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

  1. 18 points
    Christopher R Taylor

    Western Hero 6th edition

    I have completed and sent Western Hero to Hero Games to look over and build a cover for. Its a complete book with all you need to build characters and play the game (minus powers and modifiers etc, as not applicable in a heroic game) with a full campaign setting adapted from the original Western Hero 4th edition, plus tons of adventure ideas, campaign tips, background, maps, etc. Also, I have uploaded a file of The Greatest Guns Who Never Were, a file containing almost 50 fictional characters of western and western-inspired background from books, comics, movies, television, and radio, from Hopalong Cassidy to Mal Reynolds and all points in between. Its free in the Downloads section and includes full Hero Designer write ups as well as a pdf containing them all and some notes on how they were made.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 15 points


    Fever broke last night. I'm going to be okay.
  5. 15 points
  6. 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.
  7. 13 points


  8. 12 points
    Lord Liaden

    Terran Empire plus

    During the discussion on the thread, The Turakian Age is Seriously Underrated, it was brought to my attention that not only were many folks unfamiliar with that fantasy setting published by Hero Games, but the degree to which other books in the Fantasy Hero line were directly connected to it, providing supporting elaboration for various facets of its world. It occurred to me that Hero's signature sci-fi setting might also suffer from a similar misconception. Just as with the Turakian Age, most of Hero's science-fiction books use the Terran Empire as their default reference, in some cases even more than their fantasy books do for TA. The centerpiece of the line is, or course, the Terran Empire source book. While the majority of the book details this future era when Humanity has forged a major interstellar empire from a human perspective, it also spends considerable time surveying the history, culture, and technology of other races of the galaxy, major and minor, including character templates. Not everyone has noticed that Steve Long co-wrote TE with sci-fi author and game designer, James Cambias, who brings his rich imagination and narrative style to the project. Scourges Of The Galaxy, written by Jason Walters, provides extensive backgrounds and full games stats for a host of NPCs, solo or part of organizations, drawn directly from the galaxy of the TE era. In many cases they're elaborations of people or groups mentioned in Terran Empire. Another book, Worlds Of Empire, surveys nearly two dozen alien planets both within and outside the Empire. Quite a few of those are notably exotic compared to Earth. The environment and geography of each planet is laid out, including planetary Mercator projection maps. In a number of cases the planets have native inhabitants, whose history and culture are spelled out in even richer detail than in the core book. Spacers Toolkit provides descriptions, stats and, often, illustrations for even more weapons, equipment, and vehicles used during the Terran Empire era, both by humans and aliens. Other Hero books, while not set in the TE era, build on precedents established for the Hero Universe's future. Alien Wars by Allen Thomas rolls the timeline back a few centuries, to the human race's protracted war for survival versus the horrific Xenovores. Besides providing a less "imperial" human society, the book adds even more alien races to the galaxy's population. Shifting out of the Star Hero line, Champions Beyond elaborates the "space/cosmic" side of the company's present-day, superhero-dominated Earth, by infusing most of the aliens from their sci-fi books (adjusted for this earlier period in their history), and adding even more. Nearly eighty species are mentioned in that book, with details ranging from a couple of paragraphs up to multi-page chapters which include home world description comparable to what's in Worlds Of Empire, history, culture, technology, and representative individuals. CB also introduces such classic comic-book sci-fi features as super-advanced aliens, planet-eaters, and "cosmic entities." For a "Legion of Superheroes" - type campaign, Galactic Champions moves the time line forward past the Terran Empire period, to when Mankind and other interstellar civilizations have formed a vast Galactic Federation. Various "superheroes" and "supervillains" are provided, again based on the history and races established throughout Hero's space books. The Hero Games website used to host several free supplements to its Star Hero line, which can still be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Several forms for help creating and recording info about alien species, planets, and star sectors are linked to here. You can also download a simple application to randomly generate sectors of your own galaxy, based on the tables from the Star Hero genre book, from here. Finally, on this webpage you'll find links to free color "astropolitical" maps of the Milky Way galaxy at the time of the Terran Empire, in several sizes/resolutions.
  9. 12 points
    I'm not going to try to get into an argument on this. I'm just going to state things as I see them. It will be kinda long. I am a defense attorney and was a public defender for nearly a decade. Some of this will probably offend some people here. So be it. I believe everyone here has the same general good goals and none of us are trying to be irrational or hateful. This is, at the same time, both a massive problem within our justice system and also a fairly minor one. In a country of 1/3 of a billion people, about 1000 people a year are shot and killed by the police. Of those, about 10% are reported to be unarmed. Some percentage of the unarmed people are either fleeing or attempting to commit suicide by cop (however I was unable to find those numbers).. A large number of them are also mentally ill (so they do unexpected things). Approximately 40% of the unarmed people who are killed by police are black (mostly young males). About 13% of the US population is black, but they make up a disproportionate share of all inmates in US prisons (accurate numbers are difficult to find quickly on this topic -- I've seen statistics anywhere from 1/3 to more than half, these numbers also appear to be going down). For raw population numbers, unarmed black people are killed at a rate 3 times what we would expect. But compared to how likely they are to be arrested by police, the numbers are much closer (this of course, makes us ask whether black people are unfairly targeted by police in the first place). However this does mean that police do not appear to be more likely to shoot black people in any given encounter (i.e., per contact). Any stance of "even one person being wrongfully killed is unacceptable" doesn't work for me. Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. Outright murders happen. We want to minimize these of course, but as TrickstaPriest said above with the person who set a cop on fire in Mexico, "that one person is an asshole and an instigator". Police departments in the United States are local. They vary from massive organizations like the NYPD and LAPD, down to small towns with two part time cops. You cannot have such a dispersed system and also guarantee against one person being "an asshole and an instigator". You cannot say that the entire justice system failed just because Officer Hardass decided to put a bullet in somebody. Single digit incidents across a country of 330 million people are not a sign of a manifestly unjust system. It's also possible for rational people to disagree on individual police shootings. I have not seen the video of the guy who got shot in the back after he stole the cop's taser, but I've talked to several people who have. Everybody seemed to have their own opinion on it. I've seen police shooting videos where I thought the officer should be prosecuted immediately, and other people say "nah, it's fine". And I've seen others where I thought it was perfectly justified (or at least understandable) and the cop gets arrested. People are going to see things differently. However, all that said, there are serious problems within our justice system. We need to change these things. Some of these are going to be extremely difficult to fix, and right now nobody is talking about many of them. Some of them would be easy to fix, but nobody is lifting a finger to do what is necessary. --Police unions have far too much power and influence. In my state, when an officer shoots a suspect he is not questioned about it until days later when he's had a chance to consult with his union rep and an attorney. That's part of their contract (source: a buddy of mine who is an ex-cop). Bad cops get rehired or are never fired in the first place because of union contracts. Even when something is "makes national news" bad, the unions are reluctant to go against their officers. --There is a political problem within the Democratic Party right now. African Americans vote Democrat about 90% of the time, but police unions are also major contributors to Democratic politicians. Taking on the unions is a career killer for local Democrat politicians. Republican politicians have no real incentive to take action (though they try to combat public sector unions on general principle, it's not Republicans who are getting shot), and Democratic politicians are paralyzed. Two of their largest voting blocks are in opposition to each other here. --Cops aren't tested for steroids. This is a major problem, it's obvious, and no one has ever mentioned it. I've seen these guys in the courtroom. Everybody knows who they are. They're clearly juicing and everyone knows it. Yet cops aren't drug tested, and they certainly aren't tested for steroids. I'd say at least 10% of cops are juicing. Now don't get me wrong -- I was once in a room with a client who was one big mean son of a bitch, he got mad at me and jumped out of his chair at me. I was very happy to see Officer Zangief (clearly taking some "Vitamin S") come in and smash that sucker into the wall. Cops deal with dangerous people, that's why so many of them take steroids. But we need to start doing something about it. --No one is keeping track of bad cops. Social media companies, instead of doing something useless like saying "we support BLM", could actually do something helpful. It would be trivially easy for Facebook or Google or another company that already mines our data to create an algorithm that scans news reports for instances of police violence and assembles a database. When somebody tweets out "my cousin Ricky got shot by the police", people should be collecting that. When a cop gets fired for illegal use of force, that should follow him. As it is, it's too easy for him to go to a different department and get hired there. But if a report was widely available, and you could see this guy had already shot 3 people and had 15 complaints against him? A lot less bad cops would get rehired. --Police are not trained enough in de-escalation. They're not trained enough, period. But they're especially not trained in de-escalation. Every cop who goes through the academy should know how to approach a suspect who is not actively resisting and talk to him in such a way that they don't start actively resisting. Too many cops go to violent confrontation too quickly. This is a problem that can be fixed, but it doesn't get fixed by spending less money. --Local prosecutors have very close relationships with the police. Prosecutors are friends with cops. They marry cops. They work with cops every day. It's hard to file charges against a guy who came to your cookout a month ago. Last week you were asking him how his wife and new baby are doing, this week you're trying to decide if it was okay for him to shoot a guy who had been to prison three times. In most circumstances, the cop gets the benefit of the doubt. Federal prosecutors need to take a much more active role in reviewing state police shootings. This is something the President can order at any time (yes, Trump could have already done it, but so could have Obama). Again, it's politically costly. In some states, apparently DAs have to present charges against officers to a grand jury. This is a total cop-out, when they say "the grand jury cleared the officer", because grand juries only see the evidence the DA presents. It's easy to softball it and intentionally fail to present enough evidence. Federal prosecutors and state AGs should review every single shooting that is even remotely questionable. --There are, in fact, some racist policies in use when it comes to law enforcement. I once had a case where a dozen police officers pulled up to a run down apartment building and jumped out, guns drawn. They rushed forward like they were conducting a raid. They didn't have any specific information about a crime being committed, they were simply flushing out anybody who ran. Of course my client and several others saw the cops coming and bolted. Fleeing from the police gives them probable cause to stop you, so 10 seconds later my client gets tackled and of course he's got a bunch of drugs on him and a gun. The problem is that my client was a total scumbag who had been to prison multiple times, so the judge was not interested in my argument that the police department's actions were unfair. Of course they don't do this in neighborhoods where dentists and accountants live. They only do it in high crime (i.e., black) neighborhoods. To put a stop to this, you're going to need groups like the ACLU or other well funded organizations to actually look at every arrest in a given city, look for disparate policing policies, and then sue them in federal court. But that's a lot of work, and nobody wants to do it. All that said, there are problems in the black community as well. --Young black men have a skewed perception of how likely they are to get shot. The actual chances of getting shot are incredibly low, but I've seen tons of videos of black men talking about how afraid they are when they are pulled over. I understand why they are (the same reason I don't want to swim in the ocean -- JAWS will get me). But this perception is not accurate. It also makes them more likely to panic and resist arrest. And that makes cops more nervous and more likely to use force. I've read several articles and facebook posts written by black people talking about how they had done nothing wrong, but they were so worried that they almost ran anyway. We've got to publicize that it's actually exceedingly rare for an unarmed person of any race to get shot. --While there are issues with a disparity in justice (black men prosecuted more harshly than white men), there's also a real problem in that a small number of young black men commit a very large percentage of the crime. I once represented a client who said you weren't considered "a man" in his family until you did a 20 year prison sentence. That's heartbreaking but it's true. It isn't racially discriminatory policing that is locking many of these guys up (that guy did a home invasion robbery on Christmas and pointed a gun with a laser sight at a baby). Many times an innocent person is stopped because he "matched a description of a suspect". But I don't think the cops are always lying when they say that. Frequently they are investigating a real crime, and the only description they have is "black male, average height, wearing a dark jacket". --There's also a fairly high tolerance for "victimless crimes" in poor African American communities. Driving without insurance? Driving while a tail light is burned out? Not using your turn signal? Not wearing your seat belt? "That's not even really a crime, man." I actually had a client say that. Combine that with a tendency to not pay tickets and you get suspended driver's licenses and arrest warrants. A huge percentage of my public defender clients got pulled over for some dumb traffic violation, the officer finds out they have a warrant because they didn't show up for court on the previous dumb traffic ticket, he goes to arrest them and then they would do something stupid (like run). And of course then there's something illegal in the car. I would suspect the cop of being a lying racist jerk, and I'd ask my client about it and he'd say "aww, hell no man I never use my turn signal..." Well, shit. Nobody is going to listen to any of my suggestions on how to fix any of this, and my post has gone on too long anyway. In real life I've remained quiet on this, it's too radioactive to touch, especially since I know a lot of cops and judges and prosecutors (many of whom are black). But I figured I'd try to offer my perspective on these problems.
  10. 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
  11. 12 points


  12. 12 points
    death tribble


    Well since she beat me down I've been out doin' in my head Come too late at night and in the mornin' I just lay in bed Well, Gronda you look so fine (look so fine) And I know it wouldn't take much time For you to help me Gronda Help me get her out of my heart Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda yeah Get her out of my heart She was gonna steal my wife At least that was her plan But she let the police come between us And it shattered our man Well, Gronda you caught my eye (caught my eye) And I can give you lotsa reasons why You gotta help me Gronda Help me get her out of my heart Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda yeah Get her out of my heart Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda yeah Get her out of my heart Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda Help me Gronda Help, help me Gronda With apologies to the Beach Boys
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 11 points


  17. 11 points
    Michael Hopcroft


    And I got my test results, and they're negative. Now if only I could find my keys...
  18. 11 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  19. 11 points

    In other news...

    maybe just a bust then
  20. 11 points
  21. 11 points
    At various times I've mentioned here that, since the official Champions Universe is a hobby of mine, I found myself becoming a sort of unofficial "lore-master" to the Champions Online player community, answering their questions on the game's forums about elements of the setting. That has sometimes prompted me to compile information on particular topics for their easy reference. Occasionally I've transcribed some of that info here for our tabletop gaming community when I thought it might be of general interest, and that has been received positively. The Champions Universe, being inspired by the major mainstream comics companies, embraces the full range of classic super character origins you see in those comics: mutagenic accidents, genetic mutation, radical scientific inventions, mystic martial arts, aliens, sorcery, gods and supernatural creatures, cosmic entities, etc. However, there are a number of origin concepts described in Champions books that IMHO are more original and distinctive to the setting, but don't require characters with backgrounds so unusual that players would require a lot of information or elaborate setup to use them. Even if you don't use the official CU, these origin concepts can be inserted into most original four-color super campaign worlds without much effort. So I thought outlining origins in that category might inspire some of my fellow Champions gamers. I'd be happy to flesh out more details on any of these origins if anyone asks; but every entry cites the published books in which folks can read more about them. I hope some of you find this useful. ______________________________________________________ Alien Gene-Tampering: Superhuman powers resulting from aliens mucking with Human DNA is a well-established comic-book trope. On Champions Earth the repeatedly-invasive Qularr are one likely candidate. The main reason the Qularr invaded Earth in the first place was so they could study the Human genome on a large scale, to understand why and how Humans manifest superpowers with greater frequency and average power than nearly any other species, including the Qularr. They hope to engineer that capacity in themselves. At least one experiment along those lines has yielded a super-powered hybrid, although by accident. It's highly likely other similar experiments are being conducted by Qularr currently on Earth, or perhaps on Humans kidnapped and brought back to Qularr space. What virtually no one knows is that one reason Humans do manifest powers more often, is because that genetic potential was placed in them by incredibly ancient and advanced aliens called the Progenitors. Two million years ago the Progenitors advanced the evolution of Humanity's ancestor species to the next stage of sapience. Half a million years ago they experimented on Homo erectus, creating the first of the ageless superhuman Empyrean race. Champions Universe suggests they might also be responsible for the creation of the Birdpeople of Thaar twelve thousand years ago. In any case, the Progenitors still exist, continuing their experiments and periodically monitoring the progress of past ones. It's not unreasonable to assume that they would do some "followup" work on Human DNA. You can read much more about the Qularr and Progenitors in Champions Beyond. The Birdpeople of Thaar are described in Champions Universe. Coruscations of Power: In the worldwide accidental cataclysm which devastated the alien planet Ashraal centuries ago, and gave birth to the awesome cosmic villain Xarriel, discreet bursts of energy from the main explosion were cast across space and time, emerging in random locations in the space-time continuum. To date at least five of these "coruscations of power" have appeared on or near the Earth in recent years, and affected humans in their vicinity, creating the supervillains Photon, Stareye, Sunspot, and Vector, and the superhero Victory. The coruscations can manifest as bursts of light from space, but in the past have been mistaken for solar flares or lightning storms. Powers induced by them can, but not must, include various forms of energy projection, flight (usually very fast), mind-affecting abilities, enhanced physical strength, speed, and durability, and the ability to survive in hostile environments (even space). Xarriel is fully detailed in Champions Beyond, while the other villains mentioned are in the Champions Villains trilogy, and Victory in Champions Universe. DEMONic Experiments: One of the classic superhero origins is the person unwillingly subjected to villainous scientific experiments who uses their newly-gained powers to escape. In the CU quite a few official supers came about that way, particularly due to actions by VIPER and ARGENT. But DEMON, the worldwide supernatural villain org, often conduct their own magical analogues to scientific research, which have spawned magical superhumans. One official villain, named Riptide, was a young runaway girl before a member of DEMON found her and turned her over to his Morbane. The Morbane attempted a magic experiment to bind the girl to a water elemental, hoping to create a strong but mentally pliable minion. But Riptide's crazed fear at what was done to her was now backed with elemental powers, enabling her to force her way to freedom. The supervillain now called Morningstar was the result of a tactic that DEMON often uses since it became estranged from the rulers of Hell: forcing a summoned demon to temporarily occupy the human body of a DEMON Brother, giving the Brother a measure of demonic power but with the human personality in control. For unknown reasons, Morningstar's possession proved permanent. He fought DEMON's enemies for some time, under enchantment to ensure his loyalty, until a battle with magical heroes severed the control spell and returned his free will. Morningstar left DEMON to become an independent supervillain. (Both characters are detailed in Champions Villains Vol. 3.) Another villain in the service of DEMON, Professor Samedi, was a minor DEMON member, and lackluster musician, before his Morbane had him try to play an enchanted fiddle the Morbane had acquired. Samedi found he could cast several potent spells with the fiddle's music, but it changed him physically, making him look almost skeletally gaunt; and changed his personality, to more actively, confidently malevolent. So there's precedent for a Morbane to have one of his disposable minions "test drive" a magic item. Perhaps a given item would change the wielder's personality in a more positive way. (Prof. Samedi is detailed in DEMON: Servants Of Darkness.) Department 17: Since World War II, the United States government has researched ways to safely and reliably create superhumans, as well as to more effectively control them, with few successes. Their efforts have often resulted in severe, even fatal physical and mental side effects to their subjects, and produced as many supervillains as superheroes. During WW II the US military set up Project Rainbow for this purpose, at Fort McLaughlin (now McLaughlin Air Force Base) near the small town of Haynesville, Kansas. After the war the Project was declassified and officially shut down, and McLaughlin AFB appears nearly abandoned today. This was a ruse. Project Rainbow was never shut down. Still secretly based at McLaughlin, what is now titled Department 17 is the Defense Department's hub for research into superpower generation and superhuman control. Under its current director, General Clarence Smith, it conducts a wide variety of research involving drugs and chemicals, radiation treatments, genetic engineering, and other exotic methods. Much of the Department's current research focuses on refining the Cyberline procedure used for PRIMUS's Avenger program. The Department's scientists are also very interested in investigating any reports of new manifestations of superpowers. General Smith might go to great lengths to keep 17's existence and activities secret. He's also used some "creative" accounting to keep his department funded. Department 17 is described in Champions Universe, as are PRIMUS and Cyberline. "Divine" Intervention: In the Champions Universe, all the gods and demons of myth and religion that humans still remember actually exist. Although very powerful in their home astral dimensions, a metaphysical barrier called the Ban prevents them from manifesting on Earth with their full power. But there are a few ways divine beings can create lesser-powered Earthly agents to champion their causes. One of these ways is to infuse some of their power, and sometimes personality, into a deserving human host, creating a superhuman reflecting the qualities of his or her patron deity. Quite a few official Champions heroes and villains have been empowered in this way. In keeping with comic-book origin conventions, their empowerment typically comes under unusual and dramatic circumstances, often at a key turning point in the life of the hero. For example, the first Johnny Hercules was given an amulet by an "apparition" of Zeus when the circus he worked for toured Greece, containing the "Hercules Force," the power of Hercules as a demigod which he abandoned when he became fully a god. The Nigerian hero Ogun gained power over metal after being beaten near to death by criminal thugs, when he received a vision of the Yoruba god of the forge of the same name. Ogun is thoroughly detailed in Champions Worldwide, while the current Johnny Hercules is featured in the PDF book The Hercules Force, available from the Hero Games website store. Much more on CU gods and the Ban can be found in The Mystic World. Empyrean Heritage: For hundreds of thousands of years, the immortal superhuman offshoot of humanity called Empyreans have existed alongside their human cousins. While they maintain their own city of Arcadia in Antarctica, hidden from human discovery by advanced devices, the majority of Empyreans choose to live incognito among humanity. The general population is ignorant of their existence; only a few superheroes have been trusted with the secret, although the Lemurians know of Arcadia and have been enemies of the Empyreans for many millennia. A few Empyreans have acted as superheroes or villains in the modern era. Empyreans sometimes have children by humans, who are always either normal humans or full Empyreans. These children may grow up unaware of their true heritage; but the Empyreans' leaders scan the world for any new Empyrean offspring, and when they discover one induct him or her into their society. But individual Empyreans can follow whatever activities they like, provided they don't reveal their race's existence to mankind. All Empyreans are ageless, physically superhuman to a greater or lesser extent, and can fly. They can manifest a wide range of mental or energy powers, although the type and degree varies based on innate ability and the interest a given Empyrean has in developing specific powers, usually related to their preferred pastimes. The Empyreans and Arcadia are extensively described in Hidden Lands. Golden Age Legacies: In the real world the earliest comic-book superheroes appeared starting in 1938, and continued to be created over the course of World War II. Champions Earth's first actual superhumans also began to appear during this period. Most of those heroes eventually retired, to be replaced by newer generations; but often those newer heroes were inspired by their predecessors, in many cases even to the point of adopting their code names as an homage. Most such "legacy heroes" were either the relatives or proteges of the originals, or sought their blessing to carry on their names. However, certain lineages originating in the Golden Age have been particularly fertile in continuing to produce new heroes to uphold the family tradition. In the winter of 1939 Kiril Lenskii was a young officer in the Soviet army serving in his country's war against Finland. Badly wounded in an attack that wiped out the rest of his unit, and overcome by the severe winter cold, Lenskii collapsed unconscious over underground caverns which released strange gasses. As they entered his lungs his body began to change. He awoke to discover that not only was his body healed and stronger than before, but he was now immune to the cold, and could even create intense cold, snow, and ice over limited areas. Given the code name, General Zima ("winter"), over the course of World War II Kiril Lenskii became the Soviet military's leading superhero, and remained so for many years. The three sons of fisherman and former naval sailor Morimoto Takashi (by a mysterious woman who may have been a supernatural spirit) were each born with extraordinary abilities: enormous strength and durability (Ichiro); incredible speed (Jiro); and probability manipulation (Saburo) manifesting as phenomenal luck for himself, and phenomenal misfortune for his opponents. The three young men were recruited by the Japanese government to fight their country's foes, first China in the 1930s, and later the Americans and their allies during WW II. They were among Japan's most prominent superhuman champions during and after the war. Each of the three Morimoto brothers had more than one superhuman offspring, while all seven of General Zima's children developed super powers. Today there are over two dozen "super" members of the extended Morimoto family, and descendants of General Zima, active in their respective homelands. It would be reasonable to expect a few of their relatives to have emigrated to other countries at some point. Although the histories of these characters don't explicitly state it one way or the other, there's no reason to assume superhumans from their lineages necessarily manifest the same types of powers as their ancestors. The mutations of all three original Morimoto brothers were radically different from each other; while General Zima's origin implies his abilities resulted from his body adapting to a specific environment. The full write-ups for General Zima and the Morimoto brothers appear in the latest edition of Golden Age Champions (for Hero System Sixth Edition). Hzeel Biomatter: Champions Earth has experienced several alien invasions in the past, and is currently dealing with renewed intrusions by the Gadroon and Qularr. What no one on Earth knows yet, is that another aggressive species, the Hzeel, also have the Earth in their sights. These short, blue-skinned humanoids have scouted Earth for nearly two decades, wanting it as an advance staging area in their war against the Dorvalans (Ironclad's race). At least two Hzeel scout craft have crashed on Earth and been discovered by humans. One of these was salvaged by Roger Warwell, aka the Warlord, and its technology became the basis for his own weapon designs. Hzeel technology is partly biological, and can have radical unpredictable effects when it comes in contact with human tissue. Two humans, the solo supervillain Howler, and the Warlord's minion Warcry, gained superhuman vocal powers when Hzeel communications devices were implanted in their throats (this happening spontaneously on contact in the case of Howler). The effect also extends to tissues from Hzeel themselves; VIPER's staff supervillain Oculon gained his powerful eyebeams from eyes from an Hzeel corpse transplanted to his sockets. (Hzeel don't have eyebeams, they're the result of interaction between the two species' biologies.) Anyone using recognizable Hzeel materials would undoubtedly be of interest to both the Hzeel and the Warlord. The Hzeel have a whole chapter in Champions Beyond, as do the Qularr and Gadroon, and the Dorvalans are also described there. The other villains mentioned are in the Champions Villains trilogy, except Oculon who's written up in VIPER: Coils Of The Serpent. Ironclad and the rest of the Champions superhero team get full write-ups for their beginning careers in the Champions genre book, with more experienced versions in Champions Universe. Kelvarite: This mysterious, green-glowing extraterrestrial mineral has been found in meteorites from several falls. It's a powerful source of energy, but is extremely unstable and prone to explosion when disturbed. Some people who have been bombarded by radiation or fragments from exploding kelvarite have gained superhuman powers, typically (but not exclusively) superhuman strength and durability, and some type of enhanced movement capability, e.g. super-running or -leaping, flight, or teleportation. They also acquire a susceptibility to radiation from other samples of kelvarite. Known superhumans with this origin include the solo villains Tachyon and Thunderbolt II, Dr. Destroyer's servant Meteor (all in the CV trilogy), and the African superhero Gazelle (in Champions Worldwide). Large organizations such as the US government and UNTIL have secured all the kelvarite they can find, but sometimes lend samples to research laboratories. Other kelvarite meteorites remain to be discovered. However, what no one is aware of is that what they call kelvarite is actually impure samples, which is why it's unstable. Pure kelvarite doesn't resemble the impure mineral, and is extremely rare on Earth. Its energies respond to the will of intelligent beings in physical contact with it, allowing them to wield formidable and versatile energy-projection powers. (It isn't obvious that the power comes from the kelvarite itself.) The only pure kelvarite discovered so far was made into rings worn by the four men who have used the superheroic identity, Meteor Man. Kelvarite is described in Champions Universe, while the first Meteor Man is written up in Golden Age Champions. Martial-Arts Temples: For centuries, hidden enclaves have existed in the Far East where dedicated monks have practiced the most advanced physical and spiritual martial-arts techniques, including virtually superhuman abilities for those with the skill and determination to master them. Several official Champions heroes and villains were trained at such enclaves. The most legendary of these sites among knowledgeable martial artists are Yengtao Temple, somewhere in the mountains of China; and the city of Shamballah, in a cave beneath a mountain in the Himalayas. Both sites are hidden from the outside world both physically and magically, so that only those already highly disciplined in body and mind can find them. But those who do can study almost any martial art that has ever existed, and perhaps achieve abilities like the heroes of legend. Various students at Yengtao Temple have returned to the outside world to become heroes, or villains. In the present day the Millennium City superhero Nightwind, his bitter rival Jade Phoenix, and the Hong Kong hero Golden Dragon Fist, all learned their extraordinary skills and ch'i powers from Yengtao. Jade Phoenix was responsible for the destruction of Yengtao Temple and murder of the monks in 1996, but there may be other former students alive in the world. And Shamballah, second only to Yengtao as a repository of mystic martial-arts secrets, still stands. But Shamballah also guards a dark secret even further beneath the mountain: its evil twin city, Agharti, prison of the Dark Monks, also extraordinarily skilled but utterly corrupt. While the Shamballans prevent the Dark Monks from escaping, they don't forbid outsiders from visiting the city, or leaving afterwards. The villain Zhua Teng ("grasping vine") received training in Agharti. The story of Yengtao Temple, and description of some of its unique techniques, appear in Champions Universe. Shamballah and Agharti are described in considerable detail in Hidden Lands. Nightwind's latest write-up is in Millennium City, while Jade Phoenix is in Champions Villains Volume Three. Zhua Teng is fully written up in Martial Enemies Volume 1. Professional Armorers: One of the staples of the superhero genre is the gadget-using super, with no actual super-powers but employing equipment made of special materials and/or incorporating advanced technology. Most comic-book heroes build their own gadgets, or have them designed for them by benevolent patron inventors or agencies. Some heroes acquire prototype devices by accident, including "liberating" them from their villainous makers (often earning them pursuit by the vengeful villain). But it's not unheard-of in comics for a scientist -- usually one of criminal bent -- to sell his technological services to whoever will pay. In the official Champions Universe there are several possible sources of scientific expertise for hire to aspiring supers. Most of these are considered criminals by most world law-enforcement, so don't typically contract with anyone of obvious heroic bent who might cause them trouble. But for another criminal, or a mercenary or vigilante of grey morality, they're often the route to quick super status. Millennium City is the home base of Wayland Talos, a brilliant inventor with a pathological hatred of superheroes. To strike back at them he supplies villains with everything from questionite hand weapons, to energy blasters or jet packs, to full suits of powered armor. He's considered one of the underworld's premier armorers, with few individual competitors. One of those competitors is known as Brainchild, a telepathic gadgeteer who primarily supplies tactical and technical support to other criminals, rather than take the risk of committing his own crimes. On the international front, the Warlord is a powered-armor villain and would-be conqueror who's also a major dealer in high-tech armaments, and who has created super-class weaponry and armor for individuals for the right price. The unscrupulous corporation called ARGENT does a thriving business in service to criminals; not just supplying gadgetry, but even physically augmenting a person through bionic implants or experimental biochemical treatments. The independent city-state of Larisagrad was once a center for the USSR's classified scientific research, including advanced weaponry, and experiments to create true superhumans. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and thus their funding, the scientists of Larisagrad chose to freelance to the highest bidder. The only truly benign inventor engaged in remotely similar activity is named Ralph Polarewski. Formerly the full-time technical supervisor to the famous Sentinels superhero team, Ralph left them after a bitter argument with the team's leader. He's become a well-known freelance contractor to members of the superhero community who use gadgets but have no technical skills of their own. As written he primarily works for people already established as heroes (and would never sell his services to someone of questionable morality), but would be well able to supply an equipment-based origin to someone who could convince him of their sincerity and dedication. ARGENT and Larisagrad are described in Champions Universe. The Warlord and his organization are fully written up in Volume One of the Champions Villains trilogy, while Brainchild and Wayland Talos get the same treatment in Volume Three. Ralph Polarewski is detailed in the book, Everyman. Project Sunburst: In 1994 a group of American "rogue generals" assigned over 200 volunteer soldiers to what they were told was a war game. In fact the generals were experimenting to try to create superpowered soldiers resistant to radiation, by detonating a nuclear device near them while they wore protective suits. Most of the volunteers soon died of radiation poisoning, while a handful slipped into comas. Most of the comatose were placed into a secret holding facility, codenamed "The Crypt," while a few were stored at other sites. In the intervening years, several of these survivors have developed superhuman physical and energy powers. A few, such as the master villain Sunburst and his follower Radium, awakened spontaneously. Others, like Dr. Destroyer's security chief, Gigaton, were aroused with help from other villains. Some escaped the Crypt on their own, while others were "liberated." All the active survivors except Gigaton and the powered-armor villain, Armadillo, have joined Sunburst. However, the remaining comatose subjects are still being kept in secret in the Crypt, not just from the public but from the generals' own superiors. Most of these villains are fully written up in Champions Villains Vol. 1: Master Villains, although Armadillo is in Vol. 3 Radium-X: This radioactive element has been known to science on Champions Earth since at least the 1930s. It's well known for its radiation's mutagenic properties, able to induce radical, even super-empowering mutations in living organisms under certain conditions. For example, it's a critical component of Dr. Phillippe Moreau's process for creating Manimals. The late superhero Tiger, a former leader of the famous Sentinels superhero team, was a former UNTIL agent who became a man-tiger hybrid through accidental exposure to radium-X and some of Moreau's chemicals during a raid on the Doctor's lab. In 1940 a Bulgarian laboratory researcher gained formidable magnetic powers after the failure of an experimental magnetron being powered by radium-X flooded her lab with radiation. She took the code-name Leitstern ("lodestar") and was drafted to fight with Germany during WW II. The preceding examples suggest that the specific mutations caused by radium-X are thematically linked to the environmental conditions applying at the time. The origin of Leitstern also highlights another major use for radium-X, as a concentrated high-energy power source for various devices. The Golden Age villain Liquifier needed that element to power his Matter-Liquifier Ray, which could change any inanimate solid matter to a liquid state. It's possible that other radical technology can only be powered by radium-X's unique radiation. Radium-X can be purchased legally. Various research laboratories are noted as studying or using it. However, the clear implication of references to it is that it's rare and expensive, leading to attempts to steal it by people with less than upright intentions for it. Dr. Phillippe Moreau and his followers are fully written up in Champions Villains Volume One: Master Villains, while both Leitstern and Liquifier are detailed in Golden Age Champions. Tiger has never been given a full background story or Hero System character sheet, but is mentioned and briefly described in CV Vol. 1, Champions Universe, and Book Of The Destroyer. The Swords of Nama: During the Dark Ages the serpent-god Nama, who is today the patron deity of VIPER, set out to become a great power among Men. He gathered six mighty warriors from across Eurasia to be his agents and generals, to conquer an empire in his name. For each warrior he forged a powerful enchanted sword. But before they could achieve any major successes the warriors quarreled, which ultimately led to all their deaths. The Swords of Nama were scattered. Over the intervening centuries some of these legendary swords reappeared, and a few were destroyed; but others remain to be discovered in ruins across Eastern Europe. The story of the six "vipers upon the land" appears as a small part of the history of Nama and VIPER, on p. 6 of the book, VIPER: Coils Of The Serpent. Aside from being called "serpent-blades" the Swords of Nama aren't described, nor are any of their qualities defined, which leaves a player free to imbue a particular sword with any powers desired. Note that Nama is neither good nor evil, and has helped heroes or villains as the mood struck him; so there's no inherent reason for his Swords to be one or the other. Teleios, the Perfect Man: The foremost genetic engineer on Champions Earth today, Teleios is infamous for being a cloner of people, and a creator of animalistic monsters, but the range of his genetic expertise goes far beyond that. More than half a dozen official supers, villainous and heroic, owe their powers or very existence to The Perfect Man. Teleios has the skill to induce almost any super power in any human, whether or not that person already has powers or the potential for them. Teleios will do this for pay, or in exchange for services or favors, as he did for the supervillain-turned-hero Flashover (Champions Universe: News Of The World), and her brother, the villain Hurricane (Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains). Teleios has been known to bestow powers on someone on a whim, whether or not they want them, like after a dalliance with the Indian woman now known as Monsoon (Champions Worldwide). The Perfect Man can grow completely original, humanoid or human-looking superhumans with any abilities he chooses. He sometimes sells his creations, as when he supplied VIPER with the powerful monster named Obelisque (Champions Worldwide). Sometimes Teleios turns a creation loose in the world uncontrolled (although not unmonitored), to see how it responds and develops. He did this with the beings labeled the Landsman, and the Lodge (both in Champions Of The North). The master geneticist can program his creations with whatever skills he or his employer desires. He can even implant elaborate false memories, to the point where the person has no idea he or she is artificial or has any connection to the Perfect Man. This is how Teleios programs the cloned soldiers he sells to other villains and groups. The superheroine called the Teen Dream (Teen Champions), whom Teleios designed as an experiment in social manipulation, is unaware of her real origin and considers herself a true hero. When he makes a creature Teleios implants controlling genes that make it psychologically impossible for that creature to harm him, or may even make it a loyal follower (although those controls have been known to fail on very rare occasions). Those controls can be so subtle that a person isn't consciously aware of them. Although the lore doesn't specify it, it may be possible for Teleios to do this to humans he augments. He definitely is known to build exploitable secret weaknesses into their genetic code, should they turn against him. Teleios is fully written up in Champions Villains Vol. 1: Master Villains. Vandaleur Bloodline: Founded a thousand years ago by their immortal progenitor, Adrian Vandaleur, this widespread clan of sorcerers is one of the premier occult dynasties in the Western world. Although the majority of Vandaleurs have no more talent for magic than most people, the gift for spell casting is far more common among them than in the general populace; and their ranks include some of the most powerful mages in the world. Members of the family are aware of each other, and sometimes cooperate, sometimes conflict. But Adrian Vandaleur, whose power dwarfs that of his kin, keeps any factionalism from descending into violence. Otherwise individual Vandaleurs are free to follow whatever activities they like. Their personalities and morality vary widely. Some are benevolent, even heroic; others are amoral and ruthless, up to megalomaniacal psychopaths. Most are simply concerned with their own interests. Any Vandaleur with magical ability and desire to develop it could find family members able and willing to train him. The Vandaleur family are described in detail in Champions Villains Vol. 2: Villain Teams. The Vita-Man Clan: Percy Yates was born in Los Angeles in 1910. Brilliant but sickly throughout his youth, he studied biology, chemistry, and nutrition to find ways to improve his own health. In 1939 he discovered a compound which when administered in a pill had a miraculous effect on him, transforming his body to one of perfect health and exceptional physical vigor. Further experimentation led to additional pills granting him true super-powers, including X-ray vision, invisibility, flight, growth to giant size and strength, or shrinking to the size of a mouse. Yates's discoveries had two major drawbacks. Their effects were only temporary -- his main vitalizing pill lasted about an hour per dose, while his additional abilities endured for only a minute. Yates was also unable to make them work for anyone else -- they interacted with his own unique physiology. Nonetheless he used his new abilities to fight crime under the costumed identity of Vita-Man. Vita-Man was recruited by the Drifter as one of the founding members of the Justice Squadron superhero team, protecting the west coast of the United States during WW II. Percy Yates's health continued to deteriorate over time, leading to his retirement as Vita-Man in 1948, and his death in 1964. But in the intervening years he learned that several of his family members shared the biological factors which would allow them to use his empowering treatments. Today half a dozen of his kin are using "variations of his discoveries" (wording suggesting that other powers are possible). Vita-Man's full background and character sheet are included in the Golden Age Champions Secret Files, a PDF collecting outtakes from the manuscript for the latest edition of Golden Age Champions. The Zodiac Working: In 1979 the late master villain Archimago, greatest sorceror of the Twentieth Century, attempted this fearsome ritual, to impregnate twelve women by twelve powerful demons. The resulting hybrid children could be used by the demons as hosts to incarnate themselves on Earth with all their power. The ritual was interrupted and the women rescued by the superhero team, the Fabulous Five. The women seemed unharmed and weren't pregnant, so returned home. Two years later one of these women married and gave birth to a girl who later manifested powers of destructive energy, as well as a propensity for rage and vandalism. She grew up to become the supervillain Frag (fully written up in CV Vol. 3). She has no knowledge of her true origins, thinking herself a mutant. Although she usually appears human, when enraged her form becomes more demonic-looking. Another of these women gave birth to a son, who now acts as the superhero Pagan (described in the book The Ultimate Mystic). In his superhero identity (resembling a satyr) he's physically superhuman and can project powerful mystic light. Pagan discovered his true heritage when his demonic father Belial attempted to seduce him to his service. Although his diabolical inclinations are strong, Pagan's inherent decency has so far won out. To date nothing has been revealed about the other ten victims of the Zodiac Working.
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    In other news...

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    HS6E GM Screen

    Version 1


    This is a GM screen I created using a combination of tables from Champions Complete (mostly), and Hero System 6E Volume 2. I made minor tweaks to some tables because of spacing needs, but otherwise the tables are straight from those sources. The pages are laid out to use in a landscape 11" x 8 1/2" format. I use a four panel vinyl landscape 11" x 8 1/2" screen I bought online. Of course you can also use the tables on a laptop during play. Enjoy!
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    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
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    In honor of the man's passing...
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  29. 10 points
    The first responsibility of a judge is supposed to be to what the law actually says, interpreted through their formal knowledge and experience. Of course personal bias can't be avoided, but they're supposed to strive for objectivity as much as humanly possible. I applaud Justice Gorsuch for holding himself to that standard.
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    Bwa ha ha! The rules are completely eviscerated by today's Supreme Court decision! https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/06/15/supreme-court-denies-job-protection-lgbt-workers/4456749002/ Edited to add: I mean, it will take some court cases, but the precedent this sets is crystal clear.
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    So many years ago (during 5th edition revised) I got an idea for a campaign. A few false starts Decided to make it a book (never happened) Started it about a year and a half ago. In the first time in 40 years of gaming, a campaign ended at a natural end...I have NEVER had that happen before in any RPG
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    Good for him. As a 40+ male with severe respiratory issues, he's very much in the high-risk category.
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    Iuz the Evil


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    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.
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    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."
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    Hey, maybe the door doesn't swing that way...
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    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.
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    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
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    The RPG Trauma Unit

    Many years ago a friend (Luis) and I went to a small gaming convention on the other side of the state. Luis had found out there was going to be a Car Wars game there, so he and I created a few cars, hoping the GM would okay one of them. No dice (not really surprising, in retrospect -- I'd imagine some players would bring pretty abusive builds to try to slip past someone), and we had to choose from among the GM's selection of vehicles. Not a problem, really, though IIRC they were pretty weak / dull creations. Anyway, one of the players had never played Car Wars before, so Luis and I decided to take him under our wings - help him understand what he could and couldn't do, give him some advice, and generally avoided shooting at him so he's have a chance to have some fun. The scenario was basically an arena battle, and was going okay... until the GM decided to roll out his *own* car. A gas-powered high-speed rammer, that he proceeded to use to one-shot take out players' cars. It was an extreme example of "GM-I-Wanna-Play". As the GM smashed through car after car, Luis was jotting down numbers. And then the GM finally got to the newbie's car - smashing right through it with an instant kill, like all the rest. That's when Luis asked, rather innocently, "How much front armor does that thing have?" The GM gleefully told him, so proud of his creation. And Luis said, "Well, even with a ram plate on the front, by my calculation he should have take X points of damage, so this last ramming would have breached his front armor and damaged his engine pretty badly. His gas-powered engine. Isn't there a chance for it to explode?" He pretty much forced the issue, and as luck (or karma) would have it, the GM's car did explode. All of the players decided that the newbie had effectively killed the big bad and was the winner of the event. Lots of slapping him on the back and congratulations all around. Luis managed to turn a potentially crappy experience into a good one for that player.
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    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
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