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sinanju last won the day on November 30 2016

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  1. Yeah, I read a few of them wa-a-a-y back in the day, just to see what all the fuss was about. The most interesting thing tome was how the hero, Tarl Cabot, was initially horrified and repulsed by the sexual slavery aspect of Gor culture--but very quickly came to see it as right and proper.
  2. Here's an idea: instead of a single, unified game world, maybe provide options? Characters, organizations, artifacts, adventure ideas--they all could be tagged to indicate what sort of background assumptions work for them. [Character A] exists in a world where superpowers only came into existence a few years ago. [Character B] exists in a world where Pulp Heroes first appeared in the early 20th century, but now costumed supers are common. [Character C] has lived for millennia, revered as a god in the ancient past, and now is part of a team of modern-day superheroes. [Organization X] was formed as a supernatural adjunct to the Third Reich and is still around today. [Organization Y] was formed in the 1990s in response to the sudden appearance of superhumans. GMs looking at the wiki could see which characters/organizations/etc would fit the background they want for THEIR campaign. And they'd be able to see quickly which ones would need some work to fit.
  3. My late father once told me about a sheriff of his acquaintance when he was young who was notoriously corrupt. Said sheriff routinely included "graft" as a category of income on his taxes precisely so that the IRS could not go after him for failing to report income (and because his tax returns could not be used as evidence against him in criminal trials). Absent any other evidence of his corrupt behavior, he got off scot free. My dad also told me about a general store that was burgled once when he was a kid. The general store included a post office. The burglars drew a chalk line around the post office section with a note that "We didn't cross this line." They weren't concerned about the local cops, but they didn't want the Postal Inspectors on their asses.
  4. Self-employed writer selling books on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, etc. You can make your own hours, and if you're at all prolific, you can make a decent living (or even get rich) in relatively few hours per week, allowing you to spend more time crime-fighting. Also, even if your face is known to the public, if you keep your nom de plume secret, nobody will know that it's Iron Maiden writing all those pulp-style thrillers. (I have a PC, Iron Maiden, who is in fact doing just this.)
  5. Speed Freak (he took uppers to speed, downers to throttle down to normal human speeds). Mach the Knife (a speedster with a knive and bloodlust).
  6. Really? I've been reading about outrageous abuses of "no knock" warrants (and the deaths of innocents as a result) for a very long time. Ditto the "asset forfeiture" scam that permits the authorities at the local, state, and federal levels to commit blatant robbery, which has also been going on for decades. Just goes to show: you learn something new every day. You--that "no knock" warrants even exist. Me--that despite how well known they seem to me, plenty of people still haven't heard of them.
  7. Or steal the idea from the short-lived Morituri Project comic from Marvel (I think): the drug gives you superpowers--but it WILL kill you within a year. Who would take such a drug? In the comic, people willing to accept an inevitably short but glorious career fighting an alien invasion. In a more conventional superhero world? People with terminal diseases who figure, "Why not?" People willing to trade their own lives in return for the chance to get revenge on an individual/group/nation/the world. People willing to trade a short, glorious career as a superhero (or supervillain) for a long life of poverty/misery/etc. And, of course, people who don't know (or don't believe--it's propaganda, guys!) the drug will kill them.
  8. The first thirteen years of my role-playing experience took place primarily in one gaming group, under--with rare, short-lived exceptions--one GM. Said GM was a huge fun of pulp fiction (SF, fantasy, all of it). Every player had several characters to choose from, and we mixed and matched them from one adventure to the next. As such, getting captured and escaping were staple plot elements. As were recurring villains. And most of the time we went along with it. But not always. Occasionally, one or more of the players would decide, "not this time." Death before capture. And we would follow through, doing our damnedest to win, or die in the attempt. We didn't always succeed--we weren't playing Hero System, it was homebrew system, but being rendered unconscious and not killed was always possible. So sometimes we all got beaten down and woke up in a dungeon. But usually the GM would see the rebellion brewing and back off on the taking captives things for a bit. Ditto for recurring villains. I've always disliked this more than being captured in a pulp-style game. On one notable occasion, a recurring villain came to the PCs to ask for aid in a bigger fight against a much worse villain. Thing is, I didn't believe it. My character didn't believe it. And I refused to go along, to the extent that the other PCs concocted an excuse to get my PC out of the room while they negotiated with the villain. In response, I blew a hole in the wall with a grenade and went in to do my best to murder the NPC villain, and nearly killed another PC in the process. I failed. I also made the player of the nearly-murdered PC (the GM's then-girlfriend and late wife) very angry (she was very attached to said PC), and the GM had to talk her down out-of-game from hiring an NPC assassin to kill my character. (Those two PCs never adventured together again after that.) On another occasion, my character was killed and resurrected as a zombie by the Big Bad of a particular adventure. (To be fair, the GM knew--and I knew--that my character would eventually recover from this due to magical preparations I'd made against dying earlier in the campaign.) Eventually my PC realized he was dead, and a zombie, which broke the spell. He fell over dead, and was magically resurrected by the spell I'd prepared earlier. We fought the bad guy and stopped his evil plan, but he escaped. End of session. On the drive over to the GM's house for our next session, another player and I discussed this state of affairs and found it Completely Unsatisfactory. We arrived at the game and announced that, no, we were not embarking on whatever adventure the GM had planned for us that night. Our characters were setting sail in pursuit of the bad guy (who'd sailed away last session), to capture and execute him. No quarter asked or given. We would chase him "through Perdition's flame" if necessary to get our revenge. The other players happily joined us in our stated mission. To his credit, the GM rolled with this change of plans and we did, in fact, chase down the bad guy and defeated him in pitched battle with him and his men, before putting him to the sword. And he never returned to trouble us again. My point? I think player dislike of being captured, or of recurring villains, and the rest has more to do with how heavy-handed the GM is about using those tropes than the tropes themselves. As I say, our GM loved him some pulp adventure tropes, and mostly we rolled with it. But occasionally we got tired of endlessly getting captured and escaping, or of fighting the same villains over and over again and never getting a real win. And we rebelled. And our GM generally saw the writing on the wall and eased up on such things for a while.
  9. Wait. What? That's the first I've heard that they'd put him into a patrol car--and then took him OUT again to kneel on his neck? I've been saying that if he were resisting even while handcuffed, put him the back of a patrol car where he a) can sit up and breathe, and b) won't be a threat to anyone. But he was IN a patrol car and THEN they killed him? [bad words here]
  10. Traditionally, wizards/mages/whatever have always been rare. If just anybody can learn magic and use it easily, that's certainly a viable campaign environment, but it doesn't fit historical model (where mages, real or imagined, were rare) or mythology or fiction. If that kind of Xanthian "Everybody has magic!" campaign is what you're after, go for it. But most campaigns are going to have relatively few mages. And as Chris said, if you're gating off magic to that extent, giving mages access to Multipowers isn't unreasonable.
  11. For the Germans...Storm Trooper. He can summon winds, rain, lightning, etc.
  12. It occurs to me that one way to deal with the issues raised is to decree as GM, "No combat spells allowed." Mages learn magic to do OTHER THINGS. A "wizard" is a wise man (or woman). He KNOWS things that most people don't. That means lots of interesting knowledge skills, and spells that let him learn things (Detects, Mindscan, etc). It doesn't necessarily mean he flings bolts of arcane energy to smite his opponents. If a mage wants to learn, say, staff skill in order to be able fight with the staff he probably carries anyhow, then great. Ditto with a bow, or even a sword. (Gandalf used a sword, as I recall). Or whatever. But his spells simply don't apply themselves to combat situations. Why? You're the GM. You tell me. Maybe magic requires time and concentration that is unavailable in a combat situation. Maybe a lot of things. But a mage who can start a fire with magic in the middle of a blizzard or a rainstorm doesn't necessarily have the ability to generate a fireball that would have an effect in combat. A wizard who can probe the deepest thoughts and most sacred memories of a willing subject, or a captured opponent, doesn't necessarily have the ability to give him a good mental whack in the middle of melee. And so forth. That doesn't mean a wizard can't be useful to an adventuring party, or even help them with combat. Maybe he casts buff spells on his teammates every morning. Or heals them after the battle is over. Or uses his uncanny knowledge in numerous ways to help them achieve their goals. But when orcs (or whatever) come leaping out of the bush wielding weapons, he won't be throwing fireballs and lightning bolts or clubbing them into unconscious with his mind. With his staff? Maybe. But not his mind.
  13. Well, yes, they're unpleasant--but, in my experience, not nearly as unpleasant as I was led to believe before my first one. Like many things, the unpleasantness grows with each retelling. I'm not looking forward to my next one, mind you, but it's just...unpleasant.
  14. My campaign (currently on hiatus while I run a Traveller game online) is one in which superpowers are new. It's been just over a year since the Wild Card virus imbued 7,000 residents of Hudson City, NJ with superpowers. It's been a chaotic year, to nobody's surprise. The current approach is placing captured superpowered bad guys into a single federal prison where the warden is a Wild Card. Her power is the ability to a) boost the stats of normal people to haman maximum for a period of several weeks, and b) to neutralize the powers of wild cards for an equal length of time. So she empowers the guards to Captain America-like levels (as well as a select number of federal agents) regularly, and keeps the prisoners' powers suppressed. This is, obviously, a stopgap solution as it depends entirely on her willingness and ability to continue in this position indefinitely. But it has given the authorities *some* option for holding otherwise unstoppable bad guys safely, reducing the likelihood that defeated bad guys will be summarily executed. This was not planned, by the way. I introduced the warden as a lieutenant of the first campaign season's Big Bad. Her power is invisible, so the first time the PCs tried to fight after running into her, they got a nasty surprise when they were reduced to their normal pre-Wild Card stats (and no powers). The Big Bad had "the gift of gab" and had persuaded her to work with him. Once she was freed of his influence, she turned state's evidence against him in return for immunity for her own behavior--and it occurred to the authorities (i.e., me the GM) that she could be very useful to them. So now she works for them.
  15. Also--do the AUTHORITIES know the supervillains' secret identities? If so, that makes things considerably harder for the former victims now supervillains. If not, as long they abandon the supervillain identities, they should find it considerably easier to build new lives for themselves.
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