Podcasts/Episode P-3

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The Letters Page: Publisher's Note 3

Original Source

Intro

We're back! Paul is back! Excitement!

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:30:34

There's plenty of nonsense in this one - fear not - but we also get the start of GTG from Paul's perspective, and even get into Sentinel Comics lore content... including some MASSIVE Sentinel Comics future preview spoilers! Questions are asked, answered, and more!

If you want to submit questions for Christopher, Adam, and/or Paul, use our handy question submission form!

Characters Mentioned

Summary

Questions

  • A while ago, there was an episode about the origin story of Sentinels of the Multiverse and Greater Than Games which mentioned how they brought you on-board as they were starting the business; can you tell us your version of those events, Paul? First off, Christopher has issues with the thing about them “bringing Paul on board” as Paul was the one actually pushing for there to be a company in the first place. Anyway, Paul and Christopher were in a middle school gymnasium when Paul was first told about the game. However, that wasn’t where the majority of the information was relayed to him. They started there, continued on the drive to a Mexican restaurant, then most of the discussion took place there (sitting across from one another at a very long table with too many people at it - for real, large groups at restaurants should just break into groups of like 6 or something rather than insisting of being all seated together; this is something that they don’t miss at all regarding the lockdown). In particular, Christopher remembers talking a lot about Fanatic and Haka at that time. Anyway, that was the first time they discussed the game in the fall of 2010. Later, when Christopher started talking about maybe developing it to sell to some other company was when Paul suggested making their own company to produce the thing (Christopher: “But I don’t wanna…”). Paul spent time that fall looking into how board game production, manufacturing, distribution, etc. all worked and then presented the overall idea to Christopher and Adam over Skype. That was all by around Thanksgiving in 2010, but things weren’t finalized until late January 2011. This also involved a lot of backwards time calculation (if this is going to work, we need a booth at Gen Con, so we need to have copies to sell at Gen Con, so we need production to be done by X date, which means Adam needs to have the art done by Y date, which means he needs to be on track to do Z pieces of art per day until then - the first of many such conversations Paul needed to have with Adam). [They also go over the process of Christopher moving the First Edition boxes from the shipping pallets to their storage unit a few at a time on the hottest day of the year, but they did discuss that story in the Origin Story extrasode.]
    • Christopher does note that after the exhausting work of moving the things, he drove to Paul’s place (which was nearby) to collapse in a puddle on the floor. He says this was probably the unsafest driving he’s ever done. Paul immediately corrects him that there was an incident in September 2010 where they’d stayed up all night playing Minecraft before then driving an hour (in separate cars) somewhere. Eventually, Christopher (in the following car) sees Paul drift over a line and back and decides that it’s a good idea for him to call Paul up so that they can talk to keep their minds occupied and awake while driving. Don’t be like them, kids. Christopher does note, however, that in neither of those very unsafe driving states did anything bad happen, unlike the time where he was fully awake and safely driving where he wound up driving a truck through a car (tearing that car in half).
    • Another note on driving - when they drove to that first Gen Con in the rented van there was a section of highway in Illinois they drove through where construction was happening (or, rather, they joke that they drove through the section where the construction was happening at the time as there’s always construction somewhere along the route in Illinois between St. Louis to Indianapolis - there’s just these two guys who are just always working somewhere, so the work is never done as there’s just too much road for these overworked, but incredibly industrious guys to finish on their own). In any event, there were concrete barriers delineating the lane in the construction zone which were only barely further apart than the van they were in was wide. They refer to this experience as the “Death Star Trench”
  • Question from Christopher to Paul: At what point did you realize “Oh… We have something here”? Early on Paul was the only one actually living in St. Louis and he was the one fulfilling the distributor orders for SotM. The first moment of realization was regarding the web store. They released SotM in early August at Gen Con. While they were at PAX later that month, the first reviews started coming out. Up until that point, the web store had been selling one or two a day and so Paul’s wife Maia figured she could handle that while he was gone, but it ballooned up to 25 or 30 a day at that time. This was more than she could get done in the morning before heading off to her actual job, so their neighbor/lawyer came over to help pack things. The second one was a few months later when they started getting so many distributor orders that, at one point, it took three separate trips with Maia’s Toyota Highlander packed full of boxes to get all of the orders from the storage unit to the FedEx store. Christopher also chimes in that Gen Con was a blur and they couldn’t see the forest for the trees a bit, but at that PAX things really did start coming together. They heard from Maia about the orders, they had people coming up to their booth looking for them as they’d heard about the game (like, the game just came out, how is there word-of-mouth already?) given the buzz from people who got it at Gen Con and they were #1 on BoardGameGeek.com’s “Hotness” list [just go to the site and look at the vertical list on the left side - it’s an automated, real-time list of games whose pages are being looked at the most frequently - now look at the archived version of the site recorded on August 30, 2011 - a few days after the PAX event in question]. They even wound up having several “rubbing elbows with famous people” encounters at that PAX. It was during the trip home from that show that the three of them kind of looked at each other with a “Huh…”. They had several “huh…” moments over time that generally fell in line with when they could start making this their full-time jobs.
  • [Letter about something I don’t think I noted in the previous Publisher’s Note summary - they mentioned “Jenny” singing with Trevor in the Publisher’s Note version of the Letters song] Who is Jenny/which Jenny is this? Is it the Jen who plays in the RPG livestreams? Did I mishear? The meta-level answer is that there are too many people their age named “Jennifer” as it was simply a very popular girls’ name. [Seriously, go to the Social Security name-popularity site and search for Jennifer from 1960 to present, it was the #1 popular name for girls from 1970 until 1984 and was in the top 10 from ’66 to ’91. They also bring up “Jessica”, which was another top girls name near the end of that run, and the one that eventually supplanted Jennifer. Also, Christopher - well, “Chris”, but the vast majority of them are just nicknames for people whose full name is Christopher which very few people their age uses as their day-to-day name, the remaining small percent being named Christian. Christopher was in the top 5 boy names from ’72 through ’98 with a decent chunk of time spanning when our Christopher was born where it was #2 specifically. For the curious, “Michael” is the reigning champ of boys names - in the top 5 from ’49 through 2010 and in the #1 slot from ’54 through ’98 excluding 1960 where it was #2. One of our chat regulars brings up the pain of growing up in Ireland while named “Patrick”.] So, that’s why GTG has a lawyer named Jennifer, their COO/Creative Director named “Jen” (who played in the livestreams), and the Jenny who sang in the song is Trevor’s partner with whom he has 2 children.
  • My copy of Jagged Earth has arrived and I was wondering, if I decided to sleeve all of my cards do you have a suggestion for the amount/size of sleeve I should get? Funny you should ask. Christopher and Paul both hate card sleeves and think that you shouldn’t use them unless you have valuable/rare cards that you’re protecting or you’re doing playtesting where the ability to put a random card in there with slips of paper on either side is useful for prototyping purposes. As such, they don’t have any particular preferences/suggestions on the brand/type (although some other GTG employees would). For the size, they always choose card sizes so that there are readily available sleeves for them - the main cards are going to be the same size as your standard gaming card (say, for Magic: The Gathering or SotM - 63mm by 88mm) and the smaller ones are the “Mini Euro” size [approximately 44mm by 68mm]. Maybe they’ll eventually look into what the “best” sleeves for their games would be and actually make them available through their web store. Something for the future. They’ll have to ask somebody there how many cards there are in the set. [Answer comes back a bit later in the episode: there are 155 cards.]
  • Do you have a name for the cricket [that we can hear on Paul’s side of the recording occasionally]? The cricket has a name, but given that we don’t speak cricket we have no means of knowing what it is. [The preceding link chosen due to the direction the conversation actually takes in this discussion - Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is, apparently, the ST movie that Paul quotes most frequently.]
  • Sea Envy had a post on the forums (obligatory plug: come join us on the Greater Than Games forums!) that seemed like a good question to ask here: Listening back to older episodes, there were questions from “Chris Burton”, who has since been hired as Game Development Manager for GTG. Folks might be interested in hearing his story around becoming part of the team – along with the other awesome folks you’ve brought into the fold. Have you considered having other GTG folks to “meet” the audience? If not… Would you? Christopher’s secret emergency plan for the Publisher’s Notes was that if Paul got sick of doing them, he could start wrangling in other GTG people to be part of them, which would include Chris, then possibly Maggie. Maybe if we get to the point where Andy no longer has questions for Paul we’ll switch over to Chris. Anyway, Chris Burton was a fan and forum regular (where, among other places you might have seen him under the username Braithwhite) who worked with them at various con booths and did a lot of playtesting for them (and was really good at it), so they went ahead and hired him. If you watched the RPG livestreams, he played Mishap in the game that Paul ran (which is also the one that Jen played in). He’s also the voice in a lot of the Spirit Island spirit-preview videos.
  • Back in the Scion Episode, we learned of the Singular Entity of Entropy [Oblivion] defeating/consuming the one of Preservation [Archaeon] ages and ages ago and that’s why the universe is one where entropy and decay are inevitable; with the defeat of OblivAeon, does this change? Is entropy no longer inevitable? First off, Christopher has to explain just about every part of this except OblivAeon and entropy as a concept (oh, and the fact that we’re obviously talking about off-brand Toyotas to Paul. He’s heard the phrase “Singular Entity”, but doesn’t know what it means. In discussing this, we once again get the fun detail that Wager Master is the only one who “plays along” with whatever the gimmick of a given universe is and the detail that he’s the “Singular Entity of Chaos” prompts Paul to ask if all Singular Entities are “of” something. Christopher tries to be wishy-washy, but eventually just states that, yes, that is the case (“yes, they are aspects of things in ways”). Other than Wager Master (who plays by the rules and therefore can exist as a reasonable-level threat) and OblivAeon (who’s a big deal) we don’t see Singular Entities in SotM because of the scale problem. However, he points out in this description that OblivAeon, as this merger of what was left of Oblivion and Archaeon, doesn’t really fit into that “Singular Entity of [x]” category anymore - he’s neither “of Entropy” nor “of Preservation”. When the former attempted to consume the latter it “worked”, but both were destroyed in the process with OblivAeon forming from the remnants of both. “So, OblivAeon had the job of ‘Oh, I guess I’m the entity of Entropy/Preservation, but I’m not really going to do either of those things. Instead I’m going to make this plan and try to destroy reality so that I can remake it in my image. Or whatever.’ It’s rather inscrutable.” So, the Singular Entities are supposed to keep things in their purview running so that things are regular/safe/normal/good and the fact that Entropy and Preservation aren’t having somebody actually doing this job (but that the Entropy entity was victorious in that ancient battle) is the explanation for why entropy is the dominant feature of the universe. As for the question - OblivAeon’s destruction doesn’t restore a Singular Entity of Entropy. That job is still being left undone. That seems bad. Don’t worry about it as it’s something happening at a scale that will probably never come up/affect you or would affect you in such a way that you have no means of controlling the situation. [My observation about all of this: Christopher used the word “aspect” when referring to how Singular Entities are “of” something and we know that many of the Prime Aspects are SEs, but not all of them. I note that Preservation now has a Prime Aspect in the person of Jansa vi Dero so my assumption is that being a Prime Aspect means doing the management job that OblivAeon notably wasn’t in keeping things regular/safe/normal/good.]
  • A recent conversation about the location of Megalopolis brought to mind the fact that the location of Rook City has been discussed, but not in the podcast; the rumor mill placed it in Pennsylvania - given its industrial background and other similarities, is it a fictional stand-in for Pittsburgh? Christopher’s response is to just show us the Google Maps overlay they’d put together for it. We have permission to share screenshots, so here is my quick and dirty collection of images. Rather than being a Pittsburgh stand-in, it’s right on the border with New Jersey (with some locations technically being in NJ) on the Delaware River near the real-life locations of Levittown, PA and Trenton, NJ. Similar maps exist for both Megalopolis and Mordengrad, but we don’t see them today. [A later question asks what software was used to generate the map - it’s just done within Google Maps.]
  • Regarding the poker discussion, for Mr. Fixer being the best at it, are there Braille markings on the cards or would somebody be telling him what his cards are? Are you so confident in his people-reading skills that he would still win even without knowing what his own cards are? Quick explanation that Mr. Fixer (even powers aside because Visionary just reading minds is kind of overpowered in this situation) has a phenomenal poker face and also just has a great understanding of the mental states of the other players given what he can observe (tone of voice, breathing pattern, etc.). He just gets people. Could he still win if he didn’t know what his own cards were? Yes… provided that the other players didn’t know that he didn’t know. In which case it might take them several hands before realizing that he was, essentially, always bluffing. After they know, he’d only win some of the time instead of all the time. Braille marked cards are a thing, though. [A later comment mentions this and that there are electronic systems that will read your cards into an earpiece - which sounds like something that Tachyon would build.]
  • If he can hear heartbeats, what does Tachyon’s sound like? Is it fast enough to make it difficult for him to notice differences? Her heartbeat is quickened compared to the average person, but it’s not so fast as to make it impossible for him to make sense of it.
  • Wraith wasn’t mentioned: given her need for keeping a major secret all the time in life and her skills as a detective, how’s her poker face/how well would she do? She’s likely the best poker player of the Freedom Five [here Christopher is forgetting about Absolute Zero, who was discussed as possibly being up there with Mr. Fixer given his lack of things like breathing and heartrate to give him away].
  • How would Parse do in the Jansa-enforced “no powers” poker tournament? Poker is in large part a matter of reading people. With her analytical skills intact she would know what the various probabilities are, but without the superhuman ability to put everything together she winds up having severe analysis paralysis in a poker context. She would do well initially, but things would fall apart as they went along.
  • What’s it like to work at Freedom Tower? Is there a union? What’s it like working with Brianna Hawke? How did the rank-and-file Freedom Tower employees react to Aminia Twain’s heel turn? [Brief aside while Christopher explains the length of time that Aminia was around before becoming Miss Information, and therefore how big of a shock it was. Also who Brianna is - Christopher ballparks her introduction to the late ’70s, but from the Legacy Supporting Cast episode’s info we were told she was introduced in Freedom Five Annual #8 in May of ’80, so not far off in his recollection.] Brianna was around for a bunch of stories in the ‘80s and was a take-no-prisoners kind of person. The kind of lawyer who, if she were to have TV advertisements, they would be the kind that had explosions in them. [This prompts an aside from both of them about local St. Louis attorney advertisements where one of the partners wears an eye-patch. The recollection of which firm was incorrect as it’s the firm of Brown & Brown that has this guy, not Brown and Crouppen (although the latter firm has an interesting enough YouTube presence in their own right).] There’s probably a workers’ union there. Legacy would insist upon it if nothing else. Different departments would, obviously, have different descriptions of what it would be like to work there. Science Lab with Tachyon is gonna be different from Custodial work with Larry, after all. This prompts a call back to how the Security Detail with Don will be mostly boring up until it very much isn’t (because it’s a building full of superheroes - nobody is usually going to mess with the place, but the edge cases who do are typically really bad news). Working for Brianna is mostly the same as being a paralegal for any other lawyer, except for the fact that there’s often a lot of research needs to be done into things that have never happened before - working for superheroes tends to mean you’re adjacent to a lot of events that have no legal precedent. The rank-and-file workers probably felt even more betrayed by Aminia than the heroes were. For the FF she was their assistant; for the workers she’s in some cases their boss and in many more cases even something like a “office mom” figure.
  • Does Miss Information care about the other employees at Freedom Tower or is she so focused on the Freedom Five that she doesn’t care about/notice potential/actual collateral damage (playing out her own backstory again and again as she carries out her plots)? You’re correct. She becomes the thing she hates the most. She doesn’t necessarily want to hurt the other employees, but they’re irrelevant to her plans of revenge against the heroes. [This question moved from later on to be near its context.]
  • So, in his solo deck Ambuscade’s card “Armed and Dangerous” the flavor text quotes him as saying “Never carry more than is strictly necessary.” but on his team deck card “Too many guns” he says “Oh. I have learned my lesson. I brought enough to share with everyone.” - what prompted this change in the way he carries and uses guns? This question means that Christopher spends almost three minutes explaining to Paul the whole “Glamour is really the one leading the Slaughterhouse Six by making an illusory Ambuscade” thing that was first described in Interlude 9 so I won’t bother repeating it here. The new status quo is that after OblivAeon she just straight up admits that she was running the show and is openly leading the team (with some returning and some new members - basically swap in the Hippo and Kismet for Magman and Ambuscade). With that out of the way, we can explain the difference in philosophy - he doesn’t change. The “Too Many Guns” thing is Glamour providing some guns to her team. Ambuscade doesn’t consider them his “team” - the 5 of them were his minions for that one time he was actually involved. He doesn’t like sharing his gear/the limelight with anybody.
  • What would happen if the unstoppable force of the ’90s that was the Extremeverse met the immovable object of the ’70s that was Casa-Nova? Does he become a hair-metal guy? Just himself, but covered in spikes? Does he warp the Extremeverse around him into Roger Dean album covers? [Another aside as Christopher explains both the Extremeverse and Xander Groovitation to Paul for about four minutes. And then a brief explanation of the Metaverse for about a minute.] Now, with all of those pieces in place, the questions make perfect sense and they’re just delightful. Christopher would actually love to see both an XTREME Casa-Nova, but also a situation where Casa-Nova warps the Extremeverse around him. Paul gets into this by looking up what David Bowie was like in the ’90s, given his inspiration of Casa-Nova in the first place. That might be a good model of what “warping the Extremeverse” would look like (it’s not so much that David Bowie was shaped by the ’70s, but so much of what we think of as “the ’70s” was just David Bowie’s stamp on the culture). This prompts how to get both: the Exremeverse’s own Casa-Nova would be the XTREME version and would be appropriately ’90s. However, maybe the reason we haven’t seen Casa-Nova in-continuity for a long time is because he’s been traveling through other realities and we see his excursion into the Extremeverse here, and the canon-universe’s version of him does, in fact, warp the Extremeverse around him. You’d get a story that looks like it’s shaping up to be “our” Casa-Nova squaring off against his XTREME counterpart, then they join forces and play some ’90s metal glam rock.

Possibly the Biggest Bang-For-Your-Buck Question in the History of The Letters Page

Mistdrake asks if they can give us the briefs for the rest of the post-OblivAeon relaunch titles that were mentioned in the Naturalist Supporting Cast episode. They just read them (although, with a few tactful redactions).

Legacy Vol. 2

Issue #1 on May 3, 2017. This is technically considered Volume 2, following America’s Finest/Youngest Legacy, although there has never been a book titled only Legacy.

A book focused on the most popular hero from the world of Sentinel Comics. The first issue, entitled “Stolen Legacy” makes it seem like the book would continue to be about the primary Legacy of the last 70 years of Sentinel Comics history. However, in that issue, Paul Parsons is incapacitated, his daughter takes over as a primary hero, and when he recovers at the end of the issue, he passes the mantle of Legacy on to Felicia, making her the one and only Legacy. The book continues to be about her adventures as a hero, while also balancing her life as a citizen with a secret identity, making her the first Legacy to ever conceal her true identity. Taking the name “Felicia Fields”, she works as a marketing manager at a tech startup in Megalopolis specializing in “green energy”, interfacing the Akash’Flora tree with the energy grid of the city. She also fights crime.

Wraith

Issue #1 on May 3, 2017.

This is a book about Maia Montgomery, CEO of Montgomery Industries, and also the costumed crime-fighter known as Wraith. She is taking on Rook City on two fronts: as a businesswoman, exposing the corruption of the current system and creating infrastructure for progress; and as a crime-fighter, dealing with the villains and underworld of Rook City.

Cosmic Tales Vol. 3

Issue #1 on May 3, 2017.

This book is a series of anthologies about what happens beyond our solar system in the world of Sentinel Comics. Here we read stories of villainous Galactra, the simultaneously seedy and impressive Roulette, the rakish Greazer, and the freedom fighters of Dok'Thorath, among many others. At first, Captain Cosmic and the members of Void Guard are absent from these pages, but they each eventually make appearances here before spinning off into their own books. Many of the great space-age stories from the Golden and Silver ages of Sentinel Comics are also revisited here, but with their own modern twists.

Mystery Comics Vol. 3

Issue #1 on May 3, 2017.

This anthology book tells stories from the street-level view. Wraith certainly makes appearances in this book, but it’s not wholly focused on her stories. We see solo or duo stories from members of Dark Watch, introduce many new minor heroes, take deep dives into the gritty history of Sentinel Comics, tell some villain-centric stories, and even an occasional appearance of Night Hunter.

Sentinels of Freedom

Issue #1 on May 10, 2017. [Given some of the other examples, I asked if this is considered Volume 2 of Freedom Five and it is not - the books are different enough in character that they consider them entirely separate entities.]

This main team book is not just about the crime-fighting heroics of the team formerly known as the Freedom Five: Legacy (the new Legacy, that is), Wraith, Bunker, Tachyon, Absolute Zero, with the addition of Heritage (the new name of the previous Legacy) in a more supportive role. While that is certainly a focus of this book, there are also many stories involving the team as mentors and teachers of the new generation of heroes at the Sentinels of Freedom Academy in Megalopolis. This includes the newly renamed Time-Slinger (the time-hopping bounty hunter formerly known as Chrono-Ranger) as both a teacher at the academy and also a loner hero who sometimes helps out the team when in dire straits.

Prime Wardens Vol. 3

Issue #1 on May 10, 2017.

A new line-up for the Prime Wardens was set up by the first few issues to come out in 2017, and this is the book that brings them all together as a team! Argent Adept, Fanatic, Visionary, Haka (the new Haka who was essentially traded out for her male counterpart during the OblivAeon event), and the brand new hero Anubis (former sidekick and colleague of Dr. Blake Washington, Jr., AKA, the hero known as Ra). They take on forces beyond mortal ken, dealing with dark mystical forces and eldritch monsters, protecting the world from that which they should not know.

Daybreak

Issue #1 on May 10, 2017.

The newest team addition to Sentinel Comics, Daybreak follows a group of students at the Sentinels of Freedom Academy. These particular students were first introduced in Legacy #1, and here they continue their own adventures as super-powered individuals, as students, as crime-fighters, and - perhaps most dangerous of all - as teenagers. Witness the heroics of Headlong (Brandon Bradley, a frictionless speedster), Rockstar (Megan Lee, an elemental manipulating bruiser and wannabe rockstar), Muse (this reality’s Vanessa Long, a powerful psychic tortured by her dark past), Aeon Girl (Windy Farrum, a mere-months old cosmic being forged from the remnants of OblivAeon and trying to learn her place in this world), and Muerto (Thiago Diaz, a former Freedom Five fan who died during OblivAeon and now haunts electronics to create his form) as they learn about friendship, teamwork, and the true meaning of being a hero.

Time-Slinger

Issue #1 on May 10, 2017.

Jim Brooks was a time-traveling bounty hunter. Now, he’s landed in time and is not traversing the timelines anymore, but there are still a lot of temporal messes to be cleaned up. When not helping out the Sentinels of Freedom or teaching at the Freedom Academy, Jim Brooks - with the help of his trusty installed-directly-to-his-brain AI friend CON - is seeking out the remnants of temporal anomalies and setting them right. It’s a tricky job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Justice Comics Vol. 2

Issue #1 on May 17, 2017.

This team-up book brings heroes together to fight against impossible odds and dangerous villains, one issue at a time. Each issue is a self-contained story (for the most part), bringing heroes together that aren’t usually teammates to stop the evil plots and machinations of a particular villain or team of villains.

The Paradigms

Issue #1 on May 17, 2017. [This is the one that gets the most redactions, unfortunately.]

A new team of heroes, led by some familiar fan-favorite faces! The Paradigms are a team of tech-oriented heroes, all working for RevoCorp (now under a new CEO with bold ideas about the future). RevoCorp’s management of the hero team gives them a lot of advantages: slick costumes, corporate sponsorship, access to the latest tech - but it comes with a lot of red tape, too.

StarCrossers

Issue #1 on May 17, 2017.

Rainek Kel'Voss was left in a drained state after attempting to harness the power of OblivAeon and take control of reality. He was defeated by the heroes of Earth, but they let his final verdict go to the people he oppressed the most - his own. He must be returned to Dok’Thorath to stand trial for his crimes against the Thorathian people, as well as all other beings. The Thorathian freedom fighter, Portja Kir'Pro has taken responsibility for transporting him to his hearing, and is accompanied by the human soldier Paige Huntly. This book follows the adventures of Rival (Paige Huntly) and Vantage (Portja Kir’Pro) as they traverse the galaxy aboard their stolen vessel, which they’ve renamed the StarCross.

Haka Vol. 2

Issue #1 on May 17, 2017. This is technically considered Volume 2, following from The Savage Haka, although there has never been a book titled only Haka.

Arataki Wakawarewa is the hero known as Haka. She has lived for a long time, walking the earth, making friends and enemies, and leaving her mark on the world. But not this world. After the events of OblivAeon, she is trapped in this reality - so like her own, and yet entirely foreign. She is the only hero here to bear the name Haka, but everyone she encounters knows a different Haka. She must find her place in this new world, both as a hero and as a person.

Arcane Tales Vol. 3

Issue #1 on May 24, 2017.

This book is the solo book for the new hero Anubis. Much like previous volumes of Arcane Tales were the home of Ra, his successor Anubis takes on similar mythological threats, but with a different approach. While Ra was all about blasting his foes to ash, Anubis seeks to learn more about all things. In his pursuit of knowledge, though, he might neglect his responsibilities - including ones he doesn’t even know about…

Dark Watch Vol. 3

Issue #1 on May 24, 2017.

The grim and gritty hero team is back! Reeling from the death of NightMist but with dangers ever at their door, the team must regroup and make the most of their circumstances. The heroes Setback and Expatriette continue patrolling the streets of Rook City, while Pinion (formerly known as Harpy, the pupil of NightMist) and Mantra (formerly known as Mr. Fixer, but who has found peace in life that he only thought he would find in death) attempt to unlock the mysteries of just what is happening in the bizarre underworld of the dark city.

Wildlife

Issue #1 on May 24, 2017.

Michael Conteh (formerly the shape-shifting hero known as The Naturalist) has lost control of his powers. Given the stresses of recent encounters with earth spirits, cosmic beings, and the potential end of reality, he was forced to stretch his spirit in ways he had never before considered. Now, he traverses the natural world, attempting to reconnect to the earth itself. His goal: to save the world from its most basic threats. But in the pursuit of that goal, will he have to sacrifice his humanity?

Fashion

Issue #1 on May 24, 2017.

Shirley Shane, AKA “Stylin’ Shirley” became a celebrity through her modeling and appearances on television, but that was a lifetime ago. Lost in space and reformed into a ruthless gladiator in the Bloodsworn Colosseum, she there became known as S’sdari the Bloody. Now, with the Colosseum destroyed, she finds herself back on her home planet… and back in the limelight! The world still remembers Stylin’ Shirley, even if she doesn’t remember herself. Shirley has a lot of culture shock to contend with, and with fighting being all she knows now, what better way to fit into this new world than in the form of a crime-fighter! And every good crime-fighter needs the right wardrobe, so Shirley once again finds herself in the world of Fashion.

Tome of the Bizarre Vol. 5

Issue #1 on May 31, 2017.

This anthology book is the latest in one of the longest running titles at Sentinel Comics. This new volume continues the same tradition of creepy stories, arcane anecdotes, and horrifying tales to shock and surprise! No one from the world of Sentinel Comics is safe - any hero, villain, or civilian could end up the subject of the Tome of the Bizarre!

Guise Vol. 2

Issue #1 on May 31, 2017. Volume 2 following The Guise Book.

Your favorite hero is back! Guise continues his wacky adventures dealing with the day-to-day challenges of being a hero on a budget. In the face of overwhelming foes who have none of his childlike charm, the irrepressible Guise sets about forming a team of lovable misfits, each with their own powers, abilities, and punchlines. And he still finds time to feed his cat!

G.L.O.B.A.L.

Issue #1 on May 31, 2017.

The whole world is reeling in the wake of OblivAeon. Super-powered individuals are more prevalent than ever, and global threats require a global response. The United Nations creates an initiative called Geocentric Limited Operations for the Benefit of Advanced Lifeforms - or G.L.O.B.A.L. - for the protection of all life on Earth. Each country in the U.N. contributes at least one hero to the cause, meaning that this book features a rotating cast and supporting cast of over 200 heroes. Handled by former U.S. Senator Emily Parsons, the G.L.O.B.A.L. initiative puts heroes where they are needed the most.

Virtuosos of the Void Vol. 3

Issue #1 on May 31, 2017. Technically considered Vol. 3 of Virtuoso of the Void despite the slightly different title.

Anthony Drake - the hero known as Argent Adept - is the latest in a long line of Virtuosos of the Void. Over the centuries, each Virtuoso defended the world against the destructive earth spirit known as Akash'Bhuta, but all that remains of the spirit is a giant tree in Megalopolis. The tree, called Akash’Flora, is now symbiotically connected to the city, providing the city with limitless green energy, making it a target of many villainous plots. Argent Adept tends to the tree, attempting to better understand its nature, and in doing so is connected to the nature spirit within. Turning over a new leaf, Argent Adept and the Akash spirit join forces in protecting the world, starting him on a quest to unlock more Virtuosos than the world has ever known before.

“Andy Question” Lightning Round

  • Is Greater Than Games a conglomerate? Should it be? Will it be? It depends on how you define conglomerate. Technically it is (it shouldn’t be, but it is) in the sense that they have multiple wholly-owned subsidiaries. Examples: Greater Than Trucks (they have one driver, Jodie, but don’t actually own trucks) and GTG Operations along with several other little LLC entities they created upon the advice of their attorneys.
  • How do you decide what percentage of GTG’s cash to use in various ways? What percentage goes to R&D? Is some of it invested? It’s complicated, but here’s a short answer. A publicly-traded company wants corporate profits since the shareholders want to see profit. Since they’re privately-owned, the “shareholders” are just them. Their goal isn’t to have the corporation make money. Their goal is for their employees to make money. They want to make cool games and pay people well. The biggest expenditure of the company is payroll (beating out shipping, which is also a big chunk). If the company has “extra” money, they tend to either hire more people or give raises to the existing employees. The game company version of R&D is paying for the development of new games, which is either in the form of paying their own employees whose job that is, or paying outside designers, writers, artists, etc. They don’t really put money into traditional “investments”. As an example, the fact that the OblivAeon Kickstarter did so well was what paved the way for the RPG to become possible.
  • What does the bottom of Paul’s mug say [frequently visible in passing as Paul took sips throughout the recording]? Aldred. The company makes both Omnitron and ceramic mugs.
  • How will the pandemic figure into future Sentinel Comics stories? It doesn’t. While the Sentinel Comics Universe is largely real-world-adjacent in many ways, the OblivAeon event is a huge point of divergence between the two that occurs in late 2016. Not only the OblivAeon event itself, but now the world is much more aware of superheroes and aliens and whatnot. They’ve decided that the world is just too different to try to keep world events lined up anymore.
  • Do you think there should be a new site like Kickstarter for established companies to get info on preorders that way Kickstarter can be just for new things? No, it would be worse for everybody if that was the case (at least for the tabletop game community). Kickstarter already exists and has a large user base. Established companies continue to use it because it has that large user base who is already used to going there for preorders for those types of things, moving to a new site just fractures the user base and means less people will find your thing. The newcomers who are just trying to get their thing made benefits from all of the traffic of the established companies’ customers who might have the small creators’ work suggested to them by the algorithm. If the big companies leave and a significant portion of their customers leave with them, this kind of serendipitous discovery is lost. Paul’s caveat to all of that is that he could see a new company coming in and doing a better enough job at all of this than Kickstarter does (and he can think of a few areas where that’s possible) and just supplanting Kickstarter entirely (like how Facebook took over the social network title from MySpace about a decade ago).