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  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. 13 points


  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 12 points


  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 11 points


  14. 11 points
    Michael Hopcroft


    And I got my test results, and they're negative. Now if only I could find my keys...
  15. 11 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  16. 11 points

    In other news...

    maybe just a bust then
  17. 11 points
  18. 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.
  19. 11 points

    In other news...

  20. 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.
  21. 10 points
    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.
  22. 10 points
    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
  23. 10 points
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  28. 10 points


    Good for him. As a 40+ male with severe respiratory issues, he's very much in the high-risk category.
  29. 10 points
    Iuz the Evil


  30. 10 points
  31. 10 points
    Just hanging this out there. Artist for Hire. Have illustrated several 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition products. B/W or color. Ping me if interested please.
  32. 10 points

    Movies and TV Shows That are Great

    WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982) This hilarious sitcom not only had a great cast, but proved to be a showcase for Loni Anderson's talents. and as a reminder of how good this show was "As God is my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly."
  33. 10 points
    Hey, maybe the door doesn't swing that way...
  34. 10 points

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

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

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  36. 9 points
    I hope the Biden campaign relentlessly urges people to get out and vote. Scares them with the risk of Trump returning to office. It won't be enough for Biden just to win. I'm not accustomed to using extreme language, but Trump needs to be crushed under a landslide defeat. There must be no doubt that Trumpism is rejected in its birthplace, so that it's discredited around the world, and its toxic spread reversed. (I apologize if that's too harsh, and will edit my words if a moderator asks.)
  37. 9 points


  38. 9 points
    Duke Bushido


    For what it's worth, even a bandana (doubled over) will protect from spreading droplets. _However_ --- and you wouldn't believe how many times I have had this conversation with really thick-headed people: masks can also HELP SPREAD disease. No; I'm not kidding: surely someone else here has medical in their background: if you aren't changing your mask every time you change locations, there is an excellent chance you are spreading disease, even if you are protected from it. Let me break it down this way: A mask is a filter. As air is drawn through a filter, things that are "filtered out" get trapped on the outside because they can't get through. As air is pushed back through a filter, things on the outside of the filter get BLOWN BACK OFF, you friggin' redneck idiot! Oh, sorry..... Flashback..... No; not in their entirety-- some will stay trapped or at least better-adhered to the mask. _Some_. But not all. Not even half will be trapped, if it's a really high-quality filter (they are much less porous, meaning it's harder for things to get lodged in it). This is the reason that masks and other PPE are so damned critical in a healthcare setting: They have to be changed each and every time they change patients, or they _will_--- not "may," but _WILL_ carry any contagions from the first person to the second and each subsequent person. It works the same in every other possible situation: the more places you go, the more chance you have to get you a nice slathering of COVID all over the outside of that mask, and the more places you can blow it back off all over potentially uninfected people. Go you, you big damed hero, you. So remember: if you _really_ want to help spread Covid or any other microbe-caused ailment, put on a mask and gloves, and _leave_ them on, unchanged, as you run to the grocery store, the drug store, Sprawl-Mart, the gas station-- wherever it is you just _have_ to spread illness and death. Only got one mask? Then use it in only one place: stay your happy ass at home! In my own news: Second week drawing to a close. Still asymptomatic. Not being a moron, I completely understand that doesn't mean I don't have it: I could develop symptoms later, or possibly even be one of the fortunate few in every illness that simply doesn't develop symptoms. I know someone posted that meme a few days ago: "Check on your extrovert friends; they are not okay." This is Gospel Truth. I can't afford to sit _my_ happy ass at home, and thus far, both jobs have been accommodating, if in varying degree: primary job (the "Good" job ) has set me up doing straight-up equipment operation (which was only a small part of it before) and unloading trucks. Truck pulls up, I hold up a large sign that says "I have been exposed; call [my cell]" The sign is _huge_; I never have to get within fifty feet for them to read it. I wear a glass-worker's respirator with changeable filter pods. All the time. I feel like that tall skinny guy with the big coat in that Batman movie. I burn the pods in the incinerator when I change them. At any rate, I hash out with the driver that he is to un-secure everything on his truck and then get back in it. I unload it. I stop and spray down the whole damned truck with bleach when I'm done. I do not touch his securing equipment (though I do bleach it. So your chains will get a bit more surface rust; I'm sure you don't mind). I mean _everywhere_, not just where I might have been. He snaps me a picture of the BOL and the packing slips (if they are not on the pallets / materials) and texts it to me. I use that picture to check in the material, edit the photo with my signature across it, and text it back to him and e-mail it to the company from which the material was ordered. I e-mail a copy to my office, where someone else finished the paperwork (usually the guy who is normally unloading the trucks). He prints it and files it, etc. there are currently three other guys doing my inventory counts; all my spreadsheets have been e-mailed to me; I do it all from my phone with a blue-tooth keyboard: data entry, order estimates, purchasing, and all that entails. I spend a minimum of fourteen hours a day at this job. There are a lot of aspects of my job that I can't do-- at least, not until we know I'm safe. I'm trying to remote-train unskilled laborers to do bookkeeping, inventory management, projections, etc. It's not easy. The bright side is that the boss reports forklift bites are at an unprecedented low (go figure: I've only got forty-something years of equipment operation in my background and I tend to go to work every day with a lunchbox and a fresh can of give-a-damn. Beyond that, the Book tells me that if I truly honor God, then I will always do my best in all things. I can't remember a time when I didn't, even if my best sucked, I _knew_ it was my best. As I said, I spend a minimum of fourteen hours a day here. Forklifting isn't my favorite thing in the world, and it takes ninety-minutes to _truly_ bleach it down, too boot. I don't mind the skidder, but there's not a lot of work for it at the moment (and it takes like four hours to know I've bleached every square inch of it anyway!). I miss King Raoh. No; a pan loader (earth mover for those unfamiliar with the proper name) isn't a lot of fun, either, but if I've got to be by myself, at least it's noisy enough to keep my thoughts away. Besides, when you're done with a pan loader, you can point to an actual accomplishment. And I have to confess, driving over trees is _way_ more satisfying than you think it is. The guys out working the dirt for the new plant have all thanked me for what I've done so far, but have specifically asked that I not be back out there until we know I'm good, so no more King Raoh for a while..... The other equipment-- don't have a lot of use for it every single day, and as I've alluded to: disinfecting most of these things is _hell_. Fourteen hours a day, two weeks since I was exposed. I haven't been within one hundred feet of another human being, unless you count talking to my family through a closed door. Absolutely _not_ bragging here, because I actually _hate_ the damned thing, but my house is enormous. When we moved to this area (it's where my wife is from), we had forty-nine acres of woods and a six-acre pond with four spring heads in it. Nice and quiet. Private. We had a little brick two-bedroom house that I tore the roof off and added an upstairs to, giving us another bathroom and three more bedrooms. I loved that place. Then the house she grew up in came up for sale, and --- well you know the "happy wife" thing, I'm sure. So now I live in a freakin' three-story house with cavernous rooms- enough rooms that honestly, after fifteen years of living in this house, two of them still have absolutely no purpose whatsoever. All that on a 3/4 acre lot. Seriously. My wife's father (rest his soul) was a doctor, you see. A doctor who loved hosting parties, hosting guests, and hated yard work. Our first dress-up date was his funeral. Yeah, it's maudlin, perhaps morbid, but death is a perfectly natural part of life; we can't pretend that maybe one of us is going to get out of here without it. Currently, I live in the garage. Seriously. There is a full bath off the garage. There is a spare washing machine in the garage (originally bought for cloth diapers, which for some strange reason we still own-- so hey, you! Toilet paper hoarder! HA-HA-HA! You spent what? Eight hundred bucks on toilet paper? I spend twenty-five bucks on a used washing machine and ten bucks on two cases of bleach. I don't remember what the diapers cost, but I'm betting it was less than you spent on your horde of toilet paper..... I have blocked off the air vents and the air return (and sealed them, just to be safe) that feed the garage (yes; the garage is air-conditioned-- or was. I told you: my father-in-law did _not_ like to go outside. ) to make sure nothing gets into the air system for the house. I have sealed the door between the garage and the house. It's no big deal: I can replace the door if I get through this. I spray the thing down top to bottom when I get home, and again before I leave in the mornings. My kids put my supper and tomorrow's lunch on the stoop outside the side door (which I bleach the ever-loving _hell_ out of, every few hours, just in case). They leave me two quarts of coffee. I haven't seen them other than video calls for two weeks. I can hear my daughter in her room (it's right over the garage) practicing her singing as I write this (she has choir in school, and a clever teacher who has figured out how to do it remotely). I can't sit in front of her and smile or clap. I just hear the muffled singing. I haven't laughed or shared a joke with another human being in two weeks. The guys at work -- the ones that are usually under me-- are starting to loaf because I'm not there to scare them back straight. I haven't laughed; I haven't shaken a hand or patted a back or flashed a smile or seen a twinkling eye or whispered conspiratorially or in any way touched another human being in two weeks. I am sure some of you dream of that. I am an extrovert. I did not have to die to go to Hell. My daughter is still singing. It's killing me. At this point, I am almost hoping that I won't develop symptoms. Two of my co-workers (exposed by the same idiot that exposed me) are sick. They are both positive. The last I heard, one of them may be hospitalized: he has sickle-cell anemia, and evidently that makes it worse; I don't know. I know it does affect immune response. They are young, and things look good for them. I don't know why I haven't started to show. It makes me hope, but not too much. Other than my wife, I think I have mentioned this to only two other people-- one I consider a very good friend, and I don't have a lot of people I think that highly of (no offense; I don't know you people ). I am sixty. I look back at my life. I have made an lost two fortunes. I have had four children and buried two (and their mother). I have ralsed my youngest siblings only to have them forget I exist; I have "close family" I haven't heard from in thirty years. I have built things and had them smashed and repeated the cycle over and over until I am just too damned old and too damned busted up to do it again. I look at the plans I had for my life, and where my life went-- how everything turned out--- I see all these people panicking, doing any stupid thing they think my keep them alive-- stocking up on toilet paper; hoarding eggs, blaming politicians (how many do we have to blame for this to magically go away, anyhow? How the hell does breaking out the ol' Blamethrower _ever_ help? _EVER?!) and I realize that I really don't care. I really don't care one way or another. The world is a complete wreck, full of self-absorbed nitwits who, like me, will not rate so much as a footnote in history-- why do any of us deserve anything more than a coin flip? I hear stories about people stealing masks and meat from old ladies' shopping carts and fights over bleach-- it's not like I have any interest _at all_ in a world full of these people! Who the hell _would_?! Why are we fighting to save them? Or ourselves? Every single one of is someone else's complete dickhead, did you know that? Every one of us is someone else's useless meat bag, wrapped in skin that would better be used by burn victims. Some of us are better at pretending otherwise, or at deceiving ourselves, but ultimately, should I live (and daily it seems more likely that I will), I _still_ won't give a rat's rolly red rump about the bulk of the jerks in the world--- Jeff Bezos makes something on the order of thirty-two million dollars A MINUTE and yet he wants those of us working ninety-plus hour a week jobs to donate to help his 800,000 employees.... Someone who cares: do the math. How long, at thirty-two million a minute, would Jeff Bezos have to "work" before he could afford to give each one of his employees a million dollars? Ignoring that fact that he could do it right f'n _now_ if he wanted to.... I don't care. If I get it, I get it, and honestly, there's a lot about dying that, at this point in my life, is remarkably comforting. In other news, since I am still asymptomatic, I have decided to try something new: after being convinced that I could fit it in, I joined pbemguy's Top Secret game. I haven't made a character for _me_ in over a decade, and looking him over, I'm pretty sure he's cannon fodder, but what the Hell? The company I work for (the good job) has been amazing, not just for me, but for all the people that work there. There have been meetings-- not just with the owners and us management types (oh-- another new thing: conference-by-phone. Can't say I ever want to do that again), but with accountants and attorneys, etc. And me having to quell the young guys (again, by phone: I wish these dummies would learn to "pass it on;" I can't field two hundred copies of the same dumb question every day! I'm busy! The biggest complaint from the peanut gallery is "but they keepin' us here workin'! All they care about is they damn money!" Idiot children: That man is here, with you, with us-- every damned day. He is the _only_ person in this company with longer hours than mine. The only damned one! He is high-risk because of age and high-risk because of health, but he is here-- not locked in an office, but out here amongst us-- every damned day. Let's put this in perspective: I don't think anyone here really appreciates just how wealthy he is-- I rattle off just what _I_ know of, and eyes bug out. That man could close this place _forever_ any damned time he wanted to, and not only would _he_ never have to work again, his great-great-grandchildren would _still_ be millionaires! The only reason this place is still open is because he is genuinely concerned about _you dipshits!_. Look over at that parking lot! How many six-hundred-dollar cars do you see? Like maybe a hundred of them? How many of those six-hundred-dollar-cars have two-thousand dollar rims? Like ninety of them? (voice in the back: "Sheeeiiit! Mine's costed like thirty-two hunchrit!" No; I'm not making it up: that was a quote, and I can even tell you the kid's name. I actually like this kid, but it kills me how quick he caves to peer pressure.... ) (another voice: "Y'all stupit! Das why I _rent_ mines!" Seriously: three weeks ago, I learned you can _rent_ rims.... Why do we think we all want to live through this, again? ) How many of those six hundred dollar cars with two -thousand-dollar rims have thousand dollar stereos? Roughly every damned one of them? Am I close? Now how many of the people who _own_ those cars have more than fifty dollars in the bank _right now_? (silence) How many of you financial geniuses, who have invested so wisely in rims and stereos can make your rent, or your lights, or buy your babies some damned food if your paycheck is late even _one damned day_? This has been going on for weeks, and there's been talk about shutting down the whole damned country ever since California shut down, and how many of you have been laying in some extra groceries or putting extra money aside of even pre-paying some rent? How many? Not one damed person. _That's_ why we are still here, and still working: _exclusively_ because an incredibly wealthy man-- the kind who you love to bitch and complain about-- actually _cares_ about you dumb-ass baby makers and your total inability to see further than the liquor store you cash your check at. Seriously: this company has been great. Work has been "Volunteer only" since before I got exposed. Volunteers are getting a little extra, as with the reduced work force, there's more overtime (also volunteer only). The meetings with the accountants and the lawyers was to find out what grants and emergency funds were available to help provide full paychecks to the guys who have opted to shelter at home (no questions asked). The owner is making up the difference from his own pocket. Further, he's lined up people to come and speak to these dumb ass kids about financial responsibility, saving, investing-- learning how money works. No; I'm not kidding. He's been great. Every two hours, we stop (they stop: I'm not with them anymore, at least not for another two weeks, until we know) and bleach the entire plant, top to bottom (for what it's worth, at a 10/1 water-to-bleach ratio, it takes thirty-six gallons each time). I mean equipment, hand tools, everything. I was part of the project to restructure work flow so that no one was cooer than ten feet at any moment, and most of them are fifteen feet apart, so long as they follow the rules. There is a guy who wanders the floor doing nothing but checking temperatures every hour, sanitizing the men's room and the secure equipment rooms when he's not making his rounds. I can't say enough about the good job. Oh hey-- here's another thing: We build portable buildings: everything from storage sheds to classrooms to those little guardshacks you see all over the place. We build those. We have converted one line to build additional waiting rooms and triage units for local hospitals: the owner is paying for those out of his own pocket. Today he wasn't on the floor, which is odd. He spent most of the day in his office, calling each and every employee (we ran a skeleton crew today; not unusual on Fridays) who was going to be laid off (we got our shelter-in-place order today) for the duration _personally_, getting their cell numbers and texting them a list of websites that might offer assistance with baby needs, etc, telling them that they would receive full paychecks equal to their last paycheck for the next two weeks, and that he had gone to the trouble to start their unemployment claims should this last longer than two weeks. And the internet tells me nothing about people like him: just the Waltons and the Bezos and others like them..... The other job: The owners and higher-ups have been hermitically-sealed for almost a month now. Last week, the just stopped coming in. They have been busily checking all the regulations to find the right loophole to have us listed as "essential" so they can keep the doors open to the public and us traveling through it. Good news! They found it! so all the low-wage people can keep coming and exposing themselves to keep those coffers overflowing. Oh-- and when I told them I'd been exposed, I was told "well you've only got eight days of sick leave, so....." Joke's on them. You see, when I started back there, they didn't re-do my hire package: they just flipped the switch back on for my access, files, etc. So I _started_ the job with ten days sick leave and ten days vacation. And I work there _one day_ a week. I think I'm good. My daughter has stopped singing. I can hear the dog snoring (he likes to sleep in her room). I'm going to go cry now.
  39. 9 points

    Superhero Images

    Dr. Silverback's Iron Gorilla armor.
  40. 9 points


    We pause for a very special moderator advisory Okay , while I understand it is hard to avoid this getting political at times, the Duke has a point ..and I think some folks are forgetting what Simon said on page one of the Political discussion thread which I will quote below... So, perhaps try to down play the political side of things at least in this thread, and then go write the political view heavy posts in the other one.
  41. 9 points
    This is slightly off topic, and not addressed at anyone involved in this thread, but reading some of the comments has brought something to mind that I have been thinking about for some time. Also, if the tone seems a bit heated, I apologize in advance, but this is a topic that has been bothering me for a while, again, none of this is addressed to those posting in this thread. Over the many years of my sporadic RPG career, I have done a roughly equal amount of time as a GM and as a Player. I enjoyed both. I enjoyed playing because all I had to do was show up with a well-prepared character, or some good ideas if we were creating characters from scratch, and enjoy playing the game. I enjoyed GM'ing, because it gave me the chance to try my hand at creating an adventure that the players would enjoy, find challenging, and want to continue into a campaign. That is not the only difference. GM'ing is a metric buttload of work. I started out DM'ing AD&D. You had to create a plot, maps, monsters, treasures, traps, NPC's, atmosphere, background information, interesting things for each character to potentially do (traps and locks for the thief, appropriate stuff for the fighters to fight, people for the cleric to convert or heal, interesting magic stuff for the magic user to find, etc.). It might take a day of work for each hour the players were going to spend at the table. Champions is a little different, not as much "treasure" but way more NPC's and combat and plot. And I admit that I did enjoy the work I put into creating an adventure, mostly, but it was still work and took up a lot of time, which all of us seem to have less of as the years go by. I also enjoy cooking, and from time to time I invite people over for dinner. If I invite someone who does not like spicy food, I have no problem accomodating that. If I invite someone who loves baked beans, I will do my best to work them into the menu. However, since I am the one buying the ingredients, playing the host, and doing all the work preparing the food, I expect to get a certain amount of apprectiation for going to all the trouble. After all, there are plenty of restaurants that will cook the food you want, pretty much the way you want it, you just have to pay for it, and the more demanding you are, the more you usually have to pay. There are times when players, and I hope it is mainly players who have never GM'ed, give off a vibe like: "I want you to go out and buy every possible ingredient for every possible dish. Clean them, prep them, and have them waiting for my arrival. When I get there, I expect you to produce exactly the dish I am in the mood for, even though I may not know myself what I want. You think that you have to right to have some input into what you cook? How dare you! You can't bully me into accepting something that you enjoy too, this is all about me!" That example may be a little extreme, but I find the concept that the GM is just another player, with no more right to have the game suit him than anyone else, to be ridiculous. Maybe everyone else lives in a world that is crowded with GM's begging players to enter their games, but that has never been my experience. I always felt lucky that someone else was willing to put in all that effort so I didn't have to. That doesn't mean I would put up with a GM that was rude or abusive, but other than that, I was happy enough to be in a game to cut the GM some slack. I am not saying that the players are just there to act out the GM's play so he can sit back and watch it. But as much as the word "railroad" has been maligned in the RPG world, it is a great way to get a group of people to the same place at the same time! Perhaps the concept of "carpool" is more appropriate. Everyone is trying to get to the same basic place, at around the same time. If one of the group wants to stop off to pick up some drycleaning, or drop something in the mailbox, that is fine too, as long as everyone gets where they are going in time. But, if people are saying that if the guy who owns the car, buys the gas, and does all the driving, likes to stop off for a doughnut every morning, he doesn't have that right unless all the passengers want one too, that sounds like B.S. to me. After all, if someone just wants to come up with a story where their character, and all the faceless drones that follow it around, does exactly what he wants in a world made to accomodate him, they can do that. They call it writing a story. But to expect someone else to spend their time writing one for you, that exactly matches your desires, with little to no input from them, seems a little selfish. For one thing, if the GM is not the guiding the plot, who is? I always see comments about "the players", but if you think about it, would all the players want exactly the same thing? I mean obviously, if you start out with a bank being robbed, and one player wants to kill off the robbers by beheading them with her power sword, and one player wants to use his negotiation skills to talk the robbers out of a life of crime, and one player wants to go to the library across the street and research the history of the Federal Reserve, and the final player wants to have their character strike up a romance with one of the "rough-edged but dangerously attractive" bank robbers, you can't pursue all of those threads at the same moment, especially since the bank robbery is only being staged as a distraction while Viper is stealing the McGuffin across town and the players probably need to figure that out, if not now, at least soon. So, do you stop for a vote after each turn so see which direction the players want to jump? I believe that the problem is often not "The Players are not able to have Their characters do the things They want to." but instead, "I am not able to have My character do exactly what I want to, (and have all the other players and the rest of the game world go along with me)!" I have never seen someone suggest that the players should take some sort of vote, or express their opinions on which direction the game should go, it always seems to be assumed that if that power-mad GM would just get out of the way of the person who is talking, everyone else could follow them to the promised land. After all, if you are going to only please one person at the table, it might as well be the person who does all the work, not the person who does nothing but complain about the work that has been done, without actually contributing anything that would also make the other players happy. For some reason, many players seem to think that if the game was just run they way they want it to be, every thing would be great. And that's fine, if someone thinks they can do a better job than the GM, they should give it a try. Do the work. Spend the time. Come up with the kind of plot you like. Guide the game in the direction you see fit . . . Oh, but wait, isn't that railroading? 😁 ka.
  42. 9 points
  43. 9 points

    "Neat" Pictures

  44. 9 points

    What happened to HERO?

    Well, actually you are on the Hero boards and that thought is sacrilege Years ago I and others made the same arguments we were subjected to the BBS version of “shouted down”. My version was to create the equivalent of a D&D starter with prebuilt everything for a small standard fantasy game through the 3rd “level”. All the lists shortened to just the basic delving needs. Not details for builds in the “lists”. Just what it does and the final point cost. For example: Spell: Fire Bolt, does 4d6 Normal Flame damage. Cost ## char points. Weapon: Broadsword, 1d6+1. Cost ## gold. Just enough information to make 3-5 basic heroes that can go into a small dungeon and kill some goblins. And then “level up” a little. The entire point to to simplify the initial character build by pre-packaging as much as possible which allows new FH players to exercise the game system before having to learn the build system. An appendix in the “Fantasy Hero” starter would list everything that had been provided, weapons, spells, etc. and their point builds for the players after they have run through a few games and want to “customize”. Being able to compare a build they have actually played in a game to the rulebook is very helpful. Especially if they are self-teaching. Take a humdrum “standard” or “typical” party of PC’s 1st level Human Fighter 1st level Elf Ranger 1st level Human Wizard 1st level Halfling Thief 1st level Human Cleric There is practically no difference for these basic builds in D&D, Pathfinder, 13th Age, etc. A thief is a thief. A fighter is a fighter. And so on. The world they are placed into are also virtually identical, just bearing different sounding made up names/labels. I have personally mixed and matched adventures between the systems. The point is not to present a unique and exciting all-encompassing world. The point to quickly and easily present a few stereotypical PC’s and run them through a small number of learning/practice games. They can then use that experience to give them a perspective on the full rules. The difference between Hero and many other RPG’s is that most popular RPG rules give the players prepackaged options but do not actually release the underlying structure that was used to build the options. They give you the rules to play and build PC’s, but not the rules to make the rules. Hero plops the underlining rules needed to build everything and then expects everyone to simply understand with no frame of reference. With each edition of Hero, any intuitive understanding of the game concepts was drowned in the unbelievably verbose walls of text. At least in my opinion.
  45. 9 points

    My history with Heroes system

    Something in the title of this thread spoke to me. My history with Champions is so bound up with my real life that one couldn’t exist without the other. Around 35 years or so ago I was a guy in my 20’s and a girl I liked said “you like comics, I play a game that’s kind of a D&D for comic books.” “Come see if you like it.” So I went. If she said “Hey, every Saturday night we cut off our own heads, wanna come along?” I would have gone. I knew a couple of the people vaguely and I did have fun. The next two decades or so just kind of flew by. Some of that group and others that I met along the way became the best friends I’ve ever known. Others became enemies. A very few are closer to me than my own brothers. I became Godfather to the children of the “kid” I first got to know when driving him in to Boston to play after inviting him to join our group. He’s a man now of course and a Captain of Firefighters. (a REAL Hero) He met the lovely woman who would become his wife over a Champions game. The games came and went. GM’s and players did the same. Some friends have passed away, and when we remember them we always end up saying that they’ve just gone ahead to save us the “good table” in a room with a blackboard to put up a Dex Chart. Time and circumstance has spread us across the map although we stay in pretty constant touch. And I myself haven’t picked up a set of dice in a decade or more, but I think about those days often. Times both spent at the Game table and away, love and laughs and inside jokes we now have to clean up so we can explain them to the kids. Thinking about the title of this thread made me want to say to those who created this sometimes silly game and may have thought this a small accomplishment in a big world....Thank You for what it’s meant to the life of just this one player.
  46. 9 points
    What I got from Obama's statements is that he's found the self-professed "woke" are (a) often feeling smug and self-satisfied that calling out problematic behavior and statements is enough, without recognizing the need to take further action; (b) that they are rigidly judgemental, not accepting that flawed people can also be good people, and that you can still share values with people you disagree with.
  47. 9 points

    Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

    I don't think it was teh bunneh...to give a bit of credit here, this is likely just advanced planning on Trump's part, though it is giving away his intentions in regards to the Mexican-American War (we never said we'd protect the southwestern states forever). Once he renegotiates the peace treaty and pulls our troops out, Mexico will have control over Texas, Arizona, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Nevada. It is to be assumed that western Colorado will be used as a bargaining chip by Pence during the cease fire negotiations.
  48. 9 points

    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.
  49. 9 points
  50. 9 points

    Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

    So much wrong with this I don't even know where to begin. And I say that as one who has a conservative bent when it comes to illegal immigration. Pardon, it used to be conservative- now, because I don't like the idea of tearing families apart and placing kids in concentration camps I'm apparently a hippie or what not. Folks should come through the doors our country provides, but those doors? They need to be OPEN and ready to receive. We have a moral and ethical obligation to help those coming here seeking freedom and democracy, who cannot achieve it where they come from. As soon as they say the Oath, they're as American as any one who has some great great someone or another that stepped off the Mayflower. And there's a good chance they can answer more questions about our Congress to boot. THEY had to take a test. I know some others will disagree, but the way I see it... You become an American, everything good about the United States of America becomes yours to take pride in. That's right, if you're born in Ethiopia or Thailand or wherever, come over here, earn your citizenship you get to be proud of the moon landing? WHY? Because you have just as much right to be as any other American of this generation and we should treasure what's best in us, cultivate it, and yes damn it be a bit proud. It's like cheering your home team when it's not YOUR ass making a touch down, you still cheer. On the flipside, while you don't have to take the blame for every bad thing America or Americans did- You do gain a sacred responsibility to keep those dark days from happening again. Trying to live up what is best in our country, fighting hard to fix the worst and keep old evils from rising again is the duty of anyone who claims to love their country. Waving the flag is cheap, making it worth waving is what matters. There are going to be a lot of disagreements on what it will take to embrace the best, deny the worst. We're not all going to agree. Welcome to a Democratic Republic! We all love the rags to riches story. We all love the idea of folks coming with nothing and through hard work and sweat making it big. But to me that is not the American Dream. It is the FREEDOM to chase your dreams that is what matters. Some want wealth, some want safety for their family, some want the chance to do something they love. A few want to help their fellow man. You have the chance! But thanks to racist bullcrap like Trump and his goons are trying to enact into policy multitudes wont' even get the CHANCE to prove themselves legally? We won't even offer a hand to them as they come in? To assume that because of WHERE they came from, what they own, and not who they are, that they cannot be worthy of freedom? That we can't let them have legal means to join us? That is racist, regionalist, hateful, and let's just admit it, a betrayal on a moral and ethical level so profound that it is treasonous to the American soul. I'm so pissed right now I could shove a flag pole up some bigot's ass! "In God We Trust" is our current motto, but your actions determine who you are giving worship to. Right now? Trump is the high priest of fear and greed, and I didn't sign up to kiss the asses of either Phobos OR Mammon. It sickens and disgusts me that so many of my fellow citizens are gladly puckering up.
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