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Lord Liaden

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Everything posted by Lord Liaden

  1. As a corollary to the Angelstone Laboratories rundown above, Cops, Crews, And Cabals p. 7 points out that its main rivals are "defense contractors and think tanks of similar size," and mentions three particular examples: National Applied Research Inc., NovaSolutions Worldwide, and the Silverbrook Corporation. The first of those is a subsidiary of Advanced Concepts Industries, Franklin Stone's corporation; while the last is a front for ARGENT. But NovaSolutions Worldwide receives no further elaboration, in that book or any other AFAIK. If you wanted to create a group tailored to your precise intentions that still fits in the official CU, that would seem a good jumping-off point.
  2. That's why the movie universe gave us Tom Cruise. He's big on wanting the truth.
  3. Of existing CU groups, I think the easiest to adapt to your purposes would be Angelstone Laboratories, described briefly in Champions Universe but in much more detail in Cops, Crews, And Cabals. Angelstone initially made its name as an innovative defense contractor, and that remains one of its major focuses, although it's expanded its research over a broad range of applied and theoretical sciences: everything from physics and genetics, to criminology and economics. But it's become best known for its "Superhuman Studies Division" researching super powers and super technology, and activities and behavior of supervillains. It frequently gives presentations and reports to governments and law enforcement on these subjects, and sometimes assists superheroes directly. In that it competes with the Goodman Institute in America, and the Swiss-based l'Institut Thoth (both described in Champions Universe). Angelstone Laboratories is a for-profit company, but will sometimes offer reduced rates to clients in a good cause (or where it sees future advantage). Cops, Crews, And Cabals suggests it would be easy to modify Angelstone based on incidents from its past history, to have become more hostile and antagonistic toward superhumans, while not outright criminal. For something a little more narrowly focused, but edgier, you might consider Department 17, also described in Champions Universe. Since World War II, the United States government has researched ways to safely and reliably create superhumans, as well as to more effectively control them, with few successes. Their efforts have often resulted in severe, even fatal physical and mental side effects to their subjects, and produced as many supervillains as superheroes. During WW II the US military set up the Haynesville Project, also code-named "Project Rainbow," for this purpose, at Fort McLaughlin (now McLaughlin Air Force Base) near the small town of Haynesville, Kansas. After the war the Project was declassified and officially shut down, and McLaughlin AFB appears nearly abandoned today. That was a ruse. Project Rainbow was never shut down. Still secretly based at McLaughlin, what is now titled Department 17 is the Defense Department's hub for research into superpower generation and superhuman control. Under its current director, General Clarence Smith, it conducts a wide variety of research involving drugs and chemicals, radiation treatments, genetic engineering, and other exotic methods. Much of the Department's current research focuses on refining the Cyberline procedure used for PRIMUS's Avenger program. The Department's scientists are also very interested in investigating any reports of new manifestations of superpowers. Champions Universe notes that General Smith might go to great lengths to keep D17's existence and activities secret. He's also used some "creative" accounting to keep his department funded. It wouldn't require much to justify stepping up the ruthlessness in how D17 operates.
  4. While the potato blight was the proximate cause of the actual crop failure, decades of gross exploitation of the Irish by the conquering English ruling class, as many English themselves pointedly noted during and before, created the conditions for catastrophic famine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)#Causes_and_contributing_factors
  5. For my part, I look at Experience Points primarily as a meta-game reward for players using the system well, and/or role-playing well. I don't require those XP to be spent exclusively in a manner consistent with how the PC earned them, as long as there's a reasonable explanation for how that PC could develop in the desired way. For example, swinging a sword won't teach you Stealth; but if you pal around with a thievish type, you could always ask him/her to give you some training.
  6. I don't see DC as "flailing" at this point. I believe they're trying to do just what we've been applauding Marvel for -- find the style and tone which fits each distinct character.
  7. All the Kongs roaring together on the Empire State Building is quite the spectacle.
  8. Well, at least his hair has held up better than Stewart's. Than mine too, actually.
  9. The height of movie Godzillas over the years has fluctuated between 50 meters (the original 1954 Godz) and 118 meters (the final form of Shin Gojira/Shin Godzilla/Godzilla Resurgent, depending on title used for the 2016 Japanese movie). The Legendary Pictures Godzilla (predecessor to this summer's Godzilla: King of the Monsters) is officially 108 meters tall. Some sources state that the Hanna-Barbera animated series Godzilla from 1978 was 122 meters tall, but I've found no official studio statement to that effect. I do remember that the introductory song to that series declared he was "thirty stories high," which would be around 90 meters/300 feet. However, "Godzilla Earth" from the recent Japanese anime trilogy is by far the largest Godzilla ever, standing over 300 meters in height. Here's a slick and entertaining visual comparison of all the Godzillas over the movies' history.
  10. Bit of a waste with no bulls around.
  11. Lately, a lot of people might assume that's Maleficent's father.
  12. IIRC in the American justice system, it's possible for a judge to overrule a jury if he/she feels it has misunderstood or ignored crucial evidence. So far I haven't read anything to imply that was the case here.
  13. I've noticed that Steve Long does that with a lot of the villains he creates, and sometimes even the heroes (like Nighthawk). The character experiences a complete personality shift as a result of becoming "super." Maybe it's my drama training, but I find it more interesting and compelling when there's a clear through-line in a character's background, showing the path that led them to become who they are.
  14. The movement and facial expression above are appealingly dog-like, but there's something about the colors and patterns on hyena fur I just find inherently creepy.
  15. His name is probably also relevant to the experience of working with or for him. Holocaust has intellect, power, wealth and connections -- all he should need to become a major threat to global security. But he's also an arrogant, undisciplined, impulsive, vindictive, insufferable jerk. Those qualities have screwed up his own plans time after time. It amazes me that so many mercenary supervillains are described as still having a good relationship with him. With that background and personality, Holocaust might even be played a little for laughs. In which case his chosen code name could make fodder for mockery.
  16. My understanding is the opposite. Maybe it depends on whose non-spoiler comments you listen to, and how you interpret them.
  17. Odds of recovery are very poor.
  18. I've noticed that many people's beliefs are closely tied to their conceptions of self-identity and self-worth. When their beliefs are challenged, they react as though they had been personally attacked, with anger and retaliation.
  19. To be honest, I'll be going into this flick with the mindset that it's a setup for Avengers: Endgame. I'll be satisfied if it gives me that while being entertaining. Anything more would be gravy.
  20. It's like being in a world where you can give yourself whatever cool name you want, however you personally define "cool."
  21. "He’s convinced it’s only a matter of time before he finds a way to triumph." (CV 1 p. 48) His name would just be a self-fulfilling prophecy. One example of how I approach a name-change for an official villain is the Incubus (CV 3), the setting's Mr. Myxyzptlk analogue. His style and appearance have nothing to do with a mythic incubus, a sexually predatory demon, male counterpart to the succubus. But Steve Long has written that he just liked the sound of the name for this character. I wanted to keep that sound element, but make it more thematically appropriate. I ended up renaming him Impius, a play on both "imp" and "impious."
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