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PhilFleischmann

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PhilFleischmann last won the day on February 2 2005

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About PhilFleischmann

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    Mad Scientist
  • Birthday 07/30/1966

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    http://www.bigempire.com

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    I was born at a very young age.

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  1. Various Enhanced Senses - especially Detects - can be useful for tracking, determining if there are particular types of monsters in the area, if an area has been tampered with by something "unnatural", etc. Create Food spells can be very useful. Or water, or purifying water (or food) if you happen to come across a stagnant pond. Various kinds of Healing and Aid - especially to counter the effects of natural poisons and venoms. Animal Friendship - which could be bought as simply as extra PRE - only for dealing with animals (or only certain kinds of animals). Speak with animals (Telepathy), Summon Animals. Plant/Wood shaping Desolid - only to pass through dense vegetation.
  2. White Lines, by Grand Master Flash & Melle Mel
  3. But there's more to the "cost" of a weapon than its manufacturing. There's also the training and skill needed to use it. When firearms were first invented, they weren't very good - they often misfired, and they were slow to reload, and they were certainly expensive to make. Nonetheless, they still caught on very quickly. Even though swords and bows and arrows were "better" in many ways, guns were so much easier to use. Just point and shoot. Very little strength required, relative to a sword or bow. And when you want to raise an army, sufficiently skilled personnel is a lot more expensive than weapons. Anyone with two functioning hands and reasonably good eyesight can fire a rifle with a decent level of effectiveness. Why are there swords in science fiction? Because many science fiction writers are really writing fantasy. Just cross out the word "monster" and put in "alien". Replace "distant kingdom" with "distant planet". Instead of "evil magic curse on the world", say "planet-destroying weapon" or "doomsday device". And keep the swords, even if you have to rename them.
  4. But no culture is going to survive for long if it values tradition over survival. Attacking at range always has been and always will be an advantage. Range beats no-range. Longer range beats shorter range. It's been true throughout the history of warfare. This is a useful point. A stealth operation is a different task than an open combat. Different tools for different tasks. How much does it cost to die and lose the battle as opposed to living and winning the battle? No nation, no police force, no individual facing combat is going to be cheap when it comes to a matter of life and death. Possibly, depending on how effectively those laws are enforced. Like a tyrannical space empire where the imperial troops have ranged weapons, but no one else is allowed to. Of course, they have to be able to shoot better than Star Wars Storm Troopers. See #4. A sword as a backup weapon is reasonable for when you run out of ammo, but you'd do whatever you could to reload. If I can shoot you from 100 meters away, I'm not going to be the least little bit intimidated by your sword. Also possible. The personal shields in Dune, and other possible technical factors. Maybe there's an "intense magnetic field" that renders the energy-zap weapons ineffective. However, people would do everything they could to develop military technology to get around these problems - a gun that *can* penetrate the shield, a lasgun that doesn't cause a dangerous explosion on contact with the energy shield, a zapgun that still works even in an intense magnetic field. While some of these are good reasons, a whole lot of swords-in-sci-fi is just bad writing. In particular, the Klingon bat'leth makes no sense at all. And neither does a lightsaber with a mini-lightsaber crossguard.
  5. In a world where superheroes exist, normal people are just naturally tougher. That's why Mr. Incredible can knock his boss through several walls and he still lives.
  6. Of all the ones on that list that I've seen: Brain Candy (44%) was hilarious, but I recognize that the style of humor is different from what most people are used to (but that's a good thing, IMO). Waterworld (43%) Meh. Tommy Boy (44%) Yeah, 44% seems about right. To Fong Woo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (42%) A pretty good movie, IMO. Patrick Swayze actually *acts* in this one. The Hudsucker Proxy (58&) What?!? This was a GREAT movie! I call it the urban version of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (And without the musical numbers.) Cabin Boy (46%) Funny enough. I guess most people don't relate to "weirder" comedies. Hocus Pocus (30%) Overrated at 30%! Truly awful. RobinHood: Men in Tights (48%) Yuck. Generally speaking, the less Mel Brooks appears in one of his own movies, the better. So I Married an Axe Murderer (50%) Very funny! Not even that weird. What's not to like? Death Becomes Her (48%) Bad. An attempt at dark comedy, but they left out the comedy.
  7. Right! Forgot about that. But mostly, I'm thinking about comic book readers.
  8. Spiderman had super strength from Amazing Fantasy 15. He climbs up the side of a building and crushes a metal ventilation pipe as if it was a toilet paper roll. If "Old Cap" was at Peggy's funeral, why didn't anyone know about it? Who ever heard of a funeral where the dead person's spouse hides in the back somewhere and tries not to be seen, and no one wonders why? Even if he called himself Roger Stevens, and no one recognized him (wearing Clark Kent's glasses), at least some people would have come up to him to give condolences, etc. The only way around this is for Roger Stevens to have been pretty much a shut-in the whole time, so that no neighbors ever met him and he had no social life and no friends other than Peggy. Or else they would have had to keep it a total secret that Peggy had a husband at all. And how do you do that? Steve isn't the kind of guy to shack up with a woman he's not married to, especially living in the 40's-50's. In the released Phase IV list of movies, where the hell is Spidey? Why bring him back from the cornflake field if he's not going to make an appearance (at least not in his own movie) in Phase IV? Are we going to have to wait for Phase V to see a movie with - let's face it - the biggest and most important start of Marvel? Especially if they've set up Peter to be the new Tony. Who gives a damn about Shang Chi or the Eternals, when the all-time favorite is Spiderman? Shang Chi and the Eternals (and what other new characters were mentioned? I've already forgotten.) are not even second-stringers. More like eighth-stringers. The biggest stars of Marvel are Spiderman, the X-Men (Wolverine), the FF. Avengers (Cap, Hulk) are close seconds. To resolve the Fox/Sony issues regarding integrating X-Men, FF, etc., into the MCU, they simply need to lock all their lawyers in a room, and them make the following movies, and this is the order I'd recommend them: 1. Spiderman meets FF (***These are not the titles, just the methods of introductions.) 2. X-Men meet Avengers 3-5. Anyone else that needs to be brought in. Such as Ghost Rider from Agents of SHIELD in a movie with, say, Spidey. Either one can be the guest star in the other's movie. Daredevil maybe teams up with Spidey vs Kingpin. Who else? Deadpool? 6+. Any new characters they want to bring in. Sure, go ahead with the Eternals and Shang Chi. Check off all the demographic boxes. Oh, and incorporate "The Gifted", and the Inhumans, and add in the New Mutants. And Powerman & Iron Fist. By the time they're done making all these movies, all the lawyers will have starved to death, and everyone will be happy.
  9. Of the ones mentioned so far, I agree with Men in Black II, Watchmen, and National Treasure. And maybe a half-agree with Joe Dirt.
  10. My adult life began well before 2000. Do I have to look up the movies on Rotten Tomatoes? Do I have to make sure they're post-2000? That starts to feel like work. What is the point of restricting it to post-2000? And why is Rotten Tomatoes the standard? After five attempts, thinking of movies I liked that I remember being panned by critics, the closest I could find to qualifying was 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag (1997) 11% Tomatometer, 35% Audience score.
  11. Something I often find useful - and it applies to sci-fi settings as well as fantasy - is to ask the question: What does it mean in *their* language? What would the sentient beings from another planet name their own planet? The Earth-based designation for the planet would be either the (Earth-based) name of the star, followed by the number of the planet around that star, or the name of the constellation (as seen from Earth), followed by a Greek letter indicating which star in that constellation (Alpha for the brightest, Beta for the second brightest, etc., and again - as seen from Earth), and then followed by the number of the planet (1 for the planet closest to the star, 2 for the next closest planet, etc.) But there's no way an alien race would name their own planet that way. We don't call our planet "Sol-3". We cal, it "earth", which means "dirt, soil, land". Chances are, most sentient races would name their planet with the word in their language for dirt/soil/land. Unless they're a primarily aquatic species, in which case they'd probably call their planet their word for water/sea. And what would they call themselves as a species? Probably some word which in their language means "people" or "humans" or however they designate sentient beings as distinguished from animals and plants and non-living things.
  12. And people from Venus are Venereal.
  13. Also, with regard to alien species, there are two possible sources for names, depending on what you really mean as the name for these people: Are they the specific species, or are they named after the planet where they're from? These are not necessarily the same thing. A human from the Mars colony could be called a Martian, which does not have to contradict being a Human. Likewise, two different sentient species from the planet of Ooban would have two different names, even if they're both "Oobanians". And of course, other flora and fauna, and anything else associated with the planet is also Oobanian. What are Earth-humans called in the campaign setting? Earthlings? Earthicans? Humans? Hoo-mahns? Terrans? Earthers?
  14. All my characters are one-page. A second page might be used for illustration or more detailed background story. Because I customize the character sheet for each character, I can adjust the size of each section. A character with a lot of Skills and few Powers gets a larger Skill section and a smaller Power section. A martial artist will have many of the standard maneuvers left off the maneuver list. Let's face it - it's you can do a Martial Block, you're never going to do a regular Block. If you can do a Martial Strike, you're never going to to a regular Strike. etc. And also, I fill them out electronically, not hand-written, so the font can be relatively small, taking up less room on the page, and still be perfectly readable. A printed 10-point font is big enough to read easily, but significantly smaller than most people write by hand. And yes, a big bad megaboss, with a crapload of powers and skills and lots of other stuff, would probably take a second page, even with my format.
  15. Let's see... Ferengi Klingon Romulan Borg Jem'hadar Vorta Hutt Wookiee Gungan Kree Skrull Chitari Shi'ar Pierson's Puppeteer Kzinti Conehead Gweenie -i is a reasonably common ending as well, with Earth-based equivalents like Pakistani. But it seems pretty much anything goes. Whatever sounds good. The same question could be asked about a fantasy setting: What do you call the people from this particular country or region? Well, in part it depends on how close to English the place name sounds. To use some examples from my own fantasy setting Place Name Demonym Adjective Virbenland Virbenlander Virbenlandic Neron Neronian Neronian Modro-Tonla Modro-Tonlan Modro-Tonlan Jasser Jasseri Jasserese Boo-Wa-Doki Dokian Boo-Wa-Dokian Gromingia Gromingian Groming
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