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  1. 10 points
  2. 7 points
    Scott Ruggels

    Grade the 1980's

    Graduated High school in 1982. Flunked out of college in 1984, and worked a series of dead end jobs. At this point school didn't matter, other than to learn graphics, and animation skills, because... I went to Dance clubs. I played a huge amount of games. Got involved in a whole slew of gaming fanzines. Got invited to play with the Hero games folks, and got my first paid illustration gigs. Worked in Comic books. Worked the stands as an usher during the 84 Olympics, and saw Brazil beat Italy decisively in soccer. I started collecting the music I ran across in Clubs, collecting orange crates full of 12 in. Dance singles and Motion Picture soundtracks. Lots of great action movies, and delectable Trash Cinema (The Sword & The Sorcerer), and I was healthy enough to eat anything (Jack in The Box Ultimate Cheese burgers, with a side of Bacon Cheddar Potato wedges.). Ronald Reagan broke the back of the Soviet union, and it collapsed 6 months after he left office. (Victory over Communism!) Went through three cars. Started to travel to big conventions, like WorldCon, Gencon, and Comic-con. For me, the 80's were a grand, young person's Adventure, so I have to Grade it as an A!
  3. 6 points
    I would assign more faith in setting, if- well: Millennium City Vibora Bay That college Steve has up in the store Atlantean Age Valdorian Age Turakian Age Tuala Morn Hidden Lands Stronghold Terran Empire Meriquai Falls Johlros Hell's Half Acre Kazei 5 Widening Gyre Monster Island The Mystic World Hudson City Worlds of Empire And I can't remember how many other setting books from even further back- Had attracted an audience larger than _us_. By that I mean people already big into HERO. A setting is a picture of a place that you use as a backdrop for your story. Yes; you need one. But you don't need two-hundred-odd pages of a setting to sit down and play a game, or to even be interested in playing. I started playing Traveller with the little black box. There really wasn't much in there for setting. I started playing D&D with box whose color I don't remember, but I remember that the rules were thinner than the 1e Champions book (though it would be a year or two before I learned that), and the highest level listed in the book was _three_. Yep. Third level. It didn't have _crap_ for setting, not even the vague inferences that having to join a service made about the Traveller universe. The closest thing we had to "setting" for D&D was pencil and ink lines on graph paper. The list goes on, or course: Star Frontiers: we don't like these worm-looking guys. Have fun. Gamma World: there was an appoclypse, maybe nuclear, not sure. Anyway, mutants. Aftermath: something really horrible has happened that has brought about the end of the world. You decide what it was. Twilight 2000: the war's over, and you're stranded in Poland. No; there are no maps. You don't have orders anymore, so.... Well, it's Poland. Do what you ordinarily do in Poland, but with guns and maybe a Humvee. A green one. Seriously. And some of those games have launched legacies. Even Champions-- the game that we come here regularly to celebrate and discuss, had _no_ setting. First edition was published in '81. Seriously, damned near all of it: rules, Enemies 1, Escape from Stronghold (Hillariously subtitled "Adventure #1 for Champions" ) , and Island of Doctor Destroyer. That was.... Setting, I guess? Even wieder was that all the published adventures throughout 2 and 3e were totally unrelated to each other. I think Circle and M.E.T.E appeared in the same book, but had no relation to each other. Same with Blood and Dr. McQuark: neither was filled out enough to make a 24 page book on thier own, UT if we combine them..... Scourge From the Deep was just _nuts_ if you wanted to work it into any cohesive setting (though it did give us the drowning rules). To be honest, that campaign book that came with Justice, Inc? Dude, that was positively _decadent_ in terms of setting for the games then. But we still play it. It was forty years ago, and we are still in love, so I'm thinking that "setting is nice" might be more appropriate. The problem with setting is best illustrated with the current HERO books, and that classic example of setring: World of Darkness (or Vampire, for those looking for a short handle). Yes, it blew up _tremendously_ huge, and some of that can be contributed to setting. Timing and topic had a lot to do with it, but the setting was undeniably very popular. There was tons of it! The just kept pumping it out. Hell, why add new races and new monsters? Think of a monster? Build a damned game around it and toss it in World of Darkness! But it's gone now. Sure: there are, just like HERO, some diehards still plugging along. But for the most part, it's just as dead as HERO. But how, with that amazing setting? Too damned much of it. Too much setting, too much restriction imposed by the setting, too much sameness. In short, people gobbled up every little thing they could read about it, and after the information overload, they just got tired of it. Why was Lugosi the best Dracula? You didn't see anything! You knew there was the monster. You _saw_ the monster as he stalked his victim. Then there was a close up on his grotesque and lurid grin, he hunched and dove-- And the scene cut, or his cape obscured eveything- his directors knew that nothing was better than what the audience would invent in their own minds. There was enough setting to get you moving, and nowhere near enough to mire you down. Complete? Give me an adventure, or enough setting that I can make something appropriate to what's been give. Don't give me two hundred pages of an entire world: the party isn't going to walk too terribly far from the starting point, anyway, not for months. Don't bother me with what I don't need. The most popular setting book of all time, according to some, was Greyhawk. I owned it, as I am sure many of you did. What was that little miniature staple-bound book, anyway? Maybe 40 pages? Sure, it grew, but it grew over time; it didn't beat the zeal out of me with six chapters on political intrigue and four more on tax-funded infrastructure. I don't want to play Phantom Menace; I'll call you if I get bored. A setting is a backdrop for your adventures; it's nice scenery, and names for the places in the distance. Other than that, at least for the first few months, it's an oil painting. Stunning, if done well. But no matter how well it's done, you can't play it. Not even a little bit. So: nice, but _almost_ optional.
  4. 6 points
  5. 6 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Creepy Pics thread is over there.
  6. 6 points
    Steve Long

    6E Core Rulebook Errata

    Back by popular demand! This file, which is also available for free from the Hero Games Online Store, contains all the errata known to me as of today. If you find an errata in the core rulebook which isn't listed here, please PM me to inform me about it. Please don't post it here, because I may not see it. Sending it to me directly ensures that I won't overlook it. 6E Errata 2020-02-09.pdf
  7. 5 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  8. 5 points
    For a long term campaign, setting is king. I'll give you that. If all I have is a rulebook (assume Champions Complete for the sake of argument) and an adventure, I can get started playing. If all I have is a rulebook and a setting, I still need an adventure. If I have a rulebook and a couple of adventures, I can start a campaign. Personal experience here. I tried to run a Champions campaign. I had players, I had characters, I had villains, I had setting. I didn't have an adventure. I bombed. I didn't turn them in to Champions players. This was the group I'd been playing D&D with for two years, starting with the D&D 5th edition Starter Set and the 5e Players Handbook. True, the Starter Set assumes the Forgotten Realms, but it gives about a page of countryside map, not much setting other than the actual areas the adventure takes place in, monsters, spells, the minimal rules needed to play characters up from 1st level to 5th. To me, that is a complete game. This is not me saying what I think is needed. This me saying what experience, successful and not, has shown me is needed. The D&D 5th edition Starter Set is a complete game, IMO. In order to get a successful product line, we need more people playing the game. Period.
  9. 5 points
    When I say starter set I'm also not referring to a beginner's set. The D&D Starter Kit happens to use the D&D 5th edition Basic Rules, but when I played through it we used the full D&D 5e ruleset. The existing Fantasy Hero Complete "starter set" (electronic supplemental material) uses the full Fantasy Hero Complete rules. There's no reason there can't be "complete game" sets that include everything but the rules; I'm fine if "complete game" includes the rulebook, even the full toolkit, as a separate book or books. Good question. Danger International is self contained and limited. It assumes not just genre but a particular play style (i.e. no powers, agent-level, gritty). In theory, yes, we could reproduce that, as long as we're assuming a genre and play style. No, it's not the toolkit -- and that's a feature, not a bug. Everything about the full HERO System toolkit ecosystem assumes everything is wide open, and that GMs and players will have full access to it. It's kind of hard to reconcile that with a pregenerated world, power sets, power systems (magic systems, psionics, etc.), source material (monsters, villains, spells, gadgets, etc.). Believe me, I've been told a number of times that what I want is "dumbing down" the system -- no, I don't. I want something that I can open up and be playing in an hour. There's no reason a complete game has to dumb anything down. "Starter set" doesn't have to mean for beginners! Pregenerated source material doesn't have to be "dumb".
  10. 5 points

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    The desperate bid to change the movie's fortune by calling it Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey has failed, prompting the studio to change it yet again. It will now be known as Marvel's Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey. When asked about violating Marvels copyright a studio spokesman said "Copyright, Smopyright!"
  11. 5 points
    You remind me of an anecdote: I got into roleplaying quite by accident. I love dice. I mean I _love_ dice. I had a rather extensive dice collection at one time (no; not just the pillow sack full; I mean an actual collection: dice whittle from bone certified back to the 1700s; iron dice cast and beaten into shape, actual bone "dice" from hip bones of deer, etc. They appear in every culture, every period. Surely no one person travelled the globe and introduced them to everyone else. There is something that draws us instinctively to the randomness of dice. I guess it's the "randomizing" element of dice that... well, Hell; I'm too damned old to care what anyone thinks of me at this point, I never cared much at any other point, so let me just say it: there is something mysterious about dice. We can predict and average and graph, but we can't tell what any individual throw is going to do. Combine that with the history of dice-- dice-based fortune telling and even gambling seem to predate recorded history-- and you get people deciding their fortunes-- even their fates-- on one unguessable roll. On purpose! People who have made a decision to let the random action of the universe decide what their lives will be--- It's... well, it's more than "romantic;" it's _haunting_. I've been fascinated with them since I was just a little kid-- I mean that first board game with the colored die: move to the next space with that color. It was spellbinding-- I controlled everything. I could pick the die up-- I could pick it up the same exact way every time; shake it the same exact way every time. Throw it onto the board and it was _different_. Nothing I could do would control the result. I had complete control of everything right up until I tossed it into the air and the universe took over.... I never got away from it. To this day, rolling dice is just the greatest mystery, and as an adult, and understanding the math-- the averages, the graphs, the potentials, the tilt of this and that and the angle or roundness of the vertices and weight and size of the die---- and knowing that when I throw them, it's all meaningless. When I think about it too hard, it's scary, in a humbling "we are but specks in an infinite cosmos" sort of way. When I just enjoy waiting for the next roll, guessing what it will be, and waiting-- over and over again-- until I'm right.... There's a childish joy; my joy, from the child in me that still remembers how exciting that first colored die was--- and I _love_ it. At any rate, I had a rather extensive dice collection by the time 77 or 78 rolled about. I had moved, made new friends, and had dice randomly displayed here and there. "Oh, cool! You must really love games!" Well, I like dice. "Dude, you have a _lot_ of dice! Have you ever role played?" I did a couple of stage productions in school. "No; I mean like where you and your friends-- have you ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons?" Ehhh... _sort of_....? Nothing great. I don't really think that's my thing. I'm not really into hobbits and elves and crap. "No; I mean the way you play: you make up a character and act out like what that character would do or say of how he would react; have you ever done that?" I did a couple of stage productions in school. "No; Dude; you are not getting this. It's like making up an adventure movie, only you come up with your own lines and stuff as you go." So... like a party game? "Kinda; yeah. But then you want to do something, right? So you can't just decide that you _do_ it; you just say you _want_ to do it, then you check your skill level" My what, now? "You have like skill levels and things that tell you kinda how good you are at stuff. If something is sort of easy, then you get bonuses; if it's hard, then you get penalties." Penalties? You lost me. If I'm good at it, why are there penalties? "Because you need a target number." And what's that? "Well you have to roll that number or better on the dice--" Dice? "Right. When you want to try to do something, you roll the dice, and they will tell you if you can do it or not." The dice decide? "Right. You take your target number and your bonuses or penalties and then you let the dice decide---" Tell me more. No; wait! _Show_ me...... "Sure! My buddies Kevin and Jim have been itching to get a Traveller game up, but we haven't finished the D&D module yet--- Hey! Do you like science fiction? Like spaceships and aliens and stuff?" And that did it. Right there. I didn't sit down because I wanted to be the next Conan or Legolas; I didn't want to be the next Magic Space Wizard. I wanted to let the dice decide my fate..... And I've never regretted it. Now over the years-- between friends, family, nieces and nephews, moving, giving things away, -- life in general, very little of my once-prized dice collection remains (I have a couple of hammered iron dice, a couple of antler dice, and a very few others still left), but it's amazing how many _more_ dice I have now than ever before! I just _love_ dice. This only seems to apply to dice, though. Card games suck the blue ones on a donkey. >:( They freakin' _wish_ they were dice! Dude, I am _really_ sorry about that. I may have to erase all of it and just start here, at the actual anecdote: I once had (and still have most of) a set of about two-dozen bright yellow dice with oversized black pips. When I was teaching new players, I would insist they use these dice, as they were _much_ easier to read, meaning that I or any of the other players could help them determine their successes and failures until they got the hang of it. One player jokingly referred to these dice arranged in a neat rectangle as "the school bus," and the name has just stuck, given that they were used mostly for the purposes of education (no one picked them on purpose: they were called "the school bus;" that should tell you immediately just how damned unpleasant they were to look at! ). I had a problem player many years ago-- you may have heard me mention Davien a time or two. It was absolutely _astounding_ how phenomenally well he rolled, and how his success always seemed to be proportionally to both the smallness of his dice and his distance away from other players. (Weird, right?!). I got sick to death of it, and one day I stumbled across a set of twelve dice in "school bus" colors--- 30mm dice. "Here, Davien. You wanna play; you use these dice. Period." It took about fifteen minutes before someone coined the phrase "the short bus." {EDIT}: Thread Tax: What makes a game "complete?" Damned if I know. But I know when it ain't! seriously though: having everything you need to play a game: An understanding of the world-- mood, attitude, grimness--- Look at HERO 6e: all the talk about having a hundred dials and switches you can throw and twist and boom! Instant game! Well a "complete game" is one that has _done_ that already: It has all the switches thrown and dials set to create a defined world and a defined tone and gives you enough setting and background to place yourself _in_ that world, at least enough to feel like you are a part of it. There is enough "here is how the world works" to get you going (I really don't need every single detail; just give me enough to get the feel for it; I can wing the rest), preferably some sample characters and information on them; enough NPCs to people at least one adventure, and ... well, _at least one adventure_. Two or three is better, even if they are short and simple, because they tend to reinforce what the world is. Sure, if there's only one adventure, it's better to be a bit more detailed, and preferably open-ended so I can just sort of bump along continuing it until I can get something together on my own. Instead of fifteen optional ways to do something, I want something that says "in this world, it's done this way." Less generic; more specific. If HERO core rules get any more "universal and generic," they won't need cover art; they will need a white cover with black letters that says "Game Rules." Package it in white box labeled "Game; boxed set" and include a 36x48 sheet of white paper that says "Map" and white-covered book of Mad Libs that says "Scenario."
  12. 5 points
  13. 4 points
    All that bolded stuff is "setting". It's not a huge setting, much less a full-blown detailed world filled with nations the PCs will probably never visit and NPCs they will likely never meet. It's enough setting to play the game. Of course, if the players want their own backstories, that also carries some setting. My character can't come from a desert tribe without a desert, occupied by some tribes. What we don't need is a huge, fully realized world. We need just enough setting to play. More can follow, whether published or home-grown.
  14. 4 points
    That sounds like a fine way to sell movie tickets or adventure novels. Our primary goal is to get people to play the game. Those are very different things. I know a woman who was a big Doctor Who fan (old-school, Don Baker - which was all there was at the time. She went out and bought the Doctor Who Role-Playing Game from the 1980's because she was intrigued by the setting. But she never actually played it, because she wasn't necessarily into role-playing, and even to the extent that she might have been, she would have preferred not having to be so restricted by the setting. She already knew the story of Doctor Who, and it's not any fun to just play out the script that you already know. If we get a gaming group together, and we all love Doctor Who, and want to play this game, only one of us can be the Doctor. Tolkien's Middle Earth is one of the most popular settings ever, but it's never been all that popular for role-playing games. A Twilight sparkly-emo-vampire setting might also bring in girls, but I don't know how many will actually play in it more than once, and I don't want to play in it at all. Actually, they do. As anyone who played D&D prior to, say, 1990, can attest. Adventures existed in a vacuum. Many of them. You play the game, you play the game some more, you enjoy the game, you really get into the game, you play lots of adventures, and only then do you wrap a setting around the adventures - maybe.
  15. 4 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Like watership down didn't leave enough scars
  16. 4 points
  17. 4 points
  18. 4 points
    Scott Ruggels

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    Nope. They are full of ideas. Lots of them! They are just out of good ideas.
  19. 4 points

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    Is it just me, or is Harley Quin rapidly going the way of Wolverine, Gambit, and Deadpool before her: Overhyped, overexposed, and when it comes right down to it, frankly not that interesting a character? Oh, and we can throw Batman himself in what that lot too, as far as I'm concerned.
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points

    What makes a complete game "complete"?

    I don't know about anyone else, but in my experience, the average person has literally no clue whatever about role playing games. Lucius Alexander And no clue about palindromedaries, not that that's relevant
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
    The average human mind cannot even begin to comprehend the intricacies of quantum physics in regards to dimensional mechanics. The exceptional human mind, properly trained and educated, can scratch the surface of possibilities and still wander clueless in anything more concrete than theoretical guesswork. Brainiac 5 ? He realized he was in the wrong reality as well as the wrong time in less than 50 Earth seconds. He noticed Aquaman, of course, but there was no recognition in the Atlantean King's eyes, meaning all their prior meetings did not exist for this version of Aquaman, or perhaps that some form of Chronal erasure had occurred. "Oh dear god I'm too intelligent to believe in, what is the crisis this time?" He had been in the middle of an experiment. "So help me, if it's the Anti-Monitor again I'm going to find a way to put HIM in a bottle." The Smart Guy: Brainiac 5
  24. 3 points

    Grade the 1980's

    On a personal level, a lot of it sucked. I was bullied a lot, particularly in jr. high. As a military dependent and an introvert I made friends at the speed of rare only to have those rare friends whisked away by yet another move. High school was better, though I would love to be able to go back and warn my younger self of some of the screw ups I was making. And yet, nostalgia is a heck of a drug. I was proud of my country. I had faith in the future that it would get better. I miss that faith. The music was good, I liked big hair bands, and a lot of the movies. The Olympics were awesome, the space shuttle program had me enthused until the Challenger disaster and even after, technology was leaping ahead in amazing ways. So early 80s C +, Late 80s B- Or is it the other way around? 😕
  25. 3 points
    On Saturday 8th Feb, 2020, five students at the fictional Shermer High School report at 7:00 am for all-day detention. Each comes from a different clique: Amazon Donna Troy, goddess Mary Batson, Inhuman Kamala Khan, Martian M'gann M'orzz, and radio-active spider girl Gwen Stacy. They gather in the school library, where principal Charles Xavier instructs them not to talk, move from the seats, or sleep until they are released at 4:00 p.m. He assigns them a thousand-word essay, in which each must describe "who you think you are". He leaves, returning only occasionally to check on them. You know the rest. Chaos happens. The school is attacked by two super villains looking for something. The students, fight back, and uncover that below the school are underground levels of a high technological and quasi military nature. Oops. Gwen Stacy writes the letter on behalf of the newly formed super team that each one of us is a leader, lancer, big gal, smart gal, and the heart. Also each of us are Inhuman, Martian, Amazon, Goddess, and the radio-active spider girl. Does that answer your question?" She signs off the letter with "Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club." Roster title: The Breakfast Club Location: Shermer High School. The Leader - Donna Troy The Lancer - Mary "Mary Marvel" Batson The Big Gal - M'gann "Miss Martian" M'orzz The Smart Gal - Gwen "Spider Gwen" Stacy The Heart - Kamala "Ms Marvel" Khan Support: Professor X
  26. 3 points
  27. 3 points

    Breaking Universes

    I’ve said this before but I’ll mention it on this thread. Back when when the Internet was new and dial up, I saw other people’s WEG inspired websites. And the feeling I got from them was that just about anything Sci-fi could be included in a Star Wars games. Just might have to have some of the serial numbers filed off.
  28. 3 points

    What happened to HERO?

    I'd say that Champions Complete plus one of the villain volumes provides more than enough "options and examples" for any new player to get started. Just like Champions 2nd edition + Enemies (the first one) had more than enough examples for us newbies to get started back in 1982. So maybe the only thing you're missing is the first 6e Villains book? Moreover, mobile apps and special software shouldn't be necessary. A character sheet, a pencil, and a simple desk calculator is sufficient for this game. I mean, I realize that 5e and 6e blundered the presentation of the game system so badly that it seems like a computer is required in order to make characters and play the game, but I assure you that isn't really the case.
  29. 3 points

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    This reminds me of when Mayor Quimby introduced Leonard Nimoy at the opening of the Springfield Monorail. "It looks like it could do warp seven," Nimoy said about the monorail. "And may the Force be with you!" Quimby added. "Do you even know who I am?" Nimoy asked. "I think so. Weren't you one of the Little Rascals?" Quimby replied.
  30. 3 points
    Carole &* Tuesday The spiritual sequel to Cowboy Bebop. Same Director, Same Universe, Totally different Tone. Story of a pair of 17 year old girls trying to make it in the music business,.... on the martian colony.
  31. 3 points

    Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

    Well, the first Wonder Woman movie was the best by nearly default.
  32. 3 points
    I agree with you in spirit, but not in reality. A lot of that stuff is useless without Hero Designer. I'm willing to download and print stuff on my own dime; that's not a problem. Buying software and then having to turn around--if the bulk of the conversations in the HERO Designer forums are any indication--learn Java and build export templates and match this and thats? No thanks. If I had that kind of knowledge already, I'd be using it to make a living. As I am making a living differently, I don't have the spare time to learn it. I can barely do a weekly game session with a bunch of high-schoolers and a bimonthly with my remaining regulars.
  33. 3 points
    Incidentally, I vaguely remember a short story by, I think, L. Sprague deCamp in which a con man decides the big money is in religion, so he invents a god and uses his acting and oratoriacal skills to popularize it. The donations start rolling in! And then the god manifests. Oops. DeCamp, Saberhagen, Leiber and Anderson also wrote a lot of SF as well as Fantasy, and I suspect it shaped their development of the "belief creates gods" trope. As I alluded above, it seems to me like a clever notion for people who like playing ideas but who don't really care much about faith or religion. I have to include myself among that group. When Steve Long assembled the CU, he adopted a lot of the mystic cosmology I invented in The Ultimate Super-Mage. In it, I had belief and story creating spirits, gods and entire dimensions. This seemed like a good justification for the "kitchen sink" nature of the standard superhero universe, in which an angel of the Lord and the mighty Thor can be equally real. Marvel and DC kind of waffled on this, with talk of a Supreme Deity who was strongly suggested to be the Abrahamic Deity while the pagan mythic figures were merely powerful entities living in pocket dimensions. I wasn't willing to privilege one mythology over another, so I made Yahweh as much a creation of human belief as Odin or Zeus. And having the gods all be delusional, believing their own myths, sidestepped the clashing origin myths. At least the gods aren't all consciously lying to their worshipers. TA is part of the CU, so it has to use the same cosmology. This world can't be created by gods, because the contemporary CU's Earth wasn't created by gods. One may not like this approach to Fantasy world design. But it's a consequence of splicing together two different genres. Which, as I have said before, I don't think was a good idea in the first place. So I don't entirely disagree with Phil on this. Dean Shomshak
  34. 3 points
    "Thanks for the help," Aquaman said to the heroine who had come to their aid. "I'm a little confused how you knew where we were, let alone that we were in trouble?" "You might have been in trouble, I was winning," Namor scoffed, then added, "Eventually." He eyed the woman suspiciously, "It seems a coincidence you should show at such a time. I do not trust coincidences. Is this world your home?" "Wherever the light of my father can be seen is my home," the woman assured, "Any world, any place, any Canada. I help you for the same reason you help them. Under the dome of the sky, there are no strangers, merely fellow souls we have not yet met. You believe it too, or you'd not fight so hard to protect them." Aquaman actually felt a little guilty, "In truth, we came here largely just to learn what the scientists here knew." "Of course, Aquaman," The demi goddess smiled, "Did you think extended hands to help only traveled one way? Even the mighty are not truly alone, unless they choose to be, and even the meek may have strengths to be relied upon." "Good words," He agreed, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" "Did I not say? Call me..." The Heart: Nelvana of the Northern Lights
  35. 3 points
    Pariah's clearly thinking along similar lines having already sniped me for Sam. My team's Big Guy, Ka D'Argo (Via Farscape)
  36. 3 points
    The Smart Guy: Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters)
  37. 3 points
    I think this is the very definition of a restrainable power. You indicate that the wand appears in your hand when you shout the retrieval word. So, someone might remove the wand from you (restraining your use that phase) but would have to find a way of preventing you shouting the retrieval word to restrain your use for a longer period. At any time you become able to retrieve the wand, you have access to your powers again. I dont think you need to give yourself a summoning power that, by the sounds of it, is extraneous to your other powers, and stretch the rules of that power to make it work how you want. Instead all you need to do is decide on how the power might be restrained and come to an agreement with your GM what that is worth. Doc
  38. 3 points
  39. 3 points
    It was all planned and arranged; we had a big farewell party raring to go for those of the New Samaritans that were going to depart to Port Cascade. A huge ass cake shaped like that city's skyline had been made, big enough that everyone would get at least one piece, and the various beverages were chilled. Decorations were slapped up. In less than an hour, it was going to be quite a party. "Looks good, Mabel," I said, for Mabel had done most of the work. Her database might have been put in a shapely single unit instead of the base itself, but she still had plenty of recipes in her head.It was taking her time to adjust to doing things with her new hands, rather than waldos and other extensions of the headquarters. Every once in a while I caught her cheating, remotely using a waldo as a third (or fourth, or fifth arm) but she gave a warning look daring me to say anything about it, so I didn't. First of all, because I'm a Southern Gentleman and I show respect to women in my life. Secondly? She was one of the few people in the city who had a chance of putting me through a wall, literally! And she might even feel guilty about it, after all, an hour in the tub and I'd recover from it fine, right? For all the admiration her form inspired, upon reflection I had to give serious respect to the work done on Mabel's face, and it's capacity for expressions. Her lips, eyes, and even nose gave those tell tale expressions that were as much a part of human communication as words. And never having had a face before, she was betraying her mood more than she knew. She was nervous, possibly scared. But about what? Well, I couldn't claim to relate to having a brand new body, but I could relate to some other things. Maybe it would help. "It's okay to be nervous about a big move, you know," I said, " I was, when I came here. Well, I was also excited, but, you know, despite the fact North Carolina actually does have cities and I get snippy about the 'hayseed' jokes, Costa Sagrado was still a whole new world for me. I had hopes and dreams about this city and showing folks here what I could contribute, but that made the worries about falling on my face all the more tense. When you're a hero, people rely on you. But you've got what I did, support from a great team, and they are going to help you out and cheer you on, Mabel. You'll be great." She looked startled, as if wondering where I got telepathic powers from, then gave as close to a blush as possible given her surface tone didn't change color, "I swear I will get the hang of having a face instead of just a display image and a voice. Gave myself away, huh?" "Enough clues that I felt comfortable guessing," I admitted, "Nothing to be ashamed of. You've always been a part of the team, you know? You even saved my ass more than once by remote piloting." "But there's nothing remote about it now," Brazen nodded, miming taking a breath, "I'm putting this beautiful body into the thick of it, and it's all me, baby. That is a bit intimidating. I would be lying to say I wasn't scared, both of screwing up, and by experiencing real pain. Maybe I'm a wimp and don't know it?" "Ffftt," I scoffed, "You've faced dangers before, intruders that would have tried to dismantle you, threats to the city that you were in, and more. I've got faith in you. Besides, you want this. Like I did. I think that drive is stronger than your fear." "You know," She said with a fond look, "You're not bad at pep talks. Might serve you well in this co-Captain thing." "Thanks," I said, flattered, "I hope so." "And I really think it was nice how you shared your own feelings about coming here. I can just imagine you, coming to Costa Sagrado for the first time, full of excitement, and hope, wishing you could be... part of our world." I grinned at the memory, "Yeah, it was something and I-" I caught on and groaned, "Really? Little Mermaid jokes after I opened up to you?" Mabel gave a giggle, "Well, you were trying to make me feel better, think of this as helping because I do feel better?" I rolled my eyes, "Sure, sure, I'll take it as a win," then I looked her over, "Glad it does." "Thanks. This new body is already like a big move, now another one is coming up, there are so many things I want to do, I barely know where to start. Not just heroing, though that's a part of it," She said handing me a cold beer, "Things having a feeling body can offer." "Sun on your face, wind in your hair," I raised the beer in a toast to that, "A nice soak in a hot tub, oh yeah, it's very nice," I started to drink. "And Sex," Brazen said, "I'm really curious about sex. I've been studying." I can breathe water, not beer. So I choked as the local brewer's best went down the wrong pipe. "What?" She said, "You're surprised?" "No, I guess, it's just-" I coughed again then said, "I had a slightly conservative upbringing." "You're a prude when it comes to women talking about it?" She raised a brow. Again, amazing expressive capability. "Yes," I said with a nod, "I am old fashioned and prudish in some very hypocritical areas. Please forgive me, I'm just a man." "Oh, Caleb," She fussed, "I am so let down. I thought we could talk as peers. You're dating one of my best friends and thus are totally off limits, so I figured we could talk. Maybe you could answer some questions about your own biological experiences?" I wondered if I could hit our own little version of the trouble alert without Brazen picking up on it. Where the hell were the other women of the team? I answered honestly, I was a grown, emotionally mature, adult man, I could do this, "Speaking just for myself, it's great but ultimately, without emotional empathy? It's only half of banquet and you'll never know what you're missing until you find a special someone to-" Then the Alert did come on. There was an emergency. "Oh thank God," I blurted without thinking.
  40. 3 points
    Ok, i think i finally have a concept. So, my leader is going to be Peter Quill aka Starlord ala the movie version of GotG. And the heart of the team is going to be The Child, aka Baby Yoda.
  41. 3 points
    I think that only applies to American audiences...every other audience in the world has no problem believing an American could be evil.
  42. 3 points

    In other news...

    ...and 10,000 people have died and 180,000 people have been hospitalized from flu-related complications/illnesses this 2019-20 season. PS: Meanwhile, we're still holding public tributes for a tall guy who died in a helicopter crash a couple weeks ago.
  43. 3 points
  44. 3 points
  45. 3 points
  46. 3 points
  47. 3 points

    Birds of Prey (2020)

    If I could give a shout out to a more recent character who was compelling and strong...and female? Mako Mori from Pacific Rim. She had a back story of her own separate from the male protagonist, she had her own hopes and ambitions, she was polite but firm. She loved her adoptive dad, and was as dedicated to the mission as any other in the program- a true professional without being a jerk to people. She was interesting in and of herself, and yet, and I can't stress this enough, the writers didn't have her throw other characters in a pit just so she could stand taller. Even her reasons for sparring with Raleigh was clear, professional, and damn he did ask her opinion. She wasn't perfect, she had flaws, but she overcame them with determination. Props to Raleigh too by the way. He didn't want her as co pilot because she was cute, he wanted her there because she was the right person for the job and it was a waste to have her benched! This was a male character who could have been written as profoundly insecure about having a woman who was his equal (or better in some areas), instead he was impressed and supported her own desire to be a pilot because he saw she had every right to it and they need good pilots. Mako Mori was an action girl, and a rather quiet dignified example of Girl Power done right imo.
  48. 3 points
    Of course ,superheroing being what it is, at least one bit of advice was sprinkled liberally during a fight. Superheroes, and heck, supervillains, can be a talkative bunch. Banter is part and parcel of the exchange. There were strong silent types to be sure, but try as I might, I never ascended to those stoic ranks. My grandpappy had once advised that it was better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt. Good advice. Wish I could bring myself to follow it. "Can you believe this guy?" I asked on the com as I traded blows with XTC. The villain hadn't taken his name based on some drug craze, the initials actually stood for 'Extreme Terror and Carnage', "And when we met, you thought Eel was a bad name." Viewpoint and I were not friends actually, though I liked who he had become, I just hadn't put in the time to really befriend him like I did the original team. That said, it had occurred to me that if I was going to be a co-captain for him and the others, I might want to start being a bit more social with him; so when a standard patrol came up for Viewpoint, I went with him. As big a dry spell we'd had recently, neither of us was expecting an actual supervillain, not even one with dubious taste in code names. "Still not crazy about it, Eel," Viewpoint lowered his shades needlessly to blast the villain with beams of pure energy, "But yeah, XTC does smack of trying way too hard. Though I give the guy credit for one thing. He does not want to stay down." XTC was strong, not as strong as me, but strong, fairly tough. His real power seemed to be hyper-recuperation. No sooner did you think you had him on the ropes, when the guy would spring up ready to go again. I had punched him a distance of at least twenty feet three times now and each time he got up like some weird Scrappy-Doo with the body of a Pro Wrestler throw away to come up again. Viewpoint's powers were proving about as effective as my muscle. Which is to say, quite handy to knocking him down, frustrating for keeping him down. "Yeah, this is getting farcical," I said, "Mind Shearing this George?" George was not Viewpoint's name, and in fact, had I said that loud enough to be heard, it wouldn't have betrayed much of anything. A lot of Lady Obsidian's battle commands were based on famous Jazz Musicians. Okay, famous in jazz circles. I had to look some of these guys up, but in a nutshell George Shears was a blind jazz pianist of English birth. The code ward was a clue to neutralize your foe's senses, if you could. Viewpoint? Viewpoint could! "On it," And he motioned XTC towards him in the universal gesture of 'come get some'. XTC needed no prompting! "You think I'm a joke? You will respect me!" And he charged towards Viewpoint. If it seemed like we were taking XTC lightly and that he might have a right to protest, well, not really. I learned long ago that even rookie villains could get lucky, pulling stunts not in their best interest where a pro would show a bit more savvy. Viewpoint was taking a chance here, and unlike myself, he was not blessed with enhanced durability against physical trauma. This didn't go right, XTC could get a lucky slam into him and cave in a rib at the very least. Once again, Viewpoint's eyes flared, this time with an immense brightness I knew better than to look into myself. XTC didn't realize he should take similar precautions, and he clutched at his face! "Mother @#$#er, I'm blind!" He snarled. See, this is how I knew XTC wasn't a professional villain. Not the cursing, that varies a lot. It was the announcing his new vulnerability for both of us to hear. I mean, I knew that was the case anyway, that was the plan after all, but calling your weaknesses out is a very rookie move. The blinding only caused XTC to veer a little off course, but with his arms out stretched like that he still might clip Viewpoint with all the power of a runaway pickcup truck. Fortunately, I wasn't slacking on my side of the job. I had already started moving towards him even as the blast went off, and interposing myself between XTC and Viewpoint, I tackled the former to the ground. Not only am I stronger, XTC had no proper balance when I collided into him. He went down like a sack of wet cement from a hard drop! "Cheating son of a -" He grunted as I put him in a full nelson and pinned his unseeing face into the street. "Careful now," I warned as I held him, "You really want to insult the mother of the man who's got you in this kind of grip?" Not really caring what his answer was, I said to Viewpoint "We got an ETA on when the Authorities with the suppressors will be here?" Viewpoint looked at me startled, "You didn't call it in?" "No," I said surprised, "I figured it would be a given with-" And I realized my mistake. Mabel wasn't on the Com. She was not the omnipresent, ever reliant and always on the clock A.I. anymore. She was now sporting a new body and plugged into our coms when she wanted to be. In short, she had a life. "Damn," I muttered, "Sorry, Viewpoint." "Don't apologize to me, feel sorry for yourself. It can take up to an hour for folks to get here with the right gear and ah, I ain't holding him, you are," Viewpoint pointed out. I made a face, "Well, sloppy of me. Talk about rookie moves." Even as I made the call. "It's not a rookie move at all," Viewpoint corrected me, "It's habit, and that's a sign of established patterns. It's your experience actually working against you." "Yeah," I said pondering exactly how long I could hold onto XTC. I was stronger, but given this guy's near inexhaustible stamina, I could be feeling a bit tired before the authorities showed. Then again, I once held up a building long enough to evacuate, so I'd probably be okay, "I suppose you have a point." I grunted. Mind you, despite being so close to XTC, at most he was hearing a mumble. Our com systems had a sub harmonic thing going for security reasons. Viewpoint re-positioned himself, getting a clear shot to blast the contained villain without hitting me if he need to, and continued, "You mind if I give you my viewpoint?" A weak smile. His play on his own hero name had been used in numerous commercials. He'd cut down on it when he became a legit hero, but the fact he used it now was kind of guy code for guiding me into something more serious. A little self depreciation as a way to soften what might be hard words. I spocked a brow at him, "Go ahead." "You're gonna have to change things up," He advised me, "You've got a new team forming under you, not just Slime, Pogo and me either." "I know that," I started to say, when abruptly XTC tried to flip me off! No, not a rude gesture, he bucked trying to break my grip on him hoping I got distracted. I made some cracks in the granite by whamming his head against it delicately, "Stop that," I told him out loud, "or I'm going to get annoyed." XTC groaned, then cursed, but he held still. "I know that," I repeated to Viewpoint wondering where he was going with this, "I hope to guide the rookies in easy." "Different people, different team," Viewpoint continued, "You're not Lady Obsidian." "Gee, thanks," I said feeling oddly challenged by the obvious statement. "You try to be her, you're going to flop. More importantly, these rookies aren't the crew you're used to. It's not just the whole social dynamic that's different, it's the components that make up the whole." Pretty fancy talk from a guy who used to sell burgers on TV, I thought, but I told him, "I've already gotten the every hero has their own baggage talk from Lady O." He nodded, then shook his head, the later catching me off guard, "Good, but not exactly what I mean. I'm talking about your baggage and their baggage all having to share the same cargo space. You've got your character flaws, and you need to own up to yourself about them so you can compensate for their flaws that will hit those buttons. This is going make the team different, make requirements different, and I dont' mean powerwise." "You know, Viewpoint, given your own past history, I'm not sure you get to judge people," I said a bit testy. I had felt unsure about teaching as it was, and this wasn't helping my concerns. Without lifting his arms, he held up hands in a no harm no foul intended motion, "Trust me, I get the hypocrisy involved here. You got the mote, I got the beam," he said using biblical terminology which surprised me. I guess I never thought of him as religious, and maybe he wasn't, but clearly he knew enough to borrow the metaphors, "But right now, I'm responsible for me, and whatever team mate I'm with at the time, you're going to be leading and teaching 24/7 more or less, or at least on call for the same. Higher stakes, higher standards. And also, you got to consider the ego conflict of being an echo." I blinked, that last part had totally thrown me, "The ego conflict of being an echo?" "Sorry, went through a period of a lot of self help books," He chuckled, "You know celebrities, we go through fad enlightenment like most people go through diet plans. What I'm trying to say is-" His eyes darted to the once again squirming XTC "Pardon, mind if I chip in?" "Gonna tear you apart!" XTC tried to lunge. "Oh go ahead," I said, "I'm feeling a bit conflicted about slamming this moron while he's 'technically' helpless. It sends a wrong message to any kids watching." Viewpoint's energy gaze hit with amazing accuracy avoiding my arms and catching XTC with a strike that dazed him. "Thanks," I took the brief moment to reposition, hoping that the guys would get here soon, "You were saying?" "What I'm trying to say," He resumed, "is that you do well to take what you learned and observed from Lady O about being a teacher and a leader, but if you try to be her, you'll just be an echo at best, and that's gonna eat away at your ego. And like wise, if you exepct these kids to be Pinprick, Tornado, and Arctic Fox next gen? They won't compare even when they don't screw up. They'll just be echos." "Don't you think they should be so lucky to be half as good as some of the others that we know?" I said, kind of sticking up for my friends, but trying to keep an open mind . "Young bloods don't settle for that, and when they do, it can turn into a lot of self loathing fast. That's a lot of maturity to ask of anyone. When I was a kid? You think I didn't want to be the good guy? Like Mr. Mega or Tour D. Force? You don't want what happened to me happen to these rookies." "You" I said cautiously, "You're a good man now, and a good superhero." "yeah, but before that I deliberately confused selfishness with wisdom and cynicism with insight, largely because I grew to resent trying and failing to emulate the greats so I just told myself they were fools and I was a fresh and happening new type of hero being a rebel." I was curious, it's hard to feel attacked when you realize someone is at least as hard on themselves as you, "Why do you think that was?" "Because, after a time of trying to climb on the top of the pedestal to join the idol you put up there, time and time again, slipping, falling, then trying and failing again to reach it," Viewpoint looked thoughtful, "After a time you just want to knock it over instead. It's small, it's petty, but it's human." It was good advice, and I get why he was saying it. Not to but in on my or Ariana's soon to be authority, but because he wanted to spare those kids the same mistakes he had fallen into. And maybe spare me as well. But the reminder I would have my own baggage, while not his emphasis, was also valued. "What do you think my flaws are?" And I slipped, asking out loud feeling oddly introspective for a moment. "You're a candy ass suck up to the authority of the status quo!" XTC managed to arch a leg up to kick me in the back, dislodging me enough to turn my full nelson into a half nelson. Half was enough for me to hang on as he tried to rise. Rather than settling for reestablishing a full grip, I took my free left hand and hammered the soon to be uglier side of XTC's profile with several rapid fire punches, "SHUT THE THE HELL UP!" I said , a punch with each syllable "AND STAY THE HELL DOWN OR I WILL BEAT THE LIVING #$#$# OUT OF YOU AND SEE IF YOU REGENERATE TEETH!" Finally, XTC went limp with a groan. "Well, for one thing," Viewpoint observed, staring at the bruised villain in my grip, "When pushed too far for too long you have an angry mean streak." I had to raise a brow, "What makes you think that?" But the authorities finally arrived, and I guess Viewpoint didn't think he had time to answer.
  49. 2 points
    "Floating fixed locations" is the terminology used in 6th edition. "Floating" because you can change it, and "fixed location" as a spot that you can teleport to.
  50. 2 points
    Bloomberg is a head scratcher for me. Note: The following is my opinion. "we're tired of having New York billionaire with tyrannical tendencies as President, so let's go get our own New York billionaire with tyrannical tendencies" He just doesn't seem to fit, to me.
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