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seneschal

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seneschal last won the day on October 18 2019

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About seneschal

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  • RPG Biography
    Melee/Wizard, Traveller, Champions, Toon, Justice, Inc., Mazes and Minotaurs. Wrote "At Rapier's Point" Rolemaster supplement for ICE, contributed to "Pirates!" Published scenarios and game-related articles in GDW's "Challenge Magazine" and Legendary Game Studios' "Minotaur." Developed material for Torchlight Games and Gold Rush Games which remained unpublished when they went under. Wrote "Rocket Rangers!" mini-campaign for Mini Six. Contributed adventures to "The River Terror" and "Blood and Badges."
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    Toon, Mini Six
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    Still trying to write

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  1. Skeletor is racist and misogynistic? I dunno. He seems to hate everyone equally, except he hates He-Man more, and his posse is a pretty diverse lot. He even has a more-competent woman, Evil-Lyn, as his second-in-command. I've often wondered why she didn't just keep this week's Artifact of Power and set up shop on her own account. Professor Fez, introduced as an example villain In "Astounding Adventures," looks an awful lot like Karloff's portrayal of Ardeth Bey in "The Mummy." But if you prefer Sydney Greenstreet from "Casablanca," fine. He wore a fez, too. Or was it my joke about race- or gender-swapping the villain that offended you? If so, what right do you have to be offended? Marvel Comics gave us a female Doctor Octopus while Otto Octavius was down for the count. The CW gave us a black Iris and Wally West and a black Jimmy Olsen just for the heck of it. Hollywood gave us Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury (sure, he's a badass, but Bruce Campbell wasn't available?), Will Smith as James West (Smith should stick to fighting aliens and vampires), and Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin (he was intimidating but not Wilson Fisk). If they can get away with it, why can't you or I in our role-playing games? At least you don't still have to pay Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner when your campaign bombs (shudder, Daredevil 2003).
  2. This video got me thinking. Do your heroic player-characters have a persistent arch-nemesis who keeps coming back for more no matter how many how many times he is defeated, imprisoned and/or seemingly killed? The bad guy doesn't have to be superhuman, just ridiculously determined -- like Wile E. Coyote. His schemes may vary but his basic motives and methods remain fairly consistent. So ... what if he isn't immortal after all? What if he isn't even the same guy each time? In our example video, Skeletor was manufactured in the tens of thousands, all recognizably him but with subtle and not-so-subtle variations. Apply this to a flesh and blood character. Variations in build, skills, intelligence, and personality. Comic books do this all the time. Whole squads of people have been the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin. Dr. Doom has an endless supply of robot doubles (as did Superman at one time). How many takes on The Joker have we seen since 1940? What happens if several of them show up to ambush the adventurers at the same time -- without each other's knowledge or cooperation? What if the insidious Professor Fez, previously an aged British colonial type in the Boris Karloff mold, is suddenly now Latino, or a black guy from Philly? What if their heated discussion of what to do with the captured PCs is interrupted by a slinky female Fez who insists that she is the genuine article and must be in charge? Are your heroes prepared to battle an army of duplicates, sorta duplicates, and cosplayers? Just because a character interpretation is goofy doesn't mean it isn't competent and dangerous.
  3. Ssssshhhhh! The Deep Ones are currently managing a tony seaside resort/spa in Malibu where wealthy clients sun themselves, sip green smoothies of unknown composition, and undergo "rejuvenation therapy." Don't bother trying to join. You can't afford it. Would-be investigators might be able to get on as extremely low-level service staff. The turnover rate is even higher than normal. Good luck finding former employees. They all seem to have disappeared. No, I don't know if the resort's presence has any influence on the general weirdness of the greater Los Angeles metro area. The Mythos isn't responsible for everything, you know!
  4. "Return of the Revenge of the Ghost of the House of the Son of the Bride Of Cthulhu, Part III!" 😳
  5. Rinehart outsold Agatha Christie for a while. "Staircase" was filmed multiple times as "The Bat," my favorite version being the '50s one with Vincent Price.
  6. Ground squirrels, bazillions of them. Cleaning up the environment turned out to be a mistake. It is no longer safe for humans to come closer than 80 feet of the surface (flying squirrels and all). Law of unintended consequences.
  7. "Red Harvest" -- Dashiell Hammett's nameless Continental Op stirs up a hornets' nest of crime just by showing up and asking a few questions in a corrupt small town. "The Hound of the Baskervilles" -- Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes sends assistant Dr. John Watson to check out an unusual death at a remote rural estate. "A Caribbean Mystery" -- Agatha Christie, spinster Jane Marple's island vacation is interrupted when fellow guests start turning up dead! "The Woman In White" -- Wilkie Collins, when an heiress' fiance' whisks her away to an isolated mansion the woman's female cousin and the bride-to-be's former drawing tutor both become concerned and attempt to track her down. "The Big Sleep" -- Raymond Chandler, private detective Philip Marlowe Is hired to chase a blackmailer away from a wealthy man's daughter, but the seemingly simple job reveals convoluted layers of sin and murder. "Thunder On the Right" -- Mary Stewart, a young woman travels to a French convent to meet her cousin only to learn that her relative died in a messy mountain-road car crash. But the burial was hasty, the details don't seem to add up, and the nuns aren't eager to answer her questions.
  8. Settling Mars will be like settling Antarctica -- except without readily available air and water but with poisonous soil.
  9. Banks? Loans? Why, we've evolved beyond such things. The Party, er, Starfleet says so.
  10. I like your write-up. You made fox spirits dangerous but not ridiculously overpowered. You might want to double-check the formatting to improve your entry's clarity. I have to wonder, with all the large predators available why did certain cultures in Asia and North America decide that a Chihuahua-sized canine was the critter to be afraid of? Sure, they're fast, agile, sneaky, and adept at snatchIng chickens and pets -- but so is a coyote, and foxes don't hunt in packs. What made the fox the creature to fear? On the other hand ...
  11. BRP fans are always looking for the next globe-trotting mystery campaign for Astounding Adventures or Call of Cthulhu. But Agatha Christie has already written two of them for you, complete with exotic locations, tangled conspiracies, and ruthless but colorful villains. And they're even set in the right era. "The Man In the Brown Suit" (1924) is crammed with murder, hidden identities, sea voyages, mysterious NPCs with shady agendas, and colonial adventure in South Africa. "They Came to Bagdad" (1951) has very much the same action -adventure feel, only this time set in the Mideast with a bit of James Bond flair thrown in. No spoilers, but a GM could pretty much read these novels, stat up the major characters, and run a game. Both are available as audiobooks online.
  12. How does a fox lady tell the good humans from the bad humans? The good ones taste better. 😧
  13. Lemuria was a continent-spanning empire before the cataclysm, sending traders, explorers, troops and missionaries around the planet to found colonies, gather resources, and counter the schemes of its rival Atlantis (whose emissaries were engaged in similar tasks, the dirty copy-cats). When war threatened, Ossana used the crisis to overthrow the ruling white wizards, install her followers, and enforce the worship of Ubasti nationwide. Both civilizations fell when their respective continents were destroyed, and each side's survivors founded new nations among their overseas colonies. The Cult of Ubasti was able to re-establish its authority in some of these nations because Magic Isle provided a continuation of the old Lemurian order. When later generations rebelled, priests took the faith into hiding, re-introducing Ubasti worship in other guises as opportunity arose and influencing events from the shadows when direct political control proved impossible.
  14. No spoilers, but there is also an obvious "Scooby Doo On Zombie Island" connection that could be made. Or a link to the Stephen King movie "Sleepwalkers." An ancient, global religious organization could have a lot of forgotten branches, dissident groups and heretics.
  15. Did you ever attempt a gumiho write-up? According to the Wikipedia entry for "My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho," the title character possesses superhuman strength, exceptional running and leaping ability, and an incredibly keen sense of smell. So ... maybe the powers of Marvel Comics' Kraven the Hunter? I suppose it is a matter of how super each super ability is. The description fits Tarzan of the Apes as well as the 1977 TV version of the Hulk. Can our furry femme fatale slap 5-7 goons around, or can she bench-press an SUV? It is one thing to leap over an 8-foot garden wall but another to jump to the roof of the local Best Western Inn.
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