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Hugh Neilson

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Everything posted by Hugh Neilson

  1. Followed by "Computer Programming also allows characters to penetrate computer systems electronically (commonly known as “hacking” or “cracking”) and to create security for computers. The character may attempt to discover access codes, gain information, conceal tampering, extract information from data banks, defeat computer-assisted Security Systems, falsify records or other data, and so on." It does not say you are qualified to get an entry-level position using the skill under close supervision. "PS: Secretary" will get you eonugh word processing knowledge to format documents and find your backups when it crashes. Computer programming will be imaging the drives and integrating the office's HW and SW. 14- is a master with the skill. 16- is one of the best in the world. 12- manages those qualified to get a job in the field. The skill is computer programming, not using a user interface designed by a team of 11- computer programmers managed by a 12-.
  2. A 1 point investment for Familiarity is not too much to ask, and an 8- isn't going to hack NORAD anyway.
  3. Enjoyed it. Not the classic comic book character, but between having no rights to Fu Manchu, not that the character would be acceptable in the 21st century anyway, and needing a character and a story that fits centrally in a super-heroic universe, it was pretty clear they weren't going that route.
  4. Is a lawyer required to bring a lawsuit forward, or can a cottage industry of self-represented litigants making their living as abortion law bounty hunters develop? How many cases, especially of that nature, would be settled by paying a claim to the individual initiating the lawsuit? "Well, you can spend your resources to fight the claim, or pay me $1,000 now to make me go away, knowing that, if you lose, I get at least $10,000, plus my legal bills." 5 settled claims a month on that basis is a $60,000 annual living. I suspect the Courts will take some action if they start to see huge numbers of such cases taking resources away from their other responsibilities. I'm still waiting for a law to ban abstention. "Those poor kids didn't even get a chance!"
  5. Not if you want to have multiple swarms acting independently. It all depends on the effect you're looking for.
  6. First, I did not say "kept in prison indefinitely", I said "unemployable". Second, I asked which crimes were similarly unforgivable, and did not suggest that all crimes are unforgivable. But I am not the one(s) suggesting that his actions were unforgivable either. Finally, if we are addressing degrees of guilt, isn't a stupid choice of a hallowe'en costume decades ago pretty low? More a misdemeanor than a felony; perhaps just a traffic violation? If he had dressed up as Hannibal Lecter instead, would you be suggesting we keep him away from people under medical care, as we would not want to risk him deciding to have a snack?
  7. I keep telling myself I will make that insect-based character who can Summon swarms of bugs some day...
  8. What are they paying that initial 40 points for? They could have had an 8 DC attack, +15/+15 defense, 10 resistant. +4 SPD or +4 OCV and +4 DCV. I would suggest the creature's willingness to fight is both campaign-dependant and creature-dependent. If you encountered this creature in a normal encounter, would it be similarly reluctant to engage in combat? Under this model, I think I would use Summon (if I used it at all) to Summon skill monkeys, transport, beasts of burden or similar, since you seem determined that the power not be useful for combat.
  9. This, exactly. An Angel need not be amicable to choose to target a Demon. The Angel might even be grateful to be summoned to deal with such a threat. A Summoned wolf may be less inclined to engage in combat with a flaming, brimstone-scented demon. A lion is likely easier to persuade into combat than a sheep. A PC will certainly engage in combat for someone they are on amicable terms with, or often someone who shells out some cash. Are they so unusual that Summons should behave markedly differently?
  10. A very good question. If even the possibility of change cannot be acknowledged, and the stains of one mistake remain forever, why do we have parole boards instead of life imprisonment for all found guilty? Is rehabilitation impossible? Should no one who has ever committed a crime be employable for the rest of their lives? Or is racism the sole crime that bears such a lifelong stigma for everyone who may ever have been guilty of even the most minor offense?
  11. The Legion model can be simulated just as well by a radiation accident - one duplicate was killed; you can spend that whopping 5 points somewhere else if you want to be a Duo Damsel, or the Triplicate can recover later. That works better if Summon were not "no range" - "the Summoned being appears in the nearest unoccupied space where it will fit". Of course, you could make it Ranged, GM permitting.
  12. Comparison is tough as neither power is common. Summon was created for fantasy games and Duplication for Supers games, so I doubt they were ever really reconciled to the other power. Summon requires a full phase, and the creature arrives stunned. Duplicates require a half phase, and can act in their next phase (or Abort in their next segment), so duplication has the advantage here. If I have multiple Summons, I don’t need an advantage to Summon more than one at a time. That limits Duplication, although since Duplicates are not task-limited, Duplicating in advance is much more viable. Summon costs END, and Duplication does not. That’s a +1/4 Advantage for Duplication (compared to END only to activate). Duplicates are affected by, and affect, the base character’s damage when duplicating and recombining, an issue Summons do not share. The Summoned being has to be compelled to perform EGO/5 tasks, so what’s that? 4? Recall that one phase of combat is a task. When the roll is missed, the Summoned being is free to act normally. Amicable beings still limit the number of tasks they will perform. I’d consider a Duplicate at least Loyal, and the cost of extra tasks is not factored in at that advantage level. If I have Duplicates with altered powers, I generally get to design them. Summons are generally designed by the GM or pulled from standard campaign creatures. So, can I simulate Duplication with Summon? Sure, I guess. I’d need 0 END (+1/2) and probably Devoted (+3/4) at a minimum, it would still take a full phase and they would arrive Stunned. I’d get [ego/2] tasks out of them, so let’s double that for another +1/4. Total advantages +1 1/2. I could put Full Phase on my Duplication (-1/2) and Time Limit 1 minute (-2) if I plan to use them as combatants (like Summoned Monsters). So, for a 400 point character, Summon costs 200 points and Duplication costs 23. That’s quite a spread. If I want multiple duplicates, the spread would drop quickly due to the advantage for Rapid Duplication, though. Like I said, many differences. I agree that "duplicate dies means points lost" is problematic, and I'd house rule it away. Most other "points are gone forever" limitations (like Charges don't recover and Independent have been written out). But Duplication was designed for Supers, where death is rare at best. Or +5 to double duplicates, and limit that to not add to total available at any one time. Either way, though, you're losing points due to the possibility of duplicates dying. I'd rather remove the orhan rule and allow death of a duplicate to be "permanent" as a radiation accident only - reconfigure the points.
  13. It's tough to provide much without knowing your group. Their preferences will decide a lot (e.g. maps) and their familiarity with the system is as important as yours - sounds like it's new for everyone. It may help to have two character sheets. One is the full-costed abilities sheet used for character design. The other is for running the character in-game - describe how it works and ignore all the points. Especially if everyone is learning, only learn what's relevant to the PCs and avoid unfamiliar abilities for opponents early on. Unless a PC has adjustment powers, sensory powers or mental powers, neither do the early bad guys. You can learn those abilities later, when you're comfortable with the basics. Nothing wrong with letting players revise their characters, or with a revision if you make a mistake early on (including "turns out that ability is unbalancing") either. For sure, take player feedback. But remember they asked you to run - if they don't appreciate the efforts, one of them could always run a game! Actually, if you can tell us what about Champions appealed to the group, I suspect many here could offer some suggestions to better emulate those elements, and de-emphasize elements that may be less helpful, or even counterproductive.
  14. Depends on how common the ability to sense it is. Certainly less than standard DF,
  15. Incorporating the vaccination status, and its implications on likelihood of successful treatment, is very different from applying "blameworthiness" to individual choices. Thanks for that added intel, Pattern Ghost. That commentary is quite reasonable, just as the impact of morbid obesity or decades of smoking on the likelihood of successful treatment would be considered.
  16. Ah, the old D&D question. An intelligent person knows he should stop talking. A wise person shuts up.
  17. So, having not read the Tim Drake "coming out" issues, I do not see passing judgment on whether they are well done or not being practical yet. I quite liked the story revealing Ben's Jewish heritage (which was really a Thing solo story), building on past details of his youth.
  18. So the two that ARE flat-out illegal should not mean that medical care for those who made a poor, but legal, choice is a lower priority than their medical care? When the system is under no stress (not appproaching, much less over, capacity), these decisions are not needed. When we have one bed and four patients, now we have to make decisions. If we have a speeder seriously injured in a car crash, a smoker with lung cancer, an unvaccinated COVID case and an opiod overdose, which one gets priority? It's a horrible, impossible question, but if we can take into account the personal choice not to be vaccinated, why would we not take into account other personal choices that lead to the urgent need for medical care? Two are there due to personal choices which were also illegal. One is there due to a long-term personal choice, and one due to a short-term personal choice (or maybe they have been long-time believers in natural medicine with a religious opposition to vaccination). Having to turn your lights out in the London blitz is, to me, a false equivalency. I don't believe people have risked, much less suffered, long-term harm from turning the lights off. Vaccinations, like any medical procedure, carry risks. To me,they are justified risks due to the other risks they mitigate. But that was my personal choice - if I needed an ICU bed because I chose to take the vaccine (perhaps with pre-existing conditions that meant I was at higher than normal risk of adverse consequences), should that be a strike against me if I'm one of those four patients? Endangering others? Second hand smoke, depending on where our smoker indulged. Speeding for sure. And if my poor choice meant a decision on who gets treatment and who does not, all four of us are endangering the other three. A "liberty curtailed for the greater good" is also a slippery slope. We've been trying to navigate that for well over a year. Ask certain church members if we made the right call. Anti-maskers feel we did not. To me, restricting gatherings and imposing masks is much more comparable to "shutting that ruddy light off". Mandatory vaccination would also curtail some liberties, as does the decision to require vaccine proof or negative COVID tests to attend certain events, or board a plane or train. In my "four patients, one bed" example, we will have three (perhaps four - getting the bed is no guarantee either) tragedies. All could have been less likely, at least, by different personal choices (two of which broke the law as well). Should we give the bed to the lung cancer patient? That's the only one who didn't refuse vaccination or commit an illegal act. To date, my understanding is that the guidelines would not seek to assess the extent to which each patient may be the author of their own misfortune. Changing that model, at least in my view, is something which should not be taken lightly. And, as much as possible (no mean feat), should not be a decision guided by emotion ("you blasted anti-vaxxers, raising the risk for all of us!"). Can we also decide that the accident victim is lower priority because they are not vaccinated? Nothing to do with their need for treatment, but that still raises the risk for the rest of us, right? Frankly, I'm less confident that taking the impact of personal choices into account is, or is not, ethically appropriate. However, I am considerably more confident that taking only some personal choices into account, and ignoring others, is not appropriate.
  19. It will come down to whether she had a contractual right to an exclusive theatrical release, not whether anyone who made the decision to have a simultaneous streaming release read, or understood, her contract. Then, of course, she will need to demonstrate the damages suffered (i.e. how well would the theatrical release have done with no streaming, to establish how much this cost her). By the time this reaches an arbitrator or a court, there should be a lot more movies to argue are more or less comparable. Strange and Stark were neck and neck for "most arrogant MCU hero". The full scenes may be more telling, but it looks like Peter said "can you take away everyone knowing I'm Spider-man", which Strange assumed, without confirming, meant "remove that knowledge from everyone". When that assumption slipped out, and Peter grasped its implications, the trouble started.
  20. So, if we reveal that Ben Grimm is Jewish, it';s just hack writing. Never mind that he grew up in an area with a high Jewish population, his name ("Benjamin Jacob Grimm") is quite consistent with being Jewish and his religion (Jewish or otherwise) has never cropped up, it's "hack writing"? Ditto Colossal Boy, a character in an ensemble cast where we have never seen any indication of religion (especially being a thousand years in the future), turning out to be Jewish is "hack writing". Would it have been better writing for everyone to be Anglican, or Roman Catholic, or agnostic, or atheist, because that is what you, one reader, imputed from the fact their religion had never been mentioned? Maybe LSH should have assumed that religions which have already survived 2+ millennia would not make it another thousand years? Black Manta should have been white because we'd never seen under the helmet, and lots of people are white, so he must be white? If a character is solidly straight (or Catholic) one issue, then securely bisexual (or Jewish) in the next, followed by being confidently homosexual (or an uncertain agnostic), and has been all his life, six months later, I'd call that hack writing. Diving into character attributes that have never been solidly defined in past appearances? Not so much. Especially when a lot of that character's appearances have either been as a secondary character (Robin to Bruce's Batman) or part of an ensemble cast (the many Teen Titans books), not a solo star whose psyche and relationships have typically been front & center. But we are back to the constant criticism of comics. "Nothing ever changes - how boring!" "You changed that? YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT!!!"
  21. Pretty sure "your ward Speedy is a junkie" pretty much came out of nowhere, and it was certainly not part of the superhero genre previously, due to the Comics Code. Ditto Harry Osborn in the Marvel Universe, not too far from the same time. Pretty much everything past straightforward narrative storytelling of solving a mystery or a punch-up, right down to continued stories had never been part of the genre until someone made it a part of the genre.
  22. I see no impediments to vaccination. I also see no impediments to: - exercise. - wearing a seat belt. - driving at or under the speed limit. - refraining from smoking. All are shown to be contributors to better health. Should the personal choice of refraining from them be a factor in determining priority for medical care in an emergency/disaster situation where these choices would have reduced the risk of needing that medical care? It's a slippery slope. One that will be guided by all the wisdom our elected officials have historically demonstrated.
  23. True - especially for a PR sensitive entity like Disney, if you can get a favourable ruling from the Court of Public Opinion, the actual facts and law don't matter all that much.
  24. A lot of legal agreements provide for arbitration rather than the Courts as a dispute resolution mechanism. It's generally perceived as a lower-cost, quicker approach to dispute resolution. The confidentiality aspect is only one reason for that approach, but can be a significant incentive for those in the public eye. If the agreement Disney signed backs up her claim that the Disney+ release breached that contract, she should be compensated for that breach. If the agreement she signed says that disputes will be resolved by arbitration outside the Courts (and/or that they are to be handled on a confidential basis), she needs to honour her contractual obligations as well.
  25. There is a protocol for hospitals overwhelmed by demand. Vaccination status was added to an item which can be taken into account. This is a pre-existing model, because it has never been impossible for the health care system to be overwhelmed. The issue will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!! arise in a normal situation. This sets a precedent for future situations which, again, will not be normal (whatever that new normal may turn out to be). The protocol is not designed for general use - it is designed to be implemented only in a disaster-level situation. Rejection of rationality by personal choice? That covers a lot of ground. Is it rational to refuse to wear a seat belt? To drive at excessive speeds? To smoke when science has proven those health risks for far longer? To not exercise, eat a poor diet, go to school/work when sick, and on and on and on? Human beings commonly take irrational action. Do you think the flu epidemic a hundred years back reflected more rational action?
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