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BoloOfEarth

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BoloOfEarth last won the day on January 15

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About BoloOfEarth

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    Wise Guy
  • Birthday 06/17/1964

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    Database programming

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  1. BoloOfEarth

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    I think the "special snowflake" is a person with an inflated sense of how important he/she is, and feels entitled to special treatment.
  2. BoloOfEarth

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    This hasn't been used against the PCs (yet), but 3-4 instances of it have appeared in the news over the past 6 months or so, in all cases with the unlucky innocent being killed by either police, PRIMUS, or an NPC superhero someplace other than the campaign city (Boston). The PCs strongly suspect a mentalist is involved in the incidents, but since they can't exactly use Telepathy on a dead body to verify whether or not he was mind controlled, they have no verification / proof. I'll likely have a similar incident appear in the news again (as a reminder / fair warning to the players) shortly before one or more of them actually faces such a situation him/herself. I need to find the right supervillain for the innocent to be forced to imitate. (Can't be powered armor / visibly mutated, has to have powers that can be semi-emulated with a gadget / gun, etc.) I'm leaning toward Brainchild, for various reasons. The faux Brainchild can be given a knockoff, less-powerful disintegration pistol and a cosplay-type fake jetpack and force field belt - I'm thinking the private eye PC hero might overhear an ARGENT supplier talking about delivering such a weapon to a new client. I also have to nail down all the behind-the-scene details -- I'm thinking an independent mentalist, drifting from town to town, controlling some innocent and giving him/her a costume and what-not to commit various thefts / robberies for him, and then moving on with the ill-gotten gains. Throw in PSI looking to find / recruit that mentalist, with the PCs caught in the middle.
  3. BoloOfEarth

    It's an unpleasant day when.....

    It's an unpleasant day when your 97 year-old dad in assisted living discovers that someone went into his room while he was out and took all his cash, including a few $20s he had hidden in fairly subtle places. Only about $70-80 total, but it's the damn principle that matters here. Since he's wheelchair-bound and rarely leaves his room except for meals and exercise classes, and the thief apparently knew where to look, I doubt it was some resident's visitor coming through at the right time, but is more likely an employee there. My dad is one of the nicest, easiest-going people you could ever meet. It just pisses me off that someone would take advantage of him like that.
  4. BoloOfEarth

    NGD Scenes from a Hat

    Every time someone mentions "farmers" the people around you go "bum-ba-dum-bum, bum-bum-bump!" NT: Crazy ways your insurance company is trying to get out of covering the damages to your house or car.
  5. BoloOfEarth

    Where to sell classic collection?

    Dude. You're supposed to read books. Not fondle and snort them. Unless they're scratch-and-sniffs.
  6. BoloOfEarth

    Annoyances

    Sitting with my back to the rest of the room. Maybe I was an Old West gunfighter in a prior life, but something about having to sit with my back to the room (because other people grabbed the good chairs) bothers me.
  7. BoloOfEarth

    Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

    One of the players in Sunday's D&D game was not able to attend. The prior session, her character got engaged to an NPC, with a wedding planned basically the next game session. Since she wasn't able to attend, we delayed the wedding, though texts went back and forth: GM: We could have your wedding and the groom would get to make all the decisions. Player: Oh, I don't think so. Me: Two words: Nude wedding. Player: Umm, I have no response to that. Player 2: For everyone, or just the people getting married?! Me: Well, Raphael [my character, a vain, flirty high-Charisma paladin] would be good with everybody. Player 3: Absolutely. Good heroes like us have nothing to hide. Player 2: Oh my! During the game, some more texting to and from the missing player: Me: The bride was very lovely in her lace veil... and nothing else. The groom had a very fetching bow, strategically placed. Player: Ugh. I'm at work. Quit bothering me. In prior sessions, our female fighter (Marie, who used to wield a +2 great sword) got an intelligent, powerful spear with additional cold powers, so she sold her great sword and used the money to buy some magic plate mail. Later on, she got transformed - the spear disappeared and she became able to generate an ice spear at will. However, due to other baggage she didn't like her transformation so we managed to get her changed back to normal. However, she now has no weapon. Marie: Does anyone have a great sword I can use? Raphael: I do. (wiggles eyes suggestively) You know why I call it my "great sword"? Because I have to wield it two-handed... Marie: 😮😣
  8. BoloOfEarth

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    Actually, given that one of the heroes was hiding invisible on the rooftop and watched the hostages walk onto the rooftop well before the hero team decided to finally make their move, I didn't really expect any of the hostages to still be there more than a Phase after the rest of the hero team teleported onto the roof. Heck, the hero in hiding has extra limbs, stretching, and enough OCV + levels that his go-to move is to grab 2-4 supervillains at a time and squeeze. Grabbing four 0-DCV hostages and moving them out of harm's way while the rest of his team teleports in would have been easy-peasy, especially before the vampires even laid hands on the hostages. That the hostages were all still there when the bottom-of-the-speed-chart junior vampires moved in Segment 3 was a bit of a surprise to me. But whenever I set up such moral quandaries (and yes, we GMs do like them), it's always with multiple ideas in mind for how various of the heroes might safely deal with the situation. In the case of the vampires: PC with stretching and extra limbs could have grabbed all four of them away from the vampires PC with teleport UAA teleports them to safety (this is what happened) PC with TK grabs one or two hostages and lowers them safely to the ground. PC with mental paralysis keeps one or two vampires from dropping the hostages PC with AoE entangle makes it so none of the hostages can fall Invisible PC does a multiple fly-by Grab on the hostages, since the vampires were completely unaware of her. And that's just off the top of my head. IME, players often come up with something even better than I can think of. I suppose "Calling their bluff" is an option. I just would have at least expected a "hey, you got this, right?" from one hero to another over the team Mind Link beforehand.
  9. BoloOfEarth

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    Sure, I created a life-or-death situation (reactor designed to go boom) for the heroes to deal with, as well as some killer supervillains (in the case of the Aquans, Riptide and Biohazard). So I'll accept some of the blame for setting a potentially lethal tone in that situation. However, I don't think that necessarily makes me a Killer GM. I believe I mentioned before that the PCs went into retaking the research station already knowing about the reactor - and that Montgomery was almost certainly behind it's design to go boom - so the heroes had shut the reactor down before even starting on the supervillains. So the potential nuke was already dealt with and to be honest, that's pretty much what I expected was going to happen when I created the situation. Had any player tried to use the no-longer-dangerous nuke's existence as a reason for going lethal on the supervillains, when they weren't even aware of it, let alone behind it, would have been being willfully ignorant on his/her part. I'll note that the players didn't do that, so that's cool. As to the killer NPCs -- if the hero had unleashed his HKA on one of the killer supervillains, I don't think I would have been irritated. I kinda expect the players to go harder on the nastier villains. But to act like, "Killer villain A slashed up my teammate pretty bad, so I'm going to ignore killer villain A and go hard-core lethal on one of his teammates instead" seems counter-intuitive. Removing villain B from the ranks of the living doesn't do much of anything to stop Killer Villain A from continuing his rampage. I don't mind the game world having shades of gray, including the PCs. It's when the gray becomes really-really-dark-gray that I worry.
  10. BoloOfEarth

    Hero Does It Better

    Reading this, I was reminded of a bit from one of the Dream Park books, where the rookie GM is complaining to the more experienced GM that the players completely missed something in the background that was key to his game history. IIRC, the experienced GM said, "Don't worry, it'll get noticed in the home version of the game." That doesn't apply in your case, I just had a flashback I wanted to share. There's always stuff the GM creates that the players either don't notice, or don't realize the significance, or just plain don't care. I try to throw things in that, should the players notice or dig deeper, it could potentially help them out a lot. When they do hit on those things, even if it ends up short-circuiting an element of my plotline, it seems to make things more enjoyable both for me and for them. I try to write up the text stuff for all of my homebrew Champions supervillains (Background/History, Personality, etc.). Sure, 90% of that won't matter to the players, but I find it helps me find the character's "voice" and make that character less 2-dimensional.
  11. BoloOfEarth

    Dealing with Killer Characters

    I had bowed out of this thread during the discussion on paladins, but figured I'd respond to something else I had missed. I did pretty much this in a prior Champions campaign, though not so much as reaction to their actions as it was in reaction to a PC's backstory, plus the fairly logical progression of in-game events. While the storyline got quite interesting, it was pretty unanimous that things got much darker than anybody liked. There was an encouraging note - the killer PC was grumbling last session about not using his HKA "because everybody's worried I might kill someone." So perhaps the talk has borne a bit more fruit than I expected.
  12. BoloOfEarth

    Hero Does It Better

    I run a Champions campaign, and spend (probably) far too much time creating or updating the NPC villains, as well as writing news items and typing up my notes for the upcoming adventure. Oh, and there's also the map -- I like to throw lots of details into the maps. (My one of the VIPER base, with various reproductions of movie and TV robots, was especially cool.) Most of that's not Hero's fault, it's mine, except maybe for the time spent creating a new character. I will say that a well-crafted Hero system character, with thought-out Complications, can add some fun to adventure creation that I don't think readily comes into play in other game system. I've had several times where the heroes' and/or villains' Complications made an expected adventure take a left turn. For example, a simple tech theft that the heroes were supposed to stop became a whole lot more complicated when I rolled a critical success for a supervillain's Hunted by Mechanon. (I decided to let the heroes' investigations uncover why that character was hunted by Mechanon, so the killer 'bot's appearance didn't just come out of the blue.)
  13. BoloOfEarth

    NGD Scenes from a Hat

    The Batbike. Much better environmentally, and pedaling across town helps keep him fit and in fighting trim. Plus, Gotham City just put in all those bike lanes, it would be a shame not to use them.
  14. BoloOfEarth

    NGD Scenes from a Hat

    Oh, man, that's the funniest thing I've heard in a while...
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