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zslane last won the day on March 24

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About zslane

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    The Monster From the Clock

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  1. Well, Captain America is no longer "simply human", the super soldier serum saw to that. Steve Rogers is not subject to NCM anymore. Batman, on the other hand, is a normal human capable only of that which normal humans are capable of. It is quite evident that the notion of what non-enhanced humans are capable of in comic book universes has strayed further and further into absurdity as the years have gone on. But even if we cut comic book universes some slack here and permit normal human comic-book heroes to do what action movie heroes do, especially in terms of durability and survivability, it remains that comic book writers have to go to special lengths to keep characters like Batman "safe" (usually by seeing to it that only the low-level grunts go after him) and make him useful in JL battles where the enemies are capable of flattening buildings with a single attack. It's no different than if I as a GM have to constantly fudge things during combat so that the supervillains with 12D6 Energy Blasts don't ever attack the normal human gadgeteer detective hero whose costume is only good for about 6 PD and ED (at best). It's a sign that the character has found himself in the wrong campaign...
  2. I tend to look at comic-book characters the way I might if I was a Champions GM, and since I'm a proponent of tight character concepts, I would object to any changes that make Batman anything other than peak human. NCM most definitely applies to him. He is not an alien. He is not a mutant. He is not the result of scientific enhancement. He is not a master of magic. He has some nice technology at his disposal, but he is still not (supposed to be) the same as, say, Tony Stark. All attempts to "evolve" Batman in a direction that departs from his original conception--apart from updating him for the basic technology of the times--are forced and contrived and would make me send the player back to the drawing board (with regard to spending his XP). The only reason one forcibly departs from the original character concept is to shoehorn the character into scenarios he doesn't belong in an attempt to make him relevant and survivable for the duration of that storyline. When the storyline only lasts an issue or two of a comic book, we can usually just disregard it as a curious side-narrative, but when it becomes the norm for the character, that's when all creative integrity has been simply abandoned.
  3. I think it is easier to make the original X-Men "balanced" from a Champions perspective than most other superhero teams of the same size.
  4. To my mind, it is superhero teams like the original X-Men that serve as the best models for RPG play because the premise of the original X-Men was that they were all teens or young adults who were new to the superhero game and were still learning to manage and control their powers. It is a model that easily justifies giving everyone the same number of starting points and rationalizes the natural gamer's instinct to keep things balanced. The mistake I think a lot of players make is in thinking that they should be faithfully aping every trope of the source material, even those that only work within the context of tightly-controlled single-author narratives. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you can't really play Batman in an RPG alongside Superman and Wonder Woman unless the GM is going to go to the same lengths (that a comic writer would) to contrive events to keep your character alive. That sort of manipulation may help the game feel like a comic, but it will also make the rails it is riding on much more apparent.
  5. IMO, Batman was ruined the moment they made him a member of the Justice League. Of course, superhero comics do this sort of thing all the time, putting talented normals onto teams with demi-gods and forcing the writers to contrive events so that they never get annihilated in combat. It's bone stupid, but it sells books (and tickets), so I guess it's perfectly reasonable. 😒
  6. zslane


    Then how did she survive flying past Earth's gravity well in order to throw Fort Rozz into space?
  7. I recommend watching your sugar and carbohydrate intake. Make sure you get lots of fat, but don't mix it with carbs. The carbs will get used for fuel and the fat will just get accumulated. Deny the body of all those carbs (which it struggles to process in a healthy way anyway) and give it the high octane fat it really prefers (and is much healthier all around for it) and you'll find it almost trivially easy to stay slender and healthy. In the past year I've roughly doubled my daily caloric intake, including at least doubling the amount of fat I consume, while cutting out nearly all sugar and cutting way back on carbs (for instance, absolutely no pasta). My protein intake has probably gone up a little, but not dramatically. I've lost more excess fat in less time than at any other time in my life. The secret has been 30 mins of morning exercises every day--even when I don't really feel like it--and the aforementioned dietary changes.
  8. 1. Out of my 14 meals each week, 2 are fast food, 1 is often but not always at a restaurant, and the rest are home-cooked. 2. I do all my own cooking, except on the rare occasion my gf makes something for us. 3. I'm an omnivore with a deep love for meats of all kinds, though when it comes to fish I really only care for crustaceans.
  9. I dunno...BvS felt pretty post-apoc to me...
  10. There's substantial difference between a GM who seeks to make death (or ignominious defeat) a possible consequence of poor decision making on the part of the PCs, and a GM who seeks to ruthlessly kill the party every chance he gets. I'd say the former is simply normative roleplaying, whereas the latter is borderline sociopathic. At the other end of the spectrum, a care bear GM seeks to soften the blow of every poor PC decision so that there are virtually no negative consequences (character death in particular). That may be a reasonable approach for a one-off demonstration game intended to attract newcomers, but it is not the kind of long-term campaign I'd recommend for most players, especially those involving children. Such campaigns denude the game's tremendous potential for teaching valuable lessons about actions and consequences, all folded into the fabric of fun adventure and engagement through creative problem solving.
  11. zslane

    Black Panther with spoilers

    Excellent point. For BP, I think it would be thematically strong to have his abilities dependent on and/or limited by the (continual) approval of his spirit ancestors.
  12. zslane


    Which is surprising since I thought she could survive the vacuum of space.
  13. zslane

    Black Panther with spoilers

    He's not unlike Cap, who is the product of performance enhancing drugs and a super shield.
  14. For most genres, a campaign becomes a Care Bear campaign when the GM, out of fear/concern of upsetting his or her players, routinely overrides the mechanics/outcomes in order to guarantee that no story arc ever actually puts the PCs' lives in jeopardy, no matter how implausible that becomes (given the genre and the characters' actions). Since I began playing in 1983, I think I've seen only one Champions PC die. Pretty much everyone I ever played Champions with understood that the characters were not typically at risk in the superhero genre, only their DNPCs and their reputations (and their xp earning potential, I suppose). To turn a Champions campaign into a Care Bear campaign, you don't fudge things to make sure nobody ever dies, you fudge things to make sure nobody is ever defeated. On the other hand, if you're going to play a game like CoC or Kult, then it must be understood that your character's life or sanity are at risk at all times. Similarly, given my literary influences in the fantasy genre, I expect PCs' lives to be at risk in every significant encounter, and I find myself like a fish out of water when the rest of the group is not similarly inclined.