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  1. In order to help myself better understand how to give my games and other product the appropriate tone, I've begun to make a list of the differences between a typically Golden Age setting and a typically Silver Age one. Here are the lists I've made so far. Typically Golden Age: powers gained through magic, religious reincarnation, or (mainly) no powers except the virtues of manliness. An un-self-consciousness and mostly unwarranted ease and confidence in the face of adversity. Lurid, horrible, and ghastly ends for Bad Guys. Bad guys normally gangsters, spies, saboteurs, and mad scientists. Occasionally wizards or devils. Relatability is often achieved chiefly through the device of a Kid (or otherwise mundane) sidekick. Continuity loosely adhered to, if at all. Costumes designed to be easy to draw and print with the primitive four-color processes of the day. Typically Silver Age: powers derived from elaborately science-fiction-dressed sources like radiation, advanced chemistry, time travel, and aliens. More human-scale interpersonal relations and the problems of Real Life. Villains retained moral reprehensibility but developed powers and wore costumes. (For instance, The Melter wasn't a military saboteur, but rather an industrial one.) A different strain of adversaries, derived from Monster comics of the 50's, hang around to confound the wits of heroes both street-level and godlike. Stories became interconnected both within the title and between company's titles, and continuity becomes a strong hand guiding future development, for good and ill. Due both to better color separation and to avoid repetition, costumes become more garish and more intricate. What are some of your own ideas about the differences?
  2. On Sunday, September 12, 1943, just after 5 PM, actor David G. G. Bacon was observed driving his wife's car erratically on Washington Boulevard in a rural part of Los Angeles. Finally he ran the car over the curb and into a bean field. He emerged from the car wearing only denim shorts, and bleeding from a single stab wound in his back. Witnesses attemped to render aid, but he died saying no more than "Please help me." Weeks before, on August 18, 1943, Bacon had wrapped a serial for Republic Pictures, The Masked Marvel. Bacon had played Bob Barton, the secret ID of the title character. (In fact except for the final scene where The Masked Marvel's identity was reveled, The Masked Marvel was played by uncredited stuntman Tom Steele.) The connectio to the film caused someone in the press to dub this "The Masked Marvel Murder." Autopsy by Dr. Frank R. Webb reveled a single stab wound 5 1/2 to 6 inches deep and 3/4 inch wide, possibly made by a Commando-style knife, that had pierced the left lung and struck the pericardium. Dr Webb offered the opinion that Bacon could not have lived more than 20 minutes with that wound. To this day the murder remains unsolved. That's the world we know as Real Life. But in the Golden Age Universe, where Mystery Man in masks and capes walked about, what if The Masked Marvel was the first Mystery Man to have died in the line of duty, albeit while in his civilian ID? Might the player characters be informed of the Masked Marvel's demise, and discretely investigate? Anyone ever run anything like this?
  3. I've been playing in a 5th ed revised WWII Champions game (sort of co-GMing in that I know the system better than the GM, allowing me to help give the GM resources and help new players navigate the complex would of Hero System character creation) and was wondering if there was any good sources of pre-built characters/equipment for supers in that age either in official publications or in someone's home-brew collection. I've looked at Pulp Hero already and while it is very useful for mundane equipment, the weird science stuff seems to be going in a direction that doesn't seem to fit in with the progression to modern tech in the setting (why doesn't Viper have the 8d6 NND WWII disintegrator in modern times?) One interesting thing I saw in Champions Worldwide was the supervillain Panzer. One line stuck out to me: "After several years of effort, he created the Panzermensch Mark XI battle armor, a direct descendant from the earliest WWII-era designs used by der Totenkopf’s henchmen to battle the Allies." Of course the power level of this suit is far above anything you'd put in a relatively low-powered WWII Champions game (40+ PD/ED is more than the party can handle) and the tech is obviously too advanced (microfusion batteries when fission is young plus force fields and lasers), but the line suggests that not only did the Nazis have power armor, but they had a fair number of suits. I wonder what the Mark I was like. If I don't have a published source to work from, I'm thinking of looking at a henchmen-level suit of power armor (from Book of Destroyer, UNTIL, or Viper) and replace any blasters with period firearms and generally low-tech equipment (portable radio communication was only just becoming practical). I'll use Panzer's suit as an upper-bound and take some hints from that. Flight will probably be replaced by leaping (jump-jets) since metalurgy and cost-restrictions might restrict the availability of light-but-strong materials. There could still be a better version where no expense was spared for a main villain, but it did say der Totenkopf's HENCHMEN used the suits.
  4. I'm thinking of a Golden Age-style supervillain with the dubious power of spinning around at a pedestrian 120 RPM. Super-speed powers are straight out. So are the powers of The Top and the Human Top, not to mention Whirlwind's. So far, I have come up with 360 Degree Vision, Costs END (-1/2) Defense Maneuver IV, Costs END (-1/2), Linked to 360 Degree Vision (-1/2) and 25 pts Power Defense, Only to Counteract Adjustment Powers with the Special Effect of Spinning the Target (-1 1/2). There's probably something I could do with "gyroscopic balance"... a high Breakfall roll with Costs END and Linked? Maybe something with added dice with Move-By. Probably an Environmental Movement or two, Costs END. What other super (?) powers could such a villain possess?
  5. I've been running a Golden Age Champions campaign for about a year and a half now, and its been a lot of fun to slip in various historical events like the wreck of the Hindenburg and the evacuation from Dunkirk. But the source material for Golden Age stuff is usually really light hearted, even goofy and silly. Having read a lot of Golden Age comic books, they aren't silly so much as pulp-themed. Characters will even kill villains on occasion - not execute them, but if the bad guy happens to fall into the gears of a machine well, no more than he deserved. The really colorful silly stuff was late in the golden age and early silver, mostly silver age. That's fine but it doesn't really say GAC to me.
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