Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Role Playing Adventures in the "Alien Bones" Universe Part 1 (Tiny Frontiers Edition)

 
The Alien Bones graphic novel by Doc Wyatt and Chris Grine, released on October 2, 2019 and published by 1First Publishing, is a fun tale of "dim dark" adventure that introduces readers to a universe filled with alien dinosaurs, space pirates, intergalactic navies, and an existential threat called "The End." The universe is a wonderful mashup of Warhammer 40k, Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Lost in Space, Scooby Doo, Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, and a host of other inspirations. All of this makes it a perfect inspiration for role playing game sessions.

The first volume, and let's hope it's the first of many, focuses on the character of Liam Mycroft. Young Liam is the 10 year old son of a Xeno-paleontologist who has accompanied his father on a variety of digs where his father studies the bones of "alien dinosaurs." During one of these digs, Liam's father disappears without a trace, leaving young Liam alone. It is here that Liam's adventure begins. Joined by his friends Dianna Varlou and Rosa Ortega, as well as his trusty robot bodyguard Standard-5 ("Stan"), Liam embarks on a quest to find his father and in doing so discovers the secret of an existential threat that could destroy all life in the universe.

I interviewed Doc Wyatt on my Geekerati Media podcast and he has given me permission to generate role playing game statistics for several of the characters.



While I am tempted to describe the universe in detail, I am instead recommending that you purchase the book on Amazon (or at your friendly local comic book store) and providing gaming statistics for the main cast, as well as the statistics for one of the threats the young protagonists face.  (I'm also tempted to do stats for Warhammer Adventures: Attack of the Necron, a similarly dim dark story with delightful young protagonists).

Today, I'll be providing statistics for the excellent and simple Tiny Frontiers role playing game. Tiny Frontiers is a perfect system for novice and experienced gamers, making it a perfect fit for the first set of statistics for your gaming pleasure. In later posts, I'll provide statistics for the Savage Worlds, Star Frontiers, and Aliens & Asteroids role playing systems. I might even provide stats for The Expanse and Warhammer 40k role playing games, as both have elements that work well in the Alien Bones universe, but those systems are slightly more complex and Alien Bones was written for ages 4 to 444 and I wanted to have systems that younger gamers could jump right into.

Without further ado, here are the main characters of Alien Bones with statistics for Tiny Frontiers.

Liam Mycroft

Liam Mycroft is a 10 year old who is already on his way to becoming a Xenopaleontologist. His has great expertise regarding dinosaurs on all planets as well as knowledge of the ecosystems that produce these wonderful creatures.


Dianna Varlou

Dianna Varlou is Liam's best friend and steadfast companion. She is visiting Liam when his father disappears. She is the daughter of a respected Thermodynamicist, but her areas of expertise seem to lean more toward robotics and weapon design. She's kind of the team's MacGyver. When the team is faced with a new threat, she is the one who is able to weaponize Portal Crystals.

 

Rosa Ortega

Rosa Ortega is the class clown in Liam and Dianna's Holoclassroom on the Scholastic Network. While she doesn't seem to take things very seriously, she is a skilled computer hacker. She has an extraordinary amount of courage, which she clearly inherited from her parents who are both Generals in a Space Fleet stationed at Charon Base on the edge of explored space. Rosa has two sets of statistics. The first represents her as she is portrayed in the first half of Alien Bones, when she participates in the adventure only because she hacked a holoprojector. The second represents her as she is on a regular basis.


Standard-5 ("Stan")

Standard-5 is Liam's robot bodyguard or "Minder-bot/Nanny." Stan has many advanced skills that help him to protect Liam from a variety of dangers. Stan often seems over-protective of Liam, but can be convinced to allow Liam to take necessary risks. This can happen due to the use of an "Adventure Button" that Liam and Dianna installed*, or due to necessity.


The End

There are two main antagonists in Alien Bones. The first is the space pirate Captain Scarbones, but the long term threat is something known as "The End." It would be a bit of a spoiler to reveal exactly what The End is/are, but they are a foe on the scale of Tyrannids/Necrons in Warhammer 40k or the Sathar in Star Frontiers. They seek the destruction of all life and an end to the universe. Below are statistics for one of their drones. If you want to see what they look like, you need to buy Alien Bones. Chris Grines did a masterful job of illustrating an existential threat in a way that conveys the horror of the threat to adults while still being extremely kid-friendly.

I really enjoyed reading Alien Bones, and will be reviewing it later this week or early next week, and think it is a rich setting that I hope the author and artist will continue to explore.

Friday, October 18, 2019

The H.G. Wells Inspired TRIPODS AND TRIPLANES by Ares Games Looks Like a Good Time



The Wings of Glory pre-painted miniatures wargame has been the go-to game for those who want a simple and visually appealing introduction to simulations of WW I dogfights. I first encountered the game when Fantasy Flight Games held the license to produce the game in the United States. The first edition of the game lacked the beautiful pre-painted biplane and triplane miniatures that followed, but the mechanics and components were sound and appealing. Now that my daughters are older, I'm planning on breaking out my relatively large (and far too neglected) collection of miniatures and movement cards to play the original game. My hope is that I will be able to use it as a gateway game for Richthofen's War.

One of the reasons my interest in the game was rekindled was Ares production of an H.G. Wells inspired version called Tripods & Triplanes which simulates the fictional combat between brave pilots and the sinister machines of an invading Martian army. This particular combination sparked my interest for two reasons. The first, and most obvious one, is that I've long been a fan of H.G. Wells and the War of the Worlds storyline is rich for simulation in games. Not to mention the fact that H.G. Wells is one of the founders of the miniatures gaming hobby. As significant as that reason was, it was the fact that this setting will partially save my daughters from having me interrupt game play in order to force them to watch my favorite WW I movies or from being required to listen to me guide them through several Google searches to learn about the historic aces who participated in the Great War. Don't get me wrong they'll still have to suffer through those "learning experiences," it's just that these experiences are less likely to interrupt game play now.

The staff over at Wargames Illustrated have put together a wonderful unboxing video of Tripods & Triplanes that shows how nice the components are. The reviewer commented that he wished it had included a playmat in addition to the terrain pieces. I agree that would have been nice, but I've still got my beautiful playmats for the base game.

I can't wait to play this game and I love the design of the Tripods.



Thursday, October 17, 2019

Episode 165: Chatting with Doc Wyatt about Alien Bones and Super Dinosaur

Geekerati Episode 165


Episode 165: Chatting with Doc Wyatt about Alien Bones and Super Dinosaur

We were lucky enough to connect with Television and Film Producer Doc Wyatt a couple of weeks ago to discuss a couple of his newly released projects. While Doc's producing credits include films like Napoleon Dynamite, our discussion focused entirely on his work in comic books and animation. 

His most recent comic book Alien Bones is an adventure tale in the emerging "Dim Dark" genre. Tomorrow's post will include a review of the book as well as role playing game stats for some of the characters, which should give a suggestion of what I thought of the book. HINT: I liked it and so did my daughters.

Doc's a busy content creator, who's work includes a wide variety of animated series. If you like super heroes and/or Star Wars, it's likely that Doc and his writing partner Kevin Burke have worked on your favorite show. He's currently working on a number of series, but Episode 165 highlights his work on the recent Super Dinosaur series, which is an adaptation of a comic book by Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame. Super Dinosaur is a mash up of Science Fiction, Super Hero, and Hollow Earth tropes that is currently airing on Amazon Prime.

I don't want to reveal too much of the interview here, but here are a couple of things we touch on during the interview. 

Image result for warhammer adventures

The Dim Dark genre and books like the new Warhammer Adventures series. Let's just say that if you like Alien Bones, you'll like Warhammer Adventures and vice versa.

The Spelljammer setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game, a setting of wild fantasy adventures in outer space.

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Season 20 of Doctor Who featuring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, and the Enlightenment storyline in particular.

The classic Vincent Price horror film Witchfinder General and the comic book of the same name by Doc Wyatt.



The short lived Jeph Hephner series Agent X that ran on TNT in the early 2010s.

The amazingly entertaining Disney Junior series Octonauts that my family loved so much I had to order toys from England as Christmas presents.



The old show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which is the live action adult equivalent of Octonauts, cool ships and all.




The Marvel comic book Death's Head featuring a character originally published by Marvel's British Comic book division in the 1980s.

Image result for deathshead comic 

It's a great conversation and we'd love for you to listen.


Friday, October 04, 2019

JUDGE DREDD: HELTER SKELTER Looks Fantastic!!!



The folks over at Wargames Illustrated have produced an unboxing video for the upcoming Osprey Wargame Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter. We are very excited about this miniatures skirmish game. It's based on Martin Wallace's excellent Wildlands game engine which will likely make it a great introduction to the table top wargaming hobby.



Wildlands features beautifully sculpted miniatures that have a coat of wash on them to bring out the sculpting details enough that non-hobbyists can play the game straight out of the box. Using wash instead of pre-painting provides enough detail to make the game look beautiful while allowing experienced hobbyists to paint the figures to their own tastes.

If you'd like to get a glimpse of how the Wildlands system works, the fine people at Watch It Played have done an excellent tutorial on the rules.



We'll definitely be reviewing it when it's released.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Why I Love "Step-Die" Systems Like Savage Worlds and Cortex+

In the last episode of Geekerati (Episode 164) Award Winning game designer Greg Gorden discussed a number of the game systems he's worked on in the past and some of the mechanical innovations he's come up with. Two of his major contributions discussed in the episode were "Exploding Die Rolls" and Die-Step game mechanics.



These mechanics have had wide reaching impact in game design across table top role playing game design and are worth discussing in some detail. As interesting and wide reaching as the influence of exploding dice has been, an innovation that's been around since the first edition of Ken St. Andre's masterpiece Tunnels & Trolls, this blog post will focus on the second innovation, die-step game mechanics, and why they are one of the best mechanical foundations for a role playing game.

There are several common base mechanics for arbitrating the success or failures of character actions in modern role playing games. Some of the most common include Difficulty Number/Target Number (or what Classic Traveller called a "Basic Throw"), Percent Chance (as exemplified in Runequest), Success Threshold (which can use narrative dice like Genesys, die pools like Vampire) or a "you, me, or we" Shared Decision Mechanic like Apocalypse World, Inspectres, and many other indie role playing games.

Many of these systems use a "Fixed Die" mechanic as a part of their resolution. For example, all rolls in D&D's Difficulty Number system are resolved using a twenty-sided die, Traveller and Apocalypse World use a roll of two six-sided dice, Vampire uses a pool of ten-sided dice, and Runequest uses percentile dice. The die type doesn't change to reflect the skill of the character or the challenges faced by the character in a fixed die system, only the modifier applied to the roll or the number of dice rolled changes.

Die-Step games take a different approach. Instead of using a single die type for the determination of success or failure of an action, they use various die types that move up or down to reflect the skill/natural talent of the character. For example, a character's Strength might be reflected as a die value ranging from d4 to d12 with a character of d4 Strength being weak and a character with a d12 Strength being very strong.



According to Rick Priestley, in his book Tabletop Wargames, one of the first wargames to use a Die-Step system was StarGrunt by Jon M. Tuffley. StarGrunt was first published in 1990 by Ground Zero Games and it's second edition is available in pdf for free at the link above. StarGrunt is a science fiction miniatures skirmish game that is inspired by fiction like Gordon Dickson's Dorsai, David Drake's Hammer's Slammers, the Alien films, and role playing games like 2300 AD. The rules are relatively easy to learn and one of the reasons this is the case is the fact that Tuffley decided to represent the effectiveness of individual troopers with something he called a "Basic Die." In StarGrunt, each given trooper is rated as either Green, Regular, or Veteran. The rating of each individual trooper is determined at the beginning of play with Green troopers using a d6, Regulars using a d8, and Veterans using a d10 to determine how successful they are at a given task. StarGrunt uses a Target Number system, but does use a Step-Die modifier mechanic called "Basic Die Plus and Basic Die Minus"  where the dice used by the troop levels is moved up or down one die type (from d6 to d4 or from d10 to d12) under some circumstances and modified by a additive/subtractive number in other cases (+1 or -1 to the roll).



Image Source Non-Playable Characters Blog
The first role playing game I can think of that used a Die-Step system is FASA's Earthdawn First Edition published in 1993, with game mechanics designed by Greg Gorden and others. As stated in the Geekerati Media interview, Gorden was inspired to use a Die-Step system when his boss asked him to design a Fantasy role playing game that had its own system, but that still used all of the polyhedral dice Dungeons and Dragons players were used to using. You can see how Earthdawn knew it was introducing a new concept in the Die-Step system to players of games like D&D and Runequest due to the way they first present the mechanic. In Earthdawn, players attributes are rated by a standard value and then given their die based effectiveness rating (yes, Earthdawn used the Papyrus font). Given that one of the character generation methods in Earthdawn, the random roll method, has players roll 4d6 and drop the lowest value, it is clear that the intended audience was D&D players and the authors were giving these players a point of reference for how good a "d8" in an attribute was. Looking at the chart below, we can see that a character with average Intelligence in D&D would have a d8 rating in Earthdawn.


As mentioned above, Earthdawn is a Target Number system and the rulebook provides guidelines for Game Masters to use when setting difficulty numbers. Looking at an "ordinary" person, we can see that a task of "Average" difficulty requires a roll of between 3-5 to achieve any degree of success. Let's assume a Difficulty Number of 4+ for a task and we can see that a person with a d6 will have about a 50% chance to get an "ordinary" success and a person with a d8 has about a 62.5% chance of getting a degree of success. For those wondering, the use of the term ordinary success is intentional as Earthdawn has Degrees of Success as well and the use of "about" is because the dice are open ended which doesn't affect this particular Difficulty Number but would higher values.


While Earthdawn is truly innovative, it is also illustrative of a weakness in Die-Step systems that will be touched upon later. You can see a hint at this weakness at Step Numbers 8 and 9 on the Step/Action Dice chart above.



Another revolutionary role playing game that utilizes a Die-Step mechanic is Shane Lacy Hensley's masterpiece Deadlands Classic. The first edition was published in 1996, three years after Earthdawn, but the underlying mechanics were designed by Shane Hensley with some additions like Fate Chips from Greg Gorden. Episode 164 of Geekerati erroneously credits Gorden with the use of a Step-Die mechanic in this game. That was all Hensley's idea and demonstrates how great designers can come up with parallel mechanics, though Hensley had done previous work on Earthdawn so that might have fueled the creative fire a little. Deadlands uses a combination of Die Pool and Die-Step mechanics as character attributes and skills are rated by both the quality and number of dice. Thus a person might have a Smarts of 4d4 or of 2d10. The person with the 4d4 rating will roll more dice, but the one rolling 2d10 is more intelligent. Like Earthdawn, die rolls in Deadlands are exploding or "open-ended," but unlike Earthdawn players select only the highest value from their pool rather than adding them together. This innovation leverages the strengths and intuitive nature of Die-Step systems without adding the limitation hinted at above.

One of the primary strengths of Die-Step systems is that they are easy to understand and are intuitive in representing each character's potential. If a game has a baseline difficulty of 4 for most tasks, it is easy to figure out how likely a character is to be able to accomplish a task merely by looking at the kind of die rolled. As mentioned above, a character with a d6 would have a 50% chance of success and a character with a d8 would have a 62.5% chance.

Another advantage, at least from a simulation perspective, is how modifiers affect Die-Step systems differently than standard fixed die systems. In D&D, for example, a +1/-1 modifier adjusts the level of success by a character by +/- 5%. Some might argue, okay I am arguing, that this isn't a good simulation of effects. A person who is a highly skilled sniper would be affected by crosswind and distance, but would not necessarily be AS affected by them as someone less skilled. In a fixed die system, the modifiers are static too. In a Die-Step system, the modifiers are fluid. Some might argue that this makes it more difficult to balance, but I would argue that you should balance for the ordinary and allow the dial to move with greater success.

Let's take the d6 vs. d8 above as an example and assume that these are the characters' ratings in their "Shoot" skill and that the base target number for successfully hitting something is 4+. Okay, this wasn't an exactly random choice. Let's assume that firing at long range adds  -1 modifier to the roll. In the case of the lesser trained d6 shooter, this is a penalty of 16.67%. In the case of the d8 person, it's "only" a penalty of 12.5%. Thus the skill of the characters is coded into the level the modifier affects the character with characters of higher skill suffering lower effects from modifiers. What I like about this is that it means that the probability of success by higher level characters is less random, even when accounting for obstacles and modifiers. And this is done in an elegant way that is embedded in the system.

If you don't agree with the benefits of a sliding system in die step systems, let me introduce you to rigid modifiers in a multiple die Target Number system like Champions. Because these systems use additive die pools, in the case of Champions rolling 3d6 and adding them together, results are along a bell-curve. This means that each point of modification has a different effect on the probability of the outcome based on the distribution curve of the die combination. Which brings me to the flaw in the Earthdawn system. Because Gorden wanted Earthdawn to be able to represent an tremendous range of Attributes, the actual Step/Action Dice table has attribute values going to 100, you quickly end up rolling pools of dice in order to achieve the ability to roll higher outcomes. For example, looking on the chart above you can see that there comes a point where a player rolls a 2d6 and adds them to get a value. This is considered "better" than rolling a d12. In the sense that it is impossible to roll a value of 1, this is better. However a quick glance at the table below illustrates the problem quite clearly.


A character rolling 2d6 has a significantly lower chance of a bad roll, but also has a significantly lower chance of a good roll. The results become even more extreme if the individual dice are exploding as they are in Earthdawn.


This is why I prefer the solution offered by Savage Worlds or Dungeon Crawl Classics which attempt to correct the distribution problem by either adding static modifiers after a person has achieved d12 or manufacturing dice that fill the void between d12 and d20. While the use of Die-Step systems may constrain the power curve more than some other systems, these games are well balanced and use the mechanic to very good effect. Savage Worlds, for example, has done an excellent job of adapting a Die-Step system to super heroes as have the Sentinel Comics role playing game and all the super hero games that used the Cortex+ system.

There are many games and game systems in the table top role playing game hobby. Dungeons & Dragons is a great place to start, but you should check them all out and see what you like.




Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Episode 164: Greg Gorden Discusses Torg Eternity and Game Design

In Episode 164 of Geekerati Radio, we had the honor of speaking with award winning game designer Greg Gorden about his work on the Torg Eternity Role Playing Game and his thoughts on game design in general. Greg Gorden is one of the most influential game designers in the role playing game industry and his design work includes James Bond 007 for Victory Games, DC Heroes for Mayfair Games, Earthdawn for FASA, Deadlands for Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and Torg for West End Games, and Torg: Eternity for Ulisses Spiele. He has also worked on the Star Wars Role Playing Game for West End Games and many editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Many of his games have gone on to win Origins Awards in their respective categories. He is Ulisses Spiele's line developer for the Torg Eternity Role Playing Game.



Segment 1


In the first segment of the episode, we talk about Torg Eternity and its innovative concept of "invading realities" as a role playing game setting. During this segment, we begin to see some insights into Greg Gorden's continuing efforts to bring player agency into role playing games.

Segment 2


In the second segment, we do a deep dive into Greg's past role playing game design work and explore where he came up with the concepts of "exploding die rolls" and using "dice as attributes." These are only some of the elements of our discussion, but it's a great chat. Have a listen and feel free to share your thoughts.


Segment 3

Episode 164 wraps up with our "Dungeons and Dilemmas" segment featuring Game Master Extraordinaire David Nett. This time we discuss the challenges of designing one shot adventures for three different audiences: your home game, a gaming convention, and for an online streaming show. David's experience working on Geek & Sundry's Starter Kit show and his recent show on ShoutTV! provide him with a wealth of experience on the topic. Give him a listen, then read his followup Twitter thread, and join in the conversation.

Products Discussed

Every episode, we discuss a wide range of popular culture. The discussion can include references to role playing games, comic books, television series, and films. As a part of our mission to share the things we love, we always include a section of the blog post dedicated to highlighting the things we mention so you can check them out and see why we love them so much.

Friday, August 02, 2019

#RPGaDAY2019 Day 2: Supergame is a "Unique" Part of RPG History



This is a post about a truly unique super hero role playing game and how I came to find a copy in the "out of print" bin at a local game store.



For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of Super Hero role playing games. My entry into this particular gaming milieu was Hero Games' excellent Champions 2nd edition role playing game. I happened upon a copy and was amazed that game designers had even attempted to capture super heroes using game mechanics. At the time, I was only familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, Star Frontiers, Tunnels & Trolls, and Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks. I had played all three of those games and their mechanical foundations did not prepare me for what Champions offered.



Unlike the other games with which I was familiar, Champions did not have randomly created characters and instead allowed players to build whatever they could imagine. The only limit to the character you could design was the number of points available at creation (100 points with 150 more possible if you took Disadvantages). Other than that, it was all good. During my initial Champions experience, I didn't have anyone to play the game with and spent all of my time making characters and doing some solo battles. My character builds were heavily influenced by the sample characters in the rule book and thus were typically of 200 total character points (100 and 100 from Disadvantages). This included my personal write ups for the X-Men. I was content with my view of the game, but this view was to be shattered in short order.

A couple of months after I discovered Champions my family moved to a new city, I finally encountered a group of gamers who played the game every weekend. Given that this was the Bay Area, and the game company was a Bay Area company, I soon discovered a rich and vibrant Champions community. I also discovered that how I interpreted character adaptations to the game was very different from others. Some of that difference, I maintain to this day. I personally believe that too many gamers inflate the stats of their favorite characters out of love for the character, rather than an examination of benchmarks and mechanics of the game. But these are things that can only be understood through play, and that was something I had not yet done with Champions. In playing the game, I learned how some combinations worked better than others and I learned that other players were much more likely than I had been to "grab" the "Obvious and Accessible" items some characters used in combat. Not that I designed a lot of those kinds of characters, I didn't, just that I had expected gamers to behave more like the characters in comics than like "tactical gamers" and that the rules treated gamers as tactical gamers while allowing them to behave like characters in comics.
Long story short, I learned that you can only truly judge the quality of a game by playing it. I still love Champions and think it is one of the top 3 or 4 super hero games out there, but my view is now grounded in experience of how the game works and how when some character building norms take over the game can slow down significantly and lose some of its charm.

Eventually, my love of super heroes and super hero games led me to purchase Villains & Vigilantes, Marvel Super Heroes, and DC Heroes, all of which have there charms. At one point in time, not that long ago by some standards, I could claim to own a copy of every super hero rpg published (at least in one of its editions). With the explosion of pdf based publishing, that is no longer the case and I'm sure I'm missing out on some great games, but I also have a HUGE backlog of games I'd like to play...see how I'm pulling this back to the question of the day?




Among that backlog is Jay Harlove and Aimee Karklyn/(Hartlove)'s early Supergame. It wasn't the first super hero rpg published, that was Superhero 44/Superhero 2044, but it was one of the first and predates Champions. Both the first edition and revised edition came out in 1980. I discovered the game as a "real" thing and not just something mentioned in old gaming magazines, when I moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college in 2000. I was looking for gaming stores and found a long standing game store in Long Beach that had a copy of the 1st edition. Later searches on the internet have shown me that I got a significant bargain on it, as I did with copies of Warlock and a couple of other games originally designed by the Southern California gaming community.


Supergame, like Superhero 2044 which predates it and Champions which comes after it, has a point based character creation system. It also has an interesting skill and combat system that I think has a lot of potential. Some of the stats are odd in how they are presented. For example, if a character has an Agony score (similar to Stun for Champions fans) of 10 or more they suffer no penalties to how they move or act. Given that scores start at 0, and that some sample characters have 0s in other stats implying that a score of 0 is sometimes the "average" score, it seems odd that a person has to spend points just to be a normal person in some areas and not others. Why not just have stats start at "average" and let people buy them down later? Or why not have Agony start at 0 with no penalties and allow negative scores to cause impairment? It's a small complaint, and there are a number of neat features like different defenses against different types of attack (pre-Champions remember). A thorough reading of the rules, both editions, and the supplements has convinced me that I need to play this game to evaluate whether the designed characters are effective at all in a way that would be fun. There are far more characters who have an Agony of 10, or a Physical (like Hit Points but with those with less than 10 being hurt), which means that if they suffer just 1 point of damage they will be impaired.


I think there is a very good game buried in the Supergame rule books, but I think it is a game that needs a lot of play testing and rules tweaks to bring out that game. I applaud Jay an Aimee for their hard work on the game and their ability to get a game like this published in 1980, and this is definitely a game I wish I was playing right now. I have so many questions I'd like answered and I'd love to house rule this game into a more complete system.

I don't know how many copies of Supergame 1st edition exist, but I do know that you can purchase the original and second edition of the game on DriveThruRPG. Precis Intermedia Games reprinted the game last year with a high quality scan. The pdf includes both the 1st and 2nd edition of the rules. I don't know where Brett got his copy of the 2nd edition for the reprint, but I do know where he got the copy of the 1st edition. It's my personal copy. He treated it kindly as he scanned it for the project. I'm glad he did, because I think that this is a unique gaming item.