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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/24/2004 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    Hero Games will be launching a fan-driven community content program on DriveThruRPG in about a month, similar to Dungeon Masters Guild and Storytellers Vault. It’s going to be called Hall of Champions, and it will allow you to publish your own work on DriveThru for profit under the banner of being a Hero Games product. (Though solely for commercial purposes on DriveThruRPG.) You’ll be allowed to publish using any version of the Hero System you like from 1st to 6th, including Champions Now. You will also be allowed to use both intellectual property that belongs to Hero Games, as well as the Champions Universe, which belongs to Cryptic Studios. The program will supply artwork and templates to work from to make the entire process as easy as possible. To being with, what I’m looking for are some initial fan contributions from you guys so that we have a certain number of products ready to go at launch. I’ve already received commitments from two of our third party publishers, but could use a bunch more from fans. There are (of course) significant rules governing the community content program, which I will share with you should you contact me. If you have work you would like to contribute, it needs only be in PDF form and have a JPEG cover image available. (This can simply be a copy of the front page.) Thank you as always for playing the Hero System, and I look forward to hearing from you. Jason Walters, Publisher jason@herogames.com
  2. 17 points
    Lord Liaden

    Hero system 7 ideas

    What I would do with a hypothetical Seventh Edition is avoid it like the plague. By this point the rules have been combed through, deconstructed, revised, game-balanced, clarified, optionized, and hair-split to within an inch of their lives. There are no more pressing problems in the system that need to be addressed. Any further modifications would simply reflect the personal opinions and preferences of whoever was given responsibility for creating a new edition; and we all already modify the RAW to suit our preferences anyway. For alternative ways of doing things, we have earlier editions to draw from. I see no need and feel no desire to invest time and money learning yet another iteration of Hero.
  3. 15 points
  4. 15 points
    Scott Ruggels

    Blast from the past part. 1

    So I have recently completed a move, to a place largr enough to not need storage. So I have bern unpacking many boxes of books. Along with finding all of my old gaming books, I found my character binder. Inside was the original Hero flyer announcing Champions, and also the character handed to me by either Bruce or Ray, for a game GMed by Steve Peterson an that convention back in 1981. I present it to you in the interests of the historical record.
  5. 14 points
    Lord Liaden

    Today is special because ?

    As a Canadian, I honor this day because of the ideals it expressed and strove to make manifest, that transformed the world. That all men are created equal. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's no secret the United States of America has often fallen short of those ideals, as have we all. But in just aspiring as a country to make them real, America has been an inspiration to people everywhere, and helped ignite a fundamental shift in how people see their responsibility to their fellow human beings. Whatever pettiness we may be dealing with today, that's a legacy worth celebrating.
  6. 12 points

    HERO System Mobile

    I am pleased to announce the launch of the HERO System Mobile app on both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. You can install the app by searching for it in your app store or by using the links provided. The app is free to use, ad free, and respects your privacy. Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.herogmtools App Store - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hero-system-mobile/id1352750917?ls=1&mt=8 Amazon App Store - http://a.co/byom955 This project is an extension of an export template I wrote a few months ago. I had so much fun writing that template that I decided to develop a full app. Features Import characters from Hero Designer using this export template Characteristics and Skills may be long pressed and a check will be made Dice rolling tools (3d6, Hit, Damage, and Free Form) The H.E.R.O. tool generates random 250 point 5e supers (shout out to Cassandra for allowing me to use her original idea) Track statistics about your die rolls, including average values, distribution, total stun etc. This is still very much a work in progress and I have plans to add more features as time goes on. For now though I feel that it’s mature enough to release to the general public. Feedback is always welcome either here or at phil.guinchard@gmail.com Happy Hero-ing
  7. 12 points
    If Doc Democracy or I start cursing or getting upset You'll know it is the election that has caused it,. I voted and helped take mum to vote. Had to walk the wheelchair down the hill as it would not go in the car but was able to wheel mum in and out of the polling station.
  8. 12 points
    Steve Long

    What Happened to Steve?

    My apologies for taking so long to respond to questions — real life snuck up on me and got in a Surprise attacking, Knocking me Out for several Segments until I could recover. I can't promise it won't happen again, but I'll try to Dive For Cover next time.
  9. 12 points
    In case folks hadn't heard, here's the recent posting on our Facebook page: We’re working on an update to our original San Angelo: City of Heroes product line, bringing the Origins Award-nominated sourcebook and setting into the 21st century! No definitive release date yet but we are shooting for Summer 2020. We’ll post updates here so be sure to follow us to get the latest info! I'll be posting material and sneak peaks, as well as answering questions, in this thread. See you at Liberty Square! SACoH Facebook Page | Twitter: @SACoHNews | IG: @SACoHNews | Website: SACoH.com
  10. 12 points
    Heck, I had pretty much abandoned the system. It IS the system that I know the best. So when the players wanted to play Supers, it was the game I chose. We are running a beginning 6e Champions Game. Dex 18, SPD 5, DC10 (62 active), CV 7 as our averages. So Skill levels (yet) The PCs are the newest hosts for Beings that are Iconic for a character type. Developing I'm BACK!! LOL
  11. 11 points
  12. 11 points
    I wish to ask for a bit of tolerance up front: While I generally try to put in as little set-up as possible (believing that if it was really noteworthy, it shouldn't need much help), but this time there will be some set-up. Forgive me, please. I had my youth group game today, though it didn't look like I would be doing much of anything ever again. I spent the bulk of Friday in the ER and was eventually stabilized and admitted for observation. Enough on that. I have a ceremony for calling the game to order. It started as a joke way back in the 70s, back when Bullwinkle would still pop-up in re-runs. It also started as a joke: the group (game was D&D) had been left in an intentional cliff-hanger as the majority of us were looking at finals, cram sessions, etc, and we figured at least four weeks before we got back to the game. Not only was it a cliffhanger, but the PCs were in far worse shape than I had anticipated them to be, in spite of copious fudging to keep them from being slaughtered. The day came that we re-convened. Before I developed my genuine old man voice, I was a fair mimic-- not great, but fair. However, I could _nail_ the narrator from Bullwinkle (and a few others). The chit-chat and catching up was slowing down, and I decided to call the game to order with a bit of humor, considering as how we were all in great spirits and about to dive into a dire situation. I broke out the Narrator voice and launched into a quote I remember from _childhood_, and don't know why: "When we left our story last time, things were in _terrible_ shape! Some of the nation's smartest geniuses were being turned into _complete_ idiots! It was all the result of a mean little man from a _mean_ little country--" [Boris voice]: Go on, say de name!" [Narrator]: Boris Badenuf. In desperation the government sent for Bullwinkle J. Moose I went on a bit further, while they were taking their seats, and trailed off while the came to order. Eventually, this went on to become a recurring gag, particularly when they were taking too long to settle themselves or if, when we left our story last time, things really _were_ in terrible shape. Over the next decade, it became first a tradition, then an inescapable ceremony. Adults appreciate ceremony and group culture, no matter how odd it is: "Hey, that's our thing! It's what we do!" Kids.... well, you know how those pre- and early teen years were: everything was awful; everything is uncool and corny (or whatever they call it now. Is "corny" still a thing?) About the third time I did it with the youth group, they began to groan and complain, and every week there's one or two "not this again!" and "why do you have to do this?!" nothing really malicious; they're just intent on letting their peers now that they are too cool to accept this crackpot ceremony. (and it doesn't matter that I can't do the voices anymore; they've never even heard of the characters. ) Flash forward forty years. I am in a hospital bed, awaiting transfer to an observation room, with a doctor telling me "Well, Mr. Oliver, you're not dead, but we have no idea why not. You've been stable for the last two hours, but we'd like to keep you under observation for the next 24 hours." Well, Doc; that won't work. My spine is busted up bad, and I have had about all of this bed it can handle. "Can you give us twelve hours?" [wife]: He will give you twelve hours. [me]: Apparently I'm going to, either way. skip ahead a few more hours. My wife has called my bi-weekly group to tell them there will be no Friday night game; she has called the Youth Ministries director to let the kids know there will be no Youth Game Sunday. (though we did have one, thanks to the miracle that left me alive). Some hours later, I am wheeled into an observation room. In the observation room are four of my youth group players, with a card. I'm awake enough to appreciate this by now, and I grin and make happy noises and tell them Mr. Duke is going to be fine in a few days. Well, _good_, says Colleen (Kinetica's player). Yeah, says Everette (Magnus's player) Yeah, Mr. Duke, I'm glad! says Eric (Red Cloak's player). Because when we left our story last time, things were in _terrible_ shape! Yeah, says Everette. Some of the nation's smartest geniuses --- then all four, like they were reciting a poem-- were being turned into _complete_ idiots! It was all the result of a mean little man--- and so on. I'm fifty nine years old, and despite what I've thought for several decades now, I'm not done crying. That's my quote of the week from my gaming group, and quite possibly the best one I've ever had, posted or otherwise. I apologize for the lengthy set-up. Duke
  13. 11 points
  14. 11 points
    In honor of the man's passing...
  15. 11 points
  16. 10 points
  17. 10 points
    Just hanging this out there. Artist for Hire. Have illustrated several 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition products. B/W or color. Ping me if interested please.
  18. 10 points

    Movies and TV Shows That are Great

    WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982) This hilarious sitcom not only had a great cast, but proved to be a showcase for Loni Anderson's talents. and as a reminder of how good this show was "As God is my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly."
  19. 10 points
    Hey, maybe the door doesn't swing that way...
  20. 10 points
  21. 10 points

    Captain Marvel with spoilers

    Getting 'subversive man-bashing' from those scenes requires an ability to reach that Mr. Fantastic would be proud of IMO. Well, maybe unless that's what you were looking for all along, I suppose.
  22. 10 points
  23. 10 points
  24. 10 points

    In other news...

    Oompa Loompa doompadee doo I've got another puzzle for you Oompa Loompa doompadah dee If you are wise you'll listen to me What do you do when your truck, more or less, Crashes and makes a chocolatey mess? It's such a waste, losing cargo so sweet. Leaving people to clean the street. (It's like a giant candy bar.) Oompa Loompa, doompadee dar If you drive well, then you will go far. You will live in happiness too Like the Oompa Loompa doompadee do
  25. 10 points
  26. 9 points
  27. 9 points

    What happened to HERO?

    Well, actually you are on the Hero boards and that thought is sacrilege Years ago I and others made the same arguments we were subjected to the BBS version of “shouted down”. My version was to create the equivalent of a D&D starter with prebuilt everything for a small standard fantasy game through the 3rd “level”. All the lists shortened to just the basic delving needs. Not details for builds in the “lists”. Just what it does and the final point cost. For example: Spell: Fire Bolt, does 4d6 Normal Flame damage. Cost ## char points. Weapon: Broadsword, 1d6+1. Cost ## gold. Just enough information to make 3-5 basic heroes that can go into a small dungeon and kill some goblins. And then “level up” a little. The entire point to to simplify the initial character build by pre-packaging as much as possible which allows new FH players to exercise the game system before having to learn the build system. An appendix in the “Fantasy Hero” starter would list everything that had been provided, weapons, spells, etc. and their point builds for the players after they have run through a few games and want to “customize”. Being able to compare a build they have actually played in a game to the rulebook is very helpful. Especially if they are self-teaching. Take a humdrum “standard” or “typical” party of PC’s 1st level Human Fighter 1st level Elf Ranger 1st level Human Wizard 1st level Halfling Thief 1st level Human Cleric There is practically no difference for these basic builds in D&D, Pathfinder, 13th Age, etc. A thief is a thief. A fighter is a fighter. And so on. The world they are placed into are also virtually identical, just bearing different sounding made up names/labels. I have personally mixed and matched adventures between the systems. The point is not to present a unique and exciting all-encompassing world. The point to quickly and easily present a few stereotypical PC’s and run them through a small number of learning/practice games. They can then use that experience to give them a perspective on the full rules. The difference between Hero and many other RPG’s is that most popular RPG rules give the players prepackaged options but do not actually release the underlying structure that was used to build the options. They give you the rules to play and build PC’s, but not the rules to make the rules. Hero plops the underlining rules needed to build everything and then expects everyone to simply understand with no frame of reference. With each edition of Hero, any intuitive understanding of the game concepts was drowned in the unbelievably verbose walls of text. At least in my opinion.
  28. 9 points
    You're stating a conclusion (Combined Attacks should take a Full Phase) as a fundamental assumption and reasoning from there instead of supporting it. And I feel it's a heavily flawed assumption. It relies on another assumption, that using more than one power at once is an advantage. If the GM is keeping things sane, using a Combined Attack is different, not better. If the GM is allowing 3x14d6 in a 14 DC game then of course it's broken, but arguing based on that is as intellectually dishonest as arguing that Hand Attack is OP because technically STR 60 and Hand Attack +12d6 are two 60 AP powers not one 120 AP power so you can have 24d6 in a 60 AP game. So I'm going to take a little digression here to talk under the assumption that the GM allows whatever as long as sum AP fits in the cap. What happens with combining two damaging powers? That's a rhetorical question, we all know that 2x6d6 is going to be nearly useless in a 12 DC game. In fact, you have to go to 2x9d6+1 to break even with a basic 12d6 (assuming 25 DEF). At 2x9d6+1, then a Combined attack is more expensive, better on soft targets but worse on hard targets, never inflicts Stunned, deals less Knockback, and costs half again as much. Combining a damaging attack and a non-damaging attack trades damage for utility, and means you bounce harmlessly off anyone with the appropriate exotic defense. Blast 8d6 + Flash 2d6 + Drain 1d6 means basically nothing if the target has FD and PowD 5. Ego Attack 3d6 + Mind Control 6d6 means you deal half damage and generally don't mind control meaningfully unless you're going for really low hanging fruit. In fact, the only time splitting your AP into two attacks is even a wash is 3d6NND + 3d6NND, and all you've done there is split your risk of losing damage and open yourself up to doubling the defender's Damage Negation. So in conclusion, because of HERO's subtraction based defenses and threshold based effects, a Combined Attack of powers that sum to a given AP is outright less effective than just using singular powers of the given AP. So what has to happen for Combined Attack to be as effective? I touched on this above, but you have to add enough additional DCs to overcome the target's defenses again. And this still doesn't help with Stunning and Knockback, a Combined Attack just won't do those well. Let's look at Damage Negation based defenses since they make things easy here. Defending Dan has 6DCs of DN. Attacking Anne has 12d6. She deals 6d6. If she were Combined Attacking with two attacks, she'd have to have a sum of 18d6 to get that same result, since Dan's DN would apply twice. Three attacks would need 24d6 sum to get 6d6 though. So on and so forth. So if for a single attack RAWDAM - DEF = DAM, then for a Combined Attack sum(RAWDAM) - DEF*Attacks = DAM. Plug in values for DEF and DAM and you can solve for RAWDAM. This gets a bit more complicated when exotic defenses enter the equation (you have to use sum(effectiveness*(RAWDAM-ThatDEF)) instead) but it holds. Except, whoops, what's happening to the cost per damage as the number of attacks goes up? Cost goes up too! So in conclusion, because of HERO's subtraction based defenses, a Combined Attack as effective as a singular attack costs more. So what has to happen for Combined Attack to be advantageous? You have to blow a giant pile of points and the GM has to check off on a construct that looks more powerful because there's more raw dice. There's some pretty efficient cases, (NND+NND for example) but they're also the most obviously powerful. And our counter-argument is simply one of logic: That thing is not this thing. Want "supporting evidence"? FRED puts the Multiple-Power Attack rules around forty pages away from the Rapid Fire and Sweep rules. Very clearly very different things! 6e just moved them together because they're similar, not because they're the same.
  29. 9 points
    What I got from Obama's statements is that he's found the self-professed "woke" are (a) often feeling smug and self-satisfied that calling out problematic behavior and statements is enough, without recognizing the need to take further action; (b) that they are rigidly judgemental, not accepting that flawed people can also be good people, and that you can still share values with people you disagree with.
  30. 9 points

    Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

    I don't think it was teh bunneh...to give a bit of credit here, this is likely just advanced planning on Trump's part, though it is giving away his intentions in regards to the Mexican-American War (we never said we'd protect the southwestern states forever). Once he renegotiates the peace treaty and pulls our troops out, Mexico will have control over Texas, Arizona, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Nevada. It is to be assumed that western Colorado will be used as a bargaining chip by Pence during the cease fire negotiations.
  31. 9 points
    You know, after working in a scrutiny committee where we have spoken to government offices and private companies when something has gone wrong or not accomplished its goals, I have had a MUCH easier time tracking responsibilities and money through the government offices than through private companies. And when things go wrong with government offices, we could suggest changes to the way they accounted for things or made decisions and those suggestions usually resulted in changes to make scrutiny better. There are a number of big private companies that have lost billions of pounds (many of them banks) where we end up not only failing to hold any individuals responsible for losing the money but throwing them wodges of public money to ensure they do not go out of business. We get lots of businesses asking the government to make policy to support their industry (usually at the expense of what their products cost the public) and then fail to pay their workers a living wage or withdrawing their healthcare as a way to force an end to a strike. It is trendy to say Government cannot run anything, that private businesses are a better model for government services. However, for businesses to thrive there needs to be a credible possibility for them to fail (efficiency is not driven by a desire to be the best but a fear of what will happen when a more efficient business cuts your grass). The problem is that you do not actually want a hospital, a school or even a prison to fail. It is rare for such businesses to fail in a clean way where the patients, pupils or prisoners do not suffer in some way. It is also rare for the owners of such businesses to suffer in anything like the same way - the CEO is often out and into another well-paid job as are the board and others. The failure of the organisation seems to stick to them less prominently than it does to the shop-floor workers who may find it MUCH more difficult to find new jobs. I am not saying government run is good by default, indeed there is much that government organisations should take from private businesses in achieving efficient business practice but I think that if a private company wants to dip into the public trough, or commit to providing a public service, then they need to be prepared for a much closer scrutiny of their finances than they would otherwise be prepared to do. A rant, sorry, but the casual use of government-run equating to bad is one of my triggers... Doc
  32. 9 points
  33. 9 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Then the teacher should speak more clearly. Back in my Circuit City days, I had a co-worker tell a customer that I'd be able to answer all of his questions. The customer looked at me, and said, "Oh, yeah? How high the moon?" To which I immediately replied, "about one and a third light-seconds or around 400,000 kilometers, give or take." He looked at me with very wide eyes, and said, "Oh." After a moment, he then asked me about a laptop.
  34. 9 points
  35. 9 points

    Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

    So much wrong with this I don't even know where to begin. And I say that as one who has a conservative bent when it comes to illegal immigration. Pardon, it used to be conservative- now, because I don't like the idea of tearing families apart and placing kids in concentration camps I'm apparently a hippie or what not. Folks should come through the doors our country provides, but those doors? They need to be OPEN and ready to receive. We have a moral and ethical obligation to help those coming here seeking freedom and democracy, who cannot achieve it where they come from. As soon as they say the Oath, they're as American as any one who has some great great someone or another that stepped off the Mayflower. And there's a good chance they can answer more questions about our Congress to boot. THEY had to take a test. I know some others will disagree, but the way I see it... You become an American, everything good about the United States of America becomes yours to take pride in. That's right, if you're born in Ethiopia or Thailand or wherever, come over here, earn your citizenship you get to be proud of the moon landing? WHY? Because you have just as much right to be as any other American of this generation and we should treasure what's best in us, cultivate it, and yes damn it be a bit proud. It's like cheering your home team when it's not YOUR ass making a touch down, you still cheer. On the flipside, while you don't have to take the blame for every bad thing America or Americans did- You do gain a sacred responsibility to keep those dark days from happening again. Trying to live up what is best in our country, fighting hard to fix the worst and keep old evils from rising again is the duty of anyone who claims to love their country. Waving the flag is cheap, making it worth waving is what matters. There are going to be a lot of disagreements on what it will take to embrace the best, deny the worst. We're not all going to agree. Welcome to a Democratic Republic! We all love the rags to riches story. We all love the idea of folks coming with nothing and through hard work and sweat making it big. But to me that is not the American Dream. It is the FREEDOM to chase your dreams that is what matters. Some want wealth, some want safety for their family, some want the chance to do something they love. A few want to help their fellow man. You have the chance! But thanks to racist bullcrap like Trump and his goons are trying to enact into policy multitudes wont' even get the CHANCE to prove themselves legally? We won't even offer a hand to them as they come in? To assume that because of WHERE they came from, what they own, and not who they are, that they cannot be worthy of freedom? That we can't let them have legal means to join us? That is racist, regionalist, hateful, and let's just admit it, a betrayal on a moral and ethical level so profound that it is treasonous to the American soul. I'm so pissed right now I could shove a flag pole up some bigot's ass! "In God We Trust" is our current motto, but your actions determine who you are giving worship to. Right now? Trump is the high priest of fear and greed, and I didn't sign up to kiss the asses of either Phobos OR Mammon. It sickens and disgusts me that so many of my fellow citizens are gladly puckering up.
  36. 9 points
    The July 6, 2019 issue of The Economist had a feature article on "The Global Crisi in Conservatism." By which they mean the conservatism of gradualism tradition and social cohesion, not the deranged nationalism that seems to be pushing it aside. Might interest people as a reminder of what "conservative" once meant. Still, it also reminds me that while I appreciate cautious and gradual change, recognizing that people are not infinitely flexible; and I appreciate the need for multiple institutional channels instead of focusing exclusively on the State as a medium for getting things done; I cannot ever consider myself "a conservative." Too often even the mildest and most superficially reasonable, Edmund Burke-style conservatism seems to act as an apology or figleaf for established wealth, power, and irrational prejudice. The same arguments used for "Why we must not disrupt the Traditional Family" or "Why we must accept wealth disparities" have so much the same form as "Why we must preserve slavery" or "Why we must burn heretics." It's like a Mad-Lib where you just plug in different words for whatever institution you don't want to change. Dean Shomshak
  37. 9 points

    Superhero Cosplayers

    Juggernaut by PretzelBot
  38. 9 points
    This will be long and off current discussion topics, for which I apologize. As we all know, Donald Trump lies, constantly. Some lies are big, such as his tariffs extracting billions of dollars from China. Some are small, such as denying he said something a few days before, when it’s on film that he said it. Now we’re seeing the consequences with the oil tanker attacks. First, here's a bit of history about why honesty matters. Many years ago when I was in college, I attended a talk sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa that has stuck with me. A University of Washington emeritus professor spoke about his time as an advisor for Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War Two. There was debate in the administration about whether to suppress news about lost battles in the Pacific and about domestic troubles such as labor actions. This professor said no: “The government of the United States of America must never be seen to lie.” His reasoning was simple. Any lie will be exposed, and any suppressed information will get out – and probably sooner rather than later. Any attempt would fail, and reduce American credibility at home and abroad. So why does credibility matter in war? “Today, the truth seems bad for us and good for out enemies. Tomorrow, the truth will be good for us and bad for our enemies.” The Axis powers lied to their people – a lot. It was important, the professor said, that the people of the Axis countries trusted American promises. An in the case of Japan, it was vitally important that the leaders trusted American promises. See, the Roosevelt administration knew Japan couldn’t win. The only questions were how long it would take and how high the cost would be for the US to win. And this was the project of which the professor was a part: “the most precisely focused propaganda campaign in history,” aimed at Emperor Hirohito and the half-dozen or so people with real power in the Japanese government. They had to be convinced that surrender to the US was not suicide. In particular, that the Emperor would be spared. And it worked. Yes, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were important in crushing the will to resist. But the professor believes it helped that for years, very quiet diplomacy had been going on, telling the Japanese high command that unconditional surrender wasn’t really unconditional: The US would be generous in victory, and the Emperor would still live and rule. The Roosevelt administration told the truth about defeats and domestic troubles. And it worked. The back-channel promises were believed, and Hirohito ordered Japan to surrender. The promises were kept, too. Now look at the present. The Trump administration says irrefutable evidence that Iran attacked the oil tankers, though it won’t share anything except a grainy video that proves nothing. And I don’t believe it. Here’s another historical incident. Between the First and Second Gulf Wars, Iraq’s prime minister Tariq Aziz appeared frequently on the BBC to respond to American accusations. He lied, a lot. When BBC presenters called him on his lies, he denied he’d ever said such a thing, even though it was on tape and millions of people had heard him. So when the Bush Jr. administration claimed Iraq still had WMDs, and Aziz insisted that no, Iraq didn’t, I thought Aziz was lying. Turns out, for once he told the truth. I found that the most surprising event of the whole invasion. Okay, it could be Iran attacked the tankers. That’s plausible. The BBC, the Economist and other news sources say the Iranian government is getting desperate, and there are hothead factions that want open confrontation with the US. But I won’t take this administration’s word for it. Trump lies so much, and his officials repeat the lies so much, that I don’t trust anything they claim. I find it equally plausible that someone else attacked the tankers. Either the Trumpies are duped, or they are supporting the fraud. Other countries don’t seem that ready to take the administration’s word for Iran’s guilt, either. That is a loss of American influence, as a direct result of Trump’s lies. So who else might it be? I think Saudi Arabia tops the list of suspects. Experts who claim to know such things say the Saudi government is locked in a struggle against Iran for influence across the Middle East, of which the war in Yemen is merely one front. Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also shown a fondness for dirty tricks (and considerable hot-headedness) in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. So maybe MBS thinks that he can sucker the US into war with Iran and destroying Saudi’s hated rival for him. Could the Trump administration itself be behind the attacks? No. This administration is so leaky it can’t keep anything secret. But the administration has allies: far-right business tycoons who see Trump as the key to lock in their own political influence. Some may be simple plutocrats; others, Evangelical extremists; and others, racists and anti-immigrant bigots. I suppose they could hire mercenaries. (Maybe from Xe, formerly Blackwater, created by one such far-right wacko, Erik Prince.) I would like to believe I’m just being paranoid. After all, treating suspected motivation as evidence is a hallmark of conspiracy theory nuttiness. But enough crazy things – or at least wildly irresponsible things – have happened lately that I can no longer brush aside such suspicions with a jaunty, “Nah, it could never happen.” Dean Shomshak
  39. 9 points
    Robert Muller, as transcribed by NPR. Emphasis by myself:
  40. 9 points
  41. 9 points
    Buy the magic as Requires A Skill Based Roll. Buy the corresponding skill. Buy two levels in the skill, Usable Only During Daylight. This achieves the two point difficulty swing without any fancy business on the Requires A Roll modifier, since it offloads the variability to the skill itself.
  42. 9 points
    Wow'zers.... I had never thought I'd see someone else on these forums have this epiphany. ? That hits dead center on why Hero has become a dead game. My definition of a dead game is one that is not generally available for purchase via standard distribution. And Hero is a game that can only be purchased in electronic form if you know it exists. But back to your post. I'll complete your main theme: "In order to get customers, you have to get them playing the game." "To get them playing the game you have to have people running games." "To get people running the game you have to provide adventures to start them off." The problem with Champions Complete (CC) and Fantasy Hero Complete (FHC) is they are complete kits to build games. They are not a Complete Games. Now I know the "let Hero die away quietly" crowd will immediately chime in with "Real gamers don't use pregenerated adventuress and campaigns!" and then point to the existing products like The Turakian Age as proof. But they refuse to realize that TA's layout was enough to send potential players running. A new player (or GM) has to wade through 175 pages of in depth world descriptions before they hit the section of building a PC. To build a Wizard TA tells you that it has a 100 extra spells in TA, but you need the Grimoire (another product). FHC on the other hand just tells them a Mage gets 50 CP's of magic and spells, but doesn't contain any or give any usable advice on which ones to start with. D&D 5th may have the entire spell list in the PHB, but a new player only has to read and understand 1 or 2 out of a list of 10 or so in the beginning. What FHC should have had was detailed templates for Human, Elf, Dwarf and Halfling Warriors, Wizards, Rogues and Priests. These would be rounded out with prebuilt and short spell lists, abilities/powers, weapons and gear appropriate to beginning adventures in a very very reduced slice of TA. A village on the frontier where the PC's stop goblin raiders. My point is that CC or FHC is not ready to play. And unless there is a ready to play version, people will not play it. Sure, like everyone in this forum, I refer my own homebrew campaigns and worlds. But CC and FHC is exactly like all the other RPG's in that people need to play it and learn how it works in play before they can really begin creating their own stuff. I am pretty sure that everyone that has played 1st thru 4th editions has played Vipers Nest. We played it because it was a great way to try out Champs and see how things actually worked. In hindsight I believe it would have been even better if they had included 5 or 6 pregenerated Heroes. Not The Champions, but a few initial build PC's. But that is just my opinion. Take CC and FHC as written, reformat into a modern book. The text can be reformatted to fit a modern layout with art. But the actual rules do not, that is DO NOT need yet another rewrite. But they do need a third section at the end. Six pregenerated Heroes and a short three connected scenarios adventure. A mini-campaign with all the villains, monsters etc. ready to go. They do not need to be elaborate and world shaking. They can be just tough enough for initial builds. They need to provide opportunities for combat and non-combat skill use. This would allow new to Hero players to actually experience the game in play and give them something to look at and say "I get it, that is what they meant". With Hero, once the system clicks you will never look back. But it will never really have an opportunity to click if no one ever plays it.
  43. 9 points
    Tom Hiddleston: The choices we make have a lasting impact. Not just on ourselves, but on those around us. On our communities. Even on the world. When considering the question before us, we must take into account-- Clerk, interrupting: Sir, I just need to know whether you want paper or plastic.
  44. 9 points
    Personally, I object to Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, not (just) because he appears to have problems controlling his urges (lust, drinking, anger) and not (just) because his decisions show support for an agenda farther to the Right that I'm really comfortable with. I object to Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because when given a chance to state unequivocally that all Americans are equal under the law, up to and including the President, he couldn't do it. This, and this alone, tells me that he has no place on the highest court in the land. Your mileage may vary, of course.
  45. 9 points

    Rule 63 Fairy Tales

    The Gnomes showed the prince to a cave that offered some shelter, showed him how to make a fire to keep away the beasts and cook the food they brought to him, and the more they looked upon him, the more they found him fair and wished to care for him. And as for the queen, the prince's mother, when it became obvious that the prince was somehow lost (for the king had been clever and none had seen the prince depart) she grew ill with grief - although some whispered that the king was slowly poisoning her, for despite his fair face there were those who grew suspicious of him. Just as a corpse left in a closet will reveal itself by the stench given time, a foul heart will become known whatever cheery and pious face is put on it. The wicked king put it about that the lost prince must have been carried away by Gnomes, and for fear of offending him people pretended to believe that - although some muttered that the king had probably called up the Gnomes with his wicked arts and bid them to bear the boy away. For, too, it had been noted by some how many of the books the king had added to the royal library were upon thaumaturgical subjects, and in fact he was a dabbler in such things. And so it was that when the queen at last passed away, between those who loved him for his fair face and charming manners, and those who feared him, there was none to oppose the wicked king even though by the kingdom's laws he was not in line to inherit, having sired no child upon the queen. Soon he delighted the knights by frequent tournaments and jousts, and enriched the armorers by setting them busily to crafting weapons, and disturbed the church by drawing away stonemasons who had been at work on a new cathedral and sending them to border outposts to make and repair fortifications. And he brought worry to many who noted that these are the acts of a monarch planning for war. But a guilty heart is never at peace, and the time came when he went into a certain secret chamber to consult the brazen head that he had long used as his oracle and advisor. Carefully he lit and placed the candles and the incense, and chanted the spell that would awaken the brazen head, and asked "What most threatens my power? Tell me so that I may move to defend myself and eliminate the threat." And the thing of brass spoke in a voice of brass to say "Were the True King found again, noble and peasant alike would rise against you to enthrone him." "What 'True king'?" asked the king, "am not I the truest king in this land?" "It is not crown and throne that makes a king" said the brazen head, "But a land's laws, and by the law, the queen's son became king upon her death." At this the wicked king grew wrathful, for he knew now that Prince Comely yet lived. "I had thought that one dead" said the king, "I must kill him myself this time! Who is hiding him?" "Seven little women of the woodlands," said the brazen head, "liar though you are, you have told the truth by accident; he is hidden and protected by Gnomes." And now the king added to the incense the dried herb that would make the brazen head sleep again, for he thought he knew all he needed now. And calling for the woman he had meant for the prince's assassin, he declared that she would lead him to where she had last seen the beautiful young man. "I swore never to speak of that" she said, "Would you have me be forsworn now?" But soon she was persuaded, and played along as the king announced to the court that he meant to venture in the forest, with but a single companion "For I would not wish to risk more lives than I must," in order to "find the Gnomes who are holding our beloved Prince, and rescue him, or if they have already done with him, return his mortal remains for proper royal burial!" He intended no such thing of course, but as few could imagine his true intention, he was roundly cheered for what he said. And so it was the king and his minion, two along but well supplied, went abroad in the wilderness. And in her heart the woodswoman was thinking "Again I go into the forest with a royal person, and if I have my way, again I will emerge alone." For gold may buy bloody deeds, and even silence, but gold will not buy love, and this woman had no love for the king she obeyed, but only a fear that he would slay her if he learned she had not killed the prince with her own hands. And great as the fear was a rage against him for sending her to kill an Innocent, and a rage at herself for she held herself guilty of the prince's blood. She was able to find the spot she had last seen the prince, and she searched for his bones but found none of course. The king meanwhile was looking about for Gnomes, but such are more often sought than seen; I doubt you can claim to have seen one, but I would not be surprised if more than one Gnome has seen you while you remained ignorant of their presence. When she at last confessed that she could find no trace of the prince, the king drew his sword and said "Then your use to me is ended. And I know you lied about killing the prince. Somewhere in this wilderness he yet lives, and I shall find him well enough without your assistance." And she drew her knife, a good sturdy blade but no equal to a king's sword, and grinned fiercely and said "If only I could believe that the Innocent Man does live! But you ordered him killed and I, I left him to die here and his bones have been scattered by the forest beasts. Whichever of us kills the other, I am content!" The king strode towards his erstwhile minion swiftly and deliberately, but a little woman rose from the grass and seized his ankle, causing him to fall. six more such little women leaped from unsuspected hiding places and belabored him with sticks, then scattered before he could get his hands under himself to rise up. The woodswoman merely gaped, for she had never suspected the clearing to be full of Gnomes. One of the Gnomes urged the woodswoman to run, saying "Come, let us away from this horrible person!" and the rest fled in a body in a different direction. The king rose and in his confusion, went crashing through the woods in yet another direction that he imagined the Gnomes to have gone in, thinking this would lead him to his true quarry, the missing prince. And, just as a liar may tell the truth by accident, so his error led him to what he desired, for he broke free into a clearing just as the lovely young man was entering it to gather up some of the wildflowers, helping the Gnomes - for it is their business, among other things, to take the brilliant colors out of flowers and take those hues under the ground to hide them away to become gemstones. He wore a garment of the broad leaves of many trees, cleverly sewn together by the Gnomes with threads woven of spider web, but the wicked king knew who it was for surely no one else could have made that outlandish outfit seem so beautiful. The king drew his sword, and noted that the young man still bore the sword he had carried when he came into the forest. "Hello son" said the king, "Tell me, although you bear a sword as mark of rank, did I ever have you trained at all in its use?" "No, step-father" said the lovely prince, "you said always there would be knights to defend me and I had no need to learn such things." "I lied" said the wicked king, and abruptly thrust. To his shock, the young prince parried the thrust and stepped back warily. "When did you learn swordplay?" asked the king, before again dancing forward to thrust viciously. The prince parried and again retreated, and because it was his usual habit to answer questions put to him, he said "There are Elves in the forest, and they have taught me many things." "Did they teach you to always watch behind you?" said the king and thrust again, and the beautiful one fell backwards, for the crafty king had maneuvered him right up to and over a cliff. Standing there and looking down at the body below, that wicked man mused aloud "Well, should I go fetch the body and drag it back to fulfill my promise and show the world you are at last dead, or will it be enough to return empty handed and swearing I searched and searched and found naught?" And then the kind screamed and fell backwards, away from the cliff, for a Gnome had come up behind him and cut him behind the knees. "I have a better idea" said a small high pitched voice, "Why don't you just die here in the forest and not go back at all?" The wicked king looked up and saw seven little women facing him bearing blades of black obsidian, one dripping red with the king's blood already. Their faces were grim and behind them the woodswoman stared, white faced, for she had seen the innocent prince go over. "Spare my life!" cried the wicked king in terror. "You have destroyed our great Treasure, the Beautiful Man" said one of the Gnomes, "Do you think we will let you walk out of this wilderness now?" "Do not think we will let you walk away, or even crawl away, for you will not walk on those legs again" said another. "Spare my life!" cried the wicked king in terror. "The Innocent Man lived, until YOU killed him!" cried the woodswoman, and she leapt over the heads of the Gnomes and went to stand at the edge, looking down at the body below. "Spare my life!" cried the wicked king in terror. And at that the little women who had been creeping towards him remorselessly all became very quiet and stared at him wide eyed, for he had said the same thing now three times, and three is a very important number to Gnomes. "Your life will be spared" said one of the Gnomes, "But we will see you suffer." "I must go and fetch him" said the woodswoman, preparing to scramble down the cliff. "His body must return to his people, to be properly buried." "What good will that do?" said a Gnome, "That will not bring him back." As she lowered herself the woodswoman paused to glare at that Gnome. "He was an Innocent" she hissed, "And his people loved him, and he deserves better than that his corpse be devoured by wolves and his bones scatterred!" "His people love him" said the Gnome, "And you love him." It was not a question and the woodswoman did not answer. The wicked king tried to rise to his feet, and screamed, for of course his legs would not support him and were in agony. "What is to become of me?" he moaned. "Nothing good" promised the little women who now surrounded him. "For you have done us no good, but only evil." And they discussed openly before him various punishments, but decided to wait for "She who loved the Beautiful Man" before making a decision. "HE LIVES!" came the cry from the foot of the clifff, "The Innocent One breathes, but oh, his body is so broken!" The Gnomes stared at each other, and one leapt over the cliff, drifting down like a leaf, and called up to the others "It is true! The Beautiful Man lives, but is dying!" "At last, you will do us some good, o wicked man!" said one of the little women, and she reached into his body, her hand passing through flesh and ribs as if they were so much smoke, and touched his heart. The wicked king gasped and cried out, for no one had ever touched his heart before. The Gnomes made a living chain, joining hands, and one by one they went over the cliff, floating down, and their arms growing absurdly long to keep them all in contact, a chain of Gnomes leading back to the living body of the wicked king, until they touched hands with the Gnome who remained with the beautiful prince. The weeping woodswoman was amazed as her beloved prince began to heal, as the Gnomes drew off life from the wicked king to work their healing magic on the one they called their Treasure. At last he rose from the stones on which he had been broken, and gazed about in wonder. "The Innocent Man lives!" rejoiced the woodsman, seizing him and kissing him. When at last she let go, stepping back and blushing hard as if she had been the one grabbed and kissed, he shook his head and said he was not innocent. "I have kissed someone and felt desire" he said, and gave her a look that made her shiver. "I have raised my hand in my own defense. And..." He looked up the cliff at this point, "I have looked into the eyes of someone coming at me to kill me. I will never be innocent again." "You are a Good Man" said she who loved him. He clenched his fist and said "Were that wicked king here before me now, gladly would I see his blood spilled on the forest floor!" "You are a Good Man" said she who loved him. He stopped and looked at her and said "I would hope to be a good man." "You are a Good Man" said she who loved him. And he stared at her wide eyed, for she had said the same thing three times, and he had lived among Gnomes, and three is a special number to Gnomes. "I am a good man" he agreed, and resolved to always be so. And then "What of the king, my stepfather?" And the little women, who had scampered up the cliff to check on that very person, called down that he was up there, lame and weak, but still very much alive. The mortals climbed the cliff and saw the wicked king, who had raised himself on an elbow and, scraping away leaves and detritus, had cleared a patch of earth and was with a stick inscribing circles and symbols into the dirt. "He is working some spell!" cried the woodswoman, who hurried to sweep away his work with her foot. The wicked king began then to weep helplessly. "That wasn't going to work" reassured one of the little women. "He meant to call a demon" said another, "but there is not enough force left in him for such a thing to even notice him. we have drained him away to preserve the Beautiful Man." "Look at him!" said yet another of the Gnomes, and the two mortals looked and saw an old man, lamed, hands atremble and eyes clouded with age, once lustrous hair gone colorless gray, the once noble face saggy and wrinkled. "He must suffer for having attacked the Beautiful Man, and we have promised to spare his life - but make him regret living. What shall we do?" "He was an ambitious man" said the Beautiful Man, "but no one will believe that this old scarecrow of a man is the king. He cannot return to reclaim his power, from the look of him he could barely hold a sword, and you say even his demons will pay him no heed, drained as he is. That is a suitable punishment." "He was a vain man" said the woodswoman, "and his beauty is gone as the greenness is gone from a dry autumn leaf. Oh, how he will suffer now!" "But I am the king! I am a great wizard!" cried the wicked man who had been a false king, and beat his hands helplessly on the ground. "But I am the king! I am a great wizard!" cried the wicked man who had been a false king, and shouted curses from the fringes of the crowd at the true king's coronation. "But I am the king! I am a great wizard!" cried the wicked man who had been a false king, and wept on the fringes of the crowd come to see the king marry the woman who had rescued him from the Gnomes. And because that wicked man had said the same thing three times, and the Gnomes had been watching and counting, they came and carried him away from the habitations of men, and set him on a hard boulder they called his throne, and brought him bitter herbs and mud pies when he called for a feast, and screeched and howled abominably when he called for entertainment, but most delighted in deceiving him with illusions when he thought to cast some spell, always showing him either spectacular failure or an illusion of his intention manifesting in the most ridiculous or ineffectual way possible. At last in his madness he mixed up what he said was a potion to restore his youth and beauty, and that time they brought him a true mirror in which he saw himself as he truly was, and that is when he groaned and died. His body was left for the beasts to devour and to scatter his bones, and the Gnomes were just as pleased, for they had begun to tire of him. As for the Beautiful King and his loving wife, I would like to say they lived happily ever after, but neither he nor you nor I are truly innocent enough to believe that. Of course there was trouble when he announced his marriage plans, and counselors and nobles objected to this elevation of a woman of dubious character and whose ancestry was at best of a minor house, but after hearing many objections the King rose at the head of the conference table and silenced all by the steel in his voice as he said "I am sure you want a good man as king. With her at my side, I WILL BE A GOOD MAN. With her I can never be other than my best self. She IS the best queen you can hope for, for she will make me the best possible king. The matter is settled." And between the hard look in his eyes, and the even harder look in hers, there were none who chose to unsettle that matter. Indeed, ever after if anyone gave the king too much grief on any matter, or any seemed to have abused the king's trust or worked some mischief, it was the king's custom to say "perhaps I will take things up with Her Majesty" and that settled a good many matters. The rumors of things she had done before meeting her husband never died away, and in truth, she did not discourage them either. It pleased her to think that any who would not behave for love of the king, might behave from fear of the queen. And the royal couple were not always blissful, for he was no longer innocent but sometimes a fool, and as for her, she was for a long time jealous of all women more beautiful than herself or more highly born, and that included almost all the women of the court. It was a long time before the king figured out why women had stopped looking at him directly or meeting his eye, and when he at last got the truth from a certain countess he said "Excuse me my lady. I must go decide if I will be angry at my wife the queen, or burst out laughing at her." And there was the time a queen came against them in war, because she meant to conquer and marry by force the most beautiful of men, but that's another long story we needn't relate. Doubts faded as they grew old together, and perhaps some of passion faded, but he never stopped striving to be a good man, a good husband, and a good king, and always his queen had his back. And their children, in time, were taken to meet the Gnomes and befriend them, and being loved and well taught, they grew up as good people and as the king and queen grew ever older, took on more and more of the burden of governing. So perhaps they did not live "happily EVER after" but they lived long and happy and good and useful lives, which is said to be as much as any mortal should hope for. Some say they had the highest bliss of all, for they perished together in the embrace of love and were found so entwined, cold but with expressions of ecstasy still on their faces. They were buried together and if you go to their city you can see the monument raised over their bones, a statue of the royal pair enthroned, inscribed "THE BEAUTIFUL KING AND THE LOVING QUEEN." And when tourists gaze and ask "How did such a lovely king come to wed such a homely looking queen?" then those who grew up with the story say "Many loved him for his beauty, but she loved him for his innocence, and for this he held her above all other women." As for the Gnomes, they DID live happily ever after, although from time to time one would wistfully say to another "Remember the Beautiful Man?" and all would sigh and say "What a Treasure he was! I hope he was as good a king to his people as he was beautiful." And perhaps he was. He surely tried to be. And that, friends, is as good a place as any to end this tale. Lucius Alexander Copyright Palindromedary Enterprises
  46. 9 points
  47. 9 points
    Warning, long opinionated rant, feel free to skip: Well, that article about the ACLU saddens me terribly for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes sacred cows aren't just for show, they are pillars of the liberty we cherish. The fact those pillars didn't spring whole cloth all at once like Athena from the skull of Zeus doesn't make them less needful, quite the opposite. America was founded on some very high minded ideals. And let's get this straight, for most of our history, we failed to reach those goals. That's why they were so crucial. Each time "all men were created equal" was said, someone looked around and said 'what about those men without land?' 'what about the black men?' 'hey, we do mean PEOPLE when we use that universal men comment right? The women are pissed now' and someone struggled to make it so. One rung up the latter to the heights at a time. And sometimes we fall hard. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth reaching for. And instead some folks want give up one freedom because it complicates the pursuit of other freedoms? Well, GOSH, who the heck knew high ideals might lead to complications and difficulties instead of being easy? And once you make it possible to deny freedom of speech for one group, do you really want that precedent ready for expansion and re-use on another group? Understand, I am not saying that the local news needs to show up to every white power rally and treat them with any respect. I'd be satisfied with "I'm Tom Tucker, This just in: Neo-Nazis still bigoted idiots incapable of learning from decency or history, and now the weather"... Has it occurred to anyone that the White Supremacist movement has been making the most of others attempts to control speech? That it is fuel for their recruiting efforts? How many folks that voted for Trump said they admired that he didn't put up with Political Correctness? and was able to "tell it like it is"? And yet thirty percent (Roughly) of all folks who voted for Trump once voted for Obama? Maybe we shouldn't just disregard it with convenient labels and tell them to shut up, which they clearly feel is happening when any disagreement is labeled as racist or hateful. Honestly, I cringe every time I hear the phrase "White privilege" Not because I disagree with some parts of the theory. Just looking at the news of the last decade has me thinking that some police will feel a lot more free to abuse minorities than they would a pasty pale type like me. I cringe because 8 times out of ten, I see it used to say 'shut up' or 'you don't get to talk' to someone. It's an attempt by some to rob folks of their voice, and that's just one example of speech control attempts used in many circles. We can't even agree on the definition of some terms anymore, so yeah, kind of need to talk about that. When some racist scumbag white supremacist group sees that? They lick their chops, walk over to the guy who just got shut up, and say "We care. We'll listen to you. We'll give you a voice". Like I said, fuel to the fire. Some folks think the solution is to shut down more speech. I think the fix for Free Speech woes is, weirdly, more Free Speech not less and a respect for the RIGHT to speak even, or perhaps especially, by those who speak things we find uncomfortable or down right hateful. Words and speeches people LIKE aren't the ones that NEED protection. Because what's offensive to me may not be offensive to you and vice versa, and when a tide shifts, we need to have those out of favor still have a voice. Because believe you me, those in power are always eager to shut down opposition and precedent against them last decade becomes precedent for them the next. They will redefine what this or that means if that's what it takes to shut folks down. Now understand, I think Rosanne got her self fired REAL good and is not being censored just because she no longer has a show. I think boycots are a perfectly fine way to protest a company/ business you find in the wrong. Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequence, but you let folks talk in the public square because you respect their rights, even if you don't think they're worth spit.
  48. 9 points

    Hyperman R.I.P.

    I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see this. It is from a thread in the Hero System Discussion board but I know not everyone here frequents that spot regularly. I know how it hit me, and sad as it is I would still want to know. HM was a long time resident of these boards. He was a mainstay for many of us, always there, always supportive and friendly. I used to live in his part of the state but I never was able to meet him in person. I never knew quite what to say even earlier in this thread. But I wanted to get a chance to somehow say farewell to a guy I considered a friend even though I never got to shake his hand. When I heard about further brain surgery I pictured what he must be going through, I've seen my dad get such a procedure, but Didn't understand how truly bad it must have been for him. Goodbye, Hyper-Man. Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with this esoteric message board. We were better for it. Goodbye, David. I wish I could have met you. Good bye, Hero.
  49. 9 points
    WARNER BROTHERS: Everything you know about the Flash and the DC Universe is WRONG! COMIC BOOK FANS: So Flash isn't a socially-retarded motormouth anymore? And the DCEU isn't depressing destructo-porn with lame CGI villains set against videogame backgrounds? WARNER BROTHERS: Er... GENERAL AUDIENCES: Wakanda forever!
  50. 9 points
    If I may, I'd like to add to this with my own personal anecdote... I've been a comic book fan for nearly fifty years. I've been collecting reading, trying to write them, and certainly playing out superhero fantasies for close to 40 of those. This current wave of superhero pop-culture dominance is something I couldn't have imagined even ten years ago, especially having been a kid who had his comics torn up by a "friend" who thought they were silly, and was punched in the mouth for liking Star Wars in 1977. To have us comic nerds having "won the culture war" in this way still baffles me... but I can say that when I sat through Winter Soldier for the first time, I felt an inkling of what others might say about representation. I finally saw on the screen everything I'd seen and felt in comics since I was a kid. Here was a couple of serious movie makers, taking classic characters, and doing them right on nearly every level, while telling a serious spy-movie, with serious actors taking everything I'd ever enjoyed... seriously. I certainly didn't need to see more white guys on film to feel represented, but I did feel a touch of "Yes... they get it. They understand why this can be so damn cool" type of validation. It felt good. My wife, her own type of nerd, enjoyed it, but didn't really get why I was so enthused. Then she saw Wonder Woman. Both of us went in a little leery... me because DC movies suck (usually)... and her because she understood the stakes of WW being good or not. At the end, I was happily, very pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable WW was. Beside me, my wife was weeping openly. So were many women in the theater. She looked at me and said, "We have to see that again. Right away." The movie was a religious experience for her. I'd bought her GNs of the classic Perez' run (she hates reading floppies) and she'd begun enjoying them... now she devoured them. We've seen the movie several times, and she and her friends have watched it. We don't buy movies, but I bought her WW for Christmas. She devoured the Perez' issues, read the current YA Wonder Woman novel (loved it) and is in the middle of Rucka's first run on WW, and can't get enough. She has read and shared every article about the movie. It moved her. It inspired her. It meant something to her sense of self, far beyond being an enjoyable superhero flick. Obviously it did the same for many others, and that is why Wonder Woman is important. It has been fascinating to be so close, and get to experience (second hand at least) what "representation" means and looks like, and how it really affects someone. To Lord Liaden's point... it doesn't have to effect me the same way to be a great movie... and certainly the impact on me is not the judge of its importance. I can at least understand now, on a more visceral level, not just intellectually... how Black Panther "means" something way beyond what I can personally experience, and that my opinion of the "meaning" of that movie is correctly and deservedly "less" than other people's. I have a feeling I will love Black Panther in my own way... Coogler's "Fruitville Station" and "Creed" are both tremendous films, and I've been reading Black Panther since Jungle Action and the Avengers in the '70s. (Sadly, do not have a FF #52 in my collection.) I also understand that this movie means WAY less for me than for a lot of other people, and that's ok... good in fact. Important things have meaning on many different levels. My wife and I bought tickets within twenty minutes of pre-sale, and we'll see it on the 15th, and hopefully enjoy it. We'll discuss it, pick it apart, and debate it, like we always do. Then we'll go home and watch Wonder Woman again... most likely.
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