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7906  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: May 15, 2009, 06:08:18 PM
Quote from: Nepenthe
Every time I play it, I like it more. It's funny, in a way the plot isn't as good as in the first one, in fact it's kind of light, but the writing is so good it just sucks you in and adds so many layers of awesome to it that you need to step back and realise that your character has been reduced to "supporting character" status in his own game...

Yes, that exactly. In many ways, TSL is Kreia's story but you don't care because it's just such an awesome story as this single driven individual abandoned and abused by just about everyone she's ever relied on almost manages to bring an entire way of life to its knees.
7907  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [stargate] The Zat on: May 15, 2009, 10:55:38 AM
ZTD has been changed to ETD (Energetic Takedown) for greater portability to other settings.

Conductive is now abreviated CDV and has been rescripted, again for reasons of greater portability.
7908  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The latest in battlefield attire on: May 15, 2009, 08:19:20 AM
That's actually a fairly interesting way to deploy sandbags, but I think what you gain in versitility and speed you lose in structural integrity
7909  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2009/2010 on: May 15, 2009, 01:52:00 AM
Anyone watching Iron Man Armored Adventures?
7910  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Reaperwatch 2009: Weep for the Wicked on: May 14, 2009, 10:52:29 PM
Charles Bud Tingwell, veteran actor, dies in Melbourne aged 86
7911  Community / Off-Topic / Controversial Anti-discrimination ad on: May 14, 2009, 10:44:51 PM

For those who aren't familiar with the Australian show called The Gruen Transfer, it's a weekly panel program about ads and the advertising industry that screens on our national broadcaster which by charter is ad free (except for ads about its own product). There's a segment each week where two advertising companies are given a brief for an ad; pretty much universially they go for a gag ad. In this particular case, the brief was for "Fat Pride". The ad that Sydney-based agency The Foundary came up with was dead serious and deemed too offensive by the bureaucrats to be screened on the ABC -- thankfully it's been made available on the above website, along with the almost 1/4 hour panel discussion it created.

Todd, the grungy guy (appropriately) on the left of the screen is an often strangely lefty leaning guy for an advertising executive, while Russel on the right is very much the cynical ratbag you expect the industry to spawn, so naturally sympathy tends to go with Todd. But here I think Russel's got the right of it -- the ad is a brilliant, confronting high concept exercise and you shouldn't limit yourself to the lowest common denominator.
7912  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [stargate] The Zat on: May 14, 2009, 01:27:31 PM
Quote from: Joeri Jean
Invisibility device:
Alien Gadget
Housing: 1 Small Commen Item
Invisibility Mechanism pick

All invisibility gadgets automatically gain the CTK (goa'uld), CTK (asgard) or CTK (ancient) as appropriate -- they're rare enough for aliens and virtually impossible for humans to get. And the Cal IV variety are only available for vehicles. Personal cloaking devices are significantly harder to acquire so very definitely Reputation only (I'd say, oh, 10-15).

Memory Recal Device:
A device used by the Tok'ra to analyze the thoughts of individuals. This can be useful for recalling oppressed or forgotten memories, and for extracting strategic information from captured enemies. Two of the devices can also be used in tandem to allow two people to share the same thoughts and dreams, even interacting with one another on an unconscious level.
Alien Gadget
Housing: 1 Small or Tiny Commen Item
Skill Boost Mechanism pick "Knowledge"

Actually, this is essentially an Interrogation dramcon we're talking about, arguably even a Hack.

Alternatively you're looking at a technological truth serum which comes in at cal V. Given that we only ever really saw these things being deployed on a few occasions more as plot devices than anything else, such a high cost seems perfectly reasonable though I'd probably again make them Rep only and worth about 5 points.

Memory Recall Device.
A goa'uld device used to analyze the thoughts of individuals. thereby recalling forgotten memories and extracting strategic information from captured enemies. Once placed on the target and activated, the device acts as a truth serum, the primary phase of which as an onset time of 1d4 hrs, a DC 28 Will save and renders the target baffled for 1d6 hrs. The secondary phase has an onset of 2d4 minutes, DC 28 Will save and inflicts 2d6 temporary Wis damage. The damage listed below is accrued when the device is applied and removed.
Pick Type: Alien gadget. Pick Caliber: 5 Rep.  Damage: 1d2 stress & subdual.  E/T: n/a.  Ammo: 2.  Recoil: n/a.  Rng: Touch.  SZ/Hand: N/1h.  Qualities: FRG, CTK (Goa'uld), DST (data tap only), UPG (portable display unit).  Add-Ons: 0.  Weight: 5 oz / 8 lb.  Comp: 90/10. Year: n/a.

Do you have any other Converted Stargate equipment.
I tried to convert some other stuff from the series, but got stuck with the problem of the Naquada into the blood of the Goa'uld, or other problems. These are the equipment that I'm looking for.

1. Healing Device
2. Ribbon Device (Kara Kesh)
3. Personal Shield
4. Transphase Eradication Rod (TER)

1. Again, for a quick fix use high caliber Healing and Skill Check (Medicine) gadgets, stick the CTK (Goa'uld) and NAQ qualities onto it. I need to read up on it, but I'm certain a proper writeup will involve the user acruing subdual or stress damage, or at the veyr least making Resolve checks to get it to work
2. There  are rules for it around somewhere...
3. See Glim's stuff in the shield thread.
4. Effectively combines the incorporeal gadget, a high end sensor and a shotgun. Likely to be Rep only
7913  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [stargate] The Zat on: May 14, 2009, 11:01:19 AM
Conductive (CDV): The weapon deals or is considered to deal electrical damage for all character options triggered by that damage type. If the weapon strikes a conductive surface, the effect of the weapon travels along that surface only using the rules for blast damage with a blast increment equal to its range increment minus 5' (minimum 5'). If the weapon relies on a save instead of damage, this principle is applied to the value of the save DC. Characters with the construct quality suffer the maximum damage or duration of any effect triggered by a weapon with this quality.
7914  Community / License to Improvise / [stargate] The Zat & other Goa'uld toys on: May 14, 2009, 05:04:33 AM
Okay, the mechanics is the wiki is, let us say, not all that it could be. But we have the technology...

According to the show, the zat does the following:
  • 1. If it hits once, it knocks you out for an extended period of time. Some people deomstrate the ability to main consciousness while in a state of intense discomfort.
  • 2. A second hit in close proximity to the first kills. As an after thought, a third disintegrates the body
  • 3. The energy stream can be conducted by metal
  • 4. The weapon is held and operated in a manner similar to but unlike standard human firearms and is frankly ungainly
  • 5. Arguably, it's never been used over any great distance
  • 6. Capable of discharging multiple shots in close proximity

So what does this translate into?
  • 1. The closest existing mechanic is a variant of Knockout Poison
  • 2. This strikes me as being effectively a (ranged) Coup de Grace
  • 3. Electrical damage
  • 4. Goa'uld weapon proficiency required to operate & the BLK quality
  • 5. small / limited range increments
  • 6. A rate of fire of at least 1 per half action
A good starting point is probably be the Taser ranged stun gun, which as a 1-handed blunt weapon is only Cal I but has a max range of only 10 ft.

OTOH there's the distinject, which has a rng increment of 10', the BLK quality, again only Cal I.

Using the pharmacology rules, a particularly effective knockout poison -- primary onset 1d4 rounds, primary DC 28, primary effect: stunned 1d6 rounds, secondary onset 1d4 rounds, secondary DC 28, secondary effect: unconscious 2d4 hrs -- can be had for cal IV.

So, let's try this for a spin:

Energetic Takedown (ETD): When successfully attacked by a weapon with this quality,  the target must make a DC 28 Fortitude save. Success leaves them stunned for 1d6 rounds, failure renders them unconscious for 2d4 hrs. If struck again before the effect of a previous hit have worn off and the save is failed, the target is considered the victim of a Coup de Grace action. Electronic items struck by this weapon make a DC 28 damage save where success means the item is broken, failure means it is inoperable; An object benefitting from EMP Hardening is instead unaffected or broken respectively.

Zat'nik'tel (Goa'uld).
Pick Caliber: III.  Damage: n/a.  E/T: n/a.  Ammo: 50M1.  Recoil: 6.  Rng: 15'.  SZ/Hand: D/1h.  Qualities: AP (all), BLK, CDV, CTK (Goa'uld), ETD.  Add-Ons: 0.  Weight: 2 lb.  Comp: 60/10. Year: n/a.
7915  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Maxim 2.0 on: May 14, 2009, 04:03:05 AM
Can't remember. Sorry.

Anyhow, this version of the Maxim is diferent from the original in that it's focused on psychokinetic combat in its entirity as opposed to just being a ranged attacker.
7916  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2009/2010 on: May 13, 2009, 06:39:23 PM
The elf nailed it. Ron exists in 7 books, each one taking place over a year, the first of which only appeared in the mid 90s, all of which are the work of a single individual and had relatively little lead time between the book appearing and a movie adaption.

The X-Men have been around since the 60s, appearing in a half a dozen different titles at 12 issues + specials + minis + crossovers + annuals each year, shaped by scores of different sometimes mutually incompatable writers over that time who can casually rewrite and redefine the characters' very existence and who at times were limited effectively by their own ego instead of any sense of the characters as mutual property of other creators. The title failed once, spawned an industry, and actually stood as a metaphor for something larger than itself.

And as to the big green guy, remember that Incredible Hulk was part of Marvel's new inhouse production mandate. That and his presence in various iterations of the lineup (not to mention the post-credit sequence) means we're seeing the big guy again come The Avengers in a couple years time.
7917  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / Re: Gadget Questions on: May 13, 2009, 04:50:03 PM
As a house rule: recharge gadgets by spending an action die
7918  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2009/2010 on: May 13, 2009, 03:46:11 PM
Here in Australia we're at least a season behind on Spooks / MI5 so we're currently watching the "Iran goes nuclear" season. And I really really hate Roz. Leaving aside the whole mess with Yalta (which given how she was introduced into the series is actually quite in character for her), the previous season's professionalism has just vanished in a mess of sobbing hysteria at the end of at least 2 back-to-back episodes.

My love for Malcolm & Harry however continues to know no bounds.

And I miss Ruth.
7919  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2009/2010 on: May 13, 2009, 02:56:19 PM
Eh, I went into that film knowing that everyone was going to be secondary to Wolverine, Xavier and Magneto (and Rogue). The deficiencies in Storm's portrayal or Bobby's regression in age in order to riff off the at-the-time flirtation happening between Bobby and Rogue in the comics just didn't impinge because they were incidental to the two main stories.

Your analogy with Ron doesn't stand because Harry Potter is (a)far more unified in its construction and narrative, and (b)consequentially far less adaptable. The X-Men are far more plug and play, as evidenced by the half dozen or more different take we've had on their continuity over the years -- 616, Ultimates, X-Men the animated series, X-Men: Evolution, Wolverine & the X-Men, amongst others.

In all seriousness, my favourite version of Wolverine is the one from X-Men Evolution where they've managed to keep the feel of the character even though he occupies a far different position as Xavier's lieutenant instead of Scott, not least because the position actually marginalises him from the main action of the teen X-men doing stuff.

Of course, what makes interpretation and reinterpretation of the characters work is how you pull it off. From the get go I was saying they needed to cast Iman or Anjela Basset in the role of Storm as they both have the age and the sense of majesty to carry it off (and until Berry won her Oscar I was really hoping they'd just dump her for the 2nd or 3rd films). It's that regalness that makes Storm who she is, not whether she was an actual ersatz African goddess or just an American (because Berry couldn't pull off the accent) school teacher.

Similarly Scott works as long as you remember he's an uptight control freak and/or jerk (who is a fetish object for telepaths) because he has uncontrolable eye blasts.
7920  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV Season 2009/2010 on: May 13, 2009, 12:17:20 PM
Eh, ugly people generally don't make good romantic leads, and X-Men 1 was at heart a platonic Wolverine/Rogue romance against the background of an ongoing failure of the Xavier/Erik bromance.

Wolverine not being short is an acceptable trade off for him still being thoroughly pugnacious and unpleasant, and played by someone with way decent acting chops who can carry off that ridiculous hairstyle.
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