Sunday, December 31, 2017

MEST Basic Update


I really need an editor for all of my efforts.

Reading through my MEST Basic rules (the 1.6.x) I saw some inconsistencies with the plain-text and the full-color documents. I update all three files (the plain-text, plain-text booklet, and full-color).  In the full-color document this affects about 5 areas on 10 pages. If you've printed these out single-page you'll be fine. If they are back-to-back, it is pages 7-8, 13-14, 21-22, 23-24, 29-30, and 31-32.

Here's a summary of changes:

  1. Clarified that Hard Cover provides +1 Wild die for Defender Range Combat Test instead of +1 Modifier die.
  2. Clarified that Attentive is the opposite of Distracted.
  3. Clarified that Knocked-out [ KO'd ] is never Attentive, always Done, never Active.
  4. Clarified that Revive action can be applied to self.
  5. Altered plain-text to show that the Average Common Archetype is SIZ 3 instead of SIZ 2.
  6. Added Refresh Bonus Action into the full-color document; it only existed with the plain-text files.
  7. Added Revive action into the full-color document; it only existed within the plain-text files.
  8. Added Medic X; this is +X Base dice when using Revive on others and +X Modifier dice when using Revive on self. It is very powerful but it is about time to make it available.
  9. Added Healer for Common Effects; this is +1 Medic at 15 BP. For the Advanced Game, this is actually a +10 BP and +0.1 CR.
  10. Added Sharp Senses for Common Effects; this is +1 Detect and +1 REF for 8 BP.
  11. Added Smaller for Common Effects; this is -1 SIZ, -1 STR, and -1 FOR for -13 BP.
  12. Added Massive for Common Effects, this is +1 STR and +1 FOR for 15 BP.
  13. Corrected Night-vision for Common Effects to 8 BP instead of the shown 0 BP.
  14. Updated Concentrate action to show that OR Multiple is ignored, and that all ORs are doubled. This matches the v2.x rules.
  15. Updated Concentrate action to provide -1 FOR for Attacker Range Combat Test only if within Point-blank to target. Removed the -1 FOR from Attacker Close Combat Test since there are already enough bonuses available.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Superhero 2044 Second Edition Revised :: Bloomberg Map


Following on from my earlier effort for updating the maps within Superhero 2044.


I decided to pursue the inevitable; getting the Bloomberg City map refactored. To my surprise, the labeled scale for the original map is at 1 hex = 200 meters which is not the same as the label. So I was in a quandary because I had to make a choice to go with a larger scale of 125 meters per hex in order to fit into my scaling rules, or make the artwork be at 200 meters per hex. This is a logistics issue because I had already built the full island map and that took about two weeks worth of work.

I looked closer and the rendition of the original art and I discovered that there's also issues pre-existing on it. Take a look at the top-left (East); the roads I have from the 500 meter/hex scale don't fit with whatever was provided originally.

The RED roads are the accurate vector lines I used for the 500-meter map of Inguria Island. When overlaid upon the "200-meter" map of Bloomberg city, it can be seen that the roads (black lines) of the original artwork don't line-up correctly. BTW, that portrait box shows the extent of the 8.5x11 layout.
This made it easier for me to decide; I'll go with 125 meters per hex. At that scale, not all of the original map will fit into an 8.5x11 sheet were I to keep the dimensions of the hexagons I'm currently standardizing against. So, what I'll eventually do is create two renders; one for a letter, and one for 11x17 tabloid.


Another area where I wanted to make a decision was the suburbs. The original map has these tiny little ovals. I didn't know what they meant when I first started my campaign those many decades ago, and presumed that they were an abstract representation of a neighborhood. Sort of sparse.

This is a zoomed in image of the suburbs of Inguria. WTF are those ovals supposed to be? I decided that they've got to be circular streets. Any houses along these streets are not rendered.

I did some recent research on how neighborhoods are supposed to look within a planned community, which I presume that Inguria Island would have many such. I found that modern cul-de-sacs are more space-economic when they are using honeycomb designs. However, this arrangement can get pretty noisy for a game map.

An ideal arrangement for suburban streets is the honeycomb.

A very dense honeycomb neighborhood.

I decided to show just the main suburban access streets. It's about 140 single-family homes per street, with about 15 streets shown. That is about 2000 houses. According my drawing tool, I have 540 hexagons in that suburbs area. If I were to correctly decorate that area using honeycomb tiles with some variation where I add some marketplaces, social venues, fire-houses, etc.; I'd have a 10,000 buildings for 2.5 people (single person or married couple + 1 or so kids) . And this is presuming that the rocky hills of Inguria in that part of the island have been leveled and shaped correctly.

I'll eventually add low-rise apartments in the suburbs as well; these should be able to support an additional 10-20 K people. My notes tell me that the middle-class population should be around 50,000 citizens. I'm guessing the majority live in the Central district. This I think will be OK; it would be similar to living on Manhattan Island in New York, NY which has a much higher population density; about 1.6 million people in 60 square kilometers (27K/KM^2). Bloomberg's Central City just needs to support about 150,000 people within its 7 square kilometers (21K/KM^2).

Anyhow, here's the 125-meter scale map of Bloomberg City. It's a work-in-progress.

Bloomberg at 125-meters per hex. WIP. Once I figure out the tessellation pattern for the suburbs I'll update the map.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Superhero '44 Second Edition Revised - Update

UPDATE: I'm naming my effort "Superhero '44 Second Edition Revised".  I'm over 100-pages of written material so far and I'm still adding to the background setting. On the Moh's Scale of Science Fiction Hardness I've decided to make the initial genre be harder; about a 2.5 or 3.0 ... still not as hard as GURPS Transhuman Space or Traveller which I'd rate around 4.0. I've also added some crunch to support that hardness so that it falls somewhere in the middle of GURPS | Hero System | Mutants & Masterminds.

The Maps

Every RPG enthusiast like maps, right? So, one of my first things to do was rebuild the maps for the original Superhero '44 game. I'll show them in order of relevance for the fans of Superhero '44.

Patrol Areas of Inguria. This is key to the Weekly Planning sheet.

Inguria with terrain. This is the sort of map that inspires people like me to play a game; all of the little "points-of-interest" make for prime material to conduct memorable games.

Melanesia near Inguria. I decided to place Inguria between Fiji and Vanuatu at a spot on a submerged ridge at 11°51'41.0"S 173°53'22.6"E. This also allows Inguria to be in an ideal location for commerce between two fairly populous island nations.

Oceania near Inguria. I'm still work-in-progress to convert this map into something I purely own, but currently it is an adequate hack of Oceania showing the nearby nations. Inguria is at the center. The purple areas are "radioactive fallout" zones where most life has been destroyed. People still inhabit areas around it and society has rebounded since the Six Day War, so I guess a thermonuclear holocaust isn't so bad.

The World of 2044. I've decided that the Six Day War took down all of the first world nations of 2003, but things got better! These 48 nations listed and numbered above are patron nations guarding or supporting minor nations with less infrastructure. World population dipped from 6 billion in 2003 to about 4 billion in 2008, but has since risen back to about 6 billion by 2044 if I presume a 1.2% growth rate per year.

The Play Aides

I'm still working on these as I solidify the rules. These are sort of teasers I suppose, especially because I'll need to refactor them once the I get more of the system into place; a lot can change.

This is the Weekly Planning Sheet. I intend to have a Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly variation as well. The thinking I'm pursuing is that each game session starts with a "Time Planning" activity where the Referee and Players perform "time skips" in order to quickly advance the story. These time-skips also allow training, research, and construction to proceed quickly.  Anyhow, the Weekly Planning Sheet above has little circles to identify Moon phases just in case it matters for espionage events, Lunar lunatics, and that sort of thing.

This is the front page of the character record sheet. I decided to do like all other modern RPGs and separate the character sheet from the other materials; the original rules had them together. What you can see here is that I've been working on how to organize information on the page, and to provide clear arrangement of "crunchy data" in places that can be quickly referenced. Look at the right-hand side and you'll see a character outline. This is not my art and I intend to replace it soon though I realize that in the digital age there's a lot of resources demonstrating better than anything I could provide. The idea is that there will be about a dozen such character outlines, and the players just pick the ones the want. At the very minimum I'll have one for male and female characters.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Superhero '44 Second-edition Revised

I've been working on a fan-revision of Superhero '44.

I'm naming it "Superhero '44 Second Edition Revised" or SH44SER. It combines my home brew rules from twenty-thirty-and-forty years ago with most of the original writings of both the first and second edition rules. After closely scouring those early writings, I can see why I became a software engineer and why Superhero '44 in its tone is very different than most other superhero role-playing games today. I think the only one that comes close to capturing the tone (actually surpassing it) is Arc Dream's God-like RPG.

Unlike in my campaign where I eventually evolved the setting into an intra-galactic hero story, I'm trying to narrow things down in this current effort to the roots; the world of 2044. Maybe this will inspire a new generation of gamers to start where I did, but with the better tools; go further than I did.

Here's my take on the seminal event of the background provided within the first edition rules. It becomes the foundation of the psyche of the survivors of the world in 2044. I'm at about 130 pages right now of mostly rules. I'll illustrate it myself where I can. I've also been working on maps and play-aides.


The Great Conflagration

Nobody was quite sure how this started; it could have been the USA, Russia, China, or any of the other larger countries. Some suspect it was a flawed electronic signal at a submarine near the Pacific shores of Los Angeles. Others think it was anarchists. Still others believe it was coordinated by networks of, maybe poorly programmed, rogue computer algorithms.

A bit of insanity occurred for a while for the first few minutes as witnesses in the controlling government bodies saw the military reports of swarms of inbound and ICBMs (inter-continental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads) came their way. It didn’t matter how the war started because the solution from the humans was apparent; take out your enemies before your nation is too disrupted to respond. So devastation was set loose into the skies in the hopes that retribution would occur. Some of the smaller countries in flawed rapid-fire decision-making chose to join into the fray and pre-emptively launch their own attacks against their legacy enemies before they themselves became annihilated.

This continued for six days. At least one frothing clergyman got it right and predicted this as The Great Conflagration. Hell on Earth.

The Six Day War unleashed megatons of radioactive horror upon each of the major cities, control centers, and military bases of the world. Energy production, business centers, and agricultural centers were also hit with bombs falling from the sky. Electronic circuits were fried, people and other living things were blasted into atomic dust, and cities were leveled into rubble. Hardest hit was the Mainlands; the member nations of the UNSC. Most of the smaller island nations were spared, but at least one missile struck each capital of those with the largest populations. Modern society collapsed as their infrastructure became degenerated through the destruction and radiation.

Out of seven billion souls, two hundred million were lost in the Great Conflagration. The worst was yet to come.

The Fallout

After the Six Day War, the fallout both literally and figuratively completed the awful devastation. It took 5 additional years of turmoil as people scrambled for food, shelter, medicine, and some semblance of structure. Paramilitary groups formed, some aligning with the previous governments but most running amok as gangs of bandits. All during this time, deaths from radiation overexposure rose and birth defects and premature births increased. Many groups of people fled to the wilderness and began to hoard resources such as water, wood, and access rights to hunting in the wild. Some of the governments, with help of the remaining military, and in collusion with the paramilitary groups; these began to restructure society through violence in order to quell the amazing mayhem and disorder each society was experiencing. Despite their best efforts, it is estimated that nearly 2 billion lives perished in the war’s aftermath as the radiation took it's toll. Disease, illness, and famine was ever present and greedy.

Some of the remaining smaller nations were able to quickly secure their borders with surges in volunteerism, but many of those began to form dictatorships and took this period of disorder as a license to conquer their less organized neighboring nations. The madness was a bit less in the larger nations of the world as they were distracted with influxes of survivors desperate for refuge. Members of the original powerful nations did their best to mitigate problems by sharing resources, information, and manpower. Short-wave radio and foot-messenger networks during these years became very critical to coordinating information. There were several large clashes between strongholds lead by ideological cult societies, and then things calmed down for what it seemed a very long time; months, maybe because the records aren’t clear nor intact from these dark days. The economies of some of the countries began to rebuild, but the distribution of wealth, access to medical help, and access to simpler things like clean water, nutrition, or clothing was still disparate and unequal.

The Purge

Even though a decade has since passed; the deaths still rose, as did the birth defects and miscarriages. Mothers and fathers prefered to dash their deformed newborns against the floor than to allow these short-lived mutations to join them in the squalor of a post-apocalyptic earth. And then many of the parents voluntarily joined their beloveds as well, such was the despair. Indeed, there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

A large majority of the paramilitary groups became less communicative, and in the middle of the larger countries where the groups had the most power there began a series of increasing tension with blow-out battles lasting a few short days each. The newly reformed secular government agencies with spokespersons pulled from the variously affected communities would try to calm the population. And each time this would be a ruse, or a poorly executed delivery on promises because only time can heal the ravages of war.

Soon, everywhere at once, this anger against the prevailing tattered institutions sprung up in surprise culminating with a violent Purge. It was bloodshed against the poor and deformed, and against the privileged and wealthy. Dissidents across the world sprung up with organized rebellions against their governments. Heroes were born and traitorous villains were recognized. Everybody cowered but nobody was safe. Fame was present but short-lived; names became recognized and etched in tribal memories as these groups tried to establish recognition before their bright-burning candles became subject to the winds of change. What little structure left in society, that which was scraped together from the ashes, seemed to being falling apart again under massive fires and the scattered piles of the dead. This took weeks and it seemed to be again the end of civilization.

The Agreement

The extreme violence only ended after many dozens of missives distributed through foot, road, and short-wave networks reached all parties. It was desperate, timely, and wonderful. People listened and learn, clearly recognizing the situation at hand. Soon enough, organized self-titled Adherents chanting, holding arms, with bullhorns and signs formed walking through each war-torn community risking their lives to deliver a single coherent message in all languages.

The message was peace on Earth.

In Terra Pax. 
el salam ala arad. 
yehi shalom al ha-aretz.
dharatee par shaanti.
Shìjiè hépíng.

This was the beginning of the Agreement lead by the Catholic Church and the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Other religious groups, depending on the regions of the world, also joined though the strong presence of the Church was the most felt. The Agreement was a long-term plan begun after the first bombs dropped; a contingency plan that should have never needed to be written or executed, first drafted in the late 1950s after several Jesuits became convinced that Nuclear War was not an option, and that mankind's whims would surely end the World. The message of the Agreement is that without Earth there is no future for the incubator of Man; that mankind could not prove itself worthy to God. The authors realized that they, with the great religious institutions combined, have the largest communication infrastructure upon the entire planet. In case something bad happened they would combine their efforts and help bring reason and hope back to the peoples of Earth. It was a long-shot plan, but the message was clear; no nation of man could hope to do this by itself without the steady strong hand guidance of God through His representatives. The goal was set; to rebuild the Earth with a new vision.

Voices of the Adherents

With the intervention of the two largest religious institutions in the history of world, even the criminals had something in common with the privileged; the goal of making the world better than in it was in the eyes of God. And this was the right time as no other time in known history. The Conflagration may have been God’s Lesson, or it may have been a mistake on the infant-like minds of Men; but it is an opportunity to rebuild. Therefore, for a time everybody tried to do better, and the pain experienced in life was a little less and the amount of hope and pride in works began to rise. The Agreement saw to it that the clergy had greater influence on the decisions of the newly reformed governments and their militaries.

Nearly four decades after the Conflagration every significant nation, even secular ones, has at least one subdivision of advisors, “Voices”; speakers the clergy of the Catholic or Islamic faiths. Critical decisions are made in deferment to those persons whenever it involves violence, punishment, media presentation, or social mores. Like all things before it; in many places this works absolutely well, and in others it causes more strife and friction than necessary.

The Agreement holds that all adherents will be treated fairly, and this is true; those places where the laws are severe and punishing to the peoples are visited with the greatest of all priorities. Soon, perhaps too soon or too frequently; there is often a regime change, an abdication, or a public apology offered to the peoples issued by whichever political entity is in power. Outsiders to these nations, those persons and observers which are not Adherents; they see nothing but the same problems as before the Six Day War. To them, having too much power concentrated in so few hands - the religious leaders - is bound to get the world broken yet again. For now, though; it is too early to tell. Society has begun to rebuild itself despite these worries.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Superhero 2044 Campaign

This might be too much information!


All 5 volumes capturing a significant part of my childhood and formative years as a role-playing game designer in the genre of  superheroes.
My Superhero 2044 campaign lasted about 10 years, maybe a little bit longer; I'm not sure. There was a gap of 3 or so years between my high-school days and my time in the USMC. I may have played a bit during the time on base. I looked through my notes and it seems that I created a revised role-playing game system that I named FYBS (F** You Bob System). With that I perhaps played another 3 years?

Anyhow, I decided to start connecting the pieces together again with the origins of the MEST Tactics skirmish wargame in its roots with my Superhero 2044 campaign. My opinion of that original game can be found on an earlier post here.  Essentially the game evolved as I (the Referee) played across a decade I was able with the help of my friends who where the players.

Through that time the characters acquired more power and began to become involved with politics and world-building. The original Superhero 2044 rules really didn't allow for such things and so I started pulling in concepts from other places; GDW Traveller, Time-line Limited's The Morrow Project, Hero Games Champions, SJG GURPs, SPI Starsoldier, and then also a variety of science-fiction and fantasy novels including Michael Moorcock's The Eternal Champion and Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers Series. I think those last two were students of Joseph Campbells The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which certainly influenced me as well. There may actually be several dozen more sources of inspiration which came to me after high-school; one of the later ones is Stephen R. Donaldson's The White Gold Wielder and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

What follows below are photos of my collection of writings associated with that campaign. I'm hoping that by providing this information it will help substantiate some of my decision making for world-building and rules-building.

The Five Volumes

There are five compendiums of information.
  • Volume I - Character Generation
  • Volume II - Gaming Rules
  • Volume III - Charts
  • Volume IV - Complexes Design
  • Volume V - Source

Volume I - Character Generation

This is where is starts; each player in the game lovingly crafts a superhero or supervillain character. The contents of this section were my early attempts to make sense out of the potentials provided by Donald Saxman. I did my best based upon input from other games which I played. What evidence I show here is likely a post-influence set of writings.

This is the first volume. Lots of stuff to help keep character design consistent. It is house-rule after house-rule before I even knew that people did such things.

I started in 1977 at 13 years-old. My first serious attempt to capture everything and make it consistent is in 1978. I revisited this after my time in the USMC around 1988.
The campaign moved on, but the technology for drawing character sheets (at least for me) did not.

I was very much influenced by Alfred Bester's "The Star's My Destination" and the idea of jaunting not only across points in space but also across time.

A list of characters, and their origins, gene-bases, and McWhelan strata.

More characters. I think there's six pages.

The list of organizations in my campaign.

All characters are rated in "McWhelan Stratification Points" [MwPts] using my terminology as described on my other blog which deals with the Ovodium Cosmogos directly. Anyhow, an average character is about 400 MwPts to divide into its Prime Requisites (VIG, STA, END, MNT, CHA, EGO, DEX) and into its Skills, Powers, and Wealth. 

Because I was eventually influenced by Champions (this is when I was 13 and in 7th Grade for school), I tried to establish a methodology for consistently crafting Powers. As a result the rules became a bit ornate with how it would allow a power to be improved or limited using that system's weighted advantage system. This should look familiar: 

Actual Cost = (1 + advantages)/(1 + disadvatanges)

You can imagine the trickery involved with that sort of equation, and so the rules expanded (just like in the Hero System) to manage the edge cases which could arise. However, one thing I didn't like about Champions was that everything was effects based and there wasn't (at the time of the first edition rules) any standard more modeling physical effects like fire, radiation, etc. I chose to pursue that path (see Volume II - Gaming Rules).

Volume II - Gaming Rules

MwPts measure the relative importance the character is within the universe, at the given frame-parallel that is the reality in which the characters play. Other parallel universes (hence frame-parallels) could have the same character but at different MwPts rating. The Prime Frame would be where that character has already achieved its ultimate form, and those individuals are often corrupt with power.

This is the biggest volume in terms of written material. It is in places too technical and impractical to use in casual gaming.
Luck is a property of physics (in the game) which ensures that a character will always eventually settle at the strata in which it should rest unless it should have earned a new strata through the accumulation of Experience Points [XP]. In terms of the world-building mythology I set up, as soon as a character acquired Experience Points to increase its MwPts value it would shift its frame-of-reference and become the individual at the next immediate parallel dimension. Hence "frame-parallel". Here, I was influenced by the writings of physicist Roger Penrose who suggested that reality is a fractal crystal with all events being permutations along each length of the crystal. The human mind is similar to an electric charge and where it is in that set of permutations is the reality it is currently experiencing. Of course, I had to fold this into Hugh Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation in order to make sense of how a game could play out.

Therefore there is no time. There are just reference points in which the individual soul (my terminology) at any given position remembers things in "the past", and may remember things "in the future". So, the MwPts is like an index to the soul; as the index value changed the soul would pivot into another reality, another dimension, very subtly.

I created other sections in the Gaming Rules as well.

The political organizations within the Galadac Empire. The Galadacs present themselves as a mercantile society. In Barbarian Suns, mercantilism becomes one of the four meme-cultures which drive the forces at work to alter the destiny of the galaxy.

The New Orthodox Republic was what the Catholic Church eventually became as soon as they discovered the ease with which they could enter into interstellar society. They soon created three worlds; Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. On our Earth, the remaining chapters of the NOR established the Guardian Angels Corps enforced by fanatic soldiers and gigantic Guardian space-fighter robots.

Types of NRG; "Neuro-Reimann Generators".

Luck as a balancing force in the universe.

Old School. I need to "correctly" identify how Vigor, Stamina, and Endurance were differentiated.

Since magic (symbolic energy) and emotion-control (via ECW or emotion-control waves) played a huge role in our gaming, I had to make sure that the Ego Prime Requisite was clearly defined.

The essential McWhelan Points definition.

An expansion of the implied privileges offered to vigilantes in the future. Each of these were licensed and as a result could be revoked.

The start of a very large, detailed, over-wrought section on magic. Magic is driven by manipulation of symbolic energy which is tied into emotion. It allows the creation of pocket-universes where the forces of the meta-universe can't cause a re-balancing of McWhelan strata. Often, misuse of magic will lead its practitioners to be stuck in those pocket-universes until the machinations of luck balance out.

More about magic.

Magic can be placed into devices using a complicated ritual involving chanting wherein the spellbinder imbues a configuration of symbolic energy into it and locks it into place. It involves emotion as well. I think maybe even some orgone.

I tried to list out my principal organizations and their goals.

More organizations.

More organizations. I probably had 30 or so, plus the original settings count; maybe 45 total?

My first illustration identify the MEST. Matter. Energy. Space. Time.

The arrangement of frame-parallels within the MEST.

A list of visited frame-parallels which are key harmonics. A key harmonic is a set of smaller parallel dimensions which are unique enough to be interesting to visit during game-play.  I think I used just 2 or 3 within my Superhero 2044 campaign. However, I built out each as a campaign setting for my FYBS design; one for each genre. I'll cover that at some later time!

With the destruction of Starbase One during the Martian Campaign, one of the last sets of matter-converters in the known galaxy was destroyed. These Clarke-scale matter-from-energy fabrication and defabrication devices where destroyed through-out galaxy through sabotage; both from religious fanatics (another meme-culture) and through espionage (another meme-culture). IIRC the Talimoran Guards were created to protect the the remaining matter-converters. Talimora is the origin star-system for the original designs.

Many of the alien species encountered (such as the orange-skinned Hjoyans) were very tall and so I established a new building standard for hallways, ceilings, and doors. This allowed, thematically, to ensure all Dungeons-and-Dragons style hallways and doors (5-foot wide corriders, 1.5-foot wide doors) couldn't possibly exists anymore in the setting. 

There also was a large section I created for identifying star systems. I created a graphical syntax for capturing my star system designs. With this syntax came my variation of GDW's Traveller star-system generation rules. 
I desperately wanted this to be different from what Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and other bodies of work proposed. In those writings their authors would acknowledge literary tropes which include fictional characters as being real in some portion of their corpus. Therefore Sherlock Holmes existed. And so did the god Ra or Hercules. And at the top tier of reality are abstract beings such as "Eternity" or "Chaos". And above them are the panel artists and script writers who are the paid staff of those comic-book franchises. Or, somehow; the universe is tremendously huge but it contains just 10 or so planets of strategic importance across 3 galaxies (Earth, Rann, Oa, etc). I thought those were ridiculous ideas (though interesting) limited in scope in terms of hard sci-fi. I didn't want either an Apokolips World nor an Valhalla. I wanted mind-bending scope, the same as I read in my favorite books. (The codex for that I eventually summarized in my Ovodium Cosmogos)

I wanted to try out the idea that the actual underlying reality is mathematically driven in some insane but predictable way. The Grand Unified Theory of Everything (GUTE) is realized within my campaign. Matter, Energy, Space, and Time (MEST) are inter-related at all lives. This requires new math. Make believe math, fake math, but new.

I created the concept of "Neurological Riemann Generators" [NRG, pronounced "energy"] which forms the basic of interaction within reality. Each character, a "pivoton", is an NRG emitter; able to pass magical energies through itself or because of itself.  Pivotons are codified by the types of energies which they project; N+ positive energy, N- negative energy.  At some point it becomes Pokemon with its use of discrete energy sources, but that was the reality of the new math.

Along the electro-magnetic spectrum (EMS, which now includes gravity and emotion), there is a correlation between energy effects and radiation frequency.  On the low-end, about 7-21 hertz is lightning and other electrical phenomena such as psionics with its field energies allowing telepathy and mental attacks. On the high-end for microwaves is the ability to generate radiation and cellular damage. On the very high-end is the realm of symbolic energy; cosmic radiation damages cellular structures but also alters reality. All of this is tied to emotional state. Information is a state the universe recognizes; it has mass and it can be altered by symbolic energy. So, that's where I put magic; it is the manipulation of symbols - the information keeping state organized.  Then of course, the middle spectrum of frequency dealt with heat generation, plasma, etc.

Volume III - Charts

Here's where I kept all of my notes. I had an IBM Selectric and also a Smith-Corona typewriter. I also had lots of white correction fluid to cover for my mistakes. I actually found it much easier to write stuff down instead of typing. As a result I accumulated lots of hand-written charts and tables.

A compendium of tables, charts, lists, and matrices.
What you'll see in the photos below are charts for everything! My armors, weapons, equipment, and vehicles charts were a little crazy. I think we used just 1/10 of the items, but I tried to be complete. For example, a player may want to get a plasma-gun. I would provide that and three other variations. I was wise enough, though, to make the entries generic. So; plasma-gun light, plasma-gun medium, plasma-gun heavy.

My first personality ("demeanor") selector!

One of many star maps. This one is for the Solani Sphere; that 100 light-year diameter sphere of control under stewardship by Earth through fiat established by the Galadac Empire.

A list of vehicles. This is one of the shorter lists.

Skeleton rules for exploiting natural resources on land or planets acquired.

List of metals, alloys, and super-alloys used within the game. There's some comic-book stuff, and there's entries invented by characters during the course of the game. Everything is based upon the idea that every +20 points in value is double armor strength.

There were many standard force-fields, force-shields, magic-shields, etc. Most of them have no visible-light spectrum representation and requires augmented-reality to see them. This is before the term "augmented reality" became a term; essentially it could't be seen without the help of computer-augmented vision.  The Negation Web is my favorite; looks like a dynamically shifting ball of electrical webbing.

I don't know why I have "Paint Gun" listed. I vaguely remembering that one of player's characters had to assign his war robots to repaint the exterior of his stealth ship to comply with some sort of regulation. I just think it was a joke; it was for that comical situation.

Really just fluff; a list of mercantile transport and travel lines for me to use during space-borne adventures.

My take on the grade of technology levels. I tried to be compliant with the Kardeshev Scale as well because TL 7 is Kardeshev 0.7. My scale ends here at 30-something to match with Type III civilizations.

List of tool-kits. The most popular one used is the CFAK or "Combat First Aid Kit" which is worn as an armband. Characters would normally have one, but one particular character wore it upon every limb and was a risk-taker.
A Galtec neuro-gun. One of the first emotion-control wave weapons introduced into the game.

Volume IV - Complexes Design

Eventually some of the players began to take over the campaign because they were more available with my gaming schedule. As their characters grew in power I began to build out rules for the acquisition of land, bases, battleships, and bases. This was a slow and painful growth in the game-rules and I looked into GDW's Striker and High Guard for influence. I crafted my own variation of that which I think was a little too much for me because I didn't realize at the time that the fun of these sub-systems for building vehicles is not in playing the game with the design but in building vehicles. It allowed too much tinkering, and too much specificity with hard-to-translate properties into a role-playing game.

Volume 4 spine.

Cover of Volume 4. Here you get a treat of one of my illustrations. There's more to follow.
Over time, I began to expand the campaign into a war in order to make use of the rules which I had established. This would be a variation of High Guard and allow me to send hundreds and thousands of warships into battle. Leading up to this culminating event, I crafted a background which allowed for the Earth to be a member the galaxy, which I named "The Avausim" or "Spirit of the Galaxy". The thinking was that there are huge intra-galactic cultures which have been at war for thousands upon thousands of years, going back to the time when our galaxy was cut-off from the remainder of the time-line in order to protect the universe from the inevitable; the ascension of human-kind and human-thought into god-hood. This eventually became expressed as my board-game "Barbarian Suns".

Influenced by High Guard.

The DcU scale is used for small-fleet actions. I designed two board-games at this scale which I'll cover at some later time. 

The standard hit-locations for space craft. These are tailored towards my vehicle design system.  For example, "MCavern" is a huge missile cavern which is a deep missile bay with tiers of missiles.

Some of the terminology used for the DcU game. The idea was to allow use of the carefully crafted space-faring battleships in a combat situation.

Anyhow, I created another board-game which would play using graph-paper called "In Defense of Our Mother"; the defense of Earth from conquest by the Huaggik Empire. Though in my original writings they are strongly influenced by the Gamilons from Star-blazer anime. The game scale was in 3 hours for each Turn, and the board was measured in 1-cm equal to 1 AU or astronomical unit; 150 million kilometers.

The invading hordes with their bio-organic ships and bio-organic stargates would bring in millions of horsecrab fighter ships and be repelled by the players's stellar alliance fleet. I had been prepping the war since the inception of the campaign ten-years earlier; some of the characters where already veterans of the Martian Campaign which involved expeditionary forces that repelled a Huaggik scout fleet with the help of the Galadac Empire, a mercantile society that seemed to know more than what it reveals. With that Martian Campaign, their outpost "Starbase One" was knocked out of position near our asteroid belt by the scout forces into Mars itself, killing millions as it crashed into Mons Olympus City.

The standard configuration for a planetary-defense system with distances between bases, orbital satellites, and other weapon systems near a planet.

The earliest map of the Milky Way Galaxy, or "Avausim" because what is shown are meme-cultures.

Naming conventions for ancient cultures within the Avausim.

Terms used to identify battlecraft.

More terms. I like SUDN for "Super Ultra-dreadnought" or "suddens!"

Definition of each class of battlecraft.

Some craziness. I used these power curves to build out my weapon profiles used in the game.

Some notes on how to calculate volume.

Tunnel Drive! A game-breaking technology used to get past enemy battle-planes. This was how the Talimoran system was attacked, leading to the destruction of Talimora and the strictly regulated matter-converters.

Black-hole Drive. A very dangerous technology which took tunnel drives in a complete different direction. Influenced by both Gatchaman and also Hawking Drives.

Holofield Generators covered the entire EMS including gravity and symbolic energy since in-universe the Grand Unified Theory of Everything has been codified.

I was a teenage computer programmer (two books co-authored by 17). Therefore I had to have something in place for computers in my rules.

Volume V - Source

In this binder I kept all of our illustrations and record-keeping papers which included all of the characters and vehicles. Some robots, and tons of notes. 

The final volume. 

Preface. This is a collection of characters and vehicles we designed for our game.
One of the first variations against the canonical Superhero 2044 Weekly Planning sheet. This one is for the Regulator; an armored scientist. I can't find his cartoon image in my archives ... too bad. I liked it. I must have given it away.

Black Nova. A thorn in many bad-guy's behinds. Well connected through his father David Horatio Hornblower.

Void. Power vampirism. Too much overkill.

Frenzy. ECW for berserker mentality. For himself and others.

Ogar. Renegade deranged Galadac Star Ranger recruited from Earth as a young child into Starbase One. He invented memetic regeneration which was imperfect and failed to correctly store-and-retrieve his mind between regenerations after catastrophic destruction of his armored form. Slowly went insane.

Siren. Surge projector for sonic attacks.

The Hornet. Joc Handoval. Deciphered the AI for a stolen matter-converter and began crafting genetically tailored space-hornets with a hive mind, all of which are under his control.
Part of the Hornet's character design log.

Naaru Ratonga. A Hyjoyan crime boss.
Naaru Ratonga's design log.
One interesting bit for people interested in Superhero 2044 specifically; the first edition (and second edition) rules made Inguria be a South Pacific island nation in a post-apocalyptic world where billions died after the Six Day War.  I initially had this as well, but I began to become influenced by the stories of Judge Dredd and how those Judges were more akin to the Science Police in the Ingurian setting.

Therefore I began to build out the rest of the world and established large mega-cities; none post-apocalyptic but all of them due to tremendously population growth multiplied by access to nano-technology and automated construction. There were 12 mega-cities, and Inguria was the 13th. Los Angles became a drowned region because of a tremendous earthquake which flooded San Joaquin Valley and parts of San Bernadino. The megacities were given project names such as Dojomaica for Sydney Australia, or Enoask for Hawaii. Enoask was the first megacity project and was given Enoask as a name from the Hjoyan peoples (orange-skinned giant alien people ... from outer-space) because it was the first one to use the combined science-and-engineering technologies for urban transformation.

Inguria. Megacity 13 (honorary). Apparently it is in the outskirts of Los Angeles, USA instead of the middle of the South Pacific. I probably moved it after the high-school.

Tokyo. Megacity 10.

Calcutta. Megacity 6.

Sydney. Megacity 4.

Sao Paolo. Megacity 2.

Hawaii. Megacity 1.

Now that I think of it, I also remember that there are several huge cybernetic tanks designed to look like MUTOs. One is named Alice and she is an artificial intelligence placed into the body of a Godzilla espy. Her current job is to go from mega-city to mega-city causing a wide swath of destruction in order to dramatically wreak havoc on old buildings and districts. She has a huge fan-base across the entire world and is remembered for those activities as well as her time in service as a warrior when piloting her Troll Unit during the Martian Campaign. The Troll units house these AIs and are meant to be troop transports. Mark II's are land-based carriers about 200 meters in length. Mark I are sea-based flyers which are also carriers but they are designed to lift the Mark II's into battle.

An example of a designed vehicle, the Necromancer. It is influenced by the move Alien. 

Interior of the Necromancer with hallways and state-rooms. Useful for role-playing.

Vehicle size chart. Each one of those has a design entry similar to the Necromancer.

One of the players was very influenced by Franz Joseph who illustrated the 1975 book "The Star Trek Technical Manual."

A Twerp Mobile. Designed by the Jester for use by his genetically engineered Twerps; explosive humanoids.

A Guardian space-fighter robot from the New Orthodox Republic, and a Troll Mark II. That little pimple at the bottom left is a human silhouette.

The standard Alakassi starbases, such as the one which had been quietly monitoring the Earth in 2036 outside of the orbit of Mars.

One of many Scientec designs used by the SciPol. These orbital fortresses hold geo-stationary orbits about Earth and Mars.

The base-line Scientec enforcement vehicle for LAWS; Land-Air-Water-Space.

Another Scientec design.

Hmm, there's still a lot in my head that is coming back to me. I will write these out in another post. I also have hundreds of pages of notes in probably a dozen MS-Word files that I'll need to digest again. Eventually it will make to the Internet, and hopefully in the form of its original intent; a background setting for a role-playing game. Hopefully one of my designs (revised) or for some other publisher.

The Photos

Here's the remainder of the illustrations. Lots of character illustrations as well.

The Big Bad Evil Guy. This BBEG was run by one of the players and was influential in driving the story to what it became. His origin is gaseous form, an intelligent crystalline cloud. The armor is just a means to interact with the environment.

Nubjan. Spell-binder.

Death Angel. Armored radio-active plasma-blaster.

Tai-tai. Tank and razor-girl.

Joker. Armored acrobat.

Dejavu. Minor ECW.

Controller. Teleporter and ECW.

Ninja. Teleporting acrobatic assassin.

Brythunia. Minor character.

Iron Woman? Armored blast projector.

The dissection of Damian Savage.

Cleric with cherub. New Orthodox Republic.

I'm not sure. I drew this in my biology class in high-school. 

Hell. A very angry supervillain.

Frenzy. ECW generator being hunted by the Guardian robots.

Riot Armor battle-suit.

Jester. A non-funny supervillain.

Crystal Knacht leader, Surge.

A New Orthodox Republic Guardian Angel. with holographic field projection for wings and mandala.

Cohort soldiers known as "angels" have their feet surgically removed so that they can fit into these "fabulous" battle-armors. They are the main-line warriors for the New Orthodox Republic.

A Twerp; a genetically engineered exploding humanoid.

Futility. ECW for giving up on life. Very effective.