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Kevin Scrivner

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  1. There's also the magazine version: http://www.sysabend.org/champions/gnborh/text/Shadow-ks.txt Don't forget The Spider, the original web swinger: http://www.sysabend.org/champions/gnborh/text/The_Spider-ks.txt And the duo who protects Our America from criminals even the G-Men cannot catch: http://www.sysabend.org/champions/gnborh/text/Green_Hornet-ks.txt http://www.sysabend.org/champions/gnborh/text/Kato-ks.txt
  2. A Non-Issue Not to derail the thread or anything, but it's pretty much a non-issue whether you're an optimist or a pessimist. Optimist: Depending on continuity, Batman has trained four Robins, two Batgirls, at least one Batwoman, and Ace the Bathound. The Huntress is still tooling around. Then there are all those "The Brave and the Bold" visiting vigilantes of the week. SOMEBODY'll be around to tackle the thugs no matter what happens to Batman. It's a wonder all those crime families and the Arkham Asylum crowd have managed to survive these six-odd decades with all the costumed crimefighters roaming the streets. Pessimist: On the other hand, all those crime families -- not to mention the Arkham Asylum crowd -- are still terrorizing the Gotham populace despite the ferocity of the Bat Family and Wayne Enterprises' billions. Sixty years of ruthless crime-fighting haven't tamed the violence or curbed the greed that seems instrinsic to the city, and the idiotic populace still won't support the death penalty for the mass of mass murderers intent on thinning its ranks. The Washington politicos who wanted to abandon Gotham after the No Man's Land earthquakes had the right idea. Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon should retire to Tempe, AZ, and let Gotham fall into the ruin it so richly deserves.
  3. Other super soldiers Other Golden Age super soldiers... The Shield (the original flagsuit hero) gained enhanced reflexes and toughness from a combination of chemicals and radiation and topped it off with a bullet-proof suit. He was strong enough to slap bad guys around but not so strong he could tear through walls or anything. He was assigned to the FBI rather than the military.
  4. After reading through the thread, I don't think it is so much an agents issue as a GMing issue. Opponents of any type should challenge the player-characters without being unbeatable. The point is to have fun and leave the players with a feeling of accomplishment. As a GM, I never threw villains at the PCs that I though could overwhelm them. They might be bloodied and bruised but the good guys should win in the end. This was true no matter what genre I ran. It's a basic issue of fairness. When I threw Dalek clones at my pulp adventurers I made the robots tough but I also wrote up only five of them. The heroes couldn't go one-on-one with the invaders but they could team up on them and gradually take them down one at a time. The final robot nearly killed a couple player-characters but then got stuck in the mud (it had rained heavily during the night). In the same way, when I confonted the heroes with Dr. Fu Manchu and the Si Fan, there were hordes of goons but they were 20- to 50-point normals with standard knives and revolvers, not super ninjas with exotic gear. Only Fu's chief henchmen had that kind of power -- of course, the heroes would never get a chance to manhandle the insidious Doctor himself. Much as I would have enjoyed it, throwing a Lovecraftian demon at them from the 1st edition Beastiary was out of the question
  5. The first character I built when I got Champions in 1983 was Space Ghost, based on his Hanna-Barbera namesake. The first character I actually played was Phase, a teleporting, desolidification scientist type whose unstable life energies were contained in a form-fitting metal suit.
  6. Tut, tut. What I want to see is the 3rd edition Guardians in 5th edition continuity. With all the Experience Points they'd have garnered since 1983, they'd teach these Johnny-Come-Lately heroes some manners.
  7. A tail and the terrible tusked turtle Also, shouldn't Godzilla have additional Stretching and a HA attack to represent that long, lashing tail? It's not as if he needs another devastating attack but he makes good use of his tail in several movies. This thread has focused on Godzilla, but what about the other monsters? Has anyone attempted to write up Mothra or Rodan? What about the other studio's prime competitor: Gamera? How would the Guardian of the Galaxy stack up against the King of Monsters? Or should that be the subject of another poll?
  8. But what about a write-up for Captain Barbossa, the undying pirate leader? The scene where his crew walked across the sea floor to attack a ship... brrrr!
  9. Here's another monster link that highlights the various Godzilla versions: http://rodansroost.com/rodansroost/ One of Godzilla's minor powers is the ability to fly short (for him) distances using thrust from his atomic breath. Would you write that up or leave it as merely a clever move with other powers?
  10. Many pulp suspense and horror stories were collected in "Famous Fantastic Mysteries" and "Rivals of Weird Tales" -- two hardback anthologies published in the 1980s. Others worth reading: H. Rider Haggard -- "She" and "King Solomon's Mines." Haggard was challenged to write a novel as good as Rober Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" and practically invented the jungle romance. Rudyard Kipling -- Best known today perhaps for "The Jungle Book" and "Just So Stories." But he wrote a lot of exotic tales of suspense and the supernatural, too. "Mark of the Beast" and "The Haunted Rickshaw" are two excellent short stories that come to mind. Arthur Conan Doyle -- Again, he's best known for creating Sherlock Holmes, but Doyle also created Professor Challenger of "The Lost World" and "The Poison Belt." Like Kipling, he snuck in a few science fiction and supernatural stories in there, too. Sax Rohmer -- Creator of the insidious Doctor Fu Manchu. He also wrote a series of mysteries that didn't feature Fu such as "The Golden Scorpion," "The Yellow Claw," "Bat Wing." Zane Grey -- Go West, young man! Grey's books such as "The Border Legion" and "The Thundering Herd" were written in the early part of the 20th century when real cowboys and not-quite-subdued Indians were still around. Action light on graphic violence, genuinely heroic cowpokes, and a big side order of romantic suspense. H.P. Lovecraft -- Creator of the Cthulhu Mythos and a worth successor to Edgar Allan Poe in the scare department. Edgar Rice Burroughs -- He's already been mentioned, but don't neglect his John Carter of Mars and Carson Napier of Venus sagas. The Pelucidar novels about a world inside a hollow Earth are good, too. Personally, I think the whole "pulp" schtick encompasses more than just the serialized novels published in cheap magazines. The genre includes the whole '20s, '30s, and '40s pop cultural scene. With that in mind, I'd include movie serials, newspaper strips, and radio dramas -- all of which cross-fertilized each other and the pulps. The Shadow was created on radio and migrated to the pulps. "Terry and the Pirates," rip-roaring pulp adventure in China, was a newspaper daily comic strip. "Tailspin Tommy" and "Smilin' Jack" were heroic aviators that also began as newspaper strips and moved to other media. In addition to obvious radio show selections such as "The Shadow," "The Green Hornet," "Suspense," and "The Lone Ranger," don't neglect nearly forgotten adventure classics such as "I Love A Mystery," "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar," "Bold Venture," "Escape," "Chandu the Magician," and "Box 13." Also, many of the famous pulp detectives migrated to radio: The Saint (Vincent Price), Nero Wolfe (Sidney Greenstreet), Sam Spade, Philip Marlow (Gerald Mohr), Richard Diamond, The Falcon, among others. You can catch many of these radio shows online at http://www.radiospirits.com and http://www.radiolovers.com Favorite movie serials include "Daredevils of the Red Circle," "Drums of Fu Manchu," "Mysterious Doctor Satan," "Adventures of Captain Marvel," "The Crimson Ghost," "G-Men vs. The Black Dragon," "S.O.S. Coastguard." All of these are still available on VHS or DVD or can be borrowed through your interlibrary loan program. Good sources for serials include http://www.moviesunlimited.com and vcihomeentertainment.com
  11. Another thing to notice is that all the tall tale heroes are vocation-related with abilities to match their jobs: Pecos Bill is the best cowboy there is; Paul Bunyan is the best lumberjack there is; Feebold Feeboldsen is the best backyard tinkerer there is; Jack Magnarmac is the best steel worker there is. So in your Western Champions campaign you wouldn't want to, say, have two cowboy characters because they both can't be the best. Instead, you'd have the best cowboy, the best frontier newspaperman, the best blacksmith, and so forth. That would also limit the powers your player-characters would have. The best frontier blacksmith wouldn't need to fire Zeta Rays from his eyes but he'd probably be impervious to heat-based damage (so he can handle and shape iron with his bare hands), the strength to squeeze stubborn metal into the shapes he wants, and Inventor skill out the wazoo (again, limited in application by the 19th Century setting). Also notice that tall tale heroes don't worry about origins much. Paul Bunyan was just born that way, growing outrageously fast after his birth. Pecos Bill fell out of his parents' wagon while it was crossing the Pecos River (hence his name) and was raised by coyotes. Jack Magnarac and Feebold Feeboldsen were immigrants apparently fresh off the boat from Europe. Johnny Appleseed was an entirely ordinary New England youth until he chose a vocation and headed West. Your player-characters' origins should be similar -- no space aliens, cosmic entities, elven halfbreeds, etc. Don't worry too much about how they got their powers; as long as they are appropriate to and consistent with the character's vocation it's all right.
  12. The Feel I thought about this a few years ago myself. A Western Champions campaign should feel like a tall tale. Powers and abilities and gadgetry should be tailored to fit the 19th Century setting (perhaps stretching things a bit with a Jules Verne/H.G. Wells twist). Think about some of our traditional examples: Pecos Bill -- super skill levels at riding, roping, shooting, etc., and probably Damage Reduction. He could ride anything -- vicious horses, moutain lions, tornados. Paul Bunyan -- giant brick, masterful organizer and leader, clever inventor John Henry -- brick, tunneling, super endurance, labor organizer Jack Magnarac (I think that's it) -- Hungarian-born steel mill worker, the original Man of Steel. Strong, impervious to physical harm. He was working in the factories back East while Pecos Bill was taming the West. His name means "jackass," reflecting his strength and stubborness. He melted himself down to protest the closing of the steel mills. Johnny Appleseed -- mystic. Single-handedly stops minor wars, talks to animals, expert herbalist and healer. I'm sure you could find other examples at the library. So ... no powered armor. No lightning bolts shooting out of people's heads. No spandex. The powers have to fit the time period.
  13. How about a pacifistic McGyver/The Professor type -- can turn any object into a device of some kind but never creates anything lethal? What I liked about the 4th Doctor was his ability to talk/bumble his way out of situations in contrast to his more action-oriented predecessor.
  14. Humans born and raised on the moon would tend to be tall and willowy by Earth standards, the lesser gravity allowing their spines to extend and requiring less muscle mass to simply move around. Not sure what the fluid distribution would be in the body; current astronauts report fluids tend to shift toward the head. As previously stated, they might not be able to return to earth, at least not without a severe workout program first. But they might have the physical advantage on the deep space missions their colony was designed to support, less adjustment and disorientation in weightlessness. Because of cleanliness issues (dirt doesn't fall to the ground) they might wear hair short or shave all bodily hair entirely -- makes grooming easier and they don't need hair for warmth in their climate-controlled environment. Might have weaker immune systems, fewer germs loose in their purified, heavily filtered atmosphere. If they grew up used to tunnels and tight spaces, some individuals might be intimidated by the vast open vistas of the lunar surface. If they support themselves by hydroponics, they might develop a vegetarian lifestyle as mentioned by others. On the other hand, I can see them raising small animals for meat, using it sparingly as in much Asian cooking. It would be interesting to speculate on what sort of subculture might develop in such an environment. Living in cramped quarters, would they be all touchy feely or have strict rules about personal space? Since there really is nowhere else to go, how would they handle dissent and hard feelings? It isn't as if they could banish someone, and confinement might be moot since they're all pretty confined anyway. How would they blow off steam? Lunar sports sound fun but would they be allowed since full medical help is days away? After all, what happens if you break your spindly leg playing space rugby? Will it heal properly in low gravity, and who will do your (presumably essential and life-sustaining) work while you're recovering? Would people actually live permanently on the moon, or would they go in shifts like miners and submarine crews -- six months on the moon, six months on earth? If it's in shifts, they'd be less likely to bring spouses and children.
  15. I like it! I like the back story for your new powered armor hero. Local hero makes good. Very Golden Age even though set in the modern day.
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