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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Suits is alright but I'm not much for lawyers. Stranger Things is on my list to binge watch after Luke Cage.
Suits has Gina Torres.
And some other people, I guess, but I don't even care. Gina Torres!
As for Agents of SHIELD, I kind of liked that season ending (particularly all the fakeouts / bait-n-switches as to who the 'big death' was going to be). I'm interested to see where they go next, now that they seem to be pulling away from the heavy Inhuman focus.
I thought this was going to be a cute picture of a baby chicken, all yellow and downy.
Eh. Just pictures of a hot scantily-clad woman. Not so much 'good news.'
Pakistan doing something about honor killings is a step in the right direction. That's a shocking thing to still be going on.
Crater Labs wrote:
This is my bane.
I've got three things I 'should' be writing, and they sit and sit and sit, while I surf the web or binge-watch shows on Netflix or whatever. Fortunately, at work, there's no Wi-Fi (and I don't have a cellphone), so between breaks and lunch, I've got about an hour of time each day I *can't* go online, and can get some writing in, if I don't fire up the solitaire...
The downside to that is that the internet has become so integral to my writing. I am completely addicted to being able to check something about geography or culture or whatever online, that I feel like I've hit a wall when I'm writing something and realize that I can't 'look something up real quick.'
Gosh, the excuses I'll find, instead of developing some self-discipline. :)
Ok let me try it this way. Is this a Star Trek movie for someone that actually enjoys Star Trek, rather than someone that just enjoys dumb movies with explosions?
I just got back from it and enjoyed it, but, as a long-time Trekkie, I'd say it, like most of the Star Trek movies, IMO, was probably more enjoyable as an action/adventure movie than a pure 'Star Trek' experience, which, again, IMO, tends to be something more on the small screen in serial episodes that can really explore the cultures, characters, effects of technology, etc.
There was lots of cool nostalgia for the old time fans, as well as some new stuff, with the Spock/McCoy banter being particularly fun. There was even another shout-out to the Enterprise show (mention of a past war with the Xindi).
A night hag or similar outsider with mind-affecting abilities might be similarly 'connected' to the patron, which itself might not have a separate existence as a 'creature,' being more of a metaphysical thing, like a cosmic (un)consciousness or something.
While night hags, perversely, don't actually have a bunch of abilities that allows them to communicate with people through their dreams, that's easy enough to fix. There's no reason *this* night hag couldn't have telepathy and / or some sort of dream communication ability. (Or the dream haunting ability be flavored to allow communication, in a harrowing Con-damaging sort of way.)
I picked night hag mainly because hags and witches are already associated, and night hags would be the most likely to have some sort of connection to a mind/dream/nightmare sort of 'patron.' Other sorts of creatures are just as possible, such as a psychopomp or protean. Just because the *average* member of such a creature type doesn't necessarily have any useful dream/mind-communication ability doesn't mean that the GM can't rule that this one has a unique-ish ability to do so, perhaps because of it's own tenuous connection to this 'mind' patron.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Druma is an area with a distinct culture and not much in the way of canonical information. I'd quite like to see that fleshed out a little.
Indeed! Other than some oblique references to 'dietary and sexual restrictions' and that they love them some money, we really know very little about the Kalistocracy, and some AP articles might be a great way to flesh them out (since I'm not sure they'd warrant a 64 page volume any time soon).
The area's got strong ties to the Five Kings mountains, dwarves in general, the mysterious Lake Encarthan and 'Isle of Terror,' the church of Abadar, Kyonin, Razmiran, etc. and so has a ton of interesting directions it can go.
I'd forgotten that Typhoid Mary was even a mutant, actually. :)
Still, she's basically psychic, and psychic stuff exists in the Marvel universe separate from mutants (many mystical characters, like Dr. Strange and Dr. Druid, pick up mental abilities like thought-casting and moving stuff with their minds without being mutant telepaths or mutant telekinetics, for instance, and SHIELD has had a bunch of low level non-mutant 'sensitives' doing psi-ops for years). In other cases, non-mutants can simply be *trained* (generally by aliens) to use psychic abilities, such as Mantis or Moondragon or 'Bob' (the Uranian) of Agents of Atlas.
I'd be perfectly okay with Mary (or any other character deriving powers from a psionic source, like Vance Astrovik or Molly Hayes) being a non-mutant in the MCU. There's plenty of precedent for it in the comics.
I'd be less inclined to make X-peeps into non-mutants, but characters like Typhoid Mary are far less connected to the whole mutant phenomena (and therefore it's less integral to their character/role) than various X-Men, or even Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
Abraham spalding wrote:
[tangent] There was an old fantasy book, Forgotten Beasts of Eld, in which one of the 'forgotten beasts' was a black cat named Moriah, who had been familiar to a dozen or more witches over her immortal life as a supernatural creature, and while she wasn't capable of casting spells herself, she had an encyclopedic knowledge of magic and witchcraft, and would occasionally offer 'helpful' advice like, 'Is he bothering you? I know a spell that will melt his bones...'
Also elves have always bothered me. The description is always about grace and beauty - never brilliance or geniuses. But their stat bonus is intelligence not charisma.
That's just a 3.X ism, because they wanted them to have favored class Wizard, when, in 3rd edition, they pretty much screamed out to be favored class *Sorcerer.* (Or perhaps even Bard.) But no, they wanted to stick to the traditional 'magic-user' of previous editions, and not the shiny new Sorcerer, so the racial bonus had to go into Intelligence, even if that made less sense than Charisma, based on the racial descriptive text. (+Intelligence would have made more sense for *Dwarves, IMO.*)
More on-topic, I'm hoping that the alien races made available have a decent series of stat options, without necessarily going all 'Blood off Fiends/a subrace for every possible stat combo.'
Right now, if you want to play a Dex or Cha based class, you've got a bajillion options, counting all the 'uncommon' races, but +Str and +Int (or Small races that don't also have a Str penalty) are quite a bit rarer.
I would *love* if the DNC had some sort of gentleperson's agreement to not talk about Trump, at all. Maybe someone would start out a speech with, 'Donald Trump says... Just kidding. We're not here to talk about him. Let's talk about some serious ideas to make things better, instead.' Not like, pretend he doesn't exist, or that they are scared to talk about him, just kind of nod and wink and move on to substantive discourse instead.
It's not like he doesn't get all the free press, anyway. No reason for him to get free ad time at the DNC.
Hmmm...I feel the Valashmai Jungle would be the setting for part six of a Kaiju-based Tian Xia adventure path. Maybe multiple Kaiju could awaken and start marching towards major metropolises of Tian Xia and the PC's are tasked with finding the source of the Kaiju's rage and putting a stop to it before all of the Dragon Kingdoms are destroyed? The adventure path could be called "King of the Monsters" and would feature a point where the PC's are embedded with mythic power. Pretty cool idea? Yes? No?
Or they might have to go wake up a *different* Kaiju and aim it at the bad-guy Kaiju, perhaps even defending it against the attacks of lesser threats en route to the big battle, and assisting 'their' Kaiju in winning the final fight against the other(s).
I'm taking a break from Chapelwood by Cheri Priest. A lot of the POV characters are doing very repetitive stuff and there hasn't been a lot of action.
After how amazing Maplecroft was, Chapelwood kind of felt like Cherie Priest had moved on and was writing this because she had too, or something.
So I started The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson. It's the first of the Repairman Jack series. It's been updated from 1984 to 2004, so that's cool, too. :-) It's really good so far. It also has a bunch of POV characters, but they're all third person, not first person "letters."
The Tomb is an awesome book! The Keep is my other favorite by F. Paul Wilson. He goes quite a bit further with both concepts, with something like a dozen other Repairman Jack novels, but the Tomb, IMO, is the best.
Avoid the movie version of The Keep, which kicks puppies and destroys rainbows in it's terribleness.
Ooh, this I like! With the fall of Azlant, the setting could use a sort of 'Melnibonean' jaded/morally dissolute 'elder race' sort of deal.
With some adjust to the map, central Avistan is home to four different kingdoms; Raedland, Emeria, Andalia and Krydirn. Go here for your classic medieval high middle ages style adventures.
Also a neat idea. Fantasy settings often seem to have thematically close analogues to Egypt, Arabia, various Asian nations, etc. and then nothing at all that smacks of Western Europe, so it's kind of cool that you've added a castles & crusades sort of region.
Good names, too! Andalia and Raedland sound 'real' ish, and not quite as wonky as some fantasy nations.
If so, then that is excellent. I'm also holding out hope for self-healing options for martial characters. I have no idea how that would be done, and doubt it will be covered, but I can only hope!
A rage power that grants fast healing, or improved monk wholeness of body, or improved heal skill unlock for rogues, would certainly shake things up and take some of the weight off of the cleric player, allowing them to do something *other* than heal every single wound, every single round.
There are already arcane classes (bard, alchemist, witch) with cure light wounds, so an arcane necromancy or transmutation school healing spell wouldn't break the game or invalidate the cleric (since the bard already didn't do that).
There's a part of me that wants an old-school WoW style 'shadow priest' that inflicts necromantic / shadow damage, and then, vampiric touch-like, uses that stolen energy to heal themselves and their allies. 'Cause that would rock. Standard action, shadow blast the bugbear, draining it's life-energy. Swift action, redirect half off that stolen life-energy to the fighter that bugbear is meleeing. Damage dealer *and* second-rate healer, all at the same time, with no real out of combat 'healing between fights' options, because they've got to be killin' folk to generate healing energy. That could make a funky kineticist, actually, based on positive energy manipulation (a sort of positive energy draining infusion) or negative energy manipulation (perhaps with temporary hit points / false life buffs instead of actual healing?).
The Beardinator wrote:
First round of my FR Godly conversions:
Auril seems like a perfect fit for an Irriseni god, worshipped by the Winter Witches. OTOH, there not being a 'perfect fit' god for the Irriseni witches could be 'as designed' to highlight that they are alien intruders to this world, and not supposed to be here...
As for magic gods, divided up by domain, Green Ronin's Plot & Poison had a pantheon of drow magic demigods, which, with the serial numbers filed off, had some amazing ideas built into them for a generic set of school-based magic demigods. (The god of abjuration, for instance, was portrayed as just a pair of eyes visible in a swirling mass of defensive spells so thick that they obscured the sight of his body. His 'favored weapon' was the spiked shield. The divination god was also the god of communications between far-flung communities and of strategy and tactics, and had his own church-run order of giant-bat riding messenger/pony express people, and 'battle heralds' who transmitted battle orders through semaphore flags or special drum signals or whatever, which, translated to the surface, would probably ride giant owls or giant eagles or giant wasps or something.)
Ooh, just remembered something;
Dragonhide is pretty cheap (2x the cost of masterwork) considering how ridiculously little of it you can make from a dragon. (You need a *Colossal* dragon to make a single breastplate for a medium character! And that will set up back 500 shiny gold pieces, or, 1/3rd the cost of a suit of full plate *not* made from a Colossal dragon...)
I laugh at this, and house-rule that 'dragonhide' armor can be made from wyverns and drakes and various other creatures of the dragon type, and kind of ignore the size thing, because that's just crazytalk.
Drakes and wyverns tend to exist in certain areas of Golarion, and 'dragonhide' armor would be more common in those locations. The Sargava / Shackles area has a decent population of Sea Drakes, which means that dragonhide is more common there, in my Golarion. The Hold of Belkzen and southwestern Ustalav's mountainous areas are similarly popular roosting sites for Wyverns, and thus, dragonhide is also a thing there, and could be found on an orcish warleader or shaman, or handed down from a wyvern-hunting Ustalavic noble to his descendants.
In Golarion, Pharasma feels like a synthesis between Wee Jas and Istus (Lady of Fate), from Greyhawk. Was that a thought during her design, or did she just parallel develop that way?
Was Nethys another of your ideas? As neutral gods of magic go, I like him a lot more than Boccob (who came across as too removed/dismissive) and Mystra (who came across as too ubiquitous/meddlesome...).
Do you have any familiarity with the Scarred Lands pantheon? There's some neat parallels to Golarion's Inner Sea gods, such as an angel winged sun goddess of healing and mercy, and a gender-swapping neutral god(dess) of weather (and plenty of differences, as well, such as a traditional female goddess of archery and the hunt, analogous to Ehlonna and Mielikki, as opposed to the very different direction taken with Erastil).
1) What do I want to play?
“I remember being a small child in the slave pens of Geb. At night, we would huddle together, for warmth, but also out of fear, because the Lords came after the sun fell from the sky, sometimes to feed, sometimes to steal children away, and sometimes just to kill slaves, seemingly at random. During the day, we would labor in the fields, using ointments on the zombie laborers to keep their dead flesh supple, and different oils upon those that were nothing but skeletal remains, to keep their clattering bones from drying out and cracking under the harsh sun. We were diligent in caring for these dead laborers, for if any failed under harsh work, we knew the Lords would come and kill enough of us to replace the workers that they had lost.”
“My mother was pureblood Garundi, as was I, it seemed, and she would fiercely elbow aside other slaves when it came time to take our daily gruel, making sure that we both got fair portions. And then she would always give me extra from her own bowl, telling me that I must grow strong and tall to escape this life.”
“I have no knowledge of the years, but I was somewhere between a child and a man when her wishes came true, and I escaped the life of a field-slave, to a life more beautiful and terrible than she could ever have known. The agents of the Lords came in the night, as always, and selected a half-dozen of us, all young boys who had grown strong and tall despite the harsh conditions. We were brought before the Dark Lady, who never told us her name, not in the three years I ended up serving her.”
“We had to unlearn some things, and learn still others. A slave was never to avert his gaze from the Dark Lady’s face. She demanded that her slaves look her in the eye, and show no sign of fear or doubt, or, especially, anger or impatience. Two of us died absorbing such basic lessons, and over the next months, we quickly learned our place, and that we each were competition to the others, and that only one would survive at the end, breeding in us a fierce desperation to see the others fail and be slain, instead of ourselves.”
“I scarcely remember such days, as they were followed by years as the favorite, the Chalice of the Dark Lady. Other slaves might serve as Vessels, to slake her thirst from time to time, but only I slept in her chambers and brushed her hair and massaged scented oils into her cold flesh. While the other slaves wore white linen, for slaves were allowed no other color of cloth upon their frame, I was draped in snow-colored silks, often mere scarves and sashes, for the Lords and Ladies did enjoy the sight of bare flesh, and jewelry of flashing silver. While the other slaves fed upon bread and rice and thick beer, I was allowed the taste of meat, the flesh of swine and geese and lambs, seasoned with exotic spices and washed down with chilled wines and honeyed mead. The Lords and Ladies believed that they vicariously shared the tastes of these fine meals when they supped upon the blood of their Chalice, and who am I to discredit that belief? Perhaps a fine meal *does* enrichen the taste of the blood, and certainly the strong wines made the experience more bearable for the one serving as his master’s private larder…”
“Still, being the favored Vessel of a vampire is equal parts pain, as well as pleasure, as the Lords and Ladies had fearsome tempers, and my Dark Lady would carry a silken scarf of crimson, set with many tiny razors of obsidian, with which she would lash me when she had received distasteful news or her researches had gone poorly or merely when the savage mood came upon her. A Chalice, or any slave, for that matter, was forbidden to turn away in these times, and to do so, or raise an arm in defense, was a death-sentence, and a painful one at that. While my back remains untouched by the scars of the lash, where one would expect a slave to be beaten, my chest and stomach still have many fine scars where the obsidian razors snagged and dug deep.”
“I remember a time when she had received a social upset from a hated rival, and she beat me so long that the tiny obsidian razors had been shaken from the silk or dislodged within my flesh, and in the end she was just slapping me with a blood-drenched length of silk, growing ever more furious at her inability to inflict more punishment. I had to gently take the silk from her and go to her chambers to bring a fresh lash, razors intact, so that she could continue, but I had lost so much blood that I fell unconscious on the way back, only to awaken later in her chambers, to her gently removing the obsidian shards from my skin, and lapping at the blood that welled up.”
“But all things must end, and my time as Chalice came to an end when those damned Vudran slaves were brought into market. Other Lords and Ladies swore by their dusky taste and heady blood, and even imported Vudran chefs to prepare strongly-spiced meals in the Vudran style, which the Lords believed only strengthened the rich taste of Vudran blood. At great expense, my own Dark Lady purchased a half-dozen Vudran slaves, never one to be left behind the fashions of the times, and I helped to train them to learn their place, and, in so doing, to take my place. I knew that I would be discarded, and thought that my sentimental Lady would drain me completely, and then have my body burned, as was sometimes the way with favored Chalices.”
“While she was away, trying to acquire the services of a Vudran chef, I prayed for deliverance, to Urgathoa, the goddess praised by my Dark Lady, for I knew of no other. I filled a bowl of bone with my own blood, and smeared it on the walls outside of the small slave chamber I had usurped for this private purpose. As I intended, flies were soon drawn to the scent of blood, and were enticed into the room as well, swarming around the bowl of blood. I prayed, my stomach heavy with the strong meal and stronger drink I had consumed, ritually feasting in the tradition of the Pallid Princess, and my deliverance came when an uncontrollable urge came upon me. I snatched and seized at the flies buzzing around me, fattened on my own blood, and forced them down my own throat, consuming them in return, as they had fed from me. I remember draining my own blood from the bowl and cleaning the room, hiding all evidence of my ritual, and staggering out into the public areas, where I collapsed in a feverish state.”
“My Dark Lady returned to find me flush with sickness, and would not feed from me in that state. She ordered her new Vudran Vessels to wrap me in linen and hurl me into the streets, lest I infect them with my sickness, and that was the last I saw of that life.”
“The next days were a blur as I was always running, always hungering, always desperate and fearful of the uncertain future. The light of the sun blinded me, as I had not seen it for over three years, and I huddled in an alleyway, with garbage pulled up over myself, until the night came. My belly ached with hunger, as I had purged it several times during the day, and purged the fever as well. All that I could find was discarded waste, fragments of bone and spoiled vegetables, and I prayed once again to Urgathoa, stuffing my face with this foul fare. She answered my prayers, and I watched as spoiled food became, if not fresh, at least edible, within my hands, and I recognized that I had indeed been delivered through her blessings.”
“I traveled north, secure in my ability to transform famine into feast, devouring rotting carcasses of animals lost in the desert, or the bitter flesh of the cactus. When I thirsted, I found that I could but pray for water, and it would begin to flow from my hands like a river. It was in Osirion that I first contacted priests of the Pallid Princess, and learned of the many other blessings that she could bestow upon me.”
“But even Osirion proved to be unwelcoming to a pale stranger who bore the marks of being a servant of the walking dead, and a slave besides, and upon overhearing a few traveling companions remarking that I could fetch a decent price at market, if they were short on coin, I fled again, taking the first ship I found north. I used the prayers I had learned to purify the foodstuffs and drink of the merchantmen I found myself beholden to, and so earned my berth, as they sailed to Korvosa.”
“I was in Korvosa less than a day, hearing on the docks of the blot in the skies of Riddleport, and realizing that whatever force could blot the sun from the sky would be the answer to a vampire Lord’s prayers, and that if I ever wanted to become a Lord myself, I would have no better chance to locate a new Dark Lord to serve, here in the barbaric north, where one who was once a slave might yet become a Lord himself.”
6) Name. Generally an afterthought.
7) Find a picture. Either tailor backstory to suit the picture (easiest) or try to find a picture that works with the backstory (hardest, I've changed character race and gender just to match a good picture!).
Note: I almost never play 'builds' that 'come online' after a number of levels. I want to have fun *now* and am genetically incapable of deferring gratification until level X. Too many superhero games have spoiled me. I don't want to fly at level 5. I want to fly *now.* And so I tend to design 1st level characters that have abilities I want to use right out of the box. By 8th level, the character might not be as awesome as someone who suffered for several crap levels to get all their feats and level dips and whatnot in a row, but I had fun getting there, and there's little to stop my 8th level character from stepping in front of a charging bulette and my getting to write up a new 8th level character who skips all that boring prerequisite nonsense. :)
Freehold DM wrote:
I know the first Arabian knight died, this is the second one. Apparently he is hot.
Huh, just reading up on the Arabian Knight, who had a bulletproof, fireproof, indestructible sash that could grow to forty feet long, which he wore as a belt (I guess, in case anyone tried to shoot him in the waist?).
Note to dead guy; wrap that forty foot 'belt' around your arms, chest, legs and head, fool! No wonder you died! (Not that a bulletproof costume would have saved him from the life-draining poop-mutant that killed him, but still!)
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Regarding Middle Eastern, really right now all we have is Kamala. Dust and Monet are pretty much non-factors outside of being Mutants. Not much has been see of Faiza Hussein/Exacalibur since Secret Wars.
True. Although I *think* Monet is in a current X-peeps book (Uncanny X-Men), on a team with Magneto and other 'hardcore' X-folk (Sabertooth, Psylocke, Archangel). It's not one I read, so I'm not real sure about that. Given that it's basically another 'X-Force' type grim and grit fest, I imagine Monet's characterization will be about as well developed / important to the story as the color of Magneto's socks.
Pity about Dust (and the other 'New X-Men' not named 'She-Wolverine'), since we'll probably not see them again, unless they are being put on a bus and used as fodder for the next 'OMG, you killed a bunch of mutants!' angst-fest.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Supposedly he carries a gun 'in case the ring doesn't work.'
I dunno, having a character using a weapon that kind of depends on your willpower and self-confidence to work, carry a backup weapon, seems to undercut the entire premise...
On the other hand, I once read about a flying superhero who wore a parachute, because he was terrified of his flying power turning off or failing him, which, as someone who is afraid of heights, I 100% identified with. :)
Freehold DM wrote:
Arabian Knight had a kickass storyline with Sabra a few years back. But he may be a REAL stereotype of a superhero.
Sabra was pretty cool in her brief X-Men appearance during the Phalanx Covenant storyline.
I think they killed Arabian Knight off awhile back. But for Middle Eastern/Arabic heroes they've got Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel, Dust/Sooraya an Afghan mutant who can turn into a living sandstorm, Monet St. Croix, an Algerian mutant who's about two powers away from being the Martian Manhunter (flight, strength, invulnerability, telepathy, super-speed, super-intelligence, possibly telekinesis...) and Faiza Hussein/Excalibur.
Not a lot of Middle Eastern *dudes* ('cause they all have scary eyebrows or something?) but they've got the hot super-ladies covered, I guess.
Kevin Mack wrote:
The rule of two, in the movies at least, comes from Yoda, he of the 'he is too young to begin the training / he is too old to begin the training' logic, and was presented in the same movie in which we learned that Palpatine, Dooku *and* Maul were all active at the same time (that's not two, but three, for those math-challenged little green dudes out there).
Short, short version? Yoda's full of crap, when it comes to the Sith and their rules.
Or possibly his little frog-race are like gully dwarves, and any number bigger than one is 'two.'
I don't know what is was specifically, but I never liked the Red Mantis stuff. So I had them finally piss off enough people that a coalition on mortal and divine sides group up to crush the little backstabbers and its god.
I feel like the Red Mantis stuff would work better for me if it actually *was* 'the assassin of the gods,' working on behalf of the gods for various reasons, such as hunting down would-be immortals for Pharasma, or targeting god-hating places or gods-defying places like Hermea, Touvette or Rahadoum (with a state of open conflict between the Red Mantis organization and the nation of Rahadoum being a major theme).
Not every god would necessarily approve of an 'assassin of the gods,' but even Iomedae has people she wouldn't mind having an 'accident' (such as leaders among the demon cultists of the Worldwound). Evil gods and many neutral gods, on the other hand, would be all for it. Abadar's church might put a contract out on a prominent brigand or pirate who is threatening mercantile trade, and had the nerve to attack one of the Banker's caravans or ships.
As it currently stands, the Red Mantis Assassins feel almost like a corruption of the original intent, unless that 'original intent' was little more than lip-service for a church that was never really anything other than a divine rationalization for managing a network of professional killers-for-hire... Either option is interesting, although each hinge on a different sort of blasphemy, which makes it delightfully ironic, given the mission statement of striking down enemies of the gods.
The faith also would benefit from being tied to creatures that actually consider themselves 'enemies of the gods,' such as Rakshasa or Divs (or Asuras or Thanatotic Titans). If the Red Mantis was in a shadow war with Rakshasa pashas of Jalmeray and Vudra, or the Div cults in Katapesh, Osirion, Thuvia, etc.
I don't love the RMA, but really the only thing I loathe about them is the darn bug-hats. Ugly!
Thomas Seitz wrote:
As for mutants and their place in the world of super powers...it's always been dodgey to me about how much fear should be generated by mutants. Some, like say, Genocide, are pretty much built to kill. But others, like say Triage or Elixir, clearly have the ability to help more than hinder. Coupled that with the Hulk himself and the various alien threats Earth 616 faces on daily basis (not including the magic threats, interdimensional threats, and just world ending stuff), does make me question the validity of people fearing mutants.
The mutant thing is odd to me for several reasons.
Firstly, mutants have families and friends for all the years leading up to their first manifestation of mutant power / appearance (generally at puberty).
Other Marvel heroes come from races like the Atlanteans, Inhumans, Eternals, Asgardians, etc. who (generally) came from alien societies with no ties to humans or their myriad cultures.
Mystical heroes, like Dr. Strange, the Scarlet Witch, or, heaven forfend, the idiot who runs around with a pentagram tattoo on his chest and calls himself Son of Satan, would be *vastly* more controversial, in a country that is predominantly Christian and not terribly fond of witchcraft, let alone Satan. It only gets worse when there are figures that claim to be actual *gods,* like Thor and Hercules. One can try to pretend that they are just using those names, but there's been plenty of evidence over the years that there is a place called Asgard filled with immortal super-people who may have actually been worshipped as gods thousands of years ago (and, kind of still are, in the real world today). People would *freak out* over that sort of thing, far more than mutants, who, if anything, they'd probably be eager to 'cure,' since normalizing or mainstreaming is a popular choice to impose on people who aren't in the majority.
One of things that you notice about cleric players is that irrespective of their deity they pretty much all have the same spells and this is a big part of the cleric blandness problem.
Reducing the spell list to all of the Domain spells for your deity, plus whatever cure or inflict spells you could channel would be one way to individualize different clerics. Any additional cleric spells would be added one or two per level, similarly to how a wizard gains their spells, or could be learned from scrolls, etc. again, similarly to how a wizard gains spells. Spells from subdomains available to the clerics gods might also be added to the automatically-known list.
That would probably be my number one choice to change clerics (and druids) would be to reduce the spells available from 'everything ever' to a smaller number limited to the acquisition methods of the wizard (or sorcerer, for spontaneous cleric/druid types). Instead of knowing every single cleric (or druid) spell, automatically, including new spells introduced every couple of months in new products, they'd have to select a smaller subset of spells to know (adding Domain / cures or inflicts or summon nature's ally, so still being quite superior to a wizard).
Increasing the number of domains / subdomains available, either as class features, or through feats, might help to mix things up, as well as letting some of the domain powers scale, instead of remaining at 1d6 hp +1 hp/2 levels.
I blame Cosmo for this heat. I live in a state close enough to Canada that we have 'Bienvenue!' on our state lines, welcoming the Quebecian tourists and their sweet, sweet monopoly money. And yet it's so darn hot that I step out of a cold shower, and can't towel dry, because I'm sweating as fast as I'm toweling, and it's become a Sisyphean task. Or a nightmare. Or possibly a Sisyphean nightmare...
Though way back in the day when they were a couple, she got the chance to come to Asgard and get raised to a goddess herself and completely failed the test - mostly because A) Odin was being a jerk again and B) the writers wanted her out of the way.
Odin's a jerk that way. Jane isn't good enough. Sif isn't good enough. Thor would get zero action if Odin got to vet all of his girlfriends. :)
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Frankly, I don't think Thor would fall in love with anybody who wasn't worthy to wield the hammer.
Compared to someone who *chose* to be a nurse and help people for a living, Thor had to be cursed and punished to become a caregiver, which kind of makes it sound like Jane Foster was more worthy than Thor, back in the day. That has more to do with the strange comic-book logic of the curse (which generally seems to be okay with Thor being a temperamental jerk at times, but holds everyone else to an impossible standard of moral purity) than any sort of 'Jane is better than Thor' nonsense, IMO.
Alpha Flight hooked him while looking for a new body for Sasquatch.
[tangent] Gosh, Sasquatch sure would be a different character if he'd accidentally picked a nexus point tied to a *different* Great Beast in which to perform his gamma experiments, instead of Tanaraq, such as Tolomaq (the Fire Beast), Kolomaq (the Snow Beast) or Tundra (the Land Beast). [/tangent]
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Since it was 'just' Rhodey, there was a slim chance the first shocking death might 'stick' for awhile. Now that an A-lister like Bruce is dead, it's pretty guaranteed there'll be a built-in retcon or do-over...
Eh. Comics. If the death is of someone even a non-comic fan would recognize, it's temporary. Nature of the serial business, I suppose.
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Set the first picture reminded me of Mordecai humble beginnings, before his Riddleport days. Even though the era, and sex are not a match.
The second picture, of the woman with the gun leaning on the railing, is indeed creativity-provoking. She has the look of someone who has already done what she was going to do with that gun...
Norman Osborne wrote:
I'm not sure people at Marvel remember British Psylocke anymore....even Betsy Braddocks from alternate timelines/universes always seem to have ended up turning into Asians.
I've also read recently that she's always had purple hair, because of being a mutant, when we've seen her from the past, as a blonde (like her brother) before she dyed it. Ugh.
I can learn to deal with the deliberate retcons, but the writers who just don't bother to learn the past of the characters they've elected to write is just annoying.
I'd be interested in knowing more about what Kwannon was up to *before* she got body-entangled with Betsy. She seemed to at least have *some* minor psychic ability, along with amazing ninja skills, and be a prominent *something* in that area of the world... As a character, she got kind of tossed aside, and then brought back to be killed off by Legacy, which, like so many apocalyptic threats to mutantkind, seemed to be selectively picking off mutants nobody had ever heard of. :)
As for the Green Hulk, Red Hulk, Grey Hulk stuff, I remember (probably incorrectly) that the Red Hulk / Red She-Hulk stuff started running around the same time as all the Red Lantern / Orange Lantern / etc. over at the Distinguished Competition, and wondering if Red Rage Hulk was going to be followed by a Yellow Fear Hulk and a Purple Love Hulk.
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Uhm I think She-Hulk is still female.
Yeah, and Black Lightning is still obviously visibly black, that's where I was going with that. She doesn't really need a 'she' in her name, since anyone can see that she's a Girl-Hulk, not a Boy-Hulk.
At least it only happened with some non-white-dude groups. It would have gotten even more awkward if everybody had to have their ethnicity or gender built into their name. Gypsy Scarlet Witch! Asian Psylocke! Gay Northstar!
I dunno. And I do apologize if I come across as crass/racist/whatever. I just don't think it's necessarily good storytelling to use the same recipe over and over.
Yeah, it sometimes feels to me that characters coming in as mid-season replacements, like this young black girl as 'Iron Man' are being set up to fail. Obviously long-time fans of Tony Stark are not going to be thrilled by *anyone* replacing him, and when this new character doesn't get the traction desired, editorial can throw up their hands and say innocently (and speciously), "See! We tried! It's the *fans* who don't like young black girls, not us!"
(An impression I got from Avi Arad, who said that 'audiences don't want movies about strong female characters' because of the critical reception to Elektra and Catwoman, when what he *should* have said is that 'audiences don't want movies that *suck.*')
OTOH, mostly because of Civil War, but also because of the MCU, I'm well beyond 'peak Tony Stark' and kind of ready for him to take a knee for a few years, and let someone else play for a while.
Maybe Riri will take off, and find her own niche, later, as she grows out of whatever Stark/Iron Man fangirlism she is starting out with, and makes her own unique armored identity. (Similarly, Thor Odinson may eventually prove worthy of Mjolnir again, and Jane Foster, if she keeps up the role and beats the big C, will end up with one of the dozen or so other hammers lying around, thanks to the Fear, Itself storyline.)
At least we are past the day when one's superhero codename was likely to include references to plainly visible ethnicity and gender, like 'Black Lightning' or 'She-Hulk.'
Hulk kind of already has been, as the Totally Amazing Hulk is Amadeus Cho, a young Korean-American super-genius (and a pre-established character, having travelled with Hercules for some time, and had his own book).
But people taking on other characters names and roles, or spinning off of them, has been around for quite some time. There's a Supergirl, two Batwoman, Bat-Azrael, Bat-Nightwing, Batwing, three Batgirls, a passle of Robins, a half-dozen Green Lanterns from Earth, etc. over at DC, and at Marvel, She-Hulk, X-23, two Spider-Women, two Spider-Girls (not even counting Spider-Gwen or Silk), Jane Foster/Thor, 'Black' Goliath, Isiah Bradley/Captain America (one of 300 black men an experimental and dangerous attempt was tested on in an attempt to make more super-soldiers), etc.
It is almost harder to find people who *don't* have legacies of this sort. Just looking at the Fantastic Four, Frankie Raye was the second (or third, if you count Jim Hammond as the first...) Human Torch, and Sharon Ventura, the second Ms. Marvel, became the 'She-Thing' after her Power Broker-based powers went nuts and turned her into a rocky lumpy freak like Ben Grimm. Even Dr. Doom has had replacement Dooms in the form of some adopted kid (Kristoff Vernard) taking on his role, and a Doombot getting confused and replacing him.
And then there's Loki, who cut to the chase and became his own legacy characters, taking on Kid Loki, Teen Loki and Lady Loki forms... :)
I like the idea of different energy types having different secondary effects (something that exists in GURPS, where all fire damage, from spell or futuristic ray gun, or super-power, has a chance of setting someone on fire, and all electrical damage, regardless of source, bypasses uninsulated metal armor), although I'm not sure that reducing the damage die size would be necessary (since damaging spells are rarely the best option anyway).
That said, I'm not a fan of different energy types having set saving throw categories, like 'Fire - Ref' or 'Electricity - Ref', since there could situations where a Fire or Cold spell damages someone by overheating or supercooling them, or an Electricity spell staggers someone by messing with their nervous system, and logically would use a Fort save instead.
So, I just got Path of the HEllknight this last week, and the different orders really do mix things up.
Order of the Chain - bounty hunters, pursuers of fugitives from justice, not a bad choice for Paladins.
Order of the Gate - let's summon us a bunch of devils, for, uh, justice, yeah! Probably a terrible choice for Paladins...
Order of the Godclaw - less mission-oriented than some of the others, more based around their particular faith-arrangement. Still, associated with fighting the demons at the Worldwound, and a decent place for a Paladin to end up.
Order of the Nail - let's kill us some primitives and savages, which we define as anybody who owns lands we want for ourselves and doesn't have the military might to stop us from settling their lands. Nope. Not likely to be a lot of Paladins here, since the Order's hat seems to be 'racist conquistadors.'
Order of the Pyre - same as Order of the Nail, but concerned with destroying foreign religion and burning books full of 'dangerous' ideas from 'lesser' cultures. In-game, where there literally *are* 'dangerous ideas' (spells with the [evil] descriptor, etc.), a good-ish version of a book-burnin' sect *could* exist, but this surely isn't such an animal, since, again, it's all about the racism and nativism and racial/cultural superiority themes. So, few if any Paladins need apply.
Order of the Rack - a third pretty much 'bad-guy' Order. As defenders of the status quo, regardless of the justness of that status quo, they end up defending Cheliax's government, for instance.
Order of the Scourge - justice for all, rooting out corruption in the highest levels of government, this is totally a possibility for a Paladin, who may be sick of seeing rich or powerful people get away with monstrous crimes, while the poor are being sold into slavery for far less.
Order of the Crux - evil to the bone, even before they came back as undead. Nope.
Order of the Glyph - Geryon worshipping supporters of House Thrune who destroy and alter historical records to suit the 'new truth.' Bad-guys to the core.
Order of the Pike - monster-hunters and defenders of rural areas, this Order seems like a fine place for a Paladin to operate.
Order of the Scar - anti-assassination guardsmen, a Paladin might be acceptable in a place where the leader to be protected is someone the Paladin approves of (such as the Crusader Queen of Mendev), but not so much Miss Abby Thrune...
Order of the Torrent - recover kidnap victims / hostages. Another that's a good place for Paladins.
Order of the Wall - defenders of civilized borders, whether or not a Paladin would be suitable would depend on the borders. Those defending northern lands from the monsters of the Sodden Lands would likely be comfortable for Paladins. Those defending borders between devil-run Cheliax and freedom-loving Andoran, not so much.
I like that the Orders include room for pretty much any interpretation in this thread.
There are a number of 'bad-guy' Orders that no Paladin would be likely to be able to function within without falling, like the Nail, Pyre, Rack, Coil, Crux and Glyph.
Then there are Orders like the Torrent, Pike and Scourge, which seem like pretty comfortable fits for someone with a Paladin's ethics and strong moral code.
And a few on the squiffy edge, like the order of the Wall or Godclaw or Scar, where fine lines might need to be tread, and some role-playing / moral conflict opportunities may exist.
Professor Farnsworth, Scientist wrote:
I blame Cosmo that no one is funding research to capture and sequester stupid. Forget carbon emissions for a moment. Humanity's only hope is to halt the catastrophic rise of global stupidity before it permanently endumbens us all.
I blame Cosmo that the 'Professor' is trying to con people into concentrating the till-now-diluted-to-near-harmlessness of free floating ambient stupidity into a tank somewhere, where it will feed upon itself and grow in toxicity and be more easily weaponized...
I also blame Cosmo that I haven't had a good reason to use the term 'weapons-grade stupidity' yet today.
Yeah, ensemble casts work far better on TV. Preferably 26 hour-long episodes a year. Also, I'm sad that we don't live in that world anymore.
Still waiting for a 'Starfleet Academy' or 'Starfleet Command' series or something, taking up in ye olde continuity after DS9 and Voyager and continuing in the setting with a new cast and crew, and maybe the occasional cameo by an older character. (And ignoring the movie Trek reboot universe entirely.)
Is it too much to ask to see some Cardassians and Andorians and Borg again? And 100% less Beastie Boys?