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    Character Stories

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-348" No comments Posted in: Characters

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    While offering up a particular group of character stories I suggested that the reader begin with a certain character. I don’t think the reader got through the entire background story before having a few comments for me. I have never claimed to be female nor have I ever claimed to have any special insight into the female mind. This character, Filch, brought me a couple of condemnations that annoyed me.
    First, this girl was molested by her mother’s boyfriend and escaped the situation, travel across the country, and now has to fend for herself. As she is a metahuman, she has certain powers, minor as they may be, that can allow her to make money by theft. It is the ‘molested’ part I got hit on first. “You use it a lot!” I counted. Of all the characters that I have created over the years, two have been out and out victims of rape. One character was the victim of the Hollywood casting couch. Four or five have been threatened with rape but in those cases it was threat. I have created hundreds of characters. Personally, I think I am under representing the possibility of sexual harassment/molestation/rape.
    Look, I know this is a game, but there is a considerable amount of drama in any good game. It is not all ‘thug of the week’, and I really dig into a characters motivation for how they make use of the powers they are given. Sometimes it is ugly … read about Leo of the Zodiac some time. Or Sagittarius. People don’t become super-villains because they wake up one sunny morning and decide to start killing people. Sure, that does happen too, but it is rarer than being forced into a situation that changes your whole outlook on life.
    Okay, again, I’m not female so I can’t speak to the mind of someone that has been placed in Filch’s situation so the second ding I got might be legit. ‘Why is she running around in a bikini all the time? She was molested!’ Like I said, maybe legit, but her hunting ground for her pick pocketing is a Southern California beach. Like any pick pocket, distraction is all important and she has become cynical enough to recognize that. So, would she wear a bikini to the beach? Yeah, I think she would.
    When I created Filch, I wanted someone that stood on a line between hero and villain. I wanted a victim of circumstance, someone who is not a bad person, just someone in a bad position. I also want her to meet someone that will help her make the right choices without forcing her into anything, someone to give her options. How do they met? Passersby in the street. Why did they take notice of each other? A common enemy, one interested in taking advantage of Filch through physical intimidation. A very large man, same as her rapist. And the passersby? He is even larger, and so, scary. While the two men are distracted, she escapes. The story now has a beginning.
    I don’t like boring backgrounds. Show me one boring background in DC or Marvel.


    Code Monkey Quits

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-341" No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, General Thoughts

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    Just as I thought … I asked Raven to rejoin her game. No. The other players don’t want me back because of all the fighting I caused with Amelia. She tells me she has suggested it a couple of times, always with the same result. Good enough to build their characters, update them and post them on MY website but not good enough to play with. I feel like I am being a spoiled rotten kid wanting my way. But … I have done a shit ton of stuff for these children and that means absolutely nothing. Told Raven that the only thing that keeps me from deleting their asses is my friendship with her. So, I quit. Not helping anyone else in that game.


    Amelia: Cross Country

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-329" No comments Posted in: Characters, Fiction

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    It took me about ten seconds to pack whatever I thought I needed, which is to say the clothes on my back, my armor and a restock on energy bars and lollipops. Then, I was out of there. I should have left the moment Campbells took a swing at me and I REALLY should have left as soon as they sicced Gwen on me, but, I had to give it a try. Now, I was on my way home to have a little talk with a certain speedster. At least he’d listen … I hoped.

    Traffic was not a problem moving at my speed and it gave me a little more practice syncing up with that speed. Figured a few more races cross country would have me all nice and calibrated like Daimon had said. Dammit I hate when he’s right. Luckily, he’s not infallible or I wouldn’t have landed in Detroit.

    I kept it down a little for two reasons, the first was the most important … I didn’t want to burn out a quarter of the way across the country and end up looking for a probably cheap no-tell-motel for a nap. Did that the first time I did the coast-to-coast thing and had to spin dry to get rid of the bedbugs. So, keep it down under Mach 25 or so.

    The second reason was … well … I AM traveling over Mach one so there’s this thing called a sonic boom. The good part is, I’m not very big, only 5’5” and a hundred pounds, and coupled with my ‘slick suit’ I don’t make that big of a boom. It is enough though to break windows. That means I gotta detour a lot to miss buildings, cars, trucks, people, animals, anything breakable. Adds a little time to my trip. Still make it in about ten minutes, Detroit to LA.

    I dropped out of warp as the lights of LA began to overpower the night to cruise into the city at a sedate ninety then I remembered Daimon had packed my shit and moved me out of my basement apartment. I came to a stop behind a 7-11 and changed to normal clothes. I needed a Big Gulp and something hot and junk foodie.

    Soon as I stepped through the door, I realized this wasn’t my part of town. Half a dozen heads turned to watch me make my way to the back and the fountain machines. Not being egotistical or nothin’, but I’m used to bein’ the center of male attention most any place I go but it took me a second to refocus on base time movement and realize three of the guys watching me were holding shotguns. Shit. I put up my hands.

    “Hey, just wanted a Big Gulp,” I said.

    “Get your ass over here,” one guy growled at me, waving the barrel of his hand cannon at me.

    Closer was what I needed so I took a couple steps his way. When I was about equal distance from all three I stopped. I’d been wanting to try this. I grinned.

    “What you smilin’ at, bitch?”

    Blink. My backpack was stuffed with shotgun shells. The double barrel had been a bit more awkward then the two pump action. I mean, I had to break it open, pull the shells and close it while the guy was holding the damn thing. With the pumps, just a couple jerks on each and the shells popped out for me to catch. They knew something had happened, they couldn’t help it, they’d felt the guns moving.

    Me? I just turned my back on them and stepped up to the fountain, pulling a Big Gulp cup free and setting it into place under the ice dispenser. The clunk of the ice dropping into the cup broke the trance. The guy with the double barrel pulled both triggers.

    Click click.

    This cause the other two to pull triggers. Click, Click, kerchunk, kerchunk. Both tried to rack in a new shell. I moved the cup to the Coke nozzle.

    “Da fuck?” Double barrel broke it open and found both empty.

    His two buddies both pumped their weapons at least four times, no shells popped out.

    “Looking for these?” I had lined up twelve 12 gauge shotgun shells in a neat little row down the counter. Before they could react, each was touched across the throat by the lipstick I held up. Hands touched throats and came away with a red mess. The lipstick tube had changed when they looked back at me. I slowly opened a straight razor. “I suggest you drop your weapons and lay face down on the floor … or I can do the same thing with this.” The florescent light glinted off the steel of the blade.

    Took me a split second to relieve them of their guns and another few seconds for their brains to catch up to what was going on. Then there was another ten or fifteen seconds for them to process the little girl with the straight razor and their guns laying at her feet. From there, they kissed the floor pretty fast. I used some heavy duty nylon zip ties to bind their hand together in the small of their back, then for good measure, I zipped their ankles together.

    I heard the sirens as a placed the Big Gulp on the counter along with a dozen of taquitos.

    “What do I owe you?”

    The girl still had her hands up. She shook her head. “Nothing, it’s free.”

    “No thanks!” I said and dropped a $20 on the counter.

    Five minutes later I unlocked the door to my motel room and shrugged off the backpack. The Gulp and taquitos had taken the edge off and I needed to bitch out Daimon. Wasn’t really concerned that it was 3 am…

    One thing about talking with another speedster … it was over in under ten second. He told me to stay put for the night and he’d be down in the morning to figure out what to do.



    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-310" No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Characters

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    I’m having a hard time letting this go … second time in my life I’ve found myself in this situation … the first resulted in the Legacy. Anyway, what’s going on?

    Well, I guess it started with a request. Seems Raven’s Playground had been orphaned and as I have more space than I need over in the Wild Hunt, I offered a chunk to get it back up and running. One thing led to another and at some point the Minutemen entered the picture. I already had two full teams up and running, the Red Team and the White Team, aka the Legacy. Parts of the Blue Team had been puttering around in my head for a while to the point I’d start working on characters, Ave being the first with only vague ideas for more.

    Well, along come the idea of dropping a character for Raven in and after some time, it became three. Cool. Playing off those three, more sprang into existence as the trio presented problems. Fast forward a bit and the Blue Team went from one, Ave, to four to a full ten. Lots of good character development for me, very nice. Honestly, after a while I began to flag, I mean, two of the the three were pretty high maintenance, and as my interest waned, Raven started on the idea of her own game. Works for me.

    She set up d20, advertised for players and then turned to me to help with her villains … which morphed into build her players’ characters as well. Not unexpected. I even called myself the Code Monkey because that was all I was doing. Over 70 new characters, players, npcs, and villains later I was getting burned out. I’d been doing nothing but helping and to tell the truth, I was tired of not getting anything in return except the occasional ‘thanks’. I wanted to join in and play.

    One problem, experience. I have decades, the new players, none. I knew what I wanted to play and I knew unless I was careful there’d be problems but I had to give it a go anyway. Amelia is a speedster and probably the more dangerous type of PC for a GM to handle. I knew this and so I tailored her so she wouldn’t be too much of a problem. As all the PCs had been pretty much handed a ton of XP, I asked for a bit extra to start, 52 points as I recall. That would make her 402 points. I was given this. Two other things that I asked for are two things that I am required to okay when I am the Gamemaster, DEX over 35 and SPD over 7. I was granted both, initially.

    Now, introducing her … the only way any of the PCs had been intro to this point was ‘hi, we’re from the government and we want to give you a job, go talk to this person and take the base tour’. Boring. So, I asked the GM and got permission to get her to join in an unconventional manner.

    Here’s where the players met Amelia and shit hit the fan. Instant hostility from the players. Turned out they weren’t prepared to actually role play and apparently didn’t like the idea of an entry that differed in any way to the way it always had been done. Immediately two attacked her. I would have preferred to play it out but, no, hand wave time. But I know there was no way anyone would actually hit her and she kept it light, no retaliation. Some short time after this, the 52 points, DEX over 35 and SPD over 7 were rescinded. Not sure if it was an independent GM decision or if it was player driven.

    Amelia at 350. I came to role play and again, immediately, that was criticized. I type fast, Amelia is fast, she talks fast. I was typing too fast so right off I had to slow down for the people in the back row. Role playing people, that’s what I was doing. Next, I threatened practical jokes, threatened, never carried out. It is part of her personality. Not only did the players shit a brick but the GM piled it on. I was not ALLOWED to play that part of my character. I knuckled under and still got shit about it for a couple more days.

    Next, Amelia was too young. She is actually the same age as at least one other PC … Then she asks too many questions. Amelia doesn’t have meta-knowledge and I never play meta-knowledge so how else would she find out things? She questioned everything. Next, she has a strong belief in the Law, yet first thing she is ordered to do is to enter every building on the waterfront that isn’t locked and search them. When asked about a Search Warrant she’s told she doesn’t need one because they are undercover. So, that’s THREE of parts of her personality that I am told I can’t play. Don’t talk fast, don’t do practical jokes, don’t worry about breaking the Law.

    Next problem. Here’s where experience really come in to play. I knew that if I played Amelia like I would play Amelia in a game I was running that she’d very quickly take over the game. I did NOT want that. I did not want to be telling the team what to do and how to do it. Why? Because it would ruin THEIR game. So, Amelia’s a kid that doesn’t know very much and questions everything. BUT, I am playing her too immature. Oh, and she talks back to the higher ups. The fact she does it in private didn’t seem to matter.

    Try as I might to keep her a kid just learning, next thing I know I am ‘taking over the game’. WTF? If by taking over the game you mean actually role playing my character … because that was all I was doing … I never gave orders, I made a few suggestions, I made the PCs explain things … maybe I was taking over the game by taking up too much time? Stealing the spotlight from someone? I got no idea. I toned it down.

    Then Christmas. I AM ROLE PLAYING HERE! Amelia doesn’t do Christmas, at all. Everyone is trying to force it down her throat. She doesn’t have to explain shit but she’s finally pushed into a corner and admits, ADMITS, she is Jewish. That doesn’t matter, I need to be part of the team and celebrate Christmas. Again, I am role playing my character here, but I am not supposed to. I had just decided to, again, knuckle under but that was the last straw.

    Let’s talk about power. I kept telling the PCs they had no idea what a speedster can do. And when I tried to show them, no one wanted to see it. I knew what she could do, like steal the gun out of the hands of every GTM (gun-toting maniac) within a given area. I even promised to never use that power unless a schoolyard full of 5 year-olds was in danger or the field commander told her to, period. I didn’t want her to dominate the battlefield. I wanted everybody else a chance to use there own powers, to be part of the battle.

    Then the fire, in a bar, two miles from the base. Amelia took off without permission/orders. Why? Because that was her main job in the team, saving normals. Took her 45 seconds to cover the two miles and before anyone else from the team could get there, Amelia had extracted all of the bar’s patrons, and was doing first aid. I knew there were two more people inside but Amelia didn’t plus it gave the only two PCs that showed up a chance to get in on the rescue. After those two transported the two they rescued to medical facilities, Amelia wanted to know why they’d do it themselves when she could have done it in a quarter the time. Players did not want to hear that.

    Oh, somewhere in there I had cut a number of Amelia’s powers and skills down again so I wouldn’t outshine the other PCs.

    Like I said, the last straw. I pulled Amelia and sent her to Legacy. Did I want to? Not really. I wanted a chance to actually play with a group. But, as I was told, the group likes Phil but can’t stand Amelia. My response? I am good enough to make you characters but not good enough to play with.

    Now I have this character I have grown to love, like Nat Ryan and Wren Collins, that I’ll never be able to actually play. I still want to play, honestly, but I am not going to be told how to do it.



    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-277" 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.




    Lothlorien Rebuild

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-268" 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).





    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-263" 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 arrogant 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.


    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 …”


    The Legacy Updates

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-257" 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 teaching 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.



    I am amused

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-244" 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.

    “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 …


    Mutants vs. Inhumans

    Written by Ghost Archer. rev="post-235" 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.