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yup.
[19:53] <+DaveMattingly> He was so skilled at the forge that legend said he could reach into the molten steel and squeeze out a cannonball with his bare hands. From there, folk lore turned into a living man of steel.
[19:53] <+warcabbit> And he has an amazing zest for life that really shows in the stories.
[19:54] <+DaveMattingly> On the book cover, he’s holding a still-glowing railroad spike that John Henry is driving in.
[19:54] <~Dan> Nice. 🙂
[19:54] <+warcabbit> I… may have grown up reading the Reader’s Digest book of American Folklore. (Reader’s Digest was a mile from me)
[19:54] <+warcabbit> … which actually brings up a question. Heroes of color?
[19:55] <+MichaelSurbrook> There’s John Henry.
[19:55] <+MichaelSurbrook> Now, let me elaborate.
[19:55] <+MichaelSurbrook> There are … argh… 22 character sheets.
[19:55] <+JasonWalters> What about.. Peter Francisco is it? I loved reading about that guy!~
[19:56] <+MichaelSurbrook> But, there are something like 120-140 other people mentioned and described.
[19:56] <+warcabbit> Harriet Tubman, John the Conquerer, (Oh, the Giant of the Revolution!) Railroad Bill…
[19:56] * +warcabbit nods.
[19:56] <+warcabbit> This is one of those horrible, horrible wells where you start peering into it and it gets deeper and scarier.
[19:56] <+warcabbit> er. brain fail. The witch of New Orleans.
[19:56] <+MichaelSurbrook> So John Henry and Stackerlee get full character sheets, but people like Nat Love, Bass Reeves, and others get mentioned and described.
[19:57] <+warcabbit> Staggerlee, nice call.
[19:57] <+MichaelSurbrook> Some goes for women. Calamity Jane get’s a character sheet, but I also talk about Molly Pitcher(s), and others.
[19:57] <+MichaelSurbrook> I also list 6 notable ships from American history.
[19:58] <+MichaelSurbrook> And sprinkle quotes, lyrics, bits of poetry, and such all through the book.
[19:58] <+warcabbit> A notable number – the Six Frigates that started our Navy.
[19:58] <+DaveMattingly> Peter Francisco is a real guy, that sounds too much like fiction. But he was a true hero during the Revolutionary War. Washington said he’d like more of him.
[19:58] <+MichaelSurbrook> Ah, and Sitting Bull is mentioned.
[19:58] <+MichaelSurbrook> He gets a character sheet and I list a number of Native Americans who had an impact on our history.
[19:58] <~Dan> When writing up real people in the book, do you give them both “real” and “legendary” writeups?
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[19:59] <+warcabbit> Crispus Atticus, for one!
[19:59] <+warcabbit> Attucks?
[19:59] <+MichaelSurbrook> Nope. Everyone gets a more legendary write up.
[19:59] <+MichaelSurbrook> I missed Crispus. I think he was a sailor.
[19:59] <+warcabbit> Boston Massacre.
[19:59] <+warcabbit> Half-indian.
[20:00] <+MichaelSurbrook> Dan — “They are presented, to paraphrase Mark Twain, not as they were, but more, as they should have been.”
[20:00] <+MichaelSurbrook> The Native Americans I mention start with Pocahontas.
[20:01] <+warcabbit> Robert Rogers, perhaps? 🙂
[20:01] <~Dan> On a related note, you should check this out for the legendary scoop on George Washington: (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7iVsdRbhnc)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7iVsdRbhnc
[20:01] <+warcabbit> Sorry, I’m an enthusiast on history and folklore. My family is horribly tied up in both.
[20:02] <+MichaelSurbrook> Black Elk, Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, Geronimo, Pocahontas, Sacajawea, Sequoyah, Tecumseh
[20:02] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yes, Robert Rodgers and his rules for ranging, are in the book
[20:02] <+DaveMattingly> Roberts, Teach, Bartholomew, Kidd, etc.
[20:02] <+warcabbit> Okay, not only must get, but must tell everyone about.
[20:03] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yes, under Pirates, but Rodger Roberts is under Continental Solider
[20:03] <+DaveMattingly> This should be a curriculum book in history classes.
[20:03] <+warcabbit> Right, the historical pirate was _Rogers_, not Roberts.
[20:03] <+MichaelSurbrook> Dave — you’re thinking of Bartholomew Rodgers
[20:03] <+MichaelSurbrook> who is in the book
[20:03] <+warcabbit> Oh my!
[20:03] <+DaveMattingly> Yes, got my Rogers mixed up.
[20:03] <+MichaelSurbrook> Over, over?
[20:03] <+JasonWalters> Actually, Dan, I prefer this legendary scoop on George Washington: (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl7CLaZFG1c)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl7CLaZFG1c
[20:04] <+warcabbit> I’ll never be over Macho Grande.
[20:04] * ~Dan chuckles
[20:04] <+MichaelSurbrook> You see I was over Under and under Dun.
[20:04] <+warcabbit> (Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1581809298)http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1581809298 Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America Recent publication, not very deep, but very through. Some critters I didn’t know about.
[20:04] <+DaveMattingly> That was some mustache.
[20:05] <+MichaelSurbrook> I have a huge collection of cryptozoology books.
[20:05] <+MichaelSurbrook> I’ll add that to my wish list.
[20:05] <+MichaelSurbrook> I will point out that I almost certainly missed people. Harriet Tubman isn’t in the book, actually.
[20:05] <+DaveMattingly> So funding Larger Than Life will lead to BlackWyrm also publishing Strike Force, Fist Full of Fu, Fearsome Critters, and other coolness.
[20:06] <+warcabbit> Nat Turner?
[20:06] <+DaveMattingly> Emperor Norton.
[20:06] <+warcabbit> That man terrified generations!
[20:06] <+MichaelSurbrook> Per Jason’s suggestions, the book is divided by eras (Colonial, Tall Tale, Wild West, Post-War), then by archetypes
[20:06] <+MichaelSurbrook> Nat Turner?
[20:07] <+warcabbit> Leader of slave rebellions.
[20:07] <+MichaelSurbrook> Ah, no, sorry.
[20:07] <@Silverlion> iS that a version of the late Aaron Allston’s Strike ForcE?
[20:07] <~Dan> So how did you figure out the base stats of some of these characters? Like, how did you decide how strong Paul Bunyan and Captain Stormalong are, or how good a shot Pecos Bill is?
[20:07] <+DaveMattingly> Silverlion, yes we just signed the contract to revamp and republish it.
[20:07] <+JasonWalters> Emperor Norton is a personal favorite of mine. I touched on him year ago in my own RPG book (You Gotta Have Character), but I’m happy to see Michael give the subject a more exhaustive treatment.
[20:08] <@Silverlion> Money going to his family/heirs?
[20:08] <+MichaelSurbrook> In some cases, I worked off their size and building them in HERO. So, Paul’s 300′ tall, and enough Growth to do that gives you “X” STR and I went from there.
[20:08] <+DaveMattingly> Silverlion, yes. Jason issued the press release earlier today. Or maybe yesterday.
[20:08] <+MichaelSurbrook> I’ve built thousands of characters taken from fiction and such, so I have a good feel for values.
[20:08] * ~Dan nods
[20:09] <@Silverlion> Cool.
[20:09] <+JasonWalters> Yes: it will be an updated version of Aaron’s Strike Force. We are going to be given access to another decade’s worth of research and material, including the “blue books” used during the campaign sessions to record play information real time/
[20:09] <+MichaelSurbrook> I also try to see what they are said to lift — Joe Magarac can lift 50 tons over this head, so that gives me a good number to work from
[20:09] <~Dan> Forgive my ignorance, but what is Strike Force?
[20:09] <@Silverlion> (Sorry to divert the chat, I respect him a lot…)
[20:09] <+MichaelSurbrook> One of the best RPG supplements of all time!
[20:09] <+JasonWalters> And thousands of dollars will be going to Aaron’s mother to help pay off debts left by his death.
[20:09] <+DaveMattingly> Dan, it’s an influential supplement from the… late 80s?
[20:10] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yes, mid 1980s
[20:10] <+DaveMattingly> Aaron Allston went on to become a best-selling Star Wars novelist many times over.
[20:10] <+JasonWalters> Yep. The 80s. Still considered to be one of the most influential superhero RPG supplements of all time.
[20:10] <+MichaelSurbrook> He also wrote some Complete class books for TSR
[20:10] <+JasonWalters> As one wag put it “Aaron was blogging about rpgs before the internet was invented.”
[20:11] <@Silverlion> He also wrote the Doc Sidhe books, and a module “Treasure Hunt” for D&D (I recently used it for 5E)
[20:11] <+MichaelSurbrook> I know when we got Strike Force is really made us think about how we were running our games and building our charactera
[20:11] <~Dan> Sounds like a folkloric RPG hero. 🙂
[20:11] <+MichaelSurbrook> School of Hard Knocks for GURPS (which used Strike Force characters)
[20:11] <~Dan> Oh! Doc Sidhe! Now that I know about, although I’ve never read it.
[20:12] <+warcabbit> Honestly, you know who’s a folkloric RPG hero? Robert E. Howard.
[20:12] <@Silverlion> More a folkloric writing hero…
[20:12] <+warcabbit> Hm. Hemmingway, Twain himself, Lovecraft’s been done a few times, Charles Fort… my, there’s a number.
[20:12] <+MichaelSurbrook> So, if Larger Than Life gets funded, this will allow BlackWyrm to look into producing more of my game books.
[20:13] <+MichaelSurbrook> Such as Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems.
[20:13] <+DaveMattingly> I used to write for Aaron’s fanzine (Rogue’s Gallery) and he used to write for mine (Haymaker), back in the day.
[20:13] <@Silverlion> Ah the days of Haymaker…
[20:13] <+warcabbit> Ah, the old APA days.
[20:13] <+MichaelSurbrook> It’s still round, i just revamped the website
[20:14] <+MichaelSurbrook> So, GGG will sort of do for the supernatural, what I did for folk heroes. Sort of. 🙂
[20:14] <~Dan> Perhaps this is too obvious, but have any of your playtesters used the supplement for an American version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?
[20:15] <+DaveMattingly> Ghost Ghouls and Golems mostly come out at night. Mostly.
[20:15] <+MichaelSurbrook> No idea.
[20:15] <+DaveMattingly> LXA, the League of Extraordinary Americans.
[20:15] <~Dan> Exactly. 🙂
[20:16] <+warcabbit> I like the 1980s American team.
[20:16] <+DaveMattingly> None of the playtesters mentioned it to me.
[20:16] <+MichaelSurbrook> I do want to do a 20th C version of LTL. And include Teddy Roosevelt, Elvis, Audie Murphy, Jim Thorpe
[20:17] <@Silverlion> Babe Ruth
[20:17] <+JasonWalters> It’s a little of the subject, but do you want to tell them a bit about Fantasy Hero Complete Michael? The truck driver just called me and he’s delivering two pallets of it to me at 10:00 AM.
[20:17] <+warcabbit> Ernest Hemingway and Ozzy Osbourne should be there too.
[20:17] <+warcabbit> Or Keith Richards.
[20:18] <~Dan> (brb — please continue)
[20:18] <+MichaelSurbrook> Ozzy isn’t American
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[20:18] <+MichaelSurbrook> FHC is arriving! Yes!
[20:18] <+warcabbit> Well, no, you said LTL, I wasn’t limiting to American, just for insane.
[20:18] <+DaveMattingly> FHC! Yay! Michael Surbrook also wrote the (currently arriving) Fantasy Hero Complete.
[20:18] <+JasonWalters> Arrived. It’s in Lovelock right now, and will be in Gerlach tomorrow.
[20:19] <+warcabbit> LXA 1980s is Kitt, Hannibal Smith, Mary Lou Retton, ET, and Michael Jackson.
[20:19] <+warcabbit> (Or Jack Burton)
[20:19] <+MichaelSurbrook> So, Fantasy Hero Complete is the HERO rules in one book. Along with genre information, sample creatures, PCs, magic spells and items, and everything you need play the HERO System.
[20:19] <+DaveMattingly> …and then go on to rule the universe from beyond the grave.
[20:19] <+warcabbit> oooh
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[20:19] <+JasonWalters> (An amusing fun fact: Indie Press Revolution is Burning Man’s closest neighbor.)
[20:20] <+MichaelSurbrook> Listen to the words of the Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night…
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[20:20] <+JasonWalters> Michael and I have put a lot of work into the electronic portion of Fantasy Hero Complete, which *anyone* who buys the 264 page physical book will be able to get.
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[20:21] <+MichaelSurbrook> And I hope to write some supplemental material for the add ons we were able to develop for Fantasy Hero Complete.
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[20:21] <+MichaelSurbrook> Such as creatures, spells, magical items, and so on.
[20:22] <~Dan> Man. Fantasy Hero Complete must be a hefty tome indeed.
[20:22] <+JasonWalters> You get the e-book version of the book, an original setting written by Michael, an adventure within that setting, characters sheets for 18 characters than can be printed out for immediate play, and the Hero Designer files for all that plus the monsters. All for $30 including the print book.
[20:22] <+MichaelSurbrook> 248 pages>
[20:22] <~Dan> Really? That’s a lot smaller than I expected!
[20:22] <+MichaelSurbrook> The rules are nicely condensed.
[20:23] <~Dan> Cool.
[20:23] <+JasonWalters> Hero has been moving to a model of stand alone, all-rules-included books.
[20:23] <+MichaelSurbrook> 248-264 pages or so.
[20:23] <+DaveMattingly> My computer is acting wonky. I may need to sign off.
[20:23] <~Dan> Fantasy Hero was the first game that I played with my first real group of dedicated gamers, not counting the junior high D&D club.
[20:23] <+JasonWalters> Our last two – Champions Complete and The Monster Hunter International Employee Handbook – were both like that.
[20:24] <+MichaelSurbrook> Dave — try turning it off and then back on again. ^_^
[20:24] <+DaveMattingly> Thanks, Mac Support!
[20:24] <+JasonWalters> We had a good KS project for Fantasy Hero Complete. 504 backers.
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[20:25] <+MichaelSurbrook> I had a lot of fun creating the setting. And I really like working with Jason on projects. We make a good team.
[20:25] <+JasonWalters> You’re too kind Michael.
[20:25] <+JasonWalters> The sample setting for FHC is very different. It’s loosely based on the Romanish speaking portions of Switzerland.
[20:26] <+MichaelSurbrook> The magic system is based on the idea of “Making”.
[20:26] <+MichaelSurbrook> So you don’t ‘cast’ spells per say.
[20:26] <+MichaelSurbrook> per se.
[20:27] <~Dan> Oh? What do you do?
[20:27] <+JasonWalters> All of which works well with Hero, since you can use the system to build magic systems.
[20:27] <+MichaelSurbrook> Well, you “make” things for starters. Swords, bread, beer, rings, armor. Of, you know things — the secret names of the forces that exist within the world.
[20:28] <+MichaelSurbrook> So you might make songs that let you affect stone, or the sky, or how people feel.
[20:28] <~Dan> That’s pretty cool.
[20:29] <+MichaelSurbrook> I’ll admit that I was trying for a Tolkeinish feel to the magic, as opposed to Vancian.
[20:29] <~Dan> An admirable goal, to my mind.
[20:29] <+MichaelSurbrook> Which is why, if you’re paying attention, you’ll find a dime-store version of the One Ring in the sample magic items for the setting.
[20:30] <~Dan> Heh. Cool. 🙂
[20:30] <+MichaelSurbrook> Also, the setting has humans, elves, dwarves, and satyrs as the main races.
[20:31] <+MichaelSurbrook> And goblins are humans, elves, dwarves, and satyrs who have meddled in black magics and become corrupted by it.
[20:31] <~Dan> Speaking of magic in a roundabout way, does Larger Than Life feature only individuals, or does it feature archetypal individuals like the classic backwoods witch?
[20:32] <@Silverlion> Oh was George Washington in there?
[20:32] <+MichaelSurbrook> It features archetypes, then a individual who best represents that archetype, then a host of people associated with the archetype
[20:32] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[20:32] <+MichaelSurbrook> So, no witch, and no Washington.
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[20:33] <+MichaelSurbrook> He’d fall under the President archetype… which was going to be in the companion book if I ever get a chance to do it.
[20:33] <~Dan> Satyrs are an interesting choice for a standard race. What made you pick them?
[20:33] <~Dan> (wb, DaveMattingly!)
[20:33] <+warcabbit> MHI is a fun series.
[20:33] <+MichaelSurbrook> Because they’re different and fit in with the fae that inhabit the world.
[20:33] <+warcabbit> I would have put him under a Statesman archetype.
[20:34] <+MichaelSurbrook> I din’t have that either/
[20:34] <+warcabbit> but that’s neither here nor there.
[20:34] <+MichaelSurbrook> I don’t have that either.
[20:34] <+JasonWalters> Larry Correia is a fun guy.
[20:34] <+warcabbit> I hope he’s not from Yuggoth.
[20:34] <+JasonWalters> And Baen Books is probably the easiest SciFi publisher there is to work with.
[20:34] <~Dan> Do your elves and dwarves differ much from the standard versions?
[20:34] <+MichaelSurbrook> I honestly went for fairly dynamic archetypes — Pirate, Continental Solider, Backwoodsman, Riverboater, and so on.
[20:35] <+MichaelSurbrook> Dan — yes
[20:35] <~Dan> Oh? How so?
[20:35] <+MichaelSurbrook> Ah… okay, elves live to be as old as the trees (500 years) while dwarves live to be as old as the mountains (5,000 years)
[20:35] <+MichaelSurbrook> elves are hunters and foresters, dwarves are famers and miners
[20:36] <+MichaelSurbrook> elves work in leather and wood, dwarves in metal and earth
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[20:36] <~Dan> (Howdy, Geek2theRight!)
[20:36] <+Geek2theRight> Hello!
[20:36] <+MichaelSurbrook> both were created as caretakers… elves of the woods and dwarves of the earth
[20:36] <+MichaelSurbrook> Hello
[20:37] <+JasonWalters> Hello
[20:38] <+MichaelSurbrook> I was trying to get away from certain RPG stereotypes but still have recognizable races.
[20:38] <~Dan> Sure.
[20:38] <~Dan> Sounds like you pulled that off.
[20:38] <+MichaelSurbrook> so elves trade meat to dwarves for grain and such
[20:38] <+MichaelSurbrook> or leather goods for metal goods
[20:38] * ~Dan nods
[20:39] <+MichaelSurbrook> elven weapons tend to be wooden, but since they are master of Making, they work almost as good as metal ones
[20:39] <+MichaelSurbrook> but if you’re an elf and want an axe, adze, or saw, you trade with the dwarves
[20:40] <~Dan> How well do they get along?
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[20:41] <+MichaelSurbrook> Very well for the most part. Each understands their place in the cosmic order. Although dwarves swear they were made first, but set aside to cool. And once they were cool, the elves were already up and around.
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[20:41] <~Dan> Heh. I like that. 🙂
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[20:41] <+MichaelSurbrook> Well, when you’re made from the molten stuff of the earth, you need time to cool down.
[20:42] <~Dan> Indeed.
[20:42] <~Dan> So how do humans factor in?
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[20:42] <+MichaelSurbrook> Humans are the candle that burns twice as bright, but half as long
[20:43] <+MichaelSurbrook> they are noted for their creativity in Making, as well as being very inventive, and able to adapt to various environments
[20:43] <+MichaelSurbrook> So they are the spark for new ideas that elves and dwarves would never consider.
[20:45] <~Dan> How do they get along with the other races?
[20:46] <+MichaelSurbrook> Fairly well, IRC. It’s not perfect harmony, but goblins are the true enemy
[20:46] * ~Dan nods
[20:46] <+MichaelSurbrook> I can’t recall all the details, sorry. Just came back from Genghis Con and go to NYC tomorrow morning.
[20:46] <~Dan> No problem!
[20:48] <~Dan> Can you see using Larger Than Life and Fearsome Critters as the basis for a 100% American folklore fantasy setting?
[20:48] <+MichaelSurbrook> And I feel I must plug Genghis Con (in Denver) as a great gaming experience
[20:48] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yes
[20:49] <~Dan> What else would you need for such a setting? A book of folkloric places?
[20:49] <+MichaelSurbrook> Perhaps something like Deadlands, but not so dark
[20:49] * ~Dan nods
[20:49] <+MichaelSurbrook> The Dictionary of Imaginary places would work, you just need to find the ones in North America
[20:49] <+MichaelSurbrook> Also, you could do some great steampunk stuff
[20:50] <~Dan> That’s very true.
[20:50] <+MichaelSurbrook> You can also use Tesla to create a very different 20th Century
[20:50] <~Dan> If I could call for a pause for just a sec, a couple of quick notes.
[20:51] <~Dan> First, if I haven’t said so already, please know that you guys are always welcome to hang out with us and discuss your work, and should feel free to stay as long as you like tonight, in fact.
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[20:51] <~Dan> That said, in what remains of regular time, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:51] <+JasonWalters> Thank you Dan.
[20:52] <+MichaelSurbrook> Thank you, Dan.
[20:52] <+JasonWalters> I think we’ve done a good job of covering the contents of Larger Than Life… as well as many other things
[20:53] <+MichaelSurbrook> Pretty much.
[20:54] <~Dan> Alrighty then! We’ll just keep the floor open for questions, then. 🙂
[20:54] <+JasonWalters> May we provide a link to the KS project one last time?
[20:54] <~Dan> Please do!
[20:54] <+JasonWalters> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/larger-than-life-tall-tale-adventures)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwyrm/larger-than-life-tall-tale-adventures
[20:54] <+JasonWalters> As for me, I am going to thank you fine people and wish you a good night.
[20:54] <~Dan> Have a good evening, JasonWalters!
[20:54] <~Dan> Do you need to head out as well, MichaelSurbrook?
[20:54] <+MichaelSurbrook> I have to leave in about 6 min myself
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[20:55] <~Dan> That being the case, why don’t I go ahead and log the chat so that I can get you the link to it?
[20:56] <+MichaelSurbrook> Yes, I’m getting up at 5 AM to prep for my trip to NYC (day job related)
[20:56] <~Dan> Gotcha. Thanks again for visiting with us!