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Opal

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  1. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Dr.Device in Slavery in your game?   
    So, by leveraging the players' presumed homophobia?
     
    ....
     
    OK, keeping my nerd hat on, and not trying to peel that onion, I'll move on to amature RPG design theory, and ask, why would seduction - or any other PRE skill - go to live-action resolution?  If you don't want the player fighting a certain DNPC, do you pull out the rattan & duct tape?  
     
    It seems dreadfully common, even in comparatively complete systems, like Hero, to just toss the resolution mechanics when it comes to social scenes.  It's always bothered me.
     
  2. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lord Liaden in Slavery in your game?   
    So, by leveraging the players' presumed homophobia?
     
    ....
     
    OK, keeping my nerd hat on, and not trying to peel that onion, I'll move on to amature RPG design theory, and ask, why would seduction - or any other PRE skill - go to live-action resolution?  If you don't want the player fighting a certain DNPC, do you pull out the rattan & duct tape?  
     
    It seems dreadfully common, even in comparatively complete systems, like Hero, to just toss the resolution mechanics when it comes to social scenes.  It's always bothered me.
     
  3. Haha
    Opal reacted to assault in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    Oh, and obviously neither like the Scarecrow and his Strawmen. However, they have different ideas of how to deal with them.
  4. Like
    Opal got a reaction from bluesguy in Slavery in your game?   
    D&D Stone and Iron golems were prettymuch that, magical robots.   Flesh Golems had some sort of vestige of consciousness, and clay golems maybe an animating spirt or something? - they could go berserk, anyway.
     
    The original golem of legend was more of a knock-off human, made of clay, like Adam was, and animated by a magic word (either inscribed on it, or written on paper placed in its mouth), it started out obedient but became rebellious and murderous.
     
  5. Like
    Opal reacted to Christopher R Taylor in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    I don't want to do any spoilers, but that was the entire concept of the Thunderbolts: an entire team of villains pretending to be a new hero team.  But... in the doing of heroic deeds and being a hero some of them changed their ways for real.
  6. Haha
    Opal reacted to Greywind in So you really, really hate this other hero team...   
    Buy officially sanctioned t-shirts, caps, and other paraphernalia of the team you support naturally.
     
    According to Wolverine, if you're drowning, it does matter who is throwing you the rope.
  7. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Quackhell in Create a Hero Theme Team!   
    Kinetic Dad
     
    Using a black & neon-green battlesuit covered in reconfigurable advanced carbon composite leaf springs, Kinetic Dad is able to move, impact, and recoil as a near-perfectly-elastic object.  As such he is virtually immune to normal physical damage.  Though he gets knocked around like a pinball in the process, he can often control his careening enough to redirect the kinetic energy of attacks into his foes. 
    But Kinetic Dad is less in The Legion of Progress for advanced carbon composite leaf springs, and more to promote social change, specifically the acceptance of single parents and the importance of fatherhood (earning him some unwelcome MRA fans). His superhero banter tends to extra-lame "Dad jokes," and fatherly advice.
     
     
  8. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Quackhell in Create a Hero Theme Team!   
    C2-Shining-C
     
    A gold-tone art deco robotoid reminiscent of Metropolis (and thus C3PO, who was notoriously inspired by the robot therefrom), who speaks with a rich, cultured, but metallic voice, like Sidney Poitier reciting Shakespeare with a bucket on his head, C2-Shining-C was created by a very elderly 'mad' ("but I have tenure!") scientist, with programming to match his retro-aesthetic, as a legacy that would carry on the highest ideals of Manifest Destiny,  Patriotism and Progress, and donated by said scientist to the Legion of Progress.   
    C2SC is literally colorblind - his photoreceptors register only the presence or absence of light in the visible spectrum, he uses radar for targeting and hearing (voice recognition) & touch (fingerprints) to identify individuals - and is programmed to acknowledge only current citizenship as a valid way to classify different groups of human beings.   Similarly, his moral and ethical programming is strictly black & white, persons are either law-breaking or law-abiding, either moral or immoral, patriotic or un-American.   Or, at least, the way he expresses it is.  When confusing shades of grey come up, he seems to ignore them, yet still make a fair judgement, sometimes just by choosing the order in which he processes the pros and cons of their behavior, similarly, when Patriotism comes up, he falls back on his own version of the "No True American" fallacy, thus he has judged noble-intentioned refugees 'True Americans' and vindictive flag-suited hyper-nationalists 'un-American.'  Likewise, his idea of "Progress" seems very old-fashioned - industrialization and growth is progress - yet he always seems to rationalize, with a little old-fashioned conservationist rhetoric, respect for the environment.   Whether he's overcome his programming, or it was always that nuanced is an open question.  
    C2SCs powers include robotic super-strength, self-repair regeneration (from the tiniest scrap, apparently), rocket-assisted flight, and EM energy projection, including both blasts and force-fields, as well as electromagnetic TK.   His systems are entirely analog, rendering him unable to interface with modern computers & technology - and quite immune to hacking attempts - but giving him a mind so human-like it can be contacted telepathically - in fact, some who have done so are convinced he is a cyborg, a human brain in a robot body, and his old-timey-robot manner is either an act or a matter of how his sub-systems were designed.  
     
     
     
  9. Like
    Opal got a reaction from assault in A Different Type of Corporate Hero Team   
    I suppose he could take the place of Freddy Fosgood as that universe's Foxbat.
     
    ...or...
     
     
  10. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Ockham's Spoon in Slavery in your game?   
    Certainly.  The practice was endemic to every historical civilization, so virtually every source of inspiration for pre-modern fantasy cultures.  Besides, slavers make great villains - they're like fantasy Nazis, that way.  And, it gives the stereotypical barbarian hero - who is uncivilized, so maybe comes from a culture with no such institutions -  a little moral high ground, from which, with some irony, to project our post-modern de rigueur abhorrence.  
  11. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Christopher R Taylor in Slavery in your game?   
    Certainly.  The practice was endemic to every historical civilization, so virtually every source of inspiration for pre-modern fantasy cultures.  Besides, slavers make great villains - they're like fantasy Nazis, that way.  And, it gives the stereotypical barbarian hero - who is uncivilized, so maybe comes from a culture with no such institutions -  a little moral high ground, from which, with some irony, to project our post-modern de rigueur abhorrence.  
  12. Like
    Opal got a reaction from DShomshak in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    I suppose another strike against it is age.   60 years ago, speaking out against segregation, even metaphorically, was fraught - you might not have been blacklisted for it like a commie in the prior decade, but it would have been reasonable to fear loss of readership, for instance.  Today, even the most cynical, soulless corporations fervently declare their commitment to inclusion.
    Like how Star Trek, in the 60s, was groundbreaking and courageous, but by the 80s was feeling trite and preachy, and it might not be long before reruns of TOS gets a Gone-With-the-Wind style forward alerting the viewer to all the rampant Patriarchy they're about to witness.
     
     
  13. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    I don't think that makes a difference, really.  Every sort of super-origin has produced both heroes and villains, is obviously cause for concern, but the mutant origin is singled out for bigotry.
     
    Still sounds plenty irrational.  
     
    It does not have to be that extreme, no. 
     
      It's easy and facile to create a narrative of RL bigotry that paints the bigot as utterly malicious or utterly stupid or both. It's comforting because it absolves anyone with an milligram of self respect from thinking they might engage in bigotry, themselves.  It's dangerous for the same reason.
     
    You don't have to just lie, you can always use the lie's kissing cousin, the statistic.   The Nazi doesn't just go "check out the Protocols of the Elders of Zion," he points out, did you know, here in Weimar Germany,  that Jews are diproportionately represented among Bankers?  Then he hands you the Protocols. 
     
    RL bigots have pointed to violent crime, high birth rates, - even positive like education and professional success  - to lay the foundations for fear, jealousy, and/or scapegoating.
     
    Mutant powers are like violent crime statistics, turned up to 11, as an (in-fictional-world)-factual basis for irrational fears.
     
    So, yeah, I do see the problem with that, the threat is too easy to see, that way. 
    And, I guess., again, where do you draw the suspension- of disbelief line is an issue, too.
     
  14. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    I haven't been reading Marvel comics for some decades, so correct me if I'm wrong, but Marvel Mutants can be born to typical human couples, and "humans" and "mutants" can mate and produce fertile offspring (scientific definition of the same species)?
     
    Bigots /can/ & do point to contemporary genetic testing for relative occurrence of various markers to show genetic differences, and they can point to all sorts of statistics that 'prove' meaningful differences between themselves and the objects of their ire (who, in turn, can point to the same statistics as proof of oppression). 
     
    Ultimately, it comes down to what you choose to believe.  If you want to arbitrarily define a group as Other and persecute them, you can, and you can come up with 'real' reasons to rationalize what you're doing, people who want to join you will find those reasons real (regardless) and compelling (though it's the group cohesion gained from Othering the out-group that's compelling), and those who want to oppose you can poke holes in them and hopefully persuade most more rational people not to join you.  
     
    Maybe the willing suspension of disbelief traditional in the genre is problematic for that metaphor, since it's easy for the reader to accept "mutants are different because some of them have powers and some look different and all ping a 'mutant detector,'" as part of the willing suspension of disbelief that allows for superpowers &c in the first place.  Or, maybe it's just that much more powerful, because it lets you - hopefully very uncomfortably - into the mind of the bigot who /really believes/ in the differences among the arbitrary races (or whatever) he choses to believe in, all evidence to the contrary subject to rationalization and confirmation bias.   OTOH, I couldn't quickly find any confirmation that Marvel canon says Mutants aren't human and are destined to supplant humanity - seems some mutants on Magneto's side of the fence believe that, and some humans fear it, is all.  OTOOH, I could find virtually nothing about non-powered mutants, which makes me wonder what the X-gene is supposed to be or how it's supposed to work in the Medelian sense, at all....?
     
     
     
     
  15. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    There's a story like that about RL racism, too:  Tom Driscoll in Mark Twain's Puddn’head Wilson.
     
    Like Marvel's mutant-hating metaphor, racism doesn't actually make sense or hold together logically, because the arbitrary definitions of race can oblige the committed racist to flip-flop from embracing an individual as a brother to hating him (or vice versa) with proof of pedigree - like the a wave of the metaphorical mutant-detector.
     
    (ps: I hope I'm not appearing too strident on this topic.)
     
  16. Like
    Opal got a reaction from armadillo in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    I suppose another strike against it is age.   60 years ago, speaking out against segregation, even metaphorically, was fraught - you might not have been blacklisted for it like a commie in the prior decade, but it would have been reasonable to fear loss of readership, for instance.  Today, even the most cynical, soulless corporations fervently declare their commitment to inclusion.
    Like how Star Trek, in the 60s, was groundbreaking and courageous, but by the 80s was feeling trite and preachy, and it might not be long before reruns of TOS gets a Gone-With-the-Wind style forward alerting the viewer to all the rampant Patriarchy they're about to witness.
     
     
  17. Haha
    Opal reacted to Spence in "Old School" Superhero RPG Experiences...Guardians....Villains & Vigilantes/Mighty Protectors?   
    I read "released in the early 1990s" and thought to myself "oh, something new" and then remembered it is 2021 and I felt old again
  18. Like
    Opal got a reaction from armadillo in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    There's a story like that about RL racism, too:  Tom Driscoll in Mark Twain's Puddn’head Wilson.
     
    Like Marvel's mutant-hating metaphor, racism doesn't actually make sense or hold together logically, because the arbitrary definitions of race can oblige the committed racist to flip-flop from embracing an individual as a brother to hating him (or vice versa) with proof of pedigree - like the a wave of the metaphorical mutant-detector.
     
    (ps: I hope I'm not appearing too strident on this topic.)
     
  19. Like
    Opal reacted to pawsplay in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    I think it rings true on several layers. First of all, as noted above, mutants have been used to tell parallel stories about civil rights struggles. Originally race was often the salient comparison, but in recent years, parallels have been drawn to sexual minorities.
    Second, the Silver Age was a time of social upheaval. Mutants could be your kids, anybody's kids. The message being that we should have compassion for each other, even if we are drawn into battles that weren't ours to begin with.
    Third, there is a message of individuality. The mutants is a very American story. Someone who can walk through walls or lift a bus isn't just different, they are powerful. And there can be an impulse to lash out when we see others have a power we don't have. But ultimately, for society to work, we have to have some faith in each other. We might worry about someone taking a rifle and shooting up a story, or rioters tearing up a store, or cop abusing their authority, or an education system misinforming our children. But to actually solve those problems requires seeing past the person in front of us, and envisioning how a society operates where we are all free, and where we have the potential to do good or harm. We see this fear in an older generation looking down at a younger generation with access to online tools they never dreamed of, and a younger generation looking at an older generation on a road they no longer with to follow, with old ideas about politics, the environment, and so forth. So I think there is a powerful metaphor in the mutant, that of someone who is powerful but whose right to make decisions has to be respected. And Magneto represents the banding together with your own kind for protection, and Professor X represents trying to find a connection with the wider world so there can be some hope.
    Fourth, mutant powers are really about human potential. With our minds and our technology we can completely change the world like no other animal ever has on Earth. Mutants represent those among us whose capabilities drag us into the future, whether we are ready or not. A mutant who can read your mind is like a phone that can read your shopping history; a mutant who can defeat an army is like a versatility aircraft; a mutant who can control others is like a pathogen unleashed by a careless lab or a desperate terrorist; a mutant who can walk through walls is like a kid who hacks the school's computer network and changes their grades. Nuclear power, information networks, cloning, weaponry... our evolution has prepared us for none of these things, which are both opportunities or threats. So mutation is a metaphor for "what can arise among humanity that could save us or doom us."
  20. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Dr.Device in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    So, yes, OT1H, all the reasoning around mutant hysteria does fall down upon examination, but then as a metaphor for racism, that works, because the rationalizations an constructs of racism, and race itself, also don't hold up to dispassionate scrutiny.
     
    OTOH, the consistent presentation of a group as dangerous is just part of prejudice against that group.  Maybe Marvel should have introduced a lot more non-/trivially- powered but obvious mutants as 'extras' in background scenes and as victims of mutant hysteria, to make that point more clearly?
     
    Personally, that still feels on-point for me as a metaphor of the crazy ways race can work.  In past times and places, there were racists who were absolutely certain they could tell a Jew or an Irishman or whatever at a glance, while today, we don't see it, like, at all.  
     
    Certainly, tho, a story or two of a mutant spreading around a mutate or mystic origin story as a way of "Passing" might've been a nice idea.
     
    OK, well, I can agree to disagree on that point.  I quite like allegory as a literary technique.  It allows the reader to look at the logical structure and moral/ethical implications of a real-world phenomenon without all the unexamined emotional attachment they may have to it.  Sure, some of us can be super-dispassionate without any such crutch, but even if all of us could, it can still be an aesthetically pleasing literary device.
  21. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Dr.Device in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    Its not irrational to fear gangbangers or rapists, either.  It is irrational to fear all black men because there are black gangs, or all men because virtually all rapists are men.
     
    Bigots always point to a reason to fear the object of their bigotry - it's not always a made up reason, it's the generalization that's, if not entirely irrational, simply wrong.
     
    Yeah, Magneto is a living engine of mass destruction, but other mutants just look different.  
     
     
  22. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Dr.Device in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    That's an apt metaphor for racist Replacement Theory.
     
  23. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    So, yes, OT1H, all the reasoning around mutant hysteria does fall down upon examination, but then as a metaphor for racism, that works, because the rationalizations an constructs of racism, and race itself, also don't hold up to dispassionate scrutiny.
     
    OTOH, the consistent presentation of a group as dangerous is just part of prejudice against that group.  Maybe Marvel should have introduced a lot more non-/trivially- powered but obvious mutants as 'extras' in background scenes and as victims of mutant hysteria, to make that point more clearly?
     
    Personally, that still feels on-point for me as a metaphor of the crazy ways race can work.  In past times and places, there were racists who were absolutely certain they could tell a Jew or an Irishman or whatever at a glance, while today, we don't see it, like, at all.  
     
    Certainly, tho, a story or two of a mutant spreading around a mutate or mystic origin story as a way of "Passing" might've been a nice idea.
     
    OK, well, I can agree to disagree on that point.  I quite like allegory as a literary technique.  It allows the reader to look at the logical structure and moral/ethical implications of a real-world phenomenon without all the unexamined emotional attachment they may have to it.  Sure, some of us can be super-dispassionate without any such crutch, but even if all of us could, it can still be an aesthetically pleasing literary device.
  24. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    Its not irrational to fear gangbangers or rapists, either.  It is irrational to fear all black men because there are black gangs, or all men because virtually all rapists are men.
     
    Bigots always point to a reason to fear the object of their bigotry - it's not always a made up reason, it's the generalization that's, if not entirely irrational, simply wrong.
     
    Yeah, Magneto is a living engine of mass destruction, but other mutants just look different.  
     
     
  25. Like
    Opal got a reaction from Lawnmower Boy in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    That's an apt metaphor for racist Replacement Theory.
     
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