We have some great new stuff out this month with Four Color Brawls and new Battle Tiles.
Been hard at work the last few month putting together some great new battle tiles for you fans. Each set will offer a few passages or rooms, all set to 1″ for figure use. All of these will be a layered PDF, so you can turn off or on set features as you want. Each comes with a ton of features, so there are a bazillion different combinations for you to play with.
Here is a list of what we have so far…
Dungeon Passages, in two styles, each set to 15′, 10′ and 5′ wide passages. They come with lot of great features, such as magical wards, blood smeared fl,doors, slime, pits, water filled, and more.
Dungeon chambers, in the same two styles, with all kinds of rooms, and shapes and sizes. The also will come with all kinds of features, including pits, magical fog, crystals and more.
Crypts, both as passages and Chambers. Dark and evil, these are filled with coffins, and come with all kinds of features just like our other sets.
Specialty rooms. These feature several sets of chambers with a common use, so far we have Wizard’s Lairs (With a study, lab, library and casting rooms). Torture rooms and Prisons, Temples, Magical Gates, Chasms, Treasure Rooms, Throne Rooms, and more Tombs.
Dungeon Entrances. These small sets offer a sleet entrance to a dungeon, and include Cave with hidden entrance, temple, ruins and more.
We also have plans for select sets that feature a set racial lair or location. So far we have the Dwarf mines, and chambers worked up, but have many more planed.
If that was not enough, we are hard at work on sci-fi based tiles as well.
So hold onto you seats, its going to be a wild ride.
We have some great new stuff out this month. Here is a sample of a few of them.
We have a new series of HWM products this year, Feat book set to a class. Out first is the feat book for the Acrobat class. Inside you will find 20 feats geared towards those high flyers.
Of course no Month would be complete without for IF for our Sci-Fi fans. We have a great new IF threat book out this month, jump into your space suit and go find some adventure.
If you have not yet tried it, our Counter Wars system is a great gem of a game system. Play it anywhere, just like a table top miniature game, but without the cost, and all the little toys. This month we have the Forest Barbarians for you to beat you foe with.
As always have a seat at the round table of fun with Avalon Games.
Super Hero Fiction
With the rise of super heroes in pop culture, movies doing billions of dollars and the like, it is no surprise that super hero fiction has also been taking off. Its still a small nitch field of fiction, but growing every day it seems.
I have been reading a lot of this sort of fiction over the last year, almost all of it being self-published work for sale on Amazon in e-book format, but some are also in full print. The majority of it is geared toward young readers, for obvious reasons, but even so they take on some adult themes at times and are filled with action.
Here is a short list of what I have read so far and my thoughts on each series. I will not get into too much detail as I don’t want to give any plots away and create spoilers, but I will try to give an honest assessment of the stories and the writing.
Wearing the Cape by Marion C. Harmon
This series is composed of seven books so far, one of which are a sort of side story featuring one of the characters from the main series. The main character is a young female hero named Hope, while her super hero name is Astra. She gains super powers in the first book and is invited to join the super hero team of the Sentinels, which are based in Chicago. She has several adventures throughout the series, grows in power and experience and even falls in love (I sort of hate the insta-love part of the first book, but its YA so you almost have to expect it.)
There is heartbreak, danger and some fun as we watch the young heroine grow into her place in the super group.
As the series grows Astra travels about the world, does some amazing things and battles super villains, giant lizard monsters and Japanese gods.
Over all this was a great series and I have enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of it as the author produces them. Currently he is working on an RPG based on the super hero world he has created, so that’s kind of cool.
Things I did not like about this series. Well this seems to be a problem with almost all of these types of books, the problem with a climax. We are taken on a journey thought the book, building to the big boss fight at the end and then when it’s over, that’s sort of it, all done. The ending is often abrupt and too soon after the big brawl.
While other characters are present in the book, most are sort of shallow and not well developed beyond supporting Astra, all save her best super hero friend, a vampire named Artimis. (Who has a solo book of her own that deals with the supernatural elements of the work. I did not like this one as much; it just didn’t fell like the other books in the series, although it was well writing.) This does change a bit with later books in the series, as we get to know a few of the support characters, but even then they are shallow at best.
All in all I would recommend this series for anyone looking to jump into the genre, they all are well written, and easy to ready.
Just Cause by Ian Thomas Healy
This is a large series, having 13 books. The series follows a young super heroine named Mustang Sally. She is real fast, the fastest person alive it seems. Sally is a third generation super hero, her grandmother and mother both having super speed as well, but neither as fast as Sally has become.
We watch as Sally graduates from the super hero academy, and joins a super hero group called Just Cause, the premier super group in the world. There she learns the ropes of being a professional superhero, finds romance and encounters her ultimate foe, the man that killed her father and who will try to kill her several times.
The series continues with Sally gaining more experience and becoming a leader in the super hero community. She is a great character to read, the books are fun and the action is well writing and easy to follow. Unlike most of the other books, the secondary characters take up a lot of the action as well, and are developed over time.
The series takes a few right turns here and there, focusing on other places and characters in the world, where Sally takes a back seat. One focuses on some comedy. (The only one on the series I did not like, as I generally don’t like comedy fiction) One takes place in the super prison and a jailbreak, and the last one showcases some young heroes still in middle school. (I did not think I would like that one but it turned out to be fun)
Three of the books are short stories that fill in the backstory of the world, which while not needed, are a good read anyways.
Healy seems to put out two of these every year so you can keep the action going with little delay between books.
Of all the series, I like these the best.
Velveteen by Seaman McGuire
This is a large series and comedy based, so I did not get too far into the first book before I stopped. Just not my bag of tea. It is well written and has an odd ball since of fun. If you are into weird stuff then this is a good choice for you.
Good Intensions by Michael Cider
This is a single book, which focuses on a super villain that does not want to be a super villain. He sort of gets extorted into the job. I liked the book over all with the action being fun and seeing a large villain organization for the inside was cool, but the main character’s reason for becoming a super villain sort of falls short. I just did not buy it and thought it was forced and not believable. His motivation is just off. Once he does the deed though, he finds he is roped into more and more bad things which he is forced to do, and while he tires hard to avoid killing anyone, it becomes more difficult all the time.
All in all I like the book, it is well written and fun, if a little off on the character’s main reason for starting up as a super villain.
Strikeforce by Colleen Vanderlinder
Ok so not all super hero series are as good as other. This one left me cold and by the end of the third and final book I was done with it and the main character.
I did not have a problem with the writing over all, it is well done and the action was well developed. What I ended up not liking about the series is the main character is the best at everything. She is the strongest person, the fastest, and it seems the smartest as all the main problems solved are her ideas. It’s just like all the other heroes in the book are there to seem dumb so she can come up with all the good solutions to the problem. They even wait around for her to do it, when a bad villain shows up, they all hang back and wait until she shows up to capture them. It almost gets to be a comedy at times as she does everything and all the other super heroes just sort of watch.
While well written I would not recommend this series, not unless you have read all the good ones first and just need a super hero fix to get by.
Vandguard by Percival Constantine
This is a six book series that will continue I am sure. The series deals with a group of young heroes led by an unpowered soldier that wears a super exo-suit. The series watches as they grow into a super team, deal with bad super terrorists, mad scientists, aliens invasions and time travel. All in all it’s a good series, the characters are well developed over time and the action is fun.
There are a lot of super people in the book, but it seems only the heroes in the super group are the heroes in the whole world, no one else seems to be around. That and a few other miss steps drop the over all effect of the series, but over all it was a good read.
I did not find myself as invested in this series and these characters as much as I was with Just Cause or Wearing the Cape, but overall the Vandguard series is a good read.
The Indestrutbles by Mathew Phillion
A series of five books and two short stories, this is a great series about young heroes. We watch as an older hero takes in several young super people and trains them to be a force of good. Over the course of the series we get to know all of the characters well, watch as they grow in power, experience and depth.
The series takes us through battles with super organizations of terrorists, alien invasions, time travel, magical adventures and all sorts of fun thing. All of the characters are well writing and the action fun and fast as the stories seem to just cook along at the right pace.
I liked this series a lot, and am looking forward to a lot more in the future.
In conclusion, all of these series can be found on Amazon and available on Kindle. As they are cheep, you can get into a series for only a few bucks.
I am looking forward to more books in several of these series and even new series to pop up. If you like super heroes and comic books, then these are some great additional to your fandom.
We have some great new stuff coming out this year, such as Avalon hazards and Avalon Lairs.
Avalon hazards offers s short, but fun little challenge for your players, something that may or may not be dangerous, but will offer a fun opportunity for excitement.
Avalon Lairs is a short Adventure site, a lair, of some monster or bad guys. Need an adventure real fast, but don’t want to have to read a book length description, well we have the right balance of adventure and information and stats.
Always working on new gaming goodies for your great fans. This time around we are hard at work on some new battle tiles. Easy will be a layered PDF so you will have tons of options on what tom print up and how it willow.
Should have the first sets out this spring.
Avalon Review of 2016
Well another year is coming to an end and so we here at Avalon are once again taking a look back to see what we did right and what we got wrong.
2016 over all was another down year. The economy is still sluggish in terms of sales numbers and with the chaos of the election year, even more so this year then in the past, brought some doubts to the market and lower over all numbers. While the market was soft, it was not a huge drop in over all sales numbers then seen in other years, but the lower numbers were clear.
Even with lower sales numbers Avalon was a profitable venture, and expanded its product line with well over 200 new products produced and put up for sale in 2016. We were able to finally get Kung Fu Kuma out as well as all its support products. We also produced two new volumes of Heroes Weekly, with the addition of 48 new issues between the two volumes. Avalon also expanded its efforts in the Infinite Futures product line with new IF Threats and the release of Cyber Age for IF.
What Did We Do Right
Avalon tried to bring new voices to the market and added two great writers to our stable of creative people. Both woman offered great work for publishing and helped to expand our offering in Pathfinder with new issues of Heroes Weekly as well as new product line such as Avalon Spell Books and Haunts.
Avalon continued to be a profitable venture and stayed out of debt once again. We added new capital to our investments in the stock market, with double the amount of funding then we had previously invested.
One major effort this year was to clean out the pipeline of products in the works. With some effort we were able to complete, layout and either publish or have ready to publish, several products and product lines, including the long awaited HWM Powers, and Scorched Earth for Pathfinder.
Avalon was able to keep anyone willing to work with plenty to do, offering several new product lines and or opportunities to continue to have a voice in the gaming hobby. Several of our writers were able to either explore new directions to work in or were able to add to already established product lines.
As always, Avalon was on time with its payments to our creative people and only a few times did we have a hick-up with any emails being missed or late in replying. Avalon also had several new opportunities presented to us from outside sources, some of which we jumped into with both feet, while others we had to pass on because of concerns about the viability of the venture. Some opportunities we put on hold for 2017 where we will explore them in more depth.
What Did We Do Wrong
Avalon did not have any major disasters this year, but some things still need to be addressed. While the web site is a great tool for us and we continue to expand what it has to offer, with new reviews and content, we still need to push it as a destination for great gaming news and content. We failed once more to get a store front up and running, as it never really got beyond the talking stage. We also explored other ways to bring in views, with reviews and the like, but we still can do more.
Avalon once more sort of fell short of getting the word out about what we have to offer. While we have been around for almost ten years now, people are still coming in says they have never heard of us. We dropped online ads as they never seemed to pay off, but we may have to look into new efforts to bring us to the forefront of peoples minds when they think of fun games.
We talked a lot about a lots of ideas. Some while might have been fun to work on, would have cost too much and might never have brought in new money or fans. Online comics were looked at, but as with a lot of stuff, the effort to make it become a paying venture was just too much work for the return.
The same seems to be the case for online fiction. While it might be great to pursue, the effort to make it pay off might be way too much for us to bother with. Does that mean we will not eventually jump on these or other things, it is just that we may have to either wait for them to be more profit potentials or until we have the time to really promote them so that they become profitable.
What Is In The Works For the Future?
So what to look forward to in the coming year? Well Avalon has a lot in the works that’s for sure. We have David Caffee, the master writer that he is, working on a Savage Swords version of Pathfinder as well as a great setting for that game. Meanwhile we are also working on new stuff for Pathfinder, with new HWM goodies and character books, as well as new ship deck plans and threat books for IF.
With Pazio planning to release their own Sci-Fi version of Pathfinder in the summer of 2017, Avalon will be well placed with a ton of support materials to be used with that system as our IF product line will be bulging with goodies.
We are also going to jump into releases of 5e based products and are looking into having versions of IF and HWM made ready for that system as well.
We also have plans for a 5e solo system and some great new table top miniature systems. Avalon will continue to support some current product lines such Arcana and our Mini-Games as well as offer art, paper models and new Pathfinder goodies.
What will 2017 hold for Avalon, who knows . What we can says for sure is that we will continue to try to present games and gaming goodies, and to offer the best stuff we can product, and at a great price.
“So we are just going to go in and take them down, right?” Mindy asked as she and Tucker walked down the hall to her training room.
“Well, more or less,” he opened the door for the two of them, “Just because we got that tip you wrangled out of that thug doesn’t mean it’s going to be accurate.”
“But it could lead to something bigger?” Mindy persisted as she walked over to the magnetic weight-lifting equipment the company had installed for her. She could lift a car over her head these days, her capabilities expanding along with her strength-building routine.
“Yes, it could lead to something big.” Tucker said more to himself as he left her to make a call to his boss.
“It was unfortunate that she fell into the information about the shipment, but once she had her nose on the trail, she just did not give it up.” Tucker explained to his boss over the phone.
“No matter,” the voice articulated without emotion. “It was not a disaster, and we were able to get most of the shipment into the city by other means.”
“And the mobsters that she caught…what about them?”
“We willget them released soon enough,” the voice affirmed just before hanging up.
We completed the last of the missions for the Mini-Mission book and Mindy came out doing just fine. She and Bounce took out the mob thugs and gained some more Exp. and goodies.
Brick, Level 2
AC: 14 (+2 natural)
Base Attack: +1
Fort: +7 Reflex: +1 Will: +0
Melee: Fist +10 (1D3+9)
Special Defense: DR 2 / –
Str 27 (+9), Dex 13 (+2), Con 16 (+4), Int 10 (+0), Wis 10 (+0), Chr 12 (+1)
Powers: Growth (2, Always On), Invulnerability (1), Super Strength (2)
Class Features: Extreme Effort, +1 Attribute (Con), 1 Power Point (Super Strength)
Feats: Oversized Throw, Super Lift
Skills: Intimidation 1 (+8), Perception 1 (+1), Power Activation 1 (+0) and Stealth 1 (+2)
Flavor and Flaws: Gullible and Sponsored
Special: (2 RPs +1)
Combat Suit (+2 AC), Night Vision Goggles (Dark Vision)
Issue 1: Born in an Explosion
Issue 2: Corporate Super Hero
Issue 3: Mindy helps out the Professor
Issue 4: Day at the Mall
Issue 5: The Goblin
Issue 6: Car Theft
Issue 7: Car Theft #2
Issue 8: Chop Shop
Issue 9: Night Off
Issue 10: Robot Rampage
Issue 11: Keys to the City
Issue 12: Plans are Made
Issue 13: Mobs Thugs
Go Gooder: 1
Street Thug: 1
Law and Order: 4
Personal Life: 3 (Pam 3)
Hero Points: 1
Gadget Girl: 2
Bethany the Witch: 2
The Goblin: 1
The Hood: 1
Plans are Made
“So Gadget Girl has set up shop along the old wharf,” said Mindy as she lay in bed reading the paper. “She seems to be making a big thing of it.”
Pam walked out of the bathroom, her hair tied up in a towel, “Yea, I saw that! See? It’s just like I was telling you; it’s time to get things rolling with Rent-A-Hero,” she climbed into the bed with her girlfriend.
“We just need the funding,” Mindy announced assuredly as she tossed the paper off the bed and cuddled with Pam.
“Well, I might have a lead on that as well,” Pam offered after kissing Mindy. “I just have to do a bit of research first to see if it will be a good fit.”
Rolled “Informants, Contacts, and Allies” once more, so we had her gain a +1 to her Mob rank once again, so she can take on the last of the mission trees for the Mini-Mission book.