Vanguard Roll Call!

Vanguard Roll Call!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Issue 85: Déjà Vu All Over Again!

The top secret location of CHESS Castle, 30 miles north of New York City

Vanguard had seen the future and now attempted to change it!
The Manta Craft was in the black smoke. Rain came down hard. Wind. Lightning. Thunder. Prison yard sirens. Men shouting. A loud explosion boomed. The sound of buildings collapsing, or maybe walls?!The ship broke from the smoke on a pass over and got a visual. It was bad. The building that gave access to the underground prison was broken open like a fatal head wound. Men bled out. Dozens were visible with more coming, all in orange jumpsuits. They raced across the yard. Some were flying. There were two CHESS Knights down and not moving. Through the craft’s cameras, from the CHESS Omni-Carrier, Ajay started identifying super-villains. Out of their costumes, he could only ID half.

The impact crater was on the generators! They were burning the smoke plume. The access building too.

Wind and rain shook the Manta Craft as Manetti tried to keep it in the air. He struggled to get within the walls and hovering twenty feet from the ground. All communications with CHESS were out! Sentinel and Inhuman were unsure how much of their messages were received. There was no reply. Vanguard’s communicators dropped out as well!

Lightning Strike found himself saying softly: “The work of an extranormal, somewhere down there.”

At this range, they saw the Pachyderm impact had caused tremors that had rocked the prison structures. Some had partially collapsed. There was concrete rubble everywhere. But the outer walls still held.Symbiote saw he needed strength and range. He touched Slingshot and the Harper Harness activated!

Sam Drake spoke into the craft’s mic. ‘Attention! This is CHESS and Vanguard! Get face down on the ground NOW! This is your only warning!” A roar of defiance rose from the prisoners of the surface buildings. Six of the unidentified extranormal convicts in the yard got down, but no more. The rest continued racing for the walls!

Manetti yelled: “This is the best I can do!” and opened the craft’s side hatch as it hovered. The rain was louder. The yells of rioting prisoners in the surface buildings. Sirens. Gunfire. Thunder. Pure chaos. This time he was hovering over the impact crater, based on what he heard Vanguard discussing. The superheroes would not have to race through the field of extranormal convicts this time.

“Good luck!” Manetti yelled. “Send up a flare when you need me to come back!” he called as he closed the hatch and roared off before the lost control of the plane! VROOOOOOM! The Phaeton One followed.

All save Lightning Strike and Manetti leapt down to the yard and the weather was wild. They were instantly soaked. The sky darkened, artificially hurrying nightfall. Hail the size of golf balls fell. The temperature was plunging and the wind made standing still a challenge!

Vanguard met at the edge of the impact crater. Agent Drake looked back at the perfect chaos of the storm, the escapees, the earthquake and resultant fires. He squinted up at the swirling tempest, where Elemento had just disappeared. “CHESS jets won’t make it through that.”
Then he looked down into the smoking pit. He unlimbered a high-powered flashlight from the network of pouches that webbed his combat uniform, revealing the fire blackened crater to be 100 feet deep. From here they could actually hear into the prison below: Sounds of rioting. Prisoners fighting each other. Explosions. Yelling. CHESS Knight energy weapons. Water flew from the Hudson and swirled around Inhuman in a defensive vortex!

Meanwhile on the Manta Craft, the high voltage vigilante transformed himself into living lightning, entered the ship’s electrical system! SHAKOW! He was gone!
Strike exited the craft through its communications array and beamed himself above the dense stormclouds, where the saucer ship lay in wait! ZKKKT!!! The electric avenger was inside the Owl’s saucer ship’s computer systems! (OOC: Actions?)

Meanwhile, Vanguard could see the prison yard from the crater’s edge. Déjà vu washed over them.
Mother Russia looked up at the rain that fell on her face and smiled and cried. “At last. I am free once more!” (translated from Russian) She then leapt up into the sky and disappeared into the dark clouds!
Smog was distressed by the gale force winds. His voice was like a hundred smokestacks. “Free!... Now I may take my revenge upon this accursed world.” And he allowed himself to be pulled by the wind out across the river. He did not dissipate, but in time his thick smoky laugh did. “Hahahha hahhah haha!”
Triceratops charged the wall with his head and shoulders down. KER-RASH! The reinforced concrete was no match for the Jurassic juggernaut! The wall gave way and crumbled down! RRRRRMMBBBLLLL!
“Dog One exit, right here,” yelled Goth and he raced to the wall hole and bounced off thin air. The hole swirled and disappeared! So did Triceratops! Both were a hologram, an illusion! Figment laughed, did a strange little jig and sang happily: “Deceived! Destroyed! Oh feckless eye! Be not disillusioned! Try!”

Crab Man lifted a gigantic slab of concrete from the rubble and hurled it at the Manta Craft! It was 20 feet long and it tumbled end over end as its trajectory brought it sickeningly closer and closer!
(OOC: Imagine the catapults at Minas Tirith in Return of the King!) Again, it missed by an inch!

Accelerator raced toward the wall and ran right up and over it!
Two more extranormal criminals emerged from the quake-damaged access building! One would soon reveal himself to be Black Ice. The other was Ratman! He was not wearing his mechanical tail!

Forester shook his head again and broke from Vanguard! “Damn you, Oracle!” the quixotic quiverman cried as he ran toward Hyena and Dr. Chiropterus, knocking arrows for each!
The chaos of the storm and the prison break was building as Vanguard descended into the smoking pit! The sides were scorched, the generator disintegrated. Near the bottom, they discovered a man made tunnel into the side wall of the pit, toward the prison! Steel and rock had been pushed aside. There were no markings from tools. The tunnel opened onto a prison level whose walls were marked ‘Sector Five’!

The team divided! Agent Drake, Kairos, Sentinel, Slingshot raced to get the backup generator online!
Inhuman and Symbiote went to Hotsleep Sector to face the Primate and the Pachyderm alone!

The first team found the backup generator room and that it held an auxiliary security center and three prison maintenance workers who sure were glad to see CHESS and Vanguard!
In no time the problem was explained: a cable as thick as a man is tall came undone from the quake tremors. Sentinel scanned the area and sensing no surprises, left to join the other team!
The three prison workers couldn’t budge the cable but together, all six could get the backup generator on line! With a mighty effort (5 Power Points each), the generator was working again! “Thanks, Vanguard!”

From the auxiliary security center, they saw through the surviving security cameras that there was now power on every prison level! Rioting prisoners on level three stopped for a moment with the return of the lights. Two CHESS Knights on level four were rallying a group of prison guards who had holed up there. Prison security devices were activating. Drake broadcast across the PA: “Attention prisoners, this is CHESS and Vanguard! We have regained control of the prison! Stand down! This is your final warning!”
It sounded believable. (OOC: Actions?)

Moments earlier, Symbiote and Inhuman entered Hotsleep Sector! It was similar to the other CHESS Castle cellblocks with its triangular perimeter lined with cells (see image) except the cell contents had been replaced with Hotsleep sarcophagi systems. Gone too were the dayroom, the showers, lights, and anything else that waking prisoners would need. The unmanned Security Booth remained, now housing medical monitors for the Hotsleeped subjects. Its readouts were darkened. The pair entered from the north, shining flashlights. Sarcophagi were name stamped:-Prometheus: The S’Korian murderer of the original Paladin! This cosmic-powered alien killed Paladin at his own wedding, right in front of his bride, Venus (yes, that Venus)!
-Negathos!-Biosorb: A creature than can absorb living bodies into his own!-Zeitgeist!
-An Intelligent Tyrannosaurus of some kind in a double-sized coffin cell.
-The Pendulum: the time traveling mastermind!
-A prisoner known only as John Doe

Inhuman’s “hydro sense” detected bodies outside of Hotsleep! The easternmost cell door was open and they charged it! Inside were Pachyderm and the Owl, pulling a dazed Primate from a horizontal high tech coffin! The Owl! Alive “again”!

In the tight confines of the cell, Pachyderm looked bigger than ever! The grey goliath was nine feet tall and nearly as wide! He had been dropped five miles to Earth and all it did was make him mad! The Pachyderm roared wild anger like a savage animal! The armored hide plates that served as his skin were still tattooed with frost and ice. (imagine the Hulk meets the Rhino!)“RROOOOOAARRRR!!!” (imagine the sound of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park!)

(OOC: Without Kairos’ morale ability, the heroes must make “Cool Saves” vs. Charisma to face the certain death of the Pachyderm! (see rules) Every point over that was rolled is a negative to that PC’s die rolls!)

Symbiote moved first! He threw an oversized fist at Pachyderm! CRASH! A direct hit! But the rampaging titan seemed unaffected!

Inhuman attempted to place water down Pachyderm’s throat as he roared his lungs empty of air, and missed! (Special hit attempt combined with your low Charisma!)

The Pachyderm charged Symbiote! KER-SMAASSSHHHH!!!!!!!! (39 points of damage!! 8 off invulnerability. 11 from Power. 20 from hit points!) Symbiote flew backwards out of the Hotsleep cell!

The Owl had been caught unaware and could not act. “Impossible. How did they get here so quickly?” the technological birdman said. His suit had a camoflauge ability that made him hard to see in this light.

Sentinel was moments away from entering Hotsleep Sector (out of movement, and evades)!

Symbiote knew better than anyone that Pachyderm was a bull in a china shop. And Hotsleep sector was a dangerous china ship, the walls literally lined with the most dangerous extranormals in captivity!
Suddenly, Hotsleep Sector came back to life! Lights, power, monitoring equipment, sirens.
The Primate opened his eyes.

OOC: Actions?!
Current Conditions:
Inhuman: Hit Points: 25 Power Points: 53 Water: 750 lbs.
Kairos: Hit Points: 44 Power Points: 76
Lightning Strike: Hit Points: 40 Power Points: 66
Sentinel: Hit Points: 20 Power Points: 51 Shields: 100 Evasion: -5 ‘til ish 87
Slingshot: Hit Points: 55 Power Points: 84 Invulnerability: 8
Symbiote: Hit Points: 94 Power Points: 110 Invulnerability: 0 Charges: 13


Kairos will quickly ask if there is an armory of some sort. If there is and he can access it, please give me a list of the available weapons.If no armory quickly within reach, or if there is and he can get a weapon of some sort (hoping that the have some specialized high-damage weapons available in case of a situation like this), Kairos will speed to the Hotsleep area.


OOC: Well, you got me again. Never saw the possibility of the Owl accompanying Pachyderm and his somehow being protected from the entry and that pretty much ends all of my cleverness fro the last posting.Regarding the hotsleep chamber, since Kirk 'experienced' this, and since he knows that Primate is just released or just about to be released, is there anyway to reactivate the Hotsleep chamber on Primate? Can we slam him back into the chamber and turn it back on or is there a bigger procedure needed? (yea, I figure you won't make it that easy, but I'm asking to be sure) (any red button labeled 'push here to save world' )Seth

PS:So I get home from work after 7:30pm and it was another stressful day and after I walk in I'm thinking 'Hey! It's new comics day." and I smile.Mind you, my actual new comics box of 'real comics' (I get a monthly shipment from I haven't read a single issue from this past month, have a bunch from the prior month sitting there, and got notice the new comics for this month just shipped to me today.But I'm exciting about the latest issue of Vanguard!There is something either very good or very sad about that.


OOC: three things Strike me (Like Lightning?) 1. I have a + Cha Defense that applies to myself and those i lead (Of the Fish World)Shouldn't this bonus apply to myself (being a Fish Ani-men) in aiding against the terrible Fear I am facing?
2. Slingy Should have Hydro-shields, Shoudn't he?
3. As effective as the 'up their nose, with a rubber hose' trick is or isn't, Inhumans first Goal is the reduction of environmental damage. Thus I would prefer to englobe Pachyderm with water to make him less able to target/damage things. (remember the slip pools? imaging how ineffective all the strength in the world would be with nothing to grab onto. friction is the key to a graet deal of effectiveness of strength. (an in fact i may make it a water 'crib'. :)


GM Replies:
Kairos is told the Prison Armory is on another level/tier. It would be hard, to say the least, for Kairos to move through the prison quickly, among the rioting prisoners and the newly activated electronic defenses.

However, as Luck would have it, this is auxiliary security center. There is a weapons cache here. The prison workers unlock it, revealing a heavy energy rifle, three energy pistols, and conventional shotguns, rifles, clubs, tasers, tear gas and pistols. Handcuffs, leg cuffs and other restraints are also there with flashlights, radios and a first aid kit.
The energy weapons look similar to CHESS Knight offensive beam-weapons.

Sentinel, there is no "save the day" button on the side of the sarcophagus. :)
Hotsleep reentry takes time. But Primate is groggy and not standing under his own power... yet.

Inhuman wrote:
1. I have a + Cha Defense that applies to myself and those i lead (Of the Fish World) Shouldn't this bonus apply to myself (being a Fish Ani-men) in aiding against the terrible Fear I am facing?
2. Slingy Should have Hydro-shields, Shoudn't he?

GM Replies:
1) Cha+ defense is for use vs. an opponent's Charisma on the combat attack chart (against Emotion Control, Mind Control, etc)
A 'cool save' is a saving throw vs. your own Charisma to stay calm. Cha+ defense doesn't apply.
Even if it did, your Cha+ defense is part of your Aquatic Communication ability. It seems to suggest that the Cha+ defense kicks in when you have a group of creatures communicating, building morale. I don't see how having the ability to speak to sealife by itself staves off fear in a medium-charisma, first level hero facing an angry, incredible Hulk.

2) I think you mean Symbiote. Slingy isn't in Hotsleep Sector.
On this topic, I asked you how that would work.
If you place a water wall between a teammate and a foe, then your teammate can't attack the foe, because the wall is in the way, until you develop your foot-tappping signal system, which would require Inhuman's constant attention on his teammates, not his foes. It would likely consume his entire action.
If you make a personal vortex shield around someone, they can only move on Inhuman's action phase when Inhuman can move the water. (Like everyone else, Inhuman can't act when it's not his action phase except to speak, hit the deck, change facing, as per the rules)
Additionally they'd need a communication method so that the vortex and the teammate both move left at the same time.
Kairos asked this question before about Sentinel making energy construct armor for Kairos, and it had the same difficulties: Kairos couldn't move until Sentinel did, and even then, only within the parameters of Sentinel's construct's movement.
It's why Sue Storm doesn't make a personal forcefield around the Thing or Reed in combat, or force walls between the Thing and Doc Doom, unless Ben doesn't want to throw punches.



OK...Is Kairos largely confined to his present area or can he make it to the Hotsleep area quickly?


My thoughts exactly. Since turning up the power, did it block Slingshot and Kairos from going down to the Hotsleep level?If Scott thinks he can make it down easily, here are his actions:Go down, grab Pachyderm and slingshot him out of the area or if available slingshot him out of the crater altogether. (assuming the crater). The point is not to go for maximum damage but for maximum range (although, if he happens to have to go through 5 feet of concrete to do so.. oh well.Protection of the hotsleep area and removal of Pachyderm is my priority. I'll have to trust Sentinel, Inhuman and the others to deal with Owl and Primate.Stephane/Slingshot.


If we can make it to that area, I'll try to run interference for Slingshot or anyone else wanting to attack Pachyderm by getting in his face and annoying him but evading (per game rules as well as in-character actions) and keeping his mind OFF of what he's supposed to be doing. If he seems to be more focused than that, I'll attack Owl directly.If possible, I'll take the heavy energy rifle with me.


GM Replies:
OOC: Inhuman: A water orb with a 9 foot diameter (which is Pachyderm's height) requires more than the 88 gallons that Inhuman can control.A round swimming pool with a 9' diameter and only a 4' depth needs almost 2000 gallons to fill. See here:,-Gallons

Kairos: Movement on the same level is less restricted. So you can move from your location in auxiliary security to Hotsleep (both are on Level 5) and still have an "attack" or evasion when you arrive. You can bring the energy rifle.(Seth, Sentinel tried to move from crater edge to aux. sec. to Hotsleep in one action which is why he couldn't make it)

Slingy: With communications out, you're unaware of the Owl and what's going on in Hotsleep. But you were planning to go to Hotsleep next anyway. So once you get there, you'll see the situation and can react as per your orders. Minor difference, but just want to be clear.Slingshotting Pachy out of Hotsleep will require sending him through solid rock, otherwise you'll have to bring him back to the bottom of the impact crater to get a clear shot out of CHESS Castle. Does that make sense?


Sorry, I didn't mean to metagame. That was my plan all along. My point is that I wouldn't let Owl/Primate or whatever I would see once I'm there deter me from getting Pachy out of there and in less problematic situation and where I can get some help handling him (hopefully).Then base of the crater it is. Hopefully it won't hurt (me) too much.


OK...Kairos will take the energy rifle and move to the Hotsleep area.


Unless subsequent postings reveal additional data, there are Kirk's actions. (I'm thinking I might be the last left and want to be sure you've got things in case you want to speed up publication date again).Kirk still wants his energy readings of the area. I haven't given up on the notion that Owl has some additional means of control or communication with Pachyderm even though he is present with him`. Also I'd like to know if he's attached anything to Primate to help him or counter the effects of the Hotsleep... and getting an idea of energy devices on the Owl might help prepare for surprises or give other ways to counter the villains.

Kirk will orally share his discoveries with teammates so all can benefit if he learns anything useful.I'm hoping that Kirk would have some pluses in dealing with his 'cool head' role on encountering Pachyderm since he has prepared himself and with his shields at 100% and having evaded before going into battle, he is pretty much invulnerable to even Pachyderm's first attack that makes contact. (Not that I want to mess myself up here, and I know that it goes back the 'rules', but the 'cool head' role would probably be more appropriate for Kirk after he takes a thirty to forty point smash from Pachyderm and his shields have a decent percentage of failing him - I know that's when I'll be concerned for him).

Unless Kirk's energy scan reveals something that would make another move a better choice, he will simply look to pummel Primate while he is still groggy and recovering from being awaked from the Hotsleep. In addition, since Kirk will have the 'layout' of the room from his energy scan prior to entering, he should be able to slam Primate (extending and retracting his construct) before he or the Owl even realize he has entered the room.It sounded from your description there was no way to try to knock Primate down and reactivate the Hotsleep chamber; if I misunderstood and somehow that would be possible then that would be a good option to try to take him out of the battle here.

FYI, on Kirk not reaching the room on the last turn, I thought it would be a long shot Kirk going with the first team, checking for danger, and making it back to the other team for an action unless they had encountered the villains before they made it to Primate. That was my only hope for that (per Kirk's last posting), so I had no argument on that end of things.If I missed anything that I need to respond to or need to explain anything further, let me know.
Viva Vanguard!


OOC: If I understand the situation, Symbiote is outside the hotsleep area, away from the pods and the villains.

(IC: Determined to keep the Elephantine Evildoer from smashing open any further hotsleep beds, Symbiote determines to lure him away from them. He throws a long-distance punch at Pachyderm's face, determined to enrage the creature into charging away from the sarcophagi (and hopefully away from any influence the Owl has over him) as much as to do any damage. "C'mon, you gruesome sonofabitch!" Hal crows, dropping his college professor persona and borrowing some of his cop father's blue-collar bravado. "You're so ugly you could throw a boomerang and it wouldn't come back to you. Let's go, moron! Show me what you really got!")

OOC: Hal will try to evade Pachy's charge if he has the time....if not, so be it. He'll also try to help Slingy with his slingshot maneuver if Slingy arrives in time. If he's away from the hotsleep beds and if things look grim enough next turn Hal may have no choice but to absorb Pachy's powers "again for the first time." Aren't you guys looking forward to that?

Oh, and speaking of real world comics: Anybody with any affection for The Flash, particularly Barry Allen, should pick up "The Flash: Rebirth." I wasn't wild about the idea of bringing Barry back but this first issue is handled so well it really makes me glad they did.

And particularly to Harold, as well as anybody else who has an interest in the character: They're launching another "Warlord" series, with art by none other than Mike Grell. Ah, those fantasy women in the skimpy bikini-like outfits....


OOC GM Replies:

Greg, I think Seth likes the Flash a little.

Slingy wrote: Sorry, I didn't mean to metagame.

GM: I had to look that one up. Unlike “shit disturber”, “metagame” isn’t Canadian slang:
'Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. In simple terms, using out-of-game information, or resources, to affect one's in-game decisions.'

GM Again: Understood, Stephane. (now that I looked it up)
What other new-fangled language is there for breaches in gaming etiquette?
When I was a young'un we had Point-Grubber, Rules Lawyer, Cheater, and Killer DM (or GM).
In fact, they were our regular Friday night group. ;)



OOC: Cheater...heh...I wasn't involved in the particular campaign, but Harold can tell you the King of All Cheater stories.

"Yeah, we'll pry all the gems out of the statute...except for that last one on the right. Yes, I know, every other room in the dungeon we've scoured clean, but we'll just leave that one alone. 'Scuse me, gotta go to the restroom."

(Ducks out of the room to consult his own copy of the module again).


OOC: I can't just dole out all the juicy terminology in one fell swoop! You'll have to wait and enjoy these pearls of wisdom as they come, unbidden.;)In otherwords, I can't come up with another.

PS: Well, there's Munchkin, but I think you know that one.


OOC: I've mostly gamed in a tiny, isolated, inbred genepool of gamers, so
I never had much contact with the world of gamers at large, or its subculture.
It felt like we bought our rulebooks from 1981-1984 and never bought a new game system again.
So, here's 'Munchkin' on wiki:
'In gaming, a Munchkin is a player who plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game (usually a role-playing game) in an aggressively competitive manner. A munchkin seeks within the context of the game to amass the greatest power, score the most "kills," and grab the most loot, no matter how deleterious their actions are to role-playing, the storyline, fairness, logic, or the other players' fun. The term is used almost exclusively as a pejorative and frequently is used in reference to powergamers and to immature players in general...
Munchkins are infamous for various degrees of cheating, willfully misinterpreting rules that work against them while loudly proclaiming ones that work in their favor. As a matter of course they selectively obey the letter of rules while perverting the spirit blatantly...
Munchkins are often accused of roll-playing, a pun on 'role' that notes how munchkins are often more concerned with the numbers and die rolls than with the roles that they play.'

Any more pearls of wisdom, unbidden or otherwise?


OOC: As Jeff said, I like Flash 'just a little' . He's my number two hero (after GL natch).

If it was just about any other creative team I'd have been freaking out with Barry coming back, but after what they did bringing Hal back in all his glory and then some, and undoing the horror that was done upon him, they have to have an easier job with Barry.

My biggest concern is that Barry died perhaps as the greatest hero of all time (his death 'took' for 25 years or so!) He was also the ultimate 'good' good guy. Two tough things to give up. His sacrifice was actually a 'well done' death, and stood the test of time. Although I'm happy to have Barry back, its sad that20sacrifice will somehow be nullified. But I guess, he 'as good as' gave up his life that way. I'm also concerned how they will evolve his 'ultimate good guy' character.

But I think they will make it some good reading, and from you said, they are off to a good start, so I'm glad.

And unfortunately, they haven't been able to write a good Wally story for some time now, and the Bart/Flash run was no great shakes either.

Hopefully the first issue will be in my new comic box currently on its way; if it missed it, then I have to wait another month to read it.

On the Warlord, I actually did order this series (past on the previous version a few years ago). I've been cutting back on ordering anything new since I'm behind in reading, but thought it would be worth checking out. I believe Grell will be writing and doing the covers, but the interior will be by other artists (bummer). I wish they could get Grell to do some GL stuff again art wise too.

My role-playing subculture is even more limited than Jeff's having joined 'their' group just as high school ended. Jeff ran some fantastic campaigns while we were in college but that was with a more limited group of players and with the limits of college time and work. Although I missed their 'heyday' of the original Freedom Force,=2 0I couldn't imagine those adventures themselves and the role-playing of the characters being better than what I enjoyed during the college years with them. It was great inventive stuff. I'm grateful for the time and games we shared and have nothing but great memories from it. I haven't checked out any of the current role-playing stuff online and doubt I would even if Jeff decided to end our campaign at some point. I'm glad that he networked and did get the rest of you to come onboard, its been fun. I just wish that some of our other 'old friends' had the circumstance to have a share in this game too.



OOC: I've never been attracted to any particular superhero. I'm usually sucked in by the writer/artist team. But the Flash did have a good
Rogue's gallery (Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Grodd)

Worst death and resurrection of a hero, thereby wiping out all the pathos of the original death, is still Phoenix / Jean Grey to me.
I see Batman is dead now.

Re: the old gang of players: Thanks. If you look at who's still playing this superhero campaign from the old gang, it's the guys who collect superhero comics. Coincidence?
Anyway, these new guys ain't too shabby. ;)


OOC: Well, I always liked Thing. Don't ask me why. I have to say I've been a Marvel more than DC fan.Usually liked certain comics according to storylines usually. I really liked Flash during the early 90's as well as the Hulk. Capt. Am also during those years. Thor during the Simonson years.


OOC: Harold, Sounds like you need to throw that cheater out of your game already.


OOC: His blatant cheating was years ago and I haven't caught him cheating on dice rolls for a long time but to know that I have to watch is irritating. My gaming group is composed of people who have known one another for 20+ years and it's not as simple as throwing out a random guy off the street. What's actually going to be fun is that I'm about to be a player again in a pen and paper game, either run by Greg or another of the group, and I will have fun calling the guy on things if I see him cheat. I can't tolerate it. While it's difficult for me to speak in the first person about playing much, the idea (to me) is to build the character fairly and abide by the rules of that particular campaign, not to cheat and increase ability scores or add money because you've "lost" (whether truly or on purpose) your character sheet and are rebuilding "from memory" (faulty memory) or, even worse, because you're playing a canned module that takes a long time to run (in this case, the "Greyhawk Ruins") and you buy the module and keep it in the bathroom when gaming so that you can go there and read the encounter and use that knowledge unfairly. I think that the player thinks (or thought) that the game is a competition between him and the DM and it was about what he could get away with, not about playing the game. At this point in time, however, I have lost all tolerance for dishonesty. If I catch him cheating ever again, he's gone at least for that session. The humiliation will then keep him honest for a long time. Sometimes I wish that we didn't have a long personal history because dealing with him would be so much easier.


Nowadays, when choosing new stuff to read it is more driven by the creative team and in particular, the writer. But I still have a soft spot for Green Lantern, Flash, and then the silver and golden age characters. On the Marvel end, back in grade school, the only Marvel characters that drew me was the Fantastic Four, and for me also it was led by the Thing. (and part of the reason Kirk has a soft spot for Sgt Stone). Ben was the 'every man' and to balance out Hal's 'if you believe strong enough you can do anything', was Ben's 'never give up, never surrender.' (ok, that's Galaxy Quest, but Ben lived it first) I can still remember a page from FF Annual #3 and can still quote his lines from it as by sheer will and 'never surrendering' he battled an incarnation of the Four Horseman (I think it was pestilence). If that page of original art ever comes up on eBay, I'd bid big bucks. Back then my friend, Steve was all Marvel (Spiderman was his favorite, just like you Tony) and we read each other's issues.

The Flash Rogue's have been utilized in recent years and have been more interesting in the stories than the Flash in my opinion.I don't follow Batman regularly and skipped the whole recent storyline. I'm not much for killing and replacing the hero in general. I think he died in Final Crisis fighting Darkseid (per some prior emails, it seems nobody is quite sure exactly what happened there), but also thought that he 'went missing' in the Batman issues in a different way (I thought I'd read that somewhere)... didn't care enough about any of it to find out. The only Batman stuff I'd been reading were the Detective Comics issues written by Paul Dini and they were more self-contained (imagine that!)

And I guess your right, it's not a coincidence that the super-hero comic collectors are still playing ... its a part of us, and I for one, am glad about it.


OOC: I think...THINK...that Bruce Wayne is not actually dead, he just got thrown back into prehistoric times. Everybody else thinks he's dead but he's in a cave back in the time of Andro the Cave Boy, doing chalk drawings of his and other superhero emblems.

No, really. That's what I got out of it, though to be perfectly honest I may not have understood the damn thing.

Grant Morrison should have his artistic license revoked.

I bought from both companies up through, say, junior high., Then I turned into a strict Marvel Zombie (and I use that term with great affection) through high school and early college with Spidey, Captain America and the X-Men being favorites. I stopped buying for the most part in my freshman year of college then picked it up again after graduation with my favorite grade school series, The Legion of Superheroes. I may have mentioned my obsession with the Legion a time or 12, the early '80s Great Darkness Saga and theLSH/LSV war being my favorite period for them. I loved the Watchmen, Dark Knight and Sandman, my own personal Holy Trinity of Comicdom.

In the early '90s I stopped buying for timing/financial reasons (which is perhaps just as well, I hear I missed a lot of utter crap). Picked it up again in 2005. These days Green Lantern is probably my single favorite character, the Legion is still my favorite team (PRE-ZERO HOUR Legion, thank you very much) though I'll read pretty much anything by Gail Simone. Geoff Johns is becoming a favorite as well. Over at Marvel I read Hulk and Thor.


Lightning Strike:
OOC: Thank goodness that after 27 years Jeff still hasn't caught on to my blatant cheating. Of course given how thoroughly I read the rules I probably wouldn't know if I was cheating anyway. I guess there is a term for someone who owns all of the rulebooks but then keeps them in unread condition.

Anyway, I do have a rules/situation question for Jeff. Given that
Strike is now on the ship away from the rest of the group, should I post to Jeff only or everyone. I don't want to tempt anyone to act on information that their character doesn't actually know.

Take care all,


OOC: Tony, you can post publicly.
Tony wrote: "I guess there is a term for someone who owns all of the rulebooks but then keeps them in unread condition."

Yeah, 'collector.'


OOC: Now that you mention it (I'd forgotten), yes I did think at the end of the Final Crisis Batman was tossed back to prehistoric times. How that ties in to a long-running multi-comic story-line in the Batman books is beyond me.

I was impressed with Morrison when he did Animal Man. I jumped off following him in his Doom Patrol run and I've been mostly unimpressed with his other stuff (that I can recall).I loved the Legion up and through the Darkness Saga. I pretty much jumped off after it was over and they rebooted the book with the 'darkened version'. I may have read some of them back then, but remember the Darkness Saga or shortly after it being the end of the good stuff for me. I simply don't remember much of the stories after that time. I collected them and enjoyed them from around Superboy and the Legion in the 211+ range onward. (Great Grell art back then)

I think Stephane commented on Simonson's Thor run; that was also good stuff and about the only time I regularly read and enjoyed Thor. If you liked that, you should try his stint on Orion a few years back. He had respect for Kirby's third world stuff and actually developed it as opposed to the nonsense that Morrison spouted. Plus his unique style has a sense of power to it, just like Kirby's work. (I'm not saying its like Kirby, because its not, just that both have artists have a unique sense of power in their artistic style).

I was fortunate enough to manage a comic store from the end of high school through just after college and thus got to read pretty much everything during that time from DC, Marvel, and the independents ... also got to help other people to pick up on the good stuff they might have passed on. It was great times.

During that time I read all of Marvel and DCs output. And the independents (I particularly liked Jon Sable, Badger, and Nexus).

I was big on Dark Knight, Watchmen, and Sandman too. They were all top sellers and I ordered very heavy on Dark Knight and promoted it - although once it came out, it became a phenomenon on its own power.

Johns is probably my favorite from the current writers along with James Robinson (from his Starman run). I also pick up most of Gail Simone's stuff. And I still like Peter David and Mark Waid (although some has been quite as strong as prior years) and others. (Spoiler warning)



OOC: I'll read:
Anything Kirby did in the 60's. Especially Thor, Fantastic Four, Cap in TOS.
Gene Colan on Iron Man
Steranko's Nick Fury
Buscema's Silver Surfer
Simonsen's Thor
Ditko and Romita Sr. on Spidey
The Avengers during the period they had Wonder Man and the Beast.
Claremont, Byrne, Austin on X-Men
Miller's Daredevil
Dark Knight
Miller and Sinkewicz on Elektra
Grell on the Legion
Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, Miracleman and his few issues of Superman

Newer stuff:
Hellboy when Mignola was still drawing it
Jack Staff, which appears to be finished
The Goon!
Chris Ware's stuff
Ron Garney's run on Cap

Looks like I'll have to check out the Secret Six.


Lightning Strike:
Hi all,
Better late than never. Here is Strike's action.

Once aboard and inside the Owl's ship, Strike worked quickly to take control of the ship's systems. His goal was to take over the navigation system first and then move on to the weapons system. Once Strike has control of both he will attempt to use the ship to attack the escaping villains and prevent as many as possible from getting away. If the ship has a viewing system he will use that to observe the surroundings. He will target whoever is trying to get away but will keep a lookout for Pachyderm. Should he exit the complex, Strike will crash the ship into him as done in the past. Hopefully this will take care of both Pachyderm and Primate.

Short and sweet. Hopefully the game can move now,

Take care,