Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just offering up some Season's Greetings for you all!

From my heart to you :)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

RPG Setting Poll

Hey there folks.

So with some ups and downs with our Zenith Comics efforts, I have decided to start work on a project I have wanted to explore for a LONG time now.

To do so I have started a poll on rpg.net.  Please feel free to check it out and vote/comment.

Cheers!

Monday, December 3, 2012

State of the Earth Alpha

Hey all.

So the hardest thing I have ever had to do is apparently get a bloody comic off the ground.

After losing the first artist we had in a puff of "je ne sais quoi", we have ow lost all contact with the new guy.  I worry that something may be wrong, like a curse or something, but either way the gears they grind to a halt and the stress it goes up.

BUT

There is my business partner Walt.

Walt won't let me quit.

Walt won't let me give up.

Walt is a solider, he has this "retreat, reassess, regroup and attack" attitude that has help immensely.  So much so that I am exploring a whole new is of Web Comic and RPG together that might just be the ticket.

This has brought me back, that's for sure, as it touches on a lot of things we have touched on over the past year of development but more than anything it is touching on my two favourite things;

Superheroes and Dieselpunk.

More to come as this idea gets more energy.  I need to look over our abortive attempts earlier and I also need to see what others have done before us.

That said, I think alternate realities are fun and I am betting the farm enough people will agree that this may just be the niche Zenith Comics needs.  Hell the name alone screams Golden Age, Tesla and Dieselpunk all in one!

Who am I to deny the retro-future?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good Gamer Karma Project

So yesterday morning, as myself and my players enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Carmine's Tuscany Grill, a douche bag scum bucket decided to smash the window to my friend's SUV and steal all our bags.

Needless to say the game was cancelled (we played Dungeon! which was a lot of fun).

I lost my iPad, a netbook, a ton of game related papers, my vinyl Chessex map (double sided too) but worst of all my dice bag (sack really) over over 100 dice, some of which I had been gaming with since I started playing D&D back in 1985.

That sucks the hardest.

I posted about this on my Facebook account and my cousin Erin told me her husband used to game and she would send me some of his dice since they just get under her feet anyways.  Seeing how her kids currently are enjoying a vast Lego collection that I had handed down to them from my childhood, gave this a karmic bent.

Then my friend Sam, who had been the guy to introduce me to D&D back in the day offered to send me his dice that he doesn't use any more.  I thought that was rather poetic, my first DM sending me some dice 27 years later.

Then one of my players bought be a set of dice and another gave me 4d10s that I had given him only a month or so earlier (they are Gamescience) and I started to see a pattern.

That lead me to this idea for a social experiment.

We are all gamers.  We are all part of a social subculture that has had its ups and downs but more so has been a bastion for those of us who have been many times the underdog.  We few, we bullied few.

I am essentially saying this; send me a die.  I don't care what size, what colour, what state of repair, just send me a die (or dice, whatever you prefer) from your collection.  Send me something that has some memory and history to it and I will rebuild a collection of karmic dice, sent from the world wide community that we are all part of and thanks to the internet can all be with.

Share this post.  Send it around.  Let's see where the furthest from Montreal, Canada, someone is willing to drop a die in an envelope and mail it over.

Let's build the coolest, most karma positive dice set in the history of the world!

Contact me with your email if this is something you would like to do and I will give you a shipping address where to mail your die(ce).

I think if I can reach 100 dice, I will do something charitable, I don't know yet, but for now each Good Karmic Gamer gets a mention here.

Cheers!  

Good Karmic Gamers
John Collett - 4d10
Pat Bellavance - Set of 7 standard dice

Monday, October 22, 2012

REVIEW: Heroes Against Darkness

Check out that dynamic cover!
Howdy all,

So this is my first ever review of an RPG, for reals!

What could possibly make me want to review an RPG after all these years or gaming?  Well it is simple, this game MADE me want to play D&D again... well this version of it anyways.

Heroes Against Darkness is a Neo-Clone (loving this term) or a Fantasy Heartbreaker (I see this term more as a badge of honour) that takes the wide breadth of D&D and pieces together one hell of a fun system!

Now this is not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, it has some gaps that are a bit glaring for a more role-player like myself.  These gaps are missing classes like the more social ones (Bard) or the straight up Paladin (which is sort of covered by the Hospitaler class), also I think the game could benefit from a Monk and a Druid, for completeness sake.  That said, the classes that are there really cover a large amount of options.  At face value it is complete enough for old school D&D players.

Justin Halliday wrote this as a labour of love, to be sure, and it shows on every page.  The writing is tight and focused, the art is evocative and exciting and the layout is excellent.  Especially for a layout done in Word... wow!  I would never attempt to layout a whole game in Word, or at least I wouldn't have previously, but now I see the power of it.

The thing that I liked most of all was the incorporation of a pseudo-4e Power mechanic for each class as well as a hybridized almost Magic The Gathering style for spellcasters.  Together this really hits the spot for me, though it does make house creating character classes a bit of work as you need to balance out their new powers.

Another nice thing is that while mapping isn't necessary, it is really a lot of fun with the way the rules work.  So much so that my group played out a map combat, and we are NOT mappers by any stretch, and LOVED it!

Character creation is deep and involved, plenty of narrative options are in this section, including a cute 7 deadly sins/7 blessed virtues option which is very cool.

There is a nicely sized monster manual in it, treasure and a truckload of GM advice and tools to make your campaign even better.

Best of all though is the price...  FREE!

That's right, you get a FULL game that is fast and a load of fun to play with out paying 1 single penny.

Now if we can get a community going, that might lead to some fan creations (I've already done a Knight Class) of classes, new powers/spells and maybe some monsters too!

So in summation, this is worth the price of admission and even gives you more value than some games that you pay $20+ for.  Check it out, give it a read and maybe even take it out for a spin or two.  Trust me, if you like fast paced, less complicated stuff, this game does not disappoint!

Cheers!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Ms. Mar... er... Captain Marvel vs. Wonder Woman: COMING SOON!

Yeah...  I have STRONG feelings about this.

Stay tuned for my rant.

Gonna spend some time gathering my ammo...  yeah....

Cheers!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zenith Comics: A Tale of 2 Universes

As I sit here tonight, working on my Zenith Universe campaign I realize that it is important for me to note there are actually 2 Zenith Universe (3 really, but let's not split hairs).

The 1st Zenith Universe is the one where the HEROIC comic (soon to be released) takes place.  It is a universe of conspiracies, deep plots and long running schemes.  It is not so much a roleplaying universe but more a story telling one.

Then there is the 2nd Zenith Universe (I suppose we could call it Earth 2, or Other Earth, or really whatever you like).  This one is more of a universe designed for roleplaying adventures.  It is a heavier populated one than the 1st and it is certainly more traditionally superheroic/comic book as universes go.

The third one is the one that I use for my homegrown campaign, but that one is somewhere between the two.

Why?

Well the first reason is that I always feel that storytelling universes have different needs and purposes than roleplaying ones.  Storytelling universes need to service the story.  Everything you show or do should have purpose and that purpose is to benefit or drive the story.  For example, while you can roleplay in say the Star Wars universe, it is really designed to tell the story of the Skywalker family.  Or how the Babylon 5 universe is designed to tell the story of its namesake.

Feel free to disagree, but this is how I see things.

A roleplaying universe is meant to be more of a sandbox.  A place where players can arrive and make their mark.  Maybe they will travel the world and meet heroes and villains from other places, or maybe they will stay home and just be the local super team.  All options are on the table.  As such the roleplaying universe should provide a jumping in point, with a nice history and a lay of the land for the players and narrator to explore as they move forward, changing the world through their actions.

Surprisingly both Zenith Universe have the same kicking off point.  The death of the Guardsman.

Will character from one show up in the other?  Probably as while writing I might have inspiration for a great character that I want to put in an RPG book, or perhaps there is an NPC that would perfectly suit a scene I am writing.

There are no hard rules here.

Anywho, just the musings of my mind.

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Supers! Classic is Live

Hey guys, real fast, if you want to pick up the classic edition of Supers! The Comic Book Roleplaying Game, click here and pick up a copy.

Remember every sale of the classic edition helps push us towards the inevitable Revised Edition!

Cheers!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Zenith Comics to Shepherd SUPERS!

27 August 2012 – Montreal, Canada

Effective immediately, Zenith Comics has purchased the exclusive rights and intellectual property to "Supers! The Comic Book Roleplaying Game" from Beyond Belief Games. Simon Washbourne, creator of Supers! and owner of Beyond Belief Games had this to say;

"I'm pleased to have signed the deal with Andrew (Collas) & Walt (Robillard). These guys have shown the desire and commitment to continue the development and expansion of the SUPERS! line, to build on what I started and establish SUPERS! as one of the major super hero role playing games on the market."

Part of what Simon refers to is Zenith Comics plans to not only continue to offer the original game up for sale, but to create a Revised Edition, soliciting input from the fans of Supers! itself. Furthermore, Simon Washbourne will be acting as an Executive Producer to the creative team, steering his creation as new ideas improve and expand upon what he created. To which he said;

"I won't be stepping away from SUPERS! - in fact, I will be taking on a 'hands on' position to ensure that the SUPERS! line remains true to my original vision. Zenith Comics wants to keep the current fan base happy and reach out to new gamers who may not yet have realized what a great game they have been missing out on. I'm sure they will succeed in this and I'm happy SUPERS! is in the right hands to move the line to greater heights."

Zenith Comics and Hazard Studio (the official RPG arm of Zenith Comics) have a solid track record of working together and producing such hit lines as "Supervillains!" and "Type Casting" for other famous super heroic games.

"The time had come not only for Zenith Comics to have its own game," says Zenith Editor-in-Chief Andrew Collas, "but to have a game system that exemplifies fast paced comic book action, not one that gets bogged down in number crunching and minutia. Supers! was that perfect system for me. I fell in love with it the moment I countered a power blast with my eye-beams!"

While Zenith Comics has not revealed the long term plans at present, roster books, adventures and an eventual “Narrators Guide” are all on the drawing board.

- Zenith Comics

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Get Us Out From Under!

So I just finished reading the first 12 issues of Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman (part of the New 52).

I hate to be like every other blogger out there (though I don't consider myself a blogger really) and praise it and demand you run out and read it ... but...

HOLY FUCKING HELL THIS THING IS THE BEST WONDER WOMAN EVER!

Ahem...

Yeah... so there... go read it.

It's very very good.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Zenith Comics Art Preview

Testing out the Blogger ap on my iPad.

HEROIC News!

So I just finished a lunch/writing meeting with my editor LC, and I have to say it went better than I could have hoped.

As of this writing the plots for issues 5 - 6 of HEROIC are now concrete and we move to scripting stage (well except on issue 5, it still needs some brain workings).

It is interesting how I had originally had 3 different ideas and discarded 2 and chose the easier path for HEROIC and then one shower induced brainstorm later I saw how to seamlessly thread all 3 stories into one.

If nothing else comes from this venture, I have learned (and continue to learn) more about writing this past year than I ever thought possible.

For those who have been telling me for the better part of 2 decades that I was meant to be a writer, I officially say you were right and I was wrong.

Mark it on a calendar, 'cause you won't hear me say that too often. ;)

Now to take a much needed brain break for the rest of the day and maybe watch a movie.

Cheers!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spread The Word!

Go to THIS link.

Read it.

Spread it.

Be a voice!

Okay... Podcast

Here's what I am going to do..

1] It will be the Earth Alpha Podcast.

2] It will be about things that I find interesting.  Comics, RPGs, movies, etc...

3] It will have guests.

4] It will have "actual play" sessions.

5] It will not have the "amazing" production value that the old Zenith podcast had, simply because the radio studios won't be available for at least 5 months... so... yeah.

That's what I am going to do.  That's how I am going to roll.

Yeah!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Podcast Fast & Dirty

So...

I think I am going to bring back my podcast.

Anyone other than me actually care?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Supers! A nice little surprise...

Hey there friends, So tonight the Protectors of New York (PONY) campaign tried a different system than the clunky homebrew I was using, called Supers! by Beyond Belief Games.

You may know them as the makers of Barbarians of Lemuria. The owner/writer of BBG is Simon Washbourne and let me tell you he has made one hell of a little super hero game here!

Caveat number one, if you like crunch of say Mutants & Masterminds, or even BASH levels, this game will not be for you. If you love a more creative and narrative game, tied around a solid core mechanic and room to house rule, well then I urge you to check this game out.

I won't go into a long description of how the game works, or review the rules, I will instead simply say it has no statistics in the traditional sense, uses pools of d6s and makes for a very enjoyable and fast paced evening of superheroic gaming.

I ran a session tonight with 6 players and 2 allied NPCs squaring off against 8 villain NPCs and it went smoothly, fast and furious with plenty of awesome fun and excitement! I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable time to say the least.

Did I house rule it? Natch'... but that's just how I roll in any game. I cannot think of a single game I have run over the decades that didn't have at least one house rule in it.

So again, head on over to RPGNow! and pick up this fantastically fun game, you will not be disappointed!

Supers!

And We're Back!

Hey all. Long time no talk. So after having a lovely meet up with my buddy Pat, I was convinced to start blogging again. So I will. Not right now though... but soon. :) Cheers!