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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/20/2021 in all areas

  1. BoloOfEarth

    Coronavirus

    I saw this today and thought it good enough to share. Source is: 'Freedom Cafe' description is a perfect response to arguments against mask requirements - Upworthy "Welcome to the Freedom Cafe! We trust you to make your own choices if you want to wear a face mask. And, in the same spirit of individual liberty, we allow our staff to make their own choices about the safety procedures they prefer to follow as they prepare and serve your food." "We encourage employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, but understand that some people may be allergic to certain soaps or may simply prefer not to wash their hands. It is not our place to tell them what to do." "We understand that you may be used to chicken that has been cooked to 165 degrees. We do have to respect that some of our cooks may have seen a meme or a YouTube video saying that 100 degrees is sufficient, and we do not want to encroach on their beliefs." "Some of our cooks may prefer to use the same utensils for multiple ingredients, including ingredients some customers are allergic to. That is a cook's right to do so." "Some servers may wish to touch your food as they serve it. There is no reason that a healthy person with clean hands can't touch your food. We will take their word for it that they are healthy and clean." "Water temperature and detergent are highly personal choices, and we allow our dishwashing team to decide how they'd prefer to wash the silverware you will put in your mouth. "Some of you may get sick, but almost everyone survives food poisoning. We think you'll agree that it's a small price to pay for the sweet freedom of no one ever being told what to do - and especially not for the silly reason of keeping strangers healthy."
    9 points
  2. 7 points
  3. Pariah

    Coronavirus

    I got a text today saying that the little girl is coming home. I'm relieved, to be sure, but also sad and a little frustrated, that it had to have happened at all. I'll confess that I'm also afraid that certain of the more reactionary elements in my wife's family will look at this as proof that COVID-19 is no big deal and that they don't need to get vaccinated.
    7 points
  4. side note: was highly amused that one of the concerns was with people that may argue the mask mandate in the building. My response: we're blacksmiths. We have 2000 degree steel and hammers, there is no argument. Also, if they try to say that they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, they definitely should not be in a forge with coal smoke.
    7 points
  5. Lord Liaden

    Coronavirus

    With respect, those are false equivalencies. The middle two of those are already flat-out illegal, which not getting vaccinated is not (yet). None of them are currently filling ICUs past capacity. In this instance not taking advantage of a simple, readily-available preventive health measure is taking potentially life-saving resources away from people who did. During the London blitz of WW II, the government ordered lights be turned off at night so they couldn't be used to guide German bombers. Someone choosing to turn theirs on would have not only put their own lives directly at risk, but the lives of everyone near them. But that measure was lifted after peace was declared. This is a public emergency, and like every public emergency in history some liberties need to be temporarily curtailed for the greater good of the populace. If this is a slippery slope, every one of those was a slippery slope.
    7 points
  6. 7 points
  7. I dislike agents that make the PCs feel less super. I dislike agents that require the PCs to be built on inflated points to be viable. I accept that a few "agents" are actually low-powered superbeings, through equipment, training or both. Most shouldn't be.
    6 points
  8. 6 points
  9. As I understand the effect, you don't roll dice. The victim just dies. I'd say it's a physical complication: Dies if control signal is sent. (Infrequently, Fully)
    6 points
  10. 6 points
  11. I am _hugely_ in favor of forgiveness, and I understand that people cuange as they grow and as they learn. I think all of those things are good things. Case in point: I was raised by a racist (despite the fact that he was in his forties before he ever met someone who wasnt white. Go figure. I am no different from any other human being on the planet: I entered my adulthood with the "right" and "wrong" I was taught as a child. Was I racist? Yeah; probably. I never hated anybody, but I "knew" from my training that there was an "us" and a "them." But I met people and I grew and I changed. My first wife (rest her soul), as I have said before, was Irish. She wasn't white, though. She was adopted as an infant and was, in fact, Ethiopian, at least genetically. Like I said: as you experience the larger world, you grow- or at least, you _should_. I completely accept that there are certain things that are harder to forgive. However, the article admits the photo is decades old; the man in question says it was a stupid thing he did in his twenties (you know: the age bracket in which I just confessed to accidentally having drunken sex with a Polish body builder and loosing an entire motorcycle in another thread). The popular thing is now the same as it always has been: leap! Attack! Crucify! Has anyone looked at all into his life between then and now? Was it, as he states, a dumb idea to dress up in referrence to Blazing Saddles that has aged very poorly and become an even dumber thing in today's climate? I am more struck that he resigned, and as far as the article doesnt suggest otherwise, of his own volition and without argument. It seems very much as an understanding and accepting the consequences of his decades-old bad judgement. It suggests he has grown considerably, and I would guess- based only on what the "article" has to say (and tha's on quptes because with no other attaemots at fact finding or investigation, this is more gossip than news. My own opinion, sure, but it really comes off more as "hey everybody! Look what he did!" than it does any attempt to provide an underatanding of the situation. Maybe he grew; maybe he changed. We can find out by digging into him a little bit more, but until that happens, I am not foing to crucify him, because I _know_ a heart can change. Mine did. Though honestly, it's starting to go full-circle: without any attempt at humor I can honestly sat that the climate here in the US the last few years and suring the pandemic has me slowly starting to have a general dislike of white people.
    6 points
  12. It's a villainous deathtrap! Make sure you have the appropriate necessary skills to get yourself free!
    6 points
  13. Since the vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients haven't been vaccinated, I see this as a moot point. Here's the actual memo text:
    6 points
  14. I think a lot of that comes from parenting. Quill never knew his father, and his mother died young. He was broken from grief, and he longed for paternal approval, and allowed a group of space pirates to lead him around, taking on their values. Cha Cha was deeply loved by his family, and learned that his life was one of integrity and service to others. It's no wonder that he transformed those around him.
    6 points
  15. DShomshak

    Medieval Stasis

    Apropos of this, my experience writing and developing for Exalted suggests to me that some game writers -- though quite bright in other ways -- have a dubious grasp of geography and scale. Like, one writer who was creating a new country described it both as "small" and "a thousand miles wide." I reminded him that 1,000 miles is the distance between Chicago and New Orleans. This may be "small" compared to some countries in the setting, but it's a bit large and spread-out for some of the institutions he wanted the country to have. Part of the problem, I think, is that Exalted started with a world map and design went down from there -- and when you start sketching borders on a mpa whose scale is 1 inch = 800 miles, you tend to get pretty big countries. Discussing this on White Wolf's forum, I came up with this comparison for people who think you need big places for big stories. On the Exalted map, Ireland would fit within a quarter-inch square. Ireland, with all its weight of history, from the Tuatha de Danaan to the Troubles. Is Ireland too small for a Fantasy epic? Okay, you say it is. Half an inch on the map can include most of the Ancient Greek world. Most of the Greek myths and epics happen within a half inch square, with a few excursions B eyond the Fields We Know such as the Argonautica or Odysseus sailing to the Underworld. The Biblical Middle East fits within a one inch square. And all of China fits within a two inch square. Now, Exalted campaigns are supposed to operate on a hyperbolic scale. Threats to the entire world are a thing. But that doesn't mean that everything needs to be gigantic. (And indeed, every place that isn't sprawling is a city-state, because then you just put a dot on the map.) I also suspect that some cases where settings have huge spans of time but not much seems to be happening within them derive from a similar top-down approach, and would benefit from more bottom-up design. Like, don't start with 6,000 years or whatever and try to fill it. Start with now, decide what incidents are absolutely needed to explain current conditions (or to plant as story seeds, ore just as bits of atmosphere to help show what kind of setting this is), and figure out how much time you actually need to fit it in. Like, if the kingdom's leaders seethe in anger for a past military defeat and want to start a new war to avenge it, does the defeat need to be from a thousand years ago? When 10 or 20 would work as well? Or if the defeats did happen centuries ago, is it a point of the adventure that someone is deliberately dragging up and inflaming old grievances because they really really want a war? Dean Shomshak
    5 points
  16. Spence

    Medieval Stasis

    One of the issues I have with many of the setting out there is they have far too much detail. Far far far far far too much. Right up to the 1900's, arguably up to the 1950's the vast proportion of people on earth were born, lived their lives and died within 20 miles. The industrial age and the major wars (WW1 & WW2) were really the only thing that lead to massive numbers moving any great distance. And they basically stopped after returning home until the modern era 1980's+. Even now we have the largest number of population traveling world wide and still to this day the majority stay withing a 100 miles of home. 100 Miles because modern transportation allows travel of 100+ in a single day, but even with that I still meet people all the time in the US that have never flown or left their state. I am pretty sure that with a small variance other countries are relatively similar. I may have personally traveled all over the world, but that was because I spent my entire adult life in or around the Navy. The extent of most of my high school class's travels have been from my home town to a larger city and then either back or putting down roots at that city or another small town and then staying within 100 from there. Why do I say this? Because the issue I find with fantasy setting is that they are written from a global view with billions of high tech satellites recording everything for the last 50 trillion years or so instead of what they should. Cover a single area that can be covered by a horseman in a few weeks surrounded by an empty map labeled "here be dragons". Did the ancient/old world have large urban cities? Yes. But they were the exception rather than the rule. There were far more smaller cities and towns than metropolises. Even New York City, London and other modern cities were far smaller than they are now in 1800's. The were certainly amazing the people of the times in comparison to what was the norm at that time. But still much smaller. My point is that the need by game companies to write massive entire world guides is why they don't get played. One of the few things I thought WotC did right with D&D5th when they launched was reduce the "official" world to the Sword Coast. And then slowly add bits in completely stand alone guides that could be used or ignored with the majority expanding on the Realms. The non-Realm settings are covered in single digestible 250ish page books. In other words they are accessible to new players and DM's. Accessible in a time frame of hours. Not months. The initial book for a setting should be targeted at a single area and narrow the PC options down to at most a dozen occupations for a handful as in 4 or 5 "races" in a single culture. If options are in the book the players will NOT PLAY until they have read all the options and then calculated the best PC build. Narosia and Runequest are examples of game that actively bar and discourage new players. There are so many races cultures and options that after owning both for years, decades for Runequest, I have not run either recently. I played Runequest in the 80's but simply do not have the time to absorb what it has become. For Narosia I still have not had the time to complete a good read, and I have not been able to get any players to even try. If the options exist, players will not play unless they can understand enough to understand those options. If the players cannot have a general understanding with the first evenings read, they move on. The same for a setting. If the setting is too wide with too much info it will see less use. Take a step back and really look. D&D 5th has all kinds of settings if you include third party, but the only ones people are really playing are the thin books like sword coast. The tomes like Midgard are not. The thin books are limited in the area, player options and timeline they can cover. The tomes are huge and simply have too much information for initial games. Start small in a single geographical area that the PC's can adventure in and that the GM can digest in a few days. Then add supplements to expand if people get excited. Fantasy Medieval society. Most are illiterate. Most books and scrolls that contain lore are in carefully horded "libraries" with most being simply the writings of someone of which most are only copies. And at most they have only been read by a fractional minority of the population. Bree was just a days journey from Hobbiton and yet the two considered each other odd and weird, places to take care if you visit. Anywhere more than a few days was thought of almost as fables and tall tales. Narrow the focus, anything known from lands 50 miles away would be highly embellished. Further out would be legends and tales. History would be from tales told by the grandmother and grandfathers sitting around the hearth in the evenings that they learned from their grands. Tales that have probably become unrecognizable after 20 years. I have no Medieval Stasis issues because the topic really never comes up to the players or most games beyond "it's an ancient artifact from the blah blahs." Who were the blah blahs? No one really knows, they vanished from world countless years ago and now are only remembered in tales and legends. If I buy a setting book with too much info I usually do not actually use it. I move on the things that allow me to actually run a game.
    5 points
  17. Cancer

    Coronavirus

    Actually, I have had measles, mumps, and rubella ... because I'm old enough to have been infected with each of them before the vaccines were developed, and I got the polio vaccination only a few years after Salk's breakthrough and the disease was still an object of near-supernatural dread. I got measles when I was in kindergarten, and I think it would have killed me if not for mid-20th Century medicine. I tell my students what it's like and what it does, because they don't know, and I think it is because we have lost the horror of the diseases that the anti-vaxx movement is tolerated, as opposed to being identified as a bunch of traitors to the species, and given the choice of get the shot or be shot.
    5 points
  18. 5 points
  19. 5 points
  20. DShomshak

    Coronavirus

    An article in the August '21 Harper's may help. It's primarily about the recent fad for quoting Hannah Arendt re: fascism, totalitarianism, and lies by governments. (Summary: People quoting Arendt to condemn Donald Trump are mis-applying what she wrote.) But one subject is about the state of mind people often fall into when they have been lied to about something big, or lied to many times: a condition of all-encompassing disbelief and cynicism. Anything might be a lie, and probably is; the effort to sift truth from falsehood is futile; so while nothing is true, anything is possible. Though this goes beyond the article, it follows that the normal, sane standards of competent authority are turned upside down. The more the source of a claim is perceived as an established authority, the less it is believed -- because the Establishment, of whatever kind, must be lying to maintain its position of presumed power. Conversely, the suppressed message is more likely to be true, precisely because it is suppressed. Ad if you don't know anything about the subject, whether it's science, medicine, or what-have-you -- how are you to recognize deranged nonsense when you hear it? Why wouldn't a malaria drug, a deworming drug, or, heck, shooting up with bleach, be effective against Covid? (Or, getting back to Arendt, why wouldn't you believe a blustering madman who claims all your problems are caused by Jews? [Hitler] Or counterrevolutionary capitalists? [Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot] Or Communists? [McCarthy] Or gays, or Central American migrants, or witches. You are the perfect citizen for a totalitarian state and its world of ideological fantasy, because you will never break and say, "No, this isn't true.") Unfortunately... Between government, political provocateurs and advertising, we swim in lies. And I suspect we all know it. Is it any wonder that some people drown? Dean Shomshak
    5 points
  21. Logan.1179

    In other news...

    Surprising absolutely no one... Online Trolls Actually Just A$$#oles All the Time, Study Finds
    5 points
  22. I'm sorry I missed this conversation (having written the Narosia book). My original pitch to DOJ for Narosia was to be an all-in-one intro to fantasy hero with all of the systematic decisions already made (magic works like THIS, equipment works like THIS, etc.). We succeeded on that point. However, I think it ended up being too much. The tenets of my design philosophy were: The world needed to make sense. It is a deconstruction of dungeon crawling. Why dungeons? Why tougher monsters the deeper you go? Why don't the monsters overwhelm the surface world? Hand players a ready to play game powered by the Hero System. The GM needed to be able to easily keep the history of the world in their head. Not the details, but the framework. What could have been better was the accessibility of it all. It's absolutely a fair criticism that maybe it's too much. That is the consequence of trying to make it complete (which it isn't, actually). I developed the Quickstart character building system (and have a generic Fantasy Hero version of it) to facilitate rapid character development. At cons I would run a Narosia Quickstart: build a character in 45 min and then play for 1:15 (2 hour slot) or 3:15 (4 hour slot). I was always successful. Absent such a system, which is fairly comprehensive in its character options, you end up with classic decision paralysis unless you know how to play Hero. Still, there is a lot there. I built 2 (arguably 4) magic systems for the game. The feel of each system was exactly what I wanted, and conceptually a Skill based magic system where you pay only 1 point for a spell proficiency seems simple enough. Looking at it now, there is a lot of detail (which provided 100s of hours of fun for us), but that detail can still be overwhelming. In many ways I traded one set of complexity (building Hero powers) with a different one. The magic systems are still complex, but in a different way from core Hero. Is that a positive or negative? Entirely subjective. I still run Narosia, and learned a lot from writing it. I have worked on Narosia 2.0 because I see how it can be better, simpler, and more unique and inclusive. There are constructs in the book (like race) that don't need to be. The cosmology can be simpler and cleaner. Now, even with greater simplicity, does that serve the Fantasy Hero Quickstart objective? No, not really. I wanted it to be that, but no 500 page rulebook can be that. Ideally, something with an edited Hero System Basic ruleset + fantasy character building + basic magic + adventure is what I'd like to see. My Fantasy Hero Quick Start is 38 pages with very little padding (that covers characters, magic, and equipment). Add that to 138 pages of basic + 32 page adventure and that's a 200 page book. Here's the question I would pose: why make such a product? I dreamed once of winning the hearts and minds of gamers over to Hero to have the type of gaming experiences I've been lucky to have. I don't think that's realistic. Hero does what it does in its way and those that engage with it will like it or not. At the end of the day if the 4-6 players at the table don't engage with it, the point is kind of moot. I think we can always win over 1-2 players at any table, but winning them all is really difficult, and everyone has to WANT to play the game that operates the way Hero does or the campaign fails. Especially when player expectations of online tools, online content, and accessibility is such that the legacy of Hero I don't believe can match. Nor should it. I've got 3 active projects right now: 1. Narosia 2.0 2. NOVA6 3. Atomic Sky Narosia 2.0 and Atomic Sky drove the development of NOVA6. I'm super happy with that game and I run it weekly. It's just about ready to launch (and you can find it on the website in its most recent version). It isn't Hero, but it is a descendant of Hero. It addresses the accessibility aspect, with rapid time to play that I feel doesn't lose much from a fantasy hero experience (at least). We finished the Narosia grand campaign in NOVA6 (meaning the original playtesters going through Village of Gillkas, to the Library of Baradahm, and finally Act 3, all in NOVA6) and it works. I will say, however, that it is a different experience than the Hero version of Narosia, all good, but not necessarily "better" (depending on what you want out of the game). NOVA6, especially in its more detailed version (which we call NOVA6 Expanded and aren't moving forward with), was tailored for Narosia and Atomic Sky. However, I didn't like how it played for Atomic Sky (dieselpunk atomic apocalypse). So... Atomic Sky drifted into other directions, other systems. At one point it was going to be its own system (*shudder*, like I need to make ANOTHER system). It was in D&D 5E (and working, and would, I think, be attractive to a wide audience there). But I didn't like it. I only ever really liked it in Hero. Years ago I did a full conversion (well, full-ish) of Fallout and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., both of which I ran on the con circuit for years and had a ton of fun (and are still on my website). So, I've come back around to Atomic Sky being in Hero and, thinking through it, having it be essentially PA Hero 6E. However, I'm not going to replicate all that material since I think it is largely unnecessary. What I will do is use that material to make a complete setting book (no integrated rules), make the campaign decisions about how powers and such work, and then build out scavenging and campaign guidelines for what Atomic Sky is about. I want power-armor character, scrappy snipers, monstrous mutants, synths, high tech, and low life, scrabbling for survival with hope for a higher purpose. Hero GMs can build on that material (or not). I've learned a lot on this journey, and I'm happy to be focusing on Hero again. This time my objective is different: I want to make something I, as a Hero fan, enjoy playing and hope to bring some of you along with me. I'm not trying to win over non-hero players (like I was with Narosia). And this experience will likely result in a Narosia 2.0 that is also more of a service to this community rather than tilting at the windmills of winning over D&D players to Hero. They'll join us if they want, because they see us smiling, shouting, and having fun at that "table over there" rather than challenging them that they are engaging in wrongfun and that we know better.
    5 points
  23. Quark : I want you to try something for me. Take a sip of this. Elim Garak : What is it? Quark : A human drink. It's called root beer. Elim Garak : [unwilling] Uh, I don't know... Quark : Come on, aren't you just a little bit curious? [Garak sighs, takes a sip and gags] Quark : What do you think? Elim Garak : It's *vile*! Quark : I know. It's so bubbly, and cloying, and *happy*. Elim Garak : Just like the Federation. Quark : But you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to *like* it. Elim Garak : It's insidious! Quark : *Just* like the Federation.
    5 points
  24. I'm not in touch with recent comics history enough to recall that, but regardless, I disagree with that criticism. Creating new characters to fill "inclusivity niches" and broaden diversity is exactly the right approach, IMO. Anyone who criticizes that is basically against any kind of diversity in comics at all. And I call BS on them.
    5 points
  25. I’d have to agree. I used to spend about $50 a month for comic books, even after I moved to L. A. but that tapered of to less than $10 after 2007, then mostly independents. It dropped to nothing in 2016. The old writers and artists aren’t around much any more and the quality of writing is just awful, especially in the last 4 years.
    5 points
  26. Hugh Neilson

    Coronavirus

    A "personal choice". Kind of like whether to wear a seatbelt, smoke tobacco, smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, drive 55, urinate in the street, yell "fire" in a crowded restaurant or wear a shirt and shoes to the restaurant? Clearly we would never DREAM of restricting those rights to personal choice, so how can we possibly mandate mask-wearing?
    5 points
  27. Wait until she finds the roller skates.
    4 points
  28. Spence

    Medieval Stasis

    For me the problem is that those kinds of large sweeping setting are useless to me. Except to weigh down a shelf and collect dust. Adventures do no happen at that scale. A smaller setting book that actually has smaller focused information is far far more useful. The Sword Coast is what? The map is around 1200 miles north/south and maybe 600 miles east/west not including the ocean. The islands are in an area around 300 miles N/S and 100-150 miles E/W? And even then the SC is an immense area where most of it will never be actually used. And yet so many settings seems to think mapping out and entire world in even broader wide strokes is "better"?? While not perfect, Sword Coast is the best modern setting of it's type. A broad high level overview of area. And then individual supplements that combine setting and adventure information for specific locations. But even then the setting info is suitably imprecise allowing the individual GM to tinker or ignore easily. Speaking of Hero products, and this is my personal opinion, they suffer from the "Far Far Far Too Much" syndrome. Too much detail. Too much density. Far too intertwined. Too much in on book to effectively use. If you decide that "blah blah" is not right for you campaign and decide to remove it, the removal is far more effort than you can expend for a weekend game because instances and influences of "blah blah" are throughout the product and you begin to drown in removal and replacement "fixes". And even if you decide to run it as is, the details and density of text mandates the expenditure of more effort than was required for your most daunting real world professional requirement. I was able to read/skim the Sword Coast plus an adventure in a single afternoon and ran session zero the next day. I spent an entire weekend with Narosia, which I had to READ, and after getting through the 2nd culture, took a look and realized there were a bazillion to go. So it went on the shelf and I was all "D&D it is". In the games that you actually play, Medieval Stasis isn't really relevant. If you are slogging down the muddy track between villages on the frontier of the Kingdom Blah Blah, the fact that there is a ruin from the Ancient Ones really doesn't matter. Even if the GM has turned the ruin into a dungeon. But to the PC's and the current regular NPC's the exact history is irrelevant. Oh the GM could easily make up myths and legends for entertainment. But unless it is to set up a quest, none of the players will care about the "history". Heck they will not care about any of the surrounding kingdoms/nations/tribes unless their PC's actually need to do something there or counter something here. The only purpose for extensive timelines or deep histories satisfy the author and provided casual reading for the GM's. Since reading the complete setting/adventure book by the players should never be done since it would spoil the game, just what value to the weekly session is knowing that 45,000 years before your adventure that the High King Blah Blah rules the Kingdom of Who Cares? As an intellectual exercise Medieval Stasis exists. But what practical or impractical value does that 1000 pages of minutia have for tomorrows afternoon game session. Especially when the participants of that afternoon games session are only able to scrape up four hours every two weeks to game and the GM will only be able to dedicate maybe an hour to prep. That is the market. One hour prep for a four hour session every two weeks. People will spend a couple weeks to read through a RPG's rules. Not sit down and study them, but to read a few pages here and there over a period of a couple weeks. Once they believe they know enough they will see if they can get their friends to make PC's. And if the session zero takes more time than their normal session or the PC's do not intrigue the players enough during that session zero they will not play it. IF the GM manages to lead the players successfully out the other side of session zero, then he must be able to run the four hour session with one hour of prep for the campaign. That is why D&D 5th is dominating. The average GM can prep for today's session with an hour of prep. Each Adventure book may have six to ten individual encounters, but the DM only needs to read the one they are playing today. For League night it was common for each tables DM to arrive about an hour early and prep right at the table before the players get there. Does D&D's world have a long and detailed history? Yes, after all the game has been around since the 70's and carries all the baggage and detail that comes with it. Did WotC immediately inject all of the history into their 5th product? No. The selected a tiny slice of part of it, boiled it down to just what a DM and players might need and published that. Medieval Stasis? I don't know because the info I am using today doesn't really talk about enough that it would come up.
    4 points
  29. I'm sorry to say it, but... almost certainly not. Sales were piddling, both here and on DriveThruRPG. Not worth the work -- especially the illustration. I am not an artist. I can sort of fake it sometimes, but it's like pulling my own teeth. Taking care of my mother in her declining years has also been an impediment. It's a shame, because I do have more Shared Origins I'd like to complete. The Parallax Event for the Shared Accident: A bit of stolen alien technology goes kaboom, and the wave of hyperspacial energy gives random people super-powers -- especially the people nearest, who form a supervillain team called the Constellation. Or there's Wreck of Empire: Professor Proton was one of the world's most powerful villains, but his ruthlessness led to his death. Some of his lieutenants try to keep his criminal empire going, but many of his agents, bases and weapons are up for grabs, creating Spinoff Characters. And for a Power-Granting Artifact I have the Doomsday Cross created by the Warlock, which pulls various lesser demon lords out of Hell to possess unwitting mortals. A few more. But they are all stalled at various points. At least you've got the concepts now, to develop for yourself. And I see the attached file vanished at some point. Here it is again, I think. Dean Shomshak Gladiator6c.pdf
    4 points
  30. Spence

    Medieval Stasis

    I don't think I was meaning that line of thought, though I was probably unclear. The PC's are not unlearned or incompetent, but they also do not have google and an full awareness of what the world holds. With over developed setting the players will know the worlds details. While a good roleplayer can try to ensure that their PC's only act on what the PC would know, there is a vast difference between a player knowing details and playing like they don't and the player actually not knowing and being genuinely surprised. Players portraying a competent party that gets to discover the truth behind the legend is a lot more fun than players who know what is going on pretending that their PC's do not know. It is less "dumbstruck villagers looking at the ruins of aqueducts, and thinking it’s the products of giants" and more of "the villagers avoiding the dark forest because of the legendary Beast and the tendency of anyone disappearing and the Heroic PC's venturing into the unknown to end the threat". A setting book should tell me there is a Legendary Beast and give suggestions on what the beast could possibly be, but leave it to the GM to actually decide what the Beast is. Making every iteration of the campaigns in the setting different. This is different from an Adventure Module taking place in in the setting about the Legendary Best in the Dark Forest, and adventure should be completely fleshed out and contain needed everything except the core rules. By definition Adventurers are exceptional and far more competent than the mundane "normal folks". But that doesn't mean Adventurers have access to a magic google and Wikipedia
    4 points
  31. Pariah

    Jokes

    Now that ABBA is back together, there are reports that they will be touring with Elvis Costello. And I have to wonder, at an ABBA and Costello concert, who's on first?
    4 points
  32. Since Duke answered, and mentioned my name, I guess I'll answer as well. Why your username? It's my name. I was going to say something about "My parents gave it to me," but they didn't actually give me my username. Why your avatar or if no avatar why not? It's me, from a picture of me taken at my son's kindergarten graduation, which was in 2008. I look pretty much the same now, except the hair is a bit more grey. What area do you live in? Hillsboro, Oregon, in the western suburbs of Portland. What's your profession? I'm an IT geek... Are you Windows, MAC or Linux? Windows and Linux. I got started in Linux by forcing myself to have it single-boot on my computer, so I wouldn't be tempted to boot into Windows just to do something I could do on Linux. About six years ago or so, I finally relented and added a Windows partition. Over the past four or five years or so, my son made use of my computer as well, so was booting into Windows more frequently, and I've been using it more and more on my own computer. My preferred Linux distribution is Debian. Are there TV shows and/or movies you like to binge watch? Sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero. What drew you to the Hero System? A friend back in the 80's was a Champions player, and he would talk about it every so often but otherwise didn't try to advocate for it or anything. I'd picked up Autoduel Champions mainly for the helicopter rules for Car Wars, but I did keep looking at the superheroes in Car Wars and the autoduelling in Champions parts. Finally I started getting burned out on D&D, and finally said to my friend, I'm going to buy Champions, can I pick your brain when I need help? He said absolutely, and now here we are. Which edition did you start with? Third edition, though it was in the period where most of the people I was playing with had either first or second, and we weren't nitpicking edition differences anyway, so it was pretty much the first-gen mix. The group I was playing with got rapidly into the other Hero games; we probably played more Fantasy Hero, Robot Warriors, and Danger International than Champions. Which edition is your favorite? I have to say, 6th edition has been growing on me a lot. I've been playing a lot of 6th edition lately. Before that it was 3rd. What have you used the game for? Oh boy. Let's see: superheroes at various power levels and tones; lots of different fantasy, including a Fantasy Hero game based on the Bushido RPG, and one based on the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin; quite a lot of different Danger International games, a lot of which were modern military-based in some way, though there were also a number of sci-fi games using it; Robot Warriors; Battletech Hero using DI and RW; a Western Hero game before Western Hero existed, using DI and Justice Inc. along with various other western RPGs; and there are probably a lot of others I'm just plain forgetting. What point system have you ran or played in? Everything from 10 points (PvP games we called "Death Wish") to 700+ point monsters. What was your first Hero character? The first two I made were a mutated cat that stood on two legs, and a guy who fell off an ocean liner and was raised by dolphins. The first one I played was an heat-ray energy projector named Infrared. What was your favorite Hero character? Different ones at different times. Shifter was the 700+ point monster, played in a solo game with the friend who got me into the game. Chameleon was a permanently invisible brick. Subbei was a "budoka" (a ninja, really) in the Bushido game. A ki-rin in a high powered "yourselves in a fantasy world" game back in the 80's. A stretchy character in 2019. Current character in Champions, who is a TV actor who all of a sudden discovered he could switch forms into the alien character he played on TV, with the character's personality and memories (mentalist and pocket brick). Do you still play or GM the Hero System Still play. Recently GM'd a short Robot Warriors campaign using 6th edition characters and original RW mech build rules. Are there other games you play? A number of indie RPGs, off and on. D&D. Traveller. Nothing much beyond those, recently. On an A to F scale how do you rate the system overall? A! What are some house-rules, if any, you use in the past? Most of the recent games I've played in have used a "hero point" mechanic. If you could put together a 7th edition what are some things you add, omit and/or change? I've been keeping a file full of changes I'd make, but none of them are all that radical or even particularly new-edition worthy. Oh, I'd have a secret infinite multiversal cataclysm that would separate all of the Fantasy Hero settings into their own universes rather than being part of the Champions Universe. I'd formalize Differing Modifiers to be based on any set of Advantages that make sense, with GM permission; I'd tweak Healing some; I'd tweak Standard Effect some; I'd probably add back in some of the powers that went away over the years, like Instant Change and Suppress. I'd revamp Adjustment Powers with a bit more differentiation between those you'd primarily use on Characteristics and those you'd primarily use on Powers. I'd add some notes on generalized power systems (in other words, "magic systems" for other types of powers). And I'd add an appendix on "Editionless Hero" wherein a GM could bring back any rules from previous editions they wanted, with notes on how to get them to work with the current systems. I'd also release a Hero SRD under the Open Game License.
    4 points
  33. dmjalund

    In other news...

    still a better love story than Twilight
    4 points
  34. BarretWallace

    Coronavirus

    My vote would be "both."
    4 points
  35. Also, had this 1982 Supreme Court case pointed out to me. LARKIN ET AL. v. GRENDEL'S DEN, INC. https://h2o.law.harvard.edu/cases/5577 Apparently, a state can't in all cases delegate regulatory duties to private individuals or private organizations because it violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It has to pick and choose when it can according to whether the private organization is substantially doing the regulatory duty using the same standard as a state agency would. In the Texas abortion case, however, the state is attempting to devolve regulatory power onto private individuals or private organizations which no state agency even has. That's violating the precedent which Larkin v Grendel set up. Which makes any court challenge to the Texas law much easier since the Supreme Court has already set up guidelines for how to a state may do such a thing. And how it may not....
    4 points
  36. 4 points
  37. Cancer

    In other news...

    Wow. Starting in January, All American Astronomical Society Journals will be full Open Access No one thinks that there'll be as great a demand for all the papers in those journals, but as the spectacular example, the open-access Astrophysical Journal Letters 2019 paper with the famous shadow of the black hole in M87 image (here) has been downloaded more than a third of a million times.
    4 points
  38. Cygnia

    Coronavirus

    4 points
  39. Finally had a chance to watch The Suicide Squad. It was a fun ride that didn't take itself too seriously while still sticking to concept. They managed the character background well, the violence was well choreographed and the plot was coherent and believable. As long as you go in expecting an action comedy, you won't be disappointed. 8/10.
    4 points
  40. So, if we reveal that Ben Grimm is Jewish, it';s just hack writing. Never mind that he grew up in an area with a high Jewish population, his name ("Benjamin Jacob Grimm") is quite consistent with being Jewish and his religion (Jewish or otherwise) has never cropped up, it's "hack writing"? Ditto Colossal Boy, a character in an ensemble cast where we have never seen any indication of religion (especially being a thousand years in the future), turning out to be Jewish is "hack writing". Would it have been better writing for everyone to be Anglican, or Roman Catholic, or agnostic, or atheist, because that is what you, one reader, imputed from the fact their religion had never been mentioned? Maybe LSH should have assumed that religions which have already survived 2+ millennia would not make it another thousand years? Black Manta should have been white because we'd never seen under the helmet, and lots of people are white, so he must be white? If a character is solidly straight (or Catholic) one issue, then securely bisexual (or Jewish) in the next, followed by being confidently homosexual (or an uncertain agnostic), and has been all his life, six months later, I'd call that hack writing. Diving into character attributes that have never been solidly defined in past appearances? Not so much. Especially when a lot of that character's appearances have either been as a secondary character (Robin to Bruce's Batman) or part of an ensemble cast (the many Teen Titans books), not a solo star whose psyche and relationships have typically been front & center. But we are back to the constant criticism of comics. "Nothing ever changes - how boring!" "You changed that? YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT!!!"
    4 points
  41. 4 points
  42. Quackhell

    My Speedster Name Ideas

    Vamoose! 😀
    4 points
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