Update (week 37)

by David Meadows 12. May 2017 19:15

CAPTION (FRED'S BLOG):

If Huey has problems, they're not our problems. No reason for us to get involved. 

Unless somebody tells Captain Boyscout. 

SARA:

We need to help Huey. I think you should talk to him.

JAMES:

Me? Oh, no—

CAPTION (FRED'S BLOG):

Funny thing about this group. When James decides something, we do it. 

Sara figured this out a while ago and makes sure that what James decides is what she wants. 

 

Yes, it's another chapter in the life of everybody's favourite "we're-not-a-team" group of heroes. Issue 19 is called Huey's Place. Read the issue to find out why.

Elsewhere on the site I've been tidying up the history pages, including new timelines for 1981 and 1996 which introduce (or foreshadow) some new characters and plot lines which won;t mean anything to you......yet!

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Update (week 36)

by David Meadows 5. May 2017 21:17

This week, the conclusion to the "Avatar" two-part tale: Strikeforce chapter 18: Karoona.

Avatar has been dragged to Hell, but I'm sure he'll be ok. I mean, he's a demon anyway, right?

 

     His arms and legs were bound to it by iron chains. On Earth, Avatar’s strength would have shattered the manacles without an effort. But here, the manacles were as strong as Karoona willed them to be. After a token effort, he hadn’t even tried to break free. 

     Karoona reached down and with one clawed hand he grasped the amulet Avatar always wore around his neck. It was a five-pointed star set in a circle, suspended from a silver chain. It was also the object that a Human wizard had used to bind Karouvicine to the Earthly plane. As long as he wore it, Avatar would retain his free will on Earth.

     Karoona tore the chain from Avatar’s neck. 

 

Uh-oh.

If the trauma of reading that doesn't finish you off, you might want to look at the new biographies of a couple of Strikeforce supporting characters: the DICE agent Huey and the villainous Dragon.

 

Next update next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

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Missing players

by David Meadows 2. May 2017 22:31

Sometimes when you're playing a game, you have a player who can't be there for some reason. There are a number of ways to deal with it. If you're in the middle of an adventure, you do your best to continue it while you (as GM) play the missing player's character as fairly as you can. If you're about to start a new adventure, you simply assume the player's character is somewhere else that day, and go on without him.

Or, if you have enough advance notice, you prepare a game that can only take place when the player is absent. For example, when Avatar's player was away for one session, I had Avatar kidnapped by a demon. I couldn't do that if the player was present. Well, I could, but it wouldn't be fair on him to make him just watch, completely uninvolved, while the other players tried to rescue him.

So, Strikeforce chapters 17 and 18: it's all Avatar's player's fault.

It's also the pivotal story of the entire 30-year Game, as I may have mentioned.

Chapter 18 coming this Friday...

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Update (week 35)

by David Meadows 28. April 2017 21:08

In the last issue of Heroes, we left Don alone, injured, and surrounded by enemies. Can his young proteges find him in time?

 

Sara still stands looking out over the forest.

SARA: Down there.

JAMES:  That's a ten meter vertical drop. Then the hill gradient is--

JAMES: It's a long way to fall, Sara, that's all I'm saying.

SARA: Don's the best there is.

 

To find out, read issue 18: Found.

Aww, heck. I've given the answer away in the title. (But there's another, more important meaning to the title. You'll find out by the end.)

Also this update: biographies of two Strikeforce supporting characters: Professor Zod and his daughter Carla.

 

 

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Maps

by David Meadows 25. April 2017 22:32

I have spent the evening tracing maps of Ecuador, so I can turn part of it into the (fictional) country of San Lostos.

I love maps. One of the great things about RPGs is that you can draw all kinds of maps of all the places you make up. Except when you set your game in the real world, then you don't have much opportunity to draw maps because you can just use an atlas.

So I'm quite happy with San Lostos. The map still needs work, but when I've finished it I'll put up some scans of it...

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Complete blank...

by David Meadows 24. April 2017 22:29

Trying to write down events that happened 30 year ago is hard. I'm half way through describing a battle with the demon that kidnapped Avatar (that was in Strikeforce #17, in case you didn't read it) and I suddenly have no idea how Strikeforce won. This demon is so powerful, I know that everything they tried against it must have failed. I know they did win (sorry, spoiler!) but can't remember how.

Normally when this happens, I just make up something that's dramatically satisfying and produces the right outcome.

Except in this case, he's so powerful, I can't think of anything that's going to produce a believable victory.

It's not exactly "writer's block" (I don't think that actually exists, it's a myth put about by lazy writers) but it is an annoying problem...

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Spoilers

by David Meadows 22. April 2017 09:51

It's getting trickier to decide which background articles to publish each week. I have a (growing) list of (currently) over 400 names, places, and dates that have been referenced in the story or in other articles and will eventually need to be written up. But several of the more key ones would give away plot spoilers that I would prefer to come out as surprises in the story. 

Here are the top 10 (based on number of references to them) articles I need to write:

Row Labels Count of REFERENCES
James 17
Scorpio 15
Chi-Yun 14
K-Men 11
Jerome 11
Astra 9
Anarchists 9
Carla Zod 8
Paul 8
Black Zero 7

Of that list, Carla Zod is the only one I can write about in a not-too-spoilery way (so that will be next week's). The rest would completely spoil several major (that was a pun and a hint, by the way) mysteries that I'm trying to build up in the story.

So that's why I'm filling out the encyclopaedia with irrelevant things like fictional book reviews and legal firms that don't need explaining and didn't even really need naming in the story in the first place.

I'll try to include enough meaty stuff to stop it being to boring. But it's getting harder...

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Update (week 34)

by David Meadows 21. April 2017 21:57

In this week's Strikeforce chapter, Avatar gets himself in a spot of bother:

 

‘If Karoona wants Avatar, then we must foil him. We must retrieve him,’ said the Sorcerer at last.

‘That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you,’ said Nightflyer. ‘So how?’

‘Someone must journey to the Nether Regions and retrieve him.’

‘Why do I get the feeling that’s going to be us and not you?’ asked Scorpio.

‘Oh, I cannot go. Far too dangerous for me to place myself in Karoona’s grasp so openly.’

‘Well, there’s a surprise,’ said Electron.

 

The most important storyline in Strikeforce's history (and that's not even hyperbole) kicks off in Chapter 17: Haven

Supplementing this, I have two book reviews: Demon City: The Haunting of Vancouver, and It Happens in Underground Car Parks. And yes, both are connected to the story! And just to tidy up a loose end, I've added a really trivial article on Wallis and Wallis.

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Avatar

by David Meadows 17. April 2017 22:40

When did Avatar become the most important character in the Game? It's hard to say for sure, but it started in Strikeforce chapter 17, coming this Friday. My ideas of how my universe (its cosmology) worked started to crystallise then.

I thought I was running a basically science fiction Game, but that went wrong right from the start when one player decided to play a demon.

It was trying to reconcile that choice, and fit demons into my (I thought) rational universe, that gave me the key over-arching plotline that ran through the whole Game.

I'm not going to give it away now. And chapter 17 won't really explain anything either. But it's where the explanation starts. Don't miss it!

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Research

by David Meadows 14. April 2017 18:14

I've got more bothered about getting historical and geographic details right recently. Because the Game is set in what's more-or-less our real world, I've always used real places and historical events as background, but as long as the details were vaguely right then I wasn't too bothered about absolute accuracy. As the Game progressed, I took more care over getting things right -- possibly because the players were getting better at pointing out errors ("But the Luger wasn't in use in 1907" "Oh...").

This has led to some retroactive headaches. I've been editing the bios of Carl and Carla Zod, ready to upload in a future site update, and finding all kinds of errors that I presumably didn't know or care about 30 years ago but now are really bugging me.

Such as, why is Carl Zod teaching at University of California San Francisco? When I introduced Zod in the fifth Game session (or Strikeforce chapter 5), I set the story in San Francisco completely at random. So when writing Zod's background, I placed him at UCSF.

The problem is (I know now): it's a medical school. Not the obvious place to find one of the world's foremost theoretical physicists.

I'm not going to re-write history (i.e. the details played out in the scenario 30 years ago and chronicled in chapter 5 last year) to have Strikeforce meet him at his home in Los Angeles. I'm stuck with San Francisco. But I'm tweaking his background so it makes a bit more sense in the "real" world.

It probably wouldn't bother anyone else if it was wrong. But things like that have started to bother me...

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About this blog

The Heroes Universe is an ongoing work of fiction, conceived and chiefly plotted by David Meadows, with help from a group of friends, over a 30-year period.

I am slowly documenting the Universe on this web site.

This blog is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of that history.

If you're new here, the series of posts listed below will explain what it's all about. I hope...

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