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Everything posted by sinanju

  1. For the Germans...Storm Trooper. He can summon winds, rain, lightning, etc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. I hung in until the big crossover event (which was, frankly, pretty underwhelming in my opinion, sadly), but since then I've stopped watching Supergirl or Flash or Legends. I just can't bring myself to care. I *wanted* to like them, and I did for a long while despite the often juvenile character relationships and the mind-bogglingly stupid plot contrivances. But it all just finally came to a head and I deleted the OnePasses from my Tivo. (And the Myxy episode just confirmed a long-held suspicion of mine--the timeline we're watching is always, ALWAYS the best of all possible worlds. Even if a given alternate timeline is better in some way for our protagonist, that improvement in his life will always be paid for by horrific changes for everyone else.)
  7. That was almost exactly my experience as well. I loved the early seasons, but eventually lost interest.
  8. Stargate would get my vote as a great tv show. I liked its premise--contemporary Americans exploring the universe with contemporary weapons, equipment and tactics. The only maguffin they had at the beginning was the stargate itself. I also liked that, as time went by, they accumulated some sci-fi gadgets (zat guns, in particular). I liked that they were pretty good about consistency--facts established early on were kept in mind in later episodes. (For instance, that wormholes could only remain open for 38 minutes--usually--and that the dialing computer was slower than a DHD were plot points in a number of episodes.) What I think made the show as inventive as it was, was the premise. They had no spaceships, so the writers couldn't fall back on fifty years Trek-based tropes. They had to write stories around the premise. This was, alas, also where they fell down in later seasons. In the first season, it took the Goa'uld almost a year to reach earth by ship, just in time for the first season cliffhanger. By the end of the series, Earth had several warships traveling between the Milky Way and Atlantis in weeks or months. And once they had ships on the show, they fell victim to every single Trek-based cliche imaginable. Shields failing, structural integrity being whittled away, beaming up, beaming down, space battles at knife-fighting range, all of it. We saw less and less of the gate, too. Which took away everything that made Stargate unique and interesting. But those early seasons (and some episodes of later seasons) were wonderful.
  9. Yeah, if it's not my favorite, it's in the top three.
  10. Oh come on! It's not like it wasn't COMPLETELY OBVIOUS that he'd come back as a zombie after he got swarmed by them on that away mission. They never found his body, so you KNEW he wasn't really most sincerely dead.
  11. Oh, yeah. They have that at my local store as well. Red squares with footprints for people to stand proper distance from one another while waiting in line.
  12. My local Albertsons has a clear plexiglass shield between the checker and the customer. They will bag your groceries if you accept paper bags from them; if you bring your own reusable bags, you have to bag them yourself.
  13. But only if they can blame Republicans and/or Trump. I haven't watched television news or read a newspaper in decades (9/11 aside), and I'm happier for it. I can get any news I really need on the radio or the internet. I've been out of my house twice this week. Once to the grocery store for needed foodstuffs, and today to buy lunch from the Popeye's drive-thru before doing my laundry in an empty laundromat. Otherwise, I work from home M-F during the day and spend my evenings reading or watching tv or working on games. My girlfriend continues to work with COVID patients, so even when she's not working she can't visit. That sucks. Otherwise, I don't mind being alone most of the time.
  14. As they should. Whether she has the virus or not, she's forcing the market to take precautionary action (tossing a lot of otherwise perfectly good food) that costs them money.
  15. We could have, but we voted against her.
  16. I threw out my idea (for dealing with multiple fantasy races) on another thread. They're all the creation of some ancient civilization (elder gods, traditional gods, ultra-tech/magical mortal civilization, whatever), and effectively different breeds of humanoid. Humans are what you get when any of the other races don't carefully police their bloodlines, i.e., mutts. The elves (and dwarves and goblins and et cetera) have specific appearances (as opposed to humans, who can vary widely) because that appearance is *the definition* of an "elf" or "dwarf" or whatever (again, like breeds of dog). Vary from it by too much, and you're considered a "half-elf" (etc). Vary even farther, and you're just another mutt (i.e., human). Some cultures practice infanticide on those who don't meet the criteria, others will simply banish you, or just view you as definitely a second-class citizen or worse, and would never let you marry their daughters. In this world, humans are more numerous than the other races (they can breed like rabbits and nobody cares--other races have to police such things, so tend to be fewer in number), but also the least respected--albeit, to quote the News Monster from Futurama, "numerous and belligerant." This is *why* elves are graceful and beautiful (they were playthings). Dwarves were bred to labor in mines and other enclosed places. Halflings were intended as quiet, unobtrusive servants). Giants, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, and the like were bred as cannon fodder. More exotic forms ( minotaurs, for instance) were bred to be hunted for sport. This rationale satisfies my desire to explain how and why so many different intelligent races co-exist.
  17. Slaying Monsters for the Feeble, by Annette Marie. Second book in a series (the third drops on Thursday). The heroine, Robin, has accidentally become a Contractor (i.e., someone who holds a demon in thrall based on a contract). Contracting is a thing in her world, where magic is common and widely practiced (in secret), and demon summoning is well known and regulated by the magical authorities. Demons are bound by lengthy, detailed contracts in return for the summoner's soul when he/she dies. Except for Robin's demon. They made a very hasty verbal agreement to avoid both being killed by bad guys trying to bind the demon, and using her as their sacrifice. her demon is bound to "protect her" (as HE defines protecting her, since she didn't specify) in return for...cookies she bakes. (He likes her cookies, and she refused to part with her soul, and they were under severe pressure, so....) Unlike most bound demons, he retains free will and his magic, and if anyone finds out they'll both be put to death because an unbound (or loosely bound) demon is insanely dangerous. I like this series, which is a spin-off series of another set in the same world, following the adventures of Tori, a human (i.e. non-magical) bartender for one of the magical guilds, along with the three powerful (and hot, of course) mages she hangs out with.
  18. Well, see, I'm not opposed to paying for access to an ongoing game like that. Sometimes. I've done so in the past, though I so seldom play computer games (especially online games) anymore that it wouldn't be worth the money now. It's discrete software packages (Office, Excel, publishing software, and so forth) that I refuse to pay for on an ongoing basis. Either I own it or I don't.
  19. Yeah, that point for me was the end of S1 of LOST, and I did care. A lot. Because it meant a lot of the stuff we saw--the polar bear, the smoke monster, the hatch...ultimately meant nothing. And I didn't care much for the characters because they were (in my opinion) too stupid to live in most cases. Same reason I never got into The Walking Dead. I can't care about characters (and their conflicts, growth, relationships, etc) if I find them to be ignorant morons who would all have long since been eaten by walkers if they weren't wearing plot armor. On the other hand, I'll forgive wooden acting, laughable SFX, and cheap sets...if the writing is tight, and the characters are smart. I like Brisco County, Jr. I'm a big fan of Bruce Campbell. But I thought the main bad guy (whose name I can't even recall now) was horribly miscast and/or a horrible actor. I thought several of his minions were FAR more entertaining to watch. "You touched Pete's piece! Nobody touches Pete's piece!"
  20. Yeah, and The X-Files (Chris Carter, not Abrams). I was a big fan of that show---until I realized there was no master plot of The Conspiracy (tm) above Chris Carter's desk, that he was just making **** up as he went. I continued watching the show, but only really cared about the "Monster of the Week" episodes that had nothing to do with the overarching "plot".
  21. I don't hate JJ Abrams. I don't allot him that much brain space. But I have no use for him. I watched the first season of LOST, but gave up after that because it became clear me at that point that there was no "there" there. That he was happy to create an endless series of mysteries, but there was no answer forthcoming--well, other than an ass-pull at the eleventh hour, if that. Life is too short for that kind of crap.
  22. I like Classic, but while I still have a bunch of classic Traveller books and a bunch of supplements and JTAS supplements, I only have my original Book 3. The first two basic books have gotten lost in the last 40 years and umpteen moves. Funny how that happens. I *have* the Hero Traveller books, but they don't appeal to me. I'd run GURPS Traveller if my gaming crew were up for it, but they don't like GURPS. Plus, with either one I'd end up doing a lot building/conversions of weapons and equipment. So I'm going to go with Mongoose 2nd Edition Traveller. I have the Core Rules, Companion, High Guard, and Central Supply Catalog. That's pretty much everything I need all in one ruleset. Plus, if I'm gonna play a game from my personal Golden Age of Gaming, I want to use essentially the same game. So there I am.
  23. Nope. Not gonna happen. I considered that. I considered running GURPS Traveller. In both cases, it's too much work for too little return. When/if I run my Traveller game, it's gonna be straight-up Traveller (Mongoose 2nd Edition flavor). If my Champions group don't want to try it, I'll find another group somewhere for it. (Maybe online, at this point....)
  24. Nope. No subscriptions. It's nothing but a money grab. If I buy Software 1.0, and it serves my purposes, I don't need or want anything more. IF and when I find it lacking, I can *choose* to pay for an upgrade (Software 1.1 now with flavor!) or a whole new iteration (Software 2.0). But I'm NOT going to pay a monthly or annual subscription just to maintain access to a product I bought.
  25. Except that it's not. I agree with Duke Bushido on this. Transform *actually* turns you into [whatever]. Multi-form *actually* turns you into [whatever]. Shapeshift only presents the ILLUSION that you have turned into someone or something else. And illusion that, unless you buy every sense group in existence, will always be seen thru eventually. Next time I want to play a shapeshifter, I'm going to use Transform vs Self.
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