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massey last won the day on June 5 2019

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  1. How many D6 damage does sunlight do to us on the ground? Even on the hottest days I don't think I take more than a point or two of Stun from being outside unless it's for a long time. The Earth's atmosphere might just be +10 ED only vs sunlight.
  2. Holy crap. That blows. Always had the hots for her.
  3. Planets either have nearly infinity Body or the have between 50 and 80. I forget the math on it, but it takes less than 100 Body to blow a planet sized hole through a wall, once you take into account a bunch of doublings. But that’s in one shot, one attack. A machine gun will never do it. You need one big 90D6 attack.
  4. Sure, but I don’t complain when Dr Who does something distinctly British.
  5. The people who don’t like it should go back in time and make their own 1960s sci-fi shows that become enduring cultural phenomenons.
  6. I'll be different here. The best episode is "Where No Man Has Gone Before". It's creepy space horror. The idea that exploring the galaxy is dangerous, not because of alien ships or fickle gods, but because of what we might become as we travel the stars, that's scary. When Gary Mitchell is sitting there in sickbay, eyes all silver, and he recites a poem... that scene just chilled me.
  7. Here's what I'd do. It sounds like you're just wanting to learn the combat system for yourself. Rather than worry about a bunch of optional rules, I'd just set up a few fights with you acting as both player and GM. Start slow, focusing on one aspect at a time. Fight #1 -- Take a Champions brick (somebody like Ogre) and let yourself fight a group of regular cops. I don't know what books you have, but if you don't have any stats for Ogre, use a generic super-strong guy. 60 Strength, 18 Dex, 30 Con, 30 PD and ED (all resistant), 4 Speed, 60 Stun, OCV 8, DCV 6, 10" of Running, 20" of Leaping. Now go rampaging through town. Every turn two cop cars pull up, with two cops getting out of each one. The cops shoot at Ogre with their guns (damage is inconsequential -- they're all too weak to hurt him, but it's good for you to practice rolling to-hit). Set out some figures on a game mat and just learn how the basics of the game work. Spend a phase or two grabbing cop cars and hurling them through the air. Use your high leaping movement to bound away off the map and leave the cops behind. Smash holes in walls and rip trees out of the ground. Just think of cool things you could do if you were a rampaging super-strong monster, then look up how to do it in the book. Don't worry about trying to be efficient or effective in combat. Don't track endurance, or calculate knockback, or even worry about damage if you don't want to (anything Ogre hits will shatter, nothing can hurt Ogre). Just learn the basics of rolling to hit, and how the Speed chart works. Fight #2 -- Now a local superhero shows up to fight Ogre. Make sure the guy is a little weaker than you (of course, you're playing both sides, so it doesn't matter who "wins"). Fire Lad has a 20 Dex, 25 Con, 25 PD and ED with his fiery force field, 5 Speed, 40 Stun, OCV 8 and DCV 7, 15" of Flight, and a 10D6 Energy Blast. He will have a very hard time whittling Ogre down. Try to play each guy to win. Look at how damage works now. Don't track endurance, but maybe look at Knockback, and maybe range penalties. Ogre should still win this fight -- Fire Lad will have to get close to Ogre to hit him, close enough that Ogre can jump through the air and smack him. And remember to be creative with how you fight. If Fire Lad stays too high in the air, Ogre can always smash through a wall and go inside a building. Or he can throw a manhole cover and then drop down into the sewers. Or he can climb inside some poor lady's minivan and hide ("No go out there lady, fire guy shoot at Ogre!"). Fight #3 -- It's time to add in some other powers besides raw damage. After Fire Lad's defeat, the Caped Avenger shows up. He's a dark and mysterious avenger of the night. 26 Dex, 25 Con, 20 PD and ED, 6 Speed, 40 Stun, OCV 10 and DCV 10, 10" of Running and 10" of Leaping. He's highly skilled in the martial arts (the character has 25 Str and +2 damage classes with martial arts). He has an Offensive Strike maneuver (a powerful spinning roundhouse kick) that does 5D6 for Str, +4D6 for the Offensive Strike maneuver, +2D6 for extra damage classes, for a total of 11D6. Doing it increases his DCV by 1, but decreases his OCV by 2 (OCV 8, DCV 11). It's hard to hit with. He's also got a Martial Dodge maneuver that increases his DCV by 5, but he can't attack the phase he uses it. And he has a Nerve Strike maneuver that does 3D6 damage and ignores defenses (it has the same OCV/DCV as the spinning roundhouse). Finally he has a Martial Strike maneuver, a basic punch that does 9D6 damage, but boosts his DCV and doesn't hurt his OCV (OCV 10, DCV 12). He'll have a hard time hurting Ogre with the basic punch, so that's why he carries a Utility Belt. His Utility Belt is a Multipower (don't worry about exactly how this works yet), which lets him use different tricks. He carries 4 blinding flares, which is an 8D6 Flash vs Sight (which will temporarily blind Ogre). Once he uses the 4 charges, they're gone. He has 2 gas pellets, which do 3D6 damage on each of Caped Avenger's phases for a full turn and ignore defenses, but they can be avoided if Ogre holds his breath (they are not Area of Effect -- to hurt Ogre the Caped Avenger has to throw them in his mouth). The Caped Avenger has enough options available that he should be able to beat Ogre, but it's not a sure thing. Fight #4 -- If the Caped Avenger falls, then Ultra Guy shows up. Use Ogre's stats, but he has a Dex of 26, a 6 Speed, an OCV and DCV of 9, and 20" of Flight, as well as a 12D6 Energy Blast and 10" of Knockback Resistance (i.e., he doesn't get knocked backward). In addition, he has N-Ray vision so he can see through walls. Ultra Guy should whoop Ogre's butt. But Ogre has a secret (that he doesn't know -- Ogre is dumb). This whole rampage was set up by Bald Scientist Man. Bald Scientist Man is hiding in a nearby dumpster (no game stats needed), and after one turn of combat, he peeks out and fires his Green Kelvarite Ray at Ogre (no game stats needed). Ogre becomes charged with Green Kelvarite Energy. Ultra Guy has a Vulnerability to Green Kelvarite, and takes x2 damage from it. If Ogre can last this long (remember, he doesn't know it's coming, so he shouldn't be dodging around waiting for it to happen), then he'll do double damage every time he punches Ultra Guy. Above all, have fun with it. That's why we play this game. And don't worry if you forget something (like skipping somebody's action or forgetting to see if the damage they take exceeds their Con score). Even very experienced groups forget things virtually every session. Each of these scenarios gives you a little something to fiddle with and figure out. You can make it as complex as you want (I always liked knocking people back through buildings), or as simple as you need. Welcome to the game.
  8. I think the modern day gives you more opportunities for a secret ID than the 60s or 70s did. Technology has given us lots of options to work from home. Most people don't get to set their own hours, leave whenever they want, and still make a good living of course. But most people don't have superpowers either. I just met a guy last week with a perfect secret ID job. He's a lawyer and a CPA. He works from home, sets his own hours, and turns his phone off when he doesn't want to be bothered. As he was (briefly) describing his business to me, he represents corporations and sets up some kind of tax shelter for them. Their employees are technically his employees, and he handles all the payroll and taxes for the companies. Somehow they save a lot of money this way. I didn't understand it (not my area of practice at all), but just talking to him for two minutes you can tell he's an expert in his field. Anyway he leaves his phone off most of the morning while he goes to the gym, and if somebody needs to reach him before then, that's their problem not his. Whatever their problem, he won't be able to fix it immediately and a couple extra hours aren't going to make any difference. It's an absolutely perfect secret ID. Do most people have that job? Nope. But it's also not so weird that people would think he's lying about it. He just comes across as a smart guy who figured out a way to make a lot of money and still be lazy. Secret IDs also don't really have to be 100% legit. A modern day take on Superman could have him be an internet blogger and have a small YouTube channel. It doesn't matter if he has enough followers to make real money, because making truckloads of cash when you have Superman powers is easy. X-Ray vision could make you a kickass poker and blackjack player (you don't have to get rich, just make enough to get by). Or before the game began, you busted some drug traffickers and just kinda... kept the money. That's enough to fund your zero points of wealth, middle class existence for a long time. After that you just appear to be some Millennial hipster blogger who lives beyond his means and has massive credit card debt. Make an occasional comment about taking online classes and applying for more student loans, and nobody will even blink. Say things like "when my YouTube channel takes off, everything will be fine", and "my mom is pressuring me to get a real job, she just doesn't believe in my dream." The secret ID just has to look normal from the outside.
  9. It's a weird story. Black guy in car hits two white ladies at Black Lives Matter rally. My gut instinct on this is that he's not a white supremacist. People should not intentionally run over other people with their cars. People should also be aware that protesting in the middle of the highway carries very real danger of accident. It's also not crazy to think drivers might become seriously afraid when their car gets surrounded by protesters. Even if a demonstration has been peaceful, the driver who finds himself surrounded doesn't necessarily know that (or know that it will stay peaceful). I once represented a client who ran over a repo man with his car. I got the case dismissed when I got the repo man to admit that he intentionally stood in front of my client's car to block him in. The guy thought he was so smart. "Yeah I wanted to make sure he couldn't leave." The judge knew where I was going with it though -- the guy's actions technically fell under the definition of felony Kidnapping (any person who, without lawful authority, causes another person to be confined or imprisoned against their will). It's a technical argument, but I've had clients charged with kidnapping for less than that. My client was simply using necessary force to prevent himself from being kidnapped. The DA gave in and dismissed the charge, and then the judge called repo man back into the courtroom after the hearing was over and chewed his ass out for like 10 minutes.
  10. No one would ever suspect you of running around and helping people, that's for sure.
  11. My wife and I have two dogs. The spazzy little one got hit by the falling pieces of one of our neighbor's fireworks a couple of years ago. She wasn't hurt, but it scared the hell out of her. She's been terrified of fireworks ever since. So this year we took the dogs to my parents' farm out in the country. No neighbors, no fireworks. It's too bad, because I love fireworks. But they're not worth our little rat dog having a heart attack.
  12. So you're saying the wheel in the Big Sky conference keeps on turning?
  13. You run into all sorts of problems like that, when you want to tax unrealized income. We covered a bunch of hypotheticals in my tax law class ages ago. Back then Barry Bonds was hitting a lot of home runs, and was going to set the record. Let's say some 12 year old kid catches the record breaking home run. People are willing to pay millions for it. Does the kid suddenly have to pay taxes on that potential value, forcing him to sell the ball? If he turns and hands the ball to his friend, does he then have to pay income taxes and also a gift tax, with his friend also having to pay income taxes? What if he catches the ball and then loses it? Does he still owe the money? Generally we say that you wait until you actually sell it. On a nerdier angle, a new thing that was happening back then was this game called Ultima Online. People were paying real money for fake property. You could pay actual cash to get pieces of land in the game to build your castle or something. How do you tax that? If you have a massive imaginary castle in the game, do you have to pay property taxes on it? An actual market exists to sell stuff like that. You could earn real money on it. You haven't yet, but you could. Before you laugh, the IRS had actual lawyers investigating this. What about a rare comic book? Should finding grandpa's old copy of Action Comics #1 subject you to a wealth tax? Is it worth the 10 cents he paid for it, or the million-plus dollars that you might be able to sell it for, if you found the right buyer? From a business perspective, what if your company is overvalued? Yeah you got this movie studio, and you're really excited about that upcoming Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy. It's sure to be a big hit, right? Your stock value is really high, there's no way it could threaten to put your company out of business...
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