William "Bill" Willingham is an American writer and artist of comics, known for his work on the series Elementals and Fables. William Willingham was born in Virginia. During his father's military career the family lived in Alaska and three years in Germany. Willingham got his start in the late 1970s to early 1980s as a staff artist for TSR, Inc. where he illustrated a number of their role-playing game products. He was the cover artist for the AD&D Player Character Record Sheets, Against the Giants, Secret of Bone Hill, the Gamma World book Legion of Gold, provided the back cover for In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, he was an interior artist on White Plume Mountain, Slave Pits of the Undercity, Ghost Tower of Inverness, Secret of the Slavers Stockade, Secret of Bone Hill, Palace of the Silver Princess, Isle of Dread, In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, the original Fiend Folio, Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords, Against the Giants, Queen of the Spiders, Realms of Horror, the second and third editions of the Top Secret role-playing game.
He wrote and illustrated a couple of 1982 adventures for the game Villains & Vigilantes for Fantasy Games Unlimited, Death Duel with the Destroyers and The Island of Doctor Apocalypse. Willingham produced the alien race design artwork for the original Master of Orion video game, he first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and illustrated. He contributed stories to Green Lantern and started his own independent, black-and-white comic book series Coventry which lasted only 3 issues, he produced the pornographic series Ironwood for Eros Comix. In the late 1990s, Willingham produced the 13-issue Pantheon for Lone Star Press and wrote a pair of short novels about the modern adventures of the hero Beowulf, a fantasy novel Down the Mysterly River published by the Austin, Texas writer's collective, Clockwork Storybook, of which Willingham was a founding member. In the early 2000s, he began writing for DC Comics, including the limited series Proposition Player, a pair of limited series about the Greek witch Thessaly from The Sandman, the series Fables.
In 2003, Fables won the Will Eisner Comic Industry awards for best serialized story and best new series. He describes himself as "rabidly pro-Israel" and says that Fables "was intended from the beginning" as a metaphor for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, although he argues that Fables is not "a political tract, it never will be, but at the same time, it's not going to shy away from the fact that there are characters who have real moral and ethical centers, we're not going to apologize for it."Willingham worked on the Robin series from 2004 to 2006, established Shadowpact, a title spun off his Day of Vengeance limited series. He wrote Jack of Fables, an ongoing spin-off of his Fables series, co-written by Lilah Sturges. At the 2007 Comic Con International, he announced that he would be writing Salvation Run, a mini-series about supervillains who are banished to an inhospitable prison planet, he handed over the writing to Sturges after two issues because of illness. He worked on DCU: Decisions, a four-issue mini-series that deals with Green Arrow's endorsement of a political candidate.
Again with Sturges, he began writing the Vertigo series House of Mystery, DC's Justice Society of America with issue #29. In 2009, Willingham agreed to write for Angel by IDW Publishing, initiated a new storyline titled "Immortality for Dummies". At 2013 NY Comic Con it was announced that Willingham would be writing a seven part mini series for Dynamite Entertainment; the series is Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure and includes some of Dynamite's licensed and public domain characters in a steampunk setting. The series was released in January 2014, a collected edition was published in January 2015; the issues listed include those where writing credits are for at least one story included in the issue. Other sources"Bill Willingham at Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Official website Bill Willingham at the Comic Book DB Bill Willingham at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Bill Willingam at Library of Congress Authorities, with 62 catalog records
Jeff Dee is an American artist and game designer. He was the youngest artist in the history of pioneering role-playing game company TSR when he began his work at the age of eighteen, he designed the Villains and Vigilantes superhero game. He was a co-host on the Atheist Non-Prophets atheism advocacy podcasts. In the late 1970s, while Dee was still a teenager, he and Jack Herman created Villains and Vigilantes, the first complete superhero role-playing game; the game was published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1979. Dee and Herman convinced Scott Bizar to produce a second edition, published in 1982. Dee came up with the idea of creating a role-playing game based on cartoons when he, Greg Costikyan, several other designers were talking about genres for which game systems had not yet been designed. Jeff Dee was the youngest artist in TSR history. In 1997, with his partner'Manda, Dee founded UNIgames, a publisher of role-playing and computer games. Dee created a new superhero roleplaying game called Living Legends in 2005, although the project was titled Advanced Villains and Vigilantes.
In 2009, he co-founded developers of an MMO named Gargantua. In addition to his artistic and game-related work, Dee is transhumanist, he has been the host of a bi-weekly Internet podcast called The Non-Prophets and a former host of a live, public-access television program, The Atheist Experience. "Jeff Dee". Pen & Paper RPG database. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2011-08-22. Jeff Dee's profile at MobyGames A Jeff Dee art gallery, including most of his AD&D work What Worries Jeff Dee?, Dee's blog
Death Duel with the Destroyers
Death Duel with the Destroyers is a 1982 role-playing game adventure for Villains and Vigilantes published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. Death Duel with the Destroyers is the first adventure published by FGU for Villains & Vigilantes, represents the first battle between a group of superhero player characters and the mysterious Dr. Apocalypse, a super-scientific villain. William A. Barton reviewed Death Duel with the Destroyers in The Space Gamer No. 52. Barton commented that "Death Duel with the Destroyers could provide a good evening or two of superheroic action. If you haven't yet given up on V&V, wish to wait for the revised rules, or feel up to adapting it to another system, it could prove worth your investment." Different Worlds #23
A superhero is a type of heroic stock character possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, battling supervillains. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine, although the word superhero is commonly used for females. Superhero fiction is the genre of fiction, centered on such characters in American comic book and films since the 1930s. By most definitions, characters do not require actual superhuman powers or phenomena to be deemed superheroes. While the Dictionary.com definition of "superhero" is "a figure in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and portrayed as fighting evil or crime", the longstanding Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers. Terms such as masked crime fighters, costumed adventurers or masked vigilantes are sometimes used to refer to characters such as the Spirit, who may not be explicitly referred to as superheroes but share similar traits.
Some superheroes use their powers to counter daily crime while combating threats against humanity from supervillains, who are their criminal counterparts. At least one of these supervillains will be the superhero's archenemy; some long-running superheroes and superheroines such as Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, Green Lantern, the Flash, Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man and the X-Men have a rogues gallery of many villains. There are movies and TV shows featuring various super heroes; the word'superhero' dates to at least 1917. Antecedents of the archetype include such folkloric heroes as Robin Hood, who adventured in distinctive clothing; the 1903 play The Scarlet Pimpernel and its spinoffs popularized the idea of a masked avenger and the superhero trope of a secret identity. Shortly afterward and costumed pulp fiction characters such as Jimmie Dale/the Gray Seal, The Shadow and comic strip heroes, such as the Phantom began appearing, as did non-costumed characters with super strength, including Patoruzú, the comic-strip character Popeye and novelist Philip Wylie's character Hugo Danner.
In the 1930s, both trends came together in some of the earliest superpowered costumed heroes such as Japan's Ōgon Bat, Mandrake the Magician, Superman in 1938 and Captain Marvel at the beginning of the Golden Age of Comic Books. The precise era of the Golden Age of Comic Books is disputed, though most agree that it was started with the launch of Superman in 1938. Superman remains one of the most recognizable Superheroes to this day; the success of Superman spawned a whole new genre of characters with secret identities and superhuman powers – the Superhero genre. During the 1940s there were many superheroes: The Flash, Green Lantern and Blue Beetle debuted in this era; this era saw the debut of first known female superhero, writer-artist Fletcher Hanks's character Fantomah, an ageless ancient Egyptian woman in the modern day who could transform into a skull-faced creature with superpowers to fight evil. The Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, a non-costumed character who fought crime and wartime saboteurs using the superpower of invisibility created by Russell Stamm, would debut in the eponymous syndicated newspaper comic strip a few months on June 3, 1940.
One superpowered character was portrayed as an antiheroine, a rarity for its time: the Black Widow, a costumed emissary of Satan who killed evildoers in order to send them to Hell—debuted in Mystic Comics #4, from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics. Most of the other female costumed crime-fighters during this era lacked superpowers. Notable characters include The Woman in Red, introduced in Standard Comics' Thrilling Comics #2; the most iconic comic book superheroine, who debuted during the Golden Age, is Wonder Woman. Modeled from the myth of the Amazons of Greek mythology, she was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, with help and inspiration from his wife Elizabeth and their mutual lover Olive Byrne. Wonder Woman's first appearance was in All Star Comics #8, published by All-American Publications, one of two companies that would merge to form DC Comics in 1944. Pérák was an urban legend originating from the city of Prague during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in the midst of World War II.
In the decades following the war, Pérák has been portrayed as the only Czech superhero in film and comics. In 1952, Osamu Tezuka's manga Tetsuwan Atom, more popularly known in the West as Astro Boy, was published; the series focused upon a robot boy built by a scientist to replace his deceased son. Being built from an incomplete robot intended for military purposes Astro Boy possessed amazing powers such as flight through thrusters in his feet and the incredible mechanical strength o
Superworld is a superhero-themed role-playing game published by Chaosium in 1983. Written by Basic Role-Playing and RuneQuest author Steve Perrin, Superworld began as one third of the Worlds of Wonder product, which included a generic fantasy setting, "Magic World", a generic science fiction setting, "Future World", all using the same core Basic Role-Playing rules. Only Superworld became a game in its own right. Superworld is based on the traditional Chaosium Basic Role-Playing system augmented by super-powers. Seven characteristics are rolled with dice The sum of these characteristics gives a total of Hero Points used to buy super powers; the super powers system follows the Champions model of powers. For example, one does not buy "Laser Vision", but the effect "Energy Blast" and specifies that it is a laser emitted by the hero's eyes; each effect can be modified by Advantages or Disadvantages which increase or reduce the cost of a power. Hero Points can be used to buy skills or increase characteristics.
It is possible to get more Hero Points for character creation by choosing Disabilities for the character, such as Public Identity, Vulnerability to a Substance, Psychological Problems, etc. More Hero Points would be awarded for experience at the end of a game session; the system functions in the same way as the other Basic Role-Playing games, by rolling percentile dice against skills. Lower rolls than needed can cause increased effect from Specials, or Criticals, high rolls can cause critical failures. Combat rules have many options and take into account three types of energy for damage: Kinetic and Radiation; the game box contains three rules booklets, a booklet of character sheets, one of tables for the Gamemaster, a page of cardboard figure silhouettes to be cut out, a set 6, 8, 20-sided dice. 1984 printings contains a 4-page errata booklet. The "Superheroes Book" contains character creation rules, the game system itself, two character sheets with a male and female standing silhouette; the "Superpowers Book" describes the Powers available to the characters and Disadvantages that can be applied to them, Disabilities that can affect the character.
The interior covers have two more character sheets, this time with silhouettes of a male and female in flight. The "Gamemasters Book" advises the GM on various aspects of a campaign, the legal system and the creation of organizations adapted to a superhero universe, with three specific examples: FIRE for Free Investigatory Research Enterprise, FORCE for Federal Organization for the Registration and Certification of Exotics, the Omega Institute; the "Gamemasters Book" includes two scenarios: "Deadly Devices of Doctor Dread", which pits a team of heroes against the Dr. Dread of the title and his subordinates, "The Haunting", which describes a mysterious and ancient volume desired by a mystical super-villain. Scenario. Author: Ken Rolston. Set in a high school, designed for teenage characters, it lets players use their own. Beginning with the funeral of one of their friends, it sets the heroes on the track of a drug distribution network in their school, directed by the aforementioned Dr. Drugs, it includes rules for the creation and management of adolescent characters that have just discovered their powers, a plan of Warren G. Harding High School, though the scenario recommends substituting the school in which the GM and the players studied.
Rules supplement. Many authors: Stephen R. Marsh, Stephen Perrin, Ian Lee Starcher, Anthony Affronti, Jimmy Akin II, William A Barton, Norman Doege, Bruce Dresselhaus, Ray Greer, Zoran Kovacich, George MacDonald, Steve Maurer, Sandy Petersen, Wayne Shaw, John Sullivan—most are listed because they provided one or more optional rules. Includes: new and expanded powers and other optional rules guides for conversion to and from Champions and Villains and Vigilantes character sheets covering two pages instead of one: with a male or female silhouette a description of the effects of the climate on the play "Project Superhero", a detailed base for Superworld and Champions, rules for Danger Rooms Scenario / Campaign. Authors: Stephen Perrin, Yurek Chodak, Donald Harrington, Charles Huber. A linked collection of three scenarios based on the members of the criminal organization HAVOC. All the characters are presented with characteristics for with three different systems, Superworld and Villains & Vigilantes.
Each may be as part of a campaign. "Crisis At Calliente" introduces HAVOC. The heroes are called to dislodge a group of villains from a nuclear reactor. "Return of the Elokians" includes a call for help, an earthquake, a confrontation with the villain King Snake, whose henchmen include members of HAVOC, a lost world cavern occupied by a race facing extinction. "Fourth for Bridge?" is set in Antarctica, where several teams of super-beings—Americans, a team from HAVOC—each try to be the first to the wreck of a spaceship landed in the ice. It is possible to play any team, or play two or three teams in parallel if there are enough players. Pre-generated characters are proposed for each team but the players are free to substitute their usual characters. Crede Lambard reviewed Superworld in Space Gamer No. 70. Lambard commented that "Superworld is good. I doubt that it will supplant Champ
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. There are several forms of role-playing games; the original form, sometimes called the tabletop role-playing game, is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing, players physically perform their characters' actions. In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master decides on the rules and setting to be used, while acting as the referee. Several varieties of RPG exist in electronic media, such as multiplayer text-based Multi-User Dungeons and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Role-playing games include single-player role-playing video games in which players control a character, or team of characters, who undertake quests, may include player capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics.
These electronic games sometimes share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling. This type of game is well-established, so some RPG-related game forms, such as trading/collectible card games and wargames, may not be included under the definition; some amount of role-playing activity may be present in such games. The term role-playing game is sometimes used to describe games involving roleplay simulation and exercises used in teaching and academic research. Both authors and major publishers of tabletop role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling. Events and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience, the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline. Interactivity is the crucial difference between traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player in a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story; such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.
While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games of make believe, role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with additions such as game facilitators and rules of interaction. Participants in a role-playing game will generate an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief; the level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes. Role-playing games are played in a wide variety of formats ranging from discussing character interaction in tabletop form to physically acting out characters in LARP to playing characters in digital media. There is a great variety of systems of rules and game settings. Games that emphasize plot and character interaction over game mechanics and combat sometimes prefer the name storytelling game; these types of games tend to minimize or altogether eliminate the use of dice or other randomizing elements.
Some games are played with characters created before the game by the GM, rather than those created by the players. This type of game is played at gaming conventions, or in standalone games that do not form part of a campaign. Tabletop and pen-and-paper RPGs are conducted through discussion in a small social gathering; the GM describes its inhabitants. The other players describe the intended actions of their characters, the GM describes the outcomes; some outcomes are determined by the game system, some are chosen by the GM. This is the format; the first commercially available RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, was inspired by fantasy literature and the wargaming hobby and was published in 1974. The popularity of D&D led to the birth of the tabletop role-playing game industry, which publishes games with many different themes and styles of play; the popularity of tabletop games has decreased since the modern releases of online MMO RPGs. This format is referred to as a role-playing game. To distinguish this form of RPG from other formats, the retronyms tabletop role-playing game or pen and paper role-playing game are sometimes used, though neither a table nor pen and paper are necessary.
A LARP is played more like improvisational theatre. Participants act out their characters' actions instead of describing them, the real environment is used to represent the imaginary setting of the game world. Players are costumed as their characters and use appropriate props, the venue may be decorated to resemble the fictional setting; some live action role-playing games use rock-paper-scissors or comparison of attributes to resolve conflicts symbolically, while other LARPs use physical combat with simulated arms such as airsoft guns or foam weapons. LARPs vary in size from a handful of players to several thousand, in duration from a couple of hours to several days; because the number of players in a LARP is larger than in a tabletop role-playing game, the players may be interacting in separate physical spaces, there is less of an emphasis on maintaining a narrative or directly entertai
Greg Costikyan, sometimes known under the pseudonym "Designer X", is an American game designer and science fiction writer. Costikyan's career spans nearly all extant genres of gaming, including: hex-based wargames, role-playing games, card games, computer games, online games and mobile games. Several of his games have won Origins Awards, he co-founded Manifesto Games, now out of business, with Johnny Wilson in 2005. Greg Costikyan is the son of politician Edward N. and Frances Costikyan. He married Louise Disbrow, September 4, 1986. Costikyan is a 1982 graduate of Brown University, he is a frequent speaker at game industry events including the Game Developers Conference and E³. Greg Costikyan has been a game designer since the 1970s. Costikyan worked at SPI until it was closed by TSR in 1982, his 1983 game Bug-Eyed Monsters brought West End Games into the science-fiction and fantasy genres, the following year he licensed his Paranoia role-playing game to West End Games for publishing after trying unsuccessfully to find a publisher.
Costikyan designed Toon for Steve Jackson Games after developing it from an idea suggested by Jeff Dee. West End Games acquired licensing to make a game based on Star Wars, Costikyan designed Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, published in 1987, with help from Doug Kaufman and others. Costikyan and Eric Goldberg left West End Games in January 1987, forming the short-lived Goldberg Associates; when West End Games declared bankruptcy in 1998, Costikyan and Goldberg tried to recover the rights to Paranoia. Costikyan designed the role-playing game Violence under the pseudonym "Designer X" for Hogshead Publishing, made the game available under a Creative Commons license. Costikyan and Goldberg licensed Paranoia to Mongoose Publishing, which began producing new books for the game in 2004. Costikyan was the CEO of Manifesto Games, a start-up devoted to providing a viable path to market for independently developed computer games, he subsequently worked as a consultant for several years before joining Guerillapps as lead game designer in March 2010 to develop its game "Trash Tycoon" for Facebook.
In May 2011, he joined Disney Playdom as senior games designer and in January 2014 assumed the same role at Loop Drop. In June 2015, Costikyan joined Boss Fight Entertainment as senior games designer, he has written on games, game design, game industry business issues for publications including: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Interactive, The Escapist and Game Developers Magazine, is the author of science fiction novels. He has lectured on game design at universities including: the Copenhagen ITU, Helsinki University of Art & Design, RPI, SUNY Stony Brook. Costikyan's notable works include: Web and Starship Toon Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game Pax Britannica Paranoia The Creature That Ate Sheboygan MadMaze Violence: The Roleplaying Game of Egregious and Repulsive Bloodshed The Price of Freedom Costikyan's other RPG credits include Acute Paranoia for Paranoia, Your Own Private Idaho for The Price of Freedom. In addition, Costikyan is a published author on the subject of game design and the role of games in culture.
His essay, "I Have No Words and I Must Design" is read as a conceptual approach to framing game design. Costikyan worked on game design including writing and consulting for Nokia. In September 2005, he left Nokia to join with Johnny Wilson, former editor of Computer Gaming World, in founding the startup indie game publisher Manifesto Games, he contributed to the now defunct Manifesto Games' website, was editor in chief of their now defunct offshoot game review blog Play This Thing. In the 1970s and 80s, Costikyan was a leading player of Slobbovia, his novel One Quest, Hold the Dragons includes several stories about crottled greeps, a Slobbovian meme. In February 2009, Costikyan updated the rules and re-released his 1979 space combat game, Vector 3, under a Creative Commons license as a free PDF download. Costikyan has written four novels; the first two were parodies of genre fantasy: Another Day, Another Dungeon and its sequel One Quest, Hold the Dragons. By the Sword is another irreverent fantasy about a young barbarian, forced by circumstances to make his way in the larger world.
His latest novel, First Contract, depicts the vast sociological and economic changes that happen after aliens arrive on Earth, one entrepreneur's efforts to survive and make a new start. In 2013, Costikyan's non-fiction look at the role of uncertainty in game development Uncertainty in Games was published by MIT Press. A paperback edition was subsequently published in 2015. ISBN 9780262527538. Costikyan is the winner of five Origins Awards. On March 7, 2007, Costikyan received the Game Developers Choice Awards Maverick Award; the award was given for his tireless efforts to c