Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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History Resources for your Game [4]

20 December, 2020

A piece of historyA variety of interesting articles about history that have found recently and wished to share:

The story of the HOUGHTEAM, a secret unit sent into the ruin of Germany (while the fighting was still ongoing) to acquire the Nazi’s vast collection of maps and geophysical data for the US (and the keep it from the Soviets).  What a great plot for an adventure!

Some of the high valleys of Switzerland used to store cheese to be served at the owner’s funeral.  Funeral customs, apart from tombs to plunder, are often neglected in RPGs, so good food for thought here.

A very good discussion on oaths, how they are made and why can be found here.   Very useful for designing oaths for characters to take.  In fact the entirety of A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry is well worth mining for information on history.

Games have been with us forever, recently a Roman game piece has been found.   Many partial games have been found but is most case we do not have a firm idea of how the game was played.   Do your game worlds have any games unique to them?

Languages live and die with their speakers, and there are only about 2,000 people left who speak Tsakonika, a language descended from Laconian, the language of ancient Sparta.  It is one of the oldest surviving languages.  Have you used lost languages in one of your adventures?

Have you found any intriguing or fascinating history you would like to share?  If so, please do!

Notes: Photo edited from the one at the Chester Standard and used without permission.

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In Memory of the Noble and True Who Served

11 November, 2020

In honor and remembranceThis year has been so strange that it seems sudden that we have reached another Armistice Day (in modern parlance Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the US).  As Armistice Day it originally served as a remember of the end of the Great War, the Armistice that ended the war starting at 11:11am on 11 November, 1918, and those who served and died there.  Since then, it has been expanded to include the many others who have served and died for their country in honorable service through the years.

If you remember, pause for a minute of silence to honor the brave soldiers and other members of the armed forces that have guarded us -and still do- at 11:11am.

While it has been my wont in recent years to find poems from lesser known war poets, for this year: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Heroes Inc – Reflections looking Back

12 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, two decades on

The EMpire State Building, home of Heroes Inc HQIt was a great campaign with great people, the core of the group -Peter, Daniel and Tom- were also superhero genre fiends like me with Steve and Dave happy to join in.  Steve was also a history buff helping with context.  We played the game, a lot, forty to fifty session went into creating all those issues, and talked about it on three levels:

  • What was in the in the game/comic.
  • The editorial decisions that keep other things out of the comics.
  • How Grant Morrison was going to rewrite it all in the late 1990s.

Now, this was the late 1990s, so we had to dig up our historical data the old fashioned way.  But there were other things going on, so I did not delve as deeply as I should have.  Now, I know I made some mistakes, some less than sensitive choices which I regret.  Should I CH a new supers game, I will make a much greater effort to avoid such insensitivity, I am sure I will still make mistake but I will be more aware.

I liked the campaign world so much, I continued it with: The New Atlantians, using the ICONS rules and set in Atlanta, and the LA Stars, twice, using the Mutants & Masterminds and set in Los Angles.  Neither of which ran quite as long, with the New Atlantians only managing a single session.

As I love superheroes and the silver age so much, I really hope that I can get another campaign going probably using Masks: A New Generation this time around.

Back to Heroes Inc Roll Call.

Photo by Cecil E Burdick, Jr, on his trip to NYC in 1967, posted and copyrighted by his son.  See the full set here.

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Heroes Inc – Summaries of Issue 21 and 22

10 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, Summaries of Issues 21 and 22

(This story is refined as part of a “secret files” collection published in the 1990s filling in some continuity gaps.  It was decided by the players and the GM to be far to violent and dark to have been part of the ‘official’ 1960s continuity.)

“Fires of the New Sun”

The Heroes Inc team (Playboy, Human Jackrabbit, Plasma-man and the Cleaning Agent) are in Tokyo for the Olympics.  While at a dinner party, which includes the Soviet and Red Chinese representatives, it is attacked by a group of New Sun (Japanese) nationalists in powered armor who are trying the kill the communists.

The team stops them, but at great cost as the armor is equipped with ‘kamikaze’ bombs which exploded when the wearer was knocked unconscious.  Many guests were wounded after the first two attackers were killed, forcing the heroes to careful contain the others until the rest of the guests could be removed from the scene. [The Human Jackrabbit was able to use his new mega-scale running to get the wounded people to the hospital.]

Issue 21: Dragons of California

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Heroes Inc – Rebel – Interview TEEN BEAT magazine

9 February, 2020

Rebel – Interview from TEENBEAT magazine.


Rebel was in the next issue . . .           Without doubt the hippest of the new wave of superheroes is the teen idol Rebel™. With his bad-boy good looks and his super cool super powers this hunk shows that there’s more to crime fighting than a squaresville cape and mask. This cat knows the kids and knows where it’s at. It was with her heart in her throat that this girl reporter approached the door to his hotel suite. I was about to meet the man who is redefining the term icon…

            Some suit opens the door and I ‘m ushered into his presence. He is framed by the window and let me tell you gentle reader everything you ‘ve heard about that profile is true! He holds an old Milwaukee in one hand and a smoking Black Label™ in the other; the bad boy of the hero world doesn ‘t take any bull from anyone! He slowly turns to me. I feel a blush rising. He peers deep into my eyes over the top of his sunglasses (Rayban Aviators style fiends). My heart skips a beat.

            “Hey. ” He says nonchalantly.

            Hey. Just that one syllable takes on so much depth coming from his lips. I am listening to the voice of the tortured soul of our generation. Flustered I sit down and fumble with the pages of my note pad. He pretends not to notice my discomfort and lets me regain my composure while staring out of the window. I take a couple of deep breaths and try not to let myself be intimidated. On top of my game again, I turn to the teen hero and bring out my big guns. I open with my hardest question first. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Heroes Inc – Rebel: The Untold Story

9 February, 2020

Rebel Special 1 – Rebel: the Untold Story

Warner Bros present . . .Cover: Rebel looking back over his shoulder as he steps through the gates of Warner Brothers Studios. A speech balloon from rebel says, “Are you ready to learn the truth?” Splashed across the bottom, “Rebel’s Secret Origin Revealed for the First Time!”

The scene: Hollywood, late June to early July 1963. Rebel has gone west to Warner Brothers Studios, Hollywood, to star in his first feature film, his origin story entitled, Rebel: The Untold Story. The opening scenes in the comic are of Rebel flying in front of the Hollywood sign, Rebel at Gruman’s Chinese Theater, Rebel at the Brown Derby, and so on.

Rebel first works with WB Studios animation department, having a cameo in a Bugs Bunny cartoon which is being specially made to accompany Rebel’s movie (“Rabbit without a Cause“?). So, Rebel gets to meet Mel Blanc (the man of a thousand voices).

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Heroes Inc – Special Issue: Our Government at Work

6 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, Special Issue (1): Heroes Incorporated: Our Government at Work.

Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Kid Comic, Plasma-Man and Lt. Steele. Cameo by: Captain Liberty.

Honest Abe ApprovedIn this issue, our Heroes explain about how the United States Government works, using the Superhero Samaritan Act (SuSA) sponsored by Senator Goldwater in early 1964 as an example of how laws are passed. The team also testifies before the Senate on matters regarding the threat poised to the United States and Earth as a whole by aliens such as the Consolidation.

While in D.C.: The team visits the sights (the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, usw). Billy sneaks out and buys soul music. Lt. Steele converses with William S. Burroughs. Jack discusses comparative economic systems with a lovely Soviet aide. Plasma-man and his girlfriend share some time alone.

Sideways back to to Summaries of Issues 12 to 15!

Back to Heroes Inc Roll Call.

Notes: In the classic idea of superheroes doing PSAs.  I cannot recall how this came into being, we must have just drifted into discussion about government policy in a superheroes world and this was the end result.  Unfortunately, we never managed any more of these.  See also I’m just a bill.

Photos: “Abraham Lincoln Memorial” by LunchboxLarry is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

 

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Heroes Inc – Annual 0 [Zero]

6 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, Annual 0 (August 2000)

Notes from the time: We are currently playing through the Heroes Incorporated Annual 0 (Zero). This actually requires a bit of background, although the game is set in 1964 but Annual Zero was published in 2000 as part of a retrospective of Heroes Inc. Annual Zero incorporates pieces of ‘future history’ in it.

The story arc will run through three or four adventure, as I am not sure exactly how I want to wrap it up, of which we have done two. This arc was sparked by two ideas: 1) that the first adventure of 2000 should be a time travel adventure and 2) Jack’s hatred of Nazis.

Appearing in this issue: Playboy, The Human JackRabbit, PlasmaMan, and Lt. Steele.

Prolog: USAAC base, The Southern Coast of England, 1944

p-%! Mustang similar to the one flown by Jack Diamond, Junior AceJack Diamond, the Junior Ace is about to climb aboard his customized P-51 Mustang, the Torch of Liberty, to escort a bomber raid over the Netherlands. Out of the shadows of the plane steps an older woman with a cloth across her eyes, “As you reach the Dutch coast, look high to two o’clock.” With that said she turns to leave. “Thank you . . .” Jack begins to say as he realizes that she has vanished into thin air.

As Jack’s plane passes onto land again as he comes off the Channel, he remembers the woman’s words and looks up. Just spotting a German squadron hiding the clouds before they attack. With that moment of warning Jack is able to save himself and his fellow escorts. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Heroes Inc – Issue 20 – Knights and Days

3 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, Issue 20: Knights and Days

Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Human Jackrabbit, Kid Comic, and Plasma-Man. Guest Appearances by: Just about everyone! 

Villains: The Green Knight, the Gauntlet team, various others in cameos.

Cover: A boxing ring in Madison Square with Green Knight and Kid Comic/ Knight Errant facing off.  “Fight of the Century.  Can Kid Comic uphold the Honor of Heroes Inc?”

Opening page: A Kirbesque action scene with Jack Diamond bursting out of the panel. “54-40 is in trouble!  Heroes Incorporate!” Read the rest of this entry ?

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Heroes Inc – Issue 19 – East and West

2 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, Issue 19: East and West

Appearing in this issue: Playboy, Human Jackrabbit, Kid Comic, and Plasma-Man with Lt. Steele. Guest Appearances by: Rebel and Torch.  Villains: The Grandmaster, various Russian Marines, and a huge atomically mutated armadillo.

Cover: Split Cover, on the left a Soviet submarine on the left a pastiche of the cover of Fantastic Four #1 (except with the Heroes Inc team in Las Vegas fighting a giant mutant armadillo) with East and West emblazoned across the bottom.

Opening page: The DISC (Diamond Industries Submersible Craft) cutting through the icy waters of the North Atlantic.  Caption: Two Hundred miles East and four hundred feet down from New York City . . .

First Story: “East.” The DISC closes with a Soviet submarine and initiates boarding.  Kid Comic and Plasma-Man cross over and fight their way through a horde of Elite Soviet Marines, including two with minor superpowers.  They then rescued Jack, retreated to the DISC and fled back to the United States.

They have not changed the signs yetSecond Story: “West.” Opening splash page divided into four parts: Jack playing the piano and entertaining at the Sands (looking close Torch’s secret identity can be seen in the crowd).  Human Jackrabbit playing an entire row of slot machines (lots of speed lines).  Plasma-man flying above the neon lights of Las Vegas.  Rebel performing on a Los Vegas stage with dancers behind him.

Next page explaining that Jack is in Nevada opening a new Diamond Industries research station and new he, and the team, are enjoying a well earned vacation in Los Vegas.  (Notes saying: 1- that Janice is holding down the HQ in NY with 54-40 and X.  And 2- That Lt. Steele has been transferred to active duty with the US Army forces serving in Vietnam.)

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