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Haven Walkur

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About Haven Walkur

  • Birthday 05/23/1967

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    A writer first, an actress second and a lawyer by default
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  1. Oh, bugger! That's what I get for not reading a thread from the beginning... my apologies for the redundancy.
  2. Very surprised no-one mentioned "The Phantom", with Billy Zane. Excellent pulp story played straight... which might be why it didn't do very well at the box office. It included a LOT of the lore of the Ghost Who Walks: the skull signet ring, that leaves an indelible brand; the father-to-son tradition of the mantle of the Phantom; Skull Island itself, complete with natives who call the Phantom "Ghost Who Walks", and "Uncle Walker"... just like in the newspapers! The movie presented a pulpy-good story that ranged from pre-WWII New York to Skull Island in the South Pacific. There was the requisite diabolical villain (industrialist and pre-war ally of the Germans), who off-handedly blinds a treacherous underling with a gimmicked microscope), and a henchwoman in black leather (a sadistic lady pilot played by, I believe, a young Catherine Zeta Jones). And the hero is noble, a little bit mysterious and splendidly, athletically two-fisted (Billy Zane did his own stunts). There's also a love interest, because there always has to be in the pulps, but tellingly, I don't remember anything about her... except that her father was, I think, a newspaper magnate, and she worked for him as a reporter. And they all played it straight! (Perhaps too straight, in the case of The Phantom's pale-purple bodysuit... which was, I think, taken from the look of his costume in the earliest days of colour newsprint.) It's a movie I liked a lot, and it's one I actually bought on videocassette (lo these many years ago).
  3. Harley Quinn, any and every incarnation including her character's initial appearance in the Animated Batman. PUNCH that sulky little psycho face! I never found her either cute or whimsical; she's a murderous psychopath with no inkling of personal responsibility -- and the fact of her having been involved in an abusive relationship with the Joker does NOT somehow transform her into a saint or a martyr. Frodo Baggins -- and this was many years ago and based on the novel! I couldn't stand the pathetic little whiner and his pseudo-stoic drivel ["No, Sam, the Ring is my burden, and only *I* can carry it"], and then, after all their efforts to get him to Mount Doom, the miserable emo wretch FAILS! Frodo, you had ONE task... and you effed it up! Of course, the movies, well-made as they were, only re-awakened and exacerbated my fury at Frodo's self-indulgent weakness, so beautifully portrayed therein... so POW, right in Elijah Woods' pretty, snivelling Hobbit face. Second Thomas Covenant; almost every line he speaks warrants a fresh punch, as do all his actions. Second Holden Caufield; sterilise this school-shooter-in-training and humanely render him incapable of further speech.
  4. Hello, Sentry-O! If you're still looking for play-testers, then count me in. I'm intrigued by your proposed system, and powerfully attracted to anything that retains HERO's benefits (flexibility, detail, workable overall structure) while discarding its besetting vices (ridiculous levels of granularity and associated point costs; EVERY part of EVERY skill/power/ability must be defined and paid for). As a long-time Champions player, that's something I've always found particularly irksome; the system's fanatical emphasis on 'no freebees'! Some powers/skills/abilities a player buys should *automatically* include some additional, related skills/powers/abilities"; if you buy "Human Form" for a character, you shouldn't *also* have to buy the ability to walk, run, eat, breathe or defecate with that form! (That way lies madness -- or at least, the most recent iterations of the HERO System.)
  5. Brainiac 5, of the Legion of Super-Heroes. I've had many, many passionate loves for and breathless fascinations with many and varied members of the comicbook pantheon, which is not, perhaps, that surprising, as I'm in my 50s now and I've been a fan ever since I first read a comicbook -- in Western Australia, sometime in 1971 or 1972. They or it (I might have had a digest issue, or I might have got my hands on several issues) were illustrated in glorious black and white, and though I recognised the names "Batman" and "Superman", the comic(s) also featured "Rose and Thorn", "The Metal Men", and a huge team of heroes from the future who were somehow connected to "Kal-El"; the Legion of Superheroes! Looking back, I think this was the Composite Superman issue, where a lightning strike triggered the release of the duplicated powers of the Legion from their miniaturised duplicates; this was a complete roster of the Legionnaires that Brainiac 5 had modelled in miniature as a "you'll always be one of us" gift to Superboy, and Superman had installed in his "Super-Museum", where a resentful former criminal was working as a custodian.... The tradition in Legion of Super-Heroes comics of including frequent "roll calls" -- to list the members appearing and offer squibs about them -- and footnote-style asides explaining that, for example, Garth Ranzz was Lighting Lad's real name, were all invaluable to a wide-eyed naif having her first superhero experience with a team she'd never heard of before! And I never forgot. Superhero comics and cartoons were only ever available sporadically in New Zealand (where we moved from Australia) in the 1970s, and what I encountered was extremely disjointed, random issues of titles-nobody-remembers-these-days that hinted at a bigger picture; one where the iconic Superman and Batman (and the Fantastic Four) were just two of many, many superheroes, all with fascinating and novel abilities, all capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Clark and Bruce (and Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny).... And then in 1982, we moved to America; I went to high school and then to college, and I discovered -- the X-Men! Alpha Flight! The New Mutants! Swamp Thing! Teen Titans! (with all but the latter two being Marvel titles). Looking back, I realise that the mid-80s generated a disproportionately large number of comics now regarded as classics, both from Marvel, and, to a lesser extent, DC, and I read many of them at the time (courtesy of a college friend who was a Marvel maniac, and another who was obsessed with Swamp Thing; both would share their comics in order to be assured of an "informed audience" for their ravings). I got older, I graduated, I went to law school, and my comic book tastes "matured" into a preference for DC heroes, especially the more esoteric heroes of the Vertigo line (all things Gaiman). I'd become a rabid gamer back in my undergrad days and remain so to this day, and by associating with gamers, I picked up a lot of comic-book background... even though I never felt financially secure enough to buy my own comics. And in the late 1990s, I met and quickly became fast friends with the Hero Board's own Dr. Anomaly, whom Hermit, Death Tribble and others of the Old Guard may well remember. He was an immense Hero nerd, a voracious reader of fiction, science fiction, science and an incredible GM of damn near every system then popular (and many that weren't). And he loved old classic comics... particularly a bright and shiny Silver Age title that had begun in the 1950s and sputtered on through to present day: The Legion of Super-Heroes. And yes, he had a copy of that issue, the Composite Superman, only his was in colour -- but otherwise it was just as I'd remembered. We started a Legion of Super-Heroes Champions campaign, of course, and I did a lot of background reading in the old Legion issues, and what I discovered only confirmed what I'd realised back in 1972 and never forgotten: The impossibly brilliant, aggressively intelligent, arrogant and unlucky ultra-genius Brainiac 5 is my favourite super-hero -- even if his skin is green (something I only learned in 1996).
  6. Fox, just from the bit of background you mentioned, that sounds like an incredible campaign.
  7. Oh, this is good, Hermit. This is all good! I started with your original postings, back at the beginning of this thread (understandably intrigued by the eye-catching title), and just kept reading. I've just now concluded with this most recent update, and I felt the need to tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed the tale. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale 😉 It's a charming and refreshing story, in that it plays all the superhero tropes straight, but gives most of the characters (supers and otherwise) at least a little awareness of how large absurdity looms in their lives... and makes it clear that they accept that as the way life is. The jokes are funny, the characters sound like real people... albeit gamer-type people, but it's not overwhelmingly obvious; if I didn't know this was a tale written by a gamer, I don't know that I'd have noticed it. So refreshing to avoid yet another desperately "clever" deconstruction of the superhero genre, aimed at displaying its many aesthetic and moral failings; this is just a good story about a good man who happens to have powers, and works out how best to use them for the common good... and all in a most entertaining fashion. I've read Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. I own both, so I know what an effective metafictional story looks like. I also know writers can deconstruct a genre without drowning their readers in the bottomless contempt with which they regard said genre -- but most don't; no, they're far too "woke" for that. So thank-you, Hermit, for playing it straight; thanks for eschewing the empty sophistication and darkness of Rust Age comics, and giving us a superhero story about an actual hero. I'm also a classic "Legion of Super-heroes" fan, and you can't play it much straighter than that! I have to admit, though, my characters have always been more Common, Strong Code vs Killing types than the clearly Common, Total characters of the FishGuyverse -- but that probably makes mine ultimately less complex, and less sophisticated, as anything less than a Common, Total is a bit of a cheat for player conveniance. Well done and many thanks; this story got me through a couple of very bad days. I do hope there'll be more.
  8. Delighted to be back, Doc Dodocracy, and Cancer's situation is heart-wrenching; anything that diminishes the pleasures of role-playing is abhorrent and horrid -- particularly for a GM, without whom there is NO game!
  9. I hate to admit it, but (in the interests of full disclosure) though I used to use pencil and paper to create characters, I haven't been able to manage it since, oh, Champions 3? The pale blue cover with flying heroes in mid-air? After C3, character-building just seemed to take too much time for too little return; NPCs were particularly bad, as you needed so many of them! I gave up on superhero character-building, but not on the concept of playing superheroes (which I love). Instead, I got acquainted with Dr. Anomaly -- who some of you may remember from the Board from years ago -- who was a computer genius, a hardware/software man and an elemental nerd... and my long-time Champions GM. He snapped up every form of the Heromaker software as it appeared, learned it, loved it and MASTERED it; he could put together a player's character, from the ground up, full-detail, in 45 minutes -- and much of that time was due to player "input", not mechanics. I couldn't do much at all with Fifth Ed; FREd was just too much for me... granularity had expanded like a very point-hungry malignancy, to the point that having a PC able to blink or breathe was an either/or proposition, because of the costs involved. Nothing was ever included with anything else, and common sense rulings didn't seem to exist between the black covers... unless you were gaming with Dr. Anomaly, who somehow made it work. And after he moved away... that pretty terminated my Champions experience. :-(
  10. And the earth, or at least the fecundity thereof, is the demesne of the Flayed One; it blossoms or withers at Xipe Totec's command. Unfortunately, its powers don't seem conducive to raising earth elementals, but maybe huge raging vegetable minions... John Barleycorn must die, indeed?
  11. And I'm glad to be back, 'Phretti.  Thank-you for noticing 😉  It's been -- oh Christ, it's been years now, hasn't it?  I'm getting sooo ooold.  But I can blame the HERO Board for the absence; I lost my password and only in recent months has the password recovery link been made manifest to my account... or did it even exist before now?  Anyway, I'd come back and read the posts every few months and try (in desultory and discouraged fashion) to log back in, but I never had any success until very recently.

    1. csyphrett


      I know how that it is. my mortgage company bought another mortgage company and now I have to figure out how to make an account since the password doesn't work anymore



  12. Oh dear Daddy Death Tribble, I'm so, so sorry, I didn't mean to make you worry! I know it's years past my bedtime, but I got distracted and then I lost track of time and then I couldn't remember my password and the "forgot password" link wouldn't work so I could SEE everybody on the Board but I couldn't talk to anyone and I was so upset because I knew you'd be cross and it was getting later and later and I wanted to let you know where I was but I couldn't and it's really all Teh Bunneh's fault... he's been such a dreadful influence. [with apologies to Keyes Bill... from whom I haven't actually heard in years.] But it's so wonderful to see your squinty, hate-filled eyes once more, D.D.T.! I hope the malice on which you feed is flowing deep and diabolical these days
  13. Alas, poor Cancer! That's cruelty on a cosmic level!
  14. Sine we're going Meso-american, let's go with the baddest of the big and the biggest of the bad -- The Aztecs! Xipe Totec (the Flayed One) This radiant machine takes the form of a fifteen foot tall human skeleton, with bones made of glowing jade. It has meteorological abilities, and can make rain fall and sun shine down (or at least, bathe an area about the size of five city blocks with radiation of the same appearance, wavelength and other characteristics as sunlight). It also generates a huge, focused "fertility wave", electro-chemically stimulating the growth of vegetation generally, and, specifically, the reproduction of all varieties of CORN... but this ability is inefficient enough that the machine requires a constant resupply of biological materials when using it. What biological materials are required? A] 6-8 pints of human blood from the same source, maintained at higher than ambient temperature throughout, spilled over a 12 x 12 "receptor block" of obsidian. B] 10-12 lbs of ectodermal connective tissue from a single source C] Blood and dermis must be sourced from a healthy, reproductively optimised genetic female And if resupply must be performed each month -- -- then we have a new rationale for one of the bloodier Aztec rituals known, the invocation of the Flayed God, Xipe [hee-pay] Totec, god of corn. The priests of this fertility god stabbed and bled a young female victim, skinned her corpse and then *wore* the skin in a days-long observance representing the resurrection of this dying-and-rising god in the person of the sacrifical victim. During the ritual, the priest danced continuously, tapping the faithful with a "blessing bone" (one of the victim's thigh-bones) as he danced by, clad only in the rapidly-decaying skin... which was sometimes referred to as "The Golden Hide," for the colour it assumed as it rotted! And I love the original Grimm's fairytales, too!
  15. Re: Women of the Champions Universe (Fanpictorial) When I saw this picture, I actually said, "Whoa, good one." Out loud. Causing the cats to stare at me quizzically. ;-) Though I have NO idea who this is, I absolutely love the pic; the face, the expression, the pose, the way her hair falls and her cloak drapes .... She looks poised rather than static, as if she's about to take action, so the pose comes across as dynamic even though she's stationary. Her facial features/expression are very realistic, the face of an actual woman you might conceivably see somewhere, and her body is well-rendered, even down to the slight inward curl of the hands; nothing disturbs the overall impression of realism. Well done, Epiphanis!
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