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Vondy last won the day on August 6 2018

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  1. I was terribly sad to hear Darren had passed. He was far too young to go. I enjoyed the content he produced and the few interactions I had with him were genial and productive. Our little corner of the community is a niche within a niche, but his loss is felt.
  2. If the US were to join, based on UN funding patterns, I you would see a fairly consistent US presence in UNTIL's top echelon. It wouldn't necessarily be every Secretary-Marshall or Field-Marshall, but having one of those positions be filled by a US citizen would probably be common. You would also have at least one US citizen on the board of directors at all times, and the the US, Canada, and Mexico would probably have some sort of agreement on how the North American regional commander ends up being appointed. Don't underestimate soft-power and influence. Trade dollars, non-UNTIL defense spending, and non-UNTIL contributions to the UN as a whole means the US would be well represented, and have negotiating power, even if its not always in the big chair. I don't think it stretches credulity that the US would join UNTIL even if its not always in the top-dogs chair. After all, once US dollars are flowing, one of the biggest sticks is that those dollars will stop flowing. Treaties are voluntary. Nations have a right to leave. People minding budgets will be conscious of that.
  3. UNTIL: Defenders of Freedom indicates that they prefer to appoint commanders who will be well-received by the host country, which often means a citizen of that nation. Its not universally true, but its definitely "best practices."
  4. "I muse therefore I am." --Descartes, Hero-style.
  5. Vondy

    Red Sonja

    I like both characters, but I somewhat prefer the one with a "Y." More clothes and a fouler mouth. In fact, the one female character I played, who became one of my unexpected mainstays, had the tagline "Red Sonja with Clothes!" Still, chainmail bikini! Its got its own cachet!
  6. Right. Its written in a surreal maybe-maybe-not sort of way and, even if yes, how reliable is his delirious recollection of the purported events? This was one of Howard's earliest stories, written when he was very young, and its possible he was still just experimenting and exploring the final version of Conan he wanted to portray as he developed the character and his world. People often forget that authors are often just feeling their way with characters early on. In this case, Conan may have matured along with Howard. That the early story has an escape hatch is pleasantly convenient. It may also, however, have been a sociocultural escape hatch for Howard. Writing about rapey barbarians in the 1920's, let alone in the land of Southern Belles and the Queens of the Ball, was transgressive then and there, too.
  7. True! However, Conan doesn't belong in a Champions campaign. And, Champions morals and mores don't belong in Hyboria. Different genres and settings have different operable moral baselines and mores. The play groups should be comfortable with those, of course. Not every genre is for every group, or even for every reader. It boils down to different strokes for different folks. This isn't super-redeeming, but he also gives the victims of his piracy and armed robbery the chance to surrender and comply without violence, too. He'd rather not murder you for your loot... (facepalm!).
  8. Vondy


    Yes, I am a notorious aphasia-driven speller-man. Mosuo.
  9. Vondy

    Red Sonja

    I like it. I also like that you didn't go full-on Pro From Dover and overbuild her. I have the same feeling about your Conan build. Pretty solid and not over-baked. The combat luck is a good choice for REH characters, and I laughed when you listed the bikini which appears to provide no mechanical benefit. Another option, from Pulp Hero, would be to use the "I'm not afraid of your spears, either!" version of Heroic Grace, which gives 10rPD/10rED armor, but always lets the first body through. Combine that with the rapid healing talent from Dark Champions and you have a pretty resilient bare-chested barbarian / chainmail bikini wearing / or even just dapper light-fighter approach. And you could slap a level of CL onto that, too!
  10. Vondy


    The elves in my campaign follow the pattern of Masuo people. They are matriarchal and matrilocal, and practice "walking marriage," though its really walking romance, because not all Masuo romantic relationships are specifically closed (though many are). Masuo women who come of age are often given room with exterior doors on the outer part of the clan-house. The Masuo traditionally honor their fathers on their birthdays, and it is considered unseemly for a woman not to be able to identify her children's fathers, but uncles were are primary male caregivers and figures in a child's life. Masuo men, historically, were hunters, warriors, and merchants, but women had a much more prominent role in trades, farming, land-administration, financial management, etc. For my game I made a few tweaks. My elves are somewhat egalitarianism in terms of 1) female elves more freely pursuing traditionally "male" roles and 2) stolen from an African matriarchal tribe, the local "elf-lord," which presumes a more charismatic style of "kingship," is always a son, or sometimes nephew, of most powerful local clan's matriarch. So, technically, they have a king, but his role is fairly strictly limited to being the magistrate and war-leader. The succession, however, happens when his mother (or aunt) dies! Most of the internal political tension of the elves in my campaign happens between women jockeying for clan leadership, and then clans jockeying the becomes the "first clan" of whatever settlement.
  11. Note: What follows only applies to Howard's stories. Other people depict him as doing all manner of things... though John Maddux Roberts' pastiches are probably the most Howard-esque and truest to Conan the Character (TM). Did it? In a book, if it happened "off screen" and wasn't specifically referenced in prose, it didn't necessarily happen. The reader may assume such things happened, or infer them from hints in the text, but the specifics and extent will always be a matter of subjective reader interpretation. I would find it reasonable to infer that Conan robbed and murdered people for their loot (he was, after all, a pirate and thief), but we have specific examples in text where he did not rape a women when he had the chance, and one case in specific, where a woman basically complains to him that he didn't do so! As such, it would be fair for most readers to infer that rape is not Conan's modus operandi and that he doesn't, generally speaking, mistreat women. Condescend to them, yes! But being a sexist pig does not automatically make one a rapist. The one contrary case we see is in The Frost Giant's Daughter, which occurred when he was but a youth, and is written in a surreal maybe-it-never-happened fever dream motif, meaning it may have all been in his cold-cocked head, or not. We don't know and neither did he! I suppose its possible, but I think its a stretch to just throw that out there as a given when he is otherwise depicted as being a benevolently asinine sexist who looks askance at men who act that way.
  12. This may also be partly the nature of the product and how people shop for it rather than "market share." Board games seem to remain a "browse and talk to employees" at the brick-and-mortar item. Big boxes and lots of parts. RPGs, which are primarily book-driven, seem to have become, primarily, a "buy it online" item. Slide it into a reinforced envelope.
  13. Not a joke. Bourne would likely merit a dedicated task force, or mini-division within the CIA, based on his activities.
  14. I do have it. Very cool. I've been pretty "stripped down" on build ethos of late, but languages... yummy.
  15. Thank you both. I forgot they had been expanded in TUS. I will go look it up!
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