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Jhamin

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Everything posted by Jhamin

  1. My group games weekly. It is a major de-stressor for us all and we all feel bad if we go a couple weeks without getting together. When the Covid restrictions started we moved online. There were some growing pains and we switched providers a couple times looking for a good one but we settled in & kept our weekly games more or less on schedule. Since we all got vaccinated and our local government is OK with vaxxed people meeting we have been back to in-person.
  2. Straczynski has been fairly open about this for at least 15 years, so if it is a retcon it's an old one. The makeup from the pilot movie sort of supports the idea that this was a plan at one point She got a lot more feminine in the series. As much as was made of "the plan" (The idea of a series long story, before that was cool) being more or less intact as the show went on JMS has said over the years that while the plot more or less happened as planned thematically, lots of arcs changed as actors came and went or as other actors really made roles their own. Example: The 1st season time-travel episode had a visibly older main character appear, then when the series got to the "other side" of that time travel story it was revealed that the character had artificially aged because of all the timey-whimey going on. JMS has said that had the actor stayed with the show the "other side" story would have taken decades later in the timeline and he would have gotten that age the old fashioned way. Rather than bouncing back and forth in time they would have gone back and accelerated the station forward in time and stayed there. They weren't going back to help in the last war, they were going forward to help in the *next* one! That would have *completely* changed that character's fate, but JMS says that was the original plan. Maybe he is making it up, but that hasn't been his MO or his personality. I'm really kind of curios if this is the stuff that makes it into a reboot.
  3. It wasn't front and center in-universe, but it is important to remember that the couple was interracial in the sci-fi sense of the word. Her people were from another planet & sci-fi stuff caused her to become sort of a mixed human/alien but both actors were Caucasian. Now we get to how forward thinking the creator wants to be in his re-imagination: His original concept for these two characters was that one would be human and the other alien but both would start out identifying as MALE. The Sci-Fi stuff that was always intended to make the alien into a half alien/half human was also going to change their gender. As the plan was that the character would be female for a majority of the series they wanted to cast a woman to play the role and digitally alter their voice during the seasons they were going to be male. (They were going to have a bunch of Alien makeup anyway so the appearance part was going to be handled there) Apparently they just couldn't make it non-cringy with mid-nineties era technology on a TV budget. So if he is re-imagining the series, do they go back to plan A? *that* is the kind of stuff that could make a "reimagining" worth watching.
  4. ... I'm skeptical but hopeful. JMS is famous for walking rather than compromising his creative vision for things and B5 was his baby. If he actually has creative control I'm very curious about what can be. The fact that this will be a re-imagining rather than a reboot or a retread is encouraging. It came out after the fact that his original ideas had to bend and shift with the reality of things out of his control (like Michael O'Hare's mental health issues). I wonder if this will be his chance to tell the original story he envisioned? Or some other story he dismissed as unfilmable in the 90s? We never did see where Crusade was going to go.
  5. Ideas are valuable. I think it's fair that the creator should profit from their creations, but that after their death that IP wealth should be given over to society. Being able to collect payment on intellectual property you didn't create but own the rights too does you some good but does nothing for anyone else. Right now anyone can put on a production of Hamlet without asking permission and I don't think we would be better off if Sony got 5%. The fact that King Arthur and the works of Shakespeare predate modern concepts of ownership is most of the reason we even have a public domain. In the same way I am all for Kirby and Lee, and maybe even their immediate descendants from getting paid for a Captain America movie, but both men have now passed on. As the laws currently work in 100 years Disney will still be getting a % of every Captain America thing and no one else will be able to play in that sandbox without giving them money. If someone creates something that outlives them by decades I believe that work has crept into our common culture and we as a society need to detach it from owners who did nothing to create it but somehow still own it. As for land? I believe that an inheritance tax is a public good which works against ossifying an elite that gradually accumulate everything.
  6. My take on this is that if a creators makes something that is profitable, they should be able to profit from it but that at some point something crosses over from being a "product" to being "culture" and I don't think someone should be able to own culture. If we could keep copyright forever, then someone would own King Arthur, Gilgamesh, and the Pied Piper. I don't think that it would be good for us as a society if we had to pay someone a nickel every time we referred to a Shakespeare character by name. It is *good* that western civilization has a core group of characters that we all can use. If you accept that Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, well, he has been dead for 50+ years. How long do the people who took over his corporation need to profit from his legacy? At what point do they need to profit from their own work? Should Mickey still be owned by a corporation in 2200? 2300? By that logic there is not "common culture", just the various slices of a pie owned by various people. Should Bach's descendant's still get royalties because they happened to have a famous ancestor? At some point, for common culture to keep working, Mickey Mouse, Superman, Captain America, and the Ghostbusters need to become public domain. Opinions vary as to when that should be, but ownership can't be perpetual.
  7. I'm running a Ravenswood Academy Teen Champions game every other week. Am I the only one who is playing? Lets see.... According to my notes I've run the following arcs since the Covid Lockdown started: *When a social media spat between on of the PC's (normal) highschool buddies and the Insta Influencer "supervillians" Mr. Finsta and THE GOAT went viral they drew the attention of the Kanrok the Aquisitioner and were kidnapped to the Malvan Moon arena where they fought in the "immature league". Things were looking dire for the PCs when ZPARTKUS worked out that one pc was Mechanon's "Son" and felt he owed it to the boss to spring them. *When the PCs got home they discovered that they had been replaced by robotic duplicates & had to reclaim their lives. The fallout proved especially difficult for the PC who is an amnesiac spirit using the body of a former mean-girl queen bee (arranged by Dr. Tennebre) and had spent the whole school year carving out a new place for herself in the school. It turned out the Malvan robot used a scan of her organic brain instead of her spirit when assuming her life, which lead to a lot of fallout with her new friends as it looked to most of the school like she had reverted to her "pre-coma" personality. *(Stolen from a published Mutants & Mastermind's adventure) A dilettante radical who is an animal-rights protester this week worked out that her Grandfather had been a superhero in the 70s and arranged with a group of henchmen for hire to steal a reality-altering gem from the mothballed super-base trophy room & then used it's power to try to turn Zoo Animals into her "Army of Liberation". The PCs got the gem back and reverted most of her victims but kept the super-intelligent Hedge Hog "test subject" they rescued from her & got him added to the Ravenswood Faculty. (Headmistress Timmons knows Professor Quill will be important to later events) *The Great Supervillian Contest: Junior League (Ongoing) the heroes have been nominated as valid targets for the Jr. class supervillians and get called out or outright jumped by the participating villians looking to score points in the contest. The PCs had to deal with Mista Finsta & THE GOAT, Chess Club, and AlphaGeek Prime before being jumped by the Rapturians (a group of teenagers being trained as An Chi Assassins by Raptor, a longtime homebrew villain). They talked the Rapturians down from their unmotivated attacks & convinced them to go to a movie. They then had to save them when Raptor declared open season on the students who befriended the PCs. (This one isn't over, but the PCs are ignoring the rest of the contest until it pulls them back in) *Things came to a head when the PCs and several other Nontraditional Students were invited to a New Years party thrown by one of the riches trust-fund kinds at Ravenswood, only to discover the whole thing had been arranged by Kyle Ward, youngest daughter of Black Mask X who decided that their presence should prevent any funny business against the host by Generation V, the rival Nontraditional Students from the Von Drotte Academy and Viper's Dragon Branch trainees. The PCs and their Metahuman friends prevented anything untoward from happening, and kept their secret identities intact, but were incredibly upset with Kyle for not treating them openly. She responded that she handled the situation as she saw best and that "amatures" like them had no business second guessing her. (Kyle is the younger sister of Black Mask XI's current teen sidekick and is more than a bit upset that her mother (Black Mask X) and godmother (Black Mask XI) have chosen her brother over her to continue the legacy. Stunts like this are *exactly* why they don't trust her and her mom is hoping she learns some humility at Ravenswood)
  8. I'm weirdly into Teen drama shows. The one I'm enjoying at the moment is "Never Have I Ever", the story of a Hindu Indian girl going to highschool in California. Narrated by John McEnroe as himself, who keeps comparing her high school drama to his rather colorful professional tennis career. It weirdly captures the drama of teen age life.
  9. I figure if you are going to play Champions half the fun is setting it in the Champions Universe! This is a sort of "Sequel" game to an old Champions Campaign that ran for over 25 years. All my current players played in that game and actually interacted with the "by the book" version of Ravenswood so in this game I advanced the Timeline for the new characters to keep it contemporary. Ms. Crone's 5E writeup mentioned that she knew she would be Headmistress and I knew there was going to be a lot of time shennanigans in my PC's future so why not stick to the Canon & reap the rewards? (everyone keeps going on about to teenagers about how they are choosing their future, so I'm having several different futures show up with opinions. I like that Headmistress Timmons has insight into what will be but comes by it differently than "conventional" time travelers. It makes her a great Mentor figure in that she can help but can't solve the problems directly.) As the old PCs had met the students statted out in Teen Champions and they have now graduated I also had to repopulate the school with "nontraditional" students of my own making. But that is half the fun!
  10. I'm pretty much running this exact thing in my game. The PCs all got Secret ID for no points, it's a campaign limit and they are graded on how well they keep the secret. (Headmistress Timmons has knowledge of the future and heads off serious infractions) Their classmates are the children of the rich, famous, and powerful.. and the PCs have to keep their stuff on the DL. It is a great source of adventures.
  11. I've been running a Ravenswood game for several years now. The way I've been dealing with it is by: - Getting the kids off campus (Dates, Movies, visiting parks, Music Shows) - Having adventures come to them (hunteds who know where they live, ex-students with an axe to grind, shennanigans in the science labs & library) - School Events (Rival Schools, Secret ID drama at the Spring Formal, Field Trips) - Family (One PC's father is hunted by Viper, another is the son of a Supervillain, several NPCs are the children of Heros) I've found that you have to get out of the "Mayor calls the PCs on the Red Batphone" type of adventures with teenagers. I lean into the drama of highschool. Not only do you want to get the right date for Prom, but she is being wooed by a "nontraditional" student from Von Drotte Academy (aka a mutant from Viper's school for budding supervillains). We have a whole ongoing plot about the future version of one PC's first girlfriend who keeps attacking the PCs to prevent them from doing all the evil she says they do in the future. Also: One PC paid points for a fake ID that lets them use Rideshare services to get around town. It won't help them get to a superfight, but it lets them get to interesting locations.
  12. In my game world the amusement park was shut down after all the murders Black Harlequin committed on opening day. The show took a ratings hit when the guys who ran the biggest fan forum were killed by a detonating rollercoaster and thus the fan community was unable to unite in their time of grief. My PCs saved lives, but were fairly traumatized by the whole thing..... Foxbat swore vengeance on BH because some things just aren't cool.
  13. As has been said a lot of this is in user profiles, but it's fun so here we go: Why your username? -It was my attempt to be cool the first time I logged into a dial-up BBS & I've kept it ever since. Why your avatar or if no avatar why not - It's the Logo for UNTIL, the SHIELD of the Champions universe. I like being hero themed on the Hero boards. "Until peace prevails!" What area do you live in? -The northern Suburbs of Minneapolis What's your profession? -I'm in IT on the Server and Cloud side Are you Windows, MAC or Linux? -Windows mostly. (Cue Roy from the IT Crowd exclaiming he is NOT a window washer) Are there TV shows and/or movies you like to binge watch? - I go through phases but have a soft spot for the classic Space Operas, Original & Next Gen Trek, Babylon 5, Blakes 7. What drew you to the Hero System? -I like superheroes and I like point building systems Which edition did you start with? - I came in with 4th edition. What have you used the game for? -I've played a *lot* of supers & had fairly successful Pulp and Luce Libre games. What point system have you ran or played in? -I played some GURPS back in the day but Hero is my bag. Do you still play or GM the Hero System -I GM weekly Our there other games you play -I actively GM Hero and Pathfinder 2e, although I never go more than a few years without running Changeling. On an A to F scale how do you rate the system overall - It is a B for me but mostly because I've been doing it for more than 25 years. If I had to start now I'm afraid I'd bounce off of it. Followup question: If you rate the system below B- why are are still playing or using it? - As I was close to the line on this: I think the "universal" nature of the game works, but requires a good set of examples and we do NOT have enough. I want to see 3-4 really solid genres that have actual Sample Characters, Settings, and Lists of Enemies. Way too many of Hero's "Genre Books" are a mile wide and an inch deep, forcing you to do all the work. I had a great time running Pulp because I had several books supporting it. My Players loved Luce Libre but it ran out of gas too quickly and I didn't have time to become an expert in the genre myself. What are some house-rules, if any, you use in the past? -I have two carryovers from older editions. 1) I limit how much Str can add to killing damage. Best you can do is double the dice you bought and 2) Damage Shield is a straight Advantage instead of requiring a bunch of other stuff first as is currently the rule. If you could put together a 7th edition what are some things you add, omit and/or change? -I wouldn't want a 7th edition unless there was likely to be a lot of support for it. Given Hero's current output I'd prefer to get content for 6th.
  14. That is exactly my point. These two powers are related but different in a lot of their details, however those details aren't actually helping us use them to simulate what is actually going on in the fiction we are trying to simulate. If it took multiple advantages & disadvantages to use blast to simulate Cyclops' eye beam or Flight to simulate Superman's power... then those powers might have a problem. I think Summon works fine when you want to call up a Demon and Duplication is fine for Triplicate Girl but when Monkey King wants to call up a dozen of himself to fight and if they get killed can just call up a dozen more then the current rules structure makes that overly complex.... because we end up using a bunch of mods to force one power to work like another. It is messy, it is expensive, and it is more about system stuff (persistant/nonpersistant, standard power/special power) than about anything the characters are actually doing.
  15. Throwaway duplicates are really, really common in various Genre's of fiction that feel like they should be right up Hero's alley. They are arguably more common that persistent duplicates. If the duplication power doesn't handle them well I think that's a problem. I have long had a belief that Summon and duplication should either be merged into one power with modifiers to better simulate a wizard summoning a demon vs triple-body-boy's powers or Duplication needs an overhaul that allow Ultron to keep making more bodies to copy his mind into without losing character points every time Thor kills one (as he can just make more) Sure, narrative need and game logic aren't always in sync, but if Hero doesn't simulate heroic fiction what are we even doing here?
  16. The biggest problem I have with Duplication vs Summon is the way the two overlap, specifically "Disposable Duplicates" are crazy expensive and you have to do a lot of gyrations for them to work despite being relatively common in fiction. By "Disposable Duplicates" I am referring to duplicates that in theory are just as powerful duplicates of the original but in practice are treated like mooks that the opponents plow through like they were nothing. These are normally more or less identical to the original which makes them feel like duplicates but the original isn't actually harmed when they are killed and can just keep making more of them. The fact that they are easily plowed through by the opposition and can die without anyone feeling bad about it makes it seem like a summon with lower def/stun/body than the original. They sort of exist in this no man's land between Duplication and Summon. Examples: - Ultron's army in Avengers: Age of Ultron - the various Clone Jutsu from Naruto - The Monkey King in some tellings of his story So they sorta work like Summons rather than duplicates, but the fact they don't come from somewhere else, are totally loyal (they usually think of themselves as the same as the original), and are more or less identical to the original makes them feel like they should be duplicates. The way to actually buy these characters "the hero way" is via Summon, usually with lots of loyalty advantages piled on. Duplication just doesn't work the way these characters do in the fiction. I'm a Hero gamer of many years and I am all about Special effect, but it bothers me that when someone makes a list of fictional characters that duplicate themselves Hero would tell you to buy about half of them with a summon & a ton of modifiers instead of using the Duplication power. At minimum I feel like that is a failure in naming.
  17. As I understand the effect, you don't roll dice. The victim just dies. I'd say it's a physical complication: Dies if control signal is sent. (Infrequently, Fully)
  18. I would almost say that Strange removing everyone's knowledge of Peter's dual identity is uncharacteristically irresponsible of him.. except that is kinda Mordo's whole beef with him in the MCU. Also there was that time in the comics where Black Cat's unluck power was starting to "stick" to Spiderman. When he went to Strange for help the good Doctor noticed and dispelled the unluck without checking where it came from and casually mentioned that it might also affect the source. Black Cat started regularly getting her ass handed too her now that her unluck based defenses no longer worked reliably. He rarely is reckless in his own comic, but he seems to be when he shows up in other peoples'.
  19. We user 1 meter hexes, as per 6th edition, but it rarely matters. We tend to use narrative/mind's eye rather than maps and movement rates tend to matter relative to each other or in MPH for really fast characters as opposed to absolute values.
  20. No disagreement there, on the other hand T'Challa is by all accounts a pretty above-average person even without the heart-shaped herb. So we went from Starlord being a man-child with daddy issues to being one of his generations greatest. Apparently they instill that nobility of character young in Wakanda. My memory of the old "What If" comics was that everything was horrible in the new world like 60% of the time, different but about a draw about 30% of the time and unambiguously better than the prime timeline about 10% of the time. I feel like Captain Carter was about a wash in terms of universal good/bad, it just substituted Peggy's sacrifice for Steve's but the Red Skull still got stopped and presumably the Nazis still lost WWII. I'm really kind of digging that T'Challa as Star Lord is just an unambiguously better universe for most everyone. Thanos, Nebula, TazerFace, Korath, Drax, The Collector's servant girl and his prisoners, and about half the universe seem just much happier with life. The Black Order fared about as well as in the MCU universe. The Collector may or may not be worse off.. The only thing I couldn't come up with a fan-theory on was why he was still called Star Lord. Peter insisted on that name because that is what his Mom called him. I'm not sure why T'Challa would use it.
  21. The Country Bears got a movie, and I'm fairly sure the "Mission to Mars" movie with Gary Sinise was a ride spinoff as well. Then there was that Tomorrowland movie which wasn't as direct a ride-to-movie but is sorta broadly inspired.
  22. I voted for Adventures. They are actual content I can use in a game. As for which game should get them? I am actally playing Champions right now so I'd love to see some Champions content, but if there is a desire to do some Luche Libre or Star Hero I'd be down for that. For what it's worth: My last $100 of money spent on gaming went $60 for Pathfinder Adventure Paths and $40 for some Mutants and Masterminds adventures I am actively pirating into Hero Content. The book of Templates II looks good and I'll pick it up eventually but it isn't on my "must have" list. My Higherarch of needs for a Genre is: 1 - A Genre Book that lays out how Hero handles the conventions of that sort of fictional adventure. 2 - An Enemies book that establishes what typical opposition looks like and has a bunch of fun NPCs with plot hooks to help me get things rolling 3 - Adventures that take place in that setting 4 - Setting Info. Things that put the above into context and give me a framework to go "offroad" with my own stuff inspired by the first 3 So if we are talking: Champions, I have 1=Champions, 2=many Enemies Books, 3 = Nothing 6E, but a decent amount of stuff from older editions but I can work with that, 4=More than I can list Pulp Hero I have 1=Pulp Hero 2= Masterminds & Madmen, 3 = A ton of mini Adventures by Steve, 4= Thrilling Places Star Hero I have 1=Star Hero 2= Scourges of the Galaxy, 3 = Nothing, 4= Name Escapes me but there is a book of Worlds Fantasy Hero = 1 Fantasy Hero, 2= Nobles, Knights, and Necromancers, 3= Battlegrounds, 4 = Valdorian Age Luche Libre, Urban Fantasy, Post-Apocalypic Hero, etc I have 1= A Genre Book, 2 = Nothing, 3= Nothing, 4=Nothing So as I look over these, the thing about Genre books is that by themselves they are fine. Some are even a lot of fun, but while they point me in a direction I'm still homebrewing 95% of everything. I'd love me some Luche Libre but it is just such a lift to get it off the ground. My players need more of a framework than the example characters. They need Heels to fight and while I can make everything I can barely get an evening's worth of content ready for the actual game every week let along all the NPCs. I actually played Pulp Hero back in the day because I could pull stuff from the books and have a game, I didn't need to do it all myself. I am super good with the amount of rules stuff we have now. I *like* that Hero is self-contained and doesn't need an endless list of feats and new classes. I have the APGs but rarely use any of them. I super don't need a new book of advantages.
  23. I'm old enough to remember them saying that it was stupid to expect Mr Mom to be a good Batman.. but that worked out OK. I'm not holding that franchise against the actor. It wasn't all his fault. The stuff he is pulling on set? Go ahead & be mad at him about that.
  24. This reminds me of all the mileage I got out of The Flashmen from the old 4th edition Allies book. They were basically a bunch of superpowered conmen that decided it was easier to play hero and pocket some of the loot they "saved" than it was to keep fighting superheroes all the time. They had a team vehicle with smuggling compartments, a foundation they administered for charity (and a reasonable handling fee), were paid guests of honor at all kinds of events (fees for charity, honest!) Two of them even disguised what their powers actually were (they were actually a telekinetic and a gadgeteer who combined their efforts to look like they were a living video game character and a Ninja) The PCs *Hated* these guys, and could never prove anything, but if they pushed too hard the leader of the Flashmen (This foppish cyrano de bergerac type who used drugs to fight at a superhuman level) would shame them publicly for having such delicate egos they couldn't handle another superteam in town when it was clear that they needed the help with all the crime going on.
  25. A noble goal to be sure, but it always seems to fall apart for more complex characters with more powers or longer power writeups. I notice you don't include her everyman skills for example. Powergirl is relatively simple next to a version of Batman that has martial arts, a utility belt bought as a multipower, paid points for the batmobile, and a long list of skills and contacts. How would your template work if a character had to bleed over to a 2nd page? Not trying to be negative, I'm curious as I feel that my character sheets always go off the rails because the PCs have too much info to fit on one page. This is one of my character sheets (Made in MS Publisher). It manages to hold enough info for me to actually put a whole PC onto one page, but I'm the first to admit it isn't as pretty as yours. The character is a 300 point starting Teen Champions character.
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