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

  1. 22 points

    What happened to markdoc?

    Oh come now, I have always been the meekest and mildest of men Anyway, nice to see all the comments - Old Man contacted me and mentioned this thread, so I thought I would post. I wasn't actually banned back in the day, but Simon did give me a warning about making rude comments in a political thread during the last US presidential elections. I didn't think the comment was terribly out of line, to be honest, but these are Simon's boards, and I appreciated the effort he goes to in maintaining them, so rather than giving offence I said I'd bow out during the elections and come back when things were quieter. That was actually the plan buuut ... you know how these things go. By the time the election was over, I had a new job in a new country, and I was busy with all kinds of stuff (work, and being a tourist, mostly). Then there came another international move, and then we bought an old house that we are doing up, and I was active on other sites .... basically, I kept meaning to drop in, but never got around to it. I'm still gaming regularly and carrying on much as before: hope everything is cool with you guys. cheers, Mark
  2. 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.
  3. 14 points
    Up until a few years ago, the Hero Games website hosted a wide variety of book excerpts, supplements, and game aids for free download. However, with the most recent website upgrade, most of those items were considered not resource cost-effective to maintain, and were discarded. As a result most new Hero gamers are unaware they ever existed; and even some of the veterans may have missed the treasures they contained, or have since lost something from the collection they once had. However, thanks to the magnificent Internet Archive Wayback Machine, virtually all those items are still obtainable if one knows where to look and what to look for. But since many people don't know, I thought it would be helpful to provide links to representative archived pages. These downloads cover many areas: maps (from published books or supplementary), book excerpts and introductions (including supplementary info about the published official settings), wallpapers, color covers to PDF books, character sheets and hex maps, items cut from books for space (including supplementary forms mentioned in various books), adventure modules, character outlines for illustrations (under "Character Sheets and Hex Maps" for some reason), illos for cardboard mini figures, apps and utilities, graphics and sounds, and more. Many of these were generously created by Hero fans. Because the website has gone through several revisions over the years since DOJ bought the Champions IP, and each version has made changes to the downloads it hosted, I'm including links to Free Stuff pages from different years to cover as many of the varied offerings as possible. https://web.archive.org/web/20061201152750/http://www.herogames.com:80/FreeStuff/freestuffherogames.htm https://web.archive.org/web/20071013030046/http://herogames.com:80/freeStuff.htm https://web.archive.org/web/20110516165152/http://www.herogames.com/freeStuff.htm NOTE: Sometimes a file linked to on one of those pages would not actually have been saved on the particular day that page was crawled by Internet Archive. At the top of each page you'll see a graphic representing how many times the page was crawled on various dates. Clicking on that to get to another date will bring up another page, on which the item you want may have been saved. I recommend exploring. There's much there to enjoy.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 12 points
    Christopher R Taylor

    Module Conversions

    I have done a few module conversions on my website from AD&D (and Warhammer Quest) into Fantasy Hero. They are kind of rough but playable quick converts. I have done the following: N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God N2: The Forest Oracle N4: Treasure Hunt U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh U2: Danger at Dunwater U3: The Final Enemy G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief G2: Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl B2: Keep on the Borderland I3: Pharaoh A1: Slave Pits of the Undercity I have work started on A2, I4, and G3, to continue and finish those series, but are there any other modules people would really like to see? Hint: I don't care to rebuild any of the S series.
  7. 11 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
  8. 11 points

    Avengers Endgame with spoilers

  9. 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
  10. 11 points
  11. 11 points
    In honor of the man's passing...
  12. 11 points
  13. 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.
  14. 10 points
  15. 10 points
  16. 10 points
    This is a campaign idea I've been thinking about recently to use with my current gaming group someday. Second Chances is a boarding house set up to assist supervillains in their efforts at reintegrating back into society after they've served out their sentences in Stronghold, maybe for those who've gotten released early for good behavior or after serving on the Champions Universe's version of the Suicide Squad. It's a government-sponsored halfway house dealing in supervillains. It might even make for a decent convention game background. My thought was to use it as the basis for a PC team, putting together former supervillains into a ragtag group of anti-heroes that actually can do some good together. Think Guardians of the Galaxy, only made up of parolees. It could also work for a Dark Champions: The Animated Series sort of setting. One of the things that the government would do is provide new secret IDs for each parolee in their efforts at rehabilitation, so they would all have the Social Complications: Criminal Record and Secret ID, maybe at a reduced level for the Secret ID, since it is one known to the government. Watched by PRIMUS (or another group that deal with supercriminals) would also seem to make sense. What sort of supervillains might work from the current CU as parolees? Shrinker and Foxbat might make for a couple of interesting fellow parolees, but who else?
  17. 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
  18. 10 points
  19. 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
  20. 9 points
    Robert Muller, as transcribed by NPR. Emphasis by myself:
  21. 9 points
  22. 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.
  23. 9 points

    In other news...

    Flat Earthers Spend $20,000 Trying To Prove Earth Is Flat, Accidentally Prove It's Round
  24. 9 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  25. 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.
  26. 9 points
    False. It suffers from a distinct lack of George Perez cover art.
  27. 9 points
  28. 9 points

    RIP: Stan Lee

  29. 9 points
    Killer Shrike

    Superhero vs Fantasy

    D&D as the first rpg set the trend, and had first mover advantage plus hit on the zeitgeist of its times. In the 60's, early 70's Tolkein's books entered the public domain in the US on accident due to a bizarre clause in the US copyright laws regarding import of books from other countries. Ace published a bunch of royalty free copies at a reduced cost compared to other books of the time. The themes of the books in regards to "back to nature" / anti-technology and an overall anti-war sentiment meshed well with the counterculture movement of the day (what we think of as hippies these days), and the idea that the "pipeweed" hobbits made and smoked was marijuana found favor with the same group as well (Tolkein himself stated it was just a kind of tobacco). Consequently, Tolkein-isms and similar derivatives became a cultural phenomenon of the era, and you end up with wizards painted on the sides of panel vans and rock ballads such as The Battle of Evermore and so on. It resonated with a lot of people who did not conform to the mainstream norms of their day, particularly creatives. In the downstream ripple of that, we get D&D and other vaguely Tolkein-esque content including some early video games made mostly at colleges by young techies who were hip to the youth culture of their day. Superheroes on the other hand had their original heyday in the 1940's and then again later in the 80's. For a very long time, they were seen as being strictly for kids. This began to change in the 80's and 90's, and of course the last decade has been insanely big for superheroes. Unfortunately, most people only know DC and Marvel characters from the movies and TV shows, and for whatever reason both Marvel and DC have never really been able to get their act together when it comes to RPG's and videogames. There's been a lot of good rpgs published. I myself enjoyed Marvel FASERIP from TSR in the 80's, Marvel SAGA (the card one, which was actually pretty fun if you gave it a chance), and Marvel Cortex+ (which was a GREAT game). But either they don't catch on, or they are not supported and die off, or the license lapses. I think that perhaps part of the problem with getting more people hooked on superhero rpgs is that fantasy stories are mostly literary; you read them and imagine them in your minds eye. They attract readers who are good at imagining things in their minds eye. This is the very same skill one needs to get into and enjoy roleplaying games. Superhero stories are mostly comic books / graphic novels or now movies and tv shows; you experience these stories mostly by looking at pictures or cinematic representations. You don't have to imagine anything in your mind's eye...what is happening has been drawn or acted out for you to look at. It is a visual medium, and it draws people who appreciate a visual medium and want to be SHOWN what it is vs imagine it for themselves. There is some overlap; some people enjoy both traditional textbased books and graphical books, but a lot of comic book fans are not big readers in the general sense.
  30. 9 points
    I refuse to believe that could be real. Tony Stark would have arranged something far grander than a simple headstone. I'm thinking the Tony Stark Memorial Cemetery, with a giant mausoleum in the center. Around the periphery of the mausoleum are several dozen statues of various Iron Man armors, each with eternal flames burning. Daily fireworks shows. Maybe even dancing girls.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 9 points
  34. 9 points
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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!
  38. 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.
  39. 9 points
    There are, arguably, better-made superhero films than Wonder Woman. But that movie wasn't just an entertainment, it was an event. It was a cultural touchstone that connected with much of its audience, particularly women, in ways no movie in its genre ever had before. Just from the responses I'm seeing from the people who have viewed Black Panther so far, I expect that to do the same for black audiences. You're right that a movie only needs to be entertaining. But if it has a deeper impact than that, then it becomes an important movie. And not having that impact for everyone won't make it less important.
  40. 8 points

    Origins 2019

    Hello, I managed to get my games scheduled at Origins this year. I am not a part of a group, but I will be running a few HERO games at Origins this year. Here is my schedule: A Life Less Ordinary (HERO System, Anime HERO): Some students in Japan acquire great powers and must stop a force of terrifying and insidious evil from consuming their college campus. RPG. 4-6 Players. Wednesday, June 12th from 2 pm - 6 pm. Revelations 1001 (HERO System, Fantasy HERO): The End Times of Book of Revelation are literally coming true in 1001 A.D. Six heroes have been gathered by the forces of light, some of them far more reluctantly than others, to gather sacred artifacts that will help defeat the Anti-Christ and his forces. They must brave terrible monsters and great evil to acquire them, and then shall face the Anti-Christ and his army on the plains of Megiddo. This game is intended to be an entertaining and thought-provoking game, and every effort has been made to treat faith with the utmost respect, and no offense is intended towards anyone's individual beliefs. RPG. 4-6 Players. Wednesday, June 12th from 7 pm - 11 pm. Legacies (HERO System, Champions): You are descended from the superheroes that won World War II. Can you uncover the mystery behind their disappearance? Could it be the work of their old nemeses? RPG. 4-6 Players. Thursday, June 13th from 7 pm - 11 pm. The Temple of the Three Valleys (HERO System, Martial Arts HERO): Set in late-16th century China, a group of heroes from all over the world have come to a village to find a long-lost temple that contains the secrets of martial arts and great riches. They must also use their martial arts skill and superhuman wu shu abilities to defeat a ferocious tyrant and his minions. RPG. 4-6 Players. Friday, June 14th from 10 am - 2 pm. Kazei 5: Juke Joint Jezebel (HERO System, Kazei 5): Set in the anime cyberpunk world created by Susano/Michael Surbrook, a group of mercenaries find themselves in over their heads when they investigate a break-in at a corporate facility. RPG. 4-6 Players. Saturday, June 15th from 10 am - 2 pm.
  41. 8 points
    It is somewhat understandable to immediately equate Nazis only with the atrocities that occurred from 1939-45, but that happened because they were allowed to get to that horrible endgame. Not enough people spoke up in the 20s when they were formed, nor in the 30s when they came to power. The Nazi party was probably dismissed as extremists. They had a measure of popularity because of a strong economy, a narrative that sparked a beaten down populace with calls similar to 'Make Germany Great Again', and a leader that knew just what to say to the lowest common denominator.
  42. 8 points

    Classic/80s Champions Villains

    Heh. I once had a supervillainess make friends with Grond, gave him a My Little Pony as a gift -- and then later stole it and convinced him that one of the PC heroes took it. You can imagine the hero's confusion when Grond came charging at him, shouting, "GROND WANT PINKIE PIE!!!"
  43. 8 points
    I jokingly answered earlier in the thread, but now I'll answer for real. This is going to come across as kind of rude. Sorry. No offense meant to anybody here. 6th edition is inferior because it is designed by a committee, based upon a false promise, and a fundamental misunderstanding of the underlying system. It's the product of endless tinkering without an achievable goal or a clear direction. I'll try to flesh out what I mean by all that, but some of it is conceptual and may be rather hard to explain. Everything up to 4th edition was led by the original designers, and there's a logic to how everything was costed. Power X is about twice as good as Power Y, so it should cost twice as much. There's a basic concept of balance built into it from the very beginning. All the powers and characteristics are roughly scaled with one another. It's not perfectly executed, but it's pretty close. Moreover, there was a philosophy to how it was balanced. They valued certain abilities more than others, and so those were costed higher. These ideas were internally consistent with each other. Combat abilities are more valuable than noncombat abilities. Flexible powers are more valuable than those that are more limited. Therefore these things cost more points. If you built characters as they intended, and played the game as they intended, it had a wonderful balance. 4th edition Champions was almost perfect. And again, it was true to its philosophy. Now with a system as complex as Champions, you'll never get a perfect balance. There are just too many moving bits and pieces, and a powergamer will find the most efficient builds possible, while a person who has never played before will waste points on things that may never come up. That is unavoidable. But later editions didn't understand that. 5th edition, 5th edition revised, 6th edition, Champions Complete, all of them have tried to tweak the system to achieve some perfect balance that just isn't possible. And the biggest problem is, these changes didn't follow the original pricing structure of the system. The changes were made by people with a different philosophy of how the system should work. And those changes don't quite mesh with the underlying system. As an example, let's go to 5th edition, written by Steve Long (somewhat prophetically named when you see the size of his manuscripts). He had his own ideas about how the Hero System should work, and he modified it. Adders became much more common. The pricing structure for some powers was changed, but not for others. And while some of these changes were arguably good, others were not so great. It was clear that he was seeing the system in a different way from the original authors, but it was a modification of their system and not one built from the ground up with his own ideas. Long's philosophy appeared to be based around trying to make everything fit around a certain core set of game mechanics. Instant Change was removed as a Talent and modified to be a "My clothes only" Transform. Shapeshift was turned into a sense-affecting power. But one of the most glaring examples here is Damage Shield. In 4th edition, Damage Shield was a +1/2 advantage you applied to a power. If anybody touched you, or if you touched anybody, they were hit with that power. When 5th edition hit, it suddenly required you to purchase the advantage Continuous (+1). But, you didn't actually get the benefit that Continuous granted, which is that somebody hit with a Continuous power will be affected by it every single phase. No, you had to pay a +1 advantage tax because now you've got to change your Energy Blast to a Constant power before you can apply Damage Shield. Why is this a problem? Because it's a different game philosophy stacked on top of the previous one. While both follow the idea of "you get what you pay for", 4th edition was more focused on comparative effectiveness, whereas 5th added costs with the idea of making powers conform to a certain format. A 10D6 Energy Blast with Damage Shield in 4th edition was 75 points. That's the same as a 15D6 Energy Blast. Quite expensive, but you got the benefit that you could hurt your enemy when it wasn't your phase, without an attack roll, depending on what they did. Still might be too expensive though. In 5th edition, you had to buy it Continuous first. So now that power became 125 points, the same as a Twenty-five D6 Energy Blast. No power-gamer in the world would choose a 10D6 Damage Shield over a 25D6 EB. The two aren't remotely comparable. There are other problems as well. The cost of Major Transform had previously been based upon the cost of RKA, the logic being if you can kill them, you might as well be able to turn them into a frog. 5th ed wisely dropped having Cumulative be a +1/2 advantage (RKA is cumulative by default), but it added requirements that you had to pay more to affect different types of targets. Instead of "turn target into frog" the standard Transform became "turn human into frog". To affect any target, you had to buy another advantage. In this way, the cost structure of 5th edition became less consistent, more concerned with form than function. Abuse wasn't eliminated at all, the nature of the abuse just changed. I wasn't active on the boards during the time that they were soliciting suggestions for 6th edition. I think I had an account here but I had wandered off. But as I understand it there was a lot of discussion about what changes people wanted to see made. And while I like most of you guys just fine, good lord do I disagree with a lot of you over how the game system should work. I see questions on the Hero System Discussion page, and many of the suggestions are overly complex and extremely point inefficient. But some people feel like they've got to dot those "i"s and cross those "t"s. Again I wasn't involved in any of the discussions, but when I flip through the 6th edition book, I'm reminded of the adage "too many cooks spoil the broth". 6th compounds some of the mistakes of 5th edition and doesn't look back.
  44. 8 points
    I vote for Arthur Curry to travel back in time. They can call it "Splashpoint".
  45. 8 points

    A Little Good News

    Farmers Stand In Silence At Auction So A Young Man Can Buy Back His Family Farmhouse
  46. 8 points


    LIGHT, I need some fricken LIGHT so I can see people Robin in the shadows, okay. Trained by the bat got it Raven? she was Goth before Goth was cool.. (was Goth ever cool?) But son of a gun, why can't we get a good look at Starfire, Beast Boy and others... could one of you step into the sun or even a cloudy day for five flipping seconds *Rant* Also, someone needs to edit the film so what when Robin says "F**k Batman" Captain America's shield flies from off screen to hit him in the back of the head
  47. 8 points
    As part of its coverage of the Trump detention policy, All Things Considered consulted immigration law experts who confirmed that the regime's claim to be just following the law as written is, well, a lie. But we all knew that. One of them, in pointing out that illegal border crossing is only a misdemeanor, specifically compared it to a parking infraction. So the regime is locking people up for the equivalent of double parking. Why such fear and hatred? Jeff Sessions gave it away in one of his speeches. He explained that Zero Tolerance was necessary because the USA "Is not an idea... It is a nation-state." As I argued months ago, no it isn't. The American population does not meet the definition of a "nation." Not unless you reject a large fraction of the citizenry as not really American. So it seems pretty clear that Sessions' objection to border-crossers is not that they break the law, it's that they are brown and speak Spanish. But we all knew that, too. This regime has gone from deplorable to disgusting, and is well on its way to depraved. Dean Shomshak
  48. 8 points
    Today's BBC World Service had an interesting story about a small town in eastern Tennessee where ICE just rounded up 97 of the undocumented, mostly workers at the town's meat-packing plant. This is Trump country. (He got something like 75% of the vote.) Nevertheless, many townsfolk are shocked and angry. The local minister is preaching sermons about loving all people regardless of native language or place of birth. See, the people arrested were their neighbors and an important part of their economy. And what about all those children who now lack parents? Townsfolk have taken them in, but are fuming that you *just don't do that to kids.* "Zero Tolerance" stopped being a narrative when it affected real people they actually knew. Dean Shomshak
  49. 8 points
    Ayup. I mean, we're an amazing nation, but let's not pretend Norwegians are looking at our news and going "Yeah, that's exactly where I want to go" Norway is doing great. Barring a possible attack from Putin's Russia or something, it needs the US about as much a yeti needs an Air conditioner. Of course the countries that have problems are where folks are coming from. That doesn't make them ****hole nations, it makes them poor nations with problems. Haiti isn't anymore a ****hole nation for having earthquakes and poverty than parts of California are ****hole for having Wildfires and PETA or Texas is for having Floods earlier and Dallas Traffic. I'm against illegal immigration but sympathetic to those who try it. I am FOR Legal Immigration, particularly as part of helping those downtrodden who need help and a chance. Could we get maybe a billion bucks thrown into our processing system that helps applicants become American citizens faster? How about that, law AND the Dream. But no, Trump clearly has his idea of what's acceptable, and it looks racist, and just as bad, like if you don't come in wearing a nice suit he'd just as soon you never get into the club. Trump's a racist, if that was the limit of his disdain for his fellow humans, I'd be disgusted and worried that we had a president who fit that in the 21st Century. Say what you want about Bush Jr, but the efforts he made to help African nations speak well of him. But Trump's not JUST a racist. He's sexist. He's a classist. He's an elitist in every way, and yet has none of the right to be smug about it. He's an uncultured swine who had pearls cast before him when he was young and used that start to bully more treasures from others and claims he's self made. He values strength above all, and attacks anyone who shows him as weak in any area. He throws folks in pits in order to stand taller, and he shows no loyalty to any unless they do something for him, while whining like a schoolboy when folks refuse to kowtow. Dear Norwegians, please do yourselves a favor and don't come here for another 3 to 7 years.. We'd love to have you, but the truth is? We're not dressed in our best. And to those countries that fall under the category of ****hole by Trump's standards? If you've seen his standards, on ethics, on honor, on decency, you'll realize you don't really WANT his approval.
  50. 8 points
    (Continued, rough draft so errors will abound. comments still welcome) People assume that if you have a Southern accent you must have grown on a farm. The truth of the matter is while I have family with farms, I am hardly an expert on poultry. Chicken coops stink, I know that much, so after I grasped the immensity of this things size, I then became illuminated to the intensity of the stench that wafted from it as feathers flew. "Oh," I made a face after getting the big man back inside a building, "You are one foul fowl. Now let's calm down, and not eat anyone okay? Nice rooster, good rooster, rather rank rooster" I continued in a voice I hoped sounded soothing while still getting the attention of the Brobdingnagian bird. Not respecting my extensive vocabulary, the damn thing kicked me a good sixty feet in the air and smashed me through the window of a second-floor apartment. There was the shattering of glass, a woman's scream, and I looked up to see an open bathroom door and a woman desperately reaching for a towel. I averted my eyes from her and apologized, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, giant chicken!" I pointed to the window! "That is no excuse! Chanel 3 always said heroes were menaces and I always thought they were too rough on you guys, but I'm starting to have serious," Her eyes drifted to follow where I was pointing "It's a giant chicken!" Her eyes widened as an angry avian approached. "What I said!" I reminded, "Get back in the bathroom, close the door, and lay low." "The size of that pecker is huge," She gaped. I was being so good right now, I thought before saying "Bathroom, lay low. Thanks." And I leapt from the window projecting myself with superstrong legs to punch the chicken right in the head! I hoped to line up the trajectory, so it fell on the street and not the buildings. I didn't quite get the English on it right, and the thing staggered back into a street light! This thing wasn't just big and strong, it could take a punch that would go through steel! And yes, I'm aware some animal lovers would be appalled that I just risked what might have been a killing blow on a chicken. To which I ask if you've ever eaten out of a bucket? If you have, then you have no moral high ground. Zero. Zip. "Cock-a-doodle-do!" I said and made scratching motions as I tried to lead it away. An area with warehouses would be best. Some of those are empty half the year. It's why villains often squat there. I needed to get this thing away from the heavier populated area. Apparently megachicken did not like my scratching the ground, miming a rooster. In fact he really, really, looked quite pissed. "Buh-Ka!" it bellowed and charged. "And here we go," I said breaking into a full run of my own. In the past I've often lamented my lack of mobility compared to some other heroes who can run at superspeed, fly, or even teleport. To compensate for this, I've been practicing my sprinting. Unlike my swimming speed I won't be breaking any records for that. Have you ever tried outrunning a fifty-foot tall anything? Talk about a wide stride, that damn chicken was on me much faster than I intended. I'd barely gotten another quarter of a block. From the window of another building I could see someone using their phone to record me. Well, if I had any dignity in this before, and I'm not sure how I could. Fish Guy runs from Fowl Giant- Film at Eleven. I leaped, hoping to get some more distance. Superstrength in the legs means you can really hop when you have to; but the damn thing caught me in mid air! One moment I was hitting Olympic high jump levels of altitude, and then SNAP there was pain. A lot of pain. The beck hadn't just clamped down on me, it was actually cutting through the skin of the right leg it had trapped and was squeezing harder. What the hell had empowered this thing? I could only imagine what the spurs would do. If I wasn't hurting and embarrassed both, I might have had the presence of mind to joke about getting a leg up in the world, and certainly threats about eleven secret herbs and spices in the fowl's future would surely have flowed. As it was, I wasn't on top of my quip game. Heck, I didn't even think to call the giant rooster 'Chicken not so little' "Let go!" I said and reared my free leg up and plowed it in the side of the face with the force of a wrecking ball. And when it didn't work the first time, I did it again, and again. Third time being the charm the chicken cried out in pain and dropped me. The bird was really at the multiple shots to its head. And I? I plummeted to the ground from nearly fifty in the air, slamming into the street below with all the grace of a bean bag with dreams of flight. I rolled to my feet feeling more than a bit tender. I needed to keep pulling this thing away from the populated areas. Protecting innocents is priority one for the New Samaritans. Even if those innocents are idiots. The news van's lights caught Megachicken's attention right away. That, combined with the movement, really drew its attention away from me. And that was something nobody could afford. Megachicken charged towards this new target and the driver of the van got a panicked look in his face and tried to turn despite the reporter screaming in his ear that they couldn't leave without the story- Smart Driver. I needed its attention again. And to save whatever members of the fourth estate that didn't have the sense to stay away from Poultry that could quite literally bite their heads off. Seizing the bent streetlamp, I tore it all the way out and whipped it around with what I hoped was a challenging bellow and throw it like a drunken Scottish American on steroids at a highland games contest. It struck the back of the chicken where it bent and warped before sliding off the dirty feathers of the beast. I don't know how much the throw hurt it, if at all, but it did cast one baleful eye my way and the chicken chase was on again. I was going slower than before, of course. A wounded leg will do that to you, but at least we were almost at the warehouses and, praise the lord, the news crew wasn't closing in again. They can be taught. I also noticed the chicken was shaken a little, maybe not as quick as it was before after all. That was gratifying. When I kick something in the head, it keeps the old ego bolstered to know said kick is having an effect. That said, it was still gaining again. Possibly because I was challenging it. "Hey, Buhkaw!" I said over shoulder and held up my hands over my head in what I hoped looked like a bristling comb mimicry. "BuhKaw!" Megachicken thundered back. No, he did not like this challenge at all. I made another jump, well, hop, towards the warehouse avoiding falling under another talon lash. One more jump and we were in the warehouse parking lot. Not a car was in sight, no lights in the building were on. I was safe to cut loose and then some. I turned around and this time when the damn bird tried to kick me, I ran under its legs and took a shot at the right drumstick while the left was upraised. Tough this thing was, but it still needed support and balance. So Roostersaurus came a tumbling down. I nearly got pinned underneath it. Wouldn't that be a hoot? But I had room to move now. I could cut loose, and let me tell you something, aching leg or not? It felt good! Another leap, another punch to the creature's head and this it felt! Only feathers were really masking the massive bruises I was now inflicting on this thing. It began to stand up, I tore feathers on my way to prevent myself from falling. They were slick, stinky, and gross and I was going to need a shower after this. I gave him a belly shot on my way down and it staggered again even as I landed. "That's right, big guy, I've been going easy on you up till now," I grabbed a leg, braced, and exerted myself. I was about to lift something heavier than a post office building. I should know, I had a basis for comparison. I lifted megachicken up off its feet! And was already to flip it on its back again! What happened next, I did not expect. I should have, but I didn't. There was an intense rush of wind, a foul-smelling torrent of air, accompanied by sounds akin to muffled thunder, and I? I was rising off the ground. There was a good reason for that. The now panicking chicken was trying to fly! I don't know if whatever had increased its wing size had made it possible, but by the Spirit of the Colonel himself, the damn thing was taking off. And taking me with it. This is my life. "Oh, come on!" I called out as we took to the air together. We were going up, up, and over the warehouse I had worked so hard to lead it to. Then we began to go down again. I don't know. Maybe the chicken got tired. Maybe the forces of science finally noticed and said: This is just too much. No. Just no. So here we were about to nest on a warehouse. There was no way that roof was going to hold her weight. I guess it wouldn't be superheroing if there wasn't some property damage. Still, I winced as I dropped down to the warehouse, not because my leg was pounding already and landing from that height stung, but because I knew what was happening next. Well, I thought I knew what was happening next. Yes, Megachicken fell down on the warehouse roof. Yes, the roof began almost immediately to buckle and break under it. It flapped furiously and fell through. I could see all that happening. What I didn't see coming was the woman levitating over the chicken, and then suddenly plummeting down like a human cannonball. Once it began, I had quite the show. There was a horrendous crack, and I think said lady gave the rooster a concussion. Its huge eyes widened, and then it went out. The costumed woman slid rapidly at first, then suddenly slowed and drifted through the air like a ghost towards me. Just as quickly she dropped before me, grabbed me to bring my head down, and decided she wanted to steal a good chunk of the oxygen in my lungs as she laid one hell of a kiss on me. "Hi," She said when she parted. I grinned down at her, "Nice costume." What wasn't to like? The costume was green and red, with a few gold touches to break things up. Her emerald top had a V cut edged in gold which showed a tasteful and appealing flash of cleavage but not anything you'd worry about coming part at the first time she got knocked end over end. The red leggings under a gold belt also worked out nicely and, as she wasn't stupid, the boots did not have high heels. It was form fitting and functional, and she even had gloves of gold and green to keep those pesky finger prints from betraying her. The Mask went down to bottom of the nose level. "Thanks I," She made a face at something, "What's that smell?" "That would be the giant chicken you just clambered all over," I said, "And that I was fighting before that." I started to pull her in for another kiss, but she was having none of it. "No, no, sorry, not until we've both had a shower or bath, ugh," a firm shake of the head no. "Are you telling I can't kiss or touch you again because of filthy fifty foot tall rooster?" I raised a brow. "that's what I'm saying," Ariana nodded. Ariana is not a tall woman, and she's pretty, so much to her annoyance sometimes every little thing she does is adorable. Combine that with what I said and, I couldn't help what slipped out of my mouth next. "Gives a whole new definition to cock-blocked" I grinned. She groaned "Okay, you just blocked yourself, I'll decide how long." I grinned at that "Now, you're being mean, miss…" A thought occurred to me, "Wait, what's your superhero name? I mean, I hope you already picked one?" "I sure did," She grinned, "Say hello to the newest member of the New Samaritans, Valorosa!" Ariana, that is, Valorosa, struck an exaggerated heroic pose. "Valarosa? I-" Then the metaphorical lightbulb came on over my head. I had learned some more Spanish words since dating Ariana "Wait, isn't that Spanish for Valorous?" "Si," She dimpled, "Your Spanish is really coming along. Though to be fair that is an easy one. Valorosa is indeed the feminine form of Valorous. I kind of stole his name. It’s a good one, and that jerk certainly didn't deserve it." "Kind of?" I raised a brow, "Does Arctic Fox know about this?" "Know about it?" Valorosa replied, "Who do you think suggested it?" "Of course, she did," I said, shook my head, and began to chuckle. Trust the men girl for justice to get a bit of her own back. You know, normally I don't believe in stealing a superhero's name, but in the end? Valorous had been no hero. He had broken Ariana's arm, in fact, and might have killed her if he felt he had to for his "mission". There are a lot of things I regret in this life. Beating the holy snot out of Valorous and taking his amplifier tech off him? Not even close. And the more I remembered, the more I wanted to punch him again. I could only imagine how rightfully ticked Arctic Fox felt. Yeah, Valorous didn't deserve that name. The Authorities began to come in, firemen, police, and animal control. Exactly what they were going to do with a fifty-foot-tall chicken? I don't know. But the news tonight was going to be interesting. Valorosa was frowning her chocolate eyes intent. I followed the gaze and realized she was looking at the wounds on my leg. "I'll heal up in the shower" I promised. "Mmph," She said, "Another reason for you to take one." "Wash my back?" I grinned broadly. "Eww, no," Then a slip of a smile escaped, "But once you've got the first layer off, I might let you wash mine? Would that be too daunting a task for the mighty Eel?" "It's a tough job," my grin widened, "But a man's got to do what a man's got to do." "My hero" She said dramatically. We left before the press could be allowed closer by the Authorities. Ariana believed, and I had to agree, that fighting a fifty-foot-tall rooster should not be your first act on record as a superhero. The media would get the word on Valorosa another day. The shower was wonderful, thank you, and obviously for reasons that went well beyond getting clean or even regeneration. Ariana likes to complain I rushed the first kiss between us all because we defeated a bad guy together. But she kissed back! About two months into our relationship, we got serious, as in, all the way serious. It was a more mature relationship than I'd been in in, well, perhaps ever, and rather than getting scared about where this was going, I found myself kind of thoughtful about that very thing. Then again, I've been burned by romance as much as anyone else. Don't rush things, Caleb. We had gone to the base, so Mabel chiming in on the wall did not surprise me, "Hey there you two, I'm assuming it's two?" Ariana blush prettily at that, and said "Yes, and you know that. Is the team back from their diplomatic meeting?" "Yes, and speaking of meetings," Mabel hinted, "There's one up in the next ten minutes. All Sammies expected." "We'll be there," I assured "Thanks, Mabel." The light that was active whenever Mabel was 'in' a room went off, and I smiled at Ariana, "Lot can be done in ten minutes." "yes," She agreed, "But can it be done well? Let's get dressed. What we can do? We can get fully dressed in clean clothes," A light pat and it looked like that was the plan despite my hopes. Oh well, can't blame a guy for trying for a round two right? What could I say, I'm flesh and blood, young and male, and I maybe in love with her. This is a combination that leads to romantic poetry or at least bawdy hip hop. But here I was hiking on clothes and making sure I was respectable enough for our little group talk. The base was built into an old mall. At first I was surprised, but after I got over that, I started to realize how brilliant that was. A lot of old malls are dying, but the size is huge, and for those that were closed, they have an area of parking space nowhere near a house or private business. In short, innocents won't be endangered unless we have guests, and most folks don't know about the place. Add to that super tech and this is a really nice set up. And the rooms here are so much nicer than my apartment it is hard not using this place as my main residence instead of the secondary one. The others were waiting in what had once been a food court. Everyone was there, though not everyone was in costume. Lady Obsidian, for example, was dressed in her usual professional classy casual combo. The oldest member of our team, Doctor Vivian Vernon was also our leader. She'd been at this longer than any of us. But even she could be surprised. "A fifty-foot-tall chicken is all over the news, the square cube law has been repealed so often I think it's merely a guideline now" She sighed.
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