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N0-1_H3r3

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About N0-1_H3r3

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    Former Contributing Freelance Writer
  • Birthday 06/28/1985

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  1. The later versions of the system are refined in a number of ways - the Infinity Quickstart demonstrates some of these changes (though not all of them), and the Quickstart for the forthcoming Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of (not yet available, but it'll be released when the Kickstarter begins on the 16th of February) demonstrates the current state of the rules. We'll have a more stripped-down version of the system for John Carter of Mars later this year as well. Infinity in particular is built to support in-depth hacking and psychological warfare as well, so it's got more in-depth social conflict rules than many RPGs (which I'm quite proud of, as I've tried to make it mechanically interesting while still encouraging roleplaying). They're not completely isolated sub-systems, though - the hacking rules work similarly to the normal combat rules, and all connect to the same damage system (so trying to hack a security system would involve attacks against a firewall, while threats and intimidation are attacks that inflict mental damage).
  2. Personally, the only thing I'd be inclined to change - given that I tend to favour the Dark Times/Rebels period for games - is references to Maz Kanata, given that she's run her little watering hole for a thousand years, so she'd be an interesting alternative patron/contact for an Edge of the Empire game.
  3. You say that, but every episode of Rebels this season has had a call-back to The Clone Wars, even if it's just the presence of Rex and/or Ahsoka.
  4. Fox are just angry that they're not the studio selling Star Wars anymore.
  5. In more detail. The check digit, as noted, is a measure of distance from Terra and/or accuracy (all dates are Terran standard, so distance and accuracy are the same thing). 0 or 1 for the check digit means the recorded event takes place on Terra itself, and is thus as accurate as possible. 7+ tends to cover approximate and estimated dates rather than reported events. The year fraction - noted as the Chronosegment in the 6e 40k rulebook - is a thousandth of a Terran standard year. Consequently, each segment is roughly 8 hours and 45 minutes long. It's fair to assume that nobody except the Administratum actually uses that value for practical purposes - it's a record-keeping tool. That said, I can imagine some worlds using it for work cycles - each segment is a work shift, each person gets a work shift, a sleep shift, and a shift for leisure and prayer.
  6. The Heresy artwork tends to depict the First Legion's armour during the Crusade as being a much, much darker green - a green-tinted black. The Heresy novels so far have been fairly consistent in presenting The Lion as being pure - his was a Legion tested by Chaos, but he remained true to the Emperor in spite of a world tainted by the Dark Gods (this is hinted in The First Heretic - Lorgar is shown visions of ten infant Primarchs emerging from their pods, all of whom subsequently turned to Chaos... except one). The doubt cast upon the Legion is mentioned during the conflict with the Night Lords - the idea that The Lion's loyalty would always be in question, even if The Lion himself never wavered. Of course, there's a lot we don't know about the subject. More importantly, there's a lot the Dark Angels don't know... and I tend to regard that as the big secret - that there's this grand disgrace hanging over the Legion's honour, but the deeper you get into the Inner Circle of the Unforgiven, the more you learn of the holes in their knowledge, and the fact that the schism that tore the First Legion apart is largely a mystery. They seek to capture and interrogate the Fallen because the Fallen might actually know something about what happened... but the Fallen only know part of the story, and many of them lie.
  7. Hey, I could be wrong . Been wrong before, no biggie But dude, look at that art! Do you know how much they would get for those pieces, doing book covers an other illustrative commercial work? I work in the busines and it is so riculously unlikely that skilled and experienced artists would spend day and days on painting that without getting paid a fair price to do it. $60 an hour and up is concidered normal pay for serious illustrators doing commercial work where I am from, private commissions is something different. Commercial art and illustration work pays well when you can get the jobs, in my experience. Networking and getting enough work is the hard part of freelancing. I have never worked for an rpg, true, but looking at the standards and quality of the work in big and known rpg brand names like D&D and FFG, you can see they don`t skimp out on art. Lesser known names and brands can`t afford it to the same extent and that is very understandable If these great artists didn`t get paid enough, they would be doing something else and taking otther jobs. Why is there such a huge difference in the artwork we see in the bigger rpg companies than in the smaller ones? Likely because they spend a lot more on art, otherwise, all books would have great art! You get what you pay for. RPG work doesn't pay much. It's rewarding, though, if you enjoy RPGs. When I started freelancing, it wasn't my primary job - I wrote in my spare time alongside a full-time job. I now have a full-time job doing game development, but I could probably be making more money elsewhere. I write and develop RPGs because I enjoy it, and I'm lucky that it pays me enough to pay the bills. It isn't always about the money. Would I like it if creative people in the RPG industry got paid more? Yes, certainly. But that's not why I do it, and I'm far from the minority. Sometimes, it's just cool to get to do something you love, to make a mark on the worlds of imagination you've loved for decades. It doesn't pay the bills as well as it should, but honestly, almost nothing pays the bills as well as it should these days. That`s awesome! Finaly some firsthand experience! What have you worked on? I would love to do something for a small company or indie publishing too, for not so much money. But I don`t think WOTC or FFG would waste their money on me, but if they did, I`d expect it was a fair price(concidering the industry of course) and they wouldn`t take advantage:) My signature lists everything I worked on for FFG, across the Rogue Trader, Deathwatch, Black Crusade, and Only War product lines. At present, I'm lead system developer for Modiphius Entertainment, overseeing rules design and development for all games using the 2D20 system (Mutant Chronicles 3rd edition, the RPG for Corvus Belli's Infinity, and Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, plus John Carter of Mars when we start work on that). I got the work for FFG because I was writing stuff for the 40kRPGs in my spare time and self-publishing my creations - I'd been a playtester for Dark Heresy when it was published by Black Industries, so I'd produced a well-received set of rules for Abhuman player characters that I released the same day the rulebook came out, and then I'd moved on to write a variety of other things. One of the project leads running 40kRP development at the time (Ross Watson) contacted me and offered me work, after which point I contributed to a long list of books from 2009 to 2012 (when personal issues meant that FFG and I parted ways). This article covers the common per-word rates across the industry. FFG as of 2012, paid average to above-average rates for word-count, depending on experience and prior work (demonstrate quality, and they increase your rate quickly). Magic is an odd case. Magic the Gathering is the origin of the CCG - Wizards of the Coast get royalties on every other CCG in the market, because they own the patent on the concept, and their success and profits are massive compared to even the single biggest RPG in the world (Wizards of the Coast's other product, D&D - the reason D&D's design team now consists of four guys and a load of outsourced work is because Hasbro realised that they couldn't make MtG money from D&D)... and they're also in the longest period of sustained growth and expanding profits in the history of the game - year-on-year, the game is getting bigger and more successful.
  8. Hey, I could be wrong . Been wrong before, no biggie But dude, look at that art! Do you know how much they would get for those pieces, doing book covers an other illustrative commercial work? I work in the busines and it is so riculously unlikely that skilled and experienced artists would spend day and days on painting that without getting paid a fair price to do it. $60 an hour and up is concidered normal pay for serious illustrators doing commercial work where I am from, private commissions is something different. Commercial art and illustration work pays well when you can get the jobs, in my experience. Networking and getting enough work is the hard part of freelancing. I have never worked for an rpg, true, but looking at the standards and quality of the work in big and known rpg brand names like D&D and FFG, you can see they don`t skimp out on art. Lesser known names and brands can`t afford it to the same extent and that is very understandable If these great artists didn`t get paid enough, they would be doing something else and taking otther jobs. Why is there such a huge difference in the artwork we see in the bigger rpg companies than in the smaller ones? Likely because they spend a lot more on art, otherwise, all books would have great art! You get what you pay for. RPG work doesn't pay much. It's rewarding, though, if you enjoy RPGs. When I started freelancing, it wasn't my primary job - I wrote in my spare time alongside a full-time job. I now have a full-time job doing game development, but I could probably be making more money elsewhere. I write and develop RPGs because I enjoy it, and I'm lucky that it pays me enough to pay the bills. It isn't always about the money. Would I like it if creative people in the RPG industry got paid more? Yes, certainly. But that's not why I do it, and I'm far from the minority. Sometimes, it's just cool to get to do something you love, to make a mark on the worlds of imagination you've loved for decades. It doesn't pay the bills as well as it should, but honestly, almost nothing pays the bills as well as it should these days.
  9. I did indeed. Even the biggest RPG company is a small business, really. The biggest ones are typically the ones that make things other than RPGs and/or the ones which are simply divisions of bigger companies.
  10. Nice of you to tell me that all of my practical experiences of working in the RPG industry for the last six years are incorrect. I'd never imagined how everything I've seen for more than half a decade could be so wrong. RPG writing pays less than basically any other form of creative or technical writing. This is an established fact of the industry. You might believe that it's worth more, but that doesn't change that $0.03 a word is the industry-wide average (and many companies pay less). FFG pay slightly better than average for writers who've proven themselves. The pay is frankly awful, even from the companies that pay well. For most people, it's something you do in your spare time on top of a full-time job. All that development work... goes unpaid. In-house designers are very, very rare. Freelancers are more commonplace. If you've got permanent staff, it's because you're big enough to be producing multiple product lines simultaneously. Prototypes and iteration? All blended into the process. It doesn't happen as rigorously as you seem to believe, and it's typically done for free - the writer gets paid for the final edited wordcount, and that's all. Operating costs? My boss worked out of his living room until recently. When most of the workforce is freelancers, "headquarters" is your home unless you've gotten reasonably successful. Paying for software often comes into freelancers' individual costs. Marketing... aside from a web page, RPG marketing is basically word-of-mouth and social media. Conventions are out of pocket expenses, though most companies use conventions as an opportunity to sell product to make the costs back and get some sales without the normal distribution costs. Every playtest I've ever been involved in has been free - playtesters don't get paid. The unit quantities... RPG companies almost always aim low with print runs, because leftover stock sat in a warehouse is costly (both in the sense that it hasn't sold, and in the sense that you have to pay for the space it's being stored in). Mongoose Publishing sell a PDF that explains a lot of the costs and expenses of RPG publishing, but the average assumption for a sourcebook is about 900 copies sold in two months. Most RPG companies make savings by having the person who owns the company do some of the work 'free' (business owner, rather than employee or contractor), normally writing, editing, and/or layout. Most RPG companies these days are aided by widespread adoption of PDFs as an alternative to hard copy, as it has no print, shipping, or storage costs, and places like DriveThruRPG don't take as big a cut as physical distribution channels. Direct sales help too, as it bypasses distribution and retail costs, but it's less "visible" because the customer needs to know about the product to look for it (as opposed to it being sat on a shelf to catch the eye). Full-colour, large hardback books are expensive to produce, so they're most commonly produced by the larger companies who have developed an infrastructure that lets them save money. Remember, FFG aren't just producing a single rulebook, they're producing three lines of RPGs (smaller sourcebooks have different costs) and numerous board and card games, sharing art and design assets and in-house personnel between them. Smaller companies tend to favour smaller books - there's a reason that 128-page black and white softcover has been the dominant format for RPG books for so many years. A licence gives the opportunity to sell more, at a cost - both monetary, and in terms of licence restrictions and an approvals process. Getting an RPG licence is a difficult matter - for most big licensors, the amount of money an RPG brings them is a rounding error. Consequently, RPGs are typically included in broader 'hobby games' licences (FFG has RPG rights for Star Wars because they've got miniatures games and card games rights, and RPGs are part of that package).
  11. The bigger bulk you print the cheaper it becomes and if printed in say places like china et.. even cheaper. Take the I-phone, it only costs a few dollars to actually make and sells for hundreds of dollars. FF Makes good money of their numerous product lines and they showed that in their one announcement(which I have no clue where the video is. The one from the big convention.) The bigger bulk you print, the more stock you have to sell. Stock sat in a warehouse costs more money in the long run, and doesn't return the money invested in its publication. Stock sat on a store shelf makes the store less likely to keep ordering (because the stock they've already bought hasn't been sold). Over-printing is detrimental to RPG publishers, because RPG publishers are small companies who live and die on consistent cash-flow. Board games and miniatures games turn around far bigger numbers than RPGs. RPGs are a cottage industry, where even the biggest name in the industry (D&D) has an in-house team of four people, and 90% of the development work is outsourced to freelancers. I'll quote some numbers from another industry example I've seen. $35.60 per book. Those books will retail for $60 each, of which the distributor/retailer combo takes 40% (a low estimate here), so $24 of each copy never reaches the publisher. $36 left... so about 0.40c profit per book. $400 over all thousand copies. And some of those estimates are low-end. Most smaller RPG publishers get by through consolidating jobs together - it's common for editing or layout, plus some of the writing to be done in-house by the guy who runs the company. FFG makes a few economy of scale savings - they've got in-house staff for things like editing and layout (spread the cost across many projects), in-house project managers can write text as part of their salaried work, they're a noteworthy, successful brand who can more effectively negotiate with distributors, and they make things other than RPGs, so they've got a range of resources that don't fall into the costs of any single project (I imagine things like graphic design assets, fonts, etc for Star Wars are a collective resource for all Star Wars products FFG makes), which saves them money and makes it more profitable overall... but it's not going to make a colossal difference. RPGs aren't something you do because you want to get rich. Even for the big companies, RPGs make pitiful amounts of money. Wizards of the Coast downscaled the D&D development team to a half-dozen people, and outsources the actual writing to freelancers, because with D&D, the intellectual property (the name "Dungeons & Dragons", the imagery and cultural cache, the movie rights, the novels, the computer games and board games, etc) is worth far more to Hasbro than the RPG itself is - they keep the RPG around because it'd be bad publicity to let the game go out of print when you're trying to make money off the IP. If artists are underpaid and underappreciated in the RPG industry, it's because everybody is underpaid and underappreciated in the RPG industry... and that doesn't change without the retail price going up, because the margins are already tiny.
  12. From personal experience, FFG pay average to better-than-average rates to their freelancer writers (having contributed to FFG publications from 2009 to 2012), at least by industry standards. I have no reason to assume they do different for artists. RPG writing is one of the lowest-paying creative writing fields I know of - averaging about $0.03 per word (this is regarded in many parts of the industry as being the minimum reasonable, but a few companies try to pay less, as little as $0.005 a word. It's not great, but the the industry as a whole has low pay rates across the board. Nobody makes much money from RPGs. RPG publishing has very, very, narrow margins. That retail price you see? About half of that goes to the distributors. Full-colour hardback books have higher printing costs than the black & white softcovers that used to be the industry standard, and print runs are never huge unless you're doing a D&D corebook (because you end up with stock sat in warehouses that's cost you money but isn't making you money in return - and few RPG publishers are big enough to manage that). Few publishers can afford more than a handful of full-time writing and developing staff; most of the writers on any given book are freelancers, often doing it as a hobby in their spare time. This article gives a decent idea of the costs involved in the RPG industry. It's not pretty.
  13. Somewhat problematic, actually. Broadly, a lot of the elements defined as being "how the Arbites work" in the novels were reduced to being "this is how the Arbites work in the Calixis sector" in the Book of Judgement (in spite of the novels having nothing to do with the Calixis Sector). Consequently, there's a gap between the two depictions.
  14. Broadly, I'd treat a Clone Trooper character - and it's something I've considered, even before Rex turned up on Rebels - as a human, but with most of his starting XP pre-spent in particular ways (the opposite of a the Droid species, really). They've got all the same potential and range of capabilities as any other human (barring their lifespan - any Clone Trooper working for the Rebellion around the time of the Battle of Yavin will be physically in his early 70s), but their formative years are pre-defined so they've already been developed in a number of pre-established ways. For a single Clone character, that makes basically no difference from any other human except as a quirk of background, but if there are multiple clones in the group (and I've considered a one-off "four Clone Commandos and a Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars" game mixing AoR and FaD rules), then that common baseline becomes the defining element for them.
  15. My single favourite initiative system also happens to be the simplest one to implement in basically any game. It's been dubbed "popcorn initiative" elsewhere, which makes a degree of sense. At the start of the first round of combat, the GM chooses who should go first from amongst the player characters, based on the circumstances at hand. At the end of each character's turn (PC and NPC), the owning player (or GM, if an NPC), chooses who goes next, out of those who are yet to act that round. The last person to act each round chooses who gets to go first next round. And... that's it. It's more nuanced than it looks - because acting last determines next round's start, controlling the last action means controlling the first action next round, so players and GM alike are encouraged to mix it up and pass to the opposition (because otherwise it's PC, PC, PC, PC, NPC, NPC, NPC, NPC... next turn, NPC, NPC, NPC, NPC, PC, PC, PC, PC, and the NPCs get two turns each before the PCs act again). It's also conducive to teamwork, because you can simply pass the action to whomever you've just assisted. Integrating it into FFG's Star Wars games, I'd allow characters (on either side) to spend a Destiny Point to interrupt the action order and act immediately, rather than waiting to be passed to (but that doesn't allow an additional turn, it merely means you go sooner that round). Naturally, talents that apply to the initiative roll would need reworking, but I'm just presenting a simple, interesting option.
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