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'Scaper of the Month - July 2018

Posted July 8th, 2018 at 02:35 AM by HS Codex

íScaper of the Month
Author: The Grim Reaperís Friend

Although I havenít had too many dealings with johnny139 (despite him being a writer for the Codex), Iíve run across him a few times, and always thought I would like to know more about him. Today that wish is granted. I give you the newest íScaper of the Month: johnny139!


Who are you really?
John. Not ďJohnnyĒ anymore, except to familyóthatís what you get for signing up to a website when youíre 13 years old! I go as ďjph139Ē on other forums, because Iím one of those weird people that still posts on forums.

How old are you?
25 years old. Next September, Iíll have spent 50% of my life posting on this website.

What is your occupation?
Bank stuff. Fraud, mostly. Itís boring, next question.

Whatís another board game/RPG you enjoy and why?
Iím an occasional lover of Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. So, yeah, that super-basic tabletop archetype.

What other interests do you have besides HeroScape?
I love history (itís actually what I went to school for), so thatís first. For hobbies, Iíll always go back to videogames and comic books. And I write, too. Thereís an unpublished novel about teenage runaways circa 1910 sitting on a flashdrive somewhere.


When and how did you get into HeroScape?
Way, way back. Between Wave 1 and 2 of the original releases. But, really, when I first saw that commercial on TV. Robots and samurai and elves and soldiers all fighting? Yeah, top of my Christmas list that year.

Youíve been supplying the Codex with custom design articles for some time, and youíre part of C3G as well, so what got you started in custom design?
Tough to say. I think I always respected it, and had my own thread back in the old days (but so did everyone elseóit was en vogue), but being part of C3G, and seeing those beautiful, professional-quality cards is what sucked me in full time. Same creative impulse that pulls me to write, probably. Game design, for me, is more about telling a story through mechanics than anything else. Lifeís all about stories, after all. With comic book customs, itís an adaptation, which has its own appeal.

What is your favorite C3G unit?
Tough one. I think our original Wolverine and original Flash cards are the best weíve ever doneópure, raw, perfect distillations of really complex characters. But Iíll give a shout-out to Star-Lord, too, as the design Iíve led that Iím most proud of. I love how heís been embraced by so many different types of fans.

What about a favorite classic íScape unit?
Iíll always go back to Marcus Decimus Gallus. Rome has always held a certain mystique for me, and leading an army of Roman soldiers just feels cool.

Describe your favorite HeroScape moment.
You know, as much as I love the game, playing it has never been as memorable to me as the community around it: whether thatís playing with a friend at home or collaborating with other designers online. Though when I figured out you can stack Kang the Conquerorís glyphs on his card to trap guys in a time loop ...

Is there anything you would change about the game (unit, rule, mechanic, etc.)?
Kind of a weird angle on it, but: clarity. The Heroscape rules work, but itís mostly gum and tape holding them together. Weíre currently dealing with the difference between ďplayer turnĒ and ďunit turnĒ in C3G, and itís a headache to try and pin this stuff down. When youíre playing, itís hard to notice, but from the inside itís a different story.

What is your favorite aspect of HeroScape?
The flexibility and simplicity. Itís not a hardcore tabletop game, not a miniature game, itís a board game thatís infinitely expandable. I lamented the overly simple rules above, but as a player, the fact is itís like ... a ten page rulebook? and mostly pictures? Thatís fantastic.


What has been your favorite experience involving custom creation?
Whenever collaboration makes something really special. My recent memory is the preliminary design for Nebula (who isnít released yet!) at C3G. It was a character weíve been stumped on for years, and finally, in like five posts, it all came together: Arkham posted a rough draft, I moved some pieces around, and voilŗ, we had something great. The final design ended up going through some changes for playability and balance, but that ďeurekaĒ moment was wonderful.

In addition to customs, youíve been found in the CoN forums, and youíve obviously written for the Codex. Youíve even dabbled in fan fiction. Can you tell us what led to such a varied presence here?
I sort of touched on it above, but life is all about stories for me. CoN? Thatís a collaborative story. Fan fiction? Story, duh. Customs? Telling a story in a really weird, specific medium. I donít care about the gameówinning, losing, it doesnít matter to me. I design crappy units all the time. In CoN, I would stick to roleplay so hard I got booted Day One. I just like to tell the story.

Can you tell us how youíve gotten to where you are now in the community?
Honestly? Uhh ... everyone else left! Kind of a joke, but itís true. Iím the senior-most Hero in C3G (though SirGalahad has recently returned from an extended leave of absence), and thatís just a matter of being here long enough without burning out. Not getting too heated, not getting too invested ... just enjoy the game, and the community, and the experience. Wish I had as much free time as I did ten years ago, though. I always feel bad missing votes or turning in late playtests. But now Iím rambling ...

What do you enjoy most about Heroscapers.com?
Itís comfortable. Quieter now, not as exciting, not as complicated, but itís just people with passion and love for a game which I think is brilliant. Itís like going home.

Is there any member of Heroscapers.com youíd really like to play against?
So many of the C3G old timers. You work with them, talk with them, but I donít think Iíve played a game against any of them. Shout out to Lord Pyre, though. Would love to break out that custom Supergirl figure he sent me in a game against him ...

Lie Detector

Three truths and a lie
  • I have a form of synesthesia, and only learned it a year or two ago.
  • Iíve visited every continent except Antarctica.
  • Before joining C3G, Iíd never bought a comic book.
  • Iíve eaten dog meat before.

Last Monthís Lie (Ronin)
  • I once missed a day of school because there was a rabid raccoon at the bus stop that I decided not to tango with.
  • I have accidentally attended a cello recital.
  • Once, when asked for my name at a party, I accidentally (and incorrectly) replied that I did not have one.
  • I have had to cut a hike short in order to avoid a close encounter with a mountain lion.

Three Fun Favorites

Favorite Movie Genre and Movie
Musicals and Spider-Man 2.

Favorite Book Genre and Book
Urban fantasy and American Gods.

Favorite Song Genre and Song
Folk and the entire back half of Abbey Road.


What message do you have for the íScaper community?
As it all winds down in the Heroscape community (and, call me a pessimist, but I think itíll happen sooner rather than later), enjoy the now and donít worry about it. If youíre not having fun, itís not worth it.

Whom do you pick for the next íScaper of the Month?
I hate staying ďin the cliqueĒ with these, but I honestly donít peek out of the C3G hole enough to say whoís around. So Iíll say Arkham!
Total Comments 2


Tornado's Avatar
Great interview!

Was really surprised you like folk music considering your age.
What are some of your favorite folk songs/bands?

You have been really important to C3G and I have always seen you as a balancing force in the group.
Posted July 8th, 2018 at 04:26 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
IAmBatman's Avatar
After you said musicals were your favorite type of movie, I'm almost surprised you didn't go with Spider-man 3!
Posted August 1st, 2018 at 09:47 PM by IAmBatman IAmBatman is online now
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