Archive for November 29, 2011

The WatchGuard Sourcebook is first product in a line of supplements centered around the WatchGuard universe, updated to be usable with the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition ruleset.

The sourcebook is well laid out, matching the visual aesthetic that people have come to expect from M&M products, with vibrant colors and professional-grade character artwork.  My only gripe would be the font choice for the body text as the letters feel crammed to tightly together, making it difficult to read for very long.

That said, the book goes into the Summit City setting, with a map, an at-a-glance section, and a fully detailed history.  The history is pretty well thought out, taking time to introduce the various names and events that matter to the setting.

The real meat of this sourcebook however, comes from the character bios.  Heroes and villains alike are statted out, with each one being given a full treatment discussing their History & Origins and Powers, and a full M&M 3e character sheet to go with it.  The character vary in power level, but the average is about PL 10, which is reasonable for many M&M games.

Even if you’re not entirely sold on the WatchGuard setting, each of these characters can be pretty easily lifted and dropped into your own M&M Supers Campaign with very little need to change anything save maybe a few references to the WatchGuard setting in their Bios.

There’s a decent spread of character types, from Powered Armor to Metahumans, from magic to martial artists.  There’s bound to be something here for anyone, and I feel that GMs who are looking for extra NPCs will get their money’s worth.

The last section of the book has several scenarios that GMs can run which are all set in the WatchGuard universe.  These range from starter scenarios to ones intended for later in a campaign.  The scenarios take place in the WatchGuard setting, but some creative substitution should be able to mangle them to suit any M&M campaign.

Overall the WatchGuard Sourcebook is a decent addition to an M&M 3e Gm’s arsenal.  The character bios alone are helpful in populating a supers campaign, and the scenarios can also be useful for those days when you encounter GM writer’s block.

New GMs or GMs who don’t have the time to put together their own setting may find this product more useful, as it does a lot of world-building from the start, while leaving enough for new additions to be painless.

The WatchGuard Sourcebook 3e is available from RPGnow for $24.99 or roughly PHP 1,100.00


HERO in Trouble

Posted: November 29, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, HERO, Roleplaying Games

I’ve been a long time fan of HERO, having been introduced to the game by the Armchair Gamer, who ran a few campaigns using the system for me a long time ago.  I picked up the 6th edition, and while I’ve not run anything with it, I was still determined to use it sometime for a supers campaign.  As such the recent news article in HERO games is quite troubling for me:

Changes At HERO
Hero Games has been around for 30 years with ups and downs. The economy’s been pretty rough lately, as has the gaming market. With declining sales and fewer releases, Hero has reached the point where it’s no longer possible to maintain a full time staff of three, so it’s scaling back.Darren and Steve will be departing December 2nd, with our thanks for a decade of hard work that gave us 108 books, and best wishes for their future endeavors, which may include producing new books under a Hero System license. We’ll keep you posted on that.

Jason will remain to continue shipping books and handling day-to-day matters. Existing books will continue to be available for purchase, and the company will continue in business, just a bit more slowly. The online store remains open. Steve will continue to answer rules questions on the Hero boards as “the guy who wrote the rulebook.”

We’re looking into doing a Kickstarter to print Book of the Empress, since it’s complete and ready to go.

For the near future Hero would appreciate your kind thoughts and your patience. Transition periods of this sort take time, and Jason has a lot of work cut out for him, so the support of our fans is much appreciated.

Jason Walters
General Manager

HERO has been one of the oldest supported systems around, and I feel bad that they’d have to scale down.  Steve Long is a machine when it comes to writing, and while some people consider the level of rules crunch in HERO to be enough to kill people with, I still feel that it is one of the most reliable generic systems in the market.

Good luck to the people of HERO games, and I hope that they manage to get back on their feet again soon.