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Lord Liaden

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Everything posted by Lord Liaden

  1. In Hero Games' Turakian Age setting, there's a kingdom of "civilized" Orcs, called Thordar. It's the creation of a charismatic Orcish leader named Lurmosh, whose time as an adventurer traveling the world made him believe his people could be much more than they were. Through diplomacy and force he united the Orcs of his region and led them to new lands, teaching them new ways to live. After many centuries the Thordarans are little different from the Men in other kingdoms, in their society and habits. They fish, herd, farm, build and dwell in cities, and are renowned as shipwrights and mariners, peacefully trading with many lands. They are, however, very much the exception in the world of Ambrethel, which is what makes them so distinctive. As Steve Long expresses it on TA p. 39, "The residents of Thordar prove Orcs can overcome their barbaric natures if they want to... but few of them wish to."
  2. You have to wonder how bad it has to get before the anti-vaxxers will finally face reality. As Erik Frederick wrote in that article: "Bed capacity is strained. ED waits are long. COVID patients are younger, sicker and unvaccinated. Vaccines are free, available and effective. What are you waiting for? 82? 102? 152? What about 1? 1 person you care about? You?"
  3. If the letters were lower-case, it would look rather like "joks."
  4. I dunno... I'm disinclined to think we know everything valuable about a whole planet permanently shrouded in clouds, until we get there. I remember when scientists widely assumed the deepest, lightless parts of our own oceans were lifeless wastelands, until we actually went there and found thriving ecosystems around volcanic vents. Our understanding of how life, uh, finds a way was greatly expanded by that discovery.
  5. I'll take on Spunow, and give me a Sickers to top it off.
  6. Didn't ask for "unduly sanitized." Just more than most medieval communities tended to be. I'm still a modern guy, and I want my fantasies to cater to my sensibilities, at least a little.
  7. I admit that in my fantasy worlds, I like at least some societies to be more enlightened than their real historical precedents. I don't want to always feel like I'm fighting for pure selfish gain, delusional causes, or the benefit of tyrannical bastards.
  8. I see what you're saying, and I guess I should have said, "character arcs" rather than "story lines." We follow the actions of those characters, but as characters they aren't really advanced in the ways the ones I mentioned are. Although Tony's certainly is in Endgame.
  9. There's an outstanding example from Hero's fantasy supplement, Nobles, Knights, And Necromancers, of the adventure possibilities of a world which includes slavery, the Red Talon Guild, a network of slavers who kidnap people from parts of the world where slavery is illegal, and transport them for sale to places where it is legal. Their operations span thousands of miles, involving a network of gangs of thieves and smugglers, tribes of barbarians and bands of mercenaries, and manors or castles along their trade routes where they can stash their victims. PCs who aren't ready or interested to save the world, may be highly motivated to track down and recover a kidnapped friend or family member.
  10. The association of slavery with race is a legacy of the European/American approach to the practice, and on a large scale is relatively late in the history of slavery. For thousands of years slavery was either the result of the fortunes of war (including raids on enemy states for the purpose of taking slaves), or as a legal penalty for crimes, a measure to pay off debts, and so on. As Duke notes above, the status of slave was not necessarily lifelong, and could be ended through legal and financial means. Slavery was also not solely for the purpose of heavy or unskilled labor. Many tradesmen and craftsmen, scholars, administrators, physicians, and the like were also retained as slaves, valued for their skills and often granted commensurate privileges. None of which excuses slavery, of course, but for role-playing purposes it's good to keep the range of possibilities in mind. Society has a habit of rationalizing and assimilating the most odious practices to make them at least palatable to the majority.
  11. Thanos is clearly the protagonist and central character of Infinity War, but there are three other substantial story lines woven in: Gamora's, Thor's, and Vision and Wanda's.
  12. True, but I do remember what Dean is referring to. For years the X-titles were treated almost like a separate continuity.
  13. Quite right, thank you for pointing that out. I'm perfectly content to drop the whole line.
  14. More likely used at a bris. On a scale fit for Ron Jeremy.
  15. Having done the majority of my fantasy gaming this millennium in Hero's Turakian Age setting, I like the spectrum of attitudes to slavery in various areas and cultures. Across a very large part of the known world, the buying and selling of slaves is illegal. People bringing slaves in from elsewhere may keep them, but keeping slaves is frowned upon. In the city-state of Eltirian, which was founded by escaped slaves, the practice is completely forbidden, and any slave brought within the city's walls is automatically freed. Over other large regions of the world slavery is practiced, both privately and by the state, but slaves have certain legal rights. They may own property, marry, and buy their freedom for a court-set price. There are legal consequences for severely abusing a slave. Among other nations slaves have no rights, and are considered property to be disposed of as their owners see fit. In the case of the city-state of Talarshand, slavery is the foundation of their economy. Matching the observations on this thread, these are mostly "bad guy" nations. It's entirely possible to have many adventures in the part of the TA world where slavery isn't a significant factor. However, I find it interesting for role-playing purposes to have the option to sometimes bring PCs and NPCs with differing social attitudes into face-to-face conflict, or to send characters from one region into another where their assumptions about acceptable behavior aren't shared.
  16. I lost sight of the border of what's believable in American politics today at, "Jewish space lasers."
  17. No, they aren't. But the government is already given the right to decide for the population in general when we elect them. That's the contract. The legislators decide when they pass laws. The courts decide when they interpret laws. As you noted, freedom of choice is not an absolute. Between Yes and No is a world of argument and compromise to try to draw the line. The right to say No is invaluable, but saying it for yourself isn't the same as saying it for someone else. And all to often in this debate it's said like a petulant child instead of a responsible adult.
  18. People who aren't vaccinated have a greater risk of passing the virus on to other people who aren't yet vaccinated, or who are in more danger due to poor health, potentially including their own loved ones. People who aren't vaccinated and get sick put a strain on an already burdened health care system and doctors and nurses who are dangerously exhausted and stressed. People who aren't vaccinated increase the potential hosts for the virus so it can continue to thrive in our communities perpetually, and give it more opportunities to mutate into even more dangerous strains. The right to choose can have many valid reasons, but in this situation simple selfishness should not be one of them. And it can't be carte blanche to threaten other people's lives.
  19. Kayli the Destroyer doesn't appear in Galactic Champions, but her write-up in Digital Hero #35 explicitly pumps her up to Galactic Champions campaign standards. That DH article also includes the history and culture of her people, the Nekhojin (with advice and examples for integrating them into the official Hero Universe timeline), a brief description of their home world, Nekh, a Nekhojin Character Template and stats for a "basic" Nekhojin, and full write-up for an experienced Nekhojin mercenary officer, Captain Asperas. (Note that Nekhojin names follow the same "vegetable" convention as the Saiyajin/Saiyans.) If you want a whole race of significantly physically superhuman aliens in your Champions campaign, they're pretty easy to integrate. For my own modified CU campaign, I used Mech 3000 as the template for "X'endron Prime," my invented founder of the X'endron Network, the all-machine civilization from Champions Beyond. I also incorporated elements of the Monad, from Creatures of the Night: Horror Enemies. And of course Syzygy who's a X'endron creation, most recently from Champions Villains Volume Three. "General Blut" wasn't a ghost, but the brain of a German tank commander transferred by Nazi weird science into a robotic tank. He occupied a series of different "bodies" during and after WW II, eventually reaching Jupiter's moon Ganymede, which in the CU is habitable and inhabited due to advanced alien devices. General Blut merged with those devices and achieved "cosmic godhood," but was ultimately defeated by the Fabulous Five. (Preceding summarized from GAC.) I agree that Mech 3000 would make a fitting final form for him.
  20. Teleportation and levitation are established mutant powers. Just declare that they're derived from a mutated section of the brain, or an additional organ or gland. Please see, well, pretty much the entirety of this thread.
  21. No surprise his government doesn't trust him. He sounds like a bloody psychopath. Of course the world he comes from is a global dictatorship built on race hatred and fear, so the dictator may still find Piecemeal useful. It's an interesting motif, though. Rather than trying to kill mutants, or enslave them, Piecemeal appears to be trying to co-opt their superior powers by stealing their very flesh.
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