Friday, August 18, 2017

Fiction Friday: Horror, Kink, or Both?

Long time readers know that humans fascinate me.  From the amazing highs and despicable lows, to the quirky and the just plain weird (and weirder).  So, no surprise this image pops up here, right?

(I have no idea where this came from, 
but memo to self: never, ever, ever - no really, not ever Google "American Horror Story" again!)

I could actually see that being a real woman, and a real scene from some kind of movie. Either real horror, or real kink. I mean, lots of people have disfiguring injuries these days, and so many filmmakers need content, there are lots of opportunities for unusual body types.

Well, that and lots of people are into weird shit. I mean, there is an actual fetish/mental disorder associated with sexual attraction to having body parts removed. So, Hell, that could be a real woman acting in a niche Internet film.

Hell, the background even reminds me of "SAW" (I've seen still photos, because, you know, I'm insane enough to have Googled "SAW").

Anyway, since this is a #FictionFriday post, what derangement do you see?  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fiction Friday - Kerry the Undying

Wafiya Janna Kerry the Ever-Living

Background & Origin:  She has pegged last April 27 as the day she woke up dead. Well, not so much “dead,” as just “not alive.” She’s decided on the term “ever living,” as having a nice ring to it, since she is most definitely not “undead,” and “undying” still has a bit of negative connotation (as well as seeming to invite idiots to actually try to kill her).

She was living alone at the time, and remembers waking in the night with terrible heartburn and feeling like someone had kicked her in the chest. She had just started the tour of Europe she had promised herself since childhood, and she was not going to let a little pain slow her down.

It was a wonderful month in Europe, and she remembers the food as being so satisfying she ate almost nothing the whole time.

It was after she got home, and someone pointed out she looked exactly the same - no tan, no new muscle tone from all the walking, hair the same length despite not cutting it - as she had when she left, that she saw a doctor. 

The doctor sent her to some government research scientists.

The scientists called in some wizards. 

The wizards called in some priests.

Eventually, everyone settled on the idea that her metabolism had simply stopped; that - despite the obvious incongruity - her body still ran some critical processes like self-repair and sensory stimulus response, but was otherwise just permanently unchanging.

She had gotten on so well with the government guys that she took a job with the facility, and now sometimes moonlights as a superhero.

Combat Tactics: She is a brawler with some training and lots of practical experience. She doesn't have any special defenses against most damage forms, so she tries to out-think foes rather than go toe-to-toe.

Personality Traits: She has a public identity (it was a rather unusual Origin, even for a capes universe) and runs a video blog where she comments on current events and superhuman activity. 

(Top two items on her FAQ: “I'm not a zombie,” and “I'm not married, and not interested.”)

Appearance: 5'7", appears 130 lbs, actually 235 lbs. (High density flesh, for unrevealed reasons.)  Natural blond hair, brown eyes.

She looks exactly the same as she did when she stopped having a metabolism. She doesn't age, she doesn't tan, she doesn't scar. Changes to her hair always return to same point (she is really glad she got her hair styled, and the wax job that day, in prep for her vacation). She makes frequent use of makeup and bodypaint, because even bad ideas wash off.

Powers: If her body is altered without actually dying, e.g. haircuts, sword cuts, crushed by a boulder, etc., then everything regenerates until eventually restored to how she looked at the time of the change. 

Notes: Model Lindsay Elyse. Character by I.A. Riley, August, 2017.

This all started with a weird dream I had one morning. Mighty Protectors final release had just dropped, so I decided to see if I could model the dream.

She is a utility character with flavor. She can survive in outer space and many other hostile environments. She has damage resistance to the weirder combat attacks like Ice Powers, Devitalization Ray, and Death Touch, but remains vulnerable to the most common, such as punches, lasers and lightning bolts. I toyed with permanent Density Increase, but finally decided it really wasn't worth the hassle.

I like that her points are at an “in-between” power level, just because it's more interesting.

This also creates an odd rule violation, because under strict MP rules, there is a point cap on power levels, and to have this much Adaptation (I actually wanted a bit more), she would need to be a 225-point character. Frankly, I opted to ignore that rule, and no one seemed to care.

If I were to boost her to the 210-CP level, I'd give her Armor 3/2/1/0 (because that fills the holes her Adaptation and Invulnerability don't cover), ST +6 (improving her role as brick), CL +6 (mostly to improve initiative, but it also just makes her more likeable for public relations and such) and -2 CP from Knowledge (just because that's an easy place to pull two points from).


Wafiya Janna Kerry - Mighty Protectors

Strength 21 (Carrying Capacity 960 lbs., Basic HTH d10+1)
Endurance 24 (Save 13, Heal 3.9)
Agility 15 (Save 11)
Intelligence 18 (Save 12)
Cool 12 (Save 11, Initiative d6)

Hit Points 26
Power 78
Physical Defense 3
Mental Defense 4
Move 20
Inventing Points 9
Wealth d6
Luck 11-
Weight 235 lbs.
Total Cost 90 + 125 - 25 = 190

Adaptation: Asphyxiation (Doesn’t Breath), Blood Loss (Doesn’t Bleed), Disease, Low Pressure, Low Temperatures, Poison, Radiation, Sleep, Starvation, Time, Venom (45 CP)

Experience Levels: Attack +2, Defense +2, Skills +2 (20 CP)

Heightened Endurance: Fit, +6 EN, +4 IN (included above)

Heightened Strength: Strong, +10 ST (included above)

Invulnerability: Bullets damage form, Disintegration damage subtype, Entropy damage type (35 CP)

Knowledge: Languages (5 CP)

Luck: Luck +1 (2.5 CP)

Regeneration: 1 Hit Point per 3 hours, Modifiers: Constant, Unlimited (15 CP)

Wealth: d6 Wealth roll (2.5 CP)

TBD (-15 CP)
Public Identity (-10 CP)

Combat Summary
Initiative: d6
Unarmed: Attack 16-, Damage d10+1 or d12 (avg 6.5)

Boilerplate Stuff

Document Copyright (C) 2017 by I.A.Riley. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Mighty Protectors and the Monkey House Games logo are trademarks owned by Monkey House Games, ©2017 Monkey House Games. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why I despise the GOP and people who vote for them

I am a very ethical person. I admire that Jesus said "Yes, you are your brother's keeper, now quit whining and take care of each other."

I try really hard to use the brain that God put in my damn head.  Stupidity annoys me. Willful ignorance and selfish stupidity are even bigger cardinal sins, in my Book, even than greed, gluttony and sloth.

If you look at the American "conservative" voting patterns during my lifetime, any objective observer smells the ignorance, selfishness, arrogance and greed soaking the pattern and stinking like shit.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

End of Days - Gender Identity Gets People So Excited

I'm mocking this meme. The entire function of this meme is to play on the Western freakout about non-binary gender identity and non-binary gender expression.

You know, some civilized parts of the world don't have weird degenerate hangups about little gadgets that give women the convenience of peeing while standing.

But, really, what the original meme is saying, is that in Thailand, they had been pretty tolerant of alternate genders until about the 1990s, when the fucked up, intolerant values of Western society, got involved and non-binary genders became a public image (i.e. tourism) problem.

I mean, it's not as if we haven't had the "she-male" fetish here in the west for ages - we've merely pretended it didn't exist.

Hell, I bet a huge number of Westerners visit Thailand specifically to find themselves a Thai ladyboy for a few hours companionship...

Friday, August 4, 2017

Wonder Woman's Ass

I just needed to put this here, so I can always remember how fucking awesome it was to watch an entire movie, with a strong female lead, who never once - not ONCE - acted apologetic or ashamed for being the most awesome person in the room.

She NEVER had to apologize for being strong. She never had to apologize for being better educated. She never collapsed, nor broke down, nor fell apart, even when she was totally getting the shit kicked out of her. 
She always kept her focus, and stood by her ethics.

Oh, and Gal Gadot was so totally the right choice. Dissenters can bite me.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fluent in English? Stay humble

The Internet reminds me that I'm not automagically special just because I'm fluent in English as my native tongue.

Oh, I'm special in lots of good ways, but knowing one language doesn't mean jack shit in the grand scheme of things.

Stay humble and get educated.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Something Nice

Tell me something nice that you saw happen today. Not something that involved you in any way, but that someone else did.

For example, the other day at the subway station, I saw a woman frantic to catch a bus. A man stepped into said bus and pretended to be confused, but really was just stalling the driver, while she muscled her luggage the last dozen meters, and caught her bus.

How do I know? As soon as she got there, he stepped back off the bus and blocked the door until she got on.

Someone asked him "Did you know her?"

He said "Nope, but I've missed a few important connections in my life, and it really sucks."

Friday, July 28, 2017

Fiction Friday - Razor Thin Slices

"Razor thin slices of root beer."

What? Listen, Imagination, you know I love you, but what the Hell am I supposed to do with that?

If you're going to be difficult, I'm going to start leaving you at home....

Okay, hang on... I think I see something...

Fiction Friday

The beautiful writer, Fern Kali, has her own blog, and she posts some really wonderful fiction, and she is a creative story-teller, who brings real life to her creations.

Through a bit of a semantic quirk, let's say Fern and I have jointly "created" Fiction Friday - the idea is post something creative - a character, a game mechanic, or - best of all - a story of some kind.  Even just a couple pages, or a scene from a longer piece, or whatever.  Something with a story, or story hook, that people can relax too, and have a bit of fun.

Razor Thin...

So, here's my outline.  Classic dystopian future - think Blade Runner (the original, with it's crappy budget) - where there is resource scarcity.  There's a weird minimalism to the economy - no one starves, which keeps crime down - but getting "ahead" is a real bitch.  

...Slices of Root Beer

In our modern world, sugar cane is dirt cheap, and loaded into everything as a highly addictive substance.  But, in a dystopian future, where fertile ground for growing healthy crops might be hard to come by, and very nearly everything is synthetic, then something as simple as real root beer becomes a luxury.

Those who have "pleased their masters" might be rewarded with a razor thin slice of root beer - the genuine flavor and real sugar would be hyped as a real prize (and given resource scarcity, might be valued like gold).

I mean, look at gold - except for a few industrial uses, it's mostly just pretty.  People value it primarily because it's 1) pretty, 2) scarce.  If everyone could find gold in the streets, all the time, then everyone would treat it slightly better than lead, right?  Lead not being as pretty, and having the additional side effect of being toxic, but you know what I mean.

People value things that are scarce, especially if the beautiful or privileged people value the same thing.  I mean, Shark Fins as a delicacy?  Caviar?  Beaver tail? Seriously?  As far as I'm concerned, taste like shit, but they're scarce, thus expensive, and therefore people value them.

Therefore - in this dystopian, resource scarce world, filled with disposable humans as common labor  - cogs in the wheel, where middle management delude themselves into believing they have importance by tormenting those beneath them - absurd pleasures become valued treasures.

Razor Thin Slices of Root Beer

It's Fiction Friday, luv, come join in :-)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fiction Friday - Nastja Simone

Nastja Ella Simone

Background & Origin:  She was working on her PhD in robotics when she got tapped to join a secret project that was funded by the military, contacted to a private corporation, and using university students and faculty to develop the designs in modular fashion. Although nearly a hundred people at the university were s omehow part of the project, only a handful knew it even existed and only two knew the full scope.

Nastja was one of the cogs in the wheels. She is a very talented roboticist, with supplemental training in cybernetics and artificial intelligence. Her work is integral to the exoskeleton on which the suit operates.

A motorcycle accident resulted in brain damage and she lost motor control over her legs. Despondent, she helped design some brain implants intent on having them installed in herself, to restore lost motor function.  When all conventional avenues turned her away, she sought out an underground neuroroboticist. She doesn't talk about the deal she made with Alexi, but she still can't walk. However, her overall brain function erupted, and she felt the trade was acceptable.

She returned to university, and blew through her classes. She got drawn deeper into the secret power armor project to figure out why the control interfaces were driving volunteers mad (they all got pulled from the project while medications still allowed them normal lives). While the root problem remains elusive, it turns out Nastja’s implants allow her to control the suit without any side effects.

She didn't build the suit, but she has trained to maintain and repair it regularly, and upgrade it occasionally.

Her place of birth was a rural village, a tiny collection of farms. She was raised by relatives.

She has the following siblings:
  • A younger brother that she has lost touch with;
  • A twin brother that bears her a grudge for some past transgression;
  • An adopted older brother that still lives with her childhood caretakers - he became “institutionalized,” and now works to help other kids survive the orphanage system.

She has experienced the following important events:
  • Blind luck provided her with a financial windfall, found cash, an inheritance, or something similar;
  • She made an enemy, a clan, gang or other small group. Nastja and the enemy are both equally annoyed with each other. This enemy have some close family ties that give them minor clout. Racial, religious or political bias caused the rift;
  • She performed a vital task for a military leader, who is now in her debt;
  • She made an enemy, a clan, gang or other small group. There's lots of yelling when they're around each other. They are not particularly important in the grand scheme of things. Nastja took advantage of them via scam or brute force;
  • A serious relationship ended when her partner died, murdered by someone. She don't know who.
  • An incapacitating accident left her laid up for several months, and permanently disfigured;
  • Her relationship choices were sub-par, and she found herself two-timing a steady partner. He never found out.

Combat Tactics:  She is a melee fighter, and a dirty one. Leg sweeps, sand in the eyes, picking someone up and throwing him in front of a bus - it's all fair game to make the fight end as fast as possible.

Personality Traits:
Rude, compassionate, nurturing.  

Appearance:  5’5”, 117 lbs.

Powers:  In addition to being a gifted cyberneticist and roboticist, she has brain implants that give her enhanced intelligence and motor function. Despite that, her legs still don't work. Her doctors have begun telling her the paralysis is psychosomatic, and she tells them to eat shit and die.

She wears an armored powersuit/exoskeleton, designed for law enforcement and peacekeeping (rather than military) applications, that enhances her strength, has electroshock combat pads, and allows her to use her legs normally.

She has minimal training in any kind of combat, and is only an average hand-to-hand fighter.

Notes:  Model unknown (if there even was one).  Photomanip artist unknown.  Character by I.A. Riley, June, 2017.

Document Copyright (C) 2017 by Icarus Anne Riley. All rights reserved.  Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Villains & Vigilantes, Living Legends and the Monkey House Games logo are trademarks owned by Monkey House Games, ©2010 Monkey House Games. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

Unofficial Living Legends Companion written by Patric L. Rogers, Copyright © 2010-2017 by Monkey House Games. All rights reserved.

Mighty Protectors and the Monkey House Games logo are trademarks owned by Monkey House Games, ©2017 Monkey House Games. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

Sourcebooks Marvel Superheroes Advanced Set (TSR, 1986), Realms of Magic (Kim Eastland, TSR, 1986), The Ultimate Powers Book  (David E. Martin, TSR, 1987), 4C System (Michael Hammes, Philip Reed, 2007).

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Name - Nastja - Feminine form of ANASTASIUS. This was the name of a 4th-century Dalmatian saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Due to her, the name has been common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity (in various spellings). As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages. A famous bearer was the youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, who was rumoured to have escaped the execution of her family in 1918.

Mighty Protectors has a very different design view of Armor and persistent protection than its predecessors. Consequently, it is extremely expensive to get comparable values.  So I went with Invulnerability to the most common Damage Type she is likely to encounter, and called it a wash.

(artist unknown)
(model, if there was one, is unknown)

Nastja Ella Simone - Villains & Vigilantes

Str 29 (11), End 14, Int 29, Agl 19, Cha 15, 117 lbs., level 2

Basic Hits 3; Hit Mod. (2.2) (1.4) (1.6) (1.3) = 6.4064; Hit Points 19; Power 91; Move 62” ground; Carrying Capacity 1509 lbs.; Basic HTH 1d10; Accuracy +3; Damage Mod. +5; Detect Hidden 20%; Detect Danger 24%; Heal 0.9; Inventing Points 4.8

Armor B Device:
  • ADR 128 - the good news is that it is heavily plated, padded and insulated, including climate control system. The bad news is maintenance and repair is a bitch. Every time she gets hit, roll percentile dice. If the roll is less than the current ADR, then reduce the ADR by the damage taken, and she suffers no personal injury. She can “roll with the blow” normally to protect the armor; 
  • Heightened Strength B: +18; 
  • Natural Weaponry: Built-in electroshock pads in the gloves and striking surfaces give her +3 “to hit” with unarmed HTH (just don't think about it too hard), and +6 damage; 
  • Heightened Defense: Motion sensors and reflex enhancers enable her to avoid more attacks (opponents are -4 “to hit” her) while she is conscious, mobile, and aware of the attacker. 
Heightened Intelligence B Device: Brain implants, some of which are mounted on the outside of her skull, give her +19 Intelligence. These are permanent and difficult (but not impossible) to disable.

Physical Handicap: An accident damaged her legs, and she needs prosthetics (or cool power armor) to move faster than 6” per turn.

Invention: With her helmet on, the suit provides Adaptation, with 8 charges. Each hour or use as defense expands one charge. Charges can be refreshed by spending one hour in her workshop. The helmet also has a 15-minute backup air supply for when the charges run out.

Training: +1 “to hit” with unarmed HTH attacks

Gear: She also carries a radio, energy pistol, smartphone, first aid kit, and nightstick. If she is feeling mean, she adds a knife and sword, but worries about the serious injuries from cutting people.

Combat Summary:
Unarmed: Attack HTH +4 “to hit,” Damage 1d10+5 or 1d20 (both avg 10.5)

Shock Pads: Attack HTH +7 “to hit,” Damage 1d10+11 or 3d10 (both avg 16.5)

Energy Pistol: Attack HTH +5 “to hit,” Damage 1d10+5 or 1d20 (both avg 10.5), Range 57”

Nightstick: Attack HTH +5 “to hit,” Damage 1d4+1d10+5 (avg 13)

Nastja Ella Simone - Living Legends

PHYS 22/d10
DEFT 11/d6
REFL 16/d8
INTL 22/d10
COOL 11/d6
VITL 11/d6
Mass 53 Kgs (d3 Mass effect)

Total Cost: BCs (83) + Skills (13) + Powers (99) - Weaknesses (-25) = 170 CP


4 @ +2 Levels (5) (+7) [13 CP]
  • Electronics (INTL/S): d12
  • Science (INTL/S): Robotics, d12
  • Unarmed (DEFT/G): Punch, Kick, d10


Bionics: Brain implants increase INTL, included above

Power Armor

  • Armor: 11 vs all Physical Damage Types, plus Other (87), Modifiers: Ablative (-3), Equipment [suit] (-3) [39 CP];
  • Adaptation: Asphyxiation, High Temperatures, Low Temperatures (3) (+5), Modifiers: Equipment [suit] (-3) [4 CP];
  • Heightened PHYS: +15 (15), Modifiers: Equipment (-3) [10 CP];
  • Natural Weaponry: Skill Bonus +3, Damage Bonus +3 Blunt Kinetic [crushing] damage (27), Modifiers: Equipment (-3) [18 CP];

Mundane Equipment

Nightstick [8 CP]
  • Skill Bonus: Add +2 to Weapon [bludgeons] skill (7), Equipment [carried] (-3) [-3 CP]
  • Natural Weaponry: Add +0 Blunt Kinetic [crushing] damage to weapon [bludgeons] skill (0), Equipment [carried] (-3) [0 CP]
  • Parry (shield bonus): Non
Generic Energy Pistol [11 CP]

  • Skill Bonus: None
  • Power Blast: d8 Energy [pure energy] (16), Range [12”] (+0), Equipment [carried, size 0.3m] (-3) (+1), Charges [7ch, clip, reload as single action] (-1) [11 CP]
  • Equipment Armor: Standard Equipment value of 6

Medical Kit [4 CP]

  • The damage form can vary depending on the special effects. On “modern” Earth the damage form would typically be [chemical] (e.g. “flesh-like polymer”), but in more fantastic or high-tech settings it might also be [poison] (e.g. “healing stimulants”) or [disease] (e.g. “genetically engineered super-blood platelets”).
  • Healing: Hits, +1 level, Biochemical (8), Charges [22ch] (-1), Equipment [carried] (-3), Roll Required [Medicine skill, roll 2+, required per use] (-1) [4 CP]
  • Equipment Armor: Standard Equipment value of 6

Radio Transceiver [5 CP]

  • Radio Transmission: 3 channels, audio only, 10 km (4), Verbal Trigger (-1), Linked [to Basic Radio Sense] (-1), Equipment [carried, size 0.1m] (-3) (+3) [3 CP]
  • Heightened Senses: Basic Radio Sense (2), Only 3 Channels (-2), Ranged (+3), Activation Required [to a Persistent power] (-2), Equipment [carried, size 0.1m] (-3) (+3) [2 CP]


Persecuted: She has enemies (Uncommon, Major) [-10 CP]

Physical Handicap: An accident damaged her legs, and she needs prosthetics (or cool power armor) to move faster than 2” per turn. (Major) [-15 CP]

Nastja Ella Simon - Mighty Protectors

Strength 21 (Carrying Capacity 960 lbs., Basic HTH d10+1)
Endurance 12 (Save 11, Heal 1.6)
Agility 18 (Save 12)
Intelligence 24 (Save 13)
Cool 15 (Save 11, Initiative d6+1)

Hit Points 18
Power 75
Physical Defense 2 (6)
Mental Defense 3
Move 17
Inventing Points 12
Wealth d6
Luck 10-
Weight 117 lbs. (192 lbs. in armor)
Total Cost 80 + 95 - 25 = 150


Bionics: Increased Intelligence (included above)
Wealth: d6 Wealth roll (2.5 CP)

Gear - Power Armor

  • Adaptation: Asphyxiation, High Temperatures, Low Temperatures, Modifiers: Multifunction Gear (12.5 CP)
  • Armor: Kinetic 4, Energy 4, Biochemical 4, Entropy 4, Modifiers: Multifunction Gear (27.5 CP)
  • Heightened Defense: Physical Defense +4, Modifiers: Multifunction Gear (7.5 CP)
  • Heightened Strength: ST +10, Modifiers: Multifunction Gear (7.5 CP)
  • Invulnerability: Kinetic, Modifiers: Multifunction Gear (17.5 CP)

Gear - Off-The-Shelf Items

Arsenal: She has a pool of six (6) devices she can choose from when at base, and carry any four (4) at one time. Each can be worth up to 15 CP (20 CP)

  • She carries an energy pistol, smartphone, first aid kit, and nightstick. GM said I don't need to worry about the CP for each, so I'm not.


Physical Handicap: An accident damaged her legs, and she needs prosthetics (or cool power armor) to move faster than 2” per turn. (-15 CP)

Nemesis: TBD (-10 CP)

Combat Summary

Initiative: d6+1

Unarmed: Attack 15-, Damage d10+1 or d12 (and 6.5)

Energy Pistol: Attack 15-, Damage d10 (avg 5.5)

After subtracting for Armor, but before rolling with the blow, she takes ½ damage from Cold, Heat, and Fire, and ¼ damage from physical attacks like punches, bullets, knives and falling.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The GOP wants you to die

Hang on, let me check my notes. Yepper, I was saying this back in 2010 when the GOP first started the "death panel" lies about Romneycare Obamacare.

I fucking told you so.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fiction Friday - Callisto "The Speed of Soul" Kikkert

Callisto Zvezdana Kikkert

(see also Introduction)

Background & Origin: She was born in the United States. After a stint in the military, she studied ecology in college (getting her Masters) and became a lobbyist, finding she had a passion for both.

Her place of birth was a military base. She grew up with her siblings, but ran away from home at 16, because her family life was an absolute and unpleasant mess, got into trouble, and bailed herself out by joining the Army. She mustered out after two terms and went to college.

She has the following siblings:
  • An older sister that hates her for some past transgression;
  • A younger brother that bears her a grudge for some past transgression;
  • An older half-sister that she hates because of some past transgression.;
  • An adopted older sister that suffered grave misfortune, becoming involved with a religious cult or destructive social order;
  • A younger sister that suffered grave misfortune, becoming involved with a religious cult or destructive social order.
She has experienced the following important events:
  • She made a friend, someone younger than her that she feels protective about. This person has some influence with a gang, a guild, or other larger group;
  • She made a friend, an old friend that she reconnected with. This person is an important figure both locally and beyond the immediate area;
  • Her long-term relationship ended when her partner broke up with her without reason;
  • She made a friend, a relative. This person has great personal power;
  • She made an enemy, crossing the line between love and hate with a former lover. He makes her shouty-angry. He has some influence with a gang, a guild, or other larger group. The dislike is the result of a personal relationship;
  • A rigorous stretch of military training strengthened her.
Her powers manifested while on an ecological project. She took a few days to go hiking, and “communed with nature” way more than expected.

Combat Tactics: She uses her invisibility and illusions to confuse and shut down foes.

She is a trained and dangerous hand-to-hand fighter, striking with uncanny precision. 

Personality Traits: Motivation: Utopian. Her worldview drives her to confront the enemy. This may be a personal philosophy, or something she shares with others (such as patriotism, or a religion). She may have been raised with these values, or developed them only recently. Her worldview may be based on moral or ethical convictions or be entirely fanciful, but she MUST try to live up to it, and be an example to others.

She has very strong passions, and a great deal of comfort with them. She is not ruled by her passions, because she knows how to work with them, and channel their energy into her actions. It is an emotional kung fu akin to the tai chi master who bends and rolls through the storm, rather than the tiger style master who smashes and hammers. She can still lose her shit, but rarely (and always intensely), and she doesn't hold grudges.

She doesn't think of herself as “having powers,” so much as “having a better understanding of things.” She can come off a bit parochial and arrogant.

Appearance: She is in her early 30s, 5’8”, 168 lbs. She wears her hair long and flowing. She favors the latest fashions and spends lavishly on the best clothing.

She has a lot of tattoos, but is clever about covering them with her clothing and (when necessary) her illusions.

She was born female, identifies as female, expresses as female, and likes men. (About as uncomplicated as you can get, which is nice, because I kind of had an idea for the character, and I confess, gender identity wasn’t part of it.) (Apparently, the Mighty Protectors book has random tables for this, which is both cool and weird, at the same time.)

Powers: “The Speed of Soul” - every living thing has a soul. That's rather the definition of “living,” one should think, i.e. it has a soul. “Soul” transcends commonly understood physics, to encompass all energy, including the psionic band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

She exists in harmony with that energy field, and consequently benefits from it, can blend into it, and can tug and stir it, to manipulate the perceptions of anything with a soul. It also allows her to move and process information and decisions faster relative to normal humans.

She has normal strength for a woman of her age, height and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Notes: Model unknown. Character by I.A. Riley, June, 2017.

Document Copyright (C) 2017 by I.A. Riley. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Villains & Vigilantes, Living Legends and the Monkey House Games logo are trademarks owned by Monkey House Games, ©2010 Monkey House Games. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

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Callisto Zvezdana Kikkert - Villains & Vigilantes

Str 14, End 12, Int 24, Agl 31, Cha 12, 168 lbs., level 3

Basic Hits 4; Hit Mod. (1.2) (1.4) (1.5) (3.1) = 7.812; Hit Points 31; Power 81; Move 737” (168 MPH) ground; Carrying Capacity 331 lbs.; Basic HTH 1d6; Accuracy +5; Damage Mod. +6; Detect Hidden 18%; Detect Danger 22%; Heal 1.2; Inventing Points 7.2

Heightened Agility A: +13

Heightened Attack: Damage +3 with all attacks 
Heightened Intelligence A: +16
Heightened Speed: Ground Move +680” per turn, Initiative +23

Illusions: She can tamper with the perceptions of living beings, and anything defined as having a soul, creating illusions that affect all visual, auditory and olfactory perceptions. PR=2 per turn.

Invisibility: She can tamper with the perceptions of living beings, and anything defined as having a soul, becoming undetectable and gaining the benefits described by the power, because it affects all the target’s perceptions simultaneously. PR=4 per hour.

Training: Reduced PR for Illusions, included above.

Training: Reduced PR for extra actions per turn. The first one is always free, and her second one is also free, but the third, fourth and fifth are PR=2, as normal.

Combat Summary:

Initiative: 54 +1d10 (avg 59, or four actions per turn)

Unarmed: Attack HTH +5, Damage 1d6+9 or 5d4 (both avg 12.5)

Fiction Friday - My Introduction to Jeff Dee and Monkey House Games

So, the Old Man of the gaming group (hey, he's pushing 50!) says one day "Jeff Dee is coming out with the latest edition of Villains & Vigilantes! Can we do a few sidebar sessions to play through the history of the game?"  

And everyone is like "Sure!" and some of us are Googling "WTF is Villains & Vigilantes?"  And he's like "We'll do V&V, then LL, then MP!" 

Hey, I love me the SHRPG genre, and I love new games, so I'm in, despite having no idea what he's talking about.  But, you know, I learned about Jeff Dee, Jack Herman, and Monkey House Games.
(Actually, it was like "Oh, I've heard of that Jeff Dee.")

So, we do a random chargen session, and I guess I got a crapload of powers, and then some cool stat-booster powers, and then he left me alone with a copy of the book, while he helped the others.

And I made me a Villains & Vigilantes 2.1 character, named her Callisto, and am looking forward to a game with her. Someday. Maybe. I don't know.

Then he reads thru my charsheet, and says "Classically Icarus cool, but there's no way I can convert this to LL or MP."  

And  I'm like "How is this my problem?" I mean, I'm looking over the sheet and thinking "I could model this in Champions. I think, maybe..."

So, he says "Just out of curiosity, what powers did you discard?"  And I show him, and he rolls a few dice, says "Power Armor gives you extra goodies. What can you make of this?"

And so, I made my second ever V&V character.   She's pretty badass, too :-)   You can see her next week :-)  And, apparently, he was able to convert this second one to Living Legends and Mighty Protectors, so I'm looking forward to finding out just how badass.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jeggings For Men

I want Jeggings for men. And yoga pants.

More precisely, I want to see men on the streets of Seattle wearing them. I don't care if the guy is gay, I want to see some tight butt and nice legs.

I mean, nothing but baggy pants hiding leg from waist to toe. Or baggy shorts - sure, you might catch a glimpse of rock hard calf, but still no thigh, gluts or package.

And knee-high boots. I want to see more men in boots. With tassels.

Is this really too much to ask?

(model Conan O'Brien)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Traitors Trump

The Donald said he would burn the GOP to the ground. The sweet irony that the GOP lost control of the mob they created, and a charlatan like Trump stole the mob from them.

That would the The Donald The Treasonous Traitor, by the way.

I really want this whole thing to blow up so big, that even Vice President Pence and the GOP recognize it would be suicide to pardon these traitors.

...and then I want Vice President Pence to pardon these traitors...

...because then,  the Sleeping American Majority, which is just now starting to rouse from its complacency and tolerance of the oligarch-worshiping ignorance-embracing hate-driven cancer eating at our underbelly, May finally awaken and the civil upheaval  and accompanying painful growth spurt can finally happen.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Special Snowflakes Wear T-Shirts

To the special snowflake at Target wearing the #FeminismIsCancer t-shirt: you're such a tard advertising to the the world you're an asshole afraid of women. I infer by the Hot Wheels cars you are buying that you carry a major grudge against your ex-wife, probably because she has a mind. You special snowflake, you.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fiction Friday - Exalted Celtic Brawler

There's sword on your right. One of my fav 3e characters was a fighter/monk with a feat that made her bastard sword into a monk weapon. Delightful blend of swashbuckling and Celtic brawler mayhem.

3e monks benefited from single-classing almost more than even the spellcasters, so there was always that frustration, but it was worth it.

(model unknown)

Here it is. The Feat, I mean. It was a special one-off by the GM, because she liked that I had a not-anything-optimized concept and wanted to run with it.

Bastard Monk Weapon

Pre-reqs: Str 15+, Dex 15+, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword), Weapon Focus (bastard sword)
Benefits: The character can treat a bastard sword as a monk unarmed attack, substituting “bastard sword” anywhere it says “monk unarmed attack.”

The “unarmed attack” part was originally a misspeak by the GM, but there were witnesses and she decided to roll with it, especially when I announced the reason my Fighter 2 was switching to Monk 1 (at level 3), was because she found a new path, and renounced all material possessions to take a Vow of Poverty (q.v. Book of Exalted Deeds).

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Addiction - what a shitty ass design

Here is a dirty little secret about addiction: it's permanent and forever, and no one ever really stops being an addict.

The people at Alcoholics Anonymous know this. 
The people at Weight Watchers know this.
People who work in recovery know this.

Far too few people ever want to admit this dirty secret, nor accept it.

You get things like “I went through treatment and now I'm cured,” or “I quit smoking and now I'm good.”

Yeah? How many smokers do you know who have quit “only once”? Most smokers take up the habit again and again. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances ever engineered by man. Heroine is another. These substances didn't happen by accident - they were cultivated and nurtured for their addictive properties.

The human body and mind are wired to get addicted to things - sometimes those are chemical, sometimes behavioral. 

Internet addiction anyone? Be it social media, or porn, or just wasting time in games. It’s not chemical, but it's sure as Hell engineered to be addictive.

We are hardwired to feel good. Sometimes we can make strategic choices to “delay gratification,” which ironically gives us something to feel good about in the moment, which is really just the fix our bodies are after, anyway.

“All control begins with self” - we consciously learn ways to trick our bodies and brains into the “feel good right now” it demands, by finding ways to feel good about long-term goals. 

Turns out that anger and hostility trigger some of the same brain chemicals that laughter and joy do. We're hard-wired to her pissed off *and like it.* What a shitty-ass design.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day: We're All Just Human

It strikes me that I bet this time last year, the rwNJ blogosphere was as full of "this President sucks!" memes and rants as the left-wing blogosphere is today. Different face, different excuse, same sentiment.

I loathe humanity, but love people, because not-so-deep under the skin, we're all just human.

Happy Independence Day, America!

May you be wise enough to keep what the blood of others bought you.

(model unknown)
(body paint artist unknown)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Laser focus

I work hard on keeping my laser focus during debates. It paints the target for the rocket barrage.  All I ask that people make an effort to use their damn brains.

Plus, butt lasers.

See? Total focus, even without rockets.

Because, today is Silly Sunday, that's why.

Friday, June 30, 2017

G+ notification WTF

G+ is doing a shitty job of showing me notifications from while I was offline. Come on, Google project managers! Quick fucking around with G+. We're small, but diehard loyalists. Argh.

I mention this, because I very nearly missed some really important and special messages, and I worry about what else I'm missing.

Anyway, if you tagged me on something, or sent me a message, and I don't respond, prod me again, because chances are I just didn't see it. Thank you.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Suffer insanity? Thankfully not!

"I don't suffer from insanity. I host the dinner party and we dance naked in the moonlight!"

I'm sure I saw that somewhere, once. Maybe it was just on the inside of my frontal lobe....

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fiction Friday - "The Culling" Campaign Setting

Today is June 14, 2035. Or, Year 7 of The Culling, depending on how you mark time.

To this day, still no one knows the identity of The Reaper, The Bitch with the Book, The Mind Grinder, or as she seems to prefer, simply The Cullen (a bastardization of “The Culling”).

You’d think in a world of superheroes and villains, where figures of myth and legend walk the Earth, we’d at least know the identity of this creature who causes lives to end. Hell, we have the damn "Sorcerer Supreme" and even she can't figure out the identity - let alone how to stop - The Cullen.

But, let me scroll back.

May 10, 2018, 7:01 AM GMT is the moment of “The Vision,” or properly “The Memory of the Vision” - in an instant, every human on Earth over the age of nine had a perfectly clear memory of the contents of a spiritual event - a mystical vision - with no memory of actually having experienced the vision.

The great winged and blindfolded woman was clad in scintillant white. Everyone knows the color of her skin - but the color depends on the bias of whom you're asking, so no one knows shit.  In one hand, she held scales like Justice, and chained to her waist was a great book.

“Five thousand years, and still you idiots won't grow up. Cycle after cycle of self-destruction ends now.”

She touched the book at her waist. It’s size seemed to change, as if it was simultaneously every book, and not a book at all.

“New rules have been written. You have ten years to clean house, and then the culling becomes law.”

She raised the scales. On one side was a heart, and the other a feather.

“Five years from today, the deep-to-the-core, remorseless narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths will change. Their bodies will become as diseased as their minds. Some of them can be saved - if people are willing to help them. Some will be too sick, and cannot be saved. Others will be discarded by the callous around them. The choice is your’s.”

Her head turned, and she stared at us, as if her hidden eyes tore through the soul of every human.

“Ten years from today, those mentally broken whom you do not save, will die.”

The scales tipped, raising the feather above the heart.

“New rules. Extreme lack of empathy is a crime. Narcissism, sociopathy, and psychosis - the inability to acknowledge living beings as having value - is an illness today, dangerous and fatal to those around the sick bastard. Now the tables are turned, and the mental illness is fatal. Change your values, save each other. There is no appeal. The choice is your’s.”

Five years later, to the day - May 10, 2013 - world leaders, business leaders, religious leaders and millions of normal people started to develop palsies and skin diseases. It started slowly, but accelerated quickly.

An estimated 11% of the world population got sick. Some people had thought ahead, and realized those who were physically ill also had deep mental problems - narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths. No chemical or drug - not even the super drugs created by the Mega-Intelligent - treated the physical ailments, but mental health treatments worked - normalize the mind, save the body.

Then May 10, 2028 - “The Culling” - “Weeping Saturday”- an estimated 3% of the world population - human, robot and alien - fell over dead.   It's called "Weeping Saturday," because the cries of terror and anguish for those left-behind lasted months.

There were no surprises - they were all sick in the soul - they were the mentally broken who could not - or would not - repent or change.

Since that day, the “New Rules” continue. Mental health has become a priority - lack of empathy is a fatal disease.

The world has changed for the better. Oh, it's still a mess. There are many layers of “lack of empathy” before getting anywhere near the fatal thresholds of narcissism or psychosis. People still get stabbed and shot, people still let others starve, we still have hate and stupidity, but world leaders are again public servants and not extreme madmen bent on personal power.

No one - mortal, superman, nor godling - has been able to stop The Culling, nor to even touch The Bitch with the Book, herself. She literally seems invincible.

She walks the land from time to time, giving succor and aid. A few times a year, somewhere on Earth, she is spotted in soup kitchens to serve food and wash dishes. She appears in flood zones to help rescue people and distribute supplies. She never does anything superhuman, or magical. It's very mundane and very humble - she leads by example.

When asked for advice, the answer is always how a human institution can help. Directions to a shelter, or crisis counseling services, things like that. She once pulled financial assistance application forms from her book for someone who couldn't otherwise get them in time to meet a deadline. And she helped the person fill out the forms, and gave her a postage stamp to mail them.

When the righteous confront The Cullen, she responds only “What have you done today to help?”  She never raises her voice, but she does have a cutting tongue. The self-righteous always lose those arguments.

No one misses the Dr Armageddons or New Conquerors, or the City-Leveling Madmen. Those were Class E threats to health and sanity the world over. Absolute lunatics who killed and conquered without remorse.

But, 3% is a huge number - families were devastated, governments destabilized and large corporations cast into chaos.  It wasn't particularly bloody, but it was definitely a massacre.

This is Year Seven, but it will be many decades more before we really - as The Mind Grinder said - “grow up.” The only - sick - hope is that we can finally do that now, without the most evil among us.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Communication is 50-50

Yes, it's a cliche, but cliches start somewhere.

You are reading what I am writing. That means an attempt at communication is happening.

I'm trying to share a point of view, and you are trying to understand my point of view (and then you can agree or disagree later).

I have a responsibility to make myself clear. To use clear language, to use words that are relevant to my point, and to include enough details or examples that you have a reference point in the myriad of possible interpretations of my words and phrases.

You have a responsibility to put some effort imto understanding what I'm saying. If my point is not automatically clear, you have a responsibility to take a deep breath and think about it. If a word or phrase has multiple potential meanings, you have a duty to put some effort into figuring out which meaning I intend, so that you can help yourself understand what I'm trying to say.

In my practical experience, people fail to carry their weight in one side or the other, leading to pointless and unnecessary conflict, especiallyion the Interwebs.

I'm sure you've seen it:
- Someone makes an unclear statement with multiple potential meanings;
- An audience member makes no effort to interpret the intended meaning, and instead either gets pissy or provides an invalidating retort;
- The original speaker gets pissy about how stupid the audience member is for failing to understand "the obvious," and/or takes offense at not being validated, and escalates the pissiness;
- Blah, blah, stupid fight that didn't need to happen.

I see it online and offline every damn day. That's why I make an effort to make myself clear ("Use more words!") and make an effort to slow down, try to understand, and try to not get pissy.

Sometimes I do a good job, sometimes I don't, but I'm sure as fuck bragging about trying harder than the average bear.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tattoo me (but not today)

I'm not sure why I haven't yet surrendered to the needle. I think because once I started, I would forever be unhappy having only so much canvas to express myself.

Maybe I need to become a tattoo artist, and convince others to be my living canvas, showing off whatever the fuck I want to put on them.


Model unknown - anyone know the model or photographer?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Funny, how no one *really* tries Libertarianism

You know, that's a good point. You never hear people chanting the praises of unbridled libertarianism, or decrying the shortcomings of a failed libertarian society (oh, wait, there was that Mad Max meme).

It's as if no one ever wants to seriously give it a try...

Kim Brown originally shared:

I'm still waiting for any Libertarian to give me one example of a successful libertarian country.

Larry Lyons

Larry Niven told it best in one of his stories, Cloak of Anarchy. Any case of anarchy or libertarianism dissolves into violence and strongman rule after a very short time.

Oh, wait, apparently the CEO of Sears did try libertarian corporate structure and has nearly destroyed the company, and the oligarchs of Hondouras have tried it, and have successfully destroyed the country.

And here is how things can go when the Libertarian model is applied to services that are really the public responsibility, such as incarceration

And an example of the ever popular "well those city-owners assets to private industry, and we'll be just as loyal, no really" gone horribly wrong (because in a big corporation, the sociopaths always rise to the top)