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  • 02
    April

    Everith

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Characters

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    My last post spoke of how one thing lead to another and Everith came into my cross hairs. I’ve been working on her over in HERO Designer, re-reading her background according to Lauren, then the story Lauren wrote about her, and finally a little research on angels via Wikipedia.

    I realized I saw three Everiths. Everith the Angel, Everith as Lauren presents her, and Everith the Fallen. Since I am the *G.O.D. for this site, I am going to post all three. Everith the Angel will be Eve in her full glory as an angel, with a massive power upgrade. Everith Angeles will be Lauren’s version and only slightly modified. Everith the Fallen will be Eve as her lowest, mortal form. The way I see it Everith Angeles is an interim form, before God has decided her Fate. Or is it Fate deciding her Fate? Everith the Fallen will be Eve after Uriel comes. He is the signal that she is to be stripped of her angelic powers. God’s Will, or Fate’s?

    All this has given me story ideas so I’ll have to write them up. There will be the Eve the Angel story … AND, Lauren, if you happen to read this, I will determine the reason for her Fall since you’ve never told me. The second part will be Eve coming to the Wild Hunt, meeting Kyle. The third part, losing all her powers, at least the one’s granted by God, including immortality. He is not so vengeful as to take from her that which will help keep her alive.

    That would bring Fate into things. Fate promised bad things for an immortal Eve’s love life. Now, being mortal, will Eve see things differently when it comes to Kyle? We’ll see.

    *G.O.D.: Game Organizational Director i.e. author.

    LATERS

    RPG

    02
    April

    Lothlorien Rebuild

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Characters, Gamers

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    While gaming face to face, whether in one of the two White Heron hobby shops or at my house, I have enjoyed the acquaintance of a great number of RPG players, from the novice to the genius. The novice, those that treated playing an RPG like a pickup game in baseball, usually didn’t last long. They’d drop into the shop, take a look at what was on offer to play, maybe try it, then wouldn’t come back. Probably a small percentage of my players overall.
    Then we had the ‘journeyman’ players. The one’s that showed up on a semi-regular basis, had fun playing, but were really there to play anything. Lots of those. Then we had the ‘cadre’ players. The dedicated, the involved, the occasionally willing to GM types. They came for Champions, or Rolemaster, depending on what our game de jour was at that moment.
    In all the years playing/running face to face RPGs, of any stripe, I think I only had one ‘genius’ player. What made him a ‘genius’? The fact that he could get inside the head of his character, reacted like him, talk like him, rant and rave like him. Mark, wherever you are, you were genius, ya tickturd.
    When I moved to online RPG, I found almost no novice players, a few, sure, but far fewer than FTF. Same with journeyman players. A few but not many. These are the ones that I may have actually designed a character, once. Usually pretty basic so as to introduce them to The One True Game. Generally everything that ever went in to this type of character was extracted from the player by asking basic questions. I never got any background for these characters.
    Just now I am involved in a rewrite of many characters that have been on my site for a couple of decades now and that will include the removal of a number of these half-formed characters. That is, unless I find something compelling in the build or I have some ideas about the character from the hundreds of thousands of pages of online chat I’ve recorded over the years. Not all stick in my head, mine you, and there’s no way I am going to scan through a hundred thousand pages to find something I don’t remember. Sometimes a one-off character becomes involved with a storyline I have already worked into my narrative. Those I remember.
    My current rebuild is a character named Shaun Kato aka Uriel. This character was part of the Lothlorien class trip to another planet to help re-establish Raven’s Fire Oak elves. Not much, but enough that I built the character. Trouble is, no background other than what I could gleen from the disads. I was going to dump him anyway … until inspiration hit.
    One of those ‘geniuses’ players I had the privilege of playing with for quite a while had given me this character, Everith, a Fallen angel. Uriel claimed to be THE Uriel, Archangel. What would happen if the two met? Off I go with a story. Everything’s cool, right? Fallen meets Archangel, how bad can it get? I had to refresh my memory about Everith.
    Here’s the thing about my genius, Lauren … she doesn’t know game mechanics … at all. But that’s okay, I am the one that has all that knowledge. She just RPs with me and I make notes then gradually build the character. As we RP, she adds things, I modify the character. This doesn’t bother me one bit as a GM or player OR the keeper of the Wild Hunt. Lauren, I love you treasure, can be pretty secretive. She doesn’t always explain what she’d doing or why … like why Everith is a FALLEN angel.
    Now, decades later, I am trying to write a background for Uriel that involves Eve because it will make a good story. This leads me to Everith’s backstory. Lauren gave me one. It is all her stuff on the Everith page, not mine. I have to read it to get some ideas for Uriel. She wrote Everith was never trained for combat, yet she, Lauren, asked for martial Arts training for Eve. I am having trouble reconciling this in my mind. I am not sure if I want to remove the MA training or change Lauren’s story. I think the story is more important here so I am going to remove the MA. Sorry, Lauren. (SCRATCH THAT, FOUND JUSTIFICATION FOR MA, IT STAYS.)
    One of my other ‘genius’ players is, of course, Domma, aka Raven. The woman has mad RP skills and an evil turn of mind when it comes to fucking with a character. From her I have Raven, naturally, but also Pam Hawkins, wife of Icehawk, and Jessy Fireoak, the third wheel in the Nat/Wren/Jessy triangle. All three of these characters, including the non-super Pam, are fully developed persons, not only in her mind, but mine.
    But … we tend to weave an intricate path through the RP worlds, changing stories, changing genre, trying new stuff when we get cold on a certain storyline. We end up making more characters then we really have time to fully develop. Domma is particularly good as coming up with new characters to fit into a proposed storyline.
    Now we drift into my current project, re-building the Lothlorien part of my site. Turns out, a couple are Domma’s, the two Mina/Minna characters. Not much background there, darlin’ … so I had to provide some. Not that I mind or anything, it’s fun and makes me think.
    For Lothlorien I decided to actually think out the damn thing rather than the usual organic growth of most of my stuff. A side effect of trying to organize my Legacy. I decided to make all the characters the traditional, FOR ME, 350 points and give them a common set of disads that would be appropriate to teens.
    Genocide, long a thorn in the side of the mutant world, was pretty much devastated by a collection of mutants, villain and hero, from around the world in one massive ambush. For that reason I have lowered the value of being Hunted by Genocide by dropping the Non-Combat Influence they once enjoyed. Since the entire class is made up of teens below the age of 18, disads have been added to reflect this. The Academy, being within the confines of the Hunt Valley, is under constant surveillance by the Wild Hunt computer, Spock, so a Watched by was added there. Secret ID, of course, but in a couple of cases this has been changed to Unknown ID for the same point value. I have done pretty much the same thing with the Legacy and the Minuteman Teams.
    This is what I am working now and I find it has taken me away from Lord of the Rings Online and my work on my 1/350 scale KM Bismarck (okay, I am going blind working with those tiny pieces of brass on that ship and needed a break).

    LATERS!

    RPG

    21
    March

    Seer

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Characters, Fiction

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    I’ve been doing RPGs for a few years now … 39 years … and I have been married just a touch longer, almost 41. In all those years, there has been no interest whatsoever in my gaming, be it wargames, RPGs, or computer games. And in that 39 years of gaming, I have never considered designing a character that was inspired by Archerette … until recently.
    Legacy has from the beginning needed a mentalist that wasn’t able to make a person’s brain boil and so I came up with the Seer. How is this Seer representative of Archerette? Pretty much in every way. When I create a new character I am writing a story, literally and figuratively. These characters, ALL of them, are totally unexpected to me. They are born, they grow and they evolve, usually without my input.
    How did Fuji become an MMORPG demon? I dunno, she just is. Why does Josh bake tuna and chocolate pies? I dunno, he just does. This is the way I write and the way characters come to me. Seer … I gave her Archerette’s first name … probably stupid to do, but … she’s Debra and prefers to be called Deb. That’s when shit hit the fan. I had no idea where she was going!
    It started off easy enough. She is introduced to Nat and Wren, naturally. Deb, the telepath, wants to know more about this two people she’s never met. *shrug* Nat’s easy, she gets in there and roots about for a while, finding out a lot about him, like he is dying to bang Wren but he’s afraid he’d kill her, or that he’d love to rip Slugger’s head off for trying to rape Wren, personal feelings, right?
    So, Wren … blank wall … Wren has Mental Defense. Wren also knows Deb was trying to dig around in her head. Wren does NOT like this. Would you like someone you just met to open up your head and read all your secrets? Let’s see what Deb thinks of Wren’s power … like smashing her down with … five or six times gravity. Hey, at least she was nice enough to do it when Deb as on the couch and not the floor.
    I tell Archerette this little story … she takes it personally. Yeah. ‘Why is this Wren more powerful then me?’ Okay, first, it is a STORY and imaginary people! It is not you, you were the seed, the spark of inspiration that led to this character. Second, no I am not going to change a damn thing. This is how Wren would react, these are Wren’s established powers. These are two people that Deb is going to have to rely on to save her sweet ass some time in the next couple of years.
    Many years ago I had this same problem. With Nat and Wren. How did they get together? That’s just how it worked out. There was Jessie, who desperately wanted Nat. It wasn’t going to happen because that is the way it turned out. I didn’t change that and my group exploded. This time, it’s all MY story and it’ll be told that way it unfolds to me. No changing anything,
    Now I’ve got this new girl, Deb, trying to join up with a group that has been together at least a few months. The group dynamics are already working and growing. Everyone is getting comfortable with one another and there’s almost no drama. I do hate drama. How to fit her it. Right off the bat, Wren has scared the piss out of her by promising to turn her into floor paint is she ever tries to read her or Nat again. Wren has also warned her that others of the group also might be resistant to Deb’s powers, particularly Slater and Chris. Slater’s pretty easy going and would likely be interested in ‘training’ with Deb just to exchange thought on mental powers. Chris? Well, see, vampires and demons try to possess, or dominate people. Trying telepathy on Chris without telling her about it just might get you a foot long stake through the heart. Actually, the odds are REALLY good it would at least get you stabbed, but probably not fatally.
    The rest of the team met her, and Nat immediately announces that she is a telepathy … which she absolutely hated. Understandable, I mean the power is mostly undetectable and the main thing she does to feel … secure. This was not a faux pa on Nat’s part. He knew exactly what he was doing. So, as expected Slater loved the idea and wanted to explore her powers. Chris was not particularly concerned. The general consensus with the rest was ‘as long as you not try to read me’ we are cool.
    Okay, at that point it was, to Deb, a case of them against me. She didn’t trust anyone … because they HAD to be holding back their true feelings about her … the girl that have never seen before in their lives. Even though she promised NOT to try to read anyone in the team … she had to try Josh, because he was so hard to read otherwise. While she read him, it was noted and even though Wren did not make her floor paint, Nat told her she had to tell Josh. Oh, this was not what she wanted at all. But, she had to gain their trust and much as she felt they had to gain hers … so, she told Josh, who laughed about it. It didn’t bother him in any way.
    When the time came to ‘show and tell’ Nat informed her that she would be going first. I am sure she was thinking ‘why me first’ and would have loved to back out but … Nat’s pretty commanding when he wants to be. Anyway she ended up showing and telling using Josh, who loved it. They discovered that yes, Chris, Slater and Wren were pretty much immune to her powers.
    Then she got to meet the Red Team … but I haven’t gotten that far. Jump ahead in the story … Deb is probably the weakest, physically, of the whole Minuteman Program. She’s a freakin’ mentalist, they don’t have to have all those physical abilities. But, she figures a little martial arts training would not hurt … at least she didn’t expect it to hurt as much as it did. After Chris slammed her a couple hundred times she got a little hard truth from the Warrior of God … she needed a more gentle fighting style … like savate.
    Wren’s savate.
    One-sided argument proceeded. One-sided because Wren was perfectly willing to teach Deb. Thing is, Wren can be a bit snarky, okay, she’s a shitload snarky. She is also a bit condescending, and her normal speech pattern is very different from what those raised the the South are expecting to hear. Honestly, Wren can sound like a grammar Nazi and it comes off as arrgoant as hell which did not sit well with Deb. Their argument style could not have been further apart. Deb was all emotion and cussing, Wren was all logic and calm consideration of her words.
    So, Deb left, even though Wren was willing to teach her. Chris pretty much heard the whole thing and decided to show what Wren was really like … besides filthy rich. Deb found out Wren, together with Nat, funded a number of charities, like the house for the eight ex-cattle of a vampire Chris and the team had destroyed. Wren bought the house, stopped ICE from deporting the three young women of the group, helps those three adopt the five youngest, all less than five, then rebuild the house and let’s them stay there for free. Then there’s the runaway shelter the two set up in their own neighborhood. And the Community to help homeless vets that was under construction … all paid for with Wren’s money. She didn’t even get recognition for any of it. She spent every dime her portfolio earned on charity and lived in a beach cottage with the man she loved, living off the government stipend she received as part of the Minuteman.

    Deb stepped into the school’s studio the next afternoon and found Wren waiting for her.
    “Are you ready to begin?” The other girl said.
    Where Wren was dressed in leotards and slippers, all Deb had available was sweat pants and a sports bra with sneakers.
    “If you are willing to teach me,” she replied.
    “Then I suggest you get rid of the sneakers. They have too much traction and I do so hate the squeaking sounds they make. Barefoot will be better but we shall go shopping for more appropriate footwear this weekend. Also, I think leotards, and of course a cane.”
    At the last she picked up a stick from the floor.
    “For now, I shall be the sole controller of this cane and should you fail to accomplish a particular move, I shall use it liberally on some tender portion of your body.”
    Deb’s eyes went wide.
    “Kidding.”
    Wren half smiled and tossed the cane on top of her bag. Damn, the girl did know how to joke, even if it was scary as shit.
    “Let us begin with the basics …”

    21
    March

    The Legacy Updates

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Characters

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    Well, a number of things have been on my agenda the last couple of weeks related to the site. Upon closer inspection I discovered a few errors in the Legacy team that started out pretty small and just grew. It was mostly minor things, like inconsistencies in Disadvantages but as I worked my way through them other things and ideas began to form.

    Naturally I began with Nat and Wren as they are the Main Characters of my overall story. To help me suss out differences I started actually printing the pages, First Year and Fourth Year to compare them. Yeah, I know, computer age, computer geek, I should be able to see it without any trouble, especially as I have dual screens. I am a Luddite. I like paper. I like using a blue pencil to mark errors and make changes.

    I started with Nat and instantly found something I needed to change. I really didn’t like the idea of Growth on a guy even if he is 7’3”. It was just too much, so I dropped it. Easy enough. A couple of other idea hit me. First, I decided Metahumans, on top of all the wonderful powers they are blessed with, are also longer lived than normals. Add LS: Longevity. (Note to self: you better check because I think I forgot to do that across the board with Legacy.)

    The second notion came while playing around with Fujiko. Since I have already established Wren speaks some Japanese, I decided, okay, Nat decided, the Team would use Japanese as their in-combat language. Most of the team, it wasn’t a problem and Fuji was all too glad to teach everyone, well, except Josh. She tells me it is like teach a whale to fly, but she is making progress.
    I finished melding the commonalities between Nat and Goliath and dropping the growth then went on to Goliath. So, Goliath is Nat’s code name, for those of you that don’t know, and he represents Nat in about four years. His last two years in high school, then two or so years of college.

    Nat’s a clever guy, and comes up with a few new ideas every time one of his teammates shows him some power or other. Looking HIM over, I realized I didn’t really see why I gave him the ability to squeeze a lump of coal into a diamond and dropped it. I altered his Ain’t Afraid of Nothin’ skill from just usable against fear to usable against anything for the Mental Defense. He would be training hard with his newest teammate, Deb, to thwart her telepathy but more on Deb later. I finally got to the point I was satisfied with Nat and moved on to Wren.

    Wren is probably one of my favorite characters of all time and over the years I have come to understanding her more every time I look her over. In this go-around I did the normal coordination of Disads between Wren and her alter ego Giselle, then looked over her powers. One of the things I have always had Wren and Nat say was that Wren could make someone weightless and Nat could throw them into orbit. But really? Where was the power write-up? So I wrote it up. She gained a new power, the power to literally make a body weightless.

    In game terms the first thing that popped into my head was a transformation weighted to weightless. This had to be a Major Transformation. With Transformations, they are permanent and must have a way to ‘heal’. Usually this is actually healing back the BODY through normal recovery. I didn’t want that. Wren’s power makes someone weightless until she turns it off … which under normal circumstances would be within a few minutes. However, there is a possibility she might not want to … and that the body in question may actually pass out of her range of vision. I built it as a ‘Line of Sight’ power.

    Let’s say Slug comes along and tries again to rape Wren. She makes him weightless and therefore helpless. Nat takes him up and throws him … into space, which is now possible and since gravity has no effect on Slug, he will just leave the planet. Well, if Slug passes out of Wren LOS, he’s SOL. So far, Wren hasn’t seen a reason to do something like this.

    I added Everything Floats, originally a Side Effect of another power, which everything not tied down does when she is upset. I wanted to actually pay for this rather than ‘cheating’ and using a Disadvantage to another power. It’s not a dangerous power but I think of it adds ‘color’.

    With her control of gravity, I also wanted some way that she could save people that are falling from say, a building. This one took a while to come up with. I finally decided Floating Like a Feather. Gliding, only 3” used as an attack on others. What happens is once Wren hits a falling body with this, it will gradually slow the fall to a maximum of 3” per segment, a nice safe speed to hit the ground. As it is Zero END, Uncontrolled, and Persistent, even if the target is unconscious, it will still work. Being Uncontrolled means she can hit more than one target with it and expect them all to land safely. Clever, I thought … And I was done with Nat and Wren.

    Next I took a look at Alicia/Midnight. The usual, reconciling disad and skills, brought about some more information on her merging with her grandmother. Some of Laura Cross’, a.k.a. Madam Midnight, skills and actual ‘likes’ began to bleed over into Alicia. Like her love of flying (Combat Piloting), fast cars (Combat Driving), horseback riding (Riding) and the ability to drive a tank or a deuce-and-a-half all came from her grandmother’s memories. In Alicia, these were all at a familiarity level but in Midnight four years later, they’ve turned into full blown talents. Watching the ‘goth bag lady’ climb into the cockpit of a Pitt Special Aerobatic airplane and seeing her perform some pretty death-defying stunts shows how much of her grandmother is in her.

    On to Chris/Venatrix … With her, little changed, after all she IS a normal human, not a meta … Until the Pope got involved. The biggest change came on her 18th birthday, a Benediction of God, capital B and capital G. Effectively Chris became a Paladin. Now she can really fight the vampires and demons with every expectation of winning. She can also heal people just by Laying on of Hands. A miracle. Bet she ends up Canonized at some point in the future. Other than that, not much of a change.

    Fuji/Mountain Wind was easy, reconciliation of disads and skills mostly. I don’t think I did much to her power other than bump them up 15 points. She also took up combat training with Chris and the boob fairy hit, spoiling her Loli Goth look.

    Josh decided he didn’t like the code name Tempest and opted for Ohm’s Law … he wanted to be able to say ‘I AM the LAW’. I gave him a power increase and upgraded his skills. For some reason, he decided to train in hand to hand with Mark Law instead of Chris. I guess he likes Mark’s Style … or it is hard to concentrate with Chris in shorts and a tight tee …

    Now Kena/Hellcat was the usual, disads, skills a little bump in power … but she also told me she loves working on cars. So, she’s now the resident ‘gearhead’. She’s not so much interested in driving them as taking them apart and finding what’s wrong. Unlike the rest of her team, she opted for a mechanical trade school over college. She is working on opening her own auto repair shop.

    Slater/Psiblade is like Kena/Hellcat, minor disad, skill and power changes … but he is also a married man now and family has come under consideration. He really wants to be a father but is willing to wait as long as Alicia needs. Until then, politics. He will be in the Senate one day and perhaps, in the future, the White House.

    Zach/Laze ended up being the usual but with an addition to his background, or should I say rewrite. He is still determined to return to his own dimension and doing something about his Genocide loving father, but for now, as long as his mother and little sister are safe … one thing he doesn’t know yet is that his little sister, Paige? She’s a mutant/meta like her big brother.

    Venomancer aka alien bunny girl from another world got the most, okay, second most, work. A little with her pets, no biggie, but I did add her cat, Meatball, still no biggie. Biggie was giving her her Fox Form. All new write-up with a bunch of new powers. First I had to reconcile her Summoning powers, then come up with her Fox form based magic, then figure out how to handle her Wheel. A Wheel is a magical weapon that aids her magic but if she shifts to fox form, where does it go? After some talk with the gang over on the Hero System Fan Group I figured something out and I’m satisfied with it. I think she’s a lot better character now.

    That’s it for now … next time, Seer.

    Laters

    31
    August

    I am amused

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Gamers, General Thoughts

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    I picked up the boy at school this morning, his third semester of colleges, go Cody. He’s all excited about this ‘new’ game his friends in the Anime club are talking about, Starfinder aka Pathfinder with lasers. That’s cool. It was fun listening to him talking about all the great stuff in the game, the classes, the races, even, gasp, starships! I listen for a few minutes with a little smile then patted him on the leg.
    “You’re gonna tell me it’s not HERO,” he says.e
    “No,” I said, “I’m gonna tell you HERO has been doing that since 1982.”
    He talks about how he can be this class, with this specialty, and this race, any that whatever. He still doesn’t quite get HERO does all that already. I may have to tie him down and force him to build a character just to see what HERO can do. He wouldn’t sit still for it, I know but one could hope.
    I looked the this up on Paizo and found it with no problem, $59.99 for the hardback, $9.99 for the PDF. And that’s just the first book … the rest are Coming Soon TM. Kiddo, I already have a game with all that stuff. ALL of that stuff and more then you can imagine. It’s cute that he thinks his generation has invented a whole new concept, D&D in Space. Wasn’t that like Star Frontier or something? I told him I have not only Star Hero but Spacemaster, Space Opera and Star Wars. Kids …

    15
    June

    Mutants vs. Inhumans

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Comics

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    I can’t say that I started reading comics about the time Marvel started publishing the Fantastic Four, Spider Man, Ironman and the X-Men, but I guess I was about 10, so that puts it in 1964, so pretty close. In fact, the Fantastic Four is probably the first superhero genre comic I read. Over on the DC side, well, I really only read some Batman and the Legion of Superheroes but DC never had much impact on me. Let’s jump ahead a few years, say 1970 or so. That’s about the time I really started buying comics on a regular basis, usually Spider Man, the FF and the Avengers. By the time I joined the Navy, I had a nice little stack … that ended up in the basement … a leaky basement. All gone, bye bye. A traditional story of lost comics and ‘if Id’ only known’. But … while in the Navy there was all this income I’d never had as a kid. I spread out, adding the X-Men, the Defenders, and yes, even a few Inhumans. That’s what I am talking about today.

    Unlike the mutants of the X-Men, the Inhumans never captured my attention. I never grew to know and like any of them, not one … well, maybe Lockjaw but he’s a dog and everybody loves dogs. The X-Men, however, grew to be the main focus of all my comic collecting. Then Marvel started this cross over shit and I ended up with comics I would never have purchased under normal circumstances. With the X-Men, the over riding theme of mutant persecution was the glue that held the stories together. Mutants were the focus of everything I read. I watched as the teams grew, divided, regrew, joined, multiplied … ad nausium. And through the whole thing, the overriding point of the story was that mutants were feared and envied but many, like the X-Men, rose above that fear and envy to help everyone, regardless of their genetics. To me, that was what a hero does.

    It is easy for Superman to be a hero. He’s Superman for god’s sake, nearly perfect. What does he have to worry about? Back then, everyone loved Superman, he was understood, admired, by the general public. He had a great PR team. Over in Marvel, the mutants were always on the verge of all out war with the normals, sometimes with the help of the government. For YEARS Marvel worked this story line … how are the mutants threatened this month? Who’s after them? Can they work together? Can they find a safe place just to quietly live out their lives?

    There were little enclaves here and there and what this did was to scatter the mutants all over the place, well, except Westchester NY. They sorta piled up there … and we saw what happened. How many times was Xavier’s school squashed flat? Kinda tells anybody with any tactical or strategic sense that dispersed is better. Well, Marvel got stupid and decided ‘Genosha’, an island off the cost of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Let’s put all the mutants in on place. And we see what happened there. But, not to be outdone, here comes Utopia, a nice small former asteroid just the right size to conveniently pack all the world’s mutants for easy destruction. On Genosha, Marvel killed like 16 million mutants. But that’s not good enough, move ’em all to a smaller place. Well, I guess that wasn’t the fastest way to eliminate mutants so let’s have the Scarlet Witch do ’em all at once. Poof, the mutant threat is gone, mostly.

    Wait a sec …

    For decades the mutants have fought and died just to try to fit into society and now you just wipe them out? Why? Oh, yeah, Marvel doesn’t own FILM rights to the mutants anymore. And they say that’s not the reason for killing off the mutants in the comics … and replacing them with Inhumans. Yeah, right, and Trump didn’t try to get Comey to drop this thing with Russia … Come on, if it walks like a duck … So, Marvel has pissed me off and I’ve responded, I don’t buy their comics anymore. Hell, I haven’t even updated my versions of the X-Men since like the late 90’s. I’ll never accept the Inhumans. I gave up on Agents of Shield because of the Inhumans. I’ll probably watch the pilot of the upcoming series and then never bother with the rest.

    Well, now I am all pissed off again so time to drop this.

    But one last thing. All they are doing is scratching off the ‘mutant’ label and slapping on an ‘inhuman’ one and trying to convince me its all ‘fake news’. Sorry, I don’t buy that any more from Marvel then from that spoiled brat in the White House.

    Laters

    11
    June

    Pisces

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Characters

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    Okay, still working on Pisces and I just said ‘fuck it’ to the points. I want to put so much into her it is just getting insane. So, I’m not going to worry about the points, let her be 1200, Ghost Archer is, and she’s a lot older then he is. Decided to stick many of her Nereid type powers into an Elemental Control which makes a lot more sense to my mind. I’ll leave her magic in the Multipower … but other then that, added a Summons for sea creatures and a really good Active Sonar. So, she’s up to 1176 now. Maybe I’ll quit, guess I gotta do it sometime.

    While I was on Zodiac I rebuilt Cancer I and added it to the Contents frame. Probably going to do it to Gemini I as well but I think I’ll need to do a total re-write to make him as threatening as he was supposed to be … let’s face it, he’s/they’re a wimp. Never really liked them in the first place and I’m surprised I didn’t kill him off sooner … okay, send them back to the Abyss.

    I really need to get to work on Pisces‘ background … like how and when she met Capricorn and Taurus. That should prove interesting. I wonder if I can find a disaster in the Aegean sometime around 500 BCE …

    Laters

    10
    June

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    Amazing how I can get sidetracked. I started with Cody’s D&D to Fantasy Hero conversion. Made up a web page for it, got it added into my index, the next thing I know I’m off on Scorpio. See, Scorpio doesn’t have a background yet and I wanted to give her one. That starts me running through a timeline. She’s Irish, okay, easy part … but I got nuthin’ much beyond that. I looked her over and noticed a LOT of changes in my copy as opposed to my website so I fixed that.

    So far my Zodiac, those I have written a history for, have all had something in their lives that brought them to a life of crime or whatever you want to call what Zodiac does. Sagittarius was a rape victim and her first lover was murdered by a politician. Leo is just a sociopath, born that way, who mostly hides it with the occasional fit of peak that results in burning things. Libra is a survivor of the Siege of Leningrad during World War II, used and abused by the Soviet government until she got tired of it. Cancer is a government research engineer whose work was co-opted by his boss with no credit to him. Taurus, well, he is THE freakin’ Minotaur, son of Zeus, treated all of his long life like a monster. Aquarius is an opportunist who happened upon a good thing and is quite willing to use his powers to enrich himself. Capricorn … he has the longest history of all, something like 14000 years. He’s a Creature of Legend stranded in a modern human world … and best of friends with that Minotaur guy. Secretly he’d like to see the human world replaced by others of his ilk.

    Then there’s Scorpio, Pisces, Aries, Virgo and Gemini. Okay, so the new Gemini is pretty much in it for ‘family’ reasons as they have no memory of their own and have been adopted by Pisces. They really don’t have much of a background of Right and Wrong at this point and hanging out with all of these guys is going to color their perceptions. Effectively that leaves me four to work on. Started on Scorpio like I said but I could go with the easy route, her being Irish and all, with a hatred of the Brits and an IRA terrorist type background but I thought it was too simple. Ever read the Iron Druid series? Yeah, didn’t think so. Anyway, that series got me interested in Irish folklore which put me on the track of mythology in general.

    Sidetrack … Pisces, a water sign obviously, I had nothing on her. There’s the whole Greek mythology thing and lots of watery tarts as Monty Python might say. I decided to make her a Nereid, one of fifty. That brought about a re-evaluation of her build. Had to get rid of somethings, added somethings … suddenly she goes from like 570 points to … 868. And here’s where my philosophy of character building comes in. Make a complete character and fuck the points. There was so much that a 3000 year old Greek ‘goddess’ would have just inherent from birth. All the ‘siren’ type powers, so I built those in, some of the more obvious inherent ones naked, the attack type stuffed into a Multi-power. Originally she was a magician and I wanted to keep that. Originally she had a VPP but to do what I wanted to be able to do with that would have put her well over 1000 points. I got some limits … sorta …

    Thing is, while I am building her new powers, I come across a couple that I’d classify as inherent in the fact she’s a siren … like Seduction a.k.a. Mind Control … had to give her a Siren’s Kiss, an NND Does Body that dehydrates the target. All perfectly in keeping. Then I gave her a power that fills the lungs of a target with water, drowning them. Another NND Does Body but this one is Continuous and Uncontrolled … and at first I made it 0 END. I quickly realized that would kill someone rather quickly, which is appropriate for what she is, a siren … they live to kill sailors, right? I decided to make it half END instead plus Pisces hasn’t used it to kill someone in like 2000 years. She’s learned restraint apparently.

    The rest of her Nereid powers are what you’d expect, lots of water control type stuff but I also wanted her to be able to manipulate water in any form. Hence, Ice Shards RKA Explosion and Jet of Steam, RKA AP. She’s getting really expensive about now. Oh, forgot her Swimming, 30″, x4 NC, 0 END, Combat and Non-combat Accel/Decel = 96 points by itself with NO disads. Since I planned to require that she have water near at hand, like standing in it, I gave her Call Water, a Change Environment that ruptures the pipes in her vicinity and floods the area around her. Might be gamey but I liked the idea. Even without pipes in the area, she can still call up ground water though.

    All that is, like I said, inherent to her being a Nereid. But she is also a magician. Still working on her spells but mostly she uses ‘defensive’ magic, like Dispels, Force walls and Missile Deflection. I had to give her a way to shove the demonic Gemini back into the Abyss so she’s got a Banish Demon spell she began working on the day she met those two demon assholes. I am not sure what else I’ll give her.

    Now, you might say that 868 points is WAY overpowered. You haven’t been reading my builds have you? 220 points in SKILLS … she IS 3000 years old after all. 258 points in characteristics. Not terrible, trust me … No, I am never using that Trumpist line again. Let’s just say 258 points is not that big of a deal. Then there’s 380 points in powers. Gotta understand, everything is 77 active points or less. Some are more background fill, like Nereid Affinity which allows her to communicate with marine mammals … a real combat threat, unless she asks a whale to swallow you, 22 points. So now I am nearly finished with her build and am looking at a real background …

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    When I was younger, before I even heard of RPGs, I was interested in Astrology. Not because I believed in it or anything but just because it was interesting how many times people would actually match the characteristics of their Zodiac sign. Enter Champions and what was to become my first personally created villain group. In light of my prior interest in astrology, I decided to build myself a team based on the Zodiac. Some of my creations you can still find on my site pages for the Zodiac.

    Anyway, I built the team and put them to work terrifying my players. I didn’t build them over-powered or anything, just built them AS a team. Went along pretty well. My favorite incident involved my Sagittarius and Dan’s character Crusader. Of course, Sag was a centaur and with a name like Crusader one just might expect there to be a horse involved. Thing is, Dan’s horse? He was smarter than its rider. We had a lot of fun with that and I still like to remind him of that fact now and then.

    Well, in a battle, the two squared off. Bow against long sword, mounted archer vs. mounted knight. I’m an archer ya know and I could see it coming. I have a target, well-armored, with a huge shield, charging up and down the street trying to remove my head from my shoulders what am I gonna do? That’s right, shoot the horse. Crusader still fights on foot to this day … but he did get his revenge.

    There came into the hobby shop one day an new book, The Zodiac Conspiracy. I was pissed. I had been running MY Zodiac for about a year and here this upstart Doug Shuler publishes his damn group. I bought it. I read it. I found I liked half of it. Exactly half. So, I decided to integrate the groups, half of mine, half of Doug’s.

    So, in order in the book …:

    Doug’s Taurus was too good to not use.
    Doug’s Gemini, better then mine.
    Doug’s Cancer stayed.
    My Leo.
    My Virgo.
    My Libra.
    My Scorpio
    Doug’s Sagittarius
    Doug’s Capricorn
    My Aquarius
    My Pisces
    Doug’s Aries

    The first thing I had to do was get rid of the six of my characters I wouldn’t be using anymore. Remember that horse? Well, so did Crusader. He got his revenge and took out the original centaur Sagittarius. Seems a little non-Paladin to celebrate over the corpse of a fallen foe, there Crusader. So, my six discards … left, yeah, that’s it, they volunteered to go to like China or something … actually there was this big disaster involving cave-ins and stuff and only six made it out. I don’t know what happened to Doug’s other six … I never asked.

    Now, I got my six and Doug’s six. My six are designed by their birth sign. Seems Doug didn’t study much astrology … so I rebuilt his. Now, though, the ratio is no longer six to six but eight to four. Seems Pisces got really rather pissed off at Gemini’s murder of Cancer and attempted murder of Pisces herself. She … mmm … well, she opened a pin hole into the Abyss and pushed those two assholes back where they came from. So, Cancer became mine as did Gemini. One might ask if Doug’s remaining four are safe … well, yeah, I think so. His Taurus and Capricorn have become major players in my world and after a few upgrades to Aries, I found he’s just too much fun. The other one I kept, Sagittarius. But they’ve all had their backstories rewritten, sorry, Doug.

    Laters

    29
    May

    S.A.A.T.

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Characters

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    Today’s mission? Rebuild S.A.A.T. I know, who the fuck is S.A.A.T. right? Well, decades ago when I was first getting started GMing for Champions, there were all these villain groups around. Deathstroke, Eurostar, Terror Inc. … well, those were sorta old hat by that time so I assembled my own group. I gathered up solo villains nobody was using and stuck them together just for a change of pace from Deathstroke. With my personal history with Rainbow Archer, I just had to bring her into things, then Shamrock, just ‘cuz I love the guy … anyway I finished it off with Dragonmaster, Fire and Ice and Thunderbolt. Five was a good number.

    Well, along the way I decided I try my hand at making my own villains … the Witches came out of that. I was evil even back then. The two girls turned into a pain in the ass for my players. First of, I am playing with all guys and these two are smokin’, which one really must play up a little, right? Now give them a couple of weak minded hormonal teen boys to play with and … blithering idiots. I pretty quickly figured out that my tactical sense was a hell of a lot better then any of my players. It was a condition that never changed. The Twins, pretty much made fools of the team, with the rest of SAAT poking them with sticks.

    Oh, that’s right, why the name? I didn’t want another kill hungry group or one that was just out for money, no, I needed a plan. Enter Timemaster. This guy’s lost in Time so let’s get him to hire SAAT to steal all the good research on time travel … the the stuff he needed to build a time machine. Okay, we got superthieves. Non-deadly. They don’t even threaten the normals. In fact several times one or more have been captured rather than endanger normals. This sorta made them more friendly enemies then say Eurostar. My team started to get to know them … and all this lead to Zodiac.

    -look for the next post-

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