Monday, 6 April 2015

Crowdfunding News - Dr. Comics and The Super Villain Handbook

It's been a while since I wrote one of these posts, but this announcement last week was just the thing to pull me out of retirement: my good friend Jason "Dr. Comics" Tondro is Kickstarting The Super Villain Handbook!!

Every table deserves a better class of criminal

Now to be fair, this isn't just the Handbook itself, but a juiced-up, deluxe edition of an already extant resource, enhanced by the power of crowdfunding and a ladder of stretch goals that promises to match your enthusiasm for devastating parties of tabletop superheroes with an arsenal of meticulously crafted villainous archetypes equal to the task.

Now, if you're a Munchkin and you're reading this, I apologize; The Super Villain Handbook might not be your kind of book. Min-maxers of the world, this will do nothing for you. As a far more informed review blog has already stated, this is not a book that will give you villains to use in your games, but rather one that will teach you how to use villains in the stories those games are telling. It's not a monster manual. Jason isn't offering a book full of plug-and-play villains that operate on an XP or party level/challenge rating system; what he's created is a book that challenges you as the GM to come to a better understanding of the story you're writing, the character development you want to prompt in your players' PCs, and then offers you insight as to what sort of antagonist might best help you achieve those goals. Rather than approach villains they way most of us Supers gamers are wont to do, by their power set, Jason has compiled this book based on the narrative role a villain plays: the crime boss trying to rule a city, the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing that the party doesn't see coming until it's too late, the power-hungry twisted genius...character roles that you'll actually find feeding your story, rather than leaving you scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas that fit a power you thought was kinda cool.

There are few folk better suited than Dr. Comics to the task of compiling such a volume. He brings to the table what few others can: an intimate and scholarly understanding of the nature of the comic book villain coupled with the passion of an inveterate tabletop gamer. With that experience comes a dedication to the kind of storytelling which is possible only while seated around a dimly-lit table with one's friends, wielding handfuls of dice against the forces of evil.

Possibly the coolest and most buyer-friendly aspect of this campaign is that the book already exists. As soon as I backed the project I received a downloadable PDF of the basic illustrated book (which looks fantastic, by the way). The campaign offers a wealth of incoming new material as stretch goals are reached. Given enough support, Jason will be adding 40 new villain archetypes which will double the size of the book (an impressive undertaking, considering how comprehensive the current volume is) and working up an edition that works with the Supers! RPG; the current edition uses the ICONS system, and I like to think that with enough support for this project we might see Dr. Comics writing similar volumes for Savage Worlds and Mutants & Masterminds in the future. At any rate, I highly encourage you to back this! The campaign is very nearly funded with a little over three weeks left, plenty of time for us to hit those stretch goals. At the very least, pitch a minimum of one dollar toward the thing, get the un-illustrated PDF of the book, and see if this is something you as a GM could make good use of. Remember, your table deserves a better class of criminal.

UPDATE: The campaign has received a swell of support in the last day thanks to you folks, and as a result they've updated their stretch goals ladder!
To celebrate, when we reach our basic funding goal of 3,000, we will fund BOTH the ICONS Assembled and the SUPERS! Revised editions of the basic book. Keeping this in mind, we have restructured the goal chart to include a new 3,200 goal. The Super Villain Handbook will have FATE Core support from Ross Payton, the author of the Base Raiders Rpg! Ross will handle the conversion of the basic book to FATE and should we reach our goal of 5,000, the book will Include the Deluxe Version.
Ladies and gentlemen, the FATE system is coming to the SVH!! I couldn't be more excited.

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