Pathfinder Super Heroes

Avalon Games is in the process of working on a Pathfinder compatible super hero system. Heroes Weak Masks will be fully compatible system with Pathfinder, so if you are even passably familiar with this great game, then HWM will be no effort at all to jump into.

Avalon has reached the stage where we are looking for input on the system and its rules. Basically we want to make this the best game possible and so we of course are looking for the best gamers to have a look, kick the tires and tell us what we need to do, change and improve on so that you get the game you want.

With that in mind Avalon is opening the system up for review and comments, play testing and tinkering.

If you would like to become a part of the design discussion, then drop a line to our content director, Rob, at…

Avalon will then send you a copy of the system as it stands now, as well as a link to the forum we will be using for the discussion.

So this is your chance to get in at the bottom floor of this great game and to make you mark.

Avalon Games


New Dark Dungeon on its way…

Dark Dungeon has always been one of our best selling games, and even after five year of being out there it sells a few copies every month. So with the new edited version of the game I took the time to u date the rules, streamline the whole thing and add a bit here and there. This version of the game will be better and what we will do is once I have all the expansions done, we will re-launch the game system and bring it to a whole new customers base as well as tap into the old one.

Some of the things we did for the new version.
Altered the counters so they fit the map tile
Moved to an Adventure Data Sheet where you just write down the character’s stats, gear etc. Less fiddly stuff that way.
Altered the Goblins Lair adventure to make it a bit less difficult.
New Lay out and a Print Friendly version of the rules and adventure.
Put all the gear, spells, monsters and character information into one book.

New Tablet

As I have ben doing a lot of artwork on illustrator, I finally bought a tablet to use. We will see if it increaes my output or skill with this softwre.

The plan is to have all the heroes Inc characters redrawn using illustrator for use inH Heroes Wear Masks. We will also offer the images as figure flats for use in the game or on their own. I may do this with If characters as well.

Nova Blast Play Testing Session 2

We had a short session last weekend, played only one game. In that game though we brought in the marine buggy and started to use Condition Cards. The cards allow you to modify events during the turn, add modifiers and or minor special bonuses to a unit or event. This seemed to allow the players to plan and think a bit more about what they could do and to take some risks that they might not normally do as they could depend on the cards to give them that extra bump.

The buggy worked well although the critical charts might be a bit to rough and harsh. I have just a generic chart right now, but I may move to a chart for each vehicle.

Heavy weapons still are not working. The issue is they tend to have only one, or very few dice to make their to hit roll with. Thus they tend to miss more then they hit. I don’t want to increase the number of dice they get, so I think I will drop their base to hit numbers. I figure these sort of weapon system would have build in targeting systems anyway, so they should be able to hit better then a standard trooper’s weapon.

I did increase the range of most weapons. We found they where just too short and this pushed the game into close combat to soon and to often. The tactic we are seeing is you move up, reduced when you take damage your ranged attack dice first, and then close into close combat at full strength. Now this just may be me and the player test’s inner need to beat each other up, or it might be that this is how the marines would operate anyways. We will see if the trend continues with the Too-Nia.

Next week we bring in the Too-Nia and start working on their balance. So far they are looking quite fun.

Nova Blast playtesting session 1

Did some play testing for Nova Blast last weekend. We played two games, just a normal brawl so we could figure out the basic mechanics and see what needed to be fixed. Overall the system ran well. The assigning of orders and the resource management worked fine, as did the basics for rolling to hit.

We did have some issues dealing with close combat, mostly about entering and fleeing melee.

The big issue was support weapons. Missile launcher sucked, at one dice they never hit. So we figured out some fixes for that and dealt with some other minor issues dealing with going to ground.

Next week we will add in heavy weapon crews, psychers, condition cards and vehicles.

Once those are all set we can move into special abilities and game balance.

Overall the system worked fine, and was easy to play. I think once we add in all the other factors into the game it will become a nice tabletop system and fit well with IF.

The Future of E-Publsihing

Been a nice discussion this week on our writers newsletter about interactive e-publsihing, ebooks, PDFs and the like. While I think the more interactive stuff will eventually take over, its a ways off still. its taken almost 20 years for e-publishing to get a foot hold, and only in the last 5 five years or so has it begun to be profitable. Still its something to look into and prepare for.

Does it have to make money to be successful?

I had this little email exchange with one of our writers today…

He asked how the product he wrote was doing…

As for sales, nothing personal, it was a good product, one of the better ones in the Avalon Character series, but 6 copies so far. Of the three in the series, Adventures, Encounters and Characters, the character line is lagging, so much so that we will not put out a full line next year, just sort of finish up what we have. The other two lines have sold better, over 100 copies of the adventure series and 50+ of the encounters. Still low numbers over all , but as time goes by that will improve. Pathfinder is still sort of new, with a smaller market share right now compared to 4th ed. Still it is becoming more and more the game of choice as 4th Ed continues to drag down the D&D brand.

Still as I have said before, I stopped trying to figure the market out some time ago, and now we put out what we think will be either fun products, or something that is different, interesting to us or which we think might fill a void in the market. In the end if you had fun writing it up, and I had fun drawing it and laying it out, then if it makes money that’s fine, but I got out of it what I needed.

In the end the line has filled a hole in our catalog and offered us an opportunity to reach new customer and to make new fans, as well as gained the service of some good writers, so it has done what it needed to do.

So then I had to ask myself, am I full of crap or am I right and it doesn’t alway have to be about money……

Future of games?

Have a look and see if this is what games should be in the future…

Pathfinder Supers

We are currently putting together a Pathfinder super hero system. While its still in the beginning stages, here’s a sneak peak at one of the classes

Energy Manipulators
For what ever reason the character has gained the ability to generate and control energy fields and forces. Some use this ability to jet across the skies while others fling bolts of cold, fire or bio energy about, blasting their foes. A true icon of the Super powered heroes or villain; the Energy Manipulator is to be feared.
Energy Manipulator is an excellent combat fighter, able to stand toe to toe with the best. They are often fast, able to fly and so can take on the role of scouts and basic shock and awe fighters.

Prerequisites: Energy Manipulator or Elemental Control Power
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8

Class Skills
The Energy Manipulator class skills are Concentration, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (science), Knowledge (supers), Perception, Profession and Power Activation.

Skill points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skills points at additional levels: 3 + Int modifier

Level Base Attack Fort Ref Will Notes
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Class Ability
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Power Ability
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Weak Power
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Class Ability
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Power Ability, DR 1/ Energy
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Super Power, DR 2/ Energy
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Class Ability, DR 3/ Energy
8tth +6 / +1 +2 +6 +2 Power Ability, DR 4/ Energy
9th +6 / +1 +3 +6 +3 Super Power, DR 5/ Energy
10tth +7 / +2 +3 +7 +3 Class Ability, DR 6/ Energy
11th +8 / +3 +3 +7 +3 Power Ability, DR 7/ Energy
12th +9 / +4 +4 +8 +4 Ultra Strong Power, DR 8/ Energy
13th +9 / +4 +4 +8 +4 Class Ability, DR 9/ Energy
14th +10 / +5 +4 +9 +4 Power Ability, DR 10/ Energy
15th +11/ +6 / +1 +5 +9 +5 Ultra Super Power, DR 11/ Energy
16th +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +5 Class Ability, DR 12/ Energy
17th +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +5 Ultra Super Power, DR 13/ Energy
18th +13 / +8 / +3 +6 +11 +6 Power Ability, DR 14/ Energy
19th +14 / +9 / +4 +6 +11 +6 Ultra Super Power, DR 15/ Energy
20th +15 / +10 / +5 +6 +12 +6 Class Ability, DR 20/ Energy

Class Features:

The following are class features of the Energy manipulator.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
An Energy Manipulator is proficient with all simple weapons and with medium and light armor.
Class Abilities:
Pick one of the following when a class ability is gained with a new level. Some abilities will require that the character already have one or more abilities listed here, before the new ability may be taken. Some abilities may be taken more then once. Some abilities will require that a specific energy type be chosen. The Character may then chose from those types of energy that he or she is able to manipulate.
Energy Absorption:
The Character may absorb a given type of energy, allowing the character to transfer the damage reduction that is normally ignored and turn it into hit points. These hit points gained may not take the character beyond their normal hit point total.
Power Ability:
The Character may choose a new power ability from those listed for any one power the character has. This may be taken more then once.
Energy Sense:
The Character may sense one type of energy, its location, intensity and source. The character may use this ability up to 1 mile. The ability may be taken more then once, allowing an additional mile of detection, or the ability to detect a different type of energy.
Energy Amplification:
The Character may increase the damage of a single energy attack by +1 per level. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy attacks to gain the bonus to damage. No energy attack may though, gain the benefits of this ability more then once.
Energy Mastery: (Requires Energy Amplification)
The Character may increase the range of an energy Bolt / Blast by X2. Note that the character must have Energy Amplification: to take this ability. You may take this ability more then once, each addition gain in this ability allows an additional increase in the range. (Eh, form X2 to X3, then X4 and so on)
Energy Focus: (Requires Energy Amplification)
All saving throws made against one of the Character’s energy attacks suffer a -2 to the reflex saving throw roll. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy attacks to gain modifier to the saving throw. No energy attack may though, gain the benefits of this ability more then once.
Skilled Attacker:
The Character gains +2 to hit with one type of energy attack. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy attacks to gain the to hit bonus. No energy attack may though, gain the benefits of this ability more then once.
Energy Spread: (Requires Energy Amplification)
The Character may double the area of effect of any one of their energy based powers or power ability. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy powers to gain modifier. No energy power may though, gain the benefits of this ability more then once.
The Character may ignore 2 points of Hardness when attacking objects with one of their energy attacks. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy powers to gain modifier.
Disaster Zone: (Requires Destroyer)
The Character may ignore 2 points of Hardness when attacking objects with one of their energy attacks. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy powers to gain modifier. This will stack with the Destroyer bonus.
Urban Renewal: (Requires Disaster Zone)
The Character may ignore 2 points of Hardness when attacking objects with one of their energy attacks. This ability may be taken more then once, allowing different types of energy powers to gain modifier. This will stack with the Disaster Zone bonus
This is based upon the chosen energy type of the character’s Energy Manipulator or Elemental Control Power . If the character has more then one energy type power, then this applies to all such abilities. Example, a fire manipulator would thus have Damage Reduction against fire and heat based attacks, but would be vulnerable to water and cold based attacks
New Power:
When a character gains a new power, they can either pick a new power from those listed, or instead raise an existing power to a new level (Eh from Weak to Super power, or from Super power to Strong, etc). The character may also, instead of taking a new power, choose a power ability from one of the powers they already have.
Power Ability:
The Character may pick one ability listed for any one power they currently have.

Inspiration from the oddest places

So I had this guy who sells background templates and stuff contact me this week. I have over the last few years been buying some of his stuff and been using it in our products. Its not that I can’t do it myself, but there are times when you just want to grab something off the rack so to speak and get going without the hassle of building it yourself.

So he contacts me, but his English is terrible, so I’m having a bit of a hard time understanding what he wants. At first I think he is complaining that I am not giving him credit in the products for the use of his design elemental. Well I tell him that nowhere in his products does it says to do this. When instructed by the artist in their product that they want credit given to them, I do so. Just have a look at any of our products and you can see this.

Nope, that’s not what he has a problem with. He says that I’m taking credit for his work. ????? WTF ?????

Seems on my products I often put, Layout, Deign and Art by Robert Hemminger. Often I also include, some artwork by XXXXXX (Who ever it is that I used some art from)

So he thinks that I am taking credit for his design elements when I do this. No I tell him, maybe your lack of English is getting in than way, and so I’m not going to get mad when you call be a plagiarist and a thief. When I say Layout, all I am referring to is the layout of the product, the placement of text blocks, etc. Design is the game design, writing, etc. Artwork is in reference to illustrations and drawings which I did. Nowhere in there have I taken credit for design elements used in the product. So basically quit calling a thief and credit whore.

Then I get to thinking, hay, I’m not going to buy this guy’s stuff anymore, that’s for sure. Then I get sort of mad and think hell I can do a better job in creating and marketing design elements anyway, so why not blow his little ass out for to start and work up a bunch of design elemental products and put them all on sell, real cheep. Offer a great value for a great price like all of our stuff.

As I was going g to take a little brake this week from game design anyways, this is perfect. So off I go, onto another project, working up ten or twenty publisher design aids. Should be fun.

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