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Stephen Mann

HERO Member
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About Stephen Mann

  • Rank
    Competent Normal
  • Birthday 06/28/1962

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  • Occupation
    Instructional Designer
  1. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it... I just finished Edison's Conquest of Mars which I got from Project Gutenberg. It's been a while since I read material from that era, and had forgotten the typical tropes; Great Men of Science, beautiful and delicate Girls of Virtue, Indescribable Evil Beyond Human Comprehension, blah, etc. Fairly tedious, and yet, also, fairly nostalgic. There's a certain charm to these early stories, especially since we can see where our more modern tropes came from.
  2. Nope, it was (I think) Gary Ritzenthaler's at SUNY Geneseo. The problem is that I was in a couple of different campaigns all at the same time, and after 20 years, I have problems remember what happened in which group.
  3. After 20 years, I don't remember. All that I do remember about it was that we didn't discover what it did in that session. We actually held on to it for a while before we either lost it or used it.
  4. You've reminded me of an AD&D game from my college days roughly 20 years ago. We were in a dungeon and had found a wand. Nobody had an easy way of identifying it's function (magic), so the GM said we'd have to use the old trial and error method. Two hours later (Real Time), we're all disgusted because we can't figure what the damned thing did. We've tried all reasonable guesses, and many unreasonable guesses. The one that broke the group up, though, was this: The dwarf fighter has just been handed the wand for his try. Dwarf: "I spit on the ground and step on the spit." DM: "What for?" Dwarf: "To see if I can walk on water. Does it work?"
  5. Vacuum Diagrams by Stephen Baxter, a collection of short stories and excerpts from his other books that covers his Xeelee future history. Good reading, though I was a trifle annoyed with three different stories dealing with the same theme; discovering nonhuman intelligent life in the Solar System.
  6. It helps to be the scribe From an old AD&D game: We're fighting a group reputed to be much more powerful than we are. After a few rounds, the other group tries to intimidate us with their massive reputation. Our fighter/mage is dueling the other team's weaponmaster, who's supposed to be practically unbeatable. The F/M responds to the weaponmaster's taunts with: "My weapons are bloody, are yours?" Later, we were facing waves of undead. My cleric had turned the first few groups, then botched his turn rolls on the next couple. When the others accused him of incompetence: "My holy symbol gets tired after a while!" We'd been fighting hobgoblins for a while, and were really getting sick and tired of them. The fighter/mage declares: "I see a hobgoblin, I kill the man wearing it." In an underground city, we needed some prisoners to interrogate. While fighting a bunch of derro, our mage fireballs a group of richly dressed temple leaders who used some kind of Horn magical item to attack us. They would have been good sources of information, so we were a bit peeved at the mage. His reply was: "They blew a horn right at me, what was I supposed to do?" To the (new) unscrupulous fighter in the group who had problems hitting in his first few fights: "They're unconscious, Oridio, we'll let you kill them." The mage insulting the ranger: "The only inanimate object I talk to is Jimmy." - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - In the very temporary Aberrant game, the energy blaster is facing a foe who is immune to energy blasts. Desperate, he tries to impress his opponent with his martial arts battle cry: "Hong Kong Phooey! General Tsoa! Kung Fu!" Our group split up to case the grounds of a public ceremony we were supposed to protect later in the day. Our telekinetic didn't return until after the ceremony started: "I was getting my mustache darkened." - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - During a Rifts game, the group is watching a gladiator prize fight. In this particular fight was our blond, blue-eyed ex-military team leader versus the new guy on the team who was playing the chaotic stupid jerk. Everyone bet their money on the team leader (and won). The jerk asked later why we had done that. The most polite answer was: “Always bet on the blonde.†Assorted lines I don't remember the circumstances for: “You really are an idiot, aren't you?†“The time for subtlety is gone.†“Now that it’s been explained to me, it makes sense!â€
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